The Parson’s Tale

From The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

ParsT 75 Oure sweete Lord God of hevene, that no man wole perisse but wole that
ParsT 75A we comen alle to the knoweleche of hym and to the blisful lif that is perdurable,
ParsT 76 amonesteth us by the prophete Jeremie, that seith in thys wyse:
ParsT 77 “Stondeth upon the weyes, and seeth and axeth of olde pathes (that is to seyn, of olde sentences) which is the goode wey,
ParsT 78 and walketh in that wey, and ye shal fynde refresshynge for youre soules, etc.”
ParsT 79 Manye been the weyes espirituels that leden folk to oure Lord Jhesu Crist and to the regne of glorie.
ParsT 80 Of whiche weyes ther is a ful noble wey and a ful covenable, which may nat fayle to man ne to womman
ParsT 80A that thurgh synne hath mysgoon fro the righte wey of Jerusalem celestial;
ParsT 81 and this wey is cleped Penitence, of which man sholde gladly herknen and enquere with al his herte
ParsT 82 to wyten what is Penitence, and whennes it is cleped Penitence, and in how manye maneres been the acciouns or werkynges of Penitence,
ParsT 83 and how manye speces ther been of Penitence, and whiche thynges apertenen and bihoven to Penitence, and whiche thynges destourben Penitence.
ParsT 84 Seint Ambrose seith that Penitence is the pleynynge of man for the gilt that he hath doon,
ParsT 84A and namoore to do any thyng for which hym oghte to pleyne.
ParsT 85 And som doctour seith, “Penitence is the waymentynge of man that sorweth for his synne and pyneth hymself for he hath mysdoon.”
ParsT 86 Penitence, with certeyne circumstances, is verray repentance of a man that halt hymself in sorwe and oother peyne for his giltes.
ParsT 87 And for he shal be verray penitent, he shal first biwaylen the synnes that he hath doon,
ParsT 87A and stidefastly purposen in his herte to have shrift of mouthe, and to doon satisfaccioun,
ParsT 88 and nevere to doon thyng for which hym oghte moore to biwayle
ParsT 88A or to compleyne, and to continue in goode werkes, or elles his repentance may nat availle.
ParsT 89 For, as seith Seint Ysidre,
ParsT 89A “He is a japere and a gabbere and no verray repentant that eftsoone dooth thyng for which hym oghte repente.”
ParsT 90 Wepynge, and nat for to stynte to do synne, may nat avayle.
ParsT 91 But nathelees, men shal hope that every tyme that man falleth, be it never so ofte,
ParsT 91A that he may arise thurgh Penitence, if he have grace; but certeinly it is greet doute.
ParsT 92 For, as seith Seint Gregorie, “Unnethe ariseth he out of his synne, that is charged with the charge of yvel usage.”
ParsT 93 And therfore repentant folk, that stynte for to synne and forlete synne er that synne forlete hem,
ParsT 93A hooly chirche holdeth hem siker of hire savacioun.
ParsT 94 And he that synneth and verraily repenteth hym in his laste, hooly chirche yet hopeth his savacioun,
ParsT 94A by the grete mercy of oure Lord Jhesu Crist, for his repentaunce; but taak the siker wey.
ParsT 95 And now, sith I have declared yow what thyng is Penitence, now shul ye understonde that ther been three acciouns of Penitence.
ParsT 96 The firste is that if a man be baptized after that he hath synned.
ParsT 97 Seint Augustyn seith, “But he be penytent for his olde synful lyf, he may nat bigynne the newe clene lif.”
ParsT 98 For, certes, if he be baptized withouten penitence of his olde gilt, he receyveth the mark of baptesme
ParsT 98A but nat the grace ne the remission of his synnes, til he have repentance verray.
ParsT 99 Another defaute is this: that men doon deedly synne after that they han receyved baptesme.
ParsT 100 The thridde defaute is that men fallen in venial synnes after hir baptesme fro day to day.
ParsT 101 Therof seith Seint Augustyn that penitence of goode and humble folk is the penitence of every day.
ParsT 102 The speces of Penitence been three. That oon of hem is solempne, another is commune, and the thridde is privee.
ParsT 103 Thilke penance that is solempne is in two maneres;
ParsT 103A as to be put out of hooly chirche in Lente for slaughtre of children, and swich maner thyng.
ParsT 104 Another is, whan a man hath synned openly, of which synne the fame is openly spoken in the contree,
ParsT 104A and thanne hooly chirche by juggement destreyneth hym for to do open penaunce.
ParsT 105 Commune penaunce is that preestes enjoynen men communly in certeyn caas, as for to goon peraventure naked in pilgrimages, or barefoot.
ParsT 106 Pryvee penaunce is thilke that men doon alday for privee synnes, of whiche we shryve us prively and receyve privee penaunce.
ParsT 107 Now shaltow understande what is bihovely and necessarie to verray parfit Penitence. And this stant on three thynges:
ParsT 108 Contricioun of Herte, Confessioun of Mouth, and Satisfaccioun.
ParsT 109 For which seith Seint John Crisostom, “Penitence destreyneth a man to accepte benygnely every peyne that hym is enjoyned,
ParsT 109A with contricioun of herte, and shrift of mouth, with satisfaccioun, and in werkynge of alle manere humylitee.”
ParsT 110 And this is fruytful penitence agayn three thynges in which we wratthe oure Lord Jhesu Crist;
ParsT 111 this is to seyn, by delit in thynkynge, by reccheleesnesse in spekynge, and by wikked synful werkynge.
ParsT 112 And agayns thise wikkede giltes is Penitence, that may be likned unto a tree.
ParsT 113 The roote of this tree is Contricioun, that hideth hym in the herte of hym that is verray repentaunt,
ParsT 113A right as the roote of a tree hydeth hym in the erthe.
ParsT 114 Of the roote of Contricioun spryngeth a stalke that bereth braunches and leves of Confessioun, and fruyt of Satisfaccioun.
ParsT 115 For which Crist seith in his gospel, “Dooth digne fruyt of Penitence”; for by this fruyt may men knowe this tree,
ParsT 115A and nat by the roote that is hyd in the herte of man, ne by the braunches, ne by the leves of Confessioun.
ParsT 116 And therfore oure Lord Jhesu Crist seith thus: “By the fruyt of hem shul ye knowen hem.”
ParsT 117 Of this roote eek spryngeth a seed of grace, the which seed is mooder of sikernesse, and this seed is egre and hoot.
ParsT 118 The grace of this seed spryngeth of God thurgh remembrance of the day of doom and on the peynes of helle.
ParsT 119 Of this matere seith Salomon that in the drede of God man forleteth his synne.
ParsT 120 The heete of this seed is the love of God and the desiryng of the joye perdurable.
ParsT 121 This heete draweth the herte of a man to God and dooth hym haten his synne.
ParsT 122 For soothly ther is nothyng that savoureth so wel to a child as the milk of his norice,
ParsT 122A ne nothyng is to hym moore abhomynable than thilke milk whan it is medled with oother mete.
ParsT 123 Right so the synful man that loveth his synne, hym semeth that it is to him moost sweete of any thyng;
ParsT 124 but fro that tyme that he loveth sadly oure Lord Jhesu Crist,
ParsT 124A and desireth the lif perdurable, ther nys to him no thyng moore abhomynable.
ParsT 125 For soothly the lawe of God is the love of God; for which David the prophete seith.
ParsT 125A “I have loved thy lawe and hated wikkednesse and hate”; he that loveth God kepeth his lawe and his word.
ParsT 126 This tree saugh the prophete Daniel in spirit, upon the avysioun of the kyng Nabugodonosor, whan he conseiled hym to do penitence.
ParsT 127 Penaunce is the tree of lyf to hem that it receyven,
ParsT 127A and he that holdeth hym in verray penitence is blessed, after the sentence of Salomon.
ParsT 128 In this Penitence or Contricioun man shal understonde foure thynges; that is to seyn, what is Contricioun,
ParsT 128A and whiche been the causes that moeven a man to Contricioun, and how he sholde be contrit, and what Contricioun availleth to the soule.
ParsT 129 Thanne is it thus: that Contricioun is the verray sorwe that a man receyveth in his herte for his synnes,
ParsT 129A with sad purpos to shryve hym, and to do penaunce, and neveremoore to do synne.
ParsT 130 And this sorwe shal been in this manere, as seith Seint Bernard:
ParsT 130A “It shal been hevy and grevous, and ful sharp and poynaunt in herte.”
ParsT 131 First, for man hath agilt his Lord and his Creatour; and moore sharp and poynaunt for he hath agilt hys Fader celestial;
ParsT 132 and yet moore sharp and poynaunt for he hath wrathed and agilt hym that boghte hym, that with his precious blood hath delivered us
ParsT 132A fro the bondes of synne, and fro the crueltee of the devel, and fro the peynes of helle.
ParsT 133 The causes that oghte moeve a man to Contricioun been sixe. First a man shal remembre hym of his synnes;
ParsT 134 but looke he that thilke remembraunce ne be to hym no delit by no wey, but greet shame and sorwe for his gilt.
ParsT 134A For Job seith, “Synful men doon werkes worthy of confusioun.”
ParsT 135 And therfore seith Ezechie, “I wol remembre me alle the yeres of my lyf in bitternesse of myn herte.”
ParsT 136 And God seith in the Apocalipse, “Remembreth yow fro whennes that ye been falle”;
ParsT 136A for biforn that tyme that ye synned, ye were the children of God and lymes of the regne of God;
ParsT 137 but for youre synne ye been woxen thral, and foul, and membres of the feend, hate of aungels, sclaundre of hooly chirche,
ParsT 137A and foode of the false serpent, perpetueel matere of the fir of helle;
ParsT 138 and yet moore foul and abhomynable, for ye trespassen so ofte tyme as dooth the hound that retourneth to eten his spewyng.
ParsT 139 And yet be ye fouler for youre longe continuyng in synne and youre synful usage,
ParsT 139A for which ye be roten in youre synne, as a beest in his dong.
ParsT 140 Swiche manere of thoghtes maken a man to have shame of his synne, and no delit, as God seith by the prophete Ezechiel,
ParsT 141 “Ye shal remembre yow of youre weyes, and they shuln displese yow.” Soothly synnes been the weyes that leden folk to helle.
ParsT 142 The seconde cause that oghte make a man to have desdeyn of synne is this:
ParsT 142A that, as seith Seint Peter, “whoso that dooth synne is thral of synne”; and synne put a man in greet thraldom.
ParsT 143 And therfore seith the prophete Ezechiel: “I wente sorweful in desdayn of myself.”
ParsT 143A Certes, wel oghte a man have desdayn of synne and withdrawe hym from that thraldom and vileynye.
ParsT 144 And lo, what seith Seneca in this matere? He seith thus: “Though I wiste that neither God ne man ne sholde nevere knowe it,
ParsT 144A yet wolde I have desdayn for to do synne.”
ParsT 145 And the same Seneca also seith, “I am born to gretter thynges than to be thral to my body,
ParsT 145A or than for to maken of my body a thral.”
ParsT 146 Ne a fouler thral may no man ne womman maken of his body than for to yeven his body to synne.
ParsT 147 Al were it the fouleste cherl or the fouleste womman that lyveth, and leest of value,
ParsT 147A yet is he thanne moore foul and moore in servitute.
ParsT 148 Evere fro the hyer degree that man falleth, the moore is he thral, and moore to God and to the world vile and abhomynable.
ParsT 149 O goode God, wel oghte man have desdayn of synne, sith that thurgh synne ther he was free now is he maked bonde.
ParsT 150 And therfore seyth Seint Augustyn: “If thou hast desdayn of thy servant,
ParsT 150A if he agilte or synne, have thou thanne desdayn that thou thyself sholdest do synne.”
ParsT 151 Tak reward of thy value, that thou ne be to foul to thyself.
ParsT 152 Allas, wel oghten they thanne have desdayn to been servauntz and thralles to synne, and soore been ashamed of hemself
ParsT 153 that God of his endelees goodnesse hath set hem in heigh estaat, or yeven hem wit, strengthe of body, heele, beautee, prosperitee,
ParsT 154 and boghte hem fro the deeth with his herte-blood,
ParsT 154A that they so unkyndely, agayns his gentilesse, quiten hym so vileynsly to slaughtre of hir owene soules.
ParsT 155 O goode God, ye wommen that been of so greet beautee, remembreth yow of the proverbe of Salomon. He seith,
ParsT 156 “Likneth a fair womman that is a fool of hire body
ParsT 156A lyk to a ryng of gold that were in the groyn of a soughe.”
ParsT 157 For right as a soughe wroteth in everich ordure, so wroteth she hire beautee in the stynkynge ordure of synne.
ParsT 158 The thridde cause that oghte moeve a man to Contricioun is drede of the day of doom and of the horrible peynes of helle.
ParsT 159 For as Seint Jerome seith, “At every tyme that me remembreth of the day of doom I quake;
ParsT 160 for whan I ete or drynke, or what so that I do, evere semeth me that the trompe sowneth in myn ere:
ParsT 161 ‘Riseth up, ye that been dede, and cometh to the juggement.'”
ParsT 162 O goode God, muchel oghte a man to drede swich a juggement, “ther as we shullen been alle,”
ParsT 162A as Seint Poul seith, “biforn the seete of oure Lord Jhesu Crist”;
ParsT 163 whereas he shal make a general congregacioun, whereas no man may been absent.
ParsT 164 For certes there availleth noon essoyne ne excusacioun.
ParsT 165 And nat oonly that oure defautes shullen be jugged, but eek that alle oure werkes shullen openly be knowe.
ParsT 166 And, as seith Seint Bernard, “Ther ne shal no pledynge availle, ne no sleighte; we shullen yeven rekenynge of everich ydel word.”
ParsT 167 Ther shul we han a juge that may nat been deceyved ne corrupt. And why?
ParsT 167A For, certes, alle oure thoghtes been discovered as to hym, ne for preyere ne for meede he shal nat been corrupt.
ParsT 168 And therfore seith Salomon, “The wratthe of God ne wol nat spare no wight, for preyere ne for yifte”;
ParsT 168A and therfore, at the day of doom ther nys noon hope to escape.
ParsT 169 Wherfore, as seith Seint Anselm, “Ful greet angwyssh shul the synful folk have at that tyme;
ParsT 170 ther shal the stierne and wrothe juge sitte above, and under hym the horrible pit of helle open to destroyen hym
ParsT 170A that moot biknowen his synnes, whiche synnes openly been shewed biforn God and biforn every creature;
ParsT 171 and in the left syde mo develes than herte may bithynke, for to harye and drawe the synful soules to the peyne of helle;
ParsT 172 and withinne the hertes of folk shal be the bitynge conscience, and withouteforth shal be the world al brennynge.
ParsT 173 Whider shal thanne the wrecched synful man flee to hiden hym? Certes, he may nat hyden hym; he moste come forth and shewen hym.”
ParsT 174 For certes, as seith Seint Jerome, “the erthe shal casten hym out of hym, and the see also,
ParsT 174A and the eyr also, that shal be ful of thonder-clappes and lightnynges.”
ParsT 175 Now soothly, whoso wel remembreth hym of thise thynges, I gesse that his synne shal nat turne hym into delit,
ParsT 175A but to greet sorwe for drede of the peyne of helle.
ParsT 176 And therfore seith Job to God, “Suffre, Lord, that I may a while biwaille and wepe,
ParsT 176A er I go withoute returnyng to the derke lond, covered with the derknesse of deeth,
ParsT 177 to the lond of mysese and of derknesse, whereas is the shadwe of deeth,
ParsT 177A whereas ther is noon ordre or ordinaunce but grisly drede that evere shal laste.”
ParsT 178 Loo, heere may ye seen that Job preyde respit a while to biwepe and waille his trespas,
ParsT 178A for soothly oo day of respit is bettre than al the tresor of this world.
ParsT 179 And forasmuche as a man may acquiten hymself biforn God by penitence in this world, and nat by tresor,
ParsT 179A therfore sholde he preye to God to yeve hym respit a while to biwepe and biwaillen his trespas.
ParsT 180 For certes, al the sorwe that a man myghte make fro the bigynnyng of the world
ParsT 180A nys but a litel thyng at regard of the sorwe of helle.
ParsT 181 The cause why that Job clepeth helle the “lond of derkness.”:
ParsT 182 understondeth that he clepeth it “lond” or erthe, for it is stable and nevere shal faille; “derk,”
ParsT 182A for he that is in helle hath defaute of light material.
ParsT 183 For certes, the derke light that shal come out of the fyr that evere shal brenne
ParsT 183A shal turne hym al to peyne that is in helle for it sheweth him to the horrible develes that hym tormenten.
ParsT 184 “Covered with the derknesse of deeth” — that is to seyn, that
ParsT 184A he that is in helle shal have defaute of the sighte of God, for certes the sighte of God is the lyf perdurable.
ParsT 185 “The derknesse of deeth” been the synnes that the wrecched man hath doon, whiche that destourben hym to see the face of God,
ParsT 185A right as dooth a derk clowde bitwixe us and the sonne.
ParsT 186 “Lond of misese,” by cause that ther been three maneres of defautes,
ParsT 186A agayn three thynges that folk of this world han in this present lyf; that is to seyn, honours, delices, and richesses.
ParsT 187 Agayns honour, have they in helle shame and confusioun.
ParsT 188 For wel ye woot that men clepen honour the reverence that man doth to man, but in helle is noon honour ne reverence.
ParsT 188A For certes, namoore reverence shal be doon there to a kyng than to a knave.
ParsT 189 For which God seith by the prophete Jeremye, “Thilke folk that me despisen shul been in despit.”
ParsT 190 Honour is eek cleped greet lordshipe; ther shal no wight serven other, but of harm
ParsT 190A and torment. Honour is eek cleped greet dignytee and heighnesse, but in helle shul they been al fortroden of develes.
ParsT 191 And God seith, “The horrible develes shulle goon and comen upon the hevedes of the dampned folk.” And this is for as muche as
ParsT 191A the hyer that they were in this present lyf, the moore shulle they been abated and defouled in helle.
ParsT 192 Agayns the richesse of this world shul they han mysese of poverte, and this poverte shal been in foure thynges:
ParsT 193 In defaute of tresor, of which that David seith, “The riche folk, that embraceden and oneden al hire herte to tresor of this world,
ParsT 193A shul slepe in the slepynge of deeth; and nothyng ne shal they fynden in hir handes of al hir tresor.”
ParsT 194 And mooreover the myseyse of helle shal been in defaute of mete and drinke.
ParsT 195 For God seith thus by Moyses: “They shul been wasted with hunger, and the briddes of helle shul devouren hem with bitter deeth,
ParsT 195A and the galle of the dragon shal been hire drynke, and the venym of the dragon hire morsels.”
ParsT 196 And forther over, hire myseyse shal been in defaute of clothyng, for they shulle be naked in body as of clothyng,
ParsT 196A save the fyr in which they brenne, and othere filthes;
ParsT 197 and naked shul they been of soule, as of alle manere vertues, which that is the clothyng of the soule.
ParsT 197A Where been thanne the gaye robes, and the softe shetes, and the smale shertes?
ParsT 198 Loo, what seith God of hem by the prophete Ysaye: that
ParsT 198A “under hem shul been strawed motthes, and hire covertures shulle been of wormes of helle.”
ParsT 199 And forther over, hir myseyse shal been in defaute of freendes.
ParsT 199A For he nys nat povre that hath goode freendes; but there is no frend,
ParsT 200 for neither God ne no creature shal been freend to hem, and everich of hem shal haten oother with deedly hate.
ParsT 201 “The sones and the doghtren shullen rebellen agayns fader and mooder, and kynrede agayns kynrede, and chiden
ParsT 201A and despisen everich of hem oother bothe day and nyght,” as God seith by the prophete Michias.
ParsT 202 And the lovynge children, that whilom loveden so flesshly everich oother, wolden everich of hem eten oother if they myghte.
ParsT 203 For how sholden they love hem togidre in the peyne of helle,
ParsT 203A whan they hated everich of hem oother in the prosperitee of this lyf?
ParsT 204 For truste wel, hir flesshly love was deedly hate, as seith the prophete David: “Whoso that loveth wikkednesse, he hateth his soule.”
ParsT 205 And whoso hateth his owene soule, certes, he may love noon oother wight in no manere.
ParsT 206 And therfore, in helle is no solas ne no freendshipe, but evere the moore flesshly kynredes that been in helle,
ParsT 206A the moore cursynges, the more chidynges, and the moore deedly hate ther is among hem.
ParsT 207 And forther over, they shul have defaute of alle manere delices.
ParsT 207A For certes, delices been after the appetites of the fyve wittes, as sighte, herynge, smellynge, savorynge, and touchynge.
ParsT 208 But in helle hir sighte shal be ful of derknesse and of smoke,
ParsT 208A and therfore ful of teeres; and hir herynge ful of waymentynge and of gryntynge of teeth, as seith Jhesu Crist.
ParsT 209 Hir nose-thirles shullen be ful of stynkynge stynk; and, as seith Ysaye the prophete, “hir savoryng shal be ful of bitter galle”;
ParsT 210 and touchynge of al hir body ycovered with “fir
ParsT 210A that nevere shal quenche and with wormes that nevere shul dyen,”
ParsT 210B as God seith by the mouth of Ysaye.
ParsT 211 And for as muche as they shul nat wene that they may dyen for peyne, and by hir deeth flee fro peyne,
ParsT 211A that may they understonden by the word of Job, that seith, “ther as is the shadwe of deeth.”
ParsT 212 Certes, a shadwe hath the liknesse of the thyng of which it is shadwe,
ParsT 212A but shadwe is nat the same thyng of which it is shadwe.
ParsT 213 Right so fareth the peyne of helle; it is lyk deeth for the horrible angwissh, and why?
ParsT 213A For it peyneth hem evere, as though they sholde dye anon; but certes, they shal nat dye.
ParsT 214 For, as seith Seint Gregorie, “To wrecche caytyves shal be deeth withoute deeth, and ende withouten ende, and defaute withoute failynge.
ParsT 215 For hir deeth shal alwey lyven, and hir ende shal everemo bigynne, and hir defaute shal nat faille.”
ParsT 216 And therfore seith Seint John the Evaungelist, “They shullen folwe deeth,
ParsT 216A and they shul nat fynde hym; and they shul desiren to dye, and deeth shal flee fro hem.”
ParsT 217 And eek Job seith that in helle is noon ordre of rule.
ParsT 218 And al be it so that God hath creat alle thynges in right ordre, and no thyng withouten ordre,
ParsT 218A but alle thynges been ordeyned and nombred; yet, nathelees, they that been dampned been nothyng in ordre, ne holden noon ordre,
ParsT 219 for the erthe ne shal bere hem no fruyt.
ParsT 220 For, as the prophete David seith, “God shal destroie the fruyt of the erthe as fro hem;
ParsT 220A ne water ne shal yeve hem no moisture, ne the eyr no refresshyng, ne fyr no light.”
ParsT 221 For, as seith Seint Basilie, “The brennynge of the fyr of this world shal God yeven in helle to hem that been dampned,
ParsT 222 but the light and the cleernesse shal be yeven in hevene to his children,”
ParsT 222A right as the goode man yeveth flessh to his children and bones to his houndes.
ParsT 223 And for they shullen have noon hope to escape, seith Seint Job atte laste that “ther shal horrour and grisly drede dwellen withouten ende.”
ParsT 224 Horrour is alwey drede of harm that is to come, and this drede shal evere dwelle in the hertes of hem that been dampned.
ParsT 224A And therfore han they lorn al hire hope, for sevene causes.
ParsT 225 First, for God, that is hir juge, shal be withouten mercy to hem; and they may nat plese hym ne noon of his halwes;
ParsT 225A ne they ne may yeve no thyng for hir raunsoun;
ParsT 226 ne they have no voys to speke to hym; ne they may nat fle fro peyne;
ParsT 226A ne they have no goodnesse in hem, that they mowe shewe to delivere hem fro peyne.
