Tales of the Seven Deadly Sins
Incipit Liber Septimus: Part 3
Online Medieval and Classical Library Release #4
3661 Thus was with him bot only left 3662 The thridde part, and yit god eft 3663 His Angel sende and seide this 3664 To Gedeon: "If it so is 3665 That I thin help schal undertake, 3666 Thou schalt yit lasse poeple take, 3667 Be whom mi will is that thou spede. 3668 Forthi tomorwe tak good hiede, 3669 Unto the flod whan ye be come, 3670 What man that hath the water nome 3671 Up in his hond and lapeth so, 3672 To thi part ches out alle tho; 3673 And him which wery is to swinke, 3674 Upon his wombe and lith to drinke, 3675 Forsak and put hem alle aweie. 3676 For I am myhti alle weie, 3677 Wher as me list myn help to schewe 3678 In goode men, thogh thei ben fewe." 3679 This Gedeon awaiteth wel, 3680 Upon the morwe and everydel, 3681 As god him bad, riht so he dede. 3682 And thus ther leften in that stede 3683 With him thre hundred and nomo, 3684 The remenant was al ago: 3685 Wherof that Gedeon merveileth, 3686 And therupon with god conseileth, 3687 Pleignende as ferforth as he dar. 3688 And god, which wolde he were war 3689 That he schal spede upon his riht, 3690 Hath bede him go the same nyht 3691 And take a man with him, to hiere 3692 What schal be spoke in his matere 3693 Among the hethen enemis; 3694 So mai he be the more wys, 3695 What afterward him schal befalle. 3696 This Gedeon amonges alle 3697 Phara, to whom he triste most, 3698 Be nyhte tok toward thilke host, 3699 Which logged was in a valleie, 3700 To hiere what thei wolden seie; 3701 Upon his fot and as he ferde, 3702 Tuo Sarazins spekende he herde. 3703 Quod on, "Ared mi swevene ariht, 3704 Which I mette in mi slep to nyht. 3705 Me thoghte I sih a barli cake, 3706 Which fro the Hull his weie hath take, 3707 And cam rollende doun at ones; 3708 And as it were for the nones, 3709 Forth in his cours so as it ran, 3710 The kinges tente of Madian, 3711 Of Amalech, of Amoreie, 3712 Of Amon and of Jebuseie, 3713 And many an other tente mo 3714 With gret noise, as me thoghte tho, 3715 It threw to grounde and overcaste, 3716 And al this host so sore agaste 3717 That I awok for pure drede." 3718 "This swevene can I wel arede," 3719 Quod thother Sarazin anon: 3720 "The barli cake is Gedeon, 3721 Which fro the hell doun sodeinly 3722 Schal come and sette such ascry 3723 Upon the kinges and ous bothe, 3724 That it schal to ous alle lothe: 3725 For in such drede he schal ous bringe, 3726 That if we hadden flyht of wynge, 3727 The weie on fote in desespeir 3728 We scholden leve and flen in their, 3729 For ther schal nothing him withstonde." 3730 Whan Gedeon hath understonde 3731 This tale, he thonketh god of al, 3732 And priveliche ayein he stal, 3733 So that no lif him hath perceived. 3734 And thanne he hath fulli conceived 3735 That he schal spede; and therupon 3736 The nyht suiende he schop to gon 3737 This multitude to assaile. 3738 Nou schalt thou hiere a gret mervaile, 3739 With what voisdie that he wroghte. 3740 The litel poeple which he broghte, 3741 Was non of hem that he ne hath 3742 A pot of erthe, in which he tath 3743 A lyht brennende in a kressette, 3744 And ech of hem ek a trompette 3745 Bar in his other hond beside; 3746 And thus upon the nyhtes tyde 3747 Duk Gedeon, whan it was derk, 3748 Ordeineth him unto his werk, 3749 And parteth thanne his folk in thre, 3750 And chargeth hem that thei ne fle, 3751 And tawhte hem hou they scholde ascrie 3752 Alle in o vois per compaignie, 3753 And what word ek thei scholden speke, 3754 And hou thei scholde here pottes breke 3755 Echon with other, whan thei herde 3756 That he himselve ferst so ferde; 3757 For whan thei come into the stede, 3758 He bad hem do riht as he dede. 3759 And thus stalkende forth a pas 3760 This noble Duk, whan time was, 3761 His pot tobrak and loude ascride, 3762 And tho thei breke on every side. 3763 The trompe was noght forto seke; 3764 He blew, and so thei blewen eke 3765 With such a noise among hem alle, 3766 As thogh the hevene scholde falle. 3767 The hull unto here vois ansuerde, 3768 This host in the valleie it herde, 3769 And sih hou that the hell alyhte; 3770 So what of hieringe and of sihte, 3771 Thei cawhten such a sodein feere, 3772 That non of hem belefte there: 3773 The tentes hole thei forsoke, 3774 That thei non other good ne toke, 3775 Bot only with here bodi bare 3776 Thei fledde, as doth the wylde Hare. 3777 And evere upon the hull thei blewe, 3778 Til that thei sihe time, and knewe 3779 That thei be fled upon the rage; 3780 And whan thei wiste here avantage, 3781 Thei felle anon unto the chace. 3782 Thus myht thou sen hou goddes grace 3783 Unto the goode men availeth; 3784 But elles ofte time it faileth 3785 To suche as be noght wel disposed. 3786 This tale nedeth noght be glosed, 3787 For it is openliche schewed 3788 That god to hem that ben wel thewed 3789 Hath yove and granted the victoire: 3790 So that thensample of this histoire 3791 Is good for every king to holde; 3792 Ferst in himself that he beholde 3793 If he be good of his livinge, 3794 And that the folk which he schal bringe 3795 Be good also, for thanne he may 3796 Be glad of many a merie day, 3797 In what as evere he hath to done. 3798 For he which sit above the Mone 3799 And alle thing mai spille and spede, 3800 In every cause, in every nede 3801 His goode king so wel adresceth, 3802 That alle his fomen he represseth, 3803 So that ther mai noman him dere; 3804 And als so wel he can forbere, 3805 And soffre a wickid king to falle 3806 In hondes of his fomen alle. 3807 Nou forthermore if I schal sein 3808 Of my matiere, and torne ayein 3809 To speke of justice and Pite 3810 After the reule of realte, 3811 This mai a king wel understonde, 3812 Knihthode mot ben take on honde, 3813 Whan that it stant upon the nede: 3814 He schal no rihtful cause drede, 3815 Nomore of werre thanne of pes, 3816 If he wol stonde blameles; 3817 For such a cause a king mai have 3818 That betre him is to sle than save, 3819 Wherof thou myht ensample finde. 3820 The hihe makere of mankinde 3821 Be Samuel to Sal bad, 3822 That he schal nothing ben adrad 3823 Ayein king Agag forto fihte; 3824 For this the godhede him behihte, 3825 That Agag schal ben overcome: 3826 And whan it is so ferforth come, 3827 That Sal hath him desconfit, 3828 The god bad make no respit, 3829 That he ne scholde him slen anon. 3830 Bot Sal let it overgon 3831 And dede noght the goddes heste: 3832 For Agag made gret beheste 3833 Of rancoun which he wolde yive, 3834 King Sal soffreth him to live 3835 And feigneth pite forth withal. 3836 Bot he which seth and knoweth al, 3837 The hihe god, of that he feigneth 3838 To Samuel upon him pleigneth, 3839 And sende him word, for that he lefte 3840 Of Agag that he ne berefte 3841 The lif, he schal noght only dye 3842 Himself, bot fro his regalie 3843 He schal be put for everemo, 3844 Noght he, bot ek his heir also, 3845 That it schal nevere come ayein. 3846 Thus myht thou se the sothe plein, 3847 That of tomoche and of tolyte 3848 Upon the Princes stant the wyte. 3849 Bot evere it was a kinges riht 3850 To do the dedes of a knyht; 3851 For in the handes of a king 3852 The deth and lif is al o thing 3853 After the lawes of justice. 3854 To slen it is a dedly vice, 3855 Bot if a man the deth deserve; 3856 And if a king the lif preserve 3857 Of him which oghte forto dye, 3858 He suieth noght thensamplerie 3859 Which in the bible is evident: 3860 Hou David in his testament, 3861 Whan he no lengere myhte live, 3862 Unto his Sone in charge hath yive 3863 That he Joab schal slen algate; 3864 And whan David was gon his gate, 3865 The yonge wise Salomon 3866 His fader heste dede anon, 3867 And slouh Joab in such a wise, 3868 That thei that herden the juise 3869 Evere after dradden him the more, 3870 And god was ek wel paid therfore, 3871 That he so wolde his herte plye 3872 The lawes forto justefie. 3873 And yit he kepte forth withal 3874 Pite, so as a Prince schal, 3875 That he no tirannie wroghte; 3876 He fond the wisdom which he soghte, 3877 And was so rihtful natheles, 3878 That al his lif he stod in pes, 3879 That he no dedly werres hadde, 3880 For every man his wisdom dradde. 