Boecius de consolacione philosophie

C [...]imina qui quandam studio florente peregi Flebilis heu mestos cogor inire modos

ALlas I wepyng am constrained to begynne vers of soroufull matere. That whylom in flourisshing studye made delitable ditees / For lo rendyng muses of poetes enditen to me thinges to be writen / And drery vers of wretchidnes weten my face with very teeris / Atte laste no drede ne mighte onercome tho muses that they ne weren felawes and folowden my way / that is to saye. Whan I was exiled / They that weren of my yongthe whilom wele­ful & gr [...]e conforten now sorouful wierdes of me olde man For elde is comen vnwarly vpon me hasted by the harmes that I haue. And sorow hath comaunded his age to be in me. Heeres hore arn shadde ouertymeliche vpon my heed. And the slack skynne trembleth of myn emptid body. Thilke deth of men is weleful that ne cometh not in yeris that be swete / but cometh to wretchis often y cleped. Allas Allas with how deef an ere deth cruell torneth awaye fro wretches. and nayeth for to close wepyng eyen. while for­tune vnfaithful fauored me with light goodes. the sorow­ful houre / that is to saye the deth had almoost dreynt myn [...]eed. But now for fortune clowdy hath changed her de­ [...]yuable chere to meward / myne vnpitouse lyf draweth a longe vnagreable dwellinges / O ye my frendes what or w [...]erto auaunted ye me to lene welefull / For he that hath [...]llen, stode in no stedfast degre

Hec dum mecum tacitus ipse reputarem querimonia (que) lacrimabilem stili officio signarem. asstitisse michi supra verticem visa est. mulier reuereudi ad modum vultus. oculis ardentibus. et vltra coēm etc

IN the meane while that I styll recorded these thyn­ges with my self / & merkyd my wepely conpleynte with office [...]f poyntel. I sawe standing abouen the heyght of my hede a woman̄ of ful grete reuerence by semblaunte / her eyen brennyng & clere seyng abouen the comune myghte of men with a lifly colour / & with suche vigour & strength that it ne mighte not be empted. Al were it soo that she was ful of grete age. that men ne wolde not trowen. in no maner that she were of our elde / The stature of her was of a doubt [...]us Iugement / for somtyme she constreyned and sh [...]onke her self in the com̄une mesure of men / and somty­me it semed that she touched the heuen with the height of her hede. & whan she heef her hede hygher she ꝑced the self he­uen / so that the sight of men loking was in ydel / her clothes were maked of right delye thredes & subtil craft of perdu­rable matiere. The whiche clothes she had wouen with her owne handes as I knewe wel after by her self declaring & shewing to me the beaute. the whiche clothes a d [...]rkenes of a [...]orleten & despysed elde had dusked & derked as it is wont to derke by smoked ymages / In the netherest hēme o [...] bordour of these clothes men red ywouen therin a grekish / A that signefieth the lyf ac [...]yf / & aboue that letter in the hiest bordour a grekish .C. that signefieth the lyf cōtemplatif. & b [...]twen̄ these two letters ther were seen degrees nobly wrought [Page] in maner of ladders. by whiche degrees men myghte clim­ben from the netherest lettre to the vpperest / Natheles han­des of som̄e men hadden kerue that clothe by vyolence or by strengthe. And euerich man of hem hadd borne aweye su­che pieces as he myghte geten. And forsothe this forsaide woman bare smale bookes in her [...]ighte hand. And in her lift hand she bare a ceptre / And whan she sawe this se poeticall muses approchyng aboute my bedd / And en­diting wordes to my wepynges / she was a litill amoe­ued and glowed with cruell eyen. Who quod she hath suffred approchen to this seke man̄ these comyne strom­pettis / of whiche is the place that men callen Theatre / the whiche onely ne aswagen not his sorowes with remedi­ [...]s. But they wold feden̄ and nourisshe him with swe­te venym / Forsothe that ben thoo that with thornes and prykkinges of talentes or affections. whiche that bene noo thyng fructuous nor prouffitable. Destroyen̄ the corne plenteous of fruytes of reson. For they holden hertes of men in vsage. but they ne deliuer noo folke fro maladye But if the muses hadde withdrawen̄ fro me with your fla­teryes ony an vncomyng and vnprouffitable man as ben wonte to fynde comynly among the peple. I wold well suffre the lasse greuously / For why in suche an vnprouffi­table man / myne ententes were noo thing endamaged / But ye withdrawen̄ fro me this man̄ that hath ben nou­risshed in my studies or scoles of eliaticis & of Achadem­cis in grete / But goth now rather away ye mermayden [...] whiche that ben swete til it be at the laste / & suffrith this man̄ to be cured and heled by my muses. that is to saye [Page] by my notefull sciencis. And thus this c [...]mpanye of mu­ses yblamed casten wrothly th [...] there doowneward to the erth [...]. & shewyng by redenes her shame they passeden sorou­fully the thresshwold / And I of whom the sight ploūged in teeris was derkid so. that I ne myght not knowe what that woman was of so imperial auctorite / I waxe al abas­shed and stonyed / and cast my sight downe to the erthe And began styl for tabide what she wolde done afterward Then̄e come she nere & sette her downe vpon the vtterest cor­ner of my bed / and she beholding my chere that was cast to the erthe. heuy and greuous of wepyng / compleyned with these wordes that I shal seyn the perturbacion of my thoughte

Heu (quam) precipiti mersa profundo Mens habet & ꝓpria luce relicta Tendit ad extremas ire tenebras Ter­renis quo [...]iens flatibus acta Cres [...]it in inmensum nor [...]a cura Hic quandā celo liber aperto etc

ALlas howe the thoughte of this man dreynt in ou [...]r­throwyng depenes dulleth and forletteth his ꝓpre clerenes / myntyng to gone into foreyne derkenesse. as oft as his anoyous besines wexeth withoute mesure. That ys dryuen with worldly wyndes. this man that whilom was free. to whom the heuen was open & knowen / & was wonte to gon in heuenly pathe [...] / & sawe the lightnes of the rede son̄ [...] And behelde the sterres of the colde mone. & whiche sterre in heuen̄ vseth wandring. recourses yflytte by diuce speris Thi [...] man oucomer had comphended al this thing by nōbre [Page] of acompting in Astronomye / And ouer this he was wont to seken the causes. whens the sownyng wyndes mo­euen and besien the smothe water of the see. And what spyrite tourneth the stable heuen. And why the sterre ri­seth oute of the rede Eest to fallen in the westren wawes And what attempreth the lusty houres of the first somer season. And hightith & apparailleth the erthe with rosy floures / And who maketh the plenteous Autumpne in ful yeres fleten with heuy grapes / and eke this man was wonte to telle the diuerce causes of nature that were hidde Allas how lightly is empted the light of his thoughte. & his nekke is pressid with heuy cheynes / And berith his chere enclined a doun for the grete weight / & is constrey­ned to loken̄ on the foule erthe

Sed magis medicine inquit tempus est (quam) querele. Tum vero totis in me intenta luminibus. Tu ne es ait qui nostro quondam lacte nutritus nostris educa­tus alimentis animi inuirilis robur euaseras. etc

BVt tyme is now of medicine quod she more than complaynt. Forsothe thenne she entendyng to me­ward with al the loking of her eyen saide / Arte not thou he qd she that whilom I nourisshed with my milke and fostred with my metes were escaped and comen to the co­rage of a parfaite man. Certes I yafe the suche armures That if thou thy selfe ne haddest firste caste hem awaye They sholden haue defended the in sikernes that may not be ouercomen. Knowest thou me not. why arte thou stylle [Page] is it for shame or for astonyeng / it were me leuer it were for shame. But it semeth me that astonyeng hath oppress [...]d the. and whan she sawe me not only stille. but rather withoute office of tonge & al dombe / She leyde her hande softly vpon my breste. and sayde / here is no peril qd she. he is fal­len into a litarge whiche that is a comyne sekenes to hertes that ben deceyued / he hath a litel foryeten him self / But certes he shal lightly remembren him self if soo bee that he hath knowen me or now. And that he may done so / [...] wil wype his [...]yen a litil that be derked by the cloude of mor­tall thinges. These wordes sayd she / And with the lappe of her garnement yplited in a frounce she dried myn eyen that weren ful of the wawes of my wepynges.

Tunc [...] discussa liquerunt nocte tenebre Lum [...]ni­bus (que) prior redit vigor Ut cum precipiti glomeran­tur sidera choro Nimbosis (que) polus st [...]tit ymbribus Sol latet ac non dum celo vementibus astris etc

Thus whan that night was discussed away / derkenes forlete me. And to myne eyen repayred agayn h [...]r first strength. And right as by ensample. as the sonne is hydde whan the sterres ben couerd with cl [...]udes by a swift wynde that hight Chorus / And the firmament stant der­ked by wete plungy cloudes. And that the sterres not appieren vpon the heuene. so that the nyght semeth spradd vpon the erthe. If thenne the wynde that hight boreas ysent oute of the caue of the countrey of Trace / beteth this night That is to seyne chaseth it aweye / And discouerith the [Page] closed daye / Thenne shyneth phebus yshaken with sodeyne light & smyteth with his beames in meruayling eyen

Haut aliter triscicie nebulis dissolutis. [...]usi celum et ad cognoscendum mēdicantis faciem mentem recepi Ita (que) vbi in eam deduxi oculos. intuitum (que) defixi. Respicio nutricem meam cuiꝰ ab adolescencia etc

RYght soo and none other wyse / the cl [...]udes of sorow dissolued and doon awaye / I toke heuene and re­ceyued mynde to knowen the face of my phis [...]cien. So that I sette myne eyen vpon her and fastned my lokyng / I behelde my noryce philosophie in whos hous I hadd conuer­sed fro my yougth. and I sayd thus / O thou maistresse of all vertues descended from the souerayne s [...]te / why arte thou comen into this solitary place of myn exile / Arte th [...]u comen for thou arte maad culpable with me of [...]lse bla­mes. O quod she my norie shuld I forsake the now. and shold I not parten with the by comyne trauayle the charge that thou hast suffr [...]d for enuye of my name. Certes hyt were not leefful ne fitting to philosophie to leten withoute companye the way of him that is Innocent. sholde I then̄e redoubte my blame / & agrise as thaugh ther were befallen a newe thing / For trowest thou that Philosophie bee nowe alder firste assaylled in perils by folke of wicked ma­nere haue I not striuen with full grete strife in olde tyme byfore the aage of my Plato / ayenst the folehardynesse of folye. And eke the same plato lyuyng / his maister So­crates deserued victorie of vnrightful deth in my presence [Page] The heritaige of the whiche Socrates / the heritaige is to sayn the doctrine of the whiche Socrates in his opynyon̄ of felicite / that I cl [...]pe welefulnes. whan that the peuple of Epycuriens and Stoiciens and many other enforsed them to go rauisshe. euery man for his part that is to seyn That eueriche of hem wold drawen to the defence of his opynyon the wordes of Socrates. They as in partye of their praye to drowen me [...]y [...]g and debating ther ayenst And coruen and renten my clothes that I hadd won­nen with myne owne handes. And wyth tho clothes that they hadd araced oute of my cloth [...]s they w [...]nten awaye. wenyng that I hadde gone [...]th h [...]m eu [...]ridele. In whiche Epicuriens and Stoici [...]ns for as moche as ther semed som̄e traces and steppes of my hab [...]te / The folye of we­nyng the [...]picuriens and Stoiciens my famyli [...]s / per­ue [...]ted som̄e th [...]urgh therrour of the wi [...]ked multytude of hem / This i [...] to s [...]yn [...]r they s [...]m [...]d phil [...]s [...]ph [...]rs. they w [...]ren po [...]rs [...]wed to the [...]th and slayne / So yf thou [...]st not knowen thexising of Anaxagoras ne then poyse­nyng of Socrates / Ne the tormentes of [...]e [...]o for they we­ren straungers. yet myghtest thou h [...]ue knowen / the se­n [...]ctyens. the Camos / and the Soranos / Of whyche folke the renommee ys neyther euer old ne vnsolemp [...] The whyche men noo thyng ellis ne broughte to the deth But onely for they were enformed of my maners / And semeden moost vnlyke to the s [...]udyes of wicked folke And forthy thou oughtest not to wondren though that I in the by [...]ter see be dryuen with tempestes blowyng aboute. In the whyche thys ys my mooste pourpoose. [Page] That is to seyne to displesen wicked men. Of whyche shrewes al be the hoost neuer so grete. it is to despyse. for hit is not gouerned with no leder of reson / But it is ra­uisshed only by fleting errour folily & lightly. and if they somtyme make an hooste ayenst vs / Assayle vs as stren̄ ­ger / Our leder draweth to gedir his richesses into his tour And they ben ententif aboute sarpleris or sachellis vnpro­fitable for to taken. But wee that been hygh abouen siker from all tumulte & wood noyse. warnestored & enclosed in suche a palays. whider as that clatering or anoyeng fo­lye may not atteyne / we scorne suche raueners and henters of foulest thinges

Quisquis composito serenus euo Fatum sub pedibus agit superbum Fortunam (que) tuens vtram (que) r [...]ctus Inuictum potuit tenere vultum etc

WHo so it be that clere of vertue sad & wel ordynat of lyuyng that hath put vnderfote the proude wierdes / & loketh vpright vpon either fortune he maye holden his che­re vndescomfited / The rages ne the manaces of the see cō ­moeuyng & chasing vnware hete from the bottom̄e / ne shal not m [...]oue that man̄. ne the vnstable montayne that hight Vesenus that writheth out thurgh his broken chymeneyes smokyng fyres. Ne the wey of thonder leyte. that is wont to smyten highe toures ne shall not moeue that man̄ / wher to thenne wretches dreed ye tyrauntes that been wood and felonnous wyth ony strengthe. Hoop [...] after nothing Ne drede thou not. And soo shallest thou disarmen the [Page] Ire of thilk vnmyghty tyran̄t / but who that quaking dee­deth or desireth thing that is not stable of his right. that man that so doth / hath cast away his shelde / & is remoeued fro his place. & enlaseth him in the cheyne. with the whiche he may be drawen̄

Sentis ne inquit hec at (que) animo illabūtur. quid fles Quid lacrimas manas. si operam medicantis expec­tas oportet vulnus detegas

FElistow quod she these thinges. & entren̄ they ought in thy corage / arte thou like an asse to the harpe. why wepestow why spillistow teeris. if thou abidest after helpe of thy leche. the behoueth discou thy woūde. tho I had gade­rid strength in my corage ansuerde & saide / And nedeth it quod I of rehercing or of amonicōn. And shewith it not ynough by him self the sharpenes that wexeth wode ayenst me. Ne moeueth it not the to see the face or the manere of this place. Is this the librarye that thou haddest chosen for a right certain siege to the in myn̄ hous / there as thou dispu­test ofte with me. of the science of thinges / touching dyui­nite & touching mākinde / was then myn̄ habite suche as hit is now. was my face or chere suche as is now / whan I sought with the secretes of nature / whan thou enformedest my ma­ners & the reason̄ of al my lyf to thensample of the ordre of leuene. Is not this the guerdon̄ that I referre to the / to whom I haue be obeysan̄te. Certes thou enformedest by the mouth of plato this sentence / that is to seyn̄. that comyn [...] thinges or comynaltees weren blisfull / If they that hadde [Page] studied all fully to wisedom gouerneden thilke thinges Or els if it so befell that the gouernours of comynaltees studieden to gete wysedom / thou saidest eke by the mouth of the saide plato that it was a necessarye cause / wise men̄ to taken & desiren the gouernan̄ce of comyne thinges. for that the gouernements of citees yleft in the handes of felonous tourmentours / cytezeins ne sholden not bringen in pestilēce & distruccion to good folke. And therfore I folowyng thilke auctours desired to put forth in execucion & in acte of comyne administracion thilk thinges that I had lernid of the among my secree restingwhiles / thou & god that put in the thoughtes of wise folk / ben knowing with me. that nothing ne brought me to maistrye or dignite / but the co­myne studye of all goodnes. And therof cometh it that bytwene wicked folke and me haue ben greuous discordes That ne mighten not be relessed by prayers. for this liber­te hath the fredom̄e of conscience / that the wrath of more mighty folke hath alwaye ben dispised of me for sauacōn of right. How ofte haue I resisted & withstande that man that hight Coniugast / that made alwey thassautes ayenst the prosper fortunes of poure feble folk. How ofte eke haue I putte of / or caste oute him Trigwille prouost of the kin­ges howse. bothe of the wroonges that he hadd begonne to doon̄. And eke fully perfourmed / Howe often haue I co­uered and defended by the auctorite of me putte ayenst parills. That is to seyne / putte myn Auctorite in perill For the wretchid poure folk. that the couetise of straun­gers vnpunysshed tourmenteden allewaye wyth myseases and greuan̄ces oute of nombre / Neuer man̄ yet drowe [Page] me fro right to wronge. whan I sawe the fortunes and the richesses of the peuple of the prouynces ben harmed & ame­nused eyther by preuy rauynes or by comyn trybutes or ca­riages. as sory was I / as they that suffreden the harme Glose Whan that Theodorik Kynge of Gothes in a dede yere hadd his garners full of corne / and com̄anded that noo man̄ shold bye no corne / till his corne were solde And at a greuous dere pryce / Boece withstode that or­denance and ouercame hit / Knowyng all this the kyng Theodoryk hym selfe / Coempcion ys to saye comyne acha­te or byeng to gyder. that were establisshed vpon the peple by suche a manere Imposicion̄ / As who so boughte a busshell corne. he muste yeuen the kynge the fyfthe parte Textus

Whan hit was in the soure hongry tyme / ther was esta­blissed greuous and vnprouffitable coempcion̄ that men seen̄ wele. hit shuld greetly tormenten and endamagen alle [...]he prouynce of Campayne. I toke striff ayeenst the Proudste of the pretorie for the comyne prouffite. And the knowyng of hit / I ouercome hit / so that the coempci­on̄ was not axed ne tooke effecte Paulyne a counseyl­lour of Rome. the riches of the whiche Paulyne. the hoū ­des of the palays. That is to saye / thofficers wolden̄ haue deuour [...]d by hope and couetise. Yet drowe I oute of the Iowes of h [...]m that gapeden. And for as moche as the payne of thaccusacion̄ aiugged biforne ne shold not soden­ly henten ne punysshen wrongfully Albyn a counceyllour of Rome. I putte me ayenst the hates and Indignacions of thaccusour Cipryan / Is it not then̄e ynough syn̄ that I haue purchaced grete discordes ayenst my selfe. But I [Page] ought be more assured ayenst other folke / that for the loue of rightwisnes I neuer reserued noo thyng to my self / to hemward of the kynges halle / by whiche I were the more siker. But thurgh thoo same accusours accusing / I am condempned. Of the nombre of whiche accusours one ba­siliuz that whilome was chaced oute of the kynges serui­ce. Is nowe compellyd in accusyng of my name. For ne­de of foreyn moneye / Also Opilion and Gaudencius han accused me. Al bee hit soo that the Iustice regall hadd whilome demed them bothe to goon̄ in to exyle for her tre­cheryes and frawdes with oute nombre. To whiche Iug­gement they nolden not obeye / but defended hem by the si­kernesse of holy hows [...]s. That is to seyne / fledden in to seyntewarye / And thenne whan this was apperceyued by the kyng / he commaunded but if they voyded the Cyte of rauenne by certayne daye ass [...]gned / that men shold marken h [...]m on the forhede wyth an hoote yren / and chas [...]n hem oute of the towne / Nowe what thing semeth / myghte bee likened to this cruelte. For certes this same daye was receyued the accusing of my name by thilke same accu­sours / What maye bee sayd hereto. hath my studye and my connyng deserued thus. or ellis the forsayd damp­nacion of me maad hem rightfull accusours or noo. was not fortune ashamed of this / Certes all hadd not for­tune ben̄ ashamed that Innocence was accused. yet ought she han had shame of the filth of myn accusours. but axe thou in som̄e of what gylte I am accused / Men seyn̄ that I wold sauen the companye of the Senatours. And de­sirest thou to heren in what manere I am accused that I [Page] shold han distourbed thaccusour to beren̄ lettres / by whiche he shulde haue made the senatours gilty ayenst the kynges royal mageste / O maistresse what demest thou of this / shal I forsake this blame. that I ne be no shame to the / Certes I haue wold it. that is to saye the sauacion of the senate I ne shal neu lete to wilne it / And that I confesse and am a knowe. but thentente of thaccusour to ben distourbed shal cesse. Shal I clep [...] that a felonye or a synne that I ha­ue desired the sauacion of the ordre of the senate / And cer­tes hadd thilke same senate done thurgh her decretes & her Iugementis as though it were a synne & a felonye. that is to wilne the s [...]uacion of them. But folye that lyeth al­wey to him self may not chaūge the merite of thinges / Ne I trowe not by the Iugement of socrates that it were le­efful to me to hide the s [...]th ne assente to [...]synges / but cer­tes how so [...]uer hit be of this I put it to gessyn or prisen of the Iugement of the and of wise folk. of whiche thyng all th [...]rdenance and the s [...]th. for as moche as folke that been to comen after our dayes shall knowen it / I haue put hit in scripture and in remembran̄ce / For touchyng the letters falsely made / by whiche letters I am accused to han h [...]p [...]d the fredom̄e of rome / what apperteyneth me to spe­ken therof. Of whiche letters the fraude hadd ben shewde apertely if I had hadde liberte for to haue vsed and ben at confession of myne accusours / The whiche thing in al nedes h [...]th grete strengthe. For what other fredem maye men hopen. certes I wolde that som̄e other fredome mighte be hoped. I wold then̄e haue answerd by the wordes of a man that hight Camus. for whan he was accused of gayꝰ [Page] Cesar germeynes sone. that he was knowyng and con­sentyng of a coniuracion y made agaynst him / This Ca­mus ansuerde thus if I had wist it / thou haddest not wist it / In whiche thinge sorow hath not so dulled my witte that I pleyne only that shrewd folke apparaillen felony­es ayenst vertue. But I wondre gretly how that they may performe thinges that they haue hoped for to doon. f [...]r why ne wil ne shrewdnes that cometh perauenture of our defaute But it is like a monstre and a meruaille how that in the present sight of god may been achieued and performed suche thinges. as euery felenous man hath conceyued in his thought ayenst Innocentes / For whiche thyng one of thy famyliers not vnskilfully axed thus. If god is. whens comen wicked thinges / But al hadde it been leef­full that felonous folk / that now desiren the blode and the deeth of alle goode men. And eke of the senate han wilned to goon destroyen me whom they haue seyn̄ alwaye bataillen and defenden good men and eke al the senate that had not deserued of the faders / that is to seyn of the senatours that they sholden wille my destruccion. Thou re­membrest wele as I gesse. that whan I wold doon or seyn ony thing. thou thy self alway present ruledest me. Atte cyte of verone whan that the kyng gredy of comyn̄ slaugh­ter / caste him to transporten vpon all the ordre of the sena­te the gilte of his rial mageste. of the whiche gilte that Albyn was accused. with how grete sikernes of perill to me / defended I all the senate. thou wotest well that I say soth. Ne I ne auaunted me neuer in praysing of my self For alway whan ony wight receyueth precious renom̄e [...] [Page] In auaunting of him self or his werkis / he amenuseth the se [...]r [...]e of his conscience / but now thou maist wel seen to what ende I am comen. for myn Innocencie I receyue payn of fals felonnye for gwerdon of verey vertue. & what opene confession of felonnye had euer Iugges so a [...]rdant in cru­elte. that is to seyne as myn [...]cusing hath. that either er­rour of man̄es witte / or els condicion of fortune. that ys vncertayn to al mortal folk ne submitted som of hem. that is to seye that it ne enclined som iuge to han pite or cōpassi­on / for al though I had ben accused that I wolde b [...]en̄e holy houses & strangle prestes with wicked swerde. or that I had greythed deth to al good men / algates the sentence shuld haue punysshed me p̄sent confess [...]d or conuicte. but nowe I am remo [...]ued from the cite of rome almost. v. C. M. paa [...] I am without defence dampned to ꝓscripcion & to deth / for the studies & boūtees that I haue done to the senate / but / o wel ben they worthy of merite / as who seith / nay / ther might yet neuer none of hem be conuicte of suche a blame as myne is. Of whiche trespaas myn accusours sayne ful wele the dignite / for they wolde d [...]rk [...]n it with medling of som fe­lonye. They baren me on honde & sayde that I had polute & defouled my conscience with sacrilege for couetyse of dyg­nite / And certes thou thy selfe that arte planted in me. chacedest oute of the siege of my corage al couetise of mor­tall thinge [...] / Ne sacrelege ne had noo leue to haue a place in me before thyn eyen / for thou droppedest euery daye in myncere [...] & in my thought thilke com̄andement of pictagoras. That is to seye men shal seruen to god & not to goddes / Ne it was not conuenient ne none nede to taken helpe of [Page] the foulest spirites / I that thou hast ordeigned and sette in suche excellence. that thou madest me like to god. And ou this the right clene secre chambre of myn hous / that is to seye my wyff. And the company of myn̄ honest frendes. & my wyues fader as wel holy as worthy to be / reuerensed for his dedes / defenden me from al suspeccion of suche bla­me. But / o. malice / For they that accusen me taken of the philosophie feith of so grete blame / for they trowen that I haue had affinite to malefice or enchantement / bycause that I am replenisshed & fulfilled with thy techinges & enfor­med of thy maners. & thus it suffrith not only that thy reuerence ne auaile me nought / but if thou of thy frewill rather be blemisshed with myn offencōn / But certes to the harmes that I haue ther betideth yet this encresse of harme. that the gessing & the iugement of moche folk ne loken nothing to the desertes of thinges but only to thauenture of fortune. & iuggen that only suche thinges ben pourueyed of god / which that temporal wilfulnes cōmaūdeth Glosa As thus. that if a wight haue ꝓsperite he is a goode man & worthy to haue that ꝓsperite. & who so hath adusite. he is a wicked man / & god hath forsake him / & he is worthy to haue that adusite. This is thoppinion of som folk / and therof cometh that good gessing. first of althing forsaked wretches / certes it greueth me to thinke right now in diu­ce sentencis that the peple seith of me. & thus moche I seye that the last charge of cōtrarioꝰ fortune is this / that whan ony blame is leyd vpon a caytif. men wenen that he hath deserued that he suffreth. & I that am put away from good men̄ & despoiled of dignitees. & defowled of my name by [Page] gessing haue suffred tourmentes for my good dedes. Cer­tes me semeth / that I see the felenous couynes of wicked men haboūden in Ioye and in gladnesse. And I see that euery lorel shapeth him to finde newe frawdes for to accuse good folk. & I see that good folk be ouerthrowen for dre­de of my peril / & euery luxurious tormentour dar done alle felonye vnpunysshed & ben excited therto by yeftes / and Innocentis be not only dispoiled of sikernes but of de­fence / And therto me list to cryen to god in this manere

O stelli [...]eri conditor orbis Qui perpetuo nixus solio Rapido celum turbine versas. Legem (que) pati sidera co­gis Ut nunc pleno lucida cornu Totis frīs obuia flammis Condat stellas luna minores Nūc obscuro pallid [...] cornu Phebo ꝓprior lumina perdat etc

THou maker of the whele that bereth the s [...]er [...]es / whi­che that art fastned to thy perdurable chayer. & tor­n [...]st the heuen with a rauesshing sweyghe / And constrey­nest the ster [...]es to suffre thy lawe / So that the mone som̄e tyme shynyng with her ful hornes meting with all the [...]eames of the sonne her bedder. hideth the ster [...]es that been lesse / And som̄e tyme whan the mone pale. with her derke [...]ornes approcheth th [...] sonne / leseth her sightes / And that the euyn sterre Hesperu [...] whiche that in the firste tyme of the nyghte bringeth firste her cold arising cometh efte a [...]en [...]er vsed cour [...]. and is pale by the morowe acte rising of the sonne. And is thenne ycleped lucifer. Thou restrey­nest the daye by shorter dwelling in the tyme of the cold [Page] wynter that maketh the leues fall. thou deuidest the swift tydes of the night whan the hote somer is comen. thy might attemprith the variant seasons of the yere. So that Ze­pherus the debonayr wynde bryngeth ayen in the firste so­mer season. the leues that the wynde that highte Boreas hath refte awaye in Autumpne. that is to seye the laste ende of the somer. And the seedes that the sterre that hight Arcitures sewe bewaxen highe cornes. whan the sterre Si­rius enchaceth hem / Ther is noo thyng vnbounden from this old lawe ne forletteth the werke of his propre estate O thou gouernour gouernyng alle thinges by certayne ende. why refusest thou onely to gouerne the werkis of men by dewe manere. why suffrest thou that slyding fortune tourneth so grete entrechaunges of thynges / so that anoy­ous payne shuld duly punysshe felon̄s / punyssheth Inne­centis / And folke of wicked maneres sitten in hyghe chayers. And annoyeng folke treden and that vnright­fully on the nekkis of holy men. And vertue clere and shynyng. naturelly is hydd in derke derkenesses / And the rightfull man bereth the payne and the blame of the felon̄s / Ne the forswering ne the fraude couerd & kempt with a fals colour / ne annoyeth not to shrewdnes / The whiche shrewdnes whan hem liste vsen her strengthe / they reioyssen hem to putte vnder hem the souerayne Kynges / Whiche that the peuple with oute nombre dreden / O thou what som̄e ener thou be that knyttest alle bondes of thyn­ges / loke on these wretches erthes / we men that ben not a [...]oull partye. but a fayrre parte of so grete a werke. we been tourmented in this see of fortune. Thou gouernour [Page] withdrawe and restreyne the rauisshing flodes. & fasten & ferme these erthes stable / with thilk bonde / with which thou gouernest heuen that is so large

Hec vbi continuo delatraui dolore. illa vultu placido nichil (que) meis questionibus mota. Cū te inquit. mestū lacrimantem (que) vidissem. ilico miserū exulem (que) cog­nosci. Sz quā id longincū esset exiliū etc

WHan I had with a continuel sorowe sobbed or bro­ken out these thinges. she with her chere pesible / and nothing a moeued with my compleyntes seyde thus / whan I sawe the qd she sorouful and weping / I wist anon that thou were a wretche and exiled / but I nyst neuer how fer thyne exile was if thy tal [...] ne hadde sh [...]wd it me. but cer [...]tes al be thou ferre from thy coūtre / thou narte not al putte out of hit. But thou hast failled of thy weye and gone amys / and if thou haste leuer for to wene that thou be put out of thy contreye. thenne hast thou putte out thy self ra­ther than ony other wight hath / for no wight but thou thy selfe ne mighte neuer haue doon̄ that to the / For if thou re­membre the of what coūtreye thou arte borne / hit nys not gouerned by emperours ne by gouernement of multitude As weren the coūtreyes of hem of Ath [...]nes / but one lorde and one kyng and that is god that is lord of thy coū ­treye. whiche that reioysseth hym of the dwellyng of his C [...]eyn [...]. and not for to putte hem in exile. Of the whi­che lorde it is a fredom̄e to be gouerned by the brydle of him & obeye to his Iustice. hast thou forgoten thilke olde lawe [Page] of thy cite / In the whiche cite it is ordeyned & establisshed that what wight hath leu foūde therin his seete or his hous than els where. He may not be exiled by no right from that place. For who so that is contened within the palais of thilke cite / ther nys noo drede that he may deserue to be exiled. But who that letteth the wille tenhabite there. he forletteth also to deserue to be a citezeyn of thilke cite. So that I seye that the face of this place ne moeueth me not so mykyl as thyn owen face. Ne I ne axe not rather the wal­les of thy librarye apparailled & wrought with yuory and with glas. than after the seete of thy thought / In whiche I putt not whilom bookes / but I putt that / that maketh bookes worthy of price or precious. that is to seye sentence of my bookes / And certainly of thy desertes bestowed in comyne good. thou haste said soth / But after the multi­tude of thy good dedes thou hast sayd fewe / And of the honeste / or of the falsenes of thinges that ben opposed ay­enst the / thou hast remembrid thinges that be knowen to all folke. And of the felonyes and fraudes of thyne ac­cusours / It semeth the haue touched it forsothe rightfully and shortly / All myghten tho same thinges better and more plenteously been couthe in the mouthe of the peuple that knoweth all this. Thou haste eke blamed gretly and compleyned of the wroongfull dede of the Senate And thou haste sorowed for my blame / And thou hast wepen for the damage of thy renommee that is appaired & thy last sorow enchaced ayen f [...]rtune / cōpleynest the guer­dons ne be not euenly yolden to the desertes of folk & in thy latter ende of thy wode muse. thou praiedest that thilk peas [Page] that gouerneth the heuen sholde gouern [...] the erthe. But for that many tribulacions of affeccions haue assayled the. & sorowe & Ire & weping to drawen the diuersly. as thou arte now feble of thought / mightier remedies ne shullen not yet touchen the / for whiche we willen somdele vsen lighter me­dicines. so that thilk passions that be waxen harde in swel­ling by ꝑturbacions flowing into thy thought. mowen waxe easy & softe to receyue the strength of a more mighty and more egre medicine by an easier touching

Cum phebi radiis graue. Cancri sidꝰ inestuat. Tum qui larga negantibus Sulcis semina credidit. Elu­sus cereris [...]ide Quernas pergat ad arbores. Num (quam) purpureū nemꝰ. Lecturus violas petas etc

WHan that the heuy sterre of the Cancre. enchaceth by the beames of phebus / that is to s [...]yne whan that ph [...] ­bus the son̄e is in the s [...]gne of the cancre. who so yeueth then̄e largely his sedes to the feldes / that refusen to receyue h [...]m lete him goon begiled of truste that he had to his corne / to ake [...]rnes of ookes / If thou wilt gad [...]e viole [...]tis / Ne g [...]o thou not to the ꝓpre wode. whan the felde chirking agr [...]seth of colde by the felnes of the winde that h [...]ght aquilone. If thou desirest or wilt vsen grapes / ne seke th [...]u not a glou­tons honde to streyne & presse the stalkes of the vyne in the first somer season / for bachus the god of wyne [...]ath rather yeu [...]n his yef [...]es to autumpne the latter ende of somer. god tokenyth & assigneth the tymes abl [...]ng hem to her ꝓpre of­fices. ne he ne suffreth not the stoūdes whiche tha [...] himself [Page] hath deuided & constreyned to ben ymedled to gider. & for thy he that forletteth certayn ordenance of doyng by outhro­wing waye / he ne hath no glad issue / or ende of his werkis

Primum igitur pateris ne me pauculis interrogacio­nibus statum tue mentis attingere at (que) temptare. vt qui modus sit tue curacionis intelligam etc

FIrste woldest thou suffre me to touche & assaye the estate of thy thought by a fewe demandes so that I may vnderstande by. the maner of thy curacion / axe me qd I at thy will that thou wolt / & I shal answere / Tho saide she thus. whether wa [...]e [...]t thou qd she that this world bee gouerned folisshe by h [...]ppes & fortunes / or els wenest thou that ther be in it on [...] gouernement of reson. B / Certes qd I / I ne trowe n [...]t in noo manere that so certayne thinges shold be moeued by fortunous fortune / but I wote well that god maker & maister is gouernour of his werk / ne was neuer yet day that might put me out of the sothnes of that sentence / P / So is it qd she for the same thing sange thou a litel here biforn̄ & bewailledest & weptest / that only men were putte out of the cure of god. For of alle other thinges. thou ne doubtest not that they nere gouerned by reason / But. och / I wondre certes greetly. why that thou arte seke. Syn that thou arte putte in so holsom̄e a senten­ce. But lete vs seken depper / I coniecte that ther lacketh I note what / But seye me this. syn that thou ne doub­test not that this world bee gouerned by God. with whiche gouernaille takest thou hede that hit is gouerned [Page] vnnethe qd I know I the sentence of thy question / so that I ne may not yet answeren to thy demaūdes. I was not deceyued qd she. that ther ne fayled somwhat by whiche the maladie of ꝑturbacion is crepte into thy thought. so as the strength of thy palais shynyng is open / but saye me this. remembrest thou what is thende of thinges. & whider thentencōn of al kynde tendeth / I haue herde told it som­tyme qd I. but drerines hath dulled my memoire / Certes qd she thou wotest wel whens al thinges be comen & ꝓce­ded / I wote wel qd I & ansuerde that god is begyn̄ing of al. And hou may this be qd she / that syn thou knowest the begyn̄yng of thinges / that thou ne knowest not what is thende of thinges. but suche ben the customes of ꝑturbacōn & this power they han. that they may moeue aman fr [...]m his place. that is to seye from the sta [...]l [...]nes & ꝑf [...]ccion of his knowing. but certes they may not al arace him / ne as [...]ene him in all / but I wold that thou wel [...]est answere to this Remembrestow that thou arte a man. Boece / why shold I not remēbren that qd I. philes [...]hie. Ma [...]stow not telle me then̄e what thing is a man̄. Arestow not me quod I whether that I be a resonable mortal beest. I wote wel and confesse that I am it. wistow neu yet that th [...]u were ony other thing qd she. No qd I / Now wele knowe I qd she other cause of thy maladie / & that right greet. thou hast le [...]t for to knowen thy self what thou arte. thurgh whiche I haue pleynly foūden the cause of thy maladie / or els thentre of recouering of thy hele. For why / For thou art confoū ­ded with for [...]eting of thy self. For thou sorowdest that thou arte e [...]iled of thy propre goodes. And for thou ne [Page] wist what is thende of thinges. For thy demest thou that felonous and wicked men be mighty and welefull. and for thou hast foryeten by whiche gouernements the world is gouerned. For thy wenest thou that these mutacions of fortune fleten without gouernour / These ben the caus [...]s not onely to maladie. but certes grete causes to deth. but I thanke the auctour & the maker of hele. that nature hath not al forleten the / I haue grete norisshing of thyn hele. & that is the soth sentence of gouernance of the worlde / that thou bileuest that the gouernyng of it is not subgette ne vnderput to the folie of these happes auenturous. but to the reson of god. and therfore doubte the nothing / for of this litil sparke thyne hete of lyf shal shyne / But for asmoche as it is not tyme yet of faster remedies / and the nature is of thoughtes thus deceyued. That as ofte as they cast aweye soth oppinions / they clothen hem in false oppinions Of the whiche fals oppinions. the derken [...]s of perturbaci­on wexeth vp / that confoūdeth the very insight. and that derkenes shall I somwhat assaye to maken thynne & wey­ke by light & meneliche remedies. so that after that the der­kenes of deceyuyng thinges be don awaye / thou may kno­we the shynyng of veraye light

