Tales of the Seven Deadly Sins
Incipit Liber Quintus: Part 1
Online Medieval and Classical Library Release #4
Obstat auaricia nature legibus, et que Largus amor poscit, striccius illa vetat. Omne quod est nimium viciosum dicitur aurum, Vellera sicut oues, seruat auarus opes. Non decet vt soli seruabitur es, set amori Debet homo solam solus habere suam. 1 Ferst whan the hyhe god began 2 This world, and that the kinde of man 3 Was falle into no gret encress, 4 For worldes good tho was no press, 5 Bot al was set to the comune. 6 Thei spieken thanne of no fortune 7 Or forto lese or forto winne, 8 Til Avarice broghte it inne; 9 And that was whan the world was woxe 10 Of man, of hors, of Schep, of Oxe, 11 And that men knewen the moneie. 12 Tho wente pes out of the weie 13 And werre cam on every side, 14 Which alle love leide aside 15 And of comun his propre made, 16 So that in stede of schovele and spade 17 The scharpe swerd was take on honde; 18 And in this wise it cam to londe, 19 Wherof men maden dyches depe 20 And hyhe walles forto kepe 21 The gold which Avarice encloseth. 22 Bot al to lytel him supposeth, 23 Thogh he mihte al the world pourchace; 24 For what thing that he may embrace 25 Of gold, of catel or of lond, 26 He let it nevere out of his hond, 27 Bot get him more and halt it faste, 28 As thogh the world scholde evere laste. 29 So is he lych unto the helle; 30 For as these olde bokes telle, 31 What comth therinne, lasse or more, 32 It schal departe neveremore: 33 Thus whanne he hath his cofre loken, 34 It schal noght after ben unstoken, 35 Bot whanne him list to have a syhte 36 Of gold, hou that it schyneth brihte, 37 That he ther on mai loke and muse; 38 For otherwise he dar noght use 39 To take his part, or lasse or more. 40 So is he povere, and everemore 41 Him lacketh that he hath ynowh: 42 An Oxe draweth in the plowh, 43 Of that himself hath no profit; 44 A Schep riht in the same plit 45 His wolle berth, bot on a day 46 An other takth the flees away: 47 Thus hath he, that he noght ne hath, 48 For he therof his part ne tath. 49 To seie hou such a man hath good, 50 Who so that reson understod, 51 It is impropreliche seid, 52 For good hath him and halt him teid, 53 That he ne gladeth noght withal, 54 Bot is unto his good a thral, 55 And as soubgit thus serveth he, 56 Wher that he scholde maister be: 57 Such is the kinde of thaverous. 58 Mi Sone, as thou art amerous, 59 Tell if thou farst of love so. 60 Mi fader, as it semeth, no; 61 That averous yit nevere I was, 62 So as ye setten me the cas: 63 For as ye tolden here above, 64 In full possession of love 65 Yit was I nevere hier tofore, 66 So that me thenketh wel therfore, 67 I mai excuse wel my dede. 68 Bot of mi will withoute drede, 69 If I that tresor mihte gete, 70 It scholde nevere be foryete, 71 That I ne wolde it faste holde, 72 Til god of love himselve wolde 73 That deth ous scholde part atuo. 74 For lieveth wel, I love hire so, 75 That evene with min oghne lif, 76 If I that swete lusti wif 77 Mihte ones welden at my wille, 78 For evere I wolde hire holde stille: 79 And in this wise, taketh kepe, 80 If I hire hadde, I wolde hire kepe, 81 And yit no friday wolde I faste, 82 Thogh I hire kepte and hielde faste. 83 Fy on the bagges in the kiste! 84 I hadde ynogh, if I hire kiste. 85 For certes, if sche were myn, 86 I hadde hir levere than a Myn 87 Of Gold; for al this worldesriche 88 Ne mihte make me so riche 89 As sche, that is so inly good. 90 I sette noght of other good; 91 For mihte I gete such a thing, 92 I hadde a tresor for a king; 93 And thogh I wolde it faste holde, 94 I were thanne wel beholde. 95 Bot I mot pipe nou with lasse, 96 And suffre that it overpasse, 97 Noght with mi will, for thus I wolde 98 Ben averous, if that I scholde. 99 Bot, fader, I you herde seie 100 Hou thaverous hath yit som weie, 101 Wherof he mai be glad; for he 102 Mai whanne him list his tresor se, 103 And grope and fiele it al aboute, 104 Bot I fulofte am schet theroute, 105 Ther as my worthi tresor is. 106 So is mi lif lich unto this, 107 That ye me tolden hier tofore, 108 Hou that an Oxe his yock hath bore 109 For thing that scholde him noght availe: 110 And in this wise I me travaile; 111 For who that evere hath the welfare, 112 I wot wel that I have the care, 113 For I am hadd and noght ne have, 114 And am, as who seith, loves knave. 115 Nou demeth in youre oghne thoght, 116 If this be Avarice or noght. 117 Mi Sone, I have of thee no wonder, 118 Thogh thou to serve be put under 119 With love, which to kinde acordeth: 120 Bot, so as every bok recordeth, 121 It is to kinde no plesance 122 That man above his sustienance 123 Unto the gold schal serve and bowe, 124 For that mai no reson avowe. 125 Bot Avarice natheles, 126 If he mai geten his encress 127 Of gold, that wole he serve and kepe, 128 For he takth of noght elles kepe, 129 Bot forto fille hise bagges large; 130 And al is to him bot a charge, 131 For he ne parteth noght withal, 132 Bot kepth it, as a servant schal: 133 And thus, thogh that he multeplie 134 His gold, withoute tresorie 135 He is, for man is noght amended 136 With gold, bot if it be despended 137 To mannes us; wherof I rede 138 A tale, and tak therof good hiede, 139 Of that befell be olde tyde, 140 As telleth ous the clerk Ovide. 141 Bachus, which is the god of wyn, 142 Acordant unto his divin 143 A Prest, the which Cillenus hihte, 144 He hadde, and fell so that be nyhte 145 This Prest was drunke and goth astraied, 146 Wherof the men were evele apaied 147 In Frigelond, where as he wente. 148 Bot ate laste a cherl him hente 149 With strengthe of other felaschipe, 150 So that upon his drunkeschipe 151 Thei bounden him with chenes faste, 152 And forth thei ladde him als so faste 153 Unto the king, which hihte Myde. 154 Bot he, that wolde his vice hyde, 155 This courteis king, tok of him hiede, 156 And bad that men him scholde lede 157 Into a chambre forto kepe, 158 Til he of leisir hadde slepe. 159 And tho this Prest was sone unbounde, 160 And up a couche fro the grounde 161 To slepe he was leid softe ynowh; 162 And whanne he wok, the king him drowh 163 To his presence and dede him chiere, 164 So that this Prest in such manere, 165 Whil that him liketh, there he duelleth: 166 And al this he to Bachus telleth, 167 Whan that he cam to him ayein. 168 And whan that Bachus herde sein 169 How Mide hath don his courtesie, 170 Him thenkth it were a vilenie, 171 Bot he rewarde him for his dede, 172 So as he mihte of his godhiede. 173 Unto this king this god appiereth 174 And clepeth, and that other hiereth: 175 This god to Mide thonketh faire 176 Of that he was so debonaire 177 Toward his Prest, and bad him seie: 178 What thing it were he wolde preie, 179 He scholde it have, of worldes good. 180 This king was glad, and stille stod, 181 And was of his axinge in doute, 182 And al the world he caste aboute, 183 What thing was best for his astat, 184 And with himself stod in debat 185 Upon thre pointz, the whiche I finde 186 Ben lievest unto mannes kinde. 187 The ferste of hem it is delit, 188 The tuo ben worschipe and profit. 189 And thanne he thoghte, "If that I crave 190 Delit, thogh I delit mai have, 191 Delit schal passen in myn age: 192 That is no siker avantage, 193 For every joie bodily 194 Schal ende in wo: delit forthi 195 Wol I noght chese. And if worschipe 196 I axe and of the world lordschipe, 197 That is an occupacion 198 Of proud ymaginacion, 199 Which makth an herte vein withinne; 200 Ther is no certain forto winne, 201 For lord and knave al is o weie, 202 Whan thei be bore and whan thei deie. 203 And if I profit axe wolde, 204 I not in what manere I scholde 205 Of worldes good have sikernesse; 206 For every thief upon richesse 207 Awaiteth forto robbe and stele: 208 Such good is cause of harmes fele. 209 And also, thogh a man at ones 210 Of al the world withinne his wones 211 The tresor myhte have everydel, 212 Yit hadde he bot o mannes del 213 Toward himself, so as I thinke, 214 Of clothinge and of mete and drinke, 215 For more, outake vanite, 216 Ther hath no lord in his degre." 217 And thus upon the pointz diverse 218 Diverseliche he gan reherce 219 What point him thoghte for the beste; 220 Bot pleinly forto gete him reste 221 He can so siker weie caste. 222 And natheles yit ate laste 223 He fell upon the coveitise 224 Of gold; and thanne in sondri wise 225 He thoghte, as I have seid tofore, 226 Hou tresor mai be sone lore, 227 And hadde an inly gret desir 228 Touchende of such recoverir, 229 Hou that he mihte his cause availe 230 To gete him gold withoute faile. 231 Withinne his herte and thus he preiseth 232 The gold, and seith hou that it peiseth 233 Above al other metall most: 234 "The gold," he seith, "may lede an host 235 To make werre ayein a King; 236 The gold put under alle thing, 237 And set it whan him list above; 238 The gold can make of hate love 239 And werre of pes and ryht of wrong, 240 And long to schort and schort to long; 241 Withoute gold mai be no feste, 242 Gold is the lord of man and beste, 243 And mai hem bothe beie and selle; 244 So that a man mai sothly telle 245 That al the world to gold obeieth." 