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Full text of "Chaucer's 'Boece' Englisht from "Anicii Manlii Severini Boethii Philosophiæ consolationis libri quinque.""

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WHEN master hands like those of Gibbon and Hallam have 
sketched the life of Boethius, it is well that no meaner man should 
attempt to mar their pictures. They drew, perhaps, the most- 
touching scene in Middle-age literary history, the just man in prison, 
awaiting death, consoled by the Philosophy that had been his light 
in life, and handing down to posterity for their comfort and strength 
the presence of her whose silver rays had been his guide as well 
under the stars of Fortune as the mirk of Fate. With Milton in his 
dark days, Boece in prison could say, 

' I argue not 

Against Heaven's hand or will, nor bate a jot 
Of heart or hope ; but still bear up and steer 
Right onward. What supports me, dost thou ask ? 
The conscience, friend, to have lost them overplied 
In liberty's defence, my noble task, 
Of which all Europe rings from side to side.' 

For, indeed, the echoes of Boethius, Boethius, rang out loud from 
every corner of European Literature. An Alfred awoke them in 
England, a Chaucer, a Caxton would not let them die j an Elizabeth 
revived them among the glorious music of her reign. 1 To us, though 
far off, they come with a sweet sound. * The angelic ' Thomas 
Aquinas commented on him, and many others followed the ' saint's 
steps. Dante read him, though, strange to say, he speaks of the 

1 Other translations are by John Walton of Osney, in verse, in 1410 (Reg. 
MS. 18, A 13), first printed at Tavistock in 1525, and to be edited some time 
or other for the E. E. T. S. An anonymous prose version in the Bodleian. 
George Coluile, alias Coldewel, 1556 ; J. T. 1609 ; H. Conningesbye, 1664 ; Lord 
Preston, 1695, 1712; W. Causton, 1730; Redpath, 1785; R. Duncan, 1789; 
anon. 1792 (Lowndes). 


Consolation as 'a book not known by many.' 1 Belgium -had her 
translations both Flemish 2 and French 3 ; Germany hers, 4 France 
hers, 5 Italy hers. 6 The Latin editors are too numerous to be 
catalogued here, and manuscripts abound in all our great libraries. 

No philosopher was so bone of the bone and flesh of the flesh 
of Middle-age writers as Boethius. Take up what writer you will, 
and you find not only the sentiments, but the very words of the dis- 
tinguished old Eoman. And surely we who read him in Chaucer's 
tongue, will not refuse to say that his full-circling meed of glory was 
other than deserved. Nor can we marvel that at the end of our 
great poet's life, he was glad that he had swelled the chorus of 
Boethius' praise ; and * of the translacioun of Boece de Consolacioun,' 
thanked ' oure Lord Ihesu Crist and his moder, and alle the seintes 
in heuen.' 

The impression made by Boethius on Chaucer was evidently 
very deep. Not only did he translate him directly, as in the present 
work, but he read his beloved original over and over again, as 
witness the following list, incomplete of course, of passages from 
Chaucer's poems translated more or less literally from the De Con- 
solatione : 


Wost thou nat wel the olde clerkes sawe, 
That who schal yeve a lover eny lawe, 
Love is a grettere lawe, by my pan, 
Then may be yeve to (of) eny erthly man ? 

(Knightes Tale, Aldine Series, vol. ii. p. 36, 37.) 

Btat what is he ]>at may ^eue a lawe to loueres. loue is a gretter 
lawe and a strengere to hym self fan any lawe J?at men may ^euen. 

(Chaucer's Prose Translation, p. 108.) 

Quis legem det amantibus f 

Major lex amor est sibi. (Boeth., lib. iii. met. 12.) 

1 Dante, in his Convito, says, " Misimi a legger quello non conosciuto da 
molti libro di Boezio, nel quale captivo e discacciato consolato s' avea." 

Printed at Ghent, 1485. 

By Reynier de Seinct Trudon, printed at Bruges, 1477. 

An old version of the llth cent., printed by Graff, and a modern one 
printed at Nuremberg, 1473. 

By Jean de Meiing, printed at Paris, 1494. 

By Varchi, printed at Florence, 1551 ; Parma, 1798. 



A dronke man wot wel he hath an hous, 
But he not * which the righte wey is thider. 

(Knightes Tale, vol. ii. p. 39.) 

as a dronke man not nat z by whiche pdfye he may retourne home 
to hys house. (Chaucer's Trans., p. 67.) 

Sed velut ebrius, domum quo tramite revertatur, ignorat. 

(Boeth., lib. iii. pr. 2.) 


The firste moevere of the cause above, 
Whan he first made the fayre cheyne of love, 
Gret was theffect, and heigh was his entente ; 
Wel wist he why, and what therof he mente ; 
For with that fair 'e cheyne of love he bond 
Thefyr, the watir, the eyr, and eek the lond 
In certeyn boundeSj that they may not flee. 

(Knightes Tale, p. 92.) 

That J>e world with stable feith / varieth acordable chaungynges // fat 
the contraryos qualite of element} holden amonge hem self aliaunce per- 
durable / J>at phebus the sonne with his goldene chariet / bryngeth forth 
the rosene day / J)at the mone hath commaundement ouer the nyhtes // 
whiche nyhtes hesperus the eue sterre hat[h] browt // J>at j?e se gredy 
to flowen constreyneth with a certeyn ende hise floodes / so Jjat it is 
nat l[e]ueful to strechche hise brode termes or bowndes vp-on the erthes 
// ]>at is to seyn to couere alle the erthe // Al this a-cordaunce of thinges 
is bownden with looue / ]?at gouerneth erthe and see / and [he] hath also 
commaundement} to the heuenes / and yif this looue slakede the brydelis 
/ alle thinges j?at now louen hem to-gederes / wolden maken a batayle 
contynuely and stryuen to fordoon the fasoun of this worlde / the which 
they now leden in acordable feith by fayre moeuynges // this looue halt 
to-gideres poeples / ioygned with an hooly bond / and knytteth sacre- 
ment of mar-yages of chaste looues // And loue enditeth lawes to trewe 
felawes // weleful weere mankynde / yif thilke loue fat gouerneth 
heuene gouerned yowre corages /. (Chaucer's Boethius, bk. ii. met. 8.) 

Quod mundus stabili fide 
Concordes variat vices, 
Quod pugnantia semina 
Fcedus perpetuum tenent, 
Quod Phoebus roseum diem 
Curru provehit aureo, 
Ut quas duxerit Hesperus 

1 The Harl. MS. reads not nat, to the confusion of the metre. 

2 = ne wot nat = knows not. 



Phoebe noctibus imperet, 

Ut fluctus avidura mare 

Certo fine coerceat, 

Ne terris liceat vagis 

Latos tundere terminos ; 

Hanc rerum seriem ligat, 

Terras ac pelagus r eg ens, 

Et ccelo imperitans amor. 

Hie si frana remiserit, 

Quicquid nunc amat invicem, 

Bellum continue geret : 

Et quam nunc socia fide 

Pulcris motibus incitant, 

Certent solvere machinam. 

Hie sancto populos quoque 

Junctos foedere continet, 

Hie et conjugii sacrum 

Castis nectit amoribns, 

Hie fidis etiam sua 

Dictat jura sodalibus. 

felix hominum genus, 

Si vestros animos amor, 

Quo caBlum regitur, regat. (Boeth., lib. ii. met. 8.) 

Love, that of erth and se hath governaunee ! 
Love, that his hestes hath in hevene hye ! 
Love, that with an holsom alliaunce 
Halt peples joyned, as hym liste hem gye ! 
Love, that knetteth law and compaignye, 
And couples doth in vertu for to dwelle ! 

(Troylus & Cryseyde, st. 243, vol. iv. p. 296.) 

That, that the world with faith, which that is stable 

Dyverseth so, his stoundes concordynge ; 

That elementz, that ben so discordable, 

Holden a bond, perpetualy durynge ; 

That Phebus mot his rosy carte forth brynge, 

And that the mone hath lordschip overe the nyghte ; 

Al this doth Love, ay heryed be his myght ! 

That, that the se, that gredy is to flowen, 
Constreyneth to a certeyn ende so 
Hise flodes, that so fiersly they ne growen 
To drenchen erth and alle for everemo ; 
And if that Love aught lete his brydel go, 
Al that now loveth asonder sholde lepe, 
And lost were al that Love halt now to kepe. 

(Ibid. st. 244, 245.) 



That same prynce and moevere eek, quod he, 
Hath stabled, in this wrecched world adoun, 
Certeyn dayes and duracioun 
To alle that er dngendrid in this place, 
Over the whiche day they may nat pace, 
Al mowe they yit wel here dayes abregge ; 

Than may men wel by this ordre discerae 
That thilke moevere stabul is and eterne. 

And therfore of his wyse purveaunce 
He hath so wel biset his ordonaunce, 
That spices of thinges and progressions 
Schullen endure by successiouns 
And nat eterne be, withoute any lye. 

(Knightes Tale, vol. ii. p. 92, 93.) 

J)e engendrynge of alle Jjinges quod she and alle Jje progressiouns 
of muuable nature, and alle Jjat moeuejj in any manere takijj hys causes, 
hys ordre. and hys formes, of Jje stablenesse of Jje deuyne Jjou^t [and 
thilke deuyue thowht] Jjat is yset and put in Jje toure. Jjat is to seyne 
in Jje hey3t of Jje simplicite of god. stablisij> many manere gyses to 
Jjinges Jjat ben to don. (Chaucer's Boethius, bk. iv. pr. 6, p. 134.) 


Wel may men knowe, but it be a fool, 
That every partye dyryveth from his hool. 
For nature hath nat take his bygynnyng 
Of no partye ne cantel of a thing, 
But of a thing that parfyt is and stable, 
Descendyng so, til it be corumpable. 

(Knightes Tale, vol. ii. p. 92.) 

For al Jjing Jjat is cleped inperfit . is proued inperfit by Jje 
amenusynge of perfeccioun . or of Jjing Jjat is perfit . and her-of comejj 
it . Jjat in euery Jjing general . yif Jjat . Jjat men seen any jjing Jjat is 
inperfit . certys in jjilke general per mot ben somme J)ing Jjat is perfit. 
For yif so be Jjat perfeccioun is don awey . men may nat Jjinke nor seye 
fro whennes Jjilke Jnng is Jjat is cleped inperfit . For Jje nature of Jjinges 
ne token nat her bygynnyng of Jjinges amenused and inperfit . but it 
procedijj of Jjingus Jjat ben al hool . and absolut . and descendejj so 
doune iii-to outerest Jjinges and in-to Jjingus empty and wijj-oute fruyt . 


but as I haue shewed a litel her byforne . J>at yif jjer be a blisfulnesse 
Jjat be frele and vein and inperfit . J?er may no man doute . J?at J?er nys 
som blisfulnesse Jjat is sad stedfast and perfit.' (bk. iii. pr. 10, p. 89.) 

Omne enim quod imperfectum esse dicitur, id deminutione perfect! 
imperfectum esse perhibetur. Quo fit ut si in quolibet genere imper- 
fectum quid esse videatur, in eo perfectum quoque aliquod esse necesse 
sit. Etenim perfectione sublata, unde illud, quod imperfectum perhibe- 
tur, extiterit, ne fingi quidem potest. Neque enim db diminutis incon- 
summatisque natura rerum cepit exordium, sed db integris absolutisque 
procedens in hcec extrema atque effmta dildbitur. Quod si, uti paulo ante 
monstravimus, est quasdam boni fragilis imperfecta felicitas, esse aliquam 
eoHdam perfectamque non potest dubitari. (Boeth., lib. iii. pr. 10.) 


For gentilnesse nys but renome 

Of thin auncestres, for her heigh bounte 

Which is a straunge thing to thy persone. 

(The Wyf of Bathes Tale, vol. ii. p. 241.) 

For if J?e name of gentilesse be referred to renoun and clernesse of 
linage. Jjaii is gentil name but a foreine Jring. 

(Chaucer's Boethius, p. 78.) 

Quce [nobilitas], si ad claritudinem refertur, aliena est. 

(Boethius, lib. iii. pr. 6.) 


No teer out of his eyen for that sighte 
Ne cam ; but sayde, a fair womman was sche. 
Gret wonder is how that he couthe or mighte 
Be domesman on hir dede beaute. 

(The Monkes Tale, vol. iii. p. 217.) 

Ne no tere ne wette his face, but he was so hard-herted Jjat he 
my^te ben domesman or iuge of hire dede beaute. 

(Chaucer's Boethius, p. 55.) 

Ora non tinxit lacrymis, sed esse 
Censor extincti potuit decoris. 

(Boethius, lib. ii. met. 6. ) 


In 'Troylus and Cryseyde' we find the following long passage 
taken from Boethius, book v. prose 2, 3. 

Book iv. st. 134, vol. iv. p. 339. 

(1) Syn God seth every thynge, out of doutaunce, 
And hem dispoueth, thorugh his ordinauuce, 


In hire merites sothely for to be, 
As they shul comen by predesteyne 


(2) For som men seyn if God seth al byforne, 
Ne God may not deseyved ben parde ! 

Than moot it fallen, theigh men hadde it swome, 
That purveyaunce hath seyn befor to be , 
Wherfor I seye, that, from eterne, if he 
Hathe wiste byforn our thought ek as oure dede, 
We have no fre choys, as thise clerkes rede. 


(3) For other thoughte, nor other dede also, 
Myghte nevere ben, but swich as purveyaunce, 
Which may nat ben deceyved nevere moo, 
Hath feled byforne, withouten ignoraunce ; 
For if ther myghte ben a variaunce, 

To wrythen out fro Goddes purveyinge, 
Ther nere no prescience of thynge comynge ; 


(4) But it were rather an opinyon 
Uncertein, and no stedfast forseynge ; 
And certes that were an abusyon 

That God shold han no parfit clere wetynge, 
More than we men, that han douteous wenynge, 
But swich an erroure upon God to gesse 
Were fals, and foule, and wikked corsednesse. 


(5) They seyn right thus, that thynge is nat to come, 
For that the prescience hath seyne byfore 

That it shal come ; but they seyn that therfore 
That it shal corne, therfor the purveyaunce 
Woot it bifore, withouten ignorance. 


(6) And in this manere this riecessite 
Retourneth in his part coritrarye agayn ; 
For nedfully byhoveth it not to be, 
That thilke thynges fallen in certeyn 

That ben purveyed ; but nedly, as they seyne, 
Bihoveth it that thynges, which that falle, 
That thei in certein ben purveied alle. 



(7) I mene as though I labourede me in this, 

To enqueren which thynge cause of whiche thynge be ; 

(8) As, whether that the prescience of God is 
The certein cause of the necessite 

Of thynges that to comen ben, parde ! 
Or, if necessite of thynge comynge 
Be cause certein of the purveyinge. 


(9) But now nenforce I me nat in shewynge 
How the ordre of causes stant ; but wel woot I 
That it bihoveth that the bifallynge 

Of thynges, wiste bifor certeinly, 
Be necessarie, al seme it nat therby 
That prescience put fallynge necessaire 
To thynge to come, al falle it foule or faire. 


(10) For, if ther sit a man yonde on a see, [seat] 
Than by necessite* bihoveth it, 

That certes thyn opinioun soth be, 

That wenest or conjectest that he sit ; 

And, further over, now ayeinwarde yit, 

Lo right so is it on the part contrarie, 

As thus, nowe herkene, for I wol nat tarie : 


(11) I sey, that if the opinion of the 

Be soth for that he sit, than seye I this, 

That he moot sitten by necessite ; 

And thus necessite in either is, 

For in hym nede of sittynge is, ywis, 

And in the, nede of soth ; and thus forsoth 

Ther mot necessite ben in yow bothe. 


(12) But thow maist seyne, the man sit nat therfore, 
That thyn opinioun of his sittynge sothe is ; 
But rather, for the man sat there by fore, 
Therfor is thyn opinioun soth, ywys ; 

And I seye, though the cause of soth of this 
Cometh of his sittynge, yet necessite 
Is inter cli aim ged both in hym and the. 



(13) Tims in the same wyse, out of doutaunce, 
I may wel maken, as it semeth me, 

My resonynge of Goddes purveiaunce, 
And of the thynges that to comen be ; ... 


(14) For although that for thynge shal come, ywys, 
Therfor it is purveyed certeynly, 

Nat that it cometh for it purveied is ; 
Yet, natheles, bihoveth it nedfully, 
That thynge to come be purveied trewly ; 
Or elles thynges that purveied be, 
That they bitiden by necessite. 


(15) And this sufficeth right ynough, certeyn, 
For to distruye oure fre choys everydele. 

(1) Quas tamen ille ab asterno cuncta prospiciens providential cernit 
intuitus, et suis quaaque meritis praedestinata disponit ..... (Boethius, 
lib. v. pr. 2.) .................. 

(2) Nam si cuncta prospicit Deus neque falli ullo modo potest, 
evenire necesse est, quod providentia futurum esse praaviderit. Quare 
si ab aaterno non facta hominum modo, sed etiam consilia voluntatesque 
praanoscit, nulla erit arbitrii libertas ; 

(3) Neque enim vel factum aliud ullum vel quaalibet existere poterit 
voluntas, nisi quam nescia falli providentia divina praesenserit. Nam 
si res aliorsum, quam pro visas sunt detorqueri valent, non jam erit 
futuri firma praescientia ; 

(4) Sed opinio potius incerta ; quod de Deo nefas credere judico. 

(5) Aiunt enim non ideo quid esse eventurum quoniam id provi- 
dentia futurum esse prospexerit ; sed e contrario potius, quoniam quid 
futurum est, id divinam providentiam latere non possit. 

(6) Eoque modo necessarium est hoc in contrariam relabi partem ; 
neque enirn necesse est contingere quaa providentur, sed necesse est 
quaa futura sunt provideri. 

(7) Quasi vero quaa cujusque rei causa sit, 

(8) Praescientiane futurorum necessitatis an futurorum necessitas 
providentia3, laboretur. 

(9) At nos illud demonstrare nitamur, quoquo modo sese habeat 
ordo causarum, necessarium esse eventum praascitarum rerum, etiam si 
praescientia futuris rebus eveniendi necessitatem non videatur inferre. 

(10) Etenim si quispiam sedeat, opinionem qua) eum sedere conjectat 
verara esse necesse est : at e converse rursus, 


(11) Si de qnopiam vera sit opinio quoniam scdet euin sedere necesse 
est. In utroque igitur necessitas inest : in hoc quidem sedendi, at vero 
in altero veritatis. 

(12) Sed non idcirco quisque sedet, quoniam vera est opinio : sed 
ha3c potius vera est, quoniam quempiam sedere praecessit. Ita cum 
causa veritatis ex altera parte procedat, inest tamen communis in 
utraque necessitas. 

(13) Similia de providentia futurisque rebus ratiocinari patet. 

(14) Nam etiam si idcirco, quoniam futura sunt, providentur : non 
vero ideo, quoniam providentur, eveniunt: nihilo minus tameu a Deo vel 
ventura provided, vel provisa evenire necesse est : 

(15) Quod ad perimendam arbitrii libertatem solum satis est. 

(lib. v. pr. 3.) 
See Chaucer's Boethius, pp. 154-6. 


For, of fortunes scharp adversit^, 
The worste kynde of infortune is this, 
A man to han ben in prosperite, 
And it remembren, when it passed is. 

(Troylus and Cryseyde, bk. iii. st. 226, vol. iv. p. 291.) 

Sed hoc est, quod recolentem me vehementius coquit. Nam in omni 
adversitate fortunas infelicissimum genus est infortunii, fuisse felicem. 1 
(Boethius, lib. ii. pr. 4.) 


Syciphus in Helle, 

Whos stomak fowles tyren everemo, 
That hyghten volturis. 

(Troylus and Cryseyde, book i. st. 113, p. 140.) 

jpe fowel Jjat hy^t voltor J>at etij? J?e stomak or J>e giser of ticius. 

(Chaucer's Boethius, p. 107.) 


For if hire (Fortune's) whiel stynte any thinge to torne 
Thanne cessed she Fortune anon to be. 

(Troylus and Cryseyde, bk. i. st. 122, p. 142.) 

If fortune bygan to dwelle stable, she cesed[e] fan to ben fortune. 

(Chaucer's Boethius, p. 32.) 

1 Of. Dante, Inferno, V. 121. 

Nessun maggior dolore 
Che ricordarsi del tempo felice 
Nella iniseria ; e cid sa '1 tuo Dottore. 


(Compare stanzas 120, 121, p. 142, and stanza 136, p. 14G, of 
'Troylus and Cryseyde' with pp. 31, 33, 35, and p. 34 of Chaucer's 

At omnium mortalium stolidissime, si manere incipit, fors esse 
desistit. (Boethius, lib. ii. prose 1 .) 


Imedled is with many a bitternesse. 

Ful angwyshous than is, God woote, quod she, 

Condicion of veyn prosperite ! 

For oyther joies comen nought yfeere, 

Or elles no wight hath hem alwey here. 

(Troylus and Cryseyde, bk. iii. st. 110, p. 258.) 

Jpe swetnesse of mannes welefulnesse is yspranid wij) many[e] bitter- 
nesses. (Chaucer's Boethius, p. 42.) 

ful anguissous J>ing is J>e condicioun of mans goodes. For 
eyber it come]) al to-gidre to a wy^t. or ellys it lastej? not perpetuely. 

(Ib. p. 41.) 

Quam multis amaritudinibus humanas felicitatis dulcedo respersa 
est ! (Boethius, lib. ii. prose 4.) 

Anxia enim res est humanorum conditio bonorum, et qua3 vel nun- 
quam tota proveniat, vel nunquam perpetua subsistat. 

0, brotel wele of mannes joie unstable ! 

With what wight so thow be, or how thow pleye, 

Oither he woot that thow joie art muable, 

Or woot it nought, it mot ben on of tweyen : 

Now if he woot it not, how may he seyen 

That he hath veray joie and selynesse, 

That is of ignoraunce ay in distresse ? 

Now if he woote that joie is transitorie, 
As every joie of worldly thynge mot fle, 
Thanne every tyme he that hath in memorie, 
The drede of lesyng maketh hyrn that he 
May in no parfyte selynesse be : 
And if to lese his joie, he sette not a myte, 
Than semeth it, that joie is worth ful lite. 

(Troylus and Cryseyde, bk. iii. st. Ill, 112, vol. iv. p. 258.) 

(1) What man Jjat bis toumblyng welefulnesse leedib, eiber he woot 
bat [it] is chaungeable. or ellis he woot it nat. And yif he woot it 
not. what blisful fortune may ber be in be blyndenesse of ignoraunce. 

(2) And yif he woot bat it is chaungeable. he mot alwey ben adrad 
bat he ne lese ]>at ]>ing. bat he ne doutejj nat but bat he may leesen it. 


For whiche Jje continuel dredc ]>at he haj) nc sufirij) hym 

nat to ben weleful. Or ellys yif he leese it he wene[f>] to be dispised and 
forleten hit. Certis eke Jjat is a ful lytel goode J>at is born wij? euene 
hert[e] whan it is loost. (Chaucer's Boethius, pp. 43, 44.) 

(1) Quern caduca ista felicitas vehit, vel scit earn, vel nescit esse 
mutabilem. Si nescit, qusenam beata sors esse potest ignorantiso 
in csecitate? 

(2) Si scit, metuat necesse est, ne amittat, quod amitti posse non 
dubitat ; quare continuus timor non sinit esse felicem. An vel si 
amiserit, negligendum putat? Sic quoque perexile bonum est, quod 
sequo animo feratur amissum. (Boethius, lib. ii. prose 4.) 



That semeth trewest when she wol bigyle, 

And, when a wight is from hire whiel ithrowe, 
Than laugheth she, and maketh hym the mowe. 

(Troylus and Cryseyde, bk. iii. st. 254, vol. iv. p. 299.) 

She (Fortune) vsejj ful flatryng familarite wijj hem Jjat she enforce]} 
to bygyle. {Chaucer's Boethius, p. 30.) 

She lau^ej? and scorne]? J?e wepyng of hem Jje 

whiche she haj) maked wepe wij> hir free wille .... Yif J)at a 
wy^t is seyn weleful and ouerfrowe in an houre. (Ib. p. 33.) 

In book v., stanza 260, vol. v. p. 75, Chaucer describes how the 
soul of Hector, after his death, ascended 'up to the holughnesse of the 
seventhe spere.' In so doing he seems to have had before him met. 
1, book 4, of Boethius, where the 'soul' is described as passing into 
the heaven's utmost sphere, and looking down on the world below. 
See Chaucer's Boethius, p. 110, 111. 

^tas Prima is of course a metrical version of lib. ii. met. 5. 

Hampole speaks of the wonderful sight of the Lynx ; perhaps he 
was indebted to Boethius for the hint. (See Boethius, book 3, pr. 8, 
p. 81.) 

I have seen the following elsewhere : 

(1) Value not beauty, for it may be destroyed by a three days' fever. 

(See Chaucer's Boethius, p. 81.) 

(2) There is no greater plague than the enmity of thy familiar friend. 

(See Chaucer 's translation, p. 77.) 


Chaucer did not English Boethius second-hand, through any 
early French version, as some have supposed, but made his trans- 
lation with the Latin original before him. 

Jean de Me"ung's version, the only early French translation, per- 
haps, accessible to Chaucer, is not always literal, while the present 
translation is seldom free or periphrastic, but conforms closely to the 
Latin, and is at times awkwardly literal. A few passages, taken 
haphazard, will make this sufficiently clear. 

Et dolor cetatem jussit inesse mam. And sorou haj> comaunded his 
age to be in me (p. 4). 

Et ina douleur commando, a vieillesse 
Entrer en moy / ains quen fust hors ieunesse. 

MOTS hominum felix, quce se nee dulcibus annis 
Inserit, et mcestis scepe vocata venit. 

}?ilke dee]) of men is welful Jjat ne come)} not in ^eres J)at ben swete 
(i. mirie). but come)} to wrecches often yclepid. (p. 4.) 
On dit la mort des homes estre eureuse 
Qui ne vient pas en saisow plawtureuse 
Mais des tristes mowlt souuewt appellee 
Elle y affuit nue / seche et pelee. 

Querimoniam lacrymdbilem. Wepli compleynte (p. 5). Fr. ma 
complainte moy esmouuant a pleurs. 

Styli officio. WiJ) office of poyntel (p. 5). Fr. (que ie reduisse) par 

Inexhaustus. Swiche . . . Jjat it ne myjt[e] not be emptid (p. 5). 
Fr. inconsumptible. 

Scenicas meretriculas. Comune strumpetis of siche a place jjat men 
clepen Jje theatre (p. 6). Fr. ces ribaudelles fardees. 

Prcecipiti profundo. In ouer-jjrowyng depnesse (p. 7). 
[L]As que la pensee de lomme 
Est troublee et plongie comme 
En abisme precipitee 
Sa propre lumiere gastee. 

Nee pervetusta nee ineelebris. Neyjjer ouer-oolde ne vnsolempne (p. 
11). Fr. desquelz la memoire nest pas trop ancienne ou now recitee. 

Inter secreta otia. Among my secre restyng whiles (p. 14). Fr. 
entre mes secrettes et oyseuses estudes. 

Palatini canes. j?e houndys of Jje palays (p. 15). Fr. les chiens du 



Masculcc prolis. Of J)i masculyn children (p. 37). Fr. de ta lignie 

Ad singularem felicitatis tuce cumulum venire delectat. It delitej) me to 
comen now to J>e singuler vphepyng of Jri welefulnesse (p. 37). Fr. II 
me plait venir au singulier monceau de ta felicite. 

Consulare imperium. Emperie of consulers (p. 51). Fr. 1 empire con- 

Hoc ipsum brevis habitaculi. Of Jjilke litel habitacle (p. 57). Fr. 
de cest trespetit habitacle. 

Late patentes plagas. })e brode shewyng contreys (p. 60). 
QVicowques tend a gloire vaine 
Et le croit estre souueraine 
Voye les regions pateutes 
Du ciel 

Ludens hominum cura. J)e pleiyng besines of men (p. 68). 
Si quil tollist par doulz estude 
Des homines la solicitude . . 

Hausi ccelum. I took heuene (p. 10). Fr. ie . . . regarday le ciel. 

Certamen adversum prcefectum prcetorii communis commodi ratione 
suscepi. I took strif a^eins Jje prouost of Jje pretorie for comune profit 
(p. 15). Fr. ie entrepris lestrif a lencontre du prefect du parlement royal 
a cause de la commune vtilite. 

At cujus criminis arguimur summam quceris? But axest J>ou in 
somme of what gilt I am accused ? (p. 17). Fr. Mais demandes tu la 
somme du pechie duquel pechie nous sommes arguez ? 

Fortuita temyritate. By fortunouse fortune (p. 26). Fr. par fortuite 

Quos premunt septem gelidi triones. Alle J)e peoples J>at ben vndir 
Jje colde sterres Jjat hy3ten Jje seuene triones (p. 55). Fr. ceulx de 

Ita ego quoque tibi veluti corollarium dabo. Ry^t so wil I ^eue J?e 
here as a corolarie or a mede of coroune (p. 91). Fr. semblablement 
ie te donneray ainsi que vng correlaire. 

In stadio. In J>e stadie or in Jje forlonge (p. 119). Fr. ou (for au) 

Conjecto. I coniecte (p. 154). Fr. ie coniecture. 

Nimium . . . adversari ac repugnare videtur. It semej? ... to re- 
pugnen and to contrarien gretly. Fr. Ce semble chose trop contraire et 
repugn ante. 

Universitatis ambitum. Envirounynge of ]>e vniuersite (p. 165). Fr. 
lauironnement dc luniuersalite. 


Rationis universum. Vniuersite of resouii (p. 165). Fr. luniucrsalitc 
de Raison. 

Scientiam nunquam deficientis instantice rectius cestimabis. jpou shalt 
demen [it] more ry^tfully Jjat it is science of presence or of instaunce 
Jjat neuer ne faylej? (p. 174). Fr. mais tu la diras plus droittement et 
mieulx science de instante presentialite non iamais defaillant mais 

Many of the above examples are very bald renderings of the 
original, and are only quoted, here to show that Chaucer did not 
make his translation from the French. 

Chaucer is not always felicitous in his translations : thus he 
translates davus atque gubernaculum by keye and a stiere (p. 103), 
and compendium (gain, acquisition) by abreggynge (abridging, curtail- 
ment), p. 151. Many terms make their appearance in English for 
the first time, and most of them have become naturalized, and arc 
such as we could ill spare. Some few are rather uncommon, as 
gouernaile (gubernaculum), p. 27 ; arbitre (arbitrium), p. 154. As 
Chaucer takes the trouble to explain inestimable (insestimabilis), p. 
158, it could not have been a very familiar term. 

Our translator evidently took note of various readings, for on p. 
31 he notes a variation of the original. On p. 51 he uses armurers 
( armures) to render arma, though most copies agree in reading 

There are numerous glosses and explanations of particular pas- 
sages, which seem to be interpolated by Chaucer himself. Thus he 
explains what is meant by the heritage of Socrates (p. 10, 11); he 
gives the meaning of coemption (p. 15) ; of Euripus (p. 33) ; of the 
porch (p. 166). 1 Some of his definitions are very quaint; as, for 
instance, that of Tragedy ' a dite of a prosperite for a tyme \at 
endi\ in wrecliednesse ' (p. 35). One would think that the following 
definition of Tragedian would be rather superfluous after this, ( a 
maker of dites \at hytfen (are called) tregedies ' (p. 77). 
Melliflui . . . oris Homerus 

is thus quaintly Englished : Homer wi\ J>e hony mou^e, ]>at is to 
seyn. homer wi\ \e swete dites (p. 153). 

1 See pages 39, 50, 61, 94, 111, 133, 149, 153, 159. 


The present translation of the De Consolatione is taken from 
Additional MS. 10,340, which is supposed to be the oldest manu- 
script that exists in our public libraries. After it was all copied out 
and ready for press, Mr Bradshaw was kind enough to procure me, 
for the purpose of collation, the loan of the Canib. University MS. li. 
3. 21, from which the various readings at the foot of the pages 
are taken. 

Had I had an opportunity of examining the Cambridge MS. care- 
fully throughout before the work was so far advanced, I should cer- 
tainly have selected it in preference to the text now given to the 
reader. Though not so ancient as the British Museum MS., it is 
far more correct in its grammatical inflexions, and is no doubt a copy 
of an older and very accurate text. 

The Additional MS. is written by a scribe who was unacquainted 
with the force of the final -e. Thus he adds it to the preterites of 
strong verbs, which do not require it ; he omits it in the preterites 
of weak verbs where it is wanted, and attaches it to passive participles 
(of weak verbs), where it is superfluous. The scribe of the Cam- 
bridge MS. is careful to preserve the final -e where it is a sign (1) of 
the definite declension of the adjective ; (2) of the plural adjective ; 
(3) of the infinitive mood ; (4) of the preterite of weak verbs ; (5) of 
present participles ; * (6) of the 2nd pers. pret. indie, of strong verbs ; 
(7) of adverbs ; (8) of an older vowel ending. 

The Addit. MS. has frequently thilk (singular and plural), and 
-nes (in wrechednes, &c.), when the Camb. MS. has thilJce 2 and -nesse. 

For further differences the reader may consult the numerous 
collations at the foot of the page. 

If the Chaucer Society obtains that amount of patronage from the 
literary public which it deserves, but unfortunately has yet not suc- 
ceeded in getting, so that it may be enabled to go on with the great 
work which has been so successfully commenced, then the time may 
come when I shall have the opportunity of editing the Camb. MS. 
of Chaucer's Boethius for that Society, and lovers of Early English 
Literature will have two texts instead of one. 

1 In the Canterbury Tales we find participles in -ynge. 
It is nearly always thilke in the Canterbury Tales. 



THE last of the ancients, and one who forms a link between the class- 
ical period of literature and that of the middle ages, in which he was a 
favourite author, is Boethius, a man of fine genius, and interesting both 
from his character and his death. It is well known that after filling the 
dignities of Consul and Senator in the court of Theodoric, he fell a victim 
to the jealousy of a sovereign, from whose memory, in many respects 
glorious, the stain of that blood has never been effaced. The Consolation 
of Philosophy, the chief work of Boethius, was written in his prison. 
Few books are more striking from the circumstances of their production, 
Last of the classic writers, in style not impure, though displaying too 
lavishly that poetic exuberance which had distinguished the two or three 
preceding centuries, in elevation of sentiment equal to any of the philo- 
sophers, and mingling a Christian sanctity with their lessons, he speaks 
from his prison in the swan-like tones of dying eloquence. The philoso- 
phy that consoled him in bonds, was soon required in the sufferings of a 
cruel death. Quenched in his blood, the lamp he had trimmed with a 
skilful hand gave no more light ; the language of Tully and Virgil soon 
ceased to be spoken ; and many ages were to pass away, before learned 
diligence restored its purity, and the union of genius with imitation 
taught a few modern writers to surpass in eloquence the Latinity of 
Boethius. (Hallam's Literature of Europe, i. 2, 4th ed. 1854.) 

The Senator Boethius is the last of the Romans whom Cato or Tully 
could have acknowledged for their countryman. As a wealthy orphan, 
he inherited the patrimony and honours of the Anician family, a name 
ambitiously assumed by the kings and emperors of the age ; and the 
appellation of Manlius asserted his genuine or fabulous descent from 
a race of consuls and dictators, who had repulsed the Gauls from the 
Capitol, and sacrificed their sons to the discipline of the Republic. In the 
youth of Boethius the studies of Rome were not totally abandoned ; a 
Virgil is now extant, corrected by the hand of a consul ; and the pro- 
fessors of grammar, rhetoric, and jurisprudence, were maintained in their 
privileges and pensions by the liberality of the Goths. But the erudition 
of the Latin language was insufficient to satiate his ardent curiosity ; and 


Boethius is said to have employed eighteen laborious years in the schools 
of Athens, which were supported by the zeal, the learning, and the dili- 
gence of Proclus and his disciples. The reason and piety of their Roman 
pupil were fortunately saved from the contagion of mystery and magic, 
which polluted the groves of the Academy, but he imbibed the spirit, and 
imitated the method, of his dead and living masters, who attempted to 
[reconcile the strong and subtle sense of Aristotle with the devout con- 
Jtemplation and sublime fancy of Plato. After his return to Rome, and 
his marriage with the daughter of his friend, the patrician Symmachus, 
Boethius still continued, in a palace of ivory and [glass] to prosecute the 
same studies. The Church was edified by his profound defence of the 
orthodox creed against the Arian, the Eutychian, and the Nestorian 
heresies ; and the Catholic unity was explained or exposed in a formal 
treatise by the indifference of three distinct though consubstantial persons. 
For the benefit of his Latin readers, his genius submitted to teach the 
first elements of the arts and sciences of Greece. The geometry of 
Euclid, the music of Pythagoras, the arithmetic of Nicomachus, the 
mechanics of Archimedes, the astronomy of Ptolemy, the theology of 
Plato, and the logic of Aristotle, with the commentary of Porphyry, were 
translated and illustrated by the indefatigable pen of the Roman senator. 
And he alone was esteemed capable of describing the wonders of art, a 
sun-dial, a water-clock, or a sphere which represented the motions of the 
planets. From these abstruse speculations, Boethius stooped, or, to speak 
more truly, he rose to the social duties of public and private life : the in- 
digent were relieved by his liberality ; and his eloquence, which flattery 
might compare to the voice of Demosthenes or Cicero, was uniformly ex- 
erted in the cause of innocence and humanity. Such conspicuous merit 
was felt and rewarded by a discerning prince : the dignity of Boethius was 
adorned with the titles of consul and patrician, and his talents were use- 
fully employed in the important station of master of the offices. Not- 
withstanding the equal claims of the East and West, his two sons were 
created, in their tender youth, the consuls of the same year. On the 
memorable day of their inauguration, they proceeded in solemn pomp 
from their palace to the forum amidst the applause of the senate and 
people ; and their joyful father, the true Consul of Rome, after pronounc- 
ing an oration in the praise of his royal benefactor, distributed a tri- 
umphal largess in the games of the circus. Prosperous in his fame and 
fortunes, in his public honours and private alliances, in the cultivation 
of science and the consciousness of virtue, Boethius might have been 
styled happy, if that precarious epithet could be safely applied before the 
last term of the life of man. 

A philosopher, liberal of his wealth and parsimonious of his time, 
might be insensible to the common allurements of ambition, the thirst of 
gold and employment. And some credit may be due to the asseveration 
of Boethius, that he had reluctantly obeyed the divine Plato, who enjoins 
every virtuous citizen to rescue the state from the usurpation of vice and 
ignorance. For the integrity of his public conduct he appeals to the 


memory of his country. His authority had restrained the pride and op- 
pression of the royal officers, and his eloquence had delivered Paulianus 
from the dogs of the palace. He had always pitied, and often relieved, 
the distress of the provincials, whose fortunes were exhausted by public 
and private rapine ; and Boethius alone had courage to oppose the ty- 
ranny of the Barbarians, elated by conquest, excited by avarice, and, as 
he complains, encouraged by impunity. In these honourable contests his 
spirit soared above the consideration of danger, and perhaps of prudence ; 
and we may learn from the example of Cato, that a character of pure 
and inflexible virtue is the most apt to be misled by prejudice, to be 
heated by enthusiasm, and to confound private enmities with public 
justice. The disciple of Plato might exaggerate the infirmities of nature, 
and the imperfections of society ; and the mildest form of a Gothic king- 
dom, even the weight of allegiance and gratitude, must be insupportable 
to the free spirit of a Roman patriot. But the favour and fidelity of 
Boethius declined in just proportion with the public happiness ; and an 
unworthy colleague was imposed to divide and control the power of 
the master of the offices. In the last gloomy season of Theodoric, he 
indignantly felt that he was a slave ; but as his master had only power 
over his life, he stood without arms and without fear against the face of 
an angry Barbarian, who had been provoked to believe that the safety of 
the senate was incompatible with his own. The Senator Albinus was 
accused and already convicted on the presumption of hoping, as it was 
said, the liberty of Rome. 

" If Albinus be criminal," exclaimed the orator, " the senate and my- ' 
self are all guilty of the same crime. If we are innocent, Albinus is 
equally entitled to the protection of the laws." These laws might not 
have punished the simple and barren wish of an unattainable blessing ; 
but they would have shown less indulgence to the rash confession of 
Boethius, that, had he known of a conspiracy, the tyrant never should. 
The advocate of Albinus was soon involved in the danger and perhaps 
the guilt of his client ; their signature (which they denied as a forgery) 
was affixed to the original address, inviting the emperor to deliver Italy 
from the Goths ; and three witnesses of honourable rank, perhaps of in- 
famous reputation, attested the treasonable designs of the Roman patri- 
cian. Yet his innocence must be presumed, since he was deprived by 
Theodoric of the means of justification, and rigorously confined in the 
tower of Pavia, while the senate, at the distance of five hundred miles, pro- 
nounced a sentence of confiscation and death against the most illustrious 
of its members. At the command of the Barbarians, the occult science 
of a philosopher was stigmatized with the names of sacrilege and magic. 
A devout and dutiful attachment to the senate was condemned as criminal 
by the trembling voices of the senators themselves ; and their ingratitude 
deserved the wish or prediction of Boethius, that, after him, none should 
be found guilty of the same offence. 

While Boethius, oppressed with fetters, expected each moment the 
sentence or the stroke of death, he composed in the tower ol Pavia the 


Consolation of Philosophy ; a golden volume not unworthy of the leisure 
of Plato or Tully, but which claims incomparable merit from the barbar- 
ism of the times and the situation of the author. The celestial_guide, 
whom he had so long invoked at Rome and Athens, now condescended 
to illumine his dungeon, to revive his courage, and to pour into his 
wounds her salutary balm. Sh taught him to compare his long pros- 
perity and his recent distress, and to conceive new hopes from the incon- 
stancy of fortune. Reason had informed him of the precarious condition 
of her gifts ; experience had satisfied him of their real value ; he had en- 
joyed them without guilt ; he might resign them without a sigh, and 
calmly disdain the impotent malice of his enemies, who had left him 
happiness, since they had. left him virtue. From the earth, Boethius 
ascended to heaven in search of the SUPREME GOOD ; explored the meta- 
physical labyrinth of chance and destiny, of prescience and free-will, of 
time and eternity ; and generously attempted to reconcile the perfect 
attributes of the Deity with the apparent disorders of his moral and phy- 
sical government. Such topics of consolation, so obvious, so vague, or 
so abstruse, are ineffectual to subdue the feelings of human nature. Yet 
the sense of misfortune may be diverted by the labour of thought ; and 
the sage who could artfully combine in the same work the various riches 
of philosophy, poetry, and eloquence, must already have possessed the 
intrepid calmness which he affected to seek. Suspense, the worst of evils, 
was at length determined by the ministers of death, who executed, and 
perhaps exceeded, the inhuman mandate of Theodoric. A strong cord 
was fastened round the head of Boethius, and forcibly tightened till his 
eyes almost started from their sockets ; and some mercy may be dis- 
covered in the milder torture of beating him with clubs till he expired. 
But his genius survived to diffuse a ray of knowledge over the darkest ages 
of the Latin world ; the writings of the philosopher were translated by 
the most glorious of the English kings, and the third emperor of the name 
of Otho removed to a more honourable tomb the bones of a Catholic 
saint, who, from his Arian persecutors, had acquired the honours of mar- 
tyrdom and the fame of miracles. In the last hours of Boethius, he 
derived some comfort from the safety of his two sons, of his wife, and of 
his father-in-law, the venerable Symmachus. But the grief of Symma- 
chus was indiscreet, and perhaps disrespectful ; he had presumed to la- 
ment, he might dare to revenge, the death of an injured friend. He was 
dragged in chains from Rome to the palace of Ravenna ; and the suspi- 
cions of Theodoric could only be appeased by the blood of an innocent 
and aged senator. Gibbon's Decline and Fall, 1838, vol. vii. p. 45 52 
(without the notes). 



(Giving the first line of each Metre, the first words of each Prose, 
and the corresponding page of the translation). 

Book Metre Prose Page 

II Carmina qui quondam studio florente peregi ... ^ 

1 Haec dum mecum tacitus ipse reputarem . . , 5 

,,2 Heu, quam praecipiti mersa profundo ... ... 7 

2 Sed medicinae, inquit, potius tempus est ... 8 

3 Tune me discussa liquerunt nocte tenebrae ... 9 
3 Haud aliter tristitiae nebulis dissolutis, hausi 

coelum ... ... ... ... ... 10 

,,4 Quisquis composite serenus aevo 12 

4 Sentisne, inquit, haec, atque animo illabuntur 

tuo? 13 

5 stelliferi conditor orbis ... ... ... 21 

5 Haec ubi continuato dolore delatravi ... ... 23 

,,6 Cum Phoebi radiis grave ... ... ... 25 

6 Primum igitur paterisne me pauculis rogationibus 26 

,,7 Nubibus atris 29 

II 1 Posthaec paulisper obticuit ... ... ... 29 

1 Haec cum superba verterit vices dextra ... 33 

2 Vellem autem pauca tecum fortunae ipsius ... 33 

2 Si quantas rapidis flatibus incitus ... ... 35 

3 His igitur si pro se tecum fortuna loqueretur ... 36 

3 Cum polo Phoebus roseis quadrigis ... ... 39 

,,, 4 Turn ego, Vera, inquam, commemoras ... 39 

4 Quisquis volet percnnem ... ... ... 44 


Book Metre Prose Page 

II 5 Sed quoniam rationum jam in te mearuni fo- 

menta ... ... ... ... ... 45 

,,5 Felix minium prior setas ... ... ... 50 

6 Quid autem de dignitatibus, potentiaque disseram 51 

,,6 Novimus quantas dederit ruinas ... ... 55 

7 Turn ego, Scis, inquam, ipsa 56 

,,7 Quicumque solam mente pnecipiti petit ... 60 

8 Sed ne me inexorabile contra fortunam ... 61 

,,8 Quod mundus stabili fide ... ... ... 62 

III 1 Jam cantum ilia finierat 63 

,,1 Qui serere ingenuum volet agrum 64 

2- Turn defixo paululum visu ... ... ... 64 

2 Quantas rerum flectat habenas 68 

3 Vos quoque, o terrena animalia ... ... 69 

3 Quamvis fluente dives auri gurgite ... ... 71 

4 Sed dignitates honorabilem reverendumque ... 72 

,,4 Quamvis se Tyrio superbus ostro ... ... 74 

5 An vero regna regumque familiaritas efficere 

potentem valent ? ... ... ... ... 75 

,,5 Qui se volet esse potentem ... ... ... 77 

6 Gloria vero quam fallax saepe, quam turpis est ! 77 

6 Omne homirmm genus in terris ... ... 78 

7 Quid autem de corporis voluptatibus loquar 1 79 

,,7 Habet omnis hoc voluptas ... ... ... 80 

8 Nihil igitur dubium est, quin ... ... ... 80 

,,8 Eheu, quam miseros tramite devio ... ... 81 

- 9 Hactenus mendacis formam felicitatis ostendisse 82 

,,9 qui perpetua mundum ratione gubernas ... 87 

10 Quoniam igitur quse sit imperfecti ... ... 88 

10 Hue omnes pariter venite capti 94 

11 Assentior, inquam. ... ... ... ... 95 

11 Quisquis profunda mente vestigat verum ... 100 

12 Turn ego, Platoni, inquam, vehementer assentior 101 

12 Felix qui potuit boni ... ... ... ... 106 

IV 1 Haec cum Philosophia, dignitato 108 


Book Metro Prose Page 

IV 1 Sunt etenim penna3 volucres mihi ... ... 110 

2 Turn ego, Papa), inquam, ut magna promittis ! 112 

,,2 Quos vides sedere celso ... ... ... 118 

3 Videsne igitur quanto in cceno probra volvantur 119 

?> 3 _ Vela Neritii ducis 122 

n 4 Turn ego, Fateor, inquam, nee injuria dici video 123 

tj 4 Quid tantos juvat excitare motus 130 

5 Hie ego, Video, inquam, qua3 sit vel felicitas ... 131 

,,5 Si quis Arcturi sidera nescit ... ... ... 132 

6 Ita est, inquam. 133 

tt 6 Si vis celsi jura tonantis ... ... ... 143 

7 Jamne igitur vides, quid ha3C omnia qua3 diximus, 

consequatur? ... ... ... ... 144 

,,7 Bella bis quinis operatus annis ... ... 147 

V 1 Dixerat, orationisque cursum ad alia quaadam 149 

1 Rupis AchaBmeniae scopulis, ubi versa sequentum 151 

2 Animadverto, inquam, idque uti tu dicis, ita esse 

consentio. ... ... ... ... ... 152 

,,2 Puro clarum lumine Phcebum 153 

n 3 Turn ego, En, inquam, difficiliori rursus am- 

biguitate confundor. ... ... ... 154 

3 Qusenam discors fbedera rerum ... ... 159 

4 Turn ilia, Vetus, inquit, haec est de Providentia 

querela ... ... ... ... ... 161 

,,4 Quondam portions attulit ... ... ... 166 

tt 5 Quod si in corporibus sentiendis, quamvis ... 168 

,,5 Quam variis terras animalia permeant figuris ! 170 

9t 6 Quoniam igitur, uti paulo ante monstratum est 171 

Appendix. ^Etas Prima ... ... ... ... ... 180 

Balades de Vilage sanz Peinture 182 



[Additional MS. 10,340, fol. 3.] 


1 Carmina qui quondam studio florewte peregi. 

2 Hie dum mecura tacitus. 

3 Heu qam precipiti. 

4 Set medicine inquit tempus. 

5 Tune me discussa. 

6 Haut ! aliter tristicie. ' MS. hanc. 

7 Quisquis composite. 

8 Sentis ne inquit. 

9 stelliferi conditor orbis. 

10 Hie ubi continuato dolore. 

11 Cum phebi radijs. 

12 Prinium igitwr pateris rogac^owibws. 

13 Nubibz^s atris condita. 



1 Postea paulisper 2 conticuit. 2 MS. mper. 

2 Hec cum superba. 

3 Uellem autem pauea. 

4 Si quantas rapidis. 

5 His igitur si et pro se. 


6 Cum primo polo. 

7 Tune ego uera inq?/am. 

8 Contraqwe. 

9 Quisqm's ualet perhennem cantus. 

10 Set cum racionum iam in te. 

1 1 Felix in mirura iam prior etas, 

12 Quid autem de dignitatibws. 

13 !N"ouinms quantos dederat. 

14 Turn ego scis inquam. 

15 Quicuwqwe solam mente. 

16 Set ne me inexorabile. 

17 Qwod muftdus stabile fide. 



1 Iam tantum ilia. 

2 Qui sererft ingeniuw. 

3 Tune defixo paululum. 

4 Quantas rerum flectat. 

5 Uos quoqwe terrena awimalia. 

6 Quamuis fluenter diues. 

7 Set dignitatib^s. 

8 Quamuis se tirio. 

9 An uero regna. 

10 Qui se ualet esse potentem. 

1 1 Gloria uero quam fallax. 

1 2 Omne hominuw genus in terris. 

1 3 Quid au#em de corporibws. 

1 4 Habet hoc uoluptas. 

15 Nichil igit^r dubium est. 

16 Heu que miseros tramite. 

17 Hacten?^ memlacio forma??^. 

18 qui perpetua. 

1 9 Quoniam igitur qui scit. 

20 Nunc omnes pariter. 

N 21 Assencior inq?/am cuncta. 


22 Quisqwe profunda. 

23 Tune ego platoni inqwam. 

24 Felix qui poterit. 



1 Hec cum philosophia. 

2 Sunt etenira penne. 

3 Tune ego pape inq?/-am. 

4 Quos uides sedere celsos. 

5 Uides ne igitur quanto. 

6 U[e]la naricij ducis. 

7 Tune ego fateor inquam. 

8 Quid tantos iuuat. 

9 Huic ego uideo inquam. 

10 Si quis arcturi l sydera. Ms.aritun. 

1 1 Ita est inquam. 

12 Si uis celsi iura. 

13 lam ne igitur uides. 

14 Bella bis quinis. 



1 Dixerat oracwnis que cursum. 

2 Rupis achemenie. 

3 Animaduerto inquam. 

4 Puro claru?^ lumine. 

5 Tamen ego en inquam. 

6 Que nam discors. 

7 Tamen ilia uetus. 

8 Quondam portions attulit. 

9 Quod si in corporibws. 

10 Quam uarijs figuris. 

11 Quoniam igiiur uti paulo ante. 



fBOOK 1. 

LMET. i. 




Carrairca qui qiKmdam studio florercte peregi. 

Boethius deplores ( Has I wepyng am constreined to bygynne vers of 
eticeie y~ wv.^^,** ++MWLV. )}at whilom in flory selling 

[The fyrste 

his misfortunes 
in the following 

A 1 


Laments his 
immature old 

sorouful matere. 

studie made delitable ditees. For loo rendyng muses 
4 of poetes enditen to me pinges to be writen. and drery 
vers of wrecchednes weten my face wip verray teers. 
jf At pe leest no drede ne my3t[e] ouer-come po muses. 
7 pat pei ne were/a felawes and folweden my wey. pat is 
to seyne when I was exiled, pei pat weren glorie of 
my you3th whilom weleful and grene cowforten now pe 
sorouful werdes of me olde man. for elde is comen vn- 
warly vpon me hasted by pe harmes pat I haue. and 
12 sorou hap comau^ded his age to be in me. ^[ Heeres 
hore ben schad ouertymelyche vpon myne heued. and 
pe slak[e] skyn tremblep vpon myn emty body. pilk[e] 
Death turns a deeb of men is welful bat ne comeb not in seres bat 

deaf ear to the J 

wretched. }) Qn swe te (.i. mirie.) but comep to wrecches often 

17 yclepid. 

^T Alias alias wip how deef an eere deep cruel 

to?4rnep awey fro wrecches and naiep to closen wep- 

when Fortune vj\cr even. 1T While fortune vnfeibful fauoredfel me 

was favourable * 

Bc2thius me near wip Iy3te goodes (.s. temporels.) pe sorouful houre pat 

22 is to seyne pe deep had[de] almost dreynt myne heued. 

but in his 1f But now for fortune clowdy hap chaunged hir dis- 

adversity life is .. .. ,.. , 

unpleasantly cevuable chere to me warde. myn vnpitouse lilt drawep 


a long vnagreable dwellynges in me. H 30 my 

1 of MS. of of. 

2 florysching floryssyngo 

3 rendyng rendynge 

4 be ben 

5 torecchednes wrecched- 

teers teeres 

6 leest leeste 

w?/3^[] ouer-come xnyhte 


8 seyne whvnseyn whan 
!> youith MS. J>03t,C.yowthe 
10 sorouful werdes sorful 

w ionics [i. fata] 
12 sorou sorwe 

12 ha\> MS. haj>e 
be ben 

13 hore hoore 
ben arn 
mi/ne myn 

14 teft[e] slake 
vpon of 
emty empty d 
i>t^[e] thilke 

15 welful weleful 
come\> not comth nat 

16 ,i. mirie omitted 
19 tourne\> torneth 

naie}> nayteth 
wepyng wepynge 

20 While-Whil 
fauored[_e\ fauorede 

21 lyite lyhte 

.s. temporels oraittod 
sorouful houre sorvvful 
how re 

22 seyne seyn 
had[de'] hadde 
myne myn 

23 ha\> MS. ha)e 
chaunged htr disceyu- 

able chaungyd hyrc de- 

24 vnpitouse lijf vnpietous 


BOOK 1. 1 


frendes what or wherto auauntedfel *e me to be wele- why did his 

friends call 

ful : for he pat hap fallen stood not in stedfast degree. Jj j 


firm that hath 
thus fallen. 


TN pe mene while pat I stille recorded [e] pise pinges [The firste 
-* wip my self, and markede my wepli compleynte wip 29 
office of poyntel. I saw stondyng aboue pe hey3t of my philosophy 
heued a woman of ful greet reuerence by semblaunt Boetkius, 
hir eyen brennyng and clere seing ouer pe comune like a beautiful 

.. woman, 

my3t of men. wip a lijfly colowr and wip swiche vigoure 33 

and strenkep pat it ne my3t[e] not be emptid. ^[ Al 

were it so pat sche was ful of so greet age. pat men ne and of great age. 

wolde not trowe in no manere pat sche were of oure 36 

elde. pe stature of hir was of a doutous iugement. for Her height could 

not be determined, 

suratyme sche constreyned[e] and schronk hir seluerc 

lyche to pe comune mesure of men. and suratyme it 

semed[e] pat sche touched[e] pe heuene wip pe hey3te 40 

of hir heued. and when sche hef hir heued heyer sche for there were 

times when she 

perced[e] pe selue heuene. so pat pe sy3t of men lokyng 
was in ydel. ^[ Hir elopes weren maked of ry3t delye h< 
predes and subtil crafte of perdurable matere. pe wyche 44 
elopes sche hadde wouen wip hir owen hondes : as I Her clothes were 
knew wel aftir by hir selfe. declaryng and schewyng and indissoluble, 
to me pe beaute. ^ pe wiche elopes a derkenes of a for- 47 
leten and dispised elde had[de] duskid and dirkid as 
it is wont to dirken by-smoked ymages. l ft In pe ne- 


besmoked images. 

26 auaunted[e} auauntede 
fie ben 

27 lia\> MS. ha>e 
not nat 
stedfast stidefast 

28 In \>e mene omitted 
recordedle] recordede 

30 saw MS. sawe, C. sawh 
stondyng above MS. stu- 

diyng aboue, C. stond- 

inge abouen 
hey$t heyhte 
my myn 

31 greet gret 

32 brennyng brennynge 
clere seing deer seynge 

33 s wiche swych 

31 strerike\> strengthe 
it emptid it myhtc 

nat ben em ted 
34 Al alle 

36 wolde trowe wolden 

nat trowen 

37 iugement luggement 

38 sumtyme somtyme 
oonstreyned[e] con- 


schronk MS. schronke, 
C. shronk 

39 lyche lyk 

40 semed[e\ semede 
touched[e] towchede 

41 when whan 

hef MS. heued, C. hef 
heyer hyere 

42 perced[e] percede 
si/^t syhte 
lokyng lookyngc 

44 crafte craft 

45 wouen MS. wonnen, C. 


owen hondes owne 

46 knew MS. knewe, C. 

selfe declaryng self de- 

schewyng shewynge 

47 derkenes dirknesse 
forleten forletyn 

48 dispised despised 
hadide'] duskid haddo 

dirkid derked 

49 by-smoked the smokedc 
ne}>erest[e} nethereste 


raoOK l. 

On the lower hem 
of her garment 
was the letter n 
and on the 
upper e. 

Between the 
letters were 
steps like a 



torn, and pieces 
had been carried 
violently off. 


In her right hand 
she bore her 
books, and in her 
left a sceptre. 


Philosophy bids 
the Muses leave 

[* fol. 4.] 


as they only 
increase his 
sorrow with their 
sweet venom. 


They may 
accustom the 
mind to bear 
grief, but cannot 
free it from ita 

)>erest[e] hem or bordure of fese clones -men redden 
ywouen in swiche a gregkysche .P. fat signifief f e lijf 
actif. And abouen fat lettre in f e hey3est[e] bordure 
a grekysche T. fat signifief fe lijf contemplatif. 
fl" And by-twene fese two letties fere weren seien de- 
grees nobly wrou^t in manere of laddres. By wyche 
degrees men my3t[en] clymbe fro f e nef emast[e] lettiQ 
to fe ouermast[e]. ^[ Nafeles hondes of sum men 
hadde korue fat clof e by vyolence and by strenkef . 
fl And eueryche man of hem hadde born away syche 
peces as he my^te geetfe]. ^f And forsof e f is forsaide 
woman her bookes in hir ry3t honde. and in hir lefte 
honde sche ber a ceptre. ^f And when sche sau^ fese 
poetical muses aprochen aboute my bedde. and endyt- 
yng wordes to my wepynges. sche was a lytel ameued 
and glowed[e] wif cruel eyen. ^[ "Who quod, sche haf 
suffred aprochen to f is seek[e] man f ise comune struin- 
petis of siche a place fat *men clepen fe theatre. 
H ]> Q wyche only ne asswagen not his sorowes. wif no 
remedies, but fei wolde fecle and norysche hem wif 
swete venym. ^[ Forsofe fise ben f o fat wif f ornes 
and prykkynges of talent} or affecciou?*s wiche fat 
ben no f ing frutefiyng jior profitable destroyen fe 
comes plenteuouse of frutes of reson. ^[ For fei 
holden f e hertes of men in usage, but fei ne delyuere 
not folk fro maladye. but if 36 muses hadde wif drawen 

50 \>ese thise 

51 swiche omitted 
gregkysche grekysshe 

_ ...'J* i _-!t_i-i_ 

pere ther 
seien seyn 

55 nobly wrourf nobely y- 

wyche whiche 

56 myit[eri] clymbe myhten 

ne\>emast[_e'] ^nethereste 

57 ouerma,st\e\ vppcruste 
sum some 

58 hadde korue hadden 

58 clo\>e cloth 
strenke]? strengthe 

59 born MS. borne, C. born 
away syche awey swiche 

60 geet\_e\ geten 
forsaide forseide 

61 ber MS. bere, C. bar 
bookes smale bookes 
honde hand 

lefte honde left hand 

62 ber MS. bere, C. baar 
sau 3 bese say thise 

63 bedde-bed 

64 ameued amoued 

65 glowed[e\ glowodt; 
Ua\> MS. liape, C. hath 

66 seek\e~\ sike 
pise the 

66 strumpetis strompetes 

67 siche swich 
clepen clepyn 

68 only ne nat ponly ne 
not his nat hise 

no none 

69 wolde fede wolden feeden 
norysche hem noryssyn 


72 benne ben 
frutefiyng fructefiynge 

73 comes plenteuouse corn 


74 \>e and ne both omitted 

75 not nat 

if 5 e-MS. if pe, C. yif yc 
hadde hadderi 

BOOK l.-\ 
MET, 2. J 


fro me wif }oure flateries. any vnkonnyng and vnprofit- 
able man as men ben wont to fynde conmnely amonges 
fe peple. I wolde wene suffre fe lasse greuously. 
^f For-why in syche an vnprofitable man myne ententes 
weren no f ing endamaged, ^f But 30 wif drawen me 
f is man fat haf ben norysched in studies or scoles of 
Eleaticis and of achademicis in grece. ^[ But gof now 
rafer awey 36 meremaydenes wyche ben swete til it 
be at f e laste. and suftref f is man to be cured and 
heled by myne muses, fat is to say by notful sciences. 
^[ And f us f is compaygnie of muses I-blamed casten 
wrof ely f e chere adourcward to f e erf e and schewyng 
by redenesse hir schame f ei passeden sorowfuly f e 
f reschefolde. ^[ And I of whom f e sy^t plonged in 
teres was derked so fat I ne my^t[e] not knowe what 
fat woman was of so imperial auctorite. ^[ I wex al 
a-besid and astoned. and caste my sy3t adoune in to f e 
erf e. and bygan stille forto abide what sche wolde dotf 
afterwarde. ^[ J)o come sche nere and sette hir doun 
vpon f e vterrest[e] corner of my bedde. and sche by- 
holdyng my chere fat was cast to f e erf e heuy and 
greuous of wepyng. compleinede wif f ise wordes fat I 
schal sey f e perturbaciovin of my 

Philosophy is 
deeply grieved, 
because they have 
not seduced one 
of the profane, 


but one who has 
been brought up 
in Eleatic and 
Academic studies. 


She bids the 
syren begone. 


Blushing f0r 
uhame they pass 
the threshold. 


Boethius is 
astonished at the 
presence of the 
august dame. 


expresses her 
concern for 



lias how f e f ou3t of man dreint in ouer f rowyng [The 2de Metur.] 
depnesse dulleb and forletib hys propre clere- Drowned in 

the depth of cares 

nesse. myntynge to gone in to foreyne derknesses as JJ 1 ^"er 10868 
ofte as hys anoious bisines wexif wif-outerc mesure. clearness - 


76 vnkonnyng vnkunnyuge 

78 peple poeple 

79 syche swhiche 
myne myn 

80 weren ne weeren 

81 Aaf-MS. hape, C. hath 
ben be 

scoles schooles 

82 go\> MS. gppe, C. goth 

83 wyche whiche pat 
85 say scyn 

85 notful noteful 

86 I-blamed^- Iblamyd 

87 wro]>ely wrothly 
adounward downward 

88 redenesse rednesse 
sorowfuly sorwfully 

89 \>reschefolde thresshfold 
sy-tf syhte 

90 derked dyrked 
iny^t[e'] knowe myhte 

nat knowen 

91 wex wax 

92 a-besid abaysshed 
caste cast 

92 adoune in to down to 

93 don MS. done 

95 vterrestfje] corner vt- 

tereste cornere 
bedde bed 

97 compleinede com- 

98 sey seyen 

101 gone goon 

102 bisines bysynessc 
outen owte 


Man in his bat is dryuen to and fro wib worldly wyndes. ^T bis 

freedom knew 

gch region of man jj a t suratyme was fre to whom J?e heuene was open 

105 and knowen and was wont to gone in heuenelyche 

pajjes. and sau$ Jje ly^tnesse of J>e rede sunne. and sau$ 

}>e sterres of J>e colde moone. and wyche sterre in 

the motions of heuene vseb wandryng risorses yflit by dyuerse speres. 

the planets, and 

was wont to H bis man ouer comere hadde comprehendid al bis by 

investigate the J 

causes of storms, noumbre. of accountyng in astronomye. *J[ And ouer 

J)is he was wont to seche J?e causes whennes fe soun- 

112 yng wyMes moeuen and bisien Jje smojje water of Jje 

see. and what spirit turnej) Jje stable heuene. and 

whi Jje sterre ry,sej> oute of Jje reede eest. to falle 

the nature and in be westren wawes. and what attemprib be lusty 

properties of the 

seasons, houres of Jje fyrste somer sesoim Jjat hi^tejj and ap- 

117 parailej? Jje erjje wij? rosene floures. ^[ And who 

make]? J?at plenteuouse autumpne in fulle 3eres fleti]) 

wi]> heuy grapes. ^[ And eke fis maw was wont to 

SosMofnatSe ^ G $ Q dyuerses causes of nature pat weren yhid. 