ParsT 227 And therfore seith Salomon: “The wikked man dyeth, and whan he is deed, he shal have noon hope to escape fro peyne.”
ParsT 228 Whoso thanne wolde wel understande thise peynes and bithynke hym weel that he hath deserved thilke peynes for his synnes,
ParsT 228A certes, he sholde have moore talent to siken and to wepe than for to syngen and to pleye.
ParsT 229 For, as that seith Salomon, “Whoso that hadde the science to knowe the peynes
ParsT 229A that been establissed and ordeyned for synne, he wolde make sorwe.”
ParsT 230 “Thilke science,” as seith Seint Augustyn, “maketh a man to waymenten in his herte.”
ParsT 231 The fourthe point that oghte maken a man to have contricion is the sorweful remembraunce of the good
ParsT 231A that he hath left to doon heere in erthe, and eek the good that he hath lorn.
ParsT 232 Soothly, the goode werkes that he hath lost, outher they been the goode werkes that he wroghte er he fel into deedly synne
ParsT 232A or elles the goode werkes that he wroghte while he lay in synne.
ParsT 233 Soothly, the goode werkes that he dide biforn that he fil in synne been al mortefied and astoned and dulled by the ofte synnyng.
ParsT 234 The othere goode werkes, that he wroghte whil he lay in deedly synne,
ParsT 234A thei been outrely dede, as to the lyf perdurable in hevene.
ParsT 235 Thanne thilke goode werkes that been mortefied by ofte synnyng,
ParsT 235A whiche goode werkes he dide whil he was in charitee, ne mowe nevere quyken agayn withouten verray penitence.
ParsT 236 And therof seith God by the mouth of Ezechiel, that
ParsT 236A “if the rightful man returne agayn from his rightwisnesse and werke wikkednesse, shal he lyve?”
ParsT 237 Nay, for alle the goode werkes that he hath wroght ne shul nevere been in remembraunce, for he shal dyen in his synne.
ParsT 238 And upon thilke chapitre seith Seint Gregorie thus: that “we shulle understonde this principally;
ParsT 239 that whan we doon deedly synne,
ParsT 239A it is for noght thanne to rehercen or drawen into memorie the goode werkes that we han wroght biforn.”
ParsT 240 For certes, in the werkynge of the deedly synne, ther is no trust to no good werk that we han doon biforn;
ParsT 240A that is to seyn, as for to have therby the lyf perdurable in hevene.
ParsT 241 But nathelees, the goode werkes quyken agayn, and comen agayn, and helpen,
ParsT 241A and availlen to have the lyf perdurable in hevene, whan we han contricioun.
ParsT 242 But soothly, the goode werkes that men doon whil they been in deedly synne,
ParsT 242A for as muche as they were doon in deedly synne, they may nevere quyke agayn.
ParsT 243 For certes, thyng that nevere hadde lyf may nevere quykene; and nathelees, al be it that they ne availle noght to han the lyf perdurable,
ParsT 243A yet availlen they to abregge of the peyne of helle, or elles to geten temporal richesse,
ParsT 244 or elles that God wole the rather enlumyne and lightne the herte of the synful man to have repentaunce;
ParsT 245 and eek they availlen for to usen a man to doon goode werkes, that the feend have the lasse power of his soule.
ParsT 246 And thus the curteis Lord Jhesu Crist ne wole that no good werk be lost, for in somwhat it shal availle.
ParsT 247 But, for as muche as the goode werkes that men doon whil they been in good lyf been al mortefied by synne folwynge,
ParsT 247A and eek sith that alle the goode werkes that men doon whil they been in deedly synne been outrely dede
ParsT 247B as for to have the lyf perdurable,
ParsT 248 wel may that man that no good werk ne dooth synge thilke newe Frenshe song, “Jay tout perdu mon temps et mon labour.”
ParsT 249 For certes, synne bireveth a man bothe goodnesse of nature and eek the goodnesse of grace.
ParsT 250 For soothly, the grace of the Hooly Goost fareth lyk fyr, that may nat been ydel;
ParsT 250A for fyr fayleth anoon as it forleteth his wirkynge, and right so grace fayleth anoon as it forleteth his werkynge.
ParsT 251 Then leseth the synful man the goodnesse of glorie, that oonly is bihight to goode men that labouren and werken.
ParsT 252 Wel may he be sory thanne, that oweth al his lif to God as longe as he hath lyved, and eek as longe
ParsT 252A as he shal lyve, that no goodnesse ne hath to paye with his dette to God to whom he oweth al his lyf.
ParsT 253 For trust wel, “He shal yeven acountes,” as seith Seint Bernard,
ParsT 253A “of alle the goodes that han be yeven hym in this present lyf, and how he hath hem despended,
ParsT 254 [in] so muche that ther shal nat perisse an heer of his heed, ne a moment of an houre
ParsT 254A ne shal nat perisse of his tyme, that he ne shal yeve of it a rekenyng.”
ParsT 255 The fifthe thyng that oghte moeve a man to contricioun
ParsT 255A is remembrance of the passioun that oure Lord Jhesu Crist suffred for oure synnes.
ParsT 256 For, as seith Seint Bernard, “Whil that I lyve I shal have remembrance of the travailles that oure Lord Crist suffred in prechyng:
ParsT 257 his werynesse in travaillyng, his temptaciouns whan he fasted, his longe wakynges
ParsT 257A whan he preyde, hise teeres whan that he weep for pitee of good peple,
ParsT 258 the wo and the shame and the filthe that men seyden to hym, of the foule spittyng that men spitte in his face,
ParsT 258A of the buffettes that men yaven hym, of the foule mowes, and of the repreves that men to hym seyden,
ParsT 259 of the nayles with whiche he was nayled to the croys,
ParsT 259A and of al the remenant of his passioun that he suffred for my synnes, and no thyng for his gilt.”
ParsT 260 And ye shul understonde that in mannes synne is every manere of ordre or ordinaunce turned up-so-doun.
ParsT 261 For it is sooth that God, and resoun, and sensualitee, and the body of man been so ordeyned
ParsT 261A that everich of thise foure thynges sholde have lordshipe over that oother,
ParsT 262 as thus: God sholde have lordshipe over resoun, and resoun over sensualitee, and sensualitee over the body of man.
ParsT 263 But soothly, whan man synneth, al this ordre or ordinaunce is turned up-so-doun.
ParsT 264 And therfore thanne, for as muche as the resoun of man ne wol nat be subget ne obeisant to God, that is
ParsT 264A his lord by right, therfore leseth it the lordshipe that it sholde have over sensualitee, and eek over the body of man.
ParsT 265 And why? For sensualitee rebelleth thanne agayns resoun, and by that way leseth resoun the lordshipe over sensualitee and over the body.
ParsT 266 For right as resoun is rebel to God, right so is bothe sensualitee rebel to resoun and the body also.
ParsT 267 And certes this disordinaunce and this rebellioun oure Lord Jhesu Crist aboghte upon his precious body ful deere, and herkneth in which wise.
ParsT 268 For as muche thanne as resoun is rebel to God, therfore is man worthy to have sorwe and to be deed.
ParsT 269 This suffred oure Lord Jhesu Crist for man, after that he hadde be bitraysed of his disciple, and distreyned and bounde
ParsT 269A so that his blood brast out at every nayl of his handes, as seith Seint Augustyn.
ParsT 270 And forther over, for as muchel as resoun of man ne wol nat daunte sensualitee whan it may,
ParsT 270A therfore is man worthy to have shame; and this suffred oure Lord Jhesu Crist for man, whan they spetten in his visage.
ParsT 271 And forther over, for as muchel thanne as the caytyf body of man is rebel bothe to resoun and to sensualitee,
ParsT 271A therfore is it worthy the deeth.
ParsT 272 And this suffred oure Lord Jhesu Crist for man upon the croys,
ParsT 272A where as ther was no part of his body free withouten greet peyne and bitter passioun.
ParsT 273 And al this suffred Jhesu Crist, that nevere forfeted. And therfore resonably may be seyd of Jhesu in this manere:
ParsT 273A “To muchel am I peyned for the thynges that I nevere deserved, and to muche defouled for shendshipe that man is worthy to have.”
ParsT 274 And therfore may the synful man wel seye, as seith Seint Bernard,
ParsT 274A “Acursed be the bitternesse of my synne, for which ther moste be suffred so muchel bitternesse.”
ParsT 275 For certes, after the diverse [disordinaunces] of oure wikkednesses was the passioun of Jhesu Crist ordeyned in diverse thynges.
ParsT 276 As thus: Certes, synful mannes soule is bitraysed of the devel by coveitise of temporeel prosperitee, and scorned by deceite
ParsT 276A whan he cheseth flesshly delices; and yet is it tormented by inpacience of adversitee and bispet by servage and subjeccioun of synne;
ParsT 276B and atte laste it is slayn fynally.
ParsT 277 For this disordinaunce of synful man was Jhesu Crist first bitraysed,
ParsT 277A and after that was he bounde, that cam for to unbynden us of synne and peyne.
ParsT 278 Thanne was he byscorned, that oonly sholde han been honoured in alle thynges and of alle thynges.
ParsT 279 Thanne was his visage, that oghte be desired to be seyn of al mankynde, in which visage aungels desiren to looke, vileynsly bispet.
ParsT 280 Thanne was he scourged, that no thyng hadde agilt; and finally, thanne was he crucified and slayn.
ParsT 281 Thanne was acompliced the word of Ysaye, “He was wounded for oure mysdedes and defouled for oure felonies.”
ParsT 282 Now sith that Jhesu Crist took upon hymself the peyne of alle oure wikkednesses, muchel oghte synful man wepen and biwayle,
ParsT 282A that for his synnes Goddes sone of hevene sholde al this peyne endure.
ParsT 283 The sixte thyng that oghte moeve a man to contricioun is the hope of three thynges; that is to seyn, foryifnesse of synne,
ParsT 283A and the yifte of grace wel for to do, and the glorie of hevene, with which God shal gerdone man for his goode dedes.
ParsT 284 And for as muche as Jhesu Crist yeveth us thise yiftes of his largesse and of his sovereyn bountee,
ParsT 284A therfore is he cleped Jhesus Nazarenus rex Judeorum.
ParsT 285 Jhesus is to seyn “saveour” or “salvacioun,” on whom men shul hope to have foryifnesse of synnes, which that is proprely salvacioun of synnes.
ParsT 286 And therfore seyde the aungel to Joseph, “Thou shalt clepen his name Jhesus, that shal saven his peple of hir synnes.”
ParsT 287 And heerof seith Seint Peter: “Ther is noon oother name under hevene
ParsT 287A that is yeve to any man, by which a man may be saved, but oonly Jhesus.”
ParsT 288 Nazarenus is as muche for to seye as “florisshynge,” in which a man shal hope that
ParsT 288A he that yeveth hym remissioun of synnes shal yeve hym eek grace wel for to do.
ParsT 288B For in the flour is hope of fruyt in tyme comynge, and in foryifnesse of synnes hope of grace wel for to do.
ParsT 289 “I was atte dore of thyn herte,” seith Jhesus, “and cleped for to entre. He that openeth to me shal have foryifnesse of synne.
ParsT 290 I wol entre into hym by my grace and soupe with hym,” by the goode werkes that he shal doon,
ParsT 290A whiche werkes been the foode of God; “and he shal soupe with me” by the grete joye that I shal yeven hym.
ParsT 291 Thus shal man hope, for his werkes of penaunce that God shal yeven hym his regne, as he bihooteth hym in the gospel.
ParsT 292 Now shal a man understonde in which manere shal been his contricioun. I seye that it shal been universal and total.
ParsT 292A This is to seyn, a man shal be verray repentaunt for alle his synnes that he hath doon
ParsT 292B in delit of his thoght, for delit is ful perilous.
ParsT 293 For ther been two manere of consentynges: that oon of hem is cleped consentynge of affeccioun,
ParsT 293A whan a man is moeved to do synne, and deliteth hym longe for to thynke on that synne;
ParsT 294 and his reson aperceyveth it wel that it is synne agayns the lawe of God,
ParsT 294A and yet his resoun refreyneth nat his foul delit or talent, though he se wel apertly that it is agayns the reverence of God.
ParsT 294B Although his resoun ne consente noght to doon that synne in dede,
ParsT 295 yet seyn somme doctours that swich delit that dwelleth longe, it is ful perilous, al be it nevere so lite.
ParsT 296 And also a man sholde sorwe namely for al that evere he hath desired agayn the lawe of God
ParsT 296A with parfit consentynge of his resoun, for therof is no doute, that it is deedly synne in consentynge.
ParsT 297 For certes, ther is no deedly synne that it nas first in mannes thought
ParsT 297A and after that in his delit, and so forth into consentynge and into dede.
ParsT 298 Wherfore I seye that many men ne repenten hem nevere of swiche thoghtes and delites,
ParsT 298A ne nevere shryven hem of it, but oonly of the dede of grete synnes outward.
ParsT 299 Wherfore I seye that swiche wikked delites and wikked thoghtes been subtile bigileres of hem that shullen be dampned.
ParsT 300 Mooreover, man oghte to sorwe for his wikkede wordes as wel as for his wikkede dedes.
ParsT 300A For certes, the repentaunce of a synguler synne, and nat repente of alle his othere synnes,
ParsT 300B or elles repenten hym of alle his othere synnes and nat of a synguler synne, may nat availle.
ParsT 301 For certes, God almyghty is al good, and therfore he foryeveth al or elles right noght.
ParsT 302 And heerof seith Seint Augustyn,
ParsT 303 “I wot certeynly that God is enemy to everich synnere.” And how thanne?
ParsT 303A He that observeth o synne, shal he have foryifnesse of the remenaunt of his othere synnes? Nay.
ParsT 304 And forther over, contricioun sholde be wonder sorweful and angwissous; and therfore yeveth hym God pleynly his mercy;
ParsT 304A and therfore, whan my soule was angwissous withinne me, I hadde remembrance of God that my preyere myghte come to hym.
ParsT 305 Forther over, contricioun moste be continueel, and that man have stedefast purpos to shriven hym, and for to amenden hym of his lyf.
ParsT 306 For soothly, whil contricioun lasteth, man may evere have hope of foryifnesse;
ParsT 306A and of this comth hate of synne, that destroyeth synne, bothe in himself and eek in oother folk at his power.
ParsT 307 For which seith David: “Ye that loven God, hateth wikkednesse.”
ParsT 307A For trusteth wel, to love God is for to love that he loveth, and hate that he hateth.
ParsT 308 The laste thyng that men shal understonde in contricioun is this:
ParsT 308A wherof avayleth contricioun. I seye that somtyme contricioun delivereth a man fro synne;
ParsT 309 of which that David seith, “I seye,” quod David (that is to seyn,
ParsT 309A I purposed fermely) “to shryve me, and thow, Lord, relessedest my synne.”
ParsT 310 And right so as contricion availleth noght withouten sad purpos of shrifte,
ParsT 310A if man have oportunitee, right so litel worth is shrifte or satisfaccioun withouten contricioun.
ParsT 311 And mooreover contricion destroyeth the prisoun of helle, and maketh wayk and fieble alle the strengthes of the develes,
ParsT 311A and restoreth the yiftes of the Hooly Goost and of alle goode vertues;
ParsT 312 and it clenseth the soule of synne, and delivereth the soule fro the peyne of helle, and fro the compaignye of the devel,
ParsT 312A and fro the servage of synne, and restoreth it to alle goodes espirituels, and to the compaignye and communyoun of hooly chirche.
ParsT 313 And forther over, it maketh hym that whilom was sone of ire to be sone of grace;
ParsT 313A and alle thise thynges been preved by hooly writ.
ParsT 314 And therfore, he that wolde sette his entente to thise thynges, he were ful wys;
ParsT 314A for soothly he ne sholde nat thanne in al his lyf have corage to synne,
ParsT 314B but yeven his body and al his herte to the service of Jhesu Crist, and therof doon hym hommage.
ParsT 315 For soothly oure sweete Lord Jhesu Crist hath spared us so debonairly in oure folies that
ParsT 315A if he ne hadde pitee of mannes soule, a sory song we myghten alle synge.
ParsT 316 The seconde partie of Penitence is Confessioun, that is signe of contricioun.
ParsT 317 Now shul ye understonde what is Confessioun,
ParsT 317A and wheither it oghte nedes be doon or noon, and whiche thynges been covenable to verray Confessioun.
ParsT 318 First shaltow understonde that Confessioun is verray shewynge of synnes to the preest.
ParsT 319 This is to seyn “verray,” for he moste confessen hym of alle the condiciouns that bilongen to his synne, as ferforth as he kan.
ParsT 320 Al moot be seyd, and no thyng excused ne hyd ne forwrapped, and noght avaunte thee of thy goode werkes.
ParsT 321 And forther over, it is necessarie to understonde whennes that synnes spryngen, and how they encreessen, and whiche they been.
ParsT 322 Of the spryngynge of synnes seith Seint Paul in this wise: that “Right as by a man synne entred first into this world,
ParsT 322A and thurgh that synne deeth, right so thilke deeth entred into alle men that synneden.”
ParsT 323 And this man was Adam, by whom synne entred into this world, whan he brak the comaundementz of God.
ParsT 324 And therfore, he that first was so myghty that he sholde nat have dyed, bicam swich oon that he moste nedes dye,
ParsT 324A wheither he wolde or noon, and al his progenye in this world, that in thilke man synneden.
ParsT 325 Looke that in th’ estaat of innocence, whan Adam and Eve naked weren in Paradys, and nothyng ne hadden shame of hir nakednesse,
ParsT 326 how that the serpent, that was moost wily of alle othere beestes that God hadde maked, seyde to the womman,
ParsT 326A “Why comaunded God to yow ye sholde nat eten of every tree in Paradys?”
ParsT 327 The womman answerde: “Of the fruyt,” quod she, “of the trees in Paradys we feden us,
ParsT 327A but soothly, of the fruyt of the tree that is in the myddel of Paradys, God forbad us for to ete,
ParsT 327B ne nat touchen it, lest per aventure we sholde dyen.”
ParsT 328 The serpent seyde to the womman, “Nay, nay, ye shul nat dyen of deeth; for sothe, God woot that
ParsT 328A what day that ye eten therof, youre eyen shul opene and ye shul been as goddes, knowynge good and harm.”
ParsT 329 The womman thanne saugh that the tree was good to feedyng, and fair to the eyen, and delitable to the sighte.
ParsT 329A She took of the fruyt of the tree, and eet it, and yaf to hire housbonde,
ParsT 329B and he eet, and anoon the eyen of hem bothe openeden.
ParsT 330 And whan that they knewe that they were naked, they sowed of fige leves a maner of breches to hiden hire membres.
ParsT 331 There may ye seen that deedly synne hath, first, suggestion of the feend, as sheweth heere by the naddre;
ParsT 331A and afterward, the delit of the flessh, as sheweth heere by Eve; and after that, the consentynge of resoun, as sheweth heere by Adam.
ParsT 332 For trust wel, though so were that the feend tempted Eve — that is to seyn, the flessh —
ParsT 332A and the flessh hadde delit in the beautee of the fruyt defended, yet certes, til that resoun — that is to seyn, Adam —
ParsT 332B consented to the etynge of the fruyt, yet stood he in th’ estaat of innocence.
ParsT 333 Of thilke Adam tooke we thilke synne original,
ParsT 333A for of hym flesshly descended be we alle, and engendred of vile and corrupt mateere.
ParsT 334 And whan the soule is put in oure body, right anon is contract original synne;
ParsT 334A and that that was erst but oonly peyne of concupiscence is afterward bothe peyne and synne.
ParsT 335 And therfore be we alle born sones of wratthe and of dampnacioun perdurable, if it nere baptesme that we receyven,
ParsT 335A which bynymeth us the culpe. But for sothe, the peyne dwelleth with us, as to temptacioun, which peyne highte concupiscence.
ParsT 336 And this concupiscence, whan it is wrongfully disposed or ordeyned in man, it maketh hym coveite, by coveitise of flessh,
ParsT 336A flesshly synne, by sighte of his eyen as to erthely thynges, and eek coveitise of hynesse by pride of herte.
ParsT 337 Now, as for to speken of the firste coveitise, that is concupiscence, after the lawe of oure membres
ParsT 337A that weren lawefulliche ymaked and by rightful juggement of God,
ParsT 338 I seye, forasmuche as man is nat obeisaunt to God, that is his lord,
ParsT 338A therfore is the flessh to hym disobeisaunt thurgh concupiscence, which yet is cleped norrissynge of synne and occasioun of synne.
ParsT 339 Therfore, al the while that a man hath in hym the peyne of concupiscence,
ParsT 339A it is impossible but he be tempted somtime and moeved in his flessh to synne.
ParsT 340 And this thyng may nat faille as longe as he lyveth.
ParsT 340A it may wel wexe fieble and faille by vertu of baptesme and by the grace of God thurgh penitence,
ParsT 341 but fully ne shal it nevere quenche, that he ne shal som tyme be moeved in hymself,
ParsT 341A but if he were al refreyded by siknesse, or by malefice of sorcerie, or colde drynkes.
ParsT 342 For lo, what seith Seint Paul: “The flessh coveiteth agayn the spirit, and the spirit agayn the flessh;
ParsT 342A they been so contrarie and so stryven that a man may nat alway doon as he wolde.”
ParsT 343 The same Seint Paul, after his grete penaunce in water and in lond —
ParsT 343B in water by nyght and by day in greet peril and in greet peyne;
ParsT 343C in lond, in famyne and thurst, in coold and cloothlees, and ones stoned almoost to the deeth
ParsT 344 — yet seyde he, “Allas, I caytyf man! Who shal delivere me fro the prisoun of my caytyf body?”
ParsT 345 And Seint Jerome, whan he longe tyme hadde woned in desert, where as he hadde no compaignye but of wilde beestes,
ParsT 345A where as he ne hadde no mete but herbes, and water to his drynke, ne no bed but the naked erthe,
ParsT 345B for which his flessh was blak as an Ethiopeen for heete, and ny destroyed for coold,
ParsT 346 yet seyde he that “the brennynge of lecherie boyled in al his body.”
ParsT 347 Wherfore I woot wel sykerly that they been deceyved that seyn that they ne be nat tempted in hir body.
ParsT 348 Witnesse on Seint Jame the Apostel, that seith that “every wight is tempted in his owene concupiscence”; that is to seyn,
ParsT 348A that everich of us hath matere and occasioun to be tempted of the norissynge of synne that is in his body.
ParsT 349 And therfore seith Seint John the Evaungelist, “If that we seyn that we be withoute synne,
ParsT 349A we deceyve us selve, and trouthe is nat in us.”
ParsT 350 Now shal ye understonde in what manere that synne wexeth or encreesseth in man.
ParsT 350A The firste thyng is thilke norissynge of synne of which I spak biforn, thilke flesshly concupiscence.
ParsT 351 And after that comth the subjeccioun of the devel —
ParsT 351A this is to seyn, the develes bely, with which he bloweth in man the fir of flesshly concupiscence.
ParsT 352 And after that, a man bithynketh hym wheither he wol doon or no thilke thing to which he is tempted.
ParsT 353 And thanne, if that a man withstonde and weyve the firste entisynge of his flessh and of the feend,
ParsT 353A thanne is it no synne; and if it so be that he do nat so, thanne feeleth he anoon a flambe of delit.
ParsT 354 And thanne is it good to be war and kepen hym wel,
ParsT 354A or elles he wol falle anon into consentynge of synne; and thanne wol he do it, if he may have tyme and place.
ParsT 355 And of this matere seith Moyses by the devel in this manere: “The feend seith,
ParsT 355A ‘I wole chace and pursue the man by wikked suggestioun, and I wole hente hym by moevynge or stirynge of synne.