246 Forthi this king to Bachus preieth 247 To grante him gold, bot he excedeth 248 Mesure more than him nedeth. 249 Men tellen that the maladie 250 Which cleped is ydropesie 251 Resembled is unto this vice 252 Be weie of kinde of Avarice: 253 The more ydropesie drinketh, 254 The more him thursteth, for him thinketh 255 That he mai nevere drinke his fille; 256 So that ther mai nothing fulfille 257 The lustes of his appetit: 258 And riht in such a maner plit 259 Stant Avarice and evere stod; 260 The more he hath of worldes good, 261 The more he wolde it kepe streyte, 262 And evere mor and mor coveite. 263 And riht in such condicioun 264 Withoute good discrecioun 265 This king with avarice is smite, 266 That al the world it myhte wite: 267 For he to Bachus thanne preide, 268 That wherupon his hond he leide, 269 It scholde thurgh his touche anon 270 Become gold, and therupon 271 This god him granteth as he bad. 272 Tho was this king of Frige glad, 273 And forto put it in assai 274 With al the haste that he mai, 275 He toucheth that, he toucheth this, 276 And in his hond al gold it is, 277 The Ston, the Tree, the Lef, the gras, 278 The flour, the fruit, al gold it was. 279 Thus toucheth he, whil he mai laste 280 To go, bot hunger ate laste 281 Him tok, so that he moste nede 282 Be weie of kinde his hunger fede. 283 The cloth was leid, the bord was set, 284 And al was forth tofore him fet, 285 His disch, his coppe, his drinke, his mete; 286 Bot whanne he wolde or drinke or ete, 287 Anon as it his mouth cam nyh, 288 It was al gold, and thanne he syh 289 Of Avarice the folie. 290 And he with that began to crie, 291 And preide Bachus to foryive 292 His gilt, and soffre him forto live 293 And be such as he was tofore, 294 So that he were not forlore. 295 This god, which herde of his grevance, 296 Tok rowthe upon his repentance, 297 And bad him go forth redily 298 Unto a flod was faste by, 299 Which Paceole thanne hyhte, 300 In which as clene as evere he myhte 301 He scholde him waisshen overal, 302 And seide him thanne that he schal 303 Recovere his ferste astat ayein. 304 This king, riht as he herde sein, 305 Into the flod goth fro the lond, 306 And wissh him bothe fot and hond, 307 And so forth al the remenant, 308 As him was set in covenant: 309 And thanne he syh merveilles strange, 310 The flod his colour gan to change, 311 The gravel with the smale Stones 312 To gold thei torne bothe at ones, 313 And he was quit of that he hadde, 314 And thus fortune his chance ladde. 315 And whan he sih his touche aweie, 316 He goth him hom the rihte weie 317 And liveth forth as he dede er, 318 And putte al Avarice afer, 319 And the richesse of gold despiseth, 320 And seith that mete and cloth sufficeth. 321 Thus hath this king experience 322 Hou foles don the reverence 323 To gold, which of his oghne kinde 324 Is lasse worth than is the rinde 325 To sustienance of mannes fode; 326 And thanne he made lawes goode 327 And al his thing sette upon skile: 328 He bad his poeple forto tile 329 Here lond, and live under the lawe, 330 And that thei scholde also forthdrawe 331 Bestaile, and seche non encress 332 Of gold, which is the breche of pes. 333 For this a man mai finde write, 334 Tofor the time, er gold was smite 335 In Coign, that men the florin knewe, 336 Ther was welnyh noman untrewe; 337 Tho was ther nouther schield ne spere 338 Ne dedly wepne forto bere; 339 Tho was the toun withoute wal, 340 Which nou is closed overal; 341 Tho was ther no brocage in londe, 342 Which nou takth every cause on honde: 343 So mai men knowe, hou the florin 344 Was moder ferst of malengin 345 And bringere inne of alle werre, 346 Wherof this world stant out of herre 347 Thurgh the conseil of Avarice, 348 Which of his oghne propre vice 349 Is as the helle wonderfull; 350 For it mai neveremor be full, 351 That what as evere comth therinne, 352 Awey ne may it nevere winne. 353 Bot Sone myn, do thou noght so, 354 Let al such Avarice go, 355 And tak thi part of that thou hast: 356 I bidde noght that thou do wast, 357 Bot hold largesce in his mesure; 358 And if thou se a creature, 359 Which thurgh poverte is falle in nede, 360 Yif him som good, for this I rede 361 To him that wol noght yiven here, 362 What peine he schal have elleswhere. 363 Ther is a peine amonges alle 364 Benethe in helle, which men calle 365 The wofull peine of Tantaly, 366 Of which I schal thee redely 367 Devise hou men therinne stonde. 368 In helle, thou schalt understonde, 369 Ther is a flod of thilke office, 370 Which serveth al for Avarice: 371 What man that stonde schal therinne, 372 He stant up evene unto the chinne; 373 Above his hed also ther hongeth 374 A fruyt, which to that peine longeth, 375 And that fruit toucheth evere in on 376 His overlippe: and therupon 377 Swich thurst and hunger him assaileth, 378 That nevere his appetit ne faileth. 379 Bot whanne he wolde his hunger fede, 380 The fruit withdrawth him ate nede, 381 And thogh he heve his hed on hyh, 382 The fruit is evere aliche nyh, 383 So is the hunger wel the more: 384 And also, thogh him thurste sore 385 And to the water bowe a doun, 386 The flod in such condicioun 387 Avaleth, that his drinke areche 388 He mai noght. Lo nou, which a wreche, 389 That mete and drinke is him so couth, 390 And yit ther comth non in his mouth! 391 Lich to the peines of this flod 392 Stant Avarice in worldes good: 393 He hath ynowh and yit him nedeth, 394 For his skarsnesse it him forbiedeth, 395 And evere his hunger after more 396 Travaileth him aliche sore, 397 So is he peined overal. 398 Forthi thi goodes forth withal, 399 Mi Sone, loke thou despende, 400 Wherof thou myht thiself amende 401 Bothe hier and ek in other place. 402 And also if thou wolt pourchace 403 To be beloved, thou most use 404 Largesce, for if thou refuse 405 To yive for thi loves sake, 406 It is no reson that thou take 407 Of love that thou woldest crave. 408 Forthi, if thou wolt grace have, 409 Be gracious and do largesse, 410 Of Avarice and the seknesse 411 Eschuie above alle other thing, 412 And tak ensample of Mide king 413 And of the flod of helle also, 414 Where is ynowh of alle wo. 415 And thogh ther were no matiere 416 Bot only that we finden hiere, 417 Men oghten Avarice eschuie; 418 For what man thilke vice suie, 419 He get himself bot litel reste. 420 For hou so that the body reste, 421 The herte upon the gold travaileth, 422 Whom many a nyhtes drede assaileth; 423 For thogh he ligge abedde naked, 424 His herte is everemore awaked, 425 And dremeth, as he lith to slepe, 426 How besi that he is to kepe 427 His tresor, that no thief it stele. 428 Thus hath he bot a woful wele. 429 And riht so in the same wise, 430 If thou thiself wolt wel avise, 431 Ther be lovers of suche ynowe, 432 That wole unto no reson bowe. 433 If so be that thei come above, 434 Whan thei ben maistres of here love, 435 And that thei scholden be most glad, 436 With love thei ben most bestad, 437 So fain thei wolde it holden al. 438 Here herte, here yhe is overal, 439 And wenen every man be thief, 440 To stele awey that hem is lief; 441 Thus thurgh here oghne fantasie 442 Thei fallen into Jelousie. 443 Thanne hath the Schip tobroke his cable, 444 With every wynd and is muable. 445 Mi fader, for that ye nou telle, 446 I have herd ofte time telle 447 Of Jelousie, bot what it is 448 Yit understod I nevere er this: 449 Wherfore I wolde you beseche, 450 That ye me wolde enforme and teche 451 What maner thing it mihte be. 452 Mi Sone, that is hard to me: 453 Bot natheles, as I have herd, 454 Now herkne and thou schalt ben ansuerd. 455 Among the men lacke of manhode 456 In Mariage upon wifhode 457 Makth that a man himself deceiveth, 458 Wherof it is that he conceiveth 459 That ilke unsely maladie, 460 The which is cleped Jelousie: 461 Of which if I the proprete 462 Schal telle after the nycete, 463 So as it worcheth on a man, 464 A Fievere it is cotidian, 465 Which every day wol come aboute, 466 Wher so a man be inne or oute. 467 At hom if that a man wol wone, 468 This Fievere is thanne of comun wone 469 Most grevous in a mannes yhe: 470 For thanne he makth him tote and pryhe, 471 Wher so as evere his love go; 472 Sche schal noght with hir litel too 473 Misteppe, bot he se it al. 474 His yhe is walkende overal; 475 Wher that sche singe or that sche dance, 476 He seth the leste contienance, 477 If sche loke on a man aside 478 Or with him roune at eny tyde, 479 Or that sche lawghe, or that sche loure, 480 His yhe is ther at every houre. 481 And whanne it draweth to the nyht, 482 If sche thanne is withoute lyht, 483 Anon is al the game schent; 484 For thanne he set his parlement 485 To speke it whan he comth to bedde, 486 And seith, "If I were now to wedde, 487 I wolde neveremore have wif." 488 And so he torneth into strif 489 The lust of loves duete, 490 And al upon diversete. 