121 ^f Alias now liejj he emptid of ly^t of hys J>ou3t. and 

But now, alas, hy S nekke is pressid wij) heuy cheynes and berej) his 

to fhe p ground! e chere cnclined adoune for )>e greetfe] wey^t. and is 

124 constreyned to loke on foule erpe. 


[The ijde prose.] T) vt tyme is now quod, sche of medicine more ]?en of 
More need of ** compleynte. IT Forsobe ben sche entendyng to 

medicine than of 

complaint. m e warde wij) al pe lokyng of hir eyen saide. ^[ Art 

128 not ]?ou he quod sche J>at sumtyme I-norschid wi]) my 

Philosophy mylke and fostrefd] wib my meetes were ascaped and 


Boethius. comen to corage of a perfit man. *fi Certys I 3af ]?e 

103 worldly wordely 

104 sumtyme whilom 

105 gone goon 

106 pa\>es paathes 
saw 3 sawn 

ly ^tnesse lythnesse 

sunne sonne 

saw? MS. sue, C. sawgh 

107 wyche which 

108 risorses recourses 
111 seche seken 

sounyng sownyngc 

114 ryse\> oute aryseth owt 
falle fallen 

115 westren westrene 

116 fyrste fyrst 

119 ekeek 

120 dyuerses diuerse 
yhid-MS. yhidde 

121 lieb-~\ith 

123 adoune adown 
greet\e\ weytf grete 

124 loke foule lookeu on 

the fool 
125, 126 >e than 

127 al alle 
saide seyde 

128 sumtyme whilom 
I-norschid MS. I-nor- 

schide, C. noryssed 

129 fostre[_d~] fostered 
my myne 

130 Certys Certes 

MET. 3. J 


syche armures pat pf pou pi self ne haddest first caste 
hem away. J)ei schulden haue defendid pe in sykernesse 
pat may not be ouer-comen. ^f Knowest pou me .not. 
* Why art pou stille. is it for schame or for astonynge. 
It were me leuer pat it were for schame. but it semep 
me pat astonyrage hap oppressed pe. ^f And whan 
sche say me not oonly stille. but wip-outen office of 
tonge and al doumbe. sche leide hir honde softely vpon 
my brest and seide. *[[ Here nis no peril quod sche. 
^f He is fallen in to a litargie. whiche pat is a comune 
sekenes to hertes pat ben desceiued. ^f He hap a litel 
for^eten hym self, but certis he schal ly^tly remerabren 
hym self. ^[ 3i so be pat he hap knowerc me or now. 
and pat he may so done I wil wipe a litel hys eyen. 
pat ben derked by pe cloude of mortel pinges ^[ }?ise 
wordes seide sche. and wip pe lappe of hir garment 
yplitid in a frounce sche dried[e] myn eyen pat were 
ful of pe wawes of my wepynges. 


[ fol. 4 b.] 
She fears bis 
silence proceeds 
from shame 
rather than from 


She finds him, 
however, in a 
lethargy, the 
distemper of a 
disordered mind. 


To make his re- 
covery an easy 
matter, she wipes 
his eyes, which 
were darkened by 
the clouds of 
mortal things, 


and dries up bis 


T%us when pat ny^t was discussed and chased awey. [The &* Metwr.] 

Ix , , Her touch dispels 

J derknesses iorleiten me. and to myn eyen repeyre the darkness of 

his soul, 

a^eyne her firste strenkep. and ry^t by ensample as 151 

pe sonne is hid when pe sterres ben clustred. pat is to just as the heavy 

.. vapours, that 

sey whe/j sterres ben eouered wib cloudes by a swifte darken the skies 

and obscure the 

wynde pat hy3t chorus, and pat pe nrmame?^t stont sunlight, are 

chased away by 

clerked by wete ploungy cloudes. and pat pe sterres not the north wim *' 
apperen vporc heuene. ^[ So pat pe ny^t semep sprad 156 
vpon erpe. ^[ Yif pan pe wynde pat hy^t borias 

131 syche swiche 

caste C. cast 

132 away awey 
schulden haue sholdeii 


133 not be nat ben 
Knowest bou knowestow 

134 art bou artow 
136 hab MS. babe 
138 tonge tunge 

doumbe dowmb 
honde hand 


140 litargie whiche litarge 

141 sekenes sykenesse 
141, 143 hab MS. babe 
144 done doon 

wil wipe viol wypen 

146 garment garnement 

147 drie<Ke\ dryede 
were weeren 

148 ful fulle 

149 w hen whan 

150 myn mync 

150 repeyre repeyrede 

151 a^eyne omitted 
herfirsteh\T fyrst 

152 hid MS, hidde, C. hid 
when whan 

153 sey seyn 
when whan 

154 hy}t heyhte 
chorus MS. thorus 
stont MS. stonde, C. stant 

157 ban thanne 
wynde wynd 
hy$t hyhte 



158 sent out of pe kaues of pe contre of Trace betip pis 

nuwinfj the return ny^t. bat is to seyn chasip it away and descouereb be 

of the hidden day, 

*& ^ ^ an schinep phebws yshaken wij> 

hL r Ziden Mght* h Sode 7 ne ly# wd smytep wip hys bemes ire memelyrcg 
162 eyen. 


[The 3d* prose.] "Dy^ so ari( ^ none oper wyse pe cloudes of sorowe 

The clouds of ||j -, . -, , 

Borrow being dis- J aissolued ana (ion &WQV. V 1 took heuene. and 

pelled, Boethius 

recollects the recevueae mynde to knowe be face of my fyciscien. 

features of his J J 

Physician, ^ g Q j, at J gette myne e y en Qn j^ and f es t ne d[e] my 

lokyn^. I byholde my norice philosophic, in whos 

covers to be 

Philosophy. houses I hadde conuersed and haunted fro my 

169 and I seide Jjus. ^f J?ou maistresse of alle uertues 

He addresses her. descendid fro J?e souereyne sete. Whi art ]?ou ccmen 

in to fis solitarie place of myn exil. ^f Art })ou comen 

172 for J?ou art mad coupable wij) me of fals[e] blames. 

she expresses her IT quod sche my norry scholde I forsake be now. and 

concern for him, 

scholde I not parte wij? J>e by comune trauaille Jje charge 

pat J?ou hast suffred for envie of my name. ^[ Certis 

176 it nar[e] not leueful ne sittyng to philosophic to leten 

and tells him that wib-outen compaignie be wey of hym bat is iwnocent. 

slie is willing to ' 

tunes his misfor " IT Scholde I pan redoute my blame and agrisen as 

179 per were byf alien a newe ping. q. d. non. ^f For 
she fears not any trowest pou pat philosophi be now alperfirst assailed 

accusation, as if 

new \n perils by folk of wicked[e] maneres. ^f Haue I not 

For before the age stryuen wip ful greet strife in olde tyme byf ore pe 
tended against a ge of my plato a3eins pe foolhardines of foly and 
184 eke pe same plato lyuyng. hys maistre socrates 
socrates h tri- help deserued[e] victorie of vnry^tful deep in my presence. 
^]" )5e heritage of wyche socrates. pe heritage is to seyne 

158 sent isent 

160 \>an thanne 

161 sodeyne sodeyn 

163 none oper non oother 
sorowe sorwe 

165 knowe knowen 

166 mynemyn 
festned[e\ fastnede 

170 fro from 

170, 171 art pott artow 

172 mad MS. made, C. mak- 
fals[e false [ed 

174 parte parten 

176 nar[_e] nere 
sittyng sittingc 

178 pan thanne 

179 \>ing thing 
q.d. wow omitted 

180 trowest \>ou trowestow 
al \>erfirst alderlirst 

181 wicked[e] wikkede 

182 strife strif 

183 aieins ayenis 
foolJiardines foolhardi- 

foly folie 

184 eke ek 

185 deserued[e] desseruede 

186 wyche the which 
seyne scyn 

rtooK i. 1 




be doctrine of be whiche socrates in hys oppinioim of or the inheritance 

of Socrates the 

felicite bat I clepe welfulnesse ^ Whan bat be people J^gSSftSH 
of epicuriens and stoyciens and many ober enforceden to get a part * 
hem to go rauische eueryche man for his part bat is 190 

to seyne. bat to eueryche of hem wolde drawen to be Philosophy with- 

stood them, 
defence of his oppinioim be wordes of socrates. ^[ )3ei 

as in partie of hir preye todrowew me criynge and 
debatyng ber a^eins. and tornen and torente?* my clobes 194 
bat I hadde wouew wib myn handes. and wib be 
cloutes bat bei had den arased oute of my clobes. bei imagined that 

Y they had got 

wenten awey wenyng bat I hadde gon wib hew euery possession of her. 
dele. In whiche epicuryens and stoyciens. for as 198 
myche as ber semedfel somme traces and steppes of Thus, clothed 

with her spoils, 

myne habit, be folye of men wenyng bo epicuryens 

and stoyciens my *familers peruertede (.s. persequendo) p foi. 5.3 
somme boru} be errour of be wikked[e] or vnkunn- 202 
yngfel multitude of hem. !]" bis is to seyne for bei Philosophy 


semeden philosophres : bei weren pursued to be deeb examples of wise 
and slayn. f So yif bou hast not knowen be exilynge Choired under 
of anaxogore. ne be empoysenyng of socrates. ne be 206 
towrmento of seno for bei fweren] straungers. ^T 3it difficulties on 

account of being 

my^test bou haue knowen be senectiens and be Canyos her disciples. 
and be sorancis of wyche folk be renou^ is neyber ouer 
oolde ne vnsolenrpne. ^f })e whiche men no bing ellys 210 
ne brou3t[e] hem to be deeb but oonly for bei weren 
enfourmed of my maneres. and semedew moste vnlyke 
to be studies of wicked folk. ^[ And forbi bou au^test 
not to wondre bou} bat I in be bitter see of bis lijf be 214 

188 welfulnesse wcleful- 

189 o\>er oothre [nesse 

190 go gon 
eueryche euerich 

191 seyne seyn 
to omitted 
eueryche euerich 

194 tornen read coruen, C. 

195 wouen MS. wonnow, 0. 

196 arased arraoed 

197 gon MS. gone, C. gon 

198 dele del 

199 semed[e] semede 
and or 

200 myne myn 
wenyng MS. wevyng, C. 


202 \>orui, thorw 
wikked\e\ wikkede 
vnkunnyng[_e~] vnkunn- 

203 seyne seyn \>ai [ynge 

204 semeden semede 
pursued MS. pursuede, 

C. pursued 

205 slayn MS. slayne, C. 

207 [wiv] weercn 

208 myrfest \>ou haue 
myhtestow han 

209 sorancis sorans 
wyche which 

is nis 

210 oolde MS. colde, C. old 

211 brou^t\e\ browhte 

212 enfourmed MS. vn- 
fourmed, C. enforuiyd 

my myne 
vnlyke vnlyk 

213 wicked folk wikkodo 
an^test owhtest [foolke 

214 ivondre wondrcn 
bitter bittrc 



[BOOK 1 
MET. 1. 

It is the aim of 
Philosophy to 
displease the 


who are more to 
be despised than 
dreaded, for they 
have no leader. 


If Philosophy is 
attacked by the 
wicked, she re- 
tires within her 


leaving the enemy 
busy among the 
useless baggage, 
and laughing to 
scorn such hunt- 
ers of trifles. 

fordryuen wip tempestes blowyng aboute. in pe whiche 
tempeste pis is my most pwrpos pat is to seyn to dis- 
plese to wikked[e] men. ^[ Of whiche schrews al be 
pe oost neuer so grete it is to dispyse. for it nis gouerned 
wip no leder of resoune. but it is rauysched only by 
flityng errour folyly and ly^tly. ^f And if J)ei somtyme 
makyrcg an ost a^eynest vs assaile vs as strengere. oure 
leder drawep to gedir hys rycchesse in to hys toure. 
and pei ben ententif aboute sarpulers or sachels vn- 
profitable forto taken, but we pat ben hey^ abouen syker 
fro al tumulte and wode noise, ben stored and enclosed 
in syche a palays. wliider as pat chateryng or anoying 
folye ne may not attayne. ^f We scorne swiche 
rauiners and honters of foulest[e] pinges. 

[The ferthe 


He who hath 

triumphed over 

fate, and remained 

insensible to the 


changes of For- 
tune, shall not be 
moved by storms, 
nor by the fires 
of Vesuvius, 
nor by the fiercest 


Fear not the 
tyrant's rage. 

He who neither 
fears nor hopes 


TTTho so it be pat is clere of vertue sad and wel ordinat 
of lyuyng. pat hap put vnderfote pe pro wed [e] 
wierdes and lokip vpry^t vpon eyper fortune, he may 
holde hys chiere vndiscomfited. ^[ )pe rage ne pe manace 
of pe coramoeuyng or chasyng vpwarde hete fro pe 
botme. ne schal not rnoeue pat man. ne pe vnstable 
mountaigne pat hy^t veseuus. pat wirchep oute poru} 
hys broken[e] chemineys smokyng fires. ^[ !N"e pe wey 
of ponder Iy3t pat is wont to smyte hey^e toures ne 
schal not mouene pat man. ^[ Wherto pen wrecches 
drede 36 tyrauntes pat ben wode and felownes wip-outen 
ony strenkep. ^[ Hope after no ping ne drede nat. and 

216 displese displesen 

217 wikkedle] wikkede 
schrews shrewes 

218 oost glossed odes in C. 
grete gret 

219, 222 leder ledere ] 

220 flityng fleetyuge 


/ yif 

221 aieynest ayenis 

222 to rycchesse, to gy- 

dere hise rychesses 

toure towr 
23-4 hey$ heye 

225 al alle 
ben omitted 
stored warnestored 

226 syche swich. 
]?at omitted 

227 scorne schorne 

228 rauiners fringes 

rauyneres & henteres of 
fowleste thinges 

229 clere cleer 

230 lyuyng leuynge 
ha\> MS. liab<^ 
vnderfole v 1 1 dir- foot 
pr.jwed\e] prowde 

231 may chiere -may his 

cheere holde 

232 manace manesses 

233 \>e be see 

235 /i|/3Z hihte 
veseuus MS. veseuus 
iairche\> writith 

236 broken^ brokene 
smokyng s m oky n ge 

237 smyte smyten 

238 Wherto pen wharto 

239 fel-owncs ony felo- 

nus withowtc any 


so schalt bou desarmen be ire of bilke vnmysty tyraunt. for anytime dis- 

arms thb tyrant. 
^[ But who so fat quakyng dredef or desire]) f ing fat HO whose heart 

nis not stable of his ry^t. fat man fat so dof haf cast jf^ 8 ^ h . 
awey hys schelde and is remoeued fro hys place, and own fetters - 
enlacef hym in fe cheyne wif whiche he may be 245 


FElest f ou quod sche f ise f inges and entren f ei ou^t [The verthe 
in bi corage. *R" Art bou like an asse to be harpe. Philosophy seeks 

to know the 

Whi wepest f ou whi spillest fou teres. *fi Yif fou 

abidest after helpe of fi leche. fe byhouef discouere fi 250 

wounde. IT bo .1. bat hadde gadered strenkeb in my BoetMus com- 

J plains of For- 

corage answeredfe] and seide. and nedef it jitte quod J^e's unrelenting 

.1. of rehersyng or of amonic/ouw. and sche we]? it not 253 

ynom by hym self be scharpnes of fortune bat wexeb is not she moved, 

J J J Y he asks, with the 

woode a3eynes me. ^f NQ moeue}) it nat fe to seen J?e 

face or Jje manere of fis place (.i. prisouw.). ^[ Is ])is 

fe librarie wyche J?at ]?ou haddest chosen for a ry^t 257 

certeyne sege to ]?e in myne house. ^[ )?ere as J>ou His library, MS 

desputest of [te] wi]) me of J?e sciences of finges touch- 

ing diuinitee and touchyng mankynde. ^f Was fan , 

myn habit swiche as it is now. was fan my face or 261 

quasi dtccret non. 

my chere swiche as now. ^f Whan I sou^tfe] wif J?e 
secretys of nature, whan fou enfowrmedest my maners 
and fe resouw of al my lijf. to fe ensaumple of fe ordre 264 


of heuene. ^[ Is nat bis be gerdouri bat I refere to be i s this, he asks, 

- r the reward of his 

to whom I haue be obeisaunt. II Certis Jjou enfo^?'- fidelity? 
inedist by be moube of plato bis sentence, bat is to piato (de Re P . v.) 

says that those 

seyne fat commune finges or comunabletes weren Commonwealths 

241 schalt \>ou desarmen 
shaltow deseruien 

243 rfop-MS. dope, C. doth 
ftap-MS. hape, C. hath 
cast MS. caste, C. cast 

244 schelde sheld 
remoeued fro rcmwed 


245 whiche the which 
be ben 

247 Felest \>ou Felistow 
ou^t awht 

248 art \>ou artow 

249 wepest po V7epistow 


spillest ]pou spillestow 
252 answered[e] answer- 

255 woode wood 

257 wyche which 

258 myne house \ere myn 
hows ther 

259 desputest of\te} des- 
putedest ofte 

260 ban thanne 

261 it and paw both omitted 
261, 262 sieiche swich 

262 sou-$t[_e~] sowhte 



263 secretys secret? 
me, C. my 


264 aZ-alle 

265 gerdoun p:erdouns 

266 enfourmedist conform- 

267 mou\>e mowht 

268 comunabletes comuna- 



TTiOOK 1. 

[PROSE 4. 

are most happy 
tliat are governed 
by philosophers, 
or by those wlio 
study to be so. 
[ fol. 5 b.] 


The same Plato 
urged philoso- 
phers to take 
upon them the 
management of 
public affairs, 


lest it should fall 
into the hands of 


Uoethius declares 
that he desired to 
put in practice 
(in the manage- 
ment of public 
affairs) what he 
had learnt in his 


He sought to do 
good to all, but 
became involved 
in discord with 
the wicked. 


Consciousness of 
integrity made 
him despise the 
anger of the most 


He opposed 
and put a stop to 
the doings of 


He put his au- 

"blysful yif fei fat haden studied al fully to wisdom 
gouerneden f ilke f inges. or ellys yif it so by-felle fat 
f e gouernours *of coramunalites studieden in grete wis- 
domes. ^[ ))ou saidest eke by f e mouf e of fe same 
plato fat it was a necessarie cause wyse men to taken 
and desire f e gouernaiiftce of comune fiwges. for fat f e 
gouernementes of comune citees y-left in f e hondes of 
felonous towrnientowrs Citi^enis ne scholde not brynge 
inne pestilence and destrucczouw, to goode folk. ^[ And 
f erfore I folowynge f ilk auctoritee (.s. platonis). desiryng 
to put[te] furfe in execusiouw and in acte of comune 
a,dministracio\in f o finges fat .1. hadde lerned of f e 
among my secre restyng whiles. ^[ J3ou and god fat 
put[te] fee in f e f ou3tis of wise folk ben knowen wif 
me fat no fing brou^tfe] me to maistrie or dignite : but 
f e comune studie of al goodenes. ^[ And f er-of comef 
it fat by-twixen wikked folk and me han ben greuouse 
discordes. fat ne my^ten not be relesed by prayeres. 
^f For f is libertee haf fredom of conscience fat f e wraf f e 
of more my^ty folk haf alwey ben despised of me for 
saluac^ouft of ry^t. ^f How ofte haue .1. resisted and 
wifstonde filk man fat hy^t[e] conigaste fat made 
alwey assautes a^eins f e propre fortunes of poure feble 
folke. ^[ How ofte haue .1. jitte put of. or cast out 
hym trigwille p? f ouost of f e kynges hous bofe of f e 
wronges fat he hadde bygonfne] to done and eke fully 
performed, ^f How ofte haue I couered and defended 
by f e auctorite of me put a^eins perils, fat is to seine put 
myne auctorite in peril for f e wreched pore folke. fat 


271 in grete wisdomes to 
geten wysdom 

272 e&e-ek 

275 comune omitted 
y-left MS. yleftc, C. yleft 

270 Citi^enis citeseues 
brynge inne bryngen in 

278 per/ore therfor 
\>ilk thilke 
desiryng desired 

279 put[tel fur\>e putten 

280 bo thilke 
282 vut\te] putte 
283 brou}t[e} ne browhte 
284 be omitted 
al goodenes alle good- 
cnw.e\> comth 
287, 288 7ib MS. habe 
289 saluacioun sauacioun 
290 \>ilk thilke 

290 conigaste MS. coniu- 
292 ofte ofte ek 
litte omitted 
294 bygon\ne~] bygunne 
done Aon 
295 couered MS. couerede, 
C. couered 
296 put MS. putte, C. put 
seine seyn 
297 myne ruyn 

BOOK 1. 1 



f e couetise of straungeres vnpunyschedtarmentid alwey 
wif myseses and greuaunces oute of noumbre. ^[ JSTeuer 
man drow me ^itte fro ry^t to wrong. When I say f e 
fortunes and f e rychesse of f e people of f e prouinces 
ben harmed eyfer by priue rauynes or by comune 
tributis or cariages. as sory was I as fei fat sufFred[e] 
f e harme. Glosa. ^[ Whan fat theodoric f e kyng of 
gothes in a dere ^ere hadde hys gerners ful of corne 
and comaundede fat no maw ne scholdfe] bie no corne 
til his corne were solde and fat at a dere greuous pris. 
^[ But I wzt&stod fat ordinaunce and ouer-com it 
knowywg al f is f e kyng hym self. ^[ Coempciouw fat 
is to seyn comune achat or bying to-gidere fat were 
establissed vpon poeple by swiche a manere imposiciouw 
as who so bou3t[e] a busshel corn he most[e] ^eue fe 
kyng f e fifte part. Textus. ^[ Whan it was in f e 
soure hungry tynie fere was establissed or cried greuous 
and inplitable coempcioura fat men seyn wel it schulde 
greetly towrmewtyn and endamagen al f e prouince of 
compaigne I took strif a^eins f e prouost of fe pretorie 
for comune profit. ^[ And fe kyng knowyng of it I 
ouercom it so fat f e coempciou?e ne was not axed ne 
took effect, ^[ Paulyn a counseiller of Rome f e rychesse 
of f e whyche paulyn f e houndys of f e palays. fat is to 
seyn fe omceres wolde han deuoured by hope and 
couetise. . ^[ 3it drow I hym out of f e lowes .s. faucib?^ 
of hem fat gapederc. ^[ And for as myche as f e peyne 
of f e accusac^oura aiuged byforn ne scholde not sodeynly 
henten ne punischen wrongfuly Albyn a counseiller of 

thority in peril 
for the defence of 
poor folk. 

I never deviated, 
he says, from the 
path of justice. 


I felt for those 
that were wrong- 
fully oppressed. 




I opposed success- 
fully Coemption 
in Campania. 


I saved Paulinus 
out of the hands 
of the hounds of 
the palace 
(Patatini canes). 



I defended 
Albinus against 

298 vnpunysched vnpunys- 

299 myseses myseyses 

300 drow MS. drowe, C. 
weth drowh 

%itte yit 
wrong wronge 

301 rycliesse richesses 
\>e (2) omitted 

302 Jiarmed ey\>er harmyd 
or amenused owther 

303 tributis tribute 
suffred[e} suffreden 

304 harme harm 

305 yre yer 

305 tiys hise 

305, 306, 307 corne corn 

306 sclwldte] bie sholde 

308 But I withstod Booco 
withstood (MS. with- 
com MS. come, C. com 

311 swiche swich 

312 bouit[_e~} bowhte 
busshel bossel 

312 most[e] ^eue mosteyeue 
315 inplitable ^vnplitable 

319 ouercom MS. ouer- 
come, C. ouer com 

320 counseiller consoler 
rychesse rychesses 

321 whyche which 

322 wolde wolden 

323 drow MS. drowe, C. 

321 myche moche 

326 punischen punisso 


Eome. I put[te] me a^enis f e hates and indignaci'ouws 

328 of f e accuse w Ciprian. ^[ Is it not fan ynought yseyn 

For the love of bat I haue purchased greetfe] discordes aaeins mv self. 

justice I forfeited ' J 

t our at kut * au g nte be mor e asseured a3enis alle of er folk fat 
for Jje loue of ry^twisnesse .1. ne reserued[e] neuer no 
332 f ing to my self to hem ward of f e kynges halle .s. officers. 
by f e whiche I were f e more syker. ^[ But f oru} f e 
Boethius makes same accusows accusyng I am cowdempned. ^T Of 

mention of his 

j, e noumbre of whiche accusowrs one basilius fat som- 
tlus> tyme was chased out of f e kynges seruice. is now com- 

337 pelled in accusyng of my name for nede of foreine 
moneye. ^f Also opilion and Gaudenci^s han accused 
me. al be it so fat f e Justice regal hadde suwtyme demed 
340 hem bof e to go in to exil. for her treccheries and fraud es 
wif-outen noumbre. ^f To whiche iugement J?ei wolde 
not obeye. but defendedfe] hem by sykernesse of holy 
[* foi. 6.] houses. *J?at is to seyne fledden in to seyntuaries. and 
Kn Smmanded wnan I 3 ^ was aperceiued to fe k}Tig. he comaundedfe] 
onSoo e unt e or ity but fat fei voided [e] f e citee of Rauenne by certeyne 
crime*. day assigned fat men scholde merken hem on f e for- 

347 heued wif an hoke of iren and chasen hem out of toune. 
Bat, on the day ^T Now what bing semef f e my^tfe] be lykned to bis 

this sentence was p 

to be executed, cruelte. For certys bilk same day was receyued be ac- 

they accused him, 

mony'agaS 1 " cus y n g of my name by f ilk[e] same accusowrs. ^f What 

ecepted * may be seid herto. haf my studie and my konnyng 

352 deserued fus. or ellys f e forseide dampnaciouw of me. 

made fat hem ry^tful accusowrs or no (q.d. now). 

Fortune, if not f[ "Was not fortune asshamed of bis. FCertes alle hadde 

ashamed at this, 

biuih'for the 8 ' na ^ fo^^ie ben asshamyd] fat i?inocence was accused. 
accusers 3 . ithe ^it aujtfe] sche haue had schame of fe filfe of myn ac- 

327 < p ut\te'] putte 



329 greet\_e\ grete 

330 aughte be owhte V>e the 
o\>er oothre 

333 by \>e whiche by which 
bor? \>e thorw tho 

335 whiche the whiche 
one oon 
somtyme whil om 

339 sumtyme whilon 

340 po-^ron 

341 wi\>-outen withowte 
wolde not nolden nat 

342 defended[_e] defendedyn 
by by the 

343 seyne spyn 
seyntuaries seutuarye 

344 was omitted 
comaunded[e] comaun- 


345 voided[e~\ voidede 
certeyne certeyu 

346 men me 
merken marke 

347 hoke of iren hootyren 

348 \>e omitted 
myrf^e] be myhte ben 

349 'bilk thilke 

350 bilkte] thilke 

351 be ben 

seid MS. seide, C. seyd 
ha\>-MS. haj>e 

354, 355 [Certes assha- 

myd~] from C. 
356 au-$[e~\ owte 
haue had han had, MS. 


cusours. ^[ But axest fou in somme of what gilt .1. 357 

am accused, men seyne bat I wolde sauen be com- Boethius says he 

is accused ol try- 

paignie of f e senatowrs. ^[ And desirest fou to here 

in what manere .1. am accused fat I scholde han dis- 

tourbed f e accuso&r to beren levies, by whiche ho tE e enate! n 

scholde han maked fe senatours gilty a3eins fe kynges 362 

Eeal maieste. ^[ meistresse what demest fou of 

f is. schal .1. forsake f is blame fat I ne be no schame to 

fe (q. d. now). ^[ Certis .1. haue wold it. fat is to 365 

seyne be sauuaciouw of be senat. ne I schal neuer leten it is true that he 

tried to save the 

to wilne it. and fat I confesse and am a-knowe. but 

f e entent of f e accusour to be destourbed schal cese. 

^f For schal I clepe it a felonie fan or a synne fat I 369 

haue desired f e sauuaciouw of f e ordre of f e senat* 

and certys $it hadde f ilk same senat don by me f oru$ 

her decret^ and hire iugementys as f ou} it were a synne 

or a felonie fat is to seyne to wilne }>e sauuaciouw of 373 

he?rz (.s senates), f" But folye bat lieth alwey to hym (Foiiy cannot 

J change the merit 

self may not chaunge J)e merit of Jnnges. ^f NQ .1. of things. 

trowe not by J>e iugement of socrates fat it were leue- 376 

ful to me to hide be sobe. ne assentfel to lesynges. According to 

L J J 5 Socrates' judg- 

Jj" But certys how so euer it be of fis I put[te] it to gessen 
or preisen to fe iugement of fe and of wise folk. ^ Of 
whiche fing al fe ordinaunce and fe sop e for as moche 380 
as folk fat ben to comen aftir oure dayes schollew 

knowen it. ^[ I haue put it in scripture and remem- Boethius deter- 
mines to transmit 
braunce. ior touching be lecrres ialsly maked. by an account of his 

J prosecution to 

whiche le^fres I am accused to han hooped f e fredom of p sterit y- 
Rome. What appertenef me to speken fer-of. Of 385 
whiche leftres f e fraude hadde ben schewed apertly if 

357 axest \>ou axestow 

358 seyne seyn 
sauen saue 

359 desirest \>ou desires 

here hereen 

362 maked MS. maken, C. 

363 demest \>ou deincstow 
365 woldM.$. wolde, C. 


366 seyne seyn 

367 \>at omitted 
am I am 

368 be ben 

369 it it thanne 
\>an omitted 

372 her hir 
hire hir 


372 J>o3 thogh 

373 or and 
seyne seyn 

374 lieth MS. liej>e, C. lieth 
377 assent[_e~] assente 

381 schollen shellen 

382 and and in 

385 speken speke 

of lettres C. omits 

386 if yif 





noethius says 
that he could 
have defeated his 
accusers had he 
been allowed the 
use of their con- 


But there is now 
110 remains of 
liberty to be 
hoped for. 


It is not strange 
that the wicked 
should conspire 
against virtue. 


The will to do ill 
proceeds from the 
defects of human 


It is a marvel 
how such evil 
acts can be done 
under the eye of 
an Omniscient 


If there be a God, 
whence proceeds 
evil? If there is 
none, whence 
arises good ? 


I hadde had libertee forto han vsed and ben at fo 
cowfessioim of myn accusowrs. ^[ ]?e whiche f ing in 
alle nedys haf grete strenkef . 1f For what of er fredo?tt 
may men hopen. Certys I wolde fat some of er fredom 
my^tfe] be hoped. IT I wolde fan haue answered by 
f e wordes of a man fat hy3t[e] Canius. for whan he was 
accused by Gayus Cesar Germeins son fat he (caniws) 
was knowyng and consentyng of a coniurace'ouw maked 
a^eins hym (.s. Gains). ^| j?is Canius answered [e] 
fus. ^f Yif I had[de] wist it fou haddest not wist 
it. In whiche f ing sorwe haf not so dulled my witte 
fat I pleyne oonly fat schrewed[e] folk apparailen 
folies a^eins vertues. ^f But I wondre gretly how fat 
]>ei may performe f inges fat J>ei had[de] hoped forto 
done. For why. to wylne schrewednesse fat comef 
parauenture of oure defaute. ^[ But it is lyke to a 
monstre and a meruaille. ^[ How fat in f e present 
sy$t of god may ben acheued and performed swiche 
f inges. as euery felonous man haf conceyued in hys 
f oii3t a^eins innocent. ^[ For whiche fing oon of fi 
familers not vnskilfully axed f us. ^J 3if god is. whennes 
comen wikked[e] f inges. and yif god ne is whennes 
comen goode f inges. but al hadde it ben leueful fat 
felonous folk fat now desiren fe bloode and f e deef of 
alle goode men. and eke of al f e senat han wilned to 
gone destroien me. whom f ei han seyn alwey batailew 
and defenden goode men and eke al fe senat. 3it 
haddo I not desserued of f e fadres. fat is to seyne of 
f e senatours fat fei scholde wilne my destruccwu-w. 

387 had MS. hade, C. had 

388 myn myne 

389 /tab-MS. haRC.hath 
grete gret 

wliat omitted 

390 some som 

391 mii\t[e\ be myhte hon 
\>an haue Ihanne han 

392 A^O]-hyhte 
301 maked, ymaked 

395 ans werecKe] answcrede 
? luiddc 

397 whiclie which 
sorwe sorvv 
ha]> MS. habe 
witte wit 

398 schrewed\e~\ shrcwede 

399 folies felonies 
vertues vertu 

400 hadlde'] han 

401 done don 
come}> comth 

402 lyke to a lyk a 
lot suit syhte 

405 ha}> MS. habe 

406 innocent innocent3 
whiche which 

408 wikkedle'} wykkede 

410 bloode blod 

411 eke ck 

412 gone gon and 
seyn soyen 

413 eke ek 

414 seyne seyn 

415 scholde sh olden 


fl" bou remcmbrest wele as I gesse bat whan I wolde Boethius defends 

11 ' the integ-ity of 

don or *seyn any bing. bou bi self alwey present re- . r;foi.6b.] 

liis lifo. 

weledest me. ^[ At be citee of verone wha?i bat be He defended the 

1 f Senate at Verona. 

kyng gredy of comune slau^ter. caste hym to trans- 

porten vpon al be ordre of be senat. be gilt of his real 420 

maieste of be whiche gilt bat albyn was accused, wib 

how grete sykernesse of pe?*il to me def ended [e] I al 422 

be senat. ^[ bou wost wel bat I seide sobe. ne I He spake only 

the truth, and did 

auaunted[e] me neuer in preysyng of my self, ^f For not boast - 
alwey when any wyat resceiueb preciouse renoura in (Boasting lessens 

m the pleasure of a 

auauntyng hym self of hys werkes : he amenusij) be 

secre of hys conscience, ^f But now bou mayst wel 427 

seen to what ende I am comen for myne innocence. 

I receiue peyne of fals felonie in gerdouw of verray But as the reward 

of his innocence 

vertue. IT And what open confessions of felonie he is made to 

suffer the punish- 

had[de] euer iugis so accordaunt in cruelte. bat is to jJS^t crime 8 

seyne as myne accusyng hab. If Jjat ober errour of 432 

manswitte or ellyscorcdicioun of fortune bat is vncerteyne 

to al mortal folk ne submytted[e] su?7zme of hem. bat is 

to seyne bat it ne cheyned[e] summe iuge to han pitee 435 

or compassions. ^[ For al bou2 I had [del ben accused Had he been 

accused of a de- 

bat I wolde brenne holy houses, and strangle prestys sign *j| kijjj^ 
wij> wicked swerde. ^[ or bat .1. had[de] gray bed deeb 

to alle goode men algatis be sentence scholde han 

punysched me present confessed or conuict. ^f But 440 

now I am remewed fro be Citee of rome almost fyue- But now this is 

- , n .. denied him, and 

hundreb bousand pas. I am wib outen defence dampned he is proscribed 

and condemned 

to proscr/pcioim and to be deeb. for be studie and to death, 
bountees bat I haue done to be senat. ^f But o wel ben 444 
Jjei worbi of mercye (as who seib nay.) ber my^tfe] neuer 

434 submytte&\e\ subrait- 

435 seyne seyn [tede 
cheyned[e\ encl Inede 

436 had\de\ hadde 

416 wele wel 

417 don MS. done, C. doon 
seyn seyen 

418 \>e (1) omitted 

419 s^f$ter slawhtre 

420 transporten vpon 
trail spor vp 

422 grete gret 
defended\_e] deffendede 

423 seide so\>e soye soth 

424 aiiaunted[e\ auainitedc 

425 when whan 
preciouse presious 

429 in for 

430 vertue vertu 

431 hadlde'] htulde 

432 seyne seyn 
myne myn 
/*> MS. hahe 

433 wittewti 
vncerteyne vncerteyn 

434 al alle 

d\de\ hadde 
438 wicked wykkede 

Uad\_de\ hadde 
441 almost almest 
412 \>ousand MS. J>ousas 

iui\> ouien withowte 
441 done doon 
415 myrtle'] inyh'.e 





IK 1. 


446 }it non of hem ben conuicte. Of swiche a blame as 
voethins says myn is of swiche trespas myn accusowrs seyen ful wel 

that his enemies 

accused him of f e dignitee. f e wiche dignite for fei wolde derken it 
wif medelyng of some felonye. fei beren me on honde 

450 and lieden. fat I hadde polute and defouled my con- 
science wif sacrelege. for couetise of dignite. ^f And 
certys f ou f i self fat art plaunted in me chacedest oute 
fe sege of my corage al couetise of mortal f inges. ne 

454 sacrilege ne had[de] no leue to han a place in me byforne 
fine eyen. ^f For f ou drouppedest euery day in myn 
eeres and in my f ou}t f ilk comaundement of pictogoras. 
fat is to seyne men schal seruen to god. and not to 

458 goddes. ^f Ne it was no couenaunt ne no nede to 
taken helpe of f e foulest spirites. ^f I fat f ou hast 
ordeyned or set in syche excellence fat [f ou] makedest 

461 me lyke to god. and ouer fis fe ry^t clene secre 
His family and chaumbre of myn house, bat is to seye my wiif and be 

friends could clear 

co?paignie of myn honeste frendis. and my wyues 

He affirms that 
he has always 

fitov Oeif. 



]- )eil peuerenced 

465 hys owen dedis. defenden me of al suspecciouw of syche 

blame, ^f But o malice. ^ For ]?ei fat accusen me 

Because he has taken of be philosophic feibe of so ejrete blame. 5T For 

given himself up 

f ei tr owen fat .1. haue had affinite to malyfice or en- 
chawztement^ by cause fat I am replenissed and ful- 

470 filled wif f i techy nges. and en formed of f i maners. 
^f And f us it sufficef not only fat f i reuerence ne auayle 
me not. but $if fat f ou of f i fre wille raf er be blemissed 
wif myne offensiouw. ^f But certys to f e harmes fat I 

474 haue fere bytydef 3it fis encrece of harme. fat fe 

446 ben be 
swiche swich 
44,7 myn (both)mynQ 
swiche whiche 
seyen sayen 
448 wolde wolden 
449 some som 
beren baren 
on honde an hand 
4T>0 polute polut 
451 sacrelege C. has sor- 
ccrie as a gloss to sacri- 
453 al alle 

454 had[_de'] hadde 
byforne by forn 
455 dronppedest dropped- 
myn myne 
456 }>ilk thilke 
457 seyne seyn 
seruen serue 
god godde 
459 helpe help 
spirites spirite 
460 set MS. sette, C. set 
syche swiche 
[pow] thovv 

461 lykelyk 
462 house hows 
seye seyn 
463 myn my 
465 owen owne 
of al from alle 
syche swich 
467 philosophic philosophre 
grete gret 
468 had-MS. hadde, C. had 
473 myne myn 
474 \>ere thcr 
harme harm 


gessinge and fe iugement of myche folk ne loken no 475 
bing to befdelsertys of binges but only to be auewtwre Most people 

imagine that that 

of fortune, ^f And iugen fat only swiche finges ben 

pwrueied of god. whiche Jjat temporel welefulnesse 
commeiidif. Glosa. ^ As Jms fat yif a wy$t haue 
prosperite. he is a good man and wor)>i. to haue fat 480 
prosperite. and who so haf aduersite he is a wikked 
man. and god hab forsake hym. and he is worbi to The unfortunate 

lose the good 

haue fat aduersite. ^f jjis is fe opiniouw of somme ^^ n of the 
folke. *and f er of comef fat good gessyng. ^[ Fyrste of [ Text begina 
al f ircg forsakef wrecches certys it greuef me to f ink[e] 485 
ry$t now f e dyuerse sentences fat fe poeple seif of 
me. If And fus moche I seye fat f e laste charge of 487 
contrarious fortune is f is. f fat whan fat ony blame is [t foi. 7.] 
laid vpon a caytif. men wenen bat he hab deserued bat Boethms laments 

1 the loss of his 

he suffref . If And I fat am put awey from goode men JjJJJjjItSJ 1 " 1 

and despoiled from dignitees and defoulid of my name 

by gessyng haue suffred torment for my goode dedis. 492 

^f Certys me semef fat I se fe felonus couines of 

wikked men abounden in ioie and in gladnes. 5F And The wicked, he 

says, gin with 

I se fat euery lorel shapif hym to fynde oute newe impunity, 
fraudes forto accusen goode folke. and I se fat goode 496 
men ben ouerf rowen for drede of my peril, ^f and 
euery luxurious tcmrmentour dar don alle felonie vn- 
punissed and ben excited ferto by ^iftes. and innocent} 499 
ne ben not oonly despoiled of sykernesse but of de- while the inno- 

cent are deprived 

fence and f erfore me list to crien to god in f is manere. 



fou maker of fe whele fat beref fe sterres. whiche [The fifthe metr.] 
fat art fastned to fi perdurable chayere. and 

475 myche moche 

476 }>e[de]sertys the desert 3 
479 Glosa elose 

480 good MS. goode, C. 
t eood 

haue nan 

481 so omitted in C. 
481, -182 hab MS. hapc 
483 haue hail 

484 Fyrste fyrst 

485 a? alle 
J>n*M thiuke 

488 ony any 

489 laid MS. laide, C. leyd 
ftap MS. hape 

490 put MS. putte, C. put 

491 from of 

494 abounden habowudcu 

494 gladnes gladnesse 

495 oute owt 

496 accusen accuse 

497 ben beth 

501 manere wise 

502 whele wliel 
whiche which 

503 fastned yfastned 
chayere chaycr 




LMET. 5. 

seated on high, turnest be heuene wif a rauyssyng sweighe and con- 

turnest the 

spheres, and strcinest be sterres to suffren bi lawe. ^[ So bat be 

imposest laws 

andVanetst mone somtyme schynyng wif hir ful homes metyng 

507 wif alle f e bemes of f e sonne. ^[ Hir broker hidef f e 

The sun obscures sterres bat ben lasse. and somtyme whan be mone 

the lesser lights, 

and quenches pale wib hir derke homes approcheb be sonne. leesith 


hir ly^tes. ^[ And fat f e euesterre esperus whiche 

511 fat in fe first[e] tyme of fe ny3t bryngef furfe hir 

Thou raisest colde arysynges comef eft aaeynes hir vsed cours. and 

Hesperus to usher . 

in the shades of is pale by be morwe at be rysynge of be sonne. and is 

night, and again * 

even' the moon's 

name W Lucifer hi8 

f an c l e P e( ^ lucifer. ^[ Jpou restreinest f e day by schorter 
dwellyng in f)e tyme of colde wynter ]?at make]) J>e 
516 leues to falle. ^f )?ou diuidest ]?e swifte tides of J?e 
ny3t when J>e hote somer is comen. ^f ])\ mj^i at- 
Thou controuest tempre[b] bo variauTita sesons of be aere. so bat 

the changing ,_ 

seasons of the ^epherus ]?e deboneire wynde bringej) a^ein in ]?e first[e] 

520 somer sesoim fe leues fat f>e wynde fat hy^t[e] boreas 

haj> reft awey in autu?/zpne. fat is to seyne in fe laste 

eende of somer. and f e sedes fat f e sterre fat hy^t arc- 

523 turws saw ben waxen hey[e] comes whan fe sterre 

AU nature is sirius eschaufef hym. ^[ })ere nis no fing vnbounde 

bound by thy 

eternal law. f rom hys olde lawe no forletef hym of hys propre estat. 

526 ^[ f ou gouernowr gouernyng alle finges by certeyne 

why, then, leavest ende. why refusest bou oonly to gouerne be werkes of 

thou man's ac- 

troifed ? c n " men ^ ^ ewe manere - 1T Whi suffrest f ou fat slid- 
why should yng fortune turneb to grete vtter chaungynges of finges. 

fickle fortune be . 

allowed to work so i> a t anoious peyne bat scholde duelly pumssne fel- 

such mighty 

in the And folk of wikked[e] 

ouns pnnissit3 innocent3. 
532 maneres sitten in hei3e chaiers. and anoienge folk 

504 sweighe sweyh 
constreinest, MS. oon- 
treuiest, C. constreynest 
606 hir here 
608 lasse lesse 
510 esperus whiclw hQs- 
perus which 
511 first[e~} fyrste 
fur\>e forth 
512 eft est 
514. restreinest MS. re- 
516 to omitted 
018 attemprefy] \>o atemp- 

reth the 
518 sesons sesoun 
$ere yer 
619 wynde bringe]> wynd 
620 wynde wynd 
%?*[>] hihte 
521 re/^-MS. refte, C. reft 
seyne seyn 
522 hytf hihte 
arcturus MS. aritums 
523 saw MS. bawej>, C. 
heyW hyye 

524 hym hem 
bere ther 
ping thin ge 
525 from fram 
forletef hym of forleet- 
heth be werke of 
527 refusest \>ou refows- 
529 to binges so grete 
entrechaunginges of 
531 punissit} punysshe 
wikked[n~] wykkede 
532 hei^e heer^ 


treden and Jjat vnry^tfully in )>e nekkes of holy men. 533 

^F And vertue clere and schynyng naturely is hid in The wicked are 

prosperous, while 

dirke dirkenesses. and J>e ry^tful man berij) J>e blame 

and ]>e peyne of J>e felowne. ^[ Ne J>e forsweryng ne 536 

J?e fraude couered and kembd wij> a fals colowr ne 

a-noyej) not to schrewes. ^f \)e whiche schrewes whan 

hem lyst to vsen her strengbe ]>ei reioisen hem to 

puttew vndir hem Jje souerayne kynges. whiche J>at 540 

poeple wib[outen] noumbre dreden. ^[ J>ou \vhat so o thou that bind- 

euer bou be bat knyttesft] alle bondes of binges loke ing elements, look 

J upon this wreteh- 

on J>ise wrecched[e] erbes. we men )>at ben nat a ed earth, 

foule party but a faire party of so grete a werke we 544 

ben turmentid in be see of fortune. ^[ ))ou gouernowr 

wibdraw and restreyne ]>e rauyssinge flodes and fastne and, as thou dost 

govern th6 

and forme bise erbes stable wib bilke rbondel wib spacious heavens, 

J 'so let the earth 

whiche J?ou gouernest J>e heuene pat is so large. ** firml y bound - 


" ' 

han I hadde wi]) a continuel sorwe sobbed or [The fvfthe 

broken out bise binges sche wib hir chere peisible Philosophy con- 

soles Boethius. 

and no tying amoeued. wi|> my compleyntes seide tyiis. 551 

whan I say Jje quod sche sorweful and wepyng I wistfe] 

on-one fat J?ou were a wrecche and exiled, but I 

wist[e] neuer how fer Jjine exile was : $if )?i tale ne 

hadde sche wed it to me. but certys al be J>ou fer fro J>i 555 

contre. j>ou nart * nat put out of it. but j?ou hast [- f i. 7 &.] 

fayled of tyi weye and gon amys. ^f and yif J?ou hast 

leuer forto wene ban bou be put out of bi contre. ban she speaks to him 

/ of his country. 

hast )>ou put oute tyi self rajjer fen ony ofer wy3t ha]>. 

^[ For no wy^t but J?i self ne my3t[e] neuer haue don 560 

633 in oon. 
534 and omitted 

536 Ne \>e forsweryng Ttv 

537 kembd MS. kenabde, C. 

541 wi\>[puteri\ withhowt- 


5-12 Unyttes\f\ kriyttest 

543 wrecched[_e] wrecchcdu 

544 a (2) omitted 

545 j>e_ this 

546 wi\>draw MS. wij>- 
drawe, C. withdrawh 

be thei 

547 forme ferme 
[bonde] from C. 
wib by 

550 broken borken 

552 wist[e] wyste 

553 on-one anon 

554 wistle} wystc 

554 ferterre 

555 ne hadde nadde 

557 gon MS. gone, C. gon 

558 letter leuere 

558, 559 put MS. putte, C. 

559 fcaf^MS. ha>e 
>] myhte 

haue ban 

don MS. done, C. don 


561 fat to fe. ^[ For }if fou remembre of what contre fou 
she reminds him art born, it nis not gouerned by emperoures. ne bv 

that he is a citi- * 

zen of a country gouernement of multitude, as weren be centres of hem 

not governed by a 

buffr^Sa"ot' of athenes. f But o lorde and o kyng and fat is god 

/&7ff!\e. fat is lorde of f i contree. whiche fat reioisef hym of 

566 )>e dwellyng of hys Cite^enis. and not forto putte hem 

in exile. Of f e whiche lorde it is a souerayne fredom 

to be gouerned by f e bridel of hym and obeie to his 

iustice. ^[ Hast fou for^eten f ilke ry^t olde lawe of f i 

570 Citee. in f e wkiche Citee it is ordeyned and establissed 

The common- bat what wvit bat hab leuer fomiden ber i??ne hys sete 

wealth of Boe- 

thius - or hys house. fen ellys where : he may not be exiled 

573 by no ry3t fro fat place, ^f For who so fat is corctened 

in-wif J>e paleis [and the clos] of f ilke Citee. f er nis 

no drede fat he may deserue to ben exiled. ^[ But 

who jjat lettej) ]?e wille forto enhabitfe] fere, he for- 

577 letej) also to deserue to ben Cite^ein of filke Citee. 

^ ^ ? at * Se ^ e ^ J 56 ^ aCG ^ ^ S P^ aCe n6 amoeue ] J me 

nat so niyche as fine owen face. NQ .1. ne axe not 

my rafer fe walles of fi librarie apparailled and wrou^t 

wif yvory and wif glas fan after f e sete of f i 

582 In whiche I putte nat somtyme bookes. but .1. putte 

Books are to be fat fat makef bookes worf i of pn's or precious fat is 

they content * se " 1 J 76 sentence of my books, ^ And certeinly of 

585 fi decertes by-stowed in commune good, fou hast seid 

sof e but after f e multitude of f i goode dedys. fou hast 

seid fewe. and of f e vnhonestee or falsnesse of f inges 

588 fat ben opposed a3eins f e. fou hast remembred finges 

Boethiushas ijat beft knowe to alle folk, and of be felonies and 

rightfully and " 

KaudsThis 1 fraudes of fine accusoura. it semef f e haue I-touched 
it forsofe ry3tfully and schortly. *fi Al my3ten fo 

662 born MS. borne, C. 


566 hys hise 
putte put 
668 be ben 

571 7tab-MS. hajie 

572 home hows 

574 [and clos] from C. 

576 wille wyl 
erihabit[e} enhabyte 

amoeue\> moueth 

579 myclie mochel 
owen owne 
ne (2) omitted 

582 putte (both} put 

582 somtyme whilom 

585 decertes desertes 
seid MS. seide, C. seydc 

586 so\>e soth 

587 seed MS. seide, C. seyd 

588 opposed aposyd 

589 knowe knowyu 


same f inges bettere and more plentiuousely be couth 592 

in f e mouf e of f e poeple fat knowef al J)is. ^[ J^ou 

hast eke blamed gretly and compleyned of f e wrongful 

dede of be senat. IT And fou hast sorwed for my Thou hast, said 

Philosophy, be- 

blame. and fou hast wepen for f e damage of f i re- ^^go^^me 
noune fat is appaired. and fi laste sorwe eschaufed 597 

aseins fortune and compleinest bat gerdourcs ne ben not thou hast com- 
plained against 
euenliche 3olde to f e desertes of folk, and in f e la^re 

ende of f i woode muse fou priedest fat f ilke pees fat 

gouernef fe heuene scholde gouerne fe erfe ^[ But andpun 

for fat many tribulaci'ouras of arTemouws han assailed 602 

fe. and sorwe and Ire and wepyng todrawen fee 

dyuersely ^[ As bou art now feble of boust. mystyer strong medicines 

are not proper for 

remedies ne schullen not ait touchen be for whiche theenow, dis- 

* traded by grief, 

we wil[e] vsen somedel Iy3ter medicines. So fat filk[e] SSSU! 1 " 1 
passiourcs fat ben woxen harde in swellyng by per- 607 
tmloacioun folowyng in to fi bouzt mowen woxe esy Light medicines 

must prepare 

and softe to receyue^ f e strenkef of a more my^ty and tnee for sharper 
more egre medicine by an esier touchyng. 010 


TIThan fat f e heuy sterre of f e cancre eschaufef by [The sixte 

f e beme of phebws. fat is to seyne whan fat pheb?t He who sows MS 
fe sonne is in fe signe of fe Cancre. Who so 3euef sun is in the 
fan largely hys sedes to fe feldes fat refuse to re- 

ceiuen hem. lete hym gon bygyled of trust fat he 615 
hadde to hys corn, to acorns or okes. yif bou wilt Think not to in- 

* gather violets in 

gadre yiolett3. ne go f ou not to fe purper wode whan 
f e felde chirkynge agrisef of colde by f e felnesse of 
fe wynde fat hy3t aquilon ^[ Yif fou desirest or 619 

592 be couth couthe, 
C. ben cowth 

596 wepen wopen 

597 laste last 
eschaufed eschaufede 

598 not omitted 

599 wide yolden 
602 many manye 

601 mmtiier niyhtyere 
605 whiche which 

606 wil{e\ wol 
ly$ter lyhtere 
\>illt\e\ thilke 

607 harde hard 

608 folowyng Flowyng 
woxe wexen 

610 esier esyere 
612 beme beemes 


jyne seyn 
hys liisc 

614 rqfuse refuseu 

615 after hem C. adds [ 

lete hym gon (MS. goiie} 
lat hym gon 

616 or of 

wilt ffadrewolt gadcry 

618 felde feeld 

fel n csse felnesses 

619 hytf hyhte 



[BOOK 1. 

If you wish for 
wine in autumn 
let the tendrils of 
the vine be free 
in the spring. 


[* fol. 8.] 
To every work 
God assigns a 
proper time, 
nor suffers any- 
thing to pass its 

Success does not 
await him who 
departs from the 
appointed order 
of things. 

wolt vsen grapes ne seke f ou nat wif a glotowis hande 
to streine and presse f e stalkes of f e vine in J)e first 
somer sesouw. for bachus fe god of wyne haf raf er 
^euen his 3iftes to autumpne f e latter ende of sonier. 
^f God tokenif and assignef *fe tymes. ablyng hem 
to her propre offices. ^[ Ne he ne suffref not stoundes 
whiche fat hym self haf deuided and corcstreined to 
be medeled to gidre ^[ And forfi he fat forletef 
certeyne ordinaunce of doynge by ouerfrowyng wey. 
he ne haj) no glade issue or ende of hys werkes. 

[The syxte prcse.] 

Philosophy prr. 
i to question 


P. Is the world 
governed by 
Chance ? 


B. By no means. 
The Creator pre- 
sides over his 
own works. 


I shall never 
swerve from this 


P. Yes! Thou 
didst say as much 
when thou didst 
declare man 
alone to be 
destitute of 
divine care. 
Still thou seemest 
to labour under 
some defect even 
in this conviction. 


Thirst wolt f ou suffice me to touche and assaie f e stat 
-"- of fi fo^t by a fewe demaundes. so fat I may 
vnderstonde what be f e manere of fi curaczouw. ^[ Axe 
me quod .1. atte fi wille what fou wilt, arid I schal 
answers. ^[ J?o saide sche f us. whef er wenest fou c^od 
sche J?at pis worlde be gouerned by foolisshe happes 
and fortunes, or elles wenest )>ou fat fer be in it any 
gouernemewt of resouw. Certes quod .1. ne trowe not 
in no manere fat so certeyne f inges scholde be moeued 
by fortunouse fortune, but I wot wel fat god maker 
and mayster is gouernowr of f is werk. Ne neuer nas 
}it day fat my^tfe] putte me oute of f e sof enesse of 
fat sentence. ^J So is it quod sche. for f e same f ing 
songe f ou a lytel here byforne and byweyledest and 
byweptest. fat only men weren put oute of f e cure of 
god. ^[ For of alle of er f inges f ou ne doutest nat 
fat fei nere gouerned by leson. but how (.i. pape.). 
I wondre gretly certes whi fat f ou art seek, sif en fou 
art put in to so holesom a sentence, but lat vs seken 

620 hande bond 
622 ha\> MS. hape 

625 her propreheere pro- 

not nat the 

626 ha\> MS. hape 

627 be medeleilbim I-mcdlcd 

628 certeyne ccrteyri 

629 Jia\> MS. hape 

630 wolt \>ou woltow 
stat estat 

633 atte at 
wilt wolt 

635 worlde world 
foolisshe f 6ol y ssh 

636 fortunes fortunows 

638 scholde sholden 

639 wot MS. wote, C. woot 
641 myd{_e~\ putte myhtc put 

644 put MS. putte 

645 doutest dowtedest 

646 how owh 

617 seek si\>en syke syn 
648 put MS. putte, C. put 


depper. I coniecte fat fere lakkef I not what, but 649 

sey me bis. siben bat bou ne doutest nat bat bis worlde Ten me how the 

world is 

be gouerned by god ^f wif swycche gouernailes takest governed. 
fou hede fat it is gouerned. ^f vnnef quod .1. knowe 652 
.1. be sentence of bi q^estiourc. so bat I ne may nat B. i do not 

thoroughly corn- 

ait answeren to bi demaundes. ^T I nas nat deceiued pwhw your 


quod sche fat fere ne failef suwwhat. by whiche fe f^Ji^ 8 "hen 
maladie of perturbac^ouw is crept in to fi fou^t. so 

as f e strengf e of f e paleys schynyng is open. ^[ But sentiment. 17 

Tell me what is 

seye me bis remerabrest bou oujt what is be ende of thecWefendof 

all things; and 

f i f inges. whider fat f e entenc/ourc of al kynde tendef . 

^f I haue herd told it somtyme qiwd .1. but drery- 660 
nesso haf dulled my memorie. ^f Certys quod sche 
fou wost wel whewnes fat alle f inges ben comen and 662 
preceded. I wot wel quod .1. and anseweredfel fat B. God is the 

, ,..,, V- i betfnningofall 

god is f e bygynnyng of al. ^[ And how may f is be things. 

quod sche fat sif en fou knowest f e bygynnyng of P. HOW, then, art 

thou ignorant of 

f inges. fat fou ne knowest not what is fe endyng of their end? 
f inges. but swiche ben fe customes of perturbac/ourcs. 667 
and f is power f ei han. fat f ei may moeue a maw fro 
hys place, fat is to seyne from f e stablenes and per- 

, , , . , . , endurest) to un- 

of hys knowyng. but certys fei may not al settle men's 


arace hym ne alyene hyra in al. ^f But I wolde fat 671 
fou woldest answere to fis. ^[ Remembrest fou fat 

mr r* mr TTTI t i i T thou art a man ? 

fou art a man ^] Boice. ^| Wm scholde 1 nat remem- B . certainly i do. 

bre fat quod .1. Philosophie. If Maiste fou not telle J; ^yoVLk me ? 

71 i/ A MT A j. whether I am a 

me fan quod sche what f ing is a man. ^f Axest not rational and 

me auod I. whebir bat be a resonable best mortel. I i know and con- 

f fess I am. 

wot wel and I confesse wel fat I am it. ^ Wistest ; t kno^that' " 

fou neuer 3it fat fou were ony ofer fing quod she. San this 1 ? 

649 depper deppere 

not what not nere what 

650 sfyen syn 
worlde world 

651 takest \>ou takestow 

658 seye say 
remembrest \>ou re- 

menbres thow 
ou 5 ^omitted 

659 Z allo 

660 herd foW MS. herde 

herd told ^-herd yt toold 

661 ha\> MS. ha>e 

663 preceded procedeth 
ansewered[e] answeredo 

661 \>e omitted 
al alle 

665 si]>en syn 

668 fro owt of 

669 seyne from seyn fro 
672 Remembrest \>ou Ee- 

674 Maiste \>ou Maystliow 

675 ]>an J>aTine 
\>ing thinge 
Axest Axestow 

677 Wistest \>ou wystcst- 

678 \>ing thinge 



B. NO. No qiiod .1. now wot I quod she oper cause of pi 

680 maladie and pat ry^t grete If Jjou hast left forto 

p. NOW i know knowe pi self what pou art. poru} whiche I haue pley- 

thc principal 

Smpe? fthydi8 " ne ty cne knowen pe cause of pi maladie. or ellis pe 

683 entre of recoueryng of pin hele. "If Forwhy for pou 

Thou hast lost art co-founded wib foroetyng of bi self, forbi sorwest 

the knowledge of 

thyself, jj OU j, a t pou art exiled of pi propre goodes. ^ And 

tiion knowest not for pou ne wost what is pe ende of pinges. forfpi] demest 
' 011 ] J^ fel nous an d wikked men ben my3ty and weleful 
f r fou hast for^eten by whiche gouernement} pe worlde 
689 is gouerned. ^[ Forpi wenest pou fat J>ise mutac/ou^s 
^ ^ ortune fleten wij? onten goueruowr. fise ben grete 
causes not oonly to maladie. but certes grete causes to 


i thank God that deeb IT But I banke be auctour and be makere of 

Reason hath not 
wholly deserted 

heele pat native hap not al forleten pe. and I haue 
694 g[r]ete norissinges of pi hele. and pat is pe sope sen- 
tence of goumiaurcce of pe worlde. pat pou byleuest 
pat pe goueniynge of it nis nat subgit ne vnderput 
to pe folie *of pise happes auenterouses. but to pe 
rescue of god ^[ And per fore doute pe noping. For 
of pis litel spark pine heet of lijf schal shine. ^[ But 
700 for as muche as it is not tyme 3itte of fastere remedies 
^[ And pe nature of pou^tes disseiued is pis pat as ofte 
as pei casten aweye sope opyniourcs : pei clopen hem in 
fals[e] opinions, [of whiche false opyniouws] pederknesse 
of perturbac^ourc wexep vp. pat comfoundep pe verray 
fromwh e ence e ' insy^t. and pat dcrkenes schal .1. say somwhat to 

that darkens the maken pi/me and wayk by ly^t and meenelyche re- 
i shall endeavour medies. so bat after bat be derknes of desseyuynge 

therAfm-p tn Hia. FT J J 

desyrynges is don awey. pou mow[e] knowe pe schyn- 
of verray ly^t. 

I have some 
hope of thy 
recovery since 
thou believest 
that the world is 

[* fol. 8 6.] 
tinder Divine 
for this small 
spark shall pro- 
duce vital heat. 

But as this is not 

the time for 



and because it is 

natural to em- 

brace false 

therefore to dis- 

vT P a o^rs h s e o e that 

680 hast left MS. 
lefte, C. hast left 

681 Tcnowe knowen 
pleynelyche knowen 

pleynly fwonde [ = 
684 sorwest \>ou sorwistow 

686 /o>-[pi] demest [_\>ou~] 
For thy di-mesUiow 

687 wikked-MS. wilkcd, C. 


