WHan I remembre and take hede of the conuersacion of vs that lyue in this wretched lyf. in which is no surete ne stable abydyng. And also the contynuel besynes of euery man. how he is occupyed and dayly laboureth to bylde & ede­fye as though theyr habytacion and dwellyng here / were per­manent and shold euer endure. & also practyse how they may gete temporalle possessyons. goodes and rychesses. of whyche they are neuer contente ne satysfyed as for the moost partye. but contynuelly entende and laboure by many subtyl meanes how they may encreace theyr sayd possessyons and richesses for to come and attayne to worldly honour and estate. In whiche they wene be veray felycyte and blessydnes / and whan I haue wel ouerseen & examyned these forsayd thynges and lyf. I fynde nothyng in them but vanyte of vanytees and all vanyte & yet I merueylle moche of them that ben lerned wyse & noble men in the lawe. that not withstondyng their rychesses. & sure lyuyng as wel in the spirituelte as in the temporalte contynu­elly laboure to be enhaunced & promoted to hye dygnytees and offyces. as though therin were perpetuel felycyte. In whyche ye may see at eye that al is but vanyte. & they that mē repute for wysest & gretest aboute prynces in a moment ben ouerthrowen & brought to nought. Not withstondyng for the moost parte. they of the spyrytuelte & also of the temporalte entende more to gete. worldly honours. rychesses & possessyons for to satisfye the appetyte of their inordynate desyre here in this transytorye lyf / which anone & hastely shal departe fro the corrup­tyble body. thā they do for theternal lyf which shal euer endure in Ioye or in payne. Thēne to thende that euery man resona­ble remēbre hym self that he is mortal. & shal withoute fayle departe out of this lyf hastely & sone. & ought while he is here lyuyng to purueye & ordeyne for the perpetuel lyf to come / & so to lyue accordyng to the lawe & comandements of our lord & ocupye hym self in vertuous [...]racyons and werkes. in [Page] eschewyng al vices & synnes & al the braūches of thē. that they may after this short & trāsytorye lyf attayne & com to the euer lastyng lyf in heuen / I purpose & attende by the suffraunce of almyghty god to trāslate a book late delyuerd to me & reduce it out of frensshe in to our comyn englysshe tonge. in whyche euery man may be enformed how he ouzt to kepe the lawe & comaūdemēts of god. to folowe vertu & flee & eschewe vyces & to pourueye & ordeyne for hym spyrituel rychesses in heuen ppetuel & permament / which book was made in frensshe atte requeste of Phelip le bele kyng of fraūce in the yere of thyncarnacion of our lord MCClxxix. & reduced in to englisshe at the request & specyal desyre of a synguler frende of myn a mer­cer of lōdon the yere of our sayd lord / M.iiij C.lxxxiiij. which book is entytled & named in frensshe. le lyure royal. whiche is to say in englisshe· the ryal book. or a book for a kyng. in whi­che book ben comprysed the x comandemēts of our lord. the xij artycles of the fayth / the vij dedely synnes with their braūches the vij petycions of the pater noster· the seuen yeftes of the holy ghoost. the vij vertues and many other holy thynges & maters good & prouffytable for the wele of mānes soule. Thenne I exhorte & desyre euery mā that entendeth to the prouffyt & sel­uacyon of his soule / to ouer see this sayd book / in whiche he shal fynde good & prouffytable doctryne by which he may the rather attayne to come to euerlastyng blysse· & alwaye what that is wryton is vnder correctyon of lerned men / humbly besechyng them to correcte & amende where as is ony d [...]faute. & so doyng they shal doo a merytory dede. For as nyghe as god hath gyuen me connyng I haue folowed the copye as nyghe as I can. & I beseche almyghty god that this sayd werk may prouffyte the redars. & that is the special cause that it is made fore / that knoweth god to whome noo thyng is hyd / whyche gyue vs grace so to lyue vertuously in this short lyf. that after this lyf we may come to his euerlastyng blysse in heuen amē

HEre foloweth the table of the rubriches of thys presente book entytled & named Ryal whiche speketh fyrst of the ten commandementes.

  • Fyrst of the two tables of the lawe which god delyuerd vnto Moyses for to preche to the peple capitulo primo
  • Of the fyrst comandement capitulo ij
  • Of the fyrst comandement of the lawe cao. iij
  • Of the second comandement of the lawe capo. iiij
  • How one ought to loue his neyghbour capo. v
  • Here folowe the ten comandements of the lawe ꝑticuler vj
  • Of the iij first comandements partyculer & the fyrst thynge that a subget oweth to his Lord capo. vij
  • Of the second thynge that a subget oweth to his lord viij
  • The thyrd thynge that a subget oweth to his lord ca ix
  • Of the seuen other comandements apperteynyng to the loue of his neyghbour capo. x
  • Of the xij artycles of the fayth capo. xj
  • Of the beest that saynt Iohan theuangelyst sawe in thapocalips capitulo xij
  • The deuysyon of the seuen dedely synnes capo. xiij
  • Of the brannches of the synne of pryde capo. xiiij
  • Of the fyrst braunche & of the fyrst bowh capo. xv
  • Of the second bowh of the fyrst braunche capo. xvj
  • Of the thyrd bowh capo. xvij
  • Of the second braunche of pryde capo. xviij
  • The thyrd braunche of pryde capo. xix
  • The fourth braunche which is ambicōn capo. xx
  • The v braunche which is vaynglorye capo. xxj
  • The vj braunche is ypocrysye capo. xxij
  • The vij braunche of pryde capo. xxiij
  • The second heed of the beest capo. xxiiij
  • The thyrd heed of the beest of helle is Ire capo. xxv
  • The fyrst warre of the synne of yre capo. xxvi
  • [Page]Of the synne of slouthe which clerkes calle accydye ca xxvij
  • Of pusyllanymyte of delayeng & werynes capo. xxviij
  • Of delayeng to do wel capo. xxix
  • Of the synne and vyce of neclygence capo. xxx
  • Of forgetyng & the vyce that cometh therof capo. xxxj
  • Of the vyce of latchednes capo. xxxij
  • Of euyl poyntes of slouthe capo. xxxiij
  • Of the synne of auaryce capo. xxxiiij
  • Of dyuers maners & spyces of vsure capo. xxxv
  • The second maner of vsurye ca xxxvj Of thefte ca xxxvij
  • The thyrd braunche of the synne of auaryce capo. xxxviij
  • The synne of chalenge capo. xxxix
  • Of vij maners of the synne of chalenge capo. xl
  • The fyfthe braunche of auaryce capo. xlj
  • Of the synne of symonye capo. xlij
  • Of the fyrst bough of Symonye capo. xliij
  • Of the synne of malygnyte that cometh of auaryce xliiij
  • Of marchaundyse capitulo xlv
  • The ix braunche of auaryce xlvj
  • Of the synne of lecherye capo. xlvij
  • Of dyuers estates of lecherye capo. xlviij
  • Of the synne of glotonnye capo. xlix
  • Of the synne of the tongue capo. L
  • Of the synne that is in ydle wordes lj
  • Of the synne of auauntyng capo. lij
  • Of euyl sayers of other ca liij
  • Of the synne to say lesynges capitulo liiij
  • Of the synne of pariurye capitulo lv
  • Of the synne & peryl that is in chydyng ca lvj
  • Of the synne of murmure ca lvij
  • Of the synne & peryl that is in rebellyon ca lviij
  • Of the synne of blasphemye ca lix
  • That this lyf nys but deth as hit appyereth ca lx
  • [Page]How man lyueth deyeng in this world capitulo lxj
  • How a man ought to lyue holyly & to lerne to doo wel lxij
  • Of iij maners of goodes spyrytuel capitulo lxiij
  • Of the goodes of fortune capitulo lxiiij
  • Of the goodes of nature ca lxv
  • Of the goodes of grace capitulo lxvj
  • what vertu is honourable good capitulo lxvij
  • Of veray sapyence or wysedom capitulo lxviij
  • Of the prowesse of the knyghtes of Ihesu Cryst ca lxix
  • Of the veray seygnorye that gyueth grace & vertues ca lxx
  • Of very fraunchyse capitulo lxxj
  • Of very noblesse capitulo lxxij
  • That charyte is moost grettest of vertues capitulo lxxiij
  • Of two maners of goodes delectable ca lxxiiij
  • Of vertues in specyal capitulo lxxv
  • The seuen petycyons and requestys that ben conteyned in the holy pater noster capitulo lxxvj
  • wherfore thou sayst fader our. & not fader myn ca lxxvij
  • why it is sayd qui est in celis lxxviij
  • How sanctificetur nomen tuum is expowned ca lxxix
  • The second petycyon and requeste of the pater noster lxxx
  • The iij petycyon & requeste of the holy pater noster ca lxxxj
  • The fourth petycyon and requeste ca lxxxij
  • The v petycyon & requeste of the pater noster lxxxiij
  • The vj petycyon and requeste of the pater noster ca lxxxiiij
  • The seuenth petycyon of the pater noster ca lxxxv
  • Of the seuen yeftes of the holy ghoost ca lxxxvj
  • They be called yeftes for thre reasons ca lxxxvij
  • why the yeftes of the holy ghoost be callyd yeftes ca lxxxviij
  • why there be seuen yeftes. & no moo ne lasse lxxxix
  • Of vij vertues. wherof thre ben deuyne. & iiij cardynal lxxxx
  • Of the foure cardynal vertues ca lxxxxj
  • Yet of the foure cardynal vertues capitulo lxxxxij
  • [Page]Of the vertu of attemperaunce capo. lxxxxiij
  • Of the vertu of strengthe capo. lxxxxiiij
  • Of the vertu of Iustyse capo. lxxxxv
  • How a man ought to take fro hym the vij dedely synnes capitulo lxxxxvj
  • Of the yefte of holy drede lxxxxvij
  • Of foure rotes of the synne of pryde capitulo lxxxxviij
  • Of the vertue of humylyte capo. lxxxxix
  • Of the rote of the vertu of humylyte capo. C
  • Of hym that is veray humble capitulo Cj
  • Of hym that is humble of herte capo. Cij
  • How a man ought to hate pryde capo. Ciij
  • Of dyuers estates of pryde capo. Ciiij
  • Of thenseynement & doctryne of our lord capo. Cv
  • Of the pryuyte that god hath to the soule capo. Cvj
  • Of the comparyson of the mustard seed to the loue of god capo. Cvij
  • Of the yefte of holy drede and pyte capo. Cviij
  • Of seuen maners of loue spirituel capo. Cix
  • Of the seuen yeftes of the holy ghoost and fyrst of the yefte of scyence capo. Cx
  • Of the second degree of equyte & ryghtwysnes capo. Cxj
  • Of the thyrd degree of the vertu of equyte capo. Cxij
  • Of the fourthe & fyfthe degree of the vertu of equyte Cxiij
  • Of the syxte degree of the vertu of equyte capo. Cxiiij
  • Of the seuenth degree of the vertu of equyte capo. Cxv
  • The vertues ageynst the seuen dedely synnes capo. Cxvj
  • How one ought to lyue in meane estate capo. Cxvij
  • Of the dyuysyon of vertues after the phylosophers Cxviij
  • Of the fyrst vertu of magnanymyte capitulo Cxix
  • Of the vertu of fyaunce or truste capo. Cxx
  • Of the vertue of surete capo. Cxxj
  • Of the fourth degree of the vertue of prowesse capo. Cxxij
  • [Page]Of the fyfthe degree of the vertue of prowesse capo. Cxxiij
  • Of the syxte degree of the vertu of prowesse capo. Cxxiiij
  • Of the spyrytuel bataylle ageynst synne capo. Cxxv
  • Of the fyrst bataylle ayenst al vyces capo. Cxxvj
  • Of veray repentaunce of herte capitulo Cxxvij
  • How a man ought to confesse hym capitulo Cxxviij
  • Of the vertu of the yefte of counceyl. and of the good and meryte that is therm capitulo Cxxix
  • Of the degrees of the vertu of mercy capo. Cxxx
  • The braūches of the vertu of mercy & of almesse capo. Cxxxj
  • The seuen braunches of mercy on the lyfte syde and the fyrst braunche capitulo Cxxxij
  • The second braunche capitulo Cxxxiij
  • The thyrd braunche capitulo Cxxxiiij
  • The fourth braunche capitulo Cxxxv
  • The fyfthe braunche of miercy capitulo Cxxxvj
  • The vj braunche of mercy capitulo Cxxxvij
  • The vij braunche of mercy capitulo Cxxxviij
  • How a persone ought to doo almesse capitulo Cxxxix
  • Of the lyf actyf & of the lyf contemplatyf capo. Cxl
  • Of the vertu of chastyte the fyrst degree capo. Cxlj
  • The second degree of the vertu of chastyte cao. Cxlij
  • The thyrd degree of the vertu of chastyte capo. Cxliij
  • The fourth degree of the vertu of chastyte capo. Cxliiij
  • The v degree of the vertu of chastyte capo. Cxlv
  • The vj degree of the vertu of chastyte capo. Cxlvj
  • The vij degree of the vertu of chastyte capo. Cxlvij
  • Of the fyrst estate of them that been hole & chaste of body capitulo Cxlviij
  • The second estate of them that been corrupte cao. Cxlix
  • The thyrd estate & the fourth estate capo. CL
  • The fyfthe estate of chastyte capitulo Clj
  • The vj estate of the vertu of virginite & chastyte ca Clij
  • [Page]The seuenth estate of the vertu of chastyte capitulo Cliij
  • Of the yefte of sapyence capitulo Cliiij
  • Of the fyrst degre of sobrenes & of mesure capitulo Clv
  • Of the second degree of sobrenes & of mesure ca Clvj
  • Of the iij degree of sobrenes & of attemperaunce ca Clvij
  • Of the iiij degreee of sobrenes & of mesure ca Clviij
  • The v degree of sobrenes & of mesure capitulo Clix
  • The vj degree of sobrenes & of attemperaunce ca Clx
  • The vij degree of sobrenes & of attemperaunce ca Clxj

¶Here after ben conteyned & declared the x comandementes of the lawe which god wrote with his propre fyngre / & dely­uerd them to Moyses the prophete for to preche to the peple for to holde & kepe capitulo primo


FOr to haue & to come vnto the know­leche of the x comandementes of the lawe. the which euery crea­ture resonable is hol­den to kepe for to haue lyf pardurable· is to wete that syth the creacōn of thumayn creature four lawes haue ben ¶ The first lawe is called the lawe of n [...]ture. which is none other thynge but kno­wlege of good & euyl by the which we knowe that / which we ouzt tensiewe after reason. & also that which we ouzt to flee. that is to do to other that which we wold after rayson shold be doon to vs. & not to do to other that / whiche we wold after reason shold not be doon to vs. & this lawe gaf god to man & to woman in hys creacōn. & that same lawe euery creature resonable ought to kepe. & by ygnoraūce he shal not be excused / syth they haue vnderstōdyng of reason ¶The ij lawe cometh of the deuyl to destroye the lawe of nature aforsayd. & that is said lawe of con­cupyscence whiche was put in the creature resonable by the [Page] synne of Inobedyence. which was in our first fader / for tofore he dysobeyed to god by synne. the body humayn was obeyssaūt to the soule & to reason entyerly. but assone as he had dysobey­ed god. the body by concupyscēce dysobeyed to reasō. Of which it happeth ofte. how be it that the creature by the fyrst lawe of nature knowe the good to be doon. & the euyl to be eschewed. Alwaye by cōcupyscēce & folisshe plesaūce is lefte the rizt Iugemēt of reason. & is enclyned to do the contrarye. & this sayth saynt powle / that he fonde a lawe in his membris· that is to wete the said lawe of concupyscence whiche gaynsayed to the lawe of reason which was in the soule. & of this lawe of concupyscence set by synne in the creature / None escaped but onely Ihesu & the glorious virgyn marie. The iij lawe is sayd the lawe wryton. which was delyuerd for the creature / that by the lawe of concupyscence wold enclyne hym ageynst the Iugemēt of reason to do euyl. to withdrawe hym to do synne for doubte of punycyon. & thys lawe was delyuerd to moyses & to the chyldren of Israhel / The iiij lawe is sayd of loue & of grace which is none other thyng but to loue god & his neygh­bour / And was delyuerd by cause that the lawe of scrypture which for drede to be punysshed withdrewe the creature to do euyl was not suffycyent / for how wel that hit empesshyd the dede / as towchyng the werke. Neuertheles it empesshed not to the creature the wylle to doo euyl / the whiche thynge is dedely synne. as ofte tymes as it is cōcluded in the thynge that shold be as to the dede. & this iiij lawe of loue is in ij comandemen­tes pryncypally comprysed. The first is this / Thou shalt loue thy god with al thy herte. with al thy sowle. with al thy en­tendemēt / & with al thy myght. The ij is that thou shalt loue thy neyghbour as thy self. And these two comandements ben so conioyned. that the one may not be accomplisshed withoute that other·

¶Of the fyrst commandement capitulo ij

[Page]FOr to haue the knowleche of the sayd first comandemēt ought to be knowen that ij thynges enclyne vs to loue god. The first is to here gladly for to speke of hym & ofte. for naturelly whan we here of ony persone sayd grete good. we ben enclyned to prayse & loue hym. & therfore to goo ofte to holy chyrche to predycaciōs & sermōs / is to a creature grete vty­lyte & prouffyt. The second thynge is to thynke ofte & to haue in mynde the grete benefaytes that a creature hath receyued. & receyueth euery day of god / for naturelly we ben enclyned to loue them that done vs good. Thys loue of god is acquyred & goten by these ij thynges in a creature & is kepte & multe­plyed by ij other thynges. Fyrst for to wythdrawe & take a­way his hert fro the loue of temporal goodes / for the hert may not be parfyte in dyuers thynges. and therfor none may loue god & the worldly thynges togyder perfytely / Secondly for to haue stedfast pacyēce in tribulacōn & to suffre it for the loue of god. for the thyng for which loue hath moost trauayl. & by moost payne is goten / ouzt to be moost loued / and moost der­worthly kept. & this sapyence is moche necessary & prouffyta­ble to al them that wyl goo with god. For thus as sayth holy scripture. by many tribulacions / byhoueth vs to entre in to the royame of heuen. And this manyfesteth & sheweth to vs the lyues of sayntes. which for to come to god haue so moche suffred & endured. After it is to wete / that to thacoomplysshe­ment of the sayd comandement iiij thynges admonessheth the creature ¶The first is to haue in mynde contynuelly the goo­des that the creature hath receyued of god. as sayd is tofore. For whan the creature consydereth that he hath receyued of god body & soule / & al other goodes that he hath. temporell & spirituel / the parylles also whiche he hath escaped· The glorye of heuen whyche he hath apparaylled to vs. the creature hu­mayn shal Iuge that he oweth to loue god wyth all hys hert The ij reason is to haue in consyderacion the grete puyssaunce [Page] excellence and noblesse of god. And with that the grete inyse­rye and pouerte of our self. by the which consyderacion. the creature shal Iuge· that whan he shal loue god with al his hert he shal serue hym wyth al his myght / which yet he doeth ful lytel vnto the regarde of his grete excellence· noblesse & puissāce And therfore the creature humayne ought alwaye the more to enforce hym to loue. to serue. & to honoure god / ¶The thyrd reason is to take awaye the loue & affection of worldly thyn­ges as sayd is tofore. For where al the herte suffyseth not for to loue god suffysauntly. consydered hys grete excellence no­blesse and puyssaūce as tofore is sayd. thenne he that putteth in his hert the loue of thynges temporelle. whyche ben not but fylthe & ordure to the regarde of god. semeth wel that he doth to god grete vylonye / & in this caas he loueth not god wyth al his hert after the sayd comandement. for of so moche as the herte of the creature is sette to loue other thynge than god. of so moche is it lasse in god ¶The fourth reson is to kepe hym self & to put from hym al synnes. and in especial dedely synne. for noo creature beyng in dedely synne may loue god. For by dedely synne the creature offendeth god and is pryued & oute of grace. whyche is thynge contrarye to his loue.

¶ Of the fyrst comandement of the lawe capitulo iij

WE ought thenne accordyng to the sayd fyrst commande­ment to loue god with al our hert. The which thynge the creature doth / whan in alle his werkys hys entencyon is ryghtful and after goddes wylle. For thentencyon of the cre­ature is of suche vertu that he rendre his werkes & his operacyon after god good or euyl / & therfore what so euer werke that the creature doo yf his entencyon be euyl. thoperacyon and alle the werke is withoute meryte. and conuertyd fro hit. in to euyl. herof it is sayd in the gospel by our sauyour Ihesu [Page] cryst. yf thyn eye be euyl al thy body is derke / That is to say yf thyn entencyon be euyl / al thy werkys ben derke & in synne and withoute meryte. And therfore it behoueth to rendre the werke of the creature good and merytorye. & that his enten­cyon be ryghtful accordyng to goddys wylle / But by cause that she to [...]ndre the werke of the creature good and meryto­rye accordyng to god / suffyseth not onelye good entencyon / But it [...] to haue the ryghtful entencion & good wylle lyke as it may appyere in hym. that wyl feele and take other men [...]s good [...]s for to nourysshe & fede the poure peple / For the [...]te [...]cyon of the wylle to gyue for goddes sake to the poure peple is good. But the wylle to stele or take aweye other mē nes goodes is euyl for to so doo. And therfore that dede shall be euyl / & may not be excused. For by cause that an euyl werk for ony good entencyon may not be excused· It is sayd after in the sayd comandement. that the creature ought to loue god with al his soule. That is to say that his wylle accorde in al his werkys to the wylle of god. & this demaunde we of god whan we say our pater no [...]er. whan we praye god that his wylle be doon in vs ¶Item by cause that yet for taccōplisshe the sayd comandement. suffyse not onelye good entencyon and good wylle / it is after sayd in the same comandement· that the creature ought to loue his god with alle his entendement & vnderstondyng. That is to say that in thentendement of the creature be noo dedely synnes delybered by consentyng ne con­cluded. For alle consentynges concluded in thynge that shold be as touchyng the dede of dedely synne. though so be that the dede be not doon outward as touchyng the werke that ony thynge ensie we therof / yet it is dedely synne. And the creature beyng in dedely synne may not loue god as aboue is sayd / ¶Item by cause that yet for taccomplysshe the sayd coman­dement suffyse not onelye good entencyon and good wylle as touchyng the werkes wythoutforth· & that in thentendement [Page] of the creature groweth dedely synne by consentyng / but it behoueth that the creature put and employe al the strengthe & puys­saunce that he hath in good werkys. Iuste & vertuous / that they be to thonour of god & to the saluacion of hym self and of his neyghbour. It is sayd after in the sayd comandement that the creature ought to loue his god with alle his myght and strengthe / And therfore al they that put & employe alle theyr myght and strengthe in the werkys of synne / doon ageynst the sayd comandemēt and synne dedely / Thus it appyereth clerely that for taccomplysshe the sayd first comandement pryncypal. The creature ought to gyue to god. entencyon. wylle / entendement. and al his strengthe by the maner aforesayd /

¶ The second comandement of the lawe is how eche man ought to loue his neghbour Capo. iiij

FOr to haue the knowleche of the second comandement pryncypal aforesayd touchyng the loue of his neyghbour whome the creature ought to loue as hym self. It is to wete that to the loue of our neyghbour four thynges ouzt to moue vs. Fyrst for by cause that we al ben chyldren of god by cre­acyon. And naturelly brethern and systers loue that one that other. And thus we ben al membres of Ihesu Cryst. whyche is our heed. and one membre loueth another naturelly / Se­condly to this ought to brynge vs the loue & obeyssaunce that we owe to god as sayd is. whiche comaūdeth vs to loue our neyghbour ¶ Thyrdly to this loue ought to brynge vs the commynycacyon whiche is emonge creatures humayn. For one lord hath made vs al & created / for vs al he hath suffryd deth. And to vs alle he hath apparaylled the glorye & the bea­tytude of heuen. yf we lose it not by synne. And naturelly eue­ry creature of one lykenes / of one fourme / & of one semblaūce loueth & ought to loue the other. lyke as we see in beestys and [Page] in byrdes that eche loue other. and hym that is to hym lyke and his pareyll. And therfore euery creature that loueth not his neyghbour mespryseth not onelye ayenst the lawe dyuyne but also ayenst the lawe of nature / The fourth thynge that to this loue ought to brynge vs. is the prouffyte that cometh therof / For whan a creature loueth wel another he desyreth his prouffyte / his honoure. hys sauement. and pourchasseth it gladly. By these foure thynges aforesayd appereth clerely that we ought to loue our neyghbour as our self. and thys loue is in fyue thynges. Fyrst whan one loueth hys neyghbour truly / that is to say for the wele of hym / and that is in hym & no thyng for his owen propre. To the knowleche of which thynge is to wete emonge resonable creatures. thre maners of loue been founden /

¶Here is conteyned how one ought to loue hys neyghbour capitulo v

THe first is whan a creature loueth another creature for the prouffyt that he doth to hym / and thys loue is not veray. For whan the prouffyt faylleth the loue faylleth. The second is whan a creature loueth another creature for hir be­aute. and the play [...]yr and delyte that he taketh therin. Thys loue is not veray. For she faylleth whan the playsyr or delyte faylleth / The thyrd is whan for the loue of god and for the wele of hym the creature loueth another creature / And thys loue is good & veray. & accordyng to god. Secondly whan one loneth his neyghbour ordynatly / that is to wete lasse thā god· Thus as the creature oweth to loue hym self lasse than god. And thys techeth vs our sauyour Ihesu Cryst whan he sayth. He that loueth fader or moder. or suster. or brother / or chyldren. or ony other thynge more than me. he is not worthy to haue me / how shal this be knowen. Saynt gregory enseygneth it to vs / that the werkes of withoutforth doon for a creature shewe the loue that one hath to hym wythinforth. [Page] For naturelly one doeth gladly whiche he weneth that hyt oughte to plese hym or hyr that he loueth ¶And by thys it apperyth clerely that whan ony creature leueth to do the werkes. the whyche accordyng to god he is holden and bounden. For to doo other werkys contrarye to the playsyr of the crea­ture / thenne he loueth that creature more than he doeth god / And in this doyng he mespryseth ageynst the two commaun­dementes aforesayd and synneth dedely / ¶ Thyrdly the loue aforesayd is whan the creature loueth hys neyghbour by de­des / That is do say not by wordes onelye. But in fayte and dede to procure in hym his prouffyte. and to empesshe & lette his dommage wyth his power. as he dooth to hym selfe / ¶ Fourthly whan a creature loueth hys neygbour in al ty­mes. That is to vnderstonde also wel in the tyme of his ad­uersyte and of his pouerte / as in the tyme of hys rychesse and of hys prosperyte / For in especyal in the tyme of aduersyte and of pouerte / the veray frende is proued / ¶ Fyfthly whan the creature loueth hys neyghbour holyly / That is to say that the creature ought not to loue another for to drawe hym vnto synne. or for to be his felowe in euyl werkys. As been they that acoompanye them to robbe and stele other mennys goo­des. or do other euyl and wycked dedes. For after reason thou sholdest not Iudge that thou oughtest doo suche thynges. After the fyue thynges that euery creature ought to rendre vnto his neyghbour after the sayd second commandemente. is to wete that two thynges shewen pryncypally the loue· whan it is in the creatures / ¶The fyrst is for to haue pacyence and com­passyon in myschyef and in the aduersyte or pouerte of other. For one excuseth and pardonneth gladly and lyghtly the de­faulte or offence of the persone that he loueth. and these be syg­nes of grete loue. The ij is humylyte which causeth pacyence For comynly whan a persone is proude he knoweth not hys defaultes / But despyseth the other by presumpcyon. and may [Page] not supporte the defaultes that he iudgeth in them. But he is Inpacyent. And wythouteforth he sheweth and manyfesteth ofte angre and dysplaysaunce. But by cause that the sayd commaundement for to loue his neyghbour as hym self was by the Iewes and pharysees euyl vnderstonden. and may be and is yet by many ether. For they holde that they ought loue them that louen hem. and to hate them that hate hem. and for their neyghbour they vnderstood onelye theyr frendys ¶It is to vnderstonde that whan loue or hate is in a creature / ij thyn­ges ben to be consydered. that is to wete the nature that he hath and the synne or defaulte of hym. euery creature of god after his nature. ought to be byloued. but his synne & defaulte ouzt to be hated / And after this exposycyon ought to be vnderston­den the comandement that Ihesu Cryst maad to his appos­tles for to loue theyr enemyes / For the nature humayn we ought to loue. and to do wel to them that hate vs / & praye for them that do to vs euyl. and that persecute vs / But we owe alweye to hate theyr synnes and theyr defaultes. Ne­uerthelesse we may wel. and is leefful to vs to desyre the destructyon of a creature obstynat in euyl & in synnes. and that destroyeth holy chyrche. and domageth and hurteth other / For the desyre of thys. is to desyre the good of other. and nothyng the euyl. to thende that he seace to doo euyl / and perseuere in euyl / And not onelye for his destructyon. Suche peple whā they haue desyred after thentendement aforesayd ben callyd after thappostle the mynystres of god /

¶ Here after foloweth the ten commaundementes of the lawe partyculer capitulo vj

[Page]NOw it is to wete that these two pryncypal commandements aforsayd were gyuen to moyses / whan god de­lyuerd to hym the lawe in ten comandements particuler. The whiche comandementes euery creature resonable is bounden to kepe for to haue the lyf & glorye perdurable. The thre fyrst haue regarde to the dylection and loue of god accordyng vnto the pryncipal commandement tofore sayd. And the seuen other partyculer apperteynen to the loue and to the dylectyon obhys neyghbour. accordyng to that other comandement pryncypal after ensyewyng / And of the same x comandements there ben tweyne affyrmatyues onely whyche enduce the creature to do wel / and viij other negatyues whiche defende to do euyl / The cause is for so moche as for to kepe hym from doyng euyl / is in the puyssance of the creature for the free wylle that he hath to the which he may not be constrayned. but to do wel is not in the puyssance of the creature. but it is the special grace of god.

¶Of the thre first comandements partyculer capo. vij

FOr to haue the knowleche of the iij fyrst comandemētes apperteynyng to the loue & dylectyon of god. It is to wete that a veray subgette oweth to his lord thre thynges / the which the creature oweth to god soueraynly / The first is feyth or fydelyte. that is to say that thonour / seruyse & obeys­saunce that the subgette oweth to hys lord. and the seygnorye that he ought to haue ouer hym be not by hym delyuerd to a­nother / For in suche a caas he shold be holden for a traytre & for fals & euyl / And vpon this was gyuen of god to moyses the first comandement which is suche. Thou shalt not adoure noo straunge god. That is to say / thobeyssaūce. honoure and seruyce that the creature ought to do to god / lyke as hyt is de­uysed vpon the fyrst commaundement pryncypalle. he shal in no wyse doo vnto ony other than to god.

[Page]Ageynst this comandement doon & synne mortally alle tho peple that entremece theym of dyuynacyons. of fortyleges and sorceryes. For after Saynt Austyn suche thynges may not be maad ne doon wythoute to haue ony or summe couenaūtes with the deuyl. by the whiche alle suche thynges been sayd and made / And therfore al suche peple be cursyd and excomenyed of holy chyrche. ¶ And yet also al they that holde and byleue that the p [...]anettys & the sterrys gouerne the soules of the crea­tures / For god onelye gouerneth man & woman / and for to serue man and woman they ben maad and created / Thyrdly alle they that in ony other maner thynge what someuer it be that sette more theyr hope in than in god / be it in goodes tem­porelle or in creatures or that more loue them than god· The which happeth whā for suche loue / or for to gete suche a thyn­ge / the creature dysobeyeth to the comandements of god and of holy chyrche ¶Fourthly al they that for to obeye to theym and to do theyr plesyrs. make theyr subgetcis or seruauntes to dysobeye the comandementes of god and holy chyrche. ¶Fyfthly and al they that in suche a caas obeye to the crea­ture. And yet also alle them that more byleue to theyr owne wytte than they do to the comaundementes of god· and to the ordynāces of holy chyrche / as do they that retche not to knowe the comandementes of god. the artycles of the feythe. and alle other thynges that of necessyte ben to be byleuyd / kepte & hol­den for to haue glorye & lyf perdurable / But many byleue to gete heuen by theyr folysshe presumpcion / And therfore they wyl gouerne them at theyr playsyr and wylle. & yet alle they that for to haue the delectacyons & the eases of the flesshe and of theyr bodyes dysobeye to god and to his comandementes.

¶ The second thynge that the veray subgette oweth to hys lord capitulo viij

[Page]THe second thynge that the veray subget oweth to hys lord. & in especyal to god. is that he ne say ne do thynge that may be to his vylonnye / or to his Iniurye or dyshonoure And vpon this was delyuerd the second commandemente ap­perteynyng to the loue of god whiche is suche. Thou shalt not take the name of thy god in vayne / That is to say for to af­ferme and doo byleue thynge that thou sayest or doest / thou shalte not swere the name of god. but for thynges verytable and for good and Iust cause / and yet in caas of nede and of necessyte / For oth is ordeyned for to sette an ende in thyn­ges lytigyous and debateful. of which feyth or demonstraūce may in none otherwyse be knowen but by othe. And in thys was restrayned to the crysten that· whiche was graunted to the Iewes / For it was leefful to them to swere and not to be periured. But to the crysten peple is not onely defended to pariure and forswere hym self. but also to swere· Excepte in caas of necessyte as sayd is ¶And therfore it is sayd by our sauyour Ihesu Cryst yf thou wylt ony thynge afferme or denye late thy word be. it is thus. or it is not thus. and yf thou makest oth of habundance. but in caas of necessyte it is euyl and it is synne ¶And the cause of thys restraynte or de­fence is / by cause that the creature hath noo membre so feble ne to the kepyng may by a creature be lasse sette. than in the tongne. ¶ And to this purpoos sayth Saynt Iames thap­postle. that alle nature of beestys. of byrdes and of serpentys may be dompted and taken by the creature humayne but none may not ne wyl not refrayne his tongue. ne kepe hym from euyl sayeng or of ouermoche spekyng /

¶And therfore sayth the holy appostle swete Saynt Iames that the man is parfyte and wyse that setteth to hys tongue suche garde. that he mespryse not ne synne not in his spekyng And for that fraylnes the creature that vseth or accustommeth hym for to swere periureth or forsweryth hym lyghtlye. [Page] The which thynge of hym self is dedely synne whan the par­iuryng is made in ernest and by delyberacyon / and the moost grettest synne that is after / is to adoure straūge goddes. which is sayd synne of ydolatrye. And therfore not to take the name of god in vayne by the manere that sayd is / was the second comandement gyuen of our lord to moyses as tofore is sayd.

¶The thyrd thynge that the veray subgette oweth vnto his lord capitulo ix

THe thyrd thynge that the veray subgette oweth to hys lord and soueraynly to god / is seruyce / and vpon thys was deyluerd to Moyses the thyrd comandement appertey­nyng to the dylectyon & loue of god. & is suche as foloweth / Thou shalte halowe or sayntefye the sonday / that is to say Thou shalt seace the sayd day fro al worldly werkes / and in especyal of the werkys of synne / And that day thou shalte employe and occupye thy self in the praysyng & in the seruyce of god In knowlechyng the benefaytes & the grace that thou hast of hym / And god wolde that by the Iewes the sabate day shold be employed in his praysyng and his seruyse / In mynde of that whiche he had made and fourmed alle thynges And the seuenth day he had seaced & dyd reste to make newe creatures / And by the crysten people in stede of the sayd sabat day that the Iewes halowed ¶The day of sonday hath ben ordeyned in mynde of the recreacyon of the creature resonable maad by the resurrexyon of Ihesu Cryst / whyche aroos on suche a day. And semblably the frestys of Sayntes. and the solempnytees commaūded by the chyrche to be kepte also lyke as the sonday ought euery creature temploye in the praysyng & loange of god and of his sayntes and to seace & reste fro all erthely and worldly werkes. and in especyal from synne. [Page] And in especyal the creature ought to ceasse of two thynges Fyrst fro al werkys temporelle. erthely. & corporelle. except in foure caases. The fyrst is for to haue the necessyte of his lyf The second for the necessyte of the lyf of his neyghbour / The thyrd for the necessyte of holy chyrche / The fourth for thauctoryte of his souerayn and for his comandement. whan in suche dayes he comandeth to werke for ony causes Iuste & resona­ble. In whiche foure caases it is leefful to a creature on the sayd dayes to do werke corporelle ¶The second thynge whe­rof thumayn creature ought to cesse in especyal on the sayd dayes. is to do synne. and in especyal dedely synne. For how wel that a creature ought to kepe hym self from synne & in especyal dedely / Neuertheles synne doon in the sayd dayes is moche more greuous than in other dayes. The third thynge wherof a creature ought to kepe hym in. the sayd dayes· is of ydlenes / For for to be ydle is cause of ouer moche euyl and of synnes / and in especyal on the sayd dayes ought a creature to occupye & enbesye hym in thre thynges. Fyrst in makyng sacrefyse to god of hym self. and of al that he hath. & in espe­cyal a creature ought on the sayd dayes to gyue hym selfe to god by deuoute orysons and prayer. And to haue grete sorow and bytter repētaūce of hys synnes. Secondly a creature ouzt to occupye hym in the loange & praysyng of his maker & creatour. And by cause that in the mouthe of a synner / preysyng is not playsaunt to god. euery creature ought to make clene his herte fro al synnes by bytter repentaunce / by deuoute con­fessyon and by penaunce ¶Thyrdly a creature ought to oc­cupye hym in the sayd dayes in doyng almesses for the loue of god of suche goodes as god hath gyuen to hym / to them that haue nede and necessyte. and more largely ought to be gyuen in the sayd dayes than in other / Also yet in the dayes of the festys of sayntes the creature ought to torne hys entende­ment in the consyderacyon of thre thynges ¶ Fyrst the crea­ture [Page] ought to consyder the grete lyberalyte and largesse of god that the saynt of whome the feste is / for a lytyl seruyce that he hath doen to god / God hath so gretely rewarded & guerdoned that he hath gyuen to hym glorye & Ioye pardurable· wyth hym. And wyth this god wyl that of his creatures he be ho­noured and preysyd in this world. And by this consyderacion the creature ought to be al toward god. and ouzt desyre wyth al his herte. to doubte / to loue and serue deuoutelye & perseue­rantly suche a lord that payeth so wel hys seruauntes / ¶Secondly a creature ought in his herte to ymagyne and thynke of the glorye and of the ioye / that the saynt hath wyth god. whiche is so grete that herte humayn may not thynke ne mowthe expresse ne speke. and by suche consyderacyon he de­syre to haue suche wele. and by this the creature desyre wyth al his herte to serue / loue and drede god whiche for this gy­ueth suche wele to a creature ¶Thyrdly a creature ought to consyder in the sayd dayes the grete myserye of hym self / the dyuers trybulacyons / afflyctyons. maladyes / and euyl accy­dentes. fortunes & seruytudes / and many moo parylles that ben euery day in thys poure world. And by this consyderacōn a creature ought to haue the world in despyte. & not to preyse worldly thynges. and to serue god with al his power. And to desyre to be oute of this myserye / for to haue the grete Ioye & glorye of heuen which the saynt hath wyth god /

¶Here after folowen the seuen other comandementes / apparteynyng to the loue & dylection of his neyghbour capo. x

AFter the thre comandementes aforesayd apparteynyng to the loue & dylectyon of god / Folowe the seuen other apparteynyng to the loue of his neyghbour accordyng to the second commandement pryncypal aforesayd / For to haue the knowleche of them. is to wete. that the creature that loueth [Page] his neyghbour after the sayd comandement / ought to haue ij thynges. that is to wete not to do euyl / & for to do wel. And therfore of the sayd seuen comandementes partyculer. the fyrst enduceth and excyteth the creature to do wel. But how be hyt that euery creature is bounden to doo wel to his neyghbour / Neuerthelesse he is moost bounden by especyal to doo good to tho persones that to hym be moost nygh and moost conioyned And therfore the sayd fyrst comandement of these vij enduceth and admonesteth the creature to do wel. and comanded to ho­noure serue and ayde fader and moder. whiche ben the persones moost conioynt to vs / and to whome we be moost holden af­ter god. And it is suche. honoure thy fader and moder. to the ende that thou haue good and longe lyf vpon the erthe / The cause wherfore we ought to honoure our faders and moders / is for the grete benefaytes that we receyue of them in iij thyn­ges pryncypally. First the chylde receyueth of fader and moder his beyng. For therfore the chylde ought to bere to them more gretter honoure and obeyssaunce than to ony other after god. Secondly the chylde receyueth of fader & moder nourisshyng in his chyldehode. And therfore the chylde is boūden to gouerne them in theyr olde age / and of his goodes to admynystre vnto them theyr necessytees after his power yf they haue nede / ¶Thyrdly the chylde receyueth of fader and moder techyng & doctryne. And therfore in al thynges. that be not ageynst god the chylde oweth to obeye to them. and in thys doyng v thyn­ges ben promysed of god by the prophete to the chylde. ¶Fyrst grace in this world and glorye perdurable in that other. Secondly longe lyf which ought not to be nombred in the nombre of yeres / but in the nombre of good vertues. And in lyf which is wythoute synne. Thyrdly ioye and lygnage of chyldren / Fourthly fame or renommee lowable. Fyfthly rychesses / After it is to wete that somme be not sayd fader for cause of carnal generacyon. but for many other causes. [Page] Somme ben sayd fader. and to eche of them we ought to bere honour & reuerence / Fyrst sōme be sayd fader for good & holy doctryne / & good ensaumple that they haue gyuen & shewed of good & holy lyf. As the apostles & other sayntes. for by their holy doctryne they haue maad vs chyldren of Ihesu Cryst by feythe. and to them we ouzt to bere honour. reuerence / & obeys­saunce. not onelye wyth the mouthe. but by ensyewyng theyr werkys. & theyr good & holy lyues & doctryne. Secondly sōme ben sayd fader for the admynystracyon that they haue of god. lyke as ben the prelates of holy chyrche. to whome we ought gyue honoure in obeyeng to them & to theyr comandements. as to the mynystres of god ¶ Thyrdly somme be sayd fader for the garde and defence that they ought to do to theyr people. as ben the kyng / the prynce / & other lordes whiche haue the peple to gouerne & to kepe. & them we ought to loue & honoure and to them obeye by subiectyon. for theyr power cometh of god. Fourthly somme ben sayd fader. and ben to be honoured for the weel & good that is receyued of them / as ben they that socour the poure in theyr necessyte / as a fader by pyte and by compassyon. Fyfthly somme be sayd fader & ought to be ho­noured for theyr olde age. as been the peple whiche been of grete age.

AFter the sayd fyrst comandement partyculer touchyng the loue and dylectyon of his neyghbour. whiche enduceth and somoneth a creature to doo wel. Folowen the other vj whiche defende to a creature to doo euyl / And therfore that emonge alle the euylles that a creature may do to another. the grettest euyl is to sle hym / & this was gyuen to moyses in the second comandement of the vij. and is this. Thou shalte not slee. that is to wete creature resonable of thy propre wylle & auctoryte. To the knowleche of whiche commandement is to wete that after holy scrypture been slayn creatures resonable in many maners / Fyrst by smytyng in the body and hurtyng [Page] in suche maner that deth ensyeweth therof / & this is not one­ly ageynst the second commaundement pryncypal aforesayd / whiche comandeth to loue his neyghbour as hym self. But it is ageynst nature. for naturelly al thynges lyke & semblable loue eche other. Secondly by gyuyng counceyl fauour or ayde and tenduce a creature to slee another bodyly. or to make hym to falle in to dedely synne. Thyrdly in makyng comforte and ayde to a creature for to slee another corpor [...]lly. or to cause hym to falle in to dedely synne. Fourthly in consentyng hym selfe to the bodely deth of another or spyrituel. as touchyng to dedely synne / as to make another to falle. The whiche consentyng is vnderstonde. as ofte tymes as I may lette another fro dethe corporel or spyrytuel as touchyng dedely synne & I lette hym not. By this it appyereth clerely ynough / that a creature somtyme sleeth the body / by iniurye doon to his body in suche wyse that deth ensyeweth. & somtyme the soule. for to make it falle in to dedely synne. and somtyme body & soule togyder. by sle­yng hym self or a woman grete wyth chylde lyuyng. The se­cond comandement defendeth to do euyl to a persone conioy­ned in maryage. & that is thys. Thou shalt do none aduoul­trye / That is to say wyth a woman conioyned to another by maryage / Thou shalt haue noo comyxtyon. or flesshly com­panye. Ne a woman also maryed wyth ony other man than hir husbond / & it is to wete that man & woman in doyng a­geynst the sayd comandement synne fyrst ayenst the lawe of god. whiche hath defendyd aduoultrye by the sayd comande­ment. & yet they synne ageynst the lawe of god / by the whyche it is sayd / that this whiche god hath conioyned by maryage. that by man it may not be deceueryd ne departed. In gyuyng ouer his body by carnal copulacyon to another. For after the holy scrypture man and woman by maryage ben constytuted [...]weyne in one flesshe. Yet efte they synne ageynst the sacra­ment of maryage made in the face of holy chyrche / By the [Page] whiche man & woman promytte theyr trouthe to other / By vertu of whiche oth the body of the man longeth to the womā & the body of the woman is to the man / & ought not to be abandoūned ne delyuerd to other by comyxtion carnal. alweye how wel that in the thynges aforsayd they synne dedely as sayd is yet the synne of the woman. that abandoūneth hyr body to a­nother man than hir husbond by companye carnal & cōmyx­tion. is more gretter whan chyldren or lygnage ensyeweth. than is of the man. For wyth the synnes aforsayd she com­mytteth thefte / in gyuyng to hyr husbond heyres for to succede to hym of another man than of hym self / & by this the womā commytteth sacrelege trayson & thefte. And in other caases the synne of the man that hath commysed aduoultrye. is to be reprehended more than of the woman. by cause that he ought to haue more gretter knowleche / & to be more stronge for to kepe hym from synne / than the woman which is frayle & deceyued lyghtly by concupyscence. And also a man is ordeyned & con­stytuted heed and maystre of the woman / and in doyng that synne he gyueth to his wyf euyl ensaumple. And also it is to wete that by the comandemēt aforsayd is not onely deffended aduoultrye of man and woman assemblyd by maryage / but al fornycacion comyxtion. & flesshly companye bytwene man & woman other than in lawful maryage is dedely synne. and deffended by the sayd comandement. & to holde the contrarye is heresye. For to take aweye fro god that which is gyuen and consecrate in the holy sacrament of baptesme / for to gyue to a creature / is more grete Iniurye & mysprysion & more gretter synne than to take it fro a creature / Thenne sythe that it is defended that suche vylo [...]ye & suche Iniurye made to a creature by more strenger reason. it ought in no wyse to be doon vnto god. Also yet ageynst the sayd comandement ne mespryseth not onelye man & woman by aduoultrye and fornycacyon as touchyng the dede or fayte. but al the tymes that for to doo hyt [Page] they haue the wylle delyberyd & concluded. withoute the dede be doon or folowe it is dedely synne. and also al byholdynges touchynges & kyssynges made by deliberacion for to come to the dede of carnal comyetion & fornycacion as wel by man as by woman out of maryage. wihoute that the dede ensyewe. is dedely synne. and is defended by the sayd commandement. The thyrd commandement defendeth to do euyl & hurte to another in his temporel goodes & that is this. Thou shalt do no thefte Ageynst this comandement myspryse & synnen dedely al they that pryuely and secretely take others goodes in entencion to reteyne them ageynst the wylle of hym that owe them / & thys maner of takyng is thefte. Also al they that manyfestly or o­penlye by force & by vyolence taken the goodes of other. and this maner of takyng is callyd rauyne. and it is gretter dedely synne than thefte / In this synne fallen the prynces and lordes that wythoute cause resonable leueye & reyse vpon their people tayllage. aydes. & Indue subuencyons / and that for auaryce maken euyl & wycked ordynaunces vpon their peple / for after saynt austyn / al wycked seygnourye is thefte· & after the sayd saynt austyn suche peple & suche lordes ben called the grete the­uys. Also al they that reteyne the hyre & salarye of other / and that they owe to other. For this is ayenst Iustyce. that wyl that to euery man be rendryd that which is his. Also all they that in fayt of marchandyse by delyberacyon. and in dede ad­uysed commyse & do falsehed or domage to other. Also tauer­ners & sellars of wyn. that put water with the wyn that they selle / or put in the same of lasse value and of lasse prys than that whiche is in the vessel. and selle al at one prys ¶Also a­yenst this comandement mespryse and synne alle they that doo vserye. whiche is commysed & made in many maners. Somtyme openlye. that is to wete whan a creature leneth money to another. & by certeyn couenaunte shal haue prouffyte therby somtyme pryuely & secretelye / and that is in dyuers maners / [Page] Fyrst whan a creature leneth to another golde or syluer or o­ther thynge & for the more gretter surete to be payed ageyn / is delyuerd in his honde somme thynge that of the same cometh prouffyt. As ben medowys· vygnes. or other herytages. and yf he receyue the sayd prouffyt withoute that he wyl ony thynge rebate of that whiche is lente. Secondly whan for the more surete to haue ageyne that whyche hath be lente / a persone hath receyued pledge as hors or other beestes of whome thu­sage hath doon to hym prouffyte. & wyl no thynge rebate therfore as afore is sayd. Thyrdly whan ostage is delyuerd to sōme for the payement of somme fynaunces / And therfore he taketh his despences vpon the sayd ostages duryng the tyme Fourthly whan ony fynaunce is due to ony persone. and of the payement of the sayd fynaunce / he gyueth delaye for cer­tayn prouffyt that is made for that cause / Fyfthly whan a creature is accustomed to bye rētis or other thynges. by suche condycyon. that yf wyth incerteyn tyme. hys money be not rendred ne payed ageyn / he shal haue that thynge / and for the tyme of the sayd beyng he byeth it for lasse than it is worth· And he seeth clerely that he that hath solde that hath not. ne shal not haue at the terme power to paye ne to rendre that whyche is lente. And yf he haue not the power in thys hope & wylle / he gyueth hym tyme of rechate or byeng ageyn / that thenne he shal haue the prouffyte of the thyng. and with that he shal haue ageyn al that he hath lente wtthoute ony thynge to abate therof. Also whan ony persone gyueth terme of payement for the thynge that he hath solde. And for the abydyng of his payemynt he hath solde it derrer than it is worthe or of value. Also whan a creature byeth ony thynge that shal be delyuerd to hym at certeyn tyme to come. & for thabydyng the delyueraunce of that thynge. he byeth it for lasse than it is worthe. Also whan a creature accompanyeth hym wyth another in the fayte of marchaūdyse. and delyuerth his money [Page] by suche couenaunte that he shal be felowe & partyner in the gayne. & bere no thynge in the losse. And vpon this caas of v­sure is comprysed the maner for to delyuer beestys to deelyng that shal not deye. whiche been callyd beestys of yron. That is to say. supposed that they deye or perysshe. he that taketh them to moison or delyng shal delyuer hem ageyn. and he that hath delyuerd them shal not bere noo parte of the losse / but in the gayne he shal haue his parte / ¶Also whan a creature byeth ony rente. reuenue / or other thynge that shal be payed to hym at certeyn terme by suche condycyon. that yf he be not payed at the sayd terme / he shal gyue for euery day or for euery weke somme thynge for the forberyng / and for the defaulte of paye­ment the byerleueyeth & receyueth the sayd payne or thynge / Also whan for to abyde the payement of that which is lente of hym that so oweth the prest or [...]ette is receyued seruyse or werkys & laboures bodely / Also ageynst the sayd commande­ment mespryse & synne dedely that bye dygnytees espyrytuel & benefyces. and al other that commyse symony [...] / Also alle they that by force of tyrannye holden temporal seygnoryes & lord­shyppes / and in al the caases aforesayd. the creature is holden to restore al that whiche he hath had & receyued of ony other ageynst the sayd comandement. After the thre comandementes toforesayd which defende to doo euyl by werke foloweth the iiij which deffendeth to do euyl in hurtyng or doyng wronge to other by worde. & that is this. Thou shalt not speke ayenst thy neyghbour false wytnes. ayenst this comandement trespacen and synnen mortalle al they that accusen other in fals Iu­gement / also al they that Iudgen falsely. also alle they that by detraccōn of sayeng euyl of other take aweye their good name & fame / Also alle they that recyten and taken playsyr & delyte in sayeng & recountyng that whiche they haue herde saye and recyte in deffame of other. also al they that alowe & approuue the wordes of a creature sayd in the deffame and anoyeng of [Page] another / ¶Also by the sayd commaundemente is deffendyd alle lesynges and lyes. the whiche is commysed in many maners. Somtyme in thynges whyche byholden the feythe of holy chyrche to the spyrytuel hurte of another / & to hys damp­nacyon in delyueryng to hym false doctryn. and ageynst the trouthe of the faythe of holy chyrche. Somtyme in thynges that been to the domage & gryef of another as touchyng his goodes temporell. and in these two caases al lesynges is foūde dedely synne / Somtyme a lesyng is sayd and commysed in hys propre dede by humylyte. as doon somme people which accusen them self in confessyon by humylyte of that whyche they haue not doon. And fro suche a leesyng ought a creature moche for to kepe hym and for to be ware right gretely therof for suche humylyte is wycked / For after the sayeng of saynt Austyn / Lyke as a creature ought not for to hele ne hyde in hys confessyon that whyche he hath doon / In lyke wyse ouzt he not for to say that whyche he hath not doon.

¶Somtyme a creature lyeth in his owne dede for shame. That is to wete whan he sayth somme thynge which he weneth be trewe / And in sayeng it he aduyseth hym & knoweth in hym self that it is not soo. And neuertheles for shame he dare not wythdrawe that he hath sayd. accordyng vnto the trouthe ¶And somtyme a creature lyeth for to haue somme prouffyte therby. or for to escape somme perylle. Somtyme for to doo prouffyte vnto another. Or to delyuer or kepe hym from somme perylle. or for to empesshe hys prouffyte. Or to lette hys dommage / ¶ Also somtyme the creatures maken lesynges or lyes in Iapes or playes / and for to gladde and enioye the people whyche they are in companye wyth al. ¶And fro alle these lesynges after the sayeng of swete saynt Austyn / a creature ought alwaye to kepe hym. For euery leesyng is synne. & the two fyrst ben dedely synnes. & thother by euyl custō may bryng a creature to dedely synne· after these iiij [Page] comandementes aforesayd whiche defende to do euyl by werk and by worde folowe the other two whyche defende the wylle of lyberte to greue and do euyl to another· The fyrst deffendeth the wylle to hurte another in his goodes temporel / And that is this. Thou shalte not coueyte the thynge of thy neyghbour Ayenst this comandement mespryseth and synneth a creature somtyme mortally or dedely. that is to wete as ofte as by de­lyberacyon he coueyteth & wold haue the goodes of another & ayenst reason. Somtyme venyally that is to wete whan he coueyteth the goodes of another. But he wold not haue them but by reason as for the prys that they be worthe. and by the good wylle of hym or them that owe them / The second commandement defendeth the wylle delybered or concluded to co­ueyte the wyf of another man. for to haue carnal companye wyth hir. For to haue the knowleche of the sayd comandemēt it is to vnderstonde that in iij maners concupyscence carnal is in a creature / Fyrst in the herte whan it is by consentyng de­lybered & concluded. To this purpoos sayth our sauyour Ihe­su Cryst / that he that byholdeth a woman by carnal concu­pyscence / that is to say by a wylle concluded to haue hyr companye flesshly in his herte. he hath commysed fornycacyon. & synneth dedely. Secondly in the mouth in expressyng & decla­ryng theuyl desyre that is in the hert by consentyng. the whych consētyng is called dedely synne / thyrdly in werke whan the euyl purpoos or consētyng is done in dede. After it is to wete that iiij thynges pryncipally kepē a creature fro fallyng in to the synne of concupyscence. ¶ The fyrst is to flee euyl companye and alle occasyons that gyuen and moeuen cause of con­cupyscence. As for to frequente and to see wymmen ofte and to here speke of them. The ij is to put out & not remembre in his herte the euyl thouztes & the temptacions that come by the thynges that he hath seen. & to chastyse his body & holde in pe­naūce & afflictiō. The iij is to haue recours to god by deuoute [Page] oryson and prayer whan flesshly temptacyon cometh in requyryng deuoutlye his helpe. ¶The fourth is also in occupyeng hym self in good werkys accordyng to god / And alwaye to flee ydlenes whyche is cause of alle euyl / Thus it appyereth clerely by the comandements aforesayd and declared / that the creature that loueth god hath of necessyte for to do thre thyn­gys. Fyrst that he adoure ne worshyp but one god after the fyrst commandement partyculer. Secondly that the name of god he receyue not in vayne after the second commandement. Thyrdly that he honoure god after the thyrd commandement In lyke wyse a creature that loueth his neyghbour hath of necessyte to do vij thynges / The fyrst is that he do honoure and reuerence due after the fourth commandement / The second that he do none euyl ne Iniurye by werke. Fyrst as touchyng to his persone after the fyfthe. comandement / Secondly as tou­chyng the persone to hym conioyned after the vj comandement Thyrdly as touchyng to his goodes after the vij commande­ment / Also that do not ne bere domage by his worde after the viij comandement / Ne also by thoughte and wylle concluded fyrst whan he coueyteth his wyf after the ix commandement Secondly as touchyng to coueyte his thynges after the x commaundemente / The whyche god gyue vs grace to accomplysshe Amen.

¶ Thus enden the commaundementes of the crysten lawe whyche eche man ought to holde & kepe entyerly for to haue the lyf and glorye pardurable / Deo gracias.

¶These been the xij ar­ticles of the crysten fayth whiche euery man ouzt to byleue fermely. For otherwyse he may not be saued. yf he haue vnder­stōdyng & reason in hym self. & they ben xij articles after the nombre of the xij apostles. which esta­blysshed theym to holde & kepe. of whome the first apperteyneth to the fader The second to the sone. & the iij to the holy ghoost. For this is the founde­ment of the fayth to byleue in the holy trynyte / That is in the fader. and in the sone· and in the holy ghoost one god in iij persones. Al these artycles ben conteyned in the grete Credo and in the lytel credo. the whiche the xij apostles made. of whyche eche of them made & sette a clause of whome the first is thys /

¶The fyrst artycle of the fayth capitulo xj

I byleue in god fader almyzty creatour or maker of heuē & erthe / this article made saynt peter / sayeng Credo in de ū patrē omīpotētē creatorē celi & terre. The ij apperteyneth to the sone as touchyng his deyte / that he is god / & that is thys I byleue in our lord. sone of the fader. & in this we ouzt to byleue that he is sēblable & egal to the fader & to al thynges whiche apperteyne to the deyte. & is one thynge with the fader. saut the ꝑsone which is other thā the fader as touchyng thumany­te / this article made saynt andrew sayeng. Et in Ihesū [...]p̄m filiū eiꝰ vnicū dn̄m nr̄m ¶ The iij article is of the cōcepcion of cryst· & was conceyued of the holy ghoost & borne of Marye [Page] That is to say that he was conceyued in the vyrgyn marie. And by the vertu of the holy ghoost and no thynge of man. & that the vyrgyn marye abode alwaye virgyn & tofore and af­ter. This artycle sette in saynt Iames the more sayeng / Qui conceptꝰ est de spiritu sancto natus ex maria virgine / ¶ The fourth artycle apperteyneth to the passyon of Ihesu cryst. that is to say that he suffred vnder pylate his passyon. The which pylate was preuoste & Iuge for the tyme in Iherusalem for the romayns / And of hym was Ihesus cryst Iudged wrongfully at the requeste of the ryght felon Iewes. and crucyfyed and deed. and layed in the sepulcre and descended in to helle. This artycle maad saynt Iohan theuangelyst sayeng Passꝰ sub poncio pilato crucifixus mortuus / & sepultus descendit ad inferna ¶ The fyfthe artycle is of the resurrection of Ihesu Cryst. That is to say. the thyrd day he aroos fro deth / This artycle maad Saynt Thomas sayeng. Tercia die resurrexit a mortuis ¶ The syxthe artycle is of thascencyon of Ihesu Cryste / That is to say he ascended to heuen and sytteth vpon the ryght syde of god the fader almyghty. This artycle maad Saynt Iames the lasse sayeng / Ascendit ad celos. sedet ad dexteram dei patris omnipotentis ¶ The seuenth artycle is of the comyng of Ihesu Cryst to the dome. That is to saye / From thens he is to come to Iudge the lyuyng and the ded / This artycle made saynt Phelyp sayeng / Inde venturus est iudicare viuos & mortuos ¶ The viij artycle is to byleue in the persone of the holy goost. This artycle made saynt bartyl­mew sayeng. Credo in spiritum sanctū ¶The ix article is to byleue in the holy chirche of rome. and in thordynaūces of holy chirche. This artycle made saynt mathewe sayeng. Sanctam ecclesiam catholicā ¶The x is to byleue in the holy sacrament & by the same holy sacramēt is made remyssyon of synnes to al them that receyue hym worthely. Thys artycle made Saynt Symon sayeng. Sancto (rum) cōmunionem remissionē peccato (rum) [Page] The xj artycle is of the general resurrectyon in propre bodyes This artycle made saynt Iude broder of saynt symon / sayeng Carnis resurrectionem. The xij & the laste artycle is to by­leue heuen to be lyf perdurable / This article composed & made saynt Mathye sayeng vitam eternam Amen /

¶Thus enden the twelue artycles of the feythe

¶Of the beest that saynt Iohan theuangelyst sawe in thap­pocalyps capitulo xij

THe holy appostle Saynt Iohan the euangeliste in the book of his reuelaciōs which is callyd apocalips sayth that he sawe a beest which yssued oute of the see mer­ueyllously desgysed & moche dredeful. For the body of the beest was of a lyepard. the feet of a beer the throte of a lyō. & he had vij heedes / & x hornes aboue. and aboue the x hornes x crow­nes / & saynt Iohan sawe that this cruel beest hath power & myght to fyghte ayenst sayntes & to ouercome them / & to conquere them. Thys beest so cruel / so conntrefayted. so dyuers & so dredeful / signefyeth the deuyl of helle. which is ful of sorow & of al bytternesse· The body of this beest was as sayth saynt Iohan semblaunte vnto a lyepard. For in lyke wyse as the lyepard hath dyuers colours / In lyke wyse hath the deuyl dyuers maners of engynes for to deceyue & to drawe the peple to synne. The feet of the beest were of a bere. For in lyke wyse as the beer hath the myght & strengthe in his feet & in his ar­mes. & holdeth strongly. & byclyppeth fast that whiche he hath vnder his feet & enbraceth. In lyke wyse doeth the deuyl them that he embraceth and hath beten doun by synne. The throte of the lyon was in hym for his grete cruelte. The vij hedes of the sayd beest ben the vij chyef dedely synnes. by the which the deuyl draweth to hym as it were al the world. For oftyme it hap­peth that many ꝑsones falle in sōme throte of these vij hedes / [Page] That is to vnderstonde of the seuen dedely synnes. and therfore sayth Saynt Iohan that the sayd beest had power ayenst the saynces. for in the erthe is none so holy a man that parfytelye may eschewe al the maners of synnes· that of these vij heedes. & of the vij dedely synnes descende. withoute specyal pryuylege & grace of god / lyke as it was in the virgyn marie / whyche neuer dyd synne / or in another saynt after the specyal grace that he had of god / lyke as the gloryous vyrgyn marye had specyal & synguler grace of god aboue al other creatures. The x hornes of the beest sygnefye the brekyng of the x commande­mentes of the lawe of our lord. whych the deuyl pourchaceth as moche as he may that the creature breke them. in lyke wyse as he purchaceth that the creature falle in the vij dedely synnes toforesayd. or in sōme of the braunches of them. The x crow­nes of the sayd beest sygnefyen the vyctoryes that the deuyl hath vpon the synners. by cause that he hath made them for to breke the ten comandements of the lawe of our lord.

Herafter foloweth the deuysyon of the vij dedely synnes ca xiij

THe fyrst heed of the beest is pryde / The second Enuye. The iij yre or wrath. The iiij slouthe. The v auaryce / The vj glotonnye / The vij lecherye / Oute of these vij synnes dedely descenden alle maner of synnes & therfore be they callyd chyef of vyces. for they ben chyef of al vyces and of alle synnes be they dedely or venyal. Eueryche of these seuen dedely synnes is departed in many partyes. & first we shal speke of the synne of pryde. This was the first synne & the begynnyng of al euyl whan the angel lucyfer for his grete beaute and his grete vnderstondyng he wold haue ben aboue alle other angels & wold compare to god that so good & fayr had made hym. & by cause he took suche pryde in hym he fyl fro heuen in to helle and became a deuyll. And alle hys companye wyth hym / [Page] Alle proude men resemble thys lucyfer / whiche wyl be aboue the other / and be more preysed. more allowed & more enhaunced than the other· whiche been better & of more valewe than they be / This synne of pryde is ouer perylous. for it blyndeth man & woman / so that they knowe not ne see not the perylle wherin they be by synne / This is the right stronge wyn of the deuyl. and the moost especyal of which he enyureth or maketh dronke the grete lordes & ladyes· the bourgeyses. the ryche / the noble and valyaunte persones. and generally al maner of people. But in especyal the grete lordes & ladyes in suche maner that they knowe not them self / ne see not theyr defaultes / ne theyr folyes. ne theyr synnes. Thys is the moost perylous maladye & sekenesse of al the other / Certeynly he is in grete peryl to whome alle tryacle torneth to venym. lyke as doctryne and chastysyng doth to the proude. For the more men chastyse and blame them of theyr defaultes. so moche more ben they angry & defende them. Pryde is the fyrst doughter of the deuyl. and she that hath moost grettest parte in his herytage / Pryde war­reth ageynst god & his goodnes & al graces / and ageyn al the good werkys. that ben in the mā. for pryde maketh of almesse synne / & of vertu vyce. & thus is pryde a theef to god / & wyth the goodes that one ought gete heuen. he maketh hym wynne helle. This synne is the fyrst. For it assaulteth the knyghtes of our lord. & that laste leueth them. For whan the knyghtes of god haue ouercomen & vaynquysshed alle other vyces and synnes / Thenne assaulte them most strongly the synne of pride and of vayne glorye.

¶The braūches of the synne of pryde. ben these capo. xiiij

THe synne of pride deuydeth hym & departeth in so many partyes that vnnethe they may be nombred. But there ben in this synne vij pryncypal partyes / whiche been as seuen [Page] braunches that yssue and growe of an euyl rote. of whyche the fyrst braunche of pryde is dysloyalte or vntrouthe. The se­cond despyte / The thyrd is surquydrye whiche sōme calle presumpcion. The fourth folehaste. whiche is called ambycion / The fyfthe vayne glorye / The vj ypocrysye. The vij euyl and foule shame of wel doyng. To these vij partyes & braunches apperteyne alle the synnes that growe of pryde. But eueryche of these vij braunches haue many smale bowes.

¶The first braunche is dysloyalte or vntrouthe capo. xv

THe fyrst braūche of pryde is dysloyalte. whiche deuydeth hym in to thre braunches / The first is euyl. The second is werse. The thyrd is werste. That one is vylaynnous / That other is wode / The thyrd is renyeng. Vylaynnous ge­nerally is in alle synnes. for noo synne is wythoute vylonye / But the vylonye of whiche we speke here specyally that gro­weth of pryde is a partye of dysloyalte. whyche is called of clerkes Ingratytude that is vnkyndenes. That is to say for­getyng of god & of his yeftes / that men thanke not our lord ne yeue hym laude and praysyng therof. But he forgeteth & rendreth euyl for good and vylonye for curtesye / This vylo­nye doth euery creature to god / whan he forgeteth his good­nes. grace & yeftes / and yeldeth not to hym therfore praysyn­ges & thankes lyke as he ought to do. But oftymes fyghteth in euyl custome and vsage ageynst the wylle of god. This is moche grete vylonye whan a persone receyueth grete bounte and goodnes / and daygneth not ones to say gramercy. yet is the vylanye gretter whan one seeth. and whan he forgeteth. But that slouthe is ouer grete whan a persone receyueth alle waye the bountees and rendreth alwaye euyl for good / who thenne bethought hym wel and took hede ofte of the bountees and goodes that god hath gyuen and doon to hym and doeth [Page] contynuelly fro day to day. for he hath noo goodes. but god hath gyuen them to hym / Ne goodes of nature. as beaute / hel­the. strengthe of body / clere vnderstondyng and natural wytte as of the partye of the soule. Ne goodes of fortune. lyke as rychesses. honoures. and hawtesses. Ne goodes of grace. lyke as ben vertues / grace. & good werkes / wel ought suche a persone to preyse & thanke god / & honoure doubte and loue hym wyth al his goodes / for one bounte requyreth & asketh another.

¶Of the second bough of the first braunche capo. xvj

THe second bough of dysloyaulte that groweth of pryde is woodnes. That mā is holden for wood that is oute of his wytte. in whome reason is goon and departed. Thēne is he a ryght grete fool & wel may be sayd oute of his wytte and wood that in good ernest wasteth destroyeth. and setteth in euyl vsage the goodes that ben not his. but ben the goodes of his lord of whiche he must straytely counte and gyue a re­kenyng· th [...] is to wete the tyme that he hath loste. and how he hath em [...]loyed his tyme. and of the temporelle goodes how he hath vsed them. the whiche he hath had in his kepyng / and hath despended them in folyes. in oultrages. & in euyl vsages tofore the eyen of his lord that is god / Ne hath not pourueyed hym to rendre his acompte. & knoweth wel that he muste rekene and wote not whenne. ne the day. ne the houre. Suche folye is callyd forsenerye or woodnesse. Of thys vyce and of thys synne been the grete proude men that vse ryght euyl the goodes that god hath lente them.