Nubibus atris. Condita nullum. Fundere possunt si­dera lumē. Si mare voluens. Turbidus auster. Mi­sceat estum. Uitrea dudum. Par (que) serenis etc

THe sterres couerd with blak clowdes ne mowe yeten adoun no light if the trouble winde that hight auster [Page] tournyng and walkyng the see medleth the h [...]te. That is to seyn̄ the boyling vp from the bottome / the wawes that were whilome clere as glas / and like to the feyr bryghte dayes. withstante anone the sightes of men by the filthe & ordure that is resoluid. And the fletyng streme that reilleth doun̄ diuersly from high montaignes is arrested and resisted ofte tyme by thencoūtring of a stone that is departed & fallen from som roche. And for thy if thou wilt loken & deme soth with clere light and holden the wey with a right path / weyue thou ioye. driue fro drede. fleme thou hope / ne lete no sorowe approche / that is to seyne / lete none of these four passions [...]come the or blende the / For cloudy and derke is thilke thought. & boūde with bridels w [...]ere as these thing [...]s regnen̄

And here endeth the first boke ¶ And next foloweth the second boke

POst he [...] paulisper obticuit. at (que) vbi att [...]ncionem meam modesta taciturnitate collegit. sic exorsa est. Si penitus egritudnus tue causas habitum (que) etc

AFter this she s [...]ynte a litel. and after that she had gadered by reactempre stylnes. myne attencion. as who so myghte seyn̄ thus / After th [...]se thinges she stynte a litell. And whan she apperceyued by actempre stilnes that I was ententyff to heren her / She began to speke in this wyse [...] If I quod she haue vnderstonden and kno­wen vtterly the causes and the habyte of thy malady [...] [Page] thou languisshest and arte defeted for desire and talente of thy rather corage / She that ilke fortune onely that ys chaunged as thou feynest to the ward / hath peruerted the clerenes & thestate of thy courage. I vnderstanding the fele folde colours / and deceytes of thilk meruaillous mon­stre fortune. & how she vseth ful flatering familiarite with hem that she enforceth to begyle. so long til she confoūde with vnsuffrable sorow. hem that she hath left in dispeyr vnpour­ueyed / & if thou remembrest wel the kinde the maners & the deserte of thilke fortune. thou shalt wel knowe that as in her thou neuer ne haddest ne haste y loste ony feyre thyng / But as I trowe I shal not greetly trauaillen to done the rememb [...]en on these thinges. For thou were wonte to hur­telen and despysen her with many wordes / whan she was blaūdisshing and presente. And pur [...]udest her with sen­tences that weren drawen out of myn entre / that is to seye of myne enformacion. but no sodeyne mutacion ne betideth not without a maner chaūging of corages / & so it is befalle that thou art a litil deꝑted fro the peas of thy thought / but now is tyme that thou drinke & a taste som̄e softe & delitable thinges so that then̄e they be entred within the / It mowen make weye to strenger drynkes of medicines. Come now forth therefo [...]e the fuasion of swetenes rethorien. whyche that gooth onely the right weye / while she forsaketh not myne estatutes. And with rethorike come forth musyk a damoysel of oure hows / that singeth now lighter modes or ꝓlacions & now heuyer / what eyleth the man. what is it that hath cast the into morenyng & into weping. I trowe that thou hast seyne som̄e newe thing and vntouthe. thou [Page] wenest that fortune be chaūged ayen me. but thou wenest wrong if that thou wene alway tho bene her maners. She hath rather kepte as to the warde her ꝓpre stablenes in the chaūging of her self / right suche was she whan she flaterd the & deceyued the / with vnleefful likinges & false weleful­nes / thou hast now knowen & atteynte the doubtoꝰ or double visage of thilk blinde goddesse fortune / she that yet couerith & wympleth her to other folk hath shewde her self eueridele to the / if thou apꝓuest her & thinkest. that she is good vse her maners & pleyne the not. & if thou agrisest her false tr [...]cherye. dispyse & caste away her that pleyeth so harmeful­ly / for she that is now cause of somoch sorow to the. shold be to the cause of peas & of ioye. she hath forsaken the for sothe the whiche that neu man may be siker. that she ne shal forsaken him Glose But nathel [...]s s [...]m bookes han the texte thus / Forsothe she hath forsaken the. ne ther nys no man̄ siker / that she ne hath nought forsaken. holdest thou then thilke welefulnes precioꝰ to the that shal passen. & is psent fortune d [...]rworth to the which that nys not feithful for to dwell / & whan she goth away that she brīgeth awight in sorow. for syn she may not be with holden at a mannes will / she maketh him a wretche. whan she depteth fro him What other thing is fli [...]tyng fortune / but a manere she­wing of wretelednes that is to come / Ne it suffiseth not only to loken on thing that is psent b [...]fore the eyghen of a man. but wisedom loketh & mesureth thende of thinges. & the same chaūging from one to another. that is to seyne from adusite into ꝓsperite / maketh that the menaces of for­ [...]une ne ben not for to dreden / ne the flatering to be desired [Page] Thus atte last it behoueth the to suffren with euen wylle in pacience al that is done within the flore of fortune / that is to seye in this worlde. syn thou hast onys put thy necke vnder the yok of her. For if thou wilt writen a lawe of wendyng & of dwellyng to fortune whiche that thou hast chosen frely to ben thy lady. Arte thou not wrongfull in that / And makest fortune wroth & aspre by thyn Impa­cience / And yet thou maist not chaūgen her. if thou com­myttest & bytakest thy sailles to the winde. thou shalt bee shouen not thider as thou woldest. but thider that the wind shoueth the. If thou cast of thy sedes in the felde / thou shol­dest haue in mynde. that the yeres ben among other whyle plenteous / & otherwhile [...]reyn / Thou hast bitaken thy selfe to the gouernance of fortune / And for thy it behoueth the to be obeissant to the maners of thy lady / Enforsest thou the to aresten or withholden the swiftenes and the sweigh of her tournyng whele. O thou fole of alle mortall foles yf fortune began to dwelle stable / she cessed thenne to bee fortune

Hec cum superba verterit vices dextra Et estuētis fer­tur wore euripi Dudum tremendos proterit reges Humilem (que) victi subleuat fallax vultum ¶Non illa dura miseros audit aut curat fletus etc

WHan fortune with a proude right hande withtorned her chaungyng stoundes. she farith like the manere of the boyliug euripe. Glose. Euripe is an arme of the see that ebbeth aud floweth and somme tyme the streme ys on that one syde and som̄e tyme on that other syde. Textꝰ [Page] She crewel fortune casteth adoun kinges that whilom we­ren dredde. And she deceyuable enhaunceth vp the humble chiere of him that is discomfited. Ne she neyther hereth ne recketh of wretched wepynges And she is so hard that she laugheth and scorneth the wepyng of hem / the whiche she hath maked to wepe with her fre will / Thus she pley­eth and thus she proueth her strengthes & shewith a grete wonder to all her seruantes / if that a wight is seen wele­ful / & ouerthrowe in an houre

Uellem autem tecum pauca fortune ipsius verbis agitare. In igitur an ius postulat ammaduerte. P. Quid tu homo ream me cotidianis agis querelis etc

Certes I wolde pleten with the a felle thinges vsing the wordes of fortune, take hed [...] now thy self yf that she ayith right / O thou man wherfore makestow me gyl­tyf by thyn euerydayes pleynynges. what wroong haue I done the / what goodes haue I [...]rafte the that were thyne-Striue o [...] plete with me byfore what Iuge that thou wilte of the possession. of richesses. or of dignitees. and if thou maist shewen̄ me / that euer ony mortall man̄ hath receyued ony of the thinges to bene his in propre. then̄e wil I gran̄ ­te frely that thilke thinges were thyne / whiche that thou axest. Whan that nature broughte the forth oute of thy moder wombe / I receyued the naked and nedy of alle thinges And I nourisshed the with all my rychesses. & was redy and [...]tentif thurgh my fauour to sustene the / And that maketh the now Inpacient ayenst me. And [Page] I enuiron̄ed the with all habondan̄ce and shinyng of all goodes that ben in my right / Now it liketh me to with­drawe myn hande. thou hast had grace as he that hath vsed foreyn̄ goodes. thou hast no right to pleyne the. as though thou haddest vtterly forlorne all thy thynges. Why pley­nest thou then̄e. I haue done the no wroong. richesses / ho­noures. and suche other thinges ben of my right. My seruaūtes knowen me for her lady / They come with me / & departen whan I wende. I dar well afferme hardely that if tho thinges of whiche thou pleynest that thou hast forlorn had ben thyne. thou ne haddest not lorne hem. Shal I then be defended only to vse my right / Certes it is leeffull to the heuen to make clere dayes / And after that to ouerco­me tho same dayes with derke nightes / The yere hath eke leue to apparaille the visage of therthe. now with flowres and now with fruyte. & to confounde hem somtyme with reynes and with colde / The see hath eke his right to been somtyme calme and blaundisshing with smothe water / & somtime to be horrible with wawes and with tempestes But couetise of men that may not be staunched / shall it bynde me to be stedefast. sithen that stedfastnes is vncouthe to my maners. suche is my strengthe / And suche pleye I pleye comynly. I tourne the whirling whele with the turnyng cerkle. I am glad to chaungen the lowest to the heyghest / And the heyghest to the lowest / worth vp if thou wilt / If it so be by this lawe that thou ne holde not that I do the wrong. though thou descende a downe / whan the reson of my playe axeth it / wistow not how Cresus king of lydyens of kyng Cyrus was full sore agast a lytell [Page] beforne that this cresus was caught of cyrus & lad to th [...] fire to be brend / but that a rayne descended from heuen that rescowed him. And is it out of mynde how that paulus consul of rome / whan he had taken the king of Perciens weped pietously for the captiuyte of the self king. what other thinge bewayllen the cryengis of tragedies / but only the dedes of fortune / that with an awkeward stroke ouer torneth the royames of grete nobley. Glose / Tragedie ys to seyne a ditee of a prosperite for a tyme that endeth in wretchedness / lernedist not thou in grece whan thou were yong that in the [...]ntre or in the seler of Iupiter there been couched two tonnes / that one is full of good. that other is ful of harme. what right hast thou to pleyne / if thou hast taken more plenteously of the good side / That is to seyne of richesse & prosperite. and what eke if I be not al deꝑted fro the. what eke if my mutabilite y [...]ueth the rightful cau­se of hope [...]o haue yet better thinges. natheles dismaye the not in thy thought. And thou that art put in the comune royame / of al ne desire not to liuen by thyn own ꝓpre right

Si quantas rapidis flatibus incitus Pontus versat aren [...]s Aut quot in stelliferis edita noctibus Celo sidera fulgent Tantas fundat opes. nec retralat ma­num Pleno copia cor [...] Humanum nuseras haud ideo genus Cessat flere qu [...]relas etc

THough pl [...]nte goddesse of riches. hield a doun with a ful [...]erne / & withdraw not her hande / as many riches as the see torneth vpward sandes. whan it is meoued with [Page] rauysshing blastes. or els as many richesses as ther shy­nen bright sterres in the heuen on the sterry nightes. yet for al that mankinde nolde not cesse to wepe wretched pleyntes & al be it so that god receyueth her praiers. & yeueth hem as fool large moche golde / And apparailleth couetous folke with noble or clere honours / yet semeth hem haue goten no thing / but alway cruel rauyne deuouring all that they haue goten. shewith other gapinges / that is to saye gapen and desiren yet after mo richesses. what byrdels myghte with holden to ony certayn ende the disordeyne couetyse of men / whan euer the rather that it fleteth in large yeftes. the more brenneth in hem the luste of hauyng. Certes he that quakyng and dredeful weneth him self nedy. he ne liueth neuermore him self riche

His igitur si pro se tecum fortuna loqueretur. Quid profecto ꝯtradiceres non haberes. Aut si quid est quo querelam tuam inire tuearis. per feras oportet etc

THerfore if that fortune spake with the for her selfe in this manere. Forsothe thou ne haddest not what thou mightest answere / & if thou hast ony thing / wherwith thou maist rightfully defenden thy compleynt. It behoueth the to shewen / And I will yeuen to the space to tellen hit Boece. Certeynly qd I then̄e these ben fayir thinges and anoynted with hony swetenes of rethorike & musike / and onely while they be herd and sowne in eeres they been de­licious / But to wretches hit is a depper felyng of harme This is to seyne. that wretches felen the harmes that [Page] they suffre more greuously. than the remedies / or the delites of these wordes may gladen or conforten hem. so that whan these thynges stynten for to sowne in eeres / the sorowe that is insette greueth the thought / P. Ryght so hit dooth qd she. For these ne been yen no remedies of the maladie / but they ben a manere norisshing of thy sorowe that rebelle ay­enst thy curacion. For whan tyme is I shall moeue and aiuste suche thinges. that perten hem ful depe. But nathe­l [...]s that thou shalt not wil ne to leten thy selfe a wretche Hast thou foryeten the nombre and the manere of thy wel­fulnes / B / I holde me stylle / P. Howe that the souerayne men of the Cyte toke the in cure and kepyng / whan thou were orphelyn̄ of fader and of moder / And were chosen in affinite of Prynces of the cyte. And thou beganne ra­ther to be lief a [...]d dere than for to be a neyghbour. the whiche thing is the moost precious kynde of any propyn­quyte or allyan̄ce that maye been. whoo is it that ne sayd tho that thou ne were right welefull wyth so grete nobleye as thy faders in lawe / And with the chastite of thy wyf And with thoportunite and noblesse of thy masculyne childeren / That is to seyne thy sones. And ouer al this me liste to passen of comyne thinges. howe thou haddest in thy yongthe dignitees that were warned to olde men / but hit deliteth me nowe to comen to the singulere vphepyng of thy welefulnes. If ony fruyte of mortall thinges may han ony wight or price of welefulnes. Myghtest thou euer for [...]eten for ony charge of harme that myght b [...]falle the re­membrance of thilke daye / that thou sawe thy two sonnes maked Counceyllours / and ladd to ged [...]e from thy [Page] hous vnder so grete a sembbe of senatours / and vnder the blithnes of the peple. & whan thou sawe hem sette in the court in hye chayers of dignitees / thou rethorien or pronoūcer of kinges preysinges deseruedist glorie of witte & of eloquēce Whan thou sitting bytwene thy two sones concellours in the place that highte Cyrco & ful filledest the byding of the multitude of peple that was sprad aboute the with so large preysing & laude as men singe in victories. tho yaf thou to fortune as I trowe. that is to seye / tho feoffedest thou for­tune with glorioꝰ wordes & deceyuedest her. whan she accoy­ed & norisshed the as her owne delices. thou bare awaye of fortune a yefte / that is to seye suche guerdon that she neuer yaf to pryuy man̄ / wilt thou therfore leye a rekenyng with fortune. she hath now first twinkled vpon the with awic­ked eye. If thou considere the nombre & the manere of thy blisses & of thy sorwes. thou maist not forsaken that nart yet blisful. for if therfore wenest thy self not weleful for tho thinges that semeden ioyeful ben passed / ther nys not why thou sholdest seme thy self a wretche. for thinges that seme now sory. passen also / art thou now comen a sodeyne gheste into the shadow or tabernacle of this lyf. or trowest thou that ony stedfastnes be in mannes thinges / whan ofte a swifte houre dissolueth the same man. that is to saye whan the soule deꝑted from the body. for al thaugh that seeld is ther ony feith that fortunoꝰ thinges wold dwellen. yet natheles the last daye of a man̄es lyf is a maner deeth to fortune. & also to thilke that hath dwelt / & therfore what wenest thou dare rekke. if thou forlete her in deyeng / or ellis that she fortune forlete the in fleyng awaye

Cum polo phebus. roseis quadrigis. lucem sperge [...]e ce­perit Pallet albentes. hebetata vultus. Flammis stel­la prementibus. Cū nemꝰ flatu zephiri tepentis etc

WHan phebus the sonne begynneth to sprede his clere­nes with rosen chariottes. then̄e the sterre dymmed paleth her whit [...] chieres by the flammes of the sonne that ouercometh the sterre light. that is to seyne whan the son̄e is risen / the daye sterre wexeth pale & leseth her light for the grete lightnes of the sonne / whan the wode wexeth rody of rosen floures in the firste somer season thurgh the breth of the winde zepherus that wexeth warme / yf the cloudy wind auster blowe fellich then̄e goth away feyrnes of thornes. Ofte the see is clere and calme with moeuyng flodes / & ofte the horrible winde Aquylon mo [...]ueth boilling tempes­te [...] and ouerwhel [...]eth the see. If the fourme of this world is so selde stable / and if it torneth by so many [...]trecha [...] ­ge [...]. wilt thou thenne trusten in the tombling fortunes of men. wilt thou trowen on flitting goodes. It is [...]tayne and establisshed by lawe p [...]rdurable. that nothing that is eng [...]dred is stedfast ne stable

Tum ego. vera in (quam) commemoras O virtutū oīum nutrix. nec inficiari possum prosperitatis me [...]. velocis­simum cursum. Sed hoc est quod etc

THe [...]e sayde I thus. O norice of al vertues thou saist ful soth. Ne I may not forsake the right swift cours of my ꝓsperite. that is to seyn̄ that the ꝓsperite ne be comen [Page] to me wonder swiftly & sone / but this is a thing that gret­ly smerteth me whan it remembreth me / for in al aduersi­tees of fortune the most vnsely kynde of contrarious for­tune is to haue ben welefull. P. but that thou abiest thus qd she the tormente of thy fals oppinion / that maist thou not rightfully blamen ne aretten to thinges. as who saith that thou hast yet many habondances of thinges Textus

For al be it so that the ydle name of auenturous wele­fulnes moeueth the now. it is leefful that thou reken with me. of how many thinges thou hast yet plente. & therfore if that thilke thing that thou haddest for more precious in al thy richesse of fortune be kept to the yet by the grace of god vnwem̄yd & vndefouled. maistow then̄e pleyne rightfully vpon the myschief of fortune. sithen thou hast yet thy beste thinges / Certes yet liueth in good poynt thilke precious honour of mankynde simachus thy wyues fader. whiche that is a man̄ made of al sapience & vertue. the which man̄ thou woldest bye with the price of thyn owen lyf / he bewai­leth the wronges that men don to the / & not for him selfe / For he lyueth in sikernes of ony sentence put ayenst hym And yet lyueth thy wyff that is attempre of witte / and passing other women in clennes of chastyte. And for I wold closen shortly her bountees she is lyke her fader / I telle the that she lyueth loth of this life / And kepeth to the onely her gooste / and ys all mate and ouercome by wepyng and sorowe for desire of the. In the whiche thyng onely I mote graunten the / that thy welefulnes ys amenused. What shall I seyen eke of thy two son̄es counceyllours / Of whiche as of childeren of her eage ther [Page] shyneth the likenes of the witte of her fader & of her eld [...] fader / And sithen the souerayn cure of all mortal folke is to sauen her owne liues / yf thou knowe thy self / thy goodes make the more weleful. For yet ben there thinges dwellid to the ward that no man̄ doubteth that they ne been more derworth to the than thyne owne life / And forthy / drye th [...] teres. for yet is not euery fortune hateful to the ward Ne ouer gr [...]e tempest ne hath not yet fallen vpon the / whan th [...]ne [...] [...]leuen faste / That neyther wolle suffren the comfort of this tyme present. ne the hope of tyme comyng to passen ne to faillen. B. And I praye qd I that faste mote th [...]y holden. For the whiles that they holden. howe so euer that thinges ben / I shal wel fleten forth and escapen But thou maist wel seen how grete apparailes and araye [...] th [...]t [...]e passed awaye from me. P. I haue [...] aua [...]ced & f [...]rthe [...]d the qd she / if that thou anoye not or forthyn [...]ie not of all thy fortune / As who seith. I h [...]ue somwh [...]t conforted the. so that thou tempeste not the thu [...] with al thy fortune / sithen thou hast yet thy best thin­ges [...] But I maye not suffren thy delices that pleynest so wepyng and anguissh [...]u [...] / For that there lacketh som̄e what to thy wel [...]fulnes / for what man is he that is so sad or of grete p [...]fighte welefulnes. that [...]e ne seryueth and pleyne [...]h on som̄e halue a [...]en the qual [...]te of his estate / For why full anguisshou [...] thing is the condicion of mannes goodes / For eyther hit cometh not al to gedre to a wight or ellis it ne lasteth not perpetuell / For somme man hath gre [...]e rychesse. but he is ashamed of his vngentil lignage And som̄e man̄ is renomed of noblesse of kynrede / but [Page] he is enclosed in so grete anguisshe of nede of thinges / that hym were leuer that he were vnknowe. And somme man haboūdeth bothe in richesse and noblesse / but yet he bewaileth his chaste life / For he ne hath noo wyff. And som̄e man̄ is and selily maried. but he hath no childeren and nou­risshith his richesses to strange folke. And som̄e man̄ is gladed with childeren but he wepeth full sore for the tres­paas of his sone or of his doughter / And for this there ne accordeth no wight lightly to the condicion of his fortune For alweye to euery man̄ there is in somwhat. that vnas­sayed. he ne wote nought / or ellis he dredeth that he hath assayed. and adde this also that euery welful man hath a full delicate feling / so that but if alle thinges befallen at his owne wille. he is Inpaci [...]nte / or is not vsed to haue none aduersite / anone he is throwen adoune for euery litil thing / And full litil thinges b [...]n th [...]o that withdrawen the som̄e of the perfeccion of blisfulnesse [...]ro hem that been moost fortunat / howe many men trowest thou wold de­men hem self almoost in heuene. If they mighte atteyne to the leste partye of the remenan̄t of thy fortune. this same place that thou clepest exyle / I [...] countreye to hem that enha­biten here. And for thy noo thyng wretched but whan thou wenest hit / As who seith / thou thy selfe ne no wight els nys a wretche / But whan he weneth him self he is a wretche by repntacion of his corage. & ayeinward al fortu­ne is blisful to a man by the agreabilite or by the egalite of him that suffreth it / what man is that that is so welful that nold chaūge his estate / whan he hath lost his paciēce / the swetnes of man̄es welfulnes is spreint with many bitternessis [Page] The whiche welefulnes al though it seme swete & ioyefull to him that vsith it / yet may it not been with holden that ne goth awaye whan it will. then̄e is well sene how wret­ched is the blesfulnes of mortall thinges that neyther hit dureeth ꝑpetuel with hem that euery fortune receyuen agre­ably & egally. Ne it ne deliteth not in al to hem that been anguisshous. O ye mortal folke what seke ye then blisful­nes out of your self. whiche is put in your self. errour & folye confoūdeth you / I shal shewe the shortly the point of souerayn blisfulnes. Is ther ony thing to the more precy­ous than thy lyff / thou wilt answere nay. Then̄e if it so be that thou art mighty ouer thy self / that is t [...] seyn. by transquillite of thy sowle. then̄e h [...]st thou thing in thy po­wer that thou noldest neuer lesen / ne fortune may not by­neme it the / And that thou maist knowe that blisfulnes ne may not stande in thinges that ben f [...]rtunous & tempo­rell / Now vnderstonde & gader it to geder thus / if blisful­nes be the souerayn good of nature that liueth by reason Ne thilke thing is not souerayn good that may be taken away in ony wise / for more worthy thing is & more dyg­ne thilke thing that may not be taken away / Then̄e she­w [...]t [...] it wele that the vnstablenes of fortune may not at­te [...]ne to receyue [...]rey blisfulnes / And yet more ouer what man that this tombling welefunles ledeth / eyther he wote that it is chaungeable or els he wote it not / And if he wote hit not / what blisful fortune may ther been in the bly [...]d [...]nes of Ignorance. And if he wote that it is chaū ­geable. he mo [...]e all waye ben a dradd that he ne lese that thing that he ne doubteth not but that he maye lesen hit [Page] As who seith / he mote alwaye be agaste lest he lese that he woot wel he may lese it. For whiche the continuell drede that he hath ne suffreth him not to be weleful. or els if he lese it. he weneth to be despysed and forleten / Certes eke that is a ful l [...]til good that is born̄ with euen herte whan it is lost / That is to seyne that men do nomore force of the loste than of the hauyng / And for as moche as thou thy self art he to whom it hath be shewed and preuyd by full many demonstracions / as I wote well that the soules of men ne mowen not deyen in no wyse / And eke syn hit is clere and certayn that fortunouse welefulnes endeth by the deth of the body. It may not be doubted that if deth may take away blisfulnes / that all the kinde of mortal thyng ne descendeth into wretchednes by the ende of deth / & sithen we knowe wel that many a man hath sought the fruyt of blisfulnes not only with suffring of deth. but eke wyth [...]uffring of peynes and tourmentes. How might thenne this present life make men blisful. sin that thilk selfe lyf ended. it ne maketh folke no wretches

Quisquis volet perhennem. Cautus ponere sedē. Sta­bilis (que) nec sonori. Sterni flatibus euri. Et fluctibus mi­nantem. Curat spernere pontum. Montis cacumen alti. Bibulas vitat arenas etc

WHat maner of folk waar & stable that wille foūden hem a perdurable sette / & ne wille not be caste doun with the lowde blastis of the winde Eurus. And wille despyse the see menacyng wyth flodes / Lete him eschewe [Page] to bylde on the toppe of the montaigne. or in the moist san­des. for if the felle winde auster tormenteth the toppe of the montaignes with al her strengthes. & the lose sandes refu­sen to bere the heuy weight / & for thy if thou wolt fleen the perilloꝰ auenture / that is to seye of the worlde. haue mynde certeynly to sette thyn hous of a mery seete in a lowe stone For al though the winde troublyng the see thonder wyth ouerthrowing / thou that art put in quiete & welefull by strength of thy palais shalt lede a clere age scornyng the wodenes & the Ires of the ayer

Sed quoniam racionū iam in te mearum fomenta descendunt. paulo validioribus vtendum puto. Age enim. Si iam caduca a [...] momentaria fortune etc

BVt for asmoche as the noresshinges of my resen des­cenden now into the / I trowe it were tyme to vsen a litel strenger medicines / now vnderstande here / al were it so that the yeftes of fortune ne were not brut [...]l ne transi­torie [...] what is therin hem that may be thyne in ony tyme or els that it ne is foule. if that it be loked & considered per­fightly. richesse [...] ben they precious / by the nature of them self or els by the nature of the. what i [...] most worth of ri­ches / is it not gold or might of money assembled. certes that gold & that money shyneth & yeueth better renōm [...] to hem that dispenden it. than to thilk folke that mokeren it / for Auarice maketh alway mokerers to been hated. & [...]argesse maketh folke clere of renom̄ [...]e. for sith that [...]uche thinges as bene transferred from one man to an other [Page] ne may not dwelle with noman / certes then̄e is that mo­ney pcioꝰ whan it is translated into other folk. & stynten to be had by vsage of large yeuyng of him that hath yeuen it / and also if al the money that is oneral in al the worlde were gadred toward one man. It shuld make al other men̄ to be nedy as of that / and certes a wys al hole / that is to seyn̄ withoute a menusing fulfilleth to gyder the hee­ring of moche folke. And whan they been a passed. nedes they maken hem poure that forgone tho richesses. O streyte and nedy clepe I these richesses / syn that many folke ne maye not han it all. Ne al ne may it not comen̄ to one man̄ withoute pouerte of all other folke. and the shining of gemmes that I calle precious stones. draweth hit not the eyen of folk to hemward. that is to seyne for the beau­te / But certes if there were beaute or boūte in the shinyng of stones thilke clerenes is of tho stones hem self & not of men̄ / For whiche I wondre greetly that men meruailen of suche thinges / for why what thing is it that if it want [...] moeuyng & Ioynture of soule & body that by right. might semen a fair creature to him that hath a soule of renōme / For albe it so that gemmes drawen to hem self a litel of the leste beaute of the world thurgh thentente of her crea­tour / & thurgh the distinccion of him self / yet for asmoche as they ben put vnder your excellence / they ne han not deser­ued by no way. that ye shold meruaillen̄ on hem / & the be­aute of feldes deliteth it not moche vnto you / B / why shold it not deliten vs / syn that it is a right fayr porcion̄ of the right fair werk that is to seye of this worlde / & right so be we gladed somtyme of the face of the see whan hit is clere [Page] And also meruaillen we on the heuen / & on the sterres & on the sonne & on the mone / P / Apperteyneth qd she ony of thilke thinges to the. why darste thou glorifien the in ony suche thinges / Arte thou distingued & enbelesshed by the springyng floures of the first somer season / or swelleth thy plente in fruytes of somer / why arte thou rauisshed wyth ydle Ioyes / why enbracest thou straūge goodes as they we­re thyne. fortune ne shal neuer maken that suche thinges ben that nature of thinges hath maked foreyn fro the. soth hit is that withouten doubte the fruytes of the erthe owen to be to the nourisshing of beestes. And if thou wilt ful­fille thy nede. after it suffiseth to nature. then̄e is it non [...] nede that thou seke after the supfluyte of fortune. for with ful fewe thinges & with ful litel thinges nature halt her p [...]yd / And if thou wilt achoken the fulfillyng with su [...]p [...]rfluytees / Certeyn thinges that thou wilt thriste or po­uren into nature shollen be vnioyefull to the or els anoyoꝰ Wenest the [...] eke that hit be a feyre thyng to shyne with diuerce clothing / Of whiche clothing if th [...] beaulte bee agreable to loken vpon. I wol me [...]aillen [...]n the nature of the mat [...]er of thilke cl [...]th [...]s. or els on the werkemen that [...]ro [...]ght hem [...] but also along route of meyne maketh that a blissfull man̄. the whiche seruauntes if they be vicious of condicions it is a grete charge & destruccion̄ to the hous and a grete anoye to the lorde him self / & if they be goode men̄ how shal strange & foreyn goodnes be put in the nombre of thy richesses / so that by al these forsaid thinges it is cler­ly shewd that neu one of thilk thinges that thou acomp­tedest for thy goodes na [...] not thy good / in whiche thinges [Page] yf ther be no beaute to be desired. why shuldest thou be sory to lese them / or why shuldest thou reioysen the to holde hem For if they ben fair of their owne kinde. what apperteyneth that to the. for also wel sholden they haue ben feyre by them self thaugh they were deꝑted from al thy richesses / for why fair ne precious were they not for that they comen among thy richesses. but for they semed fair & precious. therefore thou haddest leuer rekene hem amonges thy richesses. but what desirest thou of fortune with so grete a [...]ure / I trowe thou seke to dryue awaye nede with habondance of thinges but certes it torneth you al into the contrary. for why cer­tes it nedeth of ful many helpinges to kepen the diuersite of pcioꝰ hostilementis. & soth it is that of many thinges they haue nede / than many thinges han. & ayenward of litil thing nedeth him that mesureth his fille. after the nede of kinde & not after thoutrage of couetise / It is so then̄e that ye men haue no ꝓpre good sette in you / for suche ye moten seke outward in foreyn and subge [...]t thinges. so is then̄e the condicion of thinges torned vp so doun. That a man that is a dyuyne beest by merite of his reason / thynketh that him self nys neyther fayr ne noble. but if it be thurgh possession of hostilimentis that ne han no sowles / And cer­tes alle other thinges been apayd of her owne beaultees But ye men that bee semblable to God by youre resona­ble thoughte / desiren to apparaillen youre excellente kynde of the lowest thynges. Ne ye vnderstanden not how grete a wronge is done to youre creatoure / For he wold that mankynde were moost worthy and noble of ony other er­thely thyng. And ye thresten doun youre dignytees [Page] bynethe the lowest thinges. for if that al the good of euery thyng be more precious than is that ilke thing whos the good is. syn ye demen that the foulest thinges been youre goodes / Then̄e submytten ye & putten youre selfe vnder the foulest thinges by youre estymacion. And certes this be­tideth not withoute youre deserte. For certes suche is the condicion of all mankynde. That only what it hath kno­wyng of it selfe / thenne passeth it in noblesse al other thin­ges. And whan it forleteth the knowyng of it self / then is it broughte bynethe alle beestis / For why alle other li­uyng beestis han of kynde to knowe not him selfe. But whan̄ men leten to knowe hem selfe it cometh hem of vice But howe brode sheweth the errour and the folye of yow men̄. that wenen that ony thing maye been apparailled with straunge apparaillementes / but forsothe that maye not be doon. For if a wighte shyneth with thinges that be putt to him / As thus / If thilke thinges shynen with whiche a man̄ is apparailled / Certes thilke thinges be comended and praysed. with whiche he is apparailled. But natheles the thing that is couerd and wrapped vnder that dwellith in his filthe / and I denye that thilk thing be good that annoyeth him that hath it / Gabbe I of this. thou wilt saye nay / Certes richesses han anoyed full ofte hem that han hadd tho richesses. Syn that enery wicked shrewe is for his wickedne [...] the more gredy af­ter other folkes richesses where so euer hit be in ony place be hit gold or preciouse stones / And weneth him only moost worthy that hath hem / Thou thenne that so besy dre­dest now the swerd and the spere. If thou haddest entred [Page] in the path of this lyf. a voyde wayfaring man then̄e wol­dest thou singe bifore the theef. As who seith a poure man that berith no richesse on him by the waye may boldly sin­ge biforn̄ theuis / for he hath nought wherof to be robbed. O precious & right clere is the blisfulnes of mortall ry­chesses. then̄e whan thou hast geten it then̄e hast thou loste thy sikernes

Felix nimium prior etas Contenta fidelibus aruis Nec inerci perdita luxu ¶Felici que sera solebat Leuina soluere gaude Non bachica munera norat Liquido confundere melle ¶Nec lucida vellera serū &c

BLysfull was the firste eage of men / they helden hem payd with the metes that the triew feldes broughten forth. They ne destroyed ne deceyued hem self with oul­trage / They weren wonte lightly to slaken her honger at euen with acornes of okes / They ne couthe not medle the yefte of bachus to the clere hony / that is to seye. they couth make no pyment or clarrey. They ne couthe not medle the brighte flyees of the coūtrey of siriens with the venym of tyrie / that is to seyne they couthe not dyen whyte flieses of sirien contrey with the blode of a maner shelfish that men finden in Tyrie. with whiche blood men dyen purpure. They slepten holsom̄e slepes on the gras & dronken of the rennyng waters. and leyen vnder shadowes of the high pyne trees / ne no geste or straūger ne carf yet the high see with oores or with shippes / Ne they ne had seyn yet noo newe strondes to leden marchandyse into diuerce coūtrees [Page] tho were the cruel clarions ful huyst and ful still / ne blode shad by egre hate ne had not dyed yet armures. for wher to or whiche wedenes of enemyes wold firste meouen ar­mes whan they sawe cruel woūdes. ne no medes ben of blode shad / I wolde that oure tymes shold tornen ayen to the olde maners / but thanguisshous loue of hauyng bren̄eth in folke more cruelly than the fire of the montayne of Ethna that aye bren̄eth. allas what was he that first dalf vp the gobettes or the weightes of gold couerd vnder the erthe / & the precious stones that wolden han be hid / he dalf vp pre­cious parils / that is to seyn̄ that he that hem first vp dalf. he dalf vp precious perile. for why. for the preciousnes of suche thing hath many a man ben in peryle