688 worlde world 

689 wenest \>ou wenestow 

690 outen owte 

693 ha}> MS. habe 
al alle 

694 pi thin 

696 vnderput vndyrputte 

697 to (2) omitted 

698 fore for 

698 noting uothinge 

699 spark ]>ine heet sparke 

700 muche meche [thin hete 

702 aweye away 

703 [pf opyniouns~] from 

705 insytf insyhte [C. 
say assaye 

706 lytf lyhte 
708 don MS. done 

mow[e] uiowc 



"p%E sterres couered wif blak[e] cloudes ne mo wen [Theseuende 
y geten a douw no ly$t. 3if be trouble wywde bat Black clouds 

obscure the light 

hy^t auster stormynge and walwywg f e see medlej) f e of the stars. 

heete fat is to seyne fe boylyng vp from J>e botme 713 

1" J?e wawes J>t somtyme weren clere as glas and if the south wind 

renders the sea 

lyke to fe fair[ej bry^t[e] dayes wi]?stant anon fe tempestuous, the 

sy^tes of men. by jje filf e and ordure fat is resolued. SSX^gjJJy 

and f e fletyng streme fat roylef dourc dyuersely fro clearness - 
hey^e mou/itaignes is arestid and resisted ofte tyme 

by ]?e encountrynge of a stoon J>at is departid and 719 

fallen from some roche. ^F And forbi yif bou wilt ifthouwouidst 

see truth by the 

loken and demen sobe wib clere ly^t. and holde be clearest light, 

* pursue the path 

weye wij> a ry3t pafe. 1" Weyue fou ioie. drif fro }e A f w r j h ^ ithioy> 
drede. fleme J>ou hope, ne lat no sorwe aproche. ]>at is sorrow? 1 * 6 ' and 
to sein lat noon of )>ise four passiouws ouer come fe. 
or blynde ]>e. for cloudy and dirke is Jjilk fou^t and 

, i 'it t it i *r<Tk/ things control, 

bounde with bridles, where as bise binges regnen. 726 the soui is bound 

by strong fetters. 




fter Jjis she stynte a litel. and after )?at she hadde [The fyrst prose.] 
gadred by atempre stillenesse myn attenciouTi she 728 

seide bus. ^[ As who so nmtfel seye bus. After bise Philosophy ex- 

J:> L J J Y horts Boethius 

J)inges she stynt[e] a lytel. and whanne she aper- 
ceiued[e] by atempre stillenesse fat I was ententif to f c s s e l s " tofhi 
herkene hire, she bygan to speke in fis wyse. ^f Yif 732 

710 Uak[_e] blake 

712 stormynge turnyng 

713 from fro 

714- somtyme whilom 

715 lyke lyk 

faiiie] wfystant (MS. 

wijistante) fayre cleere 
dayes and brilite with- 

716 syytes syhtes 

717 streme strem 

718 Tiey^ehy 

720 from somefrs\m som 
wilt wolt 

721 so\>e soth 
clere cleer 
holde holden 

722 weyewey 

722 pa\>e paath 

724 come comen 

725 blynde blende 
bilk thilke 

727 slie (2) I 

729 my$t[e~\ seye myhte seyn 

730 styntle-} stynte 

732 hire here 


733 I quod she haue vnderstonde?z and knowe vtterly fe 

Thou art, she causes and be habit of bi maladie. bon languissed and 

says, affected by 

art deffete(i for talent and desijr of fi rafer fortune. 
736 ^f She fat like fortune only fat is chaunged as fou 
it hath perverted feinest to be ward, hab peruerted be clerenesse and be 

thy faculties. 

i am weii ac- astat of fi corage. ^F I viiderstonde be felefolde 

quainted with all 

Prodigy^f/. 11 ^ *dw and deceites of filke merueillous monstre for- 

tune. and how she vsef ful flatryng familarite wif hem 

741 fat she enforce]) to bygyle. so longe til fat she con- 

founde wif vnsuffreable sorwe hem fat she haf left 

743 in despeir vnpurueyed. ^f and if f ou remembrest wel 

Though she has f e kynde be manors and be desert of bilke fortune, bow 

left thee, thou 

thTnVofSify 7 " snalt wel knowe as in nir ]> ou neu er ne haddest ne 

or of worth. ^^ ylost &ny f& ^ j^ But ag j ilQWQ j shal ^ 

747 gretly trauaile to don fe remembren of fise finges. 
Thou were once *l For bou were wont to hurtlen land despvsenl hir 

proof against her 

allurements. w if manly wordes whan she was blaundissinge and 

presente and pwrsewedest hir wif sentences fat were 

751 drawe/z oute of myne entre. fat is to seyne out of 

But sudden myn iftformac^ouw ^[ But no sudeyne mutacioura ne 

change works a 

fn thVSSS? 011 "y* 1 ^ 6 ! 1 nat W ^ uten a maner chauwgyng of curages. 

it f thkt h thou art and so is ^ ^y fallen fa* fou art departed a litel fro 
J 76 P ees f M foujt. but now is tyme fat f ou drynke 

But with some cind atast[e] some softe and delitable finges. so fat whan 

gentle emollients __. . - , ., . 

i shall prepare bei ben entred wib i?zne be. it mow make weye to 

thee for stronger r 

medicines. stronger drynkes of medycynes. ^F Com nowe furbe 

Approach then, 

ferfore fe suasiouw of swetnesse Eethoryen. whiche 

and s th e erewlth 8 iet fat gof oonly f e ry3t wey whil she forsakef not myne 

Music also draw . , . _ . 

near. estatut^. ^| And wif Kethonce com forfe niusice a 

762 damoisel of cure house fat syngef now ly^ter moedes 

733 knowe vtterly knowen 

734 languissed languyssest 

737 Jia\> MS. hape 

738 astat estat 
felefolde feeiefold 

739 colour colours 
deceites (MS. decrites) 



merueillous ineruayles 
' ' 

746 any (MS. my) any 
' ^ng thinge 

trauaile travaylen 
don do 
remembren of remenbre 


747 i 


748 land despyseri]from C. 

749 was omitted 

750 were wereri 

751 myne myn 
seyne sayn 

43 if yif i 752 sudeyne sodeyn 

753 outen-^owte 

757 inne in 

mow weye mowe 

maken wey 

758 strenger strengere 
Com nowe fur\>e MS. 
Come; C. Com now forth 

760 go}) MS. gope 

761 com MS. come, C. com 

762 house hows 
lyiter lyhtere 

HOOK 2. 



or prolaGiouns now heuyer. *what aylep pe man. what [* foi. 9.] 

is it pat hap cast pe in to murnyng and in to wepyng. 764 

I trow[e] pat pou hast sen some newe ping and un- ^a?Fortun?is 

coupe. ^ J)ou wenest pat fortune be chaunged a3eins Ranged towards 

pe ^f But pou wenest wrong, yif pou [pat] wene. Buuhouart 

Alwey po ben hire maners. she hap raper [kept] as to 768 

be ward hire propre stablenes in be chaungyng of hyre in this misad- 

J venture of thine 

self, ^f Ry3t swyche was she whan she flatered[e] 
pe. and desseiued[e] pe wip vnleueful lykynges of 
false welefulnesse. pou hast now knowen and ataynt 772 
pe doutous or double visage of pilke blynde goddesse 
fortune. ^ She pat }it couerep hir and wymplep hir 
to oper folk, hap shewed hir euerydel to pe. ^[ 3if 
pou approuest hir and penkest pat she is good, vse 776 
hir maners and pleyne be nat. IT And if bou agrisest ifthoudost 

abhor her pern ly 

hir fals[e] trecherie. dispise and cast aweye hir pat 

pleyep so harmefully. for she pat is now cause of so dan s erous - 

myche sorwe to pe. sholde be to pe cause of pees and 780 

[of] ioie. If she hap forsaken pe forsope. pe whiche 

pat neuer man may be syker pat she ne shal forsake 

hym. Glose. ^[ But napeles some bookes han pe text 

pus. For sope she hap forsaken pe ne per nis no man 784 

syker pat she ne hap not forsaken. ^[ Holdest pou is that happiness 

pan pilke welefulnesse preciouse to pe pat shal passen. transient? 

and is present fortune derworpi to pe. whiche pat nis is the attendance 

of Fortune so dear 

not feipful forto dwelle. and whan she gop aweye pat 
she bryngep a wy^t in sorwe *fi For syn she may nat 
be wipholdera at a mans wille. she makep hym a wrecche 

she departep fro hym. ^J What oper ping is 791 

763 prolaciouns probasy- 

769 'stablenes in pe stabyl- 


nesse standeth in the 

heuyer heuyere 

770 swyche swich 

ayle\> eyleth 

771 vnleueful vnlcfful 

765 trow[_e\ trowe 

775 lia\> MS. had, C. hat 

senNLS. sene, C. seyn 

776 good MS. goode, C. god 

some som 

777 agrisest MS. agrised, C. 

\>ing thinge 
uncou\>e vnkowth 

778 f als[_e-] false 

766 aieins ayein 

780 myche mochel 

767 wenest weenes 
CM] C. that 
768 ha\> MS. hape 
[kept] from 0. 

781 [o/] from C. 
7mp MS. hape 
783 text texte 
784 /tap-MS. haj>e 

785 forsaken forsake 
Holdest \>ou holclestow 

736 \>an thanne 
preciouse presyes 

787 derworpi dereworthe 
whiche which 

788 feipful fevthfulle 
go\> MS. gope 
aweye awey 

790 mans mannys 

791 wlien wan 
\>ing thinge 



what is she flittircg fortune but a maiiere shewynsj of wrycchednesse 

(Fortune) but the J ' 

En1t? ffuture f at * s to comen - ne l * ne suffri)* nafc oo[n]ly to loken 

794 of ping fat is present byforne pe eyen of man. but 

wisdom lokep and mesurep pe ende of Binges, and pe 

796 same charwgyng from one to an oper. pat is to seyne 

Her mutability fro aduersite to prospcrite makeb bat be manaces of 

should make men 

threat! SOT desire f rtune ne ^ en not f rto dreden. ne pe flatrynges of 

her'favours. hir to beu Desired. ^ us atte J>6 last it byhouep pe 

to suffren wij? euene wille in pacience al pat is don 

801 inwip ]?e noor of fortune, pat is to seyne in pis worlde. 

if you submit to ff Syben bou hast oones put bi nekke vnder be 2okke 

her yoke you 

ena S ure a her ntly ^ ^^ r * ^ or ^ f 011 w ^ wr ^ e a l awe ^ "wendyng and of 

dwellyng to fortune whiche pat pou hast chosen Jrely 

805 to be pi lady ^f Art pou nat wrongful in pat and 

impatience win makest fortune wrope and aspere by pin inpacience. 

your loss. an< % jfo jj OU ma yst not chaungen hir. < f Yif pou com- 

YOU cannot mittest \and~\ bitakest bi sayles to be wynde. bou shalt 

choose your port 

1 v f esseito a the your ^ e s^ 1011611 not fi&ei pat pou woldest(:) but whider pat 

mei-cy of the ^ e wyw( j e ^Q^ ^ Q ^y yif pou castest pi seedes in pe 

811 feldes pou sh oldest haue in mynde pat pe ^eres ben 

YOU have given oper while plenteuous and oper while bareyne. ^f J)ou 

fortune; it be- hast bytaken piself to pe gouernaunce of fortune. 

comes yon there- * 

commands 7 her an ^ ^ or M ^ byhouep pe to ben obeisaunt to pe manere 

would you stop of bi lady, and enforcest bou be to aresten or wib- 

the rolling of her * 

wheel? stonden pe swyftnesse and pe sweyes of hir towmyng 

T J> OU foo1 of alle mortel fooles if fortune 
to dwelle stable, she cesed[e] pan to ben fortune. 

793 suffri\> suffiseth 

794 of^ingon thynge 
byforne MS. byforne by- 

man a man 

795 mesure\> amesureth 

796 from one tram oon 
seyne seyn 

797 fro from 
to into 

799 atte \>e lastat the laste 

801 seyne seyn 
worlde wor 1 d 

802 Sy\>enSyn 
lokke yoke 

803 if yif 
write wryten 

804 whiche which 

805 lady ladye 
Art \>ou Artow 

806 wro\>e wroth 
\>in thine 

807 channgen chaunge 

808 [and] from C. 

809 \>ider thedyr 
whider whedyr 

811 haue han 

814 manere maneres 

815 and omitted 
wfystonden withholden 

816 sweyes sweyj 
818 cesed[e\ cesede 





han fortune wip a proud e ry^t hande hap tumid 

Fortune is as in- 

hir chauwgyng stoundes she fareb lyke be maners constant as the 

ebb and flow of 

of pe boillyng eurippe. Glose. Eurippe is an arme of 

pe see pat ebbith and flowip. and somtyme pe streme 823 

is on one syde and somtyme on bat ober. Texte H She she hurls kings 

from their 

cruel fortune kastep adoune kynges pat somtyme weren 

ydred. and she deceiuable enhauwseth vp pe humble tlve< 

chere of hym pat is discomfited, and she neyper here]? 826 

ne reccheb of wrecchedfe] wepynges. and she is so harde she turns a deaf 

ear to the tears 

pat she Iau3ep and scornep pe wepyng of hem pe whiche 

she hab niaked wepe wib hir free wille. IT bus she Thus she sports 

and boasts her 

pleyep and \us she p?*euep hir strengpe and shewep a 
grete wondre to alle hir seruauwt^. 1T Yif pat a wy3t i^ 

. ' _ an hour, a man is 

is seyn weleful and oue/'prowe in an.houre. o<32 hurled from 

happiness into 


I wolde plete wij) fee a fewe Jiinges vsynge [Thesecunde 

be wordes of fortune tak heede now bi self, yif bat Philosophy ex- 

postulates with 
she axej> ry3t. * IT ]?ou man wher fore makest J?ou - Jjj e 

me gilty by pine euerydayes pleynynges. what wronges "y 6 ^ 1 ^ i rtune - 

haue I don J?e. what goocles haue I byreft pe pat weren 
pine, stryf or plete wip me by fore what iuge pat pou 
wilt of pe possessions of rycchesse or of dignites ^f And O f f ? ep 
yif pou maist shewe me pat euer any mortal man hap 840 

. Can you prove 

recevued any oi bese binges to ben his in pvopre. ban that ever any 

J J r r & irr m an had a fixed 

wol I graunt[e] frely pat [alle] pilke pinges werew pine 

whiche bat bou axest. ^[ "Whan bat nature broii2t[el be YOU came naked 

' L J Y into the world, 

forpe out of pi moder wombe. I receyued[e] pe naked 

819 proude prowd 
Jiifinde hand 
Jia\> MS. ha^e 

820 lyke lik 

822 streme strem 
8-23 oneo 

824 adoune adpwn 
somtyme whilom 

825 ydred (MS. ydredde) 
humble vmble [ydrad 

827 recche\> rekkej) 

827 wrecclied[e] wrecchede 
harde hard 

828 lau^e\> lyssheth 
wepyng wepynges 

830 streng\>e strengthes 

833 plete pleten 

834 tak MS. take, C. tak 

835 makest ]>ou makes thow 

836 wronges wrcmge 

837 don MS. done, C. don 
byreft MS. byrefte, C. 


838 stryf MS. stryue.C. stryf 
plete pleten 

by fore by forn 

839 wilt wolt 
rycchesse rychesses 

840 shewe shewyn 
euer euere 
ha\> MS. haj>e 

841 \>ese tho 
his hise 

842 graunt\e\ graiwte 
[alle] from C. 




n>roK 2. 

and I cherished 


and encompassed 
you with 
Now that I have 
a mind to with- 
draw my boun'y, 
be thankful and 
complain not. 


Riches and 
honours are sub- 
ject to me. 
They are my 
servants, and 
come and go with 


Shall I alone be 
forbidden to use 
my own right ? 
Doth not heaven 
give us sunny 
days and obscure 
the same with 
dark nights ? 
Is not the earth 
covered with 
frost as well as 
with flowers ? 


The sea some- 
times appears 
calm, and at 
other times 
terrifies us with 
its tempestuous 

Shall I be bound 
to constancy by 
the covetousness 
of men ? 


I turn my rolling 
wheel and amuse 
myself with 
exalting what 

and nedy of al fing. and I norysshed[e] fe wif my 
rychesse. and was redy and ententif f on/} my fauowr to 
sustene f e. 1T And fat make]) f e now ircpacient a^eins 
me. and I envirounde f e wif al f e habundaunce and 
shinyng of al goodes fat ben in my ry3t. IT Now it 
lykef me to wif drawe myne hande. f ou hast had grace 
as he fat haf vsed of foreyne goodes. f ou hast no ry^t to 
pleyne fe. as 0113 fou haddest vtterly lorn alle fi 
Binges, whi pleyiiest fou fan. I haue don f e no wrong. 
Eicches honowres and swyche ofer finges ben of my 
ry^t. IF My seruauntes knowen me for hir lady. f ei 
comen wif me and departen whan I wende. I dar wel 
affermen hardyly. fat yif fo finges of whiche fou 
pleynest fat fou hast forlorn hadde ben fine, fou ne 
haddest not lorn hem. 11 shal I fan only be defended 
to vse my ry^t. H Certis it is leueful to f e heuene to 
make clere dayes. and after fat to keuere f e same dayes 
wif derke ny^tes. ^[ ])Q erf e haf eke leue to apparaile 
fe visage of fe erfe now w^'t7i floures and now wif 
fruyt. and to eonfounde hem somtyme wif raynes and 
wif coldes. 1F })e see haf eke hys ry^t to be som- 
tyme calme and blaundyshing wif smofe water, and 
somtyme to be horrible wif wawes and wif tempestes. 
If But f e couetyse of men fat may not be staunched 
shal it bynde me to be stedfast. syn fat stedfastnesse 
is vnkouf to my maneres. ^[ Swyche is my strengf e. 
and f is pley. I pley[e] cowtinuely. I tourne f e whirlywg 
whele wif f e tournyng cercle 11 I am glade to chaunge 
f e ' lowest to f e heyeste. and f e heyest to f e loweste. 

845 al \>ing alle thinges 
norysshed \_e] nory ssede 

846 rychesse rychesses 
848, 849 a? alle 

848 habundaunce abouwd- 

850 wip hande with- 

drawen myn hand 

had MS. hadde, C. had 

851 ha\> MS. hape 

852 vtterly outrely 

lorn MS. lorne, C. for 

853 donr- MS. done, C. don 

854 Ricches Rychesses 

858 forlorn MS. forlorne, 
C. forlorn 

859 lorn MS. lorne, C. lorn 

860 vse vsen 

861 keuere \>e coeueryn tho 

862 derke dirk 
erpe yer 
ha\> MS. hape 

864 eonfounde ccmfownden 

865 ha\> MS. ha>6 

866 calme kalra 

867 (2nd) wi\> omitted 
869 stedfast stidefast 
stedfastnesse stidefast- 

870 vnkou\> MS. vnkoupe, 
C. vnkowth 


871 pley[e} pleye 

872 whele wheel 
glade glad 
chaunge chaungyw 


worbe vp yif bou wilt, so it be by bis lawe. bat bou was low, and 

r 1 J r f I bringing dow 

ne holde not pat I do pe wronge $011-$ pou descende 

doiw whanne resoura of my pleye axep it. Wost pou 

not how Cresus kyng of lyndens of whiche kyng Cirws 8port require8 " 

was fill sore agast a litel byforne pat bis rewlyche 878 

Cresus was cau3t of Cirus and lad to be fijr to be Jf 

brent, but pat a reyne desce?ided[e] douw from heuene 

pat rescowed[e] hym IF And is it out of pi niynde bow 

pat Paulus consul of Rome whan he hadde take pe 

kyng of perciens weep pitou[s]ly for pe captiuitee of pe 883 

selffe] kyng. What oper pinges bywaylen pe criinges of what else does 

Tragedies, but only pe dedes of fortune, pat wip an jj^^biJiuhlJ 1 ' 

vnwar stroke ouert?/rnep pe realmes of grete nobley kinSml by 

11" Glose. Tragedie is to seyne a dite of a prosperite for ate strokes 111 " 

a tyme bat endib in wrechednesse. Lernedest nat bou Did you not ieam 

whilst a youth, 

in grek whan bou were songe bat in be entre or in be that at the gates 

r of Jove's palace 

seler of luppiter ber ben couched two tunnes. bat on stan two vessels, 

' one lull of bless- 

is ful of good pat oper is ful of harme. f What ry 3 t S? ie( 

hast bou to pleyne. yif bou hast taken more plenteuously what if you have 

drunk too deep of 

of pe goode syde pat is to seyne of my rycchesse and the first vessel ? 
prosperites. and what eke. yif I be nat departed fro pe. 894 
What eke. yif my mutabilitee siuep pe rystful cause of My mutability 

gives thee hope 

hope to han }it better pmges. ^1 JNapeles desmaie pe of happier days, 
nat in pi pou3t. and pou pat art put in comune realme Desire not to be 

. . r -, , ^ i i , exempted from 

of alle : ne desiir e nat to lyue by bine oonly propre ryst. the vicissitudes of 


T}On-3 pleiitee pat is gocldesse of rycches hielde adoim 
Jr wip ful horn, and wipdrawep nat hir hand. IT As 
many recches as pe see turnep vpwardes saiides whan it 

874 wor\>e worth 
wilt wolt 

876 doun adoiw 
whanne wan 
pleye pley 

Wost \>ou wistesthow 

877 kyng (1) the kyng 
lyndens lydyens 

878 byforne byforn 

880 reyne descended^ 

rayn dessendede 

880 from fro 

881 rescowed[je] rescowede 

882 take takyn 

885 an a 

886 pe-omitted 

887 seyne seyn 

890 tiinnes tonnes 

891 harme harm i vpwardes vpward 

892 hast \>ou hasthow 

893 seyne seyn 
rycchesse rychesses 

894 / be nat I ne be nat al 
896 better betere 

898 lyue lyuen 
\>ine thin 

899 rycches rychesses 
901 recches rychesses 


LrMxUbr* J 

worK? Sere * s moeue( l ty rauysshing blastes. or ellys as many 
post shore, "or lfl rycches as f er shynen bry^t[e] sterres on heuene on fc 

stars in heaven, ^. 

mankind would sterry nyst. 3it lor al bat mankynde nolde not cesce to 
not cease to com- 
plain* fo1 ' 10 ' ] wope wrecched[e] pleyntes. H And al be it so *fat 

906 god receyuef gladly her prayers and 3011 ef hem as ful 

Tiiough^Heaven large muche golde and apparailef coueytous folk wif 

vu&fflair teT noble or clere honours. $it semef hem haue I-gete no- 

f ing. but alwey her cruel ravyne deuourynge al fat f ei 

910 han geten she wif ofer gapinges. fat is to seye gapen 
what rein can and desiren sit after moo rycchesse. H What brideles 

restrain unbound- 
ed avarice v my^ten wifholde to any certeyne ende fe desordene 

He who thinks coueitise of men II Whan euere be raber bat it fletib in 
himself poor, 

ricllfdothtraiy ^ ar o e 3^ s : f e more av krennef in hem fe frest of 

ptSy mder hauyng. H Certis he fat quakyng and dredeful wenef 

916 hym seluen nedy. he ne lyuef n euere mo ryche. 


[The thrydde ~fa erfore yif fat fortune spake wif f e for hir self in 
if Fortune spake -* fis manere. For sof e f ou ne haddest [nat] what 

thus to you, you 

could not defend fcou mutest answere. and if bou hast any biwcr Avher- 

your complaint. ' 

w r if. fou mayist ry3tfully tellen fi compleynt. H It 

921 byhouef fe to shewen it. and .1. wol }eue fe space to 

B. what you tellen it. H Certeynely quod I fan fise ben faire 

have said is very 

.s]>ecious, but binges and enoyntid wib hony swetnesse of rethorike 

such discourses ' 

whiie'tficy strike an ^' mus ike. and only while f ei ben herd f ei ben de- 
They^annot Hciouse. H But to wrecches is a deppere felyng of 
hnp?essk)ns e that harme. f is is to seyn fat wrecches felen f e harmes fat 

misery has made , . -IT, 

in the heart. f ei suilrcn more greuously fan f e remedies or f e delites 
928 of fise wordes mowc gladen or comforten hem. so fat 

902 ranyssMng rauyssynge | 908 liaue hauon 

!)< ri/cches ryohcsses 

on (i) in 
t nj/it nyhtos 
."} wope wrccched[c~\ wepe 

ful fool 

907 mnclir- inoche 
folk men 

I-gete I -getyn 

909 her hir 

910 seye seyn 

911 rycchesse ryehosscs 

912 wi\>liolde wytholdcn 
certeyne certcyn 

914 \>rest tliuvst, 
!!.- dredeful clvodful 
9ir. fyruebleutit.l\ 
918 [natl from C. 

919 (/'yif 

920 mayist mayst 

tellen defendyn 

921 ieue yenyn 

922 pan thaiine 
ben bet (= both) 

923 swetnesse swetenosse 

924 while whil 
lien/. MS. horde 

92G harme harm 
928 mowe mowen 


whan f ise f inges stynten forto soiw[e] in cres. f e sorwe 929 

fat is inset greuef f e f ou^t. Ry3t so is it quod she. P. Jo ^ i8 Jto- 

IT For f ise ne ben $it none remedies of f i maladie. but tStSSp&& 
f ei ben a manere norissinges of fi sorwe ^it rebel 

MT 1 1 T T i i When time 

aieyne f i curaczourc. IT For whan bat tyme is. I shal SC rves, i win 

administer those 

moue swiche f inges fat percen hem self depe. 51 But things that shall 
nabeles bat fou shalt not wilne to leten bi self a youVdisea^ 

f f * But you are not 

wrecche. IF Hast fou for^eten fe noumbre and fe 

manere of f i welefulnesse. I holde me stille how fat x shal] no ' t Bpeak 

f * r^.'L t j of your happiness 

be soueravn men of be Citee tokerc be in cure and in being provided 

for (in your 

kepynge whan bou were orphelyn of fadir and modir. orphanage) by 

the chief men of 

and were chosen in affinite of princes of J>e Citee. thecit y; 
IF And j>ou byguwne rafer to ben leef and deere J?an 941 
forto ben a ney^bowr. ))e whiche jjing is J)e most pre- 
ciouse kynde of any propinquitee or aliauwce |?at may 
ben. IF Who is it fat ne seide f ou nere ryjt weleful 944 
wib so grete a nobley of bi fadres in la we. IF And wib nor of your 

' virtuous wife, 

fe chastite of fi wijf. and wif fe oportunite and and raanly sons - 
noblesse of fi masculyn children, fat is to seyne fi 
sones and ouer al f is me lyst to passe of comune f inges. 948 
IF How fou haddest in fi fou^t dignitees fat weren 
warned to.olde men. but it delitef me to comen now to 
f e singuler vphepyng of f i welefulnesse. 1F Yif any 
fruyt of mortal f inges may han any wey^te or price of 952 
welefulnesse. IF Myztest bou euere forzeten for any can you ever for- 

J " J get the memor- 

charge of harme fat my3t[e] byfallen. f e remembrau?^ce 

of filke day fat fou sey[e] fi two sones maked con- 

seillers. and ylad to gidre from fin house vndir so gret 
assemble of senatours. and vndir f e blyf enesse of poeple. 957 
and whan fou say[e] hem sette in fe court in her 

929 soun\e~\ sowne 

930 inset MS. insette, C. 

932 sorwe sorwes 

933 a^eyne ayein 

934 moue swiche moeue 

938 souerayn souerane 
942 neyfiour neysslieboztr 

9-i4. nere were 

945 nobley nobleye 
fadres fadyr-is 

947 seyne seyn 

948 lyst lyste 
passe of passen the 

949 \>ouit yowthe 

950 warned werncd 

952 fruyt frute 
price pris 

953 My^test \>ou myhtcs- 

954 har me harm 

bufallen niyhtc 

955 sey[e\ saye 

956 from fro 
rrretMS. grcte, C. grot 

958 say[e\ sayo 
sette set 
her hccre 



FflOOK 2. 


when in the chaieres of dignites. IT bou rethorien or pronourccere 

circus you satis- 

^ectint mum- ^ kynges P^ysinges. descruedest glorie of wit and of 
triumphal 8 eloquence, whan fou sittyng bytwix fi two sones con- 

seillers in fe place fat hy3t Circo. and fulfildest fe 
963 abydyng of multitude of poeple fat was sprad about f e 

wif large praysynge and laude as mew syngen in vie- 
By your expres- tories. bo sauc bou wordes of fortune as I trowe. bat 

sions you 

is to seyne. fo feffedest fou fortune wif glosynge 
wordes and desseiuedest hir. whan she accoied[e] fe 
and norsshed[e] fe as hir owen delices. IT Jpou hast 
969 had of fortune a ^ifte fat is to seyn swiche gerdoiw 

Wilt fou f erfore 

private person, 

win you there- bat she neuferle saf to preue man 

fore call Fortune J 

to account? l e ye a rekenynsr wib fortune, she hab now twynkeled 

She now begins, * 

unkind! look ^ rs ^ v P on lP Q ^t a wykked eye. IF Yif fou considere 

Sr f the U nmnber J 76 nou??ibre and f e manere of fi blysses. and of fi 

f F U foi bl i e o S 6.] g8 ' sorwes. *fou maist nat forsake fat fou nart $it blysful. 

you must confess _..- , . , , ,, , f , . 

that you are still For if f ou f erfore wenest f i self nat welef ul for f inges 


976 fat fo semeden ioyful ben passed. IT ]?er nis nat whi 

These evils that f ou sholdest wene f i self a wrecche. for f inges fat now 

you suffer are but . , 

transitory. semen soory passen also. T! Art fou now comen nrste 

979 a sodeyne gest in to fe shadowe or tabernacle of fis 

Can there be any liif. or trowest bou bat any stedfastnesse be in mannis 

stability in 

human affairs, binges. IT Whan ofte a swifte houre dissoluef f e same 

when the life of * 

The last day of 
life puts an end 
to Prosperity. 
What matters it 
then, whether 
you by death 
leave it, or it 
(Fortune) by 

man - f at is to 

body. For al f ou} fat yelde is f er any feif fat for- 
tunous f inges willen dwelle. 3it naf eles fe last[e] day 
of a marmis lijf is a manere deef to fortune, and also 
to f ilke fat haf dwelt, and f erfore what wenist fou 
far recche yif fou forlete hir in dey/zge or ellys fat she 
flight doth leave fortune f or i e te fe in fleenge awey. 

979 shadowe shadwe 

980 stedfastnesse stedofnst- 

981 swi/te swyft [nose 
dissolue]) dyssoluede 

983 al Jwtt? pat al J>at 

fortunous fortune 

984 willen dwelle wolon 
last[_e] laste [dwellyn 

986 ha\> MS. ha|>e 
wenist \>ou weoi i est o w 

987 \>ar recche dar rcckt- 

988 a we a away 

961 bytwix bytwyen 
962 Uyd hihte 
963 of (I) of the 
about abowten 
964 wi\>-^-\vith so 
965 wue MS. ban, C. yaue 
of to 
9(i(i seyne seyn 
967 accoied[el acoyode 
968 norsshcd{_e] norysscde 
owen owne 
\>ou of tlunv bar 
away of 

069 had MS. hadde 
swiche swich 
970 preue pvyue 
971 leye lye 
ha\> MS. ha}?e 
972 wylcked wyckede 
973 blysses blysse 
974 forsake forsakyn 
nart art 
blysful blysseful 
978 soory sorye 
Jirste fyrst 
979 sodeyne sodoyn 



TI7"han phebus fe sonne bygynnej) to spreden his clere- [The .iij. Metwr.i 
* ' nesse with rosene chariettes. ban be sterre ydimmyd The stars paie i.c- 

J fore the li-litot 

palef hir white cheres. by fe flamus of J)e sowne fat the rising sun 
ouer come]? f e sterre Iy3t. 1F Jpis is to seyn whan f e 
sonne is risen fe day sterre wexif pale and lesijj hir 993 
lyst for be grete brystnesse of be sonne. IT Whan be westerly winds 

^ J) r deck the wood 

with roses, but 

easterly winds 


wode wexeb redy of rosene floures in be first somer with roses imt 

* f easterly winds 

sesouw f oru$ ])e bref e of f e wynde Zephirus fat wexef beautyto'tade. 

warme. IF Yif ]>e cloudy wynde auster bio we felliche. 997 

ban gob awey be fayrnesse of bornes. Ofte be see is NOW the sea is 

calm, and again 

clere and calme wifoute moeuywg floodes. And ofte it is tempestuous. 

fe horrible wynde aqwilon moeuef boylyng tempestes 1000 

and ouer whelweb be see. IF Yif be forme of bis worlde if ail things thus 

1 ' vary, will you 

is so [jeelde] stable, and yif it towrnif by so many gjy transitory 

entrechauwgynges. wilt fou ]pan trustee in Jje trublynge 

fortunes of mew. wilt J?ou trow r en in flittyng goodes. 1004 

It is certeyne and establissed by lawe perdurable bat no AH here below is 

unstedfast and 

Jnwg ]>at is engendred nys stedfast no stable. unstable. 


"KAnne seide I ]ms. norice of alle uertues ]?ou [Thefertheprose.] 
* seist ful sobe. 1T Ne I may nat forsake be ry^tfel s. i cannot deny 

J my sudden and 

swifte cours of my prosperitee. pat is to seine, fat early prosperity, 
prosperitee ne be comen to me wondir swiftly and 1010 
soone. but bis is a bing bat gretly smertib me whan it it is the re-nem- 

J brance of former 

remembre]) me. IF For in alle aduersitees of fortune ]?e JS^^tto 11 * 
most vnsely kynde of contrariouse fortune is to han man ' 8 mfelicit y- 
ben weleful. IF But fat \ ou qwod she abaist fus ]?e p. Recollect that 
towrment of Jji fals[e] opiniouw fat maist f ou not ry^t- much affluence. 

989 Ms hyr 

990 \>an thanne 

991 Jtamus flarubes ' 
995 redyrody 

rosene rosyn 

997 warme warm 

998 go]> MS. gope, C. goth 

fayrnesse fayrcnosse 
99 clere cleer 
caltnc kahri 

1000 wynde wynd 

1001 whelwefy welueeth 

1002 beelde] from C. 
1003, 1004 wilt \>ou wolthow 

1003 paw thanne 
trublynge towmblywge 

1004 in flittyng on llot- 

1005 It is is it [tyuge 

1006 wo no 
stable cstable 

1008 so\>e soth 

Ne ImayNe I ne may 

1009 seine seyn 

1011 a omitted 

1012 aduersilees adnrrsvtc 

1013 most moosto 

1014 abaist abyest 



rnooK 2. 

Symmachus, dear kynde. 
to you as life, 

fully blamen ne aretten to pinges. as who seip for pou 

hast 3itte many habundaunces of pinges. f Textm. 

1018 For al be it so pat pe ydel name of auenterouse wele- 

what you fulnesse moeuep pe now. it is leueful pat bou rekene 

esteemed most 

Eap C prd S ay n s, y yS w ^ me of how man y[ e ] pinges pou hast 3it plentee. 
still retain,' ^ And j, er f ore yif j, at j, ilke j, ing j at p ou haddest for 

most precious in alle pi rycchesse of fortune be kept 
1023 to pe by pe grace of god vnwemmed and vndefouled. 
and ought there- Mayst pou paft pleyne ry^tfully vpon pe myschief of for- 
piain. tune, syn pou hast 3it pi bestfe] pinges. IT Certys 3it 

1026 lyuep in goode poynt pilke precious honowr of man- 
1T Symacus pi wyues fadir whiche pat is a 
man maked al of sapience and of vertue. pe whiche 
1029 man pou woldest b[i]en redely wip pe pris of f>in owen 
lijf. he byweylep pe wronges pat men don to pee. and 
not for hym self, for he liuep in sykernesse of any 
Your wife sentence put aseins hym. 1F And sit lyueb bi wif bat 

Kusticiana is also 

alive > is attempre of witte and passyng oper women in clennes 

1034 of chastitee. and for I wol closen shortly her bountes 

and bewails her she is lyke to hir fadir. I telle be welle bat she lyueb 

separation from 

y u - loop of hir life, and kepip to pee oonly hir goost. and 

is al maat and ouer-comen by wepyng and sorwe for 

1038 desire of pe IF In \>Q whiche ping only I mot graimten 

why need i men- pat pi welefulnesse is amenused. 11 What shal I seyn 

tion your two 

sons, in whom so eke of bi two sones conseillours of whiche as of chil- 

much of the wit 

[* M. 11.] dren of hir age per shinep *be lyknesse of pe witte of 

and spirit of their 

sire do?h g sMne? ^ r ^^ an ^ ^ n i r eldefadir. and sipen pe souereyn 
5 d chtefcareof cure ^ a ^ e inor ^ e -'- fH ie i g to sauen hir owe? lyues. 
uiHiCuSm IF how weleful art pou pou3 pou knowe pi goodes. 

is safe and in 

1016 mJ?-MS.seiRC.seyh 

1017 ytte yit 

1019 leueful leefful 

1020 many[_e\ \>inges manye 
grete thinges 

1022 alle al 

1023 \>e by the yit by 

1024 myschief meschef 

1025 bestle'] beste 

1026 lyue\> leucth 
goode -rood 

1027 wltii-hc which 

1028 aJ alle 

1028 of (2) omitted 

1029 b\f\en byen 
owen owne 

1030 byweyle\> bewaylcth 
dow MS. done, C. don 

1031 liue\> leueth 

1033 witte wyt 
women wymmen 

1034 shortly shortely 

1035 lyke lik 
welle wol 

1030 hir lifet\A* lyf 
1037 maat maud 

1038 wliiclie weche 

1039 amemised am enysscd 
seyn(M. seyne) seyn . 

1041 lyknesse lykenesse 

witte wyt 
1042" and (1) or 

eldefadir cldyr fa'Jyr 

si\>en syn 
1043 folke folk 
10JH art \>ou }>OUT, arthow 



1F Eut sittc ben ber binges dwellywg to be wardes bat no most happy in 

the possession of 

man doutef bat bei ne ben more derworf o to be ben alfmeif \-aiui ch 

fine owen lijf. IT And forfi drie J)i teres for $itte nys 

nat eueriche fortune al hateful to be warde. ne oner 

greet tempest haf nat 3it fallen vpon be. whan bat fin f2re fe5ity. f 

ancres cliue fast[e] bat neiber wole suffre be comfort of bis 1050 

tyme present, ne be hope of tyme comynge to passen 

ne to falle?i. 1F And I preie quod I bat fastfel motfen] B. i hope these 

J will never tail me. 

bei holden. 1F For whiles fat f ei halden. how so euere 

fat finges ben, I shal wel fleten furfe and eschapen. 1054 

IF But bou mayst wel seen how greetfe! apparailes and But do you not 

see how low I am 

aray bat me lakkeb bat ben passed awey fro me. IF I fall e ? 

P. I should think 

haue sum what auau^ced and forfered fe quod she. if ^5* J e $^ f j e 
fat fou anoie nat or forfenke nat of al fi fortune. As " e s 

who seib. ^F I haue somwhat comforted be so bat bou it grieves me to 

hear you com- 

tempest nat be fus wif al fi fortune, syn fou hast jJjS^Sy 
3it fi best[e] finges. IF But I may nat suffre fin comforts - 
delices. bat pleinst so wepyng. and anguissous for fat 1062 

ober lakkeb somwhat to bi welefulnesse. 1F For what Every one, how- 

ever happy, has 

man is so sad or of so perfit welefulnesse. fat he ne 

stryuef or pleynef on some half a^eine fe qualitee of 1065 

his estat. IT For whi ful anguissous bing is be con- The condition of 

human enjoy- 

diciouw of mans goodes. IF For eyfer it cbmef al to 
gidre to a wy^t. or ellys it lastef not perpetuely. 

MT -r\ i . i i , i ta y when 

IF For som man haf grete rycchesse. but he is as- it does come. 

One man is very 

shamed ot nys vngentu lynage. and som man is re- wealthy, hut ins 

birth is obscure. 

nomed of noblesse of kynrede. but he is enclosed in so Another is con- 

spicuous for 
grete angre for nede of finges. fat hym were leuer fat 

he were vnknowe. and som ma?* habundef bofe in in5[gence! d by 
rychesse and noblesse, but }it he bywailcf hys chast[e] wUh both ad- st 

1045 But iittefor yit 
dwellyng dwellyd 
wardes ward 

1046 \>at than 
derwor\>e dereworthe 
\>en \>ine than thin 

1047 *itte yit 

1049 ha}> MS. hapc 
\>in thyne 

1050 cliue fast\e\ cleucn 

wolc suffre wolen suifrcn 

1052 fallen faylen 

1052 fast\e\ mot\en\ faste 

1053 holden halden 

1054 fur\>e forth 

1055 mayst mayste 
greet\e] grete 

1058 forfenke forthinke 
1061 best[e~] beste 
suffre \>in suffren thi 

1063 o\>er ther 

1064 perfit parfyt 

1065 or and 

some half a^eine som 
halue ayeii 

1067 mans mannes 
comeb al comth nat al 

1068 tosfep-last 
perpetuely perpetuei 

1069 rycchesse Rychesses 

1070 renamed renowned 
1072 angre for Angwysshc 

leuer I euere [of 

1074 chast[c] caste 



vantages, but is 


This man is 

happy in a wife, 

mortified by their 

evil ways. 

Thus we see that 

no man can agree 

easily with the 

fortune"" 8 

The senses of the 

happy are refined 

and\tey a ar e eim. 

on 1 trifl e d s! pend8 

How many would 

think themselves 

in heaven if they 

art miserable. 
Every lot may be 
happy to the man 
who bears his 
condition with 
equanimity and 


lijf. for he hab no wijf. IF and som man is wel and 
selily maried but he hab no children, and norissheb his 
ricchesse to be heires of straunge folk. IF And som 
man is gladded wib children, but he wepib ful sory for 
be trespas of his son or of his doi^tir. IF and for bis 
ber accordeb no wy^t ly^tly to be condicioura of his for- 
tune, for alwey to euery man bere is in mest somwhat 
bat vnassaieb he ne wot not or ellys he dredib bat he 
hab assaied. IF And adde bis also bat euery weleful 
man hab a wel delicat felyng. IF So bat but yif alle 
binges fallen at hys owen wille for he inpacient or is 
nat vsed to han none aduersitee. an-oone he is browe 
adoune for euery lytel bing. ^F And ful lytel binges 
ben bo bat wibdrawen be sorame or be perfecc^ourc of 
blisfulnesse fro hem bat ben most fortunat. IF How 
many men trowest bou wolde demen hem self to ben 
almost in heuene yif bei my^ten atteyne to be leest[e] 
partie of be remenaunt of bi fortune. IF )?is same place 
bat bou clepist exil is centre to hem bat enhabiten 
here, and forbi. Nobing wrecched. but whan bou 
wenest it IF As who seib. bou^ bi self ne no wy^t 
ellys nys no wrecche. but whan he weneb hym self a 
wrecche by reputac^ou?* of his corage. 


1098 A nd a^einewarde al fortune is blisful to a man by be 

** agreablete or by be egalite of hym bat suffreb it. 

when patience is IF What man is bat. bat is so weleful bat nolde 

lost then a 

change of state is hi s estat whan he hab lorn pacience. be swetnesse of 

desired. J 

1102 mannes welefulnesse is yspranid wib many[e] bitternesses. 

1075, 1076 ha}) MS. hape 

1076 marled ymaryed 
feis hise 

1077 ricchesse Rychesses 
lieires eyres 

folk foolkys 
10SO \>er\>cr ne 

1081 mest omittod 

1082 miassaie\> vnassaicd 
wot MS. wotc, C. wot 

1083, 1084 ha\> MS. hape 

1084 weZ ful 

1085 fallen byfalle 
w^Ze wyl 

1086 none noil 
an-oone Anon 
pro we thro wen 

1087 adoune adouw 
1090 wolde \voldcu 
1095 i hyt 

1095 w7io ho 

1096 wo a 

1098 a^einewarde al ayein- 
ward alle 

1099 it hyt 

1101 ivJian what 
ha\> MS. hape 
?or MS. lorne, C. lost 

1102 yspranid Bpraynyd 
bitternesses bctcri H -s s< s 


be whiche welefulnesse al bom it seme swete and HOW much is 

human felicity 

ioyeful to hym bat vseb it. $it may it not be wib-holden embittered 
bat it ne gob away whan it wol. IF ban is it wel sen it win not stay 

J with those that 

how wrecched is be blisfulnesse of mortel binges, bat 

neiber it dwellib perpetuel wib hem bat euery fortune 

receyuen agreablely or egaly. 1F Ne it ne deliteb not in 

al. to hem bat ben anguissous. 1F ye mortel folkes 1109 

what seke *2e ban blisfulnesse oute of 2oure self, whiche [* foi. h &.] 

mortals, do ye 

bat is put in ^oure self. Errowr and folie cowfourcdeb 

1F I shal shewe be shortly, be poynt of souereyne found 

ii. P. i T , i i. i i yourselves? 

blisfulnesse. Is ber any Jjmg to be more preciouse ban Nothing is more 
bi self IF pou wilt answere nay. 1F pan if it so be bat ffiysSt 8 

If thou hast com- 

bou art rnyaty ouer bi self bat is to seyn by tranquillitee mand over thy- 
self, Fortune can- 
of bi soule. ban hast bou bing in bi power bat bou "^deprive t.hee 

noldest neuer lesen. ne fortune may nat by-nyme it be. 1117 
and bat bou inayst knowe bat blisfulnesse [ne] may Happiness does 

J not consist in 

nat standen in binges bat ben fortunous and tern- things transitory, 
perel. ^F Now vndirstonde and gadir it to gidir bus 
yif blisfulnesse be be souereyne goode of nature bat 1121 
liueb by resouw IF Ne bilke bing nis nat souereyne if happiness be 

. . the supreme good 

goode bat may be taken awey in any wyse. for more f ] 
worbi bing and more digne is bilke bing bat may nat be 
taken awey. IF pan shewib it wele bat be vnstable- 
nesse of fortune may nat attayne to receyue verray 
blisfulnes. 1F And 3it more ouer. IF What man bat 
bis touinblyng welefulnesse leedib. eiber he woot bat 

' that it is change- 
fit] is chaungeable. or ems he woot it nat. II And yii abieor does not 

he woot it not. what blisful fortune may ber be in be if he knows it 

* not, what happi- 

blyndenesse of ignorau?ice. and yif he woot bat it is SBfi^offl?* 
chaungeable. he mot alwey ben adrad bat he ne lese i^^now's it is 
bat bing. bat he ne douteb nat but bat he may leesen JeaSd SnSg 

1104 hym hem I 1112 shortly shortcly 1125 wele wel 

# hyt ! 1114 wilt MS.wilte.C. wolt 1126 receyue resscyuen 

be b'eu if yif 1129 [if] from C. 

it hyt 

1130 be ben 

1131 blyndenesse blynd- 

1105 .<70>-MS. gepe 
wol woole 
sen MS. sene 
1107 dwMl\> dureth 
\\Mfolkes folkc- 

1117 by-nyme be-neme 

1118 blisfulnesse \_ne\ 
blyssefuluesse ue 

1120 to gidir to gidere 
1121, 1122 souereyne goode 

1110 ofi? owfc I souereyii good 



["HOOK 2. 

[MET. i. 

it, and this fear 
will not suffer 
him to be happy. 



Since thou art 
convinced of the 
soul's im- 
mortality, thou 
canst not doubt 
that if death puts 
an end to human 
felicity, that all 
men when they 
die, are plunged 
into the depths of 


But we know that 
many have 
sought to obtain 

. by undergoing 
' not only death, 
but pains and 
How then can 
this present life 
make men truly 
happy, since 
when it is ended 
they do not be- 
come miserable ? 

it. IF As whoo seif he mot ben alwey agast lest lie 
leese fat he wot wel he may leese. 1F For whiche f e 
continuel drede fat he haf ne suffrif hym nat to "ben 
welefuL 1F Or ellys yif he leese it he wene to be 
dispised and forleten hit. IF Certis eke fat is a ful 
lytel goode fat is born wif euene hert[e] whan it is 
loost. 1F jpat is to seyne fat men don no more force, 
of f e lost fan of f e hauynge. IF And for as myche as 
f ou f i self art he to whom it haf ben shewid and proued 
by ful many[e] demonstrac^ourcs. as I woot wel fat f e 
soules of men ne mowen nat dien in no wise, and eke 
syn it is clere. and certeyne fat fortunous welefulnesse 
endif by f e deef of f e body. 1F It may nat ben douted 
fat yif fat deef may take awey blysfulnesse fat al f e 
kynde of mortal tyingus ne descend if in to wrecched- 
nesse by f e ende of f e deef. 1F And syn we knowen 
wel fat many a man haf soi^t f e fruit of blisfulnesse 
nat only wif sunryng of deef. but eke wif suffryng of 
peynes and towrmentes. how my^t[e] fan fis present 
lijf make men blisful. syn fat whanne filke selffe] 
lijf is endid. it ne makef folk no wrecches. 

* MS. ualet. 

[The fertb.e 
He who would 
have a stable and 
lasting seat must 
not build upon 
lofty hills ; nor 
upon the sands, 
if he would escape 
the violence of 
winds and waves. 



What maner man stable and war fat wil founden hym 
a perdurable sete and ne wil not be cast doune 
wif f e loude blastes of f e wynde Eurus. and wil dispise 
f e see manassynge wif floodes IF Lat hym eschewe to 
bilde on f e cop of f e mourctaywgne. or in f e moyste 
sandes. IF For f e fel[le] wynde auster towrmentef f e cop 
of f e mouwtayngne wif alle his strengf es. IF and f e 

1134 it hyt 

sei\> MS. seibe, C. seyth 

1135 wot MS. wote, C. wot 
leese (2) leese it 
whicJie which 

1136 ha\> MS. habe 

1137 ellys omitted. 
wene wen nth 

1138 hit omitted 

1139 Qooil* good 

born MS. borne, C. born 
he rt[e\ lierte 

1140 seyne seyn 
don MS. done, C. do 
force fors 

1142 Ua\> MS. ha}>e 

1143 many\e~\ rnanye 

1144 mowen mowe 
dien deyen 

1145 clere cleer 
certeyne certeyn 

1147 al alle 
1150 ha\> MS. habe 
fruit frut 

1152 myrtle] myhte 

1153 make maken 
self[e~] selue 

1155, 1156, 1157 wil wole 

1156 be cast MS. be caste, 
C. ben cast 

1157 wynde wynd 

1158 escJiewe eschewen 

1160 fel\le\ felle 

1161 his hise 


lowe see sandes refuse to beren be heuy wey^te. and 1162 
forbi yif bou wolt flee be perilous auenture bat is to 
seine of be worlde IT Haue mynde certeynly to ficchyn 

-. n -t mr ~r* 1 firmer stone, so 

bi house 01 a myne site in a lowe stoone. II .b or al that thou mayst 

grow old in thy 

bou} be wynde troublyng be see bondre wib ouere- stronghold, 
browynges IT J?ou bat art put in quiete and welful by 
strengbe of bi palys shalt leden a cleer age. scornyng 
be wodenesses and be Ires of be eir. 1169 


But for as moche as be noryssinges of my resouws [The fyfthe prose.] 
descenden now in to be. I trowe it were tyme to it 5 now tin t, n 
vsen a litel stronger medicynes. ^[ Now vndirstonde 
here al were it so bat be ^iftis of fortune nar[e] nat 

brutel ne transitorie. what is ber in hem bat may be tune g that L F not" 

. vile and despic- 

bine *in any tyme. or ems bat it nys foule it bat it be c* foi. 12.] 
considered and lokid perfitely. f Eichesse ben bei 1176 

, , , , , Are riches 

preciouse bv be nature of hem sell, or ellys by be precious in them- 
selves, or in men's 
nature of be. What is most worbi of rycchesse. is it estimation? 

What is most 

nat golde or iny^t of moneye assembled. H Certis I'JJ^J 8 Jj thcm 
bilke golde and bilke moneye shineb and 3eueb better 
renou7^ to hem bat dispenden it. ben to bilke folke bat g 
mokeren it. For auarice makeb alwey mokeres to be Avarice is always 

1 hateful, while 

hated, and largesse makeb folke clere of renouw 
^1 For syn bat swiche biwg as is transfered from o 
man to an ober ne may nat dwellen wib no man. 1185 
Certis ban is bilke moneye precious, whan it is trans- Money cannot be 

more precious 

lated in to ober folk, and stynteb to ben had by jj^^"^} 8 
vsage of large ^euyrcg of hym bat hab ^euen it. and aUy to others - 
also yif al be moneye bat is ouer-al in be world were 

1162 lowe lavse 
see omitted 
refuse refusen 
weyrte wyhte 

1163 flee fleen 

1164 seine seyn 

1165 \>i thin 

lowe stoone lowh stoon 
1167 welful welefnl 
1109 ^vodenesses wood- 

1172 strenger strengere 
vndirstonde vndyrstond 

1173 nar^e] ne weere 

1174 be \>ine ben thyn 

1175 foule fowl 

1176 Richesse Rychessis 
1178 ri/cchcsse rychesses 
1179, 1180 golde 'gold 
1180 iefterbetere 

1181 \>en thanne 

1182 mokeres mokovoros 

1183 folke clere folk cler 

1184 stviche swich 
from fram 

1187 . stynte\>stenteth 

1188 ha\> MS. hn>e 

1189 world worlde 


the money in the gadered towarfd] o man. it sholde maken al ober men 

world, every one 

w s uit w of u i!? in to ^ en ne( *y as ^ ^' ^ ^ n( * cert y s a v y s a i n i 

1192 fat is to seyn wif-oute amenusynge fulnllef to gyder 
Riches cannot be be heryng of myche folke. but Certys soure rycchesse 

dispensed without " J ' J 

diminution. ne mowen nat passen vnto myche folk wif-oute amen- 

1195 ussyng ^[ And whan fei ben apassed. nedys fei maken 

o the poverty of hem pore bat forgon be rycchesses. ^T streite and 

riches, that can- 
many 6 aTElme ne( ty c ^ e P e ^- M se rycchesses. syn fat many folke [ne] 
pressed by n one may nat han it al. ne al may it nat comen to on man 

without impover- . .,, ,, _. . , , 

ishing others ! wif -oute pouerte of al of er folke. IF And f e shynynge 

1200 of gemmes fat I clepe preciouse stones, drawef it nat 

f e eyen of folk in to hem warde. fat is to seyne for f e 

Thehenutyof beaute. If ~Foi certys yif ber were beaute or bounte 

precious stones 

* n sn y n y n o ^ stones, f ilke clerenesse is of f e stones 

nem se ^- an ^ nat f men - ^ ^ or whiche I WOndre 
admire that which ,, ., . , . . MT T> 

is motionless, gretly bat men merueilen on swiche binges. II Jbor 

lifeless, and irra- 

tionai. -whi what f ing is it fat yif it wawtef moeuyng and 

1207 ioynture of soule and body fat by ry^t my3t[e] semen 

a faire creature to hym fat haf a soule of resouw. 

Precious stones If For al be it so fat ge?ttnies drawen to hem self a 

are indeed the 

workmanship of }itel O f j e i as t e beaute of fe worlde. Jjoru} fe entent 
^ n i p creatowr and foru3 fe distincc?ouw of hem self, 
^it for as myche as fei ben put vndir 3oure excellence. 
1213 fei han not desserued by no weye fat $e shullen 

Doth the beauty merueylen on hem. ^T And be beaute of feeldes deliteb 

of the field delight 

thee ? it nat mychel vnto 2ow. Boyce. ^F Whi sholde it nat 

B. Why should it 

be'utiftu^artofa ^ e li^ en vs - s J n ^ ^ ^ s a r y3^ ^ a y r po r ciou?2 of fe 
beautiful whole. f a i r wer k. fat is to seyn of fis worlde. H And 
Tfence, we admire so ben we gladed somtyme of be face of b6 see whan 

the face of the f ' 

sea, the heavens, ^ j s c l ere . And also merueylen we on f e heuene and 

1100 al alle 

1191 al hool omitted 

1193 myche folke moche 

ryccliesse ry ch esses 

1194 myche nioche 

1196 forgon MS. forgone 

1197 \>isc this 
rycchesses rychesse 
\ne~\- from C. 


1199 wify-oute with-owtcn 

1199 al alle 
folke- folke 

1200 preciouse presyous 

1201 in omitted 
warde ward 
seyne seyn 

1202 beaute (1) beautes 
For but 

1203 in in the 

1204 ^vh^che \v\\ich 

1207 ioynture loyngture 

1208 faire fayr 

1208 Jia\> MS. ha>e 
1210 Iaste last 
worlde world 

1212 myche mochpl 

1213 desserued MS. des- 
seyued, C. desseruyd 

wene wey 

shullen sholden 
1215 mychel mochel 
1217 fair werk fayre vverke 

worlde world 
1219 clere cler 


on be stcrres. and on be sonne. and on be mone. as wcu as the nun, 

moon, and stars. 

Philosophic. IF Apperteineb qwod she any of bilke jjDottiMetMiiga 

binges to be. whi darst bou glorifie be in be shynynge f n ar t ^ h ? ou glory 
of any swiche binges. Art bou distingwed and eni- 1223 

Do the flowers 

belised by be spryngyng noures of be first somer adorn you with 

their variety ? 

sesorw. or swellib bi plente in fruytes of somer. whi why embracest 

J thou things 

art bou rauyshed wib ydel ioies. why enbracest bou 
straunge goodes as bei weren bine. Fortune shal neuer 
maken bat swiche binges ben bine bat nature of binges 
maked foreyne fro be. IF Syche is bat wib-oute?z 
doute be fruytes of be erbe owen to ben on be 
norssinge of bestes. IF And if bou wilt fulfille bi if you seek only 

the necessities of 

nede after bat it sumseb to nature ban is it no nede nature, the afflu- 

ence of Fortune 

bat bou seke after be superfluite of fortune. IF For win be useless. 

Nature is content 

wib ful fewe binges and mtfc ful lytel bing nature 

halt hire appaied. and yif bou wilt achoken be ful- 

ttllyng of nature wib supe?*fluites IF Certys bilke 1236 

binges bat bou wilt bresten or pouren in to nature 

shullcn ben vnioyeful to be or ellis anoies. IF Wenest Does it add to a 

man's worth to 

bou eke bat it be a fair binge to shiiie wib dyuerse 
clobing. of whiche clobing yif be beaute be agreable 
to loken vpon. I wol merueylen on be nature of be Jtnff orthWorl- 


matere ol bilke clobes. or ellys on be werkeman bat Doth a great 

retinue make thee 

wrou}t[e] hem. but al so a longe route of meyne. makib 

bat a blisful *man. be whiche seruauntes yif bei ben vici [ . u ^i tl {f b a ] re 

vicious of condic^oufts it is a greet charge and a de- KioLe^and to 

pernicious ene- 

strucc^ou/i to be house, and a greet enmve to be lorde mies to the mas- 

ter of it. 

hym self IF And yif bei ben goode men how shal 
straungfe] or foreyne goodenes ben put in be noumbre heput y to f thy ier8 
of bi rycchesse. so bat by alle bise forseide binges, it is upon the whole, 
clerly shewed bat neuer none of bilke binges bat bou those enjoyments 

* Y if which thou didst 

accou?wptedest for bin goodes nas nat bi goode. 1F In 
be whiche binges yif ber be no beaute to ben desired, 

1222 darst \>ou glorifie 

darsthow gloryfyen 
1225 in in the 
1229 Syclie Soth 
12:50 on to 
12:31, 1235, 1237 wilt wolt 

1238 shullen shollen 

1239 fair fayre 

1240 whiche which 

1242 werkeman werkman 
1246 house hows 
lorde lord 

1249 goodenes goodnesse 

1250 shewed I-shewyd 
none 0011 

1251 \>in thine 
goode good 




8 why 

by nature, what 

is that to thee ? 

They would be 

They are not to 
precious because 

they are counted 

didst desire to 

possess them. 

What, then, is it 

Fsit tl t e drive 


IJut the very 


They want most 

things who have 

Mt the 


abundance by the 

necessities of 

nature, and not 

by the superfluity 

of their desires. 

abroad to seek it P 

Are things so 

changed and in- 
verted, that god- 
like man should 

animate objects P 

Inferior things 

their a own e endow- 

God) seeks to 

adorn his nature 

w ^ sholdest bou be sory yif bou leese hem. or win 
sholdest bou reioysen be to holden hem. IF For if bei 
ben fair of hire owen kynde. what apperteneb bat to 
be. for as wel sholde bei han ben faire by hem self. 

' ' J 

> OU 3 > ei wereft departid from alle bin rycchesse. IF Eor- 
why faire ne precious ne weren J>ei nat. for bat bei 
comen amonges bi rycchesse. but for bei semeden fair 
an d P rec i us - J>erfore bou haddest leuer rekene hem. 
amonges bi rycchesse. but what desirest bou of fortune 


wib so greet B, noyse and wib so greet a fare 


trowe J> ou se ^ e to dryue awey nede wib habundaunce 
f Binges. IF But certys it turneb to 3ow al in be 
contiarie. for whi certys it nedib of ful many [el help- 
y n o es ^ kepen ])e dyuersite of preciouse ostelment^. 
and so > e it is tat of many[e] binges han bei nede ]>at 
m any[e] binges han. and a^eyneward of litel nedib 
hem bat mesureii hir fille after be nede of kynde and 
na ^ a ^ er i 76 ou trage of couetyse 1F Is it ban so bat ye 
men ne ^ ian no p^opre goode. I-set in pw. For 

-i r i -\ i * 

whicne 36 moten seken outwardes 2oure goodes in 


foreine and subgit binges. iF bo is ban be condlc^ou?^ 
^ t^S 68 turned vpso dourc. bat a man bat is a de- 
vyne beest by merit of hys resourc. binkeb bat hym 

, ,, . - T , . f ., -. 

sell nys neyber fair ne noble, but if it be boru^ 
possessions of ostelmentes. bat ne nan no soules. 
^ ^ nd cert y s al ]> er tinges ben appaied of hire owen 
beautes. but 36 men bat ben semblable to god by 3oure 
resonable bou^t desiren to apparaille ^oure excellent 
kynde of be lowest [e] binges, ne 36 ne vndirstonde nat 
how gret a wrorcg 30 don to 301110 creatowr. for he 

nl -i-7-iip 

wolde bat man kynde were moost worpi ana noble 01 

1255 fair fayre 

hire owen hyr owne 

1256 sholde shoklen 
self selue 

12j7 \>in rycchesse thyne 

rycliCNsi s 

1 2 .">'. a.mnnges amnnge 
12:>!, 12(51 ruccJtesse Rych- 

1259 fair fayre 

1260 leuer rekene leuere 

1232 greet (2) grete 

1265, 1267 many[jB] manye 

1267 so]pe soth 

1272 outwardes owtward 

1276 fair fayre 

1278 hire, owen hir owne 
1281 ne (2) omitted 
vndirstonde vndyrstond- 

1232 gret MS. grete, C. gret 


any ober erbely binges. and 20 bresten adouw soure with thins* i- 

J finitely below him, 

dignitees by-nef en f e lowest[e] f inges. IT For if fat al jjj 
fe good of euery fing be more preciouse fan is f ilk 

, , , God intended 

fmg whos bat be good is. syn 2e demen bat be man to excel ail 

earthly creatures, 

foulestfe] binges ben soure goodes. banne summytten yet you debase 

L J ' your dignity and 

30 and putten 3oure self vndir f o foulest[e] Binges by 

estimaciourc. 1T And certis |)is bitidif nat wif 

, T, ' . , . . , . . despicable trifles, 

out soure desert. Jb or certys swiche is be coradicioura you acknowledge 

yourselves of less 

of al man kynde fat oonly whan it haf knowyng of it 

self, fan passef it in noblesse alle ofer f inges. and be Jo esteemed 
whan it forletif J>e knowyng of it self, fan it is 

brouat byneben alle beestes. 1T For- why alle ober himself. 

J r When he ceases 

rieuyngel beestes han of kynde to knowe not hem t, d <> 80 > 

L J J below beasts. 

self, but whan fat men leten fe knowyng of hem self. 1297 

it comef hem of vice, but how brode shewef f e errow-r nSurS n S beasts, 

but in men it is 

and be folie of aow men bat wenen bat ony bmg may unnatural and 


ben apparailled wif straunge apparaillement} IT but Jo? w s ^t to Sieve 
for-sof e fat may nat be don. for yif a wy 3 t shynef wif 

ments alone. The 

,. i.t.\, L i. i, -f> . -i -t i nature can be an 

fmges fat ben put to nym. as fus. yif filke fmges ornament to it. 

If a thing appear 

shynen wib whiche a man is apparailled. 1F Certis beautiful on 

account of its 

filke finges ben commendid and preised wif whiche f 
he is apparailled. IT But nafeles fe fing fat is 

, , . . 

couered ana wrapped vndir bat dwelleb in his hlbe. thing covered 

Y still continues in 

and I denye fat filke fing be good fat anoyef hym 
fat haf it. IF Gabbe I of fis. fou wolt seye nay. 
1F Certys rycchesse han anoyed ful ofte hem fat han fe Sr! to its 

_ ~ Am I deceived in 

rycchesse. H feyn fat euery wicked shrew and for this? YOU win 

say no ; for riches 

hys wickednesse fe more gredy aftir ofer folkes rycch- ^j often hurt 
esse wher so euer it be in any place, be it golde or 

1284 o\>er er\>ely oothre 


\>resten threste 
12S5 b\j-ne\>en by-nethe 

1286 good MS. goode, C. 

\>incj thinge 

1289 foiilest[_el fowleste 

1290 Utidi^ tydeth 

1291 out owte 
desert desertes 

1292 al alle 

1293 self selue 

1294 it is is it 

1296 ileuynge] from C. 

Jreciouse presyos hem hym 

ilk \>ing thilke thinge i 1297 bat omitted 
7 \>e (2) tlio j 1298 come]) comth. 

1288 summytten submitten 1299 b*n?-4hinge 
12S9 self seluen I 1302 put MS. putte, C. put 


1303 whiche which 

1306 fil\>e felthe 

1307 }>ing thinpe 
good MS. goode, C. good 

1308 fcat>-MS. haj>e 

1309 rycchesse Bvchesses 
\>e tho 

1310 rycchesse Rycliesses 
shrew shrewe 

1311 rycchesse rychesses 



[BOOK 2. 
MiiX. 6. 

r* foi. is.] precious stones, and wenib hym *only most worbi bat 

another's wealth, * 

and esteems him h a j, h em ^[ jj OU h a n bat so besy drcdest now be swerde 

alone happy who " 

is in possession an fl ^ Q spere. yif pou haddest entred in pe pape of pis 
lijf a voide wayfaryng man. pan woldest pou syngfe] 

dread the instru- ,/, i r * -i . 1.1.1 

ments of assassin- by-fore be beef. T! As who seib a poure man bat bereb 

ation, if you had J * 

been born apoor no rycchesse on hym by pe weye. may boldly syng[e] 
em|ty purse* 11 hyforne peues. for he hap nat wher-of to ben robbed. 

1F preciouse and ryjt clere is pe blysfiilnesse of 

O the transcend- , , , i -, i 

ant felicity of mortal rycchessc. pat whan pou hast geten it. pan hast 
sooner have you i, ou i orn j>i sykelYlnesse. 

obtained them, * ' J L J 

than you cease to 
be secure. 


"Dlysful was J>e first age of men. ]>ei helden hem 
*^ apaied wij> ]?e metes pat pe trewe erpes brou^tcn 

[The fyilhe 
Happy was the 
first age of men. 

c what ^ >ur j )e ' ^ }** ne destroyed [e] ne desceyued[e] not hem 
earth self wip outerage. IT pei weren wont lyjtly to slaken 
her hunger at euene wip acornes of okes IT pei ne 
They knew not coube nat medle pe aift of bacus to pe clere hony. 

Hypocras nor 

Hydromei. jj a t is to seyn. pei coupe make no piment of clarre. 