¶Of the thyrd bowh of dysloyaulte capitulo xvij

THe thyrd bowhe of dysloyaulte that cometh of pryde is renyeng he is wel renyed that the lōde which he holdeth [Page] of his lord putteth in the hande of his enemye. and dooth to hym homage. Thys synne doo al they that synne mortally or dedely For in as moche as in them is they do homage to the deuyl / And become seruauntes and caytyues of the enemye. and rendre to hym al that they holden of god. bothe body and soule And al other thynges that they haue they put in the seruyce of the deuyl. And how be it that suche folke say & calle them crys­ten. they renye god by werke / and shewe that they been not. But in thre maners a man is callyd renegate or renyed / and fals crysten / Or for by cause that he byleueth not that he ouzt lyke as dooth the bougre or the heretyke. and the apostata that renyeth his feythe. Or by cause that they breke the feythe that they byleue / lyke as doon they that ben pariured. & be lye theyr fayth / Or by cause they byleue more than they ought to doo / lyke as doon deuynours / Sorciers & the charmerers whyche vse and werke by tharte of the deuyl. and al they that in suche euyl werkys byleue and sette theyr hope synne dedely. For all these thynges ben ayenst the feythe / and therfore holy chyrche for bedeth and deffendeth them. These been the maners of desloy­aulte whyche is the fyrst braunche of pryde /

¶The second braunche of pryde capitulo xviij

THe second braunche of Pryde is despyte. whiche is a moche grete synne / & how wel that dedely synne be not wythoute despyte of god. Yet alwey after that we here speke / in this despyte specyally may one synne in thre maners Or by cause that a persone preyseth not ryghtfully another in his herte lyke as he ought to do / Or by cause he bereth not re­uerence ne honoure there as he ouzt to do. Or by cause he obey­eth not a ryght them to whome he ought to obeye. ¶Now thynke ryght wel dylygently in thyn herte how oftymes thou hast mesprysed herin that whyche thou hast in thyn herte. thyn [Page] owne self & other falsely preysed. And the bettyr despreysed and despyted and the werse preysed. and thynke hou ofte thou hast despysed in thyn herte them / that ben of more valewe thā thou arte / And how thou hast despysed them for sōme forayne grace that god hath gyuen to the / Or for noblesse. or for beaute / or for prowesse. or for strengthe of body. or for lyghtnes / Or for what someuer other good that it be / by whyche thou hast▪ preysed more thy self than thou oughtest to do / & the other thou hast lasse preysed than thou oughtest. After thynke hou many ty­mes thou hast borne lytel honour & reuerence to them that thou oughtest to do. Fyrst to god & to his swete moder & to alle the angels and sayntes of heuen. For there is none but thou hast trespaced to by despyte or by irreuerence In that thou hast ofte tymes euyl kepte the festys & holy dayes. After thynke hou many tymes thou hast seruyd euyl our lord Ihesu cryste. Or in that / that thou hast not gladly herde his seruyce. ne sayd his houres ne herde his sermons. And whan thou wenest to here the messe in the chyrche or the sermons. thou Ianglest & bour­dest tofore god / & lettest other to do wel. after thynke how thou hast many tymes doon lytel honour to the body of Ihesu cryste whan thou seest hym. or whan thou receyuest hym. In thys that thou arte not worthely apparaylled ne made redy by con­fessyon and by repentaunce. Or by aduenture that werse is thou hast receyued hym in dedely synne thy self wytyng. The whiche thynge is as grete despyte vnto god as to crucyfye hym. After thynke how vnto thy swete felowe / & to thy good kep [...]r thyn angel whiche is alwaye wyth the / & alwaye ke­peth the / how many vylanyes thou hast doon to hym / in soo moche as thou hast commysed synne tofore hym. after thynke how oftymes thou hast be inobedyent to thy fader and to thy moder and to them to whome thou oughtest obeye and bere honour. Yf thou wylt in this manere recorde thy lyf thou shalte see that thou hast ofter synned in this maner of pryde whyche [Page] is called despyte / than thou canst recounte or telle /

Of the iij braunche of pryde. which is arrogance capo. xix

THe thyrd braunche of pryde is arrogance which is cal­lyd surquydrye or presumpcyon. that is to wete whan a man weneth more of hym self than he oughte / That is to say that he weneth to be of more valure than he is worthe. or to knowe more. or to mow more than other. Thys synne is the fortresse of the deuyl. For he kepeth and nouryssheth al the grete synnes. This synne sheweth hym in many maners by werke and by worde. But namely he sheweth hym in vj maners. That is to wyte in syngularyte / For the proude surquidrous that weneth to be more of valewe and of power. and to knowe more than the other. daygneth not to doo as thother doo whiche ben of more valewe than he is. Also he wyl be synguler in his werkys. This is the fyrst synne for whiche surquydrye sheweth hym in werke or by dede. The second folye is enterpryse of grete dyspences of his owen or of other for to be preysed & renomed. And that he be holden the more large and the more curtoys / The thyrd euyl that groweth of sur­quydrye is folysshe empryse of leude stryffe. For thus sayth Salamon. emonge the proude men been alwaye stryues and plees. The iiij bough of thys braunche by whyche the proude man sheweth the pryde of his herte is auauntyng / whyche is a moche foule synne to god and to the world. he that auan­teth hym is lyke vnto the cuckow that can synge noo thynge but of hym self / this synne is foule in hym. that by his owne mouthe auaunteth hym / of his wytte or of his parage. or of his werkys or of his prowessys. But this synne doubleth in them that folowe and flatre these vauntours and losengers / and suffre them for to preyse them and for to say of them that they durst not say and for to lye / and for to crye theyr oublyes [Page] The fyfthe tacke of this braunche is derisyon. For that is the custom of the proude surquydrous / for it suffyseth not ynough to despyse the other in his herte / that hath not the grace that he weneth to haue / but he maketh his mockeryes. and derysyons And yet that werse is he scorneth & mocketh the good wyse men / and them that he seeth be good and honeste. whyche is a moche grete synne & perylous. For by their euyl tongues they lette moche peple to do wele. The vj boughe of thys braunche is rebellyon / That is whan a man is rebelle to alle them that wold hym good. For yf one repreue the proude surquydrous he deffendeth hym. yf one chastyse hym anone he is angry. yf one counceyl hym he byleueth it not but hys owne wytte. This is a peryllous maladye that may not suffre that he be touched. and to whome euery medycyne torneth to venym / Hit is an euyl thynge to murmure. but moche werse is rebel­lyon. Rebellyon is a vyce of the herte whiche is harde & frow­ard and dyuers. that wyl alwaye that his wylle be doon and his sentence holden / & wyl that alle other bowe and enclyne to hym / and he shal not bowe ne humble hym self to no persone This is the harde herte of the worde of salamon whiche may not faylle to come to an euyl ende. and lyke as murmure is ageynst god & ayenste man. right so is suche an herte that is rebelle ayenst god &· ayenst the men / This synne & thys vyce whiche is called rebellyon departeth and deuydeth hym in to four braunches. Suche an herte is repugnante and rebelle to byleue counceyl & to suffre chastysyng / & to receyue doctryne yf ony of theyr frendes wold counceyl and shewe theyr prouffyte or theyr defaultes. he deygneth not to take hede therto ne to here it / But by cause that they haue spoken he wyl the more glad­ly do al the contrarye. And on the other party they be moche rebelle to the counceylles of our lord / as to the counceyl of the holy gospellys of the other holy scryptures. and of sermons / To whiche they be bounden to do and to accomplysshe the wylle of [Page] god for to haue glorye perdurable / And the deuyl leyeth to­fore them eyther Impotence. or yongthe or age. or other euyl reasons / so that at the laste they may no thynge doo. After whā men repreue and chastyse them / they defende them as a boor / so that they wyl not knowe theyr folyes. and so moche more as they excuse them. so moche more is theyr synne. Also it is whā god smyteth chastyseth or correcteth hem to the ende they shold knowe theyr synnes and theyr defaultes. and that to the ende they repente and amende them. They con hym noo thanke but despyse hym sayeng. O what haue I trespaced. what wyl god doo wyth me. and thus they murmure ayenst god. Thus doon & say the fooles / For that whyche shold be tryacle & pur­gacyon of the soule / it torneth to hem venym. and the mede­cyne torneth to the deth / After they be of so dyuers wyttes that they knowe noo good doctryne / But alwaye defende theyr sentence what someuer it be / & in that wyse they falle ofte in er­rour and in false oppynyons / in heresyes and in myscreaunce / Blasphemye is also as sayth saynt Austyn whan one byle­ueth that whyche he ought not to byleue. But especyally we calle blasphemye whan one myssayeth of god or of his sayn­tes / or of his creatures or of his sacramentes that be made in holy chyrche. this synne blasphemye is doon in many maners as in the sayeng in his mynde or thought. as doon the herety­kes / or whan it is sayd by couetyse of wynnyng. As doon the enchauntours or the sorceriers. Or whan it is sayd by dys­pyte as doon these grete swerers. that sweren soo vylaynously by god. by his blessyd moder and by al his sayntes. whiche is a moche horryble thynge to here and to herkene. Suche folke ben lyke an hounde enraged and wood that byte and knowe nothyng theyr mayster ne lord. This synne is soo grete that god punyssheth it somtyme openlye lyke as we haue sayd to­fore. whan we speke of the euyl and wycked people / ¶ Of this synne sayth god in the gospel. that it shal neuer be ꝑdoned [Page] ne foryeuen in this world ne in that other. That is to saye vnnethe he shal be forgyuen. by cause that vnnethe he repēteth hym. or it may be perauenture that he shal neuer repente hym

¶ Of the iiij braunche whiche is ambicion capitulo xx

THe fourth braunche of pryde is ambycyon / That is an euyl desyre to amounte and ryse hyghe. This synne is the panne of helle in whiche the deuyl fryeth his frytours. this braunche stratcheth hym in many maners on the ryght syde & on the lyfte syde. For they that desyre to waxe hye and ryche wyl playse somme. and therof growen many synnes. lyke as it were on the ryght syde / That is to wete losangerye. flaterye seduction. adulacion. folyly geuyng. and folyly despendyng. by cause they shold been holden large and curtoys / vnto other they wyl noye and greue / and therof comen and sourde the synnes on the lyfte syde / As for to myssaye of hym whome he wyl gryeue for tenhaunce hym self. and gyue to that other blame. And that wers is. that he desyreth the deth of hym. that hol­deth that thynge for whyche he entendeth and desyreth. and of thys braunche growen stryues / Trayson / euyl counceyl. and conspyracions.

¶The fyfthe braunche is vayn glorye capitulo xxj

THe fyfthe braunche of pryde is vaynglorye. This is folysshe playsyr of vayn praysyng. That is whan ony feleth in his herte a reioysyng of that / that is or weneth to be preysed of sōme thynge that is in hym or weneth to haue / And wold be preysed of that. of whyche he oughte to preyse god / And by that vayn glorye taketh aweye fro god that whiche is his. For of al maner goodes what someuer they be. he ought to haue the honoure and the glorye And to vs the [Page] prouffyte. Vaynglorye is the grete wynde that beteth doun the grete toures and the grete steples. The grete castellys & the grete forteresses / & dryueth doun to therthe the grete forestys / & maketh the grete montaygnes to quake & shake. These been the hye men & the moost valyauntes / the grete prynces and the grete lordes. This is the peny of the deuyl by whiche he byeth al the fayre wares in the fayre of thys world. These been the good werkes· and by cause that there ben iij maner of goodes that the man hath of god. and that the deuyl wyl bye them wyth his peny. Therfore this braunche departeth hym in thre bowes oute of whiche sourde soo many synnes that no clerke may nombre them. These iij manere of goodes that the man hath of god been the goodes of nature. the goodes of fortune and the goodes of grace. The goodes of nature ben the goodes that a ꝑsone hath by nature. as toward the body / or toward the soule / The goodes of the partye of the body ben. helthe be­aulte strengthe prowesse good facond / good wys & lyghtnes of body. The goodes of the partye of the soule ben clere vnderstandyng. clere wytte to vnderstonde and reteyne. Subtyl engyne for to fynde good memorye and mynde. and the vertues naturel by whyche a man is more naturally curtoys than a­nother or more large or more [...]ebonayr. or more attempred. or more gracyous. or to be wel ordeyned· Of alle these yeftes ought euery man to prayse and thanke god / serue & honoure hym / For fro god comen al these goodes that we may haue but the proude man selleth them to the deuyl for the false mo­ney of vayn glorye / And fyghteth ofte ageyn god wyth alle the goodes that he hath lente to hym. whyche ben here aboue declared / ¶How many persones haue accustomed to synne oft by vayn glorye in dyuers maners. euery man may Iuge in hym selfe. In the goodes of fortune ben hyghnesse / honours rychesses / delyces and prosperytees. whyche ben called in many maners. For whan dame fortune hath torned hir whele [Page] And hath reysed a man / & hath sette hym in the moost hyest degree of hir whele as a wynd mylle doeth. & vnto the mooste hyest mounte & come al the xij wyndes and blowe meruayl­lously with the wynde of vaynglorye. For whan he is so hye reysed in prosperyte / he thynketh in his herte on his grete dygnyte / After in his prosperyte. after in his rychesse / After on the grete companye that foloweth hym. after on the fayre meyne that serueth hym. After in his fayre manoyrs. After on his fayre horse. after on the plente of his fayre robes after on thapparayl of his lodgyng in vessel & in beddys / and in other ma­ner of harneys that is fayre and noble. after on the grete pre­sentes and on the grete festys that ben made to hym oueralle where he goth. after on his grete renomee & his grete loos & praysyng whiche fleeth al aboute / wrerin he ioyeth & glorefy­eth the veray caytyf in his herte that he wote not where he is. These ben the xij wyndes of vaynglorye. That is to say ma­ners of temptacions of vaynglorye / whych they haue that ben in this hye estate / or in the world or in relygyon / or clerke or laye man / The goodes of grace ben vertues & good werkes / Ayenst these goodes bloweth somtyme the wynde of vaynglorye & ofte tyme throweth doun the moost gretest trees & moste hye / These ben the moost wyse men. and it is to wete that in good vertues & good werkys the deuyl tempteth by the synne of vaynglorye in iij maners. That one is in the herte within forth whan a persone enioyeth hym of the good that he hath doon pryuyly. as of prayers & orysons or of pryue good werkes / & weneth that he be bettyr with god than he is. That o­ther is whan he suffreth a folisshe gladnes come in to his hert of that he hereth or seeth his good fame or renomee. and that he is reputed and holden for a good & noble wyse man / The thyrd is whan he desyreth and secheth and purchaceth prey­syng loos & good fame. & in that entencion he dooth his good dedes & werkys no thynge for god proprely but for the world

¶The vj braunche of pryde is ypocrysye capitulo xxij

THe vj braūche of the synne of pryde is ypocrysye. thys is a synne that sheweth good dedes wythoutforth whiche ben not withinforth. thēne they ben ypocrites which countrefayte the wyse man withoutfort.) / and they be nothyng soo wythinforth. For they do more in the entencyon to haue the name of a good man than the trouthe and the holynesse. And this is departed in to thre partyes / For there is one ypocrysye folysshe. one foule. and one subtyl. They be foule ypo­crytes that doon the ordures and fylthes of synne secretelye in hyd places. and countrefete the good men tofore the people. Our lord calleth them in the gospel sepulcres paynted & gylte They ben folysshe ypocrytes that kepe them clene ynough as toward theyr body. & do moche grete penaunce & good werkes pryncypally for the praysyng of the world. by cause they wold be reputed and holden for good and holy / Suche peple ben wel folysshe. For of good metal they make false money. They ben subtyl ypocrytes that wyl moūte in hye estate. & taken aweye and stele the dygnytees and offyces. They doo al that a good man ought to do so subtylly. that no man may knowe it vnto the tyme that it be achyeued and goten. and al redy mounted and reysed in to hye estate and dygnytees. & thēne they shewe theyr vyees theyr fayntyses & the ypocresyes that were in them wythin theyr herte. That is to wete pryde auaryce & malyce & other euyl werkys by whyche may be clerely knowen theyr wyckednesse and theyr ypocresye. And that the tree was ne­uer good. and that alle the werke and dede of suche a persone was fayntyse & ypocresye of that he had shewed tofore.

¶The seuenth braunche of pryde is fool drede capo. xxiij

THe seuenth braunche of pryde is fool drede & fole shame that is whan one leueth to do wel for the world. to thēde that [Page] he be not reputed and holden for an ypocryte and a papelart. & fereth and doubteth more the world than god. Thys shame cometh of euyl playsaunce / whan one wyl playse the wycked and euyl. And therfore is she doughter of pryde. And the se­uenth braunche pryncypal maketh a persone oftymes to leue to doo wel. for to playse wyckedly the world.

¶The ij heed of the beest of helle is enuye capitulo xxiiij

THe second heed of the beest of helle is enuye. This is the serpente that enuenymeth alle / Enuye is moder of the dethe And by the enuye of the deuyl came the dethe to the world. ¶Thys is the synne that moost ryght maketh a man to re­semble vnto the deuyl hys fader / For the deuyl hateth nothyng more than the wele of another. And loueth no thynge but the harme of another / And by thys synne the enuyous man may not see the wele of another. nomore than the oule may see the clerenesse of the sonne. ¶ Thys synne is departed in to thre braunches pryncypal / For thys synne poysenneth fyrst the hert of thenuyous persone. and after the mouthe / And after that the werkys. The herte of the enuyous is so poysonned and o­uertorned that it may not see the good of another / but that it gryeue hys herte wythinforth. and Iudgeth euyl that which he seeth. or that he hereth. he taketh and demeth alwaye the werste. And in alle thys he dooth hys owen harme. ¶The hert of an enuyous persone hath so many venymous thoughtes and fals demynges & Iugementes that they may not be nombred. After thys whan the enuyous persone dooth or hereth ony euyl of ony other what someuer he be. is hyt of harme of his body / as euyl of hys deth or of hys sekenesse or of euyl fortune. as of pouerte or euyl spyrytuel lyke as whan [Page] he hereth that somme whyche haue been holden for good men been blamed and deffamed of somme vyces and deffaultes. Of these thynges enioyeth the enuyuos persone in hys herte. After whan thenuyous persone hereth and seeth the wele of another. Thenne cometh to hym a sorowe and an heuynesse to his herte that he may not be eased ne make good chere ne fayr semblaunte. Now mayst thou see that the venemous herte of thenuyous persone synneth generally. In malyce in gladnes & ioye of the harme of other / and in sorow of the wele of ano­ther. Thus synneth the enuyous by his mouth / For nedes must suche wyne come oute of the tappe as is wythin the ves­sel. And by cause that the herte is al ful of venym. it byhoueth that suche yssue oute of the mouthe. Thenne by the mouthe of thenuyous persone yssue thre maners of venymous wordes / of whome dauyd spekyth in hys psaulter / that the mouthe of thenuyous persone is ful of maledyctyon / For of the good & wele of another he myssayeth. appayreth and lasseth as moche as he may. Of hurtyng / For al the harme and deffaultes of another he secheth & sercheth. and sheweth forth to hys power / Of Trayson / For alle that he seeth or hereth he peruerteth to hys power. and tourneth it to euyl and Iudgeth it falselye. ¶After the enuyous persone hath thre maners of venym in werke. lyke as he hath in his mouthe and in hys herte. For the nature of the enuyous is to quenche and to destroye to hys power. alle goodnesses. be they lytyl / be they grete / or myddle or perfyght. ¶ Thenne he is of the nature of a basylyke that may suffre no verdure nygh vnto hym. neyther herbe ne busshe ne tree / ¶ Thenne after the gospel the good or wele hath in hym self thre estates / For it is fyrst as in the herbe after in the ere / and after it is ful of grayn. Thenne al thus there be sōme that haue good begynnyng to come wel forth / and to prouf­fyte wel. & ben lyke as the herbe. Them the enuyous thynketh to destroye yf he may. thother ben also lyke theerys of corne that [Page] floure wel and prouffyte wel to god and to the world / And them the fende cryeth to destroye and to shame to hys power. The other been perfyte in grete estate. & do moche good to god and to the world. For to bete doun theyr good loos & renomee and for to mynysshe theyr good dedes. thenuyous dresseth alle his engynes. For as moche gretter as the goodnes is / So moche more sorow he hath. This synne is soo perylous that vnnethe may one that vseth hit come a ryght to veray repen­taunce. For this synne is contrarye to the holy goost. whyche is fontayne of all goodnesses. And god sayth in the gospel who that synneth ayenst the holy ghoost he shal neuer haue for yeuenes ne mercy in thys world ne in that other. ¶For he synneth of his propre malyce. And it ought hooly to be vn­derstonde that there is noo synne how grete it be. but that god foryeueth and pardoneth in this world yf a persone repen­teth wyth good herte. But vnnethe it happeth that ony re­pente of this synne. For suche one warreth wyth hys power the grace of the holy ghoost / in that. that he warreth the spyry­tuel good of another. ¶In lyke wyse as the Iewes war­ryd ageynst our lord Ihesu Cryst for the good that he dyd. ¶And ye ought to knowe that there be vj synnes specyally ayenst the holy ghoost. That is to wete presumpcyon whyche enlargeth ouermoche to synne. and preyseth lytel the Iustyce of our lord. and ouermoche to truste in his mercy. And ther­fore moche peple synne in hope. ¶The second synne ageynste the holy ghoost is in despayr / whyche bynymmeth and taketh aweye from god hys mercy. Lyke as presumpcyon taketh from hym hys Iustyce. The thyrd is obstynacyon. Thys is hardenesse of herte / ¶whan one is soo enharded in his synne and in his malyce. that he may not be humbled ne meked ne bowe and wyl not repente hym ne amende / The fourth synne ageynst the holy ghoost is despyte of penaunce. That is whan a man purposeth in hys herte. that he shalle neuer repente [Page] hym of hys synne. The fyfthe is to warre ayenst the grace of the holy ghoost in another. The vj is to warre ayenst trouthe in ernest wetyngly. and in especyal the trouthe of the crysten fayth. Al these synnes ben ageynst the bounte and goodnes of the holy ghoost / and they been soo grete that vnnethe they come to veray repentaunce. And therfore been they vnnethe forgy­uen and pardoned.

¶The iij heed of the beest of helle is Ire or wrath capo. xxv

THe thyrd heed of the beest is Ire. But thou owest to knowe that there is an yre whyche is vertuous / that the good men haue ayenste thys synne. whyche geten the vertues ayenst the vyces / There is another Ire whyche is a moche grete vyce / that is felonnye of herte. oute of whome yssuen many braunches. And in especyal foure warres that the felons haue /

¶Of the fyrst warre of the synne of yre / which is suche xxvj

THe fyrst warre of the synne of yre / is to hym self. for whan Ire surmounteth the man / she tormenteth the soule & the body soo moche that the man may not slepe ne reste / Somtyme yre taketh awaye the etyng & drynkyng. and maketh one to falle in a feuer or in so grete heuynesse or malancolye. or despayr that he taketh the deth. This is a fyre that wasteth alle the goodes of the hows ¶The second warre that the felon hath that is to god. For yre and felonnye sur­mounte and fyre somtyme alle the people. by aduersyte temporalle. or by maladye and sekenesse. or by dethe of frendys. Or by ony manere of meschaunce that hys wylle is not doon. that he grutcheth and murmureth ayenst god our lord & sayth maugre / and in despyte of god and of alle hys Sayntes. [Page] And swereth and blasphemeth ayenst god & his blessyd sayn­tes / The thyrd warre of Ire that the felon hath / that is vnto them that ben vnder hym. that is to his wyf & to his meyne & breketh pottes & cuppes lyke as he were oute of his wytte / and so is he. The fourth warre is wythoutforth to his neyghbours and bydwellers aboute hym / & of this braunche growe vj bowes / For whan Ire ryseth bytwene two men. there is thēne stryf. dyscorde. wordes. vylonyes. wronges / And after rancour whyche dwellyth in the herte / after cometh hate / medlyng and bataylle. after desyre for tauenge hym / after other­whyle homycyde and manslaughter. After cometh ofte mor­talle warre emonge the frendes. out of whiche yssuen ofte e­uyls in dyuers maners / and many that may not be amended For whan there is warre bytwene two hye grete men hyt happeth ofte that many men be slayn / whyche neuer had bla­med ne [...]espaced. monasteryes and chyrches broken vp. and somtyme brente. townes destroyed and brente. Abbayes and grete pryoryes destroyed / men wymmen and chyldren dyshe­ryted and put to pouerte· robberyes. wymmen maryed. & maydens defouled and corupte / and ouer many other euylles that ben doo for that cause. And al this be they bounden to rendre & to make amendys. al they by whome soo many myschyefs & harmes haue be doon. And al they that haue ben in theyr helpe in suche wycked & euyl werkes / and therfore be they in grete peryll of dampnacyon. & ferre fro theyr sauacyon / For they may not amende ne rendre the dāmages that they haue doon. and they behoue to restore or to be forlore /

¶Of the synne of slouthe which is sayd accydye capo. xxvij

THe fourth heed of the beest of helle is slouthe. whyche is callyd of clerkys accidye / This synne is greuous to doo wel / This synne is an ouer euyl rote / and casteth oute many [Page] euyl braunches / For this synne causeth a man to come vnto euyl amendemente / and more euyl begynnyng. and ouer euyl endyng / The slowe persone hath euyl begynnyng by vj ma­ners of synnes. The fyrst vyce is fayntnes. that is whan a man loueth lytyl and fayntly our lord. whome he oweth to loue ardantly / and this happeth whan he is flawe. latchous and slowful to do wel. The second vyce of slouthe is tendre­nesse. that is the bedde wherin the deuyl resteth hym and sayth to the man or woman. Thou hast be euer tenderly nourysshed thou arte of ouer feble complexyon / Thou mayst not do grete penaunces / thou arte ouer tendre. thou sholdest anone be d [...]ed. & for this the caytyf suffreth to be cherysshed / and to doo alle the eases and the delyte of his body. The thyrd vyce is ydlenesse. This is a synne of whome cometh many euyls as the holy scrypture sayth. For whan the deuyl fyndeth a man ydle he putteth hym anone in his werkys. that is. he maketh hym fyrst to thynke euyl. to desyre vylonyes rybaudryes. lecheryes to lose his tyme. and to leue to do moche good that he myght do by whyche he myght gete heuen. The fourth vyce of slouth is heuynesse. whan a man is so heuy. that he secheth nothynge ne loueth so moche as to lye doun reste and slepe. Somtyme how wel he be slowe· they been wakre and quycke ynough to the nedes of the world / But they be al slepy to the nedes and werkys of god. and for to do the werkys that shold be to their sauacyon. & these maner men had leuer lose thre masses than a swete or a good slepe. The fyfthe vyce of slouthe is shrewd­nes or cursydnes that is whan a man lyeth in synne and feleth the temptacyons of the deuyl & of hys flesshe that assaylle hym. And for veray shrewdnesse he wyl not lyft vp his hede ne his herte to god by contrycyon / Ne crye to god deuoutelye by confessyon / Ne stratche vp his handes to god by satysfacciō To suche slouthe resembleth the wycked man that had lyeuer rote in foule stynkyng pryson / than to take vn hym the laboure [Page] to goo vp the steyer. or the degrees for tescape & goo his waye

¶Of pusyllanymyte. of delaye. & werynes capitulo xxviij

THe vj vyce of slouthe is pucyllanymyte / In this vyce be they that haue fere and drede of nought / & dare not be­gynne to do wel / for they haue drede that god shal fayle them This is the fere & drede that sōme peple haue of theyr dreme They resemble hym that dare not entre in to the path or waye for fere of the snaylle that sheweth his hornes / And resemble also the chylde that dare not goo in the waye for gaglyng & syt [...]yng of the ghees / Thyse ben the vj vyces that take aweye fro a man good begynyng. And for vj other vyces the slowe persone may not haue good amendement. These been the vj tatches or condycyons of euyl seruauntes that so do that noo good wyse man ought to receyue in to his seruyce. that is to wete whan he is delayeng. neclygent / forgeteful. slowe lat­chous and fayllyng to do wel /

¶Of delayeng to do wel capitulo xxix

THe fyrst vyce is delayeng. For whan god putteth in the herte of a man good wylle to doo wel. Thenne co­meth the deuyl that sayth to hym· Thou shalt recoure wel y­nough. thou arte yonge & stronge thou shalt lyue long ynough By thys maner the deuyl destroubleth a man to do wel.

¶Of the vyce and synne of neclygence capo. xxx

AFter delayeng cometh neclygence / For who so maketh delayeng it is noo wondre though he doo a thynge neclygently / This is a vyce of whyche alle the world is entatched yf it be wel taken hede of. For there be not many that be dyly­gent to doo that they ought to do anenste god and theyr neyghbour /

¶Of the vyce of forgetyng capo. xxxj

[Page]AFter neclygēce cometh oublyēce or forgetyng. for who is not retchyng and neclygente he forgeteth ofte. by these two synnes of neclygence & forgetyng happeth ofte that sōme persone can not wel confesse ne shryue hym self. For whan a man is not remembryng ne not retchyng and neclygente to confesse hym. He forgeteth his synnes wherof is grete peryll For no persone may haue pardon wythoute veray confessyon And he may not haue veray confessyon that hath not repen­taunce in his hole herte of alle his synnes. knowleche of hys mowthe. and obedyence in werkes / This amendes and this satysfaction ought euery man to doo. Ne there is none how good and wyse he be. yf he seeth and consydereth wel hys de­faultes but that he fyndeth ynough to say al waye in his confessyon. But neclygence and forgetyng blyndeth the people / that they see noo thynge in the book of theyr confessyon and of theyr conscyence. / After cometh fere or drede whyche cometh of deffaulte of herte. and of euyl custom that byndeth so a man that vnnethe he putteth hym self to do wel. and somtyme this cometh by defaulte of dyscressyon / and of folysshe feruour by whyche a man taketh on hym and tormenteth soo hys body by fastyng. by wakyng. by penaunces· and by other werkes that he falleth in to langour and in suche maladye and seke­nesse. that he may not laboure in the seruyse of god / & of thys he falleth in suche fere. that he hath noo sauour of deuocyon to doo wel.

¶Of the vyce of latchydnes capitulo xxxij

AFter cometh latchednes that maketh a man latchous. and appayreth fro day to day so moche that he is al re­creant and defayllyng. and thys is the vj vyce of whyche the euyl seruaunte is entatched whan he faylleth tofore that he come to the ende of his terme / and it is sayd comynlye. who [Page] that serueth / & serueth not to thende loseth hys rewarde.

¶Of the euyl poyntes of accidye & of slouthe capo. xxxiij

YEt there ben vj euyl poyntes in the synne of accydye and of slouthe· that bryngeth a man to his ende. The fyrst is inobedyence. whan a man wyl not do that whych is charged hym in penaunce / Or yf he be commanded somtyme to doo a thynge that hym semeth harde. he escuseth hym that he may not do it. Or yf he receyueth or accepteth it. be doeth lytyl or nought. The second poynte is Impacyence / For in lyke wyse as he may no thynge do by inobedyence. Ryght so may he no thynge suffre by Impacyence. Ryght soo that no man dare speke to hym of his prouffyte / The thyrd poynte is murmure for whan he is spoken to of his prouffyte he anone wexyth angry & murmureth & hym semeth that he is despysed / And thenne he falleth in to heuynesse / that alle that euer is sayd to hym. and al that is doon to hym. and al that he seeth al gre­ueth hym. and thus he falleth in langour & it annoyeth hym to lyue. so that hym self desyreth the deth ¶ After al these so­rouful poyntes of slouthe gyueth the deuyl the mortal stroke & putteth hym in despayr / by whiche he hym self purchaceth his deth and sleeth hym self / Or ellys he playeth wyth hym self lyke as al despayred. that he abandonneth or gyueth hym selfe to alle wyckednes. And fereth not ne dredeth not to doo ony maner synne /

¶Of the synne of auaryce or couetyse capitulo xxxiiij

THe fyfthe heed of the beest toforesayd is auaryce whiche otherwyse is called couetyse. whiche is rote of al euylles lyke as saynt poule sayth. This is the maystresse whiche hath so grete a soole that al goon thyder for to studye. lyke as sayth [Page] the holy scrypture / For alle maner of peple studye in auaryce / Prelate. Clerke. Laye man and relygyous / Auaryce is a loue of dysordynate hauoyr and rychesse / This dysordynaūce sheweth hym self in iij maners generally. In getyng ardātly In retaynyng straynably. & in despendyng scarcely. These been the thre braunches pryncypalle that growe oute of thys rote. But especyally and proprelye yssuen oute of this rote of auaryce many bowes whyche been moche grete dedely synne. The fyrst is vsure / The second thefte / The thyrd raueyne. The iiij chalenge. The fyfthe sacrylege / The vj Symonye· The vij malygnytees. The viij marchandyse. The ix in wycked craftes. The x in euyl and wycked playes / and eueryche of these bowes departeth hym in to many maners.

¶Of dyuers maners & spyces of vsure capo. xxxv

THe fyrst bough of vsure departeth hym in to vij twyg­ges / For there is one maner of vsurers lenyng openlye whiche lene theyr money for other money / And aboue the ca­tel they take and leueye theyr gayne. or in money. or in hors. or in whete or in wyn or in fruyt of therthe. whyche they take in gayne wythoute to rekene the fruytes in payement. And yet that werse is. they wyl rekene two tymes in the yere or thryes for to areyse theyr vsures. and wyl yet haue bountres or rewardes aboue for euery terme / and thus be they holpen aboue that they lene pryncypally / Suche peple ben vsurers couched and vylaynous. But there ben other maner vsurers. le­nyng and curtoys whiche lene theyr money wythoute ma­kyng of ony couenaunte / Neuerthelesse they entende to haue prouffyte and rewardes therfore / in money or in catayl. or in golde or in syluer. or in yeftes or in presentes. or in robes or in tonnes of wyn or in fatte swyn or in seruyces / Or in la­bour of horses or of oxen or asses or of cartes or waynes / Or [Page] of prebendes for theyr chyldren. or in other thynges. and in al these and suche thynges is vsure / whan it is lente for occasy­on to haue somme prouffyte. This is the fyrst manere of v­sure. that leneth hys good wyckedly and shrewdly /

¶The second capo. xxxvj

THe second maner of vsure is in them that lente not the money in theyr owne persone / But that whych theyr faders or theyr moders. theyr wyues or theyr husbondes / or theyr predecessours haue goten by vsure they reteyne it. And wyl not rendre ne yelde it ageyn. The thyrd maner of vsure is in them that deygne not ne wyl not lene by theyr owne hande. but they make theyr seruantes and other people to lene for them theyr money. tho ben the maystre vserers / ¶Of these synnes be not quyte the grete and hye lordes that kepe and susteyne the Ie­wes and lombardes of pyemoūt and other places / whyche destroye the contraye. and they take the rewardes & grete yeftes & somtyme the raunsons or redempcions. whyche been of the catayl and cheuessaunce of the poure peple. ¶ The fourth manere is in them that lene other mennes money. or that borow it wyth lytel coste. Suche people been dyscyples of vsurers whiche lerne this foule and wycked stynkyng crafte. ¶ The fyfthe manere is in marchaundyse. whan one sellyth ony maner thynge what somener it be for more than it is worthe for the abydyng of the terme than he wolde doo for redy money. & that more is the vntrewe sellar and wycked whan he seeth the peple more at grete myschyef. thenne he shal selle his ware the more derrer. ye twyes or thryes more than it is worthe. Suche manere peple doo ouer moche harme. For / for theyr longe terme they destroye & appourysshe the knyghtes and hye men that folowe thassemblees. the warres and the tournoyes that they delyuer to them theyr londes and theyr herytages in [Page] gayge & wedde. & so lyeng in gayge they deye & neuer quytte ne payed. The other synne in byeng the thynges as corn wyn or other thynges lasse the halfe than it is worth for the mo­ney that they paye tofore hande. & after they selle the same thre or foure tymes more dere than the thynge was solde and delyuerd to them fore / Other marchauntes bye the thynges whā they be at noo prys and good chepe. as whete in haruest. wyn in the vynyerde or other marchandyse / for to selle ageyn in the tyme whan they shal be more dere / The other by [...] theyr whete in the stalkys & eerys and the wyn in the flouryng whan they shewe fayr forth / by suche couenaunte that they haue theyr a­chate sauf and theyr mesure. The vj maner is of them that delyuer theyr money to marchauntes in suche wyse that they shal be felowes and parte in the gayne· and no thynge in the losse. Or that delyuer theyr beestes to halnes. soo that they be as yron. That is to saye that yf they deye or perysshe he that taketh them to halnes shal sette and put other beestys in theyr place. of so moche and as grete of valure & prys as were they that ben deed or perysshed at his propre charge and dyspence. The vij maner is of them that put & sette theyr nexte neygh­bours in theyr werke and labour. by cause that they haue lente them golde or syluer or corne· or hath doon to them ony curto­sye or frendshyp. and whan they see them poure & nedy. thēne make they wyth them bargayns for theyr auayle. and for the money that they delyuer to the poure man / or for a lytyl corne that they selle to hym wel dere & for more than it is worthe in the market. He wyl haue of hym syx penyworth werke or labour for two pens / These been the bowes that growe oute of the euyl braunche of vsure·

¶Of thefte capitulo xxxvij

[Page]THe second braunche of auaryce is thefte / thys is to take or reteyne other mennys thynge wrongfully wythoute knowleche or ayenste the wylle of hym that oweth it. And this synne may be doon in foure maners after foure maners of theuys. For there ben somme theuys openlye Sōme co­uertly Somme pryuelye and sōme telawly / The comyn & open tbeuys ben they that stele in suche wyse that there is Ius­tyce doon on them whan they been taken. and of them ben dyuers maners. as wel on the see as on londe. The conuert theuys ben they that take aweye secretelye & conuertly grete thynges or smale thynges / by theyr barate. trayson or by subtyl wytte & engyne. The preuy theues ben they that take aweye no thynge from straungers. but of theyr neyghbours and knowen / and of them been bothe grete and smale as the vntrewe receyuour / Shereuys. prouostes / Eschetours. Bayllyes / ser­geantes. and other suche as taken the amendes. and restrayne the rentes to theyr lordes. and acounte moche in costes and despences and lasse in receytes and rentes / Thus done the grete offycers whiche been in the howses of the grete lordes & ryche men that maken grete costes and dyspences. & gyue largely the goodes of theyr lordes & maysters wythoute theyr know­yng and ayenst theyr wylle / In thys synne synneth the wyf whyche causeth by hir synne that the chylde whyche she knoweth wel that she hath had of another mā than of hir husbond enheryteth and hath therytage where he hath no ryght therto. ¶In this synne also synneth the wyf that taketh aweye the goodes of hir husbond. for to dyspende and put it to euyl v­sage / ¶ That other theef is the lytel theef that taketh aweye oute of the hows the breed or wyne and other thynges. or fro theyr neyghbours theyr capons or hennys / or the fruyt oute of theyr gardyns or other thynges. Suche been they that reteyne the thynges that they haue founden & knowen wel to whome they belonge. and therfore they shold not reteyne them / But [Page] they ought to do by the counceyl of holy chyrche. or by the coun­ceyl of theyr confessour. The theuys that ben felowes ben they that parten theyr thefte. or by composycyon or by yefte / or by achate or by other manere. ¶ Also they that consente to the thefte. or counceylleth or that commaundeth it to be doou / Also they that coūceylle the theuys or deffende them or susteyne them in theyr malyce / or receyue them in to theyr hous or in to theyr londe. or that gadre togyder the thefte. Also the wycked Iusty­ses that suffre them for yeftes / or by prayers or by ouy other euyl reasons and wyl not ne dare not do Iustyce /

¶The thyrd braunche of the synne of Auaryce is Rauyne as foloweth capo. xxxviij

THe thyrd braunche of auaryce is Rauyne. which hath many bowes / The fyrst is an euyl executour of testa­mentes. Suche people robbe them that ben dede. whyche is o­uer grete an vntrouthe ¶The second is in wycked and euyl lordes. be they knyghtes or other lordes or bourgeyses which ete & flee the poure peple by tayllees / by aydes Imposycyons amendes or by other maner / whyche seche and purchace that whyche may greue theyr subgettis. and accomplysshe theyr euyl wylle / and they ought to kepe & deffende them· In thys synne ben the grete prynces the grete barons / which by theyr myght taken awaye fro the poure & other that they may sub­due theyr castellys theyr rentes and theyr baronnyes / And also other ryche men that take awaye by strengthe fro theyr propre neyghbours londes vygnes and other thynges / And taken on alle sydes soo that noo thynge may escape theym ¶ The thyrd been robbeurs of euyl hostryes or Innes which robbe the pylgrymmes and the marchauntes. and other that passe and walke by the cuntreye.

¶The fourth is in them that wyl not paye that they owe [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page] And that reteyne wronfully & wythout cause the hyre or wa­ges of theyr seruauntes or of them that doo theyr werke / ¶The fyfthe is in these grete prelates that pylle theyr subgettys. and that raunson them by ouer grete procuracions· or by other exactions and extorcions that they do in many maners. ¶These ben the wulues that destroye the sheep that they shold kepe ¶The syxte thefte is in bayllyes Shereues bedellys ser­geantes and other offycyers. whiche doo the grete rauyne and extorcions vpon the poure peple and bye the grete heritages. & soo moche there is of other manere of rauyne whyche shold be ouerlonge to reherce here. But the moost grete parte is conteyned in the thynges aboue sayd.

¶Of the synne of chalenge capitulo xxxix

THe fourth of Auaryce is chalenge. that is to renne on another wrongfully / To this synne apperteyneth al barate trycherye and falsnesse that happeth in plees. In the cler­gye hath dame Auaryce many scoliers. and in especyal seuen manere of people that estudye therin.

¶Of seuen maners of the synne of chalenge capo. xl

THe fyrst ben the false psedours that make the false partycyons and demaundes. and seche the false Iuges. and the false wytnessys. and the false aduocats. and false letters for to trouble other / and trauaylle the peple wrongfully in the spyrytuel courte / or in the temporal court / ¶ The second been they that put aweye and sette at nought that is ryght. And sechen barats and delayes for to take aweye from other theyr chyuaunce. ¶The thyrd been the false and vntrewe wyt­nesses / For they maken the fals and vnryght maryages / [Page] They taken awaye the herytages. They doo so moche harme and domages that none may amende it / and al thys they doo for theyr grete couetyse. The fourth been the false aduocates that susteyne the euyl causes al wytyng. and empesshe & lette the good people. for the hyre and the yeftes that they take on bothe sydes / And they make ofte the good causes to be loste. & the quarelles of good men. and maken of ryght wronge / and of wronge ryght by theyr wyckednesse and couetyse lyke as they that been maysters of the barate & of the trycherye / The fyfthe ben the false notaryes that make false letters and Instrumentes. and falsen the seales / and make false lybellys and many other vntrouthes. ¶The vj thefte done the false Iuges that entende and ben more fauourable ayenst reason more to one partye than to another. for yeftes for promesses for propryertees or for loue or for hate or for drede or for fauour / yf they delaye the causes and the quarylles wrongfully and make men to doo grete costes and dyspences. and taken grete yeftes and somtyme of bothe partyes. & sellen theyr Iustyce / or they leue to doo Iustyce / and doon to poure peple so grete domages and hurtes that they may not ne can not amende ne repayre The vij ben the euyl accessours whiche gyuen euyl counceylle to Iuges. and causen that the causes and quarellys be loste by the offyces and seruyces that they haue. Al these persones to­fore sayd ben bounden & holden to rendre & yelde agayn al that which they haue thus had & taken euyl of other / & also all the costes & domages that the other haue had & suffred for them.

¶The v braunche of auarice is sacrilege capo. xlj

THe fyfthe braunche of Auarice is sacrilege / whan one breketh or hurteth or trayteth vylaynousy the holy and blessyd thynges or the persones of holy chyrche. or ellys the holy places. whyche been appropred or longyng to the seruyce [Page] of god / and this doeth the synne of couetyse in many maners Fyrst whan one treateth vylaynsly the body of our lord / lyke as doon the heretykes. the Sorciers or wytches. and the wyc­ked preestes for wynnyng / in lyke wyse say I of thother sacra­mentes. Also whan one breketh taketh aweye or treateth vylaynsly the sayntuaries. the crosses / the chalyces. the cresme / the corporalls. the halowed vestymentes and other thynges mys­teryes of the chyrche / Also whan one brenneth and destroyeth chyrches / or monasteryes / or holy places. or chyrchyerdes▪ or howses of relygyon / or whan ony drawe out them that been fledde for refuge or socour in to monasteryes or chyrchyerdes for theyr surete or warrante ¶ Also whan one maketh medlees or bataylle in the chirche so that blood be shedde. or whan the synne of lecherye is doon therin / ¶Also whan honde is layed in wrath and euyl on preest or clerke or on ony man or woman of relygyon. Also whan one steleth or bereth aweye by eny reason oute of holy place ony holy thynge blessyd and halowed / or vnhalowed what someuer it be. Of thys synne be not quyte they that the goodes of holy chyrche the patrymo­nye of Ihesu Cryst despenden in euyl vsage. Ne they that re­teyne it by auaryce. whan they ought to gyue it to the poure people in holy chyrche or put it in good vsage / Ne they also that take aweye or reteyne wyth wronge or wyth force. the thynges whyche are longyng to the poure in holy chyrche. Or who that payeth them euyl. lyke as the rentes. the offerynges the dysmes / and the other ryghtes and dutees of holy chyrche. ¶Of thys same synne be not quyte they that breke the son­day and other festes commaunded. For the holy dayes haue theyr fraunchyse lyke as haue the holy places. These been the bowes that growe oute of the braunche of sacrylege.

¶Of the synne of Symonye capitulo xlij

THe vj braunche of auaryce is Symonye. Symonye hath taken the name of an enchauntour whyche was named Symon. whyche wold haue bought of saynt Peter thappostle the grace for to doo myracles. And therfore he offryd to hym grete hauoyr and good / And therfore been they callyd Symonyaks alle they that wyl selle or bye ony thynges spyrytuel whyche is emonge alle dedely synnes one of the grettest and thys braunche hath many bowes.

¶Of the fyrst boughe of Symonye capo. xliij

THe fyrst is in them that selle or bye the thynges halo­wed or blessyd or the body of our lord or other sacra­mentes of holy chyrche. ¶The second is in them that selle the worde of god. and preche pryncypally for money. The thyrd is the synne of them. whiche by yeftes or by promesses. or by prayers of frendes do so moche that sōme be promoted to dyg­nyte of holy chyrche. lyke as ben bysshops Abbottes Deene archedeken or other whyche ben made by electyon. The fourth is the synne of them that for yeftes or for promesses for prayers or by force of armes / or for seruyses dyshonest gyue the prebendes the cures or other benefyces of holy chyrche. The v is the synne of them whyche by couenaunte made entre in to relygy­on / & in them that in suche manere receyue them. Ther ben many other dyuers synnes in symonye. but it apparteyneth more to clerkys than to laye men. & this book was more made for the laye men than for the clerkys which knowe and haue the bookes. yet neuerthelesse it is necessarye and nede to laye men that they kepe them fro this synne in iij causes. One is whan they wyl ayde & helpe theyr kynnesmen & theyr frendes to ryse vnto dygnytees of holy chyrche / The other is whan they gyue the prebendes that been of theyr yefte. and the benefyces / [Page] ¶The thyrd is whan they sette and put theyr chyldren in to relygyon / in these thre poyntes yf they gyue or receyue yeftes or prayers not leefful or euyl seruyse. they may sone falle in thys synne of Symonye. For lyke as sayth the lawe wry­ton / There be thre maners of yeftes of Symonye / yeftes of the honde. lyke as golde or syluer or other Iewel / Yeftes of the mouthe as ben prayers. yeftes of seruyce dyshoneste. I calle yeftes dyshonest where the synne is done pryncypally for thynges spyrytuel.

¶Of the synne of malygnyte whyche cometh of auaryce capitulo xliiij

THe seuenth braunche of auaryce is malygnyte. whan a mā is so wycked that he fereth not to do a grete synne dedely and horryble. or to do grete harme to other for lytel con­quest of prouffyte for hym self. ¶This braunche hath many bowes. The fyrst is whan ony persone for drede of pouerte or for couetyse of wynnyng he renyeth and forsaketh god or for to denye the crysten feythe. and bycometh heretyke or Iewe or sarasyn. To this synne apperteyneth the synne of them that for money doon calle the deuyls & make the enchauntementes and maken to loke in the swerde or crystal / or in the vngle or nayle of the fyngre / for to atteyne and fynde the thefte or other thynges loste. And of them also that pourchace the charmes by sorcerye or by ony other wycked crafte what someuer it be whan persones been in maryage hate eche other and may not dele ne haue companye one wyth that other by maryage / Or persones that be not in maryage hate eche other by synne folyly ¶ The second is the synne of cursyng. or by euyl say­eng by trayson or by detractyon. whan a man for wynnyng or for hyre dooth thynge. for whyche ony persone is put vnto deth. or by swerde / or by venym. or by ouy other manere. [Page] ¶The iij synne is of them that for to wynne. brenne how­ses or townes castellys or chyrches. or destroye the vygnes or cornes. and doo other dyuers grete dommages / ¶The iiij is the synne of them that ofte pourchace the plees debates and the warres in cytees or in castellys in chapytres. or emonge o­ther hye and grete men by cause that they wene to gete and wynne more in warre than in the pees / ¶ The fyfthe is the synne of bayllyes and suche offycers that accuse and chalenge the poure people and make them to be raunsoned and tormen­ted for a lytel gayne that they haue therof. To thys synne apperteyneth the synne of the false Iuges. of fals men of lawe and aduocates. and of fals questys and wytnesses of whiche we haue spoken tofore / & in many other maners is the synne of malygnyte. But it were ouer longe for to wryte it here. And better may eche man rede and consyder his synnes & many other▪ in his conscyence than in the skynne of a sheep or in paper /

¶Of marchaundyse capo. xlv

THe viij branche of anaryce is marchandyse wherin men synne in many maners for temporal goodes / and specyally in seuen maners. The fyrst manere is to selle as dere as he may The second is to lye swere and forswere the more for to selle his marchandyse. The thyrd is the deceyte and fraude that is doon in the weyghte and in the mesure / and this may be doon in thre maners / The fyrst is whan a persone hath dyuers weyghtes and dyuers mesures. and byeth by a more gretter weyght and lenger mesure and selleth by a lasse / The second is whan one hath a trewe weyght & a trewe mesure and wayeth or meteth vntruly & falsely / lyke as the tauerner which fylleth his mesure with scum & fome. the iij maner is [Page] whan they that selle by weyghte. pourchace and doo so moche by deceyte and fraude. that thylke thyng that is weyed semeth to be more of weyghte than it is. The fourth manere for to synne in marchaundyse is to selle the derrer for the terme. he­rof we haue spoken tofore / ¶ The fyfthe is to selle otherwyse than the mustre is and worse / lyke as these scryueners & wrytars doon. that at the begynnyng shewe & wryte good letter. and after make werse and shende al. ¶The vj is in hydyng and concelyng the trouthe of the thynge that is solde. and so do these brokers and coorsers of hors. ¶The seuenth is to make & pourchace that the ware or thynge that is solde seme moche better than it is. lyke as doon the merciers and drapers that chosen & make the places derke where as they selle theyr clothe and ware. And in many other maners may men synne in marchandyse. but it shold be ouerlonge to say here /

¶The nynthe braunche of auaryce capo. lxvj

THe ix braūche of auaryce is in many mesteres or craf­tes. In this synneth moche peple and in many maners lyke as doon these commyn wymmen. whiche for lytel wyn­nyng abandonne and gyue them self al to synne. Also these hazardours. bawdes. kepars of forboden games and many other w [...]yche for temporel prouffyte abandonne them to dyshoneste and vnthryfty craftes. which may not be doon without synne as wel of them that do it as they that susteyne hyt. ¶ The x braunche of auaryce is in euyl playes and games. as the dyse quardes tables or what someuer games that men playe at for money or for gayne temporelle. Suche maner playes in especyal of dyse and tables been deffended and forboden by the decrees and lawe for many perylles that comen therof. The fyrst is couetyse / the second ouer grete vsure as xij for vj. and not at a moneth or thre dayes / but many tymes in one day. [Page] The thyrd synne to multeplye lesynges and vayne wordes. & that werse is grete blasphemyes of god and of his sayntes / The angre and wrath the oftymes hath be taken to correcte and chastyse the other. For somtyme theyr vysage hath be tor­ned bacward and behynde. Somtyme sōme haue lost theyr eyen. Somme theyr speche. ¶There was a knyght that sware by the eyen of god / & anone the eyen of his hede sprange oute and fyl vpon the eschequez. ¶ There was also an archer by cause he had al loste at playe. in despyte he drewe his bowe and shotte vp toward god an hye. and on the morne whan he was sette ageyn at his playe. the arowe fyl donn vpon the eschequyer al blody of blood and threste oute hys eyen. ¶The fourth is euyl example that they whyche playe gy­uen to other that beholde the playe. ¶ The fyfthe is to lese the tyme whyche ought to be employed in good werkys & many other wyses. ¶One thynge ought not to be forgeten. that is that he that wynneth at suche games may not ne ought not in ony manere to reteyne his gayne. but he ought to gyue it al for goddes sake / but yf it were in suche manere that he played for another or by deceyte or by force lyke as doeth he that ma­keth another to playe wyth hym by force / In thys manere he ought to rendre it to hym that hath loste it / In lyke wyse I say of that whyche is wonne at tournoys / These been the braūches of auaryce. there ben ynough of other but they apper­tayne more to clerkys than to laye men. & this book is made more for the laye men than for clerkys that knowe the scryp­tures ¶One thynge ought ye to knowe that the auarycious man hath a deuyl to whome he serueth. whyche is called in the gospel māmona. and that deuyl maketh to his seruaunte syx commaundementes. The first is to kepe wel that he hath. the second that in no wyse he mynysshe it / The thyrd is that he encreace it alwaye be it day or nyght. the fourth that he gyue no thynge ne doo almesse for goddes sake / ne curtosye to ony [Page] other. The fyfthe that he ne lene ne gyue to the poure and nedy ony thynge / ne put not in peryl and Ieoparde that whyche he hath in his possessyon. The vj that he refrayne hym self & res­trayne his meyne fro mete and drynke for to spare his good /

¶Of the synne of lecherye whiche is loue dysordynatly xlvij

THe vj heed of the beest of helle is lecherye / which is oulttrageous loue & dysordynate in flesshly delytes. Of this synne the deuyl deceyueth a man in vj maners. lyke as sayth Saynt gregory. Fyrst in folysshe & false beholdynges. After in folysshe and lewde talkyng and wordes. After in false touchynges. After in fals kyssynges / after cometh the dede. For fro folysshe beholdyng cometh the commynycacyon and speche and fro speche to touchyng / and fro touchyng to kyssyng / and fro kyssyng to the dede. Thus subtylly bryngeth the deuyl that one to that other. Fyrst this synne is deuyded in two maners For there is lecherye of herte and lecherye of body. Lecherye of herte hath four degrees. For the spyryte of fornycacion which is the fyre of lecherye enbraceth the herte / and maketh fyrst to come the thoughtes the fygures & the ymagynaciyon of synne in the hert and in consentynges. after the herte delyteth hym in folysshe thoughtes. & yet he delyteth how wel that yet he wyl not do the dede· and in this thought he abydeth & thys delyte is the second degree. whiche may be a dedely synne soo grete may be the delyte. The thyrd degree is the consentyng of the herte of reason and of wylle. and these consentynges concluded been dedely synne in caas that the deed be dedely synne / after the con­sentyng cometh the desyre / and the grete brennyng of the flessh that they haue to thys synne. & doon many synnes in the day in seyng the ladyes and the damoysellys rychely and fresshly apparaylled / whyche ofte desgyse and araye them proudly for to make the fooles and musardes to muse and beholde theym. [Page] And certes they synne moche greuously / for by theyr couetyse by theyr pryde and by theyr cause perysshen many soules / and moche peple put to deth and to synne. For thus as sayth the prouerbe / dame dator is the arblast to the tour· For she hath not a membre in hyr body but it is a grynne of the deuyl. As salamon sayth / wherof must be gyuen acomptes at the day of Iugement of the soules which by thoccasyn and cause of them be dampned. That is to vnderstonde whan they be occasyon & cause other to synne by theyr entysyng and labour. Lecherye of the body is departed in to the lecherye of the eyen of the eerys. of the mouth. of the handes / and of al the fyue wyttes of the body. and in especyal of the vylaynnous dede and werke· To this synne apperteyneth al the thynges of the flesshe. that moe­uen and desyre to do this synne. As doon these oultrages & the excesse of mete and drynke. of swete beddes and softe / of dely­cyoꝰ robes & in al maner of excesse of body without necessyte

¶Of dyuers estates of the synne of lecherye capo. xlviij

THe synne of lecherye hath many estates. & is departed in many braunches after the estate of the persones that done it / And it goeth mountyng fro degree to degree. and fro euyl in to werse. The fyrst is of syngle man and syngle wo­man that holden noo bonde of vowe. ne of maryage / ne of or­dre ne of relygyon. ne of other thynge. This is the fyrst synne of lecherye / The second synne is of comyn wymmen / & thys is more foul & more abhomynable. For by cause suche wym­men ben somtyme maryed and haue lefte theyr husbondes. or somtyme ben of relygyon / and refuse no man ne broder ne co­syn ne kynne ne other. The thyrd synne is of the man syngle wyth a wydowe. or the reuerse / That is a wydower wyth a syngle woman / The fourth to defoule a vyrgyn. The fyfthe is wyth a wedded woman. This is the synne of aduoultrye [Page] whiche is moche greuous / For there is brekyng of feyth that the one ouzt to kepe to another. After there is sacrylege whan the sacrament of maryage is broken. and herof happeth som­tyme dysherytaunce and fals maryage / This synne doubleth hym somtyme· whan it is of a wedded man to a womā maried to another man. The vj synne is whan a man vseth his wyf in thynge deffended & dysordeyned ageyn nature & ordre of maryage / A man may sle hym self wyth his owen swerde So a man may synne dedely with his owne wyf / For thys cause god smote Onam the neuew of Iacob wyth an euyl deth· & the deuyl whiche was named asmodeus strangled the seuen husbondes of the holy damoysel Sara which after was wyf to yonge thobye. For alle the sacramentes of holy chyrche ought to be treated clenly and holyly / & to holde & kepe them in grete reuerence. The vij synne of lecherye is to haue flesshly companye wyth hys godsyb. or goddoughter. ne wyth the chyldren of them. for suche persones may not assemble with­oute synne. ne also by maryage. The viij is of a man wyth his kynneswomā. & this synne encreaceth / & dyscreaseth after that the kynne is nyghe or ferre. The ix is of a man wyth the kynne of his wyf. or the reuerse. the wyf wyth the kynne of hyr husbond. this synne is moche peryllous. For whan the man hath had companye wyth suche a woman / he may not after haue his maryage of the cosyns of his wyf. And yf he take hyr the maryage is none after the lawe / and yf he take a wyf after hyr cosyn. he loseth the ryght that he hath to hys owen wyf. in so moche that he may not ne ouzt not to dwelle wyth hir. yf she requyre it not tofore / The x of a woman to a clerk. This synne aryseth & aualeth moche after thordre and after the dygnytees ordred. The xj is of a man of the world wyth a woman of relygyon. or the reuerse. a woman of the world wyth a man of relygyon. & thys synne encreaceth & dyscreaseth after the state of the persones that done it / The xij [Page] is of the prelates. whiche ought to be forme and ensaumple of clennesse of chastyte and of holy lyf to alle the world / The laste is moost foule and so abhomynable that it ought not be named / This synne is ayenst nature / whyche the deuyl en­seygneth and entyseth a man in many maners which ben not to be named for the matere. whiche is ouermoche abhomyna­ble. But in confessyon it ought to be sayd / yf it be he or she to whome it hath happed. For of so moche as the synne is more grete and more horryble. of soo moche auaylleth the more the confessyon. For the grete shame that a man hath to saye his synne. is a grete parte of the penaunce. after the holy scripture ¶This synne dyspleseth so moche to god. that he dyd do rayne fyre brennyng and stynkyng sulphre vpon the cytees of sodom and gomor / and dyd do synke for this synne fyue cytees doun to helle / The deuyl hym self that purchaced thys synne. hath shame and abhorred it whan it is doon.

¶Of the synne of glotonye capitulo xlix

THe seuenth heed of the beest of helle is the synne of the mouthe. otherwyse callyd glotonnye which hath two offyces. of whiche that one apperteyneth to the taste. as to ete and drynke. and that other is in spekyng / Therfore this vyce & this synne is deuyded in two partyes pryncypally / that is to wyte in the synne of glotonye / whiche is in etyng & dryn­kyng. and in the synne of the shrewde tongue. that is in foule and folysshe spekyng. And fyrst we shal saye of the synne of glotonye / whiche is a vyce that moche pleaseth the deuyl. and dyspleaseth to god. By this synne hath the deuyl grete power in man wherof we rede in the gospel that god gaf lycence to deuylles for to entre in to swyn. and whan they were entred they drowned them in the see. Thys sygnefyeth that the glo­tons that lede the lyf of hogges and of swyn the deuyls haue [Page] leue to entre in to them & to drowne them in the see of helle. And maketh theym to ete so moche that they breste / & drynke so moche that they be drowned. whan the champyon hath o­uerthrowen his felowe. he holdeth hym by the gorge. by cause he shold not relyeue. Ryght so is hyt of hym that the deuyl holdeth by hys synne in his mete the deuyl renneth to hys gorge lyke as the wolf dooth to the sheep for to strangle hym. lyke as he dyd to Adam & Eue in paradys terrestre. Thys is the fysshar of helle whiche taketh the fysshes wyth the grynnes by the throte / This vyce dyspleseth moche / For the gloton doeth to hym grete shame whan he maketh his god of a sacke ful of dunge. That is his bely whyche he loueth more than god and doubteth & serueth it. God commaundeth that he shold faste. The bely sayth nay. thou shat not / but thou shalte eete longe and by leyzer / God commandeth to ryse erly. his god his bely sayth thou shalte not. I am ouer ful me lyst to slepe The chirche is none hare he wyl not flee awaye. and it is not yet open. It shal wel abyde and tary for me·. And whan the gloton aryseth he begynneth his matyns and his prayers and sayth. O god what shal we ete this day. shal we not fynde that is ony thynge worthe / After these matyns comen the lawdes & sayth / A lord god how wel dranke we yester euyn the good wyn. and how good mete ete we. Thenne after this by wepeth the gloton his synnes and sayth. Alas sayth he I wende wel thys nyght to haue deyed. The wyne yestereuyn was ouer stronge / myn heed aketh. I shal not be eased tyl I haue dronken. This god of the wombe of glotonye is ouer euyl For fyrst he bycometh a tauern gooar / & frequenteth ta­uernes. after he playeth at the dyse. & after he selleth his good awaye / after he bycometh a rybaulde / an holyer and letchour and at the laste he hangeth on the galowes. This is the sala­rye and the scotte that is ofte payed for the synne of glotonye This synne is departed after saynt gregorye in to v braūches [Page] For there is synne in fyue maners in etyng & drynkyng. and therfore somme drynke tofore tyme. or without reason or mesure. or ouer ardantly or ouer plentyuously or ouer curiously Thenne the braūche of this synne is to ete tofore tyme. Ouer­moche to ete is a foule thynge to a man that hath age & dys­crecōn whan he may not abyde a due hour for to ete & drynke By grete excesse of glotonye it happeth ofte / that a man that is hole and stronge of body drynketh and eteth without cause resonable tofore tyme ordeyned. & that he cometh to the mete as doeth a dombe beest / And moche synne and maladyes bode­lye happen ofte by the customes. and therof it cometh that this gloton sayth that he may not faste ne doo penaunce. For he sayth he hath an euyl heed and an euyl herte also. and certaynly he sayth trouthe. and for to breke the fastyng dayes & vygils commaunded is ryght a grete synne. For he dampneth hym self. and also wyl haue companye with hym. & withdraweth and letteth them to doo wel. and ledeth them wyth hym vnto helle. For he maketh them to breke theyr fastes. and do glo­tonnye. whyche they wold kepe yf it were not the euyl com­panye and felawshyp / For these glotons and these letchours emonge al other euylles that they doo / done a synne that is proprely the crafte of the deuyl. that is whan they lette and wyth­drawe al them that they may fro wel doyng. & mocke & skorne alle them that loue to do wel. ¶These glotons say that they mowe not faste. but they lyen falselye. For lytel loue of god causeth them to say so / ▪ For yf they loued as moche the veray glorye of heuen as they do the vayn glorye of the world / For lyke as they faste for theyr worldly occupacyon and temporal goodes oft vnto the nyght. as wel myght they fast vnto none for goddes loue yf they loued hym. And that yf they desyred theyr saluacyon. But they be lyke vnto the chylde that alle day wyl haue breed in his honde. / And trouthe it is that lyke as one synneth by etyng and drynkyng ouer erly. Ryght so one [Page] synneth by ouer late souper. These people that so moche loue to wake by nyght and waste the tyme in ydlenes. & goo late to bedde. and aryse late synnen in many maners / First in this that they waste & lose the tyme and torne it. whan they make of the nyght the day. & of the day the nyght. God curseth suche people by the prophete· For men ought on the day tyme to doo good and occupye hym in good and holy werkys. And in the nyght to preyse god. & to praye to hym deuoutelye. and to yelde hym thankynges of his yeftes / But they that thenne lye in theyr beddes whan they shold be vp and rysen must nedes slepe whan they shold praye to god and worshyp hym. and here the seruyce of our lord / and thus lese al the tyme. & the day and the nyght / ¶Also in these grete wakynges ben commysed many synnes. as to playe at chesse tables and at dyse. and thenne is ther spoken many folysshe wordes and corrupt. of whiche many synnes folowe and ensyewe / And also the caytyues waste theyr bodyes theyr tyme theyr soule theyr wytte and their good ¶The second braunche of glotonye is to ete & to drynke oult­ragyously and without mesure. These that so do been lyke vnto a goulf that swaloweth alle in. lyke as an abysme. It is ouer grete wysdom to kepe mesure in etyng and drynkyng· And also it is grete helth for moche peple dye ofte tofore theyr tyme by oultrageous etyng & drynkynge. & by suche excessys and suche oultrages comen and sourden many maladyes and sekenessys. But he that wyl knowe and take this mesure / he ought to knowe that there been many maners for to lyue in the world / Sōme lyuen after the flesshe and after the eases of the body. Somme after theyr Iolyte / Other after theyr ypocresye. Other after physyke. Other after theyr honeste. Other after that theyr synne requyreth / Other after ther spyryte. and after the loue of god ¶ They that lyue after the flesshe as Saynt Poul sayth sleen theyr soules· for they make of their bely their god / They reteyne neyther reason ne mesure. and therfore they [Page] shal haue in that other world payn & torment withoute me­sure / ¶They that lyue after their Iolyte wyl holde companye with toles. suche folke can not may not ne wyl not holde ne kepe mesure ne reason. They that lyue after ypocresye ben they that ben marters to the deuyl. suche ypocrites haue ij mesures. For the ij deuyls that tormenten thypocrite ben moche contrary that one to that other. that one sayth ete ynough so that thou be fayr & fatte. Thother sayth thou shalt not but thou shalt faste so that thou be pale & lene. to thende that the world holde the for a good man / And that it may appyere that thou doest moche penaunce. Now it byhoueth that the ypocryte haue ij mesu­res. one lytel and one grete of which they vse the lytel mesure tofore the peple. and the grete mesure they vse so that no man see them. they reteyne not the trewe mesure that ben auaricioꝰ In suche maner as the mouth wyl. which is lady of the hous & comandour. Thenne bytwene the bely and the mouth of the gloton ben thre dysputacyons / The bely sayth I wolde be ful the mouth saith I wyl not be ful / the bely saith to hym I wyl that thou ete and take ynough & despende largely. The mouth sayth I shal not. I wyl that thou restrayne the. & what shal the sory caytyf do which is seruaunt to his two euyl lordes. Two mesures maken the pees. The mesure of the bely in an other mans hous good & large. and the mesure of his mouth in his owen hous sorouful and ouer s [...]ars. ¶They that lyuen after physyque kepen the mesure of ypocras. whyche is lytel and streyte / and it happeth oft that he that lyueth by physyke dey­eth. ¶They that lyuen after honeste they kepe and holde the mesure of rayson / and lyuen honourably in the world. For they eten in tyme and houre. And taken in gree and at worth that whyche they haue. curtoyslye. clenly and gladlye / They that lyue after that theyr synne requyreth kepe suche mesure as is charged to them in penaunce. They that lyue after the spyrite ben they that for the loue of god rule & gouern hem self [Page] lyke as the holy ghoost enseygneth and techeth them to holde & kepe mesure reason & ordre / They haue the lordshyp & seygnorye ouer theyr body whiche is so dysciplyned & endoctryned by penaunce and so wel chastysed that he demaundeth none oul­trage. & doeth that whiche the spyrite commaundeth & wyth­oute contradyction. Now mayst thou see by that whiche we haue here sayd that the deuyl hath many engynes for to take the peple by theyr throtes & by theyr glotonye / For fyrst he sheweth to them the wynes & the metes which ben fayr & delycyouses / lyke as he dyd to eue the apple· & yf it be not worthe he sayth to hym Ete & drynke lyke as dyd suche one. Thou must nedes holde companye wylt thou that men mocke & scorne the and wylte thou ben holden a popelard. Or he sayth to the. thou must nedys kepe the helthe of thy body / who hath not his helth hath no thynge. Be not an homycyde of thy self / Thou ow­est to thy body his sustenaunce / Or he sayth to hym otherwyse Beholde and consydere the good that thou doest & what thou mayst do. Thou etest not for the delytes of thy body. but for to serue god / Thou oughtest to kepe thy strengthe to god lyke as dauyd the prophete sayth. Of these reasons abouesayd be som­tyme atteyned and deceyued the moost wyse men / The thyrd braunche of this vyce is to renne and to take ouer gredyly the mete. lyke as the hounde dooth the caroyn. and how moche gretter is the gredynesse soo moche gretter is the synne / For lyke as it is not synne to haue the rychesse Iustely goten and truly but not ouer moche to loue them. ne to vse them euyl / right so it is not synne to ete. But that it be not ouer gredely ne ouer dysordynatly. Al manere metes ben good vnto good people. to them that by reason & by mesure vsen them without ony excesse & without oultrage / & alwey we ouzt to preyse god & rendre thākynges to god of his goodnes & of his yeftes / & by the swetenes of the mete we ouzt to thynke on the swetenesse of god. and on that celestyal & swete mete of glorye perdurable [Page] which fylleth and accomplyssheth the desyre of the hert. Ther­fore men rede in howses of religyon at mete / by cause that whan the body taketh his refection on that one parte. that the soule shold take his spyrituel mete and refection on that other part. The iiij braunche of this synne of glotonye is of them that ouer nobly wyl ete & drynke. & which despende & waste that wherof an hondred poure men myght be suffyciētly fedde Suche peple synne in many maners. Fyrst in grete despen­ces that they make. After in that / that they vse ouer grete gre­dynes & ouer grete delyte. After in the vayn glorye that they haue. But this is not onelye thexcesse of the throte / but it is ofte for bobance & for grete pryde / and for the praysyng of the world that they seche so dere metes & multeplye so many mes­ses wherof oft tymes growe many synnes. The v braūche of glotonye is the curiosite of glotons / whiche thynke on none o­ther thynge but for to delyte them in metes. they ben proprelye lychorous which seche not sauf onely the delytes of theyr throte & mouth. In iij thynges namely lyeth the synne of suche pe­ple / Fyrst in the grete charge that they haue in pourchasyng & in arayeng their metes / After in the glorye & in the grete play­syr that they haue in seyng & beholdyng them / & that they may recounte what dylygence they put to that. that the metes been wel arayed. & that eueryche haue his right & propre saw [...]e. & how they may of one thynge make dyuers messes dysguysed for the delycyousnesse of the mouthe / & whan the messys or the metes comē in one after another. thēne be sayd the bourdes for entremesses & thus goeth the tyme. & the caytyfs forgete them self &. reason slepeth and thynketh no thynge of the deth. ne on the synnes that they do. their stomack cryeth and sayth. Dame throte ye slee me / I am so ful that I am lyke to breke. Thēne the lychorous tongue answereth though thou sholdest to brest I shal not suffre this licoroꝰ mete escape me. after the lycoroꝰnes of mete cometh vaynglory that is to remēbre it. Thēne desyre [Page] and wesshe they that they had as longe a necke as a crane / & as grete a bely as a cowe that they myght yet deuoure & swalowe more mete / Now hast thou herde the synnes that comen of glotonye & of lycourousnesse. and by cause that these synnes sourden and comen ofte in the tauerne. whiche is fontayne of synne. Therfore I wyl a lytel touche the synnes that ben made and done in the tauerne. The tauerne is the scole of the deuyl where as his dyscyples studye. and his propre chapel where as his seruyce is doon. and that is the place where he sheweth & doeth his myracles bothe day and nyght. suche as appertey­nen the deuyl for to do. Atte chyrche our lord god hath a cus­tome to shewe his vertues & to make his myracles lyke as ye may see in many places. the blynde for to see. the lame and croked to be redressyd. to mad men their wytte. to dombe men speche / & to deef men theyr heryng / But the deuyl in the tauern doth al the contrarye. for the tauerne is his chapel as is aforesayd where men dooth to hym seruyce. for whan the man go­eth to tauerne he goeth alle ryght. and whan he retorneth he hath neyther fote ne honde. by whyche he may hym self bere ne susteyne. and whan he goeth thyder he speketh wel. hereth and vnderstondeth. and whan he retorneth he hath loste alle thys / lyke as he that hath neyther wytte ne reason ne memorye in hym self. Suche been the myracles that the deuyl maketh in the tauerne. & what lesson is redde in the tauerne I shal say to you. Ther is redde lerned herde & seen all fylthe and ordure of synne. that is to wete glotonye lecherye sweryng forsweryng lyeng myssayeng renyeng god & his sayntes. mysherkenyng brawlyng & many other synnes. Thēne sourden & comen stry­ues homycides or manslaughter. there is lernyd to stele and to hange / the tauern is a fosse & a pytte of theuys. and also it is the fortresse of the deuyl for to warre ayenst god & his sayntes & the tauerner that susteyneth suche peple dysordynate ben partonners of alle theyr synnes that they doo in theyr tauernes. [Page] And certeyn yf a persone sayd as moche shame to hys owne fader or to his moder or to his knaue / as suche manere peple do to theyr fader of heuen and to our lady and to the Sayntes they shold be moche angry. and fynde and sette other remedye than god dooth.