Quid autem de dignitatibus potencia (que) disseram qs wo vere dignitatis ac pot [...]statis insc [...] c [...]lo ersequatis Que si ī īprobiss [...]num quē (que) ceciderint. que incendia flammis ethne [...]ructantibus q dilu [...]um etc

B [...]t what shal I saye of dignitees & powers / the whi­che ye men that neyther knowen verry dignite ne ve­ry power areisen hem as high as the heuen the whiche dig­nitees & powers. if they comen to any [...]i [...]kid man. they don as grete domages & destruccions as doth the flambe of the mōtayne ethna. whan the flambe waloweth vp. ne no delu­uy [...] ne doth so cruel harmes / certes ye remēbre wel as I trow that thilk dignite that men clepe the imperie of coūceilours the whiche whilom was begyn̄yng of fredom / your elders coueyted to haue don away that dignite for the pryde of the [Page] counceyllours. And right for that same youre elders by fore that tyme hadde done awaye oute of the Cyte of rome the kynges name. that is to seyn they nolde haue no lenger no kyng / But now if so be that dignitees & powers been youen to good men̄. the whiche thing is full seeld what agreable thinges is there in tho dignitees and powers but only the goodnes of folke that vsen hem / And therfore is it thus that honour cometh not to vertu bicausi of dig­nite / And a yenward honour cometh to dignite for cause of vertue. But whiche is thilke your derworth power that is so clere & so requirable / O ye erthly beestis considere ye not ouer whiche thing that hit semeth that ye han power / Now if thou sawe a mowse among other mise that chalan­ged to him selfward right and power ouer al other myse How grete scorne woldest thou haue of it Glosa So fa­reth it by men / the body hath power ouer the body / for if thou loke wel vpon the body of a wight what thing shalt thou finde more freel. than is mankinde / the whiche men ful oft be slayne by byting of flies / or ellis with entring or cre­pyng wormes into the pryuitees of man̄es body. but where shall men finden ony man that may excercen or haūten ony right vpon an other man but onely on his body. or ellis vpon thinges that been lower than the body. the whiche I clepe fortunous possessions. Maist thou haue euer ony com­maundement ouer a free courage / Mayste thou remeeue fro thestate of his propre reste a thoughte that is cliuyng to geder in him selfe by stedfaste reson. As whylome a Tyraunt wened to confounde a free man̄ of courayge & he wende to constreyne him by tourmentes to maken [Page] him discoueren and accusen folke that wisten of a coniu­racion. whiche I clepe a confedrecie that was caste ayenst this tyraūte / but this freman bote of his owne tonge and caste hit in the vysage of thilke wood tyraūt. So that the tourmentes that this wood tyraūt wende to han made matiere of cruelte / this wyse man̄ mad it matiere of ver­tue. But what thyng is hit that a man̄ maye doo to an other man̄ / that he ne may receyuen the same thing of other folke in him selfe. or thus / what maye a man done to folk That folke ne may done to him the same / I haue herde told of Busirides that was wonte to sleen his gestes. that her­burghden in his house / And he was slayne hym selfe by Hercules that was his geste. regusus hadd taken in ba­taille many men of Aufryke and caste hem into fetteres But sone after he must yeuen his [...]andes to bee boūde with the cheynes of hem that he hadd whilome ouercomen. we­nest thou thenne that he bee myghty that hath power to done a thyng / that other ne maye doon in hym that [...]e hath in other / And yet more ouer if so were that these digny­tees or powers hadden ony propre or nature [...]l goodne [...] in hem selfe / neuer nolde they comen to shrewes / for contrari­ous thinges ne ben wonte to been yfelaushipped to gedirs Nature refuseth that contrarious thinges been Ioyned. And so as I am in certayne that wicked folke han dig­nytees ofte tyme / Then̄e sheweth hit well that dygnite­es and powers ne been not good of her owne kynde / syn that they suffren hem selfe to cleuen or Ioynen hem selfe to shrewes / and certayne the same thyng may I most dig­nelich iuggen & seyn̄ of all the yeftes of fortune that most [Page] plenteously comen̄ to shrewes / of whiche yeftes I trowe it ought be considered that noman doubted that he is strong in whom he seeth strength. & in whom swiftines is. soth it is that he is swift. Also musique maketh musiciens. and phisike maketh phisiciens / and rethorike rethoriens. for why the nature of euery thing maketh his ꝓperte. ne it is not entremedled with theffecte of contrarioꝰ thinges. but certes richesse may not restreyne auarice vnstaūched / Ne power ne maketh not aman mighty ouer him self / whiche that vicious lustes holden distreyned with chaynes that ne mowen not be vnboūden / & dignitees that be yeuen to shrewde folke / not only ne maketh hem not digne. but she­weth rather al openly that they ben vnworthy & indigne / & it is thus / for certes ye han ioye to clepe thinges with fals names that beren hem in al the coūtray / the whiche names ben ful ofte reꝓued by theffecte of the same thinges. so that these ilke richesses ne oughten not by right to be cleped ri­chesses. ne suche power ne ought not to be cleped power. ne suche dignite ne ought not to be cleped dignite. & at last I may conclude the same thing of al the yeftes of fortune In whiche ther nys nothing to be desired ne that hath in him self naturel boūte / as it is wel y sene. for neyther they ioynen hem / not alway to good men. ne maken hem alle way good to whom they ben ioyned

Nouimꝰ ( (quam)tas)quantas dederit ruinas Urbe flāmata patribus (que) cesis Fratre qui quondam ferꝰ interēpto Matris effuso maduit cruore Corpꝰ et visu gelidum perrās Ora nō tīxit lacmis. (sed) esse. Cēsor extīcti potuit decoris

[Page]WE haue wel knowen̄ howe many grete harmes and destructions were done by themperour Nero. He lete brennen the cite of Rome / and made sle the senatours / & he cruel whilome slough his broder. And he was maad moist with the blood of his moder. That is to seye he lete sleen & slitten the wombe of his moder to seen where he was conceyued. And he loked on euery halue of her deed cold body. Ne no tere wette his face / but he was so hard herted that he might be domes man̄ or iuge of her dede beaute / and natheles yet gouerned this Nero by ceptre / alle the people that phebus may seen comyng fro his vttrest arising. till he hidde his beames vnder the wawes. That is to seyne he gouerned all the peoples by ceptre Imperiall that the son̄e gooth aboute fro E [...]st to west. And eke this Nero go­uerned by ceptre al the peoples that be vnder the colde ster­res that highten the s [...]ptemtriones / That is to seyn he go­uerned all the peoples that be vnder the party of North / & eke Nero gouerned all the peoples that the vyolent wynde Nothus skorklith and baketh the brennyng sandes by his drye heete / that is to seye alle the peoples in the south / But yet ne might not all his power tourne the wodenes of this wicked Nero. Allas it is a greuous fortune. as ofte as a wicked swerd is ioyned to cruel venym. that is to seye venenous cruelte to lordshippe

Tum ego. Scis in (quam). ipsa minimum nobis ambici­onem mortalium rerum fuisse dominatam. (sed) mat [...]ri­am gerendis rebus optauimus. quo ne virtus tacita consenesceret. Et illa. At (que) hic vnum est etc

[Page]THen̄e saide I thus thou wotest wel thy self that the couetyse of mortal thinges ne hadden neuer lordship in me / but I haue wel desired matier of thinges to done As who seith I desire to haue mater of gouernan̄ces ouer comynaltees / For vertue still shold not elden / that ys to seyne. that leste er that he wexe old. his vertue that laye now still ne shold not perisshe vnexcerciced in gouernan­ce of comune. For whiche men mighte speken or wryten of his good gouernement / P. Forsoth quod she and that ys a thing that may drawen to gouernance suche her­tes as ben worthy and noble of her nature. But natheles it [...]ay not drawen or tellen [...]uche hertes. as ben y brought to the full perfeccion of vertue / That is to seyne couetyse of glorie and renom̄ee to haue wel administred the com­mune thinges or done good desertes to prouffit of the com­mune. For see now & considere howe litil and howe wyde of all price is thilke glorie / certeyne thing is as thou hast lerned by the demonstracion of Astronomye / that all the enuyronnyng of the erthe aboute. ne halt but the reson of a pricke / at the regarde of the gretenes of heuene / that ys to seyne / that if there were maked comparison of the erthe to the gretnes of heuene. men wold Iuggen in all that ne helde ne space. Of the whyche litell region of this worlde The fourthe parte of the erthe is inhabited wyth lyuyng beestis that we knowen. As thou haste thy self y lerned by Ptholome that proueth hit. And yf thou haddest with­drawen and abated in the thoughte fro thilke fourthe partye / as moche space as the see and the mareys contey­nen & ouergoon / As moche space as the region of drought [Page] ouerstreccheth that is to seyne sandes and desertes. [...]ell vnnethe shuld there dwellen a right streyte place to the habitacion of men. And ye that be enuyroned and closed with the leste prick of thilke prick / thinken ye manyfesten or publisshen your renōme. and done your name for to ben borne forth / But your glorie that is so narowe & so strayte throngen into so litil boūdes / howe mykel conteyneth it in larges and in grete doyng / And also sette thereto that many a nacion diuerce of tonge and of maners and eke of reson of her liuyng been inhabited in the clo [...]s of thilk habitacle. the whiche nacions what for difficulte [...]f weyes And what for dyuers [...]te of langage. And what for de­faulte of vnusage / and entrecomenyng of march [...]ndyse Not onely the names of singuler men̄ ne maye not stre [...] ­chen / but eke the fame of [...]ytees ma [...] not s [...]re [...]c [...]n. Atte laste certes in the tyme of Marcus Tul [...]ius as h [...]m s [...]lfe write in his b [...]oke that the renōme of the comune of rome ne had not yet passed ne clomben ouer the m [...]ntaine that highte cancasus [...] And yet was rome well waxen and redoubted of the parthes and eke of other folk enhabiting aboute / Seest thou not thenne howe s [...]reyte and how com­press [...]d is thilke glori [...] that ye trauaillen aboute to she­wen and to multepl [...]e. Maye thenne the glorie of a singu­lere romayne strecchen thider as the fame of the name of Rome / maye not climben ne passen [...] And eke seest thou not that the maneres of diuerce folke and [...]er lawes been dis [...]ordan̄t amonges hem selfe. So that thilke thing that somme men Iugge worthie of preysing other folke iug­gen that that is worthy of tourmente. And hereof cometh [Page] hit that thaugh a man̄ deliteth hym in preys [...]ng of hys renōmee / he maye not in no wise bringen forth ne spreden his name to many maner peples / And there fore euery man ought to bee apayd of his glorie that is publisshed amonge his owne neyghbours / And thilke noble renom­mee shall bee restreyned with in the boundes of tho maner folke / But howe many a man̄ that was full noble in his tyme hath the wretches and nedy foryetyng of writ [...]rs putt oute of mynde and done awaye / Al be hit soo that certes thilke thinges p [...]ouffiten litil / The whiche thinges and writinges longe & derke elde do awaye bothe hem and eke her auctours / but ye men semen to geten you a perdu­rabilite whan ye thinken in tyme comyng youre fame shal lasten. But nathe les if thou wilt make comparison to the endeles spaces of eternyte. what thing haste thou. by whi­che thou maist reioyssen the of l [...]ng lasting of thy name For if there were made comparison of thabyding of a mo­mente to ten thousand wynter / For as moche as bothe tho spaces been ended / For yet hath the momente som̄e por­cion of hit all thaugh hit bee litill. But natheles thilk selfe nombre of yeres. & eke as many yeres as therto may bee multeplied. Ne maye not certes bee comparisoned to the perdurabilite that is endeles. For of thinges whiche that haue ende maye bee maked comparison / But of thin­ges whiche that been withouten end to thynges that ha­ue ende maye bee maked noo compairison̄ / And for thy ys hit that all thaugh renommee as of longe tyme as euer the luste to thynken were though to the regard of the Eternyte that is vnstancheable and Infynyte [Page] it ne sholde not only seme litil / but pleynlich right nought But ye semen certes ye can do nothing a right. but if it be for the audience of the peuple and for idle rumours. & ye forsaken the grete worthynes of conscience and of ver­tue. Aud ye seken youre guerdones of the smale wordes of stran̄ge folke / haue now here and vnderstande in the lightnes of suche pride and veyne glorie how a man skor­ned festynaly and merily [...]uche vanytee. whilome there was a man̄ that had assayed with striuyng wordes an other man̄ / the whiche not for vsage of vere [...]y vertue / but for proude vayn glorie had taken vpon him falsely the na­me of philosophre / this rather man that Ispack of thought he wolde assaye whether he thilk were a philosophre or noo / that is to seye / if that he wold haue suffrid lightly in paciēce the wronges that were don̄ to him. this [...]eyned philosophre toke paciēce a litil while / & whan he had receyued wordes of outrage / he as in striuyng ayen & reioys [...]ng him s [...]lf said at last thus. vnderstandestow not that I am a philosophre That other man̄ ansuerde agayn bitingly & said / I hadd wel vnderstande it if thou haddest holden thy tonge still / but what is hit to this noble worthy man / for certes of suche [...]olk speke I that seken glorie with vertue. what is it qd she what atteyneth fame to suche folk whan the body is re­solued by the deth acte laste for if so be that men deyen in al / that i [...] to seye body & sowle. the whiche thing our reson d [...]fendeth vs to bileuen. then̄e is there no gl [...]rie in no wyse For what sholde t [...]ilke glorie bee. whan he of whem thilke glorie i [...] sayd to be nys right nought in no wise. & yf the sowle whiche that hath in hi [...] self science of good werkes [Page] vnbounden from the pryson of therthe / wendeth frely to the heuene dispiseth it not thenne all erthely ocupacion. and beyng in heuene reioyseth that it is exempt from alle erth­ly thinges / As who saith thenne rekkith the soule neuer of no glorie of renōme of this worlde

Quicū (que) solam mente precipiti petit. Summū (que) cre­dit gloriam. Late patentes etheris cernat plagas. Ar­tum (que) frarū sitū. Breuē replere nō valentis ābitū &c

WHo so that with ouerthrowing thought only seketh glorie of fame. & weneth that it be souerayne good Late him loken vpon the brode shewyng coūtrees of the he­uen & vpon the strait sete of this erthe. And he shall bee ashamed of then [...]ce of his name. that maye not fulfille the litil compas of th [...]rth [...]. O what coueyten proude folk to lyften vp her neckes in ydle in the dedely yok of this world For al thaugh that renōme ysprad passing to forne peo­ples goth by dyuerce tonges / And al thaugh grete hou­ses of kynredes shynen by clere titles of honours. yet na­theles d [...]eth despiseth all highe glorie of fame. & deeth wrappeth to giders the highe hedes & the lowe / and ma [...]h egal & euen the hiest with the lowest / where wonen nowe the bones of trewe fabricius. what is now brutus / or stierne Caton̄ the thynne fame yet lasting of her ydle names is marked with a fewe lettres / but al thaugh that wee haue knowen the ferr wordes of the fame of hem. it is not yeuen to knowe hem that ben dede & consūpte. liggeth then̄e still al vtterly vnknowable. ne fame ne maketh you not knowe / & [Page] yf ye wene to lyue the lenger for winde of your mortal na­me / whan o cruell daye shal rauisshe you. then̄e is the seconde dwellyng to you close. the first deth he clepeth here the de­parting of the body. & the second deeth here the stynting of the renom̄e of fame.

Sed ne me inexorabile contra fortunam gerere bellū put [...]s. P. Est aliquādo cum de hominibus fallax illa in [...]hil bene mereatur. Tum scilicet cum se aperit etc

BVt for as moche as thou shalt not wenen quod she that I bere an vntretabte bataile ayenst fortune. yet somtyme it befalleth that she deceyuable deserueth to haue right goode thank of men. & that is whan she her self openeth & whan she discouerith her fronte & sheweth her maners / per­auenture / yet vnderstand [...]st thou not that I shal saye. It is a wond [...]e that I desire to tell. & therfore vn̄ethe may I vn­pliten my sentence with wo [...]des / for I deme that contrarioꝰ f [...]r [...]ne ꝓfiteth more to men than fortune d [...]bonair / for all way whan fortune s [...]meth debonair. then̄e she lyeth falsely by [...]tyng the. [...]epe of welfulnes / but forsoche contrariouse fortune is all way sothfaste / whan she sheweth her self vn­stable thurgh her changyng. Thamyable fortune deceyueth folke / The contrary fortune techeth. Thamyable fortune blyndeth with the beaute of her false goodes the hertes of folkes that vsen hem. The contrarye fortune vnbyndeth hem wyth by the knowyng of freell welefulnes / Thami­able fortune maistow seen all way wyndy & flowing and euer mysknowyng of her selfe. The contrarye fortune [Page] is attempre and restreyned & wyse thurgh excercise of her aduersite. Atte laste amyable fortune with her flate­ringis draweth myswandryng men fro the souerayn good The contrarious fortune ledeth ofte folke ayen to sothfast goodes and haleth hem ageyne with an hoke / wenest th [...]u thenne that thou oughtest to leten thys a litil thing. that this aspre & horrible fortune hath discouerd to the though­tes of thy true frendes. For why this ilke fortune hath departed and vncouerd to the bothe the certayne visages and the doubtous vysages of thy felawes / whan she depar­ted awaye from the. she toke away her frendes / and l [...]fte the thy frendes / Now whan thou were riche and weleful / as the semed with how mykil woldest thou haue boughte the full knowyng of this. That is to seyne the knowing of thy verey frendes. Now pleyne the not thenne of riches lorn Syth thou hast foūde the most precioꝰ kinde of richesse / that is to seyne thy verey frendes

Quod mundus stabili fide. Concordes variat vices Quod pugnancia semina Fedus perpetuum tenent Quod phebus roseū diē. Curru prouehit aureo etc

THat the worlde with stable faith varieth accordable chaūginges. that the contrarioꝰ qualitees of elemētes holden among hem self alian̄ce ꝑdurable / that phebꝰ the son̄e with his golden chariet bringeth forth the rosy day. that the mone hath comandemēt ou the nightes / whiche nightes espe­rꝰ the euen sterre hath / that the see gredy to flowen cous [...]rei­neth with a certeyn end his flodes / so that it is not leefful to [Page] stre [...]che his brode termys or boundes vpon therthe / Al this ordenan̄ce of thinges is bounden with loue that gouerneth erthe and see / And also hath com̄aūdement to the heuene And if this loue slaked the bridels / al thinges that now louen hem to geders wolden make bataile contynuelly / and striuen to fordone the facōn of this worlde / the whiche they now leden in accordable feyth. by fayre mouynges. This lo­ue holdeth to geder peple Ioyned with an hooly bonde / and knitteth sacrament of mariaige of chaste loues. And lo­ue endeth lawes to true felaws. O weleful were mankinde yf thilke loue that gouerneth the heuene / gouerned youre couraigis

Explicit liber secundus Incipit liber tercius

IAm cantum illa fimerat. cum me audiēdi aui­dum stupentem (que) adhuc arrectis auribus. car­minis mulcedo defixerat. Ita (que) paulo post. O inquam summum lassorū solamen ammorū. quā tu me etc

BY this she had ended her songe / whan the swetenes of her dite had thurgh per [...]d me that was desiroꝰ of [...]e [...]kenyng / And I astonyed had yet streyght myne eres. that is to seyn̄ to herkene the bet [...]e what she sholde seye So that a litell here after I sayd thus / O thou that arte souerayn̄ comfort of corages anguisshous. so thou haste re­moūted & norisshed me with the weight of thy sentences & with delite of singyng / so that I trowe not that I be vn­peregall to the strokes of fortune. As who saith I darre [Page] wel now suffren all thassautes of fortune and wel defen­de me from her. And tho remedies whiche that thou seydest here biforn̄ that weren right sharp / not only that I am not agrisen of hem now / but I desirous of hering axe greetly to heren the remedies. Then̄e sayde she thus. that feled I wel qd she whan that thou ententyf and stille. rauisshedest my wordes. And I abode til thou haddest suche habite of thy thought as thou hast now / or ellis til that I my selfe had maked it to the same habite / whiche that is a more vereye thing. And certes the remenant of thinges that been yet to seye ben suche / that first whan men taste hem. they ben by­ting. but whan they ben receyued within a wight / thenne ben they swete. but for thou seyste that thou arte so desirous to herkene hem / with how grete brennyng woldest thou glo­wen̄. if thou wistist whider I wold leden̄ the / whider is that qd I. To thilke verey [...]lisfulnes qd she of whiche thyne herte dremeth / but for asmoche as thy sight is occupyed & distourbed of erthely thinges. thou maiste not yet sene thilk self welfulnes / do qd I & shewe me what thilk ve­ry welfulnes is I pray the withouten taryeng. that wol I gladly done qd she for cause of the. but I woll first mar­ken by wordes / And I wille enforcen̄ me to enformen̄ the thilk false cause of blisfulnes that thou more knowest / so that whan thou hast beholden thilke false goodes. & torned thyne eyen so to that other side thou may knowen the clere­nes of very blisfulnes

Qui serere ingenium volet agrum. Liberat arua priꝰ fructib. Falce rubos silicem (que) resecat etc

[Page]WHo so wole sowe a felde plenteous / late him first de­liueren it of thornes. And kerue a sondre with his hoke the busshes and the ferne. so that the corne comen heuy of [...]eres and of greynes / hony is the more swete if mouthes haue firste tasted sauours that be wicke. The sterres shy­nen more agreably / whan the wynde Nothus lecteth hys plungy blastes. And after that lucifer the day sterce hath chaced awaye the derke nyghte. the daye the fayrer ledeth the roosen hors of the sonne. And right so thou beholding firste the false goodes begynne to withdrawe thy necke fro therthely affeccions. And afterwardes the veraye goo­des shullen entren into thy corages

Tum defixo paululum. visu & velud in augustam sue mentis sedem recepta si [...] cepit. P. Omnis mortalium cura quos multipliciū studiorū. labor exercet etc

THe fastened she a lit [...]l the sight of her eyen. And she withdrewe her right as it were into the streyte sete of her thought. And biganne to speke right thus. Alle the a [...]res qd she of mortall folke whiche that trauai­len̄ h [...]m in many maner studies goon certes by diuce wey­ [...]s. But natheles they enforcen hem all to comen onely to thende of blisfulnes / And blisfulnes is suche a good That who so hath goten it. he ne maye ouer that thynge more desire. And this thing forsothe is so souerayn good that hit conteyneth in him selfe all manere of goodes. to the whiche good if there failled ony thing. it mighte not been souerayn good / For then̄e were there som̄e good oure [Page] of this souerayn good that mighte be desired. Nowe is it clere and certeyn that blisfulnes is a parfayte estate by the congregacion of alle goodes. the whiche blisfulnes as I haue sayd all mortal folke enforcen hem to gete by diuerce weyes. For why the couetise of euery good is naturelly planted in the hertes of men / But the myswandryng er­rour / mysledeth hem into false goodes / Of the whiche men som of hem wenen that souerayn good be to lyuen̄ without nede of ony thing. And other men demen that souerayn good be right digne of reuerence / and enforcen hem to be reuerencid among her neyghbours by the honours that they haue goten. And som̄e folke there been that holden that right hye power be souerayne good / and enforcen hem for to reygnen̄. or els to Ioynen hem to hem that reygnen. & it semeth to other folke that noblesse of renomme be the souerayn good. and hasten hem to geten̄ hem glorious na­me by the artes of warre or of peas. and many folke me­suren and gessen that souerayne good be Ioye & gladnes And wenen that it be right blisful thing to plungen in voluptuous delites. And there bene som folke that entre­changen the causes and the endes of these forsayd goodes And they that desiren richesses to haue power and delites or ellis they desire power for to haue moneye / or for cause of renomme. In these thinges & suche other is tourned alle thentencion of desiringes and werkes of men as thus. Noblesse & fauour of peuple whiche that yeueth to al men̄ as it semeth hem a maner clerenes of renōme. & wyff & children̄ that men desiren̄ for cause of delite and merines. But forsothe frendes ne shollen̄ not be rekenyd among the [Page] goodes of fortune. but of vertue. For it is a ful holy ma­ner thing / Al these other thinges forsoth be taken for cau­se of power or ellis for cause of delite. Certes now am I re­dy to referren the goodes of the body to th [...]se forsaide thyn­ges abouen / For it semeth that strengthe & gretenes of bo­dy yeuen power & worthines. and that beaute & swiftenes yeu [...]n glorie & renōme. and helth of body semeth to yeuen delite / In all these thinges hit semeth onely that blisful­nes is desired / For why thilke thing that euery man̄ de­s [...]reth most ouer all thinges. he demeth that it be souerayn good. But I haue diffined that blisfulnes is souerayne good / For whiche euery wight demeth that thilke astate that he des [...]reth ouer al thinges. that it be blisfulnes. now hast th [...]u th [...]n̄e b [...]n̄ th [...] eyen almost al the pourpos [...]d forme of the [...] of mankinde / That is to s [...]ne ri­chesse. h [...]n [...]ur [...]. po [...]r gl [...]rie and de [...]es. the whiche del [...]te only consi [...]r [...]d h [...] [...]picurius. & iugg [...]d & establissh [...]d that delite is the s [...]u [...]ra [...]ne good / For as moche as alle other thinges as him th [...]ught b [...]reft away Ioye & myrth from the h [...]rte but I retorne again to the studies of men̄ of whi­che men the corage. [...]lway reherceth & seketh the souerain good Al [...]e it so that it [...]e with a d [...]kid m [...]m [...]ne. but he note by which path [...] right as a drōkenman̄ note nought by whi­ch [...] path [...]e may retorne home to his [...]ꝰ. s [...]meth it then that fol [...] forleyen & erren to [...]nforcen hem to haue nede of nothing Certes ther is none other thing that may somoch ꝑformen blisf [...]lnes, [...]s an estate plente [...]ꝰ of al goodes that ne hath nede of none ot [...] thing. but that is suffisan̄t of him selfe vnto him self. & folien suche folk then̄e that wenen that [Page] thilke thing that is right good / that it is eke right wor­thy of honour & of reuerence / Certes nay. for that thing nys neyther fowle ne worthy to be despised. that wel nygh al thentencion of mortal folke trauaillen to gete it. and power eke ought not to be rekened amonges goodes. what ellis / For it nys not to wene that thilke thing that is moost worthy of alle thinges be feble & without strongth And clerenes of renōme. ought that to ben despised. cer­tes there maye noman̄ forsake / that al thing that is right exellent and noble that it ne semeth be right clere and re­nomed. For certes it nedeth not to seye that blisfulnes be anguisshous ne drery ne subget to greuances ne sorwes Syn that in right litil thinges folke seken to haue and to vsen that may deliten hem / Certes these ben the thinges that men willen and desiren to geten / and for this cause desi­ren they richesses. dignitees regnes. glorie / and delytes / For there by wenen they to han suffisan̄ce / honour / power re­nōme / and gladnes. Thenne is it good that men seken̄ thus by so many diuerce studies / In whiche desire it may not lightlich be shewd / how grete is the strength of nature For howe so men haue dyuerce sentences and discordyn­ges / Algates men accorden all in leuyng thende of good

Quantas rerū flectit habenas Natura potens quibus in­mensum Legibus orbem pro [...]da seruet. Stringat (que) ligans irresoluto Singula nexu. placet arguto (Fi­delib)Fidelibuslentis promere cantu Quāuis peni pulchra le­ones. Uincula gestent manibus (que) datas Captent escas metuāt crucē Soliti nbera ferre magistrū etc

[Page]IT liketh me to shewe by subtil songe with slacke & delitable sowne of strenges / howe that nature mighti­ly enclineth & flit [...]ith the gouernement of thinges / and by suche lawes she pourueyable kepeth the grete worlde. & how she bynding restreyneth al thingis by a bonde that maye not be vnboūden / al be it so that the lion̄s of the coūtreye of Pene beren the fair cheynes & taken metes of the handes of folke that yeuen it h [...]m. and dreden her sturdy maistres of whiche they be wonte [...]o suffre betinges / if that her horrible mowthes ben bledde. that is to seyn̄ of beestes deuoured. her corage of tyme passed that hath ben idle & rested repaireth ag [...]in. & they roren greuously & remembren on her nature / and slaken̄ her neckis from her cheynes vnboūde / and her maistre first to torn̄ with blody teth. assayeth the woode wratth [...]s of h [...]m. that is to seyne they freten her maister / & the Iang [...]ling birde that singith on the hye braūches / that is to seyne in the wode. & after is enclosed in a sireit cage Al thaugh the pleyng besinesse of men̄. yeue hem honyed drinkes & la [...]ge metes with swete studie / yet nat [...]les yf thilke byrde skipping out of her strait cage. seeth the agre­ble shadowes of the woodes [...] she defouleth with her fete her mete yshadde / & seketh on mornyng only the wode & twy­terith desiring the wode with her swet [...] v [...]yse / the yerd of a tre that is haled a doune by myghty s [...]rength boweth redi­ly the croppe a doun. but if that the hand that is bente lete it goon ageyne / Anone the croppe loketh vpright to the he­uene. The sonne Phebus that falleth at euene in the wes­tren̄ wawes retourneth aye [...]e eftesones his carte by a pre­uy path there as hit is wonte arise / alle thynges s [...]ken [Page] ayen to her propre cours and all thinges reioysen on her retournyng agayn to her nature / ne none ordenan̄ce is be­taken to thinges / but that hath Ioyned the ende to the be­gynnyng. & hath made the cours of hit selfe stable that it change not fro his propre kinde

Uos quo (que) o terrena animalia. tenui licet imagine. vestrū tamen principum sompniatis. Uerū (que) illum beatitudi [...]is finem. licet minime perspicaci etc

CErtes also ye men that ben erthely bestes dremen al way your begynnyng al thaugh it be with a thyn̄e ymagynacion. And by a maner thought al be it not cle­rely ne perfightly. ye loken from a ferre to thilk veray fyn of blisfulnes. And therfore naturel entencion ledeth yow to thilke very good. But many maner errours mystour­neth you therfro. Considere now if that be thilke thinges [...] by whiche a man̄ weneth to gete him blisfulnes / yf that he may comen to thilke ende that he weneth to come to by na­ture. for if that money honours or these other forseyde thin­ges bringen to men suche a thing that no good ne faylle them ne semeth to faylle. certes then̄e wole I graūte that they be makid blisful by thinges that they haue goten / but if so be that thilk thinges ne mowen not ꝑforme that they biheten̄ / & that ther be defante of many goodes / shewith hit not then clerely that false beaute of blisfulnes is knowen & atteynt in thilk thinges / first & forward thou thy self that haddest habondan̄ce of riches not long agoon. I axe the that in thabondan̄ce of al thilk riches thou were neu anguisshoꝰ [Page] or sory in thy corage of ony wronge or greuance that betid­de the in ony side. B. Certes quod I it ne remembrith me not / that [...]uer I was so free of my thought. that I ne was alway in anguissh of somwhat. P. and wa [...] that not qd she / for that the lackid somwhat that thou noldest not han lacked / or els thou haddest that. thou noldest han had. B right so it is qd I / P / then̄e desirest thou psence of that one & thabsence of that other. B. I graūte wel qd I. P Forsoth qd she then̄e nedeth there somwhat that euery man desireth / B / ye ther nedeth qd I. P / Certes qd she and he that hath lack or nede of ought. nys not in euery wey [...]uf­fisa [...] ̄t to him self. B. No qd I / P. & thou qd she in alle the pl [...]nte of thy richesse haddest thilk lack of suffisan̄ce / B what els qd I. p / then̄e may not riches maken that a man̄ nys nedy ne that he be sufficient to him self. & yet that was it that they be [...]ten as it s [...]med. & eke certes I trowe that this be gretly to considere that money hath not in his own̄ kinde that it ne may ben bynomen of hem that haue it mau­gre hem [...] b. I knowe it wel qd I [...] p. why shuldest thou not beknowen it qd she whan euery day the strenger folk byne­men it from the febler maugre hem / fro whens come ellis al these foreyn complayntes or quarels or pledinges / but for that men axen their money that hath b [...]n binomen hem by strengthe or by g [...]le. And alwaye maugre hem. b / right so is it qd I p. t [...]en̄e hath a man nede qd she to seken him fo­reyn helpe [...] by whiche he may defende his money. b / who may sa [...]e nay qd I. p. certes qd she. and him neded none helpe if he ne had no money that he might lese / b. that is doubte­les qd I. P [...] then̄e is this thing torned into the contrary [Page] qd she / For riches that men wenen shold maken suffisan̄ ­ce. they maken a man̄ rather haue nede of foreyn helpe / whi­che is the maner or the gyse qd she that riches may dryuen a waye nede / riche folke maye they neyther haue honger ne thurst / These riche men may fele no colde on their lymmes in wynter / But thou wilt answere that ryche men haue ynough wherwith they maye staūchen̄ her henger & slaken their thurst & done away colde. In this wise may nede ben̄ comforted by richesse. but certes nede ne may not al vtterly be don awey. for if this nede that alwey is gaping & gredy be fulfilled with riches & ony other thing yet dwelleth then a nede that might be fulfilled / I holde me stil & tel not how that litil thing suffiseth to nature. But certes to auarice suffiseth not ynough of no thing / for syn that richesse ne may not all don̄ awey nede / & they maken their owne nede What may it then̄e be that ye wenen that richesses mowen̄ yeuen you suffisan̄ce

Quāuis fluēte diues auri gurgite Non expleturas cogat auarus opes Honoret (que) bacis colla rubri lito­ris Rura (que) centeno scindat opinia boue etc

AL were it so that a noble couetous man̄ had a ry­uer or a gutter fleting al of golde / yet sholde it neuer stan̄che his couetise. & al thaugh he had his necke chargid with precioꝰ stones of the rede see. & thaugh he doo ere hys feldes plenteous with an honderd oxen. neu ne shall his byting besiues forleetten him while he liueth. ne the light ri­chesses ne shal not beren him companye whan he is dede

Sed dignitates honorabilem reuerendum (que) cui ꝓue­nerint reddunt. Nam uis ea inest magistratibus. vt vtencium (mentib)mentibus virtutes inserant. vicia pellāt etc

BVt dignytees to whome they be comen. maken they him honourable and reuerent / han they not so grete strengthe that they maye putten vertu in hertes of folkes that vsen the lordship of hem. or els may they done awaye the vices / Certes they be not wonte to done awaye wicked­nes / but they be wonte rather to shewe wickednes. & th [...]rof cometh it that I haue right grete disdayn̄ that dignitees ben yeuen to wicked m [...]n̄. For whiche thing Catullus clep [...]d a consul of rome that hight Nomyus / postome of bo [...]he. as who s [...]ith he cleped him a congregacion of vices in his breste. as a postome is full of corrupcion / al were Nomyus sette in a chayer of dignite / Se [...]stow not th [...]nne h [...]w grete vilonyes dignit [...]es don [...] to wicked men certes vnworthynes of wicked men̄ sholde be the l [...]ss [...] s [...]n if they nere renomed of none honours. Certes then thy s [...]lfe ne mightest not bee broughte with as many p [...]rils as thou mightest suffre that thou woldes [...] bere the magistrate with d [...]rate [...] that is to seyn̄ that for peril that might befalle the b [...] offence of the Kyng theodryk. thou noldest not b [...] fe­lawe in gouernance with decorate whan thou sawe t [...]t he had wicked corage of a lichorouse shrewe & of an accusour Ne I maye not for suche honours iuggen hem worthy of reuerence that I deme & holde vnworthy to haue thilk same honours. now if thou sawe aman̄ that were fulfild of wise­dom / certe [...] thou ne mightest not deme that he were vnworthy [Page] to the honour or els to the wisedom of whiche he is fulfilled B. no qd I / P / certes qd she dignitees apꝑteynen ꝓper­ly to vertue / & vertue transporteth dignite anon to thilke man̄ to whiche she her self is conioyned. & for asmoche as honours of peple ne may not make folk digne of honour It is wel sene clerly that they ne haue no ꝓpre beaulte of dignite. & yet men oughten take more hede in this. for if a wighte be in somoche the more outcast that he is dispised of most folk / so as dignite ne may not maken shrewes wor­thy of no reuerence / then̄e maketh dignite shrewes / rather despised than preysed. the whiche shrewes dignite sheweth to moche folk / & forsoth not vnpunisshed / that is to s [...]yne that shrewes reuengen hem ayeinward vpon dignitee [...] / for they yelden ayen to dignitees as grete guerdons / whan they bispotten & defoulen dignitees with her vilonye. and for asmoche as thou now knowest that thilk verey reuerēce ne may not comen by these shadowy transitory dignitees / vn­derstonde now thus. that if a man̄ had vsed & had many maner dignitees of consules and were perauenture comen among stran̄ge nacions / shulde thilk honour maken hym worshipful & redoubted of stran̄ge folk / certes if that ho­nour of peple were a naturel yefte to dignitees it ne might neuer cessen nowher among no maner folk to done his of­fice. right as a fire in euery co [...]trey ne stinteth not to en­chaufen & maken hote / But for as moche as for to ben ho­nourable or reuerent ne cometh not to folke of her propre strengthe of nature but only of the false opinion of folke. That is to seyne that wenen that dignitees maken folke digne of honours / Anone therefore whan they comen there [Page] as folke ne knowen not thilke dignitees her honours va­nisshen aweye & that anone / But that is among strange folke maistow seyn̄. ne amonges hem there they were borne ne dured not thilke dignitees alwey. Certes the dignite of the prouostrye of rome was whilom a grete power / now is it nothing but an idle name. & the rente of the senato­rie a greet charge / And if a wight whilome had thoffice to taken hede to the vitailles of the peple. as of corne and of other thinges he was holden amonges hem grete. But what thing is more now outcast that thilke prouostrie. as I haue seyde a litil here biforn̄ that thilke thing that hath no propre beaute of him self receyueth somtyme price and shynyng / & somtyme leseth it by thoppinion of vsauntes. Now if that dignitees than ne mowe not make folk dig­ne of reuerence. & if that dignitees wexe fowle of her will by the filthe of shrewes. And if dignytees lesen her shy­nyng by chaūgyng of tymes / & if they wexen fowle by es­timacion of peple / what is hit that they han in h [...]m selfe of beaute that ought to be d [...]sired / As who seyth [...] none / then̄e ne m [...]wen th [...]y yeuen no beaute of dignite to none other