They did not dye ne bei coube nat medle be bri^tfel flies of be centre 

the Sedan fleece 

in Tyrian purple. o f s i r i e ns wip pe venym of tirie. pis is to seyne. pei 

1332 coupe nat dien white flies of sirien contre wip pe 

blode of a manar shelfysshe. pat men fynden in tyrie. 

dSnkSthe d ^ty whiche blode men deien purper. ^ pei slepen 

and n recfined eam ' holesom slepes vpon pe gras. and dronken of pe ryn- 

under the shadow . - . , , * . i 

of the taii pine, nyng watres. and laien vndir be snadowe ot be neyie 

No man vet f 

PY 116 trees. IF Ne no gest ne no straunger [ne] karf 
see w ij> oores or w ty shippes. ne pei ne 

1314 ftab MS. habe, C. hat 
besy bysy 

swerde swerd 

1315 pabe paath 

1316 waufaryngvr&yfcrynge 
syng\_e] synpre 

1317 by-fore by-forn 

sei\> MS. seibe, C. seyth 
pnure pore 
bere\> berth 

1318 boldly syng[e~] boldely 

1319 ha}) MS. habe 

1320 preciouse precyos 
clere cler 

1321 rycchessc rychesses 

1322 lorn MS. lorne, C. lorn 
1321 er\>es fecldes 
1325 fur\>e forth 
destroy <ed{e\ dystroycde 

1327 tier hyr 
at MS. as, C. at 
cuene euen 

1328 COM be cowde 
lift yifte 
clere cleer 

1329 cow be cowde 
of nor 

1330 cou\>e cowde 
bri^t[_e'] Jlics V)ryhte fleejcs 

1331 sirians Seryens 

1331 seyne seyn 
J332 cou\>e cowde 

dien deyen 

flies fle?es 

1333 blode blood 
shelfysshe shy llefy ssh 

1334 blode blood 

1335 holesom holsom 
rynnyng watres renn- 

yn^e wateres 
sliadowe shadwes 
hey$e heye 
1337 pyne pyn 
no (2) omitted 
[we] from C. 
karf karue 


liadden seyne ^itte none newe strondes to ledcn mer- 1339 
chaimdyse in to dyuerse cowtres. 1T bo weren be cruel 


clariouras ful whist and ful stille. ne blode yshed by 
egre hate ne hadde nat deied }it afmurers. for wherto 

or whiche woodenesse of enmys wolde first moeuen Nothing could 

stimulate their 

armes. whan bei seien cruel woundes ne none medes rage to engage in 

war, when they 

ben of blood yshad IT I wolde fat oure tymes sholde 
turne a^eyne to f e oolde maneres. IT But f e anguissous 

would come 

loue of hauyng brennef in folke moore cruely fan fe again! 
fijr of fe Mourctaigne of Ethna fat euer brennef. 

IT Alias what was he fat first dalf vp fe gobets or 
fe wey3tys of gold couered vndir erfe. and fe precious w "Sch who^rst 
stones fat wolden han ben hid. he dalf vp precious Sght? ht 
perils, fat is to seyne fat he fat hem first vp dalf. he 1352 
dalf vp a precious peril, for-whi. for f e preciousnesse it has since 

proved perilous 

of swyche haf many man ben in peril. to man y a man - 


[The sixte prose.] 

But what shal I seyne of dignitees and of powers. But why should i 
discourse of dig- 
fe whiche [ye] men fat neifer knowen verray dig- JJlJJ "though "^ 
nitee ne verray power areysen hem as heye as fe 

i . 1 , . /, . . and real power) 

heuene. f e whiche dignitees and powers yif f ei come you extol to the 
to any wicked man f ei don [as] greet[e] damages and when they fail 
distracczouw as dof f e flamme of f e Moimtaigne 
Ethna whan f e flamme wit walwif vp ne no deluge 

. , eruption of ^Etna, 

ne dob so cruel harmes. TI Certys ye remembrib wel or the most im- 

petuous deluge. 
as I trowe bat bilke dignitee bat men clepib be em- YOU remember 

that your an- 

perie of co?^sulers fe whiche fat somtyme was by- 
gynnyng of fredom. IT 3oure eldres coueiteden to han 
don a-wey fat dignitee for fe pride of fe conseilers. 

1339 hadden seyne }itte 

hadde seyn yit 
1341 whist bust 

blode yshedblod I-shad 
1343 whiche woodenesse 

whych wodnesse 
1341 seien say 
1316 turne a^eyne tome 


1347 folke folk 

1348 be omitted 

1348 euer ay 

1351 hid MS. hidde, C. hydd 

1352 seyne seyn 
he (2) omitted 

1354 swyche swych thinge 
ha\> MS. habe 

ben be 

1355 seyne seye 

1358 come comen 

1359 don MS. done, C. don 
[as] greet\J\ as grete 

1360 distruccioun destruc- 

dob MS. dobe, C. doth 
flamme flaumbe 

1361 flamme flawmbe 
wit omitted 

1362 do]> MS. dobe, C. doth 

1363 clepi\> clepyn 

1364 whiche whych 
somtyme whilom 

1366 for MS. of, G. for 



U'KOSE 6. 

because of the 
pride of the 
Consuls; as their 
ancestors before 
for the same 
had suppressed 
the title of King. 


Virtue is not 
embellished by 
dignities, but 
dignities derive 
honour from 

Hut what is this 
power, so much 
celebrated and 
desired ? 
What are they 
over whom you 
exercise au- 
thority ? 


If thou sawest a 
mouse assuming 

[ fol. 13 ft.] 
command over 
other mice, 
wouldst thou not 
almost burst with 
laughter ? 


What is more 
feeble than man, 
to whom the bite 
of a fly may be 
the cause of 
death ? 


But how can any 
man obtain do- 
minion over 
another, unless 
it be over his 
body, or, what is 
inferior to his 
body, over his 
possessions, the 
gifts of Fortune ? 
Can you ever 
command a free- 
born soul ? 
Can you disturb 
a soul consistent 
with itself, and 
knit together by 
the bond of 
reason ? 

IF And ry^t for f e same pride ^oure eldres byforne fat 
tyme hadden don awey out of fe Citee of rome fe 
kynges name, fat is to seien. fei nolden haue no 
lenger no kyng IF But now yif so be fat dignitees 
and powers ben ^euen to goode men. f e whiche f ing 
is ful 3elde. what agreable f mges is f er in f o dignitees. 
or powers, but only f e goodenes of folk fat vsen hem. 
^F And ferfore it is f us fat honowr ne comef nat to 
vertue for cause of dignite. but a^einward. honour 
comef to dignite by cause of vertue. but whiche is 
3oure derworf e power fat is so clere and so requerable 
IT $Q erf elyche bestes considere 36 nat ouer whiche 
f ing fat it semef fat 36 han power. 1F Now yif f ou 
say[e] a mouse amongus *of er myse fat chalengedfe] to 
hymself ward ry^t and power ouer alle of er myse. how 
gret scorne woldest f ou han of hit. IF Glosa. 1F So 
faref it by men. fe body haf power ouer fe body. 
For yif f ow loke wel vpon f e body of a wy3t what 
f ing shalt f ou fynde moore frele fan is mannes kynde. 
fe whiche ben ful ofte slayn wif bytynge of smale 
flies, or ellys wif f e entryng of crepyng wormes in to 
fe priuetees of mennes bodyes. IF But wher shal 
men fynden any man fat may exercen or haunten any 
ry3t vpon an of er marc but oonly vpon hys body, or 
ellys vpon f inges fat ben lower fen f e body, whiche 
I clepe fortunous possessions 1F Mayst f ou euer haue 
any comaundement ouer a fre corage IF Mayst fou 
remuen fro f e estat of hys propre reste. a f ou3t fat is 
cleuyng to gider in hym self by stedfast resouw. IF As 
somtyme a tiraunt wende to cowfounde a freeman of 

1368 don MS. done, C. don 

1369 seien seyn 

1370 lenger lengere 
kyng kynge 

1371 whiche which 

1373 /ota-foolkys 

1374 cojwep conith 
1375, 1376 vertue vertu 
1376 cowiep cointh 

by for 
whiche which 

1377 demvor\>e dereworthe 
clere cleer 

1378 whiche which 

1379 han MS. hanne, C. 

1380 say[e\ saye 

mouse amongus mons 

myse urns? 

1382 scorne scorn 

1383 ftb-MS. habe 

1385 mannes man 

1386 \>e slayn the 

whiche men wel offce 
ben slayn 

1388 mennes bo dyes mannes 

1391 lower lowere 

ivhiche the which 
131)5 stedfast stidefast 
1396 somtyme wh.vlom 


corage IF And wendc to ccwstreyne hym by townnent 1397 

to inaken hym dyscoueren and acusen folk fat wisten 

of a coniuractoutt. whiche I clepe a confederate fat 

was cast aieins bis tyraunt IT But bis free man boot Have you not 

' * read how Anux- 

of hys owen tunge. and cast it in fe visage of filke 
woode tyraurcte. IF So fat fe towrment3 fat fis 
tyraiwt wende to ban maked matere of cruelte. fis 1403 
wyse man makedfe it] matere of vertues. 1F But wliat what is it that 

> L J one man can do 

fing is it pat a man may don to an ofer man. fat lie fejf^^g 
ne may receyue f e same fing of ofer folke in hym 
self, or Jms. 1F What may a man don to folk, fat folk 1407 

ne may don hym be same. IF I haue herd told of Bush-is used to 
J J r ki s gues t8, 

busirides fat was wowt to sleen hys gestes fat her- 

burghden in hys hous. and he was slayn hym self of gL"? rcule8 ' his 

ercules bat was hys gest IF Regulus hadfdel taken in Reguius put ins 


bataile many men of affrike. and cast hem in to fet- Ss er b s u t n was 

teres. but sone after he most[e] 31110 hys handes to obug^to 3 submit 

ben bounden w/t/i f e cheynes of hem fat he had[de] KnemS 8 Ol 

somtyme ouercomen. IT Wenest bou ban bat he be is he mighty that 

J dares not inflict 

myjty. fat may nat don a fing. fat ofer ne may don JJ^i r 
hym. fat he dof to ofer. and yb more ouer yif it so 

,, .. TIT honours were 

were bat bise dmmtes or poweres hadden any propre intrinsically gooa, 

they would never 

or naturel goodnesse in hem self neuer nolden bei be attained hy 

' the wicked. 

comen to shrewes. IF For contrarious binges ne ben An union of 

things opposite 

not wont to ben yfelawshiped togidres. H Nature re- 
fusef fat contra[r]ious finges ben yioigned. IF And so 1422 
as I am in certeyne fat ry^t wikked folk han dignitees 

ofte tymes. ban sheweb it wel bat dignitees and powers honours, it is 

clear that honours 

ne ben not goode of hir owen kynde. syn fat f ei suf- J 5 Jt j^ 116111 " 
fren hem self to cleuerc or ioynen hem to shrewes. wouiTaot'fSfto 
1F And certys f e same fing may most digneliche lugen 

1399 whiclie which 

1101 owen owne 

1406 receyue resseyuen 

ober oothre 
1-408 herd told-MS. herde 

tolde, C. herd told 
1409 hys hise 
herburghden herbcr- 

1410 slayn sleyn 

1411 ftod[<fa>- hadde 

1413 most[e] moste 

1414 bounden bownde 
cheynes M. penes, C. 

Jiad[de] hadde 

1415 somtyme whylom 

1416 \>at \>ing that hath 

no power to don a thinge 

o\er oothre 
1417 hym in hym 

do\> MS. dof>e, C. doth 

to ober in oothre 
1421 togidres to-gideiv 

1423 certeyne certeiu 

1424 tymes tyme 
1125 owen owne - 




The worst of men and seyen of alle be aiftis of fortune bat most plcn- 

have often the 

rSne 8 's a g r fft s! teuously comen to shrewes. 11 Of f e whiche jiftys I 
X Variant who *** trowe fat it au}t[e] ben considered fat no man doutif 
deuce of his bat he nis strong, in whom he seeb strengbe. and in 


1432 whom fat swiftnesse is 11" Sofe it is fat he is swyfte. 
so music maketh Also musyk makeb musiciens. and fysik makeb phi- 

a musician, &c. 
The nature of 
everything con- 
sists in doing 
what is peculiar 
to itself, and it 
repels what is 
contrary to it. 

siciens. and rethorik rethoriens. 1F For whi fe na- 
ture of etiery f ing maki]) his propretee. ne it is nat 
entermedled wif fe effect-^ of cowtrarious finges, 
11 And as of wil it chase)) oute f inges fat to it ben 
contrarie H But certys rycchesse may nat restreyne 
auarice vnstaunched 1T Ne power [ne] make]) nat a 
my^ty ouer hym self, whiche fat vicious lustis 

Riches cannot 
restrain avarice. 
Power cannot 
make a man 
master of him- 
self if he is the 

slave of his lusts. no }(j en destreined wif cheins fat ne mowen nat ben 
Dignities con- vnbounden. and dignitees bat ben seuen to shrewed Tel 

ferred upon 

at oonly ne makif hem nat digne. but it shewef 
ShCTcxpSse ra j> er a * openly fat fei ben vnworfi and vndigne. 

their want of *r * j i *.L mr n i.- * i 

merit. IF And whi is it bus, IF Certis lor 20 han loye to 

Why is it so > 

Tis because yon clepen f inges wif fals[e] names, fat beren hem al in 

fe cowtrarie. f e whiche names ben ful ofte reproued 
by f e effect of f e same f inges. so fat *f ise ilke rycch- 

give false names 
to things. You 
dignify riches, 
power, and 

[* fol. 14.] 
honours, with .. , 

names they have esse ne au^ten nat by ry^t to ben cleped rycchesse. 

no title to. 

1450 ne whiche power ne au}t[e] not ben cleped power, ne 
whiche dignitee ne au^tfel nat ben cleped dkmitee. 

In fine, the same 

may be said of IT And at f e laste I may conclude f e same f inge of 

all the gifts of 

nothing al f 6 3 iftes of fortune in whiche f er nis no f ing to 
ben desired, ne fat haf in hym self naturel bounte. 

good in them, 

since they are not If as it is ful wel sene. for neyber bei ne loygiiew 

always allotted 

malcTthem"' ool ^ em na ^ a ^ we J * goode men. ne maken hem alwey 
ai3Sd. theyare goode to whom fei berc y-ioigned. 

1429 whiche which 
1130 au^t[e] owhte 
1432 So\>e soth 
swyfte swyft 

1435 is nis 

1436 effectis effect 

1437 oute owt 

1441 benbe 

1442 shrewed[e] shrewede 

1446 f aisle] false 
air- alle 

1447 whiche which 
1449 auyten owhten 

rycchesse rychesses 

1450 wliiclie swich 

1451 whiche swich 
auit[e] owht 

1453 al alle 

1454 ha]> MS. liape 

1455 sene i-seene 

BOOK 2.~l 
MET. 6. J 




"TT7"E han wel knowen how many greet [e] harmes and 
destrucczoufis weren don by f e Emperoure Nero. 
1F He letee brenne f e citee of Rome and made slen f e 
senatowrs. and he cruel somtyme slou^ hys brof er. and 
he was maked moyst wif f e blood of hys modir. fat is 
to seyn he let sleen and slittew f e body of his modir to 
seen where he was concerned, and he lokedfe] on euery 
half vpon hir colde dede body, ne no tere ne wette 
his face, but he was so hard herted fat he my^tfe] ben 
domesman or luge of hire dede beaute. IT And 3itte 
neuerf eles gouerned[e] fis Nero by Ceptre al f e peoples 
fat phebus f e sonne may seen comyng from his outerest 
arysyng til he hidde his bemes vndir f e wawes. 1T fat 
is to seyne. he gouerned[e] alle f e peoples by Ceptre im- 
perial fat f e soTme gof aboute from est to west IT And 
eke fis Nero goueyrende by Ceptre. alle f e peoples fat 
ben vndir f e colde sterres fat hy^ten f e seuene triones. 
fis is to seyn he gouernedfe] alle f e poeples fat ben vndir 
f e parties of f e norf e. U And eke Nero gouerned[e] 
alle f e poeples fat f e violent wynde Nothus scorchif 
and bakif f e brennynge sandes by his drie hete. fat 
is to seyne. alle fe poeples in f e soufe. [but yit ne 
myhte nat al his heye power tome the woodnesse of 
this wykkyd nero / Alias it is greuous fortune it is], as 
ofte as wicked swerde is ioygned to cruel venym. fat is 
to sein. venimous cruelte to lordshipe. 


we know what 

ruin Nero did. 


HC burnt Rome, 

he slew the con- 



He looked un- 

moved upon his 


Yet tins parricide 

of e thep e oie? gu 


tornd zolie - 

' th?' 

It is a grievous 

thing when 

power strength- 

prompts him to 
deeds of cruelty. 

1458 greet\e\ grete 

1460 letee let 

1461 somtyme slou^ whilom 

1463 let lette 

1464 where wher 

1465 half halue 

1466 my \t[e\ myhte 

1467 hire hyr 

146 S neuerfyeles riatheles 
ffouerned[el gouernede 

1468 a? alle 

1469 from fram 
outerest owtereste 

1470 hidde hide 

1471 seyne seyn 

1472 go\> MS. go>e, C. goth 

1473 goueyrende gouemyd 

1474 triones tyryones 

1475 gouerned\ei] goucrncde 

1476 parties party 
nor\>e north 

1476 gouerned[e] goueni- 

1477 wynde wynd 
scorchif scorklith 

1479 seyne seyn 

sou]>e sowth 
1479-81 [but - it is] MS. 

has: hut lie how greuous 

fortune is 
1482 swerde swera 


[Theseuende T EGO SCIS 

B. Thou knowest l^Anne seide I bus. bou wost wel biself bat be 

that I did not I/ 

covet mortal and -I couetise of mortal binges ne hadden neuer lord- 

transitory things. * 

I only wished to shipe of me. but I haue wel desired matere of binges 

exercise my 

to done * as who 8e ' * degirede to h an matere of 

goueniaunce ouer comunalites. IT Fox vertue stille ne 
sholde not elden. bat is to seyn. bat list bat or he wex 
U90 olde IT His uertue bat lay now M stille. ne sliolde 
nat perisshe vnexcercised in gouernaunce of comune. 
1F For whiche men my^ten speke or writer of his 
p. A love of goode gouernement. f Philosopliie. IF For sobe quod 

lory is one of 

she. and bat is a bing bat may drawen to gouernaunce 

g n rl n at\ n u a t t not lly 8wic he hertes as ben worbi and noble of hir nature. 

the pSct^n of but nabeles it may nat drawen or tollen swiche hertes as 

ben y-brou3t to be fulfle] perfecciouw of vertue. bat is 

But consider how to seyn couetyse of glorie and renouw to han wel 

small and void of 

weight is that administred be comune binges, or doon goode decertes 

1500 to p?'0fit of be comune. for se now and considere how 

Astronomy litel and how voide of al prise is bilke glorie. ^T Cer- 

teaches us that 

this globe of earth teine bing is as bou hast lerned by demonstrac^ourc of 

is but a speck * * 

astronomye bat al be envyronynge of be erbe aboute 

ing ne halt but be resouw of a prykke at regard of be gret- 

if compared with 

the magnitude HQSSG of heuene. bat is to seye. bat yif bat ber were 

sphere. maked coraparisoura of be erbe to be gretnesse of 

1507 heuene. men wolde lugen in alle bat erbe [ne] helde 

ptoiemy shows no space H Of be whiche litel regiourc of bis worlde 

that only one- . . r 

fourth of this be ferbe partie is enhabitid wib lyuyng beestes bat 

earth is inhabited " * J J ( 

fures! ing rea " we knowen. as bou hast bi self lerned by tholome bat 
Deduct from this prouith it. 1F yif bou haddest wib drawen and abated 

the space occupied 

by^ seas, marshes, i n bi bou^te fro bilke ferbe partie as myche space as be 
see and [the] mareys contenen and ouergon and as 
16 myche space as be regiowa of dioughte oue/'streccheb. 

1497 ful\_le\ fulle | 1510 lerned ylerned 
1501 al prise alle prys 1512 \>ouT,te thowht 

1505 seye seyn myche inoche 

1507 looldc woldyn I 1513 [the] from C. 

_. alle al 1514 mycJte space mocho 

tollcn [we] from C. 

1487 desired[_e] dosyre 
1489 wex olde wax old 
1492 whiclie which 
speke spekvn 

tolleii MS. tcllcn, C. 


fat is to scyc sandes and desertes wel vnnef sholde 1515 

*f er dwellen a ry^t streite place to f e habitaciouw of [* foi. 14 &.] 

men. and 20 ban bat ben environed and closed wib And do you, who 

' * ' are confined to 

iwne f e leest[e] prikke of filk prikke fenke 36 to 
manifesten 2oure renourc and don 301110 name to ben 

wide your name 

born forbe. but soure glorie bat is so narwe and so and reputation ? 

* What is there 

streyt yfronge?i in to so litel boundes. how myche fo^rcumsmSd? 
conteinfe it in largesse and in greet doynge. And also 1522 
sette bis ber to bat many a nacs'oim dyuerse of tonge Even in this 

contracted circle, 

and of maneres. and eke of resorw of hir lyuyng ben ^rietyof Ens, 
enhabitid in f e cloos of f ilke litel habitacle. IF To f e 
whiche naciouws what for difficulte of weyes. and what ]J[ *jJJJ o f ot a r nly 
for diuersite of langages. and what for defaute of 

vnusage entercomunynge of marchauwlise. nat only f e etend? 1 " 11 

names of singler men ne may [nat] strecchen. but eke 1529 

fe fame of Citees ne may nat strecchen. IT At f e inttietimeof 

last[e] Certis in fe tyme of Marcus tulyus as hym JJSS?^h me 

self write]) in his book fat fe renou?^ of pe comune of Caucasus! " 
Rome ne hadde nat 3itte passed ne clou?7zben ouer fe 
moufttaigne Jjat hy^t Caucasus, and 3itte was J)ilk 

tyme rome wel wexen and gretly redouted of pe parthes. 1535 

and eke of ober folk enhabityn^ aboute. IF Sest bou HOW narrow, 

* then, is that 

nat fan how streit and how compressed is Jrilke glorie f^^pr/ 011 
fat 30 trauailerc aboute to shew and to multiplie. May IS the glory of 
ban be glorie of a singlere Romeyne strecchen bider reacTthos'e ii^-es 

where the name 

as be fame of be name of Rome may nat clymben ne even of Rome waa 

never heard ? 

passen. IF And eke sest bou nat bat be maners of customs and 

institutions differ 

diue?*se folk and eke hir lawes ben discordau/zt amonge jjjjijjjjj 111 

hem self, so Ipai bilke bing bat so??raien iugen worbi of what is praise- 

worthy in one is 

pr^ysynge. ofer folk iugen fat it is worfi of torment. 

IF and fer of comef fat fou3 a man delite Iryrn in 1545 

1515 seye seyn 
1516 streite streyt 
1517 \>an thanne 
1518 inne in 
leest[_e\ leste 
bilk thilke 
}>enke ^e thinken ye 
1520 bornfor}>e MS. borne, 
C. born, forth 

1520 narwe narvvh 
1521 streyt streyte 
myche mochel 
1522 contein}>e coucyteth 
1525 habitacle MS. habit- 
ache, C. habytacule 
1529 [nat] from C. 
1531 last\e\ laste 
1532 wriie]> writ 

1533 hadde-hadden 
$itte omitted 
1534 hy-it hyhto 
\>ilk thikke 
1535 wexen waxen 
1536 Sest \>ou scstow 
1538 sJiew sliowe 
1539 singlere sin^lcr 
1515 come\> comth ii 



It is not the 
interest of any 
man who desires 
renown to have 
his name spread 
through many 
He ought, there- 
fore, to be satis- 
fied with the 
glory he lias 
acquired at home. 
But of how many 
illustrious in 
their times, have 
the memorials 
been lost thiongh 
fie carelessness 
and neglect of 

But writings do 
hot preserve the 
names of men for 


But perhaps you 
suppose that you 
shall secure im- 
mortality if your 
names are trans- 
mitted to future 

If you consider 
the infinite space 
of eternity you 
will have no rea- 
son to rejoice in 
this supposition. 
If a moment be 
compared with 
10,000 years, 
there is a pro- 
portion between 
them, though a 
very small one. 
But this number 
of years, multi- 
plied by whatever 
sum you please, 
vanishes when 
compared with 
the infinite extent 
of eternity. 
There may be 
comparison be- 
tween finite 
things, but none 
between the in- 
finite and finite. 
Hence it is, that 
Fame (however 
lasting), com- 
pared with 
eternity, will 
seem absolutely 

preysyng of his renoim. he ne may nat \n no wise 
bryngen furf e ne spredew his name to many manere 
peoples. IT And f erfore euery maner man au^te to ben 
paied of hys glorie fat is puplissed among hys owen 
ney^bores. IT And filke noble renourc shal be re- 
streyned wif -iftne f e boundes of o maner folk but how 
many a man fat was ful noble in his tyme. haf f e 
nedy and wrecched for^etynge of writers put oute of 
mynde and don awey. IT Al be it so fat certys filke 
writyiiges profiten litel. f e whiche writywges longe and 
derke elde dof aweye bof e hem and eke her autowrs. but 
$e men semen to geten ^ow a perdurablete whan 30 
f enke fat in tyme comyng 3oure fame shal lasten. H But 
naf eles yif f ou wilt maken coraparisou?i to f e endeles 
space of eternite what f ing hast f ou by whiche pou 
maist reioysen f e of long lastyng of fi name. H For 
if f er were maked coraparysoura of fe abidyng of a 
moment to ten f ousand wynter. for as myche as bof e 
f o spaces ben endid. IT For }it haf f e moment some 
porciouw of hit al f ou} it a litel be. 1F But naf eles 
filke self noumbre of ^eres. and eke as many 3eres as 
f er to may be multiplied, ne may nat certys be com- 
parisou/zd to f e perdurablete fat is een[de]les. IT For of 
f inges fat han ende may be mad comparison [but of 
thinges that ben w/t/i-owtyn ende to thinges fat han ende 
may be maked no co??zparysouw]. IT And for f i is it al 
f ou} renou?? of as longe tyme as euer f e lyst to f inken 
were f ou^t by f e regard of eternite. fat is vnstaunche- 
able and infinit. it ne sholde nat oonly semen litel. but 
pleinliche ry^t nou^t. 1F But 36 men certys ne konne 

1547 fur]>e forth 
manere maner 

1548 per/ore ther-for 

1549 paied apayed 
hys owen hise owne 

1550 ney->bores nesshcbours 
be ben 

l.V>2/mb MS.hape [putowt 
1533 put (MS. putte] oute 

1556 derke derk 

rfop aweye MS. doj>e, C. 

doth a-wey 
her autours hir actorros 

1557 36 yow 
semen semetn 

1558 comyng to eomynge 

1559 wilt wolt 
15KD whiche which 
1,3(53 myche mochcl 

| 1564 po the 
haf MS. hape 
some som. 

1566 self selue 

1567 be (2) ben 

1568 een\_de~\les endeles 

1569 mad MS. made, C. 

[but eomparytioun] 

i 1573 by to [from C. 


don no f ing ary^t. but ^if it be for f e audience of poeple. But yet you do 

and for ydel rumowrs. and 30 forsaken f e grete worf i- ^'^e 5 the empty 
nesse of conscience and of vertue. and 30 sekew ^oure 

gerdouras of be smale wordes of strange folke. IF Haue good conscience 

in order to have 

now here and vndirstonde in be lystnesse of whiche the insignificant 

f J > praises of other 

pride and veyne glorie. how a man scorned[e] festiualy H^iiiy vanity 

, .-i . i .1 was once thus 

and myrily swiche vanite. somtyme bere was a man bat ingeniously and 

pleasantly rallied. 

had[de] assaied wif striuyng wordes an of er marc. II f e A certain man, 

whiche nat for vsage of verrey vertue. but for proude 

veyne glorie hadfde] takew vpon hym falsly fe name 

of a philosopher. 1F bis raber man bat I speke of man of humour 

that he could 

f ou3t[e] he wolde assay[e] where he f ilke were a philo- 

sopher or no. fat is to seyne yif he wolde han suffred 

ly^tly in pacience f e wrorcges *f at weren don vnto [* f i. 15.] 

hym. IT fis feined[e] philosophre took pacience a 1590 

litel while, and whan he hadde receiued wordes of After counterfeit- 

ing patience for a 

outerage he as in strytiynge a3eine and reioysynge of JJ 
hym self seide at fe last[e] ryjt f us. 1F vndirstondest 
fou nat fat I am a philosophers fat ofer man an- a 
sweredfel a^ein ful bitvnsly and seide. IT I hadrdc] 'i might have 

L J believed it,' said 

wel vndirstonden [yt]. yif f ou haddest holder f i tonge 
stille. IT But what is it to fise noble worfi men. 
For certys of swyche folk speke .1. fat seken glorie wif worthy men to be 

vertue. what is it quod she. what atteinif fame to 

swiche folk whan fe body is resolued by fe deef. atte 1600 

be lastfel. IT For vif so be bat men dien in al. bat is ifbodyandsoui 

die, then there 

to seyne body and soule. be whiche bing oure resouw can be no glory ; 

* <f nor can there be 

defendif vs to byleuen fanne is fere no glorie in no 
wyse. For what sholde filke glorie ben. for he of 
who?ft fis glorie is seid to be nis ry3t nou3t in no wise. 1605 
and 3if f e soule whiche fat haf in it self science of 

1580 whiche swych 

1581 scorned[c] scornedo 

1582 swiche swych 
somtyme whilom 

1583 had[de\ hacldc 
158t whiche which 

proude prowd 

1586 speke ypak 

1587 powjiO] tliowhte 

1587 assay[e] assaye 

1588 seyne seyn 

1599 feined[_e'] feyuede 

1592 a^eine ayein 

1593 la^t[e'] laste 
vndirstondest \>ou vii- 


1594 answeredlc'] answcrdo 

1595 had(ilt] -haddo 

1596 [y] from C. 

1601 lastie-] laste 

1602 seyne seyn 

1604 for (2) whan 

1605 \>is thilke 

seid MS. seide, C. soyd 
mm^t n:\wht 
160U ha\> MS. hal'c 


But if the soul goode wcrkes vnbounden fro be prisoiw of be erbe 

is immortal when 

jt Jeaves^the body, wendej) frely to J?e heuene. dispise]? it nou^t J?an alle 
joysof thfs the erj?ely occupaci'ourcs. and beynge in heuene reioise)> ]?at 

it is exempt from alle erjjely Binges [as wo seith / 
1611 thanne rekketh the sowle of no glorye of renouw of this 



Sinfwho^ 6 ' 1 W ho so f at wi J> ouerj?rowyng foi^t only sekejj glorie 

seeks fame, think- ?< j ' "L i. -j i_ i 

ing it to be the ot lame, and wemb bat it be souereyne good 

sovereign good, 

broadTn?verte ^ Lvie hym loke vpon jje brode shewyng contreys of 

I 56 neuew - an ^ v P 07i )> e streite sete of Jns erjje. and 
he shal be ashamed of ]?e encres of his name. J?at may 
such a confined nat fulfille be Htel compas of be erbe. H what 

space. ' 

1619 coueiten proude folke to liften vpon hire nekkes in 
win splendid ydel and dedely 2ok of bis worlde. IT For al bou2 

titles and renown J 

fife 1 ? 01 ^ a man 8 \$ a ^\ renoune y-spradde passynge to feme poeples gc>|) 

by dyuerse tonges. and al 0113 grete houses and kyn- 

1623 redes shyne wij> clere titles of honowrs. ^it najjeles 

in the grave deeb dispiseb al heye glorie of fame, and deeb wrappeb 

there is no dis- 

hig'ifand^w 6611 to ^ re f e k eve heuedes and J)e lowe and make)? egal 
where is the good and euene be heyestfe] to be lowest [e]. IT where 

Fabricius now ? 

where the noble wonew now be bones of trewe fabricius. what is 

Brutus, or stern 

now brutus or stiern Caton J>e ]?inne fame 3it lastynge 

1629 of hir ydel names is markid wij> a fewe lettres. but 

Their empty al bou? we han knowew be faire wordes of be fames of 

names still live, 

b ersons h we r know nem * ^ ^ s na ^ 3 euen to knowe hem fat ben dede and 

consumpt. Liggif fanne stille al vtterly vnknowable 

Fame cannot ne fame ne makeb 2ow nat knowe. and yif }e wene 

make you known. 

to lyuen )>e lenger for wynde of 3oure mortal name. 

1635 whan o cruel day shal rauyshe ^ow. J?an is J?e secunde 

deef dvvellyng in 3ow. Glosa. }?e first deep he clepij) 

1608 nou^t \>an nat thanne 
1010 from fro 

16101612 rag world'] 

from C. 

1615 Lete Lat 
loke look en 
JfilO sete Cyte 
1U17 be ben 

1619 vpon vp 

Ifi20 and dedely hi the dedly 

1621 y-spradde ysprad 
[pa;!] from C. 

feme -MS. serue, C. feme 
(jo\> MS. gope, C. goth 

1622 and (2) or 

1623 shyne shynen 

1623 clere cler 

1624 al alle 

1626 heyest[e] heyostc 

lowestle] loweste 
1628 stiern MS. sciern, C. 


1632 consumpt cowsunji>to 
1634 linger lon^ere 


hero be departynge of be body and be soule. IF and it win be effaced 

by conquering 

fe secunde dee]? he clepef as here. )>e styntynge of 

f e ronoune of fame.* doubly victoriou8 ' 

* The next tliree 
chapters are from 
the Camb. MS. 



Vt for-as-mochel as thow shalt nat wenen quod she [The viij prose.] 

' But do not 

fat I bere vntretable batayle ayenis fortune // yit JJjgjLS**,^ 
som-tyme it by-falleth fat she desseyuable desserueth 
to han ryht good thank of men // And fat is whan she 

hire self opneth / and whan she descouereth hir frownt / deserves weii of 
and sheweth hir maneres par-auenture yit vndir- J n '\/ t 
stondesthow nat jjat .1. shal seye // it is a wondyr fat .1. A n ( d U what T 

desyre to telle / and forthi vnnethe may I. vnpleyten my SS Jarxi 

That is, that 

sentense with wordes for I. deme bat contraryos fortune adverse fortune 

is more beneficial 

profiteth more to men than fortune debonayre // For ^ n ) e r . 08perou8 
al-wey whan fortune semeth debonayre than she lyeth 1650 
falsly in by-hetynge the hope of welefulnesse // but for- The latter lies 

' ' and deceives us, 

sothe contrary os fortune is alwey sothfast / whan she th f j r er n d tui. al 
sheweth hir self vnstable thorw hyr chaurcgynge // the mconstanc y- 
amyable fortune desseyueth folk / the contrarye fortune That deceives us, 

this instructs us ; 

techeth // the amyable fortune byndeth with the beaute 

of false goodys the hertes of folk fat vsen hem / the the mi e nd; 

contrarye fortune vnbyndeth hew by b e knowynge of knowledge of her 

fickleness, frees 

freele welefulnesse // the amyable fortune maysthow sen ? t nd absolves 

alwey wyndynge and flowynge / and euere mysknowynge fngml Incapable 

of hir self // the contrarye fortune is a-tempre and re- other is staid and 

wise through 

streynyd and wys thorw excersyse of hir aduersyte // at J55Jjj oeof 
the laste amyable fortune with hir flaterynges draweth 
mys wandrynge men fro the souereyne good // the con- 

traryos fortune ledith ofte folk ayein to sothfast goodes / real happiness 

, consists. 

and haleth hem ayein as with an hooke / weenesthow 
thanne fat thow owhtest to leten this a lytel thing / fat 
this aspre and horible fortune hath discoueryd to the / the 
thowhtes of thy trewe frendes // For-why this ilke for- 16G8 

1637 \>e (1) omitted 1639 renoune renou 



rnoox 2. 
LMET. a. 


At what price 
would you not 
liave bought this 
knowledge in 
your prosperity ? 

Complain not, 
then, of loss of 
wealth, since 
tliou hast found 
infinitely greater 
riches in your 
ti-ue friends. 

[The viij Metw.l 
This world, by 
an invariable 
order, suffers 

Elements, that by 
nature disagree, 
are restrained by 


The sea is thus 
kept within its 
proper bounds. 


This concord is 
produced by love, 
which governeth 
earth and sea, 
and extends its 
influence to the 

If this chain of 
love were broken 
all things would 
be in j>erpetual 
strife, and the 
world would go 
to ruin. 
Love binds 
nations together, 
it ties the nuptial 
knot, and dictates 
binding laws to 

Men were truly 
blest if governed 
by this celestial 
love ! ' 

1669 tune hath departyd and vncoueryd to the bothe the 
certeyn vysages and ek the dowtos visages of thy 
felawes // wharc she departyd awey fro the / she took 
awey hyr frendes and lafte the thyne frendes // now 
whan thow were ryche and weleful as the semede / with 
how mochel woldesthow han bowht the fulle know- 
ynge of this // J?at is to seyn the knowynge of thy 
verray freendes // now pleyne the nat thanne of Eychesse 
.I.-lorn syn thow hast fowndyn the moste presyos kynde 
of Rychesses J>at is to seyn thy verray frendes. 


fTlHat J) e world with stable feith / varieth acordable 
J- chaungynges // fat the contrary os qualite of element} 
holden amonge hem self aliaurcce perdurable / fat phebws 
the sonne with his goldene chariet / bryrfgeth forth the 
rosene day / fat the nione hath commau^dement ouer tlie 
nyhtes// whiche nyhteshespemstheeue sterrehatbrowt// 
fat f e se gredy to flowen constreyneth with a certeyn ende 
hise floodes / so fat it is nat l[e]ueful to strechche hise 
brode termes or bowndes vp-on the erthes // fat is to seyn 
to couere alle the erthe // Al this a-cordau^ce of thinges 
is bownden with looue / fat gouerneth erthe and see /and 
hath also wmmauMement} to the heuenes / and yif 
this looue slakede the brydelis / alle thinges fat now 
louen hem to gederes / wolden maken a batayle contyn- 
uely and stryuen to fordoon the fasoim of this worlde / 
the which they now leden in acordable feith by fayre 
moeuynges // this looue halt to gideres poeples loygned 
with an hooly bond / and knytteth sacrement of mar- 
yages of chaste looues // And loue enditeth lawes to 
trewe felawes // weleful weere mankynde / yif thilke 
loue fat gouerneth heuene gbuerned[e] yowre corages / 


1690 hath- II. he hath 




By this she hadde endid hire songe / whan the swetnesse 
of hire ditee hadde thorw perced me fat was desirous 
of herkninge / and .1. astoned hadde yit streyhte myn 
Eres / fat is to seyn to herkne the bet / what she wolde speaking. 
seye*// so fat a litel here after .1. seyde thus // thow At last T said) 
fat art souereyn comfort of Angwissos corages // So thow forter oTa^ertoT 

minds, how much 

hast remounted and norysshed me wim the weyhte of thy hast thou re- 

J freshed me with 

sentenses and with delit of thy syngynge // so fat . I. trowe 
nat now fat .1. be vnparygal to the strokes of fortune / as 

who seyth. I. dar wel now suffren al the assautes of for- mtcn for For- 

tune and able to 
tune and wel denende me fro hyr // and tho remedies resist her blows. 

I fear not, there- 

whyche fat thow seydest hire byforn weren ryht sharpe 
Nat oonly fat .1. am nat agrysen of hem now // but .1. de- 
siros of heryrige axe gretely to heeren tho remedyes // 1713 
than seyde she thus // bat feelede .1. ful we! quod she // ? When J P er - 

' ' Y 'I ceived that, silent 

whan fat thow ententyf and stylle rauysshedest my 
woides//and .1. abood til fat thow haddest swych habyte 
of thy thowght as thow hast now // or elles tyl bat .1. you, or rather, i 

created in you 

my self had [del maked to the the same habyt / which JH*/" 8 "* f 

L J J I What remains to 

fat is a moore verray thinge // And certes the remenau-wt 
of thinges fat ben yit to seye / ben swyche // fat fyrst 

whan men tasten hem they ben bytynge / but whan pleasant, but 

when once swal- 

they ben resseyuyd w^t/i-inne a whyht than ben they 

swete // but for thow seyst fat thow art so desirous to 

herkne hem // wit[h] how gret brennynge woldesthow say yo^would 11 

glowen / yif thow wystest whyder .1. wol leden the // with what desir e 

J ' I would you burn 

whydyre is fat quod .1. // to thilke verray welefulnesse 


quod she // of whyche thynge herte dremeth // but fl S l - r 

, , , ' , B. Whither is 

tor as moche as thy syhte is ocupied and distorbed / by that, i pray ? 

J P. To that true 

Imagynasyon of herthely thynges / thow mayst nat yit 

sen thilke selue welefulnesse // do quod .1. and shewe S e a / aint fore ~ 

1702 streyUeR. strenghed I 1718 liad\de\ H. hade 
1712 am nat II. nam nought J 



H500K 3. 

LMKT. i. PROSE 2. 

But vour sight is 
clouded with 
false forms, so 
that it cannot 
yet behold this 
same felicity. 
B. Show me, I 
pray, that true 
happiness with- 
out delay. 
P. I will gladly 
do so at your 
desire, but I will 
first describe that 
false cause (of 
happiness), so 
that you may be 
better able to 
comprehend the 
exact model. 
Here the Add. 
MS. begins again. 
[The fyrst meter.] 
He who would 
sow seed must 
first clear the 
ground of useless 
weeds, so that he 
may reap an 
abundant harvest. 
Honey tastes all 
the sweeter to a 
palate disgusted 
by offensive 
The stars shine 
all the clearer 
when the southern 
showery blasts 
cease to blow. 
When Lucifer 
has chased away 
the dark night, 
then Phoebus 
mounts his gay 

So you, beholding 
the false felicity, 
and withdrawing 
your neck from 
the yoke of 
earthly affections, 
will soon see the 
sovereign good. 
[The 2<e prose.] 
Philosophy, with 
a serious air, and 
appearing to re- 
collect herself, 
and to rouse up 
all her faculties, 
thus began. 
All the cares and 
desires of men 
seek one end 
[* fol. 15&.] 

me / what is thilke verray welefulnesse / .1. preye the 
WftA-howte tarynge // fat wole .1. gladly don quod she / 
for the cause of the // but .1. wol fyrst marken the by 
wordes / and I wcl enforcen me to enformen the // 
thilke false cause of blysfulnesse fat thow more know- 
est / so f t whan thow hast fully by-holden thilke false 
goodes and torned thyne eyen to fat oother syde / thow 
mowe knowe the clernesse of verray blysfulnesse //] 


IF Who so wil so we a felde plentiuous. lat hym first 
delyuer it of f ornes and kerue asondre wif his hooke 
f e bushes and f e feme so fat f e corne may comew heuy 
of eres and of greins. hony is f e more swete yif mouses 
han firste tastid sauoures fat ben wikke. IT f e sterres 
shynen more agreably whan f e wynde No#ms letif his 
ploungy blastes. and aftir fat lucifer J>e day sterre haj> 
chased awey J>e derke nyjt. f e day f e feirer ledif ]>e 
rosene horse of f e sonne. IT Ry^t so f ou byholdyng 
first f e fals[e] goodes. bygyniie to wif drawe f i nek[ke] 
fro fe $ok of erfely affecc/ourcs. and afterwarde fe 
verrey goodes shollew entre in to fi corage. 1750 


fastned[e] she a lytel f e sy^t of hir eyen and wif- 
drow hir ry^t as it were in to J>e streite sete of hir 
. and bygan to speke ry^t ]>us. Alle J>e cures 
quod she of mortal folk whiche fat trauaylen hem in 
many manere studies gon certys by diuerse weies. 
1F But nafeles fei enforced hem *to comen oonly to on 

1734 wolB.. shalle 

1739 ?eiZ wole 
felde feeld 

1740 delyuer delyuere 
of fro 

hooke hook 
1711 bushes bosses 

feme fern 

corne korn 
1743 firste fyrst 

1743 wikke wyckyd 

1744 wynde wynd 
his hise 

1745 ha\> MS. hape 

1746 feirer fayrere 

1747 horse hors 
Rytf And Ryht 

1748 fals\_e~\ false 
wipdrawe wtt/i drawcn 

| 1748 neklJce'] nekke 

1749 afterwarde affter- 

1750 entre entren 

1751 fastned[e'} fastnede 
wipdrow - MS. wip- 

drowen, C. with drowh 

1752 sete Cyte 

1756 enforced enforsen 

HOOK 3. 1 
THOSE 2.^ 



ende of blisfulnesse [And blysfulnesse] is swiche a goode 
pat who so hap geten it lie ne may ouer fat no J>ing more 
desiire. and pis ping for sope is pe souereyne good pat con- 
teinip in hym self al manere goodes. to pe whiche goode 
yif pere failed[e] any ping, it my}t[e] nat ben souereyne 
goode. ^[ For Jjan were pere som goode out of pis ilke soue- 
reyne goode pat my^t[e] ben desired. Now is it clere and 
certeyne pa?z pat blisfulnesse is a perfit estat by pe con- 
gregaczou?i of alle goodes. 1F pe whiche blisfulnesse as 
I haue seid alle mortal folke enforcen hem to geten by 
dyuerse weyes. IF For-whi pe couetise of verray goode 
is naturely y-plaunted in pe hertys of men. IF But pe 
myswandryng emmr mysledip hem in to fals[e] goodes. 
IT of J>e whiche men some of hem wenen pat soue- 
reygne goode is to lyue wip outen nede of any ping. 
and tmueilQft hem to ben habundaunt of rycchesse. 
and some oper men demew. pat souerein goode be forto 
be ry^t digne of reuerences. and enforces hem to ben 
reuerenced among hir ney^bows. by pe honours pat pei 
han ygeten IF and some folk per ben pat halden pat 
ry3t hey3e power to be souereyn goode. and enforcen 
hem forto regnen or ellys to ioigneri hem to hem pat 
regnen. 1F And it semep to some oper folk pat noblesse 
of renourc be pe souerein goode. and hasten hem to 
geten glorious name by pe artes of werre or of pees, 
and many folke mesuren and gessen pat souerein goode 
be ioye and gladnesse and wenen pat it be ry^t blisful 
[thynge] to ploungen hem in uoluptuous delit. IF And 
per ben folk pat enterchaungen pe causes and pe endes 

1757 [And blysfulnesse] 
goode good [from C. 

1758 so so \>a\> 
ha\> MS. habe 

1759 souereyne souereyn 

1760 al alle 

True happiness is 
that complete 
good which, once 
obtained, leaves 
nothing more to 
be desired. 
It is the sovereign 
good, and com- 
prehends all 
others. It lacks 
nothing, other- 
wise it could not 
be the supreme 
good. Happiness 
is, therefore, that 
perfect state, in 
which all other 
goods meet and 
centre. It is the 
object which all 
men strive after. 
A desire of the 
true good is a 
natural instinct, 
but error misleads 
them to pursue 
false joys. 


Some, imagining 
the supreme good 
to consist in lack- 
ing nothing, la- 
bour for an abund- 
ance of riches ; 
others, supposing 
that this good lies 
in the reverence 
and esteem of 
their fellow men, 
strive to acquire 
There are some, 
again, who place 
it in supreme 
power, and seek 
to rule, or to be 
favoured by the 
ruling powers. 
There are those 
who fancy fame 
to be the height 
of happiness, and 
seek by the arts 
of war or peace to 
get renown. 
Many there are 
who believe no- 
thing to be better 
than joy and 
gladness, and 
think it delightful 
to plunge into 

1761 \>ere ther 
failed[e\ faylyde 
i myi > t{e\ myhte 
souereyne goode souereyn 


1762 \>an thanne 
\>ere ther 

1762 goode good 

1773 some som 

souereyne souereyn 
1763 goode good 

goode be good ben 
1774 be ben 

'<nyit\_e~\ myhte 
1764 certeyne certein 

1775 ney-fiours nesshebors 
1776 halden\\ olden 

1766 seid MS. seide, C. 
folke foolk [seyd 

1777 hey^e heyh 
to omitted 

1767 goode good 
1769 /otoM false 

goode good 
1780 goode good 

1770 souereygne goode is 

1781 or and 

souereyn good be 
1771 lyue wi\> outen lyuen 

1782 folke folk 
goode good 

-with owte 

1783 be by 

1772 rycchesse Rychesses 

1784 \_thynge~} front C. 






Some there are 

who use these 

causes and ends 


pcwerjo?who lg 

desire power in 

order to get 

money or renown. 

in aii they do they 

have a particular 


By others, wives 

among the goods 

of fortune, but 

among those of 

The goods of the 

body fail under 

the same pre- 

of bise forseidc goodes as bei bat desimz rycchesse to 
h an power and deuces. Or ellis bei desiren power forto 
nan moneye or for cause of renouw. IF In fise Binges 
and in swyche of er f inges is to?/rned al f e entenc?'ouw 

7 r ^n i e r A 

of desirynges and [oij werkes ot mew. IF As bus. 
^ Noblesse and f&iwur oi poeple whiche bat 2iueb as it 
semef a manere clernesse of renoura. 11 and wijf and 
children fat men desiren for cause of delit and miri- 
nesse. If But forsobe frendes ne shollen nat ben rek- 
kened among J 76 goodes of fortune but of vertue. for it 
i s a ^ holy manere Jjing. alle }>ise o]?er Binges forsofe 
ben taken for cause of power, or ellis for cause of 

,,-r.^,. T1 IP 

delit. IF Certis now am I redy to reieren be goodes of 
f 6 "^^J to M se fo^eide Jjinges abouen. ^f For it seme}) 
t a ^ strengfe and gretnesse of body ^enen power and 
worj)inesse. 1F and fat beaute and swiftenesse }euen 
1802 noblesse and glorie of renourc. and hele of body semej) 

_ T ,. . . , 

2iuen delit. IF In alle bise \>\ngus it semeb oonly bat 
blisfulnesse is desired. 1F For-whi filke fing fat euery 
man desiref moost ouer alle finges. he demij) fat be f e 

Beauty and swift- souereyne goode. IF But I haue diffined fat blisful- 

ness give glory 

heauh m ives nd nesse i s I 56 souereyne goode. for whiche euery wy^i 
uhese hap- demif fat f ilke estat fat he desiref ouer alle f inges fat 
it be fe blisfulnesse. IF Now hast foil fan byforne 

What a man most _, _ n , , f . -\i> i 

wishes for, that fthv even] almost al be purposed forme oi be wellul- 

he esteems the L J J J T 

nesse of mawkyMe. fat is to seyne rycchesse. honours, 
power, glorie. and deify fe whiche delit oonly con- 
sidered Epicurus luged and establissed. fat delit is f e 

of human felicity . 

(falsely so called), souerevne goode. for as mycne as alle oper binges as 

that is, riches, 

honours^power, ] 1 y ni f u^t[e] by-refte awey ioie and myrfe from fe 
ight, which last h er t e> ^f But I retowrne a^eyne to f e studies of meen. 

1811 seyne rycchesse seyn 

1814 sowereyne goode soue- 
reyn good 

myche moche 
o\>er oothre 

1815 po3/[e] thowhte 
from train 


1786 rycchesse rychesses 

1787 delices delytes 

1789 oper oothre 
al alle 

1790 [o/]-from C. 

1794 shollen sholden 

1795 pe tho 

1796 oper oothre 

1801 swiftenesse sweftnesse 
1803 liuen MS. siuep, C. 

1806, 1807 souereyne goode 

souereyn good 
1807 whiche whych 

1809 \>e omitted [fom 
\>an byforne thanne by- 

1810 \_Uiy eyeri] from C. ; 
MS. has 3011011 a?eyne 

almost almost 
welfulnesse welefulnesse 


of whiche men be corage alwey rehersib and seekejj be considered asu.e 
souereyne goode of alle be it so bat it be wib a derke 
memorie [but he not by whiche paath]. IF Ry}t as a 
dronke man not nat by whiche pabe he may retowrne 1820 
home to hys house. ^ Semeb it banne fat folk folyen 

and erren bat enforcen hem to haue nede of no bing are e evfr seeking 

it with a dark- 

1F Certys ber nys non ober bing bat may so weel per- fn ed iike d a r8tand " 
fourny blisfulnesse as an estat plenteuow-9 *of alle dru \*\oi m i6 n ] 
goodes bat ne hab nede of none ober bing. but bat it is jSw?y hoinJ! d 
suffisant of hyra self, vnto hym self, and foleyen who strive to keep 

themselves from 

swyche folk banne. bat wenen bat bilk bing bat is 
ryjt goode. fat it be eke ry$t worbi of honour and of 
reuerence. ^f Certis nay. for bat bing nys neyber foule 

. independent of 

ne worm to ben dispised bat al be entencsoura 01 mortel others. 

Are they guilty of 

folke trauaille forto geten it. H And power au$t[e] 

nat bat eke to be rekened amonges goodes what ellis. NO* for that is 

., . . not contemptible 

tor it nys nat to wene bat bilke bmg bat is most for which aft men 
worbi of alle binges be feble and wib out strengbe and is not power to be 

reckoned amongst 

clerriesse of renou/i au^te bat to ben dispised. IT Certys wny a not ? go< For ? 
ber may no man forsake bat al bing bat is ryat excellent gnificant n good 

which invests a 

and noble, bat it ne semeb to be ry^t clere and re- man with author- 

ity and command. 

nomed. f For certis it nedib nat to seie. bat blisful- 
nesse be anguissous ne dreri ne subgit to greua?aces ne 

to sorwes, syn bat in ryjt litel bmgws folk seken to we 

say that happi- 

haue and to vsen bat may deliten hem. IT Certys bise ness is not an 

unjoyous and 

ben be bilges bat men wolen and desyren to geten. 

and for bis cause desiren bei rycches. dignites. regnes. 

glorie and delices 11 For berby wenen bei to han sum- Hence iu^that 

mankind seek 

sauftce nonowr power, renou^ and gladnesse. IF banne riches, &c., be- 

cause by them 

is it goode. bat men seken bus by so many dyuerse [J 
studies. In whiche desijr it may ly^tly be shewed. 

1818 souereyne goode soue- 
reyn good 

of omitted 
alle al 
derke dirkyd 

1819 [but paath'] from C. 

1820 dronke dronken 
pa\>e paath 

1821 home hym 

1823 perfourny performe 
1825 ha\> MS. ha>e 
none non 

1827 ]>ilk thilke 

1828 goode good 

1829 foule fowl 

1830 al welneyh alle 

1831 trauaille trauaylen 

1832 be ben 

1834 out owte 

1835 au-de owhte 

1836 al- alle 

1837 be ben 
clere cleer 

1843 rycches Ryehesses 

1846 ffoode good 

1847 'be ben 




men's opinions 

are respecting 

agree in pursuing 
it as the end of 

i will now sing' 


rji The Punic lion m ay nat be vnbounden. 

submits to man, J 

now S^ i s J> c strengpe of nature. IT For how so pat 
m ^n han dyuerse sentences and discordyng algates men 
accordyn allc in lyuynge pe ende of goode. 1850 


TT like]? me to shew[e] by subtil songe wip slakke and 
delitable souw of strenges how pat nature my^ty en- 
clmep and flittej) gouernement} of pinges IT and by 
whiche lawes she pwrueiable kepi]) J)e grete worlde. and 
1855 how she bindynge restreinej) alle pingws by a bonde ])at 

11 Al be it so bat be liourcs of 

J> e contree of pene beren pe fair[e] cheines. and taken 
metes of ])e handes of folk pat $euen it hem. and 
1859 dreden her sturdy maystres of whiche J)ei ben wont to 
Se wood 6 su ff ren [betinges]. yif pat hir horrible moupes ben bi- 
bled. pat is to sein of bestes devoured. IT Hir corage 
of tyme passep pat hap ben ydel and rested, repairep 
ins savage in- a^ein bat bei roren greuously. and reme?rabren on hir 

stincts revive, 

1864 nature, and slaken hir nekkes from hir cheiris vn- 
bounden. and hir maistre first to-teren wip blody tope 
assaiep pe woode wrappes of hem. 1F pis is to sein pei 
freten hir maister. IF And be laneland brid pat syngib 
on J 56 ne y e braunches. pis is to sein in pe wode and 
after is inclosed in a streit cage. IF al pou3 [pat] pe 

1870 pleiyng besines of men }euep hem honied[e] drinkes 
and large metes, wip swete studie. IT 3it napeles yif 
pilke brid skippynge oute of hir streite cage seep pe 
aOTeable shadewes of be wodes. she defoulep wib hir 
^ ete k"" meties yshad and sekep mournyng oonly pe 
wode and twitrip desirynge pe wode wip hir swete 


falls a victim to 

his fury. 


the caged bird 

though daintily 

she win spurn 

her food, and 


1848 grete gret 

1849 algates Allegates 

1850 goode good 

1851 shew\_e\ shwe 

1854 whiche MS. swiche, C. 

worlde world 
1856 be b<m 

vnbounden vnbo\vnde 

^erde of a tree pat is haled adou/a by my^ty 

1870 pleiyngMS. pleinyng, 
C. pleyynge 

1857 fair[e\ fayre 

1860 [betinges] from C. 
1862 passep passed 

1861 from frani 
vnbounden vnbownde 

1865 to-teren to-torn 

t\*i toth 

1867 Taut/land langelynge 
1869 streit stroylit 

besines -oysynesse 
honied[e] hoi lyede 

1872 oute owt 

1873 ayreable agroables 
1S71 I'.-lc feet 

1875 twitri\> twitcrith 




strengbe bowib redely be croppe adou?i. but yif bat be 
hande of hym bat it bente lat it gon a3ein. IF An oon 

force is removed. 

be crop lokeb vp ryn to heuene. I be sonne pnebus ruij] 

Thoug^the sun 

bat failleb at euene in be westrene wawes retornib a3ein 
eftsones his cart by a priue pabe bere as it is wont 

mr mi . > i ' wonted journey 

aryse. IT Alle binges seken aaem in to hir propre toward the east. 

All things pursue 

cours. and alle binges reioisen hem of hir retournynge their proper 
a3ein to hir nature ne noon ordinaunce nis bytaken to Jj^ 1 80urce of 
bmges but bat. bat hab ioignynge be endynge to be Sa n Se wor!f h " 

. i -I . /> j IP.TT entire stability is 

bygynnynge. and hab makid be cours ol it sell stable found, for ail 

J&J things, having 

bat it chaungeb nat from hys propre kynde. 1887 ^jJtlJcJjJIe*?^. 

turn from whence 

[The 3de prose.] 

* /^Ertis also 36 men bat ben erbeliche bestes dremen 
^ alwey [yowre bygynnynge] al bou3 it be wib a 5, a fej 

, . , , . . ception of your 

bmne ymagmacioiw. and by a maner boun al be it beginning, and 

you have ever the 

nat cleiiy ne perfitly 30 looken from a fer til bilk 
verray fyn of blisfulnesse. and berfore be nature! en- 
tencioun ledeb $ow to bilk verray good 1T But 
many manere errours mistowrnib ^ow ber fro. 11 Con- c h an t 
sidere now yif bat be bilke binges by whiche a man 

wenib to gete hym blysfulnesse. yif bat he may comen a pS!tof 

happiness ? 

to bilke ende bat he weneb to come by nature IT For if riches and 

f * ' honours and the 

yif bat moneye or honours or bise ober forseide binges hap p m , a so SSt 

i ,. , , -i p-n they shall want 

bryngen to men swiche a bmg bat no goode ne lame for nothing, then 
hem. ne semeb faille. H Certys ban wil I grauntfel beprotSmTSy 

L J theseacquisitions. 

bat bei ben maked blisful. by bilke binges bat bei han 1901 

geten. IT but yif so be bat bilke bmges ne mo we nat 

perftmrmen bat bei by-heten and bat ber be defaute of 

many goodes. H Sheweb it nat ban clerely bat fals something to be 

beaute of blisfulnesse is knowe and a-teint in bilke 

binges. IT First and forward bou bi self bat haddest 

1877 croppe crop 

1878 hande hand 
ftewfe bent 

1880 faille}> falleth 

1881 cart carte 
pa\>e paath 

1883 of MS. of of 
1885 1w\> MS. ha)>e 

1885 ioiffnynyeIoyned. 

1886 &aj? MS. ha)>e [fromC. 
1889 [yowre bygynnynge] 

al MS. as, C. Al 

1891 from fram 

l biZfc to tliylke 

1892 ]>e omitted 

1893 >i;/fc tliylke 
1895 be by 

1896 ijrefe geten 

1899 swiche swych 
goode good 

1900 w^ wole 
<7raw<[>] gravmte 

1904 many manye 
clerely clerly 
fals false 

1905 knowe knowcu 


in your pros- haboundauuces of rycchesses nat long agon. 11 1 axe 

perity were you 

by V 8 e om a e n woni or 3^ ^ * n $ Q haboundauiice of alle filk[e] rycchesses 

fou were neuer anguissous or sory in f i corage of any 

1910 wrong or greuau?;e fat by-tidde fe on any syde. 

B. i must confess 5f Certys quod I it remembreb me nat bat euere I was 

that I cannot 

tag m whoii e y free so ^ ree ^ m y J> OU 3*- f a * * ne was a l' we y i n anguyshe of 
or Sh 8 er metrouble somwhat. fat was fat fou lakkedest fat fou noldest 
cause something han lakked. or ellys fou haddest fat fou noldest 

was absent which 

you did desire, h an fr d ^ jyjfj so j s it quod I ban. desiredest bou 

or something 

youTo'uTd^fahi f e presence of fat oon and f e absence of fat of er. I 
B. Thais' quite grauntfe] wel quod .1. for sofe quod she fan nedif fer 


p. Then you did somwhat fat euery man desiref . 36 fer nedif quod I. 
amuhf absence IF Certis quod she and he fat haf lakke or nede of a 
s^^confessidid. wy3t nis nat in euery way suffisaunt to hym self, no 

P. Every man is a <''' 11 . 

in need of what ouod .1. and bou Quod she in alle be plente of bi 

he desires. 

p'^f^maniack' rycchesse haddest filke lak of suffisaunce. *j[ what 
be y suprfmeSr he e llis quod .1. ^[ fanne may nat rycchesse maken fat a 
jKo. man nis nedy. ne bat he be suffisaunt to hym self, and 

P. Did you not 

inyourabund- jjat was it bat bei byhy^ten as it semeb. 1] and eke 

ance want for / J ? 

^whaftLnif certys I trowe fat fis be gretly to consydere fat moneye 

p d i d t ? foiiows that ne haf nat in hys owen kynde fat it ne may ben by- 
riches cannot put 
a man beyond nomen oi hem fat han it maugre hem. 1 1 by-knowe 

all want, although . 

SI 8 leemSrfo ^ we ^ ( l wo< ^ I IF w ^i sholdest f ou nat by-knowen it 
Keymay part quod she. whan euery day f e stronger folkc by-nymen 

company with its . 1 mr T< i 

owner, however it fram be febler maugre hem. IT I 1 ro whennes comen 

unwilling he may 

be Sess ellys alle fise foreine complemtes or quereles of 
p a it 8 iughttobe plety^gM5. ^[ But for fat men axen a3eine her moneye 
evSrTd e ayw5see fat haf be by-nomen hem by force or by gyle, and 

might prevailing _. . . T 

over right. alwey maugre hem. H Kyat so it is quod L fan q^od 

From whence 

iuf il aS>nSit dl S ^ e ^f a man ne( ^ e ^ se ke^ hym foreyne helpe by 
mTn s^ek'to're- whiche he may defende hys moneye. who may say nay 

1908 J>ittM thylke 
1913 \>at - lakkedest-Anti 
was nat bat qtwd she for 

bat the lacked som-what 
1915 fcttrf MS. hadde, C. had 
1917 graunt\_e] graute 
1919 fcab MS. habe 

a wu^t awht 
1IJ21 alle al 

1922 rycchesse Rychesses 
lak lakke 

1923 rycchesse Rychesses 
1927 ha\> MS. ha|>e 

owen owne 

1930 strengerfolke by-nymen 
strerigere folk by-uo 

1931 fram fro 

1931 febler febelere 
Fro For 

1933 a^eine ayeyn 

1934 ha\> MS. habe 
be ben 

1936 ha\> MS. habe 
helpe help 

1937 say sey 


quod .1. If Certis quod she and hym nedif no helpe 

yif he ne hadde no moneye fat he my^t[e] leese. f fat jl^icprived 

is doutles quod .1. banne is bis bmg turned in to be con- 1940 

j i mr ^ V 1J * Nothing is 

trarie qwoa she TI Jbor rycchesse bat men wenen sholae more true. 

P. Then a man 

make suffisauwce. bei maken a man raber han nede of neerls * he 

ance of o 

foreine helpe. ^[ whiche is fe manere or fe gise qwod S 

she bat rycches may dryuen awey nede. ^f Eiche folk he wouT/not 8< 

_ stand in need of 

may bei neiber han hungre ne brest. bise ryche men this help? 

B. That is beyond 

may f ei feele no colde on hir lymes in wynter. H But jji T - the very 
J>ou wilt answere fat ryche men han y-nouj wher wif 

e asswt- 

thers m 

bei may staunchen her, hunger, and slaken her frest aS J!5jp For 

riches add to a 

and don awey colde. II In bis wise may nede be con- man's necessities. 

Tell me how do 

forted by rycchesses. but certys nede ne may nat al 
outerly be don awey. for 0113 f is nede fat is alwey 

t -t n tntt t 'i t 7 and cold ? You 

gapyng and gredy be fulfilled wif rycchesses. and axe w m sav that 

any fing }it dwellef fanne a nede fat my3t[e] ben ful- 
filled. IT I holde me stille and telle nat how fat litel 
fing suffisef to nature, but certys to auarice ynoua ne 

.. . 

tisfy every want. 

suffisef no f inge. *1T For syn fat rychesse ne may nat [*.foi. 17.] 

al don awey nede. but rychesse maken nede. what may 
it fanne be fat $e wenen fat rychesses mowen aeuera 

-.^K^ main. A little 

20 W SUmsaiWCe. 1959 suffices for nature, 

but avarice never 
has enough. 
If riches, then, 

QUAMUIS PLUENTER DIUES. add to our wants, 

why should you 

Al were it so bat a ryche couetous man hadde riuer can n suppiy aii y 
your necessities ? 
fletynge alle of golde 2itte sholde it neuer staunche [The ^ Metur.] 