491 If sche be freissh and wel araied, 492 He seith hir baner is displaied 493 To clepe in gestes fro the weie: 494 And if sche be noght wel beseie, 495 And that hir list noght to be gladd, 496 He berth an hond that sche is madd 497 And loveth noght hire housebonde; 498 He seith he mai wel understonde, 499 That if sche wolde his compaignie, 500 Sche scholde thanne afore his ije 501 Schewe al the plesir that sche mihte. 502 So that be daie ne be nyhte 503 Sche not what thing is for the beste, 504 Bot liveth out of alle reste; 505 For what as evere him liste sein, 506 Sche dar noght speke a word ayein, 507 Bot wepth and holt hire lippes clos. 508 Sche mai wel wryte, "Sanz repos," 509 The wif which is to such on maried. 510 Of alle wommen be he waried, 511 For with this Fievere of Jalousie 512 His echedaies fantasie 513 Of sorghe is evere aliche grene, 514 So that ther is no love sene, 515 Whil that him list at hom abyde. 516 And whan so is he wol out ryde, 517 Thanne hath he redi his aspie 518 Abidinge in hir compaignie, 519 A janglere, an evel mouthed oon, 520 That sche ne mai nowhider gon, 521 Ne speke a word, ne ones loke, 522 That he ne wol it wende and croke 523 And torne after his oghne entente, 524 Thogh sche nothing bot honour mente. 525 Whan that the lord comth hom ayein, 526 The janglere moste somwhat sein; 527 So what withoute and what withinne, 528 This Fievere is evere to beginne, 529 For where he comth he can noght ende, 530 Til deth of him have mad an ende. 531 For thogh so be that he ne hiere 532 Ne se ne wite in no manere 533 Bot al honour and wommanhiede, 534 Therof the Jelous takth non hiede, 535 Bot as a man to love unkinde, 536 He cast his staf, as doth the blinde, 537 And fint defaulte where is non; 538 As who so dremeth on a Ston 539 Hou he is leid, and groneth ofte, 540 Whan he lith on his pilwes softe. 541 So is ther noght bot strif and cheste; 542 Whan love scholde make his feste, 543 It is gret thing if he hir kisse: 544 Thus hath sche lost the nyhtes blisse, 545 For at such time he gruccheth evere 546 And berth on hond ther is a levere, 547 And that sche wolde an other were 548 In stede of him abedde there; 549 And with tho wordes and with mo 550 Of Jelousie, he torneth fro 551 And lith upon his other side, 552 And sche with that drawth hire aside, 553 And ther sche wepeth al the nyht. 554 Ha, to what peine sche is dyht, 555 That in hire youthe hath so beset 556 The bond which mai noght ben unknet! 557 I wot the time is ofte cursed, 558 That evere was the gold unpursed, 559 The which was leid upon the bok, 560 Whan that alle othre sche forsok 561 For love of him; bot al to late 562 Sche pleigneth, for as thanne algate 563 Sche mot forbere and to him bowe, 564 Thogh he ne wole it noght allowe. 565 For man is lord of thilke feire, 566 So mai the womman bot empeire, 567 If sche speke oght ayein his wille; 568 And thus sche berth hir peine stille. 569 Bot if this Fievere a womman take, 570 Sche schal be wel mor harde schake; 571 For thogh sche bothe se and hiere, 572 And finde that ther is matiere, 573 Sche dar bot to hirselve pleine, 574 And thus sche suffreth double peine. 575 Lo thus, mi Sone, as I have write, 576 Thou miht of Jelousie wite 577 His fievere and his condicion, 578 Which is full of suspecion. 579 Bot wherof that this fievere groweth, 580 Who so these olde bokes troweth, 581 Ther mai he finden hou it is: 582 For thei ous teche and telle this, 583 Hou that this fievere of Jelousie 584 Somdel it groweth of sotie 585 Of love, and somdiel of untrust. 586 For as a sek man lest his lust, 587 And whan he may no savour gete, 588 He hateth thanne his oughne mete, 589 Riht so this fieverous maladie, 590 Which caused is of fantasie, 591 Makth the Jelous in fieble plit 592 To lese of love his appetit 593 Thurgh feigned enformacion 594 Of his ymaginacion. 595 Bot finali to taken hiede, 596 Men mai wel make a liklihiede 597 Betwen him which is averous 598 Of gold and him that is jelous 599 Of love, for in on degre 600 Thei stonde bothe, as semeth me. 601 That oon wolde have his bagges stille, 602 And noght departen with his wille, 603 And dar noght for the thieves slepe, 604 So fain he wolde his tresor kepe; 605 That other mai noght wel be glad, 606 For he is evere more adrad 607 Of these lovers that gon aboute, 608 In aunter if thei putte him oute. 609 So have thei bothe litel joye 610 As wel of love as of monoie. 611 Now hast thou, Sone, at my techinge 612 Of Jelousie a knowlechinge, 613 That thou myht understonde this, 614 Fro whenne he comth and what he is, 615 And ek to whom that he is lik. 616 Be war forthi thou be noght sik 617 Of thilke fievere as I have spoke, 618 For it wol in himself be wroke. 619 For love hateth nothing more, 620 As men mai finde be the lore 621 Of hem that whilom were wise, 622 Hou that thei spieke in many wise. 623 Mi fader, soth is that ye sein. 624 Bot forto loke therayein, 625 Befor this time hou it is falle, 626 Wherof ther mihte ensample falle 627 To suche men as be jelous 628 In what manere it is grevous, 629 Riht fain I wolde ensample hiere. 630 My goode Sone, at thi preiere 631 Of suche ensamples as I finde, 632 So as thei comen nou to mynde 633 Upon this point, of time gon 634 I thenke forto tellen on. 635 Ovide wrot of manye thinges, 636 Among the whiche in his wrytinges 637 He tolde a tale in Poesie, 638 Which toucheth unto Jelousie, 639 Upon a certein cas of love. 640 Among the goddes alle above 641 It fell at thilke time thus: 642 The god of fyr, which Vulcanus 643 Is hote, and hath a craft forthwith 644 Assigned, forto be the Smith 645 Of Jupiter, and his figure 646 Bothe of visage and of stature 647 Is lothly and malgracious, 648 Bot yit he hath withinne his hous 649 As for the likynge of his lif 650 The faire Venus to his wif. 651 Bot Mars, which of batailles is 652 The god, an yhe hadde unto this: 653 As he which was chivalerous, 654 It fell him to ben amerous, 655 And thoghte it was a gret pite 656 To se so lusti on as sche 657 Be coupled with so lourde a wiht: 658 So that his peine day and nyht 659 He dede, if he hire winne myhte; 660 And sche, which hadde a good insihte 661 Toward so noble a knyhtli lord, 662 In love fell of his acord. 663 Ther lacketh noght bot time and place, 664 That he nys siker of hire grace: 665 Bot whan tuo hertes falle in on, 666 So wys await was nevere non, 667 That at som time thei ne mete; 668 And thus this faire lusti swete 669 With Mars hath ofte compaignie. 670 Bot thilke unkynde Jelousie, 671 Which everemor the herte opposeth, 672 Makth Vulcanus that he supposeth 673 That it is noght wel overal, 674 And to himself he seide, he schal 675 Aspie betre, if that he may; 676 And so it fell upon a day, 677 That he this thing so slyhli ledde, 678 He fond hem bothe tuo abedde 679 Al warm, echon with other naked. 680 And he with craft al redy maked 681 Of stronge chenes hath hem bounde, 682 As he togedre hem hadde founde, 683 And lefte hem bothe ligge so, 684 And gan to clepe and crie tho 685 Unto the goddes al aboute; 686 And thei assembled in a route 687 Come alle at ones forto se. 688 Bot none amendes hadde he, 689 Bot was rebuked hiere and there 690 Of hem that loves frendes were; 691 And seiden that he was to blame, 692 For if ther fell him eny schame, 693 It was thurgh his misgovernance: 694 And thus he loste contienance, 695 This god, and let his cause falle; 696 And thei to skorne him lowhen alle, 697 And losen Mars out of hise bondes. 698 Wherof these erthli housebondes 699 For evere myhte ensample take, 700 If such a chaunce hem overtake: 701 For Vulcanus his wif bewreide, 702 The blame upon himself he leide, 703 Wherof his schame was the more; 704 Which oghte forto ben a lore 705 For every man that liveth hiere, 706 To reulen him in this matiere. 707 Thogh such an happ of love asterte, 708 Yit scholde he noght apointe his herte 709 With Jelousie of that is wroght, 710 Bot feigne, as thogh he wiste it noght: 711 For if he lete it overpasse, 712 The sclaundre schal be wel the lasse, 713 And he the more in ese stonde. 714 For this thou myht wel understonde, 715 That where a man schal nedes lese, 716 The leste harm is forto chese. 717 Bot Jelousie of his untrist 718 Makth that full many an harm arist, 719 Which elles scholde noght arise; 720 And if a man him wolde avise 721 Of that befell to Vulcanus, 722 Him oghte of reson thenke thus, 723 That sithe a god therof was schamed, 724 Wel scholde an erthli man be blamed 725 To take upon him such a vice. 726 Forthi, my Sone, in thin office 727 Be war that thou be noght jelous, 728 Which ofte time hath schent the hous. 729 Mi fader, this ensample is hard, 730 Hou such thing to the heveneward 731 Among the goddes myhte falle: 732 For ther is bot o god of alle, 733 Which is the lord of hevene and helle. 734 Bot if it like you to telle 735 Hou suche goddes come aplace, 736 Ye mihten mochel thonk pourchace, 737 For I schal be wel tawht withal. 