¶Of the synnes of the tongue capitulo L

WHo that wyl knowe and thynke of the synnes of the tongue. hym byhoueth to thynke and acounte to thynk what the tongue is and fro whens she cometh & what harme and euyl she doeth / For it happeth that somtyme the worde is synne in hym self. by cause it is euyl / and happeth by cause that it is synne / men synne for as moche that she yssueth and cometh of an euyl herte. ¶And also it happeth that the worde is grete synne by cause it dooth euyl. how wel that it be fayre and wel polysshed / ¶Now thou oughtest to knowe that the euyl tongue is the tree that god curseth in the gospel. by cause he fonde theron no thynge but leeuys. By the leeuys ben vnder stonden in holy scrypture wordes. And lyke as it shold be a thynge dyffycile and harde to nombre the leeuys of trees / Ryght so it is Impossyble to compte and nombre the synnes that growen of the tongue. But we shal sette and put ten chyef braunches whyche growe oute of thys tree. And these x braunches may thus be named / ydlenes / auauntyng / losangerye. detraction. lyes or lesynges / Forswerynges. contencyons murmure. rebellyon. and blasphemye.

¶Of the synne that been in ydle wordes capo. lj

THey that abandōne them to ydle wordes geten grete dommage and grete perylle / whyche they apperceyue not. ¶And also they lese the tyme whyche they may neuer recouere. And lose also the good dedes that they shold & myght doo vnto theyr owne salute and helthe.

[Page]And lesen the ioye of heuen / and the tresour of theyr herte / and replenysshe it of vanyte & of synnes / They dyscouer the potte & the flyes entre therin. They calle them ydle wordes / but they ben not. For they ben moche costyous damageous & perillous as they that auoyde fro the herte al goodnes. and replenysshe it wyth vanyte. For they shal rendre reason & yelde acompt of them to god straytely atte day of Iugement. lyke as god saith in the gospel / This is not thenne a lytel thynge ne lytel ydle­nes / whan hit byhoueth to yelde reason and accomptes at the day of dome vnto a lytel thought. and in so hye a court as is tofore god & al his sayntes. In this ydle wordes men synne in vj maners. There been somme vayn wordes. of whyche somme tongues be so ful that so moche speke afore and after that they be lyke the clyket & the clappe of a mylle whyche may neuer reste. & also sōme wordes ben soo curyous of them that gladly heren tydynges tolde. that they ofte sette theyr hert to the desease of them that here them. so that the recounters been ofte holden for fooles & lyars. After comen the rehersayl & the fayr wordes / wherin is moche vaynglorye. in them that can sub­tylly shewe & say them. for to make the herars to laughe / after ben the truffes bourdes and lyes ful of fylthe of ordure and of synne whiche ben callyd ydle wordes. but they be not / for they be peryllous & greuable / After ben Iapes. the esbatemens and playes not leeful. that say somtyme vpon good men & vpon them that wold fayn do wel / by cause that they myght wyth­drawe fro theyr herte the goodnes that they haue conceyued & purpose to do / These be not ydle wordes / for thou art lyke an homycyde yf thou wythdrawe by thy tongue a man or a wo­man or a chylde fro doyng wel or fro doyng a good dede. And god shal conne the as good thanke as the kyng shold do to the yf thou haddest slayn his owne sone or stolen aweye hys tre­sour.

¶Of the synne of auauntance capitulo lij

[Page]AFter cometh the synne of auauntyng whych is moche grete moche foule false & moche vylaynous / it is moche grete. For he that auaūteth hym self is moche hateful to god for he taketh awaye his glorye. Also as we haue sayd tofore this is a moche false synne. for his goodes of which he myzt gete heuen he gyueth for a lytel wynde· and soo it is a moche foule synne. For al the world holdeth hym for a fool for a vylayn and for nyce. and this braunche hath .v. leuys. There ben v maners of vauntours That one is of tyme past / Thys is the synne of them that so gladly remembre theyr werkys and theyr prowesses. & that whyche they wene to haue done wel or sayd wel. That other is of tyme present. this is the synne of them that no thynge do gladly. ne payne them to doo wel / ne to say wel whan they be not seen ne herde. They in doyng or in sayeng or in syngyng auaunte them self & selle for nouzt alle that they haue and doon. To this man apperteyneth the synne of them that so auaunte and boost them of the good that they haue. or of that whyche they wene to haue of theyr no­blesse or of theyr rychesse. They ben lyke to the Cuckow / that can not synge but of hym self. ¶ The thyrd is of them that ben surquydrous and that thynke and say in them self. I shal auenge me herof. I shal make hylles & valeyes. The fourth is more subtyl. that is of them that dare not preyse them self for shame But al that euer that other doon & say they blame and despyse lyke as no thynge were worth / but that whyche they can doo or say ¶ The fyfthe is yet more subtyl. that is of them that wyl whan that men preyse them. and they dare not saye it openlye / they make it all contrarye and make them self humble and say that they be no thynge worth and synners thre tymes wers than they be. by cause they wold be preysed and for that men shold holde them for wel humble & meke. Alas sayth Saynt Bernard that this is a sorouful auauntynge. They make theym selfe deuylles by cause they [Page] shold be reputed for aungellys / and fayne them self to be euyl. to thende that men shold repute them for good. But certeynly a man shold not more angre them. than to say ye say trouthe To this apperteyneth the synne that sechen the aduocates for to preyse them. & to crye theyr oublyes. by whos mouth they speke more hardely.

¶Of euyl sayeng of other capitulo liij

LOsangers ben the nouryces of the deuyl that gyue souk to the chyldren and make them slepe in theyr synnes by theyr fayre syngyng / They enoynte the waye of helle wyth the hony of flaterye by cause that the synners shold goo it the more hardely. This synne is departed in to fyue partyes that been lyke as fyue leuys on this braunche. The fyrst is of these fla­terers. that whan they see that he or they. that they see dyspose them to say wel or to do wel. anone they shewe and telle it to hym. by cause that he shold haue therof vayn glorye. But his defaultes they shal neuer say ne telle hym / The second synne is that the lytel good that the chyldren do they double it. That is to say / that them that they preyse and fede by flaterye / they encreace it and double it / and adiouste therto soo moche that it is more lesyng than trouthe. and therfore been they callyd false wytnesse in holy scrypture ¶ The thyrd synne is whan they make a man or a woman to vnderstonde that he hath in hym many good vertues and moche grace / where as he hath none And therfore holy scrypture calleth suche flateres enchaūtours for they enchaunte so moche the man or the woman / that they byleue them better than hem self· and that they byleue bettyr that they here than that whiche they see / and that they saye to hem better that they knowe and fele / ¶The fourth synne is whan they synge alwaye the placebo of flaterye / That is to say / my lord or my lady ye say trouthe. my lord doth wel. and [Page] torneth al thynge by flaterye what someuer he doeth or sayth be it good or euyl. and therfore ben they callyd Ecko / That is the so [...]n that redoundeth in hye mountayns & woodes and accordeth alwaye to that whiche is cryed and sayd. be it trewe be it fals / The fyfthe ben the flaterers that defenden excusen & couere the vyces and the synnes of them that wyl flatere and preyse. and therfore ben they callyd in wrytyng taylles. for they couer the ordures and synnes of the ryche men for somme temporal good. & therfore ben they lykenyd in scrypture to the tayll of a foxe. for theyr flaterye barate and tryeherye.

¶Of losengerye and of flaterye

LOsengiers and myssayers ben of one soole. These ben the ij seraynes otherwyse callyd mermaydēs. of whiche we fynde in the book of the nature of beestys whiche is a monstre of the see that is callyd serayns. whyche hath the body of a woman the taylle of a fysshe. & vngles or clawes of an egle / and they synge soo swetely that they make the maronners to slepe. and after they deuoure them. These ben the losengyers & flaterers whiche by theyr fayr speche make men to slepe in theyr synnes / There been somme serpentes whyche haue the name of serayns. that renne more swyftely than an hors. and somtyme they flee / and theyr venym is so stronge that tryacle may not auayle ayenst it. For sonner cometh the deth than the bytyng of the serpent is felte. These ben the myssayers of whome Salamon sayth. that they byte in trayson lyke a ser­pent. with thys ben slayn thre at ones. That is he that sayth it / he that hereth it / and he of whome is myssayed / This is the ryght cruel beest that is callyd hate. whiche fynyssheth destroyeth. and bryngeth out of the erth the bodyes of the dede men and eteth them. These ben they that byte & ete the good men of relygyon that ben in the world / Suche manere peple [Page] ben more cruel than is helle which deuoureth the wycked / but these peple renne vpon the good and deuoureth them. Suche maner peple resemblen the sowe. whiche whan she hath pygges gladly wyl byte a man clad with whyt clothes. They ben lyke the huppe which maketh his nest in the ordure of a man & there resteth hym / and lyke the dorre or waspe that flee the floures. and louen dunge and ordure. and this branche hath fyue leuys. The fyrst is whan they contryue the lesynges and euyl for to hurte blame & defame other. The second is whan they haue herde the blame and harme / they say it forth and reporte it to the peple / & adiouste more of them self therto. The thyrd is whan they quenche and sette at nought alle the good that a man hath doon. and make it to be holden for euyl. they ete the man al hole. the other ete hym not alle. But they byte hym and bere aweye a pyece ¶This is the fourth leef of this braunche. whiche is proprely called detraction / For he alway wythdraweth & cutteth of a pyece of good that he hereth spo­ken of other. For whan ony good is spoken of ony other tofore hym / alwaye he contryueth somthynge to saye to his re­proche. and gyueth therto a but as thus. he is ryght a good man & I loue hym wel / but there ben suche defaultes in hym certaynly I am sory therfore. This is the scorpyō which blandyssheth wyth his face and prycketh wyth hys taylle. The fyfthe is whan he peruerteth and torneth al to the wers par­tye / and the good in to euyl. And therfore he is a false Iuge and vntrewe.

¶Of the synne to say lesynges capitulo liiij

LEsyng falseth a man. lyke as one falsed the seal of the kyng. or the bulles of the pope. & by cause that suche men fal­sen the money and beren forth false letters he shal be Iuged at the day of dome as a false man. The lyar is emonge the good [Page] trewe men as the fals peny emonge the good. & as the chaffe emonge the corne. The lyar is lyke to the deuyl whiche is his fader. lyke as god sayth in the gospel for he is a lyar. and the fader of lesynges as he that forged the fyrst lesynge. And yet he forgeth and techeth them forth alle day / The deuyl sheweth hym in many maners and in many fourmes. & transfygureth hym self in many guyses for to deceyue the people / Ryght soo dooth the lyar / Thenne is he lyke the plouyer whyche lyueth of the wynde and of the ayer. and hath no thynge in hys en­traylles but wynde. And also to euery colour that he seeth he chaungeth his sowne· In this braunche been thre bowes. for there is one manere leesyng brennyng. another playsaunt. & another noyeng. and in alle thre is synne. For lyke as sayth saynt austyn / how wel he that lyeth. & wyth hys lesyng doth good and prouffyte to another. neuerthelesse he doth his owne hurte and domage. thenne the lyes ardaunt ben synnes / But the lyes playsaunte ben more gretter synne. lyke as ben the lyes of losengiers of flaterers of mynystrellis. of trufars whyche that sayen these bourdes lesynges and derysyons for to solace the folke and to make them laughe. and it is no doubte for to take hede & to here them it is a synne. But the lesynges gre­uyng & noyeng ben dedely synne / whan they be sayd ernestlye wyth a for thought for to harme and hurte ony other / ¶To this braunche apperteynen al the falsetees the fallaces the de­ceytes and guylles that ben doon and sayd thorugh oute al the world for to deceyue and hurte ony other in soule or in body in hauour in renome or in fame /

¶Of the synne of forsweryng capo. lv

IT is an euyl to lye / But it is moche werse & gretter synne a man to forswere hym self. It is a peryllous thynge to forswere hym self. and therfore our lord deffendeth [Page] it moche. not for that by cause that one may in no wyse swere wythout synne. For ofte to swere maketh a man often to forswere hym and ofte to synne. For in vij maners may a man synne in makyng othes. Fyrst whan one swereth ar­dauntly / this is by despyte and gladly / lyke as it semeth that he delyteth or that he were fro hym self. ¶Therfore defendeth Saynt Iames not onely to swere whan it is of nede. but the wylle to swere. Also whan one swereth for nought It is for nought. whan one swereth lyghtly wythoute cause and wythoute reason. This is deffended in the second commaun­dement of the lawe. whiche god wrote in the tables of stoon wyth his blessyd fyngre and delyuerd them to Moyses the prophete for to preche them to the peple. ¶After whan one swereth accustomably / lyke as many doon that been euyl taught and that can noo thynge say wythoute sweryng. For for to swere nys none other thynge but to calle god to wytnesse / the cause ought to be moche grete. resonable and trewe. where as shold be called or dare calle soo grete a lord as god is to wyt­nesse. his gloryous moder and his sayntes / Also whan one swereth folyly / & this cometh and happeth in many maners as where swereth by yre or sodaynly / of whiche whan he is repreued he repenteth anone. or whā one swereth for a thyng whiche he may not kepe wythout synne / Suche swerynges ought to be lefte. & of them do penaunce of the folysshe oth. Or whan one swereth certeynly of the thynge of whyche he was not certayn how wel it be trewe. Or whan one swereth cer­taynly of that whiche he knoweth not. or that he may not accomplysshe. Or whan one swereth by the creatures. as sōme say by the sonne that shyneth / or by the fyre that there brēneth Or by my heed Or by the soule of my fader. Or suche sembla­ble thynges. God deffendeth al these othes in the gospel. For to that whiche I ought to conferme. I ought not to take to wytnesse but the souerayn trouthe / that is god whiche know­eth [Page] al. and no thynge the pure creatures whiche be no thynge but vanytees / For whan men swere ernestly by them. they do dyshonour to god / For thonour of god ought alweye to be kept in al thynges. But whan men swere by the holy gos­pellys. men swere by hym of whome the wordes ben that be there wryton. And whan one swereth by the holy relykes or by the sayntes of heuen. they swere by them and by god that enhabyteth in them / After whan one swereth vylaynsly of god & of his sayntes. In this ben the crysten men werse than the sarasyns. that ne sweren in no manere. ne suffren that ony swere vylaynsly tofore them of Ihesu lyke as crysten men doo And who that swereth in theyr lawe Mahomet theyr god he shal be stoned. The crysten men been in thys more cruel than the Iewes that crucefyed Ihesu Cryst / For they brake none of his bones. But they that swere by hym rende & make moo pyeces of hym than is made of a beest in the boucherye. And there be many false cristen men that in lyke wyse breke in pyeces our blessyd lady and other sayntes in sweryng vylaynslye And certeynly it is merueyle how cryst may suffre it ¶After whan one swereth falsely or bereth false wytnesse to his wy­tyng in ony maner that he swereth couertly or openlye. or by arte colour or sophym. For the lawe wryton sayth / God that loueth symplesse and trouthe in suche a thynge. he recey­ueth the oth and vnderstondeth the word. as they that say en­tende it. and whiche symply & wythoute barate vnderstonde it Moche is the grete debonayrte of god. whan suche men swere that / whyche they knowe wel is not trouthe. Or that promytteth a thynge whyche they wyl not holde. that the deuyl stran­gle them not anone. For whan they say as god kepe me. or as god wyl me helpe / he putteth hym self out of the grace of god and of his ayde & helpe. Now ought they of veray ryght to lese wytte and mynde / & alle that they holde of god. ¶The last braunche of this synne is whan one breketh the feyth that [Page] he hath promysed & creanted. by his fayth or by his oth. For fayth lyed and oth broken is alle one /

¶Of the synne & peryll that is of chydyng capitulo lvj

SAynt Austyn sayth that there is none so lyke to the de­uyl as is the chydar. Thys crafte wythoute doubte pleseth moche the deuyl / and dysplayseth moche vnto god whyche loueth aboue al other thynges pees & concorde. This braunche departeth hym in to vij bowes / of which the first is to stryue The second to chyde The thyrd ledenger. The fourth to curse / The fyfthe to reproche or to repreue / The sixte to menace or to threte. The seuenth dyscorde and to r [...]yse hate. This is whan the deuyl seeth pees and loue bytwene two persones it moche desplayseth hym. and for to make them dyscorde he dooth hys power to make them to stryue. & whan they begynne to stryue the deuyl begynneth to blowe the syre of angre. Thenne after the stryffe & angre cometh the noyse and chydyng / Thenne as the fyre is lyght & the smoke is vp anone cometh the flamme and lepeth out / Stryuyng is whan that one sayth to that other. It is so. it is not so / it was so / it was not so. Chydyng is whan they demene and say one to that other grete wordes After cometh the ledanges that is whan they pynche & shoue that one to that other and say grete vylanyes & grete felonyes For there be somme so feloūs that haue theyr tongues more cuttyng than a rasour. & more percyng than arowes or alles Suche folke resemble the porpyn whiche is al ful of pryckes and sharpe poyntures. and is ouer felle and angry / & whan he is wrothe he launceth and casteth his prickes lyke arowes oute of his body and throweth on the ryght syde & on the lyfte syde. ¶Also he resembleth the felon mastyf that byteth & bar­keth on al them that he seeth goo by the waye / After this co­men the curses & maledyctiōs. this is whan that one curseth [Page] that other. And this is so grete a synne as the scrypture sayth that who curseth his neygbour. he is cursed of god. ¶And Saynt poul sayth that suche folke may not haue the royame of god. And Salamon sayth that theyr mouthes ben lyke as the pot that boylleth & casteth oute on al sydes· & scaldeth them that be aboute hym. After comen the reproches whych ben yet more synne that is whan a man reprocheth another of hys synnes & his defaultes or of his folyes. his pouerte. his poure kynne. or other defaultes that he hath in hym / he wexyth an­gry and synneth. After comen the menaces & thretenynges and thenne begynne the medlynges and warres. But aboue alle the synnes that we haue here named / passeth the synne of them that by theyr wycked tongues areyse and moeue dyscor­des deuysyons and euyl wylle emonge them that been frendes to gyder. and that destourbe and lette the pees and accordes / God hateth moche suche peple as sayth the scrypture.

¶Of the synne of murmure capitulo lvij

WE see that it happeth ofte tyme / that they that dare not answere ne chyde. begynne to murmure and to grunte wyth his teeth. Therfore after the synne of chydyng we sette the synne of murmure. how moche this synne is grete & how god taketh vengeaunce and correction of it we shalle shewe / For god oftymes hath taken vengeaunce on suche / lyke as the holy scrypture recordeth. For. for this the erthe opened and swolowed in dathan & abyron. and they descended all quycke in to helle / And for this synne god sente a fyre from heuen that brente chore and al his felowes / that is to wete ij hon­dred and xl thousand of the grettest that were in the hoost of our lord in deserte. For this synne loste the Iewes the londe of promyssyon whyche god had promysed. So that of vj.C / thousand that god had delyuerd and put out of seruage of the [Page] kyng of Egypt pharao. and that had nourisshed them xl yere in deserte wyth the manna of heuen / Of al them there entryd in to the holy londe of promyssyon but two persones onelye. whiche were named Caleph and Iosue. but al deyed wyth sorow in deserte. This synne hath two braunches. For sōme murmure ayenst god. and somme ayenst man / The synne of murmure ayenst man is in many maners lyke as seruaūtes ayenste theyr lordes and maysters. and chamberers & wym­men ayenst theyr ladyes and maystresses. chyldren ayenst fa­der & moder / The poure ayenst the ryche. The vylaynes ayenst the nobles. The laye peple ayenst the clerkes & ayenst the prelates. And the cloysterers ayenst thabbottes. pryours and the o [...]fy [...]ers. And this murmure groweth ayenst these persones of inobedyence. by cause that there is made to them ouer harde commandementes. or of drede / or of inpacience by cause alle thynges be not doon ryghtfully. or of enuye. or of felonnye. by cause that one is auaūced more than another. and many other euyl rancours. ¶Murmure ayenst god hath many occasions that is he that loste grace and pacience & wold be more than god / For suche [...]hynge as god hath made in erthe. yf he hath not made it after his wylle. anone he grutcheth ayenst god. & syngeth the deuyls pater noster / For lyke as the holy ghoost enseygneth & techeth his chosen to synge in theyr herte the swete songe of heuen / that is deo gracias. of al that he hath made & gyuen vs. & of al that he sendeth vs / In lyke wyse the wyc­ked spyrite maketh his dyscyples to synge the songe of helle. That is of murmure that alwaye shal dure in helle. Certeyn suche a man is a moche fool & wood that wyl that god shold gyue to hym acomptes of alle that he hath made. yf he sende to hym pouerte or maladye or dere tyme. or yf he take fro one & gyue to another. and al this be not doon at his deuyse. anone he taketh ayenst god & murmureth ayenst hym. and can hym maulgree / & what meruayle is hit though god auenge hym [Page] on suche folke whan they wold take fro hym his seygnorye. his sapyence and his puyssaunce.

¶Of the synne & perylle that is in rebellyon capo. lviij

EVyl thynge is it of murmure. but moche more euyl is it of rebellyon. Rebellyon is a vyce that cometh fro the hert. whiche is harde. froward. & dyuers / & alwaye wyl that his wylle be doon & his sentence holden / & he that wyl that o­ther humble and bowe to hym. & he wyl not bowe ne enclyne to no man. This is an herte dyuers of which salamon sayth that he may not faylle of an euyl ende. & lyke as murmure is ayenst god & ayenst man / Ryght soo is suche an hert rebelle a­yenst god & man / This vyce hath iiij braunches. for suche an herte is froward & rebelle to byleue counseyl. & taccomplysshe and do the comandements of god / & to suffre chastysyng / and to receyue doctryne. Of this vyce thou hast herde in the chappy­tre of pryde.

¶Of the synne of blasphemye capo. lix

BLasphemye is as sayth Saynt austyn as moche as it groweth &c̄. Seche al the condycions in the chappytre of pryde tofore wryton in the rubyche of arrogaunce in the ende / Now we haue shewed x maners of synne of the tongue / of whiche the fyrst is ydle wordes / & the last is blasphemye. And this is that Salamon sayth / that the begynnyng of the euyl tongue is folye. & the ende shal be ouer euyl / here fynysshe thēne the dedely synnes & al the braunches that descende of them / and knowe ye for trouthe that who shold wel studye in thys book he myght wel prouffyte & lerne to knowe al maner of synnes & to confesse hym self wel. for none may confesse his synnes wel / yf he ne knowe hem not / Now thou oughtest to knowe that he that redeth in this book ought to thynke and take hede [Page] dylygently yf he be culpable of ony of these synnes aforesayd. And yf he fynde hym culpable of ony he ought to repente hym and anone to confesse hym dylygently. & to kepe hym to hys power fro other synnes in whyche he is not culpable. and also he ought to preyse & thanke god humbly. and to praye hym deuoutelye that he wyl kepe hym by his swete grace.

¶How this lyf nys but deth as hit appereth capo. lx


GReuously dyeth he that hath not ler­ned to deye / lerne thēne to dye yf thou shal conne lyue / for no man shalle can lyue. that hath not lerned to dye / & he is by ryzt callyd a caytyf that can not lyue ne that knoweth not to dye. yf thou wylt lyue frely & surelye lerne to deye wyselye / yf thou saye how shal it be lerned. I shal now telle to the / Thou oughtest to knowe that this lyfnys but deth. For deth is a departyng / thys knoweth euery man And therfore it is sayd of a man whan he dyeth that he departeth / and whan he is deed he is departed· This lyfnys noo thynge but a departyng. ye truly a moche shorte departyng. For al the lyf of a man yf he lyued a thousand yere. is not o­nelye a momēt to the regarde of that other lyf. which alwaye dureth. In torment or in ioye ꝑdurable. This wytnesseth to vs The kynges The dukes The erles The prynces and the Emperours whiche had somtyme the glorye of thys world / [Page] ¶ Now wepe they in helle. Crye and howle. cratchen and sayen alas / what auaylled vs our power / honour noblesse Ioye beaultees and al rychessys. Sone is al thys departed & faylled as a shadowe or smoke. & moche faster fledde fro vs than byrdes fleyng. or quarelles oute of a crosse bowe. Thus departeth aweye our lyf. Now we were / and anone we ben deed. and alle our lyf was not a lytel moment. Now be we in perdurable tormentes Our Ioye in wepyng Our carolles & feestes in sorowe. Roobes hoodes feestes dygnytees games Rychessys & al welthes ben faylled vs. Suche been the songes of helle lyke as holy wrytte recounteth / For to shewe to vs that this lyf is no thynge but a departyng. and thys dethe is no thynge but a departyng. & to lyue is no thynge but to de­parte. Thenne the lyuyng in this world is noo thynge but for to deye. and this is trewe as the pater noster. For whan thou beganst to lyue / anone thou beganst to deye. & to approche the deth. and al thyn age & alle thy tyme whiche is passed / the deth hath conquerd & reteyned. Thou saeyst that thou hast xl yere. that is not trouthe / the deth hath them. Ne neuer shal he yelde them to the ageyn / Therfore the wytte of the world is folye. And certayn the clerkys seyng. seen noo thynge at al. day and uyght they done one thynge / and the more they do the lasse they knowe. alwaye they deyen & can not deye· for nyght and day thou deyest as I haue sayd to the. Yet in another maner I shal teche the this clergye. to thende that thou know wel to lyue & wel to deye. Now take hede & vnderstonde the deth is no thynge but the deceueryng of body and soule. this knoweth wel euery man & vnderstondeth / Now techeth vs Cathon the wyse man. lerne sayth he to deye. To departe and deceuere oft thy soule & thy spyryte fro thy body. lyke as dyd many of the grete phylosophres that so moche hated this lyf & despysed the world & so moche desyred to deye that they slewe them self by theyr owne agrement. but it auaylled them no thynge. For [Page] they had not the grace ne the faythe of our lord Ihesu Cryst. But the holy men whiche loue god and drede hym / of thre dethes haue they passed the tweyne. For they ben deed as tou­chyng synnes. and deed as touchyng the world. Now abyde they the last deth that is the thyrd / & that is the deceueraunce of soule and body / Bytwene them & heuen is but a lytel walle. for they passe it by thought and by desyre. And though the bo­dy is in this world on this syde. the herte & the spyryte is on that other syde in that other world. there where theyr conuersacion is in heuen. lyke as sayth saynt poule. Theyr solace theyr I [...]ye / theyr consolacion is by thought on the ferther syde in he­uen where theyr conuersacion is lyke as sayth saynt Poule. And therfore they hate theyr lyf whyche is but deth / & desyre the bodely deth / For this damoysel bereth Ioye that is the deth whiche crowneth al the sayntes & sette them in ioye perdura­ble. Deth is to a good man ende of al his euyllys / and yate and entre of al goodes. Deth is the ryuer that departeth deth and lyf / Deth is on this syde lyf / and on that other syde also / But the wyse men of this world whiche ben on thys syde of the ryuer of this world seen soo clere. and on that other syde they see noo thynge. and therfore been they callyd in scrypture fooles and blynde / For thys dethe they calle departyng / And the deth that is comune to good they callen the ende. And ther­fore they hate soo moche the deth. For they knowe not what it is. ne on that other syde of the ryuer they haue not conuer­sed / ne knowe no thynge what gooeth there oute. Thenne yf thou wylt knowe what is good and what is euyl. yssue out of thy self. yssue oute of the world / lerne to deye / Dysseuere thy soule fro thy body by thought. Sende thyn hert in to that other world That is in heuen. in helle / and in purgatorye / There shalte thou see what is good and what is euyl / ¶In helle thou shalte see mo sorowes and dyuers tormentys than ony man may or can deuyse. or ony herte thynke.

[Page]In purgatorye also thou shalte see moo tormentes than ony may endure / In heuen thou shalt see more Ioye and glorye than ony may desyre. In helle shal be shewyd and enseygned to the how god vengeth dedely synne. Purgatorye shal shewe and enseygne the how god purgeth dedely synne. ¶In heuen thou shalte see clerely vertues good werkys. how hyely they ben guerdoned and rewarded / And in these thre thynges vn­derstonde how & alle that. that the byhoueth to knowe to lyue wel and deye wel /

¶How men lyue dyeng in this world capo. lxj

NOw beholde and take hede yet a lytel. and ennoye ne greue the not at these thre thynges. Therfore to know and wylle to hate synne. Forgete thy body one tyme in the day & goo in to helle lyuyng. to thende that thou goo not thy­der at thy deth. Thus doon ofte the good men and the wyse There thou shalte see alle that the herte hateth / colde hete hun­gre thyrst & dyuers tormentes. as wepynges syghes & wayl­lynges. that the hert may not thynke ne tongue deuyse / & alle waye shal endure without ende. and therfore is this payne by right called deth perdurable / which is alway deth in lyuyng. & lyf in deyeng. whan thou shalt see thēne that this one dedely synne must nedys be so dere bouzt / thou haddest leuer be flayne al quyck. tofore thou sholdest consente to doo one onely synne / After goo to purgatorye. there shalt thou see the paynes of soules. which haue had very repentaunce of theyr synnes in this world. but they were not parfytely purged / Now make they the remenaūte of theyr penannce vnto they be clere and nette / lyke as they were atte tyme & houre whā they were baptised / but this penaunce is moche horryble & hard / for alle the payne that wymmen euer suffred in trauayllyng & delyueryng of theyr chyldren. & also saynt bartylmewe suffryd to be flayn al quyck. saynt stephen to be stoned with stones. saynt laurence [Page] & saynt vyncent to be brente and rosted vpon brennyng cooles Al these martyrdoms & tormentes ne ben not but as a bayne in colde water after the wytnesse of scrypture to the regarde of tormentes of purgatorye. where as the sowles brenne vn­tyl they be purged of al theyr synnes. lyke as golde and syluer be purged and fyned in the fyre. tyl no more be foūde to be pur­ged. For this fyre of purgatorye is of suche nature / that alle that they fynde in the soule is it of dede of worde & of thought that hath corned to ony synne lytel or grete. all is there brente and purged / And also there ben punysshed and purged all the synnes venyal. whyche we calle lytel synnes. whyche we ofte do / Lyke as foule thoughtes. ydle wordes Iapes trufes lyes and alle other vanytees so longe tyl the soule haue nomore to be purged of / and that she be so clene so pure so nette & so worthy that she be sayntefyed for to entre in to heuen. where as none may entre but yf he be ryght fyne right clene and ryght cleer. ¶Thys fyre dreden alle they that to theyr power kepe them fro dedely synne. and that kepe holyly theyr body / theyr mouth theyr eerys theyr eyen. and al theyr fyue naturel wyt­tes fro al synnes. And also lyuen as they shold euery day dye and come tofore the Iugement. And by cause that none may lyue al wythoute synne. lyke as sayth Salamon / For seuen tymes in the day falleth the ryghtwysman. And therfore by holy confessyon. by teerys by orysons by almesses and other good dedes ought euery man to be relyeued and put awaye fro synne and amende hys lyf. and to Iuge hym self of hys synnes / to the ende that he abyde more surely the last Iugement ¶Also to lerne to knowe euyl. and to flee it and alle synne grete and lytel. And that he be thenne in the grete drede of god. whyche is the begynnyng of alle good and of good lyf.

¶How we ought to lyue holyly & lerne to do wel capo. lxij

Now it is not ynough to leue al synnes & all euyls. but that it be lernyd to do good. and yf we lerne to gete the vertues by which we may caste & put aweye the vyces & all synnes wythoute whyche vertues noo man may lyue wel ne rightfully. Thenne yf thou wylte lerne to lyue wel after ver­tu / lerne also to deye as I haue afore sayd to the / deceuere thy spyryte fro thy body by thought & by desyre / And goo oute of this world deyeng And goo in to the lande of lyuyng / where as none shal deye ne neuer wexe olde. that is in heuen / There is lerned to lyue wel. and al wysedom and alle curtesye. For there may entre no vylayne. There is the gloryous companye of god and of the gloryous virgyne hys moder saynt marye. of Angellys & of sayntes. There surhabounde all goodes. be­aultees Rychesses honoures strengthe lyghtnes scyence fraun­chyse vertues wytte glorye and ioye perdurable. There is no poynte of ypocresye ne of trycherye / ne of losengerye / ne of dys­corde. ne of enuye ne hungre ne thryst ne hete ne colde ne euyl ne sorowe ne drede of enemyes / But alway feste and ryall espousaylles songe and ioye wythoute ende. This ioye is soo grete. that who that shal haue tasted one onely drope of the moost leste ioye that is there / he shold be fyred & soo entalented in the loue of god that al the ioye of thys world shold be vnto hym stenche and tormentes. and rychesses dunge / & honours but fylthe & vyletees / And the desyre for to come thyder shalle make hym an hondred thousand tymes more ardātly to hate synne. and to loue vertues & to doo wel / For loue is more stronge than drede / and thenne is the lyf fayr & honeste / whan a persone fleeth al euyls & synnes. And enforceth hym to do al the good that he may. not onely for fere to be dampned but for the desyre of the glorye perdurable and for the loue of god [Page] And for the grete clennesse that vertues haue and good lyf / & them whome the loue of god ledeth. moche hastelyer sonner & more ardantly comen therto. and lasse costeth / than they that serue god for drede / The hare renneth and so doth the grehoūd That one for drede that other by desyre. That one fleeth that other chaceth / The holy man renneth to god lyke a grehounde. For he hath alwaye his eyen and his desyre to heuen / where he seeth the praye that he chaceth. And for that he forgeteth the goodes of this world. lyke as the gentyl hounde whan he seeth his praye / This is the waye and the lyf to the fyue good and true louers of god / to gentyl hertes that so moche louen ver­tues and haten synnes. that yf they were certeyn. that they ne shold ne myght knowe the synnes / ne that god shold not a­uenge them. yet they wold not deygne to do ne to consente to synne / but al theyr thought and payne of theyr herte is to kepe them clene f [...]o al synnes. And to apparaylle them that they be worthy to see and to haue perdurably the glorye of heuen. where as herte vylaynous entached wyth synne shal neuer entre. ne fool ne felonous ne proude man.

¶Of iij maner of spyrituel goodes capitulo lxiij

NOw haue I wel shewed to the how one shold lerne to deye & lede and vse good & holy lyf. & for to gete vertues so that a man knowe wel & euydently clennesse. and what is synne. what is almesse & what is vertu. Also that one knowe wel & certeynlye. and to Iuge what is euyl. & what is synne & what is good. and to cōne deuyse the veray good & the grete good fro the lytel. For a thynge not knowen is neytherha­t [...]d ne desyred. and therfore oughtest thou to knowe that the scryptures sayen that there been somme smale thynges that be callyd the lityl good and somme the myddel good And somme the grete good. and somme veray good that is ryghtful to al. [Page] the world is somtyme deceyued. For they gyue the grete goo­des for the lytyl. or the grete for the myddle / For thys world is as a fayre. where as ben many folysshe marchauntes / and fooles that bye glasse for saphyres / & leed for golde. & blad­ders for lanternes. But he is a good marchaunte that of euery thynge knoweth wel clerely the trouthe and the propre vertue / lyke as the holy ghoost enseygneth vs. & another maystre techeth vs to knowe the grete thynges fro the smale. the precy­ouse fro the vyle. the swete from the bytter /

¶Of the goodes of fortune capo. lxiiij

THey calle the smalle goodes the goodes of fortune. whiche dame fortune hath aboute hyr whele. and alwaye taketh a weye and gyueth / and torneth that whiche is aboue to falle vnder / These ben the procyouse stones that the fooles haue bought for rubyes for saphyrs & for emerawdes / These ben also as Iewels / and yonge chyldren which god gyueth to vs for to solace vs wyth. & for to drawe our loue to hym By cause that he knoweth wel that we ben tendre and t [...]ble and that we may not holde the sharpe wayes of penaunce. of anguysshe and of martyrdom / lyke as doon the good knyghtes of god whiche conquere the royame of heuen by strengthe. and take it by ttheyr prowesse & theyr good vertues. Thenne that is not the grete good ne wel ryghtful. For yf that were the grete good & veray / Thenne were fooles the blessyd chyldren of god Ihesu Cryst whyche chosen pouerte shame and sharp­nesse for to gyue and to shewe to vs ensaumple. And refused the ioyes the honoures and the rychessys of thys world. yf these goodes transytorye worldly & temporalle ben veray good. thēne be not al the veray goodes in heuen / Thenne is not god parfy­telye good and happy by cause he wyl not vse suche goodes. Thenne god is not good ne naturalle by cause he gyueth not [Page] these worldly goodes to his frendes / but he gyueth them more largely to his enemyes. yf these were veray good. thenne were foles al the sayntes. alle the good clerkys and the wyse phylosophres that fledde fro suche worldly goodes & despysed them as dunge. yf these be veray good / thenne fayleth the holy scrypture that calleth them lyes and vanytees. nettes & grynnes of the deuyl / and this is as trewe as the pater noster / For these ben the engynes of the deuyl. by whych he deceyueth the soules in a thousand maners. & byndeth them & taketh & holdeth them But the wyse marchaunte that is the wyse man / whome the holy ghoost enlumyneth by veray knowleche. that oueralle knoweth & can decerne what euery thynge is worth. [...]he seeth ryght wel and vnderstondeth that all the world is not a good morsel for to fylle the herte of one man. & that there is therin moche euyl & lytel good. And therfore he beholdeth the euylles & perylles that ben therin. and knoweth wel that it is trouthe that is comunelye sayd / who that gyueth not that whyche he loueth / he taketh not whiche he desyreth. Suche folke gyuen the world for to haue heuen. and forsaketh oueral richesses for ioye. fylthe & ordure for golde. and leue alle for goddes sake / rychesses delyces and honoures. & bycome poure in this world for to wynne good and for to gete the rychesse of heuen. This is the moost fayrest lyf & moste sure that may be in this world There ben other that see that in many maners may one doo his prouffyt & his sauacyon wyth goodes temporelle. & that he may haue wythout ouermoche to loue them· For god commaundeth not a man to leue al / They reteyne them / but lytyl they preyse them / They vse them / but lytyl they loue them / lyke as dyd Abraham Iob & Dauyd / and many other which es­chewed and fledde the perilles. And they do spyrituel prouffyte wyth temporalle goodes. and wyl bye heuen wyth theyr al­messes & other good dedes. They can bye oute theyr synnes & helpe theyr neyghbours. They can the more loue god drede & [Page] doubte hym for the perylles that they be in. and the more humble them self whan they see and consyder theyr synnes & theyr deffaultes. whan in sharpe & streyte weyes of penaunce they dar not goo· whan so lytel for goddes sake they wyl suffre & gyue / whiche so moche suffred to saue them. and wolde xxxij yere in this world be poure for to enryche them in heuen. They saue them wel but it is harde to doo / For it is a more lyght thynge to leue alle the goodes attones. than to reteyne them & not to loue them.

¶Of the goodes of nature which folowe here. capo. lxv

THe moyen or myddle goodes ben the goodes of nature and of doctryne. Of nature lyke as beaulte of body / prowesse. force or strengthe. vygour / lyghtnes. debonayrte / clere wytte and clere engyne for to fynde. good memorye for to reteyne wel. and good wys for to synge wel. All these goodes aforsayd nature bryngeth them in the natyuyte or byrthe of a persone. Doctryne clergy and al other goodes be goten by stu­dye or by accustomaunce. lyke as been good vertues. good maners and other vertues. But these ben not yet veray good ryghtful. For they doo not that whyche is perfytelye good. For many a phylosophre. and grete clerkys. Kynges. Em­perours and other many prynces and other lordes that had many of these goodes been dampned in helle. ¶Also these goodes hath our lord gyuen to his enemyes as wel as to his frendes. To Sarasyns To Iewes To false crysten men lyke as he hath to good men. Also thys is not veray good that faylleth at nede. and that may be loste maulgre hym self And though theuys may not take them and robbe them. yet the deth taketh them awaye at the laste. Also I say that the veray goodes ayden alwaye and greuen neuer / but certeynlye suche goodes and suche graces forayn been ofte dammage and [Page] greue them that haue them / yf they vse them not wel accor­dyng to god. For somme auaunte them and been proude and despysen the other. whan they to whome god hath gyuen suche graces and suche goodes as I haue tofore sayd and named. yf they vse them not wel and Iustly accordyng to god. they shall be in gretter tormente in helle And straytly they must acompte and yelde a rekenynge at the day of dome / of that they haue doon. and how they haue vsed and despended it / Notwyth­stondyng they haue goten goodes that god hath lente to them for multeplyeng and encrees /

¶Here after is shewed of the goodes of grace capo. lxvj

NOw haue I shortly shewyd the lytel good & the moyen good. Now wyl I shewe to the whyche is the veray good ryghtful and parfyte. This doeth he whyche hath the good wyth ryghte and vnderstondyng· For wythoute the whyche was neuer no good wyth ryght. This good is cal­led the grace of god & vertue & charytee· Grace by cause that she gyueth lyf and helthe to the soule / For wythoute that. the soule is deed. For lyke as the body is dede withoute the soule So is the soule deed wythoute the grace of god. It is called vertue by cause it adourneth the soule with good werkys and wyth good maners / it is called charyte by cause it ioyneth the soule to god. and also dooth al thynge as it were wyth god. For charyte is no thynge ellys but a dere vnyte / That is the perfection and the beneurte to whyche we ought to entende. Moche were deceyued the auncyent phylosophres that so curyously dysputeden & enquyreden who was the souerayn good in thys lyf. and neuer coude they fynde ne knowe hit / For somme sette theyr studye and theyr wytte in the delytes of the body / The other in rychessys. the other in honeste / but the grete phylosopher Saynt Poul whyche was rauysshed vnto the [Page] thyrd heuen and passeth alle other phylosophres techeth vs by many reasons that the souerayn good in this lyf. and that the quene of vertues is to loue god & to haue veray charyte in hym self / For wythoute this good ne auaylen alle the other goodes ryght nought / And who that hath thys good of charyte he hath alle other goodes / & whan al other goodes shalle faylle / this good shal not faylle. and aboue al the grete goodes that been this charyte is lady / Thenne the grettest good that is vnder heuen is charyte. After by cause that thou wylte and desyrest thys good whyche by ryght is called vertue / and that thou desyrest to loue it moost. and to seche it aboue alle other goodes. I wyl yet shewe to the his valure. It is acustomed to deuyse thre maners of goodes in the world. that is to wyte goodes honourable / goodes delectable. & goodes prouffytable There be no moo goodes ne veray ne good ne fayre but these thre maners / And thys seest thou openlye of the world. that none desyreth ne loueth ony thynge but that he wene that it be honourable or delectable or prouffytable / ¶The proude se­cheth thynge honourable. The couetous man secheth thynges prouffytable / The delycious secheth thynges delectable. And whan they sechen this thynge vaynlye. Euery man ought to knowe that vert [...]es haue these thre propretees. For vertue is moche honourable and delectable & pro [...]ffytable /

¶what vertues ben goodes honourable capo. lxvij

WHyche vertues ben goodes honourable. this mayst thou see in thys manere. Syxe thynges been in this world moche desyred by cause that they seme moche honourable. that is to wete beaulte wytte prowesse power fraunchyse and no­blesse. These ben vj fontanyes of vanyte. Of vayn glorye cometh and sourdeth a plante. Beaulte is a thynge moche lo­ued. For it is a thynge moche honourable. and neuerthelesse [Page] beaulte that the eyen and the body see & loue / is a thynge fals couert and vayne. It is false for he or she is nothynge fayre But our eyen ben vayn and feble that see noo thynge but the skynne wythoutforth. Thenne who myght see as clere as a beest that is callyd a lynx whyche seeth thorugh oute a walle he shold cl [...]rely see that a fayr body nys but a whyte sacke ful of stynkyng dunge· & lyke a dunghylle couerd wyth snowe or wyth grene grasse. ¶Also I say to the that thys beaulte is moche shorte and not abydyng. For it is sone faylled & anone passed as a fume or a smoke. and as the flour of the felde or of the medowe. Anone as the soule departeth fro the body. fare wel al the beaulte is faylled and gone / Thenne the beaute that the body hath. the soule hath gyuen it to hym / And therfore moche fooles been al they that for the beaulte of the body gloryfye them self. But the beaulte of the soule is the ryght beaute. whyche alwaye encreaceth and neuer shal faylle. This is the v [...]ray beaulte by whiche the soule pleaseth god and to the aungellys that seen the herte / This beaulte rendreth and gyueth to the soule graces vertues and loue of god. For she reformeth reparaylleth and rendreth hyr ryght enprynte. That is the y­mage of hyr maker / whiche is beaulte wythout comparyson. and who best resembleth in getyng the vertues. in pluckyng vp and caste from hym alle synnes. & kepe hys commaunde­mentes entyerly he is moost fayre. ¶Thenne the moost fayre thynge that is vnder god. is the soule whyche hath parfytely his ryght fourme and his ryght clerete. colour of flour. clere­nesse of the sonne / fygure of man. and playsaunce of precyous stones. And al that the eye of the body seeth of beaulte is fylthe and foule to the regarde of the soule / & al that may be thought of beaulte may not be compared to the soule.

¶Of veray sapyence capitulo lxviij

WYtte & clergye is a thynge moche honourable. & moche do be preysed. But and yf thou wylte be wyse a ryght and lerne veray clergye. do soo that thou haue veray good. that is grace and vertues. That is the veray sapyence that enlu­myneth the herte of a man. lyke as the sonne enlumyneth alle the world. This wytte passeth and surmoūteth al the wytte of the world. lyke as the sonne passeth the clerenesse of the mone / For the wytte of the world nys but folye. lyke as the scrypture sayth / and chyldehode & wodenesse. Folye is in them that so moche louen the world and his beaulte / and that can not knowe the day fro the nyght / Ne Iuge bytwene grete & lytel. and bytwene precyous & vyle. They wene the mone to be the sonne / For they wene that the honour of the world be veray glorye. and a lytel apple to be a grete montayne. for they wene that the world be a grete thynge / But to the regarde of heuen it nys but pouerte. They wene that a glasse be a saphyr And they wene that theyr strengthe and theyr power be moche grete. whiche is more feble & more fraylle than is glasse / ¶Also I say that this chyldehode the wytte of the world is in them that so moche make them wyse for to kepe and ease the body and to be in delyces. whyche lyuen as a chylde / that seche nothynge ellys but to doo theyr propre wylle. In suche people reason is deed / & therfore they lyuen as beestys. for theyr wytte is al torned and corrupt / lyke as is the taste and sauour of a seek man or of a woman grete wyth chylde. whyche fyndeth more sauour and appetyte in a soure apple than in brede made of whete. & more sauour in a cool than in good metes / Also these peple may not byleue that there is more Ioye and delyte in louyng god & to serue and to honoure hym / than in doyng the wylle of the caroyne of theyr body / For they can not ryghtfully Iuge betwene swete & bytter. Also I say that the wytte [Page] of the world is wodenesse in them that soo moche be subtyl in fyndyng malyce for tengyne & deceyue other. be it by strengthe or by plee or by barate. And that ne thynke ne studye sauf to auaunce and enhaunce them self / and to greue other / Thys wytte as sayth saynt Iames is the wytte of the deuyl. whiche alwaye payneth hym self to do harme to other / But the veray wytte that the holy ghoost enseygneth and techeth to the fren­des of our lord is in knowyng wythoute mysprysyng what euery thyng is worthe. he sheweth that the world is vayn in beyng foule in valour / in louyng it and sauouryng it / The rychessys ben vyle and transytorye. And the delytes been bytter. After he gyueth feelyng that the loue of god & vertues is a thynge veray precyous and swete. veray for she fylleth the hert nouryssheth & susteyneth it. She is precyous for one may bye god & al that he hath. She is swete. for it is the manna that al thynges maketh swete. labour sorowe wepynges shames trybulacyons aduersytees martyrdoms and al paynes / And al that one may thynke to loue. it maketh it sauour lyke su­ [...]re / This is the wytte and the sapyence wherof the scrypture sayth. Thys is the sapyence oute of whyche groweth purete and veray conscyence /

¶Of the prowesse of the knyghtes of Ihesu Cryst capo. lxix

AFter I say that vertues and charyte gyuen veray pro­wesse / Thenne there is no prowesse by right. but in the knyghtes of god whyche the holy ghoost adoubeth and armeth wyth vertues and charyte / In prowesse been thre partyes. Hardynesse Strengthe & Stedfastnes / There is none noble by ryght but yf he haue these thre thynges / but yf he be hardy prudent & entreprenaūt of grete thynges. and stronge & puys­sant for to pursiewe them. and ferme and stable to fynysshe them. But wythoute wytte & wythout purueaunce nothyng [Page] auayllen none of these iij thynges. For lyke as sayth the book of the arte of chyualrye. Errour wythoute bataylle may not be amended. For it is anone compared. Folyssh enterpryse is where as lyeth lytel prouffyte. moche despence and grete payn and perylle. These been thenterpryses of them that been called wyse and hardy in this world. that theyr bodyes and theyr soules putten in synne in perylle and in payne for to gete a lytel loos and preysyng whiche is moche vayne. and lytel en­dureth ¶ But vertue maketh a man of grete herte and of wyse enterpryse. whan she maketh a man whiche is nothyng but erthe soo hardy. that he dare enterpryse to conquere the royalme of heuen. and to vaynquysshe alle the deuylles of helle that been so stronge ¶Thys enterprise is good wyse & moche prouffytable / For there is therin lytel perylle. and lytel payne but there is glorye honour and prouffyte inestymable. and perdurable wythout mesure. who hath noo vertu hath no grete herte. but he is lyke hym that is aferde of nought. Suche ben they that doubten the euylles / the aduersytees / perylles / & try­bulacyons of the world. And that haue drede to lese that / whyche they may not longe kepe ¶ They haue noo grete hert that gyue hit ouer for nought. lyke as doon they that gyue theyr hertes for to loue the goodes of fortune / which in trouthe been ryght nought / but fylthe charge and ordure to the regarde of the goodes and glorye perdurable ¶ Thenne suche people been lyke a chylde. that loueth better an apple or a myrrour than a royame / But vertu gyueth grete herte by ryght / For vertue maketh them to conquere heuen. despyse the world / and to bere grete dedes of penaunce. And to supporte and gladly suffre al the euylles of the world and to endure them for god­des sake / And also for to wythstonde and resyste alle the as­saultes of the deuyl / Lyke as the wyse and prudente Seneke saith. wepynges. myschaūces / sorows. trybulacōns / harmes shames. perylles. and al that whyche euyl fortune may me­nace [Page] & doo. haue nomore power ayenst vertu / than one drope of water shold do in the see. vertu maketh a man hardy as a lyon / stronge as an holyfaunte. ferme and durable as the sōne whyche alwaye renneth and is neuer wery. Thenne there is no prowesse ne strengthe but in vertues.

¶Of veray seygnorye which gyueth grace & vertues lxx

THus is there none veray seygnorye. but in vertues. A grete lord is he that knoweth alle the world. Suche a lord gyueth to a man suche vertues and grace. For he setteth a man in his ryght estate. in whiche he was fyrst sette in and made. The man was made in suche honour & in suche seygnorye. that he was lord ouer al creatures that were vnder he­uen. to whome al thynges obeyed. and to whome noo thynge myght noye ne greue. and this is the ryght estate to the man and to his seygnorye. but he lost this seygnorye by synne. And myght not recouer it ageyn but by vertu. But vertue setteth a man on hyghe. and setteth the world vnder his feet. and maketh hym to conuerse in heuen. vertue maketh a man by good ryght gretter lord of the world / than the kyng is of his roy­ame / For of the goodes of the world he hath as moche as his herte desyreth. he hath his vsage and his sustenaunce. and as moche as he may haue for suffysaunce. and more suffysantlye than the kyng hath in his royame / For al that the good hath and the euyl / al is his. Therfore of alle he dooth hys prouffyte and preyseth god and thanketh and loueth hym the more. and doubteth and serueth. And in thys he seeth and knoweth that euery creature is made for to serue hym. Also there is another seygnorye moche grete / withoute whome there is none by ryzt lord. for he is emperour & lord of hym self. that is of his body & of his hert. whiche he Iustyceth & holdeth them in good pees [Page] and dooth his wylle / For his herte is so ioyned to the wylle of god / so that of al that. that god doeth he thanketh hym. and it playseth hym wel / And thys is the seygnorye that vertu gyueth to hym that hath it. Of thys speketh seneke & sayth as grete honour gyueth god to the / whan thou art lord & em­perour of thy self & more thā a kyng / ha lord god how many kynges emperours & other grete lordes haue ben in the world & also barons / that haue citees / castellis. & royames that haue not this seygnorye. For they be not lordes of theyr hertes. By cause that it tormenteth ofte. by wrath or by maletalente. or by couetyse. or by desyre that they may not accomplysshe.

¶Here is spoken of veray fraunchyse capo. lxxj

AFter thys I say that there is none that hath veray fraū chyse / yf he haue not grace and vertue. Thenne yf thou wylte knowe what is veray fraūchyse of a man and of a woman by right. Thou oughtest to vnderstonde that a man hath iij maner of fraunchyses / One of nature. another of grace / and the thyrd of glorye. The fyrst is free wylle by whiche a man may chese and do frely good or euyl. This fraunchyse holdeth euery man of god so frely that no man may do it wronge ne alle the deuylles of helle may not enforce a man ayenste hys wylle to do a synne wythout his accorde and consentemente. For yf a man dyd euyl ayenst his wylle· he shold haue therof no synne. for as moche as he in no wyse myght eschewe it. lyke as sayth saynt austyn / This fredom and fraunchyse hath euery man / But this fredom is not in chyldren. ne in wood men. ne in fooles. by cause they haue not the vsage of reason by whiche they can chese the good from the euyl / A man putteth awaye from hym thys fraunchyse in grete partye whan he synneth dedelye. For he selleth hym self vnto the deuyll for the delyte of hys synne / And yeldeth hym selfe vnto hym. [Page] and bycometh his seruaunt by synne. so that he may not caste hym self out. ne put hym fro his wylle. for he hath deserued the deth of helle. yf the grace of god helpe hym not. The second fraunchyse is suche that the wyse man hath in this world / whome god hath fraūchysed by grace & by vertues from the seruyce of the deuyl. & fro synne. that they be not bonde to golde ne to syluer / ne to temporalle goodes of this world. ne to theyr bodyes whyche is caroyn. ne to the goodes of fortune / whyche the deth may sone take awaye. but they haue theyr hertes lyfte vp & gyuen to god. so that they preyse no thyng the goodes of the world. ne the honours. ne the vanytees / ne kyng / ne duc / ne meschaunce ne pouerte. ne shame. ne deth / For they been now deed to the world. & haue the hert so deceueryd & taken awaye fro the loue of the world. that they desyre the deth. lyke as the werkman his payment of his Iourney or dayes labour. and the labourer his hyre. & also lyke as they that ben in the tormēt and in the fortune of the see. desyre to come to port salue / And lyke as the prysonner desyreth good delyueraunce / and as the pylgrym desyreth to come ageyn in to hys contreye. And yf they be parfytelye free in thys world lyke as a creature may be. thenne fere they ne doubte they no thynge but god. and been in greet pees of herte. For they haue thenne theyr herte in god and been in heuen by desyre / And thys fraunchyse cometh of grace and of vertue. But yet al this fraunchyse nys but ser­uytude to the regarde of the thyrd. fraunchyse that they haue that been in glorye / They be verayly free. For they be verayly delyuerd fro alle perylles and fro alle tormentes. fro fere of deth and of deth. fro the grynnes & empesshemēs of the world fro myserye / fro pouerte. and fro al payne of herte and of body wythoute retornyng. Of the whiche thynge there is none free in thys world / how parfyte that he be /

¶Of veray noblesse capo. lxxij

WHo that shal haue the second fraunchyse of whyche I haue spoken shal come to grete noblesse / The veray no­blesse cometh of gentyl hert. Certeyn none hert is gentyl but yf he loue god. There is no noblesse but to serue and loue god and to kepe hym fro al synnes and from the seruage of the de.+uyl. Ne there is no vylanye but to angre god by synne. Ther is no man by ryght gentyl. ne noble of the gentylnesse of hys body. For as touchyng the body we ben al sonnes of one moder. That is of the erthe and of fylthe of whyche we al haue taken flesshe and blood. Of this parte there is none gentyl ne free. But our swete fader Ihesu Cryst whiche is kyng of heuen that fourmed the body of the erthe and created the soule to his ymage and semblaūce. and al in lyke wyse as it is of the carnal fader. that is moche glad and ioyous whan hys sone resembleth hym / Ryght so is it of our fader Ihesu Cryst. For by the holy scrypture. & by hys messagers he techeth vs. that we shold payne our self to resemble hym. And therfore he sent to vs hys blessyd sone Ihesu Cryst in to therthe for to brynge and gyue to vs the veray exemplayre. by whyche we may be reformed to hys ymage and semblaunce lyke as they that dwelle in the hye cytee of heuen / That been the angellys and the sayntes of heuen / where eueryche is of so moche more hye and more noble. As more proprely he bereth thys fayre y­mage / And therfore the holy men in thys world payne them self to knowe god. and to loue hym wyth alle theyr hert. and purge them clense and kepe them from alle synnes. For of so moche as the herte of a creature is more pure & more clene wythout synne / of so moche he seeth more clerely & more euy­dently the precious face of Ihesu cryst. & of soo moche he loueth more ardauntly. of so moche he resembleth more proprelye. [Page] And by that he hath the more gretter glorye. And thys is the veray noblesse that god hath gyuen vs / ¶And therfore sayth ryght wel Saynt Iohan the appostle and euangelyst / that thenne we shal be the sōnes of god / and we shal resemble hym proprely. whā we shal see hym euydently lyke as he is / This shal be in his glorye. whan we shal be in heuen. For no man seeth so dyscouerd ne so clerely the beaute of god. lyke as sayth saynt poule / But thenne we shal see hym face to face propre­ly and clerely whan we shal be in glorye in his Ioyous companye ¶ The veray noblesse of a man thenne begynneth by grace and by vertues / and that is parfyght glorye / This noblesse maketh the holy ghoost in the hertes that he purgeth and culumyneth in trouthe and in parfyte charyte / These been the grettest goodes that god hath done to aungellis lyke as saynt Denys sayth. by whiche they resemble theyr maker / Thus werketh the holy ghoost by grace and by vertue in the hertes of good men / by whyche they be reformed to thymage and to the semblaunce of theyr maker Ihesu Cryst as moche as it may be in this mortal lyf / For they reyse them self soo in god / and enbrace them self soo wyth the loue of god. And al theyr entendement. al theyr entencyon / theyr wylle / theyr memorye is alle conuerted to god / And this loue and this enbracement and desyre whyche encreaceth Ioyneth and vnyeth so the herte to god. that they may no thynge wylle. but that. that god wylle For there is not bytwene them and god but one self wylle. And thenne he hath thymage and the semblaunce of god as moche as may be had in thys world. And this is the moost grete noblesse & the moost hye gentylnesse to whyche one may atteyne or mounte. ¶Ha good god how ferre from thys noblesse and fro thys hyenesse ben they that make them so no­ble and soo queynt. Of thys poure noblesse that they haue of theyr moder the erthe whyche bereth and nouryssheth the hogges as wel as she dooth the Emperours and the Kynges. [Page] And they auaūte them of their gentylnesse. by cause they wene they be of more gentyl fylthe than the other. and of thys kyn­rede and parage conne they ryght wel recounte and telle / But that other syde & that other noblesse they beholde noo thynge at alle. of whyche cometh the veray noblesse & the gentyl parage They shold beholde and take hede to theyr veray exemplayr Ihesu Cryst / whyche more loued and honoured his moder. than dyd ony other man. And neuerthelesse whan one sayd to Ihesu Cryst. Syr your moder and your cosyns stonden wyth­oute to seche you. he answerd to them and sayd. And who is my moder and who is my fader and cosyns / who someuer do the wylle of my fader that is in heuen. he is my broder / he is my fader. my suster / and my moder. for thys is the noble syde and the gentyl kynrede / by whyche cometh and groweth to the herte veray glory. and of that other groweth vayne noblesse & pryde.

¶How charyte is grettest of vertues capo. lxxiij

NOw I haue suffysauntly shewyd to the that ther ben no goodes honourable by ryght but vertues and charyte. This is the fayr loue of god / For there is none other good prouffytable without this vertu of charyte. This wytnesseth to vs saynt poul that sayth thus. Yf I haue as moche scyence so that I knewe al clergye and al langages. & spake as wel as men or angellys. and knewe al the scryptures & the coun­seylles of god. and yf I delyuerd my body to martyrdom. and gaf al that I had to poure peple / & yf I dyd by myracles that the montaygnes lepen from one place to another. yf I had not the vertu of charyte / alle thys shold not auaylle me. ¶Now beholde thenne and take hede that saynt Poul whom we ought to byleue. hath here named the grettest thynges and good that one may doo. and that moost auaylle and prouf­fyten. That been penaunces of the body. to suffre martyrdom [Page] to ayde the poure peple. to conuert synners. and to haue scy­ence of langages / and thappostle sayth al these thynges auayllen not wythoute charyte. and yf suche & so grete goodes auayllen not. how shold lasse god auaylle. That same mayst thou knowe by reason. Thynke on this prouerbe whiche is co­munely sayd. As moche is a man worth as his londe is of value. This is as trewe as the pater noster / who wel vnder standeth. how the man is of noo value. or somme thynge or more or lasse. And this is noo doubte but it be that he haue loue and the charyte of god. & who that hath moost is moost worthe. and who that hath lasse is lasse worthe. & who that hath nought is nought worth. For how wel that a man hath temporalle goodes. lyke as is golde or syluer or other ry­chessys / or of spyrytuel goodes or naturalle. lyke as arte. en­gyne scyence clergy strengthe prowesse or other goodes / How shal I say that they prouffyten. for they been the moost parte more cruelly dampned. by cause they vse not aryzt the goodes that god hath lente to them for to multeplye & for to wynne than ben they that no thynge knowe. ¶ Also yf he doo bodyly werkys / as don the labourers the mynystrelles & other werk­men. or yf he do spyrytuel werkys as to faste wake clothe the poure were hayer. yf this be without charyte al this auaylleth nothyng. For he shal neuer haue therof meryte. But he that hath vertue and parfyght charyte / of al that that god sendeth hym in thys world he dooth hys prouffyte. and wyth al con­quereth grace and glorye. ¶ Charyte is good and sure mar­chaundyse. For oueral it wynneth & neuer leseth / She byeth al the good wares. and maketh al hyrs. and alwaye she hath hyr peny ageyn. This is the loue of the herte whiche is the peny / wyth whyche she byeth al the goodes of the world. and it remayneth alwaye in the almerye. loue of charyte hath in al places his sales. Charyte wynneth in al quarellys. and hath vyctorye in alle bataylles / She doeth so moche that it is as [Page] moche worthe to hyr to gyue a peny. as to another an hondred pounde / And also charyte dooth so moche that it auaylleth one as moche to faste one day. as another al the lente. and to saye one pater noster. as another to say a psaulter· And this is for none other reason. but by cause that as moche is a man worth as his londe is of valewe. and so moche ben worth his wer­kys / for so moche as a man hath veray loue in god. so moche he wynneth more euery day. The loue that a man hath to god is the poys and weyght of saynt Mychel. For none other thynge may not waye· whan one taketh euery day his wa­ges. but the loue and charyte. And therfore I say that there is none good prouffytable. proprely to speke by ryght but fayre loue and charyte.