. The rich man, 

hys couetise. 1F And boua he hadde his nekke 1-charged had he a river of 

* ' gold, would never 

wif preciouse stones of f e rede see. and f ou} he do ^houjKJneck 
erye his feldes plentiuows wif an hundref oxen neuere previous plaris, 

and his fields be 

ne shal his bytyng bysynesse forleten hym while he covered with in- 

1938 nedi\> no kelpe nedede 
non help 

1939 my$t[e} myhte 

1940 doutles dowteles 

1941 rycchesse Rychesses 

1943 helpe-help 
whiche whych 

1944 rycches Rychesse 
dryuen dryue 

1945 Imngre hungyr 
\>rest thurst 

1946 \>ei the 
colde coold 
in on 

1947 wilt answere wolt 

y-nou} y-now 

1948 \>rest thurst 
1.949 colde coold 

1950 nat omitted 

1951 outerly vtrely 

1953 myrtle] ben uiyhtc be 

1957 rychesse Ryehesses 

1960 riuer a Ryuer 

1961 alle al 
golde gold 
litte yit 

s taunchestfmnchyn 
1962, 1963 Jxw3 thow 

1964 erye Ere 
liundre\> hundred 

1965 while whyl 



BOOK 3. 

PllOSE 4. 

care never forsake 
him ; and at his 
death his riches 
shall not bear 
him company, 
i Read dignitates. 
[The 4 th8 prose.] 
It may be said 
that dignities 
confer honour on 
their possessors. 
But have they 
power to destroy 
vice or implant 
virtue in the 
heart ? 
So far from ex- 

ne pe Iy3t[e] ry chesses ne shal nat beren hym 
compaignie whanne he is dede. 1967 


ri dignitees to whom pei ben comen make pei hym 
honorable and reuerent. han pei nat so grete strengpe 
pat pei may putte vertues in pe hertis of folk, pat vsen 
pe lordshipes of hem. or ellys may pei don awey pe 
vices. Certys pei [ne] ben nat wont to don awey wik- 

pelling vicious . , . r .. ., , , 

habits, they only kednesses. but bei ben wont raber to shew I en wikked- 

render them more 

nesses, and per of comep it pat I haue ry^t grete des- 
deyne. pat dignites ben $euen ofte to wicked men. 
IF For whiche ping catullus clepid a consul of Rome pat 
nonius postum. or boch. as who seip he clepip 
a congregac^ourc of uices in his brest as a postum 
is ful of corrupczouft. al were pis nonius set in a 
1980 chayere of dignitee. Sest pou nat pan how gret vylenye 
dignitees don to wikked men. *j[ Certys vnworpines of 


Certys pou pi self ne 

Hence Catullus' 

t^tch, ( Sr 1 im. 
Etate. me 

The deformities 

of wicked men . 

would be less wikked men sholde ben be lasse ysen yif bei nere re- 
apparent if they 
were in more ob- 
scure situations. 

ylurseif from ee n^test nat ben bro^t wij? as many perils as J>ou 
a magistracy my?test sufFren bat bou woldest bere bi masistrat wib 

along with De- 

Snformef P " decorat - ^ is to sevn - f at for n P eril J> at m y3 t [ e ] bi ' 

1987 fallen fe by J?e offence of ]?e kyng theodorik fou noldest 
nat ben felawe in gouernaunce with decorat. whanne 
pou say[e] pat he had[de] wikkid corage of a likerous 
shrewe and of an acusor. ^[ ISTe I ne may nat for swiche 
honours Iuge?z hem worbi of reuerence bat I deme and 

Now yif 

Honours do not 

render undeserv- 

ing persons 
worthy of esteem 

if you find a man holde vnworbi to han bilke same honours. 

endowed with r 

wisdom you JJQU saie a man pat were fulfilled of wisdom, certys J>ou 


66 Z0 3 fl>] lyhte 
shal shol 

1967 dede ded 

1968 make maken 

1969 grete gret 

1972 [we] from C. 
ben he 

1972, 1973 wikkednesses 

1973 to omitted 
tihew[eri] shewen 

197i comeb comtli 

1974 grete desdeyne gret 

1976 whiche which 

1977 hytf hyhte 

nonius MS. \ormus, C. 


boch MS. bobe, C. boch 
clepi]> clepyd 

1979 nonius MS uonims, C. 

set MS. sette, C. set 

1980 Sest \>ou Scstliow 

1980 \>an thanne 
vylenye fylonye [ynesse 

1981 vnworlpines vnworth- 

1982 ben be 

ysen MS. ysene, C. I-sene 

1984 many manye 

1985 bere beren 

1986 my^t[e~\ myhte 

1987 }>e (2) omitted 

1988 whanne whan 

1989 sny[e] say(> 
had[de] hadde 

BOOK 3. 
P11O8E 4 



ne mvatest nat demen bat he were vnworbi to be deem him worthy 

of resect and of 

lionoz/r. or ellys to be wisdom of whiche he is fulfilled. 

No quod .1. ^[ Certys dignitees quod she appertienen B. i could not do 
properly to vertue. and uertue transporteb dignite anon her 

to bilke man to whiche she hir self is conioigned. 
IT And for as moche as honowrs of poeple ne may nat Honours confer- 

red by the popu- 

maken folk digne of honowr. it is wel seyn clerly bat lace do not make 

J J * men worthy of 

bei ne han no propre beaute of dignite. f And jit men 
aujten take more hede in bis. ^ For if it so be bat he 
is most out cast bat most folk dispisen. or as diguite ne shrews only 

make their vices 

may nat maken shrewes worbi of no reuerences. ban the more con- 

* SplCUOUS. 

makeb dignites shrewes more dispised ban preised. be 
whiche shrewes dignit[e] scheweb to moche folk IF and fo 

. . take their revenge 

lor sobe nat vnpunissed. bat is torto sein. bat shrewes upon them, and 

defile them by 

reuengen hem a^einward vpon dignites. for bei jelden ' 
ajein to dignites as gret gerdouw whan bei byspotten 2009 
and defoulen dignites wib hire vylenie. IT And for as These shadowy 

honours have 

moche as bou mowfel knowe bat bilke verray reuerence nothing in their 

nature to procure 

ne may nat comen by be shade wy tremsitorie dignitees. manrhavLng 1 * a 

,. . , -r> , 111 7 borne the honours 

yndirstonde now bis. yii bat a man hadde vsed and of the consulate, 

should go among 

hadde many manere dignites of consules and were barbarians would 

this honour gain 

comen perauenture amonges straunge naci'ourcs. sholde wm their respect? 
bilke honour maken hym worshipful and redouted of 2016 
straunge folk "If Certys yif bat honour of poeple were if respect were an 
a naturel jifte to dignites. it ne myjte neuer cesen 
nowher amonges no maner folke to done hys office. 

fr -r> r> !!-, heat is ever an 

^f Kyjt as fire in euery contre ne stmteb nat to en- attribute of fire, 
chaufen and *to ben hote. but for as myche as forto [* foi. 17 6.] 
be holden honorable or reuerent ne comeb nat to folk of 

1994 demen deme 

1995 whiche which 

1996 quod she omitted 

1997 vertue vertu 
uertue vertu 

1998 whiche whych 

2000 clerly MS. clerkly, C. 

2002 aurfen hede 

owhten taken mor heed 
2002-3 For dignite For 

yif so be J?at a wykkyd 

whyght be so mochel the 

fowlere and the inoore 

owt cast )>at he is de- 
spised of most folk so as 

2004-2007 maken so\>e 

maken shrewes digne of 
Reuerence the whych 
shrewes dignete sheweth 
to raoche foolk thanne 
makith dignete shrewes 
rather so moche more 
despised than prcysed 
and forsothe 

2008 widen yilden 

2009 byspotten by-spetteu 

2010 hire hyr 

2011 moche mochel 
mow[e] mowe 

2012 \>e shadewy thyse 

2013 vndirstonde vndyr- 
\>is thus [stond 

2014 hadde-h^ 

2018 lifte yift 

2019 folke foolk 
done don 

2020 enchaufen eschaufeu 

2021 myche mochel 

2022 be ben 



LMKT. i 

opinions of men, 

ami vanish when 

t h e Jewho S^nof 


DO they always 

endure in those 

places that gave 

birth to them ? 

The pruBtorate 

was once a great 

iti8oni bllow 

what is more 

vile than the 

office of the 
of provisions? 

That which hath 

no innate beauty 

value according 
as popular 
opinion varies 
concerning it. 

If dignities can- 
not confer esteem, 
if they become 
vile through 
filthy shrews, if 
they lose their 

change of times, 
worthless by the 

change of popular 
opinion, what 
beauty do they 
possess which 
should make 
them desirable, 

or what dignity 

can they confer 
on others ? 

[The 4the Metr.] 
Nero, though in- 
vested with the 
purple and 
adorned with 
pearls, was hated 
by all men. 

hir pwpre strengfe of natwe. but only of fe fals[e] 
opinioim of folk, fat is to sein. fat wenen fat dignites 
maken folk digne of honowr. An on f erfore whan fat 
f ei comen f er as folk ne knowew nat f ilke dignites. 
her honowrs vanissen awey and fat on oon. but fat is 
a-mong straung folk, maist fou sein. but amo/zgws 
hem fat f ei weren born duren f ilk[e] dignites alwey. 
Tf Certys f e dignite of f e prouostrie of Rome was som- 
tyme a grete power, now is it no fing but an ydel 
name, and f e rente of f e senatorie a gret charge, and 
yif a whi^t somtyme hadde f e office to taken he[de] to 
f e vitailes of f e poeple as of corne and what of er f inges 
he was holden amonges grete. but what fing is more 
nowe out cast f anne f ilke prouostrie IT And as I haue 
seid a litel here byforne. fat filke fing fat haf no 
propre beaute of hym self resceyuef somtyme pris and 
shinynge and somtyme lesif it by fe opinions of 
vsaunces. ^f Now yif fat dignites fanne ne mowen 
nat maken folk digne of reuerence. and yif fat dignites 
wexen foule of hir wille by f e filf e of shrewes. 1F and 
yif fat dignites lesen hir shynynge by chaungyng of 
tymes. and yif fei wexen foule by estimaczouw of 
poeple. what is it fat fei han in hem self of beaute 
fat au^te ben desired, as who seif none, fanne ne 
mowen fei ^iuen no beaute of dignite to none of er. 2047 


A 1 be it so fat f e proude nero wif al his woode luxurie 
** kernbed hym and apparailed hym wif faire purpers 
of Tirie and wif white perles. Algates ^itte throf he 

2023 falsW false 

2024 bat (2) omitted 

2027 her hyr 
vanissen vanesshen 

2028 a-mong amonges 
strau ng straiwge 
but ne 

2029 bat ther 

duren ]>ilk[_e] ne duren 
nat thylke 

2030 somtyme whylom 

2031 grete gret 

2032 be (2) omitted 

2033 somtyme whylom 
J>^MS. be be 

2034 corne corn 
what omitted 

2035 more nowe now more 

2036 cast MS. caste, C. cast 

2037 seid MS. seide, C. seyd 
here byforne her by-forn 
7mb-MS. habe 

2043 barfomitted 

2046 antfe owhte 
none non 

2047 bei MS. je, C, they 
none non 

2048 al (2) alle 

2049 Jcembed kembde 
apparailed MS. apparuil 

on, C. a-paraylede 

2050 }itteyit 



hateful to alle folk IF pis is to seyn pat al was he by- 2051 

hated of alle folk. IF aitte bis wicked Nero hadde gret Yet he had lord- 

ship, and gave to 

lordship and }af somtyme to pe dredeful senatours pe ^B 
vnworshipful setes of dignites. IF vnworshipful setes 

. -_ ., , , ,, , think that felicity 

he clepib here fore bat .Nero bat was so wikked aat bo resides in honours 

' * given by vicious 

dignites. who wolde J>anne resonably wenen pat blysful- shrews ? 
nesse were in swiche honowrs as ben ^euen by vicious 2057 


T)vt regnes and familarites of kynges may pei maken a 
-^ maw to ben my^ty. how ellys. ^f whanne hir 
blysfulnesse durep perpetuely but certys pe olde age of 
tyme passep. and eke of present tyme now is ful of en- 
saumples how pat kynges pat han chaunged in to 
wrechednesse out of hir welefulnesse. ^F a noble ping 
and a cler ping is power pat is nat founden my3ty to 
kepe it self. 1F And yif pat power of realmes be auctour 
and maker of blisfulnesse. yif pilke power lakkep on 
any side, amenusip it nat pilke blisfulnesse and bryngep 
in wrechednesse. but yif al be it so pat realmes of man- 
kynde stretchen broode. }it mot per nede ben myche 
folk ouer whiche pat euery kyng ne hap no lordshipe 
ne comaundement ^ an( i certys vpon pilke syde pat 
power faillep whiche pat makip folk blisful. ry^t on pat 
same side nourapower entrip vndirnep pat makep hem 
wreches. IF In pis manere panne moten kynges hail 
more porciouw of wrechednesse pan of welefulnesse. 
^[ A tyraunt pat was kyng of sisile pat hadfde] assaied 
pe peril of his estat shewid[e] by similitude pe dredes 
of realmes by gastnesse of a swerde pat heng ouer pe 
heued of his familier. what ping is pan pis power pat 

[The 5H" prose.] 

mighty ? 
B. Why should 
they not if they 
are durable ? 
P. Past ages, as 

who have met 

with dismal re- 
verses of fortune. 

S a t g i8 i8 to p ^ak 
i? K e E ltM 

brings felicity, 

then misery wm 

follow if it be de- 

there P hnpptence es 
misery ai^nl 1 " 8 


Kings, therefore, 

have a larger por- 

Sicily, conscious 

of tins condition, 

exhibited the 

JJJJJJ hinging 6 * 1 

2053 lordship lorshippe 
^af somtyme yaf why lorn 
dredeful - reuerericj 

2055 fore for ; \af yaf 

2060 my}ty MS. 
C. myhty 

2062 <passe\) passed 
of (2) omitted 

\>at han 
kynges ben 

2066 kepe kepen 

2067 maker makere 

2069 y//yit 

realmes the Reaumes 

2070 stretchen strechchen 
myche moche 

2071 ha\> MS. ha>e 

2073 whiche whych 

2074 vndirnep vndyr-nethe 

2077 hadlde] hadde 

2078 shewidie] shewedc 

2079 realmes Reaumes 
swerde swerd 

heng MS. hcnge, C. ht-ng 



rnooK 3. 

iiiTfHcnd and * 
c\ a es teie whauh~en 

is this tiling called 

L* foi. is.] 
cannot do away 

not, and yet they 
glory in their 
power. Is he 
powerful who can- 
not do what he ? Is he a 
mighty man who 
goes surrounded 
with an armed 
guard, to terrify 
those whom he 
himself fears, and 
whose power de- 
pends solely upon 

having p thus e di8- 

played the imbe- 
cility of kings ! 
Their prosperity 
is affected by the 
caprice of their 

adversity to which 

Neroorfi "allowed 

ner of his death. 

Antonius (Cara- 

calla) commanded 

slain by the swords 

possessed all seSa 
and exile. But re- 

lentless fortune 

awey f e bytynges of besines ne eschewe 
f e prikkes of drede. and certys }it wolden fei lyuen 
*iu sykernesse. but fei may nat. and 3it fei glorifien 
hem in her power ^[ Holdest f ou fan fat f ilk[e] man 
be my^ty fat f ou seest fat he wolde don fat he may 
nat don. ^f And holdest f ou fan hym a my^ty man 
fat haf environed hise sydes wif men of armes or 
seruaimtes and dredef more [hem] fat he makef agast. 
fen fei dreden hym. and fat is put in f e handes of hise 
seruaunt^. for he sholde seme nry^ty but of familiers 
[or] seruaunt} of kyrages. IF what sholde I telle fe 

hem self ben ful of gret feblenesse. f e whiche familiers 
certis f e real power of kynges in hool estat and in estat 
abated ful [ofte] frowef adourc. IF Nero co?zstreined[e] 
his familier and his maistre seneca to chesen on what 
deef he wolde deien. IF Antonius comau^didfe] fat 
kny^tis slowen wif her swerdis Papinian his familier 
whiche Papinian had[de] ben long tyme ful my^ty 
a-monges hem of f e courte. and }it certis fei wolde bof e 
han renounced her power, of whiche [two] senek en- 
forced [e] hym to jiuen to Nero his rychesses. and also 
to han gon in to solitarie exil. ^[ But whan f e grete 
wey^t. fat is to sein of lordes power or of fortune 
drawef hem fat sholden falle. neyfer of hem ne 

t a he d m to^ttsT" 6 P OWer J> at J> OU 3 men han ^ J> at J> ei D6n a g ast ' ^ and 

thenis a p e ower, iat whan fou woldest han it f ou nart nat siker. IF And 

which terrifies its 

possessors, and yif jjou woldest iorleten it bou mayst nat eschewen it. 

which cannot be 

R ieaIm-e? a Noad- ^ ^ u ^ wne fi r swiche men ben frendes at nede as ben 
3 by friend- conseiled by fortune and nat by vertue. Certys swiche 

hadde ben longe 

2100 courte court 
wolde wolden 

2101 [two] tromC. 
enforced{e\ en f orcedo 

2102 jiuen yeuen 
his hyse 

2101 weyit weyhtu 

2105 sholden sholcn 

2106 >uy$t[c'] ujylite 

2081 besines bysynesse 
2083 }it yif 
glorijien gl ory fye 


fc[e] thvlke 
MS. h 

20S7 ftap MS. ha>e 
environed onuyrowncde 

2088 {lieiri] from C. 

2089 (lew than 

2 M [or] from C 
2002 realities 

2094 real Eyal 

2095 \ofte\- from C. 
constreined\e\ con- 

2096 his (1) hyr [streynede 
seneca Senek 

2097 comaundid[e] com- 

2098 her hyr [auwdede 

2099 whiche which 
had[de~] ben long pat 


folk as weleful fortune make)) frendes. contrarious for- 

tune make]? hem enmyse. 1T And what pestilence is Adversity win' 

/ i turn this sort of 

more my^ty lorto anoye a wi}t fan a lamilier enemy. friendship into 

what greater 

, plague can there 

QUI SE UALET 1 ESSE POTENTEM. LiReaduoZei] fee than the 

enmity of thy 

"\T7ho so wolde ben my^ty he mot dauwten hys cruel Se^Jj??^.] 

W V ... He who would 

corage. ne putftel nat his nekke ouercomen vndir obtain sovereign 

power must ob- 

fe foule reines of lecherie. for al be it so fat J)i lord- 

ship[e] strecche so fer fat fe centre Inde quakif at fi JJJaS?. Though 
coinaundement. or at bi lawes. and bat be leest isle in 

to Thule, yet if 

f e see fat hy^t tile be f ral to f e ^f jit yif f ou mayst 
nat putew awey fi foule derk[e] desijres and dryuew 
oute fro fe wreched co?wpleyntes. Certis it nis no 
power fat fou hast. 2123 


[The f> the prose.] 

Bvt glorie how deceiuable and how foule is it ofte. for HOW deceptive 
and deformed a 
whiche fing nat vnskilfully a tregedien fat is to wSfiS/87 1 
sein a maker of dites fat hyjten tregedies cried [e] and C i3m 1Ml 
seide. IF glorie erlorie quod he. bou nart no bing 'UWMM '4 , 

ppor&v, oMf-v 

ellys to f ousandes of folkes. but a gret sweller of eres. KSS^fSZ^ 
for many[e] han had ful gret renouw by f e falsfe] op- serving have been 
pinioiw of poeple. and what fing may ben f ou^t fouler fcopiUa/and" 
fen swiche preisynge for filk[e] folk fat bew preised whafcan be"' 
falsly. bei moten nedes han shame of hir preisynges. than renoun 

founded on the 

and yif fat folk han gete?i hem fank or preysyng by 
her desertes. what fing haf filk pris echid or en- SS 

cresed to f e conscience of wise folk fat mesurew hire biu 

If a wise man 

good, not by be rumour of be poeple. but by be sobe- gets wen-merited 

praise it does not 

fastnesse of conscience, and yif it seme a fair fing a 
man to han encresid and sprad his name, fan folwef 

2115 wolde ben wole be \ 2122 oute owt 

2116 ftut\te\ putte 

2117 lordship\_e] lordshype 

2119 comaundement co- 

leest isle last lie 

2120 liy-fr hyhte 

2121 puten putten 
derk\_e\ dyrke 

2124 foule fowl 

2125 whiche whych 

2126 maker makere 
cried\_e} cryde 

2127 he she 

2128 sweller swellore 

2129 many[e\ rnariye 
had MS. hadde, C. had 


2130 fouler fowlere 

2131 ben thanne 

2133 or of 

2134 7mp MS. liabe 


abroad one's it. bat it is demed to ben a foule binge vif it ne be 

fame, it must be 

fo s do so" rable not y' s P ra( l ne encresed. but as I seide a litel her byforne. 

fat syn bcr mot nedes ben many folk to wliiche folk be 
s- 1 renouft of a man ne may nat comen. it byfalleb bat he 

trious names 

must be unknown bat bou wenest be glorious and renomed. semib in be 

to the greatest * * 

part of the world. ne xte parties of be erbe to ben wib out glorie. and wib 
tile 6 f eoi" r is f ou ^ renoim - ^ an( i certis amowges bise binges I ne trowe 
Is^t Vseidom 6 nat bat be pris and grace of be poeple nis neiber worbi 

judicious and - -i i r> 

r*foi. i8&.] *to ben remembnd ne comeb of wise mgement. ne is 

never permanent. 

HOW empty and ferm perdurably. IF But now of bis name of gentilesse. 

transitory are . , 

titles of nobility! what man is it bat ne may wel seen how veyne ana 

2150 how flittyng a bing it is. ^f For if be name of gentil* 

whouy'foreign to esse be referred to renoim and clernesse of linage, ban 

renown, and to . ..-. -, i r n* < j 

those who boast is gentil name but a lor e me pmg. bat is to sem to 

of noble birth. 

Nobility is fame hem bat glonfien hem of hir Image. IF For it semeb 

derived* from the 

merits of one's bat gentilesse be a maner preysynge bat comeb of decert 
if praise can give of auncestres. 1F And yif preysynge makeb gentilesse 

nobility they are . ' 

noble who are ban moten bei nedes be gentil bat ben preysed. i or 
iii?fth * wn ^ cne ^ n 8 ^ folweb. bat yif bou ne haue no gentilesse 

of ^ self - J> at is to sein P ris J>^ come > of f 1 deserte 
?Ee e mtrii f of m foreine gentilesse ne makeb be nat gentil. IF But certis 
if there be any yif ber be any goode in gentilesse. I trowe it be in al 

good in nobleness 

oon ty J" s - ^ ^ semeb as bat a maner necessitee be im- 
posed to gentil men. for bat bei ne sholden nat outraien 
erate n or forliuen fro be uertues of hire noble kynrede. 2163 

from the virtues 
of their ancestors. 

[The 6i Metre.] 

f men at bei1 iU BTQ ben f 

Shlr h a a nd e one e -* burbe. On al one is fadir of binges. On alone 
minystfrleb alle binges. ^F He aaf to be sonne hys 

moon her horns, 

"mi5?hforayfl bemes - ^ e 3^ to lP Q moone n i r homes, he ^af be men to 
j 56 er f e - ne 3 a ^ J 36 sterres to be heuene. IF he encloseb 

2139 foule \>inge fowl thing 

2140 neand 
byforne byforn 

2141 parties partye 
erpe Brthes 

ow^ owte 
2145 out owhte 

2148 ferm ferme 

2149 veyne veyn 

2150 */ yif 

2154 eowaej) o/ comth of the 

2157 whicte which 

2158 pris preys 

}? corath 


goode good 
(2) omitted 

2161 maner manere 

2166 hys hyse 

2167 Mr hyse 


wib membres be soules bat comen fro hys heye sete. and a 

' .sky w 

IT banne comen alle mortal folk of noble seed, whi 

and adorned the 
ith stars. 


noysen 36 or bosten of 3oure eldris 1T For yif bou Aii'men spring 

ni , .. , from this illustri- 

lookre] soure bygyrcnywg. and god 2oure auctowr ana ous source. 

JbJ J . Why then do they 

makere. Jjan is ber no forlyued wy^t but }if he ^ e 

, , OT7 forgets his noble 

bUl' pe. Z 1 / origin. 

norisse his corage vnto vices and forlete his propre 


ut what shal I seie of delices of body, of whic[h]e Bat what itudi I 

delices be desiringes ben ful of anguisse. and J>e to sensua'i^ieu- 
fulfillinges of hem ben ful of penaunce. 11 How grete 2 l I whi . ch is 

full of anxiety, 

sekenesse and how grete sorwes vnsuffrable ry^t as a 


ntance ? 

r> , * -I ^ i , -it i T o repentance 

manere fruit ot wickednesse ben bilke delices wont to what diseases 

and intolerable 

bryngen to be bofdlies of folk bat vsen hem. ^F Of pains (the merited 

J fruits of vice) are 

whiche delices I not what ioye may ben had of hir 

moeuyng. ^f But bis woot I wel bat who so euere wil enjoy them T ho 
remembren hym of hys luxuries, he shal wel vndir- see whatW is to 

. be found in the 

stonde. bat be issues of delices ben sorowful and sory. gratification of 


11 And yif Jjilke delices mowen make folk blisful. Jjan 
by be same cause moten bise bestes ben clepid blisful. 
IF Of whiche bestes al be entenc'iou^ hasteb to fulftlle if such things 

make men happy, 

hire bodyly iolyte. and Jje gladnesse of wijf [and'] 

children were [an] honest bing. but it haj) ben seid. SXSey are" 1 " 

urged to satisfy 

bat it is ouer myche a^eins kynde bat children han ben their bodily de- 

fouwden tormentours to hir fadres I not how many. 

11 Of whiche children how bitynge is enery condic/ouw. J 

It nedeb nat to tellen it ]?e jjat hast or bis tyme assaied SSftSn their 

own offspring. 

it. ana art ait now ammyssows. In bis approue I be i approve of this 

opinion of Euri- 

sentence of my disciple Euridippus. bat seide bat he 
bat haj? no children is weleful by ircfortune. 2197 

2169 fro hys from hyse 

2170 seed sede 

2171 bosten MS. voscen, C. 

2172 ZoofcM loke 

2173 is nis 

2179 sekenesse sykenesse 
grete sorwes gret soruwes 

2180 fruit frut 

2182 had MS. hadde, C. 

2183 wil wole 

2176 delices dclites I 2184. hys hyse 
body bodye [ 2185 sorowful sonvful 

2177 antjuisse Angwyssh snry sorye 

2178 grete gret I 2186 make makyu 

2189 [and] from C. 

2190 [an] from C. 
ha)> MS. ha^c 

seid MS. seide, C. seyd 

2191 myche mochel 

2192 many manye 

2196 Euridippus Bury- 

2197 /tab MS. 


[The 7 de Metur.] 

pleasure leaves a F?uery delit hab bis. bat it anguisseb hem wib prikkes 

paiu behind it. H J 

2199 -^ bat vsen it. IF It resemblib to bise flying flyes bat 
The bee gives us we clepen been, bat aftre bat be bee hab shed hys agre- 

agreeable honey, J 

and t it yt uicki ldit ' a ^ e non i es ^ ie nee j> awey and styngeb be hertes of hem 
bat ben ysmyte wijj bytynge oner longe holdynge. 2202 


[The 8 the prose.] -.-.- . ., , ,. , 

it appears then \ ow ms it no doute ban bat bise weyes ne ben a 

that happiness is \ 

not to be found in -** maner mysledywg to bhsfulnesse. ne bat bei ne 

the above-men- ' * 

!i!in edexternal mowe nat leden folke bider as bei byheten to ledew 
[* foi. 19.] hem. IT But wib how grete harmes bise *forseide weyes 

These false ways 

with p many e eviis, ^ en enlaced. IT I shal shewe be shortly. IT For whi 
yif bou enforcest be to assemble moneye. bou most by- 

Do you want to , . , . ., 

amass wealth, reuen hym his moneye bat hab it. and yif bou wilt 

then you must 

n^htours 1 your s ^y nen w ty dignites. bou most bysechen and supplien 

^di d niue", 8 t h h?n hem bat ^iuew bo dignitees. IT And yif bou coueitest 

tor by honowr to gon by-fore ober folk bou shalt defoule bi 

g y self by hu?7iblesse of axing, yif bou desiryst power. 


amb ( it V ion b yJu OUr J 3011 s ^ a ^ ^ awa i tes ^ Y l subgit3 anoyously be cast 

the S n e ares U of elfto vndir many periles. axest bou glorie bou shalt ben so 

DO you ask for destrat by aspre binges bat bou shalt forgone syker- 

glory, to be dis- 

^ I 5011 

i)o s youprefer a euery whi^t shal dispisen be and forleten be as bou bat 

voluptuous life? , . , . ,. , f , 7 , i -i , r, -\ 

Think then that art bral to bing bat is ryat foule ana brutel. bat is to 

all men will de- 

spise him who is se i n seruauwt to bi body, f Now is it ban wel vseen 

a thrall to his 

They build upon now lytel and how brutel possession??- bei coueiten bat 
E^iace ndat n putten be goodes of be body abouen hire owe/i resou?^. 

bodily delights , . , . _ . 

above their own IT For mayst bou sourmounten bise olilunt^ in gretnesse 
OT we J$ ^ ^>^J' Or mayst bou ben stronger ban be 

bole. Mayst bou ben swifter ban be tigre. biholde be 

2198 EueryMS. Query, C. ' 2209 wilt wolt 

Every 2211 jiwew yeuen 

2198, 2200 ftap MS.ha>e | 2212 gon MS. gone, C. gon 
shed hys shad hyse by-fore byforn 


220:5 nix is shalt shal 
2204 mysledyng mysled- I 2213 by thorw 

y lures 2214 by be 

2205/oZAe folk 6e ben 

2208 enforcest MS. eu- 2216 destrat MS. destralle, 

forced, C. enforcest C. destrat 

22 )! li,i\> MS. hape I forgone forgoon 

2217 wilt wolt 

2218 whiit wyht 

2219 foule fowl 
[to] from C. 

2220 yseen seen 

2221 brutel brotel 

2222 oiven owne 

2224 wcyrf weyhty 
strenger strengere 

2225 swifter svryttere 
biholde by-hold 


spaces and fe stablenesse and fe swyfte cours of fe 
heuene. and stynte somtyme to wondren on foule 

the lieuvens and 

binges, be whicne heuene certys nis nat raber for bise cease to admire 

vile or lesser 

binges to ben wondred vpon. ban for be resourc by what is 

whiche it is gouerned. but be shynynge of f i forme bat aiJie. 

. , . . , j f v j i -fit mate wisdom that 

is to seien be beaute of bi body, now swiftly passyng is governs them. 

How fleeting is 

it and now transitone. IT Certis it is more fnttynge beauty! 

It fades sooner 

fan be mutabilite of floures of f e somer sesouw. For so fl ^ n e jg e vernal 
as aristotil tellef fat yif fat men hadden eyen of a S^ft maf 6 
beest bat hist lynx, so bat be lokyng of folk myatfel and could look 

JJ L _ J into the entrails 

percen f orn^ f e f inges fat wif stonden it. who so lokid ^Swardi o 
fan in f e entrailes of f e body of alcibiades fat was j^SS? 1 
fill fayr in fe superfice wif oute. it shulde seme ry3t 2238 
foule. and for bi yif bou semest faire. bi nature ne Thy nature does 

not make thee 

makif nat fat. but f e desceiuaurcce of f e fieblesse of f e {J^^ 1 ^,; 
eyen fat loken. IF But preise fe goodes of fi body as Srs! thy>aa ~ 
moche as euer be list, so bat bou knowfel algates bat peJfection's^s 

much as you will, 

what so it be. bat is to seyn of be goodes of bi body yet a three days' 

* fever will de- 

whiche fat f ou wondrest vpon may ben destroied or 8trov them - 

dessolued by f e hete of a feuere of f re dayes. 1F Of 

alle whiche forseide finges I may reduces f is shortly in 2246 

a somme. 1T bat bise worldly goodes whiche bat ne worldly goods do 

* ^ not give what 

mowen nat ^iuen fat f ei byheten. ne ben nat perfit by JJ^P^' do 
f e congregacz'ouft of alle goodes. fat f ei ne ben nat notThe'pathl'To 
weyes ne pafes fat bryngen men to blysfulnesse ne of them'seives an 
maken men to ben blysful. 2251 


[The 8 the Metttr.] 

Alias whiche folie and whiche ignoraurcee mysledib Aias i how 
r through folly and 
wandryng wrecches fro fe pafe of verrey good, 

f Certis 30 ne seken no golde in grene trees, ne 30 ne 

2227 stynte stynt 

2228 ^vhiclle whych 

2230 whiche wych 

2231 seien seyn 

2234 as omitted 

2235 hirf hyhte 
my}t[.e] myhte 

2237 alcibiades MS. ali-idi- 

2238 fayrfayre [ades 

2238 ]>e omitted 
shulde sholde 

2239 foule fowl 
faire fayr 
ne omitted 

2240 desceinaunce of \>e 
fieblesse deceyuable or 
the feblesse 

2212 moche mochel 

2212 know[_e\ knowe 

2213 be omitted 

\>i body whiche the body 

2217 a omitted 

2252 whiche (both) whych 

2253 pa\>e paatli 
flood Roode 

2254 golde gold 


Ye do not seek gadren fnatl precious stones in be vines, ne se ne 

gold upon trees 

fro r m the vine n ^ en nat ^uiG gynnes in hey3e mouwtaignes to kachen 
fisshe of whiche 30 may maken ryche festes. and yif 

upon th lofty lykef to hunte to roos. 30 ne gon nat to be foordes 

The hunter goes 

not to the Tyr- of be water bat hyst tyrene. and oner bis men knowen 

rhene waters to 

e * J 36 CI ^ es an ^ f e cauernes of f e see yhidd in f e 

peari?a f ndfor the floodes. and knowen eke whiche water is most plentiuows 

fish that yields the , .. , , , 

purple dye. oi white perles. and knowen whiche water habundef 

2263 most of rede purpre. fat is to seyen of a maner shel- 

They know where fisshe "with whiche men dien purpre. and knowen 

the most delicate . 

of the finny race whiche strondes habounden most ol tendre nsshes or 

Abound and where 

e if toTe e foun C d" f snar P e fisshes fat hy3ten echynnys. but folk suffren 

so U vere 1 ignG l o e od l^m self to ben so blynde fat hem ne recchif nat to 

mortals never knowe where bilkfel goodes ben yhidd whiche bat bei 

know, but plunge 

into the earth coueiten but ploungen hem in erbe and seken bere 

below to look for 

SiTn" C hi h the its fi^ Q goode fat sowrmoimtef f e heuene fat beref f e 

hea [* e foi. 19 &.] gterres. ^T what *preyere may I make fat be digne to 

What doom do the .. ./ I^T -j. 

silly race deserve? be nice bou^tis of men. but I preye bat bei couelte7^ 

May they pursue * 

such false joys, rycches and hono?/rs so bat whan bei ban geten bo 

and having ob- J * 

latefili^out'tife ^ a ^ se goodes wif greet trauayle fat ferby fei mowe 

value of the true. knowen ^ yerray goodeg> 2275 


pThaye beeT' JT suffisif fat I haue shewed hider to fe forme of 
form of counter- -^ false wilfulnesse. so bat yif bou lookFel now clerely 

feit happiness, and 

if you have con- ij e or( j re O f mvn entenczouw requerib from hennes forbe 

siQGrGQ it at* * v * f 

p1wseed y to gil? 1 * shewew f e A r erray wilfulnesse. IF For qnod . I. (b) [I.] 
of the?Jue. ct se wel now fat suffisauwce may nat comen by richesse. ne 

B. I now see that 

there is no suffi- power by realmes. ne reuereftce by digmtees. ne gentil- * JO 

power in royalty, esse ^y orl or i e . n e ioye by delices. and (p) hast bou wcl 

no esteem, in / o / / vir/ 

SiiJtyVre- knowen q^^od she f e cause whi it is. Certis me semef 

2256 liey-ie the hyye I 2263 shelfisshe shelle fysh 

1 2264, 2265 whiche whych 

2264 dien deyen 

2265 of with 

2266 echynnys MS. eth- 
ynnys, C. Echynnys 

" yhidd MS. yhidde, C. 


kachen kachohe 

2257 fisshe fyssh 

2258 hunte honte 
roos Rooes 

2259 hytf hyhte 

2260 crikes brykes 
yhidd MS. yhidde, C. I- 

2261, 2262 whiche whych i 2271 make maken i 2281 realmes Reames 

2273 ryceJies Rychesse 
2277 wilfulnesse we.lcful- 

look\_e] loke 

clerely clerly [nesse 

279 wilfulnesse weleful- 
For For-sothe 

I-hydd [/.] from C. 

2270 goode good | 2280 richesse Rych esses 

J?OOK 3. 

ruo.sii 9 


quod .1. bat .1. sc hem 173 1 as J>ou3 it were J)oru3 a litcl 
clifte. but me were leuer knoweu hem more openly of 

~. , , , t i mr -rt cause of all this, 

be. Lertys quod she be resouw is al redy I Jbor but i should like 

T a more distinct 

bilk bing bat symply is on bing wib outen ony 
diuisiouw. be errour and folie of mankynde departeb 
and diuidib it. and misledib it and transporteb from 

7 /-,. -, , , i P -i -, ates and divides, 

verray ana penit goode. to goodes bat ben false and and reverses the 

true order of 

inpemt. 11 But seye me bis. wenest bou bat he bat hab things, noes that 
nede of power bat hym ne lakkeb no bing. Nay quod. 
.1 1F Certis quod she bou seist ary3t. For yif so be 1 


. . . i-irii o That which wants 

bat ber is a bmg bat in any partie be neble of power, power needs ex- 

ternal aid. B. That 
Certis as in bat it mostFe] nedes be nedy of foreine is true ! * Suffi - 

L J ciency and power 

helpe. IF Ei 3 t so it is quod .1. Suffisaunce and power *S^ It 
ben ban of on kynde IT So semeb it quod I. IT And indeed ' 

demyst bou qwod she bat a bing bat is of bis manere. 
bat is to seine sumsau?^t and my3ty au3t[e] to ben dis- fhly^ot rather 
pised. or ellys bat it be ry3t digne of reuerences abouen ^ e rsai y resp"ct"? 
alle binges. IF Certys quod I it nys no doute bat it &mbttoiiighiy 

estimable. P. Add 

nis ry3t worbi to ben reuerenced. ^f Lat vs quod she ban 
adden reuerence to sumsaunce and to power IF So bat Si 
we demen bat bise bre binges ben alle o bing. IF Certis A 

_ _ _ tion to that view. 

quod 1 lat vs adden it. yif we willen graunten be sobe. P. But can that i. e 

* obscure and ig- 

what demest bou ban quod she is bat a dirke birig and J^lltiSSmS 
nat noble bat is suffisaurct reue?-ent and my^ty. or ellys ifc 

bat is ry3t clere a?^ ry3t noble of celebrete of renou/z. mg r reputation'? 

_. . He who is most 

1 Considere ban quod she as we nan grauwtid her by- powerful and 

forne. bat he bat ne hab ne[de] of no bing and is most 
my 3 ty and most digne of honour yif hym nedib any jj} 
clernesse of renoura whiche clernesse he my3t[e] nat 
graunten of hym self. If So bat for lakke of bilke He that is sum-' 

J ciently mighty 

clerenesse he my3t[e] seme febler on any syde or be 

2287 \>ilk thylke 
on o 

2290 goode good 

2291 seyesey 
ha\> MS. habe 

2294 Jieble feblere 2304 alle a"l i 231 1" clerenesse clernesse 

2295 most[e] mot 2305 willen wolen mii\t{e\ myhte 

2296 helpe help 2306 dirke dyrk febler the febelere 

2297 on o 230S clere cler 

2298 demyst \>ou d(3inesthow 2308 of celebrete by cele- 

2299 seine seyn bryte 

hte 2310 /tab MS. habe 

2300 reuerences Reuerence 2312 wMcJie whycii 
2302 nis ryit\* ryht my^t\_e\ myhte 


an illustrious more outcastc. Glosa. bis is to soyne nay. IT For who 

name. B. I can- * 

so }**& ^ s suffisauwt Hiy^ty and reuerent. clernesse of 
renouw folweb of be forscide binges, he hab it alredy of 

you have just 

mentioned. hys suffisaunce. boice. I may nat Quod I denye it. 

P. Tlierefore J J 

SK^fti ^ Eut J mot graunten as it is. fat fis fing be ry3t 
2320 celebrable by clernesse of renou?a and noblesse. IF ban 

the three above- 

bute io !And a ifan fl we f & quod she fat we addon clernesse of renoiw to 
nSdoffioextemli f e f r e forseide f inges. so fat f er ne be amonges hem 

aid, can have all he .., 7 . IT** 

wants, and is iiius- no difference. and bis is a consequente quod .1. bis 


ditionver hi a 8 ree- ^ n ^ f an ^^ sne f a * ne ^ a f no ne de of HO foreine 

B bl icannot a con- t? J 5 " 1 ^ aw< ^ f a ^ may don alle jjinges by his strong J>es. 

ceive how such a ,-II-FI 11- 

one can have grief and bat is noble and honourable, nis nat bat a myrie 

or trouble. P. It 

must then be a ,j n cr an d a ioyful. lotce. but wenest auod I bt any 

state of happiness; * J 

affi d rm e tffiuffi. sorow my3t[e] comen to fis Jjing fat is swiche. IT Certys 
ndbluity^dTffer I may nat binke. P. IF banne moten we grauntfel quod 

only in name, but 

2330 she fat f is f ing be ful of gladnesse yif f e forseide finges 
SVtis^nSes?' be sofe. 1F And also certys mote we graunten. fat 

sary consequence. rv i i i *i i t 

p. The depravity sumsaunce power noblesse reuerence and gladnesse ben 

of mankind then 

divides that which on iy dyuerse bynames, but hir substaunce hab no 

is essentially in- 

seekS^apart diuersito. Boice. It mot nedely be so quod .1. P. f ilke 
nop!irtSheyini l ss f inge fan qwod she fat is oon and simple in his nature. 

the entire thing -111 f i ^-. . *T T, -L 

[*foi. 20.] be wikkednesse of men departib it *dmidib it. and 

which they so r 

much desire. whan f ei enforcen hem to gete partie of a f ing fat ne 

2338 haf no part, fei ne geten hem neif er f ilk[e] partie fat 

B. HOW is that? nis none, ne be bing al hole bat bei ne desire nat. .b. 

P. He that seeks 

avod vcy is - wn i ne manere qiiod .1. p. filke man quod, she fat 
ab,>ut n powen he sekef rychessG to fleen pouerte. he ne trauaylef hym 
and obscurity, and nat to for to gete power for he hab leuer ben dirk and 

denies himself 

2315 seyne seyn 
2317 hab MS. habe 
2321 ^p MS. ha>e 

2325 his hyse 

2326 myrie rnery 

2327 wenest vvhennes 

2328 sorow my$t[_e} sorwe 

2 ;2i> 



. and eke wif drawcf from hym selfe many naturel 
n delit} for he nolde lesen fe moneye fat he haf as- 

2331 also certys certes also 
2333 /tab MS. habe 
2331 ncdely nedly 
2335 \>inge thing 
2337 cjcte geten 
233S \a\> MS. habe 

|'/7/,-i^] thilke 
23:5! none non 

linli' -hoo] 

2310 whicke whych 

2341 rychesse Rychossos 
fleen MS. sleen, C. Hen 

2312 leiiei leuer 

2313 vile vyl 
selfe self 

2311 dclity delices 
lexen Icse 
//*) MS. habe 

?$!!%.] OF FALSE FELICITY. 85 

semblcd. but certis in f is manere he ne getif hym nat p oVIr!is pricked 
suffisaunce fat power forletif. and fat moleste prekef . rendVreTmf'out- 
and bat filbe makeb outcaste. and bat derknesse hideb. by his sordid 

* ways, does not 

and certis he fat desiref only power he wastif and P^ SS 8 j5J" wllo 

scatrif rychesse and dispisef delices and eke honow 

fat is wif out power, ne he ne preisef glorie no fing. 55*3 

1F Certys bus seest bou wel bat many \>in%us failen to compared by 

power. Such a 

hym. for he haf somtyme faute of many necessites. 
and many anguysses biten hym 1F and whan he may 

onours unac- 



, , , ,, i /> i .L i evils he ceases to 

iiat don bo defautes awey. he forleteb to ben nmty. have what he most 

desired power. 

and fat is f e fing fat he most desiref. and ry$t fus in^ 

may I make semblable rescues of honours and of glorie 
and of delices. IF For so as euery of fise forseide 

will fail to obtain 

finges is fe same fat fise ofer fmges ben. fat is to ins desires. . f 
sein. al oon fing. who so fat euer sekef to geten fat 3S"rJ 
oon of fise and nat fat ofer. he ne getef nat fat he ^H 

desiref. Botce. IF what seist f ou fan yif fat a man 2 

coueitcf to geten alle fise finges to gider. P. Certys SiJjfy^ut can 
she .1. wolde seie fat he wolde geten hym soue- 

. quisitions above 

reyne blisfulnes. but bat snal ne nat lynde in bo binges mentioned, which 

do not perform 

fat .1. haue shewed fat ne mo we nat $euen fat f ei by- Jjjjj^ 
heten. boice. Certys no qwod .1. IF fan quod she ne f; ThenlKroi- 

, t i i p i ness is not to be 

sholden men nat by no weye seken blysiulnesse in sought in these 

things which are 

swiche binges as men wenen bat bei ne mowe falsely supposed 

capable of satisfy- 

3euen but o fing senglely of alle fat mew seken. I 

graunt[e] wel q?wd .1. ne no sofer fing ne may nat S 

n . affirmed than this. 

ben said. P. IF JN ow hast f ou fan qtioa she f e forme Turn your mind's 

and f e causes of false welefulnesse. 5F Now turne and "JjJ" 8 ^^ 11 tllis 

flitte f e eyen of f i f ou$t. for fere shalt f ou seen an oon perceive 

bilk verray blysfulnesse bat I haue byhyat bee. I. jsT/uTveVy clear, 

and 1 had a com- 

Certys qiiod .1. it is cler and opyn. f 0113 fat it were to JjjJJ^JJ^! \\- m 
a blynde man. and fat shewedest fou me [ful wel] a 

2346 preke}> prykketh 
2317 derknesse dyrkenesse 
23 19 scatri \> schatereth 

delices delyc? 
2'!5() wi\> out\viih owtc 
2 $51 mam/ numye 
2352 ha\> MS. hape 

2352 faute defaute 

2353 may nc may 

2351 don MS. done, C. don 

2356 mote maken 

2357 forseide MS. sorseide 
23(53 souereync souercyn 
2365 mowe uioweu 

2368 weiien wene 
mowe mowen 

2370 graunt[e] 
so\>er sotht-re 

2371 said MS. saide, C. sayd 
2376 [ful wel]-fro\ C. 



er byforne. whan pou enforcedest pe to shewe me 
fe causes of J>e false blysfulnesae 1F For but yif I be by- 

-i j _ .n r> > 

gileo. pan is pilke be verray pernt blisfulnesse bat per- 
fitly makip a man suffisaurct. nmty. honourable noble. 
and M of #* and f r >ou shalt wel knowe pat I 
haue wel vndirstonden pise pinges wip iraie myne herte. 
in reality all one I knowe wel pilke blisfulnesse bat may verrayly seuen 

and the same. 

ng> on of ^ e forseide finges syn pel ben al oon .1. knowe 


honour as well 

as of a shining 

reputation and 

every desirable 

pleasure : and I 

2385 douteles pat pilke ping is pe fulle of blysfulnesse. P. 

you in this con- 

J'SfSi^rt CM* mv nurr y ^ uod she ^y J^ 8 oppiniouft quod, she I 
| m whlt n isthat? se yW > at f 011 ^ Wisful yif pou putte pis per to pat I 
snal seine - wnat is pat qwod .1 1T Trowest pou pat 

i his world can -, , . , ,1 11, TT 

confer this happi- per be any ping in pis erpely mortal toumblyng pingea 
^ at may t)i y n S ei1 ^ estat - Certys quod. I trowe it nat. 
and J* 011 hast snewecl me wel pat ouer pilke goode per 

perfe?tSn te f is no ping more to ben desired. P. pise pinges pan 

P. These imper- , . , . J ' . 

feet things above qwoi she. pat is to seyne erpely sumsaunce and power. 

mentioned only 

of "hi supreme and swiclie f in ges eyper pei semen likenesse of verray 
g ode - or ell y s {i seme > f at f ei 3 euen to mor tal folk a 
maner of goodes pat ne ben nat pernt. 1T But pilke 

j . 

goode pat is verray and pernt. pat may pei nat 3euen. 
^ ce - ! accorde me wel quod. .1. pan qwod she for as 
moche as pou hast knowen whiche is pilke verray blis- 
fulnesse. and eke whiche bilke binges ben bat lien 

true and perfect 

' know. 


must now leam* 

where to look for 

2401 falsly blisfulnesse. pat is to seyne. pat by desceit 
feiicit y r eme semera verray goodes. If Now byhouep pe to knowe?* 

P. But, as Plato 

[*foi. 2o&.] *wnennes and where bou mowe seeklel bilke verray 
t> lis f u l n esse. 1F Certys quod I pat desijr I gretly and 
haue abiden longe tyme to herkene it. 1F But for as 

ought we do, to , ,, -,TI ,.., , 

render us worthy mocne quoa she as it likep to my disciple plato in his 

of so important a 

' tnimeo - at in r te l H68 men sholde 

says that even 

seat of the sove- Twr>n>iPTi 

reign good? oysccnen 

2377 bfiforne bv-forn 
2378 blysfulnesse MS. 
blyridenesse, C. blysful- 
2385 of omitted 
2:*H(> nurry norye 
2387 sey{e\ seye 

pe helpe of god. 1T \\ 

2388 seine seyn 
2389 \>is thise 
2390 nat nawht 
2393 seyne sey 
2395 $euen yeue 
2397 goode good 
2399 whiche which 

hat iugest pou pat be 

2401 seyne seyn 
2402 knowen knowe 
2403 seek[e\ seke 
2405 herkene herknen 
2407 sholde sholdon 
2408 bysechen by-ahechcii 
helpe help 


[now] to done so bat we may deserue to fynde be sete of 
bilke souereyne goode. B. IT Certys qwod .1. I. deme tigs- 
bat we shulle clepen to be fadir of aUe goodes. IT For 

. , 

wib outen hvm nis ber no bmg founden ary?t. bou seist Maker of heaven 

and earth, by 

a-ry^t quod she. and bygan on-one to syngen ry3t bus. 

is governed, and 
by whose supreme 


flows from the 

A bou fadir creatour of heuene and of erbes bat *SpS| 
^ gouernest bis worlde by perdurable resouw bat com- ^i things 'eTse to* 

, , r , n move ! Thy sove- 

aundist be tymes for to gon from tyme bat age naa|_dej reign win to float- 
bygywnywg. bou bat dwellest bi self ay stedfast and j 
stable and ^iuest alle ober binges to ben moeued. ne ! 
forein causes necesseden be neuer to compoune werke t in thy great 
of floterynge mater, but only be forme of souereyne 

r, -I . . . jr i Fairest thyself 

goode y-set wib mne [be] wib outen envie bat moeued[e] bearing the 

world's figure in 

be frely. bou bat art alberfairest beryng be faire worlde JJ 
in bi bou 3 t. formedest bis worlde to be likkenesse 
semblable of bat faire worlde in bi bou^t. bou drawest 

, . . image of the fair 

alle binges of bi souereyne ensampler. and comaundedist supreme, and dost 

command that 

bat bis worlde perfitlyche ymaked haue frely and this 
absolut hyse perfit parties, f bou byndest be element^ 
by noumbres proporcionables. bat be colde binges 

, . T , . there is no dis- 

mowen accorde wib be note binges. ma be drye biTzges cordance between 

things cold and 

wib be moyst binges, bat be fire bat is purest ne fleye f 
nat ouer heye. ne bat be heuynesse ne drawe nat adouw ^JJ, 
ouer lowe be erbes bat ben plounged in be watres. 

11 bou knvttest to-oridre be mene soule of treble kynde 

J than they are now 

moeuyng alle binges, and diuidest it by membres ac- Pj 
cordynge. f And whan it is bus diuided it hab as- fg 1 
sembled ti moeuyng in two roundes. ^f It gob to towrne thfnby h agfeeing d 

2422 alberfairest alder- 

2 109 [wow] from C. 

2410 souereyne goode verray 

2411 shulle shollen 
to omitted 

2413 on-one anon 

2415 worlde world 

2416 from age from syn 

pat age 

had[de~] haddc 


ober^- oothre 
forein foreyne 

werke werk 

2420 souereyne goode soue- 
reyri good 

2421 y-set MS. y-sette, C. 

wib inne with in 

[be] the 

wi\> outen \vit7i owte 

2417 steiffast stodefast I <inocued[e} mocuudo 

2432-24-26 worlds world 
2423 likkenesse lyknesse 

2426 and absolut C. omits 

2427 hyse hys 

2430 firefyr 
fleye fie 

2431 drawe drawen 

2435 hab MS. haj>c 

2436 go\> MS. go^c 




U'KOSE 10 

numbers didst re- 
solve it. When 
that is done, cut 
into two orbs, it 
moves about re- 
turning to itself, 
and then en- 
compassing the 
profound mind 
doth by that fair 
idea turn the 
heaven. Thou 
by such causes 
dost raise all souls 
and lesser lives, 
and adaptestthem 
to their light 
vehicles. Thou 
sowest them in 
heaven and earth, 
and they return 
to thee by thy 
kind law like a 
recoiling flame. 
O Father, elevate 
our souls and let 
them behold thy 
august throne. 
Let them behold 
the fountain of all 
good. Dispel the 
mists of sense, re- 
move the weights 
of earth-born 
cares, and in thy 
splendour shine 
(m our minds). 
For thou art ever 
clear, and to the 
[The lOthe prose .] 
good art peace 
and rest. He who 
looks on thee be- 
holds beginning 
support, guide, 
path and goal, 
combined ! 
Now that thou 
hast had a faith- 
ful representation 
of future felicity 
as well as of the 
true happiness, I 
shall show thee in 
what the Perfec- 
tion of Happiness 

Our best plan will 
be to inquire 
whether there be 
in nature such a 
good as thou hast 
lately defined, lest 
we be deceived by 
the vanity of 
Imagination and 
be carried beyond 
the truth of the 
matter subjected 
to our inquiry. 

a^ein to hym owen self, and environep a fullc deep 
pou^t. and towmip pe heuene by semblable ymage. pou 
by euewlyk causes enhauwsest pe soules and pe lasse 
Hues and ablynge hem heye by lyjtfe] cartes. pou 
sewest hem in to heuene and in to erpe. and whan pei 
ben conuertid to pe by pi benigne la we. ^[ pou makest 
hem retorne a^eine to pe by a^ein ledyng fijr. ^[ 
fadir yif pou to pi pou^t to stien vp in to pi streite sete. 
and graunte [hym] to enviroune pe welle of good, and 
pe Iy3te yfounde graunte hym to ficchen pe clere sy^tes 
of hys corage in pe. ^f And scatre pou and to-breke 
[thow] pe wey3tes and pe cloudes of erpely heuynesse. 
and shyne pou by pi bry^tnes. for pou art clernesse pou 
art peisible to debonaire folke. ^[ pou pi self art by- 
gywnywge. berere. ledere. pap and tfirme to loke on pe 
[pat] is oure ende. Glose. 2452 

QUONIAM IGITUR QUI SCIT. 1 [ Read que sit.] 

T?0r as moche pan as pou hast seyn. whiche is pe 
* forme of goode pat nys nat perfit. and whiche is pe 
forme of goode pat is perfit. now trowe I pat it were 
goode to shewe in what pis perfecczoura of blisfulnesse is 
set. and in pis ping I trowe pat we sholden first enquere 
forto witen yif pat any swiche manere goode as pilke 
goode pat pou hast diffinissed a lytel her byforne. pat 
is to seine souereyne goode may be founden in pe nature 
of pinges. For pat veyne ymaginaczourc of poi^t ne 
desceiue vs nat. and putte vs oute of pe sopefastnesse 
of pilke pinge pat is suwrnyttid to vs. pis is to seyne. 
but it may nat ben denoyed pat pilke goode ne is. 
11 and pat it nis ry^t as a welle of alle goodes. ^[ For 

2437 owen C. omits 

2438 tournfy MS. tcwrni)>e 

2439 euenl>/k euene lyke 

2440 lwt[e] lyhte 

2412 benigne bygyrmynge 
2414 yif yiue 

\>i streite the strcyte 
2145 \1iyni\- from C. 

2448 \fhow] from C. 

2449 bry^tnes bryhtnesse 

2451 pa\> MS. paj^e ; paath 

2452 [\>af] that 

2453 whiche which [prood 

2454 -55-56-58-59 goode 
24 ")i tvhiclie whych 

24.57 set MS. sette, C. set 
2400 seine scyii 

2460 souereyne goode soue- 
reyn good 

be founden ben fownde 

2461 veyne veyn 

2iH3 IpisistoseyneC. oinits 
21(51 denoyed VL&. deuoyd- 

<(!, C. denoyed 
goode u'ood ' 
I 210f> of MS. of of 


al fing fat is cleped iwperfit. is proued iwperfit by f e 

amenusynge of perfecc-iowi. or of f ing fat is perfit. and source of ail other 

her of comef it. fat in euery f ing general, yif fat. fat say that a thing 

men seen any f ing fat is iwperfit *certys in filke general J^ ft 1 ,;^ 
f er mot ben sowme fing fat is perfit. f For yif so 

- . , Nature takes not 

be bat perfemoun is don awey. men mav nat finke her origin from 

things diminish- 

nor seye fro whennes filke fing is fat is cleped inperfit. 
f For f e nature of f inges ne token nat her bygynnyng 
of binges amenused and iwperfit. but it procedib of SSothe remotest 

and most fruitless 

biizgu* fat ben al hool. and absolut. and descendef so things, if there 

be an imperfect 

douno in to outerest f inges and in to fingw* empty and 
wif oute fruyt. but as I haue shewed a iitel her byforne. 
bat yif ber be a blisfulnesse bat be frele and vein and thfcfeiidty 

sides. That God is 

inperfit. f er may no man doute. fat f er nys som blis- SjJJS*j? nor< Jjf 11 
Mnessefatissadstedfastawdperfit. b. f is is concludid ^| 
qwod I fermely and sofefastly. P. But cowsidere %$ 

. ,,.,., IT-., conceived better 

also quod. she in wham fis blisiulnesse enhabitef. fe 2482 
co?ttmune acordaunce and conceite of f e corages of men jfe w 

proueb and graunteb fat god prince of alle Ipingus is mu^t be food 

Reason clearly de- 

good. ^T For so as no bing ne may ben fouat bettre fan 

mu^t be food" 6 

Reason clearly de- 


God is good, and 

god. it may nat ben douted fan fat [he fat] no fing is 

bettre. fat he nys good. ^ Certys resourc shewef fat wer"not so He 

_ could not be the 

god is so goode bat it proueb by verray iorce fat perlit Ruler of aii things 

for there would 

goode is in hym. ^ For yif god ne is swiche. he ne jJi 

may nat ben prince of alle f inges. for certis som fing 

, ,/. r>. i 111-1 and who must 

possessyng in hym self perfit goode sholde ben more have existed 

before Him. And 

fan god. and [it] sholde seme fat filke fing were first J 

and elder fan god. If For we han shewed apertly fat 
alle f inges fat ben pe/-fit. ben first or f inges fat ben in- 

, r . -, may no run 

perfit. ^T And for bi for as moche as that my resou?^ with infinity, 

we must confess 

or my proces ne go nat awey wif oute an ende. we Q 

may not run on 

ou^tfe] to graunten fat f e souereyne god is ry^t ful of ft 

2466 al \>mg alle thing 
2:1(58 her of come\> ther of 


2470 somme som 
2171 don MS. done, C. don 
2473 token took 
21.75 hool hoole 
2470 dounc down 

2177 wi\> oute fruyt with 

owten frut 

2iSO stedfastsiydefotA 
2481 fenncly7*\&. fennely, 

1 fe 
C. fe 

sofefastly sothfastly 
24S(5 [lie \>a(] from C. 
is bettre nis bettre 

mate good. 

2488-89-91 goode good 
2489 swiche s\vych 
2492 [#] from 


seme semen 

2 193 elder eldore 
2t95 [tltaf] from C. 



And as we have souerevne perfit goode. and we han establissed bat be 

seen that the per- 

foSpSw^iff souereyne goode is verrey blisfulnesse. ban mot it nedes 

feiidty resides! ben [bat verray blysfulnesse is] yset in souereyne god. 

the Supreme Di- r> . , i T i JT , .LI -i 

vimty. Uutietus B. bis take 1 wel quod .1. ne bis ne may nat be wibseid 

see how we can ^ 

firmly and irre- i n no manere. ^T But I preie be q?/od she see now how 

fragamy prove 

God* SntSSfn 6 f 011 ma jst pieuen holily and wib-outew corrupciourc bis 

his own nature & , i T i *iij_ i .L _*> i . 

plenitude of per- bat I haue seid. bat be souereyne god is ry^t ml of 

feet and consum- ' 

if at ou g think that souere y ne goode. [In whych manure quod I.J wenest 

Ssgood r from ed )> ou OU 3* ^^ she f at fis prince of alle binges haue 

mast"eiieve n tff ytake bilke souereyne good any where ban of hym self. 

the giver of this . . 

2508 1T f wnicne souereyne goode men proueb bat he is ful 

the receiver. 

^73* as ] JOU my^test binken. bat god bat hab blisfulnesse 

e ev. , , _ i *n i i> <> i j"i 

But we have con- in hym sell, and bat like blisiulnesse bat is in nym 

eluded that there 

is nothing more were diuers in substaunce. ^F For yif bou wene bat 

excellent than 

& ^ aue rece y ue( i filke good oute of hym self, bou 

mayst wene bat he bat jaf bilke good to god. be more 

less of a different ., . , _. , T 

substance, we goode ban is god. T| But I am byknowen and confesse 

cannot conceive, 

fi the an ^ J 3 ^ T ^ ^S^^J lp^ g 0( i ^ s r y^ worbi abouen alle 

fmges. [ And yif so be bat bis good be in hym by 
differing one from nature, but bat it is diuers from [hym] by wenyng 
e88eiitfair hi diffen' resouw> s y n we s P e ^ e f g 0( i prince of alle binges feyne 
notbe the^aine 11 " w ^ so f e y ne may. who was he bat [hath] cowioigned 

bise diuers binges to-gidre. and eke at be last[e] se 

consequently/ wel bat o bing bat is diuers from any bing. bat bilke 

what in its nature 

2522 bing nis nat bat same bing. fro whiche it is vndir- 
chiefgood m cannot stondew to ben diuers. ban folweb it. bat bilke Iping bat 

be the supreme 

wou1d tJtoioQi ^ ^ S nature ^ S dyuers from souereyne good, bat bat 
toconceiveofGod, ^ n g n y s nat souereyne good, but certys bat were a 
S mSTn can felonous corsednesse to binken bat of hym. bat no bing 
worth. nis more worbe. For alwey of alle binges, be natwre 

2498 goode good 
2199 souereyne goode-^soue- 
reyn good 

2500 [ P a is] from C. 

yxet MS. ysette, C. set 

2501 fie ben 

wibseid MS. wipseide, 

C. withseid 
2503 wib-outen wit/i-owte 

2501 seid MS. seidc,C. scyd , . ,. 

2505 souereuiie yvudv suue- ' 2511 goode worth 

reyn good 

2505 [i - /] from C. 

2506 outf awht 

2507 paw o/ owt of 

2508 whiche whych 
souereyne goode souereyn 


2509 ha]> MS. hape 

2511 were weron 

2517 from fro 
[hym] from C. 

2518 feyne faigrie 

2519 feyne feigne 
[hath} from C. 

2520 to-iJM laste 

2521 o a 

2522 whiche whych 
2524 from fro 
2527 wis is 


of hem ne may nat ben better ban his bygywnyng. 
^[ For whiehe I may concluden by ry^t uerray resouw. 

e may tereor 

bat bilke bat is bygynnyng of alle binges, bilke same conclude that the 

Author of all 

bing is good in his substaunce. B. bou hast seid ry^t- 

fully quod I. P. But we han graunted qiiod she bat ^ 
souereyne good is blysfulnes. bat is so be quod .1. ban p. Butyouhave 

owned that true 

quod she mote we nedes graunten and confessen bat felicity is the sove- 

reign good ; then 

bilke same souereyne goode be god. ^[ Certys *quod f "pS?ffe 

IT , -, . , -. grant that God is 

. 1 ne may nat denye ne wibstonde be resourcs pur- that true felicity. 