738 Mi Sone, it is thus overal 739 With hem that stonden misbelieved, 740 That suche goddes ben believed: 741 In sondri place sondri wise 742 Amonges hem whiche are unwise 743 Ther is betaken of credence; 744 Wherof that I the difference 745 In the manere as it is write 746 Schal do the pleinly forto wite. 747 Er Crist was bore among ous hiere, 748 Of the believes that tho were 749 In foure formes thus it was. 750 Thei of Caldee as in this cas 751 Hadde a believe be hemselve, 752 Which stod upon the signes tuelve, 753 Forth ek with the Planetes sevene, 754 Whiche as thei sihe upon the hevene. 755 Of sondri constellacion 756 In here ymaginacion 757 With sondri kerf and pourtreture 758 Thei made of goddes the figure. 759 In thelementz and ek also 760 Thei hadden a believe tho; 761 And al was that unresonable: 762 For thelementz ben servicable 763 To man, and ofte of Accidence, 764 As men mai se thexperience, 765 Thei ben corrupt be sondri weie; 766 So mai no mannes reson seie 767 That thei ben god in eny wise. 768 And ek, if men hem wel avise, 769 The Sonne and Mone eclipse bothe, 770 That be hem lieve or be hem lothe, 771 Thei soffre; and what thing is passible 772 To ben a god is impossible. 773 These elementz ben creatures, 774 So ben these hevenly figures, 775 Wherof mai wel be justefied 776 That thei mai noght be deified: 777 And who that takth awey thonour 778 Which due is to the creatour, 779 And yifth it to the creature, 780 He doth to gret a forsfaiture. 781 Bot of Caldee natheles 782 Upon this feith, thogh it be les, 783 Thei holde affermed the creance; 784 So that of helle the penance, 785 As folk which stant out of believe, 786 They schull receive, as we believe. 787 Of the Caldeus lo in this wise 788 Stant the believe out of assisse: 789 Bot in Egipte worst of alle 790 The feith is fals, hou so it falle; 791 For thei diverse bestes there 792 Honoure, as thogh thei goddes were: 793 And natheles yit forth withal 794 Thre goddes most in special 795 Thei have, forth with a goddesse, 796 In whom is al here sikernesse. 797 Tho goddes be yit cleped thus, 798 Orus, Typhon and Isirus: 799 Thei were brethren alle thre, 800 And the goddesse in hir degre 801 Here Soster was and Ysis hyhte, 802 Whom Isirus forlai be nyhte 803 And hield hire after as his wif. 804 So it befell that upon strif 805 Typhon hath Isre his brother slain, 806 Which hadde a child to Sone Orayn, 807 And he his fader deth to herte 808 So tok, that it mai noght asterte 809 That he Typhon after ne slowh, 810 Whan he was ripe of age ynowh. 811 Bot yit thegipcienes trowe 812 For al this errour, which thei knowe, 813 That these brethren ben of myht 814 To sette and kepe Egipte upriht, 815 And overthrowe, if that hem like. 816 Bot Ysis, as seith the Cronique, 817 Fro Grece into Egipte cam, 818 And sche thanne upon honde nam 819 To teche hem forto sowe and eere, 820 Which noman knew tofore there. 821 And whan thegipcienes syhe 822 The fieldes fulle afore here yhe, 823 And that the lond began to greine, 824 Which whilom hadde be bareigne,- 825 For therthe bar after the kinde 826 His due charge,- this I finde, 827 That sche of berthe the goddesse 828 Is cleped, so that in destresse 829 The wommen there upon childinge 830 To hire clepe, and here offringe 831 Thei beren, whan that thei ben lyhte. 832 Lo, hou Egipte al out of syhte 833 Fro resoun stant in misbelieve 834 For lacke of lore, as I believe. 835 Among the Greks, out of the weie 836 As thei that reson putte aweie, 837 Ther was, as the Cronique seith, 838 Of misbelieve an other feith, 839 That thei here goddes and goddesses, 840 As who seith, token al to gesses 841 Of suche as weren full of vice, 842 To whom thei made here sacrifice. 843 The hihe god, so as thei seide, 844 To whom thei most worschipe leide, 845 Saturnus hihte, and king of Crete 846 He hadde be; bot of his sete 847 He was put doun, as he which stod 848 In frenesie, and was so wod, 849 That fro his wif, which Rea hihte, 850 Hise oghne children he to plihte, 851 And eet hem of his comun wone. 852 Bot Jupiter, which was his Sone 853 And of full age, his fader bond 854 And kutte of with his oghne hond 855 Hise genitals, whiche als so faste 856 Into the depe See he caste; 857 Wherof the Greks afferme and seie, 858 Thus whan thei were caste aweie, 859 Cam Venus forth be weie of kinde. 860 And of Saturne also I finde 861 How afterward into an yle 862 This Jupiter him dede exile, 863 Wher that he stod in gret meschief. 864 Lo, which a god thei maden chief! 865 And sithen that such on was he, 866 Which stod most hihe in his degre 867 Among the goddes, thou miht knowe, 868 These othre, that ben more lowe, 869 Ben litel worth, as it is founde. 870 For Jupiter was the secounde, 871 Which Juno hadde unto his wif; 872 And yit a lechour al his lif 873 He was, and in avouterie 874 He wroghte many a tricherie; 875 And for he was so full of vices, 876 Thei cleped him god of delices: 877 Of whom, if thou wolt more wite, 878 Ovide the Poete hath write. 879 Bot yit here Sterres bothe tuo, 880 Saturne and Jupiter also, 881 Thei have, althogh thei be to blame, 882 Attitled to here oghne name. 883 Mars was an other in that lawe, 884 The which in Dace was forthdrawe, 885 Of whom the clerk Vegecius 886 Wrot in his bok, and tolde thus, 887 Hou he into Ytaile cam, 888 And such fortune ther he nam 889 That he a Maiden hath oppressed, 890 Which in hire ordre was professed, 891 As sche which was the Prioresse 892 In Vestes temple the goddesse, 893 So was sche wel the mor to blame. 894 Dame Ylia this ladi name 895 Men clepe, and ek sche was also 896 The kinges dowhter that was tho, 897 Which Mynitor be name hihte. 898 So that ayein the lawes ryhte 899 Mars thilke time upon hire that 900 Remus and Romulus begat, 901 Whiche after, whan thei come in Age, 902 Of knihthode and of vassellage 903 Ytaile al hol thei overcome 904 And foundeden the grete Rome; 905 In Armes and of such emprise 906 Thei weren, that in thilke wise 907 Here fader Mars for the mervaile 908 The god was cleped of bataille. 909 Thei were his children bothe tuo, 910 Thurgh hem he tok his name so, 911 Ther was non other cause why: 912 And yit a Sterre upon the Sky 913 He hath unto his name applied, 914 In which that he is signified. 915 An other god thei hadden eke, 916 To whom for conseil thei beseke, 917 The which was brother to Venus, 918 Appollo men him clepe thus. 919 He was an Hunte upon the helles, 920 Ther was with him no vertu elles, 921 Wherof that enye bokes karpe, 922 Bot only that he couthe harpe; 923 Which whanne he walked over londe, 924 Fulofte time he tok on honde, 925 To gete him with his sustienance, 926 For lacke of other pourveance. 927 And otherwhile of his falshede 928 He feignede him to conne arede 929 Of thing which after scholde falle; 930 Wherof among hise sleyhtes alle 931 He hath the lewed folk deceived, 932 So that the betre he was received. 933 Lo now, thurgh what creacion 934 He hath deificacion, 935 And cleped is the god of wit 936 To suche as be the foles yit. 937 An other god, to whom thei soghte, 938 Mercurie hihte, and him ne roghte 939 What thing he stal, ne whom he slowh. 940 Of Sorcerie he couthe ynowh, 941 That whanne he wolde himself transforme, 942 Fulofte time he tok the forme 943 Of womman and his oghne lefte; 944 So dede he wel the more thefte. 945 A gret spekere in alle thinges 946 He was also, and of lesinges 947 An Auctour, that men wiste non 948 An other such as he was on. 949 And yit thei maden of this thief 950 A god, which was unto hem lief, 951 And clepede him in tho believes 952 The god of Marchantz and of thieves. 953 Bot yit a sterre upon the hevene 954 He hath of the planetes sevene. 955 But Vulcanus, of whom I spak, 956 He hadde a courbe upon the bak, 957 And therto he was hepehalt: 958 Of whom thou understonde schalt, 959 He was a schrewe in al his youthe, 960 And he non other vertu couthe 961 Of craft to helpe himselve with, 962 Bot only that he was a Smith 963 With Jupiter, which in his forge 964 Diverse thinges made him forge; 965 So wot I noght for what desir 966 Thei clepen him the god of fyr. 967 King of Cizile Ypolitus 968 A Sone hadde, and Eolus 969 He hihte, and of his fader grant 970 He hield be weie of covenant 971 The governance of every yle 972 Which was longende unto Cizile, 973 Of hem that fro the lond forein 974 Leie open to the wynd al plein. 975 And fro thilke iles to the londe 976 Fulofte cam the wynd to honde: 977 After the name of him forthi 978 The wyndes cleped Eoli 979 Tho were, and he the god of wynd. 980 Lo nou, hou this believe is blynd! 981 The king of Crete Jupiter, 982 The same which I spak of er, 983 Unto his brother, which Neptune 984 Was hote, it list him to comune 985 Part of his good, so that be Schipe 986 He mad him strong of the lordschipe 987 Of al the See in tho parties; 988 Wher that he wroghte his tyrannyes, 989 And the strange yles al aboute 990 He wan, that every man hath doute 991 Upon his marche forto saile; 992 For he anon hem wolde assaile 993 And robbe what thing that thei ladden, 994 His sauf conduit bot if thei hadden. 