Quam [...]is se tirio superbus ostro Comeret & niueis lapillis Inuisus tamē (omnib)omnibus vigebat Luxurie ne­ro semētis Sed quōdā (dab)dabus inprobꝰ uerēdis (Patrib)Patribus indecores curules Quis igitur putas beatos Quos miseri tribuunt honores etc

AL be hit so that the proud Nero with all his wode luxurie do kembe him and apparaylle him with fayr [Page] purpures of Tyre & with white perles / algates yet thereof he hateful [...]o alle folke / yet thi [...] wicked Nero hadde grete lordship. & yaf whilome to the reuerent senatours the vn­lordshipfull seetes of dignitees. vnlordshipfull seetes he clepeth here for that nero that was so wicked yaf tho dig­nitees / who wolde then̄e resonably wenen th [...]t blisfulnesse were in [...]uche honours. as ben yeuen by vicioꝰ sherewes

An vero regna regum (que) familiaritas. efficere poten­tem valent. Quidin. Quando eorum felicitas perpe­tuo durat. Atqui plena est exemplorū vetustas etc

BVt regnes & familiaritees of kinges may they make aman̄ to ben mighty. b. how els. whan her blisfulnes dureth perpetuelly / but certes the olde age of tyme pass [...]d & eke of psent tyme now is ful of ensamples / how that kin­ges ben chaūged into wretchednes out of her welfulnes / O a noble thing & a clere thing is power that ys not [...]oūde mighty to kepe it self / & if that power of royames be auctour & maker of blisfulnes. if thilk power lacketh on any side Amenusith it not thilk blisfulnes and bringeth in wret­chednesse. But yet al bee hit so that the royaumes of mā ­kinde stretchen brode / yet mote there nede been moche folke ouer whiche that euery kinge ne hath noo lordship ne com­mandement / And certes vpon thilke side that power fail­leth whiche that maketh folke blisfull. right on that sa­me side. none power entreth vndernethe that maketh hem wretches / In this manere thenne mote Kynges han mo­re porcion of wretchednesse thanne of welefulnesse. A [Page] tyran̄t that was kyng of sesille that had assayed the pa­ril of his astate shewed by simylitude the dredes of royau­mes by gastnes of a swerde that henge ouer the heede of his famylier / what thing is then̄e this power that may not don̄ away the bytinges of besines. ne eschewe the prickis of drede And certes yet wolden they liuen in sikernesse. but they may not / And yet they glorifien hem in her power / holdest thou then̄e that thilk man̄ be mighty that thou seest that he wold done that he may not done. And holdestow hym a myghty man̄ that hath enuironned his sides with men̄ of armes or with sergeantes. And drede more hem that he makith agast than they drede him / And that is put in the [...]andes of his seruaūtes for he sholde seme myghty / But of famyliers or seruan̄tes of kynges. why shold I telle the ony. syn that I my self haue shewed the that royames hem s [...]lfe b [...]ne full of f [...]blenes / The whiche famyliers c [...]rtes the royall power of kinges in hole estate and in estate abated throweth a doune / Nero constreyned Seneke hys famy­lier and his maister to chesen [...]n what d [...]th [...]e wold dyen Autonyns com̄aunded that knighte [...] slowen wyth her swerdes papynian his famylier / whiche papynyan̄ hadde ben long tyme mighty amonges hem of the court. And yet certes they wolden bothe haue renounced theire power. Of whiche two Seneke enforced hem to yeuen to Nero al his richesses. and also to haue goon̄ in to solitary exyle. But whan the grete wighte. That is to seye of lordes power or of fortune draweth hem that shall falle / neyther of h [...]m myghte done that he wold. That thynge ys then̄e thilk power that though men hane hyt / yet th [...]y bene agaste [Page] And whan thou woldest haue it thou nart not siker. and if thou woldest forleten it thou maist not eschewen it / but whether suche men be frendes at nede as ben coūceilled by fortune / and not by vertue / Certes suche folke as weleful fortune maketh frendes / contrarious fortune maketh hem ennemyes. & what pestilence is more mighty for to anoye a wight than a famylier enemye

Qui se volet esse potentem Animos domet ille feroces Nec victa libidin [...] colla Fedis submittat habenis Et enim licet indica longe Tellꝰ tua iura cremiscat Et serinat vltima thile Tum atras pellere curas Miseras (que) fugare querelas Non posse potencia non

WHo so wole be mighty he mote daūten his cruel cora­ges ne putte not his necke vnder the fowle regnes of lecherie / For al be it so that thy lordship stre [...]che so ferre that the coūtre of ynde quaketh at thy commandementes or at thy lawes / And the yle in the see that highte Tyle be thral to the / yet if thou maist not putten away thy fou­le desires. and driuen oute from the wretched compleyn­tes. certes it nys no power that thou hast

Gloria vero quam fallax sepe (quam) turpis est. vnde non iniuria tragicus exclamat. cros. azosa. myplocia etc Plures enim magnum sepe nomen falsis vulgi opinionibus abstulere. Quo quid turpius excogitari po­test. Nam qui falso predicantur. suis ipsi necesse est. laudibus erubescant etc

[Page]BVt gloire how fowle & deceyuable is it ofte. for whi­che thing not vnskilfully a tragidien. that is to seyn̄. a maker of ditees that highten tragedies cryde and sayde. O glorie glorie qd he thou nart no thing ellis to thousandes of folkes but a greet sweller of eres. for many han had ful grete renom̄e by the false opinion of the peuple & what thing may be thought fowler than suche preysinges And if that folk han geten hem thanke or preysing by her desertes / what thing hath thilk price eched or encreced to the consciēce of wise folk that mesuren her good not by ru­mour of the peple. but by the sothfastnes of consciēce. & if it seme a fayr thing a man̄ to han enc [...]ced & sprad his na­me / then̄e foloweth it that it is demed to be a foule thyng if it ne be sprad & encreaced. but as I sayd a litil here byforn̄ / that syn ther mote be nedes many folk to which [...] the renōme of a man ne may not comen. it befalleth [...] that thou w [...]nest be glorioꝰ & renomed semeth in the nexte partye of the [...]rthes to be without glorie & renōme / & certes [...]mong these thinges I trowe not that the price & the grace of the peple is eyther worthye to be remembrid ne cometh of wise Iugement / ne i [...] f [...]rme p [...]rdurably. But now of this name of gentilnesse [...] what man is he / that he ne may wel seen howe vayne and how flicting a thing it is / for if the name of gentilnesse be referred to renomme & clere­nes of lignage / then̄e is g [...]ntil name but a foreyne thing That is to s [...]yen to hem that glorifien hem of their lignage For it semeth that gentilnesse be a maner preysing that cometh of the desertes of aūcetries. & if preysing maketh gentilnesse / then moten they nedes be gentil that ben praysed [Page] For whiche thing it foloweth that if thou ne haue no gen­tilesse of thy self that is to seyne price that cometh of thy deserte foreyne gentilnes ne maketh the not gentil / But certes if ther be ony good in gentilnes. I trowe it be a lon­ly this. that it semeth that a maner necessite be Imposed to gentilmen̄ for that they ne sholde not outragen or forle­uen fro the vertues of her noble kinrede

Omne hominum genꝰ in terris simili surgit ab ortu Unꝰ enī rerū pater est. vnus cuncta ministrat etc

ALle the lignage of men̄ that ben in erthe ben of sem­blable birthe. one allone is fader of thinges / one alo­ne minystrith all thinges / he yaf to the sonne his beames He yaf to the mone her hornes / he yaf the men to the erthe [...] He yaf the st [...]rres to the heuene / he enclosith with mēbris the soules that comen̄ from his hye sete / Then̄e comen alle mortal folk of noble seed. why noysen ye or bosten of your elders / For if ye loke your begynnyng & god youre fader Auctor. and youre maker th [...]nne is there none forlyued wight but if he norisshe his corage vnto vices. And for­lete his propre birthe

Quid autem de corporis voluptatibus loquar [...]quarum appetencia quidē pleua est anxietatis etc

BVt what shal I saye of delites of the body of which delites the desiringes ben ful anguisshous / & the ful­fillinges of hem been ful of penan̄ce. how grete sekenes and how grete sorwes vnsuffrable right as a maner fruyte of wickednes / but thilke del [...]tes ben they wonte to bryngen [Page] to the bodies of folke that vsen̄ hem / Of whiche delites I note what Ioye may bene had of theire moeuyng. but this wote I wel that who so euer wole remēbre him of his lux­uries / he shal wel vnderstande / that the yssues of delites be soroufull and sory. And if thilke delites mowen make folke blisful. then̄e by the same cause / beestes bene cleped blisful of whiche beestis all thentencion̄ hasteth to fulfille her bodily Iolyte. And the gladnes of wyff & childeren̄ were an honest thing / But it hath bene sayd that hyt is ouermoche ayenst kynde that children̄ haue bene founden̄ tor­mentours to her faders. I note how many / of whiche chyl­dren̄ howe biting is euery condicion̄ it nedeth not to tellen it the that haste er this tyme assayed it. and art yet now anguisshous. In this tyme approue I the sentence of my disciple Euridippis that sayd that he that hath no children̄ is welefull by fortune

Habet hoc voluptas oīs Stumulis agit fruent [...]s Apium (que) par volan [...]um Ubi grata mella fudit Fugit et nimis t [...]naci Ferit icta corda morsu

EVery delite hath this [...] that it anguissheth hem with prickes that vsen̄ it / It resembleth to these fleynge flyes that we clepen bees / that after that he hath shedde his agreable honyes. he fleeth away & stingeth the hertes of hem that bene smyten̄ with by [...]ng ouer long holden

Nichil igitur dubium est. quin be ad beatitudinē vi [...] qdam de [...]a sunt. Nec perducere quem (quam) eo valeāt. &c

[Page]HOw is it no doubte then̄e these weyes ne ben a ma­ner of mysledinges to blisfulnes / ne that they ne mowen̄ not leden folke thider as they biheten to leden hem. But with how grete harmes these forseyde weyes ben enla­ced / I shall shewe the shortly / For why if thou enforcest the tassemble moneye. thou muste byreuen him his moneye that hath it. And if thou wilt shynen in dignytees thou muste bisechen and supplyen hem that yeuen tho dignitees And if thou coueytest by honour to gone bifore other folk Thou shalt defoule thy self thurgh humblesse of axyng / if thou desirest power / thou shalt by awaytes of thy subge [...]tis anoyously be caste vnder by many perils. Axestow gloyre thou shalt ben so distraite by aspre thinges that thou shalt forgone sikernes. And if thou woldest laden thy lyfe in delites. euery wight shall dispysen̄ the and forleten the as thou that arte thrall to thing that is righte foule & bru­tell / that is to seyne seruaūt to thy body / Now is it then̄e well y sene howe litil & how brutell possession. they coueyten that putten̄ the goodes of the body aboue her owne reson / for maistow surmoūten these olifaūtes in gretnes or in weight of body / or maistow be strenger than the bull. Maistow be swifter than the tigre. Beholde the spaces and the stable­nes and the swift cours of heuene / And stynte somtime to wondren on foule thinges. the whiche heuene certes nys not rather for these thinges to be wondred vpon than for the resone by whiche it is gouerned / But the shynyng of thy forme. That is to seyne the beaulte of thy body / howe swiftly passing is it and howe transitorie. Certes it is more flittyng than the mutabilite of floures of the somer [Page] season. For so as aristotle tellith that if that men had ey­en of a beest that highte l [...]nx. so that the loking of folke might percen thurgh the thinges that withstonden it / who so loked thenne in thentrailles of the body of Altibiadis that was ful feyre in the superficie without / it shuld seme right foule / And for thy if thou semest faire. thy nature ne maketh not that / but the deceyuan̄ce of feblenes of the eyen that loken. But preyse the goodes of the body asmoch as euer the liste so that thou knowe algates that what so it be. that is to seyn̄ of the goodes of the body. whiche that thou wondrest vpon. may ben destroyed or els dissolued by the heete of a feuer of thre dayes / Of whiche forsaide thinges I may reducen this shortly in a [...]umme that these worldly goodes whiche that ne mowen yeuen that they behighten ne ben not parfit by the congregacion of all goodes. that they ne ben not weye [...] ne pat [...]es that bringen men to blisfulnes ne maken men to be blisful

Heu (quam) miseros tramite deuios. Abducit ignorancia Non aurum in viridi. queritis arbore. Nec vi [...]e gem­mas carpitis. No [...] altis laqueos montibus abditis Ut pisce ditetis dapes etc

ALlas whiche [...]o [...]e and whiche ign [...]ran̄ce misledeth wandringe wretches fro the path of verey good / cer­tes ye seken no gold in grene trees / Ne ye ne gaderen not preciouse stones in vynes / Ne ye ne hyden not your gyn̄es in hye montaignes to cacchen fysshe. of the whiche ye maye maken ryche feestes / And yf yow lyke to hunte to roes [Page] ye ne goo not to the fordes of the water that hight Tyrene And ouer this men knowe wel the krikes & the cauernes of the see yhid in the flodes. & knowen eke whiche water is moost plenteous of white perles. & knowen whiche water haboūdeth most of rede purpure / that is to seyn̄ of a maner shelfissh with whiche men dyen purpure. & knowen which strondes haboūden most of tendre fisshes or of sharpe fisshes that hight echynnes. But folk suffren hem self to bene so blynd that hem ne recchen not to knowe where thilke goo­des bene y hyd whiche that they coueyten. but plungen hem in erthe & seken there thilk good that surmounteth the he­uen̄ that bereth the sterres / what prayer may I maken that be digne to the nyce thoughtes of men̄. But I praye that they coueyten richesse & honours / so that what they haue go­ten tho false goodes with grete trauaille that ther by they mowen knowen the verey goodes

Hactenus mendacis formā felicitatis ostendisse suf­ficerit. q si perspicaciter intuearis. ordo est deinceps que sit vera demonstrare At (que) video ing. Nec opibus sufficienciam. nec regnis potenciam etc

IT suffisith that I haue shewed hiderto the forme of fals welefulnes so that if thou loke clerely the ordre of myn̄ entencōn requireth from hensforth to shewe the ve­ray welefulnes / B / forsoth qd I. I see wel now that suf­fisan̄ce may not come by richesse / ne power by royames / ne re­uerēces by dignites / ne gentilnes by gloire / ne ioye by deli­tes. P. & hast thou wel knowe qd she the causes why it is so [Page] B. Certes me thinketh qd I that I see hem right as hit were thurgh a litil clifte / but me were leuer knowen hem more openly of the. P. Certes qd she the reson is al redy For thilk thing that simply is one thing withoute any deuision / the errour & folie of mankinde deuideth & deꝑteth it & mysledeth it & transporteth from veray & ꝑfyt good to goodes that be fals & vnparfyt / But sey me this wenest thou that he that hath nede of power that him ne lacketh no thing. B nay qd I / P / Certes qd she thou seist a righte For if so be that there is a thing that in ony partie be fie­bler of power / Certes as in that it mote nedes be nedy of fo­reyn helpe. b / right so it is qd I. p / suffisance & power ben of one kinde / b. so semeth qd I. p. and demest thou qd she that a thing that is of this manere / that is to s [...]ye suffi­san̄t and mighty. ought ben despised / or [...]llis that hit bee right digne of reuerence aboue all thinges. B / certes qd I it is no d [...]u [...]te that it is right worthy to be reuerenced P / l [...]te vs [...]den qd she reuerence to suffisance & to power so that we demen that these thre thinges be al one thyng B / [...]erte [...] qd I late v [...] adden it if we wil graūte the soth P / what demes [...] thou qd she / thenne i [...] that a derke thing and not noble. that is suffisan̄t reuerent / and myghty o [...] els that it i [...] right noble and right cl [...]re by celeb [...]et [...]f of renōme. Considere thenne qd she as we han graunt [...] h [...]re biforn̄ that he that ne hath no nede of no thing and is most mighty & most digne of honour / if him nedeth ony c [...]er [...]nes of renōme [...] whiche clerenes he might not graūten of him selfe [...] so for lacke of thilke clerenes he myghte se­men the fiebler [...]n ony side or the more outecaste Glese [Page] That is to saye nay / For who so that is suffisan̄t. mighty and reuerent / clerenes of renōme foloweth of the forsaide thinges / he hath it all redy of his [...]uffisan̄ce. B. I maye not quod I denye it but I mote graunten as hit is that this thing be right celebrable by clerenes of renōme and noblesse. P. Thenne foloweth qd she that we adden clere­nes of renomme to the forsaid thynges so that there bee amongis hem no difference. Boece / This is a consequence quod I / Philosophia This thing then̄e quod she that ne hath nede of no foreyn̄ thing and that maye do all thing by his strengthis / and that is noble and honourable. is it not a mery thing & Ioyeful. B. but whens quod I that ony sorowe myghte come to this thing that is suche / certes I may not thinke / Philosophia Thenne mote we graūten quod she that this thyng be full of gladnes. yf the fore sayde thing [...]s be sothe / And certes also mote we graunten that suffisan̄ce. power noblesse. reuerence and gladnes bee onely dyuerce by names but her substan̄ce hath no dyuer­site / B. Hit mote nedely be so qd I / Philosophia Thilke thing then̄e qd she that is one & s [...]mple in his nature / the wickednes of men deꝑteth it & deuideth it / & whan they en­forcen hem to geten partye of a thing that ne hath no parte They ne geten hem neyther thilk partye that nys none / ne the thing all hole that they desire not. Boece. In whiche manere quod I. Philosophia Thilke man̄ quod she that secheth richesse to sleen pouerte. he ne trauailleth him not for to gete power / for he hath leuer be derk & vyle. & eke with­draweth from him self many naturel delites for he nolde lese the money that he hath assemblid / but certes in this maner [Page] he ne geteth him noo suffisance that power forletteth and that molest pricketh / And that filth maketh outcaste. & that derkenes hydeth. And certes he that desireth onely power wasteth and scatterith richesse & despiseth delice [...] / & [...]ke honour that is without power. ne he ne preyseth glorie nothing. Certes this seest thou well that many thinges faillen to him. For he hath som tyme defaute of many ne­cessitees and many anguisshes biten him. And he maye not done tho defautes away. he forle [...]teth [...]o be myghty and that is the thing that he moost desireth. And right thus maye I make semblable reasons of honour and of glorie & of delices / for so euery of these forsaide thinges is the same that these other thinges ben / that is to seyne al one thyng Who so that [...]uer seketh to geten that one of these / and not that other. he ne geteth not that he desireth. B / what saistow then̄e if that a man̄ coueyte to g [...]ten al these thinges to gi­der P. Certes qd she I weld saye th [...]t he w [...]ld geten him souerayn blisfulnes. but that shal he not finde in th [...]o thinges that I haue shewd that mowe not yeu [...]n that they be [...]eten. B. Certes no qd I. P [...] Then̄e qd she ne shullen men not by no weye seken blisfulnes in suche thinges as men w [...]nen that they ne mowen gyuen but one thing sin­glerly of al that men seken. b [...] I gra [...]e wel qd I ne none sother thing may be sayd. P. now hastow then̄e qd she the forme and the cause of false welfulnes. Now torne and flitte agayn to thy thoughte [...] for there shal thou seen anon thilk verey blisfulnes that I haue behight the / B / Certes quod I h [...]t is c [...]ere and open though hit were to a blind man̄. And that shewdist thou me a litel here biforn̄ whan [Page] thou enforcedest the to shewe me the causes of the false wele­fulnes / For but if I be begyled then̄e is thilke the veraye blisfulnes and parfyte that parfitely maketh a man suf­fisaunt. myghty honourable / noble. and full of gladnes And for thou shalt well knowe that I haue well vnder­standen these thinges within my herte / I knowe wel that thilke blisfulnes that men veryly yeuen one of the forsaid thinges syn they bene al one. I know doubteles that thilk thing is ful of blisfulnes. P / O my norye qd she by this opynyon I seye that thou arte blisfull. if thou putte this therto that I shal seyne / B / what is that qd I. P. trowest thou that there be ony thyng in this erthely mortall tom­bling thinges that may bringen this estate / B. Certes qd I. I trow it not / and thou hast shewed me well that ouer thilke good ther nys noo thing more to ben desired / P / These thinges then̄e qd she / that is to seyne erthely suffi­san̄ce & power & suche thinges erthely. they semen likenes of veray good / or els it semeth that they yeuen to mortal folk a maner of goodnes that ne be not parfyte / but thilk good that is veray & ꝑfite. that may they not yeuen / B. I accorde me well qd I / P / then̄e qd she for as moche as thou hast knowen whiche is thilke very blisfulnes / and eke whiche thilke thinges ben that lyen falsely blisfulnes. that ys to seye that by deceyte semen verey goodes. Now behoueth the to knowe whens & where thou mowe seke thilke very blisful­nes. B. Certes quod I that desire I gretely & haue abiden a long tyme to herkene hit. P. But for as moche qd she as it liketh to my disciple Plato in his book of in thymeo that right in litil thinges men shuld biseche the help of god [Page] What Iuggest thou that be now to done so that we maye deserue to finde the sete of thilke souerayne good. B. cer­tes quod I. I deme that we sholde clepen to the fader of alle goodes / For withouten him nys there nothing foūden a right / P. Thou saist right quod she. and began anon̄ to singen right thus

O qui perpetua mundum racione gubernas Terrarum celi (que) sator. qui tempus ab euo Ire iubes. stabilis (que) manens. das cuncta moueri Quem non externe pepulerunt fingere cause

O Thou fader souerayne and creatour of heuen and of erthes / that gouernest this worlde by perdurable rea­son / Thou comandest the tymes to goon̄ syn that aage had begynnyng. Thou that dwellist thy self stidfaste & stable and yeuest alle other thinges to be moeuid. ne foreyn cau­ses necessed the neuer to compowne werke of flotering ma­ter / but onely the fourme of souerayn̄ good ysette with in the withoute enuye / that meeuyd the frely that thou arte alther feyrest bering the fayr world in thy thought four­medest this world to the likenesse semblable of that fayre world in thy thoughte. Thou deawese all thinges on thy souerayne examplir and commandest th [...]t this worlde per­fytly ymaked haue frely and absolute his parfyte ꝑties Thou byndest the elementes by nombres ꝓporcienables that the cold thinges mowen accorde with the hoote thinges. And the drye thinges with the moiste. that the fire that is pured ne flee not ouer hye / ne that the heuynes ne drawe [Page] not adoun̄ ouer lowe the erthes that ben plunged in waters Thou knyttest to gyder the meene soule of treble kinde mo­euyng all thinges / and deuidest hit by nomb [...]e according And whan it is thus deuided it hath assemblid a moe­uyng into two ro [...]des / it goth to torne agayn to him self And enuyron̄eth a ful depe thoughte / and torneth the he­uene by semblable ymage. Thou by euen like causes enhaū ­cest the soules and the lesse lyues & abling hem to heighte by lighte waynes or cartes. Thou sowest hem into heuene and into erthe / and whan they be conuerted to the by thy benigne lawe / thou makest hem retorne ayen to the by ayen leding fire. O fader yeue thou to the thought [...]o styen vp into thy streyte sete / & graūte him to enuyrōne the welle of good. And the lighte yfoūde graunte him to fixen the cle­re sightes of his corage in the. And shatre thou & to breke the weightes & the cloudes of erthely heuinesse / & shyne thou by thy brightnes / for thou art clerenes. thou art pes [...]ble r [...]s­te to debonair folke / thou thy self art begyn̄yng. [...]erer / leder path & terme to loke on the / that is our ende

Quoniam igitur qu [...] sit inperfecti. que eciam perfecti f [...]rmam vidisti. Nunc demonscrandum reor. quo nā hec felicitatis perfectio constituta sit. In quo illud pri­mum arbitror inquirendum etc

For asmoch then̄e as thou hast seen whiche is the four­me of good / that nys not ꝑfyt / & the forme of good whiche that is ꝑfyt. now trow I that it were good to shewe in what this ꝑfeccion of blisfulnes is sett / & in this thing [Page] I trowe that we shall first enquere for to weten yf that ony suche maner good as thilke good as thou haste diffinis­shed a litill here biforne. That is to seyne souerayn good maye bee founde in the nature of thynges / For that vaynt ymaginacion̄ of thoughte ne deceyue vs not and putt vs oute of the sothfastnes of thilke thing that is submytted to vs. But it maye not be denyed that thilk ne is / and that is righte as a welle of all goodes. For alle thyng that is clep [...]d inparfite is proued inparfite by the amenu­sing of perfeccion of thing that is parfite / And here of cometh it that in euery thing ge [...]eral yf that men seen eny thing that is inparfite. Certes in thilke thing generall there mote be som̄e thing that is parfite / For if so be that perfeccion is done awaye / men maye not thinke ne saye from whens thilke thing is that is cleped inparfite / for the nature ne toke not her beg [...]nnyn [...] of thinges amenu­sed and inparfite / but hit procedeth of thinges. that bene all [...]ooll absolute And d [...]scend [...]th so downe in to th [...] vt­tr [...]s [...] thing [...]s and in to thinges empty and with oute fruyte / But as I haue shewd a litill here biforne that yf that there be a [...]lisfulnes that be frele & veyne and inpfite th [...]re maye noo man doubte that there nys som̄e blisfulnes that there is sad stedfast & parfite / B. Thys is concluded qd I fermely & sothfastly. P. But considere also qd she in whom this blisfulnes inhabiteth / The com̄une accorde & conceyte of the corage of men proueth & graūteth that god pr [...]ce of all thinges is good. For so as nothing maye be thoughte better than god. hit maye not bene doubted thenne that b31e that no thyng nys better than he nys good [Page] Certes reason̄ sheweth that god is so good that it proued by veraye force that parfyte good is in him / For if God nys suche he ne maye not been̄ prince of alle thing / for cer­tes somthing possessing in it self parfyte good sholde bee more worthy than god. And it shuld semen that thilk thing were first and older than god. For we haue shewd apꝑtely that alle thinges that ben parfyt ben first. or thin­ges that ben imparfyte. And for thy for as moche as that my resone or my processe ne goo not aweye withoute an ende / we owen̄ to graūten that the souerayne good is right­full of souerayne parfyte good. And we haue estabilis­shed that the souerayne good is veray blisfulnesse. thenne mote it nedes bee that veray blisfulnesse is sette in souerain good. B / This take I wel qd I / ne this ne may not be withsayd in noo manere / P. But I praye the quod she See nowe howe thou maist prouen holyly / and withouten corrupcion̄. this that we haue seyd that the souerayn god is full of right s [...]u [...]rayne good. B. In whiche manere quod I. P. Wenestow ought quod she that the fader of alle thinges haue taken thilke souerayne good ony where oute of him selfe. of whiche souerayne good men proueth that he is full. righte as thou mightest thinken that god that hath blisfulnesse in him selfe / and thilk blisfulnesse that is in him were dyuerce in substan̄ce / For if thou we­ne that god hath receyued thilke good oute of him selfe Thou mais [...] wene that he that yaf thilke good to God be more worthy than God / But I am beknowe and con­fesse & that right dignely that god is right worthy aboue al thinges. & if so be that this good be in him by nature [Page] but that is dyuerce from him by wenyng reson syn we spe­ken of god prynce of alle thinges. feyne who so feyne may Who was he that conioyned these thinges to gyder. and eke atte laste s [...]e wel that a thing that is dyuerce fro ony thing that t [...]ilke thing nys not that same thing for which it is vnderst [...]nden to bene diuerce. thenne foloweth hit well that thilke thing / that by his nature is dyuerce from souerayne good. that thing is not souerayne good But certes it were a felonous cursednes to thinken that of hym that noo thyng nys more worth. For all waye of alle thynges the name of hem ne maye not bene better than her begynner. For whiche I maye concluden by right veraye reson. that thilke that is begynnyng of alle thin­g [...]s / thilke same thing is souerayne god in his substan̄ce B. Th [...]u hast sayd rightfully quod I [...] Philosophia / but we haue graunted quod she that the s [...]uerayne good ys blisfulnes. B. That is s [...]the quod I. [...]. Thenne qd she we moten nedes graunten and con [...]ssen that thilke same souerayn good be god. B. Certes quod I [...] I ne may not denye ne withstande the resons purposed. And I see w [...]ll that hit foloweth by strengthe of the pr [...]mysses. P / lo­ [...]e nowe qd she if this bee proued yet more f [...]rmely thus. That there ne mowen not bene two souerayne goodes that ben dyuerce among hem self / For certes the goodes that ben dyuerce among hem self. that one is not th [...]t the other is. Then̄e ne mowen neyth [...]r of hem be parfyte / so as eyther of [...]m lacketh to other / but that / that nys not ꝑfyte. men may seen ap [...]rtly that it nys not souerayne / The thinges then that be soueraynly good ne mowe by no wey be d [...]ce [Page] But I haue well concluded that blisfulnesse and God been̄ the souerayne good. for whiche hit mote nedes been that souerayne blisfulnesse is souerayne dignite. B. Noo thing quod I i [...] more sothfaste than this / ne more ferme by reason̄ ne a more worthy thing than god maye not be concluded. Phīa. Vpon these thinges thenne qd she right as these geometriciens whan they haue shewed theire propo­sicions been wonte to bringen in thinges that they clepen porrismes or declaracions of forsayde thinges / right so wole I yeue the here as a corallarye or a mede of Crowne. For why for as moche as by the getyng of bl [...]sfulnesse men been maked blisfull / And blisfulnesse ys dignite / then̄e hit is manifeste and open that by the getyng of digny­te men been maked blisfull right as by the getyng of Iustice. And by the getyng of sapyence they bee maked wyse / right so nedes by the semblable reason̄ whan they haue goten dyuynyte th [...]y [...]e m [...]ad Goddes / Thenne is euery blisfull man̄ a God. But certes by nature there nys but one God. But by the participacion of dyuinyte there ne letteth ne distourbeth noo thing that there ne bee many Goddes / B. This is quod I a fayre thing and a pre­cious. clepe hit as thou wilt bee hit Corallarie or porrisme or mede of Crowne or declaring / Phīa / Certes quod she no thing nys fayrer than is the thing that by reson shold bee added to these forsayd thinges / B. What thing qd I. Phīa / So quod she as it semeth that blisfulne [...] con­teyneth many thinges / it were for to weten whether that alle these thinges maken or conioynen as a manere body of blisfulnesse by the dyuersite of parties of membres [Page] or els if ony of all these thinges be suche that it accompli­ce by him selfe the substan̄ce of blisfulnes. so all these other thinges bene referred and brought to blisfulnes. that is to seye as to the chief of hem. B. I wold qd I that thou madest me clerely to vnderstande what thou seyste & what thou recordest me the forsayd thinges / P / haue I not iug­ged qd she that blisfulnes is good / B. yes forsoth qd I and that souerayne good. P / Adde thenne qd she thilke good that is made blesfulnes to alle the forsayd thinges For thilke same blisfulnes that is demed to be souerayn suffisan̄ce. thilke self is souerayn power / souerayn reuerēce Souerayne cl [...]ren [...]s or noblesse and souerayn d [...]lite / what sayste thou thenne of alle these thinges. that is to seye suf­fisan̄ce. power and these other thinges / b [...]ne th [...]y thenne as membres of blisfulnes / or bene they referred & broughte to souerayne good / right as all thinges [...]hat ben b [...]ought to the chief of [...]em. B. I vnderstande well quod I what thou purposest to seke. but I desire for to [...] that thou shewe it to me. P. Take now thus the dis [...]rec [...]on of this question qd she / If alle thes [...] thynges qd s [...]e weren mem­bres to felicite / then̄e weren they dyuerce that one from that other / and suche is the nature of partyes or of membres / that dyuerce membres compowne a body / Bo [...]cius / Certes quod I. Hit hath well bee shewed here by forne that alle these thynges bene alle one thyng / Philosophia / Thenne bene they noo membres quod she. For ellis hyt shold seme that blesfulnes were coioyned all of one memb [...]e allone. But that is a thyng whyche maye not be done Bo [...]cius. Thys thyng [...] quod I then̄e is not doubtous [Page] But I abide to herkne the remenan̄t of thy question. P. This is open & clere qd she that al other thinges be refer­rid and brought to good. For therfore is suffisan̄ce re­quyred. For hit is demed for to been good / And for thy is power required. For men trowen also. that hyt be good / And this same thyng mowen wee thinken and coniecten / of reuerence. of noblesse / and of delite. Thenne is souerayne good the somme and the cause of alle that ought to be desired. For why thilke thing that withhol­deth no good in it self / ne semblance of good / it ne may not wel in no maner be desired ne required / and the con­trarie / For thaugh that thinges by her nature ne been not good. Al ga [...]es if men wenen̄ that they been̄ good / yet ben they desired as th [...]ugh they weren̄ verilich good. And th [...]rfore it is sayd that men ought to wene by right that boū ­te bee the souerayne fyne and the cause of alle the thinges that been to requiren̄. But certes thilke that is cause for whiche men requyren̄ ony thing / hit semeth that thilk sa­me thing bee moost desired / As thus. yf that a wighte wolde riden for cause of hele. he ne desireth not so mochell the mo [...]uyng to riden as the effecte of his helthe. Nowe thenne syn̄ that alle thinges been̄ required for the grace of good. they ne bee not desired of alle folke more thanne the same good / But wee haue graunted that blisfulnes ys that same thing for whiche that alle these other thyn­ges been̄ desired. Thenne is hit thus that certes onely blisfulnesse is required and desired. by whiche thyng it sheweth clerely that of good and blisfulnesse is al one and the same substan̄ce. B. I see not quod I wherefore [Page] that men myght discorden̄ in this. Philosophia / And we han shewde that god and veray blisfulnes is al one thing Boece. That is soth qd I. P. Then̄e mowe we conclude sikerly / that the substan̄ce of good is sette in thilke same god & in none other place

Nunc omnes pariter venite capti Quos fallax ligat inprobis c [...]tems Terrenas habitans libido mentes Hoc erit vobis requies laborum Hic portꝰ placida ma­nens qete Hoc pateris vnum miseris asilum etc

COmeth all to gyder nowe ye that ben yc [...]ught and bounde with wickid cheynes by the deceyuable delyte of erthely thinges inhabiting in your th [...]ught. h [...]re shalbe the r [...]ste of youre laboure. here is the han [...]n s [...]able in quyete p [...]sible / This all one is the [...]p [...]n r [...]ute to wretches / that is to s [...]e that ye that be comb [...]ed & deceyued with worldly aff [...]ccions cometh now to this souereyn go [...]d that is god That is refute to hem that willen comen to him. Alle the thinges that the ryuer Tagus yeueth you with his gol­den grauels / or els all the thinges that the ryuer Hermus yeueth with his rede brynke. or that Indus yeueth that is ne [...]t the [...]oote partye of the worlde that medleth the grene stones with the whyte / ne shold not cleren the lokyng of youre thoughte / but hiden rather youre blynde corage with in her derk [...]s / All that liketh you here and exciteth & moeueth youre thoughtes. the erthe hath norisshed it with in his lowe caues. But the shynyng by whiche the heuen is gouerned and whens that his strength that escheueth [Page] the derke ouerthrowyng of the soule. & who so euer maye knowen thilke lighte of blisfulnes. he will seyne that the white beames of the sonne ne be not clere

Assencior in (quam) cuncta enim firmissimis nexa racionibus constant. Tum illa. Quanti inquit estimabas si bonum ipsum quid sit agnosceres. Infinito in (quam). Si quidem michi pariter domim quo (que) qui bonum est etc