ParsT 355B And I wol departe my prise or my praye by deliberacioun, and my lust shal been acompliced in delit.
ParsT 355C I wol drawe my swerd in consentyng.'” —
ParsT 356 for certes, right as a swerd departeth a thyng in two peces, right so consentynge departeth God fro man —
ParsT 356A “‘and thanne wol I sleen hym with myn hand in dede of synne’; thus seith the feend.”
ParsT 357 For certes, thanne is a man al deed in soule.
ParsT 357A And thus is synne acompliced by temptacioun, by delit, and by consentynge; and thanne is the synne cleped actueel.
ParsT 358 For sothe, synne is in two maneres; outher it is venial or deedly synne.
ParsT 358A Soothly, whan man loveth any creature moore than Jhesu Crist oure Creatour, thanne is it deedly synne.
ParsT 358B And venial synne is it, if man love Jhesu Crist lasse than hym oghte.
ParsT 359 For sothe, the dede of this venial synne is ful perilous,
ParsT 359A for it amenuseth the love that men sholde han to God moore and moore.
ParsT 360 And therfore, if a man charge hymself with manye swiche venial synnes,
ParsT 360A certes, but if so be that he somtyme descharge hym of hem by shrifte,
ParsT 360B they mowe ful lightly amenuse in hym al the love that he hath to Jhesu Crist;
ParsT 361 and in this wise skippeth venial into deedly synne. For certes, the moore that a man chargeth his soule with venial synnes,
ParsT 361A the moore is he enclyned to fallen into deedly synne.
ParsT 362 And therfore lat us nat be necligent to deschargen us of venial synnes. For the proverbe seith that “Manye smale maken a greet.”
ParsT 363 And herkne this ensample. A greet wawe of the see comth som tyme with so greet a violence that it drencheth the ship.
ParsT 363A And the same harm doon som tyme the smale dropes of water, that entren thurgh a litel crevace into the thurrok,
ParsT 363B and in the botme of the ship, if men be so necligent that they ne descharge hem nat by tyme.
ParsT 364 And therfore, although ther be a difference bitwixe thise two causes of drenchynge, algates the ship is dreynt.
ParsT 365 Right so fareth it somtyme of deedly synne, and of anoyouse veniale synnes,
ParsT 365A whan they multiplie in a man so greetly that [the love of] thilke worldly thynges that he loveth,
ParsT 365B thurgh whiche he synneth venyally, is as greet in his herte as the love of God, or moore.
ParsT 366 And therfore, the love of every thyng that is nat biset in God, ne doon principally for Goddes sake,
ParsT 366A although that a man love it lasse than God, yet is it venial synne;
ParsT 367 and deedly synne whan the love of any thyng weyeth in the herte of man as muchel as the love of God, or moore.
ParsT 368 “Deedly synne,” as seith Seint Augustyn, “is whan a man turneth his herte fro God,
ParsT 368A which that is verray sovereyn bountee, that may nat chaunge, and yeveth his herte to thyng that may chaunge and flitte.”
ParsT 369 And certes, that is every thyng save God of hevene.
ParsT 369A For sooth is that if a man yeve his love, the which that he oweth al to God with al his herte, unto a creature,
ParsT 369B certes, as muche of his love as he yeveth to thilke creature, so muche he bireveth fro God;
ParsT 370 and therfore dooth he synne. For he that is dettour to God ne yeldeth nat to God al his dette;
ParsT 370A that is to seyn, al the love of his herte.
ParsT 371 Now sith man understondeth generally which is venial synne, thanne is it covenable to tellen specially of synnes whiche that many
ParsT 371A a man peraventure ne demeth hem nat synnes, and ne shryveth him nat of the same thynges, and yet natheless they been synnes
ParsT 372 soothly, as thise clerkes writen; this is to seyn, that at every tyme that a man eteth or drynketh
ParsT 372A moore than suffiseth to the sustenaunce of his body, in certein he dooth synne.
ParsT 373 And eek whan he speketh moore than it nedeth, it is synne. Eke whan he herkneth nat benignely the compleint of the povre;
ParsT 374 eke whan he is in heele of body and wol nat faste whan other folk faste, withouten cause resonable;
ParsT 374A eke whan he slepeth moore than nedeth, or whan he comth by thilke enchesoun to late to chirche, or to othere werkes of charite;
ParsT 375 eke whan he useth his wyf withouten sovereyn desir of engendrure to the honour of God
ParsT 375A or for the entente to yelde to his wyf the dette of his body;
ParsT 376 eke whan he wol nat visite the sike and the prisoner, if he may;
ParsT 376A eke if he love wyf or child, or oother worldly thyng, moore than resoun requireth.
ParsT 376B eke if he flatere or blandise moore than hym oghte for any necessitee;
ParsT 377 eke if he amenuse or withdrawe the almesse of the povre;
ParsT 377A eke if he apparailleth his mete moore deliciously than nede is, or ete it to hastily by likerousnesse;
ParsT 378 eke if he tale vanytees at chirche or at Goddes service, or that he be a talker
ParsT 378A of ydel wordes of folye or of vileynye, for he shal yelden acountes of it at the day of doom;
ParsT 379 eke whan he biheteth or assureth to do thynges that he may nat parfourne;
ParsT 379A eke whan that he by lightnesse or folie mysseyeth or scorneth his neighebor;
ParsT 380 eke whan he hath any wikked suspecioun of thyng ther he ne woot of it no soothfastnesse:
ParsT 381 thise thynges, and mo withoute nombre, been synnes, as seith Seint Augustyn.
ParsT 382 Now shal men understonde that, al be it so that noon erthely man may eschue alle venial synnes,
ParsT 382A yet may he refreyne hym by the brennynge love that he hath to oure Lord Jhesu Crist,
ParsT 382B and by preyeres and confessioun and othere goode werkes, so that it shal but litel greve.
ParsT 383 For, as seith Seint Augustyn, “If a man love God in swich manere that al that evere he dooth
ParsT 383B is in the love of God and for the love of God verraily, for he brenneth in the love of God,
ParsT 384 looke how muche that a drope of water that falleth in a fourneys ful of fyr anoyeth
ParsT 384A or greveth, so muche anoyeth a venial synne unto a man that is parfit in the love of Jhesu Crist.”
ParsT 385 Men may also refreyne venial synne by receyvynge worthily of the precious body of Jhesu Crist;
ParsT 386 by receyvynge eek of hooly water, by almesdede, by general confessioun of Confiteor at masse and at complyn,
ParsT 386A and by blessynge of bisshopes and of preestes, and by oothere goode werkes.
ParsT 387 Now is it bihovely thyng to telle whiche been the sevene deedly synnes,
ParsT 387A this is to seyn, chieftaynes of synnes. Alle they renne in o lees, but in diverse manneres.
ParsT 387B Now been they cleped chieftaynes, for as muche as they been chief and spryng of alle othere synnes.
ParsT 388 Of the roote of thise sevene synnes, thanne, is Pride the general roote of alle harmes.
ParsT 388B For of this roote spryngen certein braunches, as Ire, Envye, Accidie or Slewthe, Avarice or Coveitise (to commune understondynge), Glotonye, and Lecherye.
ParsT 389 And everich of thise chief synnes hath his braunches and his twigges, as shal be declared in hire chapitres folwynge.
ParsT 390 And thogh so be that no man kan outrely telle the nombre of the twigges and of the harmes that cometh of Pride,
ParsT 390A yet wol I shewe a partie of hem, as ye shul understonde.
ParsT 391 Ther is inobedience, avauntynge, ypocrisie, despit, arrogance, inpudence, swellynge of herte, insolence, elacioun, inpacience, strif, contumacie, presumpcioun, irreverence, pertinacie, veyneglorie,
ParsT 391A and many another twig that I kan nat declare.
ParsT 392 Inobedient is he that disobeyeth for despit to the comandementz of God, and to his sovereyns, and to his goostly fader.
ParsT 393 Avauntour is he that bosteth of the harm or of the bountee that he hath doon.
ParsT 394 Ypocrite is he that hideth to shewe hym swich as he is and sheweth hym swich as he noght is.
ParsT 395 Despitous is he that hath desdeyn of his neighebor —
ParsT 395A that is to seyn, of his evene-Cristene — or hath despit to doon that hym oghte to do.
ParsT 396 Arrogant is he that thynketh that he hath thilke bountees in hym that he hath noght,
ParsT 396A or weneth that he sholde have hem by his desertes, or elles he demeth that he be that he nys nat.
ParsT 397 Inpudent is he that for his pride hath no shame of his synnes.
ParsT 398 Swellynge of herte is whan a man rejoyseth hym of harm that he hath doon.
ParsT 399 Insolent is he that despiseth in his juggement alle othere folk,
ParsT 399A as to regard of his value, and of his konnyng, and of his spekyng, and of his beryng.
ParsT 400 Elacioun is whan he ne may neither suffre to have maister ne felawe.
ParsT 401 Inpacient is he that wol nat been ytaught ne undernome of his vice, and by strif werreieth trouthe wityngly, and deffendeth his folye.
ParsT 402 Contumax is he that thurgh his indignacioun is agayns everich auctoritee or power of hem that been his sovereyns.
ParsT 403 Presumpcioun is whan a man undertaketh an emprise that hym oghte nat do, or elles that he may nat do;
ParsT 403A and this is called surquidrie. Irreverence is whan men do nat honour there as hem oghte to doon, and waiten to be reverenced.
ParsT 404 Pertinacie is whan man deffendeth his folie and trusteth to muchel to his owene wit.
ParsT 405 Veyneglorie is for to have pompe and delit in his temporeel hynesse, and glorifie hym in this worldly estaat.
ParsT 406 Janglynge is whan a man speketh to muche biforn folk, and clappeth as a mille, and taketh no keep what he seith.
ParsT 407 And yet is ther a privee spece of Pride that waiteth first to be salewed
ParsT 407A er he wole salewe, al be he lasse worth than that oother is, peraventure;
ParsT 407B and eek he waiteth or desireth to sitte, or elles to goon above hym in the wey,
ParsT 407C or kisse pax, or been encensed, or goon to offryng biforn his neighebor,
ParsT 408 and swiche semblable thynges, agayns his duetee, peraventure, but that he hath his herte
ParsT 408A and his entente in swich a proud desir to be magnified and honoured biforn the peple.
ParsT 409 Now been ther two maneres of Pride: that oon of hem is withinne the herte of man, and that oother is withoute.
ParsT 410 Of whiche, soothly, thise forseyde thynges, and mo than I have seyd, apertenen to Pride that is in the herte of man;
ParsT 410A and that othere speces of Pride been withoute.
ParsT 411 But natheles that oon of thise speces of Pride is signe of that oother,
ParsT 411A right as the gaye leefsel atte taverne is signe of the wyn that is in the celer.
ParsT 412 And this is in manye thynges: as in speche and contenaunce, and in outrageous array of clothyng.
ParsT 413 For certes, if ther ne hadde be no synne in clothyng,
ParsT 413A Crist wolde nat so soone have noted and spoken of the clothyng of thilke riche man in the gospel.
ParsT 414 And, as seith Seint Gregorie, that “precious clothyng is cowpable for the derthe of it, and for his softenesse,
ParsT 414A and for his strangenesse and degisynesse, and for the superfluitee, or for the inordinat scantnesse of it.”
ParsT 415 Allas, may man nat seen, as in oure dayes, the synful costlewe array of clothynge,
ParsT 415A and namely in to muche superfluite, or elles in to desordinat scantnesse?
ParsT 416 As to the first synne, that is in superfluitee of clothynge, which that maketh it so deere, to harm of the peple;
ParsT 417 nat oonly the cost of embrowdynge, the degise endentynge or barrynge, owndynge, palynge, wyndynge or bendynge, and semblable wast of clooth in vanitee,
ParsT 418 but ther is also costlewe furrynge in hir gownes, so muche pownsonynge of chisels to maken holes, so muche daggynge of sheres;
ParsT 419 forth-with the superfluitee in lengthe of the forseide gownes, trailynge in the dong and in the mire, on horse and eek on foote,
ParsT 419A as wel of man as of womman, that al thilke trailyng is verraily as in effect wasted, consumed, thredbare, and roten with donge,
ParsT 419B rather than it is yeven to the povre, to greet damage of the forseyde povre folk.
ParsT 420 And that in sondry wise; this is to seyn that the moore that clooth is wasted,
ParsT 420A the moore moot it coste to the peple for the scarsnesse.
ParsT 421 And forther over, if so be that they wolde yeven swich pownsoned and dagged clothyng to the povre folk,
ParsT 421A it is nat convenient to were for hire estaat, ne suffisant to beete hire necessitee, to kepe hem fro the distemperance of the firmament.
ParsT 422 Upon that oother side, to speken of the horrible disordinat scantnesse of clothyng, as been thise kutted sloppes, or haynselyns,
ParsT 422A that thurgh hire shortnesse ne covere nat the shameful membres of man, to wikked entente.
ParsT 423 Allas, somme of hem shewen the boce of hir shap, and the horrible swollen membres,
ParsT 423A that semeth lik the maladie of hirnia, in the wrappynge of hir hoses;
ParsT 424 and eek the buttokes of hem faren as it were the hyndre part of a she-ape in the fulle of the moone.
ParsT 425 And mooreover, the wrecched swollen membres that they shewe thurgh disgisynge,
ParsT 425A in departynge of hire hoses in whit and reed, semeth that half hir shameful privee membres weren flayne.
ParsT 426 And if so be that they departen hire hoses in othere colours,
ParsT 426A as is whit and blak, or whit and blew, or blak and reed, and so forth,
ParsT 427 thanne semeth it, as by variaunce of colour, that half the partie of hire privee membres were corrupt
ParsT 427A by the fir of Seint Antony, or by cancre, or by oother swich meschaunce.
ParsT 428 Of the hyndre part of hir buttokes, it is ful horrible for to see.
ParsT 428A For certes, in that partie of hir body ther as they purgen hir stynkynge ordure,
ParsT 429 that foule partie shewe they to the peple prowdly in despit of honestitee,
ParsT 429A which honestitee that Jhesu Crist and his freendes observede to shewen in hir lyve.
ParsT 430 Now, as of the outrageous array of wommen, God woot that though the visages of somme of hem seme ful chaast and debonaire,
ParsT 430A yet notifie they in hire array of atyr likerousnesse and pride.
ParsT 431 I sey nat that honestitee in clothynge of man or womman is uncovenable, but certes the superfluitee or disordinat scantitee of clothynge is reprevable.
ParsT 432 Also the synne of aornement or of apparaille is in thynges that apertenen to ridynge,
ParsT 432A as in to manye delicat horses that been hoolden for delit, that been so faire, fatte, and costlewe;
ParsT 433 and also in many a vicious knave that is sustened by cause of hem; and in to curious harneys,
ParsT 433A as in sadeles, in crouperes, peytrels, and bridles covered with precious clothyng, and riche barres and plates of gold and of silver.
ParsT 434 For which God seith by Zakarie the prophete, “I wol confounde the rideres of swiche horses.”
ParsT 435 This folk taken litel reward of the ridynge of Goddes sone of hevene, and of his harneys whan he rood upon the asse,
ParsT 435A and ne hadde noon oother harneys but the povre clothes of his disciples;
ParsT 435B ne we ne rede nat that evere he rood on oother beest.
ParsT 436 I speke this for the synne of superfluitee, and nat for resonable honestitee, whan reson it requireth.
ParsT 437 And forther over, certes, pride is greetly notified in holdynge of greet meynee, whan they be of litel profit or of right no profit,
ParsT 438 and namely whan that meynee is felonous and damageous to the peple by hardynesse of heigh lordshipe or by wey of offices.
ParsT 439 For certes, swiche lordes sellen thanne hir lordshipe to the devel of helle, whanne they sustenen the wikkednesse of hir meynee.
ParsT 440 Or elles, whan this folk of lowe degree, as thilke that holden hostelries, sustenen the thefte of hire hostilers,
ParsT 440A and that is in many manere of deceites.
ParsT 441 Thilke manere of folk been the flyes that folwen the hony,
ParsT 441A or elles the houndes that folwen the careyne. Swich forseyde folk stranglen spiritually hir lordshipes;
ParsT 442 for which thus seith David the prophete:
ParsT 442A “Wikked deeth moote come upon thilke lordshipes, and God yeve that they moote descenden into helle al doun,
ParsT 442B for in hire houses been iniquitees and shrewednesses and nat God of hevene.”
ParsT 443 And certes, but if they doon amendement, right as God yaf his benysoun to [Laban] by the service of Jacob,
ParsT 443A and to [Pharao] by the service of Joseph, right so God wol yeve his malisoun
ParsT 443B to swiche lordshipes as sustenen the wikkednesse of hir servauntz, but they come to amendement.
ParsT 444 Pride of the table appeereth eek ful ofte; for certes, riche men been cleped to festes, and povre folk been put awey and rebuked.
ParsT 445 Also in excesse of diverse metes and drynkes, and namely swich manere bake-metes and dissh-metes, brennynge of wilde fir
ParsT 445A and peynted and castelled with papir, and semblable wast, so that it is abusioun for to thynke.
ParsT 446 And eek in to greet preciousnesse of vessel and curiositee of mynstralcie, by whiche a man is stired the moore to delices of luxurie,
ParsT 447 if so be that he sette his herte the lasse upon oure Lord Jhesu Crist, certeyn it is a synne;
ParsT 447A and certeinly the delices myghte been so grete in this caas that man myghte lightly falle by hem into deedly synne.
ParsT 448 The especes that sourden of Pride, soothly whan they sourden of malice ymagined, avised, and forncast,
ParsT 448A or elles of usage, been deedly synnes, it is no doute.
ParsT 449 And whan they sourden by freletee unavysed, and sodeynly withdrawen
ParsT 449A ayeyn, al been they grevouse synnes, I gesse that they ne been nat deedly.
ParsT 450 Now myghte men axe wherof that Pride sourdeth and spryngeth, and I seye,
ParsT 450A somtyme it spryngeth of the goodes of nature, and somtyme of the goodes of fortune, and somtyme of the goodes of grace.
ParsT 451 Certes, the goodes of nature stonden outher in goodes of body or in goodes of soule.
ParsT 452 Certes, goodes of body been heele of body, strengthe, delivernesse, beautee, gentrice, franchise.
ParsT 453 Goodes of nature of the soule been good wit, sharp understondynge, subtil engyn, vertu natureel, good memorie.
ParsT 454 Goodes of fortune been richesse, hyghe degrees of lordshipes, preisynges of the peple.
ParsT 455 Goodes of grace been science, power to suffre spiritueel travaille, benignitee, vertuous contemplacioun, withstondynge of temptacioun, and semblable thynges.
ParsT 456 Of whiche forseyde goodes, certes it is a ful greet folye a man to priden hym in any of hem alle.
ParsT 457 Now as for to speken of goodes of nature,
ParsT 457A God woot that somtyme we han hem in nature as muche to oure damage as to oure profit.
ParsT 458 As for to speken of heele of body, certes it passeth ful lightly,
ParsT 458A and eek it is ful ofte enchesoun of the siknesse of oure soule.
ParsT 458B For, God woot, the flessh is a ful greet enemy to the soule,
ParsT 458C and therfore, the moore that the body is hool, the moore be we in peril to falle.
ParsT 459 Eke for to pride hym in his strengthe of body, it is an heigh folye.
ParsT 459A For certes, the flessh coveiteth agayn the spirit, and ay the moore strong that the flessh is, the sorier may the soule be.
ParsT 460 And over al this, strengthe of body and worldly hardynesse causeth ful ofte many a man to peril and meschaunce.
ParsT 461 Eek for to pride hym of his gentrie is ful greet folie; for
ParsT 461A ofte tyme the gentrie of the body binymeth the gentrie of the soule;
ParsT 461B and eek we ben alle of o fader and of o mooder;
ParsT 461C and alle we been of o nature, roten and corrupt, bothe riche and povre.
ParsT 462 For sothe, o manere gentrie is for to preise, that apparailleth mannes corage with vertues and moralitees, and maketh hym Cristes child.
ParsT 463 For truste wel that over what man that synne hath maistrie, he is a verray cherl to synne.
ParsT 464 Now been ther generale signes of gentillesse, as eschewynge of vice and ribaudye and servage of synne, in word, in werk, and contenaunce,
ParsT 465 and usynge vertu, curteisye, and clennesse, and to be liberal —
ParsT 465A that is to seyn, large by mesure, for thilke that passeth mesure is folie and synne.
ParsT 466 Another is to remembre hym of bountee that he of oother folk hath receyved.
ParsT 467 Another is to be benigne to his goode subgetis; wherfore seith Senek,
ParsT 467A “Ther is no thing moore covenable to a man of heigh estaat than debonairetee and pitee.
ParsT 468 And therfore thise flyes that men clepen bees, whan they maken hir kyng,
ParsT 468A they chesen oon that hath no prikke wherwith he may stynge.”
ParsT 469 Another is, a man to have a noble herte and a diligent to attayne to heighe vertuouse thynges.
ParsT 470 Now certes, a man to pride hym in the goodes of grace is eek an outrageous folie, for thilke
ParsT 470A yifte of grace that sholde have turned hym to goodnesse and to medicine, turneth hym to venym and to confusioun, as seith Seint Gregorie.
ParsT 471 Certes also, whoso prideth hym in the goodes of fortune, he is a ful greet fool;
ParsT 471A for somtyme is a man a greet lord by the morwe, that is a caytyf and a wrecche er it be nyght;
ParsT 472 and somtyme the richesse of a man is cause of his deth;
ParsT 472A somtyme the delices of a man ben cause of the grevous maladye thurgh which he dyeth.
ParsT 473 Certes, the commendacioun of the peple is somtyme ful fals and ful brotel for to triste; this day they preyse, tomorwe they blame.
ParsT 474 God woot, desir to have commendacioun eek of the peple hath caused deeth to many a bisy man.
ParsT 475 Now sith that so is that ye han understonde what is Pride,
ParsT 475A and whiche been the speces of it, and whennes Pride sourdeth and spryngeth,
ParsT 476 now shul ye understonde which is the remedie agayns the synne of Pride; and that is humylitee, or mekenesse.
ParsT 477 That is a vertu thurgh which a man hath verray knoweleche of hymself, and holdeth of hymself no pris ne deyntee,
ParsT 477A as in regard of his desertes, considerynge evere his freletee.
ParsT 478 Now been ther three maneres of humylitee: as humylitee in herte; another humylitee is in his mouth; the thridde in his werkes.
ParsT 479 The humilitee in herte is in foure maneres. That oon is whan a man holdeth hymself as noght worth biforn God of hevene.
ParsT 479A Another is whan he ne despiseth noon oother man.
ParsT 480 The thridde is whan he rekketh nat, though men holde hym noght worth. The ferthe is whan he nys nat sory of his humiliacioun.
ParsT 481 Also the humilitee of mouth is in foure thynges:
ParsT 481A in attempree speche, and in humblesse of speche, and whan he biknoweth with his owene mouth
ParsT 481B that he is swich as hym thynketh that he is in his herte.
ParsT 481C Another is whan he preiseth the bountee of another man, and nothyng therof amenuseth.
ParsT 482 Humilitee eek in werkes is in foure maneres. The firste is whan he putteth othere men biforn hym.
ParsT 482A The seconde is to chese the loweste place over al. The thridde is gladly to assente to good conseil.
ParsT 483 The ferthe is to stonde gladly to the award of his sovereyns,
ParsT 483A or of hym that is in hyer degree. Certein, this is a greet werk of humylitee.
ParsT 484 After Pride wol I speken of the foule synne of Envye, which that is, as by the word of the Philosophre,
ParsT 484A “sorwe of oother mannes prosperitee”; and after the word of Seint Augustyn, it is “Sorwe
ParsT 484B of oother mennes wele, and joye of othere mennes harm.”