995 Wherof the comun vois aros 996 In every lond, that such a los 997 He cawhte, al nere it worth a stre, 998 That he was cleped of the See 999 The god be name, and yit he is 1000 With hem that so believe amis. 1001 This Neptune ek was thilke also, 1002 Which was the ferste foundour tho 1003 Of noble Troie, and he forthi 1004 Was wel the more lete by. 1005 The loresman of the Schepherdes, 1006 And ek of hem that ben netherdes, 1007 Was of Archade and hihte Pan: 1008 Of whom hath spoke many a man; 1009 For in the wode of Nonarcigne, 1010 Enclosed with the tres of Pigne, 1011 And on the Mont of Parasie 1012 He hadde of bestes the baillie, 1013 And ek benethe in the valleie, 1014 Wher thilke rivere, as men seie, 1015 Which Ladon hihte, made his cours, 1016 He was the chief of governours 1017 Of hem that kepten tame bestes, 1018 Wherof thei maken yit the festes 1019 In the Cite Stinfalides. 1020 And forth withal yit natheles 1021 He tawhte men the forthdrawinge 1022 Of bestaile, and ek the makinge 1023 Of Oxen, and of hors the same, 1024 Hou men hem scholde ryde and tame: 1025 Of foules ek, so as we finde, 1026 Ful many a soubtiel craft of kinde 1027 He fond, which noman knew tofore. 1028 Men dede him worschipe ek therfore, 1029 That he the ferste in thilke lond 1030 Was which the melodie fond 1031 Of Riedes, whan thei weren ripe, 1032 With double pipes forto pipe; 1033 Therof he yaf the ferste lore, 1034 Til afterward men couthe more. 1035 To every craft for mannes helpe 1036 He hadde a redi wit to helpe 1037 Thurgh naturel experience: 1038 And thus the nyce reverence 1039 Of foles, whan that he was ded, 1040 The fot hath torned to the hed, 1041 And clepen him god of nature, 1042 For so thei maden his figure. 1043 An other god, so as thei fiele, 1044 Which Jupiter upon Samele 1045 Begat in his avouterie, 1046 Whom, forto hide his lecherie, 1047 That non therof schal take kepe, 1048 In a Montaigne forto kepe, 1049 Which Dyon hihte and was in Ynde, 1050 He sende, in bokes as I finde: 1051 And he be name Bachus hihte, 1052 Which afterward, whan that he mihte, 1053 A wastour was, and al his rente 1054 In wyn and bordel he despente. 1055 Bot yit, al were he wonder badde, 1056 Among the Greks a name he hadde; 1057 Thei cleped him the god of wyn, 1058 And thus a glotoun was dyvyn. 1059 Ther was yit Esculapius 1060 A godd in thilke time as thus. 1061 His craft stod upon Surgerie, 1062 Bot for the lust of lecherie, 1063 That he to Daires dowhter drowh, 1064 It felle that Jupiter him slowh: 1065 And yit thei made him noght forthi 1066 A god, and was no cause why. 1067 In Rome he was long time also 1068 A god among the Romeins tho; 1069 For, as he seide, of his presence 1070 Ther was destruid a pestilence, 1071 Whan thei to thyle of Delphos wente, 1072 And that Appollo with hem sente 1073 This Esculapius his Sone, 1074 Among the Romeins forto wone. 1075 And there he duelte for a while, 1076 Til afterward into that yle, 1077 Fro whenne he cam, ayein he torneth, 1078 Where al his lyf that he sojorneth 1079 Among the Greks, til that he deide. 1080 And thei upon him thanne leide 1081 His name, and god of medicine 1082 He hatte after that ilke line. 1083 An other god of Hercules 1084 Thei made, which was natheles 1085 A man, bot that he was so strong, 1086 In al this world that brod and long 1087 So myhti was noman as he. 1088 Merveiles tuelve in his degre, 1089 As it was couth in sondri londes, 1090 He dede with hise oghne hondes 1091 Ayein geantz and Monstres bothe, 1092 The whiche horrible were and lothe, 1093 Bot he with strengthe hem overcam: 1094 Wherof so gret a pris he nam, 1095 That thei him clepe amonges alle 1096 The god of strengthe, and to him calle. 1097 And yit ther is no reson inne, 1098 For he a man was full of sinne, 1099 Which proved was upon his ende, 1100 For in a rage himself he brende; 1101 And such a cruel mannes dede 1102 Acordeth nothing with godhede. 1103 Thei hadde of goddes yit an other, 1104 Which Pluto hihte, and was the brother 1105 Of Jupiter, and he fro youthe 1106 With every word which cam to mouthe, 1107 Of eny thing whan he was wroth, 1108 He wolde swere his commun oth, 1109 Be Lethen and be Flegeton, 1110 Be Cochitum and Acheron, 1111 The whiche, after the bokes telle, 1112 Ben the chief flodes of the helle: 1113 Be Segne and Stige he swor also, 1114 That ben the depe Pettes tuo 1115 Of helle the most principal. 1116 Pluto these othes overal 1117 Swor of his commun custummance, 1118 Til it befell upon a chance, 1119 That he for Jupiteres sake 1120 Unto the goddes let do make 1121 A sacrifice, and for that dede 1122 On of the pettes for his mede 1123 In helle, of which I spak of er, 1124 Was granted him; and thus he ther 1125 Upon the fortune of this thing 1126 The name tok of helle king. 1127 Lo, these goddes and wel mo 1128 Among the Greks thei hadden tho, 1129 And of goddesses manyon, 1130 Whos names thou schalt hiere anon, 1131 And in what wise thei deceiven 1132 The foles whiche here feith receiven. 1133 So as Saturne is soverein 1134 Of false goddes, as thei sein, 1135 So is Sibeles of goddesses 1136 The Moder, whom withoute gesses 1137 The folk Payene honoure and serve, 1138 As thei the whiche hire lawe observe. 1139 Bot forto knowen upon this 1140 Fro when sche cam and what sche is, 1141 Bethincia the contre hihte, 1142 Wher sche cam ferst to mannes sihte; 1143 And after was Saturnes wif, 1144 Be whom thre children in hire lif 1145 Sche bar, and thei were cleped tho 1146 Juno, Neptunus and Pluto, 1147 The whiche of nyce fantasie 1148 The poeple wolde deifie. 1149 And for hire children were so, 1150 Sibeles thanne was also 1151 Mad a goddesse, and thei hire calle 1152 The moder of the goddes alle. 1153 So was that name bore forth, 1154 And yit the cause is litel worth. 1155 A vois unto Saturne tolde 1156 Hou that his oghne Sone him scholde 1157 Out of his regne putte aweie; 1158 And he be cause of thilke weie, 1159 That him was schape such a fate, 1160 Sibele his wif began to hate 1161 And ek hire progenie bothe. 1162 And thus, whil that thei were wrothe, 1163 Be Philerem upon a dai 1164 In his avouterie he lai, 1165 On whom he Jupiter begat; 1166 And thilke child was after that 1167 Which wroghte al that was prophecied, 1168 As it tofore is specefied: 1169 So that whan Jupiter of Crete 1170 Was king, a wif unto him mete 1171 The Dowhter of Sibele he tok, 1172 And that was Juno, seith the bok. 1173 Of his deificacion 1174 After the false oppinion, 1175 That have I told, so as thei meene; 1176 And for this Juno was the queene 1177 Of Jupiter and Soster eke, 1178 The foles unto hire sieke, 1179 And sein that sche is the goddesse 1180 Of Regnes bothe and of richesse: 1181 And ek sche, as thei understonde, 1182 The water Nimphes hath in honde 1183 To leden at hire oghne heste; 1184 And whan hir list the Sky tempeste, 1185 The reinbowe is hir Messager. 1186 Lo, which a misbelieve is hier! 1187 That sche goddesse is of the Sky 1188 I wot non other cause why. 1189 An other goddesse is Minerve, 1190 To whom the Greks obeie and serve: 1191 And sche was nyh the grete lay 1192 Of Triton founde, wher sche lay 1193 A child forcast, bot what sche was 1194 Ther knew noman the sothe cas. 1195 Bot in Aufrique sche was leid 1196 In the manere as I have seid, 1197 And caried fro that ilke place 1198 Into an Yle fer in Trace, 1199 The which Palene thanne hihte, 1200 Wher a Norrice hir kepte and dihte. 1201 And after, for sche was so wys 1202 That sche fond ferst in hire avis 1203 The cloth makinge of wolle and lyn, 1204 Men seiden that sche was divin, 1205 And the goddesse of Sapience 1206 Thei clepen hire in that credence. 1207 Of the goddesse which Pallas 1208 Is cleped sondri speche was. 1209 On seith hire fader was Pallant, 1210 Which in his time was geant, 1211 A cruel man, a bataillous: 1212 An other seith hou in his hous 1213 Sche was the cause why he deide. 1214 And of this Pallas some ek seide 1215 That sche was Martes wif; and so 1216 Among the men that weren tho 1217 Of misbelieve in the riote 1218 The goddesse of batailles hote 1219 She was, and yit sche berth the name. 1220 Now loke, hou they be forto blame. 1221 Saturnus after his exil 1222 Fro Crete cam in gret peril 1223 Into the londes of Ytaile, 1224 And ther he dede gret mervaile, 1225 Wherof his name duelleth yit. 1226 For he fond of his oghne wit 1227 The ferste craft of plowh tilinge, 1228 Of Eringe and of corn sowinge, 1229 And how men scholden sette vines 1230 And of the grapes make wynes; 1231 Al this he tawhte, and it fell so, 1232 His wif, the which cam with him tho, 1233 Was cleped Cereres be name, 1234 And for sche tawhte also the same, 1235 And was his wif that ilke throwe, 1236 As it was to the poeple knowe, 1237 Thei made of Ceres a goddesse, 1238 In whom here tilthe yit thei blesse, 1239 And sein that Tricolonius 1240 Hire Sone goth amonges ous 1241 And makth the corn good chep or dere, 1242 Riht as hire list fro yer to yeere; 1243 So that this wif be cause of this 1244 Goddesse of Cornes cleped is. 1245 King Jupiter, which his likinge 1246 Whilom fulfelde in alle thinge, 1247 So priveliche aboute he ladde 1248 His lust, that he his wille hadde 1249 Of Latona, and on hire that 1250 Diane his dowhter he begat 1251 Unknowen of his wif Juno. 1252 And afterward sche knew it so, 1253 That Latona for drede fledde 1254 Into an Ile, wher sche hedde 1255 Hire wombe, which of childe aros. 1256 Thilke yle cleped was Delos; 1257 In which Diana was forthbroght, 1258 And kept so that hire lacketh noght. 