BOece / I assente me qd I / for al thinges ben strong­ly boūden with righte ferme resons / P. How moche wilt thou preysen it qd she. if that thou know what thilk good is / B. I will preyse it qd I by price withoute ende yf it shal betide me to know also to gider god that is good P. Certes qd she that shall I doo the by veray reason. yf that tho thinges that I haue co [...]cluded a litell here biforne dwellen onely in her graūtyng / B / They dwellen graun­ted to the quod I. that is to seyne as who seith I graūte to thy forsayd conclusions / P / I haue shewd the qd she that the thinges that bene required of many folke ne ben not vereye goodes ne parfyte for they bene dyuerce that one from that other / and so as eche of hem is lackyng to other they ne han noo power to bringe a good that is full & abso­lute. But thenne at erst bene they verey good / whan they bene gadred to gyder al into one forme and into one wer­kyng. so that thilke thing that is [...]uffisan̄t / thilk same by power. and reuerence & noblesse & myrthe / And forsoth but if all thise thinges be al one same thing. they ne han not wherby that they mowe be put in the nombre of thinges [Page] that ought to be required & desired. b. It is shewd qd I Ne herof may ther noman̄ doubten. p. the thinges then̄e qd she that ne ben none goodes whan they ben diuerce. & whan they begyn̄en to be al one thing / thenne ben they goodes / ne cometh hit not then̄e by the getyng of vnyte that they bee maked goodes / b / so semeth it qd I / p / but al thing that is good qd she. graūte stow that hit be good by the ꝑtici­pacion of good or noo. b. I graūte qd I. p. Then̄e mostow graūten qd she by semblable reason that one & good be one same thing. for of thinges of whiche theffecte nis not na­turelly d [...]uce / nedes their substan̄ce mus [...] be one same thing B / I ne maye not denye it qd I. p. b [...]stow not knowen wel qd she that all thing that is / hath so long his dwel­ling & his substan̄ce as long as it is one. but whan hit forletteth to ben one hit muste nedes dyen and corrump [...]n to gyder. b. In whiche manere qd I. p. right as in bes [...]es qd she whan the soule and the body been conioyned in one and dwellen to gyder. hit is cleped a [...] / And whan her vnyte i [...] d [...]stroyed by the dysseueran̄ce that one from that other / th [...]nne sheweth hit well. that hit is a dede thing And hit is noo lenger noo bees [...] / And the body of a wighte while hit dwelleth in one fourme by coniunccion of memb [...]s. hit is well seyne. that hit ys a fygure of mankynde / And if the partyes of the body bee denyed and dyss [...]uerid that one from that other that they destroie the vnyte. the body forleteth to bee that hit was byforne And whoo so wold renne in the same manere by alle thynge [...]. he shuld sene that with oute doubte euery thyng is in hys substannce / as longe as hyt ys one [Page] And whan it forleteth to be one it deyeth and perissheth B / whan I considere qd I many thinges I see none other P / Is ther ony thing qd she that in as moche as it liueth naturelly that forleteth the talente or the appetite of his be­yng & desireth to come to deth & to corrupcion / B / if y con­sidere qd I the beestis that han ony maner nature of wil­ling & of nylling. I ne finde noo beste but if it be constrey­ned frowithoutforth. that forleteth or despiseth the enten­cion to lyuen & to duren. or that will his thankes hasten him to deyen. for euery beste trauailleth him to defende and kepe the saluacion of hys lyf and escheweth deth & destruc­cion. but certes I doubte me of herbes & of trees that ne han no feling sowlis ne no naturell workinges seruyng to ap­petites as beestes han. whether they han appetite to dwellen and to duren. P / Certes qd she therof dar the not doubte Nowe loke vpon the herbes and trees for they wexen firste in suche places as bene couenable to hem. In whiche places they mowe not deyen ne dryen as long as her nature may defenden hem. For som̄e of hem wexen in feeldes and som̄e wexen in montaignes / And other wexe in mareys & other cleuen on rockes / and somme wexen plenteous in sondes And if ony wyght enforce hem to bere hem in to other pla­ces. they wexen drye. For Nature yeueth to euery thing that is conuenyent to him / And trauaylleth that they ne deye as long as they han power to dwellen and to liuen What wylt thou seyne of this. that they drawen all her nourisshinges by her rotes / ryght as they hadden her mow­thes yplunged within the erthes and sheden by her mary­es her wood and her barke / And what wilt thou seyne [Page] of this that thilk thing that is right softe as the marye is. that is alweye hidde in the seete within / and that it is defended fro withoute by stedefastnes of wode / And that the vtterest barke is put ayenst the distemperan̄ce of the he­uene as a defendour myghty to suffren harme / and thus certes maistow well sene / how grete is the diligence of na­ture / for alle thinges reuoluen and publisshen hem wyth seed ymulteplied. ne there nys noman̄ that ne wote well that they ne been right as a fondement and edifice for to duren not only for a tyme / but right as for to duren per­durably by generacion. And the thinges eke that men ne wenen ne haue no soules / ne desire they not by semblable re­son to kepen that is his / that is to seyn̄ that is accordyng to her nature in conseruacion of her beyng and enduring For wherfore ell [...]s berith lightnes the flambes vp. And the weighte presseth the erthe a downe / but for as moche as thilke places and thilke mo [...]uynges bee couenable to eue­rich of hem / And forsothe euery thing kepith thilke that is accordyng and propre to him right as t [...]inges that ben contrarious and enemyes corrumpen h [...]m. And yet the harde thinges as stones cleuen and holden their parti­es to gyder right faste and harde and defenden h [...]m in with­stonding that they ne departen̄ lightly and yeuen place to h [...]m that beeken̄ or deu [...]den hem. But nath les they retour­nen̄ ayeme soone in to the same thynges from whens they bee ar [...]d / But fire fleeth and refuseth alle dyuysion Ne I ne trete not nowe here of wilfull mo [...]uynges of the sowle that ys knowyng. but of naturell entencion of thynges. As thus / ryghte as wee swolowen the mete [Page] that we receyuen. and ne thinke not on hit. And as we drawe oure breth in slepyng that we wyte not while wee slepen. For certes in the beestes the loue of her lyuynges ne of her beeinges ne cometh not of the wilnyngis of the soule. but of the bigynnynges of nature. for certes thurgh constreynyng causes. wille desireth and embraceth full ofte tymes the deth that nature dredeth. That is to seyne as thus / That a man̄ maye bee constreyned so by som cau­se that his wille desireth and taketh the deeth / which that nature hateth and dredeth ful sore / And som̄e tyme wee seen̄ the contrarie / as thus / that the wille of a wighte dis­tourbeth and constrayneth that. that nature alweye desi­reth and requireth / That is to seye the werkes of genera­cion. by the whiche generacion onely dwellith and is sus­teyned the longe durabilite of mortal thingis / As thus This charite and this loue that euery thing hath to him self ne cometh not of the moeuyng of the sowle / but of the entencion of nature. For the pourueance of god hath ye­uen to thinges that bene create of him this. that is a full grete cause to lyuen and to duren for whiche they desiren naturelly her life. as long as euer they mowen̄ / for whiche thou maiste not dreden by noo manere that alle thynges that ben any where. that they ne requiren naturelly the fer­me stablenes of perdurable dwellyng and eke the schewing of destruccion / Boecius / Now confesse I well quod I that I see well nowe certainly withouten doubte the thynges that semeden vncertayne to me. P. But quod she thilke thing that desireth to be and dwelle perdurably. he desi­reth to bene one / For if that one were destroyed / certis [Page] beyng shulde there none dwellen to no wight. B / that is soth qd I. P. Then̄e qd she desiren alle thinges one / B. I assente qd I / P. Aud I haue sh [...]wd qd she that ilke same one is thilk that is good // B / ye forsoth qd I. P / Alle thinges then̄e qd she requiren good. And thilke maistow discriuen thus / Good is thilk thing that euery wight des [...]reth / B / th [...]re ne may be thought nomore v [...]reye thing qd I. for eyther alle thinges be referred & brought to nought and floteren withoute gouernour dispoylled of one as of her propre heed or els if there be ony thing to whiche that alle thinges tenden and hy [...]n to. that thyng muste be the souerayn good of alle good [...]. P / thenne sayde she thus. O my no [...]y qd s [...]e / I haue grete gl [...]d [...]es of the For thou h [...]s [...]e fired in thy herte the m [...]ddell s [...]tl [...]fas [...]nes That is to s [...]yn̄ the pricke / but this t [...]ing hath bee dys [...] ­u [...]d to them that thou seydest. that thou wistes [...] not a li­ [...]l here biforn̄. B / what is that quod I. P That thou ne wistes [...] not qd she whi [...]he was the ende of thinges / And c [...]rtes that is the thing that [...] and for as mo [...]e as we [...] t [...]ilk thing that is des [...]red of alle th [...]n̄e mote wee ned [...]s conf [...]ssen̄ that good to th [...] fyne of alle thing [...]s

Qinsquis profunda mente vestigat verū. [...]upit (que) nul­lis ille demis fall [...]. In se reuoluat intum lucem visus Long [...]s (que) in o [...]bem cogat inflectens motus. Ammū (que) [...]ce at q [...]dq [...]d e [...]ra moli [...]ur. Sins recrusū possi­dere thesa [...]s. Dudum qin acra te [...]it erroris nubes. Lucebi [...] ipso perspicacius phebo etc

[Page]WHo so seketh sothe. by a depe thoughte. and coueyteth to been deceyued by noo mysweyes / lete him rollen and treden with in him selfe. the lighte of his Inward sight. and lete him gaderen ayen enclinyng into a compas the longe moeuynges of his thoughtes. and lete him te­chen his corage. that he hath enclosed and hydd in hys tresours / al that he hath compassed or sought frowithoute And then̄e thilke thing that the black cloudes of errour whilom had couerid shal lighte more clerely than phebus him self ne shyneth / Glosa. who so wol seke the depe groū ­des of soth in his thoughte. & wole not be deceyued by false pposicions that gon amys from the trouth. lete him wel ex­amyne & rolle within him self the nature & ꝓpretees of the thing / And lete him yet eftsones examyne and rollen his thoughtes by goode deliberacion or that he deme. And late him techen̄ his sowle. that hit hath by naturel princy­plis kind [...]lich yhidd with in hit selfe alle the trouthe the whiche he ymagyneth to been in thinges withoute / And thenne all the derkenes of his mysknowyng shalle seen̄ more euydently to the sight of his vnderstonding than the sonne ne semeth to the sighte withoute forth. For certes the body bringyng the weighte of foryetyng ne hath not chaced oute of your thought all the clerenes of your kno­wyng. for certaynly the seed of soth holdeth and cleueth within youre corage / And it is awaked and excited by the wyndes and by the blastes of doctrine / for wherfore els demen ye of youre owne will the rightes whan ye be axed But if so were that the norisshing of reson ne lyued y [...]plunged in the depe of youre herte. That is to seyne howe [Page] shold men demen the [...]oth of ony thing that were axed. & if ther nere a rote of sothfastnes that were yplunged and hyd in naturel principles. the whiche sothfastnes liued within the depnes of the thoughte / And if so be that the muse & the doctrine of Plato [...]ingeth soth. Al that euery wight lerneth / he ne doth nothing ellis then̄e but recordeth as men recorden thinges that ben foryeten

Tum ego platonj in (quam) vehementer assencior. Nam me horum iam secundo commemoras primum quod memoriam corporea contagione. Dehinc cum mero­ris mole ꝓrsus amisi. Tum illa. Si priora inquit cō ­fess [...] respicias. ne illud quidem long [...]s abierit etc

THen̄e sayd I thus. i. b / I accorde me gretly to Pla­to. for thou recordest and remembres [...] me these thyn­g [...]s yet the seconde tyme / that is to seye firste whan I lefte m [...] memorie by the contrarioꝰ coniunccion of the body with the sowle. And [...]tesones afterward whan I leste it con­founded by the charge & by the burthen of my sorowe. P. & then̄e saide she thus / yf thou seke qd she firste the thingis that thou hast graūted it ne shal not ben right ferre then̄e that thou ne shalt remembren thilk thing that thou seydest that thou nyseest not. B / what thing qd I. P. by why­che gouernement qd she that thi [...] worlde is gouerned. B Me remembreth it wel qd I / And I confesse well that I ne wis [...] it not. but al be it so that I see now from a fer what thou purposest / Algates I desire yet to herkne of the more plem [...]ch P / thou ne w [...]ndest qd she a litel here bifor [...] ̄ [Page] that men shulde doubte that this worlde is gouerned by god B. Certes quod I ne yet ne doubte I it not / ne I nyl ne­uer wene that it were doubte. As who seith. But I wote well that god gouerneth this worlde / And I shal short­ly answeren the by what resons. I am brought to this / this world quod I of so many dyuerce and contrarious par­tyes ne might neuer han ben assembled in one forme but if there were one. that conioyned so many dyuerce thynges. And the same dyuersite of her natures that so discorden that one from that other. muste departen and vnioyne the thinges that ben conioyned and yboūde / ne the certayn or­dre of nature ne sholde not bringe forth so ordeyne moeuyn­ges / by places / by times. by doynges by spaces by qualitees If ther ne were one that were ay stedfaste dwellinge that ordeyned and disponed these dyuersitees of mo [...]uynges. And thilk thing what someuer it be / by whiche that alle thinges ben y maked and led I clepe him god that is a worde that is vsed to alle folke. P. Then̄e sayde she. syn thou felest thus these thinges qd she. I trowe that I haue litel more to doon / that thou mighty of welefulnes hook & sound ne see eftesones thy coūtre / But lete vs loken the thinges that wee haue pourposed here byforne / haue I not nombred & sayd qd she that suffisan̄ce is in blisfulness [...] / And we haue accorded that god is thilke same bl [...]sful­nes. b / yes forsothe qd I / p / & that to gouerne this world qd she ne shal he neuer haue nede of none helpe fro without For els if he had nede of ony helpe. he ne sholde not haue no f [...]l suffisan̄ce. B / yes thus it mote nedes be qd I / P. Then̄e ordeyned he by him self allone alle thinges qd she [Page] B. That maye not be denyed qd I. P. And I haue shewd that god is the same good / B / It remembreth me well qd I / P / Th [...]nne orde [...]neth he all t [...]i [...]g [...]s by thilk good qd she / syn he whiche we han acorded to be good. go­uerneth alle thinges by him selfe. And he is a keye and a steyre by whiche the edyfice of this worlde is kept stable and withoute c [...]r [...]umping. B / I accorde me gretely qd I. And I haue apperceyued a litil h [...]re biforn that thou wol [...]est saye thus / All were it so that it were by a thynne suspecion. P / I trowe well qd she / For as I trowe / thou ledeste nowe m [...]re enten [...]sly thyne e [...]e to loken the vereye goodes. But na [...]h [...]les the thing that I shall telle th [...]. yet n [...] sheweth not lasse to loke [...] / B / What is that quod I P / So as men [...]rowe qu [...]d she and that rightfully that god goue [...]neth alle thing [...]s by the ke [...]e of his goodnes. And all th [...]s [...] same thinges that I haue t [...]ghte the has­ten hem b [...] naturelle entencion to come to good / there maye noo man̄ doubten that they ne ben gouerned v [...]s [...]nt [...]ryly / And that the [...] n [...] conu [...]r [...]en hem of her owen good wille to her ordeynour / As that they been according & enclinyng to h [...]r gouernour & to her king / B. It mote nedes be soo qd I. for the royame ne shuld not seme bl [...]sful if ther were a yok of misdrawingis in diuerce p [...]es ne the sauyng of obedient thinges ne shold not be [...] th [...]r nothing qd she that kepeth his nature that enforce [...]h him to goone a [...]nst god / B. no qd I. P. & if that ony thing enforced him to withstande god. might it auailen at l [...]s [...] [...]y [...]n him t [...]at we haue graūted to be almighty by the right of blisful­nes. B. c [...]rtes qd I al vtterly it ne might not auaile him [Page] P. Then̄e is there nothing qd she that eyther may or wil withstonden to his souerain god / B / I trowe not qd I P. then̄e qd she is thilke the soueraine god that al thin [...]ges gouerneth strongly & ordeyne [...]h hem softly. B thenne sayd I thus I delite me qd I. not only in thendes or in the som̄e of the resons that thou hast concluded & ꝓued / but thilke wordes that thou vsest deliten̄ me moche more. So that atte laste fooles that somtyme r [...]nden grete thinges oughten̄ be ashamed of hem self. that is to s [...]yne that wee fooles that reprehenden wickedly the thinges that touchen goddes gouernance / we oughten ben ashamed of our selfe As I that sayde that god refuseth only the werk [...]s of men̄ & ne entermeteth not of it. P / thou h [...]st wel herd qd she the fables of the poetes. how the Gean̄tes assaileden heuene with the god [...]es / but forsothe the debonair force of god dis­posed hem as it was worthy / that is to seyn̄ destroyed the gean̄ts as it was worthy / But wilt thou that we reioy­nen to geder thilk same resons / for perauēture of suche con­iunccion maye sterten vp som̄e fayr sparke of sothe. B. do qd I as the liste. Phīa. wenestow qd she that god ne bee almighty. B. noman̄ is in doubte of it certes quod I. P No wight ne doubteth it. if he be in his mynde qd she. but he that is almighty ther nis nothing that he ne may. B That is soth qd I / P / may god do euil qd she. B / Nay forsoth qd I. P. Then̄e is euil nothing qd she / sith that he may done none euil that may done al thinges. b. scornest thou me qd I or els pleyestow or deceyuestow me that hast so won̄en me with thy resons. the hoꝰ of dedalꝰ so entrelaced that it is vnable to be vnlaced that thou otherwhile entrest [Page] there thou yssuest / and other while issuest there thou entrest Ne foldest thou not to geder by replicacion of wordes a ma­ner wonderfull cercle or enuiron̄yng of the simplicite diui­ne / for certes a litil here biforn̄ whan thou began at blisful­nes. thou seydest that it is souerayn good. & that God is the blisfulnes / for whiche thou yaf me as a couenable yeft that is to seyn̄ that no wight nys blisful but if he be good also therwith. & seydest eke that the forme of good is the substan̄ce of god & of blisfulnes. & saidest that thilk one Is thilk same go [...]d that is required & desired of all the kinde of thinges. & thou ꝓuedest in disputing that god go­uerneth al the thinges of the worlde / by the gouernance of boūte. & se [...]dest that all thinges wolde obeyen to him / & s [...]y­dest that the nature of euill is noo thing. [...] th [...]se thinges shewdest thou not with no res [...]ns taken fro without but by proues in cercles and homelich knowen. The whiche ꝓues drawen to hem selfe her feyth and h [...]r accorde eu [...]rich [...]f hem of other / P / Thenne sayd she thus / I ne s [...]orne not. ne pley [...] / ne deceyue the. But I haue shewd the t [...]ing that ys grettest ouer al thinges by the yefte of g [...]d that we why­lome p [...]ayden. For this is the fourme of dyu [...]ne substan­ce th [...]t is suche that hit ne slydeth not i [...]to vtter [...]st foreyn thinges. ne receyueth not no stran̄ge t [...]inges in him. But right as Permemdes seyde in greke of thilk dyuine sub­stan̄ce [...] He sayd thus [...] that thilke dyuyne substan̄ce tour­neth the worlde and the moeuable cercle of thinges / whyle thilke dyuyne substan̄ce kepeth hit selfe withouten moe­uynges / that is to seyne that he moeueth neuer moo / & yet hit moeueth alle other thynges / But natheles yf I haue [Page] styred resons that be not taken fro withoute the compas of the thing of the whiche we treten̄ / But reasons that been bistowed within compas there nys not why thou sh [...]ldest meruaillen̄ / sith thou hast lerned by the sentence of Plato That nedes the wordes mote been̄ cosins to the thynges of whiche they speken

Felix qui potuit bom. Fontem visere lucidum Felix qui potuit grauis. Terre soluere vincula Quondam funera coniugis. Uates treicius gemens Post (quam) (flebilib)flebilibus modis. Siluas currere mobiles Amnes stare coegerat. Iunxit (que) intrepidum latus Seuis cerua leonibz. Nec visum timuit lepꝰ &c

BLysfull is that man that may s [...]e the cl [...]re welle of good / Blisfull is he that maye vnbinde him from the heuy bondes of therthe. The poete of Trace Orphꝰ th [...]t whilome had right grete s [...]rowe for the deth of his wyff After that he hadd maked by his wepyngly songes the wodes moeuable to renne / And had maked the ryuers to stonde stille. And had maked the h [...]rtes and the hyn­des to Ioynen dredeles her sides to cruell lyon̄s for to her­kene his songe / And had maked that the hare was not agaste of the hound whiche ples [...]d by his songe. so whan the moost ardan̄t loue of his wyfe brente the entrailles of his breste / Ne the songes that hadden ouercomen alle thyn­ges ne mighte not aswagen her lord Orpheus. he pleyned hym of the heuene Goddes whiche that were cruell to hym he wente him to the howses of the Helle. And he temp­rid his blandysshing songes by resownyng of strenges [Page] And spack and songe in wepyng all that euer he hadd receyued and lauid oute of the noble welles of his moder Calliope the goddesse. And he sange with as moche as h [...] myght of wepyng / and with as moche as loue that doub­led his sorow myghte yeuen him and teche hym. and com­moeued the helle. and required and bis [...]ughte by swete prayer. [...]he lordes of sowl [...]s in helle of relecyng. That ys to s [...]ye to yelden him his wyff / Cerberus the porter of helle with his thre heedes was caught and all abassh [...]d of the n [...]we songe / And the thre goddesses Furyes and venge­resses of felonyes that tourmenten and agas [...]en the foules by anoye woxen sorouful and sory and teer [...]s wepten for p [...]te. T [...] wa [...] not th [...] h [...]d of Ixion tourmented by the ou [...]rthrowyng wh [...]l [...] [...] And Tan [...]s that was d [...]stroy­ [...]d by the wooden [...]s of longe thurs [...]e. d [...]spis [...]d the floodes to drynke / The [...]oule that highte vul [...]ur that eteth th [...] s [...]omake or the gys [...]r of Tycius is so fulfill [...]d [...]f his son­ge. that yt nyl [...]t [...]n n [...] tyr [...]n no more. Acte l [...]ste the Lord and Iugge of sowles was m [...]ou [...]d to mys [...]c [...]rdyes an [...] [...]r [...]ed wee b [...]ne oue [...]comen quod [...]e / y [...]ue we to Orpheus his wyff to bere him company [...] / he hath well yboughte her by his songe and his di [...]es / But wee wille putten a lawe in this. and couenan̄te in the yefte. Th [...]t is to s [...]yn̄ that til he be oute of helle / yf he loke behynde him / that hys wyf shal comen agayne vnto v [...] / but what is he that may yeue a lawe to louers. loue is a gretter lawe and a stren­ger to [...]im self than ony lawe that men may yeuen / Allas whan Orpheus and his wyf were all most at the termys of the nighte [...] That is to seyne at the laste boundes of hell [...] [Page] Orpheus loked bacward on Erudice his wyf and loste her and was ded / This fable apperteyneth to you alle. who so euer desireth or seketh to lede his thoughte in to the souerayne day. that is to seye to clerenes of souerayn good For who so euer be so ouercomen that he fixe his eyen in to the pit of helle. that is to seyn̄ who so sett his thoughtes in erthely thinges all that euer he hath drawen of the noble good celestial he leseth hit whan he loketh the helles. this is to seyne into lowe thinges of the erthe

¶Explicit liber tercius Incipit liber quartus

HEc cum philosophia dignitate vultus [...]t oris grauitate seruata. leuiter suauiter (que) ceciniss [...]t. Tum ego non dum penitus insiti meroris oblitꝰ etc

WHan philosophye hadd songen softly and delitably the forsayd thinges / kepyng the dignite of her chere and the weighte of her wordes / I thenne that ne hadd all vtterly foryeten the wepyng and the moeuyng that was sette in myn herte. forb [...]ake thentencion of her that entended yet to seyne som̄e other thinges / O quod I thou that [...]rte gyderesse of veray light the thinge [...] that thou hast sayd me hydderto been to me so clere and shewyng by the dyuyne lokyng of hem and by the reason [...] that they ne mowen ben ouercomen. And thilke thinges that thou toldest me / all be hit so that I had whilome foryeten hem for the sorowe of the wronge that hath bee done to me / yet neuerthelesse [Page] they ne weren not al vtterly vnknowen to me / But this same is namely a right grete cause of my sorowe. so that as the gouernour of thinges is good. yf that euyls mo­wen bene by any weyes. or els if that euils passen without punysshing. the whiche thing only. hew worthy it is to ben wondred vpon / Thou considerest it well thy selfe cer­taynly. But yet to this thing there is yet another thing y ioyned more to be wondred vpon. For felonye is Em­perice & floureth full of richesses / and vertue nys not on­ly withoute meedes. But it is caste vnder and fortroden vnder the feet of felonous folke / and it abieth the tormen­tes in stede of wicked felon̄s. Of all whiche thinges th [...] is no wight may meruaillen ynough ne compleynen that suche thinges be done in the regne of god that all thyn­ges wote and all thinges may and n [...] wille not onely but good thinges. P. Thenne sayd she thus / Certes qd she that were a grete meruaille and an abasshing wyth oute [...]nde / And well more horrible than all the monstres if hit were as thou w [...]st. That is to seyne that in the right ordeyne how [...] of somoche a fader and an ordeygnour of meyne that the vessels that bene foule and vyle shuld bene h [...]noured and beried / and the preciouse vessele shuld ben defowl [...]d and vyle / but it is not soo. for if the thin­ges that I [...]ue concluded a litell here be forne been̄ kepte hoole & vnaraced thou shalt wel know by thauctorite of god of the wh [...] regne I speke. That certes the good folk be [...] myghty and shrewes bene alweye oute caste and fieble. Ne the vice [...] be neuer moo withoute payne / ne the ver­tue [...] ne bee not withoute mede / and that blisfulnes cometh [Page] alweye to good folke / and infortune cometh all weye to wicked folke. And thou shalt wel knowen many thyn­ges of this kinde that shulle cessen thy pleyntes. & streng­then̄ the with stidfast sadnesse. And for thou hast seen the forme of veray blisfulnes by me that haue whilom shewd it the. and thou hast knowen in wh [...]m bl [...]sfulnes is sette Al thing I treated. that trowe be necessarye to put forth I shal shewen the the way that shal bringen the ayeyne vnto thyne hous / And I shal fixe fethres in thy thought by whiche it maye arisen in height so that all tribulacion ydo ne aweye thou by my guidyng and by my path. and by my sledes shalt mowen retourne hooll and sound in to thy coūtreye

Sunt etenim penne volucres michi Que celsa con­descendunt poli Quas sibi cum velox mens induit Terras perosa despicit Aeris inmensi superat globū Nubes primo tergum indet etc

THan for thy swifte fethres that sourmounten the heighte of the heuene / whan the swifte thoughte hath clothed hit in tho fethres. It dispiseth the hatefull erthes and surmoūteth the roundnesse of the grete ayer. and it seeth the cloudes behynde his back / and passith the heighte of the regyon of the fyre that enchau [...]th by the swifte me­ouyng of the firmament. til that he ariseth in to the how­ses that beren the sterres. and ioyneth the weye wyth the sonne phebus and felaushippeth the waye of the old cold saturnus / and he ymaked a knight of the clere sterre / that [Page] is to seyne. whan the thought is made goddes knighte by the seking of cl [...]re trouth to comen to the veray knowleche of god. And thilke soule renneth by the cercle of sterres in all the places there as the shynyng night is ypeynted That is to seyne the night that is cloudeles / for on nightis that be cloudeles. hit semed that the heuene were peynted with dyuerce ymages of sterres / And whan he hath done there ynough. he shal forl [...]ten the laste [...]uen / and he shalle presen and wo [...]den on the back of the swifte firmament & he s [...]l be mak [...]d parfyt. [...]f the worshipful light of God Th [...]re [...]oldeth the lorde of thinges the ceptre of his mighte and attempr [...]th the gouernementes of the worlde / and the shynyng Iugge of thing [...]s / stable in him self gouerneth t [...] s [...]i [...]te [...]a [...]te or wayne that is to seyn̄ the circuler mo [...] ­u [...]ng of the s [...]nne / And if thy wey ledeth the ayeine so t [...]at th [...]u [...]e brought thider then̄e wiltow saye that ys the coūtrey [...] t [...]t thou requirest of whic [...]e thou ne haddest noo m [...]nde [...] But now it remembr [...]th me wel. [...]ere was I born̄ [...]re wol I fasten my degre [...] [...]ere wol I dw [...]ll [...]. but if the liketh th [...]nne to loken on th [...] derk [...]nesses of the erth / that thou [...]st forleten then̄e shalt thou sene t [...]t th [...]se f [...]lonous [...]an̄tes that the wretched people d [...]ede [...]h now / shullen bee ex [...]ed from thil [...]e fayr countr [...]y [...]

Tum ego pape in (quam). vt magna pronuctis. nec dubito qum possis efficere. tu modo quem [...]xitaueris ne mo­re [...]is. Primum igitur inquit. bonis semper adesse po­tencia. malos cunctis viribus esse desertos agnos [...]as. Licebit. Quorum quidem alterucrum etc

[Page]THen̄e sayde I thus. O I wondre me that thou behe­test me so greet thinges. ne I ne doubte not. that thou ne maiste well parfourme that thou behetest / But I preye the this that thou ne tary not. to telle me thilk thin­ges that thou haste meoued. Firste quod she thou muste nedes knowe that good folk bene alweye strong & mighty And the shrewes bene feble & deserte. and naked of alle strengthes. And of these thinges certes euerich of them is declared & shewed by other. for as goode and euyl ben two contraries if so be that good be stidfaste. then̄e sheweth the feblesse of euyl al openly / And if thou knowe clerely the freelnes of euil. the stidfastnes of good is knowen. but for as moche as the feyth of my sentence shal be the more ferme and haboūdante / I wol goon by that oo weye and by that other. and I wole conferme the thinges that b [...]ne pourposed nowe on this side and nowe on that side. Two thinges there ben in whiche theff [...]cte of al the dedes of man­kinde standeth / That is to seyne will and power / And if that one of these two failleth / there nys no thing that may be done. For if that will lakketh there nys no wight that vndertaketh to doo that he wol not done / And if po­wer failleth the wille nys but in ydell. & stant for nought and therof cometh it. that if thou s [...]e a wighte that wold geten that he may not geten̄ / thou maiste not doubte that power ne failleth him to hauen that he wold. B. This is open and clere quod I. ne it ne maye not ben denyed in no maner. P. & if thou s [...]e a wight qd she that hath done. that he wold done. thou nylt not doute / that he ne hath had power to done it / b / no qd I / p. & in that that euy wight may [Page] in that men holden them myghty to done a thing. in somo­che as a man is myghty to done a thing. in so moche men hold him mighty / and in that that he ne maye. in that m [...]n demen him to be feble / B / I confesse it wel qd I. P. Re­membre the quod she that I haue gadred and shewed by for saide resons. that alle the entencion of the wille of man­kynde / whiche that is lad by dyuerce studies hasteth to co­men to bl [...]sfulnesse / B / It remembreth me well quod I that it hath ben shewed / Phīa. And recordeth the nought thenne qd she. that blisfulnesse is thilke same good that men requiren soo that whan blisfulnesse is required of al B. It recordeth me not quod I for I haue it alle weye in my memorie fixed / Phīa / Alle folke thenne quod she good and eke badd enforcen hem withoute diff [...]rence of en [...]encion to comen to good. B. This is veray consequence [...] I. P [...] [...]. And certayne is quod she that by geting of good [...]ee men maked good. B. That is c [...]rtayn qd I. Phīa / Thenne get [...]n good men̄ that the [...] desiren. B. So it semeth quod I / P. But wicked folke quod she if they geten the good that they desiren they ne mowen not be wicked / B. So it is qd I / P. Thenn [...] so as that one and that other qd she desiren the good / & the good folke g [...]ten the good. and nought the wicked folke [...] then̄e hyt is no doubte that the good folk ne be mighty & wicked folk be feble. B. Who so that euer doub [...]eth of this he ne maye not considere the nature of thinges ne the consequēce of re­sons. P. And ouer this qd she if that ther ben two thyn­ges that [...]an oo same purpose by kynde. And that one of hem pursueth & ꝑfourmeth that same thing by naturel office [Page] and that other ne maye not done thilk office naturelle but foloweth by other manere / than is couenable to nature him that accomplissheth his pourpose kindly / & yet he ne accom­plissheth not his owne purpose whether as these two demest thou for more myghtye. B. If that I coniecte qd I that thou woldest seye. Algates I desire yet to herken hit more plainly of the. P. Thou nylt not than denye quod she that the meouement of gooyng nys in men by kinde. B. Noo forsothe qd I. P. Ne thou doubtest not qd she that thilke naturell office of goyng ne be the office of fete / Boecius I ne doubte it not quod I. Philosophia. Than quod she if that a wighte bee mightye to meoue and gooth vp on his fete / & another to wh [...]m thilke naturele office of fete lakketh. enforseth him to go crepyng on his hand which of these two ought to be holden the more mighty by righte B. Knytt forth quod I the remenant / P / For no wight ne doubteth. that he that maye gone by naturel office of fe­te ne be more myghty than he that ne maye not / But the souerayne good qd she. that is euen like purposed to the good and to the badde. the good folke seken it by naturel office of vertues / And shrewes enforcen hem to geten hit by dyuerce couetises of erthely thinges / whiche that nys noo naturell office to geten thilke souerayne good / Tro­west thou that hit bee ony other wyse. Boecius. Naye qd I. for the consequeence is opene and shewyng of thinges that I haue graunted / that nedes good folke moten bene myghty. And shrewes moten bene feble and vnmyghty Philosophia / Thou rennest a ryghte by forne me quod she / And thys ys the Iuggement. That ys to seyn̄ [Page] I Iugge of right / as these leches ben wente to hopen of se­ke folke whan they apperceyuen that nature is redressed & withstandeth to the maladie. but for I see the now all re­dy to the withstanding / I shal shewe the more thilk and continuell reasons / For loke how gretly sheweth the feble­nesse and infirmite of wicked folke that ne mowen not comen to h [...]r naturell entencion ledeth hem / And yet all moste thilke naturel entencion̄ constreyneth hem / & what were to demyn then̄e of shrewes / if thilke naturell helpe hadd forleten h [...]m / the whiche naturell helpe of entencion goth alwey biforn̄ hem / And is so grete that vnnethe hit may be ouercomen. Considere then̄e how grete defaute of po­wer. & how grete feblesse ther is in wicked felonous folke As who seith the gret [...]er thing that is coueyted & the desir not acc [...]mplissh [...]d. of the lasse might is [...]e that coueyteth it & may not accomplisshe. & for thy philosophie seith thus by souerain go [...]de. ne shrewes ne requiren not light m [...]des ne veyn̄ games whiche they ne may not folowen ne holden but they faillen of thilk somme of the height of thinges. that is to sayne souerayn̄ good / ne these wretches ne comen not to t [...]ff [...]c [...]e of souerayne good. the whiche they enf [...]cen hem only to geten̄ by nightes and by dayes [...] in getyng of whi­che good [...] the strength of good folke is [...]l wel ysene. for right as thou mightest demen him mighty of goyng that gooth on his fe [...]te till he mighte comen to thilke place. fro the whiche place there ne laye noo weye f [...]rther to bee goone / ryghte so muste thou nedes demen̄ hym for right myghty whiche that geteth and a [...]teyneth to the [...]nde of alle thinges whiche that been to desiren̄ by yonde [...] the [Page] whiche ende there nys noo thing to desire. of the whiche po­wer of good folke. men maye conclude. that we wicked men semen to be bareyne and naked of alle strength. for why forleten they vertues and folowen vices. nys it not for that they ne knowen not the goodes / But what thing is more feble and more caytiue than is the blindnesse of Ignorance or ellis they knowen well whiche thinges they oughten folowe / but lechery and couetise ouerthroweth hem mystorned. And certes so dooth distemperan̄ce to feble men. that mowe not wrastelen ayeyne these vices / Ne knowe they not well that they forleten the good wilfully And tournen̄ hem wilfully to vices / And in this wyse they ne forleten not onely to be mighty. but they forleten all vtterly in any wise for to ben. For they that forl [...]ten the com̄une fyne. of alle thinges that bene. they forleten also therwith all for to bene. And perau [...]nture hit shuld semen to som̄e folke that this were a meruaille to seyne. that shrewes whiche that conteynen the more ꝑties of men̄ ne bene not ne han no beyng / but nath [...]les hit is soo. and thus stante this thing for they that be shrewes / I denye not but that they be shrewes. but I denye simplie and playnly that they ne bee not. ne han noo beeyng. for right as thou mightest seyne of the careyne of a man that hyt were a deed man. so graūte I well forsothe that vycious folk ben wicked / but I ne maye not absolutely & simply graūt that they ben. For thilke thing that withholdeth or­dre and kepith nature / thilke thing is & hath being / But what thing faileth that / that is to seye / he that forleteth na­turel ordre / he forletith thilk being that is set in his nature [Page] But thou wolt seyn̄ the shrewes mowen̄. certes that ne de­nye y not / but certes her power ne descendeth not of strength but of feblesse. for they mowen done wickednesse / the whiche they ne myght not. if they mighten dwellen in the fourme and in the doyng of goode peple / and thilk power sheweth euydently that they mowen right nought. for so as I haue gadred & proued a litel here byforn̄. that euil is not / and so as shrewes. may only but shrewdnesse. This conclusion is all clere. that shrewes ne mowen right nought ne han no power / And for as moche as thou vnderstandest whi­che is the strength of this power of shrewes / I haue diffi­nisshed a litel here byforne. that nothing is so myghty as souerayne good. B. that is soth qd I / P. Is there ony wight then̄e qd she that weneth that men mowen done all thinges / B. noman̄ qd I. but he be out of his wi [...]te / P. But certes shrewes mowen done euil qd she. B. ye wold god qd I that they might done none / P / Thenne qd she so as he th [...]t is [...]ghty to done only good thinges maye done all thinges / And they that ben mighty to done euyll thinges. ne mowen not all thinges. then̄e is it open thing and manifeste that they that mowen done euil ben of lasse power And yet to proue this conclusion / there helpeth me I haue shewed here biforne. that all power is to be nom­bred among thinges that men oughten to require. and I haue shewed that all thinge [...] that oughten ben desired / be referred to god right as to a maner height of her na­ [...]ure. But for to mowen done euil & felonye ne maye not been referred [...]o God / thenne is not euil of the nombre of thinges that oughten to been desired and required / then̄e [Page] is it open & clere that the power ne the moeuyng of shrewes nys noo power. And of all these thinges it sheweth well that the good folk been certaynly mighty / And the shre­wes doubtelesse vnmighty / And it is clere and open that thilke sentence of Plato is vereye and s [...]th. that seyth that onely wisemen̄ may done that they desiren. And shre­wes mowen haunten̄ that hem liketh. but that they desiren That is to seyne to come to souerayne good. they ne han no power to accomplisshe that / For shrewes done what h [...]m luste / whan by tho thinges in whiche they d [...]l [...]ten / they we­nen to atteyne to thilke good that they desiren / but they ne geten ne atteyne not thereto / For vices ne comen not to blisfulnesse