ParsT 485 This foule synne is platly agayns the Hooly Goost. Al be it so that every synne is agayns the Hooly Goost,
ParsT 485A yet nathelees, for as muche as bountee aperteneth proprely to the Hooly Goost, and Envye comth proprely of malice,
ParsT 485B therfore it is proprely agayn the bountee of the Hooly Goost.
ParsT 486 Now hath malice two speces; that is to seyn, hardnesse of herte in wikkednesse,
ParsT 486A or elles the flessh of man is so blynd that he considereth nat that he is in synne
ParsT 486B or rekketh nat that he is in synne, which is the hardnesse of the devel.
ParsT 487 That oother spece of malice is whan a man werreyeth trouthe, whan he woot that it is trouthe;
ParsT 487A and eek whan he werreyeth the grace that God hath yeve to his neighebor; and al this is by Envye.
ParsT 488 Certes, thanne is Envye the worste synne that is. For soothly, alle othere synnes been somtyme oonly agayns o special vertu,
ParsT 489 but certes Envye is agayns alle vertues and agayns alle goodnesses.
ParsT 489A For it is sory of alle the bountees of his neighebor, and in this manere it is divers from alle othere synnes.
ParsT 490 For wel unnethe is ther any synne that it ne hath som delit in itself,
ParsT 490A save oonly Envye, that evere hath in itself angwissh and sorwe.
ParsT 491 The speces of Envye been thise. Ther is first, sorwe of oother mannes goodnesse and of his prosperitee;
ParsT 491A and prosperitee is kyndely matere of joye; thanne is Envye a synne agayns kynde.
ParsT 492 The seconde spece of Envye is joye of oother mannes harm,
ParsT 492A and that is proprely lyk to the devel, that evere rejoyseth hym of mannes harm.
ParsT 493 Of thise two speces comth bakbityng; and this synne of bakbityng or detraccion hath certeine speces, as thus:
ParsT 493A Som man preiseth his neighebor by a wikked entente,
ParsT 494 for he maketh alwey a wikked knotte atte laste ende. Alwey he maketh a “but” atte laste ende,
ParsT 494A that is digne of moore blame than worth is al the preisynge.
ParsT 495 The seconde spece is that if a man be good and dooth or seith a thing to good entente,
ParsT 495A the bakbitere wol turne al thilke goodnesse up-so-doun to his shrewed entente.
ParsT 496 The thridde is to amenuse the bountee of his neighebor.
ParsT 497 The fourthe spece of bakbityng is this: that if men speke goodnesse of a man, thanne wol the bakbitere seyn,
ParsT 497A “Parfey, swich a man is yet bet than he,” in dispreisynge of hym that men preise.
ParsT 498 The fifte spece is this: for to consente gladly and herkne gladly to the harm that men speke of oother folk.
ParsT 498A This synne is ful greet and ay encreesseth after the wikked entente of the bakbitere.
ParsT 499 After bakbityng cometh gruchchyng or murmuracioun; and somtyme it spryngeth of inpacience agayns God, and somtyme agayns man.
ParsT 500 Agayn God it is whan a man gruccheth agayn the peyne of helle, or agayns poverte, or los of catel,
ParsT 500A or agayn reyn or tempest; or elles gruccheth that shrewes han prosperitee, or elles for that goode men han adversitee.
ParsT 501 And alle thise thynges sholde man suffre paciently, for they comen by the rightful juggement and ordinaunce of God.
ParsT 502 Somtyme comth grucching of avarice;
ParsT 502A as Judas grucched agayns the Magdaleyne whan she enoynted the heved of oure Lord Jhesu Crist with hir precious oynement.
ParsT 503 This manere murmure is swich as whan man gruccheth of goodnesse that hymself dooth, or that oother folk doon of hir owene catel.
ParsT 504 Somtyme comth murmure of Pride, as whan Simon the Pharisee gruchched agayn the Magdaleyne
ParsT 504A whan she approched to Jhesu Crist and weep at his feet for hire synnes.
ParsT 505 And somtyme grucchyng sourdeth of Envye, whan men discovereth a mannes harm that was pryvee or
ParsT 505A bereth hym on hond thyng that is fals.
ParsT 506 Murmure eek is ofte amonges servauntz that grucchen whan hir sovereyns bidden hem doon leveful thynges;
ParsT 507 and forasmuche as they dar nat openly withseye the comaundementz of hir sovereyns,
ParsT 507A yet wol they seyn harm, and grucche, and murmure prively for verray despit;
ParsT 508 whiche wordes men clepen the develes Pater noster, though so be that the devel ne hadde nevere Pater noster,
ParsT 508A but that lewed folk yeven it swich a name.
ParsT 509 Somtyme it comth of Ire or prive hate that norisseth rancour in herte, as afterward I shal declare.
ParsT 510 Thanne cometh eek bitternesse of herte, thurgh which bitternesse every good dede of his neighebor semeth to hym bitter and unsavory.
ParsT 511 Thanne cometh discord that unbyndeth alle manere of freendshipe. Thanne comth scornynge of his neighebor, al do he never so weel.
ParsT 512 Thanne comth accusynge, as whan man seketh occasioun to anoyen his neighebor,
ParsT 512A which that is lyk the craft of the devel, that waiteth bothe nyght and day to accusen us alle.
ParsT 513 Thanne comth malignitee, thurgh which a man anoyeth his neighebor prively, if he may;
ParsT 514 and if he noght may, algate his wikked wil ne shal nat wante,
ParsT 514A as for to brennen his hous pryvely, or empoysone or sleen his beestes, and semblable thynges.
ParsT 515 Now wol I speke of remedie agayns this foule synne of Envye. First is the love of God principal
ParsT 515A and lovyng of his neighebor as hymself, for soothly that oon ne may nat been withoute that oother.
ParsT 516 And truste wel that in the name of thy neighebor thou shalt understonde the name of thy brother;
ParsT 516A for certes alle we have o fader flesshly and o mooder — that is to seyn, Adam and Eve —
ParsT 516B and eek o fader espiritueel, and that is God of hevene.
ParsT 517 Thy neighebor artow holden for to love and wilne hym alle goodnesse; and therfore seith God,
ParsT 517A “Love thy neighebor as thyselve” — that is to seyn, to salvacioun bothe of lyf and of soule.
ParsT 518 And mooreover thou shalt love hym in word, and in benigne amonestynge and chastisynge,
ParsT 518A and conforten hym in his anoyes, and preye for hym with al thyn herte.
ParsT 519 And in dede thou shalt love hym in swich wise that thou shalt doon to hym in charitee
ParsT 519A as thou woldest that it were doon to thyn owene persone.
ParsT 520 And therfore thou ne shalt doon hym no damage in wikked word, ne harm in his body,
ParsT 520A ne in his catel, ne in his soule, by entissyng of wikked ensample.
ParsT 521 Thou shalt nat desiren his wyf ne none of his thynges. Understoond eek that in the name of neighebor is comprehended his enemy.
ParsT 522 Certes, man shal loven his enemy, by the comandement of God; and soothly thy freend shaltow love in God.
ParsT 523 I seye, thyn enemy shaltow love for Goddes sake, by his commandement.
ParsT 523A For if it were reson that man sholde haten his enemy,
ParsT 523B for sothe God nolde nat receyven us to his love that been his enemys.
ParsT 524 Agayns three manere of wronges that his enemy dooth to hym, he shal doon three thynges, as thus:
ParsT 525 Agayns hate and rancour of herte, he shal love hym in herte.
ParsT 525A Agayns chidyng and wikkede wordes, he shal preye for his enemy. Agayns the wikked dede of his enemy, he shal doon hym bountee.
ParsT 526 For Crist seith, “Loveth youre enemys, and preyeth for hem that speke yow harm, and eek for hem that yow chacen and pursewen,
ParsT 526A and dooth bountee to hem that yow haten.” Loo, thus comaundeth us oure Lord Jhesu Crist to do to oure enemys.
ParsT 527 For soothly, nature dryveth us to loven oure freendes, and parfey, oure enemys han moore nede to love than oure freendes;
ParsT 527A and they that moore nede have, certes to hem shal men doon goodnesse;
ParsT 528 and certes, in thilke dede have we remembraunce of the love of Jhesu Crist that deyde for his enemys.
ParsT 529 And in as muche as thilke love is the moore grevous to parfourne, so muche is the moore gret the merite;
ParsT 529A and therfore the lovynge of oure enemy hath confounded the venym of the devel.
ParsT 530 For right as the devel is disconfited by humylitee, right so is he wounded to the deeth by love of oure enemy.
ParsT 531 Certes, thanne is love the medicine that casteth out the venym of Envye fro mannes herte.
ParsT 532 The speces of this paas shullen be moore largely declared in hir chapitres folwynge.
ParsT 533 After Envye wol I discryven the synne of Ire. For soothly, whoso hath envye upon his neighebor,
ParsT 533A anon he wole comunly fynde hym a matere of wratthe, in word or in dede, agayns hym to whom he hath envye.
ParsT 534 And as wel comth Ire of Pride as of Envye, for soothly he that is proud or envyous is lightly wrooth.
ParsT 535 This synne of Ire, after the discryvyng of Seint Augustyn, is wikked wil to been avenged by word or by dede.
ParsT 536 Ire, after the Philosophre, is the fervent blood of man yquyked in his herte,
ParsT 536A thurgh which he wole harm to hym that he hateth.
ParsT 537 For certes, the herte of man, by eschawfynge and moevynge of his blood, wexeth
ParsT 537A so trouble that he is out of alle juggement of resoun.
ParsT 538 But ye shal understonde that Ire is in two maneres; that oon of hem is good, and that oother is wikked.
ParsT 539 The goode Ire is by jalousie of goodnesse,
ParsT 539A thurgh which a man is wrooth with wikkednesse and agayns wikkednesse; and therfore seith a wys man that Ire is bet than pley.
ParsT 540 This Ire is with debonairetee, and it is wrooth withouten bitternesse; nat wrooth agayns the man,
ParsT 540A but wrooth with the mysdede of the man, as seith the prophete David, “Irascimini et nolite peccare.”
ParsT 541 Now understondeth that wikked Ire is in two maneres;
ParsT 541A that is to seyn, sodeyn Ire or hastif Ire, withouten avisement and consentynge of resoun.
ParsT 542 The menyng and the sens of this is that the resoun of a man ne consente nat to thilke sodeyn Ire,
ParsT 542A and thanne is it venial.
ParsT 543 Another Ire is ful wikked, that comth of felonie of herte avysed and cast biforn, with wikked wil to do vengeance,
ParsT 543A and therto his resoun consenteth. and soothly this is deedly synne.
ParsT 544 This Ire is so displesant to God that it troubleth his hous and chaceth the Hooly Goost out of mannes soule,
ParsT 544A and wasteth and destroyeth the liknesse of God — that is to seyn, the vertu that is in mannes soule —
ParsT 545 and put in hym the liknesse of the devel, and bynymeth the man fro God, that is his rightful lord.
ParsT 546 This Ire is a ful greet plesaunce to the devel,
ParsT 546A for it is the develes fourneys, that is eschawfed with the fir of helle.
ParsT 547 For certes, right so as fir is moore mighty to destroyen erthely thynges than any oother element,
ParsT 547A right so Ire is myghty to destroyen alle spiritueel thynges.
ParsT 548 Looke how that fir of smale gleedes that been almost dede under asshen wollen quike agayn whan they been touched with brymstoon;
ParsT 548A right so Ire wol everemo quyken agayn whan it is touched by the pride that is covered in mannes herte.
ParsT 549 For certes, fir ne may nat comen out of no thyng, but if it were first in the same thyng natureelly,
ParsT 549A as fir is drawen out of flyntes with steel.
ParsT 550 And right so as pride is ofte tyme matere of Ire, right so is rancour norice and kepere of Ire.
ParsT 551 Ther is a maner tree, as seith Seint Ysidre, that whan men maken fir of thilke tree
ParsT 551A and covere the coles of it with asshen, soothly the fir of it wol lasten al a yeer or moore.
ParsT 552 And right so fareth it of rancour; whan it is ones conceyved in the hertes of som men,
ParsT 552A certein, it wol lasten peraventure from oon Estre day unto another Estre day, and moore.
ParsT 553 But certes, thilke man is ful fer fro the mercy of God al thilke while.
ParsT 554 In this forseyde develes fourneys ther forgen three shrewes: Pride, that ay bloweth and encreesseth the fir by chidynge and wikked wordes;
ParsT 555 thanne stant Envye and holdeth the hoote iren upon the herte of man with a peire of longe toonges of long rancour;
ParsT 556 and thanne stant the synne of Contumelie, or strif and cheeste, and batereth and forgeth by vileyns reprevynges.
ParsT 557 Certes, this cursed synne anoyeth bothe to the man hymself and eek to his neighebor.
ParsT 557A For soothly, almoost al the harm that any man dooth to his neighebor comth of wratthe.
ParsT 558 For certes, outrageous wratthe dooth al that evere the devel hym comaundeth, for he ne spareth neither Crist ne his sweete Mooder.
ParsT 559 And in his outrageous anger and ire — allas, allas! —
ParsT 559A ful many oon at that tyme feeleth in his herte ful wikkedly, bothe of Crist and eek of alle his halwes.
ParsT 560 Is nat this a cursed vice? Yis, certes. Allas! It bynymeth from man his wit and his resoun,
ParsT 560A and al his debonaire lif espiritueel that sholde kepen his soule.
ParsT 561 Certes, it bynymeth eek Goddes due lordshipe, and that is mannes soule and the love of his neighebores.
ParsT 561A It stryveth eek alday agayn trouthe. It reveth hym the quiete of his herte and subverteth his soule.
ParsT 562 Of Ire comen thise stynkynge engendrures: First, hate, that is oold wratthe;
ParsT 562A discord, thurgh which a man forsaketh his olde freend that he hath loved ful longe;
ParsT 563 and thanne cometh werre and every manere of wrong that man dooth to his neighebor, in body or in catel.
ParsT 564 Of this cursed synne of Ire cometh eek manslaughtre. And understonde wel that homycide, that is manslaughtre, is in diverse wise.
ParsT 564A Som manere of homycide is spiritueel, and som is bodily.
ParsT 565 Spiritueel manslaughtre is in sixe thynges. First by hate, as seith Seint John: “He that hateth his brother is an homycide.”
ParsT 566 Homycide is eek by bakbitynge, of whiche bakbiteres seith Salomon that “they han two swerdes with whiche they sleen hire neighebores.”
ParsT 566A For soothly, as wikke is to bynyme his good name as his lyf.
ParsT 567 Homycide is eek in yevynge of wikked conseil by fraude, as for to yeven conseil to areysen wrongful custumes and taillages.
ParsT 568 Of whiche seith Salomon, “Leon rorynge and bere hongry been like to the cruel lordshipes” in withholdynge or abreggynge of the shepe
ParsT 568A (or the hyre), or of the wages of servauntz, or elles in usure, or in withdrawynge of the almesse of povre folk.
ParsT 569 For which the wise man seith, “Fedeth hym that almoost dyeth for honger”; for soothly, but if thow feede hym, thou sleest hym;
ParsT 569A and alle thise been deedly synnes.
ParsT 570 Bodily manslaughtre is, whan thow sleest him with thy tonge in oother manere,
ParsT 570A as whan thou comandest to sleen a man or elles yevest hym conseil to sleen a man.
ParsT 571 Manslaughtre in dede is in foure maneres.
ParsT 571A That oon is by lawe, right as a justice dampneth hym that is coupable to the deeth.
ParsT 571B But lat the justice be war that he do it rightfully, and
ParsT 571C that he do it nat for delit to spille blood but for kepynge of rightwisnesse.
ParsT 572 Another homycide is that is doon for necessitee, as whan o man sleeth another in his defendaunt
ParsT 572A and that he ne may noon ootherwise escape from his owene deeth.
ParsT 573 But certeinly if he may escape withouten slaughtre of his adversarie, and sleeth hym,
ParsT 573A he dooth synne and he shal bere penance as for deedly synne.
ParsT 574 Eek if a man, by caas or aventure, shete an arwe,
ParsT 574A or caste a stoon with which he sleeth a man, he is homycide.
ParsT 575 Eek if a womman by necligence overlyeth hire child in hir slepyng, it is homycide and deedly synne.
ParsT 576 Eek whan man destourbeth concepcioun of a child, and maketh a womman outher bareyne
ParsT 576A by drynkynge venenouse herbes thurgh which she may nat conceyve,
ParsT 576B or sleeth a child by drynkes wilfully, or elles putteth certeine material thynges in hire secree places to slee the child,
ParsT 577 or elles dooth unkyndely synne, by which man or womman shedeth hire nature in manere or in place
ParsT 577A ther as a child may nat be conceived, or elles if a woman have conceyved,
ParsT 577B and hurt hirself and sleeth the child, yet is it homycide.
ParsT 578 What seye we eek of wommen that mordren hir children for drede of worldly shame? Certes, an horrible homicide.
ParsT 579 Homycide is eek if a man approcheth to a womman by desir of lecherie, thurgh which the child is perissed,
ParsT 579A or elles smyteth a womman wityngly, thurgh which she leseth hir child. Alle thise been homycides and horrible deedly synnes.
ParsT 580 Yet comen ther of Ire manye mo synnes, as wel in word as in thoght and in dede;
ParsT 580A as he that arretteth upon God, or blameth God of thyng of which he is hymself gilty,
ParsT 580B or despiseth God and alle his halwes, as doon thise cursede hasardours in diverse contrees.
ParsT 581 This cursed synne doon they, whan they feelen in hir herte ful wikkedly of God and of his halwes.
ParsT 582 Also whan they treten unreverently the sacrement of the auter, thilke synne is so greet that unnethe may it been releessed,
ParsT 582A but that the mercy of God passeth alle his werkes; it is so greet, and he so benigne.
ParsT 583 Thanne comth of Ire attry angre. Whan a man is sharply amonested in his shrifte to forleten his synne,
ParsT 584 thanne wole he be angry, and answeren hokerly and angrily, and deffenden or excusen his synne by unstedefastnesse of his flessh;
ParsT 584A or elles he dide it for to holde compaignye with his felawes; or elles, he seith, the feend enticed hym;
ParsT 585 or elles he dide it for his youthe; or elles his compleccioun is so corageous that he may nat forbere;
ParsT 585A or elles it is his destinee, as he seith, unto a certein
ParsT 585B age; or elles, he seith, it cometh hym of gentillesse of his auncestres; and semblable thynges.
ParsT 586 Alle thise manere of folk so wrappen hem in hir synnes that they ne wol nat delivere hemself.
ParsT 586A For soothly, no wight that excuseth hym wilfully of his synne
ParsT 586B may nat been delivered of his synne til that he mekely biknoweth his synne.
ParsT 587 After this, thanne cometh sweryng, that is expres agayn the comandement of God; and this bifalleth ofte of anger and of Ire.
ParsT 588 God seith, “Thow shalt nat take the name of thy Lord God in veyn or in ydel.”
ParsT 588A Also oure Lord Jhesu Crist seith, by the word of Seint Mathew,
ParsT 589 “Ne wol ye nat swere in alle manere; neither by hevene, for it is Goddes trone;
ParsT 589A ne by erthe, for it is the bench of his feet; ne by Jerusalem, for it is the citee of a greet kyng;
ParsT 589B ne by thyn heed, for thou mayst nat make an heer whit ne blak.
ParsT 590 But seyeth by youre word ‘ye, ye,’ and ‘nay, nay’; and what that is moore, it is of yvel” — thus seith Crist.
ParsT 591 For Cristes sake, ne swereth nat so synfully in dismembrynge of Crist by soule, herte, bones, and body.
ParsT 591A For certes, it semeth that ye thynke that the cursede Jewes ne dismembred nat ynough the preciouse persone of Crist,
ParsT 591B but ye dismembre hym moore.
ParsT 592 And if so be that the lawe compelle yow to swere, thanne rule yow after the lawe of God in youre swerying,
ParsT 592A as seith Jeremye, quarto capitulo: Thou shalt kepe three condicions: thou shalt swere “in trouthe, in doom, and in rightwisnesse.”
ParsT 593 This is to seyn, thou shalt swere sooth, for every lesynge is agayns Crist;
ParsT 593A for Crist is verray trouthe. And thynk wel this: that “every greet swerere, nat compelled lawefully to
ParsT 593B swere, the wounde shal nat departe from his hous” whil he useth swich unleveful swerying.
ParsT 594 Thou shalt sweren eek in doom, whan thou art constreyned by thy domesman to witnessen the trouthe.
ParsT 595 Eek thow shalt nat swere for envye, ne for favour, ne for meede, but for rightwisnesse, for declaracioun of it,
ParsT 595A to the worshipe of God and helpyng of thyne evene-Cristene.
ParsT 596 And therfore every man that taketh Goddes name in ydel, or falsly swereth with his mouth,
ParsT 596A or elles taketh on hym the name of Crist, to be called a Cristen man
ParsT 596B and lyveth agayns Cristes lyvynge and his techynge, alle they taken Goddes name in ydel.
ParsT 597 Looke eek what Seint Peter seith, Actuum quarto, Non est aliud nomen sub celo, etc., “Ther nys noon oother name,” seith Seint Peter,
ParsT 597A “under hevene yeven to men, in which they mowe be saved”; that is to seyn, but the name of Jhesu Crist.
ParsT 598 Take kep eek how precious is the name of Crist, as seith Seint Paul, ad Philipenses secundo, In nomine Jhesu, etc.,
ParsT 598A “That in the name of Jhesu every knee of hevenely creatures, or erthely, or of helle sholde
ParsT 598B bowe,” for it is so heigh and so worshipful that the cursede feend in helle sholde tremblen to heeren it ynempned.
ParsT 599 Thanne semeth it that men that sweren so horribly by his blessed name,
ParsT 599A that they despise it moore booldely than dide the cursede Jewes or elles the devel, that trembleth whan he heereth his name.
ParsT 600 Now certes, sith that sweryng, but if it be lawefully doon, is so heighly deffended, muche worse is forsweryng falsly, and yet nedelees.
ParsT 601 What seye we eek of hem that deliten hem in sweryng,
ParsT 601A and holden it a gentrie or a manly dede to swere grete othes?
ParsT 601B And what of hem that of verray usage ne cesse nat to swere grete othes, al be the cause nat worth a straw?
ParsT 601C Certes, this is horrible synne.
ParsT 602 Swerynge sodeynly withoute avysement is eek a synne.
ParsT 603 But lat us go now to thilke horrible sweryng of adjuracioun and conjuracioun,
ParsT 603A as doon thise false enchauntours or nigromanciens in bacyns ful of water,
ParsT 603B or in a bright swerd, in a cercle, or in a fir, or in a shulder-boon of a sheep.
ParsT 604 I kan nat seye but that they doon cursedly and dampnably agayns Crist and al the feith of hooly chirche.
ParsT 605 What seye we of hem that bileeven on divynailes, as by flight or by noyse of briddes, or of beestes,
ParsT 605A or by sort, by nigromancie, by dremes, by chirkynge of dores or crakkynge of houses, by gnawynge of rattes, and swich manere wrecchednesse?
ParsT 606 Certes, al this thyng is deffended by God and by hooly chirche.
ParsT 606A For which they been acursed, til they come to amendement, that on swich filthe setten hire bileeve.
ParsT 607 Charmes for woundes or maladie of men or of beestes, if they taken any effect,
ParsT 607A it may be peraventure that God suffreth it, for folk sholden yeve the moore feith and reverence to his name.
ParsT 608 Now wol I speken of lesynges, which generally is fals signyficaunce of word, in entente to deceyven his evene-Cristene.
ParsT 609 Som lesynge is of which ther comth noon avantage to no wight;
ParsT 609A and som lesynge turneth to the ese and profit of o man, and to disese and damage of another man.
ParsT 610 Another lesynge is for to saven his lyf or his catel. Another
ParsT 610A lesynge comth of delit for to lye, in which delit they wol forge a long tale
ParsT 610B and peynten it with alle circumstaunces, where al the ground of the tale is fals.