1259 And after, whan sche was of Age, 1260 Sche tok non hiede of mariage, 1261 Bot out of mannes compaignie 1262 Sche tok hire al to venerie 1263 In forest and in wildernesse 1264 For ther was al hire besinesse 1265 Be daie and ek be nyhtes tyde 1266 With arwes brode under the side 1267 And bowe in honde, of which sche slowh 1268 And tok al that hir liste ynowh 1269 Of bestes whiche ben chacable: 1270 Wherof the Cronique of this fable 1271 Seith that the gentils most of alle 1272 Worschipen hire and to hire calle, 1273 And the goddesse of hihe helles, 1274 Of grene trees, of freisshe welles, 1275 They clepen hire in that believe, 1276 Which that no reson mai achieve. 1277 Proserpina, which dowhter was 1278 Of Cereres, befell this cas: 1279 Whil sche was duellinge in Cizile, 1280 Hire moder in that ilke while 1281 Upon hire blessinge and hire heste 1282 Bad that sche scholde ben honeste, 1283 And lerne forto weve and spinne, 1284 And duelle at hom and kepe hire inne. 1285 Bot sche caste al that lore aweie, 1286 And as sche wente hir out to pleie, 1287 To gadre floures in a pleine, 1288 And that was under the monteine 1289 Of Ethna, fell the same tyde 1290 That Pluto cam that weie ryde, 1291 And sodeinly, er sche was war, 1292 He tok hire up into his char. 1293 And as thei riden in the field, 1294 Hire grete beaute he behield, 1295 Which was so plesant in his ije, 1296 That forto holde in compainie 1297 He weddeth hire and hield hire so 1298 To ben his wif for everemo. 1299 And as thou hast tofore herd telle 1300 Hou he was cleped god of helle, 1301 So is sche cleped the goddesse 1302 Be cause of him, ne mor ne lesse. 1303 Lo, thus, mi Sone, as I thee tolde, 1304 The Greks whilom be daies olde 1305 Here goddes hadde in sondri wise, 1306 And thurgh the lore of here aprise 1307 The Romeins hielden ek the same. 1308 And in the worschipe of here name 1309 To every godd in special 1310 Thei made a temple forth withal, 1311 And ech of hem his yeeres dai 1312 Attitled hadde; and of arai 1313 The temples weren thanne ordeigned, 1314 And ek the poeple was constreigned 1315 To come and don here sacrifice; 1316 The Prestes ek in here office 1317 Solempne maden thilke festes. 1318 And thus the Greks lich to the bestes 1319 The men in stede of god honoure, 1320 Whiche mihten noght hemself socoure, 1321 Whil that thei were alyve hiere. 1322 And over this, as thou schalt hiere, 1323 The Greks fulfild of fantasie 1324 Sein ek that of the helles hihe 1325 The goddes ben in special, 1326 Bot of here name in general 1327 Thei hoten alle Satiri. 1328 Ther ben of Nimphes proprely 1329 In the believe of hem also: 1330 Oreades thei seiden tho 1331 Attitled ben to the monteines; 1332 And for the wodes in demeynes 1333 To kepe, tho ben Driades; 1334 Of freisshe welles Naiades; 1335 And of the Nimphes of the See 1336 I finde a tale in proprete, 1337 Hou Dorus whilom king of Grece, 1338 Which hadde of infortune a piece,- 1339 His wif forth with hire dowhtres alle, 1340 So as the happes scholden falle, 1341 With many a gentil womman there 1342 Dreint in the salte See thei were: 1343 Wherof the Greks that time seiden, 1344 And such a name upon hem leiden, 1345 Nerei5des that thei ben hote, 1346 The Nimphes whiche that thei note 1347 To regne upon the stremes salte. 1348 Lo now, if this believe halte! 1349 Bot of the Nimphes as thei telle, 1350 In every place wher thei duelle 1351 Thei ben al redi obeissant 1352 As damoiselles entendant 1353 To the goddesses, whos servise 1354 Thei mote obeie in alle wise; 1355 Wherof the Greks to hem beseke 1356 With tho that ben goddesses eke, 1357 And have in hem a gret credence. 1358 And yit withoute experience 1359 Salve only of illusion, 1360 Which was to hem dampnacion, 1361 For men also that were dede 1362 Thei hadden goddes, as I rede, 1363 And tho be name Manes hihten, 1364 To whom ful gret honour thei dihten, 1365 So as the Grekes lawe seith, 1366 Which was ayein the rihte feith. 1367 Thus have I told a gret partie; 1368 Bot al the hole progenie 1369 Of goddes in that ilke time 1370 To long it were forto rime. 1371 Bot yit of that which thou hast herd, 1372 Of misbelieve hou it hath ferd, 1373 Ther is a gret diversite. 1374 Mi fader, riht so thenketh me. 1375 Bot yit o thing I you beseche, 1376 Which stant in alle mennes speche, 1377 The godd and the goddesse of love, 1378 Of whom ye nothing hier above 1379 Have told, ne spoken of her fare, 1380 That ye me wolden now declare 1381 Hou thei ferst comen to that name. 1382 Mi Sone, I have it left for schame, 1383 Be cause I am here oghne Prest; 1384 Bot for thei stonden nyh thi brest 1385 Upon the schrifte of thi matiere, 1386 Thou schalt of hem the sothe hiere: 1387 And understond nou wel the cas. 1388 Venus Saturnes dowhter was, 1389 Which alle danger putte aweie 1390 Of love, and fond to lust a weie; 1391 So that of hire in sondri place 1392 Diverse men felle into grace, 1393 And such a lusti lif sche ladde, 1394 That sche diverse children hadde, 1395 Nou on be this, nou on be that. 1396 Of hire it was that Mars beyat 1397 A child, which cleped was Armene; 1398 Of hire also cam Andragene, 1399 To whom Mercurie fader was: 1400 Anchises begat Eneas 1401 Of hire also, and Ericon 1402 Biten begat, and therupon, 1403 Whan that sche sih ther was non other, 1404 Be Jupiter hire oghne brother 1405 Sche lay, and he begat Cupide. 1406 And thilke Sone upon a tyde, 1407 Whan he was come unto his Age, 1408 He hadde a wonder fair visage, 1409 And fond his Moder amourous, 1410 And he was also lecherous: 1411 So whan thei weren bothe al one, 1412 As he which yhen hadde none 1413 To se reson, his Moder kiste; 1414 And sche also, that nothing wiste 1415 Bot that which unto lust belongeth, 1416 To ben hire love him underfongeth. 1417 Thus was he blind, and sche unwys: 1418 Bot natheles this cause it is, 1419 Why Cupide is the god of love, 1420 For he his moder dorste love. 1421 And sche, which thoghte hire lustes fonde, 1422 Diverse loves tok in honde, 1423 Wel mo thanne I the tolde hiere: 1424 And for sche wolde hirselve skiere, 1425 Sche made comun that desport, 1426 And sette a lawe of such a port, 1427 That every womman mihte take 1428 What man hire liste, and noght forsake 1429 To ben als comun as sche wolde. 1430 Sche was the ferste also which tolde 1431 That wommen scholde here bodi selle; 1432 Semiramis, so as men telle, 1433 Of Venus kepte thilke aprise, 1434 And so dede in the same wise 1435 Of Rome faire Neabole, 1436 Which liste hire bodi to rigole; 1437 Sche was to every man felawe, 1438 And hild the lust of thilke lawe, 1439 Which Venus of hirself began; 1440 Wherof that sche the name wan, 1441 Why men hire clepen the goddesse 1442 Of love and ek of gentilesse, 1443 Of worldes lust and of plesance. 1444 Se nou the foule mescreance 1445 Of Greks in thilke time tho, 1446 Whan Venus tok hire name so. 1447 Ther was no cause under the Mone 1448 Of which thei hadden tho to done, 1449 Of wel or wo wher so it was, 1450 That thei ne token in that cas 1451 A god to helpe or a goddesse. 1452 Wherof, to take mi witnesse, 1453 The king of Bragmans Dindimus 1454 Wrot unto Alisandre thus: 1455 In blaminge of the Grekes feith 1456 And of the misbelieve, he seith 1457 How thei for every membre hadden 1458 A sondri god, to whom thei spradden 1459 Here armes, and of help besoghten. 1460 Minerve for the hed thei soghten, 1461 For sche was wys, and of a man 1462 The wit and reson which he can 1463 Is in the celles of the brayn, 1464 Wherof thei made hire soverain. 1465 Mercurie, which was in his dawes 1466 A gret spekere of false lawes, 1467 On him the kepinge of the tunge 1468 Thei leide, whan thei spieke or sunge. 1469 For Bachus was a glotoun eke, 1470 Him for the throte thei beseke, 1471 That he it wolde waisshen ofte 1472 With swote drinkes and with softe. 1473 The god of schuldres and of armes 1474 Was Hercules; for he in armes 1475 The myhtieste was to fihte, 1476 To him tho Limes they behihte. 1477 The god whom that thei clepen Mart 1478 The brest to kepe hath for his part, 1479 Forth with the herte, in his ymage 1480 That he adresce the corage. 1481 And of the galle the goddesse, 1482 For sche was full of hastifesse 1483 Of wraththe and liht to grieve also, 1484 Thei made and seide it was Juno. 1485 Cupide, which the brond afyre 1486 Bar in his hond, he was the Sire 1487 Of the Stomak, which builleth evere, 1488 Wherof the lustes ben the levere. 1489 To the goddesse Cereres, 1490 Which of the corn yaf hire encress 1491 Upon the feith that tho was take, 1492 The wombes cure was betake; 1493 And Venus thurgh the Lecherie, 1494 For which that thei hire deifie, 1495 Sche kept al doun the remenant 1496 To thilke office appourtenant. 