Quos vides sedere celsos solii culmine reges. Purpu­ra claros nitente. septos (tristib)tristibus armis. Ore coruo cō ­minantes. rabie cordis anhelos. Dechat si quis super­bis vam tegmina cultꝰ. Iā videbit intꝰ artas doīnos ferre ca [...]henas. Hīc enī libido usat. amdis corda vēnis Hīc flagellat ira mētē. fluctꝰ turbida tollēs. Meror aut captos fatigat. aut spes lubrica torquet. Ergo cum ca­put tot vnū cernas ferre tirānos. Non facit quod op­tat īpe. dn̄is pressis īiquis

WHo soo that the couertures of her vayne apparaylles myghte stripen of these proude Kynges. that thou seest sitten an̄ hyghe in theire chayers glitteryng in shy­nyng purpure enuironed with sorouful armures manas­ [...]ing with cruell mouth blowing by woodnesse of herte / He shuld seen that thilke lordes beren within her courai­ges ful streit cheynes / for lechery tourmenteth hem on that [Page] on side with gredy venymes and trowblable Ire that arai­seth in hem the floode of troubl [...]nges tourmenteth on that other side her thought. or sorowe halt hem wery & ycaughte or slyding. & deceyuyng hope tourmenteth hem. And there fore sith thou seest one heed. that is to seyne one tiraūte beren so many tyran̄yes than ne doth thilk tyraūt not that he desireth sith he is caste down̄ with so many wicked lor­des. that is to seyne so many vices that haue so wickedly lordshipps ouer him

Uides ne igitur quanto inceno probra voluantur. q probitas luce resplendeat. in quo perspicuum est nū (quam) bonis premia. num (quam) sua sceleribus deesse supplicia. Uerū [...]tenim que geruntur. illud propter que vnaq (que) res geritur euisdē rei premium esse etc

SEstow not than in how greet fil [...]h these shrewes ben ywrapped. And with whiche clerenesse these good folk shynen / In this sheweth it well that to good folke ne lakketh neuer moo her medes / ne shrewes lakken neuer moo tourmentes / For of alle thinges that be done. thilke thyng for whyche ony thing is done. It semeth as by righte that thilke thing bee the mede of [...]hat / As thus / yf a man ren̄eth in the stady or in the for [...]ng for the crowne / then̄e lieth the mede in the crowne fo [...] whiche he renneth. & I haue shewed that bl [...]sfulnes is thilke same good for whiche that al thinges ben done. then̄e is thilk same good purposed to the werkes of mankinde. right a a commune mede [...] whiche mede ne may not be disseuered from good folk [Page] For no wighte as by right from thensforth that him l [...]c­keth goodnesse ne shal be cleped good. For whiche thing folk of goode maners her medes ne forsaken hem neuer mo For al [...]e it so that shrewes waxen as woode as hem lust ayenst good folke. yet neuertheles the crowne of wisemen̄ ne shall not fallen ne faden̄ for foreyne shrewdnesse. ne bynym̄en not fro the corage of goode peple her propre honour But if ony wight reioysed him of goodnesse. that he had taken fro without. As who seith if a man̄ had his good­nesse of ony other man̄ than̄ of him self. certes he that yaf him thilke goodnesse. or els som̄e other wight mighte by­neme it him / But for as moche as to euery wighte hys propre bounte yeueth him his mede / thenne at erste shalle he faillen of mede. whan he forleteth to bee good / And [...]te laste so as all mede [...] ben required. for men wenen that [...]hey be good / who is he that nolde deme. that he that ys ryghte mighty of good were parteles of mede. And of what mede shall he be reguerdon [...]d. Certes of right fayr mede. & right grete abouen alle medes. Remembre the of thilk no­ble corallarie that I yafe the a litell here byforne / and ga­dere it to g [...]dre in this manere. So as God him self ys blisfulnesse. then̄e is it clere & certayn that all goode people ben maked blisfull / for they ben good. And thilke peple that ben blisfull. it accordeth and is couenable to be god­des. then̄e is the mede of peple suche / that no day ne shal en­peyren it ne no wickednesse shal dyrken hit / ne power of no wight ne shal not amenuse hit / That is to seyne that ben̄ maked goddes / & sith it is thus that goode men̄ ne fai­len neuer moo of her mede / certe [...] noman̄ ne may doubte of [Page] the vndepartable peyne of shrewes. that is to seyne that the peyne of shrewes departeth not from hem selfe neuer moo For so as good & euil and payne and medes be contra­rie. hit mote nedes be / that right as we see betiden in guer­done of good that also mote the payne of the euil answere by the contrarye partyes to shrewes / Nowe than so as boū ­te and prowesse bene mede to good folke / also is shrewd­nesse it selfe tourmente to shrewes / Then̄e who so euer ys entetched and defouled with payne / he ne doubteth not. that he is entetched and defouled with euyl / If shrewes than wollen preysen hem selfe / maye hit semen to hem that they ben withouten partye of tourment sith they ben suche / that the vtterest wickednes / that is to s [...]ye wicked [...]hewe [...] whiche is the vtterest & worst kinde of shrewdnesse ne de­ [...]ouleth ne entetcheth not hem onely / but enfecteth & enue­nymeth greetly. And also loke on shrewes / that ben the contrary partye of good men / howe grete payne felowship­peth & fouleth hem. For th [...] hoste lerned a litell here by forn̄ that alle thing that is and h [...]th beyng. is one / and thilk same one is good / than is this the conseq [...]ence / that h [...]t semeth well that alle thing that is and bath beeyng [...] good / That is to seyne / as who seith. that beeyng and vnyte and goodnesse is all one. An [...] in this maner it foloweth than that alle thing that failleth to bee good / it seynteth for to be and for to b [...]n [...]ny maner beyng. where fore [...]it is th [...]t shrewes stynten̄ for to be that they weren. But thilke other fourme of mankynde. That is to seyne the fourme of the body withoute sheweth that these shrewes w [...]ren whilome men̄ [...] where fore whan they bene peruerted [Page] and tourned into malice / Certes thenne they han forlorn̄ the nature of mankinde / but so a [...] onely bounte and pro­wesse maye enhaunsen euery man. ouer men / thenne mote it nedes bee that shrewes whiche that shrewdnesse hath caste oute / of the condicion of mankynde / ben put vnder the me­rite and deserte of men / thenne betideth it that if thou seest a wighte whiche that is transfourmed into vices. thou maiste not wen [...] that he bee a man. For if he bee ardaūte in Auarice and that he bee a rauenour by violence of fo­reyne richesse. thou shalt seyne that he is like a wolfe / and if he bee felonnous and withouten reste / and excercise his tonge to chidynges / thou shalt liken him to the hoūde / and if he bee a preuy awaitour hid / and rei [...]yssith him to ra­uisshe by wyle [...] / thou shalt seyne him like to the fox wh [...]l­pis / And if he bee distempred and quaketh for I [...] / Men shalle wenen that he bereth the couraige of a Lyon. And if he bee dredefull and fleying and dredeth thin­ges whiche that ne oughten not to bee dredd / men shalle hold him like to the Herte. And if he bee slowe and astonyed and latche. men shalle hold hym like to an asse And if he be lighte and vnste [...]faste of couraige and chaungeth ay his studies / men shalle hold him like to the briddes. And if he bee plounged in foule. and vnclene luxuries / he is withholden in the foule delices of the fowle sowe. Thenne fosowith hit. that he that forleteth bounte / and prowesse. he forleteth to bee a man̄ / sith he ne maye not passen in the condicion of God / he is tourned in to a beeste

Uela naricij ducis ¶Et vagas pelago rates ¶Eurus appulit insule Pulchra qua residens dea Solis edi­ta seīe ¶Miscet (hospitib)hospitibus nouis Tacta carmine pocula Quos vt in varios modos ¶Uertit herbipotens manꝰ

[...]Vrus the winde ariued the sailes of Vlix [...]s Duke of the contreye of narice. & his wandring shippes by the see in the fair Ile there as circes the fair goddesse dough­ter of the sonne dwellith that medleth to her newe gestes drinkes that be touchede & maked with enchantements. & after that her hand mighty ouer the h [...]rbes. had chaūged her gestes into diuerce maners. that one of hem is couered his face with the fourme of a bore / that other is chaūged into a lyon of the coūtre of marmorik & his teth waren. that other o [...] [...]em is newly chaūged into a wo [...]f & hewleth whan he wolde we [...]e / that other gooth debonarrly in to the hous as a tigre [...] of ynde / but al be it so that the godh [...]d of mercury th [...]t is cleped the b [...]d of a [...]chadie hath had mercy of vl [...]es the due beseged with diue [...]ce euil [...] & hath vn­bounden him from pestilence of his os [...]e [...]se. Algates the ro­we [...]s & the maron̄ers [...]adden by this drawen into her mou­thes & dronken the wicked drinkes. they that were waxen as swyne [...] hidden by this chan̄ge her mete of bred for to eten accornes of okes. None of t [...]er lymmes ne dwelleth with hem [...]ooll / but they han loste the voice and the body. onely her thoughte dwelleth with hem stable that wepeth and bewailleth the monstruous chaunge that they s [...]ffren O [...]uer lighte hand as whoo seyth / O feble and lighte ys the band of Cyrcesse the enchaunteresse that chaungeth [Page] the bodies of folkes into bestes. to regarde and comparison of mutacion that is maked by vices. ne the herbes of cir­tes. ne be not mighty. For al be it so that they maye chaū ­gen the lymmes of the bodies. Algates yet they ne maye not chaungen the hertes. For within is hid the strengthe and the vigour of men in the secre tour of her hertes / that is to seyn̄ the strength of reason. but thilk venymes of vi­ces to drawen to hem a man more mightily than̄ the venim of the enchaūteresse Cirtes. for vices ben so cruel that they passen and thurgh persen the corage within. and thaugh they annoye not the body. yet vices wooden to destroye men by wounde of thoughte

Tum ego fatror in (quam). nec iniuria dici video viciosos tam et si humani corporis speciem seruant. inbeluas tamen animorū qualitate mutari. Sed quorū atrox scelerata (que) mens bonorum pernicie seuit. idipsum eis licere voluissem. Nec licet inquit vti etc

THenne sayd I thus I confesse and am aknowe it qd I. ne I ne see not that men may seye / as by right that shrewes ben chaūged into beestes. by the qualite of her soules / al be it so that they kepen yet the forme of the body of mākinde. but I wold not of shrewes of whiche the thought cruel & wood woodeth alweye to the destruccion of good men / that it were leful to hem to done that. certes qd she ne it is not leful to hem as I shal wel shewe the in couenable place. but natheles if so were that thilk that men wene ben leueful to shrewes were bynomen hem. so that th [...]y ne might [Page] not anoyen̄ or done harme to good men / Certes a greet partye of the payne / to shrewes shuld bene alleged & rele­ued / For al be it soo that it ne seme credible thing pera­uenture to sem̄e folk. that it mote nedes be that the shrewes ben more wretches and sely whan they maye ful done and parfourme that they coueyten / than if they mighte not ac­complisshe that they coueyten. For if soo be that it be wret­chednesse to wilnen to done euil / than is it more wretched­nesse to mowen done euil. withoute whiche mowyng the wretched wille shulde languisshe withoute effecte. Th [...]n̄e s [...]th euery of th [...]se thinges hath his [...]retchednesse that ys to seyne wille to done e [...]ill. and mowing to d [...]ne euil. it mote nedes be that they shrewes be constreyned by the vn­sel [...]nesse that willen and mowen and performen felonyes and shrewdnesse. B / I accorde me qd I. [...]ut I desire gret­ly that shrewes loste sene thilke vn [...]elynesse. That is to seyne that shrewes were dispoyled of mowing to do euyl P / So shullen they quod she soner per [...]en [...]ure than thou woldest. or s [...]ner than they hem s [...]lfe we [...]e. For th [...]re nys nothing so late in so short b [...]ūdes of this l [...]fe that is long to abide. namelich to a corage inmortal. of wh [...]che shrewes the grete hope and high compassing of shrewdnesse is o [...]t destroyed. by a soden ende / or they be ware And that thing est [...]b [...]is [...]heth to shrewes. the ende of [...] sherewdnesse / for if that shrewdnesse makith wretches. th [...]n moste he nedes be moost wretche / that longest is a shrewe / the w [...]iche wicked shrewes wold I demyn aldermost caytifs and vnsely if her shrewdnesse ne were finisshed atte leste wey by the vt­terest d [...]th [...] for yf I haue concluded sothe of the vnselinesse [Page] of shrewdnesse than sheweth hit clerely that thilke wret­chednesse is withouten ende / the whiche is certayne to bee perdurable / B. Certes quod I this conclusion is hard & wonderful to graūte. But I knowe well that it accordeth moche to thinges that I haue graūted here bi [...]orn̄. Phīa. Thou haste quod she right estymacion of thie / But wh [...] so euer wene that hit be an hard thing to accorde him to a conclulion. hit is right that he shewe that som̄e of the pre­mysses ben fals / or ellis he moost shewe that the collacion of proposicions nys not spedeful to a necessarye conclusion And if it be not so / but that the premysses be graūted ther nys not why he shuld haue the argument / for this thing that I shall telle nowe. ne shal not seme lasse wonderfull but of thinges that ben taken / also it is necessarye / as who seith / it foloweth of that. whiche that is purposed bi [...]rne B. What is that quod I. P / Certes quod she / that y [...] / that these wicked shrewes b [...]e more blisfull or ellis lasse wretches. that abyen the tourmentes that they haue deser­ued. than if no payne of Iustice ne chastised hem. ne thi [...] ne seye I not now for that any man̄ myghte thinke that the manere of men that arn shrewes bene corriged & chas­tiged by vengean̄ce / and that they bene broughte to the right weye by the drede of tourmente. ne for that they yeuen to other folkes exsample to fleen fro vices / But I vnder­stande it yet in another manere. that shrewes bee more vn­sely whan they bee not punisshed / Al be hit soo that ther ne be had noo reson of lawe of correccion ne none exsample of loking / B / And what manere shall that bee qd I other than had be told here biforn̄ / P. Haue wee not graunted [Page] then̄e qd she. that goode folke ben blisful / and shrewes be wretches / B. Yi [...] qd I. P / then̄e qd she yf ony goode we­re added to the wretchednes of any wight nys he not m [...] ­re blisful than he that ne hath no medeling of good in his solitary wretchednesse. B. so semeth it qd I. P. & what saistow thenne qd she / of thilke wretche that lacketh alle goodes / so that no good is medeled in his wretchednesse for whiche he is a wretche / that ther be yet another euil an­nexed and knytt to him / shall not men demen him more vnsely than̄ thilke wretche of whiche the vnse [...]inesse is re­leued by the participacion of som̄e good. B / whi shulde he not qd I. P. thenne certes qd she han shrewes whan they be punysshed somwhat of good annexed to her shrewdnes Tha [...] i [...] to seyne the same peyne that they suffren / that ys good by the reson of Iustice. and whan thilke same shre­we [...] es [...]ap [...]n withoute tourmente / thenne han they yet som what m [...]re of [...]uil yet ouer the wickednesse that they han doon. that i [...] to seyne defaute of peyne the which thou haste graūted [...] euyl for the desert [...] of felonye. b. I ne may not denye it quod I. Phīa. Moche more thenne quod she ben shrewes vnsely [...] whan they bee wrongfully deliuered from peyne. than whan they bee punysshed by rightfull vengean­ce [...] But this is open thing and clere that hit y [...] ryght that shrewes bee punysshed. and hit is wickednesse and wronge whan they [...]sca [...]en vnpunysshed. Boecius / Who mygh [...]e denye hit quod I. Phīa. But quod she maye ony man̄ denye that alle that is right ne ys good. And [...]so the cont [...]arie that all that is wroong is wicked. Boeciu [...]. Ce [...]tes quod I these thinges bee clere ynough [Page] And that we han concluded here by forn̄ / But I pray the telle me if thou accordest to leten no torment to the sowles after that the body is ended with the deth / that is to seyn̄ Vnderstandestow ought that soules han any tourment af­ter the deth of the body. P. Certes quod she & that righte greet. Of whiche soules quod she I trowe that som̄e bene tourmented by asprenesse of peyne. And sowles I trowe bee excercised by a purgyng mekenesse. but it is not my conseylle to determyne of these peynes / But I haue tra­uailled and told yet hidderto for thou shuldest knowen that the mowing of shrewes. whiche mowyng the semeth to bene vnworthy nys noo mowyng / And eke of shrewes of whiche thou pleynedest. that they ne were not punysshed that thou woldest see / or they ne were neuer moo withoute the tourmentes of her wickednesse. And of the licence of mowyng to done euil. that thou preydeste that it might sone bee ended. And that thou woldest feyne lernen that hyt shuld not long endure / And that shrewes bee more vn­sely if they were of lenger during / and moost vnsely yf they were perdurable / And after this I haue shewed the that more vnsely bene shrewes whan they escapen without her rightfull payne. than whan they bee punysshed wyth rightfull vengeance / And of this sentence foloweth hyt that then̄e be shrewes constreyned atte laste with greuous tourmentes whan men wene that they be not punisshed. B Whan I considere this resons quod I / I ne trowe not that men seye ony thing more verily. & yf I tourne ayeyne to the studies of men̄ who is he to whom I shuld seme that he ne shuld not onely leuen these thynges but gladdely [Page] herken h [...]m / P. Certes qd she so it is / but men maye not / for they han there eyen̄ so wont to the derkenesse of erthely thinges. that they ne may not liften̄ vp to the light of cle­re stedfastnes. but they be like to briddes of whiche the night lightneth her lokinges. and the day blindeth hem. for whan men loken not the ordre of thinges but her lustes or talētes They wene that eyther the leue of mowyng to do wickednes or ellis the escaping withouten̄ payne be welefull. But considere the Iuggement of the perdurable lawe. for if thou conferme thi couraige to the beste thinges / thou ne hast noo mede of no Iugge to yeue the price or mede / for thou hast ioy­ned th [...] self to the moost exellent thing. And if thou ha­ue enc [...]d the studice to the wicked thinges ne seke no fore [...]n [...] wreker oute of thy selfe / For thou thi selfe haste thri [...]t thi self [...] in the wicked thinges like as thou migh­test loken by dyuerce tymes the foule erthe and the heuene And that all other thinges stinten̄ fro withoute / so that thou ne saye no thinges more. thenne shuld it seme to the as by only reson of loking that thou were now in the ster­res and now in the erth. But the people ne loketh not on these thinges. what then̄e. shal we than approchen vs to h [...]m that I haue shewed that they bee l [...]ke to beestes / and wilte thou s [...]ye of this yf that a man̄ had a [...] forlorn̄ his sight And hadd all foryeten that he eu [...] s [...]we And wened that noo thing ne failled him. of the perfecci [...]n of man­kynde. Nowe thenne wee whiche that myghten̄ sene the sa­m [...] [...]ynges wold wee not s [...]yne and wene. that he we­re [...]lynd Ne also ne accordeth not the people to that that I shalle [...]yne the whiche thing ye fasteyned by a strong [Page] foundment of reason. That is to seyne that more vnsely bene they that done wrong to other folke than they that the wrong suffre. B / I wold here thilke same reason quod I / P / Denyest thou quod she that alle shrewes ne bene worthy to han tourmente. B / Naye quod I / P. But qd she I am certayne by many reasons that shrewes bene vn­sely / B. It accordeth quod I. Phīa. Thenne ne doubtest thou not quod she. that thilke folke that bene worthy of tourment that they ne bee wretches / B / It accordeth well quod I / P / If thou were then̄e sette a Ingge or a knower of thinges whether trowestow that men shuld tourmen­ten hem that hath doo wrong or ellis hem that suffred the wroong. B. I doubte not quod I that I nold doo suf­fisan̄t satisfaccion / to hem that haue suffred wrong by the sorowe of hem that hath done wroong / Phīa. Thenne se­meth hit quod she that the doer of wroong is more wret­che than he that suffred the wroong. Boccius / That folo­weth well quod I / Phīa / Thenne quod she by these cau­ses and by other causes that bee enforced by the same roote that filth or synne by the propre nature of hit maketh hem wretches / And hit sheweth well that th [...] wrong that men done nys not the wretchednesse of him that the wronge re­ceyueth / but the wretchidnesse of him that doth the wrong But certes quod she these oratours / or ellis these aduoca­tes done alle the contrarye for they enforcen hem to commo­eue the Iugges that han pyte of hem that han [...]uffred and receyued the thinges whiche that ben greuouse and aspre And yet men shuld haue more rygtfully pyte of hem that done the greuaunces and the wroonges / The whiche [Page] shrewes hit were a more couenable thyng that the accu­sours or the Aduocates not wroth but piteous and debo­nair ledden shrewes whiche that han doon wroong to the Iuggemēt. like as men leden seke men̄ to the leche. for that they shulden seken oute the [...]aladie of synne by torment / And by this couenan̄te eyther thentent of the Aduoca­tes shuld cessen̄ in all. or els if thoffice of the aduocates wolde better preufi [...]en to men. It shuld be tourned in to the habite of accusacion / That ys to seyn̄ they shuld accu­se shrewes and not excuse hem. And eke the shrewes hem selfe it were leuefull to hem to sene at ony clifte / the ver­tue whiche that they han forleten / And that they sawen that they shuld putte adowne the filthes of her vices. by the tou [...]men [...]es of peynes they ne oughten not ryght for the recompensacion for to gete hem boute and prowesse / whi­che that they han loste. demen̄ and holden that thilke pey­nes weren̄ tourmentes to hem / And eke they welden refu­se the attendence of her aduocates and taken̄ h [...]m to her Iu­ges and her accusours. For the whiche but betideth that as to the wyse folk there nys no place leten to h [...]te / that ys to seyne. that hate ne hath no place amonges wis [...]men̄ / for noo wighte wole haten good men̄. But if he were ouer moche a foole / And for to haten shre [...]es. hit is noo re­son / for right as languysshyng ys maladie of body / right so been vices and synne maladie of couraige / And so as wee ne demen nought that they whiche that been seke of theire body. been worthy to been hated but rather worthy of py [...]e. Well more worthy not to been hated. But for to been hadd in pyte. been they of the whyche the [Page] thought is constreyned by felonous wickednesse. that ys more cruel than ony languisshing of body

Quid tantos iuuat excitare motus Et propria fatū sollicitare manu Si mortem petitis. propinquat ipsa Sponte sua volucres nec remoratur equos Quos serpens. leo. tigris vrsus. aper etc

WHat deliteth you to exciten so greet meouynges of hatredes & hasten̄ & busien the fatall disposicion of youre deth with youre propre handes. that is to seyn̄ by ba­tailles or contectes. For if ye axen the deth / hit hasteth him of his owne will / ne deth ne tarieth not his swifte horse. And the men that the serpentis and the lyon and the tigre and the bere & the bore seken to sleen with her t [...]th yet thilk same men̄ seken to sleen euerich of hem other with swerde. loo for these maners been diuerce and discordant they moeuen vnrightfull oostes and cruell batailles and wilnen to perisshe by enterchaūgyng dartes. but the reason of the cruelte is not ynough rightful. wil tow than yelden a couenable guerdon to the desertes of men. loue rightfully good men & haue pyte of shrewes

Sic ego in (quam) que sit vel felicitas vel miseria in ipsis proborum at (que) improborū meritis constituta. (sed) in hac ipsa fortuna popilari etc

THis I see wel quod I eyther what blisfulnesse. or els what vnselinesse is establisshed in the desertes of [Page] good men and of shrewes. but in this ilke fortune of the peple I see somwhat of good & somwhat of euil / for no wi­seman had not leuer be exiled pore and nedy and name­les than for to dwellen in his Cite and flouren of richesse and be redoutable of honour and strong of power. For in this wise more clerely and witnesfully is thoffice of wyse men̄ treated than the blisfulnesse of power & gouernours is / as it were shad amonges the peples that be neyghbours and subgittis. sith that namely prison / lawe & these other tormentes of lawful peynes be rather owed to felonoꝰ Ci­tezenes. For the whiche felonous Citezeines the peynes be establisshed more than for goode peple. B. Thenne I mer­uaile greetly qd I whi that the thinges be so mysse entre­chaūged that tormentes of felonyes pressen & confounden good peple. and shrewes rauesshen medes of vertue. & been in honours & grete estates. And I desire eke for to weten of the / what semeth the to be the reson of this so wrongful a confusion / For I wold wonder well the lasse / if I tro­wed that al thinges were medled with fortunouse happe But now crepith & encresith myne astonyengis God go­uernour of thinges that so as God yeueth ofte tymes to goode men goodes & myrthes. and to shrewes euils & a [...]pre thinges. & yeueth ayein to goode folke [...]ordnesse & to shre­wes he graūteth hem her wille / & that they des [...]ren̄ / what dif­ference may ther be betwene. that that god doth. & happe of fortune. yf men knowe not the cause whi it is / P / Ne hit is no meruaile quod she / thaugh that men wenen̄ that ther be som̄e what foliss [...] and confuse whan the reason of the or­de [...] is vnknowen. but all thaugh that thou ne knowe not [Page] the cause of so grete a disposicion. Natheles for as moche as god the goode gouernour attempreth and gouerneth the worlde. ne doubte ye not that al thinges ben̄ done a right

Si quis arturi sidera nescit. Lassant (que) crebris (pulsib)pulsibus a [...]ra. Propinqua summo cardine labi. Nemo miratur flamina chori. Cur legat tardus plaustra boetes. Li­tus frementi tundere fluctu. Mergat (que) seras equore flāmas. Nec nimis durā frigore molem. Cur nimis s [...]eleres explicet ortus. Feruente phebi soliner estu. Legem stup [...]bit etheris alti. Hic e [...]im causas cernere promptum. Palleant plene cornua lune etc

WHo so that knowe not the ster [...]es of Arture torned to the souerayne centre or point. That is to seyn̄ tor­ned nigh to the souerayn pole of the firmament / and wote not whi the sterre Boetes passeth or gadereth his waynes and drencheth his late flambes in the see. And why that Boetes the sterre vnfoldeth his ouerswift arisinges then̄e shall he wondren of the lawe of the high ayer. And eke if that he ne knowe not whi that the hornes of the ful mo­ne waxen pale & infecte by the boūdes of the derk night / and how the mone derk & confuse discouereth the sterres that she had couered by her clere visage / The comune errour moe­ueth folkes & maketh wery her basins of brasse by thilke strokes / that is to sey that ther is a maner peple that hight Coribandes that wenen that whan the mone is in the eclip­se that hit bee enchaunted. And therfore for to rescowe the Mone / they beten her basyns wyth thilke strookes [Page] Ne noo man ne wondreth whan the blastes of the wynde chorus beten the strondes of the see by quaking flodes / Ne noo man̄ ne wondreth whan the weight of the snowe har­ded by the colde is resolued by the brennyng hete of phebus the sonne / For here seen men redily the causes. but the cau­ses yhidde that is to seyn̄ in heueue troublen the brestes of men / the meouable peple is astonyed of alle thinges that comen sield & sedenly in your age / but the troubly errour of oure ignorance depted fro vs so that if they wisten̄ the cau­se why that suche thinges betiden. certes they shulden cesse to seme wondres

Ita est in (quam). sed cum tui muneris sit latenti rerum causas euoluere uelatas (que) caligine explicare raciones Queso vti hinc decernas. (quam) hoc me miraculum max­ime perturbat. edisseras. Tum illa paulisper etc