ParsT 611 Som lesynge comth for he wole sustene his word; and som lesynge comth of reccheleesnesse withouten avisement; and semblable thynges.
ParsT 612 Lat us now touche the vice of flaterynge, which ne comth nat gladly but for drede or for coveitise.
ParsT 613 Flaterye is generally wrongful preisynge. Flatereres been the develes norices, that norissen his children with milk of losengerie.
ParsT 614 For sothe, Salomon seith that “Flaterie is wors than detraccioun.” For somtyme detraccion maketh an hauteyn man be the moore humble,
ParsT 614A for he dredeth detraccion; but certes flaterye, that maketh a man to enhauncen his herte and his contenaunce.
ParsT 615 Flatereres been the develes enchauntours; for they make a man to wene of hymself be lyk that he nys nat lyk.
ParsT 616 They been lyk to Judas that bitraysen a man to sellen hym to his enemy; that is to the devel.
ParsT 617 Flatereres been the develes chapelleyns, that syngen evere Placebo.
ParsT 618 I rekene flaterie in the vices of Ire,
ParsT 618A for ofte tyme if o man be wrooth with another, thanne wole he flatere som wight to sustene hym in his querele.
ParsT 619 Speke we now of swich cursynge as comth of irous herte. Malisoun generally may be seyd every maner power of harm.
ParsT 619A Swich cursynge bireveth man fro the regne of God, as seith Seint Paul.
ParsT 620 And ofte tyme swich cursynge wrongfully retorneth agayn to hym that curseth, as a bryd that retorneth agayn to his owene nest.
ParsT 621 And over alle thyng men oghten eschewe to cursen hire children, and yeven to the devel hire engendrure,
ParsT 621A as ferforth as in hem is. Certes, it is greet peril and greet synne.
ParsT 622 Lat us thanne speken of chidynge and reproche, whiche been ful grete woundes in mannes herte,
ParsT 622A for they unsowen the semes of freendshipe in mannes herte.
ParsT 623 For certes, unnethes may a man pleynly been accorded with hym that hath hym openly revyled and repreved and disclaundred.
ParsT 623A This is a ful grisly synne, as Crist seith in the gospel.
ParsT 624 And taak kep now, that he that repreveth his neighebor, outher he repreveth hym by som harm of peyne
ParsT 624A that he hath on his body, as “mesel,” “croked harlot,” or by som synne that he dooth.
ParsT 625 Now if he repreve hym by harm of peyne, thanne turneth the repreve to Jhesu Crist,
ParsT 625A for peyne is sent by the rightwys sonde of God, and by his suffrance, be it meselrie, or maheym, or maladie.
ParsT 626 And if he repreve hym uncharitably of synne, as “thou holour,” “thou dronkelewe harlot,” and so forth,
ParsT 626A thanne aperteneth that to the rejoysynge of the devel, that evere hath joye that men doon synne.
ParsT 627 And certes, chidynge may nat come but out of a vileyns herte.
ParsT 627A For after the habundance of the herte speketh the mouth ful ofte.
ParsT 628 And ye shul understonde that looke, by any wey,
ParsT 628A whan any man shal chastise another, that he be war from chidynge or reprevynge.
ParsT 628B For trewely, but he be war, he may ful lightly quyken the fir of angre and of wratthe,
ParsT 628C which that he sholde quenche, and peraventure sleeth hym which that he myghte chastise with benignitee.
ParsT 629 For as seith Salomon, “The amyable tonge is the tree of lyf” — that is to seyn, of lyf espiritueel —
ParsT 629A and soothly, a deslavee tonge sleeth the spirites of hym that repreveth and eek of hym that is repreved.
ParsT 630 Loo, what seith Seint Augustyn: “Ther is nothyng so lyk the develes child as he that ofte chideth.”
ParsT 630A Seint Paul seith eek, “The servant of God bihoveth nat to chide.”
ParsT 631 And how that chidynge be a vileyns thyng bitwixe alle manere folk,
ParsT 631A yet is it certes moost uncovenable bitwixe a man and his wyf,
ParsT 631B for there is nevere reste. And therfore seith Salomon, “An
ParsT 631C hous that is uncovered and droppynge and a chidynge wyf been lyke.”
ParsT 632 A man that is in a droppynge hous in manye places,
ParsT 632A though he eschewe the droppynge in o place, it droppeth on hym in another place.
ParsT 632B So fareth it by a chydynge wyf; but she chide hym in o place, she wol chide hym in another.
ParsT 633 And therfore, “Bettre is a morsel of breed with joye than an hous ful of delices with chidynge,” seith Salomon.
ParsT 634 Seint Paul seith, “O ye wommen, be ye subgetes to youre housbondes as bihoveth in God,
ParsT 634A and ye men loveth youre wyves.” Ad Colossenses tertio.
ParsT 635 Afterward speke we of scornynge, which is a wikked synne, and namely whan he scorneth a man for his goode werkes.
ParsT 636 For certes, swiche scorneres faren lyk the foule
ParsT 636A tode, that may nat endure to smelle the soote savour of the vyne whanne it florissheth.
ParsT 637 Thise scorneres been partyng felawes with the devel; for they han joye whan the devel wynneth and sorwe whan he leseth.
ParsT 638 They been adversaries of Jhesu Crist, for they haten that he loveth — that is to seyn, salvacioun of soule.
ParsT 639 Speke we now of wikked conseil, for he that wikked conseil yeveth is a traytour.
ParsT 639A For he deceyveth hym that trusteth in hym, ut Achitofel ad Absolonem. But nathelees, yet is his wikked conseil first agayn hymself.
ParsT 640 For, as seith the wise man, “Every fals lyvynge hath this propertee in hymself, that
ParsT 640A he that wole anoye another man, he anoyeth first hymself.”
ParsT 641 And men shul understonde that man shal nat taken his conseil of fals folk, ne of angry folk, or grevous folk,
ParsT 641A ne of folk that loven specially to muchel hir owene profit, ne to muche worldly folk, namely in conseilynge of soules.
ParsT 642 Now comth the synne of hem that sowen and maken discord amonges folk, which is a synne that Crist hateth outrely.
ParsT 642A And no wonder is, for he deyde for to make concord.
ParsT 643 And moore shame do they to Crist than dide they that hym crucifiede,
ParsT 643A for God loveth bettre that freendshipe be amonges folk, than he dide his owene body,
ParsT 643B the which that he yaf for unitee. Therfore been they likned to the devel, that evere is aboute to maken discord.
ParsT 644 Now comth the synne of double tonge, swiche as speken faire byforn folk and wikkedly bihynde, or elles they maken semblant
ParsT 644A as though they speeke of good entencioun, or elles in game and pley, and yet they speke of wikked entente.
ParsT 645 Now comth biwreying of conseil, thurgh which a man is defamed; certes, unnethe may he restoore the damage.
ParsT 646 Now comth manace, that is an open folye, for he that ofte manaceth, he threteth moore than he may parfourne ful ofte tyme.
ParsT 647 Now cometh ydel wordes, that is withouten profit of hym that speketh tho wordes,
ParsT 647A and eek of hym that herkneth tho wordes. Or elles ydel wordes been tho that been nedelees or withouten entente of natureel profit.
ParsT 648 And al be it that ydel wordes been somtyme venial synne,
ParsT 648A yet sholde men douten hem, for we shul yeve rekenynge of hem bifore God.
ParsT 649 Now comth janglynge, that may nat been withoute synne. And, as seith Salomon, “It is a sygne of apert folye.”
ParsT 650 And therfore a philosophre seyde, whan men axed hym how that men sholde plese the peple,
ParsT 650A and he answerde, “Do manye goode werkes, and spek fewe jangles.”
ParsT 651 After this comth the synne of japeres, that been the develes apes,
ParsT 651A for they maken folk to laughe at hire japerie as folk doon at the gawdes of an ape.
ParsT 651B Swiche japeres deffendeth Seint Paul.
ParsT 652 Looke how that vertuouse wordes and hooly conforten hem that travaillen in the service of Crist,
ParsT 652A right so conforten the vileyns wordes and knakkes of japeris hem that travaillen in the service of the devel.
ParsT 653 Thise been the synnes that comen of the tonge, that comen of Ire and of othere synnes mo.
ParsT 654 The remedie agayns Ire is a vertu that men clepen mansuetude, that is debonairetee;
ParsT 654A and eek another vertu, that men callen pacience or suffrance.
ParsT 655 Debonairetee withdraweth and refreyneth the stirynges and the moevynges of mannes corage in his herte,
ParsT 655A in swich manere that they ne skippe nat out by angre ne by ire.
ParsT 656 Suffrance suffreth swetely alle the anoyaunces and the wronges that men doon to man outward.
ParsT 657 Seint Jerome seith thus of debonairetee, that “it dooth noon harm to no wight ne seith.
ParsT 657A ne for noon harm that men doon or seyn, he ne eschawfeth nat agayns his resoun.”
ParsT 658 This vertu somtyme comth of nature, for, as seith the Philosophre,
ParsT 658A “A man is a quyk thyng, by nature debonaire and tretable to goodnesse;
ParsT 658B but whan debonairetee is enformed of grace, thanne is it the moore worth.”
ParsT 659 Pacience, that is another remedie agayns Ire, is a vertu that suffreth swetely every mannes goodnesse,
ParsT 659A and is nat wrooth for noon harm that is doon to hym.
ParsT 660 The Philosophre seith that pacience is thilke vertu that suffreth debonairely alle the outrages of adversitee and every wikked word.
ParsT 661 This vertu maketh a man lyk to God, and maketh hym Goddes owene deere child, as seith Crist.
ParsT 661A This vertu disconfiteth thyn enemy. And therfore seith the wise man, “If thow wolt venquysse thyn enemy, lerne to suffre.”
ParsT 662 And thou shalt understonde that man suffreth foure manere of grevances in outward thynges,
ParsT 662A agayns the whiche foure he moot have foure manere of paciences.
ParsT 663 The firste grevance is of wikkede wordes. Thilke suffrede Jhesu Crist withouten grucchyng, ful paciently,
ParsT 663A whan the Jewes despised and repreved hym ful ofte.
ParsT 664 Suffre thou therfore paciently; for the wise man seith, “If thou stryve with a fool,
ParsT 664A though the fool be wrooth or though he laughe, algate thou shalt have no reste.”
ParsT 665 That oother grevance outward is to have damage of thy catel. Theragayns suffred Crist ful paciently, whan
ParsT 665A he was despoyled of al that he hadde in this lyf, and that nas but his clothes.
ParsT 666 The thridde grevance is a man to have harm in his body. That suffred Crist ful paciently in al his passioun.
ParsT 667 The fourthe grevance is in outrageous labour in werkes.
ParsT 667A Wherfore I seye that folk that maken hir servantz to travaillen to grevously or out of tyme, as on haly dayes,
ParsT 667B soothly they do greet synne.
ParsT 668 Heer-agayns suffred Crist ful paciently and taughte us pacience, whan he baar upon his blissed shulder
ParsT 668A the croys upon which he sholde suffren despitous deeth.
ParsT 669 Heere may men lerne to be pacient, for certes noght oonly Cristen men been pacient for love of Jhesu Crist
ParsT 669A and for gerdoun of the blisful lyf that is perdurable, but
ParsT 669B certes, the olde payens that nevere were Cristene commendeden and useden the vertu of pacience.
ParsT 670 A philosophre upon a tyme, that wolde have beten his disciple for his grete trespas,
ParsT 670A for which he was greetly amoeved, and broghte a yerde to scoure with the child;
ParsT 671 and whan this child saugh the yerde, he seyde to his maister,
ParsT 671A “What thenke ye do?” “I wol bete thee,” quod the maister, “for thy correccioun.”
ParsT 672 “For sothe,” quod the child, “ye oghten first correcte youreself,
ParsT 672A that han lost al youre pacience for the gilt of a child.”
ParsT 673 “For sothe,” quod the maister al wepynge, “thow seyst sooth. Have thow the yerde, my deere sone, and correcte me for myn inpacience.”
ParsT 674 Of pacience comth obedience, thurgh which a man is obedient to Crist and to alle hem
ParsT 674A to whiche he oghte to been obedient in Crist.
ParsT 675 And understond wel that obedience is parfit
ParsT 675A whan that a man dooth gladly and hastily, with good herte entierly, al that he sholde do.
ParsT 676 Obedience generally is to parfourne the doctrine of God and of his sovereyns, to whiche hym oghte to ben obeisaunt in alle rightwisnesse.
ParsT 677 After the synne of Envye and of Ire, now wol I speken of the synne of Accidie.
ParsT 677A For Envye blyndeth the herte of a man, and Ire troubleth a man, and Accidie maketh hym hevy, thoghtful, and wraw.
ParsT 678 Envye and Ire maken bitternesse in herte, which bitternesse is mooder of Accidie, and bynymeth hym the love of alle goodnesse.
ParsT 678A Thanne is Accidie the angwissh of troubled herte; and Seint Augustyn seith, “It is anoy of goodnesse and joye of harm.”
ParsT 679 Certes, this is a dampnable synne, for it dooth wrong to Jhesu Crist,
ParsT 679B in as muche as it bynymeth the service that men oghte doon to Crist with alle diligence, as seith Salomon.
ParsT 680 But Accidie dooth no swich diligence. He dooth alle thyng with anoy, and with wrawnesse, slaknesse, and excusacioun, and with ydelnesse, and unlust;
ParsT 680A for which the book seith, “Acursed be he that dooth the service of God necligently.”
ParsT 681 Thanne is Accidie enemy to everich estaat of man, for certes the estaat of man is in three maneres.
ParsT 682 Outher it is th’ estaat of innocence, as was th’ estaat of Adam biforn that he fil into synne,
ParsT 682A in which estaat he was holden to wirche as in heriynge and adowrynge of God.
ParsT 683 Another estaat is the estaat of synful men, in which estaat men been holden to laboure in preiynge to God
ParsT 683A for amendement of hire synnes, and that he wole graunte hem to arysen out of hir synnes.
ParsT 684 Another estaat is th’ estaat of grace, in which estaat he is holden to werkes of penitence.
ParsT 684A And certes, to alle thise thynges is Accidie enemy and contrarie, for he loveth no bisynesse at al.
ParsT 685 Now certes this foule synne Accidie is eek a ful greet enemy to the liflode of the body,
ParsT 685A for it ne hath no purveaunce agayn temporeel necessitee, for it forsleweth and forsluggeth and destroyeth alle goodes temporeles by reccheleesnesse.
ParsT 686 The fourthe thyng is that Accidie is lyk hem that been in the peyne of helle, by cause of hir slouthe
ParsT 686A and of hire hevynesse, for they that been dampned been so bounde that they ne may neither wel do ne wel thynke.
ParsT 687 Of Accidie comth first that a man is anoyed and encombred for to doon any goodnesse,
ParsT 687A and maketh that God hath abhomynacion of swich Accidie, as seith Seint John.
ParsT 688 Now comth Slouthe, that wol nat suffre noon hardnesse ne no penaunce. For soothly, Slouthe is so tendre and so delicaat,
ParsT 688A as seith Salomon, that he wol nat suffre noon hardnesse ne penaunce, and therfore he shendeth al that he dooth.
ParsT 689 Agayns this roten-herted synne of Accidie and Slouthe sholde men exercise hemself to doon goode werkes, and manly
ParsT 689A and vertuously cacchen corage wel to doon, thynkynge that oure Lord Jhesu Crist quiteth every good dede, be it never so lite.
ParsT 690 Usage of labour is a greet thyng, for it maketh, as seith Seint Bernard, the laborer to have stronge armes and harde synwes;
ParsT 690A and slouthe maketh hem feble and tendre.
ParsT 691 Thanne comth drede to bigynne to werke anye goode werkes. For certes, he that is enclyned to synne,
ParsT 691A hym thynketh it is so greet an emprise for to undertake to doon werkes of goodnesse,
ParsT 692 and casteth in his herte that the circumstaunces of goodnesse been so grevouse
ParsT 692A and so chargeaunt for to suffre, that he dar nat undertake to do werkes of goodnesse, as seith Seint Gregorie.
ParsT 693 Now comth wanhope, that is despeir of the mercy of God, that comth somtyme of to muche outrageous sorwe,
ParsT 693A and somtyme of to muche drede, ymaginynge that he hath doon so muche synne that it wol nat availlen hym,
ParsT 693B though he wolde repenten hym and forsake synne,
ParsT 694 thurgh which despeir or drede he abaundoneth al his herte to every maner synne, as seith Seint Augustin.
ParsT 695 Which dampnable synne, if that it continue unto his ende, it is cleped synnyng in the Hooly Goost.
ParsT 696 This horrible synne is so perilous that he that is despeired,
ParsT 696A ther nys no felonye ne no synne that he douteth for to do, as shewed wel by Judas.
ParsT 697 Certes, aboven alle synnes thanne is this synne moost displesant to Crist, and moost adversarie.
ParsT 698 Soothly, he that despeireth hym is lyk the coward champioun recreant, that seith “creant” withoute nede.
ParsT 698A Allas, allas, nedeles is he recreant and nedelees despeired.
ParsT 699 Certes, the mercy of God is evere redy to the penitent, and is aboven alle his werkes.
ParsT 700 Allas, kan a man nat bithynke hym on the gospel of Seint Luc, 15,
ParsT 700A where as Crist seith that “as wel shal ther be joye in hevene upon a synful man that dooth penitence,
ParsT 700B as upon nynty and nyne rightful men that neden no penitence.”
ParsT 701 Looke forther, in the same gospel, the joye and the feeste of the goode man that hadde lost his sone,
ParsT 701A whan his sone with repentaunce was retourned to his fader.
ParsT 702 Kan they nat remembren hem eek that, as seith Seint Luc, 23, how that the theef that was hanged bisyde Jhesu Crist seyde,
ParsT 702A “Lord, remembre of me, whan thow comest into thy regn.”?
ParsT 703 “For sothe,” seyde Crist, “I seye to thee, to-day shaltow been with me in paradys.”
ParsT 704 Certes, ther is noon so horrible synne of man
ParsT 704A that it ne may in his lyf be destroyed by penitence, thurgh vertu of the passion and of the deeth of Crist.
ParsT 705 Allas, what nedeth man thanne to been despeired, sith that his mercy so redy is and large? Axe and have.
ParsT 706 Thanne cometh sompnolence, that is sloggy slombrynge, which maketh a man be hevy and dul in body and in soule,
ParsT 706A and this synne comth of Slouthe.
ParsT 707 And certes, the tyme that, by wey of resoun, men sholde nat slepe, that is by the morwe,
ParsT 707A but if ther were cause resonable.
ParsT 708 For soothly, the morwe tyde is moost covenable a man to seye his preyeres, and for to thynken on God,
ParsT 708A and for to honoure God, and to yeven almesse to the povre that first cometh in the name of Crist.
ParsT 709 Lo, what seith Salomon: “Whoso wolde by the morwe awaken and seke me, he shal fynde.”
ParsT 710 Thanne cometh necligence, or reccheleesnesse, that rekketh of no thyng.
ParsT 710A And how that ignoraunce be mooder of alle harm, certes, necligence is the norice.
ParsT 711 Necligence ne dooth no fors, whan he shal doon a thyng, wheither he do it weel or baddely.
ParsT 712 Of the remedie of thise two synnes, as seith the wise man,
ParsT 712A that “He that dredeth God, he spareth nat to doon that him oghte doon.”
ParsT 713 And he that loveth God, he wol doon diligence to plese God by his werkes
ParsT 713A and abaundone hymself, with al his myght, wel for to doon.
ParsT 714 Thanne comth ydelnesse, that is the yate of alle harmes. An ydel man is lyk to a place that hath no walles;
ParsT 714A the develes may entre on every syde, or sheten at hym at discovert, by temptacion on every syde.
ParsT 715 This ydelnesse is the thurrok of alle wikked and vileyns thoghtes, and of alle jangles, trufles, and of alle ordure.
ParsT 716 Certes, the hevene is yeven to hem that wol labouren, and nat to ydel folk. Eek David seith that
ParsT 716A “they ne been nat in the labour of men, ne they shul nat been whipped with men”
ParsT 716B — that is to seyn, in purgatorie.
ParsT 717 Certes, thanne semeth it they shul be tormented with the devel in helle, but if they doon penitence.
ParsT 718 Thanne comth the synne that men clepen tarditas, as whan a man is to laterede or tariynge er he wole turne to God,
ParsT 718A and certes that is a greet folie. He is lyk to hym that falleth in the dych and wol nat arise.
ParsT 719 And this vice comth of a fals hope, that he thynketh that he shal lyve longe; but that hope faileth ful ofte.
ParsT 720 Thanne comth lachesse; that is he that whan he biginneth any good werk
ParsT 720A anon he shal forleten it and stynten, as doon they that han any wight to governe
ParsT 720B and ne taken of hym namoore kep anon as they fynden any contrarie or any anoy.
ParsT 721 Thise been the newe sheepherdes that leten hir sheep wityngly go renne
ParsT 721A to the wolf that is in the breres, or do no fors of hir owene governaunce.
ParsT 722 Of this comth poverte and destruccioun, bothe of spiritueel and temporeel thynges.
ParsT 722A Thanne comth a manere cooldnesse, that freseth al the herte of a man.
ParsT 723 Thanne comth undevocioun, thurgh which a man is so blent, as seith Seint Bernard,
ParsT 723A and hath swich langour in soule that he may neither rede ne singe in hooly chirche, ne heere ne thynke of no devocioun,
ParsT 723B ne travaille with his handes in no good werk, that it nys hym unsavory and al apalled.
ParsT 724 Thanne wexeth he slough and slombry, and soone wol be wrooth, and soone is enclyned to hate and to envye.
ParsT 725 Thanne comth the synne of worldly sorwe, swich as is cleped tristicia, that sleeth man, as seith Seint Paul.
ParsT 726 For certes, swich sorwe werketh to the deeth of the soule and of the body also;
ParsT 726A for therof comth that a man is anoyed of his owene lif.
ParsT 727 Wherfore swich sorwe shorteth ful ofte the lif of man, er that his tyme be come by wey of kynde.
ParsT 728 Agayns this horrible synne of Accidie, and the branches of the same, ther is a vertu that is called fortitudo or strengthe,
ParsT 728A that is an affeccioun thurgh which a man despiseth anoyouse thinges.
ParsT 729 This vertu is so myghty and so vigerous that it dar withstonde myghtily and wisely kepen hymself fro perils that been wikked,
ParsT 729A and wrastle agayn the assautes of the devel.
ParsT 730 For it enhaunceth and enforceth the soule, right as Accidie abateth it and maketh it fieble.
ParsT 730A For this fortitudo may endure by long suffraunce the travailles that been covenable.
ParsT 731 This vertu hath manye speces; and the firste is cleped magnanimitee, that is to seyn, greet corage.
ParsT 731A For certes, ther bihoveth greet corage agains Accidie,
ParsT 731B lest that it ne swolwe the soule by the synne of sorwe, or destroye it by wanhope.
ParsT 732 This vertu maketh folk to undertake harde thynges and grevouse thynges, by hir owene wil, wisely and resonably.
ParsT 733 And for as muchel as the devel fighteth agayns a man moore by queyntise and by sleighte than by strengthe,
ParsT 733A therfore men shal withstonden hym by wit and by resoun and by discrecioun.
ParsT 734 Thanne arn ther the vertues of feith and hope in God and in his seintes
ParsT 734A to acheve and acomplice the goode werkes in the whiche he purposeth fermely to continue.
ParsT 735 Thanne comth seuretee or sikernesse, and that is
ParsT 735A whan a man ne douteth no travaille in tyme comynge of the goode werkes that a man hath bigonne.