3881 And as he was himselve wys, 3882 Riht so the worthi men of pris 3883 He hath of his conseil withholde; 3884 For that is every Prince holde, 3885 To make of suche his retenue 3886 Whiche wise ben, and to remue 3887 The foles: for ther is nothing 3888 Which mai be betre aboute a king, 3889 Than conseil, which is the substance 3890 Of all a kinges governance. 3891 In Salomon a man mai see 3892 What thing of most necessite 3893 Unto a worthi king belongeth. 3894 Whan he his kingdom underfongeth, 3895 God bad him chese what he wolde, 3896 And seide him that he have scholde 3897 What he wolde axe, as of o thing. 3898 And he, which was a newe king, 3899 Forth therupon his bone preide 3900 To god, and in this wise he seide: 3901 "O king, be whom that I schal regne, 3902 Yif me wisdom, that I my regne, 3903 Forth with thi poeple which I have, 3904 To thin honour mai kepe and save." 3905 Whan Salomon his bone hath taxed, 3906 The god of that which he hath axed 3907 Was riht wel paid, and granteth sone 3908 Noght al only that he his bone 3909 Schal have of that, bot of richesse, 3910 Of hele, of pes, of hih noblesse, 3911 Forth with wisdom at his axinges, 3912 Which stant above alle othre thinges. 3913 Bot what king wole his regne save, 3914 Ferst him behoveth forto have 3915 After the god and his believe 3916 Such conseil which is to believe, 3917 Fulfild of trouthe and rihtwisnesse: 3918 Bot above alle in his noblesse 3919 Betwen the reddour and pite 3920 A king schal do such equite 3921 And sette the balance in evene, 3922 So that the hihe god in hevene 3923 And al the poeple of his nobleie 3924 Loange unto his name seie. 3925 For most above all erthli good, 3926 Wher that a king himself is good 3927 It helpeth, for in other weie 3928 If so be that a king forsueie, 3929 Fulofte er this it hath be sein, 3930 The comun poeple is overlein 3931 And hath the kinges Senne aboght, 3932 Al thogh the poeple agulte noght. 3933 Of that the king his god misserveth, 3934 The poeple takth that he descerveth 3935 Hier in this world, bot elleswhere 3936 I not hou it schal stonde there. 3937 Forthi good is a king to triste 3938 Ferst to himself, as he ne wiste 3939 Non other help bot god alone; 3940 So schal the reule of his persone 3941 Withinne himself thurgh providence 3942 Ben of the betre conscience. 3943 And forto finde ensample of this, 3944 A tale I rede, and soth it is. 3945 In a Cronique it telleth thus: 3946 The king of Rome Lucius 3947 Withinne his chambre upon a nyht 3948 The Steward of his hous, a knyht, 3949 Forth with his Chamberlein also, 3950 To conseil hadde bothe tuo, 3951 And stoden be the Chiminee 3952 Togedre spekende alle thre. 3953 And happeth that the kinges fol 3954 Sat be the fyr upon a stol, 3955 As he that with his babil pleide, 3956 Bot yit he herde al that thei seide, 3957 And therof token thei non hiede. 3958 The king hem axeth what to rede 3959 Of such matiere as cam to mouthe, 3960 And thei him tolden as thei couthe. 3961 Whan al was spoke of that thei mente, 3962 The king with al his hole entente 3963 Thanne ate laste hem axeth this, 3964 What king men tellen that he is: 3965 Among the folk touchende his name, 3966 Or be it pris, or be it blame, 3967 Riht after that thei herden sein, 3968 He bad hem forto telle it plein, 3969 That thei no point of soth forbere, 3970 Be thilke feith that thei him bere. 3971 The Steward ferst upon this thing 3972 Yaf his ansuere unto the king 3973 And thoghte glose in this matiere, 3974 And seide, als fer as he can hiere, 3975 His name is good and honourable: 3976 Thus was the Stieward favorable, 3977 That he the trouthe plein ne tolde. 3978 The king thanne axeth, as he scholde, 3979 The Chamberlein of his avis. 3980 And he, that was soubtil and wys, 3981 And somdiel thoghte upon his feith, 3982 Him tolde hou al the poeple seith 3983 That if his conseil were trewe, 3984 Thei wiste thanne wel and knewe 3985 That of himself he scholde be 3986 A worthi king in his degre: 3987 And thus the conseil he accuseth 3988 In partie, and the king excuseth. 3989 The fol, which herde of al the cas 3990 That time, as goddes wille was, 3991 Sih that thei seiden noght ynowh, 3992 And hem to skorne bothe lowh, 3993 And to the king he seide tho: 3994 "Sire king, if that it were so, 3995 Of wisdom in thin oghne mod 3996 That thou thiselven were good, 3997 Thi conseil scholde noght be badde." 3998 The king therof merveille hadde, 3999 Whan that a fol so wisly spak, 4000 And of himself fond out the lack 4001 Withinne his oghne conscience: 4002 And thus the foles evidence, 4003 Which was of goddes grace enspired, 4004 Makth that good conseil was desired. 4005 He putte awey the vicious 4006 And tok to him the vertuous; 4007 The wrongful lawes ben amended, 4008 The londes good is wel despended, 4009 The poeple was nomore oppressed, 4010 And thus stod every thing redressed. 4011 For where a king is propre wys, 4012 And hath suche as himselven is 4013 Of his conseil, it mai noght faile 4014 That every thing ne schal availe: 4015 The vices thanne gon aweie, 4016 And every vertu holt his weie; 4017 Wherof the hihe god is plesed, 4018 And al the londes folk is esed. 4019 For if the comun poeple crie, 4020 And thanne a king list noght to plie 4021 To hiere what the clamour wolde, 4022 And otherwise thanne he scholde 4023 Desdeigneth forto don hem grace, 4024 It hath be sen in many place, 4025 Ther hath befalle gret contraire; 4026 And that I finde of ensamplaire. 4027 After the deth of Salomon, 4028 Whan thilke wise king was gon, 4029 And Roboas in his persone 4030 Receive scholde the corone, 4031 The poeple upon a Parlement 4032 Avised were of on assent, 4033 And alle unto the king thei preiden, 4034 With comun vois and thus thei seiden: 4035 "Oure liege lord, we thee beseche 4036 That thou receive oure humble speche 4037 And grante ous that which reson wile, 4038 Or of thi grace or of thi skile. 4039 Thi fader, whil he was alyve 4040 And myhte bothe grante and pryve, 4041 Upon the werkes whiche he hadde 4042 The comun poeple streite ladde: 4043 Whan he the temple made newe, 4044 Thing which men nevere afore knewe 4045 He broghte up thanne of his taillage, 4046 And al was under the visage 4047 Of werkes whiche he made tho. 4048 Bot nou it is befalle so, 4049 That al is mad, riht as he seide, 4050 And he was riche whan he deide; 4051 So that it is no maner nede, 4052 If thou therof wolt taken hiede, 4053 To pilen of the poeple more, 4054 Which long time hath be grieved sore. 4055 And in this wise as we thee seie, 4056 With tendre herte we thee preie 4057 That thou relesse thilke dette, 4058 Which upon ous thi fader sette. 4059 And if thee like to don so, 4060 We ben thi men for everemo, 4061 To gon and comen at thin heste." 4062 The king, which herde this requeste, 4063 Seith that he wole ben avised, 4064 And hath therof a time assised; 4065 And in the while as he him thoghte 4066 Upon this thing, conseil he soghte. 4067 And ferst the wise knyhtes olde, 4068 To whom that he his tale tolde, 4069 Conseilen him in this manere; 4070 That he with love and with glad chiere 4071 Foryive and grante al that is axed 4072 Of that his fader hadde taxed; 4073 For so he mai his regne achieve 4074 With thing which schal him litel grieve. 4075 The king hem herde and overpasseth, 4076 And with these othre his wit compasseth, 4077 That yonge were and nothing wise. 4078 And thei these olde men despise, 4079 And seiden: "Sire, it schal be schame 4080 For evere unto thi worthi name, 4081 If thou ne kepe noght the riht, 4082 Whil thou art in thi yonge myht, 4083 Which that thin olde fader gat. 4084 Bot seie unto the poeple plat, 4085 That whil thou livest in thi lond, 4086 The leste finger of thin hond 4087 It schal be strengere overal 4088 Than was thi fadres bodi al. 4089 And this also schal be thi tale, 4090 If he hem smot with roddes smale, 4091 With Scorpions thou schalt hem smyte; 4092 And wher thi fader tok a lyte, 4093 Thou thenkst to take mochel more. 4094 Thus schalt thou make hem drede sore 4095 The grete herte of thi corage, 4096 So forto holde hem in servage. 