¶Of two manere of delectable goodes capitulo lxxiiij

IN lyke wyse as god made man of body & soule. Ryght so hath he gyuen two maner of delectable goodes for to drawe his herte to hym. and in whome is al the veray delyte ¶The somme goodes comen wythoutforh and by the v wyttes of the body / by seyng by heryng by smellyng by tastyng & by touchyng. These v wyttes ben also as fyue conduytes / by whyche the goodes delectable of the world entren in to the hert for to delyte hym & for to lycke and drawe to the veray delyces whiche ben in god to serue to loue and to honoure hym. for al the delyte of this world that the fyue wyttes haue / been not but a drope of dewe to the regarde of the fontayn. that is Ihesu cryste / But of the grete see of these goodes. descendeth the drope of dewe / whan one seeth hit a ferre resemble to a precyous stone. But whan one weneth to take it. it falleth to grounde and bycometh nought. Thus is it of the delytes of the fyue wyttes bodely. whan one thynketh or fygureth or wyssheth or whan one desyreth them / it appyereth moche precyous. But [Page] whan a man hath & holdeth them. anon they be lost. & bycome truffes & dremes. Thynke on the delyte of the last yere. and of thy dreme to nyght. thou shalt see that al is one. anone they passen. & anone they comen ageyn. & in noo manere may they fulfylle the herte of a man. And yf in a drope be as moche swetenesse / that it is the swetenesse of al the fontayne / Thenne is that a delectable good / And therfore the wyse & holy men in al that they sawe in thys world / & sauoureden of the delecta­ble goodes of the world preyseden god. and moost desyreden the loue of hym. and the more that they sawe the dropes swete / the more they desyreden to come to the fontayne celestyal. And therfore it is wel knowen / that the more that one forgeteth the drope. the more he loueth the fontayn. and the reuerse / The more that one loueth the drope the more he hateth the fontayn & forgeteth it. And the more that the swetenesse of the world playseth to a creature whiche he soo moche desyreth / the lasse hath he of the swetenesse of god. Therfore the good men take the lasse of the swetenesse of the world as moche as they may and wyl not vse the flesshly delytes / ne the deduytes that co­men by the fyue wyttes bodyly / A good lord god how moche been they fooles. & more than beestys. that knowe wel that the body of a man is the moost foule thynge that may be. and that the soule of a man is the moost noble thynge. the moost precyous / and the moost noble creature that may be. Therfore they shold not wene that the goodes that come of the body be more delectable and swete. than they of the spyrite / whyche ben veray good. pure / & perdurable / and may fulfylle the herte and replenysshe it. Suche goodes gyueth god to a man in thys world. whan he gyueth to hym pees of herte & vyctorye a­yenst his synnes & ayenst thenemyes of helle. And gyueth to hym glorye of conscyence & apeasyble herte / whan he replenyssheth the herte wyth loue & spyrytuel Ioye / Of suche Ioye ne of suche delyte. no semblaūce ne no comparyson may be foūden [Page] in the ioyes of the world / ne been not but dropes to the regarde of the fontayne of swetenesse whyche is Ihesu Cryst. Thys is the fontayne of swetenesse of whyche our lord speketh in the gospel. who that shal drynke of the water that I shal gyue hym. he shal become a lyuyng fontayne. whyche shalle make hym lepe in to the lyf perdurable. This is the fontayn of ioye of swetenesse and of charyte. which may fylle and replenysshe the herte. And none other thynge what someuer it be may not fylle it ¶Of this fontayne hath tasted Dauyd the pro­phete whyche sayth in his psaulter. O lord god how moche is the multytude of thy grete swetenesse / whyche thou kepest to thy seruauntes. and departest to thy frendes. And certayn who had wel tasted and sauoured thys swetenesse that god hath gyuen to his frendes / he shold despyse al the delyces & alle the Ioyes of thys world / and shold chese and reteyne the spy­rytuel Ioye. And shold do lyke as they that bulte the mele and deceuereth the flour fro the brēne and grous. and as they that make the oyle / that take the clere pure fatte. and leue the grosse matere. For Ioye of the herte that cometh of god to loue / to serue and honour hym whyche is veray Ioye parfyte / lyke as sayth the prouerbe. That none hath parfyght Ioye yf it come not of loue / And therfore thys ioye is callyd oylle in holy scripture. lyke as our lord sayth by the prophete. I shalle gyue sayth he Oylle of Ioye for wepynge. This is ioye of herte pure and veray for wepyng of penaunce. Of thys oylle ben enoynted they that god hath made kynges and lordes of the world and of them self / And thenne is a man parfyte crysten whan he is enoynted with holy cresme. For of crisme is said crys. and of cryst is sayd crysten / that is of Ihesu Cryste And who that is enoynted of suche oynement. that is of Ioye and loue of god. he lyueth in god & god in hym. lyke as the appostle sayth / And thys is thenne the lyf of a Crysten / that is to speke ryght. the lyf of a man / Thys is a good lyf and & [Page] blessydnes that al crysten men ought to seche and desyre for to gete the lyf perdurable. ye knowe moche wel that he is not in lyf. but in langour / that alwaye lyueth in payne. in thought & in anguysshe. This is no thynge. but now wepe. & anone laughe. Now is ease. now is he at mysease / now is he in an­gre. now is he in pees. now in Ioye. now in sorowe. Thenne who that wyl lede a good lyf / & lyue Iustly wythout synne. seche he that he haue the veray good. thenne he shal haue lyf honourable / delectable and prouffytable. And thenne he shal lyue as a man resonable. That is to say holyly / ordynatly. wysely Ioyously and meryly / Meryly wythout angre. wysely wyth­out errour· and Ioyously wythout sorowe. and thys lyf hath one by grace and by vertu / & none otherwyse /

¶Here after is spoken of vertues in especyal capo. lxxv

NOw I haue shewyd to the generally here tofore the dygnyte and the valure of the vertue of charyte. & wherfore one ought to gete it. For grete prouffyt cometh for to haue it. as Ioye. honour. & glorye perdurable. But by cause men knowe not the thynge so wel in general as they do in specyal Therfore is myn entencyon to speke of vertues in especyal. in suche manere that eueryche that wyl studye in this book may ordeyne his lyf by vertu & by good werkys. For otherwyse lytel shold auaylle to knowe the good yf he do it not. For lyke as sayth Saynt Iames the appostle. who that knoweth the good and dooth it not / he synneth and mysdoeth / he is a fool that knoweth the right waye. and ernestly gooth oute of hyt The holy scrypture sayth thus. The wyse man or wyse wo­man hath a fayr gardyn ful of verdure & fayre trees and of good fruytes· wherof god sayth in the book of loue to the holy soule. My suster. my frende thou art a gardyn enclosed of two closures. That is of the grace of god and of angellys. Thys [Page] gardyn planted the grete gardyner / That is god the fader whan that he admolysshed and made softe the herte of the creature humayn. & made it swete & traytable lyke waxe chauf­fed / and as good erthe wel arayed and cultyued. and worthy that good ympes shold be therin planted. These ympes been the vertues whyche the holy ghoost bydeweth with hys grace The blessyd sone of god. whyche is the veray sonne / by the vertu of his clerenesse maketh them to growe on hye & prouffyte These thre thynges be necessarye to al the thynges that growe in erthe. that is to wete. erthe couenable / humour nouryssha­ble / and hete resonable / wythoute these thre thynges spyrytu­ally may not the ympes of vertues growe ne brynge forth fruyte. These thynges maketh the grace of the holy ghoost in the herte of the persone. and maketh to wexe grene / to flou­rysshe and to fructefye. & it maketh hym as a gardyn moche delectable ful of good and precyous trees. But in lyke wyse as god planted in paradys terrestre plente of good trees and of fruyt. And in the myddle he planted a tree. whyche was called the tree of lyf. By cause that hys fruyt had strengthe & vertu to kepe the lyf to them that shold ete of hit wythout dey­eng. and wythoute euer to haue ony maladye or sekenesses / Ryght so doth he spyrytuelly in the hert of a persone. The grete gardyner / that is god the fader. For he planted the trees of vertues / And in the myddle he sette the tree of lyf / That is Ihesu cryst. whyche sayth in the gospel. who that eteth my flesshe and drynketh my blood hath lyf perdurable. Thys tree en­uerdureth and embelyssheth by his vertu alle that whyche is in paradys / By the vertu of this tree growen & flourysshen and fructefyen alle the other trees. In this tree is al good / as moche as there is / This tree is to be preysed and to be loued for many thynges. For the rote. for the fruyt / for the stocke / for the floure. for the odour. for the leef / and for hys fayre sha­dowe. The rote of thys tree is the ryght grete loue and the [Page] oultrageous charyte of god the fader / of whyche he loued vs so moche. that for to bye ageyn his euyl seruaunte / he gaf his ryght blessyd sone & delyuerd hym to deth & to tormente / Of this rote speketh the prophete & sayth thus. That a rodde shal yssue of the rote of Iesse / This word is as moche to saye as embracer of loue. The stocke of this precyous tree. is the precyous flesshe of Ihesu Cryst. The herte of this tre. that was the holy soule in whyche was the precyous marghe of the sapyence of god. The barke of the tree was the fayr conuersacion wythoutforth. The droppynges of this tree & the body. weren thre precyous thynges and of ryght grete vertu / whyche yssu­eden and dropped out of the precyous membres of Ihesu crist that were the water. the teres. the swete and the blood / The leuys of this tree weren the precyous & holy wordes of Ihesu Cryst whyche heleden al maladyes / The floures were the holy thoughtes of Ihesu Crist whiche were fayr / honest & beryng fruyt / The fruyt weren the twelue apostles / whyche fedde alle the world & nourysshed it wyth theyr holy doctryne. by theyr examples. by theyr good werkys. & wyth theyr benefaytes. The braunche of this tree in one sens. been al the chosen that euer were / and that ben. and that euer shal been / For lyke as our sauyour Ihesu Cryste sayd to his appostles. I am sayd he the vygne. and ye ben the braunches ¶In another sens. his braunches were his fayre vertues. and his gloryouse exem­ples / whyche he shewyd by werke / and taught them wyth his mouth. These were the parfyte vertues & ful of veray be­neurte & blessydnesse / whyche Ihesu Cryst shewed to his pryue frendes to the xij apostles. whome he ledde in to the mon­tayne / and there he satte as sayth the gospel. and his dyscyples were aboute hym. And thenne the debonayr Ihesus opened his mouth & sayd Blessyd be the poure of spyryte. for the royalme of heuen is theyres. Blessyd be the debonayr for they shalle be lordes of the erthe. Blessyd be they that wepen / For they shal [Page] be comforted. Blessyd be they that haue hungre and thurst for Iustyce / for they shal be ful fedde. Blessyd be the mercyful. for they shal fynde mercy. Blessyd be they that be clene of hert. for they shal see god. Blessyd be the peasyble. for they shal be cal­lyd the sones of god. ¶These ben the seuen braunches of lyf of the blessyd sone of god Ihesu Cryste. In the shadowe of thys tree ought the fyne. and good herte to shadowe hym. & oughte to see and beholde these fayre braunches. whiche bere the fruyte of lyf perdurable / In these braunches and in these seuen wor­des is enclosed all hyenesse. al perfection of grace. of vertu & of blessydnesse. as moche as may be had in this world. and to haue and atteyne in that other. For these ben seuen rules of holy lyf whyche Ihesu Crist taughte to hys chyldren. This is the veray phylosophye that the maystre of angellys enseyg­ned to his dyscyples ¶ In these wordes is enclosed alle the somme of veray perfection of the newe lawe of loue and of swetnesse. And it is wel sayd newe. For it may wel wexe olde. lyke as dyd tholde lawe to the Iewes. And by cause that the soule was woxen olde by synne. it is made yonge ageyn and bycomen newe by these wordes aforesayd. It is veray newe and desguysed fro the other lawes. lawe is said by cause it is bounden / But the other bynden. and thys vnbyndeth / The other chargen / this dyschargeth. The other lawes men [...]cen and threten / thys lawe promyseth / In other lawes is plee / In this newe lawe is pees / In other lawes is drede / In this newe lawe is loue / The other lawes haue maledyctyon and cursyng. this newe lawe hath benedyction and blessyng / ¶Thenne is this newe lawe al ful of beneurte and blessyd­nesse / And therfore ben blessyd alle they that kepe it & accom­plysshe it. this sayth Salamon. For al they that kepe it wel wynnen the tree of lyf perdurable. Thenne these vij wordes abouesayd whyche god sayd ben callyd blessynges / For they make a man to be blessyd as moche as he may be in thys [Page] present lyf. and yet more blessyd in that other. Now hast thou herde what the tree of lyf is. whyche is in the myddel of paradys whyche god planted in the holy soule / In the shadow of thys tree groweth & prouffyteth the fruyt; The tree of vertu­es whyche god the fader. that is the grete gardyner / planted in this gardyn. and bydewed it wyth the fontayne of grace. which maketh it wexe grene. growe & to prouffyte / & holdeth it in vertue. and in lyf / This fontayne is departed in to seuen ryuers. These ben the vij yeftes of the holy ghoost. which arowsen & watren al the gardyn. Now beholde the ryght grete cur­tosy of god. whyche cam in to this world. for to seche & saue that whyche was loste. by cause that he knewe wel our po­uerte and our feblenesse. by whych we may falle in to synne But by our self we may not relyeue vs ne yssue out of synne ne gete vertue ne do none other good / but yf it be by the grace of god / or that it come of hys yefte. and therfore he cesseth not to excyte vs that we praye and requyre hym of these yeftes. And promyseth moche to vs / that yf we requyre & demaunde hym ony thynge that is good for vs / and that it be ryghtfull we shal haue it. And yet the debonayr Ihesus dooth vnto vs more of his curtosye. For he is our aduocate that formeth for vs our requeste and our petycyon. For we haue not the wytte yf he formed it not to vs. ¶ The petycion. the requeste or oryson that the swete Ihesus enformed and taughte vs wyth his blessyd mouth / is moche fayr. moche good / and but shorte by cause we shold reteyne it wel / That is the pater nos­ter. wherin been vij petycyons and requestys. by the whyche we requyre our good fader Ihesu Cryst. that he gyue vs the vij yeftes of the holy ghoost / that he delyuer vs fro the vij dedely synnes. and that he take them awaye fro our hertes. And in stede of the sayd synnes. that he by hys grace wylle plante there and nourysshe the vij vertues / whyche brynge vs to the vij blessynges of perfectyon & of holy lyf. by which we may [Page] haue the promysses that the debonayr Ihesus maad and pro­mysed to hys chosen peple in the seuen wordes aforesayd. ¶Thenne our entencyon is wyth the ayde and grace of the holy ghoost. to speke fyrst of the seuen petycions of the holy ghoost whyche been conteyned in the holy pater noster. ¶After I purpose to saye of the yeftes of the holy ghoost / After of the seuen vertues. ageynst the seuen dedely synnes / ¶The seuen pety­cyons and requestes ben lyke as seuen fayr maydens that ne­uer cesse to drawe the lyuyng waters oute of seuen ryuers for to watre and arouse these seuen trees that bere the fruyte of lyf perdurable /

¶ The seuen petycyons an drequestes that been conteyned in the holy Pater noster capitulo lxxvj


WHan a lytyl chylde is sette to scole. atte begynnīg he lerneth his pater nos­ter / who that wyl lerne of this clergye & knowe it. he muste be lytel and humble as is a chylde. For our good mayster Ihesu Cryst techeth his scolers this clergye whiche is the moost prouffy­table and the moost fayr that is / who that thys doctryne wel knoweth. vnderstondeth / and wel reteyneth hyt [Page] For suche there be that wene wel for to vnderstonde it. that noo thynge knowe therof / by the barke or rynde wythoutforth That is the lettre whyche is good. But lytel is hit worth to the regarde of the margh [...] / of the goodnes and of the grete substaunce whyche wythinforth is so swete / ¶ It is moche shorte in wordes and moche longe in substaunce / lyght to saye and subtyl for to vnderstonde. ¶Thys prayer and oryson passeth and surmounteth alle other in thre thynges. That is to wyte / In shortnesse / In dygnyte / and in prouffytablenesse ¶The dygnyte is in that. that the ryght blessyd sone of god made it. to god the fader in shorte wordes. God the holy ghoost touchyng hys demaunde. he wyl that it be shorte in wordes. by cause that none ne excuse hym to lerne it and to conne it / ¶And also by cause that none shold be greued to say it wyl­lyngly and ofte. And for to shewe that god the fader hereth vs ryght soone / and graūteth it gladly whan we praye hym wyth good herte. so that it be not of longe ryotte ne of wor­des polysshed ne rymed / ¶For swete Saynt Gregory sayth Verayly for to werke is not to saye fayre and glosyng wor­des wyth the mouthe. but to caste oute wepynges and depe syghes from the herte. ¶ The valure and the prouffyte of thys oryson or prayer is so grete / that it compryseth and encloseth in wordes moche shorte / alle that whyche may be desy­red of herte. and prayed and demaunded of mouthe. That is to be delyuerd of alle euylles. and replenysshed wyth al goodes ¶Thus begynneth the holy pater noster. Fader our that arte in heuen. ¶Beholde now how our good aduocate. and our ryghte good and blessyd mayster our Lord Ihesus Cryste whyche is the sapyence of god the fader. and that knoweth al the vsages and alle the lawes of his courte / techeth vs for to plete wel. and to speke wysely / subtylly. and shortly. But cer­teynly yf the fyrst worde that thou sayest. fader oure that arte in heuen· yt that it be wel vnderstonden and wel poursyewed [Page] he shalle gyue to the alle thy requeste and alle thy demaunde / ¶For Saynt bernard sayth that the oryson that begynneth by the ryght name of god the fader / gyueth to vs hope to Impetre and gete alle our prayes and requestys ¶ Thys swete worde fader. whyche maketh swete alle the remenaunte. she­weth to the that. whyche thou oughtest to byleue / and somoneth the to that. whyche thou oughtest to doo. And these two thynges saueth the man whan he byleueth wel and a ryght And whan he dooth after that he ought to doo. whan thou callest hym fader / thou knowest that he is lord of the hous. that is of heuen and of erthe. and capytayn and begynnyng. And fontayne of whome alle creatures and alle goodes comen. Thus knowlechest thou in that. his puyssaunce and myght / ¶After I say by cause that he is a fader / he is ordeynour. go­uernour. and pourueour of his meyne. and specyally of hys chyldren / that is of the men whome hym selfe hath created. made and fourmed to his semblaūce. and in this thou knowlechest hys sapyence / yet also sythe that he is a fader by nature and by ryght. he loueth that whyche he hath maad. Lyke as sayth the book of Sapyence. And he is debonayr and loueth and nouryssheth hys chyldren / and dooth theyr prouffyte bet­ter than they can deuyse / And he beteth and chastyseth theym whan they mysdoon for theyr prouffyte as a good fader. And gladly he receyueth them vnto mercy and to pardon. whan they haue trespaced / and retorne to hym by grete repentaūce And by thys we knowe hys bountee and hys grete debo­nayrtee ¶Now I haue shewed vnto the thenne thys worde. whan thou sayest fader. hys Puyssaunce. hys Sapyence· hys bountee and hys debonayrte / ¶On that other parte he remembreth thy selfe. thy noblesse. thy beaultee. and thy rychesse. ¶Of more grete noblesse ne mayst thou not be sone Ne vnto soo grete a kynge. Ne vnto so myghty or puyssaunt an Emperour as is god. For more gretter rychesse mayste [Page] thou not haue. than to be heyre of all that he hath. More grete beaulte mayst thou not haue than to resemble hym by ryght. The whyche beaulte is soo grete that it passeth the beaulte of man and of angellys. Thenne thys worde fader remembreth the that thou arte hys sone. by cause that thou paynest thy self to resemble hym. as a good sone ought to resemble hys fader and to ensyewe thy good fader. in alle good vertues and in alle good werkys. That is to say that thou be wyse and no­ble. vygorous stronge and puyssaunte to doo wel / to kepe the from alle synnes. and strongely resyste ayenst the temptacy­ons of the fende / And that thou be wyse and aduysed. large. curtoys. swete and debonayr. clene wythoute vylonye & wyth oute synne / lyke as is thy fader our lord Ihesu Cryste. And that thou hate synne and fylthe and al euyl. as dooth thy good fader Ihesu cryst. so that thou forsake hym not. This worde thenne fader. remembreth the al the tymes that thou sayest it. that yf thou be his good and trewe sone. thou oughtest to re­semble hym by nature. by commaundemente and by ryghte. For thou owest to hym loue. honour. reuerence and drede. ser­uyse and obedyence. Now thynke thenne whan thou sayest thy pater noster / that thou be to hym a good sone and trewe yf thou wylte that he be to the a good fader and debonayr. hyt is sayd to a knyght. thynke whos sone thou arte / for to gyue to hym the gretter courage. whan he entreth in to the tournoy­eng. here seest thou how this fyrst worde whan thou sayest fa­der. how swete it is. and how it admonesteth the. that thou be valyaunte and noble. & techeth the what thou sholdest be.

¶wherfore thou sayst fader oure. and not fader myn lxxvij

NOw demaunde I of the wherfore that thou sayest fa­der oure· and thou sayest not fader myn. ¶And vnto [Page] whome thou accompanyest the / whan thou sayest gyue to vs and not gyue to me / None ought to say fader our. but he that is his sone by nature wythoute begynnyng and wythoute en­dyng. That is the blessyd sone of god Ihesu Cryst. But we ben not his sones by nature. but in as moche as we be maad to his ymage and to his semblaunce / Soo ben the sarasyns & the Iewes. we been his sones by grace and by adopcyon. Adopcyon is a worde of lawe / For the lawe of the Emperours. whan an hye man hath no chyldren / he may chese the sone of a poure man yf he wyl. and make of hym hys sone and hys ayer yf he wyl by adopcyon / Thys is by aduoerye. And by that he shal be hys herytyer and hys heyr and haue hys hery­tage ¶ Thys grace hath gyuen to vs the sone of god the fa­der wythoute our deserte. lyke as Saynt Poul sayth / whan he maad vs come to baptesme / where as we were poure and naked / and alle sones of wrath and of helle ¶Thenne whan we say fader our / and we say gyue to vs / we accompanye wyth vs alle our brethern by adopcion. whyche been sones of holy chyrche / by the faythe that they receyued in baptesme / ¶Now we shewe thenne by thys worde oures. the largesse and the curtosye of god our fader. whyche gyueth more gladly ynough than lytel. to many than to one / wherof Saynt gregory sayth. that the prayer that is comyn is moche worth and prouffytable. In lyke wyse as the candel is better employed and is more prouffytable that serueth and lyghteth many men / than that whych serueth & lyghteth but one man allone This worde fader oure admonesteth vs to yelde thankynges wyth alle our hertes of thys grace whyche god hath doon to vs. by whiche we ben his sones and his heyres. & that moche ardauntly we ought to loue our brother and fader Ihesu cryst whyche hath accompanyed vs wyth hym to thys grace. ¶This worde oure admonesteth that we kepe in our hertes the holy ghoost whyche is our wytnesse of thys adopcyon / [Page] ¶And lyke as he were a gayge or wedde. Thys sayth the appostle Saynt Poule. By whome we be sure. that we shal haue the herytage of our fader our lord Ihesu Cryste. That is the glorye of our fader of heuen. ¶Thys worde fader our techeth vs and sayth that we been alle brethern. bothe grete and smale. Poure and ryche. hyghe and lowe. of one fader and of one moder / That is of god and of holy chyrche. And that noo man ought for to despyse. ne mespreyse another. but to loue hym as hys owne brother. And that one oughte to ayde and helpe another. lyke as the membres doo of one selfe body / ¶ And also we ought to praye the one for that other lyke as sayth the blessyd appostle Saynt Iames. and in this our prouffyte is moche grete / For whan thou sayest thy prayer in comyn. thou hast parte in al the comynalte of holy chirche ¶And for one Pater noster that thou sayest. thou wynnest more than an hondred thousand.

¶ Thys worde oures techeth vs to hate thre thynges in es­pecyal. Pryde. Hate. and auaryce / Pryde putteth a man oute of companye / whan he wyl be aboue alle other people. Hate putteth hym oute of companye. For whan he hateth & war­reth one. he warreth alle the other / Auaryce putteth hym oute of companye· For he wyl not hym self. ne that hys thynges comyne wyth other / And therfore suche peple haue noo parte ne companye in the holy pater noster· Thys worde our. she­weth that god is oures. yf it be not in our deffaulte. yf we wyl. The fader the sone & the holy ghoost. That is yf we kepe his commandementes lyke as the gospel sayth.

¶why we say. qui es in celis capitulo lxxviij

WHan that I say. qui es in celis. that is to say. which art in heuen. I say two thynges. lyke as I shalle say / [Page] The kynge is at parys. I say two thynges. that he is a kyng and that he is at parys. Ryght so whan I say that he is in heuen. I say that he is. and that he is in heuen ¶It is founden in holy scrypture in two bookes of the lawe that god appyered to moyses the prophete in a montayne and sayd to hym. Goo thou in to Egipte and say to kyng pharao on my behalue that he delyuer my peple the chyldren of Israel from the seruage. wherin he holdeth them. Syr sayd moyses yf it be demaunded of me how ye be named what shal I say / I am that I am. sayd god. Thus shalle thou say to the chyldren of Israel. He that is sendeth me to you. ¶Now sayen the holy and good clerkys. that emonge al the hye names of our lord this name is the fyrst and moost propre / And that moost aryght techeth vs what god is. For alle hys other names. eyther they speke of his bounte. or of hys excellence. or of hys sapyence / or of hys puyssaunce. or that he is suche or suche That is the right good. the ryght wyse / the ryght fayre / the ryght puyssant / and many other wordes as been sayd of hym to hys loange and preysyng. whyche say noo thynge of the beyng of god / But we that ben grosse and rude to speke of soo hye a thynge / speke of god. lyke as one speketh and deuyseth of a man of whome he knoweth not the name / Thus as it is sayd / he is a kyng he is a duc. he is an erle / he is soo grete / he is soo fayre / he is so ryche. he is soo large. And many of suche propretees and Accydents. How and by what manere one may knowe what he is / and what manere man / But he sayth not hys propre name a ryght / ¶ But thus as we speke of god we fynde many fayre and swete wordes. The whych shewe vnto vs somme thynge of hym / ¶But there nys no word soo propre / as thys same word here folowyng / qui est. which so proprelye is shewed to vs and soo subtylly. In as moche as our entendemente may stratche and compryse / ¶For our blessyd Lord Ihesu cryste is he. that is onelye. [Page] lyke as Iob sayth. he is onelye. for to say ryght. For he is o­nelye perdurable wythout begynnyng and wythoute endyng / But this may not be sayd of none other thynge. After he is veray trouthe. For he is waye & trouthe. Alle thynges crea­ted. that ben creatures. ben vayn and vanytees as Salamon sayth / and be nought to the regarde of hym / & to nought shall they come. fro whens they came yf he susteyne them not. & kepe them by his vertu. yet also he is onelye establement and sted­fastnesse. For he is alwaye hym self / and in one self poynte wythoute trouble wythout to chaunge hym / wythout to mo­eue hym in ony maner. thys sayth Saynt Iames. Al other thynges been moeuable in somme manere of theyr nature. Thenne is he proprely called / that is. For he is verayly wyth­oute vanyte / establysshement. wythout begynnyng / wythoute ende. wythout he was. and wythout he shal be. for in hym is no departyng. Now oughtest thou here vnderstonde that he is And that there is no thynge that may better be knowen than this. that god is / And therfore I counceyl the that thou muse not tenquyre ferther / For thou mayst sone erre and goo oute of the waye. late it suffyse to the that thou say. Fader our that arte in heuen / Trouth it is that he is oueral present. in erthe in heuen. in see. and in helle. lyke as he is in heuen / But it is sayd that he is in heuen. by cause that he is more seen there. more knowen. more byloued / & more honoured ¶After I say that the debonayr Ihesus is in persones spyrytuel & deuoute That is in the holy hertes. that ben hye / clensyd / clene & pur­ged from alle synne as is the heuen / For in suche hertes is he seen. knowen. honoured & loued. ¶Now hast thou herde these iiij wordes Pater noster qui es in celis / The fyrst word so­moneth the to honour god. The second to loue god. The thyrd to redoubte god. For how wel he be fader and oure. alwaye he is Iuste and not meuable. The fourth word somoneth the to engyne thy self to hym and to encorage and enforce the. for [Page] [...]yth he is so hye and thou arte so lowe / yf thou be not hardy & vygorous to vaynquysshe al synnes / to resyste al the temptaci­ons of the enemye / and to kepe hooly his commandementes. thou shalte not come in to the glorye of heuen / ¶The fyrst word abouesayd sheweth to vs the lengthe of hys eternytee. The second the largesse of his charyte. The thyrd the depnesse of his veryte and trouthe / And the fourth the hyenesse of hys mageste. who someuer shal haue these foure thynges attay­ned wythoute doubte he shal be wel blessyd.

¶How Sanctificetur nomen tuū is expowned capo. lxxix

Now hast thou herde the prologue of the holy pater noster whyche is lyke vnto an entre in to a towne. A lord god who that wel coude al thys songe / he shold fynde therin many swete notes / For it is no doubte that in the prayer and songe spyrytuel whyche the sapyence of god made. he that taught the byrdes to synge / hath many notes and wordes subtyl & swete in his holy songe and prayer of the holy pater noster. how wel that it conteyneth lytel letter. In thys songe and excellente oryson ben vij notes. whyche ben the seuen petycyons and re­questes of the holy pater noster. whyche gete and Impetre the seuen yeftes of the holy ghoost / whyche put awaye & destroye the seuen vyces capytal of the hert. those ben the seuen dedely synnes. And they plante & nourisshe the vij vertues. by the which one may come to the seuen blessynges / Of these vij peticions and requestes The thre fyrst make a man holy as moche as he may be in thys world / The iiij after maketh hym parfytly Iuste / Alle the holynesse of a man that is made to thymage of the holy Trynyte after thre thynges that ben in the soule. that is to wete / memorye. entendement and wylle is in iij thyn­ges / In this that the soule be parfytely purged. and the wylle parfytly enlumyned. & the vnderstondyng parfytly confermed [Page] in god. & wyth god in the memorye. And the more the soule receyueth of god these iij thynges. the more habondantly and more proprely she approcheth more to his ryght beaute natu­relle· That is to the semblaunce of the fader & of the sone· & of the holy ghoost. That is whan god the fader confermeth vnto hym his memoire. God the sone enlumyneth to hym his vnderstondyng. God the holy ghoost purgeth in hym hys wylle These thre yeftes we requyre in the iij fyrst peticions of the ho­ly pater noster. whan we say / Sāctificetur nomen. we shewe to our good fader curtoysly our pryncypal desyre. whyche we ought alwaye to haue. That is that his gloryous name be sanctyfyed. & that it be confermed in vs. Thenne whan we say Sanctificetur nomen tuum. we shewe to our good fader Ihesu Cryst curtoysly our desyre / That is to say Syr thys is our souerayn desyre. This requyre we aboue alle thynges that thy blessyd name be sanctyfyed in vs. That is thy good renōmee / thy knowleche. thy fayth be confermed in vs. In thys fyrst petycyon we requyre the fyrst & the pryncypal yefte of the holy ghoost / That is the yefte of sapyence whyche ma­keth stedfast. & confermeth the herte in god. & Ioyneth hym so to hym that he may not be desioyned ne deceuerd. Sapyence is said of sauour & for to sauoure / for whan a man receyueth this yefte. he tasteth & assauoureth. & feleth the swetenesse of god. lyke as is felte the swetenesse of good wyne by the taste better than by the syght. But to thys that thou vnderstonde better what it is to say. Thy name be santyfyed. Thou ough­test to knowe that this word / Saynt is as moche to saye as pure. as golde. as erthe / as dyed in blode. as confermed. In these fyue maners is sayntyfyed the holy ghoost of sapyence in the hert of a man. Fyrst he clenseth & purgeth lyke as the fyrefyneth and purgeth the golde & the syluer / after he taketh it a­waye fro the erthe. that is fro al carnal affections. & maketh al to bycome lothely that whyche he was wonte to loue / lyke [Page] as the water is hated to hym that is lykorous to the good wyne / After he haloweth hym self alle to the seruyce of god. For he leueth al charges. & putteth hym self al to thynke on god and to loue serue and honoure hym. lyke as the chyrche & the monasterye is halowed to the seruyce of god. Soo that he ought none other thynge doo but to serue and honoure god. After he dyeth hym self in blode / For he putteth hym selfe in one so stronge and ardant loue and in so swete loue of Ihesu Cryst / and of deuocyon. that whan he thynketh on hym and on his passyon / he is as he were alle dronke of the precyous blood that Ihesu Cryste shedde for hym in hys holy passyon lyke as is a soppe of hote brede / whan it is put in wyne. This is a newe bapteme / For to dye and to baptyse is alle one. After he confermeth hym in god soo strongelye / that nothyng may dysseuere ne desioyne hym. Now thenne / wylle thou to say thys word / thy name be sayntyfyed in vs· That is to say gyue to vs the yefte of sapyence by whyche we may be soo fy­ned as is the golde. and the syluer in the fornays / and clensed fro alle ordures of synne. by which we be dronken of his loue and that al other loues be to vs bytter / by whyche we be soo gyuen to the and to thy seruyce. that we neuer retche of none other charge. to thende that we be not onelye wesshen fro alle synnes / but dyed in grayne. renewed and rebaptysed in the precyous blode of Ihesu Cryst by deuocyon of feruent loue / to thys that the blessyd name of our good fader Ihesu Cryst be soo confermed in vs / that he be our good fader. and we his good sones and his seruauntes. as very obedyent to alle hys commandements. and in suche manere. that no thyng what someuer it be / may come ne happene to desioyne thys fastnes ne thys grace. Moche is grete the grace of god whā the wylle of the creature humayn is so rooted in god & confermed that it may not wagge ne moeue for no temptacyon / Moche gretter a thynge it is / whan one is so affermed in the loue of god [Page] and so dronken in his swetenesse. that no soulas. ne no comforte / ne no playsaunce may not be had but in hym. & thenne is the herte parfytelye confermed in god. whan the memorye is so fastned & ioyned to hym. that it may not thynke on noo thynge but on hym / And thys requyre we whan we saye / Sanctificetur nomen tuum. that is to say / Syr thy name be sayntyfyed in vs.

¶Here is the second petycyon and requeste of the holy pater noster capitulo lxxx

ADuemat regnum tuū. This is the second petycyon & requeste of the holy pater noster. where we praye & re­quyre. that the royame of god come in vs. and be wythin vs Our lord sayth in the gospel to his dyscyples. The royalme of god is now wythin you. Now vnderstonde wel how this may be / whan god gyueth to a persone in his herte the spyrite of vnderstondyng. Thus as the sonne taketh awaye the derknesses of the nyght. and wasteth the cloudes and the mystes in the mornyng. Ryght soo wasteth thys spyrite and taketh awaye alle the derknesses of the herte. and sheweth hym al his synnes and defaultes grete and smale / lyke as the rayes of the sonne sheweth the motes and the duste that is in the hous / ¶ Also this spyrite of vnderstondynge sheweth on that other parte. not onelye that which is within hym. but that which is vnder hym. helle. and that whyche is aboue hym / heuen· & that whyche is aboute hym. alle the fayre creatures / whych al preysen god and wytnessen how god is fayr. good. wyse. pu­yssant. swete. and grete. And who that seeth moost clere the creatures. is moost desyryng to see god. but lete hym consydere that he is not pure ne worthy to see hym. Thenne the good herte / trewe and deuoute chauffeth hym / and is angry wyth hym self / Thenne he begynneth to entre in to his herte. and to [Page] examyne hym. And there he fyndeth so many synnes. vyces. pouertees / deffaultes. troublynges of herte and of thoughtes & euyl wylle / that he is angry wyth hym self by grete contrycyon and desplayser that he hath of hys synnes· And thenne he begynneth to clense his herte and purge hym of al ordures of synne by bytter repentaunce / and by deuoute confessyon / and after by sharpe and condygne penaunce / But whan he hath longe ledde thys lyf. and hath caste oute al hys synnes by ve­ray confessyon / Thenne he fyndeth pees and reste and consolacion. And tereth soo moche god to falle ageyn to synne / that hym semeth that alle the world be to hym helle to the regarde of thys clerenesse and thys pees that he fyndeth in hys herte. And thys demaunde we of god whan we saye. Aduemat regnum tuum / that is to saye. Fayr fader plese it to the that the holy ghoost wyl enlumyne in vs the hert. and clense & purge it fro al synnes / And that he vouchesauf to come and dwelle as a kyng and a lord / gouernour and commaundour in oure hertes. so that al the herte be hys / and that he be kyng & lorde and alwaye that we may see hym. For it is a lyf perdura­ble to haue the royame of god within vs. Therfore sayth our lord in the gospel / that the royame of god is as a tresour hyd in a felde. that is in the herte of a good man. whiche is more grete than alle the world.

¶The iij peticion & requeste of the holy pater noster lxxxj

FIat voluntas tua sicut in celo & in terra. This is the iij peticion and requeste / where we praye our lord that his wylle be doon in vs / lyke as it is done in heuen / that is as in holy angellys whyche ben in heuen / whiche ben so enlumyned and confermed in god / that they may wylle none other thyng but that which that god wyl. we may not haue this peticion [Page] ne thys perfection but we haue the yefte of counceyl / whyche is the thyrd yefte of the holy ghoost. whych techeth vs to do his good wylle / and that he conuerte our caytyf and fraylle wylle so that in vs growe noo propre wylle. but that his wylle be onely lady of al the herte hooly / and do in vs what someuer he wylle / lyke as his wylle is doon in holy aungellys of heuen whyche may not synne. And that alwaye done the wylle of god wythoute mespryse and gaynsayeng. ¶ Now hast thou herde the thre petycyons and fyrst requestes of the holy Pater noster. whyche ben the hyest and moost worthy. In the fyrst we demaunde the yefte of sapyence. In the second the yefte of vnderstondyng. and in the thyrd the yefte of counceyl. lyke as I haue tofore shewed / These iij thynges we requyre not. by cause we shold haue them in thys mortal lyf parfytelye. But we shewe vnto our good fader Ihesu Cryst our desyres. that they be alwaye in heuen where they ought to be. To the ende that these thre requestes & petycyons be doon & accomplisshed in vs in the lyf perdurable / we demaūde them in this presente lyf ¶In the other four petycyons that comen after we speke another langage· For we say to our good fader Ihesu Cryst Gyue to vs / Pardone vs. kepe vs. and delyuer vs. For yf we haue not of Ihesu Crist these foure petycyons & requestes in thys presente world. we ben but deed· For they be necessary to euery persone in thys mortal lyf.

¶The iiij petycyon and requeste capitulo lxxxij

PAnem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie / wel techeth vs our good mayster Ihesu Crist to speke humbly and wysely. For he techeth vs to say. Fayr fader gyue to vs thys day our brede cotydyan or dayly. what may the sone lasse demaunde of his fader. than onelye brede for to passe forth the day / he demaundeth none oultrage. ne wyne. ne flesshe. ne [Page] fysshe. but he demaundeth brede and nomore not for a yere. ne yet for a weke. but for to passe wyth the day onelye / Thys semeth that it is a lytel thynge that we demaunde. but certayn­ly we requyre a moche grete thynge. whan we requyre of an abbot the brede of an abbay / or requyre the fraternyte. the com­panye the parte & the right in al the goodes of the abbey. Ryght so is it of hym that demaundeth of god thys dayly breed / he hath fraternyte. parte. companye. and ryght in alle the goodes that ben in heuen. Thys is the blessyd brede of heuen. of that blessyd couente / The brede of heuen / The brede of angellys. the brede delectable / the brede of lyf perdurable. For it gyueth lyf vnderstondyng. neuer to deye. and preserueth a man / wherof god sayth in the gospel / I am the brede of lyf whyche descen­ded fro heuen. who that shal ete of this brede shal alway lyue wythoute deyeng / Thys breed is ryght good mete. For hyt stauncheth alle the hongres of the world / and fylleth a man and replenyssheth. thys dooth not other mete. this is the breed and the mete that thou takest at the sacrament of the aulter. And this mete thou oughtest to take in grete ardour & in grete deuocyon of hert. and in grete desyre / That is to vnderstonde that thou ouztest to byleue feythfully that thys mete so moche precyous is the veray body of Ihesu Cryst. and the soule. and the godhede al togyder wythout errour and wythoute to de­maunde or aske ony ferther. For god may more than man may vnderstonde. After a man ouzt to vnderstonde & chewe this precyous mete. lyke as the oxe fedeth of the grasse and cheweth his cudde / and thenne he taketh it in / That is to say that one ought to remembre deuoutlye and ofte by partyes / the bountees and graces of our lord. and al the sorowes that Ihesus Cryste suffred in erthe for vs / Thenne the hert fyn­deth the sauour of thys precyous mete / and causeth a ryght grete ardour of the loue of god in ryght grete desyre & wylle to do and to suffre al that he may for hym / and more than he [Page] may. And al thys dooth the vertu of this blessyd brede [...] the sacramente of the masse whiche is the veray precyous b [...]y of Ihesu Cryst / Thys is the brede that comforteth and [...]orceth the herte to that· that he be wel stronge to suffre and [...] do gr [...]te thynges for the loue of god. But thys may not be [...] yf he haue the fourth yefte of the holy ghoost. whyche is [...] the yefte of strengthe / whyche armeth and encorageth the [...]nyght of god. and maketh hym to re [...]ne gladly to martyr­d [...] and to suffre Ioyously the tormentes. Now mayst thou see. whan we demaunde this brede of angellys. we demaūde the yefte of strengthe. For lyke as the bodyly brede or matery­al susteyne the body & enforce it. Ryght so the yefte of strengthe maketh the herte stronge to suffre and to do grete thynges for god. This brede celestial of angellis. we calle our / for he was made of our paste. he was sone of god the fader. & was sone and borne of the gloryous vyrgyn marye. Blessyd be this gloryous vyrgyn fro whome came this blessyd floure. For that was the debonayr Ihesus. whyche was fryed and crucyfyed on the crosse for to redeme the world fro the paynes of helle / And thys dyd he for the grete brennyng loue that he had vnto vs. This is the bysquyt of whyche he garnysshed hys shyppe of holy chyrche to passe the grete see of thys perillous worlde. he is oures. for he lefte to vs at hys departyng & leue takyng at his laste testamente the swete Ihesu Cryst. the right large as the moost grete and moost ryche tresour that he myght leue to vs· For he gaf hym self to vs as the moost fayrest Iewel that he myght gyue to vs / And we ought deuoutelye. clenly and reuerently kepe hym wythout synne. and of thys brede of angellys we ought euery day to vse for the loue of hym / and in mynde of his holy passyon / he is verayly oures. For noo thynge may he take awaye fro vs ayenst the wylle of oures. that is hym self. we calle our brede cotydyan. that is to saye of euery day. that is to vnderstonde the cotydyan distribucyon [Page] that he gyueth to hys preestys and relygyous peple euery day whyche doon his seruyses and synge hys masses and hys houres. that is to alle good crysten men and wymmen that eue­ry day by veray loue deuoutely make remembraunce of the dolorous passyon of Ihesu Cryst that he suffred for vs. ¶The groos of the prouende of this brede of aungellys we take in haruest. that is in heuen whan we shal see the swete Ihesu Cryst dyscouerd / in hys ryght grete beaulte lyke as he is / Therfore is it sayd cotydyan / that euery day is to vs necessarye. And euery one ought to take the holy sacrament of the aulter lyke as doon the preestys / whiche ben therto ordey­ned. ¶ Or otherwyse euery good crysten man or woman ought to take hym by ryght fayth / Thys brede is ryght pre­cyous. ryght noble and ryght wel arayed / Thys is mete ryal in whyche been alle maner of delyces and al good sauours lyke as sayth the book of sapyence. This is none erthely mete that ought to be gyuen to raskayll. but to hertes gentyl and and noble whiche ben purged & clensed fro al ordure of synne by veray repentaunce. by deuoute confessyon. and by entyer satysfactyon and penaunce ¶ Of the vertu of this brede of an­gellys saith Saynt mathew theuangelyst. and calleth it brede sursubstancyal / That is to say. that it passeth and surmoun­teth alle substaunce and alle creatures of praysyng and of vertue / of alle dygnytees / and in all maners of valure / Nor none may better name it ne descryue it ne more suffysauntlye than to calle hit. breed sursubstancyal /

¶ It is sayd that a mete is substancyous. whan there is therin ynough of substaunce and of nourysshyng / And for soo moche more as it is nourysshyng. soo moche more it is sayd that it is substancyall. ¶And by cause that in thys precyous breed of Aungellys is more of nourysshyng of vertue. and of good than euer may be thought and sayd is not sayd onelye that hyt is substancyous bytwene ony [Page] vnderstondyng and supposyng. but it is sayd sursubstancious This brede requyre we at our good fader Ihesu Cryste and we praye hym that he wyl gyue it to vs in this day. that is in this presēt mortal lyf. to thēde that we may make a good Iourneye. and abyde more gladly our rewarde. that is in the ende of our lyf the glorye perdurable.

¶Here foloweth the v petycion and request of the holy pater noster capitulo lxxxiij

DImitte nobis debita nostra. sicut & nos dimittimus de­bitoribus nostris. In this request and petycyon we requyre and demaunde our good fader of heuen that he wyl pardonne and foryeue vs our synnes and our trespaces. lyke as we foryeue them that haue trespaced to vs. or that trespasse to vs. Thēne we say thus fayr fader quyte to vs our debtes lyke as we quyte our dettours· Our dettes ben our synnes whyche we haue encreased vpon our soules. This is the best and moost dere wedde that we may fyne. wherof the synnar for one dedely synne whiche is soo sone passed as to the delyte or as touchyng the dede. is bounden to so grete vsure that he hath noo power to paye ne to fynyssbe· that is the payne of helle whyche is wythoute ende. ¶ After he oweth vnto god whome he hath dysplesed so grete amendes that he hath noo power to paye it. For in alle his lyf yf he lyued an hondred yere or more he myght ne coude not make suffysaūt penaunce For one dedely synne onely· yf god wold vse hys ryghtful Iustyce. it shold neuer be fogyuen to the ¶And therfore it by­houeth that in bytter and grete repentaunce the wycked syn­nar retorne vnto the mercy of the debonayr and blessyd lord Ihesu Cryste. And that he crye hym mercy and demaunde pardon and foryeuenes. ¶ For by the ryght of the courte of [Page] Iustyce. the synner shal be Iuged and condeuipned vnto deth perdurable / And therfore our good fader Ihesu cryst which is softe and debonayr for to foryeue & pardone / large & curtoys for to yeue / we praye hym that he wyl pardone & foryeue to vs our synnes & trespaces. But thynke and consider wel how thou prayest / For thou sayst pardone to vs our synnes & our trespaces. lyke as we pardone to them that to vs haue trespaced. God shal not foryeue ne pardone to vs / as he hym self sayth in the gospel. yf we foryeue not & pardone to other that haue trespaced to vs. Thenne he that saith his pater noster yf he kepe in his hert rancour & felonnye he prayeth more ayenst hym self than for hym self / For he prayeth to god that he forgyue hym not his synnes. whan he sayth foryeue me lyke as I forgyue. & therfore al the tymes that thou shalt say thy pater noster tofore god that seeth thyn hert. Thou oughtest to for­gyue al euyl talentes and cast out of thyn hert al Ire and alle rancour. Otherwyse thy prayer is more ayenst the than with the. yf it seme to the an hard thynge & greuous to foryeue & pardone to them that hate the / and that wylle the euyl. or that haue moche trespaced to the. or myssayed. Thynke that god pardoned his deth to them that crucefyed hym / for to gyue to the an exaumple for to forgyue. and more yet for to praye for them that haue trespaced to the / that god forgyue them. and more yet for to do wel & good to them. & to helpe them yf they haue nede / For as he sayth in the gospel. that it is not a grete thynge ne grete meryte ayenst god to do good to them. that do vs good / ne to loue them that loue vs / For so done the pay­nyms and the Sarasyns / Iewes and other synners. ¶But we that been the chyldren of god by fayth & by grace and been named crysten of our blessyd Lord Ihesu Cryste. and been heyres wyth hym of the herytage of heuen. ought for to foryeue eche other. And also ought for to loue our ene­myes. That is to saye theyr persones and praye for theym [Page] and to do good to them yf they haue nede. For so comandeth god in the gospel. Thenne we ought onely hate the synnes & to loue her soules. Lyke as the membres of one body loue & supporte eche other. yf one membre hurte that other by aduenture / that other aduengeth hym not / And therfore we that ben al one body in Ihesu Cryste lyke as thappostle sayth we ought to loue and supporte eche other. and not to hate ne to greue. & who that dooth otherwyse he is an homycyde of hym self. thys sayth the scrypture / Suche there be that can say their pater noster. that it were better for them and more auaylable that they coude say it aryght. For who that pardoneth not. ne foryeueth wyth hert and wyth mouthe. he moeueth his Iuge ayenst hym. In this prayer that we make to god. we requyre of hym the yefte of scyence. whyche maketh a man wyse and cunnyng. This spyrite sheweth to hym. what he is. fro whēs he cometh. whyther he gooth. and what he hath don. & what he hath trespaced. how moche he hath lente. and how moche he oweth. And whan he seeth that he hath not wherof to paye. thenne this spyryte maketh hym to repente. to wepe and to syghe. and to crye god mercy and say. O good lord foryeue and pardonne to me my debtes. that be my synnes· for I am moche endetted vnto the. for the euylles & synnes that I haue commysed and doon. & for the good dedes that I haue forgoten and lefte to do. whiche that I ought & myght haue doon and for the goodes and benefaytes that thou hast done to me· & the grete bountees which I haue al day receyued & euyl v­sed them. and haue euyl seruyd the. And by cause lord that I moche drede & doubte to make my payement. I requyre the to pardone me that. whiche I owe vnto the. whan thys spyryte of scyence hath thus enlumyned hym that he knoweth his defaultes and synnes. Thenne he casteth oute of his hert alle hate and rancour. and pardoneth alle his euyl wylle & angre yf he haue ony. And yf he haue ony. and is in wylle and in [Page] purpose to pardone and foryeue wyth good hert yf ony haue trespaced to hym. Thenne may he wel say / Fayr fader for­gyue vs our trespaces / lyke as we do to them that haue tres­paced to vs.

¶The vj peticion & request of the pater noster capo. lxxxiiij

ET ne nos inducas in temptacionem / Brent chylde fyre dredeth / & he that somtyme is fallen in to synne. whan hys synne is pardoned hym. he is more doubtous and more aferde / and hath more drede of the temptacyon of synne than he had tofore / & therfore he prayeth to god to whome he hath so moche trespaced. and also that hath forgyuen and pardoned hym. that he wyl kepe hym fro fallyng in to hit ageyn. & saith thus / Et ne nos inducas in temptacionem. That is to saye Fayr swete fader. suffre not thou that we entre in to temptacyon. and that we consente not to ony synne. The deuyl is the temptour of synne. for it is his crafte. of which he serueth in the hous of god to preue the newe knyghtes of god / And yf the temptacyon were not good and prouffytable to good peple. God whyche dooth al thynge for our prouffyte. wolde neuer suffre that temptacyon shold come. But as saynt Bernard sayth whan our temptour smyteth vs on the backe / He forgeth to vs our crownes of glorye / lyke as he that smyteth on the backe of a good knyght / forgeth to hym his praysyng and hys glorye. The deuyl tempteth a man proprely to thende that he take hym aweye and departe hym holly from the loue of our lord Ihesu Cryste ¶Therfore prayed and prayeth to vs Saynt Poule the appostle. and vnto hys dyssyples. that they be founded and terme as a toure. and roted as a tree. in charyte. and in the loue of god soo that no temptacyon may moeue theym ne make them for to stakre ne quaure. ¶And therfore in thys petycyon & request we requyre and demaunde [Page] the ayde and helpe of god in our bataylle ayenst the fende. that he wyl gyue to vs the yefte of pyte / That is a grace that a­rouseth and bedeweth the hert. and maketh hym swete & pye­tous. and maketh hym al to rendre and wexe grene / and to bere fruyt ynough of good werkes wythoutforth. & wyth­inforth / And wythin to make stedfast and ferme his rootes in the londe of lyuyng peple. ¶That is lyke as the good cy­ment of whyche been maad these walles sarazynoys / whyche may not be broken ne defeated wyth pykoys ne wyth hamer whan we say thenne. Et ne nos inducas in temptacionem. That is to say swete fader make our hertes ferme and sta­ble. that they moeue not ne quauer for noo temptacion that come to them by the grace of the yefte of pyte. we praye not / that we be in noo wyse tempted / For that were a folysshe prayer and shameful. lyke as the sone of a lord / or of another noble man. that shold be adoubed a newe knyght. & he shold say to his fader. Fayr fader I praye you that ye me deporte or forbere and kepe that I neuer see batayl ne tournoye / ¶we ought wel wylle to be tempted. for it is our grete prouffyte in many maners. For we been the more humble & the more doubcous and the more wyse in many caases. and the bettyr proued & the more hardy. For as Salamon sayth the. who that hath not be tempted / he may knowe no thynge a ryght but lyke as one knoweth of the batayl of troye by here sayeng for he may not know hym self ne his Infirmyte / ne the stren­gthe of his enemyes. ne their subtylte. ne how god is trewe & [...] at nede to ayde his frende. ne how & many tymes he hath kepte vs from many perylles & synnes / & by al these reasons be shal not cōne loue god aryght. ne thāke hym of hys yeftes yf he be not tempted. but praye we hym that he kepe to vs our hertes that they entre not in to temptacyon. that is to say that the hert consent not therto. and as touchyng our self we be soo pour. that we may not an houre of the day susteyn thassautes [Page] and the dyuers temptacions of the fende withoute the helpe of our lord. And whan he faylleth for to ayde and helpe vs we entre in to temptacion / And whan he helpeth vs we resyste & we fyght & vaynquysshe the fende our enemye whan that we consente not to synne.

¶ The seuenth petycyon of the pater noster capo. lxxxv

Ed libera nos a malo amen. saynt austyn sayth that al the other temptacyons ben to vs eyther for to do wel or for to leue to do wel. But all the yeftes & all the good that a man dooth. or that he can gete / is for to put awaye and destroye pryde & al synnes and euylles. And therfore whan god hath gyuen to a man this that he hath requyred of god in the vj requestes aforesayd. Thenne certaynlye it is of veray nede that god delyuer hym from the puyssaunce of the fende. fro alle his engynes. and from al his temptacyons. And therfore co­meth at the laste thys petycyon and requeste as the ryergarde whyche sayth thus. Sed libera nos a malo amen / that is to saye / Fayr fader Ihesu Cryst delyuer vs fro al euyl / fro alle synnes and fro alle perylles passed. present. and to come. And fro al thengynes of the fende our enemye. that we lose not by pryde the goodes that thou hast gyuen to vs.

¶In thys requeste we praye to god that he gyue to vs the yefte of holy drede. By the whyche we may be delyueryd fro the fende and from hys temptacyons. and fro alle manere of euyl. that is fro alle perylles and fro al synnes in this world and in that other amen. So be it as we haue sayd / so moche is it to say this worde amen. ¶Now hast thou he [...] the seuen petycyons and requestys. whyche god made wy [...] hys blessyd mouth. for to enseygne & teche vs to lerne al that whiche we may & ought to praye and demaunde for the body and for the soule and for thys worlde and for that other / [Page] And al is conteyned and comprysed in the holy Pater noster Now kepe the wel that thou saye it aryght wyth herte and wyth mouthe. For grete good shal come to the therof. yf thou so doo.

¶Thus endeth the seuen petycyons of the holy Pater noster

¶Of the seuen yeftes of the holy ghoost capitulo lxxxvj


AFter the peticions & reques­tes that been con­teyned in the holy Pater noster. vs byhoueth to speke in grete reuerence of so hye a matere as of the holy yeftes of the ho­ly ghoost. like as he hym self of hys grace shalle enseygne and teche vs. And we shal saye fyrste whyche ben the yeftes of the holy ghoost. ¶After wherfore they be callyd yeftes. and wherfore they be callyd of the holy ghoost. After wherfore they be seuen yeftes of the holy ghoost ne moo ne lasse / After we shal say of the goodes that the yeftes of the holy ghoost do. Custome it is. reason and curtosye. that a man hye. ryche. valyaunt. & noble whan he wyl goo to his spouse that he loueth wyth al hys herte. that he bere to hyr of his Iewellys. ¶Ysaye the prophete sawe in spyrite the gloryouse espowsaylles that were made in the bely of the blessyd vyrgyn marye. whan the blessyd sone of god espoused [Page] her / and toke in hyr our blood and our flesshe / our humanyte and our nature. So recounteth to vs the sayd prophete of the Iewellys and the fayre yeftes that he brought wyth hym for to gyue to hys espouse and to hyr parentes / And sayth thus the sayd prophete moche curtoyslye. Fro the rote of Iesse shal yssue a rodde that shal bere the floure of nazareth. That is to say. oute of the grete charyte. and fro the grete enbracyng or brennyng of the loue of god shal come to vs a rodde whyche shal bere the floure of floures. For Nazareth is as moche to say as a floure / and Iesse is as moche to say as enbracyng or brennyng. And vpon this flour shal reste the holy ghoost. the spyryte of sapyence & of vnderstondyng / the spyrite of strengthe and of counceyl / the spyryte of scyence and of pyte. and the spyryte of the drede of god. ¶ These ben the graces of whyche he was al ful fro the houre that he was conceyued in the precious bely of his moder / lyke as the grete see is ful of water. and is welle and fontayne of al the fresshe waters & salte. of which he arowseth and watreth al the world / Ryght soo was he as sayth Saynt Iohan theuangelyst so ful of grace. of veryte or trouthe that of his plante we take al ¶These vij spyrites and these seuen yeftes we take them & receyue in the holy baptesme But thus as the graces corporelle whiche god gyueth to chyldren. in wytte / in bounte / in strengthe. and in other graces. whyche he gyueth at his playsyr· to eueryche he sheweth hym lytyl and lytyl. lyke as a chylde groweth and cometh forth. Ryght so is it in spyrytuel graces. after that / that eueryche prouffyteth and groweth in good werkys. and gyueth alle hys herte / and all hys thought to god / after that. god gyueth to hym more of his graces. and that sheweth the same yeftes by werkys. somme in one / and other in other. at the playsyr of the holy ghoost as sayth saynt Poul the appostle. Thenne in our begynnyng these graces and these vertues been lowe / & ryse on heyght / That is fro the spyryte and yefte of drede vnto [Page] the yefte of sapyende. For holy drede is the begynnyng of sapyence. Lyke as dauyd sayth and Salamon. But in Ihesu Cryste weren alwaye alle the graces and all the vertues ple­nerly wythoute ony mesure. And therfore the prophete setteth them in descendyng eche yefte after the ordre of hys dygnyte. lyke as the petycyons and requestes of the holy pater noster ben sette forthe after the ordre of theyr dygnyte. the hye tofore. and the lower after.

¶ why they be callyd yeftes. for thre reasons capo. lxxxvij

SVche maner graces haue to name yeftes. for iij thyn­ges and for thre reasons. Fyrst for theyr dygnyte and for their valour. yf a man at the court of the kyng gyue a robe to a chylde. or to a pour man a dysshe of weyght. This is no thynge that ought to be called the yefte of a kynge. Therfore calleth Saynt Iames thappostle al the other temporel goodes that god gyueth / not a yefte / but lytel yeftes whych ben moe­uable and passyng / But these graces abouesayd he callyd them yeftes parfyte / For god gyueth them to no creature / but that he gyueth to hym / hym self. The second reson is by cause that the other graces and the other yeftes he leneth them to vs for to vse them in thys present lyf. But these seuen yeftes toforesayd ben veray yeftes by ryght wythoute reprysyng and reprehen­dyng / for whan al the other yeftes shal faylle. these vij yeftes shal abyde alwaye in theyr ferme estate. Thenne they be soo proprely oures that we may not lese them ageyn our wylle. lyke as we may lese the other / ¶The thyrd reason & the pryncypal is. that the selue yeftes be gyuen purely for loue. And thou knowest wel that a yefte leseth the name of yefte whan it is not gyuen purely for loue. For whan the yeuer yeueth ony yefte for his owne prouffyte / that is not a yefte. but it is marchandyse. whan he beholdeth bounte receyued or seruyse / [Page] that is not a yefte. but it is bounte and curtosye. receyued to be rendred and yolden ageyn. But whan the yeftes is gyneu frely and lyberally wythout entencyon to haue prouffyte and wythout drede & wythoute ony doubte. Thenne is it by ryght callyd yefte / herof sayth the phylosophre that a yefte is a yefte wythout gyuyng ageyn / or wythout to awayte ony rewarde but onely for to gete loue. In this maner. god gyueth to vs these yeftes purely for the loue that he hath to vs. and for to gete our hertes and al our loue to hym.

¶why they be called the yeftes of the holy ghoost capo. lxxxviij

NOw for what cause been they callyd yeftes of the holy ghoost. and not the yeftes of the fader & of the sonne. for al theyr werkys and their yeftes ben comyn. To this purpoos ben two reasons. That one lyke as the werkes of puyssaunce and myght ben appropred to god the fader. and the werkes of sapyence to god the sone. ryght soo ben the werkys of grace & of bounte appropred to the holy ghoost. For bountees ben lyke as sayth saynt denys. to spende and to gyue hym self / For yf a man yeue that. whyche coste hym nought / that is not grete bounte. But by cause that the holy ghoost by these seuen yeftes expendeth and gyueth hym self in our hertes. Lyke as sayth saynt poule. lyke as it were by seuen stremes / therfore ben they callyd proprely yeftes of the holy ghoost. For he is the fontayn and they ben the stremes ¶That other is by cause that the ho­ly ghoost is proprely the loue that is bytwene the fader and the sonne / and by cause that loue is the propre. the fyrst. & the pryncypal yefte. that a man may yeue. thenne wyth ryght in this yefte ben gyuen al the other. and wythoute thys yefte none other is not called yefte truly ne ryghtfully. Therfore is the holy ghoost a yefte. and yeuar. For he gyueth hym self and is yeuen in eueryche of these seuen yeftes. whyche that [Page] he gyueth for to conferme our loue vnto his. so that it be fer­uent. fyne veray and clene.

¶why there be vij yeftes & no moo ne lasse capo. lxxxix

FOr two thynges a man is saued fro to flee the euyl. & to do good. For to hate and to flee the euyl causeth vs the yefte of drede. The other vj yeftes cause vs to do good. The yefte of drede is the vssher at the grete masse / that is to saye at the grete menasse of the sentence of god / and of the paynes of helle / whiche is alwaye redy & apparaylled ayenst the synuars this is the watche of the castel which neuer slepeth / Thys is the wedar of the gardyn that wedeth and plucketh vp al euyl herbys / This is the tresourer that kepeth the hert and alle the goodes that ben therin / These be the other vj yeftes that make vs to do al the good dedes. Now oughtest thou to know that lyke the clerenes of the sonne· which thou seest with thyn eyen yeueth clerenes to the world & vertu & enuygoure & strengthe al the thynges that growe and come in to the world / Ryght so doeth the holy ghoost whyche enlumyneth in heuen & in erth al them that ben in grace / men. wymmen. and angellys. and al in lyke wyse as there beu in heuen thre estates of aungellys as saynt denys sayth of whome one is moost hye. that other moyen or myddle / and the thyrd more lowe. The moost hye ben lyke them that ben of the kynges coūceyl. They be alwaye wyth god more nerre to hym than the other and see hym and here hym and his secretes. The moyen or myddle ben as ba­rons and bayllyes that gouerne loue and kepen al the royam and gone & comen. & lerne of them of the coūceyl that whiche they comande· & make it to be done to other. the lowest ben lyke as seruauntes & offycers whiche haue theyr craftes / and done their offyces & messages as is sayd to them. By this maner & ensaumple there ben iij estates of the chyldren of god in erth [Page] the whyche the holy ghoost ledeth & conduyteth as sayth saynt Poul. The one estate is of them hat ben in the world· & ly­uen after the commandementes of god. and of holy chyrche. & after that they here and byleue of theyr prelates. The other es­tate is of them that ben parfyte. that al haue theyr hert out of the world & of this mortal lyf. & haue theyr conuersacyon in heuen and theyr body in erthe. and theyr herte wyth god. The thyrd ben in the myddle estate whyche gouerne them self wel & other. and lyuen after the counceyl of the gospel. and not o­nelye after the commandements. These thre maner of people techeth the holy ghoost. and ledeth & gouerneth by these vj yef­tes. and departeth to them his graces. to eueryche after his be­nygne volente and wylle as sayth thappostle. The two fyrst of these vj yeftes apperteyne to them that ben of the fyrst estate The yefte of scyence techeth them. & the yefte of pyte maketh them to werke. The ij myddle apperteyne to them of the moyen estate. The yefte of counceyl gouerneth them· & the yefte of strengthe accomplyssheth the werkes. The ij last apperteyne to them of the moost hye estate. The yefte of vnderstondyng enlumyneth them. & the yefte of sapyence confermeth them & Ioy­neth them wyth god. Another reason there is wherfore there ben vij yeftes. for the holy ghoost by his seuen yeftes wedeth. plucketh and taketh awaye the vij synnes & vyces fro the hertes of the persones. & planteth there & nouryssheth vij vertues contrarye which make perfytely a man to be honoured. These ben the goodes that the holy ghoost maketh in the hertes where as he descendeth by these seuen yeftes. But tofore that I des­cende vnto the vertues. whiche ben contrarye to the seuen de­dely synnes. I wyl shortly speke of seuen other vertues. of whyche thre ben callyd dyuyne. & the other four been callyd the foure cardynal vertues.

¶Of seuen vertues of whome there been thre dyuyne. & foure cardynal capitulo lxxxx

THe thre fyrst vertues dyuyne. Saynt Poul thappostle calleth them / Fayth. hope. & charyte. And they be callyd dyuyne by cause they be godly & ordeyne the herte to god. fayth lyke as saynt Austyn sayth setteth vs vnder god. & maketh vs to knowe hym. & knowleche hym a lord of whome we holde al that whyche we haue of good. Hope sayth he enhaunceth vs to god / and maketh vs stronge and hardy. and to entrepryse for the loue of god that. whiche passeth the vertu and strengthe of man / Charyte. sayth saynt Austyn Ioyneth vs to god / For charyte is none other thynge but chyere vnyte. that is. dere onehede. for she maketh the hert and god alle one as sayth saynt Poul. Fayth byholdeth in god souerayn vnyte hope beholdeth in god souerayn hyenesse. and charyte souerayn bounte / These iij vertues ben deuyded by iij degrees of loue / for for iij thynges a mā is loued. One is by cause that one hath herde or hereth grete good of hym. Or by cause that he hath receyued grete good of hym. Or by cause he entendeth to haue grete good of hym. These iij maners of loue ben in these iij vertues. Loue of fayth hereth & werketh. loue of hope feleth the sauour and requyreth it. loue of charyte taketh and seeth it. and tasteth & holdeth it.

¶ Of the foure cardynal vertues. by whyche a man ought to gouerne hym capitulo lxxxxj

OF the four cardynal vertues speken moche the auncyent phylosophres. but the holy ghoost gyueth them & enseygneth them better an hondred tymes as sayth Salamon in the book of sapyence. The fyrst of these iiij vertues is prudence. the second attemperaunce. the iij strengthe. and the fourth Iustyce / These iiij vertues ben callyd cardynallys / by cause they ben the [Page] moost pryncypal emonge the vertues of whyche the auncyent phylosophres speken. For by these iiij vertues a man gouerneth hym self in this world. Lyke as the pope gouerneth al holy chyrche by hys cardynalles. ¶ Prudence kepeth a man that he be not deceyued by none engyne of the enemye. Attemperaunce kepeth a man that he be not corrupt by none euyl loue· Strengthe kepeth hym that he be not vaynquysshed ne ouercome by wrath. or by drede. or by sorowe. This is that holdeth a man in. good estate toward hym self. Iustyce set­teth a man in ryght ordre & in ryght estate anenst hym self & & other. for Iustyce rendreth to eche man that. whiche is his These ben the iiij toures at iiij corners of the hous of the good man that maketh it stronge. sure / & good. Prudence garnys­sheth it toward the eest by pourueaunce for perylles. Attem­peraunce garnyssheth it toward the south ayenst the euyl hee­tys. Strengthe garnyssheth it toward the north for the euyll coldes. Iustyce garnyssheth it toward the west ayenst the euyl raynes.

Yet ageyn of the four cardynal vertues as foloweth lxxxxij

THese iiij vertues haue dyuers offyces. and been moche dyuers in theyr werkys. lyke as sayth an aūcyent phylosophre named plato in his book that he made of these foure vertues. & deuydeth thē moche subtylly. & sayth that prudence hath iij offyces. For by this vertu. al that which a man doth sayth. & thynketh is ordeyned al & ledde by lyne / rule / & reason & in al his werkys he pourueyeth. that he vse them after thor­dynaunce of god that al seeth & Iugeth. A grete lord shold he be as me semeth that shold haue this onely vertu. & by these thre thynges shold gouerne hym.

¶ Of the vertu of attemperaunce capitulo lxxxxiij

[Page]THe vertu of attemperaunce hath iij offyces / for the hert that hath this vertu wylle not ne coueyteth not to do a thynge of whyche he ought to repente. In no thynges he bre­keth not the lawe dysmesurably. but putteth hym self alwaye vnder the yoke of reason / And no thynge doubteth of alle the couetyses of the world / That is to say. who hath this vertu he kepeth hym that he he not corrupt by the thre thynges that foulen and shamen the world.

¶Of the vertu of strengthe capitulo lxxxxiiij

THe vertu of strengthe hath also iij offyces. for a man that hath this vertu in his hert. he lyft hym self vpon hye aboue the perylles of this world· & no thynge doubteth he sauf vylonye & synne. he bereth aduersyte & prosperyte / and suffreth withoute to bowe on the ryght syde ne on the lyfte syde. Moche good shold be the knyght of god that in these thre thynges shold be wel proued. These iij vertues armen. ordeyne. & adourne a man as touchyng the thre partes of the hert whiche ben callyd. reason. loue. & vygour / Prudence kepeth the reason that it be not deceyued / Attemperaunce kepeth the loue. that it be not corrupt / Strengthe kepeth the vygour or myght that it be not ouercome /

¶Of the vertu of Iustyce capitulo lxxxxv

IVstyce maketh a man to lyue ordynatly emonge the other. For lyke as plato sayth the phylosophre / This is the vertu that maketh that a man doth vnto euery man that whiche he oweth to do. For he rendreth reuerence & honour to them that be aboue hym. Frendshyp pees & concorde to them that ben lyke to hym. grace & pyte to them that ben vnder hym By these iiij vertues sayth the sayd phylosophre / that a man is thenne worthy that he be gouernour of hym self. and after [Page] of other. In these iiij vertues studyed the auncyen phyloso­phres which despyseden al the world for tacquyre & to gete vertu & wysedom / & therfor were they callyd phylosophres· which is as moche to say as loue of sapyence / ¶O good god how shold this confounde vs & make vs aferd that they that were paynyms & without lawe wryton & nothynge knewe of the very grace of god ne of the yeftes of the holy ghoost. & neuertheles they styed vp in to the montayn of perfection of lyuyng by force & by their propre vertu. & daygned not to take hede of the world ne to do euyl. ne to consent to synne / & we that ben cris­ten men that haue the veray fayth. & knowe the commande­ments of god / & haue the grace of the holy ghoost yf we wyll & our synnes cause it not. that we may more prouffite for our helth anenst god in a day. than they myght in a yere. we de­foule our self. & lye here bynethe as a swyne in myre / & in the ordure of this world. & synne in the fylthe & donge of delyces of this world. Therfore sayth saynt Poule that the paynym that is without lawe shal Iuge vs atte day of Iugement. that haue had here the lawe / & we neyther holde ne kepe it. & by cause they had not ryzt fayth ne the grace of the holy ghoost ne no vertu ne quycke ne very fayth. they may not wel know how these vertues be good & fayr. for as moche dyfference as is bytwene a brennyng cole. & a dede cole. & a lyuyng man & a dede man. So moche dyfference is there bytwene vertu that is wythout charyte. and vertu that is wyth charyte. whiche is the boūte. the valure & the lyf of other vertues. wherof saynt austyn sayth whan he speketh of these iiij vertues. he deuydeth them by iiij maner of loues & by iiij thynges that veray loue doth. and sayth that the vertu of prudence is the loue of hert· whyche veryly & wysely refuseth al that whiche may greue & ennoye hym. & cheseth al that whyche may aydeto haue that whiche he loueth. that is god / The vertu of attemperaūce is the loue of the hert. by whiche he gyueth hym self entyerly and [Page] wythout corruptyon to that whyche he loueth / that is god. The vertue of strengthe is the loue of the herte· by whyche a man serueth onely that whyche he loueth / that is god. and for hym setteth a man al other thynges vnder his fote. & despyseth them. Thenne the vertu of Iustyce setteth a man in his right estate / that is aboue al thynges. & vnder god / without these iiij vertues / there is none that may mounte in to the montayn of perfectyon. for who that wyl mounte so hye. hym byhoneth / that alther fyrst he haue prudence whiche maketh a man to despyse the world / & that he haue with hit the vertu of streng­the. whiche gyueth to hym grete hert stronge & stable courage to enpryse and to pursiewe grete thynges. & on that other partye that he haue the vertu of attemperaunce / by cause that he be not ouer charged ne euyl caryed. and that he haue with hym the vertu of Iustyce that may lede hym by the ryght path. and by a good & Iuste waye / that he be wythout synne. and that he shewe to hym how by holy werkys he oweth to conquere the royame of heuen. lyke as god dyd to Iacob / as sayth the book of sapyence. who that thus may haue these iiij vertues he shal be wel parfyte & blessyd in this world. & more in that other. for he shal be in pees of hert & in ioye spyrytuel / and no thynge shal faylle hym. but he shal haboūde in the grace of god that he shal haue with hym. in whome he shal delyte.

¶ Here after foloweth how a man may take aweye and put from hym the vij dedely synnes. & gete the vertues lxxxxvj

NOw late vs come ageyn to our mater. & pray we with al our hert to the holy ghoost that he wyl inspyre and enseygne our hertes / that he be our aduocate. & teche vs to shewe. how he by the vij yeftes of the holy ghoost he plucke out & take aweye the seuen dedely synnes fro our hertes / and that he therin wylle vouchesauf to plante the seuen vertues.

Of the yefte of holy drede whych maketh a mā Iust lxxxxvij

THe yefte of drede is the fyrst of the yeftes. for he casteth oute of the hert al the synnes lyke as we haue sayd to­fore. But proprely this yefte of drede plucketh oute. taketh awaye and destroyeth the rote of pryde· & planteth there in his place the plante of humylyte. Now beholde & vnderstonde wel how the synnar that holdeth hym and slepeth in his synne. is lyke to a rybaulde that slepeth and is dronke· and hath al lost atte tauerne. & is al naked & so poure that he hath no thynge but he feleth no thynge ne complayneth not. but weneth that he be a moche grete lord. But whan he hath slepte & cometh ageyn to hym self. and that he is oute of hys dronkennesse / Thenne feleth he his harme & knoweth his folye. Now complayneth he his losse and his domage. This is the fyrst good that the holy ghoost doth to a synnar whan he vysyteth hym. For he gyueth to hym ageyn his wytte and his mynde. and bryngeth hym ageyn to knowe hym self. So that he aduer­tyseth and seeth what goodes he hath loste. & in what pouerte and in what perylle he hath be for hys synne. lyke as dyd the sone of the good man. whiche wasted and dyspended hys he­rytage in dyssolucyon and rybauldrye. In suche confusyon & myserye he became that hym byhoued to kepe the swyne & fede them. and to lyue of theyr releef and mete. lyke as our Lord Ihesu cryst sheweth vs by exaumple in the gospel. Yet also the synnar as sayth Salamon is lyke to hym that slepeth in the myddle of the see. and is in grete perylle and tormente. & he feleth noo thynge ne hath no fere therof. But whan the holy ghoost awaketh hym. he felyth and seeth his perylle. and begynneth to haue drede of hym self. ¶Yet also the synnar is lyke to hym that is in pryson feteryd in yrons. and is in bol­tes and hath many kepars. lyke as Saynt Peter was in the prysone of Kyng Herode. And the caytyf synnar thynketh [Page] no thynge on the prouoste. ne on the Iustyce. ne on the galo­wes that tarye for hym / but he slepeth and dremeth that he goeth to a weddyng and to a feste / But the grace of the holy ghoost is lyke to the aungel that awoke saynt Peter. and delyuerd hym fro the hande of kyng Herode· For the grace of the holy ghoost awaketh the synnar and delyuerth hym from the hande and fro the puyssaunce of the deuyl of helle / yet also the synnar is lyke to hym that weneth to be stronge and hole. & he hath the dethe vnder his teeth. For he hath the humours euyl & corrupte wythin the body / thenne dyeth he within a moneth. that wende to haue lyued xl yere. Lyke as sayth Ely­uans in the verses which speken of the deth and sayen thus. Go ye awaye ye whystelars and gapars. for suche be couerd vnder theyr clothes. that wene to be hole and fatte that shalle not lyue vnto marche. ¶ But the holy ghoost is lyke vnto a good physycyen that sheweth to hym his maladye and seke­nesse. and moeueth fro hym his humours. and gyueth vnto hym a bytter drynke whyche heleth hym & rendreth to hym his lyf. Ryght soo troubleth our lord the synnar by bytter contrycyō whā he helyth hym fro his synnes by the bytter drynke lyke as sayth the prophete in his psaulter / and fereth hym. & bryngeth hym ageyn to knowe hym self / lyke as dyd Adam our fyrst fader. whan he hydde hym emonge the trees of paradys terrestre. And thenne sayd god to hym. Adam where art thou / Thre other demaūdes made god by his angel to the chā ­bryer of holy Abraham whyche was named agar whan she fledde fro hyr lady. The aungel sayd Agar fro whens comest thou. whyther goest thou / what doost thou / These iij demaun­des maketh the holy ghoost to the synnar. whan he awaketh hym of hys synnes / where as he was aslepe / and he reyseth hym / and openeth to hym the eyen of his hert / and gyueth to hym ageyn his wytte and his mynde. where art thou sayth he. that is to say. beholde caytyf in what sorowe and in what [Page] peryll thou art in this world. For thou art lyke to hym that peryssheth in the see slepyng in a shyppe. ne feleth ne vnderstondeth ne apperceyueth his perylle· That is to say caytyf beholde ageyn thy lyf fro now bacward. For thou comest fro the ta­uerne of the deuyl. where as thou hast wasted thy lyf. & loste thy tyme. and al the goodes that god hath gyuen to the. what doste thou. That is to say. consyder how thou art faynt & frayl wery and slowe toward thy body & toward thy soule. Thou wenest to be hole and stronge. but peraduenture thou hast the humours corrupt in thy body whyche shal lede the to thy deth And in the soule thou hast euyl maners. that shal lede the to the deth of helle yf the grace of god kepe the not. After why­ther goost thou. that is to say caytyf thynke beholde & vnder­stonde that thou goest to thy deth / wherin thou shalt falle in the hondes of herode / that is the deuyl of helle and of his meyne / Thou goost to the Iugement where thou shalt see the Iustyse of god so cruel. so strayte and so puyssaunte. Thou goest in to helle where thou shalt fynde fyre and stynkyng sulphre and moo than a thousand tormentes that neuer shal fynysshe to tormente the. Thus dooth the holy ghoost to the synnar to opene his eyen. and to beholde aboue hym and vnder hym. & tofore hym and behynde hym. ¶ These been four strokes of dethe whyche fereth the synnar and maketh hym to tremble and to haue drede. And these four beholdynges and consyde­racyons proprely been the four stremes of the rote of the vertu of humylyte that the yefte of drede planteth in the hert of the synnar whan god vysyteth hym.