B. Your conclu- 

posed. and I see wel bat it folweb by strengbe of be sums follow from 

r your premises. 

premisses, ^f Loke nowe quod she yif bis be proued 

[yit] more fermely bus. ^[ bat ber ne mowen nat ben 

. , , . r _ , by considering it 

two souereyne goodes bat ben diuerse amo n ges hem in this view, that 

J L ; fe there cannot be 

self, bat on is nat bat bat ober is. ban Fne 1 mowen two sovereign 

goods which differ 

neiber of hem ben perfit. so as eyber of hem lakkib to 

, . , . ^. , .1 of the goods that 

obir. but bat bat nis nat pernt men may seen apertly differ one cannot 

J be what the other 

bat it nis nat souereyne. be binges ban bat ben is ; wherefore 

neither of them 

souereynely goode ne mowen by no wey ben diuerse. 2545 

^T But I haue wel conclude bat blisfulnesse and god ben where one wants 

the other. That 

[the] souereyne goode. For whiche it mot nedes be bat which is not per- 

* feet cannot be the 

souereyne blisfulnesse is souerey[ne] dyuynite. ^f No She^ca^the 

bing qjiod I nis more sobefast ban bis ne more ferme by eSentlaUy differ- 

ent. But it has 
resouw. ne a more worbi bing ban god may nat ben been shown that 

God and hai- 

concluded. P. vpon bise binges ban quod she. ry^t as 
bise geometriens whan bei han shewed her proposiciouras 

-, LI .,. 1 . Supreme Divinity 

ben wont to brynge?>, in binges bat bei clepen ponsmes are one and the 

, , . -, , . ., T same. Following 

or declarac^ou7^s ot lorseide binges, ryn so wil I 2eue then the examples 

J -> of geometricians 

be here as a corolarie or a mede of coroune. For wlii. who deduc e th eir 


for as moche as by be getynge of blisfulnesse men ben 

maked blysful. and blisfulnesse is diuinite. ^[ ban is somethmg^ke a 

corollary as fol- 

it manifest and open bat by be gety/zg of diuinite men io\vs:-Becauseby 

the attainment of 

ben makid blisful. ry$t as by be getynge of iustice . . . 

2528 better bettre 

2529 whiche whych 

2531 seid MS. seide,C. seyd 
2533 so]>e soth 
2531 mote moten 
2539 [yif] from C. 
2511 is (1) nis 

2541 o\>er othre 
[ne'] from C. 

2546 conclude concluded 

2547 [the] from C. 

goode good be ben 

2549 so\>efast sothfast 
ferme MS. forme, C. 


2552 proposiciouns MS. 
proporsiouws, C. propo- 

2553 porismes MS. poeis- 
niHs, C. porysmes 

2554 wil wole 


and ^J 1> Q 8 e ^J n S of sapience pei ben maked wise. 

so nedes by pe semblable resowz whaw pei ban getyn 

of Divinity men .. . . . . 

are made happy, diuniite pei ben maked todays, ban is euery blisiul 

But as by the par- 

man d< ^ -^ ut cer ^ s % nature, per nys but oon god. 
but ty J> e paHicipac-i'ouws of diuinite fere ne lettep ne 
theymu8t I n 1 ece8- ty disturbep no ping bat per ne ben many goddes. 1f bis 

sarily, and by . . 

parity of reason, is qwod .1. a faire ping and a precious. ^[ Clepe it as 
f 011 wo *k ^ e '* corolarie or porisme or mede of coroune 
? or declarynges ^[ Certys quod she no fing nis fairer. 

participation of Di- . 

vine essence there ban is be bing bat by resouw snolde ben added to bise 

may be manygods. 

f rse ide finges. what Jring quod .1. ^f So quod sbe as 
a w! y it seme)? pat blisfulnesse contenip many pinges. it were 

not to consider f . ., , . . r , . -, ,, . . _ . , 

whether these lorto witen wlicbir bat alle bise binges maken or 

several things 

Si 11 the tody of con iig nen as a maner body of blysfulnesse by diuersite 

2574 of parties or [of] membris. Or ellys yif any of alle 

whether there ia bilke bmgws be swvche bat it acomplisc by hym self be 

not some one of 

twngs P c Say substaunce of blisfulnesse. so pat alle pise oper pinges 
sunce e S essence" ^en referred and bro^t to blisfulnesse. pat is to seyne 

of it, and to which I-OPT mr T i -i IT, 

aii the rest have a as to be cniei oi hem. 1 wolde qwod 1 bat bou 

relation ? 

B. illustrate makedest me clerly to vndirstonde what bou seist. and 

this matter by J 

31 ^ f 011 recor dest me pe forseide pinges. ^f Haue I nat 
sa? iuged quod she. pat blisfulnesse is goode. 3is forsope 

the same of all the 1T T^TATI T 

other goods ; for quod .1. and pat souereyne goode. ^| Adde pan qiiod 
is identical with s l ie pilke goode pat is maked blisfulnes to alle pe for- 
powerTk'eTise ' seide pinges. t For pilke same blisfulnesse pat is 
ing h re r putati a on! im " denied to ben souereyne sumsaunce. pilke self is 

and perfect 

pleasure, what souereyne power, souereyne reuerence. souereyne cler- 
sufficfeicy^plTwer nesse or noblesse and souereyne delit. what seist pou 
considered 8 ^ ^ P an of alle pise pinges. pat is to seyne. suffisance power 

principal ? 

2563 oono 
2561 lette\>let 

2566 faire fayr 

2567 porismc MS. pousme, 
C. porisuie 

2572 [pol from C. 
^.">7:J iiitiner 11 
6# be 

or are and bise ober binges, ben bei ban as membris of blisful- 

they to be referred 

to the sovereign nesse. or ben bei referred and brou^t to souereyne good. 

good as their " 

as alle pinges pat ben broa^t to pe cliief of hem. 

2583 goode good 
2585 self selue 

2588 \>ise C. omits 
seyne seyn 

2589 ofyer oothro 
25'Jl brouit MS. v 


2574 [o/] from C. 

2575 swyche swych 

2576 o\>er oothre 

2577 seyne s'eyn 

2578 chief-~chcf 

2581 goode %is good ys 

2582 souereyne youde soue- 
reyu good 


b. I vndirstonde wel quod. .1. what bou p?/rposest to B. i sec what 

you are aiming at, 

seke. but I clesijrfe] to herkene fat fou shewe it me. 
p. Take now f us ])e discressiouw of f is questions quod, 
she. yif al bise binges quod she weren rnembris to 

felicity, they 

ielicite. ban weren bei dmerse bat 0011 fro bat ober. would diner one 

from another, for 

^f And swiche is f e natwre of parties or of membris. 
pat dyuerse mewbris compounen a body, ^f Certis 

T>1 .. , , -i/. well shown that 

q uod 1 it nab wel ben shewed her byforne. bat alle bise ail these things 

T are the same and 

f inges ben alle on f ing. fan ben f ei none membris qwod thereforfthel- are 
she. for elly's it sholde seme fat blisfulnesse were theV'weVVham.i- 
conioigned * al of one membre alone, but bat is a bircg ness might be 

made up of one 

fat may nat ben doon. fis fing quod .1. nys nat member which 
doutous. but I abide to herkene fe remenaunt of fe 
question?*. fis is open and clere qitod she. fat alle ofer 

7 . , __ T1 P. All the thinirs 

binges ben referred ana brou^t to goode. IF Jbor per- above-mentioned 

must be tried by 

fore is suffisaunce requered. For it is denied to ben 2607 
good, and forfi is power requered. for men trowen also 2SiJe. e " 

_ . . Sufficiency,povvcr, 

bat it be goode. and bis same bmg mowe we binken and &c., are an desir- 

* f ' ed, because they 

coueiten of reuerence and of noblesse and of delit. fan 
is souereyne good fe soume and f e cause of alle fat thh 

J|--IT T IP i i "ii i "i i -i t i For that which 

amt e I be desired, forwhi bilke bmcj bat wib-holdeb no contains no good, 

either in reality or 

good in it self ne semblaunce of goode it ne may nat appearance, can 

never be desired. 

wel in no manere be desired ne requered. and fe con- 
trarie. For f 0113 fat f inges by hir nature ne ben nat 
goode algates yif men wene bat bei bew goode nt ben real goods. 

r r Hence, Good is 

f ei desired as f ou^ [fat] f ei were verrayly goode. and 

f erf ore is it fat men au^tew to wene by ry^t fat bounte 

P , . j? n j. i That which is the 

be souereyne lyn and be cause oi alle binges bat ben to cause of our de- 

J J siring any thing 

requeren. ^[ But certis bilke bat is cause for whiche is itself what we 

* * * chiefly want. If 

men requeren any fing. ^f it semef fat filke same ride a on d ac 8 count of 

..-, ii-i -PI iij health it is not 

f ing be most desired, as f us yit fat a wy3t wolde ryde the ride he wants 

so much as its 

for cause of hele. he ne desiref nat so mychel fe salutary effects. 

2593 rfe,sy 

shr for to herkne 

2594 Take tak 
2596 fro from 

25!>7 siviclie swhych 
2600 on \>ing othing 

2602 one on 

2603 ben doon be don 

260i herkene herknen 

2605 clere cler 
o\>er oothre 

2606 goode good 
2609 goode good 

mowe mowen 
2617 \\nxft- from C. 
were verrayly weeren 

2618 \>erfore thorfor 

2619 alle alle the 

2620 wMclie whych 
20^3 mychel nioclit-1 



LMKT. 10. 

Since all things 
are sought after 
for the sake of 
Good, they cannot 
be more desirable 
than the good it- 
self. It has been 
shown that all the 
aforesaid things 
are only pursued 
for the sake of 


happiness hence 
it is clear that 
good and happi- 
ness are essen- 
tially the same. 
B. I see no cause 
to differ from you. 
P. It has been 
proved that God 
and happiness are 
identical and 
B. That is true. 
Therefore the sub- 
stance of God is 
also the same as 
that of the 
Supreme Good. 

Come hither, all 
ye that are 
captives bound 
and fettered 
with the chains 
of earthly 
desires ; come 
to this source of 
goodness, where 
you shall find rest 
and security. 
[Chaucer's gloss 


upon the Text. ' 
Not the gold of 
Tagus or of Her- 
mus, nor the 
gems of India, 
can clear the 
mental sight from 
vain delusions, 
but rather 
darken it. 
Such sources of 
our delight are 
found in the 
earth's gloomy 
but the bright 
light that rules 
the heavens 
dispels the dark- 
ness of the soul. 
He who has seen 
this light will 
confess that the 
beams of the sun 
are weak and dim. 

2R24 moeuynrj moeuynge 
262fi [nafl rirom C. 
2623 o}>er oothre 

2630 clerely clerly 

good and blisfulnesse of 
good and of blysfulnesse 

2631 none oon 

232 myit[_eri} xnyhten 
2634 oon oo 

moeuyng to ryden as f e effect of his heele. Now fan 
syn fat alle f inges ben requered for fe grace of good, 
f ei ne ben [nat] desired of alle folk more fan f e same 
good ^T But we han graunted fat blysfulnesse is fat 
f ing for whiche fat alle f ise of er finges ben desired, 
fan is it f us fat certis only blisfulnesse is requered and 
desired ^[ By whiche f ing it shewef clerely fat good 
and blisfulnesse is al oone and fe same substaunce. 
T[ I se nat quod. I wher fore fat men my3t[en] discordcn 
in f is. p. and we han shewed fat god and verrey blys- 
fulnesse is al oon fing ^f fat is sofe quod .1. fan 
mo we we conclude sikerly fat f e substaunce of god is 
set in filke same good and in noon of er place. 2636 


A Comef alle to-gidre now 36 fat ben yca^t and 
** ybounde wif wickedfe] cheines by fe deceiuable 
delit of erf ely finges inhabytynge in ^oure f ou^t. here 
shal ben f e reste of $oure laboures. here is f e hauene 
stable in peisible quiete. f is al oone is f e open refut to 
wreches. Glosa. fis is to seyn. fat 30 fat ben corn- 
bred and deceyued wif worldly affecc^ourcs comef now 
to fis souereyne good fat is god. fat is refut to hem fat 
wolen come to hyni. Textus. ^f Alle f e finges fat f e 
ryuere Tagus 3iuef ^ow wif his golden[e] grauels. or 
ellys alle f e f ynges fat f e ryuere hermws. 3iuef wif his 
rede brynke. or fat yndus 3iuef fat is nexte f e hote 
pariiQ of fe worlde. fat medelef fe grene stones 
(smaragde) wif fe white (margarits). ne sholde nat 
cleren f e lokynge of 3oure f o^t. but hiden raf er 3oure 
blynde corages wif i/me hire dirkenesse IF Alle fat 
likef 3ow here and excitif and moeuef joure f ou3tes. 

2634 so\>e soth 

2635 mowe mowen 

2636 set MS. sette, C. set 
2638 wicked[e] wyckyde 
2639, 2640 here hpr 

2640 hauene MS. heuene, 
C. hauene 

2641 al oone allonfi 
2643 worldly worldely 

2645 come comyn 

2646 (jolden[_e\ grauels 
goldene srraunylcs 

2647 bynr/es MS.'rynges, C. 

hermits MS. herinws, C. 

2648 nexie noxt 
2G49 worlde world 


bo erbe hab noryshed it in hys lowe caues. but be B. i assent, and 

' am convinced by 

shynyng by pe whiche pe heuene is gouerned and ]J e l [^ < J| t fyour 
whennes pat it hap hys strengpe pat chasej) pe derke $*3SSS& 
ouerprowyng of pe soule. f And who so euer may Lnw d wSt f ffi 
knowen bilke lyjt of blisfulnesse. he shal wel seine bat & i should value 

J:> it infinitely if at 

])e white bemes of pe sonne ne ben nat cleer. 2659 fJJJ e a {{J}|| to 

the knowledge of 

A.SSENCIOR INQtf^M CUNCTA. BoiCG. Srdgn" good! 

[The 11 prose.] 

I assent [el me quod. .1. For alle bise binges ben P. i shau eluci- 
date this matter 
strongly bounden wip ry$t ferme resouws. how "^ 4 " 

mychel wilt pou pmsen it quod she. yif pat pou 

i -i , MI i -r i -i T-ri which I have 

knowe what bilke goode is. 1 wol preise it quod 1 by before laid down 

. . as conclusions. 

price wip outen ende. ^[ yif it shal bytyde me to B^I grant them 
knowe also to-gidre god pat is good, ^f certys quod she 

pat shal I do pe by verray resouw. yif pat po pinges pat majority of man- 
I haue concludefdl a litel her by *forne dwellen oonly [* foi. 22 y 

pursue are not 

in hir firstfe] grauntyreg. Boice. pei dwellen graunted 2668 
to pe quod .1. pis is to seyne as who seip .1. graunt pi 
forseide conclusion's. ^[ Haue I nat shewed pe qiiod 

because where 

she pat pe pinges pat ben requered of many folke. ne one of them is 
ben nat verray goodes ne perfit. for pei ben diuerse pat gSVaTptneS" 
oon fro pat oper. and so as eche of hem is lakkyng to inof ( shown, to^ 6 

-.i Ll ij-j>i that the true and 

oper. pei ne han no power to bryngen a good pat is ful chief good is made 
and absolute. IT But ban atte arst ben bei verray good wage of aii the 

goods in such a 

whan pei ben gadred to-gidre al in to a forme and in 
to oon wirchywg. so pat pilke ping pat is suffisaunce. 

,. , , , , , , sa 

pilk same be power and reuerence. and noblesse and 2678 

mirpe. ^ And forsope but alle pise pirages ben alle o j^ 

same ping pei ne han nat wher by pat pei mowen ben ST^hy ih^dd 

they be classed 

put in pe nou?ttbre ot pinges. pat ai^ten ben requered among desirable 
or desired, b. ^ It is shewed quod .1. ne her of mav w . hile 'I 1 . 6 " 6 , 

t/ things diner from 

per 110 man douten. p. pe pinges pan quod she pat ne 

2654, 2656 ha\> MS. ha}>e 
2654 hys hyso 
2656 chase\> \>e derke es- 
chueth the dyrke 
2657 euer C. oraits 
2658 seine sevn 
2660 assent^e] assente 
2662 mychel mochel 

2663 qoade good 
2664 price prys 
2669 is omitted 
seyne seyn 
2671 /oZ&e folkes 
2673 o\>er oothre 
eche ech 
2675 absolute absolut 

2675 atte arst at erste 
2676 oJ alle 
2677 to omitted 
wirchyng wyrkyiige 
2678 |>i/& thilke 
2681 put MS. putto, 0. put 
au^ten owhteri 



stance of those 

^ en none goodes whan bei ben diuerse. and whan bei 
.- bygynnen to ben al o J>ing. ban ben bei goodes. ne 

Do not they owe .. ., , , . , , .. . . 

their being good comib it hem nat ban by be getynge of unite bat bei ben 

to their unity ? 

R. so it appears, niaked goodes. b. so it seineb quod .1. but alle bing bat 

P. Do you confess 

that i e s V good h be? * s 8^- ^od she grauntest bou bat it be good by par- 
thepartSin ticipacioiw . of good or no. ^[ I graunt[e] it quod .1. 

of the sovereign r .. . 

good or no? [[ ban mayst bou graunt[en] it quod she by sembleable 

/.'. It Is SO. 

resou72 f 8 ^ oon a1l< ^ god ben o same bing. ^[ For of 
Binges [of] whiche bat be effect nis nat naturely diuerse 

, . . , , . T 

nedys be substaunce mot ben o same binge. 1 ne may 

the same, whose 

effects do not na- nat denve it quod I. Tf Hast bou nat knowen wel quod 

turally differ). S.I 

^"Doyo^notiJr- sne - t^ a ^ fi ll o f at ^ s ^f so l n g e I" 8 dwellyng and 
thingwhich v ex^" his substaunce. as longe is it oone. ^f but wliaw it 

ists is permanent ,.,, i .. ,.,. 7 

BO long as it pre- forlotib to ben oone it mot nedis dien and corrumpe to- 

serves its unity 

t?i^ re ' 1T -^ n wn i ne manere quod .T. ^[ Ry3t as in 
nd anni " beestes quod she. whan be soule and be body ben 
co?zioigned in oon and dwellen to-gidre it is cleped a 
n< ^ whan hire vnite is destroied by disseueraunce 
oon fram bat obir. ban sheweb it wel bat it is a 


one tMsbei e n<* m dede biwg. awe? bat it is no lehger no beste. and be 

is called an animal 

or beast, but 
when the union 

body of a wyzt while it dwelleb in oon forme by con- 
of ythe iuncc^oura of membris it is wel seyn bat it is a figure of 
mankynde. and yif be partyes of be body ben [so] 

The same may be' diuide[d] and disseuered bat oon fro bat obir bat bei 
^ estr i en vnite. be body forletib to ben bat it was by- 
forne. IF And who so wolde renne in be same manere 

thS themselves by alle binges he sholde seen bat wib outen doute euery 

lose their 

existence. binge is in his substaunce as longe as it is oon. and 

B. I believe we ' 

SwSeverycase wnan ^ forletib to ben oon it dieb and perissib. boice. 
ttiing wiuchTcts whan I considre quod I many binges I see noon ober. 

naturally that for- -,. T , 1-1 i i t ^ 

goes this desire of IF Is ber any bing banne quod she bat in as moche as 

existence and . f .. 

^for death it lyueb naturely. bat forletib be appetit or talent of 

2684 none no 

2685 al o alle oon 
26S6 comi\> comth 
2Gsi) grauntle'] grannie 
2690 mayst \>ou (irawnt[eri] 

most how 
269^ [<;/] from 0. 

2695 a? alle 
ha\> MS. haj>e 

2696, 2697 oone oon 

2698 whiche which 

2703 dede <le<l 
lenger lenjrere 
beste beest 

2704 while whil 


2706 O] diiiide^so de- 


2709 so omitted 
2713 many manye 


hys beynge. and desire]) to come to dee]? and to cor- 

rupczourc. ^[ yif I considere quod I febeestes fat han f which, of it- 

... /. -11 T self and without 

any manere nature ot willywge or ot nmynge 1 ne constraint, re- 

nounces or de- 
fynde no ping, but yif it be constreyned fro wif out 

forfe. fat forletif or dispisef to lyue and to durew 
or fat wole his fankes hasten hyra to dien. ^[ For 

am doubtful whe- 

euery beest trauaylef hy?ft to defende and kepe fe 2722 

sauuac^ourc of lijf. and eschewef deef and destruccfoim. 

b. but certys I doute me of herbes and of trees, fat is forThey hav 

sensitive soul, nor 

to seyn bat I am in a doute of swiche binges as herbes an y natural voij- 

J r tion like animals. 

or trees fat ne han no felyrcg soule. ne no < naturel Jus^for doubt in 
wirchynges seruywg to appetite as beestes han whef er 

first choose a con- 

bei han appetite to dweller and to duren. 1 Certis venient place to 

grow in. where, 

10 the 

qwod she ne f er of far f e nat doute. IF Now look ^tive 10 their 

vpon fise herbes and fise trees, fei waxen firste in 

swiche place as bera couenable to hem. in whiehe place 

bei ne mowen nat sone dien ne dryen as longe as hire plains, some on 

* mountains, &c. ; 

nature may defenden hem. ^ For some of hem waxen 
in feldes and some in mouwtaignes. and of ir waxen in 

some grow on 

mareis. \A leaf lost here, and supplied from (7.1 2735 thing that vege- 

tates, nature gives 

[and oothre cleuyn on Roches / and soume waxen plenty- 

uos in sondes / and yif fat any wyht enforce hym to 

beryn hem in to oother places / they wexen drye // For 

nature yeueth to euery thing fat / fat is comienient to piants y are nour 

hym and trauaylith fat they ne dye nat as longe as they 

han power to dwellyn and to lyuen // what woltow seyn 

of this / fat they drawen alle hyr norysshynges by hyr ut ei thewhoie Ugl] 

rootes / rvht as they haddyn hyr Mowthes I. -p lounged SeS- marrow P 

' J And further, it is 

in the erthes / and shedyn by hyr maryes (i. me- 
hyr wode and hyr bark / and what woltow seyn 

of this fat thilke thing / fat is ryht softe as the marye (i. the middle of the 

trunk, suiTound- 

sapp) is / bat is alwey hidd in the feete al with inne and ed with hard and 

rr/ i * solid wood, and 

fat it is defendid fro with owte by the stidefastnesse of 
wode // and fat the vttereste bark is put ayenis the des- 

2718 loillynge wylnynge 

or and 
27M) \>ing beest 2726 soule Bowles I 2733, 2734 some som [1'yrst 

outfor\>e owte forth 2727 appetite appetites I 2734 o\>ir oothre 


2720 lyue lyuen I 2729 look loke 

2723 qflijf of hys lyf 2730 waxen firste wexen 


Admire, too, temprauwce of the heuene / as a defendowr myhty to suf- 
2751 fren harm / and thus certes may stow wel sen / how gret is 

pa^tin?p{antT the diligence of nature / For alle thinges renouelen and 

by a multiplicity 

of seeds, which pupllisen hem with seed . I. -multiplyed / ne ther ms no man 

t ever* 8 edyficefor to duren / nat only for a tyme / but ryht asforto 
duren perdurablely by generacyouw // and the thinges ek 

most suitable to . 

their beings, and bat men wenennehauennonesowles/nedesire they nat ecn 

to preserve con- J 

whySSuid P ttIe ^ ^ em ^ sem[b]lable resouw to kepyn fat that is Mrs / fat 
is to seyn fat is acordynge to hyr nature in conseruacioim 
of hyr beynge and endurynge // For wher for elles berith 
2761 lythnesse the flaumbes vp / and the weyhte presseth the 

thelfmotSr erthe a-dourc // but For as moche as thilke places and 

were agreeable to .. 

their respective thilke moeuvnges ben couenable to euerich 01 hem // 

natures? What- J ' 

to e the S nS e e a of e a an ^ fr> rs othe euery thing kepith thilke fat is acordynge 
so'whatTs^n- 14 ' and propre to hym // ryht as thinges fat ben contraryes 
destroy 8\t! n Dense and encmys corompen hem // and yit the harde thinges 

bodies, such as 

stones, resist an a s stoones clyuen and holden hyr partyes to gydere 

easy separation of 

the' paYtTdefo; r J ht faste and narde / and deffenden hem in withstond- 
tSnS^uchaaSr enge fat they ne departe nat lyhtly a twyne // and the 
siiy Sarated aiid thinges fat ben softe and fletynge as is water and Eyr 

soon reunited. 

2771 they departyn lyhtly // and yeuen place to hem fat 
utterf/refusesany brekyn or deuyden hem // but natheles they retornerc 

such division. I 

am not now treat- sone avein in to the same thinges fro whennes they ben 

ing of thevolun- 

arraced //but fyr [fleeth] and refuseth alle deuysyourc/ 
ne I. ne trete nat heere now of weleful moeuynges of the 

stinct. We swal- .. . , _ .-. , 

low our meat with- sowle bat is knowynge // but ol the naturel entenciou?z 

out thinking of it, 

and we draw our O f thinees // As thus rvht as we swolwe the mete bat we 

breath in sleep ' / 

tion! OU TheTo e v P e"of rcsseyuen and ne thinke nat on it / and as we drawen 
not derived 1 from o wre breth in slepyngo fat we wite it nat whil we slepy t // 

an intellectual ,t i n i i * 

will, but from For certes in the beestys the loue ol hyr lyuynges ne ol 

natural principles 

2781 hyr beeinges ne comth nat of the wilnynges of the sowle // 
implanted ni^ e ^ ^ ^ tyaynnyiLgis of nature // For certes thorw 

will, induced by , _ 

powerful reasons, constreynynge causes / wil desireth and embraceth iul 

2753 pupllisen H. publis- 

2755 edyficeM$. edyfite 

2755 a tyme H. oon) tyiuc 
2758 thatH. omits 
hirs H. his 

2774 tflcethlfrom H. 

2775 tvelefulH. wilfulle 
2779 slepy t H. slepcn 

ROOK 3. 
! ROSE 11. 



ofte tynie / the deth bat nature dredith'// that is to scyn 

as thus that a man may ben constreynyd so by som though Store " 

, . , dreads and abhors 

cause that his wil desireth and taketh the deth which it. And, on the 

contrary, we see 

bat nature hateth and dredeth ful sore // And som tyme 
we seeth the contrarye / as thus that the wil of a wight / 
destorbeth and constreyneth bat bat nature desireth / and strained by tho 

will. Self-love 

requereth al-wey//that is to sein the werk of generaciourc/ ^S^notS 
by the whiche generaciouw only / dwelleth and is sus- 2791 

product of voli- 

tenyd the longe durablete of mortal thinges // And thus tion, but proceeds 
this charite and this Loue J?at euery thing hath to hym ten " 

self ne comth nat of the moeuynge of the sowle / but of 

... ni created things an 

the entenciouw 01 nature // I 1 or the pumyance 01 god instinct, for the 

' ' purpose of self- 

hat yeuen to thinges j)at ben creat of hym / this bat is 
a ful gret cause / to lyuen and to duren / for which they 

, . ,, . , , ., ,, limits. Doubt not, 

desiren naturelly hyr lyi as longe as euer they mowen // therefore, that 

" everything which 

For w[h]ych thou maist nat drede by no man ere / that 2799 

alle the thinges / that ben anywhere / that they ne re- Stence Suvoids 

queren naturelly / the ferme stablenesse of perdurable B* YOU We made 
dwellynge / and ek the eschuynge of destruccyoiw // B // ' 

now confesse I. wel quod I. that I. see wel now certeynly/ 
vrith owte dowtes / the thinges that whylom semeden 
vneerteyn to me / P.// but quod she tliilke thynsj bat retain s its unity 

J ' for if this be tak 

desireth to be and to dwellyn perdurablely / he desireth 


to ben oon // For yif j^at that oon weere destroied // certes 2807 
beinge ne shulde ther non dwellyn to no wiht // that true i 

P. All things then 

is soth quod I. // Thaiine quod she desirin alle thinges Jj" one thin s 
oon // .1. assente quod .1. // and I haue shewyd quod she p\ unitVthen is 
that thilke same oon is thilke that is irood // B // ye for- a. IS?* a 

P. Thus all 

sothe quod I. // Alle thinges thanne quod she requyren things desire good 

1 and it is one 

good // And thilke good thanne [bow] maist descryuen 2813 

ryht thus // Good is thilke thing bat euery wyht de- that au creatures 

sireth // Ther ne may be thowht quod .1. no moore -B- Nothing is 

more true. For 

verray thing / for either alle thinges ben referred and 

browht to nowht / and floteryn "with owte gouernour ^Je no "elation 

2788 secth II. seen) 

wil H. wille 
2792 AndH. as 

2796 liat H. haue 

2800 theH. j>o 

2806 perdurablely H. per- 


2807 destroied H. destrued 
2811 thilke (1) H. ittte 


Despoiled $ oon / as f hir propre heiied / or elles yif 
ther be aii y Blunge / to which fat alle thinges tendon 
tea%!tMngto ere and hyen / that thing moste ben the souereyn good of 
tend, that must be alle goodes / P /. thanne seyde she thus // my norry 

the supreme good. ' ' II J J 

\ m e St yP ^ S ^ e * naue ret gl a( inesse of the // For thow 

hast fichched in thin herte the myddel sothtfastnesse // 
bat jtut now TOO that is to seyn the prykke // but this thing hath ben 

were ignorant. 

2825 descouered to the / in that thow seydyst fat thow 
u.whatwasthat? wystest nat a lytel her by-forn // what was that quod 
p. The End of aii I. // That thow ne wystest nat quod she whych was 

things. And this 

the ende of tnin g es // an(i Certes that is the thing fat 
wiht desireth // and for as mochel as we han 

esired by all, i t i j i i T in i ,1 --11 > 

therefore Good is gaderid / and comprenendyd that good is thilke thing 

the End of all ' J 

things. that is desired of alle / thanne moten we nedes con- 

2832 fessun / that good is the fyn of alle thinges, 


so ^ iat se ki tn sot ^ ^7 a deep thoght And 

coueyteth nat to ben deseyuyd by no mys-weyes // 
'idssium- lat hym rollen and trenden vrii/i Inne hym self /the Lyht 

bering thoughts, . . 

j\n J turn the inner oi his inward syhte // And lat hym gadere ayem en- 
eoui itself. clynynge in to a compas the longe moeuynges of hys 

The knowledge thowhtes / And lat hym techen his corage that he hath 

that he seeks ' 

enc l se( l an d hyd / in his tresors / al fat he compaseth or 
sekithfrowMowte// And thanne thilke thing that the 
2841 blake cloude of errour whilom hadde y-couered / shal 
The light of Truth lyhtcn more clerly thawne phebw.s hym self ne shy neth // 

G1 Sa // Wn S W le Sekei1 the de P[ e ] g^OUnde / of SOth 

i n n i g thowht / and wol nat be deceyuyd by false pro- 

] posiciouws / that goon amys fro the trouthe // lat hym wel 
examine / and rolle vfith inne hym self the nature and 
2847 the propretes of the thing // and lat hym yit eft sones 
examine and rollen his thowhtes by good deliberaciouw 

2818 hcued or elles- -H. hede 

or els 

2820 hi > en'R. hyen) to 
moste H. must 

2838 hisfl. his 

thatK. and bat 
2841 blake H. blak 

hadde y-couered II. had 


2842 lifli ten 1ft. light 

2843 rfeplVj] C. (lop, II. lcp 
2847 thing- II. b\u S es 

?S2sE 3 .] TRUTH INTUITIVE. 101 

or that he deme // and lat hym tcchen his sowle that it 2849 

hat hy naturel pryncyplis kyndeliche y-hyd with in 

it self alle the trowthe the whiche he ymagynith to ben [Chaucer's gloss ] 

in thinges with owte // And thanne alle the dyrknesse of 

his mysknowynge shal seen more euydently to [fe] 

syhte of his vndyrstondynge thanne the sonne ne semy th 2854 

to [be] syhte with owte forth / For certes the body For when the body 

17 enclosed the soul 

bryngynge the weyhte of foryetynge / ne hath nat chasyd 
owtof yowre thowhte al the clernesseof yowreknowyng// 

n tit -i / itiiTii ^ i ,1 heaven-born light. 

For certeynly the seed ot sooth haldith ana clyuetn The germs of truth 

were latent with- 

with in yowre corage / and it is a-waked and excited by *" d were 

J J fanned into action 

the wynde and by the blastes of doctryne // For where breath ff learning. 
for elles demen ye of yowre owne wyl the ryhtes whan 2861 
ye ben axed // but yif so were fat the noryssynges of were not truth 
resoim ne lyuede .I.-plowngyd in the depthe of yowre 

herte // this [is] to seyn how sholden men demen f e 

sooth of any thing fat weere axed / yif ther neere a 

Eoote of sothfastnesse fat weere yplowngyd and hyd in 2866 

the naturefl] pryncyplis / the whiche sothfastnesse 

lyued with in the depnesse of the thowght // and yif so, if what Plato 

J taught is true, 

so be fat the Muse and the doctryne of plato syngyth ot^^thanto^e 
sooth // al fat euery whyht lerneth / he ne doth no been'befOTe^ had 
thing elles thanne but recordeth as mere recordyn thinges 
fat ben foryetyn. 2872 


[The .12. prose.] 

rFHanne seide I thus // 1 acorde me gretly to plato / for piaL^opSif 
* thow remenbrist and recordist me thise thinges vit] a swond tSe"?? 

* J called these things 

* f e seconde tyme. fat is to seyn. first whan I lost[e] my " 
memorie by f e contagious coniuncc/oun of fe body wif 

f e soule. and eftsones afterward whan I lost[e] it con- 
tagious union of 
iounded by be charge and by pe burden 01 my sorwe. soul and body, 

J and afterwards by 

If And fan sayde she fus. 1T If fou look[e] qwod she ^JSJJJ^ * 111 * 
firste fe finges fat fou hast graunted it ne shal nat fectuponUiccSi- 

2863 deptlieH.. depe 
28(34 [*] from II. 
sholden H. slmldc 

2867 nature[l~\ II. imtztrello I 2879 ZooA-[c] looke 
2875, 2877 lost[e\ loste | 2880 Jirstcfyrst 

2878 burden burdciie 




)K 3. 
[PROSE 12. 

J> ou ne shalfr remembren pilke ping Jjat 
pou seidest pat pou nistest nat. what ping qod I. 

of which you late- _., , . , , , . . i i 

ly confessed your Tl by wniche gouermewt quod she pat pis worlde is 

I con- 

ji. what is that ? gouerned. Me remembrip it wel quod I. 

fesse wel J> at I ne wist[e] it nat f But al be it so pat 
I sc now from afer what pou pwrposest 1F Algates I 

fessed my ignor- 

ance, but though desire ait to herkene it of be more pleynely. IT bou ne 

I now remotely 

wen( ^ est nat <1 MO( 1 she a Htel here byforne pat men 
sholden doute pat pis worlde is gouerned by god. 
ledged a little " IT Certys auod I ne sitte doute I it namt. ne I nil 

while ago that this ' 

world was govera- neuer wene bat it were to doute. as who seib. but I 

6CI Dy (rOQ r * * 

gjs r ffi2SS wot wel pat god gouernep pis worlde. IT And I shal 
re 1 asons e fortm^ y shortly answere be by what resou7^s I am bromt to bis. 

belief. The dis- 

cordant elements ^[ jji s worlde quod I of so many dyuerse and cowtrarious 
2895 parties ne my^ten neuer han ben assembled in o forme. 

would never have . . . , r 

assumed their but yif bere ne were oon bat comoigned so many e 

present form un- 

diuerse] pinges. ^[ And pe same diuersite of hire 
natures pat so discordeden pat oon fro pat oper most[e] 
depaHen and vnioigne7^ pe pircges pat ben coTiioigned. 

.. r -, , , - 

yif bere ne were oon bat contened e bat he ha'b co?z- 

J r 

ioigned and ybounde. ne be certein ordre of nature ne 
^olde. nat brynge furpe so ordinee moeuynge. by 
places, by tymes. by doynges. by spaces, by qualites. 

reigns throughout 

nature could not yif here ne were oon pat were ay stedlast dwellynge. 

proceed so regular- 

Jy if therewere" ^ or( ieyned[e] and disposedfe] pise diuersites of 

chan^Sbifknd" moeuynges. 1" and pilke pinge what so euer it be. by 

and dfspose^o er whiche pat alle pinges ben maked and ylad. I clepe 

of changes. This hym god bat is a worde bat is vsed to alle folke. ban 

Being, the creator J 

sne - I 

th?jo1ni5 g a of mon> 

such opposites 

would have dis- 

united and ruined 

the fabric made 

up of them, had 

meMs SntbSe 1 " 

trowe pat I haue lytel more to done, pat pou my3ty of 

2883 whiche which 

gouerment gouernement 

worlde wordyl 
2885 wist[_e\ wiste 

2887 pleynely pleynly 

2888 here byforne her by- 

2889 worlde is world nis 

2890 }Ute doute yit ne 

nil nel 
2892 wot MS. wotc, C. wot 

2892, 2894 worlde world 

2893 answere answeren 

2894 many manye 

2895 my^ten myhte 

2896 \>ere ther 
many\e\ manye 

2897 \diuerse\- from C. 
hire hir 

2898 most[e'] moste 
2900 \>ere ther 

contened\_e] contenedc 
IM\> MS. habe 

2902 fur\>e forth 
ordinee moeuynge ordene 

2904 \>ere ther 
stedfast stidefast 

2905 ordeyned\je} ordeynedo 
disposed ^e~\ disponede 

2907 whiche which 
ben be 

ylad MS.yladdc, C. I-ladd 

2908 worde word 
folke foolk 


wilfulnesse hool and sounde ne se eftsones fi contre. 
If But lat vs loken f e finges fat we han pwposed her- 

. . happy and secure, 

byforn. ^f Haue I nat noumbred and seid qwoa she and revisit thy 

own country. But 

fat suffisaunce is in blisfulnesse. and we han accorded 
fat god is and filke same blisfulnesse. IF yis forsofe quod 
I. and bat to gouerne bis worlde quod she. ne shal he 

true happiness? 

neuer han nede of none helpe fro wifoute. for ellys yif And have we not 

J J seen that God is 

he had[de] nede of any helpe. he ne sholde not haue 
[no] ful suffisauwce. $is fus it mot nedes be quod I. 


For if lie should, 

,,, itt i 11 i -i 

n ordeynef he by hym sell al oon alle fmges quod, he would not be 

she. fat may nat ben denied quod, I. ^ And I haue 

shewed fat god is fe same good. 1F It remerabref me # 01 it cannot be 

wel quod I. 1F fan ordeinef he alle finges by filke p^TiTa shown 

~ , , . . , -i -i , that God is the 

goode quod she. Syn he whiche we han accorded to chief f?ood ; God 


ben good gouernef alle f ingus by hym self, and he is a 

keys' and a stiere by whiche fat fe edifice of fis worlde 

is ykept stable and wif oute corumpynge ^f I accorde 

me gretly quod I. and I aperceiuede a litel here byforn 2928* 

fat f ou woldest seyne fus. Al be it so fat it were by bSnSnd^fler, 

i it mr -n ^y which this ma- 

a bmne suspecioim. I trowe it wel quod she. J^or as chine of the world 

is steadily and se- 

I trowe f ou leedest nowe more ententifly fine eyen to 

loken f e verray goodes 1F but naf eles f e finges fat I * nt 

shal telle fe ?it ne shewef nat lasse to loken. what is Suevei 8 t; for your 

eyes are now more 

fat quod I. IT So as men trowen quod she and fat 
ry^tfully fat god gouernef alle finges by f e keye of his 

r i i 11 . , T n n lamgroingtosayis 

goodnesse. IF And alle f ise same binges as I [haue] not less open to 

your view. 

tamt be. hasten hem by naturel entencioun to comen ^. what is that? 

7 f P. As we believe 

to goode fer may no man douterc. fat fei ne ben 
gouerned uoluntariely. and fat fei ne conuerten [hem] 

natural tendency 

nat of her owew wille to be wille of hire ordenoiir. as towards the good, 

can it be doubted 

fei fat ben accordyng and enclinynge to her gouernowr 

2911 wilfulnesse weleful- 

2912 han ha 

2913 seid MS. seide, C. seyd 

2916 worlde world 

2917 none helpe non help 

2918 had[fle~} hadde 
helpe help 

2919 [wo] from C. 

2921 ben denied be denoyed 
2921, 2926 whiche which 

2925 ben be 

2926 worlde world 
2928 gretly gretely 

here her 


2931 nowe now 

2932 na]>eles nat[h]lcs 

2920 al oon allouo I 2935 ry^fttllyTA&, on ryjt- 

2936 [haue\ from C. 

2938 goode good 

2939 [tern] from C. 
2910 nat omitted 

her hir 
owen owne 
wille (both)\vi\ 

hire hyr 
2941 her hyr 


[* Foi. 23 &.] and her kyng. IF It mot nedys be so quod. I. * IT For 

mit to the will 

f e realme ne sholde not seme blisful 3if fere were a 3ok 
of mysdrawynges in diuerse parties ne f e sauynge of 
fortes! who afety obedient f inges ne sholde Hat be. ban is bere no bing 

obey, if the discord , , , . . , 

of a portion were quod she fat kepif hys nature f fat enforcef hym to 

that e fffiw h /the gone a 3 e y ne g Q(i - 1T No <\ uo &> ! ^ And if fat any fiwg 
2948 enforced[e] hym to wif stonde god. my^tfe] it auayle at 

dictates of nature , , . 

that seeks to f e laste a3eyns hym fat we han graunted to ben al 

counteract the will T . 

wiKotJri' outerly it ne my3t[e] nat auaylen hym. fan is fere no 
hTni.'who \s su- f ing q uod she bat eyber wol or may wibstonde to bis 

premely happy 

and consequently souereyne good. *K I trowe nat quod. . *fi ban is 


nothlngthat 8 filke fe souereyne good quod she fat alle Dingus 
wHh e s r t3tMs ean gouernef strongly and ordeynef hem softly, farc seide I 
S P NSS ' bus. I delite me quod I nat oonly in be endes or in be 


sommes of [the] reso^s fat fou hast concludid and 
2958 proued. IF But filke wordes fat fou vsest deliten me 
orSaiHiiings nioche more. IF So at be lastfe] fooles bat so?wtvme 

-"werfully and 

renden greet [e] f inges a^te^ ben asshamed of hem 
self. ^" fat is to seyne fat we fooles fat reprehenden 

more with your . , .., . 

language ; so that wickedly f e f ingus fat touchen goddes gouernaunce we 
obSons^he au 3 tew ^ en asshamed of oure self. As I fat seide god 
mint! govem " refusef oonly fe werkes of men. and ne entremetif nat 
p. You e iiave read of hem. p. fou hast wel herd quod she be fables of be 

the Poets' fables, 

2966 poetes. how fe geauntes assailden fe heuene wif fe 
stored hSn- goddes. but for sof e f e debonaire force of god disposedFe] 

how they were re- 
pulsed and hem so as it was worbi. bat is to seyne distroiedfel be 

punished accord- 

delerts^lutmay g eauntes - as ^ was WOrfi. ^ But wilt fOU fat W6 

ou 6 r reasTn^ to- e ioygnen togedre filke same rescues, for perauenture of 

gether, for by so ., . /, . , , 

doing some clear swiche coJlluncc^ou?^ may sterten vp some faire sperkele 

spark of truth may 

ahine forth ? o f sof e IF Do quod I as f e list, wenest fou quod she 

2943 realme Reaume 

seme semen 
2945 \>ere ther 

2947 gonea^eyne goonayein 

2948 enforced\e~\ enforcede 
my$t\_e~] myhte 
auayle auaylen 

2949 a^eyns a-yenis 
2951 outerly owtrely 

my$l{_e\ myhte 

auaylen MS. aualeyne, 

C. aiiaylen 
hym hem 
\>ere ther 
2952 wol vvole 

2960, 2963 autfen owliten 
2961 seyne seyn 
2965 of hem of it 
herd MS. herde, C. herd 

. , . 

wibstonde wity^-stondyn 2967 disposed{_e] desposede 
\)is souereyne his soue- i 2963 seyne distroied[e'] seyn 
2955 softly softtely [reyn j destroyede 
2957 sommes sorame j 2971 swiche swych 

[the~\ from C. some som 

2959 last[e] laste I 2972 so^^soth 

2960 greet[c] grete I list liste 


bat god no is almysty. no man is in doute of it. Certys B. AS you please. 

P. IsGodomnipo- 

quod I no wy$t ne defendib it if he be in hys mynde. g nt N ? o one doubts 
but he quod she bat is al my^ty bere nis no bing bat he if he is ai- 
ne may do. bat is so be qwod I. May god done yuel 

quod she. nay for sobe quod. I. ^f ban is yuel no bing B. He can doubt- 

' less do all things. 

quod she. IT Syn bat he ne may not done yuel bat 

may done alle binges, scornest bou me quod. I. or ellys 5nSo3i, n !!S?' 

i i , almighty, cannot 

pleyest bou or decemest bou me. bat hast so woueii me do it ? 

.B. Dost thou mock 

. . 

wib bi rescues. be house of didalus so entrelaced. bat it 

me, leading me 

is vnable to ben vnlaced. bou bat ober while entrest 
bere bou issest and ober while issest bere bou entrest. 
ne f coldest bou nat to gidre by replicaczou^ of wordes a 

vine Simplicity? 

maner wondirful cercle or envirounynge of symplicite 
deuyne. IF For certys a litel her byforne whan bou by- 
guraie atte blisfulnesse bou seidest bat it is souereyne 
good, and seidest bat it is set in souereyne god. and bat then, that God was 

* that Good and the 

god is be ful[le] blisfulnesse. for whiche bou $af[e] me 2989 

,,.... . perfection of 

as a couenable ante, bat is to seyne bat no wyu nis happiness; and, 

hence, thou didst 

blisful. but yif he be good al so ber wib and seidest infer that nobody 

could be happy 

eke bat be forme of goode is be substaunce of god. and nk 

of blisfulnesse. and seidest bat bilke same oone is bilke 

same goode bat is requered and desired of al be kynde substance whereof 

God and happiness 

of binges, and bou proeuedest in disputynge bat god 
gouerneb alle [the] binges of be worlde by be gouerne- 

, , , ,, , . i in nature. Thou 

mentys ot bouiitee. and seydest bat alle binges wolen didst prove that 

J J God rules the 

ybeyen to hym. and seidest bat be nature of yuel nis wor 

ness, and that all 

no bing. and bise binges ne shewedest bou nat wib no 
rescues ytake fro wiboute but by proues in cercles and 
homelyche knowen. H be whiche proeues drawen to hem 

and natural ar^u 

self Mr feib and Mr accorde eueriche [of] hem of ober. ban JJ^J^^^" 
seide she bus. I ne scorne be nat ne pleye ne desseyue fetched r ^ ons ' 

2992, 2994 goode good 

2993 oone oon 

2994 aZ alle 

2996 [the} from C. 

2998 ybeyen obeyen 

2999 no (2) none 

3000 ytake I-taken 

3001 homelyche hoomlich 

2973 is (l)-be 
man omitted 
is (2) nis 

2974 defendfy dowtcth 

2975 \>ere ther 

2976 do C. omits 
so]?e soth 
done don 

2978, 2979 done don 

2930 woucn MS. wonnen, C. 


2981 house hows 
2983 \>ere (both)ther 

2987 atte at 

2988 set MS. sette, C. set 
L989 ful\le\ fulle 

whiche wh ich 

2999 yfte yit't 
seyne seyn 

3002 eueriche euerich 
[of] from C. 


P. I have not de- 
luded you, for by 
the Divine aid we 
have accomplish- 
ed our chief task. 
I have proved to 
you that it is an 
essential property 
of the Divine 
nature not to go 
out of itself, nor 
to receive into 
itself anything 
extraneous. Par- 
menides says of 
the Deity that 
God is like a well- 
rounded sphere. 


[* fol. 24.] 
He causes the 
moving globe 
to revolve, but is 
himself immov- 
able. If I have 
chosen my argu- 
ments from the 
subjects within 
range of our dis- 
cussion, do not let 
that surprise you, 
for, as Plato has 
taught us, there 
ought to be an alli- 
ance between the 
words and the sub- 
ject of discourse. 

[The .12. Mc-twr.] 
Happy is he that 
hath seen the lucid 
spring of truth ! 
Happy the man 
that hath freed 
himself from ter- 
restrial chains ! 
The Thracian 
poet, consumed 
with grief for 
the loss of his wife, 
sought relief from 
music. His 
mournful songs 
drew the woods 
along; the rolling 
rivers ceased to 
flow ; the savage 
beasts became 
heedless of their 
prey ; the timid 
hare was not 
aghast at t lie 
hound. But the 


(.MET. 12. 

f e. but I haue shewed to f e f inge fat is grettest ouer 
alle f inges by f e }ifte of god fat we some tyme prayden 
IF For f is is f e forme of [the] deuyne substaunce. fat 
is swiche fat it ne slydef nat in to outerest foreine 
f inges. ne ne rec[e]yuef no strange f inges in hym. but 
ry^t as parmaynws seide in grek of f ilke deuyne sub- 
staunce. he seide fus fat filke deuyne substaunce 
tome]) f e worlde and filke cercle moeueable of f inges 
while j)ilke dyuyne substaurcce kepi]) it self wij) outen 
moeuynge. ]>at * is to seyne ])at it ne moeui]) neuere mo. 
and $itte it moeuef alle o])er Binges, but na-f eles yif I 
[haue] stered resou/is fat ne ben nat taken fro wif oute 
f e compas of ])e f inge of whiche we treten. but resouras 
fat ben bystowed wi]) i/me fat compas fere nis nat whi 
fat fou sholde[st] merueylen. sen fou hast lerned by 
f e sentence of plato fat nedes f e wordes moten ben 
cosynes to f o f inges of whiche f ei speken. 3020 


"niisful is fat man fat may seen f e clere welle of good. 
^ blisful is he fat may vnbynde hym fro f e bonde of 
heuy erf e. 1T f e poete of trace [orphez/s] fat somtyme 
hadde ry^t greet sorowe for f e deef of hys wijf. aftir fat 
he hadde maked by hys wepely songes f e wodes meue- 
able to rennen. and hadde y maked f e ryueres to stonden 
stille. and maked fe hertys and hyndes to ioignen 
dredles hir sides to cruel lyourcs to herkene his songe. 
and had[de] maked fat fe hare was nat agast of fe 
hounde whiche fat was plesed by hys songe. so fat 
whane f e mostfe] ardaunt loue of hys wijf brende f e 

300i \>e \>inge the the thing 

3005 lifte yift 

some tyme prayden 
whilom preyeden 

3006 [the~\ from C. 

3007 swiche swich 

3009 parmaynws a par- 

3011 worlde world 

3012 while wliil 

tvi\> outen \viih owto 

3013 seyne seyn 

3014 ittte vit 
o\>er ootnre 

3015 [haue'] from C. 

3016 whicJie which 

3017 ivi\> inne with in 
3020 cosynes MS.conccyucd, 

C. cosynes 
]po pe 

whiche which 
3022 vnbynde vnbyndyn 

3022 bonde boncles 

3023 [orpheus] from C. 
somtyme whi 1 om 

3024 sorowe sorwe 

3028 dredles dredelcs 

to herkene for to herkticn 

3029 had[_de~] had do 

3030 \>at (2) omitted 

3031 most[e\ inostc 

BOOK 3.1 
MET. 12. J 



entrailes of his brest. ne fe songes fat hadde oner 
comeii alle finges ne my^ten nat assuage hir lorde 
orpheus. IF He pleyned[e] hym of f e godes fat werew 
cruel to hym. he wente hym to f e houses of helle and 
fere he tempredfe] hys blaundissyng songes by re- 
sounyng of hys strenges. ^[ And spak and song in 
wepynge alle fat euer he hadde resceyued and laued 
oute of fe noble welles of hys modir calliope J>e god- 
desse. and he song wif as mychel as he my^tfe] of 
wepynge. and wif as myche as loue fat doubled[e] his 
sorwe my^tfe] ^eueii hym and teche hy??^ in his seke 
herte. ^[ And he commoeuede f e helle and requeredfe] 
and sou^te by swete preiere f e lordes of soules in helle 
of relesynge. fat is to seyne to 3elden hym hys wif. 
H Cerberus f e porter of helle wif his fre heuedes was 
cau^t and al abaist for fe new[e] songe. and fe fre god- 
desses furijs and vengerisse of felonies fat toi^rmentew 
and agastew f e soules by anoye wexen sorweful and sory 
and wepen teres for pitee. fan was nat f e heued of 
Ixione y tormented by f e ouerf rowiw-g whele. ^[ And 
tantalus fat was destroied by f e woodnesse of longe 
frust dispisef fe nodes to drynke. fe fowel fat hy^t 
voltor fat etif f e stornak or f e giser of ticius is so ful- 
filled of his songe fat it nil etyn ne tyren no more. 
IF Atte f e laste f e lorde and luge of soules was moeued 
to misericordes and cried [e] we ben ouer comen quod. 
he. yif[e] we to orpheus his wijf to bere hym com- 
paignye he haf welle I-bou^t hir by his faire songe and 

3032 hadde hadden 

3033 assuage asswagen 
lorde lord 

3034 pleyned[e] pleynede 
godes heuene goodes 

3035 wente MS. wenten, C. 

3036 tempred[e\ hys tem- 
prede hise 

3037 of hys C. omits 

spak MS. spakke, C. spak 
song MS. songe, C. soonge 

3038 alle-al 

3039 oute owt 
f/oddcsse goddcs 

304.0 song MS. songe, C. 

songs that did all 
things tarae.could 
not allay tlieir 
master's ardent 
love. He bewailed 
the cruelty of the 
gods above, and 
descended to 
Pluto's realm. 


There he struck 
his tuneful strings 
and sang, ex- 
hausting all the 
harmonious art 
imparted to him 
by his mother 

In songs dictated 
both by grief ami 
love, he implored 
the infernal 
powers to give 
him back his 


Cerberus, Hell's 
porter, stood 
amazed ; 
the Furies, tor- 
mentors of guilty 
souls, did weep; 


Ixion, tormented 
by the revolving 
wheel, found rest ; 
Tantalus, suffer- 
ing from a long 
and raging thirst, 
despised the 
stream ; 
and the greedy 
vulture did cease 
to eat and tear the 
growing liver of 
Tityus. At length 
Pluto him sell re- 
lented, crying 
out, 'We are 
overcome ! Let 
us give him back 
liis wife, he hath 
well won her by 
his song. 


3049 anoye sorweful 

mychel mochel 

anoy woxen soruful 

3041 myche moche 
doubled[e~\ dowblede 

3050 \>an tho ne 
3051 whele wheel 

3042 myrtle-] niyhte 

3053 \>rust thurst 

^euen yeue 

hyrf hihte 

teche thechen 

3054, fulfilled fulfyld 

in herte omitted 

3055 songe song 

3043 commoeuede 

3056 Atte At 

aunded, C. cowmoeuede 

lorde lord 

3044 souyte by-sowhte 

3057 cried[_e~] cryde 

3045 zelden yilden 
3046 his hise 

3058 yif\e\ yiue 
3059 ha]> MS. ha^e 

3047 cautf MS. caujtc, C. 

welle wel 


faire C. omits 

new[e] songe ncwo song 

songe song 


But we will lay his ditco. but we wil putter a lawe in bis. and eouen- 

this injunction 

at til ne ^ e Out f 

u cast 8 'a he fcelle yif lie loke byhynden hym |Jat] hys wijf shal 

backward look.* . , _. . . , . , 

But, who shall comew aaeine to vs IT but what is he bat may seue a 

give a lover any 

law ? Love is a lawe to loueres. loue is a gretter lawe and a strengere to 

greater law than 

hy 111 self J> an an y lawe bat men ma y 3euen. H Alias 

left whan Orpheus aw^ his wijf were al most at J?e termes of 

be nv^t. bat is to seyne at be lastfel boundes of helle. 

and lost his too- f 

much-iov^d Eurf- Orpheus lokedfe] abakwarde on Erudice his wijf and 
who"! mhias you> lost[e] hir and was deed IF bis fable apperteinef to 

would view the ni . , . . . - , , . 

sovereign Good, ^ow alle who so euer desirep or sekib to lede his Jjou^te 
3071 in to J>e souereyne day. bat is to seyne to clerenes[se] 
f souere y ne goode. IT For who so jjat euere be so ouer 
conie?i bat he fycche hys eyen in to J>e put[te] of helle. 


imparted Good. J>at is to seyne who so settej) his bou^tes in er]>ely 
binges, al bat euer he ha]? drawen of J?e noble good 
3076 celestial he lesib it whan he lokej> be helles. bat is to 
seyne to lowe jjinges of be erjje. 



[The \ ma prose.] 

when P. with TT7"hanne philosophic hadde son^eTz softly and delita- 

grace and dignity V V 

her 8 p on Ur s ed i f0 no? ^^ ^ Q ^ orse ^ e fi n ges kepynge be dignitee of hir 

choere in be wey^te of hir wordes. I J?an bat ne hadde 
nat al outerly for^eten be wepyng and mournyng 

ing her discourse. 

3082 bat was set in rnyne herte for-brek be entencz'ourc of hir 
AH your dis- bat entendedfel aitte to seyne ober binges. IF Se quod 

courses, O my 

conductress to the I. bou bat art gideresse of verray Iy3te be binges bat bou 

3060 toil puttenvfol putte 
3062 byhynden by-hynde 

3063 to vn-to 

3064 gretter gret 

3066 were al mostwcren 

3067 lastW laste 

3068 lokedle] abakwarde 

lookede abacward 

3069 lost[_e] loste 

3070 Tpouite thowht 

3071 clerenes[se] cleniesse 

3072 souereyne goode soue- 



3073 put[.te~] puttc 

3074 setteb setto 

3075 lia\> MS. haj>c 

3078 softly softely 


3080 choere in cheere and 

3082 set MS. sette, C. set 
myne Myn 
for-brek MS. for-brcke, C. 


3083 entended\e\ entcndcde 

3084 lytfe lyht 

BOOK 4. 1 
P1108E l.J 



hast seid [me] hider to ben to me so clere and so shew- 
yng by f e deuyne lokyng of hem and by f i resouws fat 
f ei ne mowe nat ben ouercomen. IT And f ilke Dingus 
fat f ou toldest me. al be it so fat I hadde som tyme 
fo[r]}eten hem for [the] sorwe of J)e wronge fat haf ben 
don to me. }it naf eles f ei ne were nat alouterly vn- 
knowen to me. but f is same is namly a gret cause of 
my sorwe. fat so as f e gouernoure of finges is goode. 
yif fat yuelys mowen ben by any weyes. or ellys yif 
fat yuelys passen wif outen punyssheinge. f e whiche 
f inge oonly how worfi it is to ben wondred vpon. foil 
considerest it weel fi self certeynly. but 3itte to f is 
f ing fere is an of er f ing y-ioigned more to ben ywon- 
dred vpon. ^[ For felonie is emperisse and flowref ful of 
rycchesse. and vertues nis nat al oonly wif outen medes. 
but it is cast vndir and fortroden vndir f e feet of fe- 
lonous folk, and it abief fe towrmewtes in sted of 
wicked felourcs ^f Of al[le] whiche f ing f er nis no wy$t 
fat [may] merueyllen ynou} ne compleyne fat swiche 
f inges ben don in f e regne of god fat alle f inges woot. 
and alle finges may and ne wool nat but only goode 
f inges. ^[ fan seide she fus. certys quod she fat were 
a grete meruayle and an enbaissynge wif outen ende. 
and wel more horrible fan alle monstres yif it were as 
f on wenest. fat is to sein. fat in fe ry^t ordeyne house 
of so mochel a fader and an ordenour of meyne. fat f e 
vesseles fat ben foule and vyle sholde ben honoured 
and heried. and fe precious uesseles sholde ben de- 
fouled and vyle. but it nis nat so. For yif f e finges 

true light ! have 
been very clear and 
both by the divine 
testimony which 
they carry along 
with them, and 
by thy irrefrag- 
able arguments. 
Through the op- 
pression of grief 
I had forgotten 
these truths, but 
was not wholly 
ignorant of them. 
The principal 
cause of my 
trouble is this 
that, whilst the 
absolute Ruler of 
all things is good- 
ness itself, evil 
exists and is al- 
lowed to pass un- 
punished. This, 
to say the least, is 


Moreover, while 
vice flourishes 
virtue is not only 
unrewarded, but 
trampled under 
foot by base and 
profligate men, 
and suffers the 
puniShment due 
to impiety. Here 
is cause for 
since such things 
are possible under 
the government of 
an omniscient and 
omnipotent God, 
who wills nothing 
but what is the 


P. It were in- 
deed, not only 
marvellous, but 
also horribly 
monstrous, if, in 
the well-regulated 
family of so groat 
a master, the 
worthless vessels 
should be 
honoured ami the 
precious ones be 
despised : but it 
is not so. For if 

30S5 seid MS. seide, C. seid 
[me] from C. 

3086 fi the 

3087 mowe mowen 

3088 som tyme whilom 

3089 [they from C. 
wronge wrong 
Tia\> MS. habe 

3090 don MS. done, C. don 
were weeren 

3091 nattily namely 

3092 goode good 

3094 wfy outen with owte 

3095 binge thing 

3097 \>ere ther 

ben y wondred be won- 

3098 flowrelp MS. folwet>, 
C. flowrith 

3099 ryccJiesseRy chesses 
vertues vertu 

wi]> outen with owte 

3101 in sted in stide 

3102 wicked wikkede 

\>ing thinges 

3103 [may] from C. 

3104 don MS. done, C. doon 

3105 wool wole 
goode good 

3107 grete gret 
enbaissynge enbasshhure 

3108 alle al 

3109 ordeyne house ordenee 

3111,3113 vyle vyl 

3112 hericd he h'eryed 
sholde sholdeu 

3113 he tho 



rBOOK 4. 
L.VIET, i. 

the conclusions 
we have come to, 
be sound and 
irrefi arable, we 
must confess that 
under God's rule 
the good are al- 
ways powerful 
and mighty, and 
the wicked weak 
and contemptible; 
that vice never 
passes unpunish- 
ed, nor virtue goes 
\in rewarded; that 
happiness attends 
good men, and 
misfortune falls 
to the lot of the 
wicked. These 
and many other 
truths of like 
nature shall be 
proved to thee, 
and shall put an 
end to thy com- 
plaints, and 
strengthen thee 
with firmness and 
solidity. Having 
shown you a pic- 
ture of true felici- 
ty, and wherein it 
resides,! shall now 
trace out the way 
which will lead 
you to your home. 
I will give your 
soul wings to soar 
aloft, so that all 
tribulation being 
removed,you may, 
under my guiding, 
by my road, and 
with my vehicle, 
return whole and 
sound into your 
own country. 
(The fyrste 
I have nimble 
wings that enable 
the mind to rise 
from earth to 
heaven, to leave 
the clouds behind, 
to pass the region 
of perpetual flame, 
and to reach the 
etarry mansion, 
journeying either 
by Phoebus' 


fat I haue concluded, a litel here byforne ben kept hoole 
and vnraced. f ou shalt wel knowe by f e auctorite of 
god. of f e whos regne I speke fat certys f e good[e] 
folk ben alwey my^ty. and shrewes ben alwey yuel and 
feble. ne f e vices ben neuere mo wif outen peyne i ne 
f e vertues ne ben nat wif outen mede. and fat blisful- 
nesses comen alwey to goode folke. and infortnne come]) 
alwey to wicked folke. IF And f ou shalt wel knowe 
many[e] J>inges of f is kynde fat sholle cessen f i pleyntes. 
and stedfast f e wif stedfast saddenesse. IF And for f ou 
hast seyn f e forme of f e verray blisfulnesse by me fat 
[haue] somtyme I-shewed it f e. And f ou hast knowen 
in whom blysfulnesse is set. alle f inges I treted fat I 
trowe ben nessessarie to put[te] furf e IF I shal shewe 
f e. f e weye fat shal brynge f e a^eyne vnto f i house 
and I shal ficche fef eres in f i f ou^t by whiche it may 
arysen in hey^te. so fat al tribulaciourc don awey. f ou 
by my gidyng & by my paf e and by my sledes shalt 
mowen retourne hool and sounde in to ])i centre. 3132 


I Haue for sof e swifte fef eres fat surmouwten f e hey3t 
of f e heuene whan f e swifte f ou^t ha]) closed it self. 
in fo feferes it dispise]) fe hat[e]ful erfes. and sur- 
mour^te]) J)e hey^enesse of ])e greet[e] eyir. and it seif fe 
cloudes by-hynde hir bak and passe]) ])e hey^t of ])3 
regioura of _fe fire fat eschaunf by fe swifte moeuyng of 
fe firmament, til fat she a-reisif hir in til fe houses fat 

3114 here byforne her by- 

kept MS. kepte, C. kept 

3116 good[e\ goode 

3117 alwey (2) feble al- 
wey owt cast and feble 

3118, 3119 wi\> outen with 


3119 vertues vertuus 
3122 many{_e\ matiye 
sholle cessen shollen 

8123 stedfast stedfast 

strengthyn the with 


3124 seyn MS. seyne, C. 

3125 \haue~] from C. 
somtyme whilom 

3126 set MS. sette, C. I-set 

3127 puttfelfurbe putten 

3128 weyewey 
brynge bryngen 

\>i house thin hows 

3129 ficche fycchen 

3130 arysen areysen 
don MS. done, C. ydou 

3131 pa\>e paath 

shalt mowen shal inowe 

3132 sounde sownd 

3133 heyrf of J 
heyhte of heuene 

3134 ha\> MS. habe 

3136 hey^enesse eyir 

Rovmdnesse of the grete 

sei\> seth 

3137 Mr his 

3138 fire Fyr 
eschauji]) MS. eschaufibe 

3139 she he 
hir hym 

HOOK 4.n 
MET. l.J 



beren f e sterres. and ioygnef Mr weyes wif f e sonne 
phebus. and felawshipef fe weye of fe olde colde 
saturnus. and she ymaked a kny^t of f e clere sterre. 
fat is to seyne fat f e soule is maked goddys kny3t by 
f e sekyng of treuf e to comen to f e verray knowlege of 
god. and filke soule renne[J>] by fe cercle *of fe sterres 
in alle f e places fere as f e shynyng ny3t is depeynted. 
fat is to seyne f e ny3t fat is cloudeles. for on ny3tes fat 
ben cloudeles it semef as f e heuene were peynted wif 
dyuerse ymages of sterres. and whan f e soule haf gon 
ynou3 she shal forleten f e last[e] poynt of f e heuene. 
and she shal p?v?ssen and wenden on f e bak of f e swifte 
firmament, and she shal ben maked perfit of f e drede- 
fulle clerenesse of god. fl fere haldef f e lorde of kynges 
f e ceptre of his my3t and attemperef f e gouernementes 
of f is worlde. and f e shynynge iuge of f inges stable in 
hy??^ self gouernef f e swifte carte, fat is to seyne f e 
circuler moeuyng of [the] sonne. and yif fi weye ledef 
f e a3eyne so fat f ou be brou3t f ider. fan wilt f ou seye 
now fat fat is f e centre fat f ou requeredest of whiche f ou 
ne haddest no mynde. but now it remenbref me wel 
here was I born, here wil I fastne my degree, here wil 
I dwelle. but yif f e lyke fan to loken on f e derkenesse 
of f e erf e fat f ou hast for-leten. fan shalt f ou seen fat 
.f ise felonous tyrauntes fat f e wrecchedfe] poeple dredef 
now shule ben exiled from f ilke faire contre. 

radiant path, or 

cold and nged 
Saturn, or riding, 


as a soldier, with 
Mars. [Chaucer's 
Gloss.] Through 
every sphere she 
(the mind) runs 

[* fol. 25.] 
where night is 
most cloudless and 
where the sky is 
decked with stars, 
until she reaches 
the heaven's 
utmost sphere 
then pressing on 
she shall be pre- 
pared to see the 
true Source of 
Light, where the 
great King of 
kings bears his 
mighty sceptre, 
and holds the 
reins of the 
universe. Here 
the great Judge, 
standing in 
shining robes, 
firmly guides his 
winged cnariot, 
and rules the 
tumultuous afTairs 
of the world. 