ParsT 736 Thanne comth magnificence; that is to seyn, whan a man dooth and parfourneth grete werkes of goodnesse; and that is the ende
ParsT 736A why that men sholde do goode werkes, for in the acomplissynge of grete goode werkes lith the grete gerdoun.
ParsT 737 Thanne is ther constaunce, that is stablenesse of corage, and this sholde been in herte by stedefast feith,
ParsT 737A and in mouth, and in berynge, and in chiere, and in dede.
ParsT 738 Eke ther been mo speciale remedies against Accidie in diverse werkes, and
ParsT 738A in consideracioun of the peynes of helle and of the joyes of hevene,
ParsT 738B and in the trust of the grace of the Holy Goost, that wole yeve hym myght to parfourne his goode entente.
ParsT 739 After Accidie wol I speke of Avarice and of Coveitise, of which synne seith
ParsT 739A Seint Paul that “the roote of alle harmes is Coveitise.” Ad Thimotheum Sexto.
ParsT 740 For soothly, whan the herte of a man is confounded in itself and troubled, and that
ParsT 740A the soule hath lost the confort of God, thanne seketh he an ydel solas of worldly thynges.
ParsT 741 Avarice, after the descripcioun of Seint Augustyn, is a likerousnesse in herte to have erthely thynges.
ParsT 742 Som oother folk seyn that Avarice is for to purchacen manye erthely thynges and no thyng yeve to hem that han nede.
ParsT 743 And understoond that Avarice ne stant nat oonly in lond ne catel,
ParsT 743A but somtyme in science and in glorie, and in every manere of outrageous thyng is Avarice and Coveitise.
ParsT 744 And the difference bitwixe Avarice and Coveitise is this: Coveitise is for to coveite swiche thynges as thou hast nat;
ParsT 744A and Avarice is for to withholde and kepe swiche thynges as thou hast, withoute rightful nede.
ParsT 745 Soothly, this Avarice is a synne that is ful dampnable, for al hooly writ curseth it and speketh agayns that vice,
ParsT 745A for it dooth wrong to Jhesu Crist.
ParsT 746 For it bireveth hym the love that men to hym owen, and turneth it bakward agayns alle resoun,
ParsT 747 and maketh that the avaricious man hath moore hope in his catel than in Jhesu Crist,
ParsT 747A and dooth moore observance in kepynge of his tresor than he dooth to the service of Jhesu Crist.
ParsT 748 And therfore seith Seint Paul Ad Ephesios quinto, that an avaricious man is the thraldom of ydolatrie.
ParsT 749 What difference is bitwixe an ydolastre and an avaricious man, but that an ydolastre, per aventure, ne hath but o mawmet or two,
ParsT 749A and the avaricious man hath manye? For certes, every floryn in his cofre is his mawmet.
ParsT 750 And certes, the synne of mawmettrie is the firste thyng
ParsT 750A that God deffended in the ten comaundementz, as bereth witnesse in Exodi capitulo vicesimo:
ParsT 751 “Thou shalt have no false goddes bifore me, ne thou shalt make to thee no grave thyng.”
ParsT 751A Thus is an avaricious man, that loveth his tresor biforn God, an ydolastre,
ParsT 752 thurgh this cursed synne of avarice. Of Coveitise comen thise harde lordshipes,
ParsT 752A thurgh whiche men been distreyned by taylages, custumes, and cariages, moore than hire duetee or resoun is.
ParsT 752B And eek taken they of hire bonde-men amercimentz, whiche myghten moore resonably ben cleped extorcions than amercimentz.
ParsT 753 Of whiche amercimentz and raunsonynge of boonde-men somme lordes stywardes seyn that it is rightful,
ParsT 753A for as muche as a cherl hath no temporeel thyng that it ne is his lordes, as they seyn.
ParsT 754 But certes, thise lord-shipes doon wrong
ParsT 754A that bireven hire bonde-folk thynges that they nevere yave hem. Augustinus, De Civitate libro nono.
ParsT 755 “Sooth is that the condicioun of thraldom and the firste cause of thraldom is for synne. Genesis nono.
ParsT 756 Thus may ye seen that the gilt disserveth thraldom, but nat nature.”
ParsT 757 Wherfore thise lordes ne sholde nat muche glorifien hem in hir lordshipes,
ParsT 757A sith that by natureel condicion they been nat lordes over thralles, but that thraldom comth first by the desert of synne.
ParsT 758 And forther over, ther as the lawe seith that temporeel goodes of boonde-folk been the goodes of hir lordshipes, ye,
ParsT 758A that is for to understonde, the goodes of the emperour, to deffenden hem in hir right,
ParsT 758B but nat for to robben hem ne reven hem.
ParsT 759 And therfore seith Seneca, “Thy prudence sholde lyve benignely with thy thralles.”
ParsT 760 Thilke that thou clepest thy thralles been Goddes peple, for humble folk been Cristes freendes; they been contubernyal with the Lord.
ParsT 761 Thynk eek that of swich seed as cherles spryngen, of swich seed spryngen lordes.
ParsT 761A As wel may the cherl be saved as the lord.
ParsT 762 The same deeth that taketh the cherl, swich deeth taketh the lord.
ParsT 762A Wherfore I rede, do right so with thy cherl, as thou woldest that thy lord dide with thee,
ParsT 762B if thou were in his plit.
ParsT 763 Every synful man is a cherl to synne. I rede thee, certes, that thou, lord,
ParsT 763A werke in swich wise with thy cherles that they rather love thee than drede.
ParsT 764 I woot wel ther is degree above degree, as reson is,
ParsT 764A and skile is that men do hir devoir ther as it is due,
ParsT 764B but certes, extorcions and despit of youre underlynges is dampnable.
ParsT 765 And forther over, understoond wel that thise conquerours or tirauntz maken ful ofte thralles
ParsT 765A of hem that been born of as roial blood as been they that hem conqueren.
ParsT 766 This name of thraldom was nevere erst kowth til
ParsT 766A that Noe seyde that his sone Canaan sholde be thral to his bretheren for his synne.
ParsT 767 What seye we thanne of hem that pilen and doon extorcions to hooly chirche?
ParsT 767A Certes, the swerd that men yeven first to a knyght, whan he is newe dubbed, signifieth that he sholde deffenden hooly chirche,
ParsT 767B and nat robben it ne pilen it; and whoso dooth is traitour to Crist.
ParsT 768 And, as seith Seint Augustyn, “They been the develes wolves that stranglen the sheep of Jhesu Crist,” and doon worse than wolves.
ParsT 769 For soothly, whan the wolf hath ful his wombe, he stynteth to strangle sheep.
ParsT 769A But soothly, the pilours and destroyours of the godes of hooly chirche ne do nat so, for they ne stynte nevere to pile.
ParsT 770 Now as I have seyd, sith so is that synne was first cause of thraldom, thanne is it thus:
ParsT 770A that thilke tyme that al this world was in synne, thanne was al this world in thraldom and subjeccioun.
ParsT 771 But certes, sith the time of grace cam, God ordeyned that som folk sholde be moore heigh in estaat and in degree,
ParsT 771A and som folk moore lough, and that everich sholde be served in his estaat and in his degree.
ParsT 772 And therfore in somme contrees, ther they byen thralles, whan they han turned hem to the feith,
ParsT 772A they maken hire thralles free out of thraldom. And therfore,
ParsT 772B certes, the lord oweth to his man that the man oweth to his lord.
ParsT 773 The Pope calleth hymself servant of the servantz of God; but
ParsT 773A for as muche as the estaat of hooly chirche ne myghte nat han be, ne the commune profit myghte nat han be kept,
ParsT 773B ne pees and rest in erthe, but if God hadde ordeyned that som men hadde hyer degree and som men lower,
ParsT 774 therfore was sovereyntee ordeyned, to kepe and mayntene and deffenden hire underlynges or hire subgetz in resoun,
ParsT 774A as ferforth as it lith in hire power, and nat to destroyen hem ne confounde.
ParsT 775 Wherfore I seye that thilke lordes that been lyk wolves,
ParsT 775A that devouren the possessiouns or the catel of povre folk wrongfully, withouten mercy or mesure,
ParsT 776 they shul receyven by the same mesure that they han mesured to povre folk the
ParsT 776A mercy of Jhesu Crist, but if it be amended.
ParsT 777 Now comth deceite bitwixe marchaunt and marchant. And thow shalt understonde that marchandise is in manye maneres;
ParsT 777A that oon is bodily, and that oother is goostly; that oon is honest and leveful, and that oother is deshonest and unleveful.
ParsT 778 Of thilke bodily marchandise that is leveful and honest is this:
ParsT 778A that, there as God hath ordeyned that a regne or a contree is suffisaunt to hymself,
ParsT 778B thanne is it honest and leveful that of habundaunce of this contree, that men helpe another contree that is moore nedy.
ParsT 779 And therfore ther moote been marchantz to bryngen fro that o contree to that oother hire marchandises.
ParsT 780 That oother marchandise, that men haunten with fraude and trecherie and deceite, with lesynges and false othes, is cursed and dampnable.
ParsT 781 Espiritueel marchandise is proprely symonye, that is ententif desir to byen thyng espiritueel;
ParsT 781A that is, thyng that aperteneth to the seintuarie of God and to cure of the soule.
ParsT 782 This desir, if so be that a man do his diligence to parfournen it,
ParsT 782A al be it that his desir ne take noon effect, yet is it to hym a deedly synne;
ParsT 782B and if he be ordred, he is irreguleer.
ParsT 783 Certes symonye is cleped of Simon Magus, that wolde han boght for temporeel catel
ParsT 783A the yifte that God hadde yeven by the Hooly Goost to Seint Peter and to the apostles.
ParsT 784 And therfore understoond that bothe he that selleth and he that beyeth thynges espirituels been cleped symonyals,
ParsT 784A be it by catel, be it by procurynge, or by flesshly preyere of his freendes, flesshly freendes or espiritueel freendes:
ParsT 785 Flesshly in two maneres; as by kynrede, or othere freendes. Soothly, if they praye for hym that is nat worthy and able,
ParsT 785A it is symonye, if he take the benefice; and if he be worthy and able, ther nys noon.
ParsT 786 That oother manere is whan men or wommen preyen for folk to avauncen hem,
ParsT 786A oonly for wikked flesshly affeccioun that they han unto the persone, and that is foul symonye.
ParsT 787 But certes, in service, for which men yeven thynges espirituels unto hir servantz, it moot been understonde that
ParsT 787A the service moot been honest and elles nat; and eek that it be withouten bargaynynge, and that the persone be able.
ParsT 788 For, as seith Seint Damasie, “Alle the synnes of the world, at regard of this synne, arn as thyng of noght.”
ParsT 788A For it is the gretteste synne that may be, after the synne of Lucifer and Antecrist.
ParsT 789 For by this synne God forleseth the chirche and the soule that he boghte with his precious blood,
ParsT 789A by hem that yeven chirches to hem that been nat digne.
ParsT 790 For they putten in theves that stelen the soules of Jhesu Crist and destroyen his patrimoyne.
ParsT 791 By swiche undigne preestes and curates han lewed men the lasse reverence of the sacramentz of hooly chirche,
ParsT 791A and swiche yeveres of chirches putten out the children of Crist and putten into the chirche the develes owene sone.
ParsT 792 They sellen the soules that lambes sholde kepen to the wolf that strangleth hem.
ParsT 792A And therfore shul they nevere han part of the pasture of lambes, that is the blisse of hevene.
ParsT 793 Now comth hasardrie with his apurtenaunces, as tables and rafles, of which comth deceite, false othes, chidynges, and alle ravynes,
ParsT 793A blasphemynge and reneiynge of God, and hate of his neighebores, wast of goodes, mysspendynge of tyme, and somtyme manslaughtre.
ParsT 794 Certes, hasardours ne mowe nat been withouten greet synne whiles they haunte that craft.
ParsT 795 Of Avarice comen eek lesynges, thefte, fals witnesse, and false othes.
ParsT 795A And ye shul understonde that thise been grete synnes and expres agayn the comaundementz of God, as I have seyd.
ParsT 796 Fals witnesse is in word and eek in dede. In word, as for to bireve thy neighebores goode name by thy fals witnessyng,
ParsT 796A or bireven hym his catel or his heritage by thy fals witnessyng, whan thou for ire, or for meede,
ParsT 796B or for envye, berest fals witnesse, or accusest hym or excusest hym by thy fals witnesse, or elles excusest thyself falsly.
ParsT 797 Ware yow, questemongeres and notaries! Certes, for fals witnessyng was Susanna in ful gret sorwe and peyne, and many another mo.
ParsT 798 The synne of thefte is eek expres agayns Goddes heeste, and that in two maneres, corporeel or spiritueel.
ParsT 799 Corporeel, as for to take thy neighebores catel agayn his wyl,
ParsT 799A be it by force or by sleighte, be it by met or by mesure;
ParsT 800 by stelyng eek of false enditementz upon hym, and in borwynge of thy neighebores catel,
ParsT 800A in entente nevere to payen it agayn, and semblable thynges.
ParsT 801 Espiritueel thefte is sacrilege; that is to seyn, hurtynge of hooly thynges, or of thynges sacred to Crist, in two maneres:
ParsT 801A by reson of the hooly place, as chirches or chirche-hawes,
ParsT 802 for which every vileyns synne that men doon in swiche places may be cleped sacrilege, or every violence in the semblable places;
ParsT 802A also, they that withdrawen falsly the rightes that longen to hooly chirche.
ParsT 803 And pleynly and generally, sacrilege is to reven hooly thyng fro hooly place,
ParsT 803A or unhooly thyng out of hooly place, or hooly thing out of unhooly place.
ParsT 804 Now shul ye understonde that the releevynge of Avarice is misericorde, and pitee largely taken.
ParsT 804A And men myghten axe why that misericorde and pitee is releevynge of Avarice.
ParsT 805 Certes, the avricious man sheweth no pitee ne misericorde to the nedeful man, for he deliteth hym
ParsT 805A in the kepynge of his tresor, and nat in the rescowynge ne releevynge of his evene-Cristen. And therfore speke I first of misericorde.
ParsT 806 Thanne is misericorde, as seith the Philosophre, a vertu
ParsT 806A by which the corage of a man is stired by the mysese of hym that is mysesed.
ParsT 807 Upon which misericorde folweth pitee in parfournynge of charitable werkes of misericorde.
ParsT 808 And certes, thise thynges moeven a man to the misericorde of Jhesu Crist,
ParsT 808A that he yaf hymself for oure gilt, and suffred deeth for misericorde, and forgaf us oure originale synnes,
ParsT 809 and therby relessed us fro the peynes of helle, and amenused the peynes of purgatorie by penitence,
ParsT 809A and yeveth grace wel to do, and atte laste the blisse of hevene.
ParsT 810 The speces of misericorde been, as for to lene and for to yeve, and to foryeven and relesse,
ParsT 810A and for to han pitee in herte and compassioun of the meschief of his evene-Cristene, and eek to chastise, there as nede is.
ParsT 811 Another manere of remedie agayns avarice is resonable largesse; but soothly, heere bihoveth the consideracioun of the grace of Jhesu Crist,
ParsT 811A and of his temporeel goodes, and eek of the goodes perdurables that Crist yaf to us;
ParsT 812 and to han remembrance of the deeth that he shal receyve, he noot whanne, where, ne how;
ParsT 812A and eek that he shal forgon al that he hath, save oonly that he hath despended in goode werkes.
ParsT 813 But for as muche as som folk been unmesurable, men oghten eschue fool-largesse, that men clepen wast.
ParsT 814 Certes, he that is fool-large ne yeveth nat his catel, but he leseth his catel.
ParsT 814A Soothly, what thyng that he yeveth for veyne glorie, as to mynstrals and to folk for to beren his renoun
ParsT 814B in the world, he hath synne therof and noon almesse.
ParsT 815 Certes, he leseth foule his good that ne seketh with the yifte of his good nothyng but synne.
ParsT 816 He is lyk to an hors that seketh
ParsT 816A rather to drynken drovy or trouble water than for to drynken water of the clere welle.
ParsT 817 And for as muchel as they yeven ther as they sholde nat yeven, to hem aperteneth
ParsT 817A thilke malisoun that Crist shal yeven at the day of doom to hem that shullen been dampned.
ParsT 818 After Avarice comth Glotonye, which is expres eek agayn the comandement of God. Glotonye is unmesurable appetit to ete or to drynke,
ParsT 818A or elles to doon ynogh to the unmesurable appetit and desordeynee coveitise to eten or to drynke.
ParsT 819 This synne corrumped al this world, as is wel shewed in the synne of Adam and of Eve.
ParsT 819A Looke eek what seith Seint Paul of Glotonye:
ParsT 820 “Manye,” seith Saint Paul, “goon, of whiche I have ofte seyd to yow,
ParsT 820A and now I seye it wepynge, that been the enemys of the croys of Crist; of whiche the ende is deeth,
ParsT 820B and of whiche hire wombe is hire god, and hire glorie in confusioun of hem that so savouren erthely thynges.”
ParsT 821 He that is usaunt to this synne of glotonye, he ne may no synne withstonde.
ParsT 821A He moot been in servage of alle vices, for it is the develes hoord ther he hideth hym and resteth.
ParsT 822 This synne hath manye speces. The firste is dronkenesse, that is the horrible sepulture of mannes resoun;
ParsT 822A and therfore, whan a man is dronken, he hath lost his resoun; and this is deedly synne.
ParsT 823 But soothly, whan that a man is nat wont to strong drynke, and peraventure ne knoweth nat the strengthe of the drynke,
ParsT 823A or hath feblesse in his heed, or hath travailed, thurgh which he drynketh the moore, al be he sodeynly caught with drynke,
ParsT 823B it is no deedly synne, but venyal.
ParsT 824 The seconde spece of glotonye is that the spirit of a man wexeth al trouble,
ParsT 824A for dronkenesse bireveth hym the discrecioun of his wit.
ParsT 825 The thridde spece of glotonye is whan a man devoureth his mete and hath no rightful manere of etynge.
ParsT 826 The fourthe is whan, thurgh the grete habundaunce of his mete, the humours in his body been distempred.
ParsT 827 The fifthe is foryetelnesse by to muchel drynkynge, for which somtyme
ParsT 827A a man foryeteth er the morwe what he dide at even, or on the nyght biforn.
ParsT 828 In oother manere been distinct the speces of Glotonye, after Seint Gregorie. The firste is for to ete biforn tyme to ete.
ParsT 828A The seconde is whan a man get hym to delicaat mete or drynke.
ParsT 829 The thridde is whan men taken to muche over mesure. The fourthe is curiositee, with greet entente to maken and apparaillen his mete.
ParsT 829A The fifthe is for to eten to gredily.
ParsT 830 Thise been the fyve fyngres of the develes hand, by whiche he draweth folk to synne.
ParsT 831 Agayns Glotonye is the remedie abstinence, as seith Galien; but that holde I nat meritorie,
ParsT 831A if he do it oonly for the heele of his body. Seint Augustyn wole that abstinence be doon for vertu and with pacience.
ParsT 832 “Abstinence,” he seith, “is litel worth but if a man have good wil therto,
ParsT 832A and but it be enforced by pacience and by charitee, and that men doon it for Godes sake,
ParsT 832B and in hope to have the blisse of hevene.”
ParsT 833 The felawes of abstinence been attemperaunce, that holdeth the meene in alle thynges; eek shame, that eschueth alle deshonestee;
ParsT 833A suffisance, that seketh no riche metes ne drynkes, ne dooth no fors of to outrageous apparailynge of mete;
ParsT 834 mesure also, that restreyneth by resoun the deslavee appetit of etynge; sobrenesse also, that restreyneth the outrage of drynke;
ParsT 835 sparynge also, that restreyneth the delicaat ese to sitte longe at his mete and softely,
ParsT 835A wherfore some folk stonden of hir owene wyl to eten at the lasse leyser.
ParsT 836 After Glotonye thanne comth Lecherie, for thise two synnes been so ny cosyns that ofte tyme they wol nat departe.
ParsT 837 God woot, this synne is ful displesaunt thyng to God, for he seyde hymself,
ParsT 837A “Do no lecherie.” And therfore he putte grete peynes agayns this synne in the olde lawe.
ParsT 838 If womman thral were taken in this synne, she sholde be beten with staves to the deeth;
ParsT 838A and if she were a gentil womman, she sholde be slayn with
ParsT 838B stones; and if she were a bisshoppes doghter, she sholde been brent, by Goddes comandement.
ParsT 839 Forther over, by the synne of lecherie God dreynte al the world at the diluge.
ParsT 839A And after that he brente fyve citees with thonder-leyt, and sank hem into helle.
ParsT 840 Now lat us speke thanne of thilke stynkynge synne of Lecherie that men clepe avowtrie of wedded folk;
ParsT 840A that is to seyn, if that oon of hem be wedded, or elles bothe.
ParsT 841 Seint John seith that avowtiers shullen been in helle, in a stank brennynge of fyr and of brymston
ParsT 841A — in fyr for hire lecherye, in brymston for the stynk of hire ordure.
ParsT 842 Certes, the brekynge of this sacrement is an horrible thyng.
ParsT 842A It was maked of God hymself in paradys, and confermed by Jhesu Crist, as witnesseth Seint Mathew in the gospel:
ParsT 842B “A man shal lete fader and mooder and taken hym to his wif, and they shullen be two in o flessh.”
ParsT 843 This sacrement bitokneth the knyttynge togidre of Crist and of hooly chirche.
ParsT 844 And nat oonly that God forbad avowtrie in dede, but eek he comanded that thou sholdest nat coveite thy neighebores wyf.
ParsT 845 “In this heeste,” seith Seint Augustyn, “is forboden alle manere coveitise to doon lecherie.” Lo, what seith Seint Mathew in the gospel, that
ParsT 845A “whoso seeth a womman to coveitise of his lust, he hath doon lecherie with hire in his herte.”
ParsT 846 Heere may ye seen that nat oonly the dede of this synne is forboden, but eek the desir to doon that synne.
ParsT 847 This cursed synne anoyeth grevousliche hem that it haunten. And first to hire soule,
ParsT 847A for he obligeth it to synne and to peyne of deeth that is perdurable.
ParsT 848 Unto the body anoyeth it grevously also, for it dreyeth hym, and wasteth him, and shent hym, and of his blood
ParsT 848A he maketh sacrifice to the feend of helle. It wasteth eek his catel and his substaunce.
ParsT 849 And certes, if it be a foul thyng a man to waste his catel on wommen,
ParsT 849A yet is it a fouler thyng whan that, for swich ordure, wommen dispenden upon men hir catel and substaunce.
ParsT 850 This synne, as seith the prophete, bireveth man and womman hir goode fame and al hire honour,
ParsT 850A and it is ful plesaunt to the devel, for therby wynneth he the mooste partie of this world.
ParsT 851 And right as a marchant deliteth hym moost in chaffare that he hath moost avantage of,
ParsT 851A right so deliteth the fend in this ordure.
ParsT 852 This is that oother hand of the devel with fyve fyngres to cacche the peple to his vileynye.
ParsT 853 The firste fynger is the fool lookynge of the fool womman and of the fool man; that sleeth, right
ParsT 853A as the basilicok sleeth folk by the venym of his sighte, for the coveitise of eyen folweth the coveitise of the herte.
ParsT 854 The seconde fynger is the vileyns touchynge in wikkede manere.
ParsT 854A And therfore seith Salomon that “whoso toucheth and handleth a womman, he fareth lyk
ParsT 854B hym that handleth the scorpioun that styngeth and sodeynly sleeth thurgh his envenymynge”; as whoso toucheth warm pych, it shent his fyngres.
ParsT 855 The thridde is foule wordes, that fareth lyk fyr, that right anon brenneth the herte.
ParsT 856 The fourthe fynger is the kissynge; and trewely he were a greet fool
ParsT 856A that wolde kisse the mouth of a brennynge oven or of a fourneys.