1497 Thus was dispers in sondri wise 1498 The misbelieve, as I devise, 1499 With many an ymage of entaile, 1500 Of suche as myhte hem noght availe; 1501 For thei withoute lyves chiere 1502 Unmyhti ben to se or hiere 1503 Or speke or do or elles fiele; 1504 And yit the foles to hem knele, 1505 Which is here oghne handes werk. 1506 Ha lord, hou this believe is derk, 1507 And fer fro resonable wit! 1508 And natheles thei don it yit: 1509 That was to day a ragged tre, 1510 To morwe upon his majeste 1511 Stant in the temple wel besein. 1512 How myhte a mannes resoun sein 1513 That such a Stock mai helpe or grieve? 1514 Bot thei that ben of such believe 1515 And unto suche goddes calle, 1516 It schal to hem riht so befalle, 1517 And failen ate moste nede. 1518 Bot if thee list to taken hiede 1519 And of the ferste ymage wite, 1520 Petornius therof hath write 1521 And ek Nigargorus also; 1522 And thei afferme and write so, 1523 That Promothes was tofore 1524 And fond the ferste craft therfore, 1525 And Cirophanes, as thei telle, 1526 Thurgh conseil which was take in helle, 1527 In remembrance of his lignage 1528 Let setten up the ferste ymage. 1529 Of Cirophanes seith the bok, 1530 That he for sorwe, which he tok 1531 Of that he sih his Sone ded, 1532 Of confort knew non other red, 1533 Bot let do make in remembrance 1534 A faire ymage of his semblance 1535 And sette it in the market place, 1536 Which openly tofore his face 1537 Stod every dai to don him ese. 1538 And thei that thanne wolden plese 1539 The fader, scholden it obeie, 1540 Whan that they comen thilke weie. 1541 And of Ninus king of Assire 1542 I rede hou that in his empire 1543 He was next after the secounde 1544 Of hem that ferst ymages founde. 1545 For he riht in semblable cas 1546 Of Belus, which his fader was 1547 Fro Nembroth in the rihte line, 1548 Let make of gold and Stones fine 1549 A precious ymage riche 1550 After his fader evene liche; 1551 And therupon a lawe he sette, 1552 That every man of pure dette 1553 With sacrifice and with truage 1554 Honoure scholde thilke ymage: 1555 So that withinne time it fell, 1556 Of Belus cam the name of Bel, 1557 Of Bel cam Belzebub, and so 1558 The misbelieve wente tho. 1559 The thridde ymage next to this 1560 Was, whan the king of Grece Apis 1561 Was ded, thei maden a figure 1562 In resemblance of his stature. 1563 Of this king Apis seith the bok 1564 That Serapis his name tok, 1565 In whom thurgh long continuance 1566 Of misbelieve a gret creance 1567 Thei hadden, and the reverence 1568 Of Sacrifice and of encence 1569 To him thei made: and as thei telle, 1570 Among the wondres that befelle, 1571 Whan Alisandre fro Candace 1572 Cam ridende, in a wilde place 1573 Undur an hull a Cave he fond; 1574 And Candalus, which in that lond 1575 Was bore, and was Candaces Sone, 1576 Him tolde hou that of commun wone 1577 The goddes were in thilke cave. 1578 And he, that wolde assaie and have 1579 A knowlechinge if it be soth, 1580 Liht of his hors and in he goth, 1581 And fond therinne that he soghte: 1582 For thurgh the fendes sleihte him thoghte, 1583 Amonges othre goddes mo 1584 That Serapis spak to him tho, 1585 Whom he sih there in gret arrai. 1586 And thus the fend fro dai to dai 1587 The worschipe of ydolatrie 1588 Drowh forth upon the fantasie 1589 Of hem that weren thanne blinde 1590 And couthen noght the trouthe finde. 1591 Thus hast thou herd in what degre 1592 Of Grece, Egipte and of Caldee 1593 The misbelieves whilom stode; 1594 And hou so that thei be noght goode 1595 Ne trewe, yit thei sprungen oute, 1596 Wherof the wyde world aboute 1597 His part of misbelieve tok. 1598 Til so befell, as seith the bok, 1599 That god a poeple for himselve 1600 Hath chose of the lignages tuelve, 1601 Wherof the sothe redely, 1602 As it is write in Genesi, 1603 I thenke telle in such a wise 1604 That it schal be to thin apprise. 1605 After the flod, fro which Noe5 1606 Was sauf, the world in his degre 1607 Was mad, as who seith, newe ayein, 1608 Of flour, of fruit, of gras, of grein, 1609 Of beste, of bridd and of mankinde, 1610 Which evere hath be to god unkinde: 1611 For noght withstondende al the fare, 1612 Of that this world was mad so bare 1613 And afterward it was restored, 1614 Among the men was nothing mored 1615 Towardes god of good lyvynge, 1616 Bot al was torned to likinge 1617 After the fleissh, so that foryete 1618 Was he which yaf hem lif and mete, 1619 Of hevene and Erthe creatour. 1620 And thus cam forth the grete errour, 1621 That thei the hihe god ne knewe, 1622 Bot maden othre goddes newe, 1623 As thou hast herd me seid tofore: 1624 Ther was noman that time bore, 1625 That he ne hadde after his chois 1626 A god, to whom he yaf his vois. 1627 Wherof the misbelieve cam 1628 Into the time of Habraham: 1629 Bot he fond out the rihte weie, 1630 Hou only that men scholde obeie 1631 The hihe god, which weldeth al, 1632 And evere hath don and evere schal, 1633 In hevene, in Erthe and ek in helle; 1634 Ther is no tunge his miht mai telle. 1635 This Patriarch to his lignage 1636 Forbad, that thei to non ymage 1637 Encline scholde in none wise, 1638 Bot here offrende and sacrifise 1639 With al the hole hertes love 1640 Unto the mihti god above 1641 Thei scholden yive and to no mo: 1642 And thus in thilke time tho 1643 Began the Secte upon this Erthe, 1644 Which of believes was the ferthe. 1645 Of rihtwisnesse it was conceived, 1646 So moste it nedes be received 1647 Of him that alle riht is inne, 1648 The hihe god, which wolde winne 1649 A poeple unto his oghne feith. 1650 On Habraham the ground he leith, 1651 And made him forto multeplie 1652 Into so gret a progenie, 1653 That thei Egipte al overspradde. 1654 Bot Pharao with wrong hem ladde 1655 In servitute ayein the pes, 1656 Til god let sende Moi5ses 1657 To make the deliverance; 1658 And for his poeple gret vengance 1659 He tok, which is to hiere a wonder. 1660 The king was slain, the lond put under, 1661 God bad the rede See divide, 1662 Which stod upriht on either side 1663 And yaf unto his poeple a weie, 1664 That thei on fote it passe dreie 1665 And gon so forth into desert: 1666 Wher forto kepe hem in covert, 1667 The daies, whan the Sonne brente, 1668 A large cloude hem overwente, 1669 And forto wissen hem be nyhte, 1670 A firy Piler hem alyhte. 1671 And whan that thei for hunger pleigne, 1672 The myhti god began to reyne 1673 Manna fro hevene doun to grounde, 1674 Wherof that ech of hem hath founde 1675 His fode, such riht as him liste; 1676 And for thei scholde upon him triste, 1677 Riht as who sette a tonne abroche, 1678 He percede the harde roche, 1679 And sprong out water al at wille, 1680 That man and beste hath drunke his fille: 1681 And afterward he yaf the lawe 1682 To Moi5ses, that hem withdrawe 1683 Thei scholden noght fro that he bad. 1684 And in this wise thei be lad, 1685 Til thei toke in possession 1686 The londes of promission, 1687 Wher that Caleph and Josue5 1688 The Marches upon such degre 1689 Departen, after the lignage 1690 That ech of hem as Heritage 1691 His porpartie hath underfonge. 1692 And thus stod this believe longe, 1693 Which of prophetes was governed; 1694 And thei hadde ek the poeple lerned 1695 Of gret honour that scholde hem falle; 1696 Bot ate moste nede of alle 1697 Thei faileden, whan Crist was bore. 1698 Bot hou that thei here feith have bore, 1699 It nedeth noght to tellen al, 1700 The matiere is so general: 1701 Whan Lucifer was best in hevene 1702 And oghte moste have stonde in evene, 1703 Towardes god he tok debat; 1704 And for that he was obstinat, 1705 And wolde noght to trouthe encline, 1706 He fell for evere into ruine: 1707 And Adam ek in Paradis, 1708 Whan he stod most in al his pris 1709 After thastat of Innocence, 1710 Ayein the god brak his defence 1711 And fell out of his place aweie: 1712 And riht be such a maner weie 1713 The Jwes in here beste plit, 1714 Whan that thei scholden most parfit 1715 Have stonde upon the prophecie, 1716 Tho fellen thei to most folie, 1717 And him which was fro hevene come, 1718 And of a Maide his fleissh hath nome, 1719 And was among hem bore and fedd, 1720 As men that wolden noght be spedd 1721 Of goddes Sone, with o vois 1722 Thei hinge and slowhe upon the crois. 1723 Wherof the parfit of here lawe 1724 Fro thanne forth hem was withdrawe, 1725 So that thei stonde of no merit, 1726 Bot in truage as folk soubgit 1727 Withoute proprete of place 1728 Thei liven out of goddes grace, 1729 Dispers in alle londes oute. 1730 And thus the feith is come aboute, 1731 That whilom in the Jewes stod, 1732 Which is noght parfihtliche good. 1733 To speke as it is nou befalle, 1734 Ther is a feith aboven alle, 1735 In which the trouthe is comprehended, 1736 Wherof that we ben alle amended. 1737 The hihe almyhti majeste, 1738 Of rihtwisnesse and of pite, 1739 The Sinne which that Adam wroghte, 1740 Whan he sih time, ayein he boghte, 1741 And sende his Sone fro the hevene 1742 To sette mannes Soule in evene, 1743 Which thanne was so sore falle 1744 Upon the point which was befalle, 1745 That he ne mihte himself arise. 