¶ Here foloweth of the foure rootes of the synne of Pryde capitulo lxxxxviij

[Page]THe iiij thoughtes and consyderacyons toforesayd pulle out. take awaye from the rote out of the gardyn of the hert the iiij rootes of pryde. that is the proude man weneth to knowe moche thynge. or to be of the valoyr of moche thynge. or that he may do moche thyng. or to haue moche thyng· These ben the iiij hornes. that is to say the iiij cowardyses that shamed the contre which god shewed to zacharye the prophete / but the iiij thynges that he shewd hym proprely after that they came for to bete doun these iiij hornes. been the iiij thoughtes & consyderacyons tofore sayd. For whan a man thynketh fro whens he cometh / & vnderstondeth & knoweth the pouerte / the vylete / and the fraylte of his byrthe / how he was conceyued in synne / of so foul mater made & formed. In so poure a hous her berowd. in so grete pouerte borne. In what paynes nourisshed in what labour he hath lyued / & how he hath lost his tyme. he seeth & considereth the grete nombre of his synnes. & knoweth clerely the good dedes which he hath lefte / & not doon by hys slouthe & necligēce. Thēne the grace of the holy ghoost maketh hym to fele. to Iuge & to knowe in his hert. that he is of noo value ne no thynge worth. after whan he thynketh where he is. & seeth this world which is nothyng but an exyle. & a de­sert ful of beerys & lyepardes. a forest ful of theuys & engynes a see ful of tempest & perylles. a fourneys brennyng & enbra­ced wyth fyre and of alle synnes. a felde of bataylle & of an­guysshe. where alwaye byhoueth to lyue in warre and fyght ayenste the deuylles whyche been soo subtyl and so sage. ¶ Thenne the grace of God maketh hym for to fele aryght and perceyue that he felt noo thynge for to gouerne hym wel touchyng hys saluacyon. Yet ageyn whan the synnar thyn­keth consydereth and knoweth his synnes and hys deffaultes that he is ful of synnes. and wyde of alle good dedes & wer­kes. Thenne the holy ghooost maketh hym to fele & to knowe hys pouerte. and that he hath no spyrytuell good in hym / [Page] After whan the synnar seeth tofore hym whyche waye he go­eth / and he seeth the dethe. to whome noo man may gaynsaye On that other parte the synnar seeth the Iustyce and the ven­geaunce of god so Iuste and so ryghtful. whyche is so moche to be doubted. by whos handes he must passe. he seeth & knoweth the paynes horryble of helle. from whome the synnar may not escape. Thenne god gyueth hym to knowe that the power of a man and of a woman is nought / & that they may do no thynge wythout the specyal grace of god. Thenne the syn­nar begynneth to haue the spyryte and yefte of drede. In these thoughtes and consyderacyons ben the braunches of the rote of the tree of humylyte. This tree is planted besyde the fontayne of the drede of god. of whyche it is alwaye arowsed and watred as wel in wynter as in somer. Now oughtest thou to knowe that these vij vertues / of whiche I purpose to speke of haue eche of them seuen degrees. by whiche it prouffyteth. aryseth. & groweth in the hert of a creature. & hys good werkys by which it sheweth outward / For vertu groweth on hye. lyke as dooth the palmer / the cypres or the cedre. & after spre­deth & casteth his braunches on al sydes.

¶Of the vertu of humylyte capitulo lxxxxix

OF the vertu of humylyte speketh saynt Ancelme. and sayth that it hath vij degrees / by whiche it mounteth on hye before that it come to perfectyon. Now vnderstonde wel how the fyrst degree of humylyte knoweth his pouerte. his synnes. & his defaultes. For lyke as sayth saynt bernard humylyte is the vertu that maketh a man to mespryse and despyse hym self / and holde hym for vyle whan he knoweth hym self verayly ¶Thys knowleche groweth of the iiij roo­tes tofore sayd. But ther ben somme that knowe well theyr deffaultes & theyr synnes / & theyr pouertees. but they fele them not. Therfore the second degree of humylyte / is to fele and to cōplayne his synnes. his defaultes / his sorow. & his maladye [Page] he renneth gladly to the leche. that feleth hym selfe hurt of a wounde. and in peryll of deth. and he renneth moche sone to the physycyen that is seke. and that hath euyl humours in his body for to haue helthe and guaryson. and is moche glad and Ioyous whan he may purge them and clense them. & therfore the thyrd degree of humylyte is for to confesse deuoutelye and ofte his trespaces. and to bewayle his synnes gladly in grete contrycyon and repentaunce and to purge his hert fro al syn­nes. But there ben somme that knowe wel theyr defaultes & fele them & ben wel sorouful for them· but they wyl not for o­ny thynge. that noo man shold knowe them. Therfore is the fourth degree of humylyte holden for vyle and despytous. but there ben yet somme that wel knowe fele and telle theyr def­faultes. and say wel and Iuge. I am wycked & a synnar & suche & suche. But yf another sayd soo to them. Certeynly that is truthe that thou sayst / they shold be dysplesyd and wexe strongly angry. Therfore is the fyfthe degree of humylyte. to here gladly trouthe spoken of hym self / & that one say to hym his deffaultes / And this is that saynt bernard sayth that the veray humble wold be holden for vyle. and wold not be pray­sed that he is humble. Therfore is the vj degree of humylyte whan a man suffreth in pacyence that he be foule treated and as a persone despysed / lyke as dyd the good Kyng Dauyd. whyche suffred swetelye a seruaunt named Semey whyche threwe at hym stones. and sayd to hym grete vylonyes. and al that he knewe of euyl and harme. Yet there is a degre in whyche is there somme of this perfectyon and of thys vertu of humylyte / That is wylle certeynly and desyre of hert with out fayntyse to be reputed for vyle and byholden symple and fowly to be treated. That is a ryght pouerte of spyryte & hu­mylyte of hert / Moche loued this pouerte in this world the ryche kyng of heuen Ihesu Cryste. Moche loued he it whan he bought it so dere· whiche wold and vouched sauf to be borne in [Page] a stable horryble and abhomynable wyth the oxen and asses / & wold haue xxxij yere in pouerte. The swete Ihesu Cryst loued moche humylyte. whan he hym self that neuer dyd synne he that neuer had deffaulte faught and came emonge the the­uys. That was bytwene the sones of adam our formest fa­der. And the swete Ihesu Cryste clad hym wyth the clothes of a synner and malefactour· by cause he was fowly treatyd Thenne he said the nyght of his cene or souper to his apostles wyth grete desyre I haue desyred this pasque. That is to say this deth. this shame and this departyng. More hye may not this trees mounte in humylyte. And who shal be reysed vnto this degree of humylyte. wythout doubte he shal be wel blessyd in this world and in that other· For he that sayth thys is god. may not lye. For he is the perfayte and souerayn veryte whyche sayth wyth his blessyd mouthe in the gospel. blessyd ben they that be poure of spyrite. and how that is he techeth and sheweth to vs whan he sayth. lerne of me and not of other to be meke and humble of hert / as I am. and ye shal fynde reste to your soules. This reste and this blessydnes none knowe it but they that lerne it. Thenne yf thou wylt knowe what it is. do payne wyth alle thy hert soo moche to vaynquysshe thy self. that thou be mounted in to the seuenth degre of humylyte Thenne mayst thou gadre of the fruyt and ete of the tree of lyf. lyke as it is sayd in thapocalyps /

¶Of the rote of the vertu of humylyte capitulo C

OF the rote of humylyte growe vij braunches. For this vertu sheweth hym in seuen maners. Fyrst in honou­ryng god / in praysyng other. In adouryng & prayeng god. In louyng pouerte. In gladly seruyng. In fleyng praysyng. and hym self trustyng al in god. The veray meke & humble honoureth God in thre maners / For he byleueth hym symply. he [Page] prayseth hym truly and he prayeth hym deuoutelye. he honoureth hym fyrst in that. that he byleueth hym symply & sted­fastly of al that / whyche is sayd in holy scrypture. lyke as a lytel chylde byleueth his mayster / And for thys reason hath our fayth meryte. Thenne who byleueth wel. it doeth hym grete honour. lyke as he dooth grete honour to a man whan he byleueth hym vpon his symple word / And this is the be­gynnyng of wel doyng. whyche is necessarye to al them that wyl saue them self. as sayth saynt Poul. That is to byleue god on his symple worde. that al is toewe what someuer is sayd of hym onelye. wythout to seke other reason or to requyre other proof. Therfore ben the heretykes & proude men damp­ned / For they wold not byleue god wythout good wedde. That is to vnderstonde. yf that they see not quycke reason in al that whyche god sayth / but to the quycke reason they holden them. lyke as the vsurer holdeth hym on his pledge or wedde that wyl truste noo persone by his symple word. And herof ben comen al the euyl heresyes and vnbyleue / For the proude Aungellys that wold compare theyr wytte to the sapyence of Ihesu cryst. daygned not to byleue that god sayd. but yf he shewed to them quycke reasons or good open myracles. But we that kepe the veray fayth byleue an hondred folde better. this that he sayth that may not lye· that is god / than we doo the myracles ne rayson. ne that whyche we see. God sayth that euery persone shal be Iuged after his werkys. god saith that of euery ydle word. vs byhoueth to yeue acomptes at the day of Iugement. But the meke and the humble that thys hereth and byleueth & dredeth and doubteth & doeth payne to kepe his hert. and so his mouthe. and al his werkys / shalle not be Iuged. ¶ After the veray humble prayseth god truly for al the goodes that he hath done to hym & that he dooth to hym dayly▪ & that he yet shal do. after lyke as we haue she­wed afore in the trayte of pryde. The humble persone is lyke [Page] a poure man. whiche of a lytel almesse hath grete Ioye. and thanketh wyth al his hert his benefactour. Thēne whan the hūble seeth nothyng in hym. by whych he is worthy to haue good or brede or other thynge of which he vseth / he knoweth seeth. vnderstondeth / byleueth. & doubteth not of al that god sendeth / yeueth & leneth hym. & by cause that the very hūble dra­weth nothyng to hym self of the goodes of his lord. whyche passen by his honde. therfore is he a trewe seruaunte as saynt bernard sayth. After the very humble adoureth god & prayeth hym deuoutely / that is to say wyth very teerys which comen of the grace of god & of right felyng of the hert. For hym se­meth that he is like a chylde that is al naked tofore his maistre & that can not his lesson / or that he is lyke to the pour mā endetted. which is fallen in the handes of his credytour / and hath not wherof he may fyne ne paye his debte. Or that he be lyke a theef proued that is taken with an hondred trespaces. & that hath the corde aboute his necke. or that he be like the lame mā that lyeth atte chirche dore / which hath no shame to shewe his maladye & his soores to them that passe by. for cause that eche body shold haue pyte on hym / Yf thou wylte thenne lerne to praye god. praye & adoure hym aryght / these iiij thynges a­forsayd shal enseygne and teche the that is to wete / the chylde· the man endetted / the theef. and the lame man.

¶Of hym that is veray humble and meke capitulo Cj

THe custome is of a very meke & humble man to prayse another and to gyue hym loos. to put hym afore. alowe hym with his mouth / & by werkys to bere hym honour. he is lyke the lytel bee that maketh the hony / which escheweth stynkes. & secheth floures of the felde & souketh the dewe & the substaunce of them. and maketh hony for to garnysshe wyth his hous / Thus dooth the veray humble. whyche taketh none hede of the stenches the synnes and the deffaultes of other. But alle the [Page] goodes that other do. he heholdeth them loueth and prayseth. and souketh the swetenes of deuocion of his hert with which his conscyence is replenysshed. The veray humble seeth none so euyl a thynge. ne soo hard. ne soo synful. but that he can drawe matere to allowe & prayse god / In his hert he preyseth other in iij maners. For he byleueth more the wytte of ano­ther man· than the wytte of hym self. he wylle that the wylle of other men be do sonner than his owne. Alle the contrarye doth the proude man lyke as we haue shewed tofore. After also the veray meke and humble man alloweth and prayseth other men by worde. The good dedes that other haue doon he enhaunceth and prayseth them. and the euyl dedes he excuseth & maketh them lasse. The veray meke man torneth the mene thynge in to good. & vnderstondeth them alwaye to the beste / & this is ayenst the euyl tatches of the myssayers / whyche en­haunce the euyl dedes & mynysshe the good. & the moyen pre­uerten & torne to the werste. The veray meke & humble pray­seth by werke. & honoureth in dede eueryche as he ought to do & as he may do wythout mysdoyng / Thus doth not the proude man. but al the contrarye. lyke as we haue sayd tofore in the trayty of the synne of pryde.

¶Of hym that is humble of hert capitulo Cij

THe custome is of hym that hath an humble herte. that al his good dedes he hath behynde hym at his backe. & al his euyl. his synnes & al his deffaultes he hath alwaye in mynde tofore his eyen. and the good dedes of other he hath all waye tofore his eyen. & the euyl deffaultes & synnes of all o­ther he setteth them behynde hym at his backe as in oublyance or forgetyng. And herof happeth oftymes that the veray meke & hūble man the more he prayseth other & honoureth. so moche more he dyspreyseth hym self. The veray humble & meke per­sone of hert is lyke the auarycyous & couetous mā that hath alway his eyen on the goodes that other haue. & that they doo [Page] And alwaye hym semeth that he hath no spyrytuel good in hym. For lyke as there is an euyl proude man / So is thece veray meke and humble / He that is veray humble of hert is lyke as a lytyl chylde whyche is sone of a kynge and heyre of the royalme. whyche wepeth & cryeth. & knoweth no thynge of his hyenesse ne of his rychesse. He is also lyke vnto the symple sheep. in whome al is good & prouffytable. the wulle the felle / the flessh. the mylke. and his dunge. and the sheep no thynge knoweth of hit. ne thynketh on it. and in this ma­ner sayth the grete patryarke holy Abraham of hym self. that he was no thynge but asshes & pouldre. And holy Iob whiche was so grete and ryche in the world sayd in lyke wyse. And Saynt andrew that sayd also of hym self / what am I but asshes. duste. fylthe. rotynnesse / a worme / wynde. shadowe le­ues that the wynde bereth awaye. and drye stupple whiche is nouzt but for the fyre / And lyke as the veray humble persone of hert prayseth and honoureth other wyth his hert & mouthe & also in dede as we haue sayd. Ryght soo despyseth he hym self in these iij maners. It semeth to hym lyke as saynt Iherome sayth of hym self. whan that Iete or drynke. or that I wake or slepe. alwaye me thynketh that the fereful trompe of the day of Iugement bloweth in myn eerys sayeng. come to thy Iugement. come to thy Iugemēt. and by cause that he wyl not be Iuged of his synnes. he seeseth not but euery day purgeth hym self· kepeth and clenseth hym from alle synnes and Iugeth. condempneth / & repreueth al his werkys & hys wordes· he cryeth & nombreth. poyseth counterpoyseth & repre­neth· for he fyndeth more chaffe than grayn. that is to vnderstonde more of synnes than of good dedes. And by cause that he wyl not be Iuged at the dethe of Iustyce. wyl he not leue but that lytel and grete be examyned and sayd / & also Iuged in the court of mercy / that is in holy confessyon· ¶ In that courte who counteth wel aryght / is al quyte of his synnes. [Page] But in the courte of Iustyce whiche shal be at the day of Iu­gement / whome someuer he oweth he must paye. Ne neuer shal he mowe be aquyted. and therfore he shall be perdurably dampned / For he must rendre or pendre. that is hange / Alas caytyf what shal he paye that hath no thynge. but the body whyche is charged and al ful of dedely synnes. who that wel vnderstode & felte these thynges / he shold holde & kepe hym fro al synnes. & shold wythdrawe hym fro mockeryes and lesynges. whyche they contryue ayenst the veray meke & humble persones whyche drede god and loue hym. by cause they fere and drede hym. they wyl kepe them clene wythout ordure of synne and confesse them gladly & ofte. but lytel auaylleth confessyon wythoute repentaunce. & wythout penaunce. & without good Iugement / & that Iustyce be not doon truly. & therfore al in lyke wyse as the veray meke and humble persone ma­keth of hym self veray Iugement in bytter coutrycyon of hert & in veray confessyon of mouth. & in satysfaccyon & penaunce of veray Iustyce· he Iuged hym self as a theef & putteth hym verayly on the gybet of penaunce withoute fayntyse. & without ypocrysye.

¶How a man ought to hate pryde capitulo Ciij

WHo that hateth pryde. he loueth pouerte / and setteth his hert alowe and in humylyte. & therfore al they that been veray humble louen pouerte. and ben poure of spyryte. The veray humble persone loueth pouerte for thre reasons. that is to wete. for the perylles that ben in gouernyng of rychesses. for the goodes that ben in good and veray pouerte. & for by cause that god loueth so moche pouerte. as whā he was here in this world he loued it & yet loueth. & al them that loue it. lyke as holy scrypture wytnesseth it. wherof Ihesu cryst sayth by da­uyd in his psaulter / that god hereth the prayers & desyres of pour mē. & pourueyeth to them mete swetely in good sauour [Page] For he is theyr refuge and theyr sauyour. Iob sayth that god is the fader of the poure / & hath gyuen to them power to Iuge the other. And our lord at the begynnyng of his fayre sermon sayth that blessyd be the poure. and thenne be accursyd the ryche that haue here theyr heuen / But the veray heuen celestyal he hath gyuen to the poure. so that they may gyue it and selle it and the world wyl not byleue that god say trouthe· ne that pouerte be blessyd. But god sayth thus in the gospel. fayr fader I praye the and thanke the / that thou hast hyd these thynges fro the wyse. and hast manyfested & shewed it to the humble & meke. The humble and poure of spyryte seen god / here hym wel and byleue hym wel. and louen better an hondred folde theyr pouerte / than the couetous man loueth his rychessys. In iij thynges sheweth a man that he loueth pouerte. whan he loueth & holdeth gladly the companye of the poure. & loueth them & holdeth them companye / lyke as Ihesu Cryste dyd as longe as he was in this world. for naturelly the lambes flee fro the wulues & wythdrawe fro them. & the chyldren wyth­drawe them & flee the companye of grete peple. & the humble & meke peple withdrawe them gladly fro the proude people / The lyf of a poure persone is lytel and poure. for he requyreth not ne demaundeth precyous metes ne oultrageous vesture ne clothyng / ne he secheth no bobaunce, ne noo pryde. in roobes ne in rydyng. ne in householde. ne in meyne ne in feest ne in companye· And it suffyseth to the veray poure that he haue onelye his sustenaunce. The veray poure persone suffreth in pacyence hungre & thryste / colde and hete. lothynges and vylonnyes. & many bytter trybulacyons for the loue of Ihesu cryst and of his passyon. And al these the euyl poure man doth & suffreth ayenst his wylle. The veray humble and the veray poure suf­freth gladly al euyls and al aduersytees for the loue of god Yet ageyn it is the custome of a poure man. that yf he haue noo thynge. and may gete ne wynne noo thynge. he is not [Page] ashamed to aske and demaūde. and the veray humble beggeth al day & requyreth the prayers and the orysons of good peple and of the frendes of god. and the veray humble trusteth more in their ayde. than he dooth in his owne good dedes.

¶Of dyuers estates of pryde capitulo Ciiij

PRyde loueth the hye place aboue. Humylyte loueth the lowe place bynethe. This is the dyamont of the noble nature that dayneth not to syt in golde. but in poure metal as in yron. in lyke wyse is the sheet of whete beten. The grayne is vnder. and the chaf is aboue / But our lord shal selle hys whete at the day of dome al wynewed lyke as sayth the gos­pel / & he shal caste the chaffe in to the fyre of helle. & the grayn in to the garner of heuen. how moche more the golde is fyne & pure· so moche more is it heuy. & the more it wayeth the soner it goeth doun to the bottom. & the more that a man is meke and humble. the more loueth he the lowe place / lyke as dyd Ihesu cryst and his swete moder. whiche gaue to vs ensaumple to serue and to obeye / Not onely to the grettest but to the leste. And how moche more the seruyse is vyle and despysable so moche gladly doth it the humble and meke. Therfore our lord Ihesu Cryste taught hys appostles to wesshe the feet by humylyte. Thenne humylyte is proprely moder of obedyence and nouryssheth it. enseygneth and kepeth it that it be not corrupt by vayn glorye by heuynesse nor by murmure. ne by pro­pre wyt. ne by propre wylle. ne by aduersyte. ne by ony other maner / & it is to wete that there be vij adournements of obe­dyence. The first that one obeye anone prestly. gladly. symply purely. generally. vyly. & vygorously / The humble is poure to­fore hys eyen & naked. & hath not to do for hym self. & therfor he is alwaye redy. as the marōners in the see in theyr shyppes [Page] that anone as they here the voys of the gouernour / they obeye to hym and renne as they were enraged / The humble obeyeth gladly. that the paynes. the perylles. and the deth he receyueth to his power wyth grete ioye for the loue that he hath to obe­dyence. Therfore sayd dauyd the prophete in the psaulter. that he loued better the commaundements that god made / than he dyd golde ne syluer. ne precyous stones. The humble obeye al symply. as doth the hors· or the sheep. whome the shepeherde ledeth where as he wyl. and that neuer sayth. wherfore goo I more here than there. For one of the moost honest doughters that humylyte hath is holy symplesse. The humble is ryght true to god. lyke as is a ryght good wyf to hyr husbond. whyche wyl to no man obeye folyly. but to hir husbond onely And therfore none obeyeth so Iustly ne in so good entēcyon as doth the veray humble. whiche hateth not. but for to playse the world. and desyreth noo thynge but to plese god. After the very humble is ryght vygorous. ryght swyfte and open / whan he bereth the vertu of obedyence and the loue of god and doth it to his prelate. But whan his owne wylle bereth hym and ledeth. Thenne he is heuy and slowe to do wel· lyke vnto the sterre named saturnus. whyche renneth as moche in one day wyth the fyrmament. whan the fyrmament ledeth hyr. as she doeth in xxx yere in hir propre [...]ours. Also the veray meke & humble obeyeth generally oueral and in al places. where he byleueth that it playseth god. and in al thynges lyke as dooth the asse of the mylle / that as gladly bereth barley as whete· & lede as golde. and whete to a poure man as to a ryche man. ¶Also the veray meke and humble is made stronge / For he chaungeth his strengthe wyth the strengthe of god. lyke as sayth the prophete ysaye. And therfore there is noo thynge but the veray humble may wel bere. For god bereth hym and his dedes. Thenne he obeyeth vygorously and perseuerantly. For he is neuer wery nomore than the sōne is. which god ledeth [Page] & conduyteth. and the lenger it lyueth the more groweth hyr force and hir vygour / Now mayst thou see clerely how humylyte techeth the wel and parfytely to serue & obeye god /

Of the techyng and doctryne of our lord capitulo Cv


IHesu c̄rist the grete maystre of humylyte. whan he had preched & fedde his peple. & heled the seck men and lame / Thenne he fledde awaye fro the peple in to the montaygne / for to be in orison for to enseygne and gyue vs an ensaumple to flee the praysyng of the world & therfore the trewe humble herte lyke as he pay­neth to doo wel whan he obeyeth. Ryght so he payneth hym to fle the pray­syng of the world. and to hyde hym for to kepe hym from the wynde of vaynglorye. And to fyxe hym in the shadowe of the roche. lyke as ysaye the prophete sayth fro the tempest of euyll tongues / Thys roche is Ihesu Cryst hym self. whyche is the refuge and the charyte to the humble and meke. ¶To thys roche. that is Ihesu crist fleeth the humble hert charged with thornes lyke as is the yrchon. that is of sharpnes of penaunce Thys is the dounehous in to whyche fleen for refuge. the dou­nes of our lord. That ben the meke. humble. and symple her­tes that flee thyder to refuge for the foules of proye or rauayn That ben the deuyls whiche alwaye seche to dāpne the soules [Page] whan an humble hert hath done soo moche that he is entryd in to this roche as the doune in to a dounehous. that is whan he remembreth wel the lyf of Ihesu Cryste / and hys blessyd passyon· thenne he forgeteth al his sorowes / and prayseth ly­tel al that the world hath and is worth / & may be of valu. A good hert that hath assayed thys. desyreth noo thynge so moche as to be forgoten to the world. The world is to hym a charge. and besynes· for as sayth the wyse man. The good man is neuer more sure. than whan he is al allone. ne more in werkys than whan he is ydle. For he is thenne wyth ij of his best frendys. that is wyth god and wyth hym self. There a deuoute hert treateth of his grete quarellys & com­playntes by whyche al other werkes semen to hym truffes & nought. and al vanytees. There he acompteth wyth god / and god with hym by holy thoughtes & by feruent desires. Thēne he seleth the grete swetnes of consolaciōs & comforte that god gyueth to them that drede hym. & loue hym. lyke as Dauyd the prophete sayth in the psaulter / Thenne al langages and al wordes ennoye & greue hym. yf they be not of god. to god. or for god. Thus begynneth the soule to loue solytude & scylence And thenne cometh to hym in his hert an holy shamefastnes whiche is one of the fayr doughters of humylite. for al in lyke wyse as a damoysel that loueth paramours wyth grete sha­mefastnes whan she is apperceyued & she hereth that it is spoken of. In lyke wyse the humble persone and deuoute whan he hereth that one speketh of hym. & of his spyrytuel goodes that god hath done to hym. and no thynge lasse doth he. than the mayde doth which is ardantly surprysed of loue. for what someuer the world say to hym / it is knowen. Neuertheles he secheth his corners & hydles lyke as he that requyreth none other thynge. but to be rauysshed in god lyke as was Saynt Poule.

¶Of the pryuyte that god hath to an holy soule ca Cvj

OF this acqueyntaunce and of thys preuyte· thys holy soule begynneth to haue of god / bytwene hyr & an holy pryde. For whan the holy soule is rauysshed vnto heuen / she beholdeth the erthe fro ferre / lyke as sayth ysaye the prophete. & there seeth it soo lytel to the regarde of the gretenes of heuen / so foule to the regarde of that grete beaute. so troublus to the re­garde of that grete clerenesse. soo wyde to the regarde of that grete plente / Thenne he despreyseth & despyseth certeynly alle the rychessys of the world. beautees. honoures. and noblesses. Thenne it semeth to hym that it is but a playe of chyldren that playe in the waye▪ & moche trauayllen them self & wynne nothyng. It semeth that al is but wynde & dremes as sayth salamon. Thenne he begynneth to deye to the world. and lyue to god as sayth saynt Poul. Thenne is the soule so poure of spyryte that it hath nought. For god hath his spyryte taken fro hym & rauysshed it / & replenysshed wyth his yeftes. as he dyd to thappostles on whytsonday / Thenne the holy ghoost gyueth to hym so grete an hert / that the prosperyte ne aduersyte of the world he prayseth no thynge at al. & wyth this he gy­ueth to hym so holy & so ferme a conscyēce. that he awayteth hardyly the deth. and he hath in god so grete fayth. and hope & loue. that there is noo thynge but he dar enterpryse it for the loue of god. For he hath that fayth of whiche god speketh in the gospel / whiche is lykened to mustard seed. by whyche he may comande to roches and montaygnes / and they shal obeye to hym.

Of the comparysōs of mustard seed to the loue of god Cvij

THe seed of mustard is moche lytel. but it is moche stronge and sharpe / And it is hote in the fourth degree as the physycyens sayen. By the hete is vnderstonden loue [Page] The fyrst degree of loue as sayth saynt Bernard / is whan a man feleth no thynge of loue but of hym self. & of hys owen prouffyte. The second is whan he begynneth to loue god. The iij is whan he knoweth best god / & loueth hym proprely for his bounte. The fourth is whan he is so esprysed wyth thys holy loue. that he ne loueth hym self ne none other thynge but god / or for god. or wyth god. And vnto this loue bryngeth hym veray humylyte. ¶Now mayst thou see clerely that the poure of spyryte ben blessyd. For they be soo humbled & voyde of theyr spyryte. that their spyryte is alle mynuysshed / for god hath it al. and the holy ghoost hath replenysshed the hous of his hert. & is there lord. and enhaunceth them that been poure of spyryte. These been the veray meke and humble. whome he maketh to regne in heuen by holy hope & by holy conscyence. & therfore sayth our lord in the gospel / that the royame of heuen is theyres. Not onelye by promesse / but by fyn certeynte. lyke as they that began somtyme to receyue the fruytes & the rentes how they shold be blessyd in that other world. That may noo man knowe vnto the tyme that he be there. For the hert of a mortal man may not thynke it. ne expresse wyth mouthe / ne here it wyth hys cerys.

¶Of the yefte of holy drede & of pyte capitulo Cviij

THe first yefte of the holy ghoost maketh the hert hūble dredeful and to doubte god and hate al synnes. & ther­fore it is named the yefte of drede. ¶The second yefte of pyte maketh the hert swete debonayr and pyteous. And therfore is it named the yefte of pyte. And that is proprely a dewe and a tryacle ayenst the venym of felonnye. and in especyal ayenste the venym of the synne of enuye. of whyche we haue spoken tofore. For this yefte of pyte taketh awaye and plucketh out of the hert the rote of enuye. and there heleth it parfyghtely. [Page] Thenne the hert that receyueth thys yefte / and feleth in hym a dewe. whyche maketh hym to germyne a swete rote & ryzt wel atempred. that is good loue. oute of whyche groweth a fayr tree beryng grete fruyt. that is a fayr vertu & good that is callyd in latyn mansuetudo. That is to say swetenesse and debonayrte of hert. whyche maketh a man swete. debonayr. charytable and amyable. For this vertu maketh a man to loue his neyghbour parfytely. and hym self after god / This tree hath vij degrees by whiche he mounteth on heyght / These vij degrees sheweth to vs saynt Poul· there where as he ad­monesteth and prayeth that we do payne to that / that we be al one in god / The fyrst reason is that we haue al one herte the hye and the lowe. the poure and the ryche. That is that we haue al one fader in heuen. That is god whych made vs al comunely to his ymage and to his semblaunce / & by cause that we al haue one creatour and maker. whyche maad vs al of one matere and of one fourme. and to one ende. that is that we be al in hym and wyth hym. lyke as he sayth in the gospel. It is moche grete reason that we loue eche other / for the bestys and the byrdes eche loueth his semblable· The second reason is that we be al crysten and baptysed in the sacrament of bap [...]esme poure and ryche. That is that we be al wasshen wyth the precyous blood of Ihesu Cryst. And we were rede­med wyth one maner money. and as moche coste that one as the other. Moche thenne owe we to loue eche other and to honoure. For god hath moche loued vs and praysed vs. and hath made vs of grete dygnyte / ¶ The thyrd reason is by cause we haue al one fayth and been bounden all to one lawe whyche alle is accomplysshed. lyke as Saynt Poul sayth in thys word / loue thy neyghbour as thy self. Of thys debte is no man quyte for ony thynge that he can do. this debte oweth eche man to other / & who that moost rendreth moost oweth. ¶ The fourth reason is that we haue al one maystre & one [Page] lord that is god of whome we holde al. body and soule. and al that we haue. he hath made vs al and formed. and hath vs al redemed of a lyke prys. he shal Iuge vs al· & rewarde largely to al them that shal haue kepte and holden hys com­mandementes. and that haue loued eche other truly. ¶The fyfthe reason is by cause that we be al felowes in the hoost of our lord / And we ben al hys knyghtes & souldyers. whyche we al abyde one rewarde. that is the glorye perdurable. and loue and companye of alle sayntes. ¶The vj reason is that we lyue alle of one espyryte spyrytuelly. lyke as we lyue alle of one ayer corporally. By this spyryte we ben alle sones of god by adopcyon. That is by aduoerye. and sones of holy chyrche. brethern germayn of fader and moder. a spyrytuel fraternyte. whyche is better worthe than a carnal fraternyte. lyke as the spyryte is of more value than the body. ¶The seuenth reason is by cause that we been al membres of one body / of whyche Ihesu cryst is the heed. & we been the membres which lyuen al of one mete. That is of the precyous flesshe & blode of Ihesu Cryst. whyche so moche loueth vs / and vs holdeth so dere / that he gyueth to vs his precyous blood to drynke. & his precyous flesshe to ete. Therfore remembreth vs so ofte saynt Poule this loue whyche he sheweth to vs. For a more quycke reason ne more fayrer example may he not shewe to vs of veray amytye and frendshyp. yf thou wylte thynke wel on these reasons. thou shalte fynde vij degrees of amytye and frendshyp whyche comen of the yefte of pyte.

¶Of vij maners of spyrytuel loue capitulo Cix

OF this stocke and oute of this rote growen vij braun­ches / For this vertu sheweth hym in seuen maners. lyke as loue is knowen. whyche is emonge the membres of [Page] a body in vij maners / Fyrst the one of the membres kepeth & countregardeth the other. that it do to hym none euyl. ne that at faylle hym not / ne that it do hym none harme ne dōmage to hys power. & herin we vnderstonde our Innocencye / which we ought to kepe eche anenst other / For thys comandement is wryton in the hert of euery persone. That is that thou do to another after god that. whyche thou woldest that he dyd to the. and that thou sholdest not doo to another. otherwyse than thou woldest shold not be doon to the. Ne that thy ryght honde shold smyte thy lyft honde / Also that one membre suffre swetelye that other that it do to hit no harme. ne no vengeaunce ne wrath. But yf that one membre haue harme or hurte. that other membres fele it / And in this vnderstonde we parsyght debonayrte whyche hath iij degrees / The fyrst is that he reuenge hym not / The second that he reteyne not wrath ne yre. The thyrd that he ne fele no moeuyng of hate ne yre to­ward his neyghbour for ony thynge that he doth / ¶ Also the membres obeyen al to theyr souerayn. For they do al to theyr power that. whiche the hert comandeth them. and the cyen en­seynen them / In this vnderstonde we the vertu of obedyence of which we haue spoken tofore. whyche ought to be appa­raylled in loue & in charyte lyke as sayth Saynt Peter. Also the one membre helpeth that other. & serueth that other with­out daunger. wythout contradyctyon and wythoute auaryce. And herin we vnderstonde the vertu· that is callyd charyte. of whyche a man thenne helpeth and socoureth another gladly wyth the power that god hath gyuen hym. or he enseygneth or counceylleth wyth the wytte that he hath· Or he gyueth & departeth largely for goddes sake the goodes that he hath. Than is sayd of hym that he is moche charytable. and thus commandeth to vs saynt peter. that the graces that god hath gyuen to vs· that we admynystre them to our neyghbours / wherof Tullyus the phylosophre sayth. we ought to fele alle [Page] that whyche is in the world and groweth / al is made for to serue man. And the men be made that one to ayde and helpe that other. For the one is engendred of the other. Lete vs thenne do that for whyche we be borne. and that whyche na­ture enseygneth vs / and seche we al the comyn prouffyte. for thus as sayth Saynt Poule. we been alle membres of one sole body. Alle the membres felen and drawe to theym that whyche is doon to eueryche / be it good. be it euyl. be it Ioye. be it anguysshe / whan one smyteth the fote. the mouth sayth ye gryeue and hurte me / ¶By thys we vnderstonde the vertu of veray pyte. whyche we ought to haue commynly. whyche hath two offyces as sayth Saynt Poule. That is to wete to Ioye for the good that other do and haue / And to sorowe for the euylles that other fele and make / ¶Also yf a mem­bre be seek or hurte / al the other helpen it to thende that it may be guarysshed and hool / In thys vnderstonde we the vertu of Iustyce and of correctyon / wythoute the whyche the body of holy chyrche may not endure / For the roten membres defou­len the other that been hole. who that wyl thenne chastyse hys brother and hys neyghbour. and repreue and punysshe hys subgette. late hym take hede at hym self / whan that a mem­bre is seek or hurte. the herte hath grete compassyon· and fe­leth grete sorowe / And that is for the grete loue that he hath to it. he sette honde to. moche swetely and ofte. ¶ And lyke as sayth Seneke. lyke as alle the membres of the body ay­den and bere vp eche other / Ryght soo ought euery man for to supporte hys neyghboue. and to correcte and plucke away the woundes of synnes that been in hys hert. ¶ Fyrst there ought for to be layed therto the oynementes and thenplaystres of swete admonycyons.

¶ Also yf thys be nouzt worthe there must be layed therto the sharpe pouldres and poynaunt of harde reprehencyon / And yf that helpe not / thenne lete come the swerde to dysseuere. or for [Page] to excommynye hym / or to bannysshe hym out of the contreye or to wythdrawe fro hym.

Also the membres honoure and kepe that one that other. and do worshyp lyke as sayth saynt poule. we owe to bere and do reuerence one to another. and specyally they that haue grete nede to be supported· These been the moost folysshe and moost feble. Them ought men moost to supporte. Thenne the wyse men and sage beren and supporten alwaye the fooles and the feble. lyke as the bones beren the feble flesshe. and as the py­ler bereth the hous / This is ayenst the myssayers. that so gladly cryen and sayen the deffaultes and the synnes that they see in other. Also that one membre deffendeth that other at nede and put hym tofore to saue that other. for at nede is seen who is a frende· whan that one fote slydeth. that other helpeth it a­none. whā that one wold smyte the heed. the hande put hym tofore. In that vnderstonde we parfyght and pure amytye wherof god sayth in the gospel / who may doo gretter amytye or frendshyp. than to sette his lyf for his frende / This frend­shyp sheweth vs Ihesu Cryst the veray frende. whyche for vs sette his soule and hys body to deth shameful· And that dyd be to gyue to vs example. lyke as sayth Saynt Peter. and also Saynt Iames. that god hath sette his soule for vs / And ryght so we ought to sette our soules for our brethern & for our neyghbours. yf we be aryght the membres of the body of Ihesu Cryst. whyche is our heed / who that hath thys vertu a ryght / I shal say appertly that he is wel blessyd· Thys is the vertu that our good maystre Ihesu Cryste enseygneth vs. whan he sayth in the gospel· blessyd be the debonayr. For they shal possesse the londe of them that lyuen in glorye wyth­oute ende / ¶Now vnderstonde wel thys blessyng that the debonayr hath in thys world. For the parfyght debonayr been now in possessyon of therthe. That is to vnderstonde in iij maners. Fyrst of the erthe of lyuyng peple. That is god hym [Page] self. whyche is the herytage of theym that lyue perdurably that is of the sayntes and of good peple. in lyke wyse as the erthe is habytacyon of beestys and of men. And by cause that god hym self is the erthe of lyuyng men. he hath the debonayrs in his possessyon. For they do noo thynge but that whyche pleseth god. Therfore it is ryght that they haue god in theyr possessyon / Lyke as Dauyd the prophete sayth in hys psaulter. The debonayrres sayth he shal haue the erthe in possessyon & in herytage. and also they shal haue delectacions in multitude of pees. And Saynt Anstyn sayth that no man shal haue god in his possessyon. but that fyrst he shal be in hys. ¶ Also the debonayr haue in thys world the londe of theyr hert in possessyon / For they be by ryght lordes of theyr herte. The felon is not lord of his hert. & the debonayr hath the maystrye of hys herte and of hys euyl maners. ¶And Salamon sayth that he is more valyaunte. that maystryeth wel his hert than he that taketh a stronge castel and cytees.

¶ Also the debonayres ben lordes of therthe / that is of world­ly goodes· For yf they lese them they shal neuer be troubled ne angry therfore. But they that been angry whan they lose worldly goodes / be not lordes of theym ne of theyr hert. But been seruauntes therto. and therfore it is ryght and reson that they that haue here the goodes temporell and spyrytuel / haue in them self theyr possessyon of the herte· ¶But now vnder­stonde and beholde that thys that God gyueth vnto the poure of spyryte is the heuen. and to the debonayr the erthe / where shal be the auarycyous men thenne and the felons. but in the tormentes of helle.

¶ Of the seuen yeftes of the holy ghoost. and fyrst of the yefte of scyence capitulo Cx

[Page]THe fyrst yefte of the holy ghoost is the yefte of scyence. whyche maketh a man humble & dredeful. The second maketh hym swete & pyteous. The thyrd maketh hym clere seeyng. and connyng. and therfore it is callyd the yefte of scy­ence. For it maketh a man wyse and connyng in mesure in al thynges. whan this yefte descendeth in to the hert of a per­sone. he extyrpeth and casteth out the rote & the synne of yre & of felonnye whiche troubleth the hert. & maketh a man lyke as he were fro hym self so that he seeth noo thyng ne for hym self. ne for to conduyte other. But this yefte enlumyneth the hert on alle partes so that he may not be deceyued of ony per­sone / lyke as the yefte of pyte maketh the man Innocent. soo that he wyl none deceyue. wherof saynt Iohan sayth in thap­pocalipse in spyryte. that the holy man that was al ful of this espyryte. was al ful of eyen tofore and after. And an angel shewed to zacharye the prophete a stone wherin were seuen eyen These ben the eyen that the good men haue. for they see clere wythin theyr hert and al aboute them / That is to say vnder & aboue. on the ryght syde and on the lyft syde. This yeft of scy­ence is maystre of the werkys. and that is to saye of vertues of the soule. For he maketh al Iuste to a poynte by lyne rule & plombe / he taketh fyrst his bounde & his poynte. and that is that the wyse man sayth· In al that thou begynnest. beholde the ende. and to what ende thou shalt come. after he holdeth the lyne. For he goeth by ryght waye afore and by ryght entencyon. ¶ After he maketh alle by rule. For he maketh it alle playn and by mesure. For he loueth the comyn waye of good peple wythoute to fynde noueltees. After he preueth his syght and his werke by plombe / For he taketh hede that his body enclyne not toward the ryght syde by prosperyte. ne to the lyft syde by aduersyte / This yefte of sapyence is lyke to the priour of a cloystre of the soule. whiche kepeth thordre. & maketh it to be kept oueral. Fyrst in the hert. and after in other offyces [Page] ¶In thys hert ben two sydes and two thynges. the vnder­stondyng and the wylle / the reson and the affectyon / whan these two sydes and these two thynges accorden to gydre. they make moche swete melodye and moche fayr seruyse. That is whan the wylle. wylle al that. whiche the vnderstondyng en­seygneth to good / and that affectyon feleth al that. whyche reason vnderstondeth. yf they vnderstonde wel in these ij sydes whyche ben in the soule / whan. and how. they ouzt to accorde In one syde ben iiij lockes. and in that other syde iiij. for rea­son hath foure offyces. That is to enquyre. to Iuge. to re­membre. & to shewe that whyche they vnderstonde by word. This yefte enseygneth the reason that. whyche he ought to lerne and to enquyre. and in what ordre. and in what maner and what ende. and this is a moche grete crafte / For the mesprysyng in these thynges is moche peryllous. hit byhoueth to vnderstonde the reason / and to lerne that whiche is necessarye prouffytable and honeste. and to wythdrawe fro the contrarye O god how a creature leseth his tyme / and dyspences for to lerne thynges that ben of no value / but vaynglorye & synne. But the holy ghoost by this yefte enseygneth lyghtly. and maketh a man to lerne ordynatly that / whyche is moost necessarye to the prouffyte of the soule. And that ledeth hym moost ryght vnto the loue of God for the helthe and the prouffyte of hys soule. and to helpe hys neyghbour.

¶ Also it byhoueth the reason wel to enquyre the trouthe of the thynges / And also how he ought for to byleue / wel to byleue is. whan a man byleueth symply and stedfastly alle that whyche god sayth and commaūdeth wythout ouermoche to enquyre. and wythoute to enserche the counceylles of god / and the profoundnes of his Iugements. the heyght of his mageste. and the reasons of hys sacramentes / wel to byleue is whan one byleueth not ouer hastely. ne ouer late. ne to eue­ryche / ne to none. for that one & other is vyce as saith seneke / [Page] After good enquyryng cometh wel to Iuge. For to Iuge wel it apperteyneth that one afferme no thyng. vnto the tyme that he hath enquyred the trouthe of the thynge / and that he be wel encerteyned / and that he entremete not to Iuge that. whyche apperteyneth no thynge to hym· lyke as ben the secrete thynges & hydde / thentencyōs of hertes· the thynges that may not be torned on the right syde ne on the lyfte syde. that yet they be vnderstonden to the better parte. Of whyche the spyryte by this yefte maketh the reason to Iuge wel. and to knowe the ryght / & to determyne bytwene good thynges & euyl thynges bytwene the lytel thynges and the grete thynges. for he must prayse euery thynge after his valure. Also this spyryte ma­keth the reason to remembre. For he remembreth a man all that is nedeful to hym. lyke as god sayth in the gospel. The thynges that ben passyd he must remēbre and brynge ageyn to memorye. The thynges that been present he must vnder­stonde and remembre and ordeyne· The thynges that been to come he must purneye fore / ordeyne and aduyse. These ben the seuen partyes of the vertu of prudence. after that whyche the phylosophre sayth. Also he maketh the reason to speke by me­sure / and be stylle gladly. and not to speke tyl it be nede. Soo that the word be tofore wel aduysed and wel thought or it come to the tongue· And that the word be wayed and poysed as good money and preued lyke as Salamon sayth· ¶Soo that the worde be accordyng vnto god and wythoute synne of good matere and of good fourme. That is that it haue not ouermoche. ne ouer lytel. And that it be wel em­ployed. For good money ne a good word ought not to be gyuen for nought. ¶ Herof sayth God in the gospel that we shold not caste the precyous stones tofore hogges. That is to vnderstonde the precyous wordes of our lord god byfore them / and to suche persones that sette them self not to werke for theyr helthe. But lyuen in the ordure of theyr synnes. [Page] therfore holy scrypture calleth them hogges. Thys yefte afore sayd ordeyneth and accordeth that other partye of the hert. That is the wylle where it hath iiij partyes. loue. drede / ioye & sorowe. That is that one loue that· whyche he oweth. soo as he oweth. as moche as he oweth. & that he drede not also that whych he oweth / and that he haue no ioye ne delyte sauf in that he oweth after god & also how he oweth / & as moche as he oweth. And that he haue no sorowe ne heuynesse / but in that whiche he oweth / and also how he oweth. & as moche as he oweth. whan these four partyes been accorded. thenne it is sayd that a man is wel attempred whan he is not ouer colde ne ouer hote. ne ouer drye. ne ouer moyste. And in lyke wyse as to the body of a man comen ouer many maladyes. for the dysatēperaunce of these iiij qualytees / or of these iiij humours / Ryght so to the hert of a man comen to hym the vy­ces and synnes by the dysatemperaunce of these foure maners whan these ij sydes of the hert ben accorded & ordeyned / that is the reson & the wylle. Thēne is a man ordeyned wythin hym self / These ben the ij sprynges of the rote of a moche fayr vertu which is called equyte. Equyte proprely is that which is done by Iugement good & true. not ouer softe / ne ouer rude· wyth­out bowyng & enclynyng vnto that one partye. ne to that o­ther. whan one goeth forth aryght as a lyne / for equyte is none other thynge but vnyte. that is egalte / al egal / who hath this vertu is a trewe Iuge & wyse / For he doth nothyng but it be enquyred & examyned lyke as a good Iuge ought to do Thenne the fyrst degree of this vertu / is that a man be a good Iuge of hym self. for he ought to entre in to hym selfe. and beholde his conscyence. and wel to examyne hys thoughtes and hys wylles. whether they been good or euyl / and to or­deyne alle to the regarde of reson. so that wylle and reason be at one accorde / For lyke as saynt Bernard sayth. vertue is none other thynge but thassente of reason and of wylle. [Page] That is that wylle wythout gaynsayeng. saye and doo· and also put in oeuure. that is to saye in dede & werke. that which reason sayth / sheweth. and enseygneth.

¶Of the second degree of equyte and of ryghtwysnes Cxj

THe second degree of this vertu is. that a man be a rightful Iuge. & holde the ryght lyne of equyte bytwene hymself and that whiche is vnder hym. That is his body whyche he hath in kepyng whyche he ought here to nourysshe. that it may serue. and be so dyscyplyned and chastysed that it wylle of alle and in al thynges obeye vnto the soule. lyke as a good chambryere obeyeth to hir maystresse. and a good dyscyple to his mayster wythout gaynsayeng. For the reason ought to be lyke as a trewe arbytrour bytwene the soule and the body. whyche ought to kepe the ryght of eyther parte. In suche ma­ner that the spyryte be a good lord. and the body be a good ser­uaunte and veray subgette and obeyssaunt to the soule / Now is it grete necessyte to holde in this partye oueral equyte & ryzt mesure in drynkyng and etyng. in clothyng and in arayeng. and in al the thynges that the body commaundeth. For it enclyneth more to ouermoche than to ouerlytel. After. hym byhoueth the v wyttes of his body wel to conduyte & to gouerne by reason and by equyte. so that eueryche serue in hys offyce wythoute synne and wythout mesprysyon. lyke as wyth the eyen to beholde. the eerys to here. the noses to smelle. the mouth to taste and to speke. the handes and alle the body to touche. whan these v wyttes be wel kepte from synne / Thenne is the castel sure & ferme. For these ben the yates of the soule. These ben the wyndowes by whyche deth entreth ofte in to the soule This wytnesseth the prophete.

¶Of the iij degre of the vertu of equyte capo. Cxij

[Page]THe thyrd degree of the vertu of equyte is that a man be a good Iuge and that he holde equyte. bytwene hym self / and that that is tofore hym. That ben the temporal thynges. whyche ofte destroyen body and soule· as whan a man setteth his loue ouermoche on them· lyke as doon the auarycyous and couetous men. and al they that aboue mesure louen worldly thynges / For they haue theyr hertes knytte in the nettys of the deuyl. as Iob sayth. That is to plees and qua­rellys· & forayne werkes. wherin they ocupye them so and in suche manere. that in the lyf spyrytuel ne to theyr sauacyon they conne nought doo / ne may not ne wylle not entende. soo moche ben they blynde / and bounden in theyr synnes. wherof it happeth that whiche Seneke the wyse man sayth. That by thys we synne and goo out of the waye. that as touchyng the partyes of the bodyly lyf. euery man thynketh and is besy. but for to ordeyne his lyf spyrytuel for to haue glorye perdurable no man thynketh ne studyeth / Now is thenne moche grete necessyte. that a man sette not ouermoche his hert in forayne thynges / for who that soo ouermoche doth. he falleth in the charges and in the couetyses of the world. whyche is the rote of alle vyces.

¶ Of the fourth and fyfthe degree of the vertu of Equyte capitulo Cxiij

THe fourth degree of the vertu of equyte is that a man see clerely on his rzht syde. that is that he take hede and take example of the good for to gouerne hym. which ben lyke as at his ryght syde· And of the good and wyse men he take wytte & example / But in this syde behoueth to holde dyscres­cyon & equyte / For al the peple may not goo by one waye / ne al the good. ne al the wyse. haue not one self grace. lyke as the membres of a body haue not one self offyce. and herof been [Page] many persones nouyces deceyued in theyr hert. lyke as sayth the book of collacyons of holy faders. whyche treaten of the perfectyon of vertues / for whā they see a man wel parfyght moche prouffyte in one estate and in one grace. Anone they entende. desyre. and wyl resemble hym. and whan they see a­nother. whyche in another estate dooth also moche good. also they crye and renne after. and also to the thyrd and the fourth and wyth none they abyde ne reste / They be also lyke as the yonge grehounde / whyche is yet alle yonge. that renneth after euery beest that he seeth tofore hym / and doeth noo thynge but maketh hym wery and leseth his tyme. herof telleth ysopus a tale or a fable. of a lytel hounde and of an asse. whyche asse sawe the hounde that as oftymes as his lord came home. he ranne ayenste hym & lepe vpon hys necke. and the lord played wyth hym & made hym grete feste. and the asse thought say­eng. More ought my lord to make to me feste whyche serue hym al day. than to this dogge whyche serueth of no thynge It was not longe after that thys asse sawe hys lord come to hys hous. And he ranne ayenst hym / and caste his ij forefeet aboute his necke. and began strongly to lycke and fawne hym. The seruauntes of the lord whyche sawe thys / ranne wyth grete staues and beten ryght wel the asse. And of that. of whyche the asse had supposed to haue had grace. honour. & prouffyte. he had shame and dommage. ¶ By suche fables the wyse men were wonte tenseygne and teche them self by suche ensaumple. And by thys ensaumple he sheweth / that no man shold desyre suche graces as he may not attayne ne come to. and the same techeth Salamon sayeng. Sone cast not thyn eyen to rychesses / That is to the graces that thou mayst not atteyne. Therfore he hath grete nede of dyscrescy­on that he see of whome he taketh ensaumple. ¶Also it is necessyte that a man see clerely on his lyft syde. and that is the fyfthe degree. For one oughte to beholde the fooles and the [Page] shrewes whiche ben as on the lyft syde. for they be on the werse syde. To them ought one to take hede. Fyrst by cause that a man shold haue pyte and compassyon / Also that one shold not ensyewe theyr folye ne theyr predycyon. so as the wyse Salamon sayth. I passed sayd he by the vyneyerde of the slouthful fool. and sawe that it was ful of thornes and nettles. and by thys ensaumple I haue lerned wytte and prouydence. Also that one loue moost god by whome he is quyte of suche synnes and of suche perylles. But hym byhoueth on thys syde to kepe dyscrescyon and equyte. For whan I see a fool and a synnar. I ought to haue pyte and compassyon. & not to make of hym mocquerye ne derysyon / I ought alwaye to hate the synne. and loue the persone· & moche I ought to kepe me that I wylle no grief ne harme in my hert to noo persone ne to condempne hym. Ne compare my self to another that is so euyl. For he is thys day euyl that shal be to morne good and suche is this day good that to morne shal be euyl. Also I ought as moche as I may wythout mysdoyng vnto other enploye my self. humble and condescende in werkys and in wordes for to wynne hym to god. and to wythdrawe hym fro synne. For lyke as sayth Seneke and Saynt Gregory we may not better relyeue them that ben fallen. than by that whyche is aforesayd. and late vs not wylle our self how that it be· enclyne toward them.

¶The vi degree of the vertu of equyte capitulo Cxiiij

THe vj degree of the vertu of equyte is the vj eye that the wyse man hath. That is that he see clerely behynde the nette and the engynes of the deuyl / whyche been to vs as behynde vs. For the fende seeth vs & we may not see hym. ¶The fende our enemye that is the deuyl· whyche is moche stronge / wyse. subtyl. & besy for to deceyue vs / For he cesseth [Page] neuer day ne nyght. but alwaye is in a wayte for to deceyue vs by his crafte & by his engynes that he vseth in moo than a thousand maners. And lyke as sayth saynt austyn. The deuylles see moche subtylly thestate of a man and his manere. & his complexyon and to what synne. and to what vyce he is moost enclyned. by nature or by custome / and to that parte wherto a man enclyneth hym self. Therto the deuyl assaylleth moost strongely / The coleryke man to wrath and Ire. The sangueyn man to Iolyte and to lecherye / The fleumatyke coglotonnye and to stouthe. and the malencolyke to enuye and heuynesse / And therfore euery man ought to deffende & kepe hym fro that parte where he seeth that his hous is moost fe­ble· And ayenst thys vyce and thys synne ought one to fyght and resyste moost / of whyche he is moost assaylled. And how moche more he shal resyste strongely ayenste alle synnes. Soo moche more meryte shal he haue in paradyse or in heuen / and vnderstonde wel that the enemye of helle spareth noo persone / For he is hardy and aygre· as he that assaylleth our lord Ihesu Cryst in temptyng hym. Knowest thou sayth our lord to Iob. in how many guyses the fende desguyseth hym. & in how many maners / Lyke as he shold saye. Noo man knoweth but I onely. For lyke as sayth saynt Denys. Al the angel­lys the good and the euyl. and al the spyrytes of men ben lyke as a myrrour spyrituel. Thenne lyke as a myrrour receyueth al the fourmes & thenpryntes that comen tofore hym / Ryght so doth a spyryte of a man. be it in slepyng be it in wakyng. Now thenne toke a myrrour and set it ayenst another. Anone al the formes that ben in that one / thou shalt see in that other ¶ In suche it is sayd that the deuyl sheweth to a man suche fygures and suche fourmes as he wyl that god suffreth hym And the soule receyueth maulgre hym self somtyme in thouzt and in ymagynacyon / lyke ayenste my wylle. me byhoueth to see and receyue in the syght of myn eye the forme that cometh [Page] byfore me. ¶ Now is it a ryght grete grace of god and a ryght grete yefte of the holy ghoost to vnderstonde wel alle the langages of the deuyl and to knowe alle hys temptacyons. and alle his engynes. For lyke as sayth saynt Bernard / It is ouer subtyl a thyng to knowe and to dyscusse bytwene the thoughtes that the herte conceyueth and bryngeth forth. and them that the deuyl planteth· And the fende sheweth to a man how the synnes been playsaunte and delectable. lyghtly may a dyscrete man and resonable knowe thys / But whan the fende cometh to tempte a man in guyse of an Angel. And sheweth to hym good for to drawe hym to euyl. Thenne is the temptacyon moost stronge. And therfore sayth saynt Io­han that one ought not to byleue alle spyrytes. but they ouzt to preue and wel examyne them tofore that one byleue them and to consyder yf they be of the parte of god. Ryght soo doon they that haue theyr confessours good and holy men. wyse & wel approued in theyr fayt / To whyche confessours they that confesse them. shewen ofte theyr thoughtes whyche come vnto theyr hert. bothe the good & euyl. For lyke as Salamon saith Blessyd be they that alle soo doubten that they synne not. ne mysdoon. And he sayth also in another place / Doo by good counceyll alle that thou shalte doo. And thenne thou shalte not repente the.

¶The seuenth degree of the vertu of equyte capitulo Cxv

THe vij degree of Equyte is the seuenth eye. whyche he must haue that wyl haue thys vertue. That is that he beholde vpward on hye. And that he haue god alle waye tofore hym. ¶Of suche our Lord sayth in the gospel· yf thyn eye be pure and symple / Alle thy body shal be clere and shy­nyng. And yf thyn eye be derke and tenebrouse. Alle thy body [Page] shal be derke obscure and tenebrouse. That is to say yf the entencyon of thyn hert is pure and symple. and gooth forth the ryght lygne after god by alle the degrees that we haue tofore named. Alle the masse and substaunce of thy werkes and of thy vertues shalle be fayre clere and playsaunt to god. And yf the entencyon be not good but froward and euyl. and reploy­eth bacwarde. alle the werke shal be derke & tenebrouse. For wythoute good and ryghtful entencyon. Almesse bycometh synne / and vertues vyces / Thentencyon is symple whan a man maketh hys werkes good ryght for goddes loue. and it is obscure and derke. whan a man dooth hys werkes for to playse the world or for vayne glorye. It is croked and not ryght in two thynges. that is whan one holdeth one parte to god. and that other of the world. For thentencyon retorneth bacward / whan a man secheth hys owne prouffyte in alle thynge that he dooth. Now hast thou herde the seuen degrees ol [...]hys vertu of Equyte by whyche thys tre reyseth on heyght

¶ Here folowen the vertues ayenste the seuen dedely syn­nes capitulo Cxvj

THe braunches of this tree ben the seuen vertues pryncy­pal / whyche answere vnto the seuen dedely synnes. lyke as mekenesse or humylyte dooth ageynste pryde. Amytye or frendshyp ayenste enuye· Debonayrte and pacyence ageynst yre and telonnye. Prowesse and dylygence ayenste slouthe / Largesse ayenste auaryce. Chastyte ayenst lecherye· and So­brenesse ayenst glotonnye. These seuen vertues kepe and con­duyde moche ryght the spyryte of scyence whyche ledeth & con­duyteth them by the waye of Equyte as Salamon sayth. By the whyche waye dyscrescyon and reason whyche is the charytour and the conduytour of vertues as sayth saynt ber­nard and the gouernour of the shyppe of the soule ledeth and [Page] gouerneth them that they goo not oute of the waye ne on the ryght syde ne on the lyfte. And thus prouffyten they / growe and bryngeth forth fruyte plentyously / ¶Thenne the vertu of Equyte. sheweth hym by dyscrescyon in al the werkes of other vertues. that wythoute thys vertu. the name of the vertu bycometh vyce. I say wel that in another sence. these seuen vertues beforesayd been the braunches of Equyte. and alle the fruytes and the good werkes that growen therof apperteynen to this tree. ¶Now vnderstonde wel how the grete maystre of vertues speketh to vs of thys vertu. For he sayth not in his rule. blessyd be they that holden equyte oueral. and in alle thynges haue dyscrescyon and mesure wythoute mystakyng For there is none but he mysdoeth in many maners / And therfore our Lord Ihesu Cryste recomforteth vs. whan he sayth not. Blessyd be they that synne not / and that mysdoo not. but doon alle by equyte and by ryght lygne. but he sayth moche curioysly for to recomforte the synnars. Blessyd be they that wepe / for they shal be comforted / That is to saye. They been and shal be blessyd that seen. knowen and vnderstonden wel theyr synnes & theyr deffaultes in al the poyntes of equyte whyche we haue here tofore named / And therof wepen and be sorouful that they fynde Inyquyte and wyckednesse. there where as they shold holde and fynde equyte. And therfore thys world is called the valey of teerys. that none in the world may lyue wythoute teerys. whyche hath receyued the yefte of scyence. wherof we haue spoken tofore. But it byhoueth as sayth Salamon. that who that moost knoweth & moost seeth the euylles and sorowes of the world / he hath moost so­rowe at his hert. teres and wepynges.

¶Thus began the world to greue and annoye. & to whome this transytorye lyf moost annoyeth ans greueth / he moost desyreth that other lyf whyche is wythouten ende. Now ough­test thou to take here syxe maner of teerys whyche an holy [Page] man had here in thys world by the yefte of scyence / The first teerys comen of that. whyche a man hath oftymes angred god. by thought. by worde. and by werke. ¶ The second teerys comen of that. whyche one byholdeth the grete tormentes / horryble and perdurable of helle whyche thou hast deser­ued by thy synnes. of whyche eche persone ought for to haue grete drede. ¶The thyrd teres growe of the euylles. that a man see the good suffre. of whome we ought to haue pyte & compassyon· ¶ The fourth teres comen for the synnes that the euyl peple doo. ¶The v teerys comen for thys lyf which is peryllous. and for that other lyf whyche is wythoute ende in glorye perdurable. that we tarye so longe therfro / ¶The syxthe teres comen of deuocyon and of grete plente of spyry­tuel Ioye of the presence of Ihesu Cryste. and of the feelyng of the holy ghoost. These been a ryght wel blessyd that thus wepen. For they shal be comforted as sayth the gospel. lyke as the nouryce comforteth the chylde that wepeth and cryeth. For she dryeth the eyen and kysseth hym / and maketh hym to laughe by force. Ryght so shal our lord doo to theym that wepen by bytter contrycyon for theyr synnes lyke as I haue sayd / The debonair Ihesus shal drye theyr eyen. that they shal neuer wepe more / Ne they shalle neuer fele harme ne so­rowe. But alle waye they shalle be wyth oure Lord god in pees / in laughyng and in Ioye pardurable.

¶ Here after foloweth how that a man ought for to lyue in moyen astate capitulo Cxvij

[Page]NOw haue we spoken of the yeftes and of the vertues that gouerne them that lyue in thys world in the lo­west of these thre estates of whyche we haue spoken tofore / ¶Now owe we by the ayde of the holy ghoost to speke of the yeftes and of the vertues. whyche moost proprely apperteyne to them that despyse the world. and tenden to the montayne of perfectyon. Of theym sayth proprelye the holy man Iob. That the lyf of a man vpon the erthe· is as a knyghthode. for the lyf of a man in therthe is laboryous. ¶ Now beholde and take hede of a yonge bourges. and of a yonge knyght / These two maner men haue moche dyuers thoughtes. and dyuers ententes. ¶ The bourges entendeth to marchaundyse. for to bye and selle. to wynne and to gete good / and the ende of hys entente is alle for to be ryche and noble and honoured in hys cyte or towne.

¶ The newe knyght gooth alle another waye. For he desy­reth and entendeth to doo curt [...]syes and to gyue largelye. To lerne chyualrye and for to vse armes. To suffre payne and dysease / and to shewe prowesse. to conquere loos and honour and to mounte in to hye estate. ¶ These two estates we see openlye in these two manere of people / Of whyche somme been / that wyll kepe them from grete synnes / for they wyl doo penaunce and gyue almesse / and holde and kepe the commaundementes of our Lord Ihesu Cryste and of holy chyrche. And wel shold suffyse them. yf they myght for soo moche saue them at the laste. There been other to whome the world ennoyeth and greueth for the perylles synnes and the paynes of which it is al ful. So that none may haue pees of herte ne sure conscyence. They see ageyn on that other syde / that there is no tresoure whyche may be compared vnto the loue of god. Ne noo swetnesse soo grete / as is pees of hert. Ne noo glorye mondayne ne worldly. that may com­pare to the glorye of a pure conscience. It semeth to theym [Page] and trouthe it is that who that myght gete these thre thynges he shold be more than an Emperour.

¶Thys is a grete thynge. but there been but fewe that dare take thys empryse / But whan god gyueth to a man thys grace and thys yefte. whyche is called the spyryte of strengthe he gyueth to hym a newe herte. a noble herte. and an hardy hert. Noble for to despyse al that. whyche the world may take and gyue. And of thys hardynesse speketh our Lord in the gospel / whan he sayth. blessyd be they that haue hungre and thyrste for Iustyce / Salamon sayth that he is Iuste that des­pyseth his dōmage for his soule or for hys frende. and saynt bernard sayth that he is not Iuste that seeth not that his herte feleth and vnderstondeth. that he is boūden in his hert anenste god to loue hym aboue al thynges. They that verayly desyre wyth alle theyr herte to rendre thys debte to god. been they of whome our Lord speketh in the gospel. whan he sayth that blessyd be they that haue hungre and thyrst for Iustyce. He sayth not blessyd ben they that done Iustyce. but that haue hungre and thyrst to do Iustyce / For this Iustyce may not be holden. ne playnly rendred in this world / But in this world it shal be desyred. and in that other payed. Therfore our Lord sayth not they be blessyd that shal rendre & yelde this Iustyce / but he sayth more curtoysly. As he that wel knoweth our po­uerte. Blessyd be they that of thys Iustyce haue hungre and thyrste. For Ihesu Cryste requyreth not that we paye to hym here his debte. but it suffyseth to hym yf we haue good wylle and desyre to rendre and yelde. And how shalle I say that they be Iuste· that rendre not that / whyche they owe. ne haue noo wylle ne hungre to paye. ¶Thys desyre whan it is veray in the hert / hym byhoueth that he shewe it by werke For lyke as Salamon sayth. Noo man may bere fyre in his lappe but yf that hys gowne brenne. ¶This demonstraunce may not be wythoute vertue and wythoute prowesse. [Page] For by wytnesse. ne by pletyng ne by preef may not be that one be a good knyght. but by many good feetes of armes / and by moche suffryng and enduryng of trybulacyons and myschyef. And thys is the fourth vertue that the holy ghoost gyueth to a man to extyrpe and plucke alle oute the fourth dedely synne. That is the synne that is callyd in clergye ac­cydye. that is slouthe / Thys vertu aforesayd is of soo grete dygnyte. that emonge alle other vertues. this onelye bereth by hym self proprely the name of vertue. For vertu and pro­wesse is al one. God gyueth thys vertu of prowesse to hys seruantes whan he suffreth and wyl make theym knyghtes / lyke as he dyd his apostles at pentecoste or whytsontyde. Of whome we rede that they were soo cowarde tofore that they had receyued this vertu of prowesse. that they durst not goo oute of theyr lodgyng. vnto the tyme that they were armed wyth thys vertue. but after they had this vertu of prowesse they suffred gladly al martyrdoms & al maner tormentes.

Of the deuysyons of vertues after the phylosophres Cxviij

THe phylosophres that treate of these vertues. depart [...] this vertu of prowesse in vj partyes. which ben lyke vj degrees wherby this vertu mounteth and prouffyteth. but our mayster whyche maad the phylosophres and the phylo­sophye. that is Ihesu Cryste. he put to the seuenth poynte of prowesse. The fyrst poynte of prowesse is called magnytude The second is affyance. The thyrd surete. The fourth pacy­ence. The fyfthe constaunce. The syxte magnyfycence. And the seuenth whyche our mayster Ihesu Criste adiousted. that is hungre and thyrst of Iustyce / Thys vertu may not so proprely be named in englysshe. as thentendement or vnderston­dyng of the world is sayd in latyn.

¶The fyrst of the vertu of magnanymyte capitulo Cxix

MAgnanymyte. is hyenesse. gretenesse. and noblesse of courage by whyche a man is hardy as a man of grete empryse. Thys vertu hath two partyes / That is to wete to despyse grete thynges. or nought to preyse. and more gret­ter thynges to enterpryse and to chese / ¶ Of the fyrst partye sayth Saynt Austyn. Prowesse is whan courage despyseth alle that whyche he hath not in hys power / That is all that he may lese ayenste hys wylle / And Seneke sayth. in worldly thynges there is noo thynge grete / but the hert whiche des­pyseth grete thynges / Of the second partye sayth the phylo­sophre. that magnanymyte is resonable empryse of hye thynges and ferdful. who that hath thys vertue. he byholdeth the world fro ferre. as sayth Ysaye the prophete. And thus hym semeth that al the world be a lytel thynge. lyke as a sterre se­meth to vs a lytel thynge· Thenne al the world. and alle the charges. and the grete werkes and nedes of the world se­men to hym as nought. wherof salamon sayth whan he had wel enserched the world / and had desputed of al thestates. of the fooles and wyse men. He sayd hys sentence in thys ma­nere. vanyte of vanytees. & al that I see is vanyte. That is to say that alle the world is vanyte / and alle ful of vanytes And a man hym self for whome the world is made. be peryssheth wyth al vanyte. for in hym is al maner of vanyte and of ordure· Lyke as dauyd sayth in his Psaulter. vanyte by mortalyte. For hys lyf fleeth awaye as shadowe. vanyte by curyosyte / For hys hert is as a dreme. vanyte by wyc­kydnesse / For synne maketh hym more to be holden & reputed nought. than ony thynge that is in the world. Now is thēne the fyrst partye of this vertue that hath made hym to despyse the world. Lyke as haue somtyme done in tyme passed. the [Page] phylosophres. the paynems. the sarasyns. And holy crysten men / That other partye is soo that he doo gete the waye of perfectyon: and to chese the lyf that is so openlye sharpe and dredeful. Thys is the waye that ledeth a man vnto the montaygne of god. that is in thestate of perfectyon. Thys is the waye of the pryue counceyl of our lord Ihesu Cryst. which he shewed in the montaygne to his appostles / wherof this traytye speketh. This waye chese they / to whome it suffyseth not onelye to kepe the commandementes of god / to whyche they be bounden by trewe debte lyke as they doo· that leue alle that they haue for goddes sake. and abandonne them self to dye for the loue of hym that deyed for theym in the crosse. that was swete Ihesu Cryst. Or for to goo vnto the holy londe or ellis where. as they do that leue and despyse all for the loue of god bothe hauoyr. frendes. and them self. and make them seruaū ­tes of other and pour that were ryche & myght be in the world and put them self to suffre grete sharpenes! whyche hadden in the world grete eases and grete delytes / and al these thynges doon many & haue doon wyth good hert that ben in relygyon for lytel auaylleth it to be in relygyon or in sharpenes of pe­naunce yf the hert be not there. For the habyte maketh not the monke. ne the armes the knyght / but the good hertes and the purneaunce & garneson of good werkes.