4097 This yonge king him hath conformed 4098 To don as he was last enformed, 4099 Which was to him his undoinge: 4100 For whan it cam to the spekinge, 4101 He hath the yonge conseil holde, 4102 That he the same wordes tolde 4103 Of al the poeple in audience; 4104 And whan thei herden the sentence 4105 Of his malice and the manace, 4106 Anon tofore his oghne face 4107 Thei have him oultreli refused 4108 And with ful gret reproef accused. 4109 So thei begunne forto rave, 4110 That he was fain himself to save; 4111 For as the wilde wode rage 4112 Of wyndes makth the See salvage, 4113 And that was calm bringth into wawe, 4114 So for defalte of grace and lawe 4115 This poeple is stered al at ones 4116 And forth thei gon out of hise wones; 4117 So that of the lignages tuelve 4118 Tuo tribes only be hemselve 4119 With him abiden and nomo: 4120 So were thei for everemo 4121 Of no retorn withoute espeir 4122 Departed fro the rihtfull heir. 4123 Al Irahel with comun vois 4124 A king upon here oghne chois 4125 Among hemself anon thei make, 4126 And have here yonge lord forsake; 4127 A povere knyht Jeroboas 4128 Thei toke, and lefte Roboas, 4129 Which rihtfull heir was be descente. 4130 Lo, thus the yonge cause wente: 4131 For that the conseil was noght good, 4132 The regne fro the rihtfull blod 4133 Evere afterward divided was. 4134 So mai it proven be this cas 4135 That yong conseil, which is to warm, 4136 Er men be war doth ofte harm. 4137 Old age for the conseil serveth, 4138 And lusti youthe his thonk deserveth 4139 Upon the travail which he doth; 4140 And bothe, forto seie a soth, 4141 Be sondri cause forto have, 4142 If that he wole his regne save, 4143 A king behoveth every day. 4144 That on can and that other mai, 4145 Be so the king hem bothe reule, 4146 For elles al goth out of reule. 4147 And upon this matiere also 4148 A question betwen the tuo 4149 Thus writen in a bok I fond; 4150 Wher it be betre for the lond 4151 A king himselve to be wys, 4152 And so to bere his oghne pris, 4153 And that his consail be noght good, 4154 Or other wise if it so stod, 4155 A king if he be vicious 4156 And his conseil be vertuous. 4157 It is ansuerd in such a wise, 4158 That betre it is that thei be wise 4159 Be whom that the conseil schal gon, 4160 For thei be manye, and he is on; 4161 And rathere schal an one man 4162 With fals conseil, for oght he can, 4163 From his wisdom be mad to falle, 4164 Thanne he al one scholde hem alle 4165 Fro vices into vertu change, 4166 For that is wel the more strange. 4167 Forthi the lond mai wel be glad, 4168 Whos king with good conseil is lad, 4169 Which set him unto rihtwisnesse, 4170 So that his hihe worthinesse 4171 Betwen the reddour and Pite 4172 Doth mercy forth with equite. 4173 A king is holden overal 4174 To Pite, bot in special 4175 To hem wher he is most beholde; 4176 Thei scholde his Pite most beholde 4177 That ben the Lieges of his lond, 4178 For thei ben evere under his hond 4179 After the goddes ordinaunce 4180 To stonde upon his governance. 4181 Of themperour Anthonius 4182 I finde hou that he seide thus, 4183 That levere him were forto save 4184 Oon of his lieges than to have 4185 Of enemis a thousend dede. 4186 And this he lernede, as I rede, 4187 Of Cipio, which hadde be 4188 Consul of Rome. And thus to se 4189 Diverse ensamples hou thei stonde, 4190 A king which hath the charge on honde 4191 The comun poeple to governe, 4192 If that he wole, he mai wel lerne. 4193 Is non so good to the plesance 4194 Of god, as is good governance; 4195 And every governance is due 4196 To Pite: thus I mai argue 4197 That Pite is the foundement 4198 Of every kinges regiment, 4199 If it be medled with justice. 4200 Thei tuo remuen alle vice, 4201 And ben of vertu most vailable 4202 To make a kinges regne stable. 4203 Lo, thus the foure pointz tofore, 4204 In governance as thei ben bore, 4205 Of trouthe ferst and of largesse, 4206 Of Pite forth with rihtwisnesse, 4207 I have hem told; and over this 4208 The fifte point, so as it is 4209 Set of the reule of Policie, 4210 Wherof a king schal modefie 4211 The fleisschly lustes of nature, 4212 Nou thenk I telle of such mesure, 4213 That bothe kinde schal be served 4214 And ek the lawe of god observed. 4215 The Madle is mad for the the femele, 4216 Bot where as on desireth fele, 4217 That nedeth noght be weie of kinde: 4218 For whan a man mai redy finde 4219 His oghne wif, what scholde he seche 4220 In strange places to beseche 4221 To borwe an other mannes plouh, 4222 Whan he hath geere good ynouh 4223 Affaited at his oghne heste, 4224 And is to him wel more honeste 4225 Than other thing which is unknowe? 4226 Forthi scholde every good man knowe 4227 And thenke, hou that in mariage 4228 His trouthe pliht lith in morgage, 4229 Which if he breke, it is falshode, 4230 And that descordeth to manhode, 4231 And namely toward the grete, 4232 Wherof the bokes alle trete; 4233 So as the Philosophre techeth 4234 To Alisandre, and him betecheth 4235 The lore hou that he schal mesure 4236 His bodi, so that no mesure 4237 Of fleisshly lust he scholde excede. 4238 And thus forth if I schal procede, 4239 The fifte point, as I seide er, 4240 Is chastete, which sielde wher 4241 Comth nou adaies into place; 4242 And natheles, bot it be grace 4243 Above alle othre in special, 4244 Is non that chaste mai ben all. 4245 Bot yit a kinges hihe astat, 4246 Which of his ordre as a prelat 4247 Schal ben enoignt and seintefied, 4248 He mot be more magnefied 4249 For dignete of his corone, 4250 Than scholde an other low persone, 4251 Which is noght of so hih emprise. 4252 Therfore a Prince him scholde avise, 4253 Er that he felle in such riote, 4254 And namely that he nassote 4255 To change for the wommanhede 4256 The worthinesse of his manhede. 4257 Of Aristotle I have wel rad, 4258 Hou he to Alisandre bad, 4259 That forto gladen his corage 4260 He schal beholde the visage 4261 Of wommen, whan that thei ben faire. 4262 Bot yit he set an essamplaire, 4263 His bodi so to guide and reule, 4264 That he ne passe noght the reule, 4265 Wherof that he himself beguile. 4266 For in the womman is no guile 4267 Of that a man himself bewhapeth; 4268 Whan he his oghne wit bejapeth, 4269 I can the wommen wel excuse: 4270 Bot what man wole upon hem muse 4271 After the fool impression 4272 Of his ymaginacioun, 4273 Withinne himself the fyr he bloweth, 4274 Wherof the womman nothing knoweth, 4275 So mai sche nothing be to wyte. 4276 For if a man himself excite 4277 To drenche, and wol it noght forbere, 4278 The water schal no blame bere. 4279 What mai the gold, thogh men coveite? 4280 If that a man wol love streite, 4281 The womman hath him nothing bounde; 4282 If he his oghne herte wounde, 4283 Sche mai noght lette the folie; 4284 And thogh so felle of compainie 4285 That he myht eny thing pourchace, 4286 Yit makth a man the ferste chace, 4287 The womman fleth and he poursuieth: 4288 So that be weie of skile it suieth, 4289 The man is cause, hou so befalle, 4290 That he fulofte sithe is falle 4291 Wher that he mai noght wel aryse. 4292 And natheles ful manye wise 4293 Befoled have hemself er this, 4294 As nou adaies yit it is 4295 Among the men and evere was, 4296 The stronge is fieblest in this cas. 4297 It sit a man be weie of kinde 4298 To love, bot it is noght kinde 4299 A man for love his wit to lese: 4300 For if the Monthe of Juil schal frese 4301 And that Decembre schal ben hot, 4302 The yeer mistorneth, wel I wot. 4303 To sen a man fro his astat 4304 Thurgh his sotie effeminat, 4305 And leve that a man schal do, 4306 It is as Hose above the Scho, 4307 To man which oghte noght ben used. 4308 Bot yit the world hath ofte accused 4309 Ful grete Princes of this dede, 4310 Hou thei for love hemself mislede, 4311 Wherof manhode stod behinde, 4312 Of olde ensamples as I finde. 4313 These olde gestes tellen thus, 4314 That whilom Sardana Pallus, 4315 Which hield al hol in his empire 4316 The grete kingdom of Assire, 4317 Was thurgh the slouthe of his corage 4318 Falle into thilke fyri rage 4319 Of love, which the men assoteth, 4320 Wherof himself he so rioteth, 4321 And wax so ferforth wommannyssh, 4322 That ayein kinde, as if a fissh 4323 Abide wolde upon the lond, 4324 In wommen such a lust he fond, 4325 That he duelte evere in chambre stille, 4326 And only wroghte after the wille 4327 Of wommen, so as he was bede, 4328 That selden whanne in other stede 4329 If that he wolde wenden oute, 4330 To sen hou that it stod aboute. 