If you at length 
shall arrive at 
this abode, you 
will say this is 
my country here 
I was born and 
here will I abide. 


And should you 
deign to look on 
the gloomy earth, 
you'll see those 
tyrants, the fear 
of wretched folk, 
banished from 
those fair realms. 

3140 Mr his 

3141 weye wey 

be saturnus MS. sa- 
turnus be olde colde 

3142 saturnus satrnis 
she he 

3143 soule thowght 

3144 treu\>e trowthe 
knowlege knoleche 

3145 soule thoght 

3146 depeynted painted 
3149-50 and whan sliesnal 

and whanne he hath 
I-doon there I-nowh he 

3149 Mb MS. habe 

3150 be last[_e] heuene 

the laste henene 

3151-2 she he 

3152-3 of be of god of the 

worshipful lyht of god 
3153 bere Jtalde\>ther halt 

3155 pis worlde the world 

3156 carte cart or wayn 

3157 [the}- from C. 
3159 whiche which 

3161 here (1, 2, 3) her 
born MS. borue, C. born 
wil (1) wol 

wil (2) wole 

3162 lyke liketh 
derkenesse dyrkne *ses 

3164 wrecched[e] wrecch- 

3165 shule shollen 
from fro 


[The 2 e prose.] 

B. Ah! thoupro- "I* Anne seide I bus. [own] I wondre me bat bou by- 

misest me great I/ 

tot n with n ouTdd7v hetest me so grete Binges, ne I ne doute nat bat bou 
ation?yo l uhave ct ~ ne mayst wel performe jjat J>ou by-hetest. but I preie j>e 
p 1S You must first oonly bis. bat bou ne tarie nat to telle me bilke binges 

be convinced that 

the good are ai- bat bou hast meoued. first quod she bou most nedes 

ways strong and 

SSSSdde a rtftSe knowen. ]> at goodfe] folk ben al wey strong[e] and 
ty. and f e shrewes ben feble and desert and naked 
3173 of alle strengbes. and of Jrise Binges certys eueryche of 
r. hem is declared and shewed by ober. ^F For so as good 

For since good J 

and evil are con- ana yuel ben two contraries. yif so be bat goode oe 

trary, if good be J 

stedfast. ]>&n shewej) J)e fieblesse of yuel al openly, and 
yif >ou knowe clerely fe freelnesse of yuel. be stedfast- 

of good nesse of goode is knowen. but for as moche as be fey of 

must also be 

known to you. m y sentence shal be be more ferme and habou^daunt. I 

But to convince J 

ceed to rl-ov^it w ^ goo n hy j?at oon wey and by ]>at ofer and I wil con- 
ferme Jie Binges ])at ben purposed now on j)is side and 

trutiis, by argu- now on bat syde. IT Two binges ber ben in whiche be 

ments drawn first - . 

from one of these effect of alle be dedes of man kynde standib. bat is to 

topics and then , J 

^J 10 - w ^ ana power, and yif ]?at oon of ))ise two faylej) 
fere nis no Jjing ]?at may be don. for yif Jmt wil lakkejj 

if either be want- here nys no wyat bat vndirtakeb to done bat he wol not 

ing, nothing can 

be effected. A man d on . an( i yif power fayleb be wille nis but in ydel and 

can do nothing * . , * *. r * * 

stant for nau 3 t - and f er of come > ii; > at y if > ou se a 

will, and if power , , 

faiieththewiiiis wyat bat wolde getew bat he may nat geten. bou mayst 

of no effect. 

Hence, if you see nat douten bat power ne fayleb hyw to haue^ bat he 

a person desirous 

3191 wolde. IF bis is open and clere quod I. ne it may nat 

of getting what -i i -i -i r> , T 

he cannot procure, ben denycd in no manere. and yif bou se a wyst quod 

you are sure he 

lacks power to she. bat hab don bat he wolde don bou nilt nat douten 

obtain it. * ' 

anotner'downat f a ^ ^ e ne na f nad power to done it. no quod. I. and in 
do/canySdoubt fat. fat euery wy3t may. in fat fat men may holden 

3189 mayst MS. mayste, 
C. mayst 

3191 clere cler 

3192 dem/ed denoycd 
3193-4 ha\> MS. hnpe 

3193 don (both) MS. done, 
C. doon 

3194 had MS. hadde, C. had 
done doon 


3166 _ 

3171 ~good{e\ goode 3178 goodegood 
strangle] stronge 3180 oon oo 

3172 desert dishert wil (2) wole 

3173 eueryche euerich 3185-6 \>ere ther 

3175 goode good 

3176 stedfast stidefast 

3177 freelnesse frulennsse 
stedfastnesse stidefast- 

3185 don MS. done, C. don 

3186 done don 

3187 wille wil 

3188 come]? coraht 


hyni my^ty. as wlio seib in as moche as a man is mysty that he had tho 

J power to do it '< 

to done a f ing. in so moche men halden hym my^ty. j*- jj' m *" n c ; n 
and in fat ])at he ne may. in fat men demen hym to 

ben feble. I confesse it wel quod I. Remembrif fe quod liable todo, and 

weak in relation 

she bat 1. haue gadred and shewed by forseide resourcs to what he is un- 

able to perform. 

fat al f e entenczoiro of J>e wil of marakynde whiche fat j*- JJ 
is lad by diuerse studies hastif to comen to blisfulnesse. 

1F It reme?ftbref me wel quod I bat it hath ben shewed, foiiowingdiffcrent 

pursuits, seeks 

and recordeb be nat ban quod she. bat blisfulnesse is happiness only ? 

' f Do you recol- 

f ilke same goode fat men requeren. so fat whan fat 
blisfulnesse is requered *of aUe. fat goode [also] is re- 
quered and desired of al. It recordeb me wel quod I. of nSC and an 

desire this good, 

for haue it gretly alwey ficche[d] in my memorie. alle since aii seek 
folk fan quod she goode and eke badde enforcen hem 

wif oute difference of entenc?'ou^ to come/a to goode. And'Tus certain 

that when men 

fat is a uerray consequence quod I. and certeyne is quod obtain good they 
she fat by f e gety?ig of goode ben men ymaked goode. 3212 

... i T mr , ^ - . JS. It 18 most 

f is is certeyne quod. 1. 1 fan geten goode men fat f ei certain. 
desiren. so semeb it auod I. but wickedfe] folk quod then, pet what 

they desire P 

she yif fei geten fe goode fat fei desires fei [ne] J {5^^^^. 
mo wen nat ben wicked, so is it quod .1. IT fan so as they om^no 
fat oon and fat of er [quod she] desiren good, and f e B. it is so. 
goode folk geten good and nat be wicked folk IF ban both parties 

* pursue the good, 

iiis it no doute fat f e goode folk ne ben my^ty and f e 
wicked folk ben feble. ^ who so fat euer quod I 

_ . , ., powerful, and tliat 

douteb of bis. he ne may nat eonsidre be nature of the wicked are 

weak and feeble ? 

f irages. ne f e consequence of resourc. and ouer f is quod S-S^?" 1 
she. 1F yif fat f er ben two f inges fat han o same consider e not er 
pwrpos by kynde. and fat one of hem pwrsuef and per- ofthima, orare 

incapable of com- 

formeb bilke same binge by nature! office, and bat ober prehenmng the 

force of any 

ne may nat done filk naturel office, but folwef by 
of er manere fan is couenable to nat?re ^[ Hym fat 

3196 as moche so moche 

3197 done doon 
moche m ochel 
halden halt 

8201 whiche which 

3202 tod MS. ladde, C. lad 

3203 it hath ben MS. I herde 

1C. it hath ben 
goode good 
3206 [aZso] from C. 

] f 

3207 al alle 
It - /it nerecordeth me 

nat quod I 
3210-12(1)-15 goode-good 


3214 wickedfe'] wikkcdo 

3215 [we] from C. 

3216 mowen mowe 

3217 [quod she] from C. 

3218 tvicked wilke (?\vikke) 
3220 wicked wikkcdo 





and one of them 
accomplishes his 
purpose by the 
use of natural 
means, while the 
other not using 
legitimate means 
does not attain his 
end which of 
these two is the 
most powerful ? 
B. Illustrate your 
meaning more 

P. The motion 
of walking is 
natural to man ? 
And this motion 
is the natural 
office of the feet? 
Do you grant this ? 
B. I do. 
P. If, then, he 
who is able to use 
his feet walks, 
whilst another 
lacking this power 
creeps on his 
hands surely he 
that is able to 
move naturally 
upon his feet is 
more powerful 
than he who 



P. The good and 
bad seek the 
supreme good : 
i he good by the 
natural means of 
virtue the 
wicked by gratify- 
ing divers desires 
of earthly things 
(which is not the 
natural way of ob- 
taining it). Do 
you think other- 

B. The con- 
sequence is plain, 
and that follows 
from what has 
been granted 
that the good are 
powerful, while 
the wicked are 

P. You rightly 
anticipate me ; 
for it is a good 
sign,as physicians 
well know, when 
Nature exerts her- 
self and resists 
the malady. But, 
as you are so 
quick of appre- 

acomplisif hys pwrpos kyndely. and }it he ne acom- 
plisif nat hys owen purpos. whej)er of fise two demest 
fou for more my3ty. IF yif fat I coniecte quod .1. fat 
fou wilt seye algates. }it I desire to herkene it more 
pleynely of f e. fou nilt nat fan denye quod she fat f e 
moeueme?it3 of goynge nis in men by kynde. no for sof e 
quod I. ne fou ne doutest nat quod she fat filke na- 
turel office of goynge ne be f e office of feet. I ne doute 
it nat quod .1. fan quod she yif fat a wy^t be my^ty to 
moeue and go]) vpon hys feet, and anof er to whom 
filke naturel office of feet lakkef . enforce]) hym to gone 
crepynge vpo/z hys handes. ^f whiche of fise two ai^te 
to ben holden more my^ty by ry^t. knyt furf e f e re- 
menaunt quod I. If For no wy^t ne doutef fat he fat 
may gone by nat?-el office of feet, ne be more my3ty 
fan he fat ne may nat ^[ but f e souerejne good quod 
she fat is euenlyche purposed to f e good folk and to 
badde. fe good folke seken it by naturel office of 
uertues. and f e shrewes enforcen hem to geten it by 
dyuerse couetise of erfely finges. whiche fat nis no 
naturel office to geten filke same souereyne goode. 
trowest f ou fat it be any of er wyse. nay quod .1. for f e 
coftsequeft.ce is open and shewynge of finges fat I haue 
graunted. ^f fat nedes goode folk moten ben my3ty. 
and shrewes feble and vnmy^ty. ^f f ou rennest ary3t 
byfore me qwod she. and f is is f e iugement fat is to 
seyn. H I iuge of f e ry3t as f ise leches ben wont forto 
hopen of seke folk whan f ei aperceyuen fat nature is 
redressed and wif stondef to f e maladie. ^f But for I 
see f e now al redy to f e vndirstandynge I shal shewe 
f e more filke and continuel resouws. IT For loke now 

3229 owen o\vne 

3231 wilt wolt 
herkene hcrkne 

3232 pleynely pleynly 
denye denoye 

3233 moeuement} Mocue- 

3237 go\> MS. goj>e 

hys hise 

3238 gone goon 

3239 hys hise 
whiche which 

3240 wore the Moore 
fur\>e forth 

3212 gone gon 
3245 good goode 

3246 uertues vertuus 

3247 whiche which 

3248 goode good 

3253 byfore-by-t'orn 

3254 forto to 

3255 seke sike 


how gretly shewib be feblesse and infirmite of wicked henMon, i shall 

J continue this 

folke. fat ne mowen nat come to fat hire naturel en- m de 
tenczouft ledef hem. and $itte almost filk naturel ufco 

they cannot attain 

entenczourc constremeb hem. il and what were to deme the'end to which 

their natural dis- 

f an of shrewes. yif f ilke naturel helpe hadde for-leten 

hem. 1T f e whiche naturel helpe of entenciouw gof al- 

wey byforne hem. and is so grete fat vnnef it may be natural promnt- 

ouercomen. IT Considre ban how gret defaute of power and irresistible ? 

Consider how 

and how gret feblesse fere is in grete felonous folk as |tence S e ti?" 
who seif f e gretter f ittges fat ben coueited and f e desire 

,.,,, , . -, .!_ desired, but un- 

nat accomplissed of be lasse myat is he fat coueitef it accomplished, 

the less is the 

and may nat acomplisse. *|f And forfi philosophic seif power of him that 
f us by souereyne good. IT Sherewes ne requere nat 

ly}t[e] medes ne veyne gaines whiche f ei ne may nat nofrfviaf thin" 8 er 
folwen ne holden. but bei fayle^ of bilke some of be to^btain ; but 

they aspire in 

hey3te of f inges fat is to seyne souereyne good, ne fise 3275 

wrecches ne comen nat to fe effect of souereyne good. 

, they endeavour 

*be whiche bei eniorcen hem oonly to geteft by nyates [*foi. 26.1 

J day and night 

and by dayes. ^[ In fe getynfg] of whiche goode fe 

strengf e of good folk, is ful wel ysen. For ry3t so as 

fou my^test demen hym my3ty of goynge fat gof on SJSStS! "FW 

hysfeet til he my^tfe] come to filke place fro fe whiche ajjood walker 

place fere ne lay no wey forf er to be gon. By3t so 

most fou nedes demen hym for ry^t my^ty fat getif 
and atteinif to f e ende of alle f inges fat ben to desire. 

nothing to desire. 

by-^onde be whiche ende bat ber nis no bmg to desire, wicked men, 

then, are destitute 

^[ Of whiche power of good folk men may conclude fat w Vich*th P eg7od so 
wicked men semen to ben bareyne and naked of alle vKS 

-r, , . /, -, , . ini leave virtue, and 

strengf e. lor whi iorleten fei vertues and folwen follow vice? is it 

because they are 

vices, nis it nat for fat fei ne knowen nat fe goodes. ignorant of good? 

3259 wicked wikkede 

3260 come comyri 

3261 \nlk- thilke 

3262 deme demen 
3263-4 helpe hel 

3264 whiche w 
ffo\> MS. gope 

3265 grete gret 
vnne\> vnnethe 

be ouercomenben oner- 

3267 \>ere ther 


grete wikkede 
3268 Binges thing 
ben is 

3271 Sherewes ne requere 
ne shrewes ne requeren 

3272 lyit[e] lyhte 
veyne veyn 
nat omitted 

3276 whiche which 

3277 getyn[g~\ getinge 
whiche goode which good 

3278 ysen MS. and C. ysene 

3279 go\> MS. gobe 

3280 MfafttMnybfee 

3281 here ther 
lay laye 
former forthere 
be ben 

3283 desire desired 

3284 \>at omitted 

3285 whiche the which 
\>at pat the 

3286 ben be 


feble and more caitif ban is bo 

e 5 blyndenesse of ignoraunce. or ellys bei knowen M wel 
way they ought to whiche binges bat bei an? ten to folwen 1[ but lecherye 

follow, but arc led . 

astray by inst and ana couetise ouerbroweb hem mysturned. and certis 

covctousness ? 

weak 8 min!i e men so ( ^J ) distemperaunce to feble men. bat ne mowe/i nat 
by e inIe e m P eS d e, wrastle a3eins be vices f Ne knowen bei nat ban wel 
resist Vicious 01 bat bei forcletcn be good wilfully. ewc# turnen hem vil- 
they wiiiingW de- fully to vices. ^[ And in bis wise bei ne forleten nat 
oon ly to ben m y3ty- but fei forleten al outerly in any 
wise forto ben If For bei bat forleten be comune fyn of 

even cease to n , i . t> -i , i , -i c 

exist. For those alle binges bat ben. bei ior-leten also berwib al lorto 

who neglect the 

common end of ben. and pcrauenture it sholde semen to som folk bat 

all beings, cease to 

marvel that T ay fa were a merueile to seyne bat shrewes whiche bat 
wTcked! thV e contienen be more partie of me% ne ben nat. ne han no 

majority of the , . . 

human race, have beynge. but nabeles it is so. and bus stant bis bmg 

no existence- J ' 

3304 for bei bat ben shrewes I denye nat bat bei ben shrewes. 
ever, most true, but I denye and seyfel symplely and pleynly bat bei 

That the wicked 

are bad i do not |ne 1 ben nat. ne han no beynge. for ryat as bou mystest 

deny but I do LJ J6 J:> J:> 

they^aveJnf Se 3 rn ^ f 6 care y ne f a man ^ & were a ^ Q ^ man - 

Youmay^-uia If but bou ne my3test nat symplely callen it a man. 
man', but you can- H So grauntfe] I wel for sobe bat vicious folk ben 

not with pro- 
priety call it a wicked, but I ne may nat graunten absolutely and 

man. So the * 

symplely bat bei ben. ^f For bilk bing bat wib 
theyabsoiuteiy holdeb ordre and kepib nature, bilk bing is and hab 
exists that pre- beynge. but bat bing bat faileb of bat. bat is to seyne 
S&Xf ' "bo* 00 " ^ e f at ^ O1 'l et i] 3 naturel ordre he for-letib bilk beyng 
tiles" esSiais it J>at is set in hys nature, but bou wolt sein bat shrewes 

ceases to be. But, mr r^ i i T r T_ j 

you may say that mowen. ^[ Certys bat ne denye 1 nat. H but certys 

the wicked have a 

dokn &' but power ne descendeb nat of strengbe but of feblesse. 
effect oTweakne*". for f ei m o wen cl n wickednesses, be whiche bei ne 
my^tcn nat don yif bei my$tGn dwelle in be forme and 

3291 ftuyten to folwen 
owhten folwe 

3293 do\> MS.doJ>e, C. doth 

3294 wrastle wrastlcn 

3295 vttfully wilsfully 
3297 outerly owtrely 
3301 seyne seyen 
3304-5 denye denoye 

3305 sey[e] symplely seye 

3306 [we] from C. 
31307 seyn seyon 

3309 qraunt[e] graunte 
3311-12 bilk tliilke 

3312 fcaf>-MS. ha^e 

3313 \>at (1) what 

3313 seyne seyn 

3314 \>ilk tliilke 

3315 set MS. sette, C. sot 

3316 denye denoye 

3318 don MS. done, C. don 

3319 myiten (1) myhte 
dwelle dvvellin 


in be doynge of goode folke. fl" And bilke power not do, if they re- 

taincd the power 

sheweb ful euydently bat bei ne mowen ryjt naiut. of doing good. 

J J * * This power, then, 

^f For so as I haue gadered and proued a lytel her by- tf 

forn bat yuel is naust. and so as shrewes mowen oonly tiftne'uia clear" 

, , _. , . . , , , that while the 

but shrewednesse. bis conclusions is al clere. bat wicked can only 

* do evil they can 

shrewes ne mowen ry^t nat to ban power, and for as d n ^ in u T nde ? J iafc 
moche as J)ou vndirstonde whiche is pe strengpe pat is Jw powerli'have 
power of shrewes. I haue diffinised a lytel here byforn 

powerful than the 

pat no Jjing nis so my^ty as souereyne good 11 J>at is sovereign good. 
sope quod. .1. [and thilke same souereyn good may don ^pre^'good can 
non yuel // Certes no quod I] 1F Is per any wy$t pan SSfiiy not. 

, , .. J 11 P. Is there any 

quod she bat wemb bat men mowen don alle binges, one who thinks 

f that man can do 

No man quod. .1. but yif he be out of hys witte. IT but an things? 

J B. No sane man 

certys sherewes mowen don yuel quod she. IT $e wolde 
god quod I pat pei ne my^terc don none. pat quod she 

so as he bat is mysty to done oonly but good [el binges p. e smce hehat 

can do good, uau 

may don alle Jnnges. and J?ei J>at ben my^ty to done 3336 
yuelfe] jjinges ne mowen nat alle J>inges. fan is pis open 

.,,. ... i 11 todo evil cannot 

and mamiest bat bei bat mowew don yuel ben 01 do aii things, 

therefore the evil- 

lasse power, and aitte to proue bis conclusiouw bere doers are less 

powerful. Let me 

helpej? me pis pat I haue shewed here byforne. pat al JJJ^'JSJ of 
power is to be noumbred amonge pinges pat men au3ten de8ired"nnd t!iat 

71 , i , L n , i all such things it re 

requere. and haue shewed bat alle bmges bat amten ben to be referred to 

the chief good 

desired ben referred to good ryat as to a manere heyate ( th< ? perfection of 

J' J ^ their nature). Ikit 

of hyr nature, f But for to mowen don yuel and 
felonye ne may nat ben referred to good, pan nis nat 

yuel of be noumbre of binges bat arotera. * be desired, but [*'foi. k &.] 

all power is de- 

al power amt [el ben desired and requered. ^[ ban is arable, it is clear 

that the ability to 

it open and cler pat pe power ne pe moeuyng of shrewes jJj^JJl 18 j" cLariy 
nis no powere. and of alle pise pinges it shewep wel pat " 1 ' 

3320 goode good 

3321 shrewednesse shrevv- 

clere cleer 

3325 nat power nawht 

ne nan no power 

3326 whiche which 
\>at is of this 

3327 here her 

3328 nis is 
332'J so\>e soth 

3329, 3330 \and thilke 

quod /] from C.. 

3334 don MS. done, C. don 
none \>at non thanne 

3335 done doon 
good[e] poode 

3336 don MS. done, C. don 
done don 

3337 ywel\e} yucle 
\ns it 

3338 don MS. done, C. don 


\>ere ther 

3340 shewed here bjiforne 
Ishewed her by-Torn 

al alle 

3341 amonge among 

33J4 don MS. done, C. don 
3316 autfen be owliti: ben 
3347 a? alle 


are at powefSwi J> e g oode folk ben ccrteynly my^ty. and be shrewes ben 
fee e bi V e d And re douteles vnmy^ty IF And it is clere and open bat Hike 

Plato's opinion is _ _ , . 

hereby verified sentence of plato is uciray and sobe. bat seyb bat oonly 
wiseme? * ma y [doon] bat bei desiren. and shrewes 
mowen haunten bat hem lykeb. but bat bei desiren bat 

lusu, but their is to seyne to comen to souereyne good bei ne han no 

great aim and de- , . 

sire, i e. HAPPI- power to acomplissen bat. ^[ For shrewes don bat hem 

NESS, they can 

The ^ st wnan ^J ]> Binges in whiche bei deliten bei wencn 
to atteyne to bilke good bat bei desiren. but bei ne geteh 

good (for which ne atteynen nat ber to. IF for vices ne comen nat to 

they wish), but _ _. . , 

they can never bllSIulneSSe. 3360 

possess it, for im- 

piety and vice can 


[The ijd Meter.] TTru 

whosoever might \\ n o so bat be cotiertures oi her veyn apparailes 

strip of their VV r , ' 

purple coveringa, niystre] strepen of bise proude kynges bat bou 

proud kings, who, 

surrounded by seest sitten on hey^e in her chayeres glyterynge in 

3364 shynynge purpre envyroned wib sorweful arm?^res 

thrones, and manasyng wib cruel moube. blowyng by woodnesse of 

whose storn looks J 

wear fierce threat- herte. IF He sholde so ban bat ilke lordes beren wib 

enmgs, and boil- 

cora g es ftd streyte cheynes for leccherye tor- 

- mentib hem on bat oon syde wib gredy venyms and 

by troublable Ire bat araiseb in hem be floodes of troublynges 

lust, passion, 

grief, and delusive tourmentib vpon bat ober side hir bou^t. or sorwe halt 

3371 hem wery or ycau3t. or slidyng and disseyuyng hope 

Since, then, so , . , , , , 

many tyrants tourmentib hem. And berfore syn bou seest on heed. 

bear sway over 

oon tyraunt bere so many[e] tyrauntis. 

P aw ne ( ^ O J 7 f^ 5 tyraunt nat bat he desirib. syn he 
is cast doune wib so many[e] wicked lordes. bat is to 

actions are not . r -. 

obedient to his seyn wib so many[ej vices, bat han so wicked lordsmpea 
ouer hym. 3377 

3351 clere cler 

3352 so\>e soth 

\>at sey\> MS. but sipe, C. 
pat seyth 

3353 [_doon\ from C. 
3355 seyne seyn 
3357 whiche which 
3361-63 her hir 

33(52 my&ey- myhte 

3363 hey^e heygh 

3364 sorweful sorwful 

3365 mou\>e Mowth 

3366 se seen 
ilke thilke 

3368 on in 

3369 hem hym 

3371 disseyuyng deceyu- 

3373 seyne seyn 

bere-~ beeren 
3373-75-76 many[_e\ inanye 

3373 tyrauntis tyranycs 

3374 dob MS. do be 
bilk thilke 

3375 doune down 
wicked wikkede 

3376 wicked- wikkedly 


VIDES NE IGITUR QUANTO. [The iij.-e prose.] 

SEest bou nat ban in how gret filbe bise shrewes ben inhow U great and 
filthy a mire the 
y wrapped, and wib whiche cleernesse bise good wicked waiiow? 

This is a proof 

folk shynen. In fis shewef it wel fat to good folk ne JjJ 

lakkef neuer mo hir medes. ne shrewes ne lakken 
neuer mo towrmentis. for of alle finges fat ben ydon ment. ep Eve 8 ry"ac- 
f ilke f ing for whiche any f ing is doon. it seme]) as by certain end, and 
ry^t fat f ilke f ing be f e mede of fat. as f us. f yif a 5^1?^? 
man rennef in f e stadie or in fe forlonge for fe corone. whk!T2i things 
ban lieb be mede in be corone for whiche he renneb. fore happiness JT 

... the reward which 

1F And I haue shewed bat blisfulnesse is filke same an the human 

* race seek as the 

good for whiche fat alle f ingus ben don. fan is f ilke JJJjJjJ of Th?s r 
same good purposed to f e werkes of mankynde ry^t as S 

a comune mede. whiche mede ne may ben disseuered virtue can r neT e e r 

want its reward. 

fro good folk, for no wy3t as by ry^t fro f ennes forf e Evil men^may 
fat hym lakkif goodnesse ne shal ben cleped good. 3392 

For whiche bing folk of goodfel maneres her medes ne 

crown of the wise 

forsaken hem neuer mo. For al be it so fat sherewes shall not fail nor 

fade. The wicked- 

Waxen as wood as hem list a3eynes good[e] folk. }itte 
neuer f e les f e corone of wise men ne shal nat fallen 
ne faden. IT For foreine shrewednesse ne bynymef 

possession of an 

nat fro f e corages of good[e] folk hire propre honoure. 

but yif fat any wy3t reioisef hem of goodnesse fat f ei S topSveS ont, 
had[de] taken fro wifoute. as who seif yif [fat] any Sw?o?byothere. 
wy7t hadfdel hys goodnesse of any ober man ban of ward of the 

J > L J J virtuous is derived 

hym self, certys he fat 3af hym filke goodnesse or 
ellys som ofer wy 3 t my}t[e] bynym[e] it hym. but for 

> i r r. virtuous. Lastly. 

as mocne as to euery wy3t hys owen propre bounte since a reward is 

desired because it 

aeueb hym hys mede. ban at arst shal he faylen of is supposed to be 

a good, can we be- 

mede whan he forletif to ben good, and at fe laste so 
as alle medes bew requered for men wenen fat f ei ben 

3379 whiche which 

3380 good goode 

3381 ne (2) omitted 
3383 whiche which 
3385 forlonge forlong 
3386-88-90 whiche \vh 
3391 for\>e forth 
3393 whiclie which 


3393 goodie] goode 
3395 woodr- woode 

e] goode 
les leese 
ne omitted 
3398 good[e~] goode 

] goo 
;p rei 

399 rw0M0J> reioyse 
Item hym 

3399 \>ei Jiadldey-he hadde 

3400 [_\>af] from C. 

3401 had\de\ hadde 

3402 self MS. selk 

3403 my}t[e] bynym[d] 

myhte be-nyme 
3404, owen ovvne 
3406 laste last 

120 THE REWARD OF THE GOOD. . Rnnfiz 4 ' 


2uS*he receive? g^[ e ]- w ^ is-he fat wolde deme fat he fat is ry^t 

certainly th^ my^ty of goode were parties of mede. *and of what 

fairest and richest i i i T 

of aii rewards. mede shal he be gerdoned. certys of ry^t faire mede 

P^ll t^ fV.0* J J ? 

e medes. IT Remembre f e of 
noble corolarie fat I 30? f e a lytel here byforne. 

Since the supreme 7 , , . i , 11 > * 

good is happiness, and gooie it to gidre in bis manere. so as god hym sell 

it follows that all . 

good men are is blisf ulnesse. ban is it clere and certevn. bat alle good 

happy in as much 

butif e th a ey e a g re a5 folk ben makid blisful for fei ben good[e]. and filke 
&o p me t a7it m w u e'r t e folk fat ben blisful it accordif and is couenable to ben 
ward (ie. divin- goddefsl. ban is be mede of goode folk swiche. bat no 

ity)oftherighte- L J * 

en P e y ren & ne no wickednesse shal en- 

dirken it. ne power of no wy^t ne shal nat ainemisen it 
bat is to seyn to ben maked goddes. IF and syn it is 

scureit. Since, 

men ne f a l en neuer mo of hire medes. 

^ certys no wise .man ne may doute of f e vndepartable 
peyne of shrewes. 1T fat is to seyn fat fe peyne of 

and evil are con- , , . -, 

3424 snrewes ne departip nat irom hem self neuer mo. 

so as goode and yuel and peyne and medes ben 

punishments. It . 

is evident that contrane it mot nedes ben bat ry^t as we seen by-tiden 

rewards follow 

i n g er( i ouw ^ goode. fat also mot fe peyne of yuel 
a nswere by fe contrarie partye to shrewes. now fan so 

self is the reward , . , ,, 

of the virtuous, as bounte and prowesse ben be medes to goode folk. 

so vice is the . * . f 

punishment of also is shrewednesse it self torment to shrewes I fan 

the vicious. He y 

wno so l 7 ^ euer ^ s entecched and defouled wif yuel. 
yif shrewes wolen fan preisen hem self may it semen 

.h wicked to hem bat bei ben wib oute?z partye of tourment. syn 

did rightly under- 

stand themselves fjei ben swiche bat be vtteriste wikkednesse / bat is to 

they would per- 

se y n wikkede thewes / which fat is the] outereste and 
f e w[or]ste kynde of shrewednesse ne defoulif nat ne 

extreme and _ . *'". 

worst kind of evil, entecemb nat hem oonly but imectib ana enuenemyb 

not only afflicts 

so l^ e on shrewes fat ben f o 

3408 good[_e 

de nolde 
3409 goode good 
of (2) of the 

3111 greet grete 

3112 here byforne her by- 

3tl3 god good 
3114 is (1) his 

3414 clere cleer 

3415 good[e] goode 

3417 godde[_s] goddes 
swiche swich 

3418 [ne] from C. 
endirken derkcn 

3422 wise man vvysmau 

\>e omitted 


partable, C. vndepart- 


3423 o/(l) of the 
3428 answers auswery 

\>e omitted 
3434 [vtteriste - is the'] 


from C. 


contrarie party e of goode men. how grete peync felaw- pollutes them. 

x J Hut contemplate 

shipej) and folwef hem. 1T For fou hast lerned a litel 
here byforn fat al fing fat is awd haf beynge is oon. 

. . , wmtj/ is essential 

and f like same oon is good, fan is f is consequence pat to being and is 
it semef wel. fat al fat is and haf beyrage is good, f is 3443 

is to seyne. as who sei]> fat beynge and vnite and 

. . soever, then, fails 

goodnesse is al oon. and in bis manere it iolwef fan. to be good ceases 

r r to exist. So that 

fat al f ing fat failef to ben good, it styntif forto be. ^ 
and forto haue any beynge. wher fore it is fat shrewes tJ 

stynten forto ben bat bei weren. but filke ofer forme 

, . form of the body, 

of mankynde. fat is to seyne f e forme of f e body wif which stiu re- 

1 mains, clearly 

oute. shewif $it fat f ise shrewes were somtyme men. Sefwhe 
IT wher fore whan f ei ben peruerted and torned in to 
malice, certys fan han fei forlorn fe nature of man- 3452 

lose their human 

kynde. but so as oonly bounte and prowesse may en- nature. But as 

virtue alone ex- 

hawnse euery man ouer ofer men. fan mot it nedes be ^HS men 
fat shrewes whiche fat shrewednesse haf cast out of f e v^'wiS that 
condicz'ouft of mankynde ben put vndir f e merite and hls'^ureTmust 

sink him below 

be deserte of men. ban bitidib it bat yif fou seest a humanity. YOU 

cannot, therefore, 

wy^t fat be transformed in to vices, fou ne mayst nat | 8 
wene fat he be a man. IT For 3if he [be] ardaunt in 

auarice. and fat he be a rauynowr by violence of robb 8 eV, T you g wm dy 

say, is like a wolf. 

foreine rychesse. fou shalt seyn fat he is lyke to a 3461 

wolf, and yif he be felonous and wif out reste and SJtSh^aSSJe 

exercise hys tonge to chidynges. fou shalt lykene hym {SSTto aJoSS 

to f e hounde. and yif he be a preue awaitow yhid and SSulandfrfck- 

T , , 11, er .y ? tnen i fi ne 

reioyseb hym to rauysshe by wyles. fou shalt seyne like young foxes. 

J i J j s he intemperate 

hym lyke to f e fox whelpes. ^ And yif he be dis- ft^* ,f ^ 
tempre and quakif for ire men shal wene fat he beref 

f e corage of a lyou?i. and yif he be dredeful and fleynge 3468 

. _ , , be a coward, he 

and dredef fmges fat ne au3ten nat ben area, men wm be likened to 

3139 greto gret 
3441 al alle 

ha\> MS. ha)?e 
3143 al nlle 

/mb MS. ha>c 
3ti a? alle 
3147 haue han 
oti8 stynten MS. styutout 

3450 were somtyme weeren 

3452 forlorn MS. forlome, 
C. forlorn 

3453 as omitted 
enhawnse enhawscn 

3455 whiche which 
Mb-MS, habe 

3459 [fie] from C. 

3464 yhid MS. yhidde, C. 

3465 seyne seyn 

3468 dredeful dredful 
3169 ben to ben 
dred MS. dredde, C. 



snal k lde hy m lyke to f e herte. and yif he be slowe 
like MOM. a to and astoned and lache. he lyueb as an asse. and yif he 

fickle and incon- 


divinity, he is 

turned into a 


vnstedfast of corage and chaungef ay his 
studies, he is lickened to briddes. 1T and yif he be 
plounged in foule and vnclene luxuries, he. is wifholden 

. , - , . 

in f e foule delices of be foule soowe. IT ban folweb it 
^ ^ ^ forletif bountee and prowesse. he forletif to 
^ en a man - s j n ne ne ma y nat passe in to f e condicwurc 

n -, -, . , n . , 

of god. he is tourned in to a beest. 3478 

C* foi. 27 &] 

Ulysses was 

transformed them 

into divers shapes 



some into howl- 

ing wolves, 

indian h S r8 ers to 
But Mercury, the 

Arcadian god, 

from the^roSn 
maSs, having 

changed to swine, 

and fed on acorns, 


17 vrus ])& wynde aryue]) j>e sayles of vlixes due of J>e 
contre of naiice. and hys wandryng shippes by J?e 
see ^ n * f e ^ s ^ e J 7616 as Circe J>e fayre goddesse doubter 
of >e sonne dwellej) fat medlyj? to hir newe gestes 
drvnkes bat ben touched and maked wib enchaurct- 
ment 3- an ^ a ^ ter ^ ^ hande my3ty of |?e herbes 
hadfde] chauwged hir gestes in to dyuerse maneres. fat 
oon of hem is couered his face wi]> forme of a boor. j)at 
oj>er is chaurcged in to a lyouw of |je contre of mar- 
morike. and his nayles and his te]>e wexen. ^f fat 
ober of hem is newliche chaunged in to a wolf, and 
how^] 7 whan he wolde wepe. fat ofer go]? debonairly 
in be house as a tigre of Inde. but al be it so bat be 
gdlied of mercurie fat is cleped fe bride of arcadie haf 
na( i mercie of fe due vlixes byseged wi]> diuerse yueles 
and haf vnbounden hym fro fe pestilence of hys 
oosteresse algates fe rowers and fe maryners hadden by 
f is ydrawen in to hir mouf es and dronken f e wickedfe] 

3470 holde holden 
herte hert 
slowe slowh 
3472 vnstedfast-*vnstifafast 
his hise 
3475 pan MS. pat, C. than- 
3477 passe passen 
3479 aryue\> aryuede 
vlixes MS. vluxies, C. 

3481 Circe Circes 
3483 enchauntment} en- 
3484 hande hand 
3485 hadtdel hadde 
gestes MS. goostes, C. 
3486 boor bocre 
3488 his (1) hise 

his te\>e hise teth 

3489 newliche neweliche 

3490 go\> MS. go>e 

3491 house hows 

3492 bride bryd 
ha\> MS. ha>e 

3493 mercie MS. mercuric, 
C. mercy 

3494 ha\> MS. ha>e 

3495 oosteresse oostesse 

3496 wickedle] wikkede 



drynkcs fei fat were woxen swyne hadden by fis 

chaurcged hire mete of brede forto ete acorns of ookes. 3498 

non of hlr lymes ne dwell! b wib he?w hoole. but AH traces of the 

human form we 

fei ban lost be voys and be body. Oonly hire f ou^t J^J^ ^jj^f^ 
dwellef wif hem stable bat wepif and bywailif f e 
monstruous chaungynge fat fei suffren. 11 ouer ly}t 

hand, as who seib. 1T feble and lyat is be hand of o most weak, are 

Circe's powers 

Circes be enchaunteresse bat chaungef f e bodies of folk 

in to bestes to regarde and to comparisons of mutactouw 

bat is makid by vices, ne be herbes of circes ne ben nat Circe's herbs may 

change the body, 

my^ty. for al be it so fat fei may chauwgen f e lymes 

of fe body. IT algates }it fei may nat chausge fe 

hertes. for wif inne is yhid fe strengfe and f e vigour 3509 

of mew in f e secre toure of hire hertys. fat is to seyn 

be strengbe of resouw. but bilke uenyms of vices to- But vice is 

more potent than 

drawen a man to hem more my^tily fan f e venyin of g n ^ 8 poi80 " OU8 

circes. 1F For vices ben so cruel fat fei percen and 

f oru$ passen f e corage wif iraie. and f ou^ fei ne anoye Though 

nat be body. sitte vices wooden to distroien men by whole, it pieras 

J the inner man, 

wounde of f ou3t. 3516 ^^0^ 

upon the soul. 


[The ferthe prose. ] 

seide I f us I confesse and am aknowe qiiod. I. ne B. i confess that 

vicious men are 

ne se nat fat men may seyn as by ry$t. fat 
shrewes ne ben nat chaunged in to beestes by f e 
qualite of hir soules. IT Al be it so fat fei kepen }itte 
be forme of be body of mankynde. but I nolde nat of i wish, however, ' 

* f . that the wicked 

shrewes of whiche be bouit cruel woodeb alwey in to were without the 

power to annoy 

destrum'ous of good[e] men. fat it were leueful to hem m 1 e d n hurt good 
to done bat. 1T Certys quod she ne it nis nat leueful P. They have no 

power, as I shall 

to hem as I shal wel shewen fe in coueiiable place, presently show 
^[ But naf eles yif so were fat f ilke fat mes wenes ben 3526 

3497 were woxen swyne 
weeren wexen swyu 

3498 chaunged Ichaunged 
brede bred 

forto MS. and forto 

cte acorns eten akkornes 

3499 hoole hool 

3501 wepi}> MS. kepib, C. 

3502 monstruous MS. mon- 
stronous, C. Monstruos 

3504 Circes MS. Cirtes 
folk folkys [I- 

3509 y/iirf-MS. yhiddc, C. 

3515 wooden MS. wolden, 
C. wooden 

3517 aknowe aknowe it 

3518 seyn sayn 

3523 goodie'] goode 

3524 done don 
3526 ben-bv 



rnooK 4. 

U'KOSE 4. 

But were 
tliis power, which 
men ascribe to 
them, taken away 
from the wicked, 
they would be re- 
lieved of the 
greatest part of 
their punishment. 
The wicked are 
more unhappy 
when they have 
their evil designs 
than when they 
fail to do so. If 
it is a miserable 
thing to will evil, 
it is a greater un- 
happiness to have 
the power to exe* 
cute it, without 
which power the 
wicked desires 
would languish 
without effect. 
Since, then, each 
of these three 
things (i. e. the 
will, the power, 
and the accom- 
plishment of evil) 
hath its misery, 
therefore a three- 
fold wretchedness 
afflicts those who 
both will, can, and 
do commit sin. 


B. I grant itbut 
still I wish the 
viciouswere with- 
out this mis- 

[* foL 28.] 
P. They shall be 
despoiled of it 
sooner than you 
wish perhaps, or 
than they them- 
selves imagine. 
In the narrow 
limits of this life, 
nothing, however 
tardy it appears, 
can seem to an 
immortal soul to 
have a very long 
duration. The 
great hopes, and 
the subtle machi- 
nations of the 
wicked, are often 
suddenly frustrat- 
ed, by which an 
end is put to 
their wickedness. 
If vice renders 

leucful for shrewes were bynomcn hem. so fat fei ne 
my^ten nat anoyen or don harme to goode men. ^f Certys 
a gret party of f e peyne to shrewes shulde ben allegged 
and releued. IF For al be it so fat Jus ne seme nat 
credible fing perauentz^re to sorame folk 3 it mot it 
nedes be fat shrewes ben more wrecches and vnsely. 
whan f ei may don and performe fat f ei coueiten [than 
yif they myhte nat complyssen fat they coueyten]. ^f For 
yif so be fat it be wrecchednesse to wilne to don yuel i 
fan is it more wrecchednesse to mowen don yuel. 
wif oute whiche moeuyng fe wrecched wille sholde 
languisshe wif oute effecte. 1F fan syn fat eueryche of 
f ise f inges haf hys wrecchednesse. fat is to seyne wil 
to done yuel. and moeuynge to done yuel. it mot nedes 
be. fat f ei (shrewes) ben constreyned by f re vnsely- 
nesses fat wolen and mowen and pe?'formen felonyes 
and shrewednesses. IF I accorde me qwod I. but I 
desire gretely fat shrewes losten sone f ilke vnselynesses. 
fat is to seyne fat shrewes were despoyled of moeuyng 
to don yuel. IF so shullera fei quod, she. sonnere 
perauenture fen fou woldest *or sonnere fen fei hem 
self wenen to lakken mowynge to done yuel. ^ For 
fere nis no f ing so late in so short bourades of f is lijf 
fat is longe to abide, namelyche to a corage inmortel. 
Of whiche shrewes f e grete hope and f e heye cora- 
passyrcgws of shrewednesse is often destroyed by a 
sodeyne ende or fei ben war. and fat f ing establif to 
shrewes fe ende of hir shrewednesse. ^F For yif fat 
shrewednesse makife wrecches. fan mot he nedes be 
most wrecched fat lengest is a shrewe. fe whiche 
wicked shrewes wolde ydemen aldirmost vnsely and 

3527 for to 

3528 my\ten myhte 

don MS. done, C. doon 
harme harm 

3529 gret MS. grete, C. gret 
3533-36 don MS. done, C. 

3533-34 [tlian coueyten] 

from C. 
3537 mucuyny mowynge 

3537 wille wil 

3539 ha\> MS. ha)>e 
seyne seyn 

3540 done (1) doon 
moeuynge to done Mow- 
ynge to don 

mot MS. mote, C. mot 

3544 gretely xrutly 

3545 seyne seyn 
were weereu 

3545 moeuyng mowynge 

3548 wenen weene 

to lakken yuel omit- 

3549 \>ere ther 
so (2) the 

3550 longe long 

3552 shrewednesse shrew- 

often ofte 


caytifs yif fat hir shrewednes no were yfinissed. at f e 
leste weye by f e outerest[e] dee]), for [yif] I haue con- 

eluded sobe of be vnselynesseof shrewednesse. ban shewef the* would b* In- 

.. , , t-ii i i j finitely wretched 

it clerely bat bilke shrewednesse is wib outen ende be if death did not 

* put an end to 

whiche is certeyne to ben perdurable, ^f Certys quod. I [J ci 

f is [conclusion] is harde and wonderful to graunte. IT But 

I knowe wel bat it accordef moche to [the] f ircges bat I S* iKccM* 1 

quence appears to 

haue graunted her byforne. IF J)ou hast qttoa she f e ry^t be just, 

of f is. but who so euere wene fat it be an 
harde f ing to acorde hym to a conclusions. it is ry^t to U my n "onduskm 

. , you ought to show 

bat he shewe bat sorame 01 be premisses ben ials. or that the premises 

are false, or that 

ellvs he mot shewe bat be colasiouw of preposici'ourcs the consequences 

T f are unfairly de- 

nis nat spedful to a necessarie conclusions. ^[ and yif it pr e c n ^J e g b r e if the 
be nat so. but fat f e premisses ben ygranted jjer nis not"ect y the i'n-"" 
nat whi he sholde blame be argument, for bis bing bat the e m? e8 w r ha 1 t i 

am about to say 

I shal telle be nowe ne shal not seme lasse wondirful. is not less wonder- 

ful, and it follows 

but of be J>inges fat ben taken al so it is necessarie as 3574 

necessarily from 

who so seif it folwef of fat whiche fat is purposed the same pre- 

byforn. what is fat quod. I. f certys quod she fat is 

fat fat f ise wicked shrewes ben more blysful or ellys JJ^Sedfo! been 

, . . , , . . -, their crimes, a'-e 

lasse wrecches. fat byen fe tourmentes fat fei han happier than if 

_ justice had allow- 

deserued. ban yif no peyne of Justice ne chastied e ed them to go 

L J unpunished. I do 

hem. ne f is ne seye I nat now for fat any man my3t[e] JJ3J!J^. 
fenk[e] fat fe maneres of shrewes ben coriged and ^SSmSSeor. 

i , i i f T i A. i r. T- i- rects y i ce > N'ut 

chastised by vemaunce. and bat bei ben brou^t to be the fear of chas- 

tisement leads 
ry^t wey by f e drede of f e tourment. ne for fat f ei them to take the 

J * J J * T r right path, and 

^euen to of er folk ensample to fleyen from vices. IT But J ha * ^" 
I vndirstonde ^itte [in] an of er manere fat shrewes vf 
ben more vnsely whan fei ne ben nat punissed al be it 
so bat bere ne ben had no resouw or lawe of correc^ou?i. unhappy in 

* * another way. 

ne none ensample of lokynge. ^[ And what manere 3588 

come much more 

3558 sJirewednes shrewed- 

yfinissed fynyshed 

3559 weye wey 
outerest[e~\ owtteryste 
[yif ] from C. 

85(50 so\>e soth 
3561 clerely cleerly 
3563 [conchtsiori] from C. 

3563 harde hard 

3564 [the] from C. 

3567 harde hard 

3568 fals false 
3573 nowe now 

3575 who so sei]> ho seyth 
wliiclie which 

3578 byen a-byen 

3579 chastied[.e~\ chastysede 

3580 my^t[_e'] myhte 

3581 \>enkle] thinke 

3584 ^euen MS. 3euene, C. 

fayen flen 

5 i 


[in] from C. 
3588 none non 



fHOOK 4. 


B. In what way 
do you mean ? 
P. Are not good 
people happy, and 
evil folk miser- 
B. Yes. 
P. If good be 
added to the 
wretchedness of a 
man, will not he 
be happier than 
another whose 
misery has no 
element of good 
in it? 

B. It seems so. 
P. And if to the 
same wretched 
being another 
misery be an- 
nexed, does not 
he become more 
wretched than he 
whose misery is 
alleviated by the 
participation of 
some good ? 


B. He does. 
P. When evil 
men are punished 
they have a de- 
gree of good an- 
nexed to their 
wretchedness, to 
wit, the punish- 
ment itself, which 
as it is the effect 
of justice is good. 
And when these 
wretches escape 
something more 
of ill (i. e. exemp- 
tion from punish- 
ment) is added to 
their condition. 
B. I cannot deny 

P. Much more 
unhappy are the 
wicked when they 
enjoy an unmerit- 
ed impunity than 
when they suffer 
a lawful chastise- 
ment. It is just 
to punish evil- 
doers, and unjust 
that they should 
escape punish- 
[*fol. 286.] 

B. Nobody denies 

P. Everything, 
too, which is just 


shal fat ben q?/od I. oufer fan ha]? ben told here 
byforn IT Haue we nat graunted fan quod she fat 
good[e] folk ben blysful. and shrewes ben wrecches. 
}is quod L [thanne qiiod she] 3if fat any good were 
added to f e wrecchenesse of any wy^t. nis he nat more 
blisful fan he fat ne haj? no medelyng of goode in hys 
solitarie wrecchednesse. so seme]? it quod I. and what 
seyst f ou fan quod she of f ilke wrecche fat lakkef alle 
goodes. so fat no goode nis medeled in hys wrecched- 
nesse. and }itte ouer alle hys wickednesse for whiche 
he is a wrecche fat f er be }itte anof er yuel anexid and 
knyt to hym. shal not men demen hym more vnsely 
fan f ilke wrecche of whiche f e vnselynesse is re[le]ued 
by f e participacz'oim of som goode. whi sholde he nat 
quod I. ^f fan certys quod she han shrewes whan f ei 
ben punissed somwhat of good anexid to hir wrecched- 
nesse. fat is to seyne f e same peyne fat f ei suffren 
whiche fat is good by f e resoiw of Justice. And whan 
f ilke same shrewes ascapen wif outen tourment. fan 
han f ei somwhat more of yuel $it ouer f e wickednesse 
fat fei han don. fat is to seye defaute of peyne. 
whiche defaute of peyne f ou hast graunted is yuel. 
1T For f e desert of felonye I ne may nat denye it quod 
I. II Moche more fan quod she ben shrewes vnsely 
whan fei ben wrongfully delyuered fro peyne. fan 
whan fei bef punissed by ry^tful vengeaunce. but f is is 
open fircg and clere fat it is ry^t fat shrewes ben 
punissed. and it is wickednesse and wrong fat fei 
escapin vnpunissed. IF who my^tfe] denye *f at quod I. 
but quod she may any marc denye. fat al fat is ry^t nis 
good, and also f e contrarie. fat alle fat is wrong nis 

ber oother 
MS. habe 
ben be 

told^- MS. tolde, C. told 
351)1 //oodO] goode 

3592 {thanne shfi] from 

3594 blisful weleful 

/tab MS. habe 
3594-97 goode good 

3598 alle al 
whiche which 

3600 knyt knytte 

3601 re\le]ued releued 

3602 goode good 

3605 seyne scyn 

3606 whiche which 

3607 outen owte 
3609 don MS. done 

seye seyn 

3610 whiche which 

3611 desert deserte 

3614 be\> MS. bebe, C. ben 

3615 clere cler 

3617 myit[_e} myhte 

3618 is rytf nis MS. nis 
ry3t is 

3619 alle-s\ 

nis wicked is wykke 


wicked, certys quod I bise binges ben clere ynoi^. and is good; and, on 
bat we han concludid a litel here byforne. but I preye 
be bat bou telle me yif bou accordest to leten no tour- f e! 
ment to be soules aftir bat be body is dedid by be debe. 

r . i there any punish- 

bis is to seyn. vndirstondest bou oust bat soules han ment for the soui 

r L J after death of the 

any towrment after be debe of be body. ^[ Certis qwod ^y^ and great 
she 30 and bat ry3t grete. of whiche soules quod she I 

, ,.-11 rigorous and 

trowe bat sorame ben towrmentid by asprenesse of eternal, others 

have a corrective 

peyne. and sorame soules I trowe be excercised by a and purifying 

J force, and are of 

purging raekenesse. but my coriseil nys nat to deter- 

myne of bis peyne. but I haue trauayled and told it to our purpose ' 

hider to. IT For bou sholdest knowe bat be mowynge i want you to see 

.. ,;- that the power of 

.1. myght of shrewes whiche mowynge be semeb to th e wicked is in 

J j reality nothing, 

ben. vnworbi nis no mowynge. and eke of shrewes of he ' (ked 

whiche bou pleynedest bat bei ne were nat punissed. tSacence to do 

evil is not of lo 

duration, and 

that the wicked 

. . . evil is not of long 

bat bou woldest seen bat bei ne weren neuer mo wib duration, and 


outen be torment of hire wicked nesse. and of be licence 
of mowynge to done yuel. bat bou preidest bat it 

my3t[e] sone ben endid. and bat bou woldest fayne toiwMfarever" 

lerne. bat it ne sholde nat longe endure, and bat 3639 
shrewes ben more vnsely yif bei were of lenger duryng. 

and most vnsely yif bei weren perdurable, and after After tins i 

showed that evil 

bis I haue shewed be bat more vnsely ben shrewes men are more un- 

f > * happy, having 

whan bei escapen wib oute ry3tful peyne. ban whan bei mcnt, e than n if sh " 
ben punissed by ry3tful uengeaunce. and of bis sentence Wherefore 8 when 

they are^supposod 

folweb it bat ban nen shrewes constreyned atte laste wib 

most greuous tourment. whan men wene bat bei ne ben g rievousl y- 

nat ypunissed. whan I considre bi rescues quod I. I. B. Your reason- 
ing appears con- 

ne trowe nat bat men seyn any bing more verrely. and Jjjjj^s a j t co "[ u . 
yif I touriiQ a3eyn to be studies of men. who is [he] to opIoSS cur- 
whom it sholde seme bat [he] ne sholde nat only leuew and wooid hardly 

command assent, 

bise binges, but eke gladly herkene hem. Certys quod or even a hearing. 

3621 here her I 3629 determyne determenye 

3623 dedid endyd | 3630 peyne peynes 

de\>c deth 

3624 [is} from C. 
ouyt awht 

3625 de\>e deth 
3(526 grete gret 
3628 be ben 

told MS. tolde 

3632 [.i. mygJiflfrmn C. 
3632-34 whiche which 

3633 eke ek 
3635 seen seyn 
3637 done don 


ajn lerncn 
3639 endure dure 
3645 attent the 

feufe MS. >ast, C. laste 
3647 resouns resonn 
3649-50 [Ae] from C. 
3651 efce ek 



fto2 accuston?!,! she S0 ** is but men ma J nat - for H Kan hire QJQIL SO 

Sror e caunot e h s x f wont to (lerkenesse of erfely finges. ]>at fei may nat 

t of e perspicu- liftcn hem vp to be lyst of clere sobefastnes. 1T But 

truth, like 

i ben ty ke to briddes of whiche f 3 ny 3 t Iy3tnef hyre 
aSf lookyng. a/u2 fe day blyndef hem. for whan menloken 
SSof SS?hS; nat f e ordre of binges but hire lustes cwd talent j. bei 

they think there is 

happiness in the wene bat obir be leue or be mowynge to done wicked- 
liberty of doing 

nesse or ellys ^ e esca P iw g wi )> oute peyne be weleful. 
but cowsidere J>e iugement of ]>e perdurable lawe. for if 
ten i'nyo^wi J>ou coiiferme ])i corage to ]>e beste jjinges. pou ne hast 

heart. Conform , 

your mind to no nede to no luge to imen be pns or meede. for bou 

wliat is good, and 

nTnSdol a nd "^ loigned ])i self to jje most excellent Jnng. and yif 
ieifrd to UP on fe y r ou > ou naue enclined J)i studies to J>e wicked Binges, ne 
- seek no foreyn wrekere out of bi self, for bou bi self 


best of things 

virtue). If you 


best of things (i.e. hast brest be in to wicked binges, ryjt as bou mvztest 

e). If you ' *' J > 

loken b ^ djTtteise tynies |)e foule er]?e and J?e heuene. 
3668 and J>at alle o]?er Binges stynten fro wijj oute. so fat 

chastisement r . . . _ _ 

you have degraded bou nere nevther in heuene ne in erthe | ne sav|e| no 

yourself into a r L 

more - t 3 ^ sholde it semen to J>e as by only resoiw 


^ lokynge. J?at J>ou were in J?e sterres. and now in J>e 

What then? Shall . , . , IT, ..- 

we take them as erbe. but be poeple ne lokeb nat on bise bingesr. what 

our models who 

resemble beasts? ban shal we ban approchen vs to hem bat I haue 

If a man who had ' 

^^ W H ben lyke to fe bestes. (q. d. norc) 
IT And what wilt fou seyne of J>is ^ yif fat a man 

faculties were all hadde al forlorn hys sy$t. and had[de] for^eten fat he 
iLVeTffithTse euer saw an ^ Wien( i e t a ^ no fi n g ne fayled[e] hym of 
sight'Sribifnd 1 ? perfocciowi of marckynde. now we fat my^ten sen f e 

The vulgar will .. , , , , 111/1 

not assent to what same bmg wolde we nat wene bat he were blyme (q. d. 

I am going to say, P 

though supported sic), ne also ne accordef nat fe poeple to fat I shal 
seyne. f e whiche f ing is susteyned by a stronge founde- 
ment of rescues, fat is to seyn fat more vnsely ben fei 

3653 ferkenesse derk nesse 

3654 clere so\>efastnes cleer 

3655 whiche which 

3658 opir eyther 
done don 

3659 escaping schapynge 
3662 to (1) of 

36fio foreyn foreyne 
3666 \>rest thryst 

3666 wicked wikke 

3669 [nere erthe'] fromC. 

heuene C. heuenene 

say[e]G. saye 
3b72 on in 

3674 lyke lyk 

q. d. MS. qwod 

3675 unit \>ou seyne woltow 

3676 forlorn MS. forlorne, 

C. for-lorn 
sytf syhte 
had[de} hadde 
3677 saw MS. sawe, C. sawh 

MS. sene, C. sen 

3679 }>inff thinges 

q. d. MS. quod 
3681 whiche which 


bat don wrong to ober folk, ben bei bat be wrong than those who 

' sufter wroiiR. 

sufFren. IF I wolde lieren bilke *same resoiws quod I R fVouia wm- 
1T Deniest fou quod she bat alle shrewes ne ben worfi Sn S e ^ y ur 
to han townnent. nay quod I. but quod she I am cer- that every wicked 

man deserves 

tbvne by many resoims bat shrewes ben vnsely. it ac- punishment? 

* B. No, 1 do not. 

cordef quod. I. ban [ne] dowtest bou nat qwod she bat 
bilke folk bat ben worbi of torment bat beine ben 
\vrecches. It accordeb wel quod I. yif bou were ban p'. Then those*' 

that deserve 

quod she yset a luge or a knower of binges, wheber punishment are 

u J T r miserable. 

trowest bou fat men sholde towrmentfe] hym fat haf j*- {/JjJJJjJj, a 
don fe wronge. or hym fat haf suffred fe wronge. I 3 ^y??iSK? 

ne doute nat quod I. fat I nolde don suffissaunt satis- upon the wrong- 

doer, or upon the 
faccioUTt to hym fat had[de] suffred fe wrong by fe injured? 

sorwe of hym fat had[de] don f e wronge. IT fan SfStoS?!?? 1 
semef it quod she fat f e doar of wrong is more wrecche 011 

ban he bat hab suffred be wrong, bat folweb wel quod would oeemthe 

* injuring person 

m. ban quod she by bise causes and by ober causes more unhappy 

J f J r than he who had 

fat ben enforced by f e same roate fat filf e or synne by 
f e propre nature of it makef men wrecches. and it 

11, , then, and other 

shewef wel fat fe wrong fat mew don nis nat fe reasons of like 

nature, it seems 

wrecchenesse of hym fat receyuef fe wrong, but fe 3703 

wrecchednesse of hym fat dof f e wronge 11" but certys en 

quod she bise oi&tours or aduocat: don al be contrarie done to any man 

is the misery of 

for fei enforcen hem to co?^moeue f e iuges to han pite t'>e doer, and not 
of he??^ fat han suffred and resceyued f e f inges fat ben fhfnJ 

7 7 ,, TIT i ly they try to ob- 

greuous and aspre. and mte men sholden more ryat- tain pity for those 

that have suffered 

fully han pitee on hem fat don f e greuaunces and f e c " e l gg- on an( \ op ~ 
wronges. fe whiche shrewes it were a more couenable JSiSJ duVto the 
f ing fat f e accusowrs or aduocat3 not wrof e but pitous 

and debonaire ladden be shrewes bat han don wrorcg to ment as the sick 

are to the physi- 

fe lugement. ry3t as men leden seke folk to fe leche. cian>n b >t J'- 

for fat fei sholden sek 

3683 don MS. done, C. don 
o\>er oothre 
3688 fne] from C. 
3691 yset MS. ysette, C. 
whe\>cr omitted 
3692 tourment[e] torment- 
3692-3 /tap-MS. ha)>e [en 

sn out f e maladies of 

3693 ivronrje (2) wrong 
3695 had\de] hadde 
3696 Jiadfde] hadden 
wronge wrong 
3697 doar doere 
3698 ha\> MS. liape 
3699 [/] from C. 
3700 ben -ben of 

evrmo Tvir merciful and kind 
Synne Dy accusers, so that, 

3700 roate Roote 
3703-4 but toronge omit- 
3704 dop-MS. do be 
3711 vrrobe wroth 
3712 \>e tho 
don MS. done, C. don 
3713 seke syke 


by the physic of tourmxmtj. and by bis couenaunt eyber J>e entent of be 

they may be cured defeiido^/'s or aduocato sholde fayle and cesen in al. or 

of their vices. I J 

office of aduocat^ wolde bettre profiten to 
ad\ U (Stes y 4 Their men. it sholde be towrned in to be habit of accusaczouw. 

duty is to accuse, . _ _ . 

and not to excuse bat is to s e vn pel sholdeTi accuse shrewcs. and nat 

offenders. Were T 

3720 excuse hem. and eke Jje shrewes hem self, jit it were 
leueful to hem to seen at any clifte be vertue fat J>ei 
han forleten. and sawen bat bei sholde putten adourc 

which they have . 

forsaken, and be nlbes of hire vices by [the] torment} of peynes. bei 
fyi e effect l s e of uri " ne au 3 ten nat ty^ f r J> e recowpensiewmi forto geten 
nem ^ ounte <^ prowesse whiche bat bei han lost demen 
no holden bat bilke peynes weren tow?-mentes to hem. 
'3727 an d e ^ e fei wolden refuse be attendau?ice of hir aduo- 

g^eth^SL Cat 3 aw ^ taken nem self to nire iu S es w^ to nir ac - 
ref2e the ?efenoe cusours. for whiche it bytideji [bat] as to be wise folk 

of their advocates. 

The wise hate ber nis no place ylete to hate, bat is to seyn. bat hate 

nobody, only a Y 

men 1 - 1< and'iU8 as ne ^^ no P^ ace a monges wise men. ^[ For no wy^t 
the U w?cked to h vice wolde haten gode men. but yif he were ouer moche a 
thesoui"and fole. ^[ and forto haten shrewes it nis no resourc. 

needs our com- 

3734 Jborry^tso as languissmg is maladie of body, ry^t 
our S Se, a for ?he so ben vices and syraie maladies of corage. IT and so as 

distempers of the 

soul are more we ne deme nat bat bei bat ben seek of hire body ben 

deplorable than 

wor )>i to ^ en ^ted. but rajjer worbi of pite. wel more 
worbi nat to ben hated, but forto ben had in pite ben 
bei of whiche be bou^tes ben constreined by felonous 
3740 wickednesse. bat is more cruel bara any languissinge of 



what frenzy lYThat deliteb it 2ow to exciten so grete moewynges of 

causes man to VV 

Ik a at\s,by h war a or' hatredes and to hasten and bisien [the] fatal dis- 

fda - th posic^ouw of ^oure deej) wij> ^oure propre handes. bat is 
3745 to seyn by batailes or [by] contek. for yif 30 axen be 

3715 tourmentt, torment 
& (2) omitted 
{tfi] s[>]i/M to seyn 
3722 sawen sawh 
sholde sholden 
3723 \_the~] from C. 
3721 autfen owhte 

3725-29 wUclie which 
3729 bytide\> MS. byndep, 
C. bvtidith 
Lpa] from C. 
3730 ylete I-leten 
3731 ha\> MS. hape 
3732 wolde nyl 

3732 moche mochel 
3733 /o?e fool 
3736 seek syke 
3743 [#*] from C. 
3745 [6?/] from C. 


dciib it hastisib hym of hys owcn wille. nc decb no lays not to come. 