1746 Gregoire seith in his aprise, 1747 It helpeth noght a man be bore, 1748 If goddes Sone were unbore; 1749 For thanne thurgh the ferste Sinne, 1750 Which Adam whilom broghte ous inne, 1751 Ther scholden alle men be lost; 1752 Bot Crist restoreth thilke lost, 1753 And boghte it with his fleissh and blod. 1754 And if we thenken hou it stod 1755 Of thilke rancoun which he payde, 1756 As seint Gregoire it wrot and sayde, 1757 Al was behovely to the man: 1758 For that wherof his wo began 1759 Was after cause of al his welthe, 1760 Whan he which is the welle of helthe, 1761 The hihe creatour of lif, 1762 Upon the nede of such a strif 1763 So wolde for his creature 1764 Take on himself the forsfaiture 1765 And soffre for the mannes sake. 1766 Thus mai no reson wel forsake 1767 That thilke Senne original 1768 Ne was the cause in special 1769 Of mannes worschipe ate laste, 1770 Which schal withouten ende laste. 1771 For be that cause the godhede 1772 Assembled was to the manhede 1773 In the virgine, where he nom 1774 Oure fleissh and verai man becom 1775 Of bodely fraternite; 1776 Wherof the man in his degre 1777 Stant more worth, as I have told, 1778 Than he stod erst be manyfold, 1779 Thurgh baptesme of the newe lawe, 1780 Of which Crist lord is and felawe. 1781 And thus the hihe goddes myht, 1782 Which was in the virgine alyht, 1783 The mannes Soule hath reconsiled, 1784 Which hadde longe ben exiled. 1785 So stant the feith upon believe, 1786 Withoute which mai non achieve 1787 To gete him Paradis ayein: 1788 Bot this believe is so certein, 1789 So full of grace and of vertu, 1790 That what man clepeth to Jhesu 1791 In clene lif forthwith good dede, 1792 He mai noght faile of hevene mede, 1793 Which taken hath the rihte feith; 1794 For elles, as the gospel seith, 1795 Salvacion ther mai be non. 1796 And forto preche therupon 1797 Crist bad to hise Apostles alle, 1798 The whos pouer as nou is falle 1799 On ous that ben of holi cherche, 1800 If we the goode dedes werche; 1801 For feith only sufficeth noght, 1802 Bot if good dede also be wroght. 1803 Now were it good that thou forthi, 1804 Which thurgh baptesme proprely 1805 Art unto Cristes feith professed, 1806 Be war that thou be noght oppressed 1807 With Anticristes lollardie. 1808 For as the Jwes prophecie 1809 Was set of god for avantage, 1810 Riht so this newe tapinage 1811 Of lollardie goth aboute 1812 To sette Cristes feith in doute. 1813 The seintz that weren ous tofore, 1814 Be whom the feith was ferst upbore, 1815 That holi cherche stod relieved, 1816 Thei oghten betre be believed 1817 Than these, whiche that men knowe 1818 Noght holy, thogh thei feigne and blowe 1819 Here lollardie in mennes Ere. 1820 Bot if thou wolt live out of fere, 1821 Such newe lore, I rede, eschuie, 1822 And hold forth riht the weie and suie, 1823 As thine Ancestres dede er this: 1824 So schalt thou noght believe amis. 1825 Crist wroghte ferst and after tawhte, 1826 So that the dede his word arawhte; 1827 He yaf ensample in his persone, 1828 And we the wordes have al one, 1829 Lich to the Tree with leves grene, 1830 Upon the which no fruit is sene. 1831 The Priest Thoas, which of Minerve 1832 The temple hadde forto serve, 1833 And the Palladion of Troie 1834 Kepte under keie, for monoie, 1835 Of Anthenor which he hath nome, 1836 Hath soffred Anthenor to come 1837 And the Palladion to stele, 1838 Wherof the worschipe and the wele 1839 Of the Troiens was overthrowe. 1840 Bot Thoas at the same throwe, 1841 Whan Anthenor this Juel tok, 1842 Wynkende caste awei his lok 1843 For a deceipte and for a wyle: 1844 As he that scholde himself beguile, 1845 He hidde his yhen fro the sihte, 1846 And wende wel that he so mihte 1847 Excuse his false conscience. 1848 I wot noght if thilke evidence 1849 Nou at this time in here estatz 1850 Excuse mihte the Prelatz, 1851 Knowende hou that the feith discresceth 1852 And alle moral vertu cesseth, 1853 Wherof that thei the keies bere, 1854 Bot yit hem liketh noght to stere 1855 Here gostliche yhe forto se 1856 The world in his adversite; 1857 Thei wol no labour undertake 1858 To kepe that hem is betake. 1859 Crist deide himselve for the feith, 1860 Bot nou our feerfull prelat seith, 1861 "The lif is suete," and that he kepeth, 1862 So that the feith unholpe slepeth, 1863 And thei unto here ese entenden 1864 And in here lust her lif despenden, 1865 And every man do what him list. 1866 Thus stant this world fulfild of Mist, 1867 That noman seth the rihte weie: 1868 The wardes of the cherche keie 1869 Thurgh mishandlinge ben myswreynt, 1870 The worldes wawe hath welnyh dreynt 1871 The Schip which Peter hath to stiere, 1872 The forme is kept, bot the matiere 1873 Transformed is in other wise. 1874 Bot if thei weren gostli wise, 1875 And that the Prelatz weren goode, 1876 As thei be olde daies stode, 1877 It were thanne litel nede 1878 Among the men to taken hiede 1879 Of that thei hieren Pseudo telle, 1880 Which nou is come forto duelle, 1881 To sowe cokkel with the corn, 1882 So that the tilthe is nyh forlorn, 1883 Which Crist sew ferst his oghne hond. 1884 Nou stant the cockel in the lond, 1885 Wher stod whilom the goode grein, 1886 For the Prelatz nou, as men sein, 1887 Forslowthen that thei scholden tile. 1888 And that I trowe be the skile, 1889 Whan ther is lacke in hem above, 1890 The poeple is stranged to the love 1891 Of trouthe, in cause of ignorance; 1892 For wher ther is no pourveance 1893 Of liht, men erren in the derke. 1894 Bot if the Prelatz wolden werke 1895 Upon the feith which thei ous teche, 1896 Men scholden noght here weie seche 1897 Withoute liht, as now is used: 1898 Men se the charge aldai refused, 1899 Which holi cherche hath undertake. 1900 Bot who that wolde ensample take, 1901 Gregoire upon his Omelie 1902 Ayein the Slouthe of Prelacie 1903 Compleigneth him, and thus he seith: 1904 "Whan Peter, fader of the feith, 1905 At domesdai schal with him bringe 1906 Judeam, which thurgh his prechinge 1907 He wan, and Andrew with Achaie 1908 Schal come his dette forto paie, 1909 And Thomas ek with his beyete 1910 Of Ynde, and Poul the routes grete 1911 Of sondri londes schal presente, 1912 And we fulfild of lond and rente, 1913 Which of this world we holden hiere, 1914 With voide handes schul appiere, 1915 Touchende oure cure spirital, 1916 Which is our charge in special, 1917 I not what thing it mai amonte 1918 Upon thilke ende of oure accompte, 1919 Wher Crist himself is Auditour, 1920 Which takth non hiede of vein honour." 1921 Thoffice of the Chancellerie 1922 Or of the kinges Tresorie 1923 Ne for the writ ne for the taille 1924 To warant mai noght thanne availe; 1925 The world, which nou so wel we trowe, 1926 Schal make ous thanne bot a mowe: 1927 So passe we withoute mede, 1928 That we non otherwise spede, 1929 Bot as we rede that he spedde, 1930 The which his lordes besant hedde 1931 And therupon gat non encress. 1932 Bot at this time natheles, 1933 What other man his thonk deserve, 1934 The world so lusti is to serve, 1935 That we with him ben all acorded, 1936 And that is wist and wel recorded 1937 Thurghout this Erthe in alle londes 1938 Let knyhtes winne with here hondes, 1939 For oure tunge schal be stille 1940 And stonde upon the fleisshes wille. 1941 It were a travail forto preche 1942 The feith of Crist, as forto teche 1943 The folk Paiene, it wol noght be; 1944 Bot every Prelat holde his See 1945 With al such ese as he mai gete 1946 Of lusti drinke and lusti mete, 1947 Wherof the bodi fat and full 1948 Is unto gostli labour dull 1949 And slowh to handle thilke plowh. 1950 Bot elles we ben swifte ynowh 1951 Toward the worldes Avarice; 1952 And that is as a sacrifice, 1953 Which, after that thapostel seith, 1954 Is openly ayein the feith 1955 Unto thidoles yove and granted: 1956 Bot natheles it is nou haunted, 1957 And vertu changed into vice, 1958 So that largesce is Avarice, 1959 In whos chapitre now we trete. 1960 Mi fader, this matiere is bete 1961 So fer, that evere whil I live 1962 I schal the betre hede yive 1963 Unto miself be many weie: 1964 Bot over this nou wolde I preie 1965 To wite what the branches are 1966 Of Avarice, and hou thei fare 1967 Als wel in love as otherwise. 1968 Mi Sone, and I thee schal devise 1969 In such a manere as thei stonde, 1970 So that thou schalt hem understonde. 1971 Dame Avarice is noght soleine, 1972 Which is of gold the Capiteine; 1973 Bot of hir Court in sondri wise 1974 After the Scole of hire aprise 1975 Sche hath of Servantz manyon, 1976 Wherof that Covoitise is on; 1977 Which goth the large world aboute, 1978 To seche thavantages oute, 1979 Wher that he mai the profit winne 1980 To Avarice, and bringth it inne. 1981 That on hald and that other draweth, 1982 Ther is no day which hem bedaweth, 1983 No mor the Sonne than the Mone, 1984 Whan ther is eny thing to done, 1985 And namely with Covoitise; 1986 For he stant out of al assisse 1987 Of resonable mannes fare.