4331 Bot ther he keste and there he pleide, 4332 Thei tawhten him a Las to breide, 4333 And weve a Pours, and to enfile 4334 A Perle: and fell that ilke while, 4335 On Barbarus the Prince of Mede 4336 Sih hou this king in wommanhede 4337 Was falle fro chivalerie, 4338 And gat him help and compaignie, 4339 And wroghte so, that ate laste 4340 This king out of his regne he caste, 4341 Which was undon for everemo: 4342 And yit men speken of him so, 4343 That it is schame forto hiere. 4344 Forthi to love is in manere. 4345 King David hadde many a love, 4346 Bot natheles alwey above 4347 Knyhthode he kepte in such a wise, 4348 That for no fleisshli covoitise 4349 Of lust to ligge in ladi armes 4350 He lefte noght the lust of armes. 4351 For where a Prince hise lustes suieth, 4352 That he the werre noght poursuieth, 4353 Whan it is time to ben armed, 4354 His contre stant fulofte harmed, 4355 Whan thenemis ben woxe bolde, 4356 That thei defence non beholde. 4357 Ful many a lond hath so be lore, 4358 As men mai rede of time afore 4359 Of hem that so here eses soghten, 4360 Which after thei full diere aboghten. 4361 To mochel ese is nothing worth, 4362 For that set every vice forth 4363 And every vertu put abak, 4364 Wherof priss torneth into lak, 4365 As in Cronique I mai reherse: 4366 Which telleth hou the king of Perse, 4367 That Cirus hihte, a werre hadde 4368 Ayein a poeple which he dradde, 4369 Of a contre which Liddos hihte; 4370 Bot yit for oght that he do mihte 4371 As in bataille upon the werre, 4372 He hadde of hem alwey the werre. 4373 And whan he sih and wiste it wel, 4374 That he be strengthe wan no del, 4375 Thanne ate laste he caste a wyle 4376 This worthi poeple to beguile, 4377 And tok with hem a feigned pes, 4378 Which scholde lasten endeles, 4379 So as he seide in wordes wise, 4380 Bot he thoghte al in other wise. 4381 For it betidd upon the cas, 4382 Whan that this poeple in reste was, 4383 Thei token eses manyfold; 4384 And worldes ese, as it is told, 4385 Be weie of kinde is the norrice 4386 Of every lust which toucheth vice. 4387 Thus whan thei were in lustes falle, 4388 The werres ben foryeten alle; 4389 Was non which wolde the worschipe 4390 Of Armes, bot in idelschipe 4391 Thei putten besinesse aweie 4392 And token hem to daunce and pleie; 4393 Bot most above alle othre thinges 4394 Thei token hem to the likinges 4395 Of fleysshly lust, that chastete 4396 Received was in no degre, 4397 Bot every man doth what him liste. 4398 And whan the king of Perse it wiste, 4399 That thei unto folie entenden, 4400 With his pouer, whan thei lest wenden, 4401 Mor sodeinly than doth the thunder 4402 He cam, for evere and put hem under. 4403 And thus hath lecherie lore 4404 The lond, which hadde be tofore 4405 The beste of hem that were tho. 4406 And in the bible I finde also 4407 A tale lich unto this thing, 4408 Hou Amalech the paien king, 4409 Whan that he myhte be no weie 4410 Defende his lond and putte aweie 4411 The worthi poeple of Irael, 4412 This Sarazin, as it befell, 4413 Thurgh the conseil of Balaam 4414 A route of faire wommen nam, 4415 That lusti were and yonge of Age, 4416 And bad hem gon to the lignage 4417 Of these Hebreus: and forth thei wente 4418 With yhen greye and browes bente 4419 And wel arraied everych on; 4420 And whan thei come were anon 4421 Among thebreus, was non insihte, 4422 Bot cacche who that cacche myhte, 4423 And ech of hem hise lustes soghte, 4424 Whiche after thei full diere boghte. 4425 For grace anon began to faile, 4426 That whan thei comen to bataille 4427 Thanne afterward, in sori plit 4428 Thei were take and disconfit, 4429 So that withinne a litel throwe 4430 The myht of hem was overthrowe, 4431 That whilom were wont to stonde. 4432 Til Phinees the cause on honde 4433 Hath take, this vengance laste, 4434 Bot thanne it cessede ate laste, 4435 For god was paid of that he dede: 4436 For wher he fond upon a stede 4437 A couple which misferde so, 4438 Thurghout he smot hem bothe tuo, 4439 And let hem ligge in mennes yhe; 4440 Wherof alle othre whiche hem sihe 4441 Ensamplede hem upon the dede, 4442 And preiden unto the godhiede 4443 Here olde Sennes to amende: 4444 And he, which wolde his mercy sende, 4445 Restorede hem to newe grace. 4446 Thus mai it schewe in sondri place, 4447 Of chastete hou the clennesse 4448 Acordeth to the worthinesse 4449 Of men of Armes overal; 4450 Bot most of alle in special 4451 This vertu to a king belongeth, 4452 For upon his fortune it hongeth 4453 Of that his lond schal spede or spille. 4454 Forthi bot if a king his wille 4455 Fro lustes of his fleissh restreigne, 4456 Ayein himself he makth a treigne, 4457 Into the which if that he slyde, 4458 Him were betre go besyde. 4459 For every man mai understonde, 4460 Hou for a time that it stonde, 4461 It is a sori lust to lyke, 4462 Whos ende makth a man to syke 4463 And torneth joies into sorwe. 4464 The brihte Sonne be the morwe 4465 Beschyneth noght the derke nyht, 4466 The lusti youthe of mannes myht, 4467 In Age bot it stonde wel, 4468 Mistorneth al the laste whiel. 4469 That every worthi Prince is holde 4470 Withinne himself himself beholde, 4471 To se the stat of his persone, 4472 And thenke hou ther be joies none 4473 Upon this Erthe mad to laste, 4474 And hou the fleissh schal ate laste 4475 The lustes of this lif forsake, 4476 Him oghte a gret ensample take 4477 Of Salomon, whos appetit 4478 Was holy set upon delit, 4479 To take of wommen the plesance: 4480 So that upon his ignorance 4481 The wyde world merveileth yit, 4482 That he, which alle mennes wit 4483 In thilke time hath overpassed, 4484 With fleisshly lustes was so tassed, 4485 That he which ladde under the lawe 4486 The poeple of god, himself withdrawe 4487 He hath fro god in such a wise, 4488 That he worschipe and sacrifise 4489 For sondri love in sondri stede 4490 Unto the false goddes dede. 4491 This was the wise ecclesiaste, 4492 The fame of whom schal evere laste, 4493 That he the myhti god forsok, 4494 Ayein the lawe whanne he tok 4495 His wyves and his concubines 4496 Of hem that weren Sarazines, 4497 For whiche he dede ydolatrie. 4498 For this I rede of his sotie: 4499 Sche of Sidoyne so him ladde, 4500 That he knelende his armes spradde 4501 To Astrathen with gret humblesse, 4502 Which of hire lond was the goddesse: 4503 And sche that was a Moabite 4504 So ferforth made him to delite 4505 Thurgh lust, which al his wit devoureth, 4506 That he Chamos hire god honoureth. 4507 An other Amonyte also 4508 With love him hath assoted so, 4509 Hire god Moloch that with encense 4510 He sacreth, and doth reverence 4511 In such a wise as sche him bad. 4512 Thus was the wiseste overlad 4513 With blinde lustes whiche he soghte; 4514 Bot he it afterward aboghte. 4515 For Achias Selonites, 4516 Which was prophete, er his decess, 4517 Whil he was in hise lustes alle, 4518 Betokneth what schal after falle. 4519 For on a day, whan that he mette 4520 Jeroboam the knyht, he grette 4521 And bad him that he scholde abyde, 4522 To hiere what him schal betyde. 4523 And forth withal Achias caste 4524 His mantell of, and also faste 4525 He kut it into pieces twelve, 4526 Wherof tuo partz toward himselve 4527 He kepte, and al the remenant, 4528 As god hath set his covenant, 4529 He tok unto Jeroboas, 4530 Of Nabal which the Sone was, 4531 And of the kinges court a knyht: 4532 And seide him, "Such is goddes myht, 4533 As thou hast sen departed hiere 4534 Mi mantell, riht in such manere 4535 After the deth of Salomon 4536 God hath ordeigned therupon, 4537 This regne thanne he schal divide: 4538 Which time thou schalt ek abide, 4539 And upon that division 4540 The regne as in proporcion 4541 As thou hast of mi mantell take, 4542 Thou schalt receive, I undertake. 4543 And thus the Sone schal abie 4544 The lustes and the lecherie 4545 Of him which nou his fader is." 4546 So forto taken hiede of this, 4547 It sit a king wel to be chaste, 4548 For elles he mai lihtly waste 4549 Himself and ek his regne bothe, 4550 And that oghte every king to lothe. 