Y J J Why do they who 

nat hys swifte hors. and [the] men J)at J?e ser- 

pent} and J?e lyourcs. and ]>e tigre. and ]>e beere and JJG 

-, ., , .. _ .,, seek to slay each 

ooore seken to sleen wib her tebe. at bilke same men other with the 

' _ sword. Lo ! their 

seken to sleen eueryche ot hem ober wib swerde. loo lor manners and 

opinions do not 

her maners ben * diuerse and discordaunt IT bei [* foi. 29 &.] 

accord, wherefore 

moeucn vnry^tful oostes and cruel batailes. and wilno ^^ 
to perisse by enterchaungynge of dartes. but f e resourc 

of cruelte nis nat ynou* ryatful. wilt bou ban selden a no just reason for 

J ' J * shedding blood. 

couenable gerdouri to be desertes of men IT Lone ryit- Wouidst thou rc- 

17 ' ward each as lie 

fully goode folk! and haue pite on shrewes. 3756 

they deserve, and 

have pitv upon 
the wicked. 

[The fyfthe prose.] 

s see I wel quod. I. eyber what blisfulnesse or ellys B. i see plainly 

the nature of that 

what vnselinesse is estab[l]issed in ]?e desertys of [en 
goode men and of shrewes. ^[ but in bis ilke fortune 

of poeple I see somwhat of goode. and somwhat of thewickedJ lc i e uit 

in Fortune I see a 

yuel. for no wise man hab nat leuer ben exiled pore mixture of good 

J and evil. The 

and nedy and nameles. jjan forto dwellen in hys Citee 5JJf e 3 pl j fer8 
and flouren of rychesses. and be redoutable by honoure. 3763 

f . , . n -. j poverty, &c. And 

and stronge oi power lor m bis wise more clerely ana wisdom appears 

more illustrious, 

more witncsfully is be onice of wise men ytretid whan when wise men 

are governors and 

fo blisfulnes and [the] pouste of gouernowrs is as it ^ 
were yshad amonges peoples bat ben ney3boures and J 

- .. i i 7 I.- ment, torture, &c., 

submit*, syn bat namely prisou/z lawe ana bise ober are inflicted only 

upon bad citizens. 

of lawful peynes ben raber owed to felonous 

Cite^eins. for be whiche felonous Cite^eins J?o peynes 3770 
ben establissed. ban for goode folk. IT ban I merueile why, then, 

should things 

me gretly qwod I. whi [bat] be binges ben so mys en- ^H 

trechaun^ed. bat toz^rment; of felounes pressen and why should the 

worthy suffer and 

confounden goode folk, and shrewes rauyssen medes of the vicious re- 

37-16 hastisi\> hasteth 

owen wille owne wyl 
3747 [the] from C. 

3749 boore boor 
te\>e teth 

3750 swerde swerd 

3751 her hir 

3752 wilne wylnen 

3753 enterchaungynge eri- 

trechaungyn j?es 

3760 goode pood 

3761 ha\> MS. hape 
nat omitted 
leuer leuere 

3762 bare MS. pat, C. than 

3763 redoutable MS. re- 
dentable, C. redowtable 

3764 stronge strong 

3764 clerely clerly 

3766 [the] from C. 

3767 neyfioures nesshe- 

3769 lawful lavveful 

3771 goode good 

3772 [baft from C. 



ceivc the reward vertuc and ben in honowrs. and in grete cstatis. and I 

of virtue? I 

heir therlalon of Desire eke to witzn of be. what seme}) be to ben be 
resouT* of bis so wrongful a confusions IT For I wolde 

a is " 

chif SS wondre wel be lasse yif I trowedfel bat alle bise binges 

were the cause of 

aii tins confusion, were medeled "by fortuouse hap. IT But now hepeb 

But I am oer- 

encrese f rnyne astonyenge god gouernow of binges. 
fat so as god 3euef ofte tymes to good[e] men goodes 

rector of all 

things thus un- and myrbes. and to shrewes yuel and aspre binges. 

equally distri- J * J 

b nnishraents S and an ^ 3 eue f a^eynewarde to goode folk hardnesse. and to 
iYthere!?hei^mi- shrewes [he] grauntef hem her wille and bat bei de- 

less we know the . i_ i TIT ^ -i *. 

cause, between siren, what difference ban may for be bitwixen bat bat 

God's proceedings 

and the opera- god dob. and be hap of fortune, yif men ne knowe nat 

i ons of Chance? 

prisiiiS ttiat ^ f e cause wn ^ J 7 ^ P*] ^ s< ^ n ^ s no merueile quod, she bou^ 
fat men wenen bat ber be somwhat folysche and confus 
whan be resou7^ of be order is vnknowe. 5T But alle 
j,ou3 bou ne know nat be cause of so gret a disposic^oiu^. 
^J 36 ! 68 f r as nioche as god be good[e] gouernour at- 
tempreb and gouerneb be world, ne doute be nat bat 

,, . , ni-r\o 

alle binges ne ben doon aryu. 6rJ6 

order by which 

God proceeds 

things are done 

rightly and as 

they ought to be 

[* MS. aritnri] 
[The fyf 

e fyfthe 


so f a * ne knowe nat be sterres of arctour 


ytowrned neye to be souereyne contre or point. 

He who knows not 

that the Bear is 

seen near the 

Pole, nor has 

observed the path bat is to scyne ytowmed neye to be souereyne pool of _be 

Spp r e V a e r 1 an t ce heir firmament and woot nat win be sterre boetes passeb or 

3798 gaderib his wey[n]es. and drencheb his late flaumbes in 

be see. and whi bat boetes J?e sterre vnfoldib his ouer 

The vulgar are swifte aiisynges. fan shal he wondien of be lawe of be 

alarmed when . , 

shadows heye eyre. <md eke if bat he ne knowe nat why bat be 

terrestrial obscure J J 

h rnes f f e ^l[le] moene waxen pale and infect by be 

piayd? bedi8 " bouwdes of be derke ny3t ^ and how be moene dirk 

3775 grete gret 

3776 to witfnforto weten 

3778 trowed[_e\ trovvcde 

3779 were weoren 
fortuouse fortunous 

3780 mijne myn 

3781 (jood[_e\ goode 

3782 'uuel; yiiclis 

3783 hardncsse hardnesses 

3784 [he} from C. 
wille wyl 

3785 difference MS. differ- 

3786 do\> MS. doj?e [enee 
/tap happe 

3787 [#] from C. 
ne it 

3788 ennfus confuse 

3789 alle ftl 

3791 f/oodlc'] goode 

3793 we omitted 

3791 arctour MS. aritour 

3795 neye neygli 

3796 seyne seyn 
neye nygh 

3797-99 boetes MS. boeces, 

C. boetes 
3798 his (1) hise 

wey\_n~\cft weynes 
3802 'fulfle] fnilu 


and confuse discoucrcb be stcrres. bat she hadfdel Thinking 

L J the eclipse the re- 

ycouered "by hir clere visage. J?e commune errour moeuej? J^fff^S^A 
folk and makif wery hir bacines of bras by J>ikke S^SS^iS 
strookes. J>at is to seyne fat J>er is a maner poeple bat te f brtt7 ' en 

, . r T ., , , . cymbals. Yet 

hyn e coribandes bat wenen bat whan be moone is m none shar**! when 

the nortn-west 

be eclips bat it be enchauwtid. and berfore forto rescowe wind renders the 

sea tempestuous ; 

be moone bei betyn hire basines wij> bikke strokes. 
^] TSe no man ne wondreb whan he blastes of be wynde 
chorus betyn be strondes of be see by q uakynge floodes. cause the causes 

are apparent. 

ne no man ne wondrej? whan be wey^te of be snowe 3813 
yhardid by be colde. is resolued by j)e brennynge hete CBB*M an un 6 - 

Known disquiet 

of phebus be sonne. 1T For here seen men redyly be the human mind. 
causes, but be * causes yhid bat is to seye in heuene * f i. 30.] 
trouble fe brestes of men. 11 j>e moeueable poeple is The fickle mob 

stands amazed at 

a-stoned of alle binges hat comen selde and sodeynely in every rare or 

J J sudden phcnome- 

oure age. but yif be troubly errour of oure ignorance 
departid[e] from vs. so bat we wisten be causes whi bat 

.-,.. 1-.-1 i i i -i place to certain 

swiche bmges bitiden. certys bei sholderc cesse to seme knowledge. 
wondres. 3822 


"Uvs is it qwod I. but so as bou hast 3euen or byhy^t 

Vs IT-IT f i mr i as tn ou hast pro- 

* me to vn wrapper be hidde causes ot bmges ^[ and mised to untold 

1 the hidden causes 

to discoueren me be resouws couered mt dirknesses I oftmngs, an.iun- 

veil things wrapt 

p?'eye be pat bou diuise and luge me of bis matere. and 
bat bou do me to vndrestondera it. 1F For pis miracle p 

7,1 Jt y> anrt explain 

or bis wondre troubleb me ry^t gretely. and ban she a the mystery i 

r mentioned to you. 

litel [what] smylyng seide. ^f bou clepest me quod. 
she to telle bing. bat is grettest of alle J>inges bat mowen 

_ IMTAIJ.I i'i- j.' i r ~\ which I am afraid 

ben axed. ^[ And to be whiche questiouw vnneb[ejs is can scarce be 


bere au3t ynow to lauen it. as who seib. vnnefes is ber 
suffisauntly any bing to answere perfitly to bi questiouTi. 3833 

3804 Tiad^de'] hadde 
3806 bacines MS. batines 

\>ikke MS. J>ilke, C. thilke 
3S07 seyne seyn 
3308 hy&e'] hihte 
3809 eclips cc 

MS. th 

3812 chorus MS. thorus, C. 

3813 snowe sonwh = snowh 

3815 hereher 
redyly redely 

3816 yhid MS. yhidde, C. 


seye seyn 

3817 trouble trowblcn 
3820 departid[c] from dc- 

partede fro 
3823 byliy^t by-hyhte 

3821 7iidde}iyd 

3826 preyepreey 
diuise deuyse 

3827 do don 

3828 gretely gretly 



what] from C. 
3832 \>ere antf ihor awlit 

^| 4^^v ^pW 4Rv 

^ ; ^ fc ; mi Hh l^r. 

:-;.: - - >--:-.- 



rnooK 4. 


w',at c he m has she9 ^undi). or ellys by al nature seruynge to god. or ellys 
awTtShat'Sr by f e celestial moeuyng of sterres. or ellys by be vertue 

and that time. So 

then, however oi aungels. or eilys by f e dyuerse subtilite of deueles. 
or ellvs bv an y of hem - or ell y s by hem alle f e destynal 
the s cpntr a o r i e o 1 f nder ordynawice is ywouen or accomplissed. certys it is open 

Providence, which . 

disposes Destiny, ping pat be pwrueaunce is an vnmoeueable and svmple 

But some things J x 

ar n e d Lmpt V f d om e * orm& of )>i n g es to done, and f e moeueable bonde and 
FateT!g 0f 8ta- J 76 temporel ordynaunce of f inges whiche fat f e deuyne 

bly fixed near to -,. ., /. , 

tiie Divinity him- simplicite oi pwrueaunce nab ordeyned to done, bat is 

self, and beyond 

destine. For wniche it is fat alle f inges fat ben put 
yn dir destine ben certys subgitj to pwrueaunce. to 
moncen n tre!Sat whiche pw?Tieaunce destine it self is subgit and vndir. 

which is inner- 

^f But somme finges ben put vndir purueaunce fat 
sow^Tiiounten f e ordinaunce of destine, and f o ben 
f ilke fat stably ben yficched ney to f e first godlied f oi 
sowrmouftten be ordre of destinal moeuablite. ^F For 

which the out- 
ward ones re- 
volve; whilst the 

3912 ry^t as cercles fat townen aboute a same Centre or 

outermost, revolv- , , .,, , , . . 

ing in a wider about a poynt. filke cercle fat is inrest or moost wib- 

the further it is 
from the centre 

th 1 ing 1 eisebe rany " siboutQu hym. 

joined to the 

ynne ioinef to f e symplesse of f e myddel and is as it 
were a Centre or a poynt to fat of er cercles fat tournew 
and filke fat is outerest compased by 

middle point, it is larger envyronnynge is vnf olden by larger spaces in so 
prity V ofreasS mocnel as ^ is forf est fro fe my del symplicite of fe 
thm f g2 h rem a oved poynt. and yif f er be any fiwg fat knyttef and felaw- 
teiiimnoe, so ' shippef hym selfe to bilke mydel poynt it is constreyned 

much the more is f 

intemge S Rpe, the 

fat is to seyn in to [vnjmoeueablete. 

and & ceseth to ben shact and to fletiw dyuersly. IF Ey^t 
so by semblable resouw. bilke binpje bat dep(?rtib firbest 

J J T 

centre of all 

things, the more f ro he first bouat of erod. it is vnfoldew and summittid 

stable it becomes, 

Sndentupl de " to gretterc bondes of destine, and in so moche is fe 
fing more free and lovs fro destyne as it axef and 

3806 a? alle 

3897 moeuyng moeuynges 

3900 ywouen MS. ywonnen, 

C. ywouen 
or and 

30(12 bonde bond 
: 5 :i.| 7,,/|> MS. habc 
13905 whiche which 

3912 as as of 

3913 about a-bowte 
inrest innerest 

3917 larger (1) a largo 

3918 mochel moche 
for \>est ferthere 

3920 sclfc self 

3921 \vri\moeucablete vn- 


3922 cescth MS. fle>e, C. 

3923 binge tiling 

3924 of MS. to, C. of 
3926 lovs laus 


holdef hym ncr to filke Centre of binges, bat is to And if we 

* r suppose .that 

seyne god. IF and if f e f inge cleuef to f e stedfastnesse SSiKntoBJR?" 
of fe fou^t of god. and be wif oute moeuyng certys it f he supreme f 

, , , . . , . . mind, it then be- 

soMrmountep be necessite ot destyne. ban ryzt swiclie comes immov- 

. . J J ' able, and is be- 

cornparisouft as [it] is of skilynge to vndirstondyng and 
of f ing fat is engendred to f ing fat is. and of tyme to 

... 7 / i s* . understanding, as 

eternite. and 01 be cercle to be Centre, ryst so is be that which is pro- 

^ * ducedtothat 

ordre of moeueable destine to be stable symplicite of winch exists of 

J * itself, as time to 

pwrueaunce. ^T filke ordinaunce moeuef fe heueiie ? 
and be sterres and attempreb be elyment^ to gider 

Fate to the stable 

amonges nem self, and transformef hem by enter- simplicity of 
chaurcgable mutac^ourc. f and bilke same ordre newef Jjjjjy 7 t le c s on . 
a^ein alle finges growyng and fallyng a-doune by sem- 

, , , , . , , . dissoluble chain 

bleables progression's ot seedes and of sexes, bat is of causes, and 

is, like their 

to sein. male and female, and fis ilke ordre corcstreynef 3941 

fe fortunes and fe dedes of men by a bonde of causes 

nat able to ben vnbouwden (indissolubili). be which e things well con- 

ducted, since that 

destinal causes whanne f ei passen oute fro fe by- f V 

gynnynges of fe vnmoeueable purueaunce it mot nedes 

be bat bei ne be nat mutable, and bus ben be binges ful by it* inherent" 1 

1 m immutability ex- 

Avel ygouerned. yif fat f e symplicite dwellywge * in f e [* foi. si.] 

, , TP ercises a restraint 

deuyne bomt sneweb lurpe be ordre 01 causes, vnable to upon mutable 

things, and pre- 

be I-bowed. and f is ordre constreynef by hys propre 

stablete fe moeueable finges. or ellys fei sholde fleten 
folily for whiche it is fat alle finges semen to be confus 

nevertheless, the 

and trouble to vs men. for we ne mowe nat co?zsidere proper condition 
filke ordinaunce. IF Naf ele's fe propre manere of ciine C s t8 itTo d the"ir 
euery f ing dressynge hem to goode disponit hem alle. there^otiS 

done for the sake 

lor bere nis no binge don for cause of yuel. ne bilke of evil, not eve 

r ' by the wicked, 

f ing fat is don by wickedfe] folk nis nat don for yuel 
f e whiche shrewes as I haue shewed [ful] plentiuously 

3927 ner nere 

3928 seyne seyn 

\>inge cleuelp thing 

stedfastnesse stydefast- 

3937 enter chaung able MS. 

enterchauMgyngable, C. 

3939 a-doune a-down 

sembleables semblable 
3912 bonde bond 

393 swiclie swych ] 39-43 ben vnbounden be vn- 

3931 [if] from C. bownde 

3932 to (2) MS. of, C. to 3944 oute owt 

3948 fur\>e forth 

3949 I-bmved MS.vnbound- 
en, C. I-bowed 

3950 sholde sholden 

3951 whiche which 

3952 mowe mowen 

3956 wicked^ wykkedo 

3957 [.ful'] from C. 




But the order 
proceeding from 
the centre of 
supreme good- 
ness does not 
mislead any. But 
you may say, 
what greater con- 
fusion can there 
be than that both 
prosperous and 
adverse things 
should at times 
happen to good 
men, and that evil 
men should at 
one time enjoy 
their desires 
and at another 
be tormented by 
hateful things. 
Are men wise 
enough to dis- 
cover, whether 
those whom they 
believe to be 
virtuous or 
wicked, are so in 
reality ? Opinions 
differ as to this 
matter. Some 
who are deemed 
worthy of reward 
by one person, are 
deemed unworthy 
by another. But, 
suppose it were 
possible for one 
to distinguish 


with certainty 
between the good 
and the bad ? 
Then he must 
have as accurate 
a knowledge of 
the mind as one 
has of the body. 
It is miraculous 
to him who knows 
it not, why sweet 
tilings are agree- 
able to some 
bodies, and bitter 
toothers; why 
some sick persons 
are relieved by 
lenitives and 
others by sharper 
remedies. J t is 
no marvel to the 
leech, who knows 
the causes of 
disease, and their 
cures. . What con- 
stitutes the health 
of the mind, but 
goodness ? And 
what are its 
maladies, but 
vice? Who is the 
preserver of good, 

3958-9 goodc good 

3960 decline^ MS.ecline)>, 

C. declynyth 
3061 wors worse 
:<!'<i2 tiomme tame somtyme 
3!><>.'> swit'Jie swycll 

sekcn goode. but wicked errour mystozmiif hem. IF Ne 
f e ordre comynge fro f e poynt of souereyne goode ne 
decline]? nat fro hys bygynnynge. but f ou mayst sein 
what vnreste may ben a wors co?ifusiou?i fan fat goode 
men han somme tyme aduersite. and somtyme pro- 
sperite. 1F and shrewes also han now f inges fat f ei 
desiren. and now f mges fat f ei haten IT whef er men 
lyuen now in swiche hoolnesse of f ou}t. as who seif . 
ben men now so wise, fat swiche folk as f ei demen to 
ben goode folk or shrewes fat it mot nedes ben fat folk 
ben swiche as f ei wenen. but in f>is manere f e domes 
of men discorden. fat f ilke men fat somme folk demen 
worf i of mede. of er folk demen hem worf i of towrment. 
but lat vs grauntfe] I pose fat som man may wel demen 
or knowen f e goode folk and f e badde. May he fan 
knowen and seen f ilke inrest attempe?-aunce of corages. 
as it haf ben wont to be said of bodyes. as who saif 
may a man speken and determine of attemperaunce in 
corages. as men were wont to demen or speken of com- 
plexiouws and attemperaunces of bodies (q' non). ne 
it [ne] is nat an vnlyke miracle to hem fat ne knowew 
it nat. IF As who seif. but is lyke a merueil or a 
miracle to hem fat ne knowew it nat. whi fat swete 
f inges [ben] couenable to some bodies fat ben hool and 
to some bodies bittre f inges ben couenable. and also 
whi fat some seke folk ben holpen with ly^t medicines 
[and some folk ben holpen with sharppe medicynes] but 
naf eles f e leche fat knowef f e manere and f e attemper- 
aunce of heele and of maladie ne merueilef of it no 
f ing. but what of er fing semef hele of corages but 
bounte and prowesse. and what of er fing semef maladie 
of corages but vices, who is ellys kepere of good or 

3967 mot moste 

3971 graunt[e] graunte 

3973 inrest Inneryste 

3974 7iab MS. ha>e 
said MS. saide, C. seyd 

3975 determine determine!! 
3978 [we] from C. 

3978 vnlyke vn-lyk 

3979 lykeVk 

3981 [ben] from C. 
hool hoole 

3984 [and medicynes] - 

from C. 

HOOK 4. 
1'KOSK 6. 


dryucre awcy of yuul but god goucrnowr and lecclier of o? evn d )ta (V,',!!'^ 
bo^tes. f o whichc god wlum ho hab by-holden from )>o SSliS?Sowi 

_ _ -i , what is necessary 

heye tourc ot hys p?/rueaunce lie knoweb what is for men, and 

bestows it upon 

couenable to euery wyjt. and leneb hem bat he wot Jj^ ^j" this 

[bat] is couenable to hem. Loo here of comeb and i 

. , , , . . , destiny wrought 

here ot is don bis noble miracle of be ordre destinal. by the wisdom of 

r t God, and marvel- 

whan god bat alle knoweb dob swiche bing. of whiche j^ 1 b {|J["[JJJ! fc 
bing [bat] vnknowyng folk ben astoned but forto con- feVthlSSwm- 
streine as who seib ^[ But forto cowiprehende and telle S"h" DivSie c|lt 

. . , , , , . , knowledge which 

a lewe binges ot be deuyne depnesse be whiche bat mans human reason 

may comprehend. 

resoim may vnderstonde. ^f bilk man bat bou wenest 
to ben ry^t luste and ry^t kepyng of eqwite. be contrarie 
of bat seme)) to be deuyne pwrueaunce bat al woot. when you 

mr A i i f -T L TI , ... apparent irregu- 

II And lucan my famiher telleb bat be victories cause larities unex- 

pected and un- 
likedfe] to be goddes and causes ouercomen liked[e] to 4004 

i . , . -. wished for deem 

catown. ban what so euer bou mayst seen bat is don in them to be rightly 

done. Let us 

bis [world] vnhoped or vnwened. certys it is be ry^t el suppose a man so 

1 L <J J \- J we n behaved, as 

ordre of binges, but as to bi wickedfe] oppinioun it is a 
co?if usiouw. but I suppose bat som man be so wel ybewed. 
bat be deuyne lugement and be Iugeme?it of mankynde reverses of for- 

tune will cause 

accorden hem to gidre of hym. but he is so vnstedfast wm to forgo his 

J probity, since with 

of corage [bat] yif any aduersite come to hym he wolde 
for-leten perauenture to continue i?inocence by J>e 

, . , , -.111 j- j that adversity 

whiche he ne may nat wibholden fortune. T[ ban be might destroy 

this man's in- 

wise dispensac/ouw of god spareb hym be whiche 

manere aduersite * my3t[e] enpeyren. ^f For bat god a j* rg fo t j; J^.] 

wil nat suffren hym to trauaile. to whom bat trauayl 

,-, mr \ J2 n man is thorouglily 

nis nat couenable. IT An oper man is pernt in alle virtuous, and 

approaches to the 

uertues. and is an holy man and neye to god so bat be purity of the A V \ iy 

J J ' him Providence 

pwrueaunce of god wolde demen bat it were a felony t 
bat he were touched wib any aduersites. so bat he ne 

3990 whiche which 
3997 [M] from C. 

3991 1ia\> MS. habe 

3993 wot MS. wote, C. wot 

3991 [bafl from C. 

3995 don MS. done, C. don 

miracle MS. mirachc, C. 

ordre MS. ordre of 
39!6 rt/fr-al ryyt[e] rvlite 

do\>- MS. dobo I 4007 wicked(.c] w.ykkcde 

3999 mans maimes 

4000 biiktbilke 

4004 liked[_e] (both} lykede 

4005 is don MS. is to dou 

4010 vnstedfast vnstydefast 

4011 [ba^j from C. 
wolde wol 

4015 manere man 
my^t[ie] myhte 
4010 wil wol 

4006 [world} from C. 4018 neye negh 



rnooK 4. 
[PROBE e. 

him even from 
Ixxlily disease. 
Providence often 
gives tlie direc- 
tion of public 
affairs to good 
men, in order to 
curb and restrain 
the malice of the 
wicked. To some 
is given a mix- 
ture of good 
and evil, accord- 
ing to what is 
most suitable to 
the dispositions 
of their minds. 
Upon some are 
laid moderate 
afflictions, lest 
they wax proud by 
too long a course 
of prosperity. 
Others suffer 
great adversities 
that their virtues 
may be exercised, 
and strengthened 
by the practice of 
patience. Some 
fear to be afflicted 
with what they 
are able to endure. 
Others despise 


what they are 
unable to bear; 
and God punishes 
them with calam- 
ities, to make 
them sensible of 
their presump- 
tion. Many have 
purchased a great 
name by a glori- 
ous death. Others 
by their unshaken 
fortitude, have 
shown that virtue 
cannot be over- 
come by adversity. 
These things are 
done justly, and 
in order, and are 
for the good of 
tho*e to whom 
they happen. 
From the same 
causes it happens, 
that sometimes 
adversity and 
sometimes pros- 
perity falls to the 
lot of the wicked. 
None are surpris- 
ed to see bad men 
afflicted they get 

wil nat suffre fat swiche a man be moeucd wif any 
mancro maladie. IF But so as scide a philosophre [the 
moore excellent by me], fe aduersites comen nat (he 
seide in grec f ) fere fat uertues han edified f e bodie 
of fe holy man. and ofte tynie it bitidef fat fe 
sowme of f inges fat ben to don is taken to good folk 
to gouerne. for fat f e malice habundaunt of shrewes 
sholde ben abatid. and god }euef and dep?'tif to of er 
folk prosp[er]ites and aduersites ymedeled to hepe aftir 
f e qualite of hire corages and remordif som folk by 
aduersites. for fei ne sholden nat wexen proude by 
longe welefulnesse. and- ofer folk he suifref to ben 
trauayled wif harde f inges. f For fat fei sholden con- 
forme f e vertues of corage by f e vsage and exercitacioun 
of paciewce. and ofer folke dreden more fen fei au^ten 
f e wiche fei my3t[en] wel beren. and f like folk god 
ledif in to experience of hem self by aspre and sorwe- 
ful f inges. IT And many ofer folk han bou^t honor- 
able renoune of fis worlde by fe pris of glorious deef . 
and som men fat ne mowen nat ben ouer-comen by 
tourment han ^euen ensample to ofer folk fat vertue ne 
may nat be ouer-comen by aduersites. IT and of alle 
f ise f inges f er nis no doute fat fei ne ben don ry^t- 
fully and ordeinly to f e profit of hem to whom we 
seen fise finges bitide. 1T For certys fat aduersite 
comef some tyme to shrewes. and some tyme fat fei 
desiren it comef of fise forseide causes and of sorweful 
finges fat bytyden to shrewes. Certys no man ne 
wondref . For alle me/z wenen fat fei han wel de- 
serued it. and fei ben of wicked merite of whicho 

swiche swych 

4022 manere bodyly 
4022-3 [the me] from C. 

4023 \>e aduersites nat 


4024 pere omitted 
4026 don done 

to (2) MS. so 

to good gouerne to 

Kouerue to ^oode folk 

4028 o\>er oothre 

4030 som some 

4031 sliolden sholde 

4033 conferme confermen 

4034 corage corapes 

4036 my^i\en\ myhton 

4037 hem hym 
snrwefuTr- sorwful 

4038 o\>er oothre 
J03H wo r Ide world 

of (2) of the 

4041 o\>er othre 

4046 come]) comth 
some (both] som 

\>at \>ei MS. bei >at, C. 
pat that they 

4047 come\> comth 
sorweful sorwfnl 

4050 wicked wykkodo 
merite MS. ucritc. C. 


shrewes be tozmnent som tyme agasteb ober to done what they deserve. 

Their punish- 

folics. and som tyme it amendef hem fat suffren f e 
tottrnicntis. H And fe prosperite fat is 3euen to 
shrewes sheweb a grete argument to goodFe] folk what wicked enjoy 

felicity the good 

bing bei sholde demen of bilk wilfulnesse be whiche should learn how 

little these exter- 

prosperite men seen ofte serue to shrewes. in fe whiche tobe'Szedt 68 ^ 6 
f ing I trowe fat god dispensif. for perauenture f e nature the 1 !?! ofTh? 11 ' 

most worthless. 

ot som man is so ouerf rowyng to yuel and so vncouen- Another reason 

for dispensing 

able fat fe nedy pouerte of hys house-hold my^tfe] ^wKdTs 10 
raf er egren hym to done felonies, and to f e maladie wo^prompt 

naturally violent 

of hym god puttib remedie to amen hym rychesse. and and rapacious 

minds to commit 

som ofer man byholdif hys conscience defouled wif JJSSies* Their 
synnes and makif comparisons of his fortune and of 
hym self <[[ and dredif perauenture fat hys blisfulnesse 

to do wrong for 

of whiche f e vsage is loyful to hym fat f e lesynge of fear, lest their 
filke blisfulnesse ne be nat sorweful to hym. and fer- 4066 
fore he wol chaunge hys maneres. and for he dredif Smell 1 *" 

to lese hys fortune, he forletib hys wickednesse. to happ con- 

ferred, which at 
ober folk is welefulnesse y^euew vnworbily be whiche last precipitates 

J > f J > them into de- 

ouerfrowef hem in to destruccz'ouw fat fei han de- 
serued. and to som ofer folk is ^euen power to 

r> - , T T -i fl , T ment, in order 

pumsse^. tor bat it shal be cause of contmuac^ou?^ and both to exercise 

the virtues of the 

exercisinge to goodfe] folk, and cause of towrment to 1^^ 
shrewes. H For so as fer nis none alyaunce bytwixe Serifs' ncfaiii- 8 
goodfe] folke and shrewes. ne shrewes ne mo wen nat good and bad, so 

neither can the 

accorded amoftges hem self and whi nat. for shrewes y ici us a g re A e , 

together. And 

discorded of hem self by her vices f e whiche vices al to Their 
renden her consciences, and don oft[e] tyme finges f e 
whiche finges whan fei han don hern, fei demen fat inp their c <m- 
f o finges ne sholde nat han ben don. for whiche f inge 
filke souereyne pzwueaunce haf maked oft[e] tyme 

4051 oper oothre 
done don 

4052 folies felonies 

4054 rjretegret 
(joo(1\_e\ f<ood 

4055 sholde sholden 
H?* thllke 

4'J5G serue semen 

wliiche which 
4057 dispcnsi\> MS. dispis- 

i>, C. dispensith 

4059 my*>,t[e\ myhte 

4060 done don 

4061 rychesse Rychesses 
4065 whiche which 

4068 MS. wrongly in sorts 
welefulnesse after wick- 


4073 good[_e] goode 

4074 none non 

4075 good\e~\ goode 

4076 accorden acordy 

4078 don MS. done, C. don 
oft[e} ofte 

4079 do* MS. done, C. don 

4080 sholde shold-n 
whiclif \>inge which thing 

4081 fc*f> MS. habe 



arises fsi-na" 06 [ faire ] miracle so frtt slircwcs hail maked oftyme 
""out by Pnn-id- slirewes to ben good[e] men. for whan fat som slirewes 
'[* foi. 82.] * seen fat f ei suffren wrongfully felonies of of er slirewes 
made wicked men ^ e { wexen escliaufed in to hat[e] of hem fat anoien 
havingsuffS hem. and retournen to f e fruit of uertue. when fei 

injuries from the , . , , - 

former, have stuuien to ben vnlyke to hem bat bei nan hated. 

become virtu- 

4088 IT Certys f is only is f e deuyne my^t to f e whiche my^t 
S theTmTght yueles ben fan good, whan it vsef f o yueles couenably 

not resemble 

those whom they ana draweb out be enect 01 any eood. as who seib bat 

so detested. 

vuel is g 0(1 nl y y J> e m y3t f s^- for )* m y$t of 

S d ordeynej) J>ilk yuel to good. For oon ordre en- 
brasij? alle ])inges. so J)at what wyat [batl departib fro 

hing occurs by 

the caprice of be rcsouw of be ordre whiche bat is assigned to hym. 

chance in the r J 

rro\5e5i f cc >ivlne a ^S a ^ es 3^ ne slidejj in to an ojjer ordre. so Jmt noting 

n i g leueful to folye in fe realme of J?e deuyne pume- 

thinsrs, it is not ., , . . ... 

lawful to man to aunce. as who seib no bmg nis wibouten ordmaunce in 

attempt to com- 

pre'iendthe whole ]?e realme of jje deuyne pumeaunce. ^[ Syn J>at }?e ry^t 

expiSun* strong[e] god gouerni]? alle Binges in J>is worlde for it 

sumce to^cnow- n is nat leueful to no man to co??zp?'ehenden by witte ne 

an' tilings for the vnfolden by worde alle be subtil ordinaunces and dis- 


4102 posici'ouTis of ]?e deuyne entent. for oonly it au^t[e] 

retains uSngs suffice to han loked J?at god hym self makere of alle 

created after his 

own likeness con- natures ordeymb and dressib alle binges to good, while 

formably to his 

ban?shes s 'evu by t 3 ^ ne ^ as ^t to wi]?halden ]je J>inges fat he haf maked 

destiny S ou f of his i n to hys semblaunce. J?at is to seyn forto wijjliolden 

binges in to good, for he hym self is good he chaseb 

which you seem 

to see are only ou te al yuel of be boundes of hys communalite by be 


exiiausted^uid ordre of necessite destinable. For whiche it folwej? fat 
prolixity of mv yif foil loke fe p?Tieaunce ordeynynge fe finges fat 

reasoning, and . -11, 

look for relief men wenen ben haboundaunt in erbes. bou ne slialt riot 

from the harmony 

of my verse. geen j n no p} ace no Jji n g O f yuel. IF but I S6 nOW fat 

40S2 \_faire] from C. 

oftyme omitted 
4083 goodie] goode 
4085 Jiat{e\ hate 

anoien anoy ed en 
4087 studien omitted 

vnlyke vnlyk 
4089-90 good goode 
4092 ]>ilk thilke 

4093 \\>af} from C. 

4094 }>e (2) thilke 
whiche which 

4096 realme Renme 

4099 strangle'] stronge 
worlde world 

4100 wo omitted 
witte wit 

4101 worde alle word, al 


4104 f/ood while goode wyl 

4105 /tab MS. ha>e 

4108 o/(l) fro 

4109 whiche which 

4111 ben haboundaunt ben 
outraious / or habownd- 

K4 ' 


bou art charged wib bo wcyjtc of be Questioufnl and Take, then, tins 

draught, witli 

wery wijj lengjjc of my resouw. and ]?at J>ou abidest sora 
swetnesse of songe. tak ]>MI Jns drau;t and whan Jjou 

art wel refresshed and refet Jjou shalt ben more stedfast " 
to stye in to hey ere questioiws. 4117 

SI UIS CELSI IURA. ^he syxte 

Yif bou wolt demen in bi pure boint be ryites or be If thai would* 
^ * explore the laws 

lawes of J>e heye ]mnd[ere]re. J?at is to seyne of god. of the high Timn- 

loke J>ou and bihold J?e hey^tes of souereyne heuene. 

IT fere kepen }?e sterres by ry^tful alliaunce of Jnnges 

hir olde pees, be sonne ymoeued by hys rody fire, ne rareth rosy 

Sun does not 'in- 

destourbib nat be colde cercle of be moone. 1T Ne be vade the moon's 

* colder sphere. 

sterre yclepid j?e bere. J>at enclinij? hys rauyssynge 2eaV\tray from 
courses abouten be souereyne hey^t of be worlde. ne be boumis ( td qwncfi 

his light in the 

same sterre vrsa nis neuer mo wasshen in be depe western main. 

Vesper always 

westerne see. ne coueitij) nat to dy^en hys flaumbes in "^arance^at'e^e 1 
])e see of [the] occian. al fou^ he see ojjer sterres y- 4128 

, , Lucifer ushers iu 

plounged in to be see. IT And nesperus be sterre the mom. so 

mutual love 

bodib and tellib alwey be late ny^tes. And lucifer be moves an things, 

F and from the 

sterre brynge]? a^eyne ]je clere day. 11 And Jms makij) JJSS,JJSf J trife 
loue enterchaungeable ]?e perdurable courses, and Jms 

is discordable bataile yput oute of J?e centre of be sterres. mSS, r so Act the 

moist atoms war 

Jjis accordaunce attempre]? by euene-lyke manere[s] ]?e m re with the 
elementes. J?at J>e moyste jjinges striueii nat wij> ]?e 
drye finges. but 3iuen place by stoundes. and J?at ])e 

i . i ir>-, TJ- 7 down the heavy 

colde binges loynen hem by leib to be note binges, and earth descends. 

r " By these same 

jjat j)e Iy3t[e] fyre arist in to hey^te. and ]?e heuy er]?es 
aualen by her wey^tes. U by ])ise same cause J>e floury t 
yere ^eldej? swote smellys in J>e fyrste somer sesouw 

, the corn. Autumn 

warmynge. and J>e hote somer drye]) ]?e comes, and comes crowned 

4115 tak MS. take, C. tak 

4116 refet refect 
shalt ben shal be 
stedfast stydefast 

4118 \>ou wolt )>ou wys wilt 

4119 ])und[ere]re thon- 
seynef>eyn [derere 

4120 bihold MS. biholde,C. 
by hold [rody 

4122 rody m. redy, C. 

4122 fireVyr 

4123 cercle clerke 
4125 courses cours 

heyjt heyhte 

4127 westerne westrene 
dy-^en deeyn 

4128 [the'] from C. 

he see MS. it sewe, C. he 

o\>er oothre 

4131 a^eyne ayeiu 

4133 oute owt 

4134 euene-lyke manerc[ti] 
eueiielyk nianeres 

4135 striuen strynynge 
nat omitted 

4136 but omitted 

4138 ly)t(_e\fyre arist lyhte 

fyr arysith 
4140 yere 3er 



[ROOK 4 

with plenty, and 
winter wets the 
earth with 
These changes 
give lite and 
growth to all that 
breathe ; and at 
last by death 
efface whatever 
lias had birth. 
[* fol. 32 ft.] 
Meanwhile the 


world's Creator, 
the Source of all, 
the Lawgiver, the 
wise Judge, sits 
above equitably 
directing all 
things. Those 
tilings which 
have been set in 
motion by him 
are also checked 
and forced to 
move in an end- 
less round, lest 
they go from 
their source, and 
become chaotic. 


This love is 
common to all 
things, and all 
things tend to 
good ; so, urged 
by this, they all 
revert to that 
First Cause that 
gave them being. 

autumpne conic]) apyne licuy of apples, and f e fletyng 
reyne bydewef f e wynter. fis attemperaunce noryssif 
and brynggef furfe al finge fat bredi]) lyfe in fis 
worlde. IF and f ilk same attemperaunce rauyssyng hide]) 
and bynymef and drenchej) vndir ]>e last[e] de])e allo 
*f inges yborn. ^f Amonges ])ise Binges sitte]) f e heye 
makere kyng and lorde. welle and bygynnynge. lawc 
and wise luge, to don equite and gouerni]) and enclini]) 
])e bridles of f inges. and f o Binges fat lie stire]) to don 
by moeuynge lie wif drawef and aresti]) and affermij) f e 
moeueable or wandryng f inges. IF For $if J)at he ne 
clepij) nat a^ein fe ry^t goynge of f inges. and }if ])at he 
lie constreyned[e] hem nat eftesones in to roundenesse 
enclined ])e f inges fat ben now continued by stable 
ordinaunce. |)ei sholde deperten from hir welle. ])at is 
to sein from hir bygynnynge and fail en. J)at is to sein 
townen in to nai^t. IF ])is is f e commune loue of alle 
J)inges. and alle f mges axen to be holden by f e fyn of 
good. For ellys ne my3ten ])ei nat lasten yif ])ei ne 
come rat eftesones a^eine by loue retourned to J)e cause 
fat ha]) $euen hem beynge. fat is to seyn to god. 4162 

[The seuende 
prose. J 

P. Do you see 
what follows 
from our argu- 
ments e 

B. What is it ? 
P. That all for- 
tune is good. 
B. How can that 

P. Since all for- 
tune, whether 
prosperous or 
adverse, is for 
the reward of the 
good or the 
punishment of 

4142 come]) a^eyne comth 

4143 reyne reyn 

41-1-1 fu,r\>e al \>inge forth 

alle thing 

bredi]) lyfe berith lyf 
4145 worlde world 

4110 la*t[e\ de\>e laste deth 

4147 yborn MS. yborne, C. 

4148 lorde lord 


Qest fou nat fan what f ing folwef alle f e f inges fat I 
^ haue seid. what f ing qwod I. IF Certys q?od she 
outerly fat al fortune is good, and how may fat be 
q?/od .1. 1F ISTow vndirstand quod, she so as [alle 
fortune wheyther so it be loyeful fortune / or aspre] 
fortune is 3iuen eif er by cause of gerdonynge or ellys of 
oxercisynge of goode folk or ellys by cause to punissen. 

4149 wise wys 

4150 stire\> sterith 
din gon 

4151 pe omitted 

4153 clepfy klepede 

4154 constrcyned\e\ con- 

roundenesse Rownd- 


4156 sholds sholden 
4158 tnurnen tome 

of to 

4150 be ben 

4161 eftesones a^eine eft 
sones ayein 

4162 ftap MS. hape 

4163 \>ing thinge 

4165 outerly al owtrely 
al alle 

4166-7 [alle aspre'] from 

4169 goode good 


or ellys to chastysen shrewes. IT ban is alle fortune the bad, an for- 

tune is good 

good. f e whiche fortune is certeyne fat it be eif er iyjt- yftfZfff 
ful or profitable. IT For sofe fis is a ful verray resoura Sopinfon Ut 
quod. I. and yif I considere be pwrueauwce and be pSSSons^ich 

. . thou saidst wer 

destine bat bou taustest me a litel here byforne bis sen- not commonly 

believed by the 

tence is susteyned by stedfast rescues, but yif it like 
vnto fe lat vs noumbre hem amonges J>ilk[e] finges of 

whiche bou seidest a litel here byforne bat bei ne were fune o/'mch a one 

* ' is bad. 

nat able to ben ywened to fe poeple. IT whi so quod. m - e *J J n u f ^ m h 
she. for J>at f e comune worde of men mysusif quod. I. fan^mgeofthe 16 
fis manere speche of fortune, and sein ofte tymes [fat] should seemto 

depart too much 

be fortune oi som wyst is wicked, wilt bou ban quod from the popular 

mode of expres- 

she fat I proche a litel to f e wordes of f e poeple so it j on A ? g ou leage 
seme nat to hem fat I be ouer moche departid as fro f e pVofiLweYhat'if 
vsage of man kynde. as bou wolt quod I. IF Demest fTVes, certainly. 

P. That which 

f ou nat quod she j?at al ])ing ]?at profiti]? is good, ^is exe t r s c ^ es c< ^" 

quod I. certis Jjilk J)ing jjat exercisi]? or corigij) pro- 4186 

fitib. I confesse it wel quod I. ban is it good quod she. P! Therefore it is 

good ? B. Yes. 

whi nat quod I. but bis is be fortune \quod she] of This ^ e . 

f * L^- J fortune of the vir- 

hem fat ei]?er ben put in vertue and batailen a3eins 
aspre Jjinges. or ellys of hem Jjat eschewen and declinen 

ing vice, pursue 

fro vices and taken be weye of vertue. 5T bis ne may thepath of virtue? 

* *. J B. It is. 

nat I denye qiiod I IT But what seist J?ou of J>e myrye 
fortune ]?at is ^euen to good folk in gerdouw deuinij) 

-, .....,, _ reward on the 

omt be poeples bat it is wicked, nay forsobe quod I. but good to be bene- 

ficial, and they 

J?ei demen as it so]?e is J?at it is ry^t good. IF And what J^iamitiesT 
seist J)ou of fat ofer fortune quod. she. fat al 0113 it ^f! e f a s ed 
be aspre and restreinij) f e shrewes by ry3tful tourment. JweSS^St 

can be imagined. 

wenip ou^t be poeple bat it be sjood. nay quod I. 1F P>ut ut in following 

the popular 

f e poeple demif fat it be most wrecched of alle f inges 
fat may ben f ou3t. war now and loke wel quod she 

T... f -. . ,, ble consequence. 

lest fat we in iolwyng f e opymourc oi poeple naue con- 

4174 here byforne her by- 

4175 tfayfatBby&ettat 

4176 noumbre nowmbren 
ilk[_e] thilke 

1 here byforne her by- 



4178 ywened weened 

4179 worde word 

4180 \_\>af] from 0. 

4181 wicked wykkede 

4182 proche aproche 

4185 al alle 

4186 \>ilk thilke 


4188 [quod she] from C. 
4191 weye wey 

4193 deuini\> demyth 

4194 ou^t awht 

4195 so\>e soth 

4198 ou\t awht 

4199 be is 


p w?haved5 ? f essec * an & concluded bing bat is vnable to be wened to 
J> e P e P le - wh ^t is bat quod I 1T Certys quod she it 
folwef or comeb of binges fat ben graunted bat alle 

needs be good . 

but that the for- fortune what so euer it be. of hem bat eyber ben in 

tune of the wic- J ' 

w e reSd tbem 8t P ossessiouw of vertue. [or in the encresof vertu] or ellys 
in be purchasynge of vertue. fat bilke fortune is good. 
1F And bat alle fortune is ryat wicked to hem bat 

The wise man 

ought not to be dwellen in shrewednesse. as who seib. and bus weneb 

cast down, when 

waJwithSrSne, nat fa PP^- ^ fat is sofa quod I. IF Al be it so 

vaiiantnian 11 * * fat nomaft dar confesses it ne byknowen it. 1F whi so 

ought to be dis- 

mayed on hearing quod she. For jyit B,s no strong man ne semeb nat to 

the noise of the 

[* foi 33.] abassen or disdaignew as *ofte tyme as he hereb be noise 

battle. The 

enaffih? one to ^ fa bataile. ne also it ne semeb nat to fa wyse man to 

JSr^lSuhe beren it greuously as oft[e] as he is lad in to fa strif of 

difficulties of the * , ,, , , .. 

other aid him to lortune. tor Dope to bat on man and eke to bat ober 

confirm and im- 

4217 bilke difficulte is be matere to bat oon man of encrese 

prove his wisdom. i? r- i 7 

Thus virtue, in its oi ms glorious renouw. and to bat oberman to conferme 

literal accepta- 

tion, is a power hys sapience, fat is to seine fa asprenesse of hys estat. 
IF For berfore is it called uertue. for bat it sustenib and 
enforceb by hys strengbes fat it nis nat ouer-comew by 

much progress in T , irr - T 

virtue, are not to aduersites. II JN e certys bou bat art put in be encrese 

be carried away 

by delights and or in be heyat of uertue ne hast nat comen to fleten wib 

bodily lusts. You 

fierce coStiuh de li ces and fort o welken in bodyly lust. IF bou sowest 

X2?ady5tyi or plauntest a ful egre bataile in bi corage a3eins euery 

you with pros- fortune, for bat be sorweful fortune ne coftfourcde be nat. 

perity, lest it cor- 
rupt you. seize ne fat be myrye fortune ne corrumpe be nat. IF Occupy 

strengthf Tn fa m ^ne by stedfast strengbes. for al fat euer is vndir 

thisTinei^ Tom- be mene. or ellvs al bat ouer-passeb be mene despiseb 

temptible and a * 

thankless felicity, welefulnesses. IF As who seib. it is vicious and ne hab 

The choice of for- 

ow"n himds n but r no me( ^ e ^ n 7 s trauaile. IF For it is set in ^oure hand, 

evfn averse for- as wno SQ ty it Heb in ^oure power what fortune ^ow is 

exercises ThV leuest. bat is to seyne good or yuel. IF For alle fortune 

4204 come\> comth 

4206 lor vertu'] from C. 

4208 wicked wykkede 

4210 so\>e soth 

4211 confessen ccmfesse 

4212 no strong the stronge 

4213 abassen abaysscri 

4215 oft[e] ofte 
4219 seine scyn 

4223 heytf heyhte 

4224 welken wellen 

4226 confounde MS. cow- 
founded, C. confownde 

4227 Occupy Ocupye 

4228 stedfast stydefast 

4230 ha]> MS. hajie 

4231 set MS. sette, C. set 

4232 lie\> lith 

4233 seyne seyn 

MET. 7. 



bat semcb sharpe or aspre yif it nc exercise nat be good virtues of the 

J good or chastises 

4235 tne wicked, is a 

folk, ne chastisij? be wicked folk, it punissej). 


wrekere attrides 1T J>at is to seyne agamenon bat 
wrou3t[e] and continued[e] be batailes by ten ^ere 
recouered[e] and pwrgedfe] in wrekyng by J?e destruc- 
cioun of troie be loste chambres of mariage of hys brober 
bis is to seyn ]>at [he] agamenon wan a3ein Eleine bat 
was Menelaus wif his brober. In J>e mene while bat 
bilke agamenon desired[e] to ^euen sailes to be grek- 
ysshe nauye and bou$t[e] a^ein be wyndes by blode. he 
vnclobedfe] hym of pite as fader, and j)e sory prest 
3iuej> in sacrifiynge be wreched kuyttyng of brote of )>e 
doubter. IF bat is to sein J?at agamenon lete kuyttera J>e 
J?rote of hys dorter by be prest. to maken alliaunce wif 
hys goddes. and for to haue wynde wij? whiche he 
my3t[e] weiide to troie. IF Itakus fat is to sein vlixies 
by wept [e] hys felawes ylorn fe whiche felawes fe 
fiers[e] pholifenms ligginge in his grete Caue had[de] 
freten and dreint in hys empty wombe. but naf eles 
polifemws wood for his blinde visage ^eld to vlixies ioye 
by hys sorowful teres. bis is to seyn fat vlixes smot 
oute be eye of poliphemws bat stod in hys forhede. for 
whiche vlixes hadde ioie whan he saw poliphemz^ 
wepyng and blynde. IT Hercules is celebrable for hys 
hard[e] trauaile he dawntede J?e proude Centauris half 
hors half man. and he rafte be despoylynge fro Jje 

[The seuende 

Atrides carried on 
a ten years' war to 
punish the licen- 
tious Paris. 


With blood 
he purchased 
gales for the 
Grecian fleet, by 
casting off all 
fatherly pity, and 
sacrificing his 
Iphigenia to the 
vengeance of 


Ulysses bewailed 
his lost mates, 
devoured by 
but, having de- 
prived the Cyclop 
of his sight, he 
rejoiced to hear 
the monster's 


Hercules is 
renowned for his 
many labours, so 
successfully over- 
come. He over- 
threw the proud 
Centaurs ; 

4234 sJiarpe sharp 

4236 seyne seyn 

4237 wroti3t[e~] wrowhte 
continued[e] continuede 

4238 y>urged\e\ purgede 
4240 [>e]-from C. 
wan MS. warme, C. wan 

4242 desired[e] desirede 

4243 bou^e'] bowhte 
blode blod 

42 11 vnclo >ed[e]-vnclothedc 

as of 
4215 kuyttyng MS. knyt- 

tyng, C. kuttynge 
4246 lete-let 
kuyttenM$. knytte, C. 

4248 Jiaue hail 

4249 myit[_e] wende myhte 

4250 bywept[e\ by-wepte 
ylorn MS. ylorne, C. y- 


4251 fiers[e} feerse 
had[de] hadde 

4253 $eld yald 

4254 sorowful sorwful 

4254 smot MS. smote, C. 

4255 oute owt 

stod MS. stode, C. stood 
forhede forehed 

4256 saw say 

4258 ~hard[je\ trauaile harde 

dawntede MS. dawnded, 
C. dawntede 

4259 half-MS. hals 
rafte byrafte 
fro from 



| Ml. I - 

he slew the 
Nuinean lion and 
wore his skin as 
a trophy of his 
victory ; he smote 
the Harpies with 
his arrows ; he 
carried off the 
golden apples of 
the Hesperides, 
and killed the 
watchful dragon ; 
he hound Cer- 
IKTUS with a 
threefold chain ; 
he gave the l>ody 
of proud Dlomede 
a* food for the 
tyrant's horses ; 

he slew the ser- 
pent Hydra; 
he canned 
Arhelons to hide 
hi* Mushing 
head within 
hi. banks; 


IK- left. An terns 
de.-id tipon the 
f* fol. :!:;/*.) 
1/yhian shore ; 
he a]>j>ea*ed 
Kvimder's wrath 
hy killing Cacus; 

he slew the 

nii'l hore the 
weight of Atlas 
i|.'.n his 

These Intxiiir* 
justly raised him 
nk of a 

<;<, tlii-ii. yc 
souls, nnd follow 

th |.:ifh ofthlH 

great exnmpl''. 


cruel lyoutt pat is to soync he slou$ pe lyoun and 
rafte hym hys skyn. he smot pe brids pat hy^tcw 
arpijs [in )>e palude of lyrne] wip certeyne arwcs. 
he rauyssed[e] applis fro pe wakyng dragouw. and 
hys hand was J>e more heuy for pe goldefne] 
metal. He drou; Cerberus )>e hound of hello by 
hys treble cheyne. he ouer-comer as it is acid h,i)> 
put an vnmeke lorde fodre to hys cruel hors H fis is 
to sein. )>at hercules slou$ diomedes and made his hors 
to etyn hym. and he hercules sloii} Idra Jje serpent and 
brend[e] ]>e venym. and achelaus J>e flode defouled[e] in 
his forhede dreint[e] his shamefast visage in his 
strondes. J>is is to sein pat achelaus coupe transfigure 
hym self in to dyuerse lykenesse. and as he fau3t \vi]> 
orcules at pe laste he twrnid[c] hym in to a bole, and 
hercules brak of oon of hys homes, and achelaus for 
shame hidde hym in hys ryuer. IF And [he] hercules 
*[o] adou/i Anthcus pe geaunt in pe strondes of 
libye. and kacus apaised[e] pe wrappes of euander. pis 
is to sein pat hercules slou^ po Monstre kacus and 
apais(;d[e] \vip pat deep pe wrappe of euander. 1F And 
pc, hriftled[e] boor matked[e] wip scomes po sholdn-s of 
In imlcM. pc. whidio eholdres pe heye cerclo of hciicnc, 
slioldc. prcKtc.. and po ]a.-l- >!' ln's l;il)o///\s was pat In- 
HiiHtcncd|c| p. liciicnc. VJHI/A his nckkc vulioxvcd. and he 
nn-.rl|..| cHsnucs p>, liciicno to ben pe pris of his 
tr.maylo IF (lop now pan y, strongo men pero as 
Ji.' licyc wcyc. <>f pc ^ivtc, <']ia.iii|)If. lclcp 3011. IF nice 
\vlii n;ikc ; v 1 "' 1 ' ' i:| l 'I'" '^''' 1 - 1F 

420 noynf- i 

il !/!/ M 

rrotn c 

I'-.-. <-/ MS. .....l.-. C. 
//'() MS luij.c 



1 ,/,/;,/,,/, M,,-,,I 

l|'-|<iWl' l|' 

1U71 /<>//" -A '/// '/(' 

bed tin 

127:1 hlli H, **< I.V'.i 


I ./. MS. bl 

.in C 

1 ', 

J. It-ill- 
ui'ii-l.i <l ' 

/. Hi i !.< 

i : | , . 

',u\. MS (,(l|.|- 

[.. /- ll.i-r 
"in- \viiy 
L"-i-' inih, MS. innl.c, C. 

T :-.;..- 



S .._._. . ;.,";"..'".'. ,,"_ 

-' r -- : l 

' -- - ..... i 


he slew the cruel lyourc fat is to seyne he slous be lyouw and 

Nemean lion and ' ' J 

rS^SSj" rafte hym hys skyn. he smot fe brids fat hy^tera 
t^HarVbsTith 6 arpijs [in f e palude of lyrne] wif certeyne arwes. 
carriedTffthe 6 he rauyssedfe] applis fro fe wakyng dragourc. and 

golden apples of 

andSdthe 5 ' "&* ^^ was f 6 more **$ for be golde[ne] 

hfboundcS? " 5 metal - He drou3 Cerberus fe hound of helle by 

tKfoid ch a ain ; hys treble cheyne. he ouer-comer as it is seid haf 

of proud Diomede put an vnmeke lorde fodre to hys cruel hors IF bis is 

as food for the 

tyrant's horses; to sein. fat hercules slou} diomedes and made his hors 

h ent C H dra ***' ^ etvn ^Y 1 ^' an( ^ ^ ie hercules slou$ Idra f e serpent and 

Aci5iou e s d to hide ^ renc ^[ e ] $ Q venym. and achelaus f e node defouled[e] in 

hlldwlJhS his forhede dreint[e] his shamefast visage in his 

strondes. fis is to sein fat achelaus couf e transfigure 

4273 hym self in to dyuerse lykenesse. and as he fau^t wif 

orcules at f e laste he twnid[e] hym in to a bole, and 

hercules brak of oon of hys homes, and achelaus for 

he left Antaeus shame hidde hym in hys ryuer. IF And [he] hercules 

C* foi. 33 6.] *cast[el adouw Antheus be geaunt in be strondes of 

Lybian shore ; f 

he appeased lib ye. and kacus apaisedfe] be wrabbes of euander. bis 

Evander's wrath 

by killing cacus ; j s ^ se j n jj a ^ hercules slou^ fe Monstre kacus and 

Fr 8 manthean apaisedfe] wif fat deef fe wraffe of euander. IF And 

boar; fe bristled[e] boor marked[e] wif scomes fe sholdres of 

and bore the hercules. f e whiche sholdres f e heye cercle of heuene 

weight of Atlas 

shoulders sholde freste. and f e laste of his labours was fat he 

These labours sustenedfe] be heuene vpo?^ his nekke vnbowed. and he 

justly raised him L J r 

t od herank fa deseruedfe] eftsones fe heuene to ben fe pris of his 
GO then, ye noble laste trauavle IF Gob now ban ae stronge men bere as 

souls, and follow 

* reat a exam 'Je 8 f 6 ne y e We 7 e ^ J 76 grete ensample ledcf 3ou. IF nice 
4288 men whi nake 30 ^oure bakkes. as who seif. IF ^e 

4260 seyne seyn 

4261 smot MS. smote, C. 

4262 [in lyrne'] from C. 

4263 rauyssed[e] rauyssh- 

4266 seid MS. seido, C. 

4267 lorde lord 

4269 etyn freten 

4270 brend[e] brende 

4270 flode defoulcd^ Hood 



4271 forhede dreint^for- 
hed dri!.ynte 

4273 lykenesse lyknesses 

4274 turnid[_e\ tornede 

4275 brak MS. brake, C. 

7/?/s hise 

4276 \he\- from C. 
4278-80 a<paised[e] apay- 

4281 -bristled^e] brystclede . 

iH(irkwl(_e] markede 
\-l^-l cfi-cle clerke 
4^s:i \>reste thriste 

4285 descrned[d] deseruodc . 

4286 .Go\> MS. Go)je 
\>ere ther 

4287 weye way 

4288 nake MS. make, C. 


slowe and delicat men whi fley ae aduersites. and ne o ye slothful 

ones, wherefore 

fy^ien nat a^eins hem by vertue to wynnen be mede of do y e basel y fly ! 
be heuene. for be erbe ouer-comew ^eueb be sterres. 4291 
11 bis is to seyne bat whan fat erbely lust is ouer-comen. He who conquers 
a man is maked worbi to be heuene. the neavens - 




O he hadde seid and towrned[e] be cours of hir resouw to when 

^ somme ober binges to ben tretid and to ben ysped. 

ban seide I. Certys ryjtful is bin amonestyng and ful 

digne by auctorite. but bat bou seidest som tyme bat tion is just and 

' worthy of thy 

[The fyrste prose.] 

when ri^io-^ 

be questions of be deuyne pwrueaunce is enlaced wib 
many ober questiourcs. I vndir-stonde wel and prove it 

. , . T .n- , i Superintendence 

by be same binge, but 1 axe yii bat bou wenest bat nap or Providence is 

J ' * involved with 

be any bing in any weys. and if bou wenest bat hap be many others 

and this I believe. 

any [thing] what is it. ban quod she. I haste me to J^^fg^. 
3elden and assoilen be to be dette of my byheste and JhfrlKch a 

, , , , . -, . , thing as Chance, 

to shewen and opnen be wey by wmche wey bou maist and what thou 

thinkest it is. 

come a3ein to bi contre. 1F but al be it so bat be binges 
whiche bat bou axest ben ry}t profitable to knowe. 
jitte ben bei diuers somwhat fro be pabe of my purpos. though" the? a 

n - , things you ques- 

And it is to douten bat bou ne be maked weery by tion me about are 

J J rofitable to 

mysweys so bat bou ne mayst nat suffise to mesurera be 

ry^t weye. 1T Xe doute be ber-of no bing quod I. for by^rayhTg from 

forto knowen bilke binges to-gidre in be whiche binges 

I dclite me gretly. bat shal ben to me in stede of reste. right road. 

B. Don't be 

Syn it nis nat to douten of be binges folwyrcge whan afraid of that, for 

it will refresh me 

euery side of bi disputisou^ shal be stedfast to me by JJ jjj {^es?* 
vndoutous feib. ban seide she. bat manere wol I don ^"delightfully l 

4289 slowe MS. slouj, C. 

fley flee 
4292 seyne seyn 
4291 seidM.S. seide, C. sevd 


4297 som tyinc whilom 

4298 \>e (2) thy 

4300 J 

4302 [thing'] from C. 

4303 telden vildeii 
assoilen MS. assailen, C. 

byheste byliest 
4304-0 whicJici which 
4300 ben MS. beue 

4307 pa\>e pnnth 
4312 sto/e styde 
4314 diKputisoun disjiuta- 

he han ben 

a ted. fast sty defas t 



[PROSE* 1. 

j,e. and bygara to speken ry$t bus IT Certys quod she 
if wc y J if an 7 ^73* dlffinisse hap in bis manere. bat is to seyn. 
San e eventp e ro J>at hap is bytidynge y-brou^t forbe by foelyshe 

duced by an un- 7 .. .. 

intelligent mo- moeuynge. and by no knyttyng of causes. IT I con- 

tion, and not by a 

affirmthat h chance 
empty sound! *" 

What room is 

there for foiiy and 

disorder where all 

Btramed r by r order 
ordina?cJof God ? 

For it is a great 


thing can spring 

Sow f i? an hi tifin 
operation of a* the 

But If this is im- 

possible, then 


such a thing as 

chance, as we 

have defined it. 

B. is there no- 

thing, then, that 

Sice o 


the vulgar) to 

which these 

words may be 
p PP Arist ? otle de- 

" e 

outerly fat hap nis ne dwellib but a voys. IT As who 
selb. but an ydel worde wib outen any signincac^ f ouw of 
bmg summittid to bat vois. for what place mystfe] ben 

r /7 L J 

^ or c ^ we lly n g e to folie and to disordinauftce. syn bat 
g& l Q &ty an ^ streynib alle binges by ordre. 1T For bis 

. , - n . 

sentence is verray and sobe bat no bmsre ne hab his 
^ e y n g e ^ ^011$. to [the] whiche sentence none of bise 
olde folk ne wibseide neuere al be it so bat bei ne 
vndirstoden ne moeueden it nau^t by god prince and 
gynner of wirkyng. but bei casten as a manere founde- 
ment of subgit material, bat is to seyn of [the] nature 

,, ,, , . 

ot alle resouw. and 211 bat ony binge is woxen or comen 
o f no causes, ban shal it seme bat bilke binge is comen 

or woxen of nou3t. but yif bis ne may nat ben don. 
ban is it nat possible bat bere hab ben any swiche bing 
as I haue diffinissid a litel here byforne. IT How shal 



B ' F ^ 

P. So often as a 

thing y and C an- 

other thing than 

what he intended 

to do is produced 

^ e cleped eyber happe or ellis auenture of fortune, or is 
ber omt al *be it so bat it is hidd fro be poeple to 
whiche bise wordes ben couenable. Myn aristotul quod 


she - in \> Q book of his P hisik diffinisseb bis bing by 
short rescue and ney^e to be sobe. IF In whiche manere 
quod I. 11" As ofte q uod. she as men don any bing for 



cSon? C As e if a 

man trench the 

ground for tillage 

fi n g Ip&t men ententen to doon by tide b by som[e] causes 

.,. , ni r-i- IIP, 

it is ycleped happe. II Ky3t as a man dalt be erbe by 

4317 seyn seyng 

4318 /orpe-forth 

4322 worde word 

4323 my?<[e] myhte 
432i left Ipfte 

4:325 sireyni\> constreyiiyth 
432<5 so\>e soth 
no \>in<ie nothing 

4327 [the] from C. 

4330 ffynnerbygyrmere 

4331 \fhe\- from C. 

4332 5 z/ MS. 5 it, C. yif 
\>inge thins? 

4335 fat ben pat hap be 

ha\> MS. h;ipe 
swiche swych 

4333 happe hap 

4339 hidd 'SSS. hidde, C. 

4340 whicJie which 

4342 ney^e nehg 
whiche which 

4343 don MS. done, C. don 
4314 \>inge thing 

i'< !"> ,svj?;i[6'] some 
4310 happe hap 

MET. 1. J 



FoT ifth un 

had not ploughed 


hider of the gold 

fortuitous acqui- 

sition which pro- 
ceeds from a con- 


tSntimof the"" 
the wder of the 

gold nor the hus- 

Sandman intend- 

ed or understood 

cause of tylienge of be felde. and fond fere a gobet of 
golde by-doluen. ban wenen folk bat it is fallen by for- 
tunous bytydyng. but for sobe it nis nat for nau^t for 

. , /> 1 i 

it nab hys p?*opre causes oi whiche causes be cours vn- 
forseyn and vnwar senrib to han maked happe. 