¶Of the vertu of affyaunce spyrytuel capitulo Cxx

THe second degre of thys vertu is affyaunce / For who that hath emprysed a good waye or ony good wer­kes / hym byhoueth that he holde hym fermelye in hys pur­poos / And that he achyeue that he hath begonne. ¶This vertu is called fyaunce. Fyaunce is necessarye ayenste thassautes of the world. of the flesshe / and of the deuyl of helle. whyche [Page] moche strongely assaylen a man at the begynnyng· The flesshe sayth to hym I may not endure thys lyf. my lyf hath custom to lyue suche a lyf / The world renneth after for to withdrawe hym fro doyng wel / lyke as one renneth after a theef. whan he escapeth fro pryson. The deuyl sayth to hym. Caytyf what wylte thou do. wherfore wylt thou thus sle thy self / thou mayst wel saue thy self otherwyse. These ben the fyrst assaultes that the newe knyghtes of god suffre. whyche entende and drawe to conquere the royame of heuen. and whan they entende and abyde wyth god by good and terme affyaunce. they retche not For he is the ryght trewe frende that can. may. and wyl kepe hys frendes / and whome god wyl ayde and helpe / none may noye ue greue.

¶Of the vertu of surete capitulo Cxxj

THe thyrd degree of prowesse is surete. Surete as sayth the phylosophre is a vertu by whiche a man redoubteth not ne dredeth the euylles ne the perylles whyche been tofore his eyen. and this is the thyrd good and wele that the yefte of strengthe maketh. For whan the holy ghoost armeth hys knyght wyth his vertu· he gyueth to hym fyrst a noble herte for to enterpryse grete thynges. after he gyueth to hym a grete ardour and a desyre to poursyewe it / & grete affyaūce to bryng it to an ende· after he maketh hym sure and hardy as a lyon so that he hath no drede of perylle ne of payne. ne of dethe· ne of tormentes. but desyreth them lyke as doth the newe knyght the tournoye. Thus dyden the holy marters lyke as it appereth in theyr lyues· Emonge other we rede of Saynt agathe that had as grete Ioye whan she wente to the tormentes. lyke as she shold haue gone to a weddyng or to a feste. and in lyke wyse of thy holy apostles & other holy marters without nom­bre.

¶ Of the fourth degree of the vertu of prowesse Cxxij

RYght as the holy ghoost maketh hys knyght sure for to abyde the tormentes and the sorowes that been to come Ryght so maketh he hym stronge and pacyent to suffre them whan they come. & thys is the fourth degree whyche is cal­led pacyence. By thys vertu a man ouercometh his enemy­es. The deuyl. the flesshe. and the world· and al that they may do and say. For these be the sheldes of golde to hym / whyche for the loue of god suffreth that they couere on al sydes / Lyke as dauyd the prophete sayth in his psaulter / so that no stroke may hurte hym / Thys vertu hath no man but yf he hath be tempted· For trybulacyon forgeth sapyence as sayth saynt Poule. lyke as the fyre maketh the tyles harde. wythoute thys vertu is none proued. Thus wythoute pacyence none may come to perfectyon. wythoute pacyence noo man hath vyctorye. For who that leseth pacyence is vaynquysshed. Of this we see example in alle the craftes that been made wyth honde. Many a stroke of the hamer suffreth the cuppe of golde tofore or it be sette on the table of a kyng. And also a chalyce or it be blessyd and sette on the aulter. Moche suffreth the ton­nes & pypes many grete strokes tofore the wyn be put therin / Moche is defouled wyth the feet of the fullers the fyne scarlet cloth. tofore or the quene is clad wythal. and as many examples mayst thou fynde· as there ben in london craftes. ¶By thys vertu is a man stronge as yron. whyche alle other me­talles softeth and maystryeth / and he is maad precyous as golde. whyche the more it is in the fyre. the more is it pure & clene. clere and traytable. as the salamandre in the fyre. and as the fysshe that lyueth in the water of trybulacion in which he swymmeth and is nourysshed.

¶ Of the v degree of the vertu of prowesse capitulo Cxxiij

THe v degree of the vertu of prowesse is callyd the vertu of constance / this is a veray vertu that maketh the hert stronge and stable as a toure founded vpon a ferme roche. & as a tree rooted in good grounde. that meueth not. ne wag­geth for no wynde that may blowe. That is to say. for none auenture ne temptacyō that may happe or come. good ne euyl wythout this vertu none cometh to vertu ne to vyctorye. For whan the knyght of god hath made or doon sōme prowesses Thenne assaylleth hym the deuyl by vaynglorye. And thenne is the bataylle in the herte onelye to vaynquysshe. that he falle not by vaynglorye / that al the fyrst temptacyon was not soo stronge / as is thys vaynglorye. Of whyche Dauyd sayth in hys psaulter. that the deuyl beteth doun the stronge on the lyfte syde by aduersyte. And the ryght stronge on the ryght syde by vaynglorye. This vertue prayseth moche Seneke the wyse man whyche sayth. That there is noo vertu but that whyche gooth tofore proudly bytwene that one fortune & that other. & to the grete despyte of that one and of that other.

¶The vj degree of the vertu of prowesse capitulo Cxxiiij

THe vj degree of prowesse is magnyfycence· this ver­tu expresseth & declareth also the phylosophre sayeng Magnyfycence is an hye werke and happy achyeuyng. Our Lord Ihesu Cryst the souerayn phylosophre calleth this vertu perseueraunce· by whyche the good knyght of god endureth the euylles vnto the ende· in that hye waye of perfectyon whyche he hath emprysed. Of thys vertu sayth saynt poule that al the vertues renne / but this vertu wynneth the swerde Alle they fyght but this hath the vyctorye & the crowne. Alle werken. But thys vertue of perseueraunce bereth awaye the [Page] rewarde and the meryte. For our lord Ihesu Cryste sayth. who that shal perseuere vnto the ende he shal be saued & none other. The phylosophres coude noo ferther declare this vertu of prowesse. But the dyscyples of our grete maystre Ihesu Cryst seen moche more ferther. For lyke as Salamon sayth whan they haue alle remembred and perfourmed / Thenne them seme that al is to begynne ageyn. The vertues and the prowesse of phylosophres were al for to vaynquysshe the synnes and vyces / and for to gete the vertues / But the prowesse of sayntes was not onely to vaynquysshe synnes & vyces & to gete vertues. but wyth al this pryncypally for to kepe Iustyse and trouthe toward Ihesu Cryste. He is not trewe ne Iuste. that rendreth not that he oweth to hys power. And certeynly it is a thynge moche ryghtful and resonable that I gyue my lyf and my deth for hym that gaf his lyf & deth for me. And as moche as he is of more value & is more worth than I / so moche I am more redeuable to hym by ryght Iustyse. Lyke as sayth Saynt ancelme. This Iustyce I owe to desyre but I may not here rendre it ne paye it fully· as we haue sayd tofore. And therfore is the seuenth degree of thys vertu thys whyche our lord Ihesu cryst hath put to. To the whyche the phylosophre myght neuer atteyne. whan he sayd blessyd be they that haue hungre and thyrst of Iustyce / They thenne be blessyd that be mounted in to these seuen degrees of prowesse / and haue hungre and thyrste & grete desyre to their power to mounte vnto the seuenth degree.

¶Of the spyrytuel bataylle ayenst synne capitulo Cxxv

IN this tree lyke as in the other we fynde vij braunches for in vij maners the vertu & the prowesse of the good knyght of god sheweth hym / For by vij maners of bataylle there comen vij maners of vyctorye. and by seuen manere of [Page] vyctoryes. he conquereth seuen maners of crownes of glorye ¶ These been the rewardes and the seuen merytes of whyche speketh saynt Iohan thappostle & euangelyst in thapocalypse For as Saynt Bernard sayth. Moche is he a fool. and ouer wenyng that without vyctorye attayneth to haue the crowne and that wythout batayl weneth to haue vyctorye / wherof Saynt Poul sayth. That he shal neuer be crowned in glo­rye that fyghteth not truly ayenste synne and vyces / whyche is the champe of batayll in thys world. The maystre of this [...]elde of bataylle is Ihesu Cryst. whyche preueth hys newe knyghtes lyke as it is wryton in the book of kynges. Thys maystre is the debonayr Ihesu Cryste. whyche is ryzt trewe as sayth saynt Poule. and knoweth wel the power of euery mā wherfor he suffreth not that ony enemye or tende tempte vs aboue our power / ne that noo aduersarye assayle vs so. but that we may ouercome hym yf we wyl by thayde of god why [...]he encreaseth our strengthe in the bataylle as sayth saynt Paule. and saynt Iohan also as we haue sayd and deuysed vij vyctoryes & vij crownes / That is to say vij maner of rewardes & of merytes whyche god promyseth to them that o­uercome the synnes and the vyces.

¶Of the first bataylle ayenst al vyces capitulo Cxxvj

THe fyrst bataylle that a crysten man hath / is ayenste dedely synne. There is none ouercomen ne vaynquys­hed in thys bataylle / but yf he wyl / For who that wyl not consente to synne he vaynquyssheth the batayll. which is lyght to doo to a good hert vygorous / and moche harde to hym that is slowe and latchous and euyl encoraged to doo wel & to the seruyse of god. whyche is not stronge by drede. ne hoot in prayer to god and in wel dooyng as Saynt Iohan sayth. [Page] For who that falleth & is vaynquysshed in thys batayll. hath moche to do and is more harde for hym to releue hym and to defende hym. than he that is in hye spyrytuel estate. For he hath no power to releue hym· but yf it be by the grace of god For lyke as the fysshe entreth by hym self in to the nette. yet may he not yssue ne goo oute / but yf he be caste or put oute / Ryght soo a man falleth by hym self and by his wylle in to synne. but he may not yssue ne goo oute wythoute the grace of our lord and his ayde & helpe / as whan he gyueth to hym repentaunce to do penaunce for his synnes. & that is the ar­mour that saynt Poul comaundeth to take in thys bataylle. Now oughtest thou to knowe. that whan a man is armed for to vaynquysshe and ouercome hardely synne & parfyghtly hym byhoueth that he haue thre thynges whyche ben in very penaunce. The fyrst is repentaunce of hert / The second con­fessyon of mouthe / The thyrd is satysfactyon and penaunce. that is the amendes of synne. yf one of these thre faylle the confessyon is nothyng worth.

¶Of veray repentaunce of hert capitulo Cxxvij

REpentaunce requyreth grete sorowe & grete bywayl­lynges of hert of that whych he hath angred & dyspleased god. and of so moche as he hath more synned & dysplesed god. so moche more ought be the sorowe. and the repentaunce gretter. Thus repented hym the good Kyng dauyd whan he sayd in his psaulter. I haue laboured and trauaylled in my bewayllyng / and haue wasshen in the nyghtes my bedde and my couche wyth my wepyng teerys / He that hath dysple­sed god by dedely synne· ought to wepe and waylle in the depnesse of hys hert. and wyth grete syghynges crye god mercy lyke as the theef. the murdrer. and the traytour that hath deser­ued to be hanged on the gybet of helle· The synnar is the theef [Page] to god. For he hath stolen & mysused the goodes of hys lord whyche been but lente to hym for to wynne wyth. Tho been the goodes of nature / of grace / and of fortune. of whyche he must rendre & gyue acompte and rekenyng moche straytly / how he hath folyly dyspended them. & hath put them to euyll vse. ¶Also he is a murdrer of the doughter of the kyng. that is of his owne soule. whyche was doughter of the kyng of glorye by grace / whome he hath slayn & put to deth by dedely synne / Also he is a traytre. For the castel of hys herte and of his body whyche god hath gyuen hym to kepe / he hath yol­den to the deuyl whyche is his mortal enemye. wel ought he to demene grete sorowe that is in suche perylle. & ought ofte to wasshe hys bedde / that is his conscyence. These teres chace and dryue awaye the deuyl oute of hys hert. lyke as the scal­dyng hote water dryueth a dogge oute of the kechyn. After the repentaunce ought to come the confessyon. that is the good chambryere whyche maketh clene the hous. and casteth oute alle the ordures wyth the besomme of the tongue. wherof da­uyd sayth in the psaulter / Now vnderstonde wel how a man ought to confesse hym /

¶Here after is conteyned how that a man ought to confesse hym capitulo Cxxviij

VNto that / that confessyon auaylleth vnto the sauacyon of the soule byhouen sixe condycyons. ¶The fyrst is that it be made wysely / and thys is in two thynges / the fyrst that he take good hede. to whome he ought to confesse hym: and after wherof he ought to be confessyd. Saynt Austyn sayth. that it whyche one shold doo for to eschewe and flee the deth of the body / ought one doo for to eschewe the dethe and the dampnacyon of the soule / The seek man for teschewe and to fle the deth. & for to haue helthe. secheth gladly the best physician [Page] and the moost wyse that he may fynde. Thus sayth Saynt Austyn. who so wysely wyl confesse hym & fynde grace anenst god. he ought to seche suche a confessour. whyche can and may bynde and vnbynde. and also counceylle. That is that the con­fessour can wel knowe synne. and counceylle the synnar. and that he haue power to assoylle hym / & to gyue hym penaunce after the synne. For accordyng to his synne he ought to haue penaunce. Also who so wyl confesse hym wysely he ought dylygently remembre his synnes tofore or he confesse hym & enserche al his hert and his conscyence. how he hath dysplesed god and his blessyd moder and al his sayntes. and ought to remembre alle his lyf in grete drede. Lyke as dyd the good kyng Ezechyas whyche sayd thus. I shal remembre al my yeres in the grete bytternes of my soule and my herte. The synnar ought to entre in to the hous of hys hert / and not to passe thorough lyke a mynystrel whyche abydeth not gladly in his hous. For he hath noo werse home than his owne. But in his owne hert a man ought to dwelle and consyder all his synnes and his deffaultes. wherof he ought to yelde acompts and reason truly to god and to his confessour. and ought to remembre to ordeyne wel his acompte / lyke as he that is ad­iourned tofore hys lord for to rendre acompte of al his recey­tes and payementes. And also wel to take hede tofore the wrytyng of his conscyence / that he faylle not to accompte alle hys lyf. For yf he faylle of hys acompte god shal not faylle of his whan a man hath dylygently remembred hys synnes. and beholden how and in how many maners he hath dysplesed god / and how oftymes. and how gretelye he hath synned / And how longe he hath abyden in synne / Thenne he ought to confesse hym anone and hastelye ¶And thys is the second condycyon that ought to be in confessyon. The kyng Dauyd rose at mydnyght for to confesse hym. lyke as he sayth in the psaulter. and abode neuer vnto a moneth. ne to the ende of a [Page] yere. And the wyse man sayth thus in another place / Ne ta­rye thou not to conuerte to god. ne withdrawe the not ne seke no delayes fro day to ady. For in taryeng is moche peryl for many reasons. Fyrst for the condycyon of synne. For synne is a fyre brennyng. whyche may not be quenched but by lacrymable confessyon / And moche were he a fool that sawe hys hows brenne. and wold not hastely renne to fetche water for to quenche the fyre.

¶ Also it is a grete maladye & sekenesse to dwelle in synne and the veray medecyne is confessyon. And certeyn lytel prayseth he hys helthe. that seeth hym self seek to the deth / and de­syreth not to be guarysshed and helyd. ¶Also the deth whiche is nyghe and alle aboute to espye the synnar· ought to moeue and excyte hym hastelye to confesse hym. For he knoweth not the day. the houre. ne the poynte or mynute whan the dethe shal come. whyche surpryseth ofte the synnar. there. where he taketh none hede. And certeynlye who that knewe what day he shold deye. he shold make hym redy in the beste and hastyest wyse that he myght / ¶Also yf a synnar sawe wel the pe­rylle wherein he is. For he is in the holde and pryson of synne and in the throte of the lyon of helle. and of the dragon that wyl deuoure hym / he shold hastely goo to confessyon / & that assone as he myght. ¶ Also a synnar ought to see what he hath loste by hys synne. the goodes perdurable and the goodes spyrytuel. Hys tyme and hym self whyche he myght al reco­ure by deuoute confessyon. Moche thenne were he a fool yf he hasted not to recouure that whyche he had loste.

¶Also the mercy of god that abydeth for the synnar. & knoc­keth at hys dore as sayth the apocalypse. For that he ought to haste hym to be confessyd / For of as moche as god abydeth so longe the synnar. of soo moche is hys Iustyce more harde and more cruel whan he seeth hym slowe and neclygente. For lyke as the archyer gyueth to hys bowe more bente / and [Page] tharbalester to the crosse bowe soo moche more smyteth it the harder and stronger. And certeynlye god hath his bowe bente and redy to loze as sayth the Psaulter for to slee the synnars yf they wyl not conuerte them. and yf they take not good hede ¶ Also the synnar that ouerlonge taryeth to confesse hym / forgeteth ofte hys synnes. Soo that it happeth that vnnethe that he is wel and truly confessyd. For he forgeteth many synnes whyche he shal neuer remembre. and so of them shall he neuer repente. ne neuer be confessed / of whyche it is to hym grete perylle. ¶Also whan a synnar is tofore hys confessour he ought to expresse and saye hys synnes clerely. so that hys confessour see euydently hys herte / and al thentencyon of hym that confesseth hym. For the seek man ought to dyscoure his maladye vnto the physycyen. ellys the physycyen myght not werke. Ne the Surgyen ne myght not hele the sore but yf he sawe the wounde. And therfore sayth the wyse man / yf thou wylt that the Surgyan hele the. thou must dyscouere to hym thy wounde or sore. ¶Thenne the truaunte and the lame [...]e­chen the to confesse the whyche shewen theyr maladyes. and laye forth the foulest tofore for to haue almesse. Thus thenne ought the synnar to dyscouer hys synnes to hys confessour for to haue mercy· and thys is the thyrd condycyon. that ought to be in confessyon. ¶Also the synnar ought to confesse hym entyerly and hooly / this is the fourth condycyon. For he ought to saye alle hys synnes grete and lytel and alle the cyrcumstaunces of the synnes· Thenne he ought fyrst to byholde the dedely synnes· of whyche I haue spoken tofore. and to confesse hym hooly of eueryche of them / after that he feleth hym culpable. wythoute to hyde ony thynge. and wythoute sayeng more / and wythoute excusyng hym· and wythoute to accuse ony other. ¶ Ryght soo confessyd hym Dauyd that sayth in the Psaulter / I shalle confesse me and shal saye all my synne ayenst me. and not ayenst other. lyke as ypocrytes [Page] whyche put alwaye the fayrest outward / and telle theyr good dedes and hyde theyr euyl dedes. And accusen other of that. whyche they them self be more culpable of. For they see wel a lytel festue or a lytel mote in the eyen of other. and beholde not a grete beme or blocke whyche is in theyr owen eyen / that is to saye the grete synnes that been in them. Suche was the pharyse of whome the gospel sayth that he remembred hys good dedes. and despysed the publycan that humbly smote his breste in the temple. and cryed God mercy and sayd. Lord god haue pyte and mercy on me poure synnar. Thus ought the synnar Iuge hym self tofore god. & not aledge hys synne but to agryeue. poyse· and recounte clerely wythoute lyeng. ¶ Also confessyon ought to be hole. and not departed to dy­uers confessours· For it ought to be sayd alle to one confes­sour / and not one parte to one / and another parte to another god loueth not suche departyng. ¶ Also a man ought not to saye onelye the synnes. but alle the cyrcumstaunces whyche agreuen moche the synnes. For the synnes ben perauenture more grete in one persone than in another. as in a relygyous man more than in a seculer. In a prelate than in a symple man. ¶ Also thys is more grete synne in one place than in another / as in a monasterye· or in ony other holy place· more than in an vnhalowed place / also in one tyme more than in another. as in lente or on festeful dayes / ¶Also whan one synneth wytyngly and in ernest. he synneth more than whan one synneth ygnorantlye. ¶ Also one ought for to saye the condycyon of the synne. For it is gretter synne with a wed­ded woman than wyth a syngle. Or in a man or woman of relygyon· or in a persone ordeyned a preest or a deken. af­ter that the ordre and the estate is more grete. so moche is the synne more grete. ¶Also yf the synne be ayenste nature and how longe tyme he hath duellyd in the sayd synnes. also he ought to say yf he haue lytel or nought resysted and wyth [Page] stonde tēptacyon / or yf he haue souzt tēptacyon. or yf he haue be beten in tēptacōn· Also he ought to say the cause & the entēcyō that moued hym to do the synne. & alle the other occasyons of the synne. ¶ Also a man ought for to thynke and consydere by alle hys membres how he hath synned. Fyrst he ought to goo to hys herte. and saye alle hys synnes what someuer they be carnall or spyrytuel. Spyrytuel as ageynst the fayth or of vayne glorye. or of Enuye. of auaryce. of rancour. or of other maners. of whome there be many. The synnes car­nal or bodely / apperteynen to the delytes of the flessh of the body or yf he haue not kept hym wel in alle thoughtes. that therin hath been consentyng· or longe abydyng. Or delyte. whyche somtyme is as moche as the consentyng. and of alle these thoughtes he ought to confesse. Also one ought to take hede yf he haue synned by the mēbres of his body. for a man synneth in them in many maners. Fyrst in the hede / whan one setteth ouer grete cure and grete costes to dresse it. as done these la­dyes & wymmen. whyche so curyously araye theyr hede with precyous adournementes for pure vanyte & for to playse and drawe men to synne. In whyche they synne ofte greuously. and specyally they that make them hye hornes of theyr heer. or of other thynge / whiche resemblen comyn wymmen. Ther be vanytees ynough aboute the heed. in wasshyng. in kembyng in dyeng and in pouryng in a myrrour / of whyche thynges god is ofte dyspleased / Of thys vanyte and folye the men be not alle quyte. For they arraye theyr heer lyke wymmen. & force it to be yelowe. & yf they be blacke· they by crafte make them blounde and abourne. and late them growe longe more lyke to a woman than to a man. whyche is a sygne of grete euyl and moche pryde. And of alle thys and suche thynges a man ought for to confesse hym. and of alle other vanytees and kepe hym that he doo them nomore.

¶ Also a man ought to remembre and wel consydere to the [Page] fyue wyttes of his body / wherin he hath ofte synned in many maners / By the eyen in folyly seeyng and beholdyng. Or by the eerys in heryng gladly the myssayers / losengers. lyers. and other folyes. Or by the mouthe in folye spekyng. in oner moche drynkyng and etynge. Or by the nose in ouermoche delytyng hym selfe in swete odours or wycked odours. Or by folyly touchyng in hym self. or in hys wyf. or in other that is werse. be it man or be it woman / ¶Also a persone ought to confesse hym of the oultrageous araye of his robes and of hys garmentes in hosyng and shoyng. and of alle other defau­tes. of whyche he hath mynde. And thus the confessyon is good and hool. whan one sayth alle hys synnes grete and ly­tel. and thys is the fourth condycyon that ought to be in con­fessyon. ¶The fyfthe condycyon is that one ought for to confesse hym humbly / For the synnar speketh to god whyche seeth al his hert. Thenne the confessour is but the ere of god and that whyche he hereth. ne knoweth not as a man· but as god. And the synnar ought to telle hys synnes wyth grete drede. and ought to opene his hert and poure it abrode that it flowe ouer. lyke as one shedeth oute a ful potte of water whā the water is poured out there abydeth noo colour· as doth of mylke ne odour. as of wyn ne sauour ne tast as of hony· thus shold noo thynge be reteyned of the synne. sythe it hath be said in confessyon· Ne the colour. That is an euyl maner that is had in spekyng. or in byholdyng / or in folowyng euyl com­pany. or in other thynge that hath colour of synne. Also one ouzt to leue the sauour & taste of synne. he reteyneth the sauour of synne· that thynketh on the synnes that he hath doon / And delyteth hym in the remembraunce of them and pleseth hym / ¶ But he ought for to thynke vpon them in grete drede. that he falle neuer nomore in them. And also he ought to remembre them in grete sorowe. And he oughte for to confounde hym in hym self / and to haue grete shame tofore god of hys [Page] synnes. And ought to haue ferme purpoos that he shold ne­uer retorne to hys synnes though he shold be desmembred. ¶Also he ought to leue and fle the odour. There been sōme that leue wel theyr synnes. but yet they here gladly spoken of them. but who that wel repenteth hym / wyl not gladly here speke of them· but he ought to haue grete abhomynacyyon of them. The vj cōdycyon is that one ought ost to confesse hym for many reasons. Fyrst for to gete more gretter grace and more meryte ayenst god. lyke as the lynnen cloth whyche is ofte wasshen / is the more whyte. Also for the venyall synnes that one falleth in ofte / he ought to wasshe hym. Also for to chace and dryue awaye the deuyl fro hym. and for to be oute of hys thraldom and of hys nette. The byrde wythdraweth hym and departeth gladly fro the place where as hys neste is broken and deffeated / and fro thens that hys egges been ta­ken awaye. Also for to lerne forto confesse hym wel. For the vsage maketh a mayster. lyke as it appyereth in these craftes. ¶Also by cause that one knoweth not yf he haue be wel sory and wel repentaunte / therfore he ought to haue recours vnto hys confessour· & to confesse hym of all thynges suffysaun [...]lye Also for to humble hym self. for to gete the more grace and more meryte ayenste god. wherfor one demaūded of a monke wherfore he confessyd hym so ofte. and he answerd· by cause sayd he that I haue alwaye fere that I be not wel confessed. and also I remembre me ofte of sōme thynges that I haue not sayd in confessyon by forgetyng. and also by cause that after my confessyon I fynde my self alwaye the more humble and meke / Now hast thou herde how one ought to confesse hym. Now oughtest thou to knowe that fyue thynges spe­cyally ēpesshe & letten veray confessyō. The first is shame that one dare not say ne telle his synne for shame· & thys maketh the deuyl. that putteth shame tofore for to close hys mouthe lyke as a theef dooth / whyche that casteth vnto the hounde a [Page] lytel glewe. by cause he shold not barke ne baye / For the litel glewe is of suche nature that it maketh an hounde dombe and to be stylle whan it is put in his throte. but the synnar ought to thynke that the shame that he hath to telle hys synne / is a grete parte of his penaunce and of thamende. ¶Also the syn­nar ought gladly to suffre and drynke a lytel shame for to escape the grete shame. that al synnars shal haue at the day of Iugement whan al the world shal see al theyr synnes / The ij thy [...]ge is euyl drede to do grete penaunce. the whiche the deuyl putteth in the ere of the synnar sayeng. thou mayst not do this sharpe penaunce. & thou mayst not leue thy customes. Suche peple resemble the shough hors whiche is aferde of the shadow that he seeth. And certeynlye this penaunce that we do here in this world is but a shadowe to the regarde of the paynes of helle or of purgatorye. The thyrd thynge is the wycked loue that the synnar hath enlaced that he loueth so moche his delite that he wyl not les [...]e it. and thynketh that for noo thynge he wyl confesse hym. but slepeth in his synne lyke a swyn in the dunge. The iiij thynge is hope of longe lyf. wherof the deuyl sayth to hym. thou art a yonge mā. thou shalt lyue longe. thou shalt wel recoure a confessour. but he taketh none hede ne seeth not the deth that awayteth hym & shal take hym sonner than he weneth / for god whiche promyseth pardon to hym that re­penteth. promytteth not to morne as saynt Gregory sayth / Thēne the deuyl playeth ofte with the synnar· lyke as the catte doth with the mous whan he hath taken hym. For whan he hath longe played he strangleth & sleeth hym. The v thynge is despayr. in which the deuyl putteth the synnar. but he ouzt to remembre that god fory [...]ueth to them that repente lyghtly and more gladly he gyueth pardon than we demaunde hym. After the confessyon cometh the satysfaction. That is thamendes and the penaunce that one ought to make and praye for his synne. after tharbytrement and wylle of the confessour· [Page] whyche ought to Iuge the amendes of the trespaces / In fas­tynges. In almesses. or in prayers. or in other good thynges after that the synne requyreth it. & the seek man ought gladly to obeye to the physycyan to haue helthe / And the good sone ought gladly to do the wylle of hys ghoostly fader for the sauacyon of hys soule. Now hast thou herde thre thynges that hol­den togyder the hauberes of penaunce. wyth whyche been ar­med the newe knyghtes of god for to vaynquysshe the batayll ayenst synne / And who that shal vaynquysshe this bataylle shal not retche of the second deth. Lyke as Saynt Iohan saith in thapocalypse. but he shal haue veray reste. that is the glory perdurable. The fyrst deth of the soule is to loue synne. which is vaynquysshed by penaunce / by whyche one escapeth the se­cond deth / that is the deth of helle. where one may not deye. This is the fyrst braunche of the tree of prowesse in them that vaynquysshe synne. After thys bataylle cometh another. For whan a man repenteth hym of his synne. thenne cometh a newe wrastlyng to his hert. what penaunce he may doo. and what lyf he may lede / And there be many of them that in this bataylle be recreaunte. For lyke as god sayth in the gospel. Now they byleue. Now they byleue not. Now they wyl / now they wyl not. Now they purpose / Now is alle nought. For they be not ferme ne estable. ne perseueraunte. But whan a man Ioyneth hym to god / and affermeth hys herte and hys good purpoos to hym / thenne is thys bataylle good & goten / and thenne god maketh hym ferme and stable as is a pyler in the chirche. as sayth saynt Iohan. Thys is the second vyc­torye & the rewarde that answereth to hym. after this wras­tlyng cometh the iij wrastlyng that a man hath to his flesshe. which moche complayneth whā it begynneth to fele the hardnesse & sharpnesse of penaunce. & it reenforceth to come ageyn to hir olde customes. the flesshe is an euyl wyf. wherof salamō sayth. who moste doth the wylle of the flesshe. the wers it is. & [Page] more is to hym contrarye. And who that suffreth his flesshe to ouercome hym. he entreth and putteth hym self in grete seruytude. For there is none so foule a thynge as to be ouercom of his flesshe / who that vaynquyssheth thys bataylle. god pro­mytteth to hym a newe crowne whyt of chastyte & of Inno­cencye. & bryngeth hym to reste / that is the glorye perdurable lyke as he saith in thapocalypse. after this batayl cometh this world and dame fortune with hir whele· whiche assaylleth a man on the ryght syde and on the lyft syde / whiche been two stronge bataylles. where as moche peple ben vaynquysshed / & moo be vaynquysshed on the ryght syde than on the lyft syde / lyke as dauyd sayth in his psaulter. For more stronge is the temptacion that cometh of the ryght syde. than it that cometh on the lyft. as dauyd sayth in his psaulter. For more stronge is the temptacyon that cometh of honoure of rychesses and of delytes which the deuyl offreth & setteth before. thā that which cometh of aduersyte. lyke as pouertres & the maladyes & the sekenesses that god sendeth / & he that vaynquyssheth and that despyseth with his hert the prosperytees of this world. God promytteth to hym honour and hyenesse in glorye. for he shal make hym sytte wyth hym in his trone as saith thapocalipse To hym that shal vaynquysshe that other bataylle whiche is on the lyft syde in thaduersytees of this world god promyt­teth glorye which no man may take fro hym. The vj batayll which is moche stronge / is ayenst the wycked that ben in the world which ben the membres of antecryste which warren ayenst the good men by theyr myght. lyke as dyd of olde tyme the tyraūts. ayēst the marters & good crysten men. for vnnethe shal none dar reclame hym crysten for the strengthe of Ante­cryst & of his membres. Thys is the beest that Iohan sawe that warryd the sayntes of whyche we haue tofore spoken· The membres of this beest shewen them in wycked prynces and euyll prelates. whyche by theyr grete couetyse defoule [Page] flee and eten theyr subgettes. so that the good men that been vnder them haue ynough to suffre and many dyseases & grete myschyeues· But they that take al in good pacyence without murmure as dyd Iob. and truste al in god they vaynquysshe this batayl. and to hym that shal ouercome it. god promyt­teth to hym that he shal gyue to hym power ouer his enemyes· lyke as saynt Iohan sayth in thapocalyps. After alle these bataylles cometh the laste which is moost stronge. for the de­uyl whiche is malycious & moche subtyl. whan he seeth that a man is mounted vpon the moutayn of perfection. and hath ouercomen al these bataylles aforesaid. Thēne assaylleth hym the fende by vaynglorye / & by presumpcion. for thēne it semeth to hym that he is a moche good man. & grete frende of god by this that he hath al suffred for hym by which he falleth som­tyme from hye to lowe as dyd lucyfer / & therfore it is grete necessyte that a man be wyse. and that he kepe hym from the synne of vaynglorye. whyche maketh the ryergarde. For in the taylle lyeth ofte the venym. and thenconforaunce. and somtyme the shyppe that is nyghe to the porte peryssheth· whyche wente surely in the hye see. Thenne hym byhoueth that he ta­rye and addresse hys saylle. That is al his entencyon & alle his hert at the porte of helthe. That is to Ihesu Cryste by the wynde of feruent loue and of grete desyre of god. This is the hungre of Iustyce of whyche we haue spoken tofore. whyche cometh of the yefte of strengthe and of the vertu of prowesse. As the good Knyght whyche is noble and hardy / that hath a good herte. and that hath been in many presses. whyche hath grete talente and grete hungre to shewe his strengthe in tournoyes or in bataylles for to gete to hym pryse and reno­mee / And certeynly who that hath grete loue to god & grete hungre and desyre of his helthe he ouercometh lyghtlye thys last bataylle. he wyl not ne desyreth not in thys lyf. but that whyche is vnto the honour and to the glorye of God. And [Page] to the helthe of his soule. and who that vaynquyssheth thys bataylle shal wynne the rewarde. of whyche saynt Iohan speketh in thappocalypse there where our lord sayth. that to hym that shal vaynquysshe he shal gyue to hym to ete of the tree of lyf. whyche is in the myddle of paradyse. That is Ihesu Cryst hym self that gyueth lyf perdurable of whyche alle the sayntes lyuen in the glorye of heuen. and al been fulfylled and been in reste / And this is the blessyng of whyche the debonayr Ihesu Cryst promytteth in the gospel to hys good knyghtes whan he sayd. blessyd be they that haue hungre and thyrste of Iustyce / that is to serue god and to loue hym / For they shal be fulfylled of the fruyte of the tree of lyf. That is the ende and the perfectyon of this vertu whyche is called prowesse. to whyche ledeth the yefte of strengthe.

¶ Of the vertu of the yefte of counceyl. and of the good and meryte that is therin capitulo Cxxix

LYke as the holy ghoost gyueth strengthe and vygour to empryse grete thynges. Ryght so yeueth he counceyl by whyche a persone cometh to a good ende / of that whyche he empryseth· Thys is a grete grace that the holy ghoost gyueth whyche is callyd the yefte of counceyl. by whyche a man hath grete aduysemente and grete delyberacyon and aduys in alle that. that he empryseth / and in that. that he be not ouer hasty in hys empryses. For lyke as sayth the phylosophre. Grete thynges be made and done not onely by strengthe ne by armes but by good counceyl / And another phylosophre whyche was named Socrates sayth that of hasty counceyl men repente hem after. And therfore sayth Salamon doo no thyng with oute good counceyl / and after the dede thou shalt not repente the. Thys grace sheweth hym in a man in thre maners. Fyrst in sechyng gladly good counceyl. thus thoby coūceylled [Page] his sone / Fayr sone sayd he aske counceyl alwaye of a wyse man. And Salamon sayth that there where as is noo good gouernour. the peple faylleth anone and is anone destroyed / but it is sauf whan there been many good counceylles. and the wyse Tullyus sayth that lytel is worth the armes with­outeforth / yf there be not good counceyl wythinforth. But kepe the wel sayth the scrypture fro euyl counceyllours / & coū ­seylle the not wyth fooles. For they loue no thynge but that whyche pleseth them. and not that whiche pleaseth god. Also the scrypture counceylleth that one shold aske and seche coun­ceyl of the olde & auncyen men. & not of the yonge men which ben not proued in the werkes. For in the auncyen men that haue seen & proued many thynges / is good wysdom & good counceyl. By cause that Roboas the sone of Salamon lefte the counceyl of the olde & auncyen men that were wyse. & toke the counceyl of yonge men / he loste the moost partye of hys royame. Also who that hath thys yefte late hym examyne & consydere the counceylles that be gyuen to hym. & thynke with grete aduysement yf he be wel counceylled & truly / & not lyghtly to byleue to the coūceyl of one man ne of tweyne / how wel that they be of his pryue frendes / Therfore Seneke saith that a wyse man examyneth his counceylles. and byleueth them not lyghtly. For he that byleueth lyghtly. he fyndeth that he is ofte deceyued. Also who that hath this yefte. he obeyeth to good counceyl whan he fyndeth it. For for nought asketh he counceyl. that hath no wylle to doo therafter. wherof sayth salamon. It semeth to a fool that he be in the ryght waye. but the wyse man hereth gladly good counceyl. that is to say / that the wyse man obeyeth to the good counceylles / whyche the fo­les despyse / The moost prouffytable coūceyl that a man may haue. is the counceyl that our good mayster Ihesu Cryste whyche is the fontayne of alle sapyence of whome cometh all good coūceyl. that is in the holy gospel whan he sayth. yf thou [Page] wylt be partyte. goo & selle alle that thou hast & gyue it to the poure peple. & come folowe me / and thou shalt haue grete tresour in heuen / and beholde & thynke who gyueth suche coun­ceyl. For he is as I say the fontayne of sapyence. The veray god that cam in to therthe for to counseylle the. & for tenseygne the the ryght waye for to goo to paradys. That is the path of pouerte of the spyryte. by whyche the holy ghoost ledeth them whome he enlumyneth wyth the yefte of counceyl / Trouthe it is that in another manere a man may be sauyd / As by the waye of the commaundementes of our lord to holde and kepe them. One may be saued in maryage. or in wedowhode / or in rychesses of the world whan they be wel vsed. But the ho­ly ghoost by the yefte of counceyl ledeth and conduyteth more ryght & more surely by the waye of veray pouerte of the spy­ryte. by whyche one despyseth and put vnder fote all the coue­tyse of the world for the loue of god. thys yefte taketh awaye fro the hert the synne of auaryce and of couetyse / & so planteth the fayre tree of mercy. whyche is to haue sorowe & compas­syon of other mens harme / & of other mennes suffraunce.

¶Of the degrees of the vertu of mercy capitulo Cxxx

THis tree of mercy hath seuen degrees lyke vnto the o­ther· by whyche it groweth and prouffyteth. These ben seuen thynges whyche moeue moche and drawe a man vnto mercy. and to haue compassyon of others harme· The fyrst thynge that moeueth a man to mercy is nature· For as the book sayth whyche speketh of the nature of beestes. No byrde eteth another byrde of his owne nature / Ne a beest also eteth not another beest of his owne nature / Also the same book saith that a mare nouryssheth the foole of another mare. whan she is dede. Also it hath ofte be seen & preuyd that a wulfe hath nourysshed the whelpes of another wulfe / and hath defended [Page] them fro other beestes. wel thēne ought a man to haue pyte & compassyon on another. of his euyl & harme / whyche is sem­blable to his nature. For we al be made of one matere & one forme & one ymage. The second thynge that ought to drawe a man to mercy & to compassyon of another mannes harme is grace. For we al be membres of one body / that is of holy chyrche by grace / and one membre helpeth another naturelly. & hath pyte & compassyon. Also we be bouzt & redemed with one prys. that is with the precyous blode of Ihesu cryst. that henge on the crosse for to redeme vs fro deth perdurable / whan our saueour Ihesu Cryst was thēne soo pyetous & mercyful toward vs. wel ought we thēne to haue pyte & compassyon one of another. & to ayde & socour that one that other. Also we ben al brethern of fader & moder by fayth & by grace / For we ben al sones of god & of holy chyrche. & the one broder ought to helpe that other whan he seeth it is nede. for at nede is seen who is a frende. The thyrd thynge that ought to moeue a man to mercy is the comandemēt of the holy scrypture whych coūceylleth & commandeth the werkes of mercy aboue alle o­ther thynges / wherof the wyse Salamon sayth. See wel to sayth he that thy hede be not wythout oylle. for by thoylle that nouryssheth the fyre & the lampe. is vnderstōden mercy. which ought alwaye to be in our tonnes. For in lyke wyse as the oylle surmoūteth in the lampe. aboue al other lyquours. Ryght so mercy surmoūteth the other vertues. And also as the oylle nouryssheth & kepeth the fyre in the lampe. & whan the oylle faylleth the fyre quencheth. Ryght so mercy kepeth the fyre of the loue of god in the hert. & whan mercy faylleth. the loue of god faylleth. Lyke as sayth saynt Iohan / who that shal see sayth he his broder & his neyghbour hauyng dysease & necessy­te in nede. & closeth the dore of his hert. that is to say that he hath no pyte ne compassyō. & helpeth hym not yf he may. how sayth he· shal the loue and charyte of god be in hym. lyke as [Page] he wold saye / That may not be. For the oylle of mercy is faylled in the lampe of his hert / Also the good thobye taught hys sone & sayd thus. Fayre sone be thou mercyful / as moche as thou mayst / yf thou haue plente of goodes gyue gladly & largely. yf thou haue lytel yet of the same yeue gladly to the poure. And our lord sayth in the gospel. Goo sayd he & selle al that thou hast and gyue it to the poure. This is the vertue that the holy scrypture prayseth moost generally. And it is the vertu that moost playseth god as the scrypture sayth. Herof sayth god by the prophete. I wyl sayth he mercy & not sacry­fyse. And Saynt austyn sayth that there is no thynge that so moche maketh a man amyable vnto god as doth pyte. and to haue mercy on other. Moche peple do seruyse and sacrefyse to god in fastynges or in pylgremages. or in sharpe penaunce of the body. but to do almesse. they ben scarce caytyf & strayte. Also moche people of grete estate to whome god hath gyuen lar­gely of his temporell goodes do sacryfyse & seruyse not to god. but to the world. or to the deuyl in that. that they dyspende fo­lyly theyr goodes in vanytees and in oultrages / and in honoures of the world. But for to gyue fo goddes sake to the poure they ben harde as ademont. ¶ Also lyke as mercy pleseth to god. ryght so despleaseth it to the deuyl. For it is the armure and the vertu by whyche he is moost sonnest vaynquysshed. as is said in a glose vpon the psaulter / he may not suffre the good odour of suche an oynemēte. Nomore than the crapaulde may fele the smellyng or odour of the vygne. Thys odour myght not Iudas smelle ne fele whan the holy Maudeleyne enoyn­ted the heed of Ihesu Cryste wyth the precyous oynement. For it semed to Iudas that it was a thynge loste. and had leuer the money that it coste in hys purs by couetyse. Of suche peple that be thus couetous and auarycyous is lord & mays­ter a deuyl that is called closepurs / whome an holy hermyte sawe. that he had the offyce to close and shette the purses of [Page] couetous men. that they shold not be opened to doo almesse. The fourth thynge that ought to moeue a man to mercy / is the grete largesse of our lord / whyche gyueth largely to euery man after that they be / as sayth Saynt Iames. and maketh his sonne to shyne vpon the good and vpon the euyl / lyke as it is sayd in the gospel. Sythe that the debonayr Ihesus is so large to vs· that he gyueth to vs. and hath gyuen. alle that we haue that is good. we ought to be large and curtoys that one anenste that other. For so commaūdeth to vs god in the gospel whan he sayth / Be ye mercyful / lyke as your fader of heuen is mercyful. He ought to resemble his fader. & ought to ensyewe hym whan he is good and wyse. Or otherwyse he forsaketh hym. and therfore sayth the wyse man in scryp­ture. Be ye mercyful & pyetous to the poure & to the orphans lyke as thou were theyr fader or theyr moder / be thou as their husbond. and thus shalt thou be called the sone of god. ¶The fyfthe thynge that ought to moeue a man to mercy is the ho­nour of god. For as Salamon sayth. he honoureth our lord that dooth wel to the poure. For that whyche is doon to the poure. is don vnto god lyke as hym self wytnesseth in the gospel. That whyche ye haue doon to one of the leest of my ser­uauntes. ye haue doon to me / this sayth god. The poure ben the lytel meyne of our lord. who so honoureth them by the werkys of mercy he honoureth god. For who honoureth the meyne he honoureth the lord. and who that dooth vylonye to the famylye and seruauntes. dooth vylanye to the lord. ¶ Herof haue we a fayre and a good ensaumple of the holy saynt martyn. To whome god appyeryd in the nyght. after that he had departed and gyuen hys mantel to the pour man. and he was couerd wyth the sayd mantel. and god sayd to hys angellys Martyn hath clad me wyth thys vestement. ¶ The syxthe thynge that ought moche to moeue a man to mercy / is the drede of the Iugement. For as sayth saynt Iames Iugement [Page] wythoute mercy shal be doo to hym that dooth not the wer­kes of mercy. For lyke as god sayth in the gospel. whan the day of Iugement shal come / the sentence shal be gyuen ayenst them that haue not to theyr power doon and accomplysshed the werkes of mercy. For god shal leye a deef eere to them that now leye a deef eere to the poure. lyke as it appyereth in the exaumple that he recounteth of the ryche man that wold gyue none almesse to Lazare / and by cause he refused to gyue to hym almesse. god refused to hym a drope of water whan he was in the fyre of helle / In lyke wyse dyd he to the folysshe vyrgyns that had none oylle in theyr lampes. God closed to them the yate at the weddyng and sayd to them I knowe you not. and so they abode wythoute and came not in. Ryght soo shal it be doo at the day of Iugemente to the auarycyous and to the couetous men whyche haue not the conduytes of mercy whyche ledeth the soules to heuen. and maketh to them a ryzt waye to come tofore god as holy scrypture sayth. Lyke as waye is made & the yate opened to hym that bryngeth a pre­sente. Certeynlye acursed shal he be by ryght to whome pyte and mercy shal torne theyr backe at the day of Iugemente. whan god shal gyue sentence soo ferme. stable. and dredefull For it shal be so establysshed by Iustyce and confermed. that it shal neuer be repeled. And thenne shal god do as souerayn pope bysshop & kynge / caste oute hys grete excomynycacyon. For he is kyng and bysshop as sayth the scrypture. for he took [...]ature humayn in the lynage of kynges and of bysshoppes Thys excomynycacyon shal be cast vpon them that shal be on the lyft syde. None of them shal be except. They shal be wyc­ked people whome god shal curse for theyr synnes & for theyr falsehede. Thus shal he say to them. Goo ye wycked & cursed in to the fyre of helle perdurably / whyche is ordeyned to thor­ryble deuyls / and to them that haue doon theyr wylle. Alas thys sentence how wel that it is shorte. certeynlye it shalle be [Page] ouer anguysshous and ouer harde whan Ihesus Cryst shalle chase them oute of hys companye. Suche harde a departyng ought moche to be doubted. ¶The seuenth thynge that ought moche to moeue a persone to mercy. is the fruyt and the good that groweth of thys tree. whych appyereth in many maners Fyrst in that whyche mercy geteth pardon to synnars. Of whyche mercy hath the lettres of pardon and of Indulgence. For god sayth in the gospel. Blessyd be the mercyful. for they shal haue mercy. After in the same letter sayth he. yf we par­done not that one the other / god shal not pardone vs. ¶Also mercy is the good marchaunts purs. whyche wyn­neth oueral. & neuer leseth. For as sayth saynt Poul. mercy auaylleth to alle thynges. A precyouse stone shold be moche worthe. that shold be good for alle thynges. That is mercy whyche wynneth the goodes temporell. the goodes spyrytuell / and the goodes perdurable of glorye. Of the goodes temporell sayth salamon. honoure god of thy rychessys & of thy goodes temporell gyue to the poure. and god shal replenysshe thy gar­ners of whete / & thy celyers of wyne / But vnderstonde wel this word. that he sayth of thy rychessys and of thy goodes / and not the goodes of other / as doon somme that wyl doo al­messes of that whyche they haue taken fro other by force. by rauyne / by vsure. or by other euyl cause. and maken ofte of other mennes lether large thonges· But of thyn owne propre good whyche thou holdest truly honoure god. For that other thou art bounden to yelde and rendre ageyn. ¶ Also he sayth that thou gyue to the poure and not to the ryche. and god shall yelde to the an hondred double therfore. lyke as he sayth in the gospel. Mercy is a seed that fructefyeth better in the lene londe than it doth in fatte. How that mercy multeplyeth the goo­des temporell we haue many fayre ensaumples. of whyche I wyl remembre sōme here. ¶ It is sayd of saynt Germayn of Ancerre· that whan he came fro Rome. as he went oute of [Page] melane. he demaunded his deken yf he had ony money / he an­suerd that he had but thre pens. for saynt Germayn had gy­uen alle to poure people. Thennne commaunded saynt Germayn to his deken that he shold gyue tho iij pens to the poure peple. for god had wel wherof to fede them that day. The de­ken with grete payne & grutchyng gaf ij peus / and reteyned the thyrd peny / and as they wente on the waye· the seruaunte of a riche man brought to saynt Germayn fro his lord. CC shelynges / Thenne called saynt Germayn his deken / & sayd to hym that he had stolen fro the poure a peny. For yf he had gyuen the thyrd peny to the poure. the knyght had sente hym CCC. shelynges. After it was sayd in the waye to Saynt Germayn / that to saynt Iohan thamener cam a gentylman which was robbed of theuys so that he had no thynge & tolde to saynt Iohan thamener his caas. he had grete pyte & com­passyon on hym / & cōmaūded his dyspencer that he shold gyue hym / xv. poūde. of gold. his dyspencer for couetyse gaf hym but / v / Anon a noble lady sent vnto the sayd Saynt Iohan fyue. C. pounde. of golde. Thenne he called his dyspencer & de­maūded hym how moche he had gyuen to that man. He an­suerd & sayd that he had gyuen hym xv. poūde. The holy man sayd nay. & that he had gyuen hym but. v / pounde. & whan he knewe the trouth by hym that had receyued it· he sayd to hys dyspenser. that yf he had gyuen that .xv. poūde. Our lord had sente to hym by the good womā .M. &. v C. poūde· & whan he demaunded of the good lady whome he called to hym. how moche she had gyuen and lefte to hym in hyr testament. She answerd that she had ordeyned a thousand and fyue hondred pounde for to sende hym / And whan she sawe the .M / pounde raced and put oute of the wrytyng. she thought that god wold that she shold sende to hym nomore but v hondred pounde. ¶Also Saynt Gregoire reherceth of saynt Bonyface. that fro that tyme that he was a chylde he was so pyetous. that [Page] he gaf hys sherte & his gowne vnto the poure. how be it that his moder bete hym ofte therfore. ¶ Now it happed that the chylde sawe many poure people that suffred moche dysease / he espyed that hys moder was not at home. he ranne to the garners. and al that hys moder had assembled for the yere he gaf to the poure peple. And whan hys moder came and kne­we what he had don. she was as oute of hyr wytte. Thenne the chylde prayed our lord and the garners were ful of whete / ¶ Also there was a poure man as it is sayd that had but one cowe. whyche herd saye of his curate in his sermon that god sayd in the gospel / that a man shold haue an hondred folde double for alle that he shold gyue for goddes sake. The good man by the counceyl of his wyf gaf his cowe vnto hys curate in hope to haue an hondred kyen for hys cowe. And whan he had longe taryed. and that promesse abode longe af­ter / he wende that hys curate had deceyued hym. and thouzt that he shold slee hym. and aroose on a nyght for to slee hym and whan he was in the waye he fonde a grete masse of golde. and thenne he thought that god had rendred and yel­den hys promesse and retorned in pees.

¶ Also of another poure man by cause that he had herde that god wold so gyue an hondred for one. he gaf hys cowe vnto hys curate whyche was ryche. The preest took gladly thys cowe and sente it to hys pasture where as hys other kyen were. And at euen the poure mans cowe came ageyn home & brought an .C. kyen longyng to the preest with hyr. whan the pour man sawe that he. thought that god had kept his promesse accordyng to the gospel. & the sayd kyen were Iuged tofore the bysshop to the poure mā ayenst the preest. These ensaū ­ples toforesaid shewen wel. that mercy is good marchaūdise for it ēcreaceth wel the goodes temporel. Also mercy ēpetreth & geteth of god the goodes spirituel & ꝑdurable / wherof saynt Poule sayth that it auaylleth to alle thynge. For she gyueth [Page] lyf & grace in this present lyf. and the lyf of glorye wythoute ende in that other. And therfore sayth Dauyd in hys psaul­ter. that god loueth mercy and trouthe / For she gyueth grace in thys world. and glorye in that other. ¶ Also mercy and almesse kepeth a man fro alle perylles & delyuerth hym from spyrytuel deth / that is fro synne and fro the deth of helle / For many dede men haue ben reysed to lyf by the werkes of mercy that haue be doon / wherof there be many ensaumples in wry­tyng of the lyues of sayntes. that is of the deth perdurable of helle. Therfore sayd Thobye to his sone / Be thou sayd he pyteous and mercyful as moche as thou mayste. For almesse delyuerth and kepeth fro alle synne and fro the deth of helle. and defendeth the soule that it goo not in to the derknesse of helle. ¶ Now hast thou herde the braunches and the degrees of mercy. by whyche she groweth and prouffyteth. Now the byhoueth to see the braunches of this tree. by whiche she mounteth. & by whyche it descendeth.

¶ Here after folowen the brannches of the vertu of mercy & of almesse capitulo Cxxxj

THis tree hath moo braūches thā thother toforesayd. for it extendeth more than the other / wherof there been braūches on the ryzt syde & on the lyft syde. On the right syde ben the werkes of mercy whiche touche the soule. They ben the spyrituel wer­kes of mercy. on the lyft syde ben the bodyly werkes of mercy which apperteyne to the body. on the ryght syde be vij braūches The fyrst is to gyue good counceyl to them that haue nede. & onely for the loue of god purely. not for to coueyte other thyng temporel therfore. as doon these aduocates & men of lawe that taken with bothe handes / & of that one partye & of that other. And gyuen ofte tymes many euyl counseylles for to haue money. or for yeftes. or for drede. or for fauour of ryche men. [Page] but they that haue god tofore theyr eyen. and counceyl the syn­nars to leue theyr synne and saue them. Or they that be oute of synne. to kepe them. to thēde that they falle not therto ageyn lyke as confessours ought to doo and the prelates. & the good men in what someuer estate they be / they doon the first werke of mercy spyrytuel. and this is the fyrst braunche of the ryght syde / The second braunche is to teche and enseygne them that a man hath to gouerne. As a prelate his subgettes whome he ought to fede wyth good doctryne. & wyth good ensaum­ple / In lyke wyse ought the mayster doo to his dyscyples in doctryne in scyence and in good maners. Also the faders & the moders theyr chyldren in suche wyse that they kepe them fro synne & vyces. & that they accustome them to do wel. and that they kepe them fro lyēg. fro sweryng. fro euyl playes & games & fro euyl companye / & specyally the chyldren of grete lordes and of ryche men ouzten to be best enformed in good maners For the chyldren wyl alle waye holde theyr fyrst forme / And therfore they ought to be enformed to do wel. ¶ The thyrd braunche is to reprehende and chastyse the fooles and the wyc­ked people of theyr folyes. and this apperteyneth specyally to the prelates and to the prynces whyche oughten to chastyse theyr subgettes / whan they knowe that they be wycked. For whan they suffre the synnes where they myght amende them and wyl not. they ben partyners·

¶ Ne noo prynce ne prelate ought not to suffre ony wyckednesse in a man aboute hym yf he may knowe it / For yf he haue aboute hym euyl & wycked meyne & yf he knoweth it or supposeth. yf he remedye it not / It is a sygne that he is noo good man. for it is comynly sayd. suche lord suche meyne. & after the lord the meyne folowe. & oftymes it happeth that the lord is deffamed by his euyl meyne. and therfore / ne for ha­uoyr. ne for fauour ne for famyliarite of persones a lord ouzt not to doubte to take awaye the synnes that been aboute [Page] hym. For he ought to doubte more god and to loue hym. than ony man mortal / Me ought to loue the persones and hate the synnes. and euery prynce. prelate. and lord ought to knowe that ygnoraunce in thys parte shal not excuse them. For they be bounden to knowe how theyr people gouerne them in theyr houses and in theyr offyces. and ought tenquyre by good men and trewe. and that drede god and loue hym. For they shal not be quyte atte day of Iugement for to say that they knowe not therof. ¶The fourth braunche of mercy is for to comfort the seek men. and them that ben in trybulacyon or in aduer­syte or in maladye. and to helpe them to theyr power. and to comforte them by good wordes that they falle not in despayr or dyscomfort. and that theyr hert faylle them not. Thus commaundeth Saynt Poul that sayth. Comforte them that be feble of hert. And Salamon sayth that he that is in dysease of hert shal be glad and Ioyous for to here a good worde. Also as he hym self sayth. lyke as a persone delyteth hym and taketh playsyr in good odoures. in lyke wyse delyteth the soule in grete swetenesse of good counceyl and in the good wordes of a very frende / That is he that loueth also wel in aduersyte as in prosperyte. For at nede is seen who is a frende / and in aduersyte is the good and trewe frende proued. & thou ough­test to knowe that iiij thynges comfort moche a man / which is in aduersyte. in trybulacyō or in maladye. The first thyng is to thynke on the paynes of helle. whiche ben so moche harde sharpe and horryble. that it nys but a shadowe and an enoyntyng all that that may be suffred in this world to the regarde of the paynes of helle / wherof saynt austyn sayth to our lord. O good lord brenne me here and hewe me al in pyeces. rather than thou dampne me perdurably. Also Saynt austyn sayth that the tormentes of saynt Bertylmewe whiche was flayn al quycke. of saynt lawrence and of Saynt vyncent whych were brente rosted and layed on gredyrons / and of Saynt [Page] steuen whyche was stoned to deth. Al these tormentes ne ben but a bayne to the regarde of the paynes of purgatorye. And therfore the rodde of chastysement of our lord must be suffred for teschewe the perdurable payne of helle. God sheweth grete semblaunt of loue to them. to whome he sendeth the aduersy­tees temporelle. for he sayth. I chastyse them that I loue / note this ensaūple. The oxe that shal be slayn shal be wel kepte & made fatte. but he that shal be kepte & lyue. is put to the yocke for to labour the erthe / A grete sygne of loue sheweth the kyng and grete honoure dooth he to hym / to whome he sendeth hys cuppe to drynke of. The cuppe of our lord of which he dranke ben the trybulacyons. thaduersytees and the myschyefs of this world· Thys is the fyrst sawce. wyth whyche one ought to ete suche mete. that is to thynke on the paynes of helle. ¶ Thys is a sawce of vynaygre. whyche taketh awaye the sauour of wyne of the delyces of thys world / Lyke as the vynaygre taketh awaye the sauour of good wyn / The second thynge that moche comforteth in suffryng pacyently trybula­cion. is to thynke on the rewarde of heuen that one geteth. for lyke as sayth saynt Gregory. that allegeth and asswageth moche the payne & the trauaylle. whan a persone hath an hope to haue grete rewarde and grete prouffyte· The thyrd thynge is to thynke on the passyon of Ihesu cryst. whyche suffred deth for to redeme vs fro the paynes of helle. there is no thyng that so moche allegeth & swageth the paynes and the trybulacions of this world. This is moche wel sygnefyed to vs in holy scrypture. there where as the chyldren of Israhel came to a water. whyche was so bytter that they myzt not drynke. Thēne shewed god to moyses the prophete a staf of tree / & said to hym that he shold put it in to the water that was so bytter· And whan he had put it therin. it was all swete. The bytter waters been the trybulacyons of the world. The staf of tree that made it swete. that is the crosse on whyche the debonayr Ihesꝰ [Page] was hanged on for vs. For who that remembreth wel this sorowe that he suffred on the crosse / There is no payne ne aduersyte ne trybulacyon temporal. but it is swete and lyght to suffre. The fourth thyng is to thynke on the spyrytuel goodes that the trybulaciōs doon to them that suffren them pacyently for the trybulacyons prouen the knyght of god. A knyght knoweth not wel his strēgthe. vnto the tyme that he hath ben in bataylle & in the prees. wherof saynt Poule sayth / that pa­cyence proueth a man / & an aūgel of heuen sayd to Thoby. bycause that thou were playsaūt to god / It byhoueth that temptacion shold proue the ¶Also trybulacions purge the soule as the fyre purgeth golde in the fornays. & as the flaylle the corne whan it beteth it. & as the hamer the yron as sayth saynt Gregorye. Also trybulacyons ben the medecynes that hele the maladyes of synne. For lyke as sayth the holy scrypture. The greuous maladye maketh a man sobre. whom synne hath made dronken oftymes wherof saynt Gregorye sayth. late it not be harde to the that thou suffre dysease on thy body. whan thou art guarysshed of the maladye of synne wythinforth· Also by tribulacions is wonne the crowne of glorye. whan one hath good pacyence. wherof saynt Iames sayth / blessyd is that mā that suffreth temptacions. that is aduersyte & tribulacion. lyke as a good knyght that suffreth the strokes· for whan he shall be wel assayed & preued. he shal haue the crowne of glorye. These iiij remembraūces aforsayd comforte moche them that ben in trybulacion. The vspyrituel braūche of mercy is to pardone his maltalente and euyl wylle to euery body. For lyke as saynt Gregory sayth / who gyueth his pens or his al [...]sse to the poure and pardoneth not his euyl wylle· hys alme [...]e is nothyng worth. For god receyueth not the yefte as longe as the felōnye is in the herte. for god weyeth. preyseth. & taketh the yefte after his wylle / And therfore our lord sayth in the gospell / ¶ Yf that we forgyue not eche other / our fader of [Page] heuen shal not forgyue vs our synnes· Thenne he that wyl not pardonne and foryeue sayth ayenst hym self. as ofte as he sayth the pater noster. for he prayeth that god pardonne hym· lyke as he pardonneth his euyl wylle to other. It is sayd of themperour theodose / that he helde it for a grete shame. yf one dyd to hym vylouye or Iniurye that prayed hym to forgyue hym. and whan he was moost angry. thēne he foryafe most sonnest. For he had leuer draw [...] to hym peple by debonayrte and by loue. than by drede / ¶The vj braunche of this vertu is to haue in the herte pyte and comyassyon of the synnars. & of them that be in trybulacyon or in pouerte. or in aduersyte / For that one membre ought to bere the maladye of that other wherof Saynt Poule sayth. who that is seke. and I am seke wyth hym / And Saynt Gregory sayth. that so moche is a man more parfayt. as he feleth more in hym self the sorowe of another. ¶ The vij braunche of myserycorde is to praye for the synnar and for his enemyes / and for alle trespasses / For so comandeth our lord in the gospel / Praye ye sayd be for them that done to you euyl. and so shal ye ben the sones of your fader whyche is in heuen / as who shold say / Otherwyse ye ben not the sones of god. & thenne ye haue noo thynge in his herytage. Now is it thēne grete almesse & grete prouffyte for the soule to praye for the synnars. for his enemyes. and for al them that ben departed oute of this world. These ben the vij braunches of mercy of this tree on the ryght syde.

¶Here after folowen the seuen braunches of mercy vpon the lyft syde capitulo Cxxxij

LYke as this tree of mercy hath seuen braunches on the ryght syde. so ben there seuen braunches on the lyte syde / These ben the vij werkes of mercy corporel. whyche holden the body. lyke as the other byholden the soule before sayd.

[Page]¶The fyyrst braūche is to fede the hungry the nedy & the mys [...]ased / & this admonesteth vs the holy scrypture in many pla­ces. Fyrst Thobye whyche sayd to his sone / Ete thy brede wyth the nedy and the poure that deye for hungre. & Sala­mon sayth. yf thyn enemye haue hungre yeue hym to ete. & yf he haue thyrst gyue hym to drynke. ¶Also our lord sayth in the gospel. whan thou shalte make a grete dyner. calle the poure peple. the blynde. the lame & the Impotent & thou shalte be blessyd. For they may not yelde it to the ageyn. But god shal yelde to the in the resurrectyon generalle. and an hondred folde double. This is ayenste ryche men that done grere oult­rages of mete. for bobaunce / pryde / & vaynglorye of the world and haue no pyte on the poure peple. But they ought to haue grete drede that they falle not in meschyef. lyke as it byfel to the ryche gloton / of whome god sayth in the gospel. whyche ete euery day delycyously and plentyuously. and suffred the poure Lazare deye for hungre at his yate / But as to the deth of that one and of that other was a grete chaunge. For la­zare was borne wyth aungellys in to Abrahams bosome / & the ryche man auarycyous and gloton had his sepulture in helle. where he desyred to haue one drope of water for to re­fresshe his tongue. Alas yf al the water of the see had ronne ouer his tongue. it shold not haue ben coled in that fyre per­durable of helle whyche may not be quenched. Therfore it is good to fede the poure peple. For there by may one escape fro the paynes of helle. and wynne the glorye of heuen. lyke as sayth holy scrypture. wherof our lord shal say atte day Iuge­mente. Come ye blessyd of my fader in to the royame of he­uen whyche is redy to you. For whan I had hungre and thyrst ye yafe to me to ete and to drynke / For that which ye dyd to the leste of my poure peple. ye dyd it to me.

¶The second braunche of mercy capitulo Cxxxiij

[Page]THe second braunche of mercy is to clothe the poure na­ked peple. That is to say that he that may shold gyue to them clothyng hosen and shoon. Thus taught Thobye his sone whan he sayd. Couer the naked wyth thy gowne / and Ysaye the prophete sayth. whan thou shalt see the poure naked couere & hele hym. For suche werke saynt Peter reysed that good woman named Dorcas. For she clothed the poure pe­ple as the scrypture sayth / Herof hast thou a fayre example of saynt Martyn as I haue sayd tofore. The gowne or vesture or what someuer almesse one gyueth to the poure. is a memoryal to them that praye for hym that hath gyuen it / And is represented to god of his angellys.

¶ The thyrd braūch [...] mercy capitulo Cxxxiiij

THe thyrd [...] mercy is to lene to the poure peple at their nede. & to [...] to them the dette that they owe whan they may not [...] / For it is not onely al­messe to gyue. but it [...] almesse to lene wythoute vsure· and ony prouffyte [...] euyl entencyon. but purely for goddes loue. In [...] to pardonne & quyte his dette / whan [...] and may not paye it. & this is that whych [...] [...] commaūdeth in the olde lawe. where he sayth. yf one of thy b [...]ethern falle in pouerte thou shalt not enhard thy hert. ne wythdrawe not thy hande fro hym / But thou shalt opene it to the poure. & shalt lene to hym that whe­rof he hath nede / And our lord sayth in the gospel. lene sayth he to hym that hath nede and that requyreth the. without hope of wynnyng ony temporell thynge. and god shal rendre to the an hondred folde double in glorye. This mater is ayenste the vsurers. that wyl alwaye haue more than they lene. in money or in seruyces. or in other thynges. But god commaundeth to lene to the poure nedy purely for his loue. & he shal rendre [Page] to the an hondred double. & to the poure man to whome thou hast lente. or that oweth to the. or that may not paye to the. thou oughtest to foryeue & pardone hym. For so commaūdeth to the god in the gospel / & sayth thus / yf ye foryeue not eche other / god shal not foryeue you. And herof God sheweth an ensaumple of an euyl seruaunt to whome his lord had par­donned his dette. and by cause he wold not pardone hym that ought to hym / The lord repelyd the curtosye & bounte that he had doon to hym. & dyd doo dystrayne & helde hym tyl that he had rendred al that he ought. Ryght so shal our lord doo. yf we foryeue not eche to other.

¶ The fourth braunche of mercy capitulo Cxxxv

THe iiij braunche of mercy is to vysyte / comforte. & to ayde the seek peple / That is a werke that moche ple­seth to god· and more than trauaylle. or fastyng. or other bodely penaunce. wherof we fynde in vitis patrum. that an her­myte demaūded of one of the aūcyent faders. the whiche was of moost grettest meryte / of hym that fasted vj dayes in the weke & trauaylled and laboured wyth his handes. or of hym that serued the seek malades. The good fader answerd that he that fasted & trauaylled though he henge by the nosethrylles myght not compare to hym that seruyd the seek peple / This werke auaylleth moche to eschewe synne· & is a grete reme­dye ayenst synne. And therfore sayth Iob. vysyte thy semblable. that been the seek men that ben semblable to the in nature For they be men as thou arte. and yf thou so do. god shal kepe the fro synne for to do suche a good werke. And saynt Iames sayth that it is a relygyon holy and clene tofore god to vysyte the orphanes. the seek and poure men / the wydowes & them that ben in trybulacyon / wherof is recounted of a moche grete synnar whyche wente ouer the see vnto the yle of roodes. and [Page] put hym self in an hospytal for to awayte and serue the seek peple / and it happed on a tyme that he had grete abhomyna­cyon of a seek man of whome he wesshe the feet. Anone al a­geyn his hert he dranke of that water his ful draught / And whan he had dronken. he felt a ryght swete & good smellyng odour· and this was a grete token and sygne that his synnes were pardonned by thys good werke / Also by thys werke is goten grete perfectyon of holy lyf. wherof the wyse man sayth in holy scrypture / be thou not ennoyed to vysyte the seek peple / For by that thou shalt be confermed in the loue of god Also therby is goten grete rewarde as is sayd in the gospel· wherof is tolde that a lady named Marye whyche was a moche holy woman conuerted hyr husbond so moche. that they lefte alle that they hadden. and wente to the mesell hows for to serue the seek malades. by whyche they came to grete perfectyon / After it was shewed to the same Marye. that hir hus­bond that had ben hir felowe in humylite for to serue the seek men & wymmen / shold be hyr felowe in the glorye of heuen. Of the same our lord gyueth vs ensaumple in the gospel that he touched the seek peple & heled them. The seruaunte ought not to haue desdaygne ne shame to vysyte the seek peple ne to serue them. whan the lord of heuen came in to this world for to serue and vysyte them. Of whome he took the forme. and semblaunce of hys seruaunte. This sayth saynt Poul for to serue vs that were seek by synne.

¶ The fyfthe braunche of mercy capitulo Cxxxvj

THe fyfthe braunche of mercy is to herberowe the waye faryng men. the poure people. and the pylgrymes that haue noo lodgyng / Thys is one of the werkes of mercy that pleseth moche to god / as it appyereth by ensaumples of holy [Page] scrypture. Fyrst Abraham receyued oftymes the aungellys of heuen in semblaūce of poure pylgryms / and they promysed to hym that his wyf Sarra whych was olde & barayn shold conceyue a sone. Loth by cause he receyued the poure and kept hospytalyte he receyued the angellys whyche kepte & delyuerd hym fro the peryll of sodome. & therfore sayth Saynt Poule lete vs not leue hospytalyte. for therby many good men haue ben moche playsaunt to god & in his loue and in his grace / for they receyued aungellys in stede of the poure. It is not mer­uaylle yf suche peple receyue angellys / For they receyue our lord lyke as he sayth in the gospel. For who receyueth them receyuen hym as he sayth / & that whyche is doon to the poure is doon to hym. wherof saynt Gregory recounteth of a good man whyche was moche pyteous & gladly receyued the poure peple in to his hous. he receyued on a day the poure lyke as he had be acustomed / and whan he had supposed to haue gyuen water to a seek man that was there. as sone as he torned hym. he that was in lykenes of the poure man vanysshed. and none knewe where he bycam. wherof he moche meruaylled. And the nyght after our lord apperyd to hym and sayd. that he had on other dayes receyued hym in his membres. but on that day he had receyued hym in hys propre persone. ¶Also hospytalite is better and more worth than abstynence or ony other labour / wherof is founde in vitis patrum that in egypte was an holy fader whyche receyued alle them that passed forth by that had nede. and gaf to them suche as he had. It happed that a man of moche grete abstynence was herberowed in hys lodgyng. whyche wold faste / and wolde not ete at the prayer of the good man that had receyued hym Thenne the good man that had lodged hym sayd to hym. late vs goo fayr brother vnder that tree there wythoute. and praye we to our lord that thys tree enclyne and bowe donn at the prayer of hym that best pleaseth god. and whan they had [Page] made theyr prayers / the tree enclyned doun to hym that recey­ued the poure peple. and not to hym that made the grete abstynences. there been many moo fayre examples of hospytalyte but it shold be ouer longe a thynge to reherce.