ParsT 857 And moore fooles been they that kissen in vileynye, for that mouth is the mouth of helle;
ParsT 857A and namely thise olde dotardes holours, yet wol they kisse, though they may nat do, and smatre hem.
ParsT 858 Certes, they been lyk to houndes; for an hound, whan he comth by the roser or by othere [bushes],
ParsT 858A though he may nat pisse, yet wole he heve up his leg and make a contenaunce to pisse.
ParsT 859 And for that many man weneth that he may nat synne for no likerousnesse that he dooth with his wyf,
ParsT 859A certes, that opinion is fals. God woot, a man may sleen hymself with his owene knyf,
ParsT 859B and make hymselve dronken of his owene tonne.
ParsT 860 Certes, be it wyf, be it child,
ParsT 860A or any worldly thyng that he loveth biforn God, it is his mawmet, and he is an ydolastre.
ParsT 861 Man sholde loven hys wyf by discrecioun, paciently and atemprely, and thanne is she as though it were his suster.
ParsT 862 The fifthe fynger of the develes hand is the stynkynge dede of Leccherie.
ParsT 863 Certes, the fyve fyngres of Glotonie the feend put in the wombe of a man,
ParsT 863A and with his fyve fingres of Lecherie he gripeth hym by the reynes for to throwen hym into the fourneys of helle,
ParsT 864 ther as they shul han the fyr and the wormes that evere shul lasten, and wepynge and wailynge, sharp hunger and thurst,
ParsT 864A [and] grymnesse of develes, that shullen al totrede hem withouten respit and withouten ende.
ParsT 865 Of Leccherie, as I seyde, sourden diverse speces, as fornicacioun, that is bitwixe man and womman that been nat maried,
ParsT 865A and this is deedly synne and agayns nature.
ParsT 866 Al that is enemy and destruccioun to nature is agayns nature.
ParsT 867 Parfay, the resoun of a man telleth eek hym wel that it is deedly synne, for as muche as God forbad leccherie.
ParsT 867A And Seint Paul yeveth hem the regne that nys dewe to no wight but to hem that doon deedly synne.
ParsT 868 Another synne of Leccherie is to bireve a mayden of hir maydenhede, for he that so dooth,
ParsT 868A certes, he casteth a mayden out of the hyeste degree that is in this present lif
ParsT 869 and bireveth hire thilke precious fruyt that the book clepeth the hundred fruyt.
ParsT 869A I ne kan seye it noon ootherweyes in Englissh, but in Latyn it highte Centesimus fructus.
ParsT 870 Certes, he that so dooth is cause of manye damages and vileynyes, mo than any man kan rekene;
ParsT 870A right as he somtyme is cause of alle damages that beestes don in the feeld, that breketh the hegge or the closure,
ParsT 870B thurgh which he destroyeth that may nat been restoored.
ParsT 871 For certes, namoore may maydenhede be restoored than an arm that is smyten fro the body may retourne agayn to wexe.
ParsT 872 She may have mercy, this woot I wel, if she do penitence; but nevere shal it be that she nas corrupt.
ParsT 873 And al be it so that I have spoken somwhat of avowtrie,
ParsT 873A it is good to shewen mo perils that longen to avowtrie, for to eschue that foule synne.
ParsT 874 Avowtrie in Latyn is for to seyn approchynge of oother mannes bed,
ParsT 874A thurgh which tho that whilom weren o flessh abawndone hir bodyes to othere persones.
ParsT 875 Of this synne, as seith the wise man, folwen manye harmes.
ParsT 875A First, brekynge of feith, and certes in feith is the keye of Cristendom.
ParsT 876 And whan that feith is broken and lorn, soothly Cristendom stant veyn and withouten fruyt.
ParsT 877 This synne is eek a thefte, for thefte generally is for to reve a wight his thyng agayns his wille.
ParsT 878 Certes, this is the fouleste thefte that may be, whan a womman steleth hir body from hir housbonde
ParsT 878A and yeveth it to hire holour to defoulen hire, and steleth hir soule fro Crist and yeveth it to the devel.
ParsT 879 This is a fouler thefte than for to breke a chirche and stele the chalice,
ParsT 879A for thise avowtiers breken the temple of God spiritually, and stelen the vessel of grace, that is the body and the soule,
ParsT 879B for which Crist shal destroyen hem, as seith Seint Paul.
ParsT 880 Soothly, of this thefte douted gretly Joseph, whan that his lordes wyf preyed hym of vileynye, whan he seyde,
ParsT 880A “Lo, my lady, how my lord hath take to me under my warde al that he hath in this world,
ParsT 880B ne no thyng of his thynges is out of my power, but oonly ye, that been his wyf.
ParsT 881 And how sholde I thanne do this wikkednesse, and synne so horribly agayns God and agayns my lord?
ParsT 881A God it forbeede!” Allas, al to litel is swich trouthe now yfounde.
ParsT 882 The thridde harm is the filthe thurgh which they breken the comandement of God, and defoulen the auctour of matrimoyne, that is Crist.
ParsT 883 For certes, in so muche as the sacrement of mariage is so noble and so digne, so muche is it gretter synne
ParsT 883A for to breken it, for God made mariage in paradys, in the estaat of innocence, to multiplye mankynde to the service of God.
ParsT 884 And therfore is the brekynge therof the moore grevous; of which brekynge comen false heires ofte tyme, that wrongfully ocupien folkes heritages.
ParsT 884A And therfore wol Crist putte hem out of the regne of hevene, that is heritage to goode folk.
ParsT 885 Of this brekynge comth eek ofte tyme that folk unwar wedden or synnen with hire owene kynrede, and namely thilke harlotes that haunten
ParsT 885A bordels of thise fool wommen, that mowe be likned to a commune gong, where as men purgen hire ordure.
ParsT 886 What seye we eek of putours that lyven by the horrible synne of putrie, and constreyne wommen to yelden hem a certeyn rente
ParsT 886A of hire bodily puterie, ye, somtyme of his owene wyf or his child, as doon thise bawdes? Certes, thise been cursede synnes.
ParsT 887 Understoond eek that Avowtrie is set gladly in the ten comandementz bitwixe thefte and manslaughtre;
ParsT 887A for it is the gretteste thefte that may be, for it is thefte of body and of soule.
ParsT 888 And it is lyk to homycide, for it kerveth atwo and breketh atwo hem that first were maked o flessh.
ParsT 888A And therfore, by the olde lawe of God, they sholde be slayn.
ParsT 889 But nathelees, by the lawe of Jhesu Crist, that is lawe of pitee, whan he seyde to the womman
ParsT 889A that was founden in avowtrie, and sholde han been slayn with stones, after the wyl of the Jewes, as was hir lawe,
ParsT 889B “Go,” quod Jhesu Crist, “and have namoore wyl to synne,” or, “wille namoore to do synne.”
ParsT 890 Soothly the vengeaunce of Avowtrie is awarded to the peynes of helle, but if so be that it be destourbed by penitence.
ParsT 891 Yet been ther mo speces of this cursed synne; as whan that oon of hem is religious, or elles bothe;
ParsT 891A or of folk that been entred into ordre, as subdekne, or dekne, or preest, or hospitaliers.
ParsT 891B And evere the hyer that he is in ordre, the gretter is the synne.
ParsT 892 The thynges that gretly agreggen hire synne is the brekynge of hire avow of chastitee, whan they receyved the ordre.
ParsT 893 And forther over, sooth is that hooly ordre is chief of al the tresorie of God
ParsT 893A and his especial signe and mark of chastitee to shewe that they been joyned to chastitee,
ParsT 893B which that is the moost precious lyf that is.
ParsT 894 And thise ordred folk been specially titled to God, and of the special meignee of God,
ParsT 894A for which, whan they doon deedly synne, they been the special traytours of God and of his peple;
ParsT 894B for they lyven of the peple, to preye for the peple,
ParsT 894C and while they ben suche traitours, here preyer avayleth nat to the peple.
ParsT 895 Preestes been aungels, as by the dignitee of hir mysterye;
ParsT 895A but for sothe, Seint Paul seith that Sathanas transformeth hym in an aungel of light.
ParsT 896 Soothly, the preest that haunteth deedly synne, he may be likned to the aungel of derknesse transformed in the aungel of light.
ParsT 896A He semeth aungel of light, but for sothe he is aungel of derknesse.
ParsT 897 Swiche preestes been the sones of Helie,
ParsT 897A as sheweth in the Book of Kynges, that they weren the sones of Belial — that is, the devel.
ParsT 898 Belial is to seyn, “withouten juge.” And so faren they; hem thynketh they been free and han no juge,
ParsT 898A namoore than hath a free bole that taketh which cow that hym liketh in the town.
ParsT 899 So faren they by wommen. For right as a free bole is ynough for al a toun,
ParsT 899A right so is a wikked preest corrupcioun ynough for al a parisshe, or for al a contree.
ParsT 900 Thise preestes, as seith the book, ne konne nat the mysterie of preesthod to the peple, ne God ne knowe they nat.
ParsT 900A They ne helde hem nat apayd, as seith the book, of soden flessh that was to hem offred,
ParsT 900B but they tooke by force the flessh that is rawe.
ParsT 901 Certes, so thise shrewes ne holden hem nat apayed of roosted flessh and sode flessh,
ParsT 901A with which the peple feden hem in greet reverence, but they wole have raw flessh of folkes wyves and hir doghtres.
ParsT 902 And certes, thise wommen that consenten to hire harlotrie doon greet wrong to Crist,
ParsT 902A and to hooly chirche, and alle halwes, and to alle soules;
ParsT 902B for they bireven alle thise hym that sholde worshipe Crist and hooly chirche and preye for Cristene soules.
ParsT 903 And therfore han swiche preestes, and hire lemmanes eek that consenten to hir leccherie,
ParsT 903A the malisoun of al the court Cristien, til they come to amendement.
ParsT 904 The thridde spece of avowtrie is somtyme bitwixe a man and his wyf, and that is
ParsT 904A whan they take no reward in hire assemblynge but oonly to hire flesshly delit, as seith Seint Jerome,
ParsT 905 and ne rekken of nothyng but that they been assembled;
ParsT 905A by cause that they been maried, al is good ynough, as thynketh to hem.
ParsT 906 But in swich folk hath the devel power, as seyde the aungel Raphael to Thobie,
ParsT 906A for in hire assemblynge they putten Jhesu Crist out of hire herte and yeven hemself to alle ordure.
ParsT 907 The fourthe spece is the assemblee of hem that been of hire kynrede, or of hem that been of oon affynytee,
ParsT 907A or elles with hem with whiche hir fadres or hir kynrede han deled in the synne of lecherie.
ParsT 907B This synne maketh hem lyk to houndes, that taken no kep to kynrede.
ParsT 908 And certes, parentele is in two maneres, outher goostly or flesshly; goostly, as for to deelen with his godsibbes.
ParsT 909 For right so as he that engendreth a child is his flesshly fader, right so is his godfader his fader espiritueel.
ParsT 909A For which a womman may in no lasse synne assemblen with hire godsib than with hire owene flesshly brother.
ParsT 910 The fifthe spece is thilke abhomynable synne, of which that no man unnethe oghte speke ne write;
ParsT 910A nathelees it is openly reherced in holy writ.
ParsT 911 This cursednesse doon men and wommen in diverse entente and in diverse manere; but though that hooly writ speke of horrible synne,
ParsT 911A certes hooly writ may nat been defouled, namoore than the sonne that shyneth on the mixne.
ParsT 912 Another synne aperteneth to leccherie, that comth in slepynge, and this synne cometh ofte to hem that been maydenes,
ParsT 912A and eek to hem that been corrupt; and this synne men clepen polucioun, that comth in foure maneres.
ParsT 913 Somtyme of langwissynge of body, for the humours been to ranke and to habundaunt in the body of man;
ParsT 913A somtyme of infermetee, for the fieblesse of the vertu retentif, as phisik maketh mencion; somtyme for surfeet of mete and drynke;
ParsT 914 and somtyme of vileyns thoghtes that been enclosed in mannes mynde whan he gooth to slepe, which may nat been withoute synne;
ParsT 914A for which men moste kepen hem wisely, or elles may men synnen ful grevously.
ParsT 915 Now comth the remedie agayns Leccherie, and that is generally chastitee and continence,
ParsT 915A that restreyneth alle the desordeynee moevynges that comen of flesshly talentes.
ParsT 916 And evere the gretter merite shal he han that moost restreyneth the wikkede eschawfynges of the [ardour] of this synne.
ParsT 916A And this is in two maneres — that is to seyn, chastitee in mariage, and chastitee of widwehod.
ParsT 917 Now shaltow understonde that matrimoyne is leefful assemblynge of man and of womman that receyven by vertu of the sacrement the boond
ParsT 917A thurgh which they may nat be departed in al hir lyf — that is to seyn, whil that they lyven bothe.
ParsT 918 This, as seith the book, is a ful greet sacrement.
ParsT 918A God maked it, as I have seyd, in paradys, and wolde hymself be born in mariage.
ParsT 919 And for to halwen mariage he was at a weddynge, where as he turned water into wyn,
ParsT 919A which was the firste miracle that he wroghte in erthe biforn his disciples.
ParsT 920 Trewe effect of mariage clenseth fornicacioun and replenysseth hooly chirche of good lynage, for that is the ende of mariage;
ParsT 920A and it chaungeth deedly synne into venial synne bitwixe hem that been ywedded,
ParsT 920B and maketh the hertes al oon of hem that been ywedded, as wel as the bodies.
ParsT 921 This is verray mariage, that was establissed by God, er that synne bigan, whan natureel lawe was in his right poynt in paradys;
ParsT 921A and it was ordeyned that o man sholde have but o womman, and o womman but o man,
ParsT 921B as seith Seint Augustyn, by manye resouns.
ParsT 922 First, for mariage is figured bitwixe Crist and holy chirche. And that oother is for a man is heved of a womman;
ParsT 922A algate, by ordinaunce it sholde be so.
ParsT 923 For if a womman hadde mo men than oon, thanne sholde she have moo hevedes than oon, and
ParsT 923A that were an horrible thyng biforn God; and eek a womman ne myghte nat plese to many folk at oones.
ParsT 923B And also ther ne sholde nevere be pees ne reste amonges hem, for everich wolde axen his owene thyng.
ParsT 924 And forther over, no man ne sholde knowe his owene engendrure, ne who sholde have his heritage;
ParsT 924A and the womman sholde been the lasse biloved fro the tyme that she were conjoynt to many men.
ParsT 925 Now comth how that a man sholde bere hym with his wif, and namely in two thynges;
ParsT 925A that is to seyn, in suffraunce and reverence, as shewed Crist whan he made first womman.
ParsT 926 For he ne made hire nat of the heved of Adam, for she sholde nat clayme to greet lordshipe.
ParsT 927 For ther as the womman hath the maistrie, she maketh to muche desray.
ParsT 927A Ther neden none ensamples of this; the experience of day by day oghte suffise.
ParsT 928 Also, certes, God ne made nat womman of the foot of Adam, for she ne sholde nat been holden to lowe;
ParsT 928A for she kan nat paciently suffre. But God made womman of the ryb of Adam, for womman sholde be felawe unto man.
ParsT 929 Man sholde bere hym to his wyf in feith, in trouthe, and in love,
ParsT 929A as seith Seint Paul, that a man sholde loven his wyf as Crist loved hooly chirche,
ParsT 929B that loved it so wel that he deyde for it. So sholde a man for his wyf, if it were nede.
ParsT 930 Now how that a womman sholde be subget to hire housbonde, that telleth Seint Peter. First, in obedience.
ParsT 931 And eek, as seith the decree, a womman that is wyf, as longe as she is a wyf,
ParsT 931A she hath noon auctoritee to swere ne to bere witnesse withoute leve of hir housbonde,
ParsT 931B that is hire lord; algate, he sholde be so by resoun.
ParsT 932 She sholde eek serven hym in alle honestee, and been attempree of hire array.
ParsT 932A I woot wel that they sholde setten hire entente to plesen hir housbondes, but nat by hire queyntise of array.
ParsT 933 Seint Jerome seith that “wyves that been apparailled in silk and in precious purpre ne mowe nat clothen hem in Jhesu Crist.”
ParsT 933A Loke what seith Seint John eek in thys matere?
ParsT 934 Seint Gregorie eek seith that “No wight seketh precious array but oonly for veyne glorie, to been honoured the moore biforn the peple.”
ParsT 935 It is a greet folye, a womman to have a fair array outward and in hirself be foul inward.
ParsT 936 A wyf sholde eek be mesurable in lookynge and in berynge and in lawghynge, and discreet in alle hire wordes and hire dedes.
ParsT 937 And aboven alle worldly thyng she sholde loven hire housbonde with al hire herte, and to hym be trewe of hir body.
ParsT 938 So sholde an housbonde eek be to his wyf. For sith that al the body is the housbondes,
ParsT 938A so sholde hire herte been, or elles ther is bitwixe hem two, as in that, no parfit mariage.
ParsT 939 Thanne shal men understonde that for thre thynges a man and his wyf flesshly mowen assemble.
ParsT 939A The firste is in entente of engendrure of children to the service of God, for certes that is the cause final of matrimoyne.
ParsT 940 Another cause is to yelden everich of hem to oother the dette of hire bodies,
ParsT 940A for neither of hem hath power of his owene body. The thridde is for to eschewe leccherye and vileynye.
ParsT 940B The ferthe is for sothe deedly synne.
ParsT 941 As to the firste, it is meritorie; the seconde also, for, as seith the decree, that
ParsT 941A she hath merite of chastitee that yeldeth to hire housbonde the dette of hir body,
ParsT 941B ye, though it be agayn hir likynge and the lust of hire herte.
ParsT 942 The thridde manere is venyal synne; and, trewely, scarsly may ther any of thise be withoute venial synne,
ParsT 942A for the corrupcion and for the delit.
ParsT 943 The fourthe manere is for to understonde, as if they assemble oonly for amorous love and for noon of the foreseyde causes,
ParsT 943A but for to accomplice thilke brennynge delit, they rekke nevere how ofte.
ParsT 943B Soothly it is deedly synne; and yet, with sorwe, somme folk wol peynen hem moore to doon than to hire appetit suffiseth.
ParsT 944 The seconde manere of chastitee is for to been a clene wydewe,
ParsT 944A and eschue the embracynges of man, and desiren the embracynge of Jhesu Crist.
ParsT 945 Thise been tho that han been wyves and han forgoon hire housbondes,
ParsT 945A and eek wommen that han doon leccherie and been releeved by penitence.
ParsT 946 And certes, if that a wyf koude kepen hire al chaast by licence of hir housbonde,
ParsT 946A so that she yeve nevere noon occasion that he agilte, it were to hire a greet merite.
ParsT 947 Thise manere wommen that observen chastitee moste be clene in herte as wel as in body and in thought,
ParsT 947A and mesurable in clothynge and in contenaunce, and been abstinent in etynge and drynkynge, in spekynge, and in dede.
ParsT 947B They been the vessel or the boyste of the blissed Magdelene, that fulfilleth hooly chirche of good odour.
ParsT 948 The thridde manere of chastitee is virginitee, and it bihoveth that she be hooly in herte and clene of body.
ParsT 948A Thanne is she spouse to Jhesu Crist, and she is the lyf of angeles.
ParsT 949 She is the preisynge of this world, and she is as thise martirs in egalitee;
ParsT 949A she hath in hire that tonge may nat telle ne herte thynke.
ParsT 950 Virginitee baar oure Lord Jhesu Crist, and virgine was hymselve.
ParsT 951 Another remedie agayns Leccherie is specially to withdrawen swiche thynges as yeve occasion to thilke vileynye, as ese, etynge, and drynkynge.
ParsT 951A For certes, whan the pot boyleth strongly, the beste remedie is to withdrawe the fyr.
ParsT 952 Slepynge longe in greet quiete is eek a greet norice to Leccherie.
ParsT 953 Another remedie agayns Leccherie is that a man or a womman eschue the compaignye of hem
ParsT 953A by whiche he douteth to be tempted, for al be it so that the dede be withstonden, yet is ther greet temptacioun.
ParsT 954 Soothly, a whit wal, although it ne brenne noght fully by stikynge of a candele, yet is the wal blak of the leyt.
ParsT 955 Ful ofte tyme I rede that no man truste in his owene perfeccioun,
ParsT 955A but he be stronger than Sampson, and hoolier than David, and wiser than Salomon.
ParsT 956 Now after that I have declared yow, as I kan, the sevene deedly synnes,
ParsT 956A and somme of hire braunches and hire remedies, soothly, if I koude, I wolde telle yow the ten comandementz.
ParsT 957 But so heigh a doctrine I lete to divines. Nathelees, I hope to God,
ParsT 957A they been touched in this tretice, everich of hem alle.
ParsT 958 Now for as muche as the seconde partie of Penitence stant in confessioun of mouth,
ParsT 958A as I bigan in the firste chapitre, I seye, Seint Augustyn seith,
ParsT 959 “Synne is every word and every dede, and al that men coveiten, agayn the lawe of Jhesu Crist;
ParsT 959A and this is for to synne in herte, in mouth, and in dede, by thy fyve wittes,
ParsT 959B that been sighte, herynge, smellynge, tastynge or savourynge, and feelynge.”
ParsT 960 Now is it good to understonde the circumstances that agreggen muchel every synne.
ParsT 961 Thou shalt considere what thow art that doost the synne,
ParsT 961A wheither thou be male or femele, yong or oold, gentil or thral,
ParsT 961B free or servant, hool or syk, wedded or sengle, ordred or unordred, wys or fool, clerk or seculeer;
ParsT 962 if she be of thy kynrede, bodily or goostly, or noon;
ParsT 962A if any of thy kynrede have synned with hire, or noon; and manye mo thinges.
ParsT 963 Another circumstaunce is this: wheither it be doon in fornicacioun or in avowtrie or noon, incest or noon, mayden or noon,
ParsT 963A in manere of homicide or noon, horrible grete synnes or smale, and how longe thou hast continued in synne.
ParsT 964 The thridde circumstaunce is the place ther thou hast do synne, wheither in oother mennes hous or in thyn owene,
ParsT 964A in feeld or in chirche or in chirchehawe, in chirche dedicaat or noon.
ParsT 965 For if the chirche be halwed, and man or womman
ParsT 965A spille his kynde inwith that place by wey of synne or by wikked temptacioun,
ParsT 965B the chirche is entredited til it be reconsiled by the bysshop.
ParsT 966 And the preest sholde be enterdited that dide swich a vileynye; to terme of al his lif he sholde namoore synge masse,
ParsT 966A and if he dide, he sholde doon deedly synne at every time that he so songe masse.
ParsT 967 The fourthe circumstaunce is by whiche mediatours, or by whiche messagers, as for enticement, or for consentement to bere compaignye with felaweshipe;
ParsT 967A for many a wrecche, for to bere compaignye, wol go to the devel of helle.
ParsT 968 Wherfore they that eggen or consenten to the synne been parteners of the synne, and of the dampnacioun of the synnere.
ParsT 969 The fifthe circumstaunce is how manye tymes that he hath synned,
ParsT 969A if it be in his mynde, and how ofte that he hath falle.
ParsT 970 For he that ofte falleth in synne, he despiseth the mercy of God, and encreesseth hys synne, and is unkynde to Crist;
ParsT 970A and he wexeth the moore fieble to withstonde synne, and synneth the moore lightly,
ParsT 971 and the latter ariseth, and is the moore eschew for to shryven hym, and namely, to hym that is his confessour.
ParsT 972 For which that folk, whan they falle agayn in hir olde folies, outher they forleten hir olde confessours al outrely
ParsT 972A or elles they departen hir shrift in diverse places; but soothly, swich departed shrift deserveth no mercy of God of his synnes.