THus it is qu [...]d I. but so as thou haste yeuen or by­highte me to vnwrappe the hydd causes of thinges and to discouere me the reasons couered with derkenesse I pray the that thou deuise & iugge me of this matier. & that thou doo me to vnderstande hit / For this myracle of this wondre troubleth me right greetly. And thenne she a litel what smylyng saide. Thou clepest me quod she to telle that is greetest of alle thinges. that mowen bene ax­ed / And to the whiche question vnnethe is there ought ynough to lauen hyt / As whoo seyth. Vnnethe is there ony thing to answere perfytely to thy question / For the matere of h [...] ys suche. that whan do doubte is determined [Page] and cutte aweye / there waxen other doubtes without nom­bre / right as the heedes of Idre the serpent waxen the whi­che serpent Hercules slough / ne there ne were noo manere ne none ende / but if a wighte constreyned the doubtes by a right liuely and quyk fire of thoughte. That is to seyn̄ by vigour and strengthe of witte / For in this matiere men weren wonte to maken questyons of the simplicite of the purueance of god and of the ordre of destyne and of sodeyne happe. and of knowyng of predestinacion dyuyne And of the liberte of frewille / The whiche thinges thou thi selfe apperceyuedest well of what weighte they ben. but for as moche as the knowynges of these thinges is a ma­ner porcion or medycine to the / al bee hit soo that I haue li­tell tyme to doon̄ hit / yet neuertheles I wold enforcen me to shewen̄ som̄e what of hit / But al thaugh the norisshin­ges of dite of musike deliteth the / thou muste suffren and forberen a litell of thilke delite. while that I wene to th [...] resons knytt by ordre. B / As it liketh to the quod I so do Phīa / Tho spacke she right as by another bygynnyng & sayde right thus. The engendryng of all thinges quod she and all the progressions of meouable nature / and al that meoueth in ony maner. taketh his causes / his ordre and his fourmes of the stablenesse of dyuine thought / And thilke dyuine thoughte that is sette and put in the toure That is to seyne. in the heighte of the simplicite of God Stablissheth many maner guises to the thinges that been to doon̄. The whiche maner whan that men loken it in the pure clennesse of the dyuine Intelligence ys cleped pour­ueyannce. But whan thilke manere ys referred by [Page] men to thinges that hit meoueth or disponeth than of olde men hit was cleped destenye. the whiche thinges if that ony whighte loketh well in his thoughte / the strength of that one and of that other he shall lightly mowe sene. that these two thinges bene dyuerce. For pourueyance ys thilke dyuyne reason / that is establisshed in the souerayn prynce of thinges / the whiche pourueyance disponeth alle thinges. But certes destenye is the disposicion and the ordenaunce cle [...]yng to meouable thinges / by the whiche disposicion the pourueyan̄ce knitteth alle thinges in her or­dre. For pourueyance enbraseth alle thinges to heepe all th [...]ugh they bee dyuerce / and al thaugh they bee Infinite But desteny certayn departeth and ordeyneth alle thyn­ges singlerly and dyuydeth in me [...]uyng in places. in for­mes / in tymes as thus. late the vnfolding of temporal or­denaūce assembled and coned in the loking of the dyui­ne thought bee cleped purueyance. and thilk same assem­bling & o [...]nyng dyuided and vnfolden late that bee cal­led destenye. And al be hit soo that these thinges ben dy­uers yet neuertheles hanged that one of that other. for why the ordre destynale procedeth of the simplicite of purueyan̄ce For right as a w [...]rkman perceyueth in his thoughte the fourme of a thing that [...]e wole make and meoueth the effecte of the w [...]rk / And ledeth that [...]e [...]d loked beforn̄ in his thought simply & presently by corp [...]ral ordenan̄ce. c [...]tes right so god in his purueyance disponeth singlerly & s [...]ably the thinges that bee to don / but he administreth in maners & in diuers times by desteny thilke same thinges that [...]e hath disponed then̄e whether destenye bee excercised [Page] eyther by som̄e dyuyne spirites seruauntes to the dyuyne puruean̄ce / or els by som soule. or els by al nature seruyng to god / or els by the celestial moeuinges of sterres / or ellis by the vertue of angelles. or els by dyuerce subtilite of de­uils / or els by ony of hem. or els by hem all / the destinall ordenan̄ce is wouen and accomplisshed. Certes it is open thing that the puruean̄ce is an vnmeouable & simple forme of thinges to done / And the meonable bonde & the tempo­ral ordenan̄ce of thingis whiche that th [...] dyuine simplicite of purueance hath ordeyned to done that is desteyne / For whiche it is that al thingis that ben put vnder desteyne ben certes subgi [...]ttes vnto puruean̄ce. to whiche pur [...]ean̄ce destenye it self is subgiect & vnder / but som̄e thinges been put vnder purueance that surm [...]ūten the ordinan̄ce of des­tine. and tho ben thilke that stably ben fix [...]d nigh to the first godhed they surmoūten the ordre of destynale moua­blete. For righte as cercles tornen̄ aboute a same centre or aboute a poynte / thilk c [...]rcle that is Innerest or most with in / he ioyneth to the simplesse of the myddel / & is as it were a centre or a poynte to that other cercles that tornen aboute him. & thilk that is vtterest compassed by a larger enuiro­nyng is vnfold by larger spaces / in somoche as it is fer­therest fro the middelest simplicite of the point. & if ther be ony thing that knitteth & felaushippeth him self to thilk middel point / it is ꝯstreyned into simplicite. that is to sey into vn­mouablete. & it cessith to ben shad & to flitte diusly / right so by semblable reson thilk thing that deꝑteth fortherest fro the first thought of god [...] it is vnfolden & also submitted to gret­ter bondes of destyne / and in somoch is the thing more free [Page] and lowse fro dignite / as it axeth and holdeth nerre to thilke Centre of thinges. That is to seyne to god. And if the thing cleueth to the stedfastnesse of the thoughte of god and bee withoute meouyng. certes it [...]urmounteth the n [...]cessite of destenye / Then̄e [...]uche comparison as is ski­ling to vnderstanding and of thing that was engen­dred to thing that is of tyme to eternite. And of the cer­cle to the centre right so is the ordre of meouable destyne to to st [...]ble simplicite of pourueyance / Thilk ordenance meo­ueth the heuen and the sterres and attemprith the elemen­t [...]s to g [...]dre among hem self. and transformeth hem by en [...]r [...]h [...]ungeable mutacion. And thilke same ordre ne­weth a [...]eyne alle thinges growing & falling a downe by semblab [...]e progressions of sedes and of sexus / That is to s [...]n̄ male and female. And thi [...] ilk ordre constreyneth the f [...]r [...]un [...] & the dedes of men̄ by a bande of causes not able to bee vn [...]ounden. The whiche destynale causes whan they pas [...]n oute fro the begynnynges of vnmeouable pouruey­a [...] ̄ce [...] mo [...]e nedes bee that they ne bee not mutable. A [...] thus. bee the thinges well gouerned if that the simplicite dwellin [...] in the dyuyne thoughte sheweth forth the ordre [...]f c [...]uses vnable to bee [...]owed. And this ordre constrey­neth by the [...]ropre stable [...]e the meouable t [...]inges or els they shulden fl [...]e fo [...]ly. For whiche hit [...] that thinges semen confuse and trowblye to vs men̄. For wee ne mowen not considere thilke ordenaunce. Neuertheles the propre ma­n [...]re of [...] [...]hing dressing him to god disponeth hem all [...] For there nys noo thing done for euyll. for thilke thing that is dene by wicked folk nys not done for euil / the [Page] whiche shrewes as I haue shewd ful plenteously seke good But wicked errour mystorneth hem / ne the ordre comyng fro the point of souerain good ne enclineth not fro his by­gyn̄yng / but thou maist saye what vnrest may ben a wors confusion then̄e that goode men han somtime aduersite and somtime ꝓsperite / & shrewes han now also thinges that they desiren & now thinges that they haten / wheder men lyue now in suche hol [...]nesse of thought. As who seith. be men now so wise / that suche folk as they demen to [...]e good folk or shre­wes. that it mote nedes be that folk be suche as they wenen But in this maner domes of men discorden / that thilke men̄ that som̄e folk demen worthy of mede. other folk deme hem worthy of torment / but [...]ate vs graūte I suppose that som man̄ may wel deme or knowe the goode peple & the bad May he then̄e knowe & see thilk Innerest attemꝑan̄ce of co­rage as it hath be wont to be seyd of bodies / as who seyth May a man̄ speken̄ of complexions & attemperan̄ce of bo­dies / ne it ne is not / as who seith but it is lik a meruaile or a miracle to hem that ne knowen it not. whi that swete thinges be couenable to som bodies that ben hole / & to som̄e peple bitter thinges be couenable. & also whi som people ben holpen with light medicines / & som̄e peple ben̄ holpen̄ wyth bittir medicines / but natheles tho that knowen̄ the maner & the actemperan̄ce of hele & of maladie ne meruaileth it noo thing / but what other thing semeth helth of corages but bounte / and what other thing semeth maladie of courai­ge but vices / Who is els keper of good and driuer awey of euyll / but God the gouernour and lether of though­ [...]es. The whiche God whan he hath beholden̄ from the [Page] high toure of his pouruean̄ce / he knoweth what is couena­ble to eny wighte / and leneth hem that he wote well that is couenable to hem. lo herof cometh and herof is done this myracle of the ordre destynable / whan god that all knoweth dooth suche thing of whiche thing vnknowyng folk ben̄ astonyed. but for to constreyne as who seith but for to comprehende and telle a fewe thinges of the dyuine dep­nesse / the whiche that mannys reason maye vnderstande. Thilk man̄ that thou wenest to bene right Iuste & righte kepyng of equite. the contrarye of that semeth to the dy­uine pouruean̄ce that all wote / A [...]d lucan my familier tellith that the vyctoriouse cause liked to the goddes / and the causes ouercomen liketh to Caton̄ / Thenne what soo euer thou maiste sene that is done in this world vnhoped or ellis vnknowen̄ / certes hit is the righte ordre of thinges But as to thy wicked opynyon / hit is a confusion / but I suppose that som̄e man̄ be so wele thewed that the dyuyne Iuggement and the Iuggement of mankynde accorden hem to geder of him / but he is so vnstidfaste of courage. that if ony aduersite come to him / he wole forleten perauenture to contynue Innocencie / by the whiche he ne maye not wyth­holden fortune / then̄e the wise dispensacion̄ of god spareth him the whiche man aduersite might enpey [...]en. for that god wille not him to trauaille / to whom that trauaile nys not couenable. Another man̄ is parfyte in all vertues and y [...] an holy man and nygh to god so that the pourueance of god wold deme that it were a felonye that he were tow­ched with ony aduersitees. so that he wole not suffre that suche a man̄ be with ony bodily maladye meoued. But [Page] so as sayde the philosophre / the more excellent is by me sayde in grete that vertues han edefied the body of the holy man / & ofte tyme it betideth that the sōme of thinges that bene to done is taken to gouerne to good f [...]lk. for that the malice habondan̄t of shrewes shuld bene abated / and God ye­ueth and departeth to other folk prosperitees & aduersite­es medeled to heepe after the qualite of her couraigis / and remordeth som̄e folke by aduersitees. for they ne shuld not waxen prowde by long welefulnesse / and other folk he suf­freth to bee trauailled with hard thinges for that they shuld confermen the vertues of couraige by the excercitaci­on of vsage of pacience. And other folke d [...]eden more than they oughten the whiche they myghten well beren / & som̄e dispise that they mowe not bere. And thilk folke god le­deth into experience of hem self by aspre & sorouful thinges And many other folke haue brought honourable renom̄es of this world by the price of glorious deeth. And som̄e men that ne mowe not bene ouercomen by tourment. han yeuen ensample to other folke that vertue may not bene ouer­comen by aduersitees / And of all these thinges there nys noo doubte that they ne bene done rightfully and ordeynly to the parfyte good of hem to whom wee sene these thyn­ges betyde. For certes that aduersitees cometh somtyme to shrewes / and somtyme that they desiren hit cometh of these forsaid causes & of sorouful thinges that betiden to shrewes Certes noo man ne wondreth / for al men wene that they han deserued hit. and that they ben of wicked merite. of whiche shrewes the tourmente agasteth somtyme other to done felonyes / and somtyme it amendeth hem that suffreth [Page] the tormentes / & the prosperite that is yeuen to shrewes. she­weth a grete argumēt [...]o goode peple / what thing they shulde demen of thilke welfulnes. which ꝓsperite men seen ofte serue to shrewes / in which thing I trow that god dispēseth For ꝑauenture the nature of som man is so outhrowing to euil & so vncouenable that the nedy pouert of his houshold might rather agreue him to done felonies. & to the maladie of him god putteth remedie to yeuen him richesse. & som̄e other man̄ beholdeth his consciēce defouled with syn̄es and maketh comꝑison of this fortune & of him self / & dredeth ꝑauenture that the blisfulnes of whiche the vsage is Ioy­ful to him. & the l [...]sing of thilk blisfulnes ne be not sorou­ful to him / & therfore he wolde chaūge his maners. & for he dredeth to lese his fortune he forleteth his wickednesse. to other folkes welfulnesse is [...]euen vnworthily / the whiche ouerthroweth hem into destruccion̄ that they han deserued. & to som other folke is yeuen power to punisshen for that hit shalbe cause of continuacion & e [...]cercising to goode folke & cause of torment to shrewe [...]. for as there n [...]s none allian̄ce b [...]twix goode folk & shrewes. ne shrewes ne mowe not ac­corden among hem self / And whi not. for that shrewes dis [...]orden of h [...]m self by her vices. the whiche vices all to renden her conscience [...] and done oftyme thinges the whiche thinges whan they han done hem / they deme that tho thinges ne shuld not han be done. for which thing the souerain pur­ueance hath maked oftyme miracle. so that shrewes han maked shrewes to ben goode men / for whan that som shre­wes seen that they suffre wrongfully felonies of other shre­wes / they waxen eschau [...]ed in to hate of hem that annoyed [Page] hem and retournen to the fruyte of vertue. than they studi­en to be vnlike to hem that they han hated. Certes onely is this the dyuine might. to the whiche might. euils ben than good whan it vsith the euils couenably & draweth out the effecte of ony good / as who seith that euil is good on̄e [...] to the might of god. for the might of god ordeyneth th [...] euil to good / for one ordre enbraceth al thinges / so that what wight deꝑteth from the reson of thilke ordre that is assig­ned to him. algates yet he slideth into another ordre. so that nothing is leueful to folie in the royame of diuyne purue­ance. as who seith nothing is without ordenance in the roy­ame of diuine purueance / sith that the right stronge god gouerneth al thinges in this worlde. for it is not leuefull for men̄ to comphende by witte ne vnfolden by worde al the subtil ordenance & the disposicion of the diuine entent / for only it ought to suffise to han loked that god him self ma­ker of al natures ordeyneth al thingis to good while that he hasteth to withholde the thingis that he hath maked into his semblan̄ce that is to seye fo [...]to withholden the thingis into good. for he him self is good / he chasith out al euils fro the boūde of his cominaltees by the ordre of the necessite desty­nable / for which it folweth that if thou loke the purueance ordening the thingis that men̄ wenen be outrageoꝰ or habon­dant in erthes thou shalt not seen in no place no thing of euil. but I see now that thou art charged with the weighte of the question & wery with length of my reson & that thou [...]bidest som swetenes of songe. take then̄e this draught. & whan thou art wel refresshed & refecte. thou shalt bee more stedfaste to stye into higher questions or thinges

Si vis celsi iura tonantis. Pura solers cernere mēte Aspice summi culmina celi. Illic iusto federe rerum. Ueterem seruant sidera pacem etc

If thou wise wolt demen in thi pure thought the righ­tes or the lawes of the high thonder. that is to sey of god. loke thou & beholde the heightes of the souerayn heuen there [...]pe [...] the sterres by rightful a [...]an̄ce of thinges her ol­de pe [...]s. the son̄e meoued b [...] his rody fire / ne distourbeth not the co [...]e cer [...]le of the mone [...] ne the sterre cleped the beer that en [...]neth his rauisshing courses aboute the soueram height of this worlde. nys neuer w [...]sshen in the depe westren se [...]. ne to [...]eth not to dien his flambes in the see of the occian. Al th [...]ugh [...]e see other sterres ploūged in the see. & that the s [...]re [...]spe [...] bodeth & telleth alwey the late nightes / & lu­cife [...] t [...] se [...]r [...] bringeth ayein the clere daye. And thus [...] entr [...]chaūgeable ꝑdurable courses. & thus ys [...] put out of the coūtre of ster [...]es. this ac­ [...] actempreth by mane [...]s euenlike the elementes / that th [...] moys [...] t [...]inges striuyng with the drie thinges y [...]ue pla­ce b [...] s [...]oūdes & that the col [...]e thinges ioynen hem by [...]ith to t [...] hote thingis & that the [...]ight fire ariseth into the height and the heu [...] e [...]thes aualen by her weightes. by these same causes the floury yere yeldeth sw [...]te smelles in the first somer season warming / & the hote somer drieth the cornes / And Autūpne cometh a [...]eme [...]uye of apples / And the fleting ra [...]ne b [...]d [...]weth this wynter. This actemperan̄ce norissheth & bryngeth forth all thing that bereth lyfe in this world And thilke same actemperannce rauesshyng. hydeth [Page] and bynymmeth & drencheth vnder last deth / all thinges that ben born̄ / among these thinges s [...]cteth the high maker king & lord / welle & begynnyng lawe & wise iugge to done equite. & gouerneth & enclineth the brideles of thinges / and tho thinges that he stereth to gone by meouyng he wyth­draweth & aresteth & affermeth the meouabletees or wan­dringes. for if that he ne called not ayeyn the right going of thynges. & if that he ne constreyned hem not eftsones into roūdes enclined. the thinges that ben now continued by stable ordonan̄ce they shulden deꝑte from her welle / That is to seyne fro her begyn̄yng / & fallen that is to seye tour­nen into nought. This is the com̄une loue to all thinges And all thinges axen to bee holden by the fyne of good. for els ne myghten they not lasten / if they ne come not eft­sones ayeyn by loue retorned to the cause that hath yeu [...]n hem beyng. that is to seyne god

Iam ne igitur vides quid hec omnia que diximus consequantur. Quid nam inquit. Omnem inquit etc

[...]Estow not than what thing foloweth al the thingis that I haue sayde. B / what thing qd I / P. Certes qd she al vtterly that al fortune is good / B / And how may that be qd I / P / now vnderstande qd she / so as alle fortune whether so it be ioyful fortune or aspre fortune / ys eyther yeuen by cause of guerdonyng / or els of excercising of good folk or bicause to punissh or ellis to chastisen the shrewes. then̄e fortune is good. the whiche fortune is cer­tayne that hit bee eyther rightfull or ellis proufitable / B. [Page] Forsoth this is a ful very reson qd I / & if I considere the puruean̄ce & the destine that thou taughtest me a litil here biforn̄ / this sentence is sustened by stidfast resons. but if it [...]ke to the late vs nōbre hem amōg thilk thinges of which thou seidest a litil here bifore that they ne were not able to be wened to the peple. p / whi so qd she. b / for the comune worde of men qd I vsith amysse the maner speche of fortune. & seye of tyme that fortune of som wight is wicked. p / wil [...]ow then̄e qd she that I approche alitil to the wordes of the peple so that it seme not to hem that I be oumoch deꝑted as fro the vsage of mākinde / b. as thou wilt qd I / P. wenestow not qd she that al thing that ꝓfiteth is goode. b / yis qd I p. certes al thing that excercith or cor [...]igith. it ꝓfiteth. B I confesse wel qd I. p. then is it goode qd she / b / whi not qd I / p / but this is the fortune qd she of h [...]m that eyther be put in vertu / & bat [...]ilen ayenst aspre thingis. or els of hem that enclinen & declinen fro vices & taken the wey of vertue b. this ne may I not denye qd I / p but what s [...]istow of the mery fortune that is yeuen to goode peple in guerdon / demeth ought the peple that it be wicked. b. nay fors [...]th qd I but they deme as it is sothe [...] that it is right good. p. what seist th [...]u of the other fortune qd she / that al thaugh that it bee aspre & restreyneth the shrewes by righ [...]ful tormēt / weneth ought the peple that it be good / b. nay qd I / but the peple demeth that it is most wretched of alle thinges that may bee thoughte. Phīa. Ware nowe and loke well quod she leste we in folowing the oppinion of the people. haue confes­sed and concluded thyng whiche that ys vnable to ben wened to the people / Boecius. What ys that quod I [Page] P. Certes qd she it foloweth or cometh of thingis that ben graūted that al fortune what so euer it be. of hem that ey­ther be in possession of vertu / or els in the purchasing of ver­tue. that thilk fortune is good. & that al fottune is right wicked to hem that dwelle in shrewdnes. As who seith / & thus weneth not the peple. B. that is soth qd I. albe it so that noman dar confesse it ne knowe / P. why so qd she / for right as a strong man̄ ne semeth. not to abasshen / or disdai­nen as oftyme as he hereth the noise of the bataile. Ne also it semeth not to the wiseman to beren it greuously as ofte as he is led into strif of fortune / for both to that one man & eke to thilk other / thilk difficulte is the mater to that one man of encrease of his glorioꝰ renom̄e. & to that other man to conserue his sapiēce. that is to seye to the asprenes of his estate. for therfore is it called vertu / for that it susteneth & enforceth by his s [...]rengthes / so that it nys not oucomen by aduersitees. ne certes thou that art put in encrease or in the height of vertu / ne hast not comen to fleten / with delices. & forto walken in bodily lust. thou sowest or plantest a full egre bataile in thy corage ayenst euery fortune. for that the sorouful fortune confonde the not. ne that the mery fortune ne corrūpe the not / occupye the meane by stedfast strengthes For al that euer is vnder the meane / or al that ouerpassith the meane dispiseth welfulnes / As who seith. it is vicioꝰ And ne hath no mede of his trauaile / for it is sett in your hande. As who seith it lieth in your power. what fortune you is leueste. that is to seye good or euil / for all fortune that semeth sharp or aspre. if it ne excercise not the good folk ne chastiseth the wicked folk it punysseth

Bella bis binis operatus annis. Ultor atrides phri­gierumis. Fratris amissos thalamos piauit. Ille dn̄ gaye dare vela classi. Optat & vētos redimit eruore &c

THe wreker atrides that is to seyne Agamenon that wrought & continued the batailes by ten yere / recoue­red & purged in wreking by the destruccion of Troye. the lost chambres of mariage in his brother / that is to seye that Agamenon wan ayein Elene that was menelaꝰ wyf his b [...]oder. in the meane while that thilk agamenon desired to yeuen sailes to the grekes nauie / & brought ayein the wyn­des by blod. he vnclothed him of pite of fader. and the sory prest yeueth in sacrefiing the wretched kicting of the throte of the doughter / that is to seye that agamenon lete kitte the throte of his doughter by the prest to maken alian̄ce wyth hi [...] goddes / & forto han winde with whiche he might ween­den to troye / Itacꝰ that is to seye vlixes bewept his felaws y [...]n̄. the whiche f [...]laws the fiers peliphemꝰ ligging in his grete caue had freten̄ & dreynt in his empty wombe / But natheles poliphemus wood for his blinde visage yealde to vlires ioye by his sorouful teeres. that is to seye that vlix­es smote out the eye of p [...]l [...]phemꝰ that stode in the forheed for whiche vlixes had ioye whan he say poliphemꝰ weping & blinde. Hercu [...]s is celeb [...]able for his harde trauaile. he daū ­ted the proude centaurus half hors half man / & b [...]rafte the dispoyling fro the cruel lyon. that is to seye he slough the ho [...] & birafte h [...]m his s [...]yn̄e / he smote the [...]iddes that hight a [...]pyes with certayn arows. he rauisshed apples fro the wa­king dragon̄. & his hande was the more heuy for the golden [Page] metal. he drough cerberꝰ the hoūde of hell by the triple cheynes He ouercomer as it is sayd hath putte an vnmeke lord fodder to his cruel hors. that is to seye hercules slough dy­omedes & made his hors to freten him / & he hercules slough Idra the serpent & brent the venym. And achileꝰ the flood defouled in his forhede dreynt his shamefast visage i [...] hys stron̄des / that is to seye that achileus coude transfigure him self into dyuerse likenesse / And as he faught with hercu­les atte last he torned him into a bulle. & hercules brake of one of his hornes. & he for shame hid him in his riuer. & ouer that he hercules caste adoun̄ Antheus the geant in the strondes of libie / And cacus appaysed the wrathes of [...]u­ander / that is to seye that hercules slough the monstre cacꝰ & appeased with that deth the wrath of euander. & the br [...]s­teled boor marked with vomes the shulders of hercules the whiche shulders the hye cercle of heuen shulde thrist. And the last of his labours was that he sustened the heuen vpon his neck. vnbowed & he deserued eftsones the h [...]uen to bee the last ende of trauaile / goth now then ye strong men̄ ther as the grete ensample ledeth you. o nyce men̄ why make ye your backes / As who seith. O ye slowe & delicate men̄. whi see ye aduer [...]itees & ne fighten not ayenst hem by ver­tue to wynnen the mede of heuen. For the mede ouercomen yeueth the sterres / That is to seyn̄ that whan that erthely lust is ouercomen. a man̄ is maked worthy to the heuen

Explicit liber quartus ¶Incipit liber quintus

DIxerat oraciouis (que) cursum ad alia quedā trac­tanda at (que) expedienda uertebat. Tum ego. recta quidem in (quam) exortacio tua (que) ꝓrsus auctoritate etc

SHe had sayd & tourned the [...]eurs of her reason to som other thinges to be treated & to be spedd / B. Then̄e sayde I. Certes rightful is thyne amonesting. and ful digne by auctorite. but that thou saidest whilome that the question of the dyuine purueance is enlased with ma­ny other questions. I vnderstande wel & proue it by the sa­me thing. but I may axe / if th [...]t thou wenest that happe bee ony thing in ony weyes. and if thou wenest that happe be ony thing / what is it. P [...] Then̄e qd see I haste me to yeld & a [...]s [...]l [...]n to the the dette of my behes [...] / & to shewe & opene the weye by whi [...]he wa [...] thou maist comen agayne in thy coū ­t [...] al bee it [...]o that th [...] thinges that thou axest ben [...] / yet ben th [...]y d [...]u [...]rs som̄e what [...] pa [...]h of my purpose / And hit is to doubten that thou ne maist not su [...]isen to me [...]uren the right weye. B. Ne deu [...]te the therof nothing qd I. for forto knowe thilk thing [...]s to geder in the which thinges I d [...]lite me greetly That shalbe to me in seede of res [...]e. s [...]th it is not to doubte of the thinges folowing whan euery t [...]g [...]f thy disputy­cion shalbe stedfaste to me. by vndo [...]t [...]us [...]eith. P. th [...]n̄e seyde she. that maner wold I done to the & began̄ to speke right thu [...]. Certes qd she if ony wight diffinissh happ in th [...] maner that is to seye. that happe is betiding broughte for [...]h by folissh meouyng & by no kni [...]ting of causes / I con­ferme that hap ny [...] right nought in no wise. and I deme [Page] al vtterly that hap nis not ne dwellith but a wis / as who seith but an idel [...] word without ony significacion of thing to that wis submitted. for what place might be lest or dwel­l [...]ng to [...]olie & discordan̄ce. sith that god ledeth & ꝯstreyneth al thing by ordre / for this sentence is soth / that nothing hath his being of nought. to which sentence none of these old folk ne withseid neu / al be it so that they ne vnderstād it not by god prince & begyn̄er of werking / but they casten as a maner fondemēt of [...]ubiectes material. that is to seye of the nature of al reson / & if that ony thing is waxen & comen of no causes. then̄ shal it seme that thilk thing is co­men or waxen of nought. but if this ne may not be done then̄e is it not possible that hap be by ony such thing as I haue diffinisshed alitil here bifore / b. how shal it then be qd I / nis ther then nothing that by right may be cleped eyther hap or els auēture or fortune / or els is ther ought. albe it so that it is hid fro the peple to which thinges these wordes be couenable / p. myn aristotiles qd she in the boke of his phisik diffinissheth this thing shortly & nigh to the soth / b / in what maner qd I. p. as men done qd she ony thing [...]or grace of ony other thing / then̄ no nother thing than thilk thing that men entenden to done bitideth by som causes it is cleped hap right as a man dalf the erthes bicause of tilling of the fel­de / & foūde there a gobett of golde bidoluen. then̄e wene folk that it is bifalle by fortunꝰ betiding. but forsoth it is not of nought. for it hath his ꝓpre causes / of which causes the cours vnforseyn̄ & vnware semeth to han maked hap. for if the tiller of the felde ne delfe not in the erthe. and if the hider of the golde. ne had hid the gold in thilke place the [Page] gold ne had not ben fonden / these ben then̄e the causes of the abbreging of fortuyt happe / the whiche abregyng of fortuyt hap. cometh of causes of encoūtring or flowing to gedre to hem selfe. & not by the entencion ef the doer. for neyther the hider of the golde. ne the deluer of the felde ne vnderstanden not that the golde shulde han be foūde / but as I saide it be­tidde & ran to geder that he dalfe there as that other hadd hyd the golde. Now may I thus diffinisshen happe / Happe is an vnwar betidyng of causes assembled in thingis that ben done for som other thing / but thilk ordre ꝓceding by an vneschuable betiding to geder which that descendeth from the welle of purueance that ordeyneth al thingis in her pla­ces & in her tymes maketh that the causes rennen & assem­b [...]en to geder

[...]upis a [...]hemen [...]e scopulis vbi rersa seqentū Pecto­ribus [...] spicula pugna fugax. Tigris & eufratis &c

TYgris & eufrates resoluen and spri [...]gen of oo welle in the c [...]aggis of the r [...]che of the coūtre [...] of A [...]heme­nye th [...]re as the flyeing batailles f [...]yen her dartes retour­n [...]ng in the brestes of hem that folowen hem / And sone after the same ryuers. tigris. & eufra [...]s vnioynen & de­parten her waters. and if they com [...]n to gedirs / and bee assembled and called in to oo tours. then meten thilke thinges fleten to geder / whiche that the water of the entre­chaugyng flode bryngeth the shippes / & the strokes arased with that the flode meten assemble & the waters medeled wrappeth or implieth many fortuneles happes or maneres [Page] the whiche wandring happes nathele [...] thilk declinyng low­nesse of the erth & of the flowing ordre of the sliding water gouerneth. right so fortune that semeth as it fleteth with slaked or vngouned bridels / it suffreth bridels / that ys to seye to be gouerned / & passith by thilk law / that is to seye by the dyuyne ordenan̄ce

Animaduerto in (quam) id (que) vti tu dicis ita esse. consencio Sed in hac herentium sibi serie causare estue. vlla ves­tri arbitrii libertas. An ipsos quo (que) humanorū motꝰ

THis vnderstande I wel qd I. & I accorde me that it is right as thou seist / but I axe if ther be ony liberte of frewil in this ordre of causes that cleuen thus to geder in hem self / or els I wolde weten. that if the destynal chey­ne constreyneth the meouyng of the corages of men. p. yis qd she ther is liberte of frewil / ne ther ne was neū no na­ture of reson / that it ne had liberte of frewil / for eūy thing that may naturelly vse reson / it hath dome by which it dis­c [...]rneth & demeth euery thing. then̄e knoweth it by it selfe thinges that ben̄ to fleen & thinges that ben to desiren / and thilk thing that ony wight demeth to be desired that axeth he or desireth. & fleeth thilk that he troweth be to fleen. wher fore in al thingis that reason is. in him is also liberte of willing & of nylling. but I ne ordeyne not / as who seith I ne graūte not that this liberte be euenlike in all thynges. For whi in the dyuynes soueraynes substan̄ces / That ys to seyn̄ in spirites Iuggement is more clere & w [...]l not cor­rumpe & mighty redy to speden thinges that ben desired / but the soules of men moten nedes been more free. whenne they [Page] loken hem in speculacion / or loking of the diuine thought. & lasse [...]ree whan they sliden into the bodies / & yet las fre whan they be gedered to geders & comprehended in erthly mēbres But the last seruage is whan that they ben yeuen to vicis and han yfalle fro the possession of her ꝓpre reson. for after that they han caste aweye her eyen from the lighte of the so­uerayn̄ sothfastnesse to lowe thinges & derke / anone they derken by the cloude of ignorance & ben troubled by felonoꝰ talentes. to whiche talentes whan they assenten & apꝓchen & encreasen the seruage whiche they han ioyned to hem self And in this manere they ben caitifs fro her ꝓpre liberte The whiche thinges natheles the loking of the dyuine pur­ueance seeth that al thinges beholdeth & seeth from eterne & or [...]eyneth hem eu [...]rich in her merites as they ben pdestynate & it is said in greke th [...]t all thinges he seeth / all thinges gouernyng he hereth

Puro clarū lumine phebū Mellifluj canit oris home­rus Qui tamē intima viscera terre Non valet etc

HOmer with the hony mouth that is to seyne homer with the swete di [...]es singeth that the son̄e is clere by pure light. natheles y [...] ne may it by the infirme lighte of his beames breken or ꝑs [...]n the inward entrailes of the erth orels of the see / so ne seeth not god maker of the greet world to him that loketh al thinges from an high ne withstandeth not [...]inges by heuines of erth ne the night ne withstan­deth not to him by the blake cloudes / thilk god seeth in oo strok of thought al thinges that ben or were or shul come [Page] And thilk god for he loketh & seeth al thinges allone thou maist seyn̄ that he is the veray sonne

Tum ego en in (que) difficiliore rursus ambiguitate cō ­fundor. Que nam inquit ista est etc

Then̄e sayde I thus / nowe am I confoūded by a more harde doubte than̄ I was. P. what doubte is that qd she / for certes I coniecte now by such thinges thou art tro­bled. b / it semeth qd I to repugnen & to contrary greetly that god knoweth biforn̄ al thinges / and that ther is ony fredom or liberte / for if so be that god loketh al thinges by forn̄ ne god ne may not ben deceyued in no maner / thenne mote it nedes be that al thinges the which that the purue­an̄ce of god hath seen biforn̄ to come / for which if that god knoweth to forn̄ not only the werkes of men. but also her coūseiles & her willes / then̄e ne shal ther be no liberte of ar­bitre. ne certes ther may be none other dede ne no wil / but thilk dyuine purueance that ne may be deceyued hath [...]e­led beforn̄ / for if that they might writhen awey in other ma­ner than̄ they be purueyed. then̄e ne shuld ther not be noo stedfast pscience of thing to come. but rather an vncertain opinion. which thing to trowen of god / y deme it felony & vnleueful / ne I ne ꝓue not thilk same reson. as who seith I ne allow not or I ne preyse not thilk reson / by which som men wene that they mowe assoilen [...]o vnknytte the knot of this question. for certes they seye that thing is not to come for that the puruean̄ce of god hath seen toforn̄ / that hit is to comen / but rather the contrarie. and that is this. that for that the thing is to comen / that therfore ne may it not ben hidde from the pourueyannce of God. And in thys [Page] manere thys necessite slideth ayeyne into the contrarie ꝑtie Ne it behoueth not nedes that thinges betiden that ben pur­ueyed. but it behoueth nedes that thinges that been to co­men bene pourueyed / but as it were trauailled. As who seyth / thilke answere procedeth right as thaugh men tra­uailleden or were besye to enqueren the whiche thing is cause of whiche thing. As whether the prescience is cause of the necessite of thinges to comen / or ellis that the necessite of thinges to comen is cause of the pourueyance / But I en­ [...]orce me not now to shewe that the betidinges of thinges y wiste biforn̄ is necessary / how so or in what manere that the ordre of causes hath hit self / al th [...]ugh that it ne seme not that the prescience bring in necessite of betiding to thin­ges to comen / For certes if ony wighte sitte it behoueth by necessite that the oppynion bee sothe of him that coniecteth that he sitteth. And ayeinward also hit is of the contra­rie / For if the opinion bee sothe of ony wighte byfore that he sittith. it behoueth by necessi [...]e that he sitte / then̄e is here ne­cessite in that one. and in that other. For in that one ys necessite of si [...]tyng. And certes in that other is necessite of soth. But therfore ne sitteth not a wighte / for that the opinion of sitting is sothe / but the opinion is rather soth / for a wighte sittith beforn̄. And thus tha [...]gh that the cause of the sothe cometh of that other side / As w [...]o seyth. all t [...]augh the cause of the [...]othe cometh of the s [...]tting and not of the true opynyon. Algates yet there is a com̄une neces­site in that one and in that other. Thus suyth hyt that I maye make semblable skilles of the purueyance of god & of thinges to comen / For al thaugh that for the thinges [Page] be to comen. therfore ben they purueyed / And not certes for they ben purueyed. therfore ne betide they not. Natheles behoueth it by [...]ecessite / that eyther the thinges to comen bee purueyed of god / or els that the thinges that ben puruey­ed of god betiden / & this thing only suffiseth ynough to destroye the fredome of our arbitre. that is to seyne of our fre wille / But certes now sheweth it well how fer fro the soth. and how vpsodowne is this thing / that we seye that the betyding of temporal thinges is cause of eterne presci­ence / but for to wenen that god purueyeth. the thinges to comen for they ben to comen / what other thing is it but for to wene that thilk thinges that betiden whilome ben cause of thilk souerayne purueance that is god. And herto ad­de I yet this thing. that right as whan that I wote / what a thyng is / it behoueth by necessite that thilk same thing betide / So foloweth it then̄e. that the betiding of the thyng ywist byforn̄. ne may not ben eschued. And atte laste if ony wight wene a thing to be other wyse than it is. It is not onely vnscience / but it is ful deceyuable opynion / full dyuers and full ferre from the soth of science / wherfore if ony thing be so to comen / that the betidyng of it ne be not certayne ne necessarye. who maye weten bifore that thylke thing is to comen. For righte as science ne maye not bee medled with falsenesse. As whoo seith that if I wote a thing / it ne may not be fals / that I ne wote it / right soo thilke thing that is conceyued by science. ne may not ben none other weyes than as it is conceyued. For that is the cause why that science wanteth leesing. as who seith / why that wyttyng receyueth not leesing of that it wote / For [Page] it behoueth by necessite that euery thing by right as scyence ꝯprehendeth it [...]o ben / what shal I then̄e seyn̄. in whiche ma­ner knoweth god beforn̄ all the thinges to comen. yf they be not certayn / for if that he deme that they be to come vnes­chuable / & so may be that it is possible. that they ne shullen not comen god is deceyued / but only to trowe that god is deceyued. for to speke it with mouth. it is a felonoꝰ syn̄e But if that god wote that right so as thinges ben to co­men so shal th [...]y come / so that he wote egaly. as who seith in­differently that thinges mowen ben done or els not done What is thilk presciēce that comphendeth no certain thing ne stable. or els what difference is there bytwene / th [...] presci­ence of thilk iape worthy dyuinyng of Tyresie dyuinour that saide / Al that I see qd [...]e / eyther it shalbe / eyther it shal not be / or els h [...]w moche is worth the dxuine presciēce more than the opinion of mankynde. If it so be that it demeth the thinges vncert [...]in as men done / of the whiche domes of men the betiding nys not certayn. but if so be that none vncer­teyn thing ne may not ben in him. that is right certein wel of all thinges [...] then̄e [...] the betiding certain of thilk thing whiche he hath wist beforn̄ f [...]rmely to comen / For whiche it foloweth that the fredomes of coūseilles a [...]d of the wer­kes of mankynde nys noon̄ [...] Sith that the thought of god whiche that seeth alle thinges withouten errour of false­nesse byndeth and constreyneth hem to a bytiding by necessite. And if this thing bee ones graunted and re­ceyued. That y [...] to sayne / that there nys noo free wille / thenne sheweth hit well / howe grete distruccion. and how grete domage there folowen of thynges of mankynde [Page] For in ydel ben there than purposed and bihight medes / to good folk / and peynes to badde folke. sith no meouyng of fre corage voluntarye ne hath nought deserued hem. that is to seye neyther mede ne peyne. and it shuld seme then̄e that thilke thing is alder worst / whiche that is now de­med for aldermoost Iuste and moost rightful. that is to seyne that shrewes ben punysshed. or els that good folke ben guerdoned. The whiche folke sene that her propre wille Ne assente hem not. to that one. ne to that other. that is to seyne. neyther to good ne to harme / but constreyned hem certayn necessite of thinges to comen. than shuld ther ne­uer bee. ne neuer weren vice ne vertu / but it shuld bee con­fusion of alle desertes medeled withouten discrecion / and yet there foloweth another inconuenient. of the whiche there ne maye bee thought / nomore felonous ne more wik. than hit is / This that soo as the ordre of thinges is ledde and cometh of the purueance of god. ne that noo thyng ys l [...] ­ueful to the conseylles of mankinde. as who seyth that men han no power to doo noo thing / ne wilne nothing / thenne foloweth hit that oure vices ben referred to the maker of al good. As who seith. then̄e foloweth it. that god ought to han all the blame of oure vices / sith he constreyneth. vs by necessite to done vices. Thenne is there noo reason to ho­pen in god. ne forto preyen god. For what shuld ony wight hope to god / or why shuld he prey to god. sith that the ordenāce of destenye / whiche that ne may not be enclind knitteth & streygneth al thinges that men may desiren / then̄e shuld there be done awey thilk only alliance bitwix god & men. that is to seyne to hopen and to preyen / But by the [Page] prys of rightwisnesse & of veray mekenesse we deseruen the guerdon̄ of the dyuine grace whiche that is inestymable. that is to seyn. that is so grete that it ne may not ben ful preysed / And this is only the maner that is to seyn hope and preyers / For whiche hit semeth that men wol speke with god. And by reason of supplicaci [...]n ben conioyned to thilk clerenesse that is not approched no rather. or that men seken it & impetren̄ it. And if men ne wene not that hope ne prayer [...] ne han noo strengthes by the necessite of thinges to comen y receyued / what thing is there then̄e by whiche we mowe be conioyned & cliuen to thilk souerayne prince of thinges. for whiche it behoueth by necessite that the l [...]nage of mankynde as thou songe a litel here biforn̄ be departed and vnioyned from his well and faillen of his bygynnyng. That is to seyn̄ god

Que nam discors federa rerum. Causa resoluit qs tā ­ta deus. Ueris statuit bella duobus. Ut que carptim singula constant. Eadem voluit nuxta nigari. etc

WHat discordable cause hath to rente and vnioyned the bynding or afian̄ce of thinges. that is to seye the coniunccions of god & of man̄ / whiche god hath establis­shed so grete bataile bitwixen these two sothfaste or veraye thinges / that is to seye bitwi [...] the puruean̄ce of god and frewil that be to geder [...] singler. ne that they ne wil not be medled ne coupled to geder / but there nys no discorde of veray thinges. but they cleuen alweye certayne to hem selfe But the thoughte of man̄ confounded and ouerthrowe by [Page] the derke membres / of the body ne may not / by fire of hys derked loking. that is to seye by the vigour of his insight while the sowle is within the body. knowen the derke thyn̄e [...]ubtile knittinges of thinges. but wherfore enchaufith it by grete loue to finden thilk notes of soth / ycouered / that is to s [...]ye. wherfore enchaufith the thought of man̄ by so grete de­sire to know thilk notificacions. that ben hid vnder the co­utures of soth. wote I ought thilk thing / that it anguis­hous desireth for to know. as who s [...]ith nay / for noman̄ ne trauaileth for to wete thingis that he wote / And therfore the text seith thus / But who trauaileth to weten thingis yknowe / & if he knowe hem not. what seketh thilke blinde thought. what is he that desireth ony thing of which he wote right nought / as who seith / who soeuer desire ony thing n [...] ­des somwhat he knoweth of it / or els he ne coude not desiren it. or who may folowe thingis that ne be not wist / & thaugh that he seke the thinges where shal he finde hem. what wight that [...] al vnconnyng & ignorant may knowe the fourme / that is yfoūde / but whan the soule beholdeth & seeth the high thought. that is to seye god. then̄e knoweth it to geder the som̄e & singularitees / that is to seye the principles & euerich of hem by hem self / But nowe while the sowle is hid in the cloude and in the derkenesse of the membres / of the body it ne hath not all foryeten hit selfe. But hit wi [...]hh [...]ldeth the som̄e of thinges / and leseth the singularitees. then̄ [...] who so that seketh the sothenesse / he nys in neyther nowther ha­byte / For he wote not all. ne he ne hath not all foryeten But yet hym remembreth the somme of the thinges. that he wythholdeth. and axeth counsaille and retreteth [Page] thinges deply yseyn̄ beforn̄. That is to seyne the grete som̄e in his mynde. so that he maye adden the partes that he hath fory [...]ten to thilke parties that he hath withholden