¶ The syxthe braunche of mercy capitulo Cxxxvij

THe vj braunche of mercy is to vysyte comforte & ayde them that ben in pryson & in holde. & them to delyuer yf they may. For to do this admonesteth vs thappostle poule that sayth. Remembre ye them that ben in pryson. lyke as ye were bounden wyth them. that is to say that ye vysyte them. comforte and ayde them. lyke as ye wold that ye were com­forted vysyted and holpen yf ye were bounden in pryson as they ben / Thus dyd Thoby whyche wente to them that were in pryson. and comforted them wyth good wordes / And sa­lamon sayth in his prouerbes. Delyuer thou them sayth he· that men lede to dye. In suche wyse delyuerd danyel s [...]sanne fro deth. And our lord delyuerd the woman that had be taken in aduoultrye· whyche shold haue be stoned to deth after the lawe / not for by cause that Iustyce shold not be doon vpon malefactours. But in suche dede and fayt he taught the Iuges what they shold be. & how they ought to Iuge other. wherof in this ensaumple he enseygneth foure thynges that euery Iuge ought to haue and kepe in Iugement. The fyrst thynge is grete delyberacyon / & grete aduysement of counceyl good and hool / wherof Iob sayth. The cause that I knewe not. I en­serched it & requyred ryght dylygently / and this is to vnder­stonde in that. whyche our lord whan the Iewes had accused the woman. he wrote in the erthe wyth his fyngre. he that is wythoute synne of you. throwe the fyrst stone / For to stone the woman· And by the scrypture made wyth the fyugre we vn­derstonde dyscrecyon and grete delyberacyon.

[Page]¶ The second thynge is good entencyon that he bowe not ne enclyne more on that one partye than on that other. ne for prayer ne for yefte. ne for fauour. ne for loue. ne for hate. and this is to vnderstonde in that whan Ihesu Cryste wrote he helde hym stylle in the place. The thyrd thynge is good lyf & to kepe hym wel fro synne. For he that Iugeth other ought to be of good lyf / & of good conscyence. & lyue Iustly. For yf he be other he ought to haue grete drede of the Iugement of god. whyche sayth in the gospel. that suche Iugement as ye do to other. shal be doon to you / And Saynt poul sayth thus of euyl Iuges In that thou Iugest other. thou condempnest thy self. For thou doost that. for whyche thou Iugest other. wherof our lord sayd whan he aroose fro wrytyng / he of you that is wythoute synne caste on hyr the fyrst stone. and whan they herde this sentence. they departed & went awaye al asha­med. the one after another wythout takyng leue. for they were gretter synnars than the woman. whome they wold haue stoned / The fourth thyng is to haue pyte and compassyon. that the Iuge ought to haue on hym that he shal Iuge. for he ouzt more to enclyne by humanyte and mercy than tenharde hym by rygour to do Iustyce / For Iustyce wythoute mercy is cru­elte. and mercy wythout Iustyce is lewdnes. And therfore that one of these ij vertues holdeth ofte companye with that other in holy scrypture. But alwaye sayth the scrypture / that mercy surmounteth Iustyce. And saynt Iohan wyth the golden mouth sayth. that at the day of Iugement. that it shall be more worthe to rendre reason of doyng mercy. than of the ry­gour of Iustyce. and Saynt Iames sayth that Iugement wythoute mercy shal be doon to hym that hath doo no mercy And therfore our lord after that he was relyeued he enclyned hym toward therth. & after delyuerd the woman. for the Iuge ought to enclyne by pyte and compassyon to hym· whome he ought to Iuge / & haue grete drede / and also ayenst his wylle [Page] ought he to Iuge the other. For yf he Iuge wyckedly he shalle be Iuged at the day of Iugement. Now is it grete almesse to vysyte the prysoners / and them to redeme and delyuer that may. And therfore our lord Ihesu Cryst wold descende in to helle for to delyuer the soules of sayntes that were there.

¶ The vij braunche of mercy capitulo Cxxxviij

THe seuenth braunche of mercy is to burye the dede bo­dyes. Of this werke is moche preysed in holy scripture Thobye. whyche buryed the dede bodyes and lefte hys mete. And our lord praysed Marye Magdalene for the oynemente that she shedde on his heed. wherof he sayd that she had doon it in sygnefyaunce of his sepulture. Also Ioseph demaunded the body of our lord / and buryed it moche dylygently. The o­ther were ryght besy of theyr sepulture· and had grete bewayllyng and grete deuocyon to the holynesse. good. and holy lyf. of theyr faders. and therfore they wold be buryed wyth them / Of whome Iacob sayd to his sone Ioseph. Burye me not in egypt. but with my faders. and therfore it is good to be buryed emonge good relygyous men for to haue their prayers Nature ought to moeue a man to thys good werke. wherof it is redde in the nature of beestes that the dolphyns whā they see a dolphyn deed. they assemble them to gydre / an bere hym to the bottom of the see. and there they burye hym / Yf nature & pyte moeue and styrre the Iewes and Sarasyns. and other myscreauntes to doo thys. moche more ought pyte and com­passyon to moeue the crysten men to doo thus. why he by our fayth see that the bodyes be reysed and rewarded with the sou­les. And therfore who that loueth the soule of hys neyghbour he ought to loue the body / and doo burye it whan it is d [...]ed wyth alle humanyte and mercy that he may / ¶Now hast [Page] thou herde the braunches of the tree of mercy. These been the werkes of mercy corporell and spyrituel /

Here after is sayd how almesse ought to be doon Cxxxix

IT is so that there is moche peple that lese their almesse and theyr other good dedes whyche they do / by cause they doo theym not as they ought to doo. Therfore I wyl shewe here shortly how almesse ought to be doon and how it is prouffytable and playsaunte to god / Fyrst I wyl· shewe shortly how a persone ought to do almesse. and wherof he shold do al­messe. For a man must doo it of his owne good. and not of another mans. and of suche good that is wel and truly go­ten. God setteth no thynge of none euyl yefte. Almesse whi­che is made of thefte. or of takyng awaye of others good. of ra [...]yne. or of vsure. or of other euyl gooten good pleaseth noo thynge to god. wherof the scrypture sayth. Thou shalte not make sacrefyse ne offryng to god· of oxen ne of sheep. ne of thynge wherin is ony spotte of synne. For god hath grete abhomynacyon of suche sacrefyse / The wyse man sayth. that who that dooth sacrefyse to god of the catayl or goodes of the poure man. He dooth lyke to hy [...] that s [...]e [...]th the sone tofore the eyen of his fader. And Saynt Austyn sayth what yefte is that / whyche the one taketh gladly· and that other wepeth And therfore ought euery man take hede wherof he dooth hys almesse. ¶ Also he ought to take hede to whome he dooth it wherof the scrypture sayth / Beware to whome thou shalte doo good. doo wel to the good. That is to hym that thou we­nest that he be good. And gyue noo thynge to the wycked for cause of theyr wyckednesse. Lyke as they doo whyche gyue to rybauldes and to menestrellys for theyr wyckednesse· whyche is a grete synne as saye the sayntes. but who that gyueth to [Page] them not for euyl. but for pyte and compassyon. for theyr po­uerte. or of theyr wyues. or of theyr chyldren yf they haue o­ny. or of theyr faders or moders. or for ony other good cause or reason / as for to wythdrawe them fro synne he doth wel ¶Thenne the almesse ought to be gyuen vnto the poure / and more to them that be veray poure of herte and of wylle whiche haue lefte for goddes sake that whyche they had. moche more than to other that be not poure wyth theyr wylle. but som­tyme of pure necessyte. And somme there be trewauntes and slouful for to doo ony good / and myght gete theyr lyuyng yf they wolde. ¶ And somme there be that by fayntyse shewe somme hurtes and be faytours of them self that deceyue the world. To suche ought a man not to gyue hys almesse. but it ought to be gyuen to the poure orphans. to shamefast peple to poure wydowes. to the dyseased and lame / and vnto seek poure people where as it is nede / and whan one may doo it And yf a man is bounden to gyue to straungers / he is moche more bounden wythoute comparyson to hys fader and moder more than to ony other / For nature enseyneth it. And God commaundeth it. ¶It is redde of the storkes. that they nou­rysshe fader and moder whan they be olde and may not pur­chace theyr mete. Thenne nature techeth that one ought to doo good to hys fader and moder. and therfore it is wel ryzt and reason that myschyef falle to al them that do euyl to their faders and moders as it oftyme happeth. Also a persone ouzt to take hede how he ought to do almesse and the maner of gy­uyng. For iij condycyons ought to be had in gyuyng almesse The fyrst is that a man ought to gyue gladly & wyth good herte. For god hath more regarde to the hert than to the handes. wherof god in his sacrefyse as saynt gregory sayth / be­holdeth not onelye the thynge that is gyuen. but with what herte / Lyke as hit appyereth wel in the gospel of the poure woman that had nomore but two mytes whyche she offeryd [Page] in the temple. And our lord sayd / that she had offred more than alle the other whyche had offred grete thynges. for more playseth somtyme to god a peny that a poure man gyueth gladly for goddes sake. than yf a ryche man had gyuen an hondred marke of syluer in grudchyng. And therfore sayth the wyse man in the scrypture. Make alwaye sayth he good chyere in al thy yeftes. And Saynt Poul sayth that god lo­ueth moche the yeuar that is glad & curtoys. There been sōme peple ryght ryche & be so rude and vylaynous to the poure. that whan they demaunde hem almesse. they answer to them so vylaynously / that they calle them truaūtes. and saye to them many reproches and vylonnyes. Suche almesse pleseth not god and therfore sayth the wyse man in holy scrypture. Enclyne & bowe thyn eere to the poure man wythoute heuynesse / and an­swer hym swetelye. ¶ The second thynge that apperteyneth to doo almesse. is that it be doon anone and hastelye. wherof Salamon sayth say thou not to thy frende. goo and come a­geyn to morne· and thenne I shal gyue to the / whan thou mayst gyue anone· And also god saith. withdrawe not longe thy yefte fro the poure and fro them that be nedy. That is to say· make thou not hym abyde. whan thou mayst gyue forth­wyth / Thys is ayenste many ryche men whych make poure men to crye after them. that haue to doo wyth them. And soo moche delaye them· that they must ofte praye and requyre them tofore that they wyl ony thynge doo / They selle ouer dere theyr bounte and curtosye. that they do to them / for lyke as seneque sayth. nothyng is so dere bought as that whyche is requyred & the ꝓuerbe saith that it is ouer dere bouzt that is demaūded Thus shold euery mā hastely do for his soule. as longe as he is alyue & hool. wherof the wyse man saith. Fayr sone saith he do wel to thy self yf thou haue wherof. & offre to god worthy offrynges as longe as thou lyuest / For the deth shal not tarye but that she cometh / ¶ And in another place he sayth doo [Page] wel to thy frēde tofore thy deth. that is to thy soule· to whome thou oughtest to do wel tofore thy deth. as to thy true frende / that is to Ihesu Cryst to whome thou oughtest to do wel. tofore thy deth in almesses for the loue of hym to the poure pe­ple / For that whiche is doon to the poure people is doon to Ihesu cryst. lyke as he sayth in the gospel. Thenne the almesse that is doon in a mānes lyf and in hys hele. is moche more auaylable. than that whyche is [...]oon after hys deth / lyke as the lanterne that is borne before a man conduyteth and ledeth hym better & more surely. than that whyche is borne behynde his backe· & therfore admonesteth vs saynt Poule. that we do wel as longe as we haue the tyme that god hath lente vs whan a ryche man or lord is comyng vnto a cyte or toun. he sendeth his messagers tofore & his herbegeours for totake his lodgyng. & for to make redy prouysyon ayenst hys comyng. or ellys the lord and his people shold be euyl pourueyed. The good herbegeour and messager that taketh the lodgyng and maketh al thynge redy to ryche men in the glorye perdurable been the almesses & other good dedes that they do in their lyues whiche ben represented by the aungelles tofore god / The al­messes that ben don after the deth· ben lyke as the slowe seruaū tes that comen late to the lodgyng / soo that the lord is som­tyme euyl pourueyed & euyl herberowed. The thyrd condycion that ought to be in almesse. is that one ought gyue gladly & largely. after that he may forbere at his ease / wherof the wyse man sayth. gyue to god after that he hath gyuen to the. And Thobye sayth also. after thy power be pyteous & merciful. yf thou haue moche yeue largely & gladly. & yf thou haue lytel departe of that lytel wyth a good wylle. & euery man ought to yeue after his estate / & after that god hath gyuen hym / It is redde of a kynge. of whome a poure man axed a peny / and he answerd / that so lytel a yefte apperteyned not to hym whiche was a kyng. and of alysaunder it is redde. that he gaf a cyte [Page] to one his seruaunt / And the seruaunte thought the yefte ouer grete a thynge for hym and wold haue refused it. ¶Thenne alysaunder sayd to hym I haue noo regarde what is conue­nyent to the for to take. but to me what I ought to gyue. The fourth condycyon is that the almesse be don in humylite & in deuocyon. / to thende that there be no vaynglorye therin. ne that the poure peple to whome the almesse is gyuen be not despysed. ne for almesse doon wyth other mens goodes / ne to gyue for to synne / ne for to haue presumpcyon therby to be sa­ued / Somme peple ther ben that whan they doo almesse they wyl that euery body knowe it / But the scrypture sayth that almesse shold be put in the bosom of the poure. For as sayth saynt Gregory. It ne suffyseth onelye to a good man that he see of whome he attendeth his rewarde. & therfore sayth our lord in the gospel. whan thou shalt gyue thyn almesse sayth he. late not thy lyft hande knowe what thy ryght hande dooth so that thyn almesse be hyd. for to eschewe the loos & praysyng of the world. and thy fader of heuen whyche seeth in hyd place shal rewarde & yelde it to the. That is to say whan thou shalt do thyn almesse. kepe the wel that vaynglorye whyche is vn­derstonden by the lyft honde be not medled therwyth. but do thy almesse in true entencyon. that is vnderstōden by the ryzt honde I say not but that one ought to do good werkes somtyme o­penlye tofore the peple for to gyue good ensaūple / wherof god may be praysed / For ryght so sayth god in the gospel. that we shold do good werkes tofore the peple. by cause that god shold be preysed & gloryfyed. & not for the preysyng of the people as doon the ypocrites. A good seruaūt ouzt to be ashamed to serue his lord tofore the peple / for to honoure hym. wherof our lord sayth. who that shal haue shame of me tofore the people. he shal haue shame of me tofore thaūgels· & I shal haue shame to see hym. This is good ayēst hem that leue to do wel open­lye. by cause they wold not be reputed ypocrytes. And therfore [Page] sayth Saynt Gregory. that who that dooth his werkys o­penly / that the entencyon be ryght to god wythinforth· And that do it to please god onelye. Also who that wyl do almesse he ought not to despyse the poure to whome he dooth almesse. Therfore sayth the prophete· ne despyse not thy flesshe· That is the poure man whyche is semblable to the. and of suche nature of flesshe & blood as thou arte / & of suche fylthe. There be sōme peple that despyse the poure and deyne not to speke to them. & yf they speke· they speke rudely and proudely. Thus dyd not Iob that sayd / that he neuer despysed them that passed by / for ony thynge that they dyd. but gaf t [...] them clothynge and mete / Also there were holy men as wel kynges & other many grete lordes that were not ashamed to serue the poure men. how wel that somme there be that do almesse to the poure. but they haue them in desdayn and in despyte. and yf they were veray humble. they shold loue better the companye of poure men that ben good. whyche ben poure for the loue of god. and may edefye them wel by ensaumple. and by worde. than many of the ryche men that been aboute them. where as is in them but flaterye. couetyse / and vanyte. and doon them moche harme by euyl counceyll. and lette them for to doo many good dedes. ¶ Also there been somme people that do almesse ynough. but neuertheles they leue not to doo grete synnes. suche almesses shalle not saue them. For yf they deye in that estate. theyr al­messes shall neuer kepe them fro dampnacyon. Thenne suche maner peple been lyke to them that make theyr hows on that one syde / and depesshe and throwe it doun on that other syde. and therfore scrypture sayth. yf thou wylt plese to god / haue fyrst pyte & mercy on thyn owne soule. for who that is euyll and vntrewe to hym self. shal neuer be good to another / and therfore sayth Saynt austyn who that wyl ordynatlye doo almesse. he ouzt tofore to loue more his soule than another or ony other thyng except god. none shold say that he were pyetoꝰ [Page] ne mercyful that had not pyte of hys owne soule poure and seek. how wel that he had pyte on others / ¶Also I saye not that he is pyteoꝰ ne mercyful that hath no pyte on his owne soule. whan he knoweth that it is seek to the deth by dedely synne. Now haue I shewed to the ynough of mercy. the de­grees. the braunches. the fruyt and the spyrituel good that cometh therof in thys world and in that other. Of the fruyt of thys tree sayth Dauyd to vs in the psaulter in thys wyse. Blessyd is he that entendeth to the nedy & to the poure· That is to say that he abyde not soo longe tyl the poure demaunde hym / but that he [...] wythoute askynge. Ne he hath no hert to gyue that gyueth not wythout askyng. he dooth wel that gyueth to the poure. but he doth moche better that gyueth with oute demaundyng. And therfore sayth Dauyd the prophete blessyd is he that entendeth vnto the poure· and wherfore is he blessyd / he sayth after in the sayd place / that god shal delyuer hym in the euyl day fro his enemyes. That shal be at the day of dome whyche shal be harde and euyl to them that shalle be dampned by cause they haue not fulfylled the werkes of mer­cy. ¶Thenne shal the Iuge saye to them at that day· Goo ye cursyd in to the fyre of helle wyth the deuyls. whan I had hungre and thyrst ye gaue to me neyther mete ne drynke. I was seek and ye vysyted not me. I was naked and ye clothed me not. and therfore they shalle be delyuerd to theyr enemyes. that been the deuylles of helle. And they that haue been pyetous / and haue entended to the poure shalle be dely­uerd that day and shullen be put in the possessyon of heuen. Lyke as our lord sayth in the gospel. For he shalle saye vnto them that haue doon and accomplysshed the werkes of mercy ¶ Come ye blessyd of my fader. Receyue ye and take ye the kyngdom of heuen whyche that I haue maad redy for you syth the begynnyng of the world / For that whyche ye haue doon to the poure. ye haue doon to me. Grete honoure shalle [Page] god doo to theym / whan he shall thanke theym of the werkes of mercy. and shalle gyue to them the glorye perdurable. And therfore sayth he in the gospel / Blessyd ben the merciful For they shal haue mercy / by cause they haue enlonged the lyf of the poure peple by their almesse. & therfore they that haue had pyte of the membres of Ihesu Cryste· & haue susteyned them in thys world. & haue comforted & ayded them in theyr aduersytees. It is wel reasō that he do to them mercy. which delyuerth fro al aduersytees & fro al myserye. & so shall he doo whan he shal gyue to them the lyf [...]erdurable. wherto mercy shal lede them and herberowe them.

¶Of the lyf actyf & of the lyf contemplatyf capitulo Cxl


THe holy scripture wytnesseth and enseigneth to vs ij maners of wele and goo [...]es. by which a persone cometh to the lyf perdurable. The fyrst is called the lyf ac­tyf / by cause it is in la­bour of good werkes. & maketh a man to entēde to the prouffyte of hym self and of hys neygh­bour. The second is cal­led contēplatyf. by cause it is in reste of good werkes / & ne entendeth to no [...] but to loue & to knowe god / Thēne is he ydle of wer [...]. & like as he were a slepe. but he is awaked [...] for to thynke vpon god. and for to loue hym / [Page] And for the loue that he hath to god. he put al other thynge [...] in forgetyng. lyke as he were al rauysshed & fyxed in god / & desyreth to be dysseueryd fro the mortal body / for to be alwaye wyth Ihesu Cryst. The fyrst lyf. is the felde of good wer­kes. where the knyghtes of god assaye & preue them. The se­cond reste them wyth god in the chambre of clene conscyence· The fyrst entendeth to fede god wyth the mete of good wer­kes. The second entendeth to be [...]edde and fulfylled of god by veray comfort spyrytuel / Of the fyrst is sygnefyed by martha whyche was besy to fede our lord. as it is sayd in the gospel. The second is sygnefyed by marye magdalene which satte at the feet of Ihesu Cryst· and herde hys wordes. The fyrst is a waye & entre to the second / For no persone may come to the lyf contemplatyf· yf he be not fyrst wel proued in the lyf actyf lyke as saith saynt Gregory· The yeftes & the vertues. wherof we haue spoken tofore. apperteynen to the fyrst lyf / whyche is called actyf. The two last yeftes of whyche we shal speke. by the helpe & ayde of the holy ghoost. that is to wete of the yefte of vnderstondyng and of the yefte of wysedom and sapyence / apperteynen to the second lyf. whyche is callyd contemplatyf / Thys lyf hath two thynges lyke as we haue tofore touched that is to wete in ryght knowleche of god / and in parfyght loue / The yefte of vnderstondyng ledeth to perfectyon of ryzt knowleche. The yefte of sapyence ledeth to perfectyon of loue we shal say fyrst of the yefte of vnderstondyng after that the holy ghoost shal teche & enseygne vs. Thys yefte that is called the yefte of vnderstondyng nys none other thynge / after the sayntes and the doctours· but a lyght and a clerenes of grace whyche the holy ghoost sendeth in to the hert. by vnderstondyng a man is lyfte vp to knowe his maker & the thynges spyry­tuel. whyche may not be seen bodyly. And al the thynges th [...]t apperteynen to the helthe of the soule. and to naturall reason to whyche the vnderstōdyng of a mā by hym self may not ome. [Page] This yefte is called lyght. for it purgeth the vnderstondyng of a man fro the derkenesse of ygnoraunce / & fro the spottes & fylthe of synne. For lyke as the bodyly lyght taketh awaye the derknesse / and maketh the bodyly thynges to be seen clerely Ryght so this spyrytuel lyght purgeth the vnderstondyng of a man / to that whyche he may see clerely & knowe certeynlye. as a man may knowe in this mortal lyf god hys maker / & the spyrytuel creatures. lyke as [...]en the aungellys & the soules and the thynges that apperteyne to the helthe of soules. That ben the artycles of the feyth / of whiche we haue spoken tofore This knowleche is not but in conscyence wel purged. pure and clene. For lyke as sore eyen charged wyth fylthe may not beholde the clere lyght. Ryght soo the vnderstondyng of a man. whan it is of hym self may not beholde ne knowe spyrytuel thynges / yf it be not wel purged fro al tatches of errour and of fylthe of synne. by veray fayth whyche purgeth the hertes as the scrypture sayth· But the yefte of the holy ghoost of whyche we speke here perfourmeth this purgacyon atte herte so that the holy soule whyche is purged and enlumyned with this lyght of vnderstondyng may see and knowe god / and al that whyche is to hym necessarye. and prouffytable to his sa­uacyon. And that is the blessyng wherof god speketh in the gospel whan he sayth. blessyd be they that be clene of hert. for they shal see god. in presence by fayth / in lyght and enformed by the yefte of vnderstondyng. and after the deth they shalle see hym in heuen face to face clerely wythout ende as sayth saynt Poule. Thys yefte taketh awaye alle ordure & fylthe fro the hert. & maketh hym clene parfytelye fro al ordures of synne and specyally for the spotte of the synne of lecherye. For who that of thys synne is entatched is veray blynde. For he hath loste the eyen of the hert of reason and of vnderstondyng. So that he may not vnderstonde ne knowe hys maker. ne thynge that is holsom ne helthe of his soule / But is lyke a beest that [Page] hath neyther wytte ne reason in hym self. wherof dauyd saith in the psaulter. that a man to whome god hath doon so grete honoure that he hath made hym to his ymage and his sem­blaunce. by whyche he may knowe god & haue hym. whyche he hath not doon to ony other beest / yf he forgete hys maker / & the bounte that he hath doon to hym. he is bycomen sembla­ble to folysshe bees [...]ys whyche haue none vnderstondyng. The synne that maketh moost a man to be lyke a foule beest. is the synne of lecherye. of whyche we haue spoken tofore in the traytye of vyces. The yefte thenne of vnderstondyng whyche is contrarye to thys ordure. and destroyeth fro the hert the synne of lecherye· and setteth therin purete & clennesse. out of which groweth a ryght fayre tre. That is the vertu of chastyte by whyche they come to this blessyng. whyche god promytteth to them that kepen clennesse of herte whan he sayth. blessyd be they that be clene of herte. For they shalle see god. By cause that they shal haue the eyen of the herte wel purged and wel enlumyned of the yefte of vnderstondyng. This tree groweth and prouffyteth moche lyke to the other byforsayd by seuen de­grees / These been vij thynges whiche moche auaylle to lyue chastelye.

¶The first degree of the vertu of chastyte capitulo Cxlj

THe fyrst degree is clene conscyence. that is the rote of thys tree. For wythoute clene conscyence chastyte may not plese god / Thys clennesse. chastyte. and purete requyren that the hert may be kept fro euyl thoughtes / soo that the herte consente to no synne. For who so consenteth to euyl thought and to euyl desyre of his hert. he is not chaste. how wel that he kepe hym fro the dede. For. for the consentyng onelye dely­bered & purposed. he shold be dampned yf he deyed in the same state / Thre thynges auaylle moche to kepe clennesse of herte [Page] The fyrst is to here gladly the worde of god and the sermons wherof our lord sayth in the gospel to his dyscyples. ye be alle clene sayd he by the wordes that I haue sayd to you. For the word of god is lyke a fayre myrrour in whyche one may see the spottes of the hett. The second thynge is very confessyon. whyche is the fontayne where one ought ofte to wasshe hym of al ordure of synne. The scrypture sayth in the book of kyn­ges that Elysee the prophete commaunded to Naman which was a lepre. that he shold wasshe hym vij tymes in the flom Iordan for to be clene and heled of hys maladye / and whan he had wasshen hym there. he was alle hool and clene / The flom Iordan is as moche to say as the [...]treme of Iugement / whyche sygnefyeth confessyon. where one ought to Iuge hym self wyth grete sorowe of hert and with grete repentaunce of his synnes so that a streme of teeres renne by the conduyt of hys eyes. and thus the synnar shal be hool of the mezelrye of synne. And therfore sayth saynt Bernard· loue confessyon yf thou wylt haue beaute· For veray confessyon and hool is the beaute of the soule. The iij thynge is to haue remembraunce of the passyon of Ihesu Cryst. For noo temptacyon ne none euyl wylle may not duelle in the hert that thynketh & remembreth ofte the deth and the passyon of Ihesu Cryste. For this is the armure that the deuyl doubteth moost. as that by which he is ouercomen & leseth hys power. This is ryght wel syg­nefyed to vs in scrypture / where as Moyses reysed vp a ser­pent of brasse by the commaūdement of god vpon a perche on hye that al the peple sawe it. And al they that beholde it were helyd of the bytyng and hurtyng of the serpentes. The serpent of brasse that henge on the perche. sygnefyeth the body of Ihesu Cryst hangyng on the crosse. That was the serpent withoute venym / of whyche was made the tryacle of our sauacyon / for who someuer feleth hym smyton and enuenymed of pryc­kyng and styngyng wyth the venemous serpentes of helle / [Page] that ben the deuylles. late hym beholde by veray fayth on the serpent of brasse / That is to say that he haue in his hert parfyte mynde of the passyon of Ihesu Cryst. and anone he shal be he­led and delyuerd of the temptacyons of the enemye. that is the deuyll.

¶The second degree of the vertu of chastyte capitulo Cxlij

THe second degree of the vertu of chastyte. by which this tree groweth & prouffyteth / is for to kepe hys mouth fro vylaynous word [...]s. whyche ben of rybauldrye and dyshonestees. or suche as tornen to dyshonour. For by suche wor­des & by suche wynde is ofte quyckened & enflāmed the fyre of lecherye. wherof the scripture sayth. who speketh of a comyn woman is brennyng as fyre. And saynt Poul sayth that the shreude wordes corrumpen good maners. And therfore who that wyl kepe hym chastly. hym byhoueth that he kepe hym fro suche wordes. and who that gladly speketh them. or gladly hereth them. he leseth god. and sheweth wel that he is not chaste / For there may none other thynge yssue out of a vessel but suche as is wythin it. yf the wordes be foule & vylaynous It is an open sygne that the ordure and the vylōnye is in the hert / For of the habundaunce of the hert the mouth speketh. this sayth our lord in the gospel.

¶ The thyrd degree of the vertu of chastyte capitulo Cxliij

THe thyrd degree of the vertu of chastyte. is to kepe well the fyue wyttes of the body. the eyen fro folye beholdyng the eres fro herkenyng of folye and vayne wordes / The nose thrylles fro ouermoche delytyng in swete sauours and wyc­ked odours. The tongue fro euyl speche and rybauldous lan­gage. And the mouth fro ouer swete and delycyous metes & [Page] drynkes. These ben the [...]yates of the cyte of the hert. by which the deuyl entreth ofte· these ben the fyue wyndowes of the hous by whyche deth entreth ofte in to the hert· lyke as sayth the prophete / Many grete wyse men haue be taken and ouercomen by thys. that they kepte not wel the yates / And yf thou wylt haue example of this matere. thynke that no mā was more stronge than Sampson / Ne more holy than dauyd the pro­phete. Ne more wyse than Salamon. And neuertheles they fylle and were al deceyued by wymmen / Certaynly yf they had wel kepte theyr yates of theyr fyue wyttes corporell. the fende had not taken so grete fortresses [...] For as saynt gregory sayth / The toure of the hert may not be taken yf it be not opened to the hoost of the deuyl. wherfore the auncyent phyloso­phres fledde in to ferre places. in desertes. by cause they myzt not see. ne here. ne fele thynges delectable / by whyche theyr strengthe and vertu shold wexe feble. ne by which they myght lese theyr chastyte. ¶ Other phylosophres there were that by cause they shold not be lette to thynke on theyr phylosophye put oute theyr eyen by cause they shold see no thyng that myzt drawe them fro contemplacyon. Thēne the bodyly wyttes ben lyke an hors that renneth wythout bytte or brydle / which maketh hys lord to ouerthrowe or falle. But the chaste hert holdeth hym by the rayne and by the brydle of reason.

Of the fourth degree of the vertu of chastyte capitulo Cxliiij

THe fourth degree of the vertu of chastyte. is sharpnesse of penaunce· to subdue his flesshe whyche is rebelle. and make it subgette to the spyryte. lyke as sayth saynt poule For he that wyl quenche the fyre of lecherye. he ought to take awaye the ryse fagotte. and alle tho thynges that make it to brenne and that nourysshe the fyre. These been the delyces and [Page] the eases of the body whyche quyckene and lyghten the fyre of lecherye and corrumpen chastyte. wherof saynt bernard sayth that chastyte peryssheth in delyces. And therfore who that wyl kepe hym fro brennyng / he ought to take awaye by ab­stynence. and by sharpnesse of penaunce of his body alle the occasyons that may quyckene the fyre of lecherye. wherof the scrypture sayth that the chyldren that were nourysshed wyth grosse metes wold not vse delycyouse metes. and were saued in the fournays of babylone. by whyche is vnderstonden the synne of lecherye. why [...]he is quenched by abstynence and by sharpnes of pr [...]aunce. But the fatte metes delycyouses. and the strong wynes enflame and nourysshe thys synne of lechery in lyke wyse as oylle and grece alyght and enflammeth the fyre and enforce it.

¶ Of the v degree of the vertu of chastyte capitulo Cxlv

THe fifthe degree of the vertu of chastyte. is to flee euyl companye and the occasyons of synne. Moche people haue fallen to synne by euyl companye. whyche otherwyse had not fallen / lyke as the leuayn corupteth the paste & drawe it to sauour· Ryght so the euyll companye corupteth the good fame and renommee of the persone. An appel roten yf it be emonge the sounde and hole / corrupteth the good apples yf it lye longe emonge them· A brennyng cole anone setteth a fyre an hepe of cooles whan it is layed emonge them. wherof da­uyd sayth in the psaulter. wyth the holy thou shalte be holy. and wyth the shrewes thou shalte be peruerted.

¶Thus thenne yf thou wylt kepe chastyte and clennesse / fo­lowe the companye of the good. For yf thou loue the compa­nye of euyl and shrewes / thou shalte be euyl as they be. For who that loueth the companye of a fool· it byhoueth that he be [Page] lyke to hym. accordyng to that scrypture sayth / Thus byho­ueth it to flee alle the occasyons of synne. As to speke secretly wyth a woman. and in suspecyous place. one allone to one For suche thynges gyuen occasyon to synne. whan there is place and tyme. wherof we rede in the book of kynges. that Amon whyche was the sone of dauyd. whan he had his sys­ter Thamar in hys chambre he corrupted and defoulyd hyr. The lady of Ioseph whan she fonde hym allone. she wold haue maad hym to synne wyth hyr. but he fledde as a wyse man and lefte hyr. ¶ Therfore sayth Saynt Poule. Flee ye fornycacyon / that is to saye alle the occasyons that may brynge or lede a persone to the synne of lecherye. For one may not better ouercome the synne of lecherye ne kepe chastyte than by fleyng the companyes and the occasyons of thys synne / wherof the aungel sayd to loth that he shold yssue and departe fro the cytee of Sodome. and from alle the marches. For it suffysed not to leue the euyl companye ne the synne / but that he shold leue the marches of synne / It is sayd that s [...]. longe gooth the potte to water. that at the laste it breketh· And the gnat fleeth so longe at the flamme of the candell. that atte laste it brenneth. ¶In lyke wyse may one seke thoccasyons of synne. that he falleth therin. who so wyl thenne kepe hym wel fro suche fyre that he brenne not. he ought to withdrawe hym fro it.

The sixthe degree of the vertu of chastyte capitulo Cxlvj

THe syxthe degree of the vertu of chastyte / is that one be wel occupyed and wel sette a werke of good werkys and honeste. For the deuyl whyche slepeth not. whan he fyn­deth a man ydle and slowe to do wel. put hym self to laboure and maketh hym falle lyghtly in to synne. wherof the scryp­ture sayth. that ydlenesse / that is to say neclygence & slouthe [Page] for to do good. is maystresse of many euylles / and that is enemye of the soule. ¶ And therfore sayth Saynt Poule. Ne gyue thou no place to the deuyl / That is to say ne be thou not ydle. that the fende fynde not place to tempte the. For who that is ydle to doo good werkes / he gyueth rome and place to the deuyl for to tempte hym. Therfor sayth Saynt Gregory doo allwaye somme good werkes that the deuyl fynde the not ydle. For he is lyghtly taken of the fende. that occupyeth not hym self alwaye in sōme good werkes. For he that is ydle may not longe kepe [...]ym fro fallyng in to synne. Of this sayth the prophete. that the cause of the synne of sodome the cy­te. was plente of breed and wyn. and ydlenesse. That is to vnderstonde that they ete and dranke. and dyden noo thynge. And therfor they fyll in to synne so horryble that it ought not to be named. Ryght so do moche peple that lese her tyme / and employe it in vanytees and in oultrages of mete & drynke and lewde games. in Iolyte [...]s of lewde songes. of daunces / of playes not leeful· and other deduytes. And in suche vanytees they wasten theyr tyme· and therfore the falle ofte in ma­ny horryble synnes. and ofte in to the pytte of helle. For lyke as Iob sayth. They lede theyr lynes in playes. in deduytes and in delyces. and in an only poynte they descende in to the pytte of helle. that is at the poynte of deth where as they take none hede.

¶ The vij degree of the vertu of chastyte capitulo Cxlvij

THe seuenth degree of the vertue of chastyte / is deuoute prayer and oryson. whyche moche auaylleth to ouer­come alle synnes. and specyally the synne of lecherye / wherof Saynt Ambrose sayth· That prayer is a good shelde ayenste alle the brennyng dartes of the deuyll. And saynt ysodore sayth that it is the remedye ageynst alle temptacyons of synne. [Page] a man to renne to prayer assone as the fende tempteth hym vnto synne. For the accustomaunce of deuoute prayer quencheth alle the assaultes of synne. Deuoute prayer is moche myghty vnto god whan it is vnder sette and accompanyed wyth foure thynges as of four pylers. ¶ The fyrst is true fayth / wherof our lord sayth in the gospel. Alle that ye aske and demaunde in your prayers▪ haue ye good fayth and sted­fast byleue in god· and ye shal haue that ye demaunde / And Saynt Iames sayth. that one ought demaunde or aske in stedfast fayth wythout doubtyng. For who that doubteth is lyke the fome of the see whyche the wynde ledeth hyther and thyder. And therfore he that prayeth doubtyng. Geteth noo thynge of god. The second thynge that ought to be in pray­er is hope to haue that. whyche is demaunded and requyred Herof sayth dauyd in the psaulter· haue good hope in god. and he shalle doo that whyche. thou requyrest of hym / ¶And also he sayth in another place. Lord ha [...]e mercy on me. for my hert trusteth in the. God gyueth to vs grete hope for to requyre hym. and to haue that / whyche we demaunde of hym whan he sayth in the gospel. That who demaundeth. he ta­keth it. and who so secheth. he fyndeth. that is to vnderstonde who demaundeth wysely. and secheth dylygently. and knocke and shoue at the dore perseuerantly. And whan these thre thyn­ges been in the prayer / wytte. Dylygence. and perseueraunce god enhaunceth it. yf thou demaunde wysely. Many men praye and demaunde whyche be not herde ne graūted of god. by cause they aske euyl and not leefully. wherof saint Iames sayth to them that can not demaunde. ye aske ofte sayth he of god / but ye gete noo thynge by cause that ye can not aske it / Somme aske more hye thyng than apperteyneth to them. as dyd saynt Iohan and saynt Iames. which demaūded of god that that oue shold sytte on the ryght syde of our lord in hys royame. & that other on the lyft syde / They asked not wysely [Page] but it was wyth grete presumpcyon. And therfore our Lord answerd to them harde and sayd to them. ye wote not what ye aske· thēne who that wyl praye to god. late hym kepe hym fro presumpcion / that he suppose not grete thynges in hym / as dyd the pharysee. whyche auaunted hym in hys prayer / and despysed other / But humbly ought a persone to praye to god in Iugyng & accusyng hym self tofore god. whych seeth eue­ry hert. and knoweth the maladyes of synne & the deffaultes & also knoweth that wherof we haue nede. & that whyche is prouffytable for vs. be [...]ter than we our self / & take ensaūple at the poure truaūtes whiche shewen theyr soores & maladyes for to moeue the people to pyte toward them. Ryght so ought one to do tofore god humbly to shewe his synnes & his deffautes to remembre there. for to gete grace and pardon. Ther ben other that can not demaunde but vyle and lytel thynges / as ben the goodes temporall. And god wyl gyue to the a gretter thynge. he wyl not appease the wyth an appel or with a pere as a chylde. but he wyl that thou demaunde grete thynges. whyche been for the helthe of thy soule. as hys grace and hys glorye. For who that demaundeth of god rychesses. or honoures. or deth. or vengeaunce of hys enemyes. he demaundeth of god foule prayers & ayenst hym self. and therfore god graū ­teth them not. Therfore sayth saynt Austyn / vnderstonde not of god to be a grete thynge· the goodes that he gyueth as wel to the wycked as to the good / and to his enemyes as wel as to hys frendes / And yet more gyueth god of temporalle goo­des to the wycked than he dooth to the good. God gyueth them to the wicked. to thēde that the good persones shold lerne to despyse them as saynt austyn saith. whan thou prayest saith saynt ambrose. demaunde grete thynges. that been they that enduren wythoute ende. and not the thynges transytorye· But them that enduren wythoute ende. For suche a prayer as to demaunde temporalle goodes. he graunteth them not. [Page] And therfore our good mayster Ihesu Cryste techeth vs for to demaunde wysely. And formeth vnto vs our demaunde. whan he sayth in the gospel yf ye demaūde ony thynge of my fader in my name. he shal gyue it you / he demaundeth in the name of Ihesu Cryste. that demaundeth that whyche apper­teyneth to the helthe of hys soule. And what thyng we ouzt to aske and demaunde / he enseygneth and techeth vs whan he sayth in the gospel. Seche ye fyrst the royame of god and hys Iustyce. and alle thynges temporalle shal come to your auaū tage. For as it is woned to be sayd. vnto the moost nede. ouzt one allewaye to renne. we haue nede of two thynges of the goodes spyrytuel & temporelle. But we haue grettest nede of the goodes spyrytuel. And therfore we ought fyrst and pryn­cypally requyre them / and god shal gyue them and doo to vs auauntage of the second good· that been the goodes temporell / we ought not to make of the second goodes the pryncypall. as doon the couetous men. whyche seche not to haue none other lyf. but thys present lyf. whyche faylleth and escapith▪ from them. wyll they or nyll they / but the royame of god is lyf per­durable. That ought we requyre of god and desyre by me­ryte of good prayer. And that is that god sayth. Seche ye fyrst the royalme of heuen and hys Iustyce. That is to doo good werkes / by whyehe we may come to that royame / that neuer shalle faylle. who that secheth in thys wyse / god dooth to hym auauntage of temporalle goodes. For he gyueth to hys vse suffysanntlye. For noo thynge lacketh to them that drede god and loue hym. lyke as sayth the holy scrypture. But the auarycyous people of the world / the more that they haue the more they lacke and faylle. And Saynt Iherome sayth / that to the couetous man. fayllech that whyche he hath and that whyche he hath not. ¶Now thynke thenne whan thou woldest praye god / for to demaunde wysely dylygently. and perseuerauntly. And he shalle gyue vnto the [Page] all that shal be nedeful to the prou [...]fyte and helthe of thy soule The thyrd thynge that ought to be in prayer / is deuocyon of herte. that is to lyfte vp the herte to god. wythout thynkyng ouwher ellys. wherof our lord sayth. whan thou wylt praye to god / entre within thyn hert. and close the dore vpon the. that is to say. put out all thoughtes. seculer. flesshely. foule. wyc­ked. worldly. and vylaynous. And thus praye thy fader of heuen in hyddles in thy hert / & that the herte thynke on none other thynge. but on that whyche it ought to thynke. & saynt ysodore sayth. that thēne we praye god truly. whā we thynke nowher ellys. And Saynt Austyn sayth. what auaylleth to moeue the mouth and the lyppes / whan the herte sayth not a worde. As grete dyfference as is bytwene the chaffe and the corne. and the brenne and the floure of whete· so grete dyffe­rence is bytwene the prayer and deuocyon of the herte. God is not a ghoote to be fedde wyth leues. God cursyd the tre whe­ron he fonde no thynge but leues. Ryght so the prayer whiche is alle in leues of wordes wythoute deuocyon of hert / pleaseth noo thynge to god. but it dyspleaseth hym. & he torneth hys eere. For he wyl not vnderstonde suche langage. who that prayeth god wythoute deuocyon. it semeth that he mocketh god. lyke as he that wyl mocke a deef and a dombe man. that meueth his lyppes onely as he spacke. & no thynge sayth / To suche peple god maketh a deef ere. but the prayer that cometh fro the depnes of the herte. that hereth our lord as he sayth in the gospel / God is a spyryte / and therfore who wyl praye god and haue hys requeste graunted. hym byhoueth that he praye in spyryte and in trouthe. Dauyd the prophete enseygneth & techeth vs in the psaultrr to praye to god deuoutely whan he sayth. lord myn oryson be adressyd tofore the lyke to thensence Thensence whan hit is vpon the fyre it smelleth swetely / Ryght so doth the prayer that cometh fro the hert brennyng in the loue of god smelleth moche swetely tofore god. otherwyse [Page] the prayer may not be enhaunced tofore god yf it come not fro the hert. lyke as a messager whyche bryngeth noo letters. ne hath noo knowleche. entreth not gladly tofore the kynge. Oryson or prayer wythout deuocyon is as a messager wyth oute letters. who suche message sendeth to the courte. he dooth euyl his erandes· who thenne wyl praye god veryly. he ought to crye to god fro the depthe of his hert. as dyd dauyd / whyche sayd in the psaulter. lord god here my wys / For I crye to the fro the depnesse of my herte. The feruour of loue is the crye fro the depnesse of the hert. this sayth saynt Austyn. Suche a wys and suche a crye pleseth moche to god. and not the noyse of wordes polysshed. wherof Saynt Gregory sayth that ve­ryly to praye to god. is in the teres and bewayllynges of con­punctyon of hert. This crye chaseth awaye the theues / that ben the deuylles whyche lye in awayte for to trouble & robbe vs. And therfore ought we ofte to crye and praye vnto god that he wyl kepe and deffende vs fro the theuys of helle. Thus ought we strongely to crye to god ayenst the fyre of couetyse. or of lecherye. that he gyue to vs the water of teres for to quenche suche fyre that hit enflamme not our hertes. Also we ought to crye to god ayenste the euyl thoughtes that come ofte to the hert. that the hert and the soule perysshe not by consentyng. Therfore cryed Dauyd to god and sayd. Lord saue me. and kepe me fro the perylle of waters. whyche ben now entred in to my hert. & the dyscyples of our lord whan they sawe the tempest of the see vpon them they cryed sayeng lord saue vs for we been in grete perylle. And for these thre thynges that I haue here sayd one ought ofte to crye to god that he saue vs fro these thre perylles / that is to wete fro the theues of helle. and fro the fyre of couetyse. and fro the flodes of euyl thoughtes and of temptacyon. ¶ Now oughtest thou to knowe. that in alle tymes / and in alle places may a persone praye to god. But he ought specyally and moost [Page] deuoutelye ought he to praye in the chyrche on the sondayes & in festes whyche ben stablysshed for to praye to god to preyse & honour hym / & therfore thēne they seace & ought to [...]eace alle persones fro bodyly werkes & temporall. for the better tentende to praye to god & honoure hym. & to spyrituel werkys. God commaūded so straytly to kepe the sabotte day in the olde lawe that he made a mā to be stoned tofore the peple. by cause he had gadrid a fewe styckes on the sabotte day / what shal god doo thenne of them that do the grete synnes on the sondayes & the festes. & waste the tyme in vanyte & in folyes / and yet werse doon they on the sonday [...]s. on the festes & on solempne dayes than they do on other dayes. Certeynly they shal be more pu­nysshed & dampned in that other world / than the Iewes that brake theyr sabotte day· For the sonday is more holy than the sabotte. So ben the pryncypal feestes whyche ben establisshed in holy chyrche for to praye to god / and to honoure & thanke hym of the goodnes and bountees that he hath doon to vs / & dooth euery day. lyke as holy chyrche remembreth / In suche a feste as is cristemas / that is of hys natyuyte how he was borne of the vyrgyn marie. At Ester how he roos fro deth to lyf. At the ascencyon how he styed vp in to heuen. At whytson tyde how he sente the holy ghoost vpon thappostles. Also there been establysshed to kepe the feestys of sayntes for to preyse & worshyp god and hys sayntes. and to remembre the holy myracles that he dyd for them for to conferme our fayth. And therfore we ought to kepe the feestys of sayntes. and to praye them deuoutelye to ayde and socoure vs vnto our lord / whyche hath so moche honoured them in heuen in glorye and in erthe and therfore they synne greuously that kepe not theyr feestys For they doo ayenst the commaundement of god and of holy chyrche. But here somme may say to me. Fayre syr a man may not al day praye to god ne be at the monasterye ne in the chirche. what harme is it yf I goo playe and dysporte me as [Page] longe as I playe I thynke none euyl. To that I shal an­swer. Al the tyme that thou employest in folysshe playes and in vanytees. and in werke that is not ordeyned in ony maner to god / thou lesest it / For thou oughtest to knowe that alle the tyme that thou thynkest not on god. thou oughtest to acounte for loste. this sayth the scrypture. That is to vnderstonde whā thou thynkest on vanyte / and in thynge that is not in ony maner ordeyned to god. And certeynlye he leseth a grete thynge that leseth his tyme / this sayth Seneke· For he leseth the goodes that he myght doo in as moche as he so leseth in play­es and in vanytees. and that is not wythoute synne for to despende the tyme in euyl vsage. For god requyreth rekenyng at the day of Iugement. this sayth Saynt Ancelme. & ther­fore ought one alwaye wel to employe his tyme as longe as he lyueth in this world. And the tyme is shorte as sayth the scrypture / Ne no man knoweth how longe tyme he hath to lyue. ne no man knoweth whan he shal deye. ne how he shall passe oute of this world· who thenne wyl kepe the holy day­es as he oweth. he ought to kepe hym fro doyng that desplayseth god and hys sayntes. and wel to employe hys tyme in god. in prayeng hym. praysyng. and gyuyng hym thankes of hys goodes. and to here the sermons and put them in eure and to entende to other good werkys and nedes that been ac­cordyng to god. ¶Also whan a man is in the chyrche he ought to conteyne hym moche honestlye· and doo reuerence to god and to his sayntes deuoutelye. For the chyrche is ordey­ned for to praye god and hys sayntes / and not for to Iangle ne for to lawghe. ne for to Iape· ne for to speke ydle wordes ne for to talke to other of seculer thynges. For our Lord sayth. My hows is the hous of prayer. And therfore a man ought not to do none other thynge therin. than it for which it was establisshed. this saith saynt austyn. he that shal come tofore the kynge in his chambre for to empetre & gete ony grace [Page] he ought wel to kepe hym fro sayeng of ony thyng that shold dysplese the kynge. Moche more ought he to be ware that co­meth in to the chyrche whyche is the chambre and the hous of god. what he sayth and dooth tofore god and hys aungellys & that specyally that shold dysplease hym. Thenne god wyl not that a man shold make of hys hous a market ne an ha [...]e For he hym self chaced and droof oute of his temple wyth good scourges them that bought and solde therin. Also he wyl not that ony plee shold be made therin· ne noyse ne noo seculer nede / but he wyl that we sholde entende to praye god deuoute­ly & prayse and than [...] hym of al his benefaytes / There ouzt a man to calle ageyn his hert to hym self and put awaye alle worldly werkys & al euyl thoughtes. and thynke on his cre­atour. & on the bountees that god hath doon to hym. and doth euery day. & to remembre his synnes and hys deffaultes. & to humble hym self tofore god. & to requyre hym of pardon & grace to kepe hym from synne / and to haue perseueraunce in good werkes vnto the ende. ¶Also in the chyrche ought the grete lordes and the grete ladyes to forgete alle theyr glorye. theyr rychesse. theyr power. theyr dygnyte. theyr hyenesse / and theyr puyssaunce / and ought to thynke that they be tofore their Iuge. whyche shal straytely examyne them & rekene straytly of the goodes that he hath doon to them· of the dygnytees and estates that he hath sette them in. & how they haue vsed them and he shal rewarde them after theyr deserte. Therfore ought they moche to humble them to god. and not to gloryfye them of theyr hyenesse. ne of theyr fayre araye. ne of their ryche robes They may take example of kynge Dauyd. whyche forgate hys dygnyte whan he prayed tofore god. and despysed hym self so moche that he sayd to our lord. I am sayd he a lytyl worme and not a man. In this Dauyd knowleched hys lytelnes. his pouerte. and his deffaultes. & made hym nouzt For lyke as a worme is lytel and nought. & groweth naked [Page] of the erthe. al in like wyse is a man of hym self a vyle thyng & poure. For whan he entreth in to the exyle of thys world he bryngeth no thynge. ne no thynge shal bere awaye. al na­ked he entred / & al naked he shal goo hens. wherof saynt· ber­nard sayth. what is a man but foule sperme. a sacke ful of dunge. & mete to wormes. He is moche foule and made of foule seed in his concepcyon. a foule sacke ful of dunge in his lyf. & mete to wormes after his deth. ¶Also the grete lady­es that been so arayed wyth golde and syluer. wyth precyous stones & robes ought in the chyrche tofore god wel to take ex­ample of the good quene hester / whych tooke of hyr precyous roobes & hir parementes whan she came for to praye god / & humbled hir self. & knowleged hir pouerte and her deffaultes tofore god. and sayd to hym / lord thou knowest that I hate the synne of pryde. and the glorye of parementes & of Iewels whiche me byhoueth to sette doun fro my heed / in grete abho­mynacyon of them / that in suche thynges trusten. delyten. gloryfyen / & were them for to shewe them & to please the fooles. God hath not to do wyth suche parementes in hys chyrche. but of a clene conscyence and of an humble hert. ¶ Saynt Poule enseyneth & techeth ryght wel how the wymmen ouzt to araye them whan they come for to praye god· he sayth that they ought to haue honeste habyte withoute ony oultrage. that is to vnderstonde after that it apperteyneth to the estate of the persone / For that whyche is oultrage in one persone / is not oultrage in another / somme is conuenyent to a quene whiche is not accordyng to a bourgeys wyf. or another symple wo­man. Also thapostle techeth that the wymmen of what estate they be. that they shold be of symple beholdyng & regarde & humble / that is to vnderstonde that they shold be symple. humble & shamefast. and not afronted ne openlye shewe hyr vysage. as doon these comyn wymmen. whyche goon wyth theyr necke stratched oute as an herte in the launde. and loke a syde or a [Page] trauers as an hors of prys. Also he wyl that they be not cu­ryous for to araye theyr heed wyth golde ne syluer ne with precyous stones. And yet he wyl also that they haue in the chyrche theyr hedes couerd. so that noo man be styred by them to euyl· ne synne not in beholdyng of them / but they ought to be arayed as deuoute and good wymmen / whyche shewe the bounte of theyr hert by good werkys / and therfore sayth saynt Ambrose· who wyl be herd in prayer. he ought to take awaye fro hym al sygne of pryde. and ought to enclyne hym to god wyth his hert by veray confessyon / & by penaunce in profoūde humylyte. for to moe [...] god to do hym mercy. For as he saith proude habyte geteth no thynge of god / but it gyueth cause to Inge euyl of hym that wereth it. ¶ Now I haue shewed to the thre thynges that ought to be in prayer. fayth· hope and deuocyon. But to that. that prayer may be perfyghtly agrea­ble and playsaunte to god and worthy to be enhaunced and herde. it behoueth foure thynges / That is that it haue ij wynges whyche bere it tofore god. These two wynges ben almes­ses and fastynges. or other penaunces. wherof the aūgel said to Thobye / Prayer is good whan it hath in hym self fas­tyng & almesse· wythoute these two wynges the prayer may not flee to god. For as sayth Saynt Ambrose / good lyf maketh the prayer to flee to god. But synne letteth it and wythdraweth it ageyn. wherof thou oughtest to wete that in two maners is prayer lette. lyke as sayth saynt Ysodore. One is by cause a man kepeth hym not fro synne and fro doyng euyll and for that a persone wyl not forgyue the euyl wylle that he hath to another. For in lyke wyse as the oynementes wyll not hele the wounde. as longe as the yron is wythin / Ryght so auaylleth not ne prouffyteth noo thynge the prayer to hym that sayth it. as he hath euyl wylle to another. And therfore sayth the prophete. lete vs lyfte vp our hertes & our handes to god. He lyfteth vp his hert & his handes to god / that lyfteth [Page] vp his prayers by good werkes. And thappostle sayth that he that lyfteth vp his pure handes to god in prayer. lyfteth vp in pure & clene conscyence without synne / For god enhaūceth not the prayer that cometh of a conscience ful of ordure and of synne. wherof he sayth by the prophete. whan ye shal multe­plye your prayers. I shal not here them. for your handes be all blody & ful of synne. who ben they that haue theyr handes blody· but they that dystresse the pour peple which ben vnder them & take awaye fro them their good by force / they haue the han­des ful of blood of the blood of pour peple. for they take away fro them their lyf / & their sustenaūce / by couetyse & by theyr ra­uyne. & do grete oultrages. & eten the morsellys ful of synne. wherfore they shal paye the scotte in that o [...]her world. For the scripture sayth that god requyreth the blood of the pour peple For they must gyue a rekenyng. or sytte therfore. and therfore who wyl be enhaūced & herde of god in his prayers. late hym not come tofore God the swerde drawen. Ne the handes blody ne wyth wyde handes. That is to say in wylle to synne ne spotted of vntrouthe. ne wyde of good werkes / For thus sayth our lord in the gospel. Thou shalt not come tofore me with wyde handes. he cometh with empty handes tofore god that cometh to praye & requyre hym withoute makyng pre­sent of good werkes· for to hym he closeth his yate that requyreth hym and bryngeth noo thynge. herof haue we example in the gospel / whiche sayth that the yate was shytte to the folysshe vyrgyns that had none oyle in their lampes. & god said to them I knowe you not. For god knoweth none but them that haue theyr lampes ful of oylle / that is to say them that haue the hert ful of pyte & of grace purged & clene of al synnes & shewe it by good werkes / Suche people hereth god gladly and openeth to them his yate. and receyueth gladly their prayers. Now say I thenne that prayer lyke as it rested on four pylers as it is sayd tofore. and is moche playsaunt to god / [Page] For it geteth lyghtly of god al that it hath nede. be it in body or in soule as sayth the scrypture. wherof saynt Iames saith that moche auaylleth the besy prayer of a ryghtwys man. For it auayleth to hele all maladyes of body and of soule. & sayth yet that prayer that cometh of fayth heleth the seek per­sone / yf he be in synne it shal be pardonned. The holy scripture sayth that Moyses the prophete vaynquysshed Amalech & hys hoost / not by bataylle. but by holy prayers. For as it is sayd of an holy man. Moche more auaylleth the prayer of a saynte than the fyghtyng of many thousand synnars. The prayer of a good man perceth he [...]en. Thenne shal he ouercome his enemyes in erthe / A good olde and deuoute woman geteth more soone a good requeste of god in glorye in prayeng hym deuoutely / than a thousand knyghtes may gete of londe in longe tyme by force of armes. and therfore it is good to praye and requyre god wyth the orysons of good folke. and specyally of couentes and of relygyous people. whyche ben assembled for to serue god. and for to praye nyght and day deuoutely for al theyr benefactours. For the prayer is moche worth toward our lord. For lyke as sayth the scrypture. More auaylleth. & more may do toward god the prayer of many good persones than ony can expresse or say. for as it is sayd of an holy man It may not be but the prayers of many good persones to gy­der be herde of god and graunted. The prayers and requestes of alle the hole couent togydre. is sooner passed and herde of thabbot. than the requeste and prayer of one monke allone / In lyke wyse hereth god more soone the prayers of them that ben assembled for to serue hym. And therfore sayth god in the gospel. yf tweyne of you accorden togydre to aske and requyre me. Alle that they requyre my fader of heuen I shalle doo it. ¶ Now haue I spoken of seuen degrees of the tree of the vertue of chastyte. by whyche thys vertu groweth and moun­teth and prouffyteth / Now byhoueth to say of the braunches [Page] of this tree whyche ben seuen· after the seuen estates of the people / that been in this world.

¶ Of the fyrst estate of them that been entyer and chaste of body capitulo Cxlviij

THe first estate of the world is of them that ben hool and chaste of body. and haue kept theyr maydenhed. but ne­uertheles they be not bounden to this / but that they may be maryed. In suche estate ought a persone to kepe chastyte / that is clennesse and purete of herte & of body / wherfore the chyl­dren of ryche men ought to haue good kepars and honeste. that they ben dylygent for tenseygne them. and kepe them fro euyl companye & fro synne. For euyl companye fouleth ofte the chyldren. and enseygne them euyl games. & shrewde wordes of rybauldrye. lewde touchynges & dyshoneste. by whyche they falle in to the synne of lecherye. whiche is ayenst nature. wherof we haue spoken tofore in the traytye of vyces / therfore it nedeth not to reherce it ageyn. for suche matere is abhomy­nable. And therfore the chyldren ought to be chastysed & well drawen forth in good maners / and holde & kepe them nyghe that they do no harme ne synne. as longe as they be yonge / and to accustome them to kepe thenseynemens. For also as sayth salamon. that whyche a chylde is lerned in his yongthe that wyl he holde in his olde age / And the phylosopher sayth that it is no lytel thyng taccustome wel or euyl in his yongthe for that is all. For it is sayd. that which is lerned in yongthe is mayntened in age / Suche forme as the shoo taketh at the begynnyng. the same holdeth it / forth alwaye in suche estate. Thenne hath chastyte nede of good kepyng / for ellys it shold be sone loste.

The second estate is of them that ben corrupte capo. Cxlix

[Page]THe second estate is of them that been corrupte of body & haue loste theyr chastyte and maydenhede. and yet were neuer maryed ne bounden wyth bonde that myght lette them to marye. And neuertheles they be confessyd and repentaunte of theyr synnes. In this estate ought a persone to kepe chas­tyte / For he that is in suche estate of repentaunce ought to haue stedfast purpoos. that neuer he shal falle ageyn in that synne. but al his lyf to kepe hym to hys power· sauf that he may marye hym yf he wyl. he or she that wyl kepe hym chast in suche estate / hym byhoueth that he chastyse hys body by sharpnes of penaunce. this is the ij braunche of thys tree /

¶ The thyrd braunche capitulo CL

THe thyrd estate is of them that be bounden by mariage In this estate ouzt they to kepe chastyte. sauf the werke of maryage. For they ought to kepe theyr bodyes that one to that other. and thys requyreth the lawe of maryage. that the one bere fayth to the other of theyr bodyes. For syth they be ioyned to gyder carnally by maryage they been one body as sayth holy scrypture / And therfore ought eche to loue other / as them self. For lyke as the two ben one body. so ought they to be one hert by true loue. ne neuer ought they to d [...]parte ne to deceuere / of theyr hertes ne of theyr bodyes as longe as they lyue. Thenne they ought to kepe theyr bodyes clenely & chast­ly / reserued & sauf the actes of maryage. And therfore sayth Saynt Poul. that the wymmen ought to loue and honoure theyr husbondes. and ought to be chaste and sobre· and to kepe them fro al other men. sauf fro theyr husbondes. and ought to be sobre in etyng & drynkyng. For ouermoche mete & drynke alyghteth the fyre of lecherye. Ryght soo oughten the men to kepe theyr bodyes chastly. and not to abandonne them to other wymmen. Maryage is a state whyche ought to be holden [Page] and kept moche clenly and holyly for many reasons. for it is a state of grete auctoryte. For god ordeyned it & establysshed it in paradys terrestre in the estate of Innocencye. tofore that man had euer synned. and therfore it ought to be holyly kepte by cause that god establysshed it. & also for the holy place where it was ordeyned. Also it is a grete estate of dygnyte. for god wold be borne in mariage. that is of the vyrgyn marie. which was maryed to Ioseph without losyng of hyr vyrgynyte / The virgyn marye made of maryage her mantel / vnder the whyche was conceyued and borne the blessyd sone of god. vnder thys mantel was hyd fro the deuyl the secrete counceyll of our redempcyon and of our saluacyon. Therfore it ought to be honoured and clenly kept. Also it ought wel holyly to b [...] kept for the holynesse therof. For it is one of the seuen sacra­mentes of holy chyrche. And sygnefyeth the maryage that is bytwene Ihesu Cryst and holy chyrche. and bytwene god & the soule. Thenne the state of maryage is so holy & honest that it maketh that whyche was synne mortal wythout mariage is wythout synne in maryage. and not onely wythout synne but it may be in somme caas cause to wynne the lyf perdura­ble / And it ought to be knowen that in thre caases may one doo luxury of maryage wythout synne. and may haue grete meryte as to the soule / The fyrst caas is whan thys werke is doon in entencyon to haue lygnage for to serue god. And in suche entencyon was ordeyned and establysshed maryage pryncypally / The second is whan that one rendreth to that o­ther his dette. whan it is requyred. And to that ought to mo­eue Iustyce. whyche rendreth to eueryche hys ryght. Thenne yf that one refuse to that other hys ryght. whan it is demaū ­ded and requyred by the mouthe / or by sygne as doon the wymmen that been honest and shamefast to demaunde suche thyng he or she that refuseth to that other that requyreth it / synneth. For he doth wronge to that other of that which is his owne [Page] For that one hath ryght in the body of that other. but he that rendreth that whyche he oweth dooth wel & ryght / whan he dooth it in good entencyon / For Iustyce moeueth hym to do soo / and that is neyther synne ne lecherye. The thyrd caas is whan a man requyreth hys wyf for suche werke. for to kepe hyr fro synne. Also whan he seeth that she is so shamefast that she neuer requyreth hyr husbond of suche thynge / and doubteth that she shold lyghtly falle in to synne yf he requyred hyr not who in suche entencyon rendreth or requyreth suche thynge of suche dette. he synneth not / but he may deserue toward god me ryte / For pyte moeueth hym to do it. In these thre thynges is no poynte of synne in the werkes of maryage. but in other caas there may be synne venyall or mortal. And specyally in thre caas / The fyrst is whan thys werke is requyred onelye for his delyte and lecherye / and in this caas may one synne venyally and dedely. venyally whan the delyte passe not the bondes and the termes of maryage. That is to say whan the de­lyte is so subgette to reason that he that in thys werke & in suche estate. wold not do thys thynge but onely to his wyf But whan the lecherye and the delyte is so grete in hys wyf that reason is deed and so blynde. that as moche he wold doo to hyr yf she were not his wyf. In suche a caas the synne is mortal / For suche delyte passeth the boundes of maryage / wherof god is oft dyspleased to suche peple· and gyueth somtyme to the deuyl grete power to noye and greue them. lyke as we rede in holy scrypture. of Sara doughter of Raguel whyche was wyf to yonge Thobye. and had / had seuen husbondes tofore. and alle were slayn of the deuyl the fyrst nyght that they wold haue layen by hyr and haue knowen hyr. Of whome the aungell sayd to Thobye that he shold haue hir to his wyf I shal say to the sayd he. in what people the deuyll putteth hym in. and hath power on them that putten god oute of theyr hert and of theyr thought. that they ne entende to noo [Page] thynge but to theyr delytes and for to accomplysshe their wycked desyres / lyke as dooth an hors or a mule /

¶ And god taketh awaye fro them somtyme theyr lygnage and theyr fruyt that they may not haue chyldren by theyr synnes. ¶ Yet may they synne mortally in another manere that is to wete. whan that one treateth that other ayenst na­ture. or oherwyse than nature of man requyreth ne lawe of maryage graunteth. Suche people synnen more greuously than the other toforesayd. but they that in theyr mariage kepe the drede of our lord. and kepen clenly and holyly theyr ma­ryage. Suche people plesen god /

¶ The second caas that may be synne [...] maryage· is whan a man gooth to hys wyf in suche tyme as he ought not. that is whan she is in the maladye or sekenesse that cometh vnto wymmen oftyme. He that spareth not hys wyf whan she is in suche estate / for the parylle of the lygnage that she myzt thenne conceyue / shold be mezel or lepre. he synneth dedely / For as Saynt Iherome sayth / In that estate be concey­ued the lame ofte tyme. the croked. and the lepres. And that tyme the woman ought for to telle it to hyr husbond. whan she is in that plyte. desyryng hym to abyde and suffre all soo longe as she is in suche poynte.

¶ Also they bothe ought for to spare and absteyne them fro the werke of maryage in holy tymes. That is to say as in the grete solempne feestys. for the better to entende to praye god and to serue and honoure hym· And in the tymes of vy­gyles· of lente and of fastynges commaunded by holy chyrche they ought to suffre and forbere suche werke. not for that it is synne to do suche thynge in that tyme / For in a good entency on he may do it / but somtyme they ought to suffre of that they may do. for to gete the better of god that thyng which they de­maūde of hym as sayth saint austyn. Also in the tyme the woman lyeth in gesyne. or nygh the tyme of chyldyng a mā ouzt [Page] to kepe hym fro the werke of mariage for shame. and also for the perylle that myght come therof. It is founden in the book that speketh of the nature of beestys. that the olyfaunt shal ne­uer abyde wyth the female as longe as she is conceyued and bereth. and a man by reason ought to be better attempred than a beest. and therfore ought a man in suche tyme wythdrawe hym. But neuertheles I say not that is synne to do the werke of maryage in suche tyme for good cause. & trewe entencyon wherof god is Iuge. The thyrd caas is. that in whyche one may moost greuously synne in his maryage. that is in holy place. For in holy place as is the chyrche. whyche is ordeyned for to praye god and serue hym / ought not be do lecherye of maryage ne none other synne. for the reuerēce of the holy place & he that hath no regarde in suche holy place to do suche werke he synneth for reason of the place. For suche thynge is synne in one place and in one tyme / that is not in another. The iiij estate is of them that haue be in maryage. but the deth hath deceuerd them that one fro that other· And he or she that is a­byden ought to kepe and lyue chastly as longe as he or she is in the state of wydowhede / This is an estate whyche Saynt poul preyseth moche. & sayth to the wydowes. that he or she is good that holdeth hym in suche estate. & yf it playse not them they may marye them / For better is to marye than to brenne them. for yf he brēne so that he consēte to synne / he synneth. for he put his hert therto by wylle & by desyre to the fyre of lechery and better it were & more auaylle to hym to marye. than to brenne hym self in the fyre. that is to vnderstonde of them that ben in the state of symple wydowhede & not them that been in thestate boūden by vowe. they may not marye wtthoute dedely synne after their vowe. but neuertheles yf the vowe be symple & that it be pryuely made without solempnyte. how be it that they synne dedely that after theyr auow marye thē. neuertheles they may abyde in their maryage. yf ther be none other lettyng [Page] And is bounden to do penaūce of the vowe broken / but whan the vowe is solempne. or by the hande of a prelate. or by pro­fessyon of relygyon. or by holy ordre that he hath receyued. as subdeken. deken or preest. Thenne the mariage is none. but they must deceuere & departe that so ben assembled by mariage for they may not be laufully in suche estate. To byholde the state of wydowhede. ought to moeue the example of the turtle for lyke as sayth the book of nature of beestes / Neuer after the turtle hath lost his make she shal neuer accompanye hir with another. but is solytarye & fleeth the companye of other. Thre thynges apperteyne moche to them that b [...]e in thestate of wy­dowhede / The fyrst is to hyde hyr self & to be secretlye in hyr hows. & not to syewe suspecyous felawshyp. herof haue we a fayre example of Iudyth whyche was a wydowe. & was a moche fayre woman and yonge of whiche it is sayd in the holy scripture. that she helde hir self in hir chambre cloos with hyr maydens. wherfor saynt Poul repreueth the yonge wymmen wydowes that were ydle & curyous for to goo & come & Iape and ouermoche speke. but closely and secretely ought they to be in their lodgyng / & entende to doo good werkes· lyke as saynt Poul enseygneth them / The ij thyng is to entende to praye god gladly. and to yelde hym thankynges of hys be­nefaytes. And to be in the chyrche in grete deuocyon in grete repentaunce of theyr synnes. & in teres wepyng. As it is sayd in scrypture by saint luke. that the good wydowe which was named Anne departed not out of the temple. but serued god nyght & day in prayer / in fastynges. & in other penaūces. The iij thyng is sharpnesse of metes. Saynt poul saith that a wydowe that ledeth hir lyf in delices is deed by synne. for lyke as saith saynt bernard. chastyte peryssheth in delices. in lyke wyse as he perissheth in the water that is so moche vnder in depnesse that he leseth his breeth. No mā may haue his heed in the water. that is to say / his herte longe in the delyces of thys world [Page] but that he lose hys lyf. That is the grace of the holy god by whyche the soule lyueth in god / In suche estate also apper­teyneth humble habyte and not proude ne curyous. After the example of Iudith whyche lefte hir ryche robes and hir ryche paremeutis / whan hir lord and husbond was dede. and took the habyte of wydowhede symple and humble whyche was more sygne of wepyng & of sorowe than of Ioye ne of vayn glorye. and by cause she loued the vertu of chastyte / and that she wold kepe alle hir lyf. she clad hir wyth heyr. and fasted euery day except the festes. and yet was she fayr yonge / ryche & wyse / But the [...]nte of hir hert and loue of chastyte maad hyr to do it. thus ouzt he· or she to lyue that wyl kepe chastyte in suche estate. and thys is the fourth braunche of thys tree.