ParsT 973 The sixte circumstaunce is why that a man synneth, as by which temptacioun, and if hymself procure thilke temptacioun,
ParsT 973A or by the excitynge of oother folk; or if he synne with a womman by force, or by hire owene assent;
ParsT 974 or if the womman, maugree hir hed, hath been afforced, or noon. This shal she telle:
ParsT 974A for coveitise, or for poverte, and if it was hire procurynge, or noon; and swich manere harneys.
ParsT 975 The seventhe circumstaunce is in what manere he hath doon his synne,
ParsT 975A or how that she hath suffred that folk han doon to hire.
ParsT 976 And the same shal the man telle pleynly with alle circumstaunces; and wheither he hath synned with comune bordel wommen or noon,
ParsT 977 or doon his synne in hooly tymes or noon, in fastyng tymes or noon, or biforn his shrifte, or after his latter shrifte,
ParsT 978 and hath peraventure broken therfore his penance enjoyned, by whos help and whos conseil, by sorcerie or craft; al moste be toold.
ParsT 979 Alle thise thynges, after that they been grete or smale, engreggen the conscience of man.
ParsT 979A And eek the preest, that is thy juge, may the bettre been avysed of his juggement
ParsT 979B in yevynge of thy penaunce, and that is after thy contricioun.
ParsT 980 For understond wel that after tyme that a man hath defouled his baptesme by synne,
ParsT 980A if he wole come to salvacioun, ther is noon other wey but by penitence and shrifte and satisfaccioun,
ParsT 981 and namely by the two, if ther be a confessour to which he may shriven hym,
ParsT 981A and the thridde, if he have lyf to parfournen it.
ParsT 982 Thanne shal man looke and considere that if he wole maken a trewe and a profitable confessioun, ther moste be foure condiciouns.
ParsT 983 First, it moot been in sorweful bitternesse of herte, as seyde the kyng Ezechias to God,
ParsT 983A “I wol remembre me alle the yeres of my lif in bitternesse of myn herte.”
ParsT 984 This condicioun of bitternesse hath fyve signes. The firste is that confessioun moste be shamefast, nat for to covere ne hyden his synne,
ParsT 984A for he hath agilt his God and defouled his soule.
ParsT 985 And herof seith Seint Augustyn, “The herte travailleth for shame of his synne”;
ParsT 985A and for he hath greet shamefastnesse, he is digne to have greet mercy of God.
ParsT 986 Swich was the confessioun of the publican that wolde nat heven up his eyen to hevene,
ParsT 986A for he hadde offended God of hevene; for which shamefastnesse he hadde anon the mercy of God.
ParsT 987 And therof seith Seint Augustyn that swich shamefast folk been next foryevenesse and remissioun.
ParsT 988 Another signe is humylitee in confessioun, of which seith Seint Peter,
ParsT 988A “Humbleth yow under the myght of God.” The hond of God is myghty in confessioun, for
ParsT 988B therby God foryeveth thee thy synnes, for he allone hath the power.
ParsT 989 And this humylitee shal been in herte and in signe outward, for right as he hath humylitee to God in his herte,
ParsT 989A right so sholde he humble his body outward to the preest, that sit in Goddes place.
ParsT 990 For which in no manere, sith that Crist is sovereyn, and the preest meene and mediatour bitwixe Crist and the synnere,
ParsT 990A and the synnere is the laste by wey of resoun,
ParsT 991 thanne sholde nat the synnere sitte as heighe as his confessour, but knele biforn hym or at his feet,
ParsT 991A but if maladie destourbe it. For he shal nat taken kep who sit there, but in whos place that he sitteth.
ParsT 992 A man that hath trespased to a lord, and comth for to axe mercy and maken his accord,
ParsT 992A and set him doun anon by the lord,
ParsT 992B men wolde holden hym outrageous, and nat worthy so soone for to have remissioun ne mercy.
ParsT 993 The thridde signe is how that thy shrift sholde be ful of teeris, if man may,
ParsT 993A and if man may nat wepe with his bodily eyen, lat hym wepe in herte.
ParsT 994 Swich was the confession of Seint Peter, for after that he hadde forsake Jhesu Crist, he wente out and weep ful bitterly.
ParsT 995 The fourthe signe is that he ne lette nat for shame to shewen his confessioun.
ParsT 996 Swich was the confessioun of the Magdalene, that ne spared for no shame of hem
ParsT 996A that weren atte feeste, for to go to oure Lord Jhesu Crist and biknowe to hym hire synne.
ParsT 997 The fifthe signe is that a man or a womman be obeisant to receyven the penaunce that hym is enjoyned for his synnes,
ParsT 997A for certes, Jhesu Crist, for the giltes of o man, was obedient to the deeth.
ParsT 998 The seconde condicion of verray confession is that it be hastily doon.
ParsT 998A For certes, if a man hadde a deedly wounde, evere the lenger that he taried to warisshe hymself,
ParsT 998B the moore wolde it corrupte and haste hym to his deeth, and eek the wounde wolde be the wors for to heele.
ParsT 999 And right so fareth synne that longe tyme is in a man unshewed.
ParsT 1000 Certes, a man oghte hastily shewen his synnes for manye causes; as for drede of deeth, that cometh ofte sodeynly,
ParsT 1000A and no certeyn what tyme it shal be, ne in what place; and eek the drecchynge of o synne draweth in another;
ParsT 1001 and eek the lenger that he tarieth, the ferther he is fro Crist. And if he abide to his laste day, scarsly
ParsT 1001A may he shryven hym or remembre hym of his synnes or repenten hym, for the grevous maladie of his deeth.
ParsT 1002 And for as muche as he ne hath nat in his lyf herkned Jhesu Crist
ParsT 1002A whanne he hath spoken, he shal crie to Jhesu Crist at his laste day, and scarsly wol he herkne hym.
ParsT 1003 And understond that this condicioun moste han foure thynges. Thi shrift moste be purveyed bifore and avysed;
ParsT 1003A for wikked haste dooth no profit; and that a man konne shryve hym of his synnes,
ParsT 1003B be it of pride, or of envye, and so forth with the speces and circumstances;
ParsT 1004 and that he have comprehended in hys mynde the nombre and the greetnesse of his synnes,
ParsT 1004A and how longe that he hath leyn in synne;
ParsT 1005 and eek that he be contrit of his synnes, and in stidefast purpos,
ParsT 1005A by the grace of God, nevere eft to falle in synne;
ParsT 1005B and eek that he drede and countrewaite hymself, that he fle the occasiouns of synne to whiche he is enclyned.
ParsT 1006 Also thou shalt shryve thee of alle thy synnes to o man, and nat a parcel to o man and a parcel to another;
ParsT 1006A that is to understonde, in entente to departe thy confessioun, as for shame or drede, for it nys but stranglynge of thy soule.
ParsT 1007 For certes Jhesu Crist is entierly al good; in hym nys noon imperfeccioun,
ParsT 1007A and therfore outher he foryeveth al parfitly or elles never a deel.
ParsT 1008 I seye nat that if thow be assigned to the penitauncer for certein synne,
ParsT 1008A that thow art bounde to shewen hym al the remenaunt of thy synnes, of whiche thow hast be shryven of thy curaat,
ParsT 1008B but if it like to thee of thyn humylitee; this is no departynge of shrifte.
ParsT 1009 Ne I seye nat, ther as I speke of divisioun of confessioun, that if thou have licence
ParsT 1009A for to shryve thee to a discreet and an honest preest, where thee liketh, and by licence of thy curaat,
ParsT 1009B that thow ne mayst wel shryve thee to him of alle thy synnes.
ParsT 1010 But lat no blotte be bihynde; lat no synne been untoold, as fer as thow hast remembraunce.
ParsT 1011 And whan thou shalt be shryven to thy curaat, telle hym eek alle the synnes that thow hast doon
ParsT 1011A syn thou were last yshryven; this is no wikked entente of divisioun of shrifte.
ParsT 1012 Also the verray shrifte axeth certeine condiciouns. First, that thow shryve thee by thy free wil,
ParsT 1012A noght constreyned, ne for shame of folk, ne for maladie, ne swiche thynges.
ParsT 1012B For it is resoun that he that trespaseth by his free wyl, that by his free wyl he confesse his trespas,
ParsT 1013 and that noon oother man telle his synne but he hymself;
ParsT 1013A ne he shal nat nayte ne denye his synne, ne wratthe hym agayn the preest for his amonestynge to lete synne.
ParsT 1014 The seconde condicioun is that thy shrift be laweful; that is to seyn, that
ParsT 1014A thow that shryvest thee and eek the preest that hereth thy confessioun been verraily in the feith of hooly chirche,
ParsT 1015 and that a man ne be nat despeired of the mercy of Jhesu Crist, as Caym or Judas.
ParsT 1016 And eek a man moot accusen hymself of his owene trespas, and nat another;
ParsT 1016A but he shal blame and wyten hymself and his owene malice of his synne, and noon oother.
ParsT 1017 But nathelees, if that another man be occasioun or enticere of his synne,
ParsT 1017A or the estaat of a persone be swich thurgh which his synne is agregged, or elles that he may nat pleynly shryven
ParsT 1017B hym but he telle the persone with which he hath synned, thanne may he telle it,
ParsT 1018 so that his entente ne be nat to bakbite the persone, but oonly to declaren his confessioun.
ParsT 1019 Thou ne shalt nat eek make no lesynges in thy confessioun, for humylitee,
ParsT 1019A peraventure, to seyn that thou hast doon synnes of whiche thow were nevere gilty.
ParsT 1020 For Seint Augustyn seith, “If thou, by cause of thyn humylitee, makest lesynges on thyself,
ParsT 1020A though thow ne were nat in synne biforn, yet artow thanne in synne thurgh thy lesynges.”
ParsT 1021 Thou most eek shewe thy synne by thyn owene propre mouth, but thow be woxe dowmb, and nat by no lettre;
ParsT 1021A for thow that hast doon the synne, thou shalt have the shame therfore.
ParsT 1022 Thow shalt nat eek peynte thy confessioun by faire subtile wordes, to covere the moore thy synne;
ParsT 1022A for thanne bigilestow thyself, and nat the preest. Thow most tellen it platly, be it nevere so foul ne so horrible.
ParsT 1023 Thow shalt eek shryve thee to a preest that is discreet to conseille
ParsT 1023A thee; and eek thou shalt nat shryve thee for veyne glorie, ne for ypocrisye, ne for no cause
ParsT 1023B but oonly for the doute of Jhesu Crist and the heele of thy soule.
ParsT 1024 Thow shalt nat eek renne to the preest sodeynly to tellen hym lightly thy synne,
ParsT 1024A as whoso telleth a jape or a tale, but avysely and with greet devocioun.
ParsT 1025 And generally, shryve thee ofte. If thou ofte falle, ofte thou arise by confessioun.
ParsT 1026 And though thou shryve thee ofter than ones of synne of which thou hast be shryven, it is the moore merite.
ParsT 1026A And, as seith Seint Augustyn, thow shalt have the moore lightly relessyng and grace of God, bothe of synne and of peyne.
ParsT 1027 And certes, oones a yeere atte leeste wey it is laweful for to been housled, for certes, oones a yeere alle thynges renovellen.
ParsT 1028 Now have I toold yow of verray Confessioun, that is the seconde partie of Penitence.
ParsT 1029 The thridde partie of Penitence is Satisfaccioun, and that stant moost generally in almesse and in bodily peyne.
ParsT 1030 Now been ther thre manere of almesse: contricion of herte, where a man offreth hymself to God;
ParsT 1030A another is to han pitee of defaute of his neighebores; and the thridde is
ParsT 1030B in yevynge of good conseil and comfort, goostly and bodily, where men han nede, and namely in sustenaunce of mannes foode.
ParsT 1031 And tak kep that a man hath nede of thise thinges generally: he hath nede of foode, he hath nede of clothyng and herberwe,
ParsT 1031A he hath nede of charitable conseil and visitynge in prisone and in maladie, and sepulture of his dede body.
ParsT 1032 And if thow mayst nat visite the nedeful with thy persone, visite hym by thy message and by thy yiftes.
ParsT 1033 Thise been general almesses or werkes of charitee
ParsT 1033A of hem that han temporeel richesses or discrecioun in conseilynge. Of thise werkes shaltow heren at the day of doom.
ParsT 1034 Thise almesses shaltow doon of thyne owene propre thynges, and hastily and prively, if thow mayst.
ParsT 1035 But nathelees, if thow mayst nat doon it prively, thow shalt nat forbere to doon almesse though men seen it,
ParsT 1035A so that it be nat doon for thank of the world, but oonly for thank of Jhesu Crist.
ParsT 1036 For, as witnesseth Seint Mathew, capitulo quinto, “A citee may nat been hyd that is set on a montayne,
ParsT 1036A ne men lighte nat a lanterne and put it under a busshel,
ParsT 1036B but men sette it on a candle-stikke to yeve light to the men in the hous.
ParsT 1037 Right so shal youre light lighten bifore men, that they may seen youre goode werkes, and glorifie youre fader that is in hevene.”
ParsT 1038 Now as to speken of bodily peyne, it stant in preyeres, in wakynges, in fastynges, in vertuouse techynges of orisouns.
ParsT 1039 And ye shul understonde that orisouns or preyeres is for to seyn a pitous wyl of herte,
ParsT 1039A that redresseth it in God and expresseth it by word outward, to remoeven harmes and to han thynges espiritueel and durable,
ParsT 1039B and somtyme temporele thynges; of whiche orisouns, certes, in the orison of the Pater noster hath Jhesu Crist enclosed moost thynges.
ParsT 1040 Certes, it is privyleged of thre thynges in his dignytee,
ParsT 1040A for which it is moore digne than any oother preyere, for that Jhesu Crist hymself maked it;
ParsT 1041 and it is short, for it sholde be koud the moore lightly, and
ParsT 1041A for to withholden it the moore esily in herte, and helpen hymself the ofter with the orisoun,
ParsT 1042 and for a man sholde be the lasse wery to seyen it, and for a man may nat excusen hym to lerne it,
ParsT 1042A it is so short and so esy, and for it comprehendeth in it self alle goode preyeres.
ParsT 1043 The exposicioun of this hooly preyere, that is so excellent and digne, I bitake to thise maistres of theologie,
ParsT 1043A save thus muchel wol I seyn; that whan thow prayest that God sholde foryeve thee thy giltes as
ParsT 1043B thou foryevest hem that agilten to thee, be ful wel war that thow ne be nat out of charitee.
ParsT 1044 This hooly orison amenuseth eek venyal synne, and therfore it aperteneth specially to penitence.
ParsT 1045 This preyere moste be trewely seyd, and in verray feith, and that men preye to God ordinatly and discreetly and devoutly;
ParsT 1045A and alwey a man shal putten his wyl to be subget to the wille of God.
ParsT 1046 This orisoun moste eek been seyd with greet humblesse and ful pure, honestly and nat to the anoyaunce of any man or womman.
ParsT 1046A It moste eek been continued with the werkes of charitee.
ParsT 1047 It avayleth eek agayn the vices of the soule, for, as seith Seint Jerome,
ParsT 1047A “By fastynge been saved the vices of the flessh, and by preyere the vices of the soule.”
ParsT 1048 After this, thou shalt understonde that bodily peyne stant in wakynge, for Jhesu Crist seith,
ParsT 1048A “Waketh and preyeth, that ye ne entre in wikked temptacioun.”
ParsT 1049 Ye shul understanden also that fastynge stant in thre thynges: in forberynge of bodily mete and drynke, and in forberynge of worldly jolitee,
ParsT 1049A and in forberynge of deedly synne; this is to seyn, that a man shal kepen hym fro deedly synne with al his myght.
ParsT 1050 And thou shalt understanden eek that God ordeyned fastynge, and to fastynge appertenen foure thinges:
ParsT 1051 largenesse to povre folk, gladnesse of herte espiritueel, nat to been angry ne anoyed, ne grucche for he fasteth,
ParsT 1051A and also resonable houre for to ete; ete by mesure; that is for to seyn,
ParsT 1051B a man shal nat ete in untyme, ne sitte the lenger at his table to ete for he fasteth.
ParsT 1052 Thanne shaltow understonde that bodily peyne stant in disciplyne or techynge, by word, or by writynge, or in ensample;
ParsT 1052A also in werynge of heyres, or of stamyn, or of haubergeons on hire naked flessh, for Cristes sake, and swiche manere penances.
ParsT 1053 But war thee wel that swiche manere penaunces on thy flessh ne make nat thyn herte bitter or angry or anoyed of thyself,
ParsT 1053A for bettre is to caste awey thyn heyre, than for to caste awey the swetenesse of Jhesu Crist.
ParsT 1054 And therfore seith Seint Paul, “Clothe yow, as they that been chosen of God, in herte of misericorde, debonairetee, suffraunce,
ParsT 1054A and swich manere of clothynge,” of whiche Jhesu Crist is moore apayed than of heyres, or haubergeouns, or hauberkes.
ParsT 1055 Thanne is discipline eek in knokkynge of thy brest, in scourgynge with yerdes, in knelynges, in tribulacions,
ParsT 1056 in suffrynge paciently wronges that been doon to thee,
ParsT 1056A and eek in pacient suffraunce of maladies, or lesynge of worldly catel, or of wyf, or of child, or othere freendes.
ParsT 1057 Thanne shaltow understonde whiche thynges destourben penaunce; and this is in foure maneres:
ParsT 1057A that is, drede, shame, hope, and wanhope, that is desperacion.
ParsT 1058 And for to speke first of drede, for which he weneth that he may suffre no penaunce;
ParsT 1059 ther-agayns is remedie for to thynke that bodily penaunce is but short and litel at regard of the peyne of helle,
ParsT 1059A that is so crueel and so long that it lasteth withouten ende.
ParsT 1060 Now again the shame that a man hath to shryven hym,
ParsT 1060A and namely thise ypocrites that wolden been holden so parfite that they han no nede to shryven hem;
ParsT 1061 agayns that shame sholde a man thynke that, by wey of resoun, that he that hath nat been shamed to doon foule thinges,
ParsT 1061A certes hym oghte nat been ashamed to do faire thynges, and that is confessiouns.
ParsT 1062 A man sholde eek thynke that God seeth and woot alle his thoghtes and alle his werkes,
ParsT 1062A to hym may no thyng been hyd ne covered.
ParsT 1063 Men sholden eek remembren hem of the shame that is to come at the day of doom
ParsT 1063A to hem that been nat penitent and shryven in this present lyf.
ParsT 1064 For alle the creatures in hevene, in erthe, and in helle shullen seen apertly al that they hyden in this world.
ParsT 1065 Now for to speken of the hope of hem that been necligent and slowe to shryven hem, that stant in two maneres.
ParsT 1066 That oon is that he hopeth for to lyve longe and for to purchacen muche richesse for his delit,
ParsT 1066A and thanne he wol shryven hym; and, as he seith, hym semeth thanne tymely ynough to come to shrifte.
ParsT 1067 Another is of surquidrie that he hath in Cristes mercy.
ParsT 1068 Agayns the firste vice, he shal thynke that oure lif is in no sikernesse,
ParsT 1068A and eek that alle the richesses in this world ben in aventure and passen as a shadwe on the wal;
ParsT 1069 and, as seith Seint Gregorie, that it aperteneth to the grete rightwisnesse of God that
ParsT 1069A nevere shal the peyne stynte of hem that nevere wolde withdrawen hem fro synne, hir thankes,
ParsT 1069B but ay continue in synne; for thilke perpetueel wil to do synne shul they han perpetueel peyne.
ParsT 1070 Wanhope is in two maneres: the firste wanhope is in the mercy of Crist;
ParsT 1070A that oother is that they thynken that they ne myghte nat longe persevere in goodnesse.
ParsT 1071 The firste wanhope comth of that he demeth that he hath synned so greetly and so ofte,
ParsT 1071A and so longe leyn in synne, that he shal nat be saved.
ParsT 1072 Certes, agayns that cursed wanhope sholde he thynke that
ParsT 1072A the passion of Jhesu Crist is moore strong for to unbynde than synne is strong for to bynde.
ParsT 1073 Agayns the seconde wanhope he shal thynke that as ofte as he falleth he may arise agayn by penitence.
ParsT 1073A And though he never so longe have leyn in synne, the mercy of Crist is alwey redy to receiven hym to mercy.
ParsT 1074 Agayns the wanhope that he demeth that he sholde nat longe persevere in goodnesse,
ParsT 1074A he shal thynke that the feblesse of the devel may nothyng doon, but if men wol suffren hym;
ParsT 1075 and eek he shal han strengthe of the help of God,
ParsT 1075A and of al hooly chirche, and of the proteccioun of aungels, if hym list.
ParsT 1076 Thanne shal men understonde what is the fruyt of penaunce; and, after the word of Jhesu Crist,
ParsT 1076A it is the endelees blisse of hevene,
ParsT 1077 ther joye hath no contrarioustee of wo ne grevaunce; ther alle harmes been passed of this present lyf;
ParsT 1077A ther as is the sikernesse fro the peyne of helle; ther as is the blisful compaignye
ParsT 1077B that rejoysen hem everemo, everich of otheres joye;
ParsT 1078 ther as the body of man, that whilom was foul and derk, is moore cleer than the sonne;
ParsT 1078A ther as the body, that whilom was syk, freele, and fieble, and mortal, is inmortal,
ParsT 1078B and so strong and so hool that ther may no thyng apeyren it;
ParsT 1079 ther as ne is neither hunger, thurst, ne coold, but every soule replenyssed with the sighte of the parfit knowynge of God.
ParsT 1080 This blisful regne may men purchace by poverte espiritueel, and the glorie by lowenesse, the plentee of joye
ParsT 1080A by hunger and thurst, and the reste by travaille, and the lyf by deeth and mortificacion of synne.
ParsT 1081 Now preye I to hem alle that herkne this litel tretys or rede,
ParsT 1081A that if ther be any thyng in it that liketh hem,
ParsT 1081B that therof they thanken oure Lord Jhesu Crist, of whom procedeth al wit and al goodnesse.
ParsT 1082 And if ther be any thyng that displese hem, I preye hem also that they arrette it to the defaute
ParsT 1082A of myn unkonnynge and nat to my wyl, that wolde ful fayn have seyd bettre if I hadde had konnynge.
ParsT 1083 For oure book seith, “Al that is writen is writen for oure doctrine,”
ParsT 1083A and that is myn entente.
ParsT 1084 Wherfore I biseke yow mekely, for the mercy of God,
ParsT 1084A that ye preye for me that Crist have mercy on me and foryeve me my giltes;
ParsT 1085 and namely of my translacions and enditynges of worldly vanitees, the whiche I revoke in my retracciouns:
ParsT 1086 as is the book of Troilus; the book also of Fame;
ParsT 1086A the book of the XXV. Ladies; the book of the Duchesse;
ParsT 1086B the book of Seint Valentynes day of the Parlement of Briddes; the tales of Caunterbury, thilke that sownen into synne;
ParsT 1087 the book of the Leoun; and many another book, if they were in my remembrance, and many a song
ParsT 1087A and many a leccherous lay, that Crist for his grete mercy foryeve me the synne.
ParsT 1088 But of the translacion of Boece de Consolacione, and othere bookes of legendes of seintes, and omelies, and moralitee, and devocioun,
ParsT 1089 that thanke I oure Lord Jhesu Crist and his blisful Mooder, and alle the seintes of hevene,
ParsT 1090 bisekynge hem that they from hennes forth unto my lyves ende sende me grace to biwayle my giltes and to studie
ParsT 1090A to the salvacioun of my soule, and graunte me grace of verray penitence, confessioun and satisfaccioun to doon in this present lyf,
ParsT 1091 thurgh the benigne grace of hym that is kyng of kynges and preest over alle preestes,
ParsT 1091A that boghte us with the precious blood of his herte,
ParsT 1092 so that I may been oon of hem at the day of doom that shulle be saved.
ParsT 1092A Qui cum Patre et Spiritu Sancto vivit et regnat Deus per omnia secula. Amen.