4551 O, which a Senne violent, 4552 Wherof so wys a king was schent, 4553 That the vengance in his persone 4554 Was noght ynouh to take al one, 4555 Bot afterward, whan he was passed, 4556 It hath his heritage lassed, 4557 As I more openli tofore 4558 The tale tolde. And thus therfore 4559 The Philosophre upon this thing 4560 Writ and conseileth to a king, 4561 That he the surfet of luxure 4562 Schal tempre and reule of such mesure, 4563 Which be to kinde sufficant 4564 And ek to reson acordant, 4565 So that the lustes ignorance 4566 Be cause of no misgovernance, 4567 Thurgh which that he be overthrowe, 4568 As he that wol no reson knowe. 4569 For bot a mannes wit be swerved, 4570 Whan kinde is dueliche served, 4571 It oghte of reson to suffise; 4572 For if it falle him otherwise, 4573 He mai tho lustes sore drede. 4574 For of Anthonie thus I rede, 4575 Which of Severus was the Sone, 4576 That he his lif of comun wone 4577 Yaf holy unto thilke vice, 4578 And ofte time he was so nyce, 4579 Wherof nature hire hath compleigned 4580 Unto the god, which hath desdeigned 4581 The werkes whiche Antonie wroghte 4582 Of lust, whiche he ful sore aboghte: 4583 For god his forfet hath so wroke 4584 That in Cronique it is yit spoke. 4585 Bot forto take remembrance 4586 Of special misgovernance 4587 Thurgh covoitise and injustice 4588 Forth with the remenant of vice, 4589 And nameliche of lecherie, 4590 I finde write a gret partie 4591 Withinne a tale, as thou schalt hiere, 4592 Which is thensample of this matiere. 4593 So as these olde gestes sein, 4594 The proude tirannyssh Romein 4595 Tarquinus, which was thanne king 4596 And wroghte many a wrongful thing, 4597 Of Sones hadde manyon, 4598 Among the whiche Arrons was on, 4599 Lich to his fader of maneres; 4600 So that withinne a fewe yeres 4601 With tresoun and with tirannie 4602 Thei wonne of lond a gret partie, 4603 And token hiede of no justice, 4604 Which due was to here office 4605 Upon the reule of governance; 4606 Bot al that evere was plesance 4607 Unto the fleisshes lust thei toke. 4608 And fell so, that thei undertoke 4609 A werre, which was noght achieved, 4610 Bot ofte time it hadde hem grieved, 4611 Ayein a folk which thanne hihte 4612 The Gabiens: and al be nyhte 4613 This Arrons, whan he was at hom 4614 In Rome, a prive place he nom 4615 Withinne a chambre, and bet himselve 4616 And made him woundes ten or tuelve 4617 Upon the bak, as it was sene; 4618 And so forth with hise hurtes grene 4619 In al the haste that he may 4620 He rod, and cam that other day 4621 Unto Gabie the Cite, 4622 And in he wente: and whan that he 4623 Was knowe, anon the gates schette, 4624 The lordes alle upon him sette 4625 With drawe swerdes upon honde. 4626 This Arrons wolde hem noght withstonde, 4627 Bot seide, "I am hier at your wille, 4628 Als lief it is that ye me spille, 4629 As if myn oghne fader dede." 4630 And forthwith in the same stede 4631 He preide hem that thei wolde se, 4632 And schewede hem in what degre 4633 His fader and hise brethren bothe, 4634 Whiche, as he seide, weren wrothe, 4635 Him hadde beten and reviled, 4636 For evere and out of Rome exiled. 4637 And thus he made hem to believe, 4638 And seide, if that he myhte achieve 4639 His pourpos, it schal wel be yolde, 4640 Be so that thei him helpe wolde. 4641 Whan that the lordes hadde sein 4642 Hou wofully he was besein, 4643 Thei token Pite of his grief; 4644 Bot yit it was hem wonder lief 4645 That Rome him hadde exiled so. 4646 These Gabiens be conseil tho 4647 Upon the goddes made him swere, 4648 That he to hem schal trouthe bere 4649 And strengthen hem with al his myht; 4650 And thei also him have behiht 4651 To helpen him in his querele. 4652 Thei schopen thanne for his hele 4653 That he was bathed and enoignt, 4654 Til that he was in lusti point; 4655 And what he wolde thanne he hadde, 4656 That he al hol the cite ladde 4657 Riht as he wolde himself divise. 4658 And thanne he thoghte him in what wise 4659 He myhte his tirannie schewe; 4660 And to his conseil tok a schrewe, 4661 Whom to his fader forth he sente 4662 In his message, and he tho wente, 4663 And preide his fader forto seie 4664 Be his avis, and finde a weie, 4665 Hou they the cite myhten winne, 4666 Whil that he stod so wel therinne. 4667 And whan the messager was come 4668 To Rome, and hath in conseil nome 4669 The king, it fell per chance so 4670 That thei were in a gardin tho, 4671 This messager forth with the king. 4672 And whanne he hadde told the thing 4673 In what manere that it stod, 4674 And that Tarquinus understod 4675 Be the message hou that it ferde, 4676 Anon he tok in honde a yerde, 4677 And in the gardin as thei gon, 4678 The lilie croppes on and on, 4679 Wher that thei weren sprongen oute, 4680 He smot of, as thei stode aboute, 4681 And seide unto the messager: 4682 "Lo, this thing, which I do nou hier, 4683 Schal ben in stede of thin ansuere; 4684 And in this wise as I me bere, 4685 Thou schalt unto mi Sone telle." 4686 And he no lengere wolde duelle, 4687 Bot tok his leve and goth withal 4688 Unto his lord, and told him al, 4689 Hou that his fader hadde do. 4690 Whan Arrons herde him telle so, 4691 Anon he wiste what it mente, 4692 And therto sette al his entente, 4693 Til he thurgh fraude and tricherie 4694 The Princes hefdes of Gabie 4695 Hath smiten of, and al was wonne: 4696 His fader cam tofore the Sonne 4697 Into the toun with the Romeins, 4698 And tok and slowh the citezeins 4699 Withoute reson or pite, 4700 That he ne spareth no degre. 4701 And for the sped of this conqueste 4702 He let do make a riche feste 4703 With a sollempne Sacrifise 4704 In Phebus temple; and in this wise 4705 Whan the Romeins assembled were, 4706 In presence of hem alle there, 4707 Upon thalter whan al was diht 4708 And that the fyres were alyht, 4709 From under thalter sodeinly 4710 An hidous Serpent openly 4711 Cam out and hath devoured al 4712 The Sacrifice, and ek withal 4713 The fyres queynt, and forth anon, 4714 So as he cam, so is he gon 4715 Into the depe ground ayein. 4716 And every man began to sein, 4717 "Ha lord, what mai this signefie?" 4718 And therupon thei preie and crie 4719 To Phebus, that thei mihten knowe 4720 The cause: and he the same throwe 4721 With gastly vois, that alle it herde, 4722 The Romeins in this wise ansuerde, 4723 And seide hou for the wikkidnesse 4724 Of Pride and of unrihtwisnesse, 4725 That Tarquin and his Sone hath do, 4726 The Sacrifice is wasted so, 4727 Which myhte noght ben acceptable 4728 Upon such Senne abhominable. 4729 And over that yit he hem wisseth, 4730 And seith that which of hem ferst kisseth 4731 His moder, he schal take wrieche 4732 Upon the wrong: and of that speche 4733 Thei ben withinne here hertes glade, 4734 Thogh thei outward no semblant made. 4735 Ther was a knyht which Brutus hihte, 4736 And he with al the haste he myhte 4737 To grounde fell and therthe kiste, 4738 Bot non of hem the cause wiste, 4739 Bot wenden that he hadde sporned 4740 Per chance, and so was overtorned. 4741 Bot Brutus al an other mente; 4742 For he knew wel in his entente 4743 Hou therthe of every mannes kinde 4744 Is Moder: bot thei weren blinde, 4745 And sihen noght so fer as he. 4746 Bot whan thei leften the Cite 4747 And comen hom to Rome ayein, 4748 Thanne every man which was Romein 4749 And moder hath, to hire he bende 4750 And keste, and ech of hem thus wende 4751 To be the ferste upon the chance, 4752 Of Tarquin forto do vengance, 4753 So as thei herden Phebus sein. 4754 Bot every time hath his certein, 4755 So moste it nedes thanne abide, 4756 Til afterward upon a tyde 4757 Tarquinus made unskilfully 4758 A werre, which was fasteby 4759 Ayein a toun with walles stronge 4760 Which Ardea was cleped longe, 4761 And caste a Siege theraboute, 4762 That ther mai noman passen oute. 4763 So it befell upon a nyht, 4764 Arrons, which hadde his souper diht, 4765 A part of the chivalerie 4766 With him to soupe in compaignie 4767 Hath bede: and whan thei comen were 4768 And seten at the souper there, 4769 Among here othre wordes glade 4770 Arrons a gret spekinge made, 4771 Who hadde tho the beste wif 4772 Of Rome: and ther began a strif, 4773 For Arrons seith he hath the beste. 