¶ The fyfthe braunche of the vertue of chastyte and of vyrgynyte Capitulo Clj

THe fyfthe braūche of chastyte and of vyrgynyte is the fyfthe estate whyche is in theym that kepe and haue alwaye kepte and yet alwaye kepe and purpose to kepe alle theyr lyf theyr body hool wythout corrupcyon for the loue of god. This estate is moche to be praysed for hys dygnyte / for his beaute. and for his bounte / For thys estate hath he that kepeth hym semblable to aūgellys of heuen as sayen the sayntes. But moche more haue the vyrgyns of glorye and of meryte than the aungellys. For the aungellys lyuen wythoute flesshe. but the vyrgynes haue vyctorye ouer theyr flesshe. that is theyr propre body. And that is a grete meruaylle. that they kepe so feble a castel as is the body / ayenst so stronge an aduersarye as is the deuyl. that secheth alle thengynes that he may to take the castel for to robbe the tresour of vyrgynyte. This is the tresour. of whyche our lord speketh in the gospel whan he sayth. that the royame of heuen is lyke to tresour that is hyd [Page] in a felde. The tresour hydde in the felde is vyrgynyte hyd in the body whyche is lyke a felde. whyche ought by penaunce to be eered. laboured and sowen by labour of good werkys. Thys tresour is semblable to the royalme of heuen. For the lyf of vyrgynes is lyke the lyf of heuen. that is the lyf of aū ­gellys / wheref our lord sayth in the gospel· that in the resur­rectyon generall shal be noo maryages as ben in this world▪ but they shal be as aungellys in heuen. ¶Also I say that thys estate is for to be praysed for his beaulte. For it is the moost fayr estate that is in erthe· except vyrgynyte clenly kept wherof Salamon sayth in his book of sapyence in meruayl­lyng hym self. O sayth he h [...]w. fayre and chaste is generaci­on wyth clerenes & charyte / he sayd wel. chaste with clerenes For thenne is fayr chastyte and vyrgynyte. whan it is clere by good lyf & honeste. lyke as the clere sōne maketh the fayre day. In lyke wyse the clerenes of grace & of good lyf maketh the virgynyte fayre & plesaūt to god. wherof Saynt Iherome saith. that moche fayr & clere is virgynyte tofore other vertues whan it is without spotte & without ordure of synne. for who that is hool & chaste of body & is corupte of hert & of thought. he or she is lyke a sepulcre which is whyt & fayr withoutforth & within is ful of careyn of dede bodyes stynkyng & rotyn. vyrgynyte is lyke to a whyt robe wherin the spottes be more foule & more apparaūt / than in a robe of another colour. Thys robe ouzt to be wel kept fro iij spottes that is. of fylthe. of blode. & of fyre. thyse iij spottes defoule more thys whyt robe than other. The spotte of fylthe / is the couetyse of the world. which ought not to be in the hert that wyl plese god in thestate of virgynyte For none may please god & the world his enemye. as sayth saynt gregoire. & he sheweth that there is no frende of god that wyl plese the world whyche is enemye of god. wherof saynt Iohā sayth. who that wyl be frēde of the world. shal be enemy to god. & saint poul saith yf I wold plese the peple of the world [Page] I shold not be seruaūt of Ihesu crist. It is a sygne that he wyl not playse the world / that his hert is al set to god / & he that hath ouer grete araye & curyous aboute hys body is not so. for no persone secheth neuer beaulte ne curyosyte of roobes. ne of paremēts / yf he supposed not to be seen of the peple. & who that secheth moost of suche beaute. leseth most the beaute of his soule & of his consciēce wythinforth / by which they shold plese god wherof saynt Bernard sayth to them that sechen these fayre & precyous robes. & the fayr parementes for to please the world & to shewe them. The doughters of babylone / ben of confusyon for theyr glorye shal torne to confusyon / to shame & to perdurable dampnacyon. yf they be not wel ware & kepe them wel They clothe them sayth he wyth purple & of fayr precyous robes / and vnder those fayr robes is ofte the conscyence poure and foule. naked of good dedes and of vertues / and ful of synnes They shyne withoutforth of precyous stones. of owches of golde & syluer· but they be foule byfore god & abhomynable. & saynt bernard sayth that they that so araye them in euyl entencyon. & doon more than their estate requyreth. synnen greuously / [...]ut al the glorye of the doughter of the kynge of glorye. as dauyd the prophete sayth is withinforth / that is in holy cōscyence & in good vertues. where as is no poynte of couetyse but for to playse to god / & in this wyse the spot of fylthe defoylleth not. Also a persone ought to kepe hym fro the spotte of blood That is of thoughtes & of flesshly desyres. wherof saynt Ie­rome saith that suche virgynyte is sacrefice & offryng to Ihesu cryste. whyche is not entatched in the hert of ony euyl thought or consentyng / for lyke as hym self sayth. Nothynge auayl­leth vyrgynyte of body. where as is corrupcyon of herte or of thought / or of consētyng. Also the fruyt is not good how wel that it be fayr withoutforth. whan it is ful of wormes and of rotynnesse wythinforth / ¶ Also he ought to kepe hym fro the spotte that cometh of the fyre. the fyre brenneth and bruleth [Page] the whyte robe of chastyte & of vyrgynyte. that is whan gladly they here or herkene foule wordes that may moeue them to synne / For thus as sayth saynt Poul· & also other tymes we haue sayd it tofore. The euyl wordes. corrupten the good maners. And therfore sayth Seneke. kepe the fro euyl wordes & dyshoneste. For who that is soo acustomed. he dredeth noo shame / & falleth the more lyghtly in to synne. & therfore who that wyl clenly kepe the whyte robe of vyrgynyte. hym byho­ueth to kepe hym wel fro sayeng & heeryng suche wordes as therby he myght brenne / The catte brenneth ofte hyr skynne & so dooth not the wylde catte. Virgynyt [...] emonge al other vertues is compared & lykenyd to the flour de lys. whyche is a moche fayr flour. & moche whyte. wherof our lord sayth in scrypture by the mouth of Salamon. My frende. that is the holy soule of a vyrgyn / is as the lylye emong the thornes. Thes­pecyal frende of our lord is the soule of them that kepe virgy­nyte of hert & of body. For that is a vertu by which the soule geteth moste specyally the loue & the famyliarite of our lord. wherof saynt Iohan theuangelist was a clene virgyn. & was emonge al thapostles moost famylyer with our lord & moost pryue. as it appyereth in the gospel. neuertheles he loued wel thother / but he loued saynt Iohan moost for his vyrgynyte. this flour de lys or lylye that kepeth his beaute emōg the thornes of tēptaciōs of the flesshe· for the flessh that is our body humayn is but as a smoke· that hath no charge as of hym self but as thornes & nettles / that is the euyl menynges. whyche ofte pricken the soule. but the flour of virgynyte taketh no hede of the thornes. whā it is wel rooted in the loue of god whiche defendeth it fro thornes of tēptacion. & this flour ouzt to haue vj leues & iij graynes of gold tofore. The first leef is the hool­nes of thy body / that is to say that the body be entyer and hool without corrupcōn of lecherye. For yf a vyrgyn were corrupt and al ayenste hyr wylle. she shold not lese therfore the meryte [Page] and the rewarde of virgynyte. wherof Saynt Lucye vyrgyn & martyr sayd to the tyraunte. yf thou corrupte me ayenst my wylle. my chastyte shal be doubled as touchyng the meryte of the crowne of glory. The second leef of vyrgynyte is clennesse of hert. For lyke as saynt Iherome sayth nought auaylleth to haue vyrgynyte of the body· that hath wylle for to marye hym or hyr. he speketh of them that hath auowed chastyte. For who that hath auowed to kepe vyrgynyte or chastyte. he ought to kepe his hert clene and chaste. The thyrd leef of vyrgynyte· is humylyte. For vyrgynyte wyth pryde pleaseth not god / And therfore sayth saynt bernard that it is a moche fayre thynge of humylyte wyth vyrgynyte. And that soule moche pleaseth to god that in humylyte gyueth preysyng of vyrgynyte / & vyrgynyte embelyssheth humylyte / I dare wel say sayth he that wythoute humylyte. the vyrgynyte of our lady saynt marye had neuer pleased our lord. The fourth leef of the lylye of vyrgynyte is drede of god. For they that ben veray vyrgynes ben woned to be tymerous ferful & shamefast / & that is no meruayle / For they bere a moche precyous tresour in a moche feble vessel. Thenne our blessyd lady the vyrgyn marie was alwaye hyd & had drede whan the aungel appyered to hyr. But the drede of god is the tresorer which kepeth the tresour of virgynyte. which the deuyl may not take awaye for it kepeth the yates of the castel. wherin the tresour is enclosed. The yates of the castel of the hert where the tresour of virgynyte is in. ben the wittes of the body. These yates kepen the drede of god. that they be not opened to the enemye of helle. by vayn curyosyte of seeyng or of heeryng. or of smellyng. of spekyng. or tastyng / or goyng in euyl companye. For curiosyte of seeyng or of heeryng the vanytees of the world ben waye & cause of the synne of lecherye. wherof is sayd in the scrypture that Dyna doughter of Iacob whan she went musyng by curiosyte to see the wymmen of the contre. where anone she was [Page] rauysshed & corrupt of the sone of the lord of the toune / & ther­fore who wyl kepe vyrgynyte. hym byhoueth moche to wyth drawe & kepe his v wyttes bodyly fro al vayn curyosyte. and this ought be doon by holy drede / for a persone oweth alwaye to drede to angre god. This is the sence of the v vyrgynes of whome our lord sayth in the gospel. whan he sayd that the royame of heuen is lyke to x vyrgynes / of whome fyue were wyse. & the other fyue were fooles. He calleth here the royame of heuen holy chyrche. whych is bynethe in this world. wherin been alwaye good & euyl. foles & wyse· whyche ben membres of holy chyrche. by the fayth that they haue receyued in bap­tesme. The fyue wyse vyrgyns sygnefye them that kepe and gouerne wel the fyue wyttes of the body of whiche we haue spoken. The fyue vyrgyns foles sygnefye them that folysshly kepe them. ¶The v leef is sharpenes of the lyf of penaunce. For who wyl kepe vyrgynyte / he muste moche chastyse hys flesshe & subdue it by penaunce / & that the body do the wylle of the soule by fastyng. by wakyng in prayers. & other penaūces Sharpnesse of lyf is lyke a stronge hedge for to kepe the gardyn of the hert. that the euyl beestes assaylle it not / that ben the fendes of helle to thende that they may not entre. whyche en­tende & studye for to stele & take awaye the tresour of vyrgy­nyte / & therfore ought this tresour to be wel enclosed and wel kepte that it be not loste. For who that leseth it may neuer recouer it. no more than the lampe that is broken may not be made hole ageyn / ¶The vj leef of vyrgynyte is perseueraūce that is to haue ferme purpoos to kepe wel that is promysed to god. wherof Saynt austyn sayth in the book of vyrgynyte & adresseth his wordes to the virgyns sayeng. Folowe ye the lambe sayth he. that is Ihesu Cryst· in kepyng stronglye that whyche ye haue auowed to god. Do ardauntly as moche as ye may / that the wele of vyrgynyte perysshe not in you. For ye may not doo that thynge / by whyche vyrgynyte may be [Page] recouerd. yf it were loste / lyke as we haue shewde by ensaumple of the lampe / & Saynt Bernard sayth. estudye ye to the vertu of perseueraunce. for she onely wynneth and geteth the crowne of glorye. The syethe leef aforsayd enbelyssheth and maketh moche fayr the lylye of vyrgynyte. but it byhoueth to haue withinforth thre graynes of golde. whiche sygnefyen iij maners to loue god. ¶For vyrgynyte wythoute loue is lyke as a lampe wythout oyle. wherfore the fooles vyrgyns by cause they fylled not theyr lampes of this oylle. were shette oute fro the weddyng. and the wyse vyrgyns that fylled theyr lampes of this oyle entred in to the weddyng with the spouse The thre maners for to loue god whych ben sygnefyed by the thre graynes of the lylye / saynt austyn enseygneth them whan he sayth thus / Thou shalt loue god wyth alle thyn entende­ment without errour / with al thy wylle without gaynsayeng and with al thy mynde wythout forgetyng. In suche maner is thymage of god parfayte in a man after iij dignytees that ben in the lyf. That is to wete / entendement. memorye. and wylle. whan these iij thynges ben wel ordeyned to god· thēne ben the thre graynes of gold of the lyly / of the gold of charyte whyche gyueth bounte. beaute. and valure of alle vertue. For wythout this golde no vertu is tofore god neyther fayr ne precyouse / Otherwyse sayth saynt bernard of the manere to loue god and sayth thus. O thou that arte a crysten man. lerne how thou oughtest to loue god. lerne to loue hym wysely / swetely and strongely. wysely that thou be not deceyued by ny­cete. Swetely that thou be not moeued by prosperyte. Stron­gely that thou be not ouercomen by aduersyte / In this maner is fayr the flour delys of vyrgynyte. whan she is suche as is sayd tofore. & this is the second reason by whyche thestate of vyrgynyte ought moche to be preysed for her beaute. The thyrd reason wherfore thestate of virgynyte ought moche to be prey­sed is for hir bounte & for the prouffyt that cometh of it. For [Page] virgynyte is a tresour of so grete value that it may not be preysed. wherof the scrypture sayth that no thynge is worthy to be compared to a chaste hert / of the chastyte of virgynyte / for virgynyte aboue al other estates bereth the moost grettest fruyt & the moost grettest proffyt. They that ben in maryage & kepe it wel as they ouzt to doo haue the xxx folde fruyt. They that ben in wydowhede haue the lx folde fruyt. But they that kepe virgynyte haue the hondred folde fruyt. For lyke as our lord sayth in the gospel that the seed that falleth in good lande maketh fruyt xxx folde. lx folde / & an hondred folde / These iij nombres xxx / lx. & an hondred apperteyne to iij estates toforesayd / The nombre of xxx / whiche is of x thre tymes whyche ma­ken xxx apperteyneth to thestate of maryage / where ought to be kept the x comandements of the lawe in the fayth of the ho­ly trynyte. The nombre of lx is more grete & is of xvj tymes For vj tymes x maken lx. & apperteyneth to thestate of wy­dowhede. For in suche estate ought to be kept the x comande­ments. & wyth them ought to be accomplysshed the seuen wer­kes of mercy of whyche we haue spoken tofore. But the nombre of an hondred which is moost grete & moost perfyght. for it representeth a fygure rounde. whiche is moost parfyght and moost fayr emonge the other fygures. For lyke as the rounde fygure / the ende retorneth to his begynnyng & maketh it roūde lyke a crowne. Ryght so the nombre of an. C. ioyneth the ende to the begynnyng. For x tymes x maken an hondred. whyche sygnefyeth the crowne whyche the wyse vyrgyns hadden. and how be it that in the state of maryage / and in the state of wy­dowhede may be wonne the crowne of glorye. and haue more meryte anenst god than haue many virgynes. For many ben in heuen of them that haue been in maryage & in wydowhede whyche been more nygh to god and haue more meryte. than many of the vyrgynes / Neuertheles the virgynes haue a specyal crowne aboue the crowne of glorye whiche is comyn to [Page] al sayntes· by cause the vyrgyns haue a specyal vyctorye of theyr bodyes. For [...] to folowe the lambe. what someuer waye that he gooth· that is Ihesu cryst. to whome they be es­powses· they haue left their carnal espowsailles. for to be with hym in thespowsaylles perdurable. There shal they been well arayed & nobly apparaylled of a specyal parement. so gente / so fayr· & so auenaunt. that no tongue may telle. and therfore I wyl nomore say· but that whyche the scrypture sayth / that speketh of the fayr parementes that they haue more especyal. than they that been of other estates toforesayd / & yet sayth the scripture that they synge newe songes so melodyous and soo fayr. that none other synge. that ben not in their estate. That newe songe that they synge / sygnefyeth a newe Ioye & espe­cyal meryte & preysyng that they haue by cause that they haue wel kept theyr estate of vyrgynyte· And this is the v estate of chastyte. and the fyfthe braunche of this tree.

¶ The vj braunche of the vertu of vyrgynyte capitulo Clij

THe vj estate that ought to kepe the vertu of chastyte. is in the clerkes ordred for to serue in holy chyrche· as been subdekens. dekens. prestes / prelates / & relygyouse. Al the peple ben bounden to kepe chastyte by many reasons. Fyrst for the ordre whyche they haue receyued. whych requyreth to lyue ho­lyly. by cause that the holy sacrament of the masse is so hye and so holy. that al they that receyue it be bounden to kepe chastyte for they may not marye after that they haue promysed to holy chyrche. For they be appropred to serue god in his chyrche. & at his aulter. and treaten and touchen wyth theyr handes the thynges sayntyfyed as the vessels halowed the chalyce and corporas / And that whyche is gretter wythonte comparyson the body of Ihesu Cryst whiche the preest sacreth / and to them it byhoueth to gyue it to other.

[Page]¶ Now thenne owen they to be moche clene and lyue ryght holyly. for reason of the hye lord to whome they serue· that is the saynt of al sayntes & lord of all lordes. whyche hateth alle ordure of synne. wherof he hym self sayth. Be ye holy as I am holy / for suche a lord suche meyney. for the reason of the place wherin they serue. This is the chyrche whyche is dedy­cate to serue god. It is founden that emonge the paynyms & the sarasyns. the prestes of theyr lawe that seruen in the tem­ple kepen chastyte. and been deuyded & deceuerd fro the other by cause they shold not lese theyr chastyte· Moche more ought to be clene wythout comparyson & more chaste the preestes of crys­tyante. that seruen to god in his temple whyche is sayntefyed dedycate / and approued to serue god. yet ought they to be more holy & clene by cause they serue at the table of god of hys cuppe and of his mete· The table of god is the aulter. The cuppe is the chalyce. his brede & wyn is his propre body and hys pro­pre blood. Moche owen to be holy alle they that suche seruyce doon to god. wherof saynt Poul sayth that it byhoueth that a bysshop and the other mynystres of holy chirche be chaste and wythoute synne / This vertue of chastyte was sygnefyed in the olde lawe. there where god comaunded to them that ought to ete the lambe wythout spotte. whyche sygnefyed the body of our lord Ihesu crist they shold be gyrde on they raynes. The gyrdle of the mynystres of holy chyrche owen to be gyrde. that is wyth the vertu of chastyte whyche restrayneth and quencheth the delytes and the vyces of the flesshe. wherfore god commaū ­ded to Aaron whyche was preest and bysshop of the lawe. that he & all his sones shold be cladde with lynnen clothes of chas­tyte. & gyrde aboue wyth whyt gyrdylles of lynnen. Aaron and the chyldren that serueden in the tabernacle sygnefyen the mynystres of holy chyrche. whyche owen to be cladde with lynnen roobes of chastyte. whyche is sygnefyed by the whyt lynnen. For lyke as the lynnen towayl tofore it be wel whyt [Page] it must be beten & ofte wasshen / In lyke wyse byhoueth it the flesshe to be beten and corrected by penaunce / and ofte wasshen his hert and his conscyence by veray confessyon & repentaunce to thende that they myght haue the whyt cote of chastyte. but this cote ought to haue aboue the whyt gyrdle. That is to say that chastyte ought to be straytly kept. and strayned by abstynence as moche as reason may suffre whyche is the boucle of this gyrdle· Otherwyse may it be sayd that the lynnen cote sygnefyeth chastyte of hert. The gyrdle aboue sygnefyeth chastyte of body. whych oweth to restrayne the desyres & the wylle of the flesshe for to kepe the chastyte of the soule. This same is sygnefyed to vs in the aube & in the gyrdle that the mynystres of holy chyrche vse to clothe them whan they wyl say masse. For they owen to be chaste within theyr hert and wythout in the body. Moche foule is the spotte of synne. and specyally of lecherye in the mynystres of holy chyrche. For they ought to be the eyen of holy chyrche as sayth the scrypture. For lyke as the eyen aduysen the body & thewen to hym the waye by whiche he ought to goo. Ryght so in lyke wyse owen the prelates & alle the other mynystres of holy chyrche to shewe the waye of helthe to other / Thenne also as the spotte of the synne of lechery is more foule in them thā in other persones. Also as the spotte that is in the eyen is more foule and greuous than in the o­ther membres of the body. Ryght soo is the spotte of the synne of lecherye more foule and more peryllous in clerkes / in pre­lates. in relygyous and in all other peple of the chyrche than in other folke / ¶Also all the peple of holy chyrche ben or ow­en to be myrrour and exaumple there. wherin the laye people ought to loke in for to take good doctryne in good exaumple / but whan the myrrour is rusty and foule men may wel see the spotte and thordure that is in the myrrour. But he that in suche a myrrour loketh / seeth not the spotte that is in hym self ne what is in the myrrour whyche so is foule and troubled. [Page] But whan the myrrour is wel clere and clene. thenne may one wel see hym self therin & knowe his spottes. Also whan the prelate is of good lyf and of good fame. than ought one to take example of good lyf / Also the people of holy chyrche ought to be pure and clene of al fylthe of synne. and ought to be moche holy. by cause they clense and sayntefye and halowe other. For lyke as sayth Saynt Gregory. The honde that is foule and fylthy may not wel take awaye the fylthe fro other And the scrypture sayth he that is foule may not clense ano­ther· That is to vnderstonde as touchyng hys meryte. for the sacrament that is made & mynystred by the honde of an euyll mynystre is of no lasse value to hym ne werse. ne he is noo lasse myghty ne vertuouse to halowe them that receyue it. than yf they shold receyue it by the honde of a good mynystre For the euyl of the mynystre appayreth not the sacrament. ne his bounte neyther / and also amende it not. But alwaye the euyl of the mynystre may empayre other peple by euyl exam­ple. and also he may by his bounte edefye them by example of good lyf. and therfore they that sayntefye and clense other / in that they mynystre the sacramentes of holy chyrche ought to be more holy and more clene than the other. For yf they be euyll they shal be more punysshed than the other. This is the syxthe estate in whyche ought to be kepte the vertu of chastyte.

¶ The seuenth estate of the vertu of chastyte capitulo Cliij

THe seuenth estate in whyche ought to be kept the vertu of chastyte of hert and of body. is the estate of relygyon For they that been in that state haue promysed to god and a­uowed that they shalle lyue chastly. Thenne they be holden and bounden by suche auowe that they may neuer marye. after that they ben professyd. And yf they marye after that they be [Page] professyd the maryage shal be none / ¶ And therfore ought they to sette grete payne and dylygence in kepyng wel theyr chastyte. and for theyr estate. whyche is the state of holynesse and of perfectyon. For of so moche as the state is more holy of so moche is the synne of them more grete and more foule· And also as the spotte is more grete and foule and more ap­paraunt in a whyt robe than in another cloth. And who fal­leth fro moost hye hurteth hym moost greuously. and for to vaynquysshe theyr aduersarye that is the deuyl. which moche payneth hym to tempte. and to make falle in to synne them of relygyon. and more he Ioyeth whan he may ouercome one of relygyon / than many of other peple / For lyke as the aū ­gellys of heuen haue grete Ioye of the synnar whan he repen­teth hym and dooth penaunce and confessyon of hys synnes. ¶ Ryght so enioyen the deuyls whan they may ouercome a good man and make hym to falle in to synne. And whan he is in grete estate and parfyght so moche hath the fende more Ioye whā he may deceyue hym. lyke as the fisshar hath more grete Ioye to take the grete fysshes than the smale. ¶we rede in the book of the lyues of faders that an holy man recounted how he was bycomen a monke. and sayd that he had be sone of a paynym sarazyn whyche was preest of thy­dolles. And whan he was a chylde on a tyme whan he en­tred in to the temple wyth hys fader. he hydde hym. and there he sawe a grete deuyl that satte in a chayer & many deuylles aboute hym. and thenne came one of his prynces and adoured hym. Thenne he that satte in the trone demaunded hym fro whens he came. he answerd and said that he came fro the erthe and that he had moeued & purchaced many warres & many euylles so that moche people were dede and moche blode shed The maister deuyl demaunded of hym in how longe tyme he had doon this. and he ansuerd in xxx dayes· & the maister said hast thou be so longe tyme out for to do so lyte. Thēne he com­maunded [Page] anone that he shold be beten and euyl treated. After hym came another deuyl whyche adoured hym as dyd the first and the mayster demaunded hym fro whens he came. and he answerd that he came fro the see. where he had maad many grete tempestes by whyche many shyppes were broken. and moche people drowned. The mayster asked of hym in how long tyme he had doon it· he ansuerd in twenty dayes / Anone the maystre commaunded that he shold be beten as that other was tofore. by cause he had doo nomore harme in soo longe tyme / After came the thyrd deuyl of whome the maistre asked fro whens he came / and he sayd that he came fro a cyte. where as he had ben and meued stryt & debate & had purchaced medlynges that moche peple were slayn. and also he had slayn the husboud of a weddyng / The maistre deuyl asked hym in how longe tyme he had done it. & he ansuerd in x dayes. Thenne he comaūded that he also shold be beten. Atte last came another de­uyl which adoured the maistre deuyl / the prynce of the deuylles demaunded of hym fro whens comest thou. he ansuerd that he cam fro an hermyte. where he had abyden xl yere for to tempte hym which was a monke in the synne of lecherye. & he had so moche laboured that that nyzt he had ouercomen hym & had made hym to falle in the synne of lecherye. Thēne the maistre deuyl ēbraced & kyssed hym. & sette a crowne on hys heed. and made hym to sytte by hym. and sayd that he had doon a grete thynge and a grete prowesse. ¶Now sayd the good man the monke that he had seen thys and herde it. and thought that it was a grete thynge to be a monke. and for thys cause and vysyon he was bycom crysten & a monke / In these wordes aforsayd may appyere that the deuylles haue grete Ioye / whan they may make a man of relygyon to falle in to synne. for af­ter that a mā is in relygyon. he is lyke to hym that is entred in to a felde of batayl for to fyght ayenst the deuyl and all hys temptacyons / whan our Lord wold be tempted of the deuyll [Page] he went in to deserte. For the deserte of relygyon is a felde of temptacyon· Relygyon is called deserte. For lyke as deserte is a place sharpe and drye and ferre fro people. So ought to be the state of relygyon sharpe and of holy & parfyght lyf which is a stronge helpe and a stronge armure ayenst the fendes of helle. Sharpnes of penaunce is the remedye ayenst lecherye. For who that wyl quenche the fyre of lecherye in hym self. he ouzt to take awaye· & withdrawe fro hym al the flesshly delytes. eases. & soulaces of this world. For al relygyouse people ought to take away and cutte fro his flesshe & fro al his body al delytes & worldly▪ eases by fastynges / by wakynges. by de­ [...]o [...]te wepynges. by discyplynes & by other penaūces. Ellys the fyre of lecherye may not wel be quenched / who that wyll take a cyte or a castel. he ought as moche as he may to take awaye and wythdrawe fro it al the vytaylles / al metes. and the water for to enfamysshe them. For after that the castel is enfamyned and all vytaylle is take fro it. It may not longe be holden ne kept ayenst his aduersarye. Ryght so the castel of the bely. which is the fortresse of the flesshe. may not holde ayēst the spyryte whan it is enfamyned by fastynges· by abstynen­ces and by other penaunces. ¶ Also the estate of relygyon ought to be wythdrawen fro the world that they that been in suche estate ne fele ne retche noo thynge of worldly thynges / For they ought to be dede to the world. and lyue wyth god as sayth Saynt Poule / For lyke as he that is dede bodyly hath loste all his wyttes bodyly. as seeyng· spekyng / tastyng heeryng and smellyng / Ryght soo owen the relygyouse to be deed as to the world that they fele noo thynge that appertey­neth to synne / so that they may veryly say the word that saynt Poul thappostle sayth of hym self. The world sayd he is cru­cyfyed to me. and I to the world. Thappostle wold say that lyke as the world helde hym for foule & for abhomynable lyke as one were hanged. Ryzt so had he the world for foule & for [Page] abhomynable. as to hym that is hanged or crucyfyed for his trespace / In lyke wyse dooth he that is in sucke estate dooth flee the world and hate it. That is to say the couetyse and shrewdnesse of the world. that he fele noo thynge by loue ne by desyre. so that his conuersacyon be in heuen. as saynt Poul sayth of hym self / and of them that ben in thestate of perfection Our conuersacyon is in heneu / For yf the body is in erthe the hert is in heuen by loue and by desyre / ¶A good relygyouse persone ought to haue no propre in erthe. but he ouzt to make his tresour in heuen. lyke as sayth our lord in the gospel / Yf thou sayth he wylt be perfyght▪ goo and selle al that thou hast and gyue it to the poure. And thou shalte haue thy tresour in heuen whyche neuer shal faylle. The tresour of a relygyouse man is veray wylful pouerte. For the veray pouerte of the spyryte and of wylle is the money of whyche the royalme of he­uen is bought / wherof our lord sayth in the gospel. Blessyd be the poure of spyryte. for the Royalme of heuen is theyres. Certayn who that is poure of spyryte / that is of the wylle of god. he secheth not in thys world noo dely [...]es. ne rychesses. ne honoures / but put it all in forgetyng. In suche wyse ought to doo good relygyouse people. that wyl mounte vp in to the montaygne of perfectyon. wherof the aungellys sayd to Loth whan he was goon oute of the cyte of Sodome· Reste ne ta­rye thou not nyghe the place that thou hast lefte. but saue thy self in the montaygne. For he that is goon oute of the con­uersacyon of the world ought not to holde hym nyghe the world by hys wylle ne by hys desyre / But ought to wyth­drawe hym as moche as he may. And to entende to his helthe wythoute lookyng bacward or behynde hym· That is for to say that he sette not ageyn hys hert to the world ¶ The wyf of Loth ageynst the commaundement of the aungel behelde the cyte fro whens she came out which brenned & therfor she was t [...]rned in to an ymage of salte. The wyf of Loth sygnefyeth [Page] them· that after they haue lefte the world· and ben entred in to relygyon / retorne ageyn bacward by wylle and by desyre / which haue theyr body in the cloystre. but the hert in the world They be lyke thymage of salte. whyche hath but the lykenes or semblaunce of a man· and is as harde & colde as a stone / Ryght so ben suche peple colde of the loue of god & hard wyth out humour of pyte and of deuocyon. and they retche nothyng but of the habyte of theyr relygyon / & no thynge of the obser­uaunces and werkes. Thymage that was of salte sygnefy­eth in scrypture wytte and dyscrescyon / For lyke as salte gy­ueth sauour to the [...]. Ryght so ought euery relygyouse persone to haue wytte & dyscresciō in his dedes. & in his wordes. This ymage thenne of salte ought to gyue wytte and vnder­stondyng and example to them that ben in religyon. and after retorne to that whyche they haue lefte. And therfore sayth our lord in the gospel to his dyscyples. Remembre you of the wyf of loth. That is to say. Beholde ye not that whiche ye haue lefte for the loue of me. lest ye lese the lyf of grace. lyke as the wyf of loth lost the lyf of the body by cause she loked to the place whyche she had lefte. wherfore our lord sayth in the gospel who that putteth his hande to the ploughe and loketh behynde hym. is not worthy to the kyngdom of heuen. For-lyke as he that ledeth the plough seeth alway tofore hym to lede strayt and to conduyte right his plough. Ryght soo ought he to doo that putteth his hāde to the plough of penaūce or of religyon alwaye he ought to haue the eyen of his hert tofore / That is to say his vnderstondyng and his wylle to that. whyche is to sore hym. and not behynde. That is to the goodes perdurable whyche ought to be tofore the hert & not to the goodes tempo­rall. whiche ought to be behynde. ¶ Thus dyd Saynt Poul whyche sayd that he had forgoten that / whyche was behynde hym / That is the world and alle the couetyse of the world whyche he praysed at nought. And wente allewaye tofore [Page] hym. For he had alwaye his entencyon and his desyre to god But many men of relygyon setten the plough tofore the oxen For many there ben. and that is their [...]ommage. that more se­chen the thynges bodyly and worldly / than the thynges spy­rytual / They put that before whyche shold be behynde / that ben the goodes temporal tofore the goodes perdurable & spyrytuell Suche relygyous persones ben in moche grete peryll of theyr dampnacyon. For they haue [...]ought but the habyte of theyr relygyon. By the example of Saynt Poul. the good relygy­ouse persones forgete the world / & leue it byhynde them. & the goodes perdurable they haue tofore theyr eyen· and goon tofore alwaye fro vertu to v [...]rtu. tyl they come to the montayne of Ioye perdurable. where they shal see god clerely / and shall loue hym perfyghtly / and shal adoure hym perdurably. This is the beneurte or the yefte of vnderstondyng. whyche ledeth them that kepen clēnesse of hert and of body. lyke as we haue shewed afore. And therfore sayth our lord in the gospel. that blessyd ben they that ben clene of hert. For they shall see god. This blessyng begynneth here. for they been purged fro derk­nesses of errour / as to the vnderstondyng. and fro the spottes of synne / as to the wylle. and therfore they see god by fayth en­lumyned of clerenes. whyche cometh of the yeft of vnderston­dyng. [...]y whyche a man knoweth hys creatour· and all that apperteyneth to the helth of his soule / wythout slydyng / wyth out doubtyng. and wythout waueryng in the fayth of Ihesu Cryst where they be so Ioyned and fermly founded. that they may not departe them for deth ne for to suffre ony tormente what someuer it be / ¶And therfore been blessed they that be clene of hert in this mortal lyf. For they haue the eyen of the herte. the vnderstondyng and the wylle soo clere and soo clene that they see god and byleue hym by fayth ferme and certayn lyke as we haue sayd tofore / ¶ wherrof our Lord sayd to saynt Thomas. by cause thou hast seen me. thou hast [Page] byleued me· But they ben blessyd that haue not seen me body­ly. and haue byleued me certeynlye. but this blessyng shall be perfyght in the lyf perdurable. where he that is clene of hert. whyche here seeth hym by fayth. that is alwaye derkly· There in his glorye shal see hym face to face al clerely as saith saynt poule. That is the blessyng to aungellys & to sayntes whych see hym in his precyouse vysage. to knowe one god in thre persones / to byholde clerely in that myrrour where al thynges shynen. angellys and al the sayntes loken therin. and meruey­len them. and taken there theyr glorye. and neuer may they be ful for to loke therin. For there is alle beaute. alle bounte. alle swetenes / and fontay [...]e of lyf perdurable. and al that whiche hert may wylle and desyre / But yet I shal saye a lytel / For lyke as sayth the scrypture. The eyen mortal may not beholde Ne ere here / Ne hert of man thynke. what that god hath a­rayed and maad redy to his frendes that louen / seruen hym & kepe his commaundements. and that kepe them fro synne. wherof Saynt Amelme sayth· Soule sayth he lyft vp thyn entendement there aboue· and thynke as moche as thou mayst what wele. how grete. and how moche delectable is that good whyche conteyneth in hym self the Ioye and the delyte of alle goodes / And not suche Ioye and suche delyte as is founden in creatures. but as moche more Ioye. as the creatour and ma­ker is more grete and more worthy and more excellent. than hys creatures. O sayth he thou faytour thou man that goost so folyly for to seche dyuers goodes. to thy soule and to thy body. loue thou and seche one good. wherin ben alle goodes. and he shal suffyse the. For the good that god hath graunted and gyuen to hys frendes. that is hym self whiche is the souerayn good. of whome comen and sourden al other goodes. as stre­mes that yssuen out of the quycke fontayne. ¶Certeynlye ryght blessyd shal he be sayth saynt austyn which wythout vylonye shal see the vysage dyscouerd and the glorye of god. and [Page] shal be transformed in to thymage of glory. where as he shal see god as he is / The whyche syght is glorye & crowne with out ende. and al the rewarde & meryte of sayntes / This shalle be al the good of man· This sayth maistre hughe of saynt vyctor. The man that made alle and formed. For therfore wold god bycome man. whiche made in hym self al men blessyd in body and in soule / by cause that the man sawe hym wyth the cyen of his body in hys humany [...]e. & that the soule sawe hym in his deyte. so that he fonde swetenes and delyte in hys cre­atour and maker. wythin and wythout. within in hys deyte and wythout in his humanyte. This shal be the Ioye of eue­ry creature his Ioye. his dely [...]e [...] lyf perdurable of this blessed vysyon / That is the blessyng that they attende whyche kepe clennesse & chastyte of hert & of body /

¶ Of the yefte of sapyence Capitulo Cliiij

THe last yefte. the souerayn. & the moost hye· is the yefte of sapyence or of wysedom. whyche is a grace that the holy ghoost gyueth to the hert contemplatyf. by whyche he is esprysed of the loue of god. that he desyreth ne secheth none o­ther thynge but to see god. to haue hym. to delyte in hym / to loue hym / to honoure and serue hym. and dwelle wyth hym / This is the sōme of perfection. and the ende of contemplacion ¶The yefte of vnderstondyng of whyche we haue spoken tofore maketh god to be knowen and the thynges spyrytuel as by syght and symple byholdynges. But the yefte of sapyence maketh to fele and knowe god by taste. thēne sapyēce is none other thyng but a sanery knowleche. which is with sauour & grete delyte of hert. for otherwyse knoweth nothe the wyn that drynketh it in a fayr vyrre or glasse / yf he drynke and taste it not & sauour it. Many phylosophres knewen god by scripture & by the creatures. lyke as by a myrrour wherin they behelde by [Page] reason & by vnderstondyng his myght. his beaute. his wytte & his bounte. in that whych they see the creatures that he hath made so grete so fayr & so wel ordeyned: Thenne they knewe hym. by symple byholdyng of vnderstondyng & natural reason But they neuer felte hym by taste of ryght loue ne by d [...]uocyon. Ryght so ben there many crysten persones. clerkes & laye. whyche wel knowe hym by fayth and by scrypture. but by cause they haue theyr taste dysordynate by synne. they may not fele hym. nomore than the seek persone may fynde taste or sa­uour in good mete. ¶The yefte of sapyence whyche the holy ghoost putteth in a [...]erfyght hert. purgeth & clenseth it fro alle ordure of synne. & lyfteth vp soo [...]he spyryte of a man that he Ioyneth hym to god by ardaunt desyre of loue. so that he is al wyth god / there he fedeth hym. there he nouryssheth hym. there he fatteth hym. there he delyteth & resteth hym. and there he slepeth / There he forgeteth al his trauaylles. al hys flesshly desyres & erthely. & hym self / so that he remembreth no thynge but god whome he loueth aboue al thynges. Thys is the last degree of the laddre of perfectyon that Iacob saw in his slepe whyche touched heuen / by whyche aungellys mounted & des­cended. The degrees of thys laddre been the seuen yeftes of the holy ghoost. of whyche we haue spoken tofore· By these seuen degrees mounten the aungellys. These been they that leden the lyf of aungellys in erthe by purete & clennesse of conscyeyce. whyche haue the hert in heuen by veray desyre & holy conuersa­cyon. whan they prouffyte fro vertu to vertu / tyl they see god clerely and loue hym parfyghtly. But whan they be moun­ted vnto the last degree somtyme byhoueth it them to descende by humylyte / for of so moche as a good mā is more parfyght of so moche is he more humble. and lasse preyseth hym self. Thenne a good man & a parfyght ought to be lyke as a tree whyche is charged wyth fruyt. For the more that the tree is charged and laden with fruyt· the more he enclyneth & boweth [Page] to the erthe. In another maner may be vnderstonden that the aungellys descenden / For the good men that leden the lyf of angellys in erthe by theyr holy lyf whan they be mounted in to the souerayn degree of contemplacyon where the yefte of sapyence ledeth th [...]m. so that they be Ioyned to god. that they forgete alle that which is vnder god for the grete swetenes that the hert [...]eleth. whyche is so rauysshed in god whych passeth al other delytes. Soo that it byhoueth them ofte to descende fro thys swetenes & suche reste and fro suche delyte that they fele of the comforte of god. whyche haue yeue them to souke in suche swete contemplacyon / where they that been parfyght ought to entende. ¶Another reason there is· wherof it byho­ueth to descende fro the hye degree of contemplacyon where the spyryte of sapyence hath ledde hym. For the corrupcyon of the flesshe of the body of the creature humayn is so grete / that the spyryte may not in thys mortal lyf longe abyde in so hye estate of contemplacyon / ne fele that grete swetenesse. whyche passeth all the grete delytes that may [...]e felte in thys world / lyke as they knowe that haue proued it. wherof the countrepoys of the flesshe is soo heuy that it draweth doun the spyryte. wyll it or nylle it. And therfore thys grete swetenes that the herte contemplatyf feleth by the yefte of sapyence in thys mortal lyf. nys but as a lytel taste by whyche one may assauoure and [...]ele how god is swete & sauoury. But whan he shal come to that grete tauerne▪ where [...]he tonne is / and shal be sette a broche. that is in the lyf perdurable. there where god of pees· of loue / of Ioye. of soulace. and of all swetenes shal be abandōned to euery persone in suche wise. that al shal [...] fylled. lyke as dauyd sayth in his psaulter. For al the desyres of the hert shal be accomplysshed whan god shal make descende vpon his frendes a floode of pees. lyke as sayth the pro­phete. wherof they shal so moche drynke. that they shal be all dronke. Of this dronkesse speketh Dauyd in hys psaulter [Page] and sayth thus / Of the glorye of paradys shal all be dronken sayth the prophete to god. of the grete plante that is in your hous. And ye shal gyue them drynke of your swetenes and of your delyces. For wyth you is the fontayne of the lyf per­durable. whyche faylleth not. That is god hym self whyche is the fontayne of lyf whyche may not deye. wherof sourdeth & descendeth vpon alle the sayntes that ben and shal be in heuen a flode of Ioye· of delyte / and of pees so grete. that al they that drynken therof ben al dronken. That is the pees and [...]he bles­syng that shalle be in the world that is to come. For whyche Ioye to wynne and to haue. one ought to lyue sobrely in this world as sayth saynt Austyn. For none ne drynketh of thys ryuer. ne is not dronke of the plante of Ioye· but yf he kepe so­brenes. Thys is the vertu that the yefte of sapyence planteth in the hert. ayenst thoultrage of glou [...]onye / For sapyence en­seygneth sobrenes lyke as Salamon saith. whiche sayth thus Sobrenes is a tree moche precyou [...] for it kepeth the helth of the [...]oule and of the body as scrypture sayth. and of the oultrage of glotonnye. of etyng / of drynkyng comen many maladyes and oftyme the deth. For of ouermoche etyng and drynkyng deyen many folke and oft the deth taketh them sodeynlye. lyke as one taketh the fysshe wyth an hoke / that is to say the morsel in the mouthe. Thys vertu of sobrenes ought one to kepe a­boue all thynges. For the goodes that it dooth to hym that wel kepeth it. Fyrst sobrenes kepeth to reason and to vnder­stondyng his fredom and fraunchyse. so that it putteth and taketh away dronkenesse. For he that is dronken is so surpry­sed of wyn. that he leseth reason & vnderstondyng. & is lyke as he were drowned in ale or wyne. And whan he weneth to drynke the wyne. the wyne drynketh hym. The second good that sobrenes dooth. is that it delyuerth a man fro ouer foul seruytude / that is fro the seruytude of the bely· For the glotons & they that ben oultragous of wyne & metes maken of theyr [Page] bely their god as sayth saynt poul. Certaynly he putteth hym self in grete fylthe. & in foul seruytude. that serueth so foule a lord as is his bely. out of whyche may noo thynge yssue but fylthe & s [...]ynkyng ordure. But sobrenes kepeth a man in his seygnorye. For the spyryte ought to haue seynorye vpon the body / And the body ought to serue the soule / lyke as the chambriere serueth hir maystresse. and sobrete kepeth thys ordre. The thyrd good that sobrenes dooth / is that he kepe wel the yate of the castel ayenst the hoost of the deuyl. that is the mouth whyche is maystre yate of the castel of the hert / whyche the de­uyl assaylleth & maketh warre to as moche as he may / But sobrenes deffendeth the yate & thentree· that is the mouth. And whan the yate of the mouthe is open. thoost of synnes entren lyghtly. And for nought fyghteth he ayenst other synnes that reteyneth not his tongue / who hath this vertu of sobrenes he hath the lordshyp of hys body. lyke as a man maystryeth the hors by the brydle. Sobrenes hath the fyrst bataylle in thoost of the vertues & kepeth & deffendeth the other vertues. where­wyth the deuyl tempted fyrst Adam our fyrst fader and Eue our fyrst moder. that was toward the mouth that they shold ete of the fruyt whyche god had deffended. and the deuyl ouer­came them whan they consentyd to the temptacyon. For to kepe sobrenes nature enseygneth vs and the holy scrypture / Nature techeth vs. For emonge beestes a man hath the leste mouthe after his body. Also a man hath his membres dou­ble / as two eyen. two eeres / but he hath but one mouthe. and therfore nature techeth vs that one ought to ete & drynke ly­tyl and sobrely. For nature is susteyned wyth lytel mete. and by ouermoche mete is ofte beten doun. The holy scripture enseyneth sobrenes in many maners by many exāples. lyke as they may see that connen vnderstonde scripture / and byhol­den the lyues of sayntes. ¶ Also euery creature techeth to vs sobrenes· For in alle nature god hath sette a ryght mesure. [Page] whyche alwaye holdeth the moyen bytwene ouermoche and ouer lytel. after that whyche reason enlumyneth & enseygneth by the grace of god / For in these temporal goodes· that which is ouermoche to one· is lytel to another. That whyche shold be oultrage to a poure man / shold be lytel oftymes to a ryche man / but sobrenes & attemperaunce setten oueral mesure. As wel in spirituel goodes as in fastynges in wakynges and in other werkes of vertues whyche been doon and made for the loue of god and for the helthe of the soule as moche as reason wyl / The vertu of attemperaunce is of sobrenes / This ver­tu kepeth mesure resonabl [...] ▪ not o [...]ely in etyng and drynkyng but in al vertues. lyke as sayth Saynt Bernard. For this vertu setteth al thoughtes & al the menynges of the hert / & alle the wyttes of the body vnder the lordshyp of ryght reason. as sayth Tullius the wyse man / soo that reason enlumyned by the yefte of sapyence. holdeth in pees the lordshyp of the hert & of the body. And this is the ende and thentencyon of al vertu­es / that the hert & the body be wel ordeyned to god· so that god onely be lord & souerayn in suche maner [...] that al be in his obe­dyence. And this maketh sobre the loue of god whiche put­teth hym wyth al the hert to the wylle of god. wherof Saynt Austyn sayth. that the vertue of attemperaunce & of sobrenes is a loue whyche kepeth hym in entyernesse wythout corrup­cyon. & wythdraweth vs fro the loue of the world. whyche troubleth the hert & putteth it to dysease / and taketh fro hym ryght knowleche of god & of hym self. lyke as a persone seeth not clerely in water troubled. But the loue of god whiche is pure & clene. & is departed fro al erthely loue and fro carnall affection setteth the hert in pees. For it setteth it in his propre place. That is in god. there he resteth / there he is in pees. Ne he hath noo pees ne Ioye ne reste but in god / wherof our lord sayth in the gospel / ye shalle be oppressyd in this world. but in me ye shal fynde pees. And Saynt austyn sayd to god. Lord [Page] myn hert may not be in pees vnto the tyme it reste in the / suche loue cometh not of an erthely hert. ne of the maryce of thys world. But it descendeth fro that hye roche vpon whyche is sette & foūded the grete cyte of heuen & of holy chyrche. That is Ihesu cryst. whyche al is sette & foūded fermely by true fayth that ben the holy hertes of good men. Fro this hye roche descendeth that fontayne of loue in to the hert that is wel purged & taken awaye fro the loue of the world / This welle is so clere that he knoweth hym self & his maker. lyke as one seeth hym self in a fontayn wel clere & clene. vpon this fōtayne he resteth & the hert fast by. after the trauayl of good werkes. So as we rede of our lord Ihesu cryst. that whan he had so moche goon that he was wery. he satte doun & rested hym vpon the welle This is the fontayne vpon whyche a good hert that wyl saue hym self-resteth hym in the loue of god. Thys fontayne is so swete that he that drynketh therof forgeteth al other swetenes & al other sauour. & therfore it is so swete & good to drynke. for of so moche as the fontayne feleth better the erthe· so moche is it more holsom & better to drynke. This is the fontayne of wytte & of sauour / For he that drynketh therof. he knoweth. feleth & sauoureth the grete swetenes that is in god. & that is the souerayn wytte of man. to knowe wel his maker / and to loue hym. drede hym. serue and honoure hym wyth al hys hert. For without this phylosophye. alle other wytte nys but folye. Suche wytte setteth the holy ghoost in the herte / whan he gyueth the yefte of sapyence. whyche fedeth and nourissheth the hert with spyrytuel Ioye / and maketh it dronke with his holy loue. that is the wytte whiche the holy ghoost setteth in the hert that is wel purged and clensyd fro alle ordures of synne lyke as tofore is sayd. This spirytuel wytte that cometh of the parfyght loue of god maketh the hert sobre and attempred in alle thynges by mesure. so that the hert that is in suche es­tate is in pees lyke as it may be in this mortal lyf. For in [Page] this world none may lyue without tournoyes & bataylle of temptacyon. whyche god sendeth for to preue hys knyghtes / & by cause they can vse the armes of vertue / For otherwyse they myght not be good knyghtes. yf they were not proued how they can resyste to temptacions. And men be woned to make tournoyes in tyme of pees / but whan a good knyzt hath o­uercomen the tournoye. he retorneth home to his hous. & there he resteth hym at his ease. Ryght so doth the good hert whan he hath wel foughten & ouercomen the tournoye of tēptaciōs & wel strongely resisted them. Thēne he cometh ageyn to hym self & resteth in god. which comforteth hym after his trauayll which he hath resysted ayenst the synnes. soo that he forgeteth there al his trauaylle. & thynketh on no thynge but on god in whome he syndeth al that he desyreth / This is the fruyt that the tree of sobrenes bereth whych cometh of the yefte of sapy­ence. like as I haue shewed tofore. Sobrenes nys noue other thyng. but to kepe ryght mesure in al thynges. & in vij ma­ners ought a persone to kepe mesure. which ben lyke to seuen degrees by which groweth & prouffyteth the tree of sobrenes.

¶Of the fyrst degree of sobrenes & of mesure capitulo Clv

THe fyrst degree of sobrenes is that a man ought to set mesure in his vnderstondyng / Specially in the poyntes of the artycles of the fayth. he passeth mesure whyche wyll seche reason natural. in that whyche is aboue reason. & aboue the vnderstondyng of a man / as doon the heretykes & myscre­aūtes whiche wyl mesure their feyth after theyr vnderstōdyng but they ought to mesure theyr vnderstondyng & reason. vnto the mesure of the fayth as doon good crysten men. Therfore sayth saynt poul. that a mā shold not be wyse more than fayth bereth. but by sobrenes after the mesure of the fayth that god hath gyuen to vs. & salamon sayth to his sone. fayr sone saith he put in thy wytte mesure. that is to say be thou not of thyn [Page] owen propre wytte / so fyxed in thy presumpcion. but that thou bowe and enclyne the for to byleue good counceyl. & thou leue thyn owne wytte for to obeye to hym that is more wyse than thou art. & in especyal in the artycles of the fayth a man ought to leue his owne wytte & his vnderstondyng to bowe & enclyne. & also put hym self in seruage of the fayth. as saith saynt poul. and not for to enserche ne enquyre naturell reason there where as is none. as don the melancolyous men which ben lyke to hym that secheth muskles emonge frosshes. or he that secheth heer in the egge. or vnder the hyde.

The second degree of sobrenes & of mesure capitulo Clvj

THe second degree of sobrenes & of mesure / is that one put mesure in thappetyte. and in the desyre of his wylle so that he late not the rayne of the brydle ouermoche at large that he renne not after the desyre of his flesshe. ne to the couetyse of the world. wherof the wyse man sayth in the scrypture Ne ensyewe not sayth he thy couetyses ne the desyres of thy body. ne of thy flesshe / And beware and kepe the that thou ac­complysshe not thy wylle / For yf thou doost to thyn herte hys desyres / thou shalt make Ioye to the fendes of helle. lyke as he that dooth to his aduersarye ayenst whome he must fyght whan he yeldeth hym vaynquysshed to hym. he yeldeth hym ouercomen of the deuyl that consenteth to euyl desyres. And therfore sayth saynt Petre thappostle. I coniure you as es­traungers and pylgryms. that ye make abstynēce of flesshly desyres anh kepe you wel / For they make theyr bataylle and warre ayenst the soule. He that is a pylgrym and a straūger is oute of his londe and contre. And is in the contre where as there be many theuys & robbeurs that espyen the pylgryms and lyen in a wayte in the wayes / wherfor he ought to kepe hym wel that he falle not in theyr hondes· and thynke how he [Page] may goo surely. Al the good men in this world ben straun­gers and pylgryms. They be straungers. for they ben oute of theyr contreye. that is heuen· whiche is the herytage to good men / They be pylgryms for they thynke not but to perfourme theyr Iourneyes. tyl they come to theyr herytage. That is the cyte of heuen. whych the good pylgryms sechen as sayth saynt poul· whyche haue not. ne entende not / ne wyl not haue ony herytage in thys world. Suche pylgryms as wyl goo sure­ly. see that they put them self in good companye and in sure conduyt. The good companye whyche ledeth the right waye and conduyteth surely is fayth and loue. Fayth sheweth the waye to pylgryms· And loue be [...]eth hym soo that the waye greueth hym not or litel. who that hath suche companye hath no care ne retcheth of theuys whyche awayten the wayes· They ben the deuylles whyche taken and robben all them that goon not in suche companye. Tho ben they that wyl here done the wylle of theyr body / and accomplysshe theyr desyres / and bryngen them self in the nette of the deuylles of helle / Fayth and the loue of god wythdraweth the hert fro euyl thoughtes and fro euyl desyres that they consente not therto. lyke as one holdeth the hawke by the gesses. to thende that he flee not at his wylle / And yf he be not reteyned by the gesses of fayth & loue. he fleeth perylously. soo that he perysshe and falleth ofte in the nette of the byrdar of helle / That is the deuyll whyche ne secheth ne entendeth but for to take good men. Therfor the good men and wyse ought to restrayne theyr wylle and their euyll desyres by sobrenes and attemperaūce· wherof the wyse Seneke sayth. yf thou wylt gete the vertue of sobrenes and of attemperaunce / thou must put fro the and take awaye thy desyres. and sette a brydle ayenst thy couetyses. For lyke as a man holdeth an hors by the brydle. that he goo not at hys wylle / Ryght so ought one to reteyne hys hert. his desyres. & his wylle. by the brydle of sobrenes and of attemperaunce· [Page] that he abandonne hym not ne gyue hym self alle ouer to the vanyte and to the couetyse of the world.

¶ The thyrd degree of sobrenes and of the vertu of attemperaunce capitulo Clvij

THe thyrd degree of the vertu of sobrenes and of attem­peraunce is to sette and kepe mesure in wordes / wherof Salamon sayth that the wyle and wel attempryd mesureth his wordes. And Saynt Iherome sayth that by the poyntes of wordes is the lyf preuyd. That is to say. after the wordes may one knowe the wytte and [...]he folye of a man. lyke as an hogge or a swyn is knowen by the tongue / yf he be hool or mezel. And therfore sayth the wyse man in the scrypture. That the wordes of a wyse man be peysed in a balaunce. that is to saye that a wyse man ought to peyse his wordes in the ba­launce of reason and of dyscrescion. that he be not reprehended There ben somme people that may not be stylle ne kepe them fro spekyng. be it trewe or be it lesyng. whyche ben lyke to a water mylle wythout skluys that alwaye tourneth after the cours of the water. For they haue as many wordes as wa­ter atte mylle· But the wyse men sette the skluys of dyscrecy­on for to reteyne the water / fro folisshe wordes that they passe not the mylle of the tongue. And therfore sayth the wyse man in the scrypture. Reteyne thy wordes in the skluys of dyscres­cyon· For lyke as sayth Salamon. who suffreth the water to haue his cours at wylle. it is ofte cause of plee. & of stryf and of many euylles that comen of a shrewd tongue. lyke as I haue sayd tofore in the traytye of vyces / where as I haue spoken of the synne of the tonge. Therfore sayth the wyse man in scrypture· Put sayth he thy wordes in the balaunce. and a good brydel and good kepar to thy mouth. And take hede that thou falle not by the tonge tofore thyn enemyes whyche [Page] lyen in awayte for tespye the / who that peyseth not his wor­des in the balaunce of dyscrescyon / & reteyneth not his tongue by the brydle of reason / whyche oweth to wythdrawe hys tongue fro folysshe wordes. he falleth lyghtly in to the handes of his enemyes. They been the deuylles of helle whyche euery day & nyght awayten & espyen vs. whan thenemyes whyche warren the castel fynde the yate open. they entren lyghtly. Right so the deuylles which warren the castel of the hert / whā they fynde the yate open that is the mouthe. they take lyghtly the castel. And therfore sayth dauyd in the psaulter. I haue sette good garde to my mouthe ayenst myn enemye. that is a­yenst the deuyll / The gar [...]e of my mouthe is reason and dys­crescyon. whyche examyne the wordes tofore that they yssue out of the mouth. That is the balaunce of the wyse worde as I haue sayd tofore. Now ought the worde to be peysed tofore that it be spoken. And it ought to be knowen that trouthe hol­deth the worde ryght. Trouthe accordeth the entencyon of the hert. and the word of the mouth to gydre. soo that the mouth say nothyng but trouthe. lyke as it is in the hert. This braūche ought not to hange on the ryght syde ne on the lyft. For ney­ther for loue pryue. ne for prouffyt temporall. ne for hate of o­ther. ought not to be lefte to say the trouthe. there as it ought to be sayd and nede is. Ne lesyng ne falsenesse ought not to be sayd for noo persone.

¶Of the iiij degree of sobrenes & of mesure capitulo Clviij

LYke as a persone ought to kepe mesure in spekyng / Ryght so ought be to kepe mesure in heeryng and her­kenyng / For as moche may one synne in euyl heryng / as in euyl spekyng. Thenne he that gladly hereth to speke euyl of another. is partōner and felowe of the synne of hym that say­eth it. For none ought to say gladly euyl of another. specially [Page] to a grete man / yf he wene that it pleseth to hym that hereth it. wherof an holy man sayth. that there shold be none myssay­er ne euyl spekar. yf none wold here hym. ¶These grete and hye lordes ought wel to kepe them and take hede what they here and what they byleue. for they fynde but fewe that telle them trouthe / And flateryes and lesynges ben grete chepe in theyr courtes / The grettest derthe that is aboute these grete lordes is of veryte and of trouthe. and therfore been they ofte de­ceyued / For they here gladly and byleuen lyghtly that which pleaseth them / Seneke sayth that there lacketh no thynge to grete lordes but trewe spekars. and sayers of trouthe / For of lyars they haue grete plente [...] A man ought to haue hys eres open. for to here gladly the good wordes. whiche auayl­len and prouffyten to the helthe of the soule. And a man ouzt to haue his eres closed and stopped to lewde and folisshe wordes whiche may noye and greue. and may not helpe. wherof the wyse man sayth in the scrypture. Stoppe thyn eres with thornes. and herkene not the euyl tongue. The euyll tongue is the tongue of the serpent of helle. whyche the euyll sayers bere. and enuenymeth hym that hereth them / ¶Ayenst suche tongues one ouzt to stoppe his eres wyth thornes of the drede of our lord. or of the thornes. of whych our lord was crow­ned in remembraunce of hys passyon· they shold not gladly here the euyl sayers. ne the flaterers. ne lewd wordes ne dys­honest / ¶In another manere may thys worde be vnderston­den. Stoppe thyn eres wyth thornes. The thornes that pric­ken. sygnefyen hard wordes / by which one ought to repreue the euyl sayers. and shewe to them that they wyl not gladly here them. There is a serpent whyche is called in latyn as [...]s whyche is of suche nature that he stoppeth one of his eres wyth the erthe. And that other ere he stoppeth wyth hys [...] to the ende that he here not thenchauntour. ¶ Thys serpent enseygneth to vs a grete wysedom. that we shold not [Page] here thenchauntour. That is the flaterer / the lyar / and euyll sayers whyche enchaunte ofte the ryche men. who that wold stoppe one of his eerys wyth erthe / and that other wyth hys taylle. he shold not retche to be enchaunted of the deuyll. ne of euyl tongues. He stoppeth one of his eeres wyth erthe▪ that thynketh that he is of the erthe. and to the erthe shal retorne. And thus a man remembreth his Infyrmyte and his vylete wherfore he ought to humble hym self and no thynge preyse That other ere he ought to stoppe wyth hys taylle for remem­braunce of deth whyche he ought moche to fere and drede. who that thus coude and wolde stoppe his eres. he wold not gladly here ne remembre. ne saye. ne herkene wordes that shold dysplease god. Thus shal he be wel mesured in heryng in thys fourth degree of sobrenes and of attemperaunce.

¶ The v degree of sobrenes and of mesure Capitulo Clix

THe fyffhe degree of the vertue of sobrenes. is to kepe mesure in habyte in vestymentes· and in precyouse roobes where a man or woman passeth oft mesure. and dooth grete oultrage. and by cause that the makyng of them is ouer cury­ouse· or ouer proude or ouer grete and excessyf of dyspences it is grete synne oftymes and causeth many other to do synne and in suche thynges one ought to kepe mesure. For yf ouer precyons and ouer curyous araye were not synne. our lord wold not haue spoken so hardly in the gospel. ayenste the euyll ryche man whiche clad hym so proudly with soft byse and precyous purpre. And certeynly he is moche a fool· and a chylde of wytte. that of a gowne. robe. or what someuer precyous clothyng it be / that is prowd therof / for there is none of what so hye estate he be / but that he is cladde & arayed of dede beestes and for to consydere wel. it is alle but vanytee and fylthe. [Page] and al bycometh ordure. Certeynly he or she shold wel be hol­den for a fole that wold be proude to bere the habyte or the vesture whyche shold not be but as a sygne. & a memoryal of the shame of his fader. and of his synne / This is the vsage of clothes. which was neuer foūde but for the synne of Adam our fyrst fader. and of Eue our fyrst moder. for to couer their confusyon and oures. whā we see a biere of a dede corps. whiche is couerd and apparaylled aboue / It is a sygne that there is wythin a dede body. Ryght so it happeth oftymes that vnder these fayre robes. the soule is dede by synne. Specially in them that gloryfye them and ben proude. Yf the pecock be proude of his taylle. or the cocke of his crest [...] / it is no meruaylle. for na­ture hath gyuen it to them / and they doo after theyr nature / But a man or a wyman that hath wytte and reson. whiche knoweth wel that natu [...]e hath not gyuen to hym suche a robe or gowne he ought not to be proude of the arayement of hys body. whyche is not but of dede beestes· or of that whych co­meth fro the erthe. ne also of the queyntys [...] or parements that be in his heed. Therfore sayth the wyse man in the scrypture / Ne glorefye the not in fayr roobes. And Saynt Poul sayth that the wymmen ought to araye them wyth sobrenes and mesure. That is to say by mesure wythoute oultrage. after that thestate of the persone requyreth. certeynly it is not with oute oultrage whan a persone hath for his body soo many gownes and roobes that many poure men myght be sustey­ned of the surplus and of it whyche is ouermoche. yet yf they were gyuen atte laste for goddes loue. it shold be somwhat / but they be gyuen to rybauldes which is so grete synne. Therfore ought to be kept in suche thynges mesure and good ordenaunce. after that / that the state of the persone requyreth. as I haue sayd tofore.

¶ The vj degree of the vertu of sobrenes and of attempe­raunce capitulo Clx

[Page]THe syxthe degree of sobrenes & of attemperaūce. is that eueryche kepe mesure in good manere / wherof Seneke sayth. yf thou art sobre and attemperate· take good hede that the moeuynges of thyn hert & of thy body be not foule ne dysauenaunte / For of the dysordynaunce of the hert cometh the dysordynaunce of the body / Somme be so chyldysshe & of soo nyce manere. that they make them self be holden for a fool. It apperteyneth to a man of value whyche is in grete and hye estate. that he be wel ordeyned & wel amesured in al his de­des & al his sayenges. & of fayr & good countenaunce to fore al peple. so that none take euyl example of hym / & that they be not holden for a fool· For as a phylosopher sayth. A chylde of age / & a chylde of wytte & of maners ben all one. & the scripture sayth that a chylde of an hondred yere shal be cursyd. That is to say that he that is of grete age. and lyueth as a chylde shal be cursyd. wherof saynt Poule sayth of hym self whan I was a chylde I dyd as a chylde. but whan I came to the age of a par [...]yght man I lefte my chyldehode. For who that holdeth a man of age for a chylde. he holdeth hym for a fool. And therfore sayth saynt poul. Be not a chylde of wytte But in malyee be lytel as a chylde. which hath noo malyce / Now is it thenne a fayr thynge / honeste. prouffytable and ho­nourable and specyally to grete men of hye estate to kepe mesure resonable. in countenaūce & in al his gouernaūce. & that he be wel ordeyned ouerall tofore god & tofore the pople. And this is the vj degree of thys tree.

¶ The seuenth degree of the vertu of sobrenes and of attem­peraunce Capitulo Clxj

THe vij degre of the vertu of attemperaunce and of so­brenes is to kepe mesure of ouermoche drynkyng & etyng. for thoultrage of etyng & drynkyng doth moche harme [Page] to the body and to the soule. lyke as I haue sayd tofore. Therfor saith our lord in the gospel. take good hede that your hertes be not greued ne charged with glotonnye ne dronken­nesse. That is to say that ye doo noo oultrage of etyng and drynkyng. Sobrenes kepeth mesure in etyng and drynkyng that he do none oultrage. Of thoultrages that a persone dooth in etyng and drynkyng / I haue spoken tofore where as is treated of vyces. there as I spake of the synne of glotonnye. to which this vertu of sobrenes and of attemperaunce whe­rof I haue here spoken is contrarye specyally. wherof I wyl now nomore say. ¶Now hast thou herde wherby thys tree of sobrenes and attemperaunce g [...]oweth & proussyteth. And yf thou wylt knowe the braūches of this tree. byholde the other vertues whyche be conteyned in th [...]s book▪ & thou shalte fynde oueral this vertu / For as I haue sayd tofore thys vertue is suche that it setteth mesure in alle thynges. The vertues of which I haue spoken tofore been braunches of this vertu. for it sheweth it self in alle the other. wherfore I wyl sette none other braunches but the vertues toforesayd. ¶ This tree be­reth moche fayr fruyt. That is pees of the herte lyke as I haue tofore shewed· For he that hath thys vertu. he hath his hert dysseuered fro the loue of the world. and is Ioyned to god by charyte / that is the dere loue of god whiche putteth al other thynges in oblyuyon. whyche be not ordeyned to god And in suche manere the hert resteth in god / where he hath alle hys comfort and his Ioye. that he thynketh on none o­ther delyte· Suche comfort and delyte setteth the holy ghoost in the hert that is parfyte in the vertu of sobrenes & of attempe­raunce. which cometh of the yefte of sapyence. lyke as I haue sayd tofore. Certeynly who that my [...]t haue suche pees of the hert. and fele that he rested in god / whych is the ende and the accomplysshement and the sūme of all good desyres he shold be wel blessyd in thys world and in that other. For thenne [Page] shold he wynne that blessyng that god promyseth in the gos­pel to them that kepe this pees entyerly wythoute brekynge whan he sayth blessyd be the peasyble. For they shal be callyd the sones of god. They be peasyble saith saynt austyn that or­deyne & setten al the moeuynges of the hert. vnder the seignor [...] of ryght reason of the spyryte. they be callyd by ryght the sones of god / for they bere the semblaunce of theyr fader. whyche is god of pees & of loue so saith saynt poul. Thenne pees & loue of god is the thyng that mooost pleseth god. & maketh a man resonable and resemble to god. and the contrarye to the deuyll whiche is enemye of god / Also they be called the sones of god For they folowe theyr fad [...]r more nyghe than the other. For pees and loue folowe them more nyghe than ony other vertu ¶Also they say theyr houres to theyr fader Ihesu Cryst. For god cam not in to this world but for to make pees bytwene god and man / bytwene man and aungel. bytwene man & hym self. for whan he was borne the aungellis [...]ongen for the pees that god had brought in to the erthe / Glia in excelsis &c̄ & therfore that the peasyble people seche no thyng. & purchacen but pees as moche as they may. toward god. toward theyr neighbour & toward them self / they be called specially the sones of god. for they do the werkes of theyr fader. Therfore thenne by cause they be the sones of god. ben they blessyd in this world by specyal grace. but this blessyng shal be blessyd whan they shal be in peasyble possessyon of herytage of god theyr fader. that is of the royame of heuen where they shal be in sure pees & in parsyght pees / where al theyr desyres shullen be accom­plysshed. There shal not mowe be euyl ne sorowe ne aduersyte ne defaulte. But habundaunce of alle goodes· and plente of Ioye and glorye wythout ende▪ That shal be pees honourable pees delectable / pees perdurable and pees whyche surmoun­teth alle wytte as sayth Saynt Poule. And sythe thys pees passeth alle wytte and sence it passeth alle wordes. For hert [Page] may not thynke. ne tonge deuyse. ne ere here the pees & the glo­rye that god kepeth to his frendes. & therfore I can not say that thyng that may be suffysaūt to th [...] lawde & preysyng the­rof. wherof now I wyl say nomore. But here I shal fynysshe & make an ende of my matere to the praysyng & lawde of our lord. to whome be gyuen al honour. whiche brynge vs in to hys companye / there / where as is lyf perdurable Amen.

THis book was compyled & made atte requeste of kyng Phelyp of Fraunce in the yere of thyncarnacyon of our lord / M.CC·lxxix. & translated or reduced out of frensshe in to englysshe by me wyllyam Caxton. atte reques [...]e of a wor­shipful marchaunt & mercer of london. whyche Instauntly re­quyred me to reduce it for the wele of alle them that shal rede or here it. as for a specyal book to knowe al vyces & braūches of them. & also al vertues by whyche wel vnderstonden & seen may dyrecte a persone to euerlastyng blysse. whyche book is callyd in frensshe. le liure Royal· that is to say the ryal book. or a book for a kyng. For the holy scrypture calleth euery man a kyng. whiche wysely and parfytly can gouerne and dyrecte hym self after vertu. & this book sheweth & enseygneth it so subtylly. so shortly· so perceyuyngly & so parfyghtly. that for the short comprehencion of the noble clergye & of the right grete substaūce. which is comprysed therin. It may & ought to be cal­led wel by ryght and quycke reason aboue al other bookes in frensshe or in englysshe. the book ryal or the book for a kyng. & also by cause that it was made & ordeyned atte request of that ryght noble kyng Phelyp le bele kynge of Fraunce. ought it to be called Ryall / as tofore is sayd. whiche translacion or re­ducyng oute of frensshe in t [...] englysshe was achyeued. fynys­shed & accomplysshed the [...] of Septembre in the yere of thyncarnacyon of our lord. [...]CCCC.lxxxiiij / And in the second yere of the Regne of Kyng Rychard the thyrd /

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.