Tum illa vetus inquit. hec est de prouidencit querela Marco (que) tullio cum diuinacionem distribuit vehemē ­ter agitata. tibi (que) ipsi res diu ꝓrsus multum quesita Sed haud quo (que) ab vllo vestrum hactenus satis etc

THen̄e sayde she. This is qd she the olde question of the puruean̄ce of god. & marcus tulliꝰ whan he dis­tribuyd the dyuinacion / that is to seye. in his boke that he wrote of diuynacions he moeued gree [...]ly this question. & thou th [...] self haste sought it moche. & vtterly & long. But yet ne hath it not ben determyned & spedde fermely & dil [...] ­gently of ony o [...] you / And the cause of this derknes & eke of t [...]is diff [...]culte is for that the meouyng of the reason of mankinde ne may not meouen to that is to seye applyen or ioy [...]en to the simp [...]icite of the dyuine prescience / if that men mighten thinken it in ony maner. That is to seyn that yf men mighten thinken & comprehenden the thinges that god se [...]th him self / then̄e there dwelled vtterly noo doubte / the whiche reson & cause of difficultees I shal assaye at laste to shewe and to speden whan I haue firste y spended and y answerd to thy reasons by whiche thou arte moeued / for I axe why thou w [...]nest that thilke reasons of hem that as­soillen thi [...] question ne bee not spedefull ynough ne suffici­ent the whiche solticion or the whiche reason. for that it de­meth that the pscience is not of necessite of thingis to come [Page] As who seyth / any other waye than thus. but that thilke thinges that the prescience wote biforn̄. ne maye not vnbe­tiden / that is to seyn̄ that they moten betide. but then̄e if that prescience. ne putteth none necessite to thinges to comen as thou thy self hast confessed it & knowe a litel here byforne What cause or what is it / as who seith / there may no cause be by whiche that the endes voluntary of thingis myghten be constreyned to certayne betiding. For by grace of posici­on soo that thou maye the better vnderstande this that folo­weth / I suppose that there ne be no prescience. Then̄e [...]xe I qd she in asmoche as apperteyneth to that. shulden then̄e thinges that comen of fre wille be censtreyned to betiding by necessite / B. Naye quod I / P. Then̄e ayeinward qd she. I suppose that there bee prescience / but that it ne putteth no necessite to thinges / Then̄e trow I that thilk same fre­dome. of wille shal dwellen al hole / and absolute & vnboū ­den. but thou wilt seyne that albe it soo. that prescience nys not cause of the nec [...]ssite. of betiding to thinges to comen Algates yet it is a signe. that the thinges ben to betyden by necessite / By this manere then̄e. all thaugh the prescy­ence han neuer be. yet algates. or atte leste weye hit is cer­tayne thing that endes of betidinges of thinges / to comen shulden̄ bee necessarye. For euery thing sheweth & signy­fieth. only what the thing is / but hit ne maketh not the thyng / that it signyfieth. For whiche it behoueth. firste to shewe that no thing ne betideth / that hit ne betideth by necessite / so that it maye appere that the prescience is signe of necessite. or ellis if there ner no necessite / certes thilke prescience ne mighte not bee signe of thyng that nys not. [Page] But certes it is nowe certeyn that the proue of this y sus­tened by stidfaste reason̄ ne shal not ben ladde ne proued by signes ne by Argumentes / taken fro withoute / but by causes couenable and necessarie / but thou maist seyne / how may it be that the thinges ne betiden not that ben purueyed to comen / but certes right as we trowen. that the thinges whiche that the purueance wote beforn̄ to comen ne bee not to betiden. But that ne shuld we not demen̄ / but rather all thaugh they shall betiden / yet ne haue they noo necessite of her kynde to betiden. And this maist thou lightly ap­perceyuen by this that I shall seyne. For wee seen many thinges whan they been biforn̄ oure eyen̄. right as men seen the Carter worchyng in the tournyng and in the a [...]tem­pering or addressing of his cartes or charryettes and by this maner. As who seith / maist thou vnderstande of all other weakmen̄. is there thenne ony necessite. as who seyth in oure loking that constreyneth or conpellith any of thilk thinges to be done soo. B. Nay quod I / For in ydel and in veyne. were alle th [...]ffecte of crafte / yf that alle thynges weren meoued by cons [...]reynyng of oure eyen or of oure sighte. Phīa. The thinge [...] then̄e quod she that whan that men dene hem / ne han noo necessite that men̄ done hem eke tho same thinges / firste or they be done. th [...]y been̄ to comen̄ withoute necessite. For why there been̄ somme thynges to betiden̄ of whiche the endes and the betidinges of hem been absolute and quyte of al necessite / For certes I ne trowe not that ony man̄ wold seyne this. that the thinges that men done nowe. that they ne were to betiden firste er they were dene. And thilke same thinges all thaugh men [Page] hadden wiste hem beforne. yet they han fre betidinges / For right as science of thinges present ne bringeth in no neces­site to thinges that men done. right so to the prescience of thinges to comen ne bringeth in none necessite to thinges to betiden. but thou maist sayne that of thilk same hyt ys doubted / as whether that of thilk thinges that ne han non̄ issues & bitidinges necessaries. if therof may ben ony pre­sciēce. for certes they semen to discorden̄ / for thou wenest that if that thinges ben̄ seyne before that necessite foloweth hem And if necessite failleth hem they ne might not ben wist before / & that nothing may be comprehended by science. but certain / And if tho thinges ne han n [...] certain betidinges ben puru [...]yed as certain. It shuld be derknesse of opinion not sothfastnesse of science. & thou wenest that it be diuerce fro the hoolnesse of sciēce that ony man shulde deme a thing to be otherwise than it is / it self / & the cause of this errour is. that of al the thinges that euy wight hath knowe. they wene that tho thinges ben knowe only by the strength & by the nature of the thinges that ben wist or know. & it is all the contrarie / for al that euer is know / it is rather ꝯphended & knowe. not after his strength & his nature / but after the faculte. that is to seyne the power & the nature of hem that knowen / & for that this thing shulde now shewe by a short ensample the roūdnes of a body. otherwise than the sight of the eye knoweth it / & otherwise the touching the loking by casting of his bemes waiteth & seeth from a fer al the body to geder without meouing of it self / but the touching cleueth to the roūde body & meoueth aboute the enuiron̄ing & ꝯprehendeth the ꝑties by roūdnes / & the man̄ him self otherwise beholdeth him [Page] And otherweyes ymagynacion / and otherwise reason / & otherwise intelligence. For the witte comprehendeth with out forth the figure of the body of man̄. that is vnstablis­shed / in the matere subiecte. But the ymagynacion compre­hendeth only the figure withoute the matier. reason sur­moūteth ymagynacion. and comprehendeth by vniuersal loking the com̄une speche but the eye of Intelligence is hi­gher / for it surmoūteth the enuyron̄yng of the vniuersite & loketh ouer that by pure subtilite of thoughte. Thilke sa­me simple fourme of man̄ that is perdurable in the dyuine thoughte / in whiche this ought gretly to be considered / that the hiest strength forto comprehenden thinges / embraseth & conteyneth the lower strength. but the lower strength. ne ariseth not in no maner. to the hier strength. for wytte ne may comphende nothing out of mat [...]er. ne the ymaginacōn ne loketh not the vniusal spieces. ne reson ne takith not the simple forme / so as intelligēce taketh it / but intelligēce that loketh al abouen. whan it hath comphendeth the fourme / it knoweth & demeth al the thinges. that ben vnder the forme But she knoweth hem in thilk maner. in the whiche it com­phendeth thilk same simple forme. that ne may neuer been knowen of none of that other. that is to seyne to none of tho thre forsaide strengthes of the soule / for it knoweth the vniusite of reson & the figure of ymagynacōn̄. & the sensi­ble material. conceyued by witte. ne it ne vsith not / ne of reson / ne of ymagynacion̄ ne of witte without forth. but hit beholdeth al thinges. soo as I shal seye / by a stroke of thought fermely without discours of collacion / Certes reson whan it lokith ony thing vniuersal it ne vsith not [Page] of ymagynacion ne witte / and algates yet it comphendeth the thinges ymagynable & sensible / for reson is she that dif­finissheth the vniuersal of hir conceitt right thus. Man is a resonable two foted beste / & how so that this knowing is vnyuersal. yet nys ther no wight that ne wote wel / that a man̄ is a thing ymagynable and sensible. and this same considereth wel reson. but that nys not by ymagynacōn nor by witte / but it loketh it by resonable concepcion. also yma­gynacion albe it so that it taketh of witte the begyn̄yng to seen & fourmen the figures / Algates al th [...]ugh that witte ne were not present / yet it enuyron̄eth & comphendeth alle thinges sensible / not by resoune sensible of demyng / but by reson ymagynatif. sestow not then̄e that al the thinges in knowing vsen more of her faculte or of her power than they done of the faculte or power of thinges that ben to knowen Ne that is no wrong / for so as euery Iugement is the dede or the doyng of him that demeth. It behoueth that euy wight ꝑfourme his werck. & his entencion / not of foreyne power but of his ꝓpre power

Quondam porticus attulit. Obscuros nimium senes Qui sensus et ymagines. E (corporib)corporibus extimis etc

THen̄e the porche / that is to seye agate of the towne of Athenes there as philosophres hadden congregacion to dispute / thilk porche brought somtime olde men ful derk in her sentences. that is to seyne philosophres that highten stoiciēs that wende that ymages & sensibilitees / that is to sey sensible ymagynacōns / or ellis ymagynacions of sensible thinges. were enprinted into soules fro bodies withoutforth [Page] As who seith thilke stoiciens wenden that the sowle hadde be naked of him self / as a myrrour or a clene perchemyne so that all figures mosten first comen fro thinges frowith oute into sowles. and ben enprynted into soules. right as we ben wont somtyme. by a swift poyntel to fixen lettres enprinted in the smothnesse or in the pleynesse of the table of wax or in the parchemyne that ne hath noo figure ne note in it / Blose. But nowe argueth boece agaynst that opyni­on and seith thus / But if the thriuyng sowle ne vnply­t [...]th nothing. that is to seyne. ne doth thing by his propre meouyng. but suffreth and lyeth subgiett / to the figures and to the notes of bodies withoute forth / and yeldeth ymag [...]s ydel euil and veyne in the manere of a myrrour When̄es thryueth th [...] [...] / or when̄es cometh thilk knowyng in oure soule that discerneth and beholdeth al thinges. & when̄es is thilk strength that beholdeth the singuler thin­ges / or els whennes is the strength [...] that dyuydeth thinges yknowe and thilk strength that gadered to geder thinges dyuyded and strengthe that cheseth the [...]trec [...]aung [...]d we [...]e / For somtime it [...]ueth the heed / that is to seye / that it [...]ueth vp th [...]ntencion to right high thinges. & somtime it des [...]endeth into right lowe thinges. and whan it retor­neth into him self. it reꝓueth & destro [...]th the fals thingis by the true thinges. Certes this strength is cause more ef­ficient. and moche more myghty / to seen and to knowen thinges / than thilk cause that suffreth & receyueth the no­tes & figures [...]pressed in maner of matier. algates the passion / that is to saye the suffran̄ce or the wi [...] in the quyk body goth bifore exciting & meouing the strengthes of the [Page] thought / right so as whan that clerenesse smyteth the eyen and meoueth hem to seen or right so as voice or sowne hur­leth to the eeres. & com̄oeueth hem to herken. Thenne is the strength of the thoughte meoued & excited clepeth forth to semblable meouynges the spaces that it halt with in it self / and addeth the spieces to the nootes. and to thinges without forth & medeleth the ymages of thinges without forth to thinges hid within him selfe

Quod si in corporibus senciendis quamuis [...]fliciant instrumenta sensuum forinsecus obiecte qualitates. Animi (que) agentis vigorem passio corporis antecedat.

BVt what is that in bodies to be feled. that is to seye in the taking & in the knowleching of bodily thinges And al be it so that the qualitees of bodies that be ob [...]ecte fro withoute forth meouen̄ & entalenten the instrumentes of the wittes / And albe it so that the passion of the body. That is to seyn̄ the witte / or the suffraūce goth beforn̄ the strength or the worchyng corage / the whiche passion̄ or suf­fran̄ce clepeth forth the dede of the thoughte in it self. and meoueth & exciteth in this meane while the fourmes that resten within forth / and if that insens [...]ble bodies as I ha­ue seyd oure corages nys not taughte or emprynted by passion to knowe these thinges but demeth and knoweth of his owne strength the passion or suffrannce subiecte to the body moche more than thoo thinges / that ben absolute & quyte fro alle talentes or affeccions of bodies / as God or hys Angeles ne folowen not in decernyng thynges obiecte. fro wyth oute forth. But they accomplisshen [Page] and speden the dede of her thoughte. By this reson thenne ther comyn many maner of knowinges to dyuers and to differing substances. For the witte of the body / the whiche witte is maked & dispoyled of all other knowing. thilk witte cometh to beestes / the whiche ne mowen not meouen hem self here & there. as oystres & muskels & other such shel­fissh of the see / that [...]leuen & ben norisshed to roches. But the ymagynacion cometh of remuable bestes th [...]t semen to han talent to fleen or to desiren ony thing. but reson is all only. the lignage of mankinde right as intelligēce is al on­ly the diuyne nature of which it foloweth / that thilk kno­wing is m [...]re worth than is other / syn it knoweth by hys ꝓpre nature / not only his subiect / as who seith it ne knoweth not al only that ap [...]teyneth ꝓprely to his knowing. [...]ut i [...] knoweth the subiectes of al other knowinges. but how shall it then̄e be. if that wi [...]te & ymagynacion striuen ayein re­sonyng [...] & sayne that of thilk vniuersal thing that reason weneth to seen that it nys right nought / for witte & yma­gynacion seyne. that. that is sensible or ymagynable. it ne may not ben vniuersal. then̄e is there eyther the Iuggemēt of reson soth / ne that ther ny [...] nothing sens [...]ble. or els for that reson wote wel that many thinghes ben subiecte to witt & to ymagynacion. then̄e is the concep [...]ōn of reson̄ vayne & [...]ls. which that loketh & comphendeth that / that is sensible & singuler as vniuersal. & if that the reson̄ wolde answere ayeinst these two. that is to seye to witte & ymagynacion / & seye. that sothly she her self that is to seyne reson̄. loketh & cōprehendeth by reson̄ of vniusalite both that. that is s [...]nsi­ble / & that [...] that is ymaginable / & thilk two that is to seyne [Page] witte and ymagynacion / ne mowen not stretchen hem self to the knowyng of vniuersalite / for that the knowyng of hem ne may not exceden ne furmoūten the bodily figures. Certes of the knowing of thinges men oughten rather ye­uen more credence to the more s [...]edfaste & to the more ꝓfyte Iuggement / In this manere striuyng then̄e we that han strength of resonyng & of ymagynyng & of witte. That is to seye by reson & by ymaginacion / we wolde rather preyse the cause of reson. as who seith than the cause of witte & of ymagynacion / sem [...]lable thing is it. that the reson of mā ­kinde ne w [...]neth not that the dyuine intelligēce beholdeth or knoweth thinges to come. but right as the reson of mākinde knoweth hem / for thou arguest thus / that if that it ne seme not to men that som thinges han certein betidinges. they ne may not be wist before certeinly to betiden. & then is ther no pscience of thilk thīgis. & if we trow that psciēce be in these thīgis. then is ther nothing that betideth by necessite. but if we might han the iugemēt of the dyuine thought as we ben ꝑ [...]oners of reson. right so as we han demed that it behoueth bi ymaginacōn & witt & bineth reson. right so wold we demen that it were rightful thing that man̄es reson ought to sub­mitte it self to be byneth the dyuine thought / for whiche yf we may / as who seith that if we may I coūsaile that we en­haūce vs in the heighte of thilk souain intelligēce. for there shal reson wel seen that that it ne may not beholde in it self. & certes that is thus / in what maner the psciēce of god seeth al thingis & diffinissheth al thaugh they han no certein biti­dingis / ne this is non opinion̄ / but rather the simp [...]cite of the souain sciēce. that is not shett within no maner of boūdes

Quam variis terras animalia permeant figuris Nam (que) alia extento sūt corpe. puluerem (que) verrunt Continuum (que) trahunt vi pectoris incita sulcum S [...]nt (quib)quibus alare leintas vaga verberet (que) ventos

THe beestes passen by the erthes. by full dyuers figu­res / For som̄e of hem han her bodies straughte & cre­pen in the duste / & drawen after hem a trace or a fourgh continued that is to seye. as nedders and snailes. & other beestes by the wandryng lightenesse of her wynges beten the wyndes. and ouerswymmen the spaces of the long ay­er / by most fleyng / And other beestes gladen hem self / to diggen her traces or her steppes in the erth with her goyng or with her feet. and to goone eyther by the grene feldes or els to walken vnder the woodes / And al be it soo that th [...]u s [...]est. [...]hat they disco [...]den by dyuerce f [...]urmes. algates her faces encl [...]ned heuyeth h [...]r dull wittes / onely the ligna­g [...] [...]f man l [...]ueth h [...]gh [...]st his high heed / & standeth lighte with his vpright body / and beholdeth the erth [...]s vnder him And but if th [...]u erthly man̄ warest euil out [...]f thy witte This figure amonesteth the that arest the heuen with thy rig [...]t visage. & hast areysed thy forhede to beren vpon high th [...] corage. so that thy thought ne be no [...] heuyed ne putte lowe vnder foot sith that thy body is so high areysed

Quoniam igitur vti paulo ante monstratum est. ōne quod scitur. nisi ex sua (sed) ex conprehenciū natura cog­noscitur. Int [...]amur nūc ( (quam)tum)quantum fas. quis sit diuine substancie status. vt que nam [...]ciā scīa etc

[Page]THerfore then̄e as I haue shewed a litel here biforne that all thing that is wiste nys not knowen by his nature propre / but by the nature of hem that comprehenden hit / late vs loken now. in asmoche as it is leueful to vs As who seith. late vs loke now as we maye. whiche that is the astate of the dyuyne [...]ubstaunce. soo that we maye wel knowe eke what his science is / The com̄une Iugemēt of al creatures resonables. then̄e is that god is eterne. late vs considere then̄e / what is eternite. For certes that shalle shewen vs to geder the dyuine nature & the dyuine science Eternyte then̄e is parfite possession. & al to geder of lyfe intermynable / and that sheweth the more clerely by the com­parison or collacion of temporal thinges / For al thing that liueth in tyme it is present & procedeth fro preteritees into futures / That is to seyne / from tyme passed into time co­myng. ne there nys noo thing estabilisshed in tyme that may enbrasen to geder all the space of this lyf / For certes yet ne hath it not taken the tyme of to morowe. and hit hath loste that of yesterday / And certes in the life of this daye. ye ne liuen nomore but right as in this meouable and transitorie momente. Thenne thilke thing that suffreth temporal condicion / al thaugh that it neuer began to be / ne thaugh it neuer cesse to be / As Aristotiles demed of the worlde. And al thaugh the life of it be stretched with in­finite of tyme / yet algates nys it noo suche thing as men myght trowen by right that it is eterne. for al thaugh that it comprehende and embrace the space of the life infinite / yet algates ne embraceth it not the space of the life al to ge­der / For it ne hath not the futures that be not yet. Ne hit [Page] ne hath no lenger the preterite [...] that ben done or passed. but thilk thing thenne that hath and comprehendeth to gedre all the plente of the lyf intermynable. to whom ther ne fai­leth nought of the future / and to whom ther nys nought of the preterite escaped or passed thilke same is y witnes­sed and proued by right to ben eterne / And it behoueth by necessite that thilk thing be alwey present to him selfe and competent / As who seith alwey present to hym selfe and so mighty that all be right at his plesan̄ce. and that he haue al present the infinite of the meouable tyme. wherefore som men trowen wrongfully that when they heren that it semed to plato that this worlde had neuer bigyn̄yng of time that it neuer shal han failing. they wene in thilk ma­ner that this worlde be maked eterne with his maker. as who se [...]th they wene that this worlde & god be maked to [...]der eterne & that is a wrongful wenyng / for other thing it i [...] to be l [...]d by the lyf interminable / as plato graūted to [...] wo [...]lde / [...] ot [...]er thing it is to embrace to geder al the pre­sence of the lyf that is intermynable which thing is clere & manifes [...] to the dyuine thought [...] ne it ne shuld not seme to vs that god is elder than thingis that ben maked by quā ­tite of tyme / but rather by the ꝓsperite of his simple nature / for this ilk infinite meouynges of tēporal thingis folweth this psenta [...]y estat of this lyf īmeouable & so as it ne may not ꝯtrefaiten ne feyne it ne be euenlik to it for the immoble te / that is to seye that is in the eternite of god. it faileth & fa [...]leth into meouyng fro the simplicite of the psence of god and dis [...] ̄creasith in the infinite quātite of future & pterite And so as it may not han to geder al the plente o [...] the lyf [Page] Algates yet for asmoche as it cessith neu for to ben in som maner / yet it semeth somdele to vs that it foloweth & resem­bleth / thilk thing that it ne may not atteyne to. ne fulfil­len / & byndeth it self to som maner psence / of this litel mo­mente / the whiche psence of this litel & swift momente for that it bereth a maner ymage or liknes of the ay dwelling of god / It graūteth to suche maner thinges as it betideth to / that it semeth hem as these thinges han̄ ben / & ben. and for that the psence of suche litel momēte ne may not dwelle Therfore it rauisshed & toke the infinite wey of tyme. that is to seye by succession / & by this maner it is done / for that it shuld contynue the lyf in goyng. of the whiche life hit ne mighte not. enbrace the plente of dwelling. And for thy if wee wollen putten̄ worthy names to thinges that folowen plato. late vs seye thenne sothly that god is eter­ne. and that the world is perpetuell / Thenne sith euery Iuggement knoweth and comprehendeth by his owne na­ture thinges that ben subgiett vnto him / there is to god al wayes an eterne and a presentarye estate. And the s [...]y­ence of him that ouerpassith alle temporall momente dwel­lith in simplicite of his presence / And enbraceth and considereth all the infinite spaces of tymes preterites and of tymes futures. And loketh in his simple knowyng all thinges of preterite / right as they were done presently right nowe / If thou wolt thenne thinken and auysen the prescience. by whiche hit knoweth alle thynges. thou ne shalt not demen hit / as prescience of thynges to comen / But thou shalt demen more rightfully that hyt is science of presence or of instance. that neuer ne failleth / for whiche [Page] hit is not cleped preuidence / but hit shuld bee rather cle­ped pourueyance whiche that is estabilisshed ful ferce fro right lowe thinges. and from a ferce beholdeth all thin­ges. ryghte as hit were fro th [...] high heighte of thinges / Whi axest thow thenne or whi disputest thow thenne that thilke thinges been done by necessite whiche that been y sene and y knowen by the dyuine sighte / Sith that for­sothe men ne maken̄ not thilke thing necessarie whiche that forsothe men seen y done in her sighte. For addeth thy beholding any necessite. to thilke thinges whiche that thou beholdest presente. B. Naye quod I. Phīa. Certes quod she thenne. yf men myghten maken any digne com­parison or collacion of the presence dyuine / and of the pre­sence of mankynde. right so as ye s [...]ne somme thinges in this temporall presence. right so seeth God alle thyng by his et [...]rne pres [...]nce. wherfore this dyuine presence ne chaū ­g [...]th not the nature of the proprete of thinges. but beholdeth su [...]he thinge [...] present to h [...]m wa [...]d. as they shulden bety­d [...]n̄ to y [...]uward in tyme to comen̄. Ne hit ne confoundeth not th [...] Iugg [...]mentes of thinges but by one sighte of hys thoughte he knoweth the thynges to comen as well neces­sarye as not necessarie. ryght soo whanne ye s [...]ene to ge­d [...] a man̄ walke on the erthe / and the s [...]nne arisen in the heuene. All bee hit soo that ye s [...]ene to g [...]d [...]e that one and that other / Yet neuertheles ye dem [...]n and decernen / th [...]t that one ys voluntarye. And that other is necessarye Ryghte soo thenne the dyuyne lokyng beholding alle t [...]nges vnder hym ne troubleth not the qualite of thyn­ges whiche that ben certeynly present to hym ward / But [Page] as to the condicion̄ of tyme forsothe they ben future. For wh [...]che it foloweth that this nys none oppinion but rather a stedfaste knowyng strengthed by sothenesse. that whan that god knoweth ony thing to be. he ne vnwote not that thilk thing wanteth necessite to be / That is to seyne that whan god knoweth ony thing to betide. he wote wel that it ne hath no necessite to betide / and if thou seest here that thilk thing that god seeth to betide / it ne may not vnbetide As who s [...]ith it mote betide by necessite / & that thou streig­ne me to this name of the necessite / certes I wol wel con­fessen & byknowen a thing of ful sadde trouth. but vn̄eth shal there ony wight mowen seen it / or come therto / but he be beholder of the dyuine thought. for I wol answeren to the thus / that thilk thing that is future whan it is referred to the dyuine knowing / then̄e is it necessarye / but c [...]rte [...] whan it is vnderstanden in his own̄ kinde men seen it vtterly fre & absolute fro al necessite. for certes th [...]r ben two maneres of necessitees. that oo necessite is simple as thus / that hyt behoueth by necessite. that al men be mortal or deedly / An other necessite is cōdicionel. as thus / if thou wotest that a man̄ walketh / it behoueth by necessi [...]e that he walke. thilke thing then̄e that ony wight hath knowen to be / it ne maye not ben none other than he knoweth it to be / but this condi­cōn ne draweth not with her. thilk necessite simple / for cer­tes this necessite condici [...]nel. the ꝓpre nature of it. ne ma­kith it not / but the adieccōn of the condicion maketh it / for none necessite constreyneth a man̄ to gone / that goth by his ꝓpre wil / albe it so that whan he goth / that it is necessarye that he gooth. right on the same manere then̄e. if that the [Page] purueance of god seeth ony thing psente / then̄e mote thilk thing be by necessite. Al thaugh that it haue noon necessi­te of his owne nature / but certes the futures that betiden by fredome of arbitrie / god seeth them all to gedres presentes These thinges then̄e if they be referred to the dyuine sight then̄e ben they maked necessarie by the condicion of the di­uyne knowing / but certes if thilke thinges ben considered by hem s [...]lf / they ben absolute of necessite / And ne forleten not ne cessen not of the liberte of her owne nature / then̄e cer­tes withouten doubte al the thinges shulden ben done. whi­che that god wote beforn̄. that they ben to comen / & betiden of free arbitre. or of free wille / that albe it so. that they be­tiden / yet algates ne lese they not her propre nature in being By the whiche. first or they weren done. they hadden power not to han betidde / B / Wh [...]t is this to seyne thenne qd I that [...]hing [...]s ne be not necessarie by her ꝓpre nature. so that they comen in all maners in the liknesse of necessite / by cō ­dicion̄ of the dyuine science. Phīa. This is the difference quod she. that tho thinges whiche that I purposed the a litell here biforne. That is to seyne the sonne arising. and the man̄ walking. that ther whiles that thilk thinges ben done / they ne might not ben vndone. Natheles that one of hem or it was done / it behoueth by necess [...]te that it was do­ne. but not that other / right so it is h [...]re that the thynges whiche that god hath present withouten doubte th [...]y shul­ [...]en been / but somme of [...]em descendeth of the Nature of thynges / as the sonne arising. And somme descendeth of the power of the doers. a [...] the man̄ walking / B. then̄e said I / no wrong that if these thinges be referred to the dyuine [Page] knowing. thenne ben they necessarie / And if they ben con­sidered by hem self / thenne ben they absolute. fro the boūde of necessite. right so as all thinges that appereth or sheweth to the witte [...]. yf thou referre hem to reson. it is vniuersall / And if thou loke it / or referre it / to it self. then̄e is it sin­guler. but now if thou seyste thus. that if that it be in my power to chaungen my pourpose. thenne shall I voyden the purueyannce of God. whan perauenture I shal haue chaū ­ged the thinges whiche that he knoweth biforne / Philoso­phia / Thenne shal I answeren the thus. Certes thou maist wel chaunge thi purpose. but for as moche as the presente [...]othnesse of the dyuine puruean̄ce beholdeth that thou maist chaunge thi pourpose. and wheder thou chaunge hit or noo And whiderward that thou tourne hit / thou ne maiste not eschue the dyuine prescience. ryghte soo thow ne maist not flee / the sighte of the present tye / all thaugh that thou tourne thy selfe by thi free wille. in to dyuerce Accions. But thow maiste seyne ageyne to this thus / How shalle hit thenne bee / Shalle not the dyuyne science been chaun­ged by my disposicion. whanne that I woll one thyng nowe / and nowe another thing. And thilke prescience ne semeth hit not to [...]ntrechaunge stonndes of knowyng As whoo seyth. Ne shalle hit not semen to vs. that the dyuyne prescience entrechaungeth his dyuerce stonndes of knowyng / So that hit knowe somme tyme oon̄ thyng And somme tyme yt knoweth the contrarie of that thing Philosophia. Noo forsoth quod she / For the dyuine [...]ight renneth biforne and seeth all the futures and clepeth hem ay [...]yne. and retourneth hem to the ꝓpre prescience of hys [Page] propre knowing / Ne he entrechaūgeth not so as thou wen [...]st the ston̄des of his forknowing. as now this. now that. but he dwelling ay cometh beforn̄. & enb [...]aseth at oo stroke / all [...] the mutacions / & this prescience to comprehenden & to seen al thinges. God ne hath not taken it. [...]f the betidinges of thinges to comen / but of his propre simplicite / And herby is asso [...]led thilke thinges that thou puttest a litil here by forn̄. That is to seyne that it is vnworthy thing to sene that oure futures yeuen cause of the prescience of god. For certes strengthe of the dyuine science. whiche that enbraseth alle thinges / by his presentarye knowyng establissheh ma­n [...]re to all thinges / And it ne oweth not to latter thyn­ges. And sith that these thinges been thus / That ys to s [...]yne that necessite is not in thinges by the dyuyne presci­ence / thenne is th [...]re fredome of arbitre that dwellith hooll and vnwemmede to mortal men / ne the lawes ne pourpo­s [...]n. not wicked medes and peynes [...]o the willyngis of men that ben vnboūden and quyte of alle necessite. And god beholder and forwi [...]ter of alle thynges dwell [...]th abo­ue / And the presente eternite / of sight. renneth allewey [...] wyth the dyuers qualite of oure dedes dyspensing or or­deynyng medes to good men / And t [...]urmentes to wic­ked men. Ne in ydell ne in veyne. n [...] been there not pu [...]te in god hoop [...] and prayers. that ne m [...]wen not been vn­sped [...]full / ne wythouten effecte. w [...]n they been rightfull. wythstande thenne / and eschue thou vices. worship / and loue thou vertues. Areyse thy couraige to rightfull ho [...]es Yelde thou [...]umble prayers and highe. grete necessite of p [...]owesse and of vertue is encharged and commaunded [Page] to you if ye nyl not dissimulen / sith that ye worchen and done. that is to seyne youre dedes & your werkes / beforn̄ the eyen of the Iugge that seeth and also that demeth alle thynges / Deo gracias

Explicit boecius de consolacione philosophie

THus endeth this boke whiche is named the boke of Consolacion of philosophie. whiche that boecius ma­de for his comforte and consolacion he beyng in exile for the comyn̄ and publick wele hauyng grete heuynes & though­tes and in maner of despayr / rehercing in the sayde boke howe Philosophie appiered to him shewyng the mutabilite of this transitorie lyfe / and also enformyng howe fortu­ne and happe shold bee vnderstonden / with the predestyna­cion and prescience of God as moche as maye and ys possible to bee knowen naturelly / as a fore ys sayd in this sayd boke / Whiche Boecius was an excellente auctour of dyuerce bookes craftely and curiously maad in prose and metre / And also had translated dyuerce bookes oute of Greke into latyn̄ / and had ben senatour of that noble & famous cite rome. And also his two sones Se­natours for their prudence & wisedom. And for as moche as he withstode to his power the tyran̄ye of theod [...]rik then̄e Emperour / & wold haue defended the sayde cite & Senate from his wicked hondes / wherupon he was conuict & putte in prison / in whiche prison̄ he made this forsaide boke of cōsolacion for his singuler cōfort. and for as moche as the stile of it / is harde & difficile to be vnderstonde of simple ꝑsones [Page] Therfore the worshipful fader & first foūdeur & enbelissher of ornate eloquence in our englissh. I mene / Maister Geffrey Chaucer hath translated this sayd werke oute of latyn in to oure vsual and moder tonge. Folowyng the latyn as neygh as is possible to be vnderstande. wherein in m [...]ne oppynyon he hath deseruid a perpetuell lawde and thanke of al this noble royame of Englond / And in especiall of them that shall rede & vnderstande it. For in the sayd boke they may see what this transitorie & mutable worlde is And wherto euery man̄ liuyng in hit / ought to entende. Thenne for as moche as this sayd boke so translated is ra [...]e & not spred ne knowen as it is digne and worthy. For the [...]rudicion and lernyng of suche as ben Ignoran̄t & not knowyng of it / Acte requeste of a singuler frende & gossib of myne. I william Caxton haue done my debuoir & payne tenprynte it in fourme as is here afore made / In ho­pyng that it shal prou [...]fite moche peple to the wele & helth of theire soules / & for to lerne to haue and kepe the better pacience in aduersitees [...] And furthermore I des [...]re & requi­re you that of your charite ye wold praye for the soule of the sayd worshipful man̄ Geffrey Chaucer / first transla­tour of this sayde boke into englissh & enbelissher in making the sayd langage ornate & fayr. whiche shal endure perpe­tuelly. and therfore he ought eternelly to be remēbrid. of whom the body and corp [...] lieth buried in thabbay of west­mestre beside london to fore the chapele of seynte benet. by wh [...] sepulture is wreton on a table hongyng on a pylere hi [...] Epitap [...]ye maad by a Poete laureat. whereof the co­pye foloweth &c

Epitaphiū Galfridi Chaucer. per poetam laureatū Stepha [...]ū surigonū ¶Mediolanensē in decretis licenciatū

Pyerides muse si possunt numina fle [...]
Fūdere. diuinas at (que) rigare genas
Galfridi vatis chaucer crudelia fata
¶Plangite. sit lacrinus abstinuisse nephas
Uos colu [...] viuēs. at vos celebrate sepultum
R [...]ddatur merito gracia digna viro
Grande decus vobis. ē docti musa ma [...]ris
¶Qua didicit meliꝰ ling [...]a latina loq [...]i
Grande nouū (que) decꝰ Chaucer. famā (que) pauit
Heu ( (quam)tum)quantum fuerat prisca britāna rudi [...]
Reddidit insignem maternis versibz. vt iam
¶ Aurea splendescat. ferrea facta prius
Hunc latuisse virū nil. si tot opuscula vertes
Dixeris. egregiis que decorata modis
Socratis ingenium. vel fontes philosophie
¶ Quitquid & archani dogmata sacra ferunt
Et qscun (que) velis te [...]uit dig [...]ssimus artes
Hic vates. puo conditus hoc tumulo
Ah laudis ( (quam)tum)quantum preclara britannia perdis
¶Dum rapint tantū mors odiosa virum
Crudeles parce. crudelia fila sorores
Non tamen extincto corpore. fama perit
Uiuet ineternum. viuēt dum scripta poete
¶Uiuant eterno tot monimenta die
Si qua bono [...]tas. si carmīe dignꝰ
[Page]Carmina qui [...]etinit tot cumu [...]ata modis
Hec sibi marmoreo scribentur [...] sepulchro
¶Hee maneat laudis sarcina sum [...] sue
Galfridus Chaucer rates. et fam [...] poesi [...]
Materne. [...]ac sacra sum tumulatus humo
Post obitum Caxton voluit te viuere cum
¶Willelmi. Chaucer clare poeta tuj
Nam tua non solum compressit opuscula formis
Has quo (que) (sed) laudes. [...]ssit hic esse tuas

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.