4774 So jangle thei withoute reste, 4775 Til ate laste on Collatin, 4776 A worthi knyht, and was cousin 4777 To Arrons, seide him in this wise: 4778 "It is," quod he, "of non emprise 4779 To speke a word, bot of the dede, 4780 Therof it is to taken hiede. 4781 Anon forthi this same tyde 4782 Lep on thin hors and let ous ryde: 4783 So mai we knowe bothe tuo 4784 Unwarli what oure wyves do, 4785 And that schal be a trewe assay." 4786 This Arrons seith noght ones nay: 4787 On horse bak anon thei lepte 4788 In such manere, and nothing slepte, 4789 Ridende forth til that thei come 4790 Al prively withinne Rome; 4791 In strange place and doun thei lihte, 4792 And take a chambre, and out of sihte 4793 Thei be desguised for a throwe, 4794 So that no lif hem scholde knowe. 4795 And to the paleis ferst thei soghte, 4796 To se what thing this ladi wroghte 4797 Of which Arrons made his avant: 4798 And thei hire sihe of glad semblant, 4799 Al full of merthes and of bordes; 4800 Bot among alle hire othre wordes 4801 Sche spak noght of hire housebonde. 4802 And whan thei hadde al understonde 4803 Of thilke place what hem liste, 4804 Thei gon hem forth, that non it wiste, 4805 Beside thilke gate of bras, 4806 Collacea which cleped was, 4807 Wher Collatin hath his duellinge. 4808 Ther founden thei at hom sittinge 4809 Lucrece his wif, al environed 4810 With wommen, whiche are abandoned 4811 To werche, and sche wroghte ek withal, 4812 And bad hem haste, and seith, "It schal 4813 Be for mi housebondes were, 4814 Which with his swerd and with his spere 4815 Lith at the Siege in gret desese. 4816 And if it scholde him noght displese, 4817 Nou wolde god I hadde him hiere; 4818 For certes til that I mai hiere 4819 Som good tidinge of his astat, 4820 Min herte is evere upon debat. 4821 For so as alle men witnesse, 4822 He is of such an hardiesse, 4823 That he can noght himselve spare, 4824 And that is al my moste care, 4825 Whan thei the walles schulle assaile. 4826 Bot if mi wisshes myhte availe, 4827 I wolde it were a groundles pet, 4828 Be so the Siege were unknet, 4829 And I myn housebonde sihe." 4830 With that the water in hire yhe 4831 Aros, that sche ne myhte it stoppe, 4832 And as men sen the dew bedroppe 4833 The leves and the floures eke, 4834 Riht so upon hire whyte cheke 4835 The wofull salte teres felle. 4836 Whan Collatin hath herd hire telle 4837 The menynge of hire trewe herte, 4838 Anon with that to hire he sterte, 4839 And seide, "Lo, mi goode diere, 4840 Nou is he come to you hiere, 4841 That ye most loven, as ye sein." 4842 And sche with goodly chiere ayein 4843 Beclipte him in hire armes smale, 4844 And the colour, which erst was pale, 4845 To Beaute thanne was restored, 4846 So that it myhte noght be mored. 4847 The kinges Sone, which was nyh, 4848 And of this lady herde and syh 4849 The thinges as thei ben befalle, 4850 The resoun of hise wittes alle 4851 Hath lost; for love upon his part 4852 Cam thanne, and of his fyri dart 4853 With such a wounde him hath thurghsmite, 4854 That he mot nedes fiele and wite 4855 Of thilke blinde maladie, 4856 To which no cure of Surgerie 4857 Can helpe. Bot yit natheles 4858 At thilke time he hield his pes, 4859 That he no contienance made, 4860 Bot openly with wordes glade, 4861 So as he couthe in his manere, 4862 He spak and made frendly chiere, 4863 Til it was time forto go. 4864 And Collatin with him also 4865 His leve tok, so that be nyhte 4866 With al the haste that thei myhte 4867 Thei riden to the Siege ayein. 4868 Bot Arrons was so wo besein 4869 With thoghtes whiche upon him runne, 4870 That he al be the brode Sunne 4871 To bedde goth, noght forto reste, 4872 Bot forto thenke upon the beste 4873 And the faireste forth withal, 4874 That evere he syh or evere schal, 4875 So as him thoghte in his corage, 4876 Where he pourtreieth hire ymage: 4877 Ferst the fetures of hir face, 4878 In which nature hadde alle grace 4879 Of wommanly beaute beset, 4880 So that it myhte noght be bet; 4881 And hou hir yelwe her was tresced 4882 And hire atir so wel adresced, 4883 And hou sche spak, and hou sche wroghte, 4884 And hou sche wepte, al this he thoghte, 4885 That he foryeten hath no del, 4886 Bot al it liketh him so wel, 4887 That in the word nor in the dede 4888 Hire lacketh noght of wommanhiede. 4889 And thus this tirannysshe knyht 4890 Was soupled, bot noght half ariht, 4891 For he non other hiede tok, 4892 Bot that he myhte be som crok, 4893 Althogh it were ayein hire wille, 4894 The lustes of his fleissh fulfille; 4895 Which love was noght resonable, 4896 For where honour is remuable, 4897 It oghte wel to ben avised. 4898 Bot he, which hath his lust assised 4899 With melled love and tirannie, 4900 Hath founde upon his tricherie 4901 A weie which he thenkth to holde, 4902 And seith, "Fortune unto the bolde 4903 Is favorable forto helpe." 4904 And thus withinne himself to yelpe, 4905 As he which was a wylde man, 4906 Upon his treson he began: 4907 And up he sterte, and forth he wente 4908 On horsebak, bot his entente 4909 Ther knew no wiht, and thus he nam 4910 The nexte weie, til he cam 4911 Unto Collacea the gate 4912 Of Rome, and it was somdiel late, 4913 Riht evene upon the Sonne set, 4914 As he which hadde schape his net 4915 Hire innocence to betrappe. 4916 And as it scholde tho mishappe, 4917 Als priveliche as evere he myhte 4918 He rod, and of his hors alyhte 4919 Tofore Collatines In, 4920 And al frendliche he goth him in, 4921 As he that was cousin of house. 4922 And sche, which is the goode spouse, 4923 Lucrece, whan that sche him sih, 4924 With goodli chiere drowh him nyh, 4925 As sche which al honour supposeth, 4926 And him, so as sche dar, opposeth 4927 Hou it stod of hire housebonde. 4928 And he tho dede hire understonde 4929 With tales feigned in his wise, 4930 Riht as he wolde himself devise, 4931 Wherof he myhte hire herte glade, 4932 That sche the betre chiere made, 4933 Whan sche the glade wordes herde, 4934 Hou that hire housebonde ferde. 4935 And thus the trouthe was deceived 4936 With slih tresoun, which was received 4937 To hire which mente alle goode; 4938 For as the festes thanne stode, 4939 His Souper was ryht wel arraied. 4940 Bot yit he hath no word assaied 4941 To speke of love in no degre; 4942 Bot with covert subtilite 4943 His frendly speches he affaiteth, 4944 And as the Tigre his time awaiteth 4945 In hope forto cacche his preie. 4946 Whan that the bordes were aweie 4947 And thei have souped in the halle, 4948 He seith that slep is on him falle, 4949 And preith he moste go to bedde; 4950 And sche with alle haste spedde, 4951 So as hire thoghte it was to done, 4952 That every thing was redi sone. 4953 Sche broghte him to his chambre tho 4954 And tok hire leve, and forth is go 4955 Into hire oghne chambre by, 4956 As sche that wende certeinly 4957 Have had a frend, and hadde a fo, 4958 Wherof fell after mochel wo. 4959 This tirant, thogh he lyhe softe, 4960 Out of his bed aros fulofte, 4961 And goth aboute, and leide his Ere 4962 To herkne, til that alle were 4963 To bedde gon and slepten faste. 4964 And thanne upon himself he caste 4965 A mantell, and his swerd al naked 4966 He tok in honde; and sche unwaked 4967 Abedde lay, but what sche mette, 4968 God wot; for he the Dore unschette 4969 So prively that non it herde, 4970 The softe pas and forth he ferde 4971 Unto the bed wher that sche slepte, 4972 Al sodeinliche and in he crepte, 4973 And hire in bothe his Armes tok. 4974 With that this worthi wif awok, 4975 Which thurgh tendresce of wommanhiede 4976 Hire vois hath lost for pure drede, 4977 That o word speke sche ne dar: 4978 And ek he bad hir to be war, 4979 For if sche made noise or cry, 4980 He seide, his swerd lay faste by 4981 To slen hire and hire folk aboute. 4982 And thus he broghte hire herte in doute, 4983 That lich a Lomb whanne it is sesed 4984 In wolves mouth, so was desesed 4985 Lucrece, which he naked fond: 4986 Wherof sche swounede in his hond, 4987 And, as who seith, lay ded oppressed. 4988 And he, which al him hadde adresced 4989 To lust, tok thanne what him liste, 4990 And goth his wey, that non it wiste, 4991 Into his oghne chambre ayein, 4992 And clepede up his chamberlein, 4993 And made him redi forto ryde. 4994 And thus this lecherouse pride 4995 To horse lepte and forth he rod; 4996 And sche, which in hire bed abod, 4997 Whan that sche wiste he was agon, 4998 Sche clepede after liht anon 4999 And up aros long er the day, 5000 And caste awey hire freissh aray, 5001 As sche which hath the world forsake, 5002 And tok upon the clothes blake: 5003 And evere upon continuinge, 5004 Riht as men sen a welle springe, 5005 With yhen fulle of wofull teres, 5006 Hire her hangende aboute hire Eres, 5007 Sche wepte, and noman wiste why. 5008 Bot yit among full pitously 5009 Sche preide that thei nolden drecche 5010 Hire housebonde forto fecche 5011 Forth with hire fader ek also. 5012 Thus be thei comen bothe tuo, 5013 And Brutus cam with Collatin, 5014 Which to Lucrece was cousin, 5015 And in thei wenten alle thre 5016 To chambre, wher thei myhten se 5017 The wofulleste upon this Molde, 5018 Which wepte as sche to water scholde. 5019 The chambre Dore anon was stoke, 5020 Er thei have oght unto hire spoke; 5021 Thei sihe hire clothes al desguised, 5022 And hou sche hath hirself despised, 5023 Hire her hangende unkemd aboute, 5024 Bot natheles sche gan to loute 5025 And knele unto hire housebonde; 5026 And he, which fain wolde understonde 5027 The cause why sche ferde so, 5028 With softe wordes axeth tho, 5029 "What mai you be, mi goode swete?" 5030 And sche, which thoghte hirself unmete 5031 And the lest worth of wommen alle, 5032 Hire wofull chiere let doun falle 5033 For schame and couthe unnethes loke. 5034 And thei therof good hiede toke, 5035 And preiden hire in alle weie 5036 That sche ne spare forto seie 5037 Unto hir frendes what hire eileth, 5038 Why sche so sore hirself beweileth, 5039 And what the sothe wolde mene. 5040 And sche, which hath hire sorwes grene, 5041 Hire wo to telle thanne assaieth, 5042 Bot tendre schame hire word delaieth, 5043 That sondri times as sche minte 5044 To speke, upon the point sche stinte. 5045 And thei hire bidden evere in on 5046 To telle forth, and therupon, 5047 Whan that sche sih sche moste nede, 5048 Hire tale betwen schame and drede 5049 Sche tolde, noght withoute peine. 5050 And he, which wolde hire wo restreigne, 5051 Hire housebonde, a sory man, 5052 Conforteth hire al that he can, 5053 And swor, and ek hire fader bothe, 5054 That thei with hire be noght wrothe 5055 Of that is don ayein hire wille; 5056 And preiden hire to be stille, 5057 For thei to hire have al foryive. 5058 Bot sche, which thoghte noght to live, 5059 Of hem wol no foryivenesse, 5060 And seide, of thilke wickednesse 5061 Which was unto hire bodi wroght, 5062 Al were it so sche myhte it noght, 5063 Nevere afterward the world ne schal 5064 Reproeven hire; and forth withal, 5065 Er eny man therof be war, 5066 A naked swerd, the which sche bar 5067 Withinne hire Mantel priveli, 5068 Betwen hire hondes sodeinly 5069 Sche tok, and thurgh hire herte it throng, 5070 And fell to grounde, and evere among, 5071 Whan that sche fell, so as sche myhte, 5072 Hire clothes with hire hand sche rihte, 5073 That noman dounward fro the kne 5074 Scholde eny thing of hire se: 5075 Thus lay this wif honestely, 5076 Althogh sche deide wofully. 5077 Tho was no sorwe forto seke: 5078 Hire housebonde, hire fader eke 5079 Aswoune upon the bodi felle; 5080 Ther mai no mannes tunge telle 5081 In which anguisshe that thei were. 5082 Bot Brutus, which was with hem there, 5083 Toward himself his herte kepte, 5084 And to Lucrece anon he lepte, 5085 The blodi swerd and pulleth oute, 5086 And swor the goddes al aboute 5087 That he therof schal do vengance. 5088 And sche tho made a contienance, 5089 Hire dedlich yhe and ate laste 5090 In thonkinge as it were up caste, 5091 And so behield him in the wise, 5092 Whil sche to loke mai suffise. 5093 And Brutus with a manlich herte 5094 Hire housebonde hath mad up sterte 5095 Forth with hire fader ek also 5096 In alle haste, and seide hem tho 5097 That thei anon withoute lette 5098 A Beere for the body fette; 5099 Lucrece and therupon bledende 5100 He leide, and so forth out criende 5101 He goth into the Market place 5102 Of Rome: and in a litel space 5103 Thurgh cry the cite was assembled, 5104 And every mannes herte is trembled, 5105 Whan thei the sothe herde of the cas. 5106 And therupon the conseil was 5107 Take of the grete and of the smale, 5108 And Brutus tolde hem al the tale; 5109 And thus cam into remembrance 5110 Of Senne the continuance, 5111 Which Arrons hadde do tofore, 5112 And ek, long time er he was bore, 5113 Of that his fadre hadde do 5114 The wrong cam into place tho; 5115 So that the comun clamour tolde 5116 The newe schame of Sennes olde. 5117 And al the toun began to crie, 5118 "Awey, awey the tirannie 5119 Of lecherie and covoitise!" 5120 And ate laste in such a wise 5121 The fader in the same while 5122 Forth with his Sone thei exile, 5123 And taken betre governance. 5124 Bot yit an other remembrance 5125 That rihtwisnesse and lecherie 5126 Acorden noght in compaignie 5127 With him that hath the lawe on honde, 5128 That mai a man wel understonde, 5129 As be a tale thou shalt wite, 5130 Of olde ensample as it is write. 5131 At Rome whan that Apius, 5132 Whos other name is Claudius, 5133 Was governour of the cite, 5134 Ther fell a wonder thing to se 5135 Touchende a gentil Maide, as thus, 5136 Whom Livius Virginius 5137 Begeten hadde upon his wif: 5138 Men seiden that so fair a lif 5139 As sche was noght in al the toun. 5140 This fame, which goth up and doun, 5141 To Claudius cam in his Ere, 5142 Wherof his thoght anon was there, 5143 Which al his herte hath set afyre, 5144 That he began the flour desire 5145 Which longeth unto maydenhede, 5146 And sende, if that he myhte spede 5147 The blinde lustes of his wille. 5148 Bot that thing mai he noght fulfille, 5149 For sche stod upon Mariage; 5150 A worthi kniht of gret lignage, 5151 Ilicius which thanne hihte, 5152 Acorded in hire fader sihte 5153 Was, that he scholde his douhter wedde. 5154 Bot er the cause fully spedde, 5155 Hire fader, which in Romanie 5156 The ledinge of chivalerie 5157 In governance hath undertake, 5158 Upon a werre which was take 5159 Goth out with al the strengthe he hadde 5160 Of men of Armes whiche he ladde: 5161 So was the mariage left, 5162 And stod upon acord til eft. 5163 The king, which herde telle of this, 5164 Hou that this Maide ordeigned is 5165 To Mariage, thoghte an other. 5166 And hadde thilke time a brother, 5167 Which Marchus Claudius was hote, 5168 And was a man of such riote 5169 Riht as the king himselve was: 5170 Thei tuo togedre upon this cas 5171 In conseil founden out this weie, 5172 That Marchus Claudius schal seie 5173 Hou sche be weie of covenant 5174 To his service appourtenant 5175 Was hol, and to non other man; 5176 And therupon he seith he can 5177 In every point witnesse take, 5178 So that sche schal it noght forsake. 5179 Whan that thei hadden schape so, 5180 After the lawe which was tho, 5181 Whil that hir fader was absent, 5182 Sche was somouned and assent 5183 To come in presence of the king 5184 And stonde in ansuere of this thing. 5185 Hire frendes wisten alle wel 5186 That it was falshed everydel, 5187 And comen to the king and seiden, 5188 Upon the comun lawe and preiden, 5189 So as this noble worthi knyht 5190 Hir fader for the comun riht 5191 In thilke time, as was befalle, 5192 Lai for the profit of hem alle 5193 Upon the wylde feldes armed, 5194 That he ne scholde noght ben harmed 5195 Ne schamed, whil that he were oute; 5196 And thus thei preiden al aboute. 5197 For al the clamour that he herde, 5198 The king upon his lust ansuerde, 5199 And yaf hem only daies tuo 5200 Of respit; for he wende tho, 5201 That in so schorte a time appiere 5202 Hire fader mihte in no manere. 5203 Bot as therof he was deceived; 5204 For Livius hadde al conceived 5205 The pourpos of the king tofore, 5206 So that to Rome ayein therfore 5207 In alle haste he cam ridende, 5208 And lefte upon the field liggende 5209 His host, til that he come ayein. 5210 And thus this worthi capitein 5211 Appiereth redi at his day, 5212 Wher al that evere reson may 5213 Be lawe in audience he doth, 5214 So that his dowhter upon soth 5215 Of that Marchus hire hadde accused 5216 He hath tofore the court excused. 5217 The king, which sih his pourpos faile, 5218 And that no sleihte mihte availe, 5219 Encombred of his lustes blinde 5220 The lawe torneth out of kinde, 5221 And half in wraththe as thogh it were, 5222 In presence of hem alle there 5223 Deceived of concupiscence 5224 Yaf for his brother the sentence, 5225 And bad him that he scholde sese 5226 This Maide and make him wel at ese; 5227 Bot al withinne his oghne entente 5228 He wiste hou that the cause wente, 5229 Of that his brother hath the wyte 5230 He was himselven forto wyte. 5231 Bot thus this maiden hadde wrong, 5232 Which was upon the king along, 5233 Bot ayein him was non Appel, 5234 And that the fader wiste wel: 5235 Wherof upon the tirannie, 5236 That for the lust of Lecherie 5237 His douhter scholde be deceived, 5238 And that Ilicius was weyved 5239 Untrewly fro the Mariage, 5240 Riht as a Leon in his rage, 5241 Which of no drede set acompte 5242 And not what pite scholde amounte, 5243 A naked swerd he pulleth oute, 5244 The which amonges al the route 5245 He threste thurgh his dowhter side, 5246 And al alowd this word he cride: 5247 "Lo, take hire ther, thou wrongfull king, 5248 For me is levere upon this thing 5249 To be the fader of a Maide, 5250 Thogh sche be ded, that if men saide 5251 That in hir lif sche were schamed 5252 And I therof were evele named." 5253 Tho bad the king men scholde areste 5254 His bodi, bot of thilke heste, 5255 Lich to the chaced wylde bor, 5256 The houndes whan he fieleth sor, 5257 Tothroweth and goth forth his weie, 5258 In such a wise forto seie 5259 This worthi kniht with swerd on honde 5260 His weie made, and thei him wonde, 5261 That non of hem his strokes kepte; 5262 And thus upon his hors he lepte, 5263 And with his swerd droppende of blod, 5264 The which withinne his douhter stod, 5265 He cam ther as the pouer was 5266 Of Rome, and tolde hem al the cas, 5267 And seide hem that thei myhten liere 5268 Upon the wrong of his matiere, 5269 That betre it were to redresce 5270 At hom the grete unrihtwisnesse, 5271 Than forto werre in strange place 5272 And lese at hom here oghne grace. 5273 For thus stant every mannes lif 5274 In jeupartie for his wif 5275 Or for his dowhter, if thei be 5276 Passende an other of beaute. 5277 Of this merveile which thei sihe 5278 So apparant tofore here yhe, 5279 Of that the king him hath misbore, 5280 Here othes thei have alle swore 5281 That thei wol stonde be the riht. 5282 And thus of on acord upriht 5283 To Rome at ones hom ayein 5284 Thei torne, and schortly forto sein, 5285 This tirannye cam to mouthe, 5286 And every man seith what he couthe, 5287 So that the prive tricherie, 5288 Which set was upon lecherie, 5289 Cam openly to mannes Ere; 5290 And that broghte in the comun feere, 5291 That every man the peril dradde 5292 Of him that so hem overladde. 5293 Forthi, er that it worse falle, 5294 Thurgh comun conseil of hem alle 5295 Thei have here wrongfull king deposed, 5296 And hem in whom it was supposed 5297 The conseil stod of his ledinge 5298 Be lawe unto the dom thei bringe, 5299 Wher thei receiven the penance 5300 That longeth to such governance. 5301 And thus thunchaste was chastised, 5302 Wherof thei myhte ben avised 5303 That scholden afterward governe, 5304 And be this evidence lerne, 5305 Hou it is good a king eschuie 5306 The lust of vice and vertu suie. 5307 To make an ende in this partie, 5308 Which toucheth to the Policie 5309 Of Chastite in special, 5310 As for conclusion final 5311 That every lust is to eschue 5312 Be gret ensample I mai argue: 5313 Hou in Rages a toun of Mede 5314 Ther was a Mayde, and as I rede, 5315 Sarra sche hihte, and Raguel 5316 Hir fader was; and so befell, 5317 Of bodi bothe and of visage 5318 Was non so fair of the lignage, 5319 To seche among hem alle, as sche; 5320 Wherof the riche of the cite, 5321 Of lusti folk that couden love, 5322 Assoted were upon hire love, 5323 And asken hire forto wedde. 5324 On was which ate laste spedde, 5325 Bot that was more for likinge, 5326 To have his lust, than for weddinge, 5327 As he withinne his herte caste, 5328 Which him repenteth ate laste. 5329 For so it fell the ferste nyht, 5330 That whanne he was to bedde dyht, 5331 As he which nothing god besecheth 5332 Bot al only hise lustes secheth, 5333 Abedde er he was fully warm 5334 And wolde have take hire in his Arm, 5335 Asmod, which was a fend of helle, 5336 And serveth, as the bokes telle, 5337 To tempte a man of such a wise, 5338 Was redy there, and thilke emprise, 5339 Which he hath set upon delit, 5340 He vengeth thanne in such a plit, 5341 That he his necke hathe writhe atuo. 5342 This yonge wif was sory tho, 5343 Which wiste nothing what it mente; 5344 And natheles yit thus it wente 5345 Noght only of this ferste man, 5346 Bot after, riht as he began, 5347 Sexe othre of hire housebondes 5348 Asmod hath take into hise bondes, 5349 So that thei alle abedde deiden, 5350 Whan thei her hand toward hir leiden, 5351 Noght for the lawe of Mariage, 5352 Bot for that ilke fyri rage 5353 In which that thei the lawe excede: 5354 For who that wolde taken hiede 5355 What after fell in this matiere, 5356 Ther mihte he wel the sothe hiere. 5357 Whan sche was wedded to Thobie, 5358 And Raphael in compainie 5359 Hath tawht him hou to ben honeste, 5360 Asmod wan noght at thilke feste, 5361 And yit Thobie his wille hadde; 5362 For he his lust so goodly ladde, 5363 That bothe lawe and kinde is served, 5364 Wherof he hath himself preserved, 5365 That he fell noght in the sentence. 5366 O which an open evidence 5367 Of this ensample a man mai se, 5368 That whan likinge in the degre 5369 Of Mariage mai forsueie, 5370 Wel oghte him thanne in other weie 5371 Of lust to be the betre avised. 5372 For god the lawes hath assissed 5373 Als wel to reson as to kinde, 5374 Bot he the bestes wolde binde 5375 Only to lawes of nature, 5376 Bot to the mannes creature 5377 God yaf him reson forth withal, 5378 Wherof that he nature schal 5379 Upon the causes modefie, 5380 That he schal do no lecherie, 5381 And yit he schal hise lustes have. 5382 So ben the lawes bothe save 5383 And every thing put out of sclandre; 5384 As whilom to king Alisandre 5385 The wise Philosophre tawhte, 5386 Whan he his ferste lore cawhte, 5387 Noght only upon chastete, 5388 Bot upon alle honestete; 5389 Wherof a king himself mai taste, 5390 Hou trewe, hou large, hou joust, hou chaste 5391 Him oghte of reson forto be, 5392 Forth with the vertu of Pite, 5393 Thurgh which he mai gret thonk deserve 5394 Toward his godd, that he preserve 5395 Him and his poeple in alle welthe 5396 Of pes, richesse, honour and helthe 5397 Hier in this world and elles eke. 5398 Mi Sone, as we tofore spieke 5399 In schrifte, so as thou me seidest, 5400 And for thin ese, as thou me preidest, 5401 Thi love throghes forto lisse, 5402 That I thee wolde telle and wisse 5403 The forme of Aristotles lore, 5404 I have it seid, and somdiel more 5405 Of othre ensamples, to assaie 5406 If I thi peines myhte allaie 5407 Thurgh eny thing that I can seie. 5408 Do wey, mi fader, I you preie: 5409 Of that ye have unto me told 5410 I thonke you a thousendfold. 5411 The tales sounen in myn Ere, 5412 Bot yit min herte is elleswhere, 5413 I mai miselve noght restreigne, 5414 That I nam evere in loves peine: 5415 Such lore couthe I nevere gete, 5416 Which myhte make me foryete 5417 O point, bot if so were I slepte, 5418 That I my tydes ay ne kepte 5419 To thenke of love and of his lawe; 5420 That herte can I noght withdrawe. 5421 Forthi, my goode fader diere, 5422 Lef al and speke of my matiere 5423 Touchende of love, as we begonne: 5424 If that ther be oght overronne 5425 Or oght foryete or left behinde 5426 Which falleth unto loves kinde, 5427 Wherof it nedeth to be schrive, 5428 Nou axeth, so that whil I live 5429 I myhte amende that is mys. 5430 Mi goode diere Sone, yis. 5431 Thi schrifte forto make plein, 5432 Ther is yit more forto sein 5433 Of love which is unavised. 5434 Bot for thou schalt be wel avised 5435 Unto thi schrifte as it belongeth, 5436 A point which upon love hongeth 5437 And is the laste of alle tho, 5438 I wol thee telle, and thanne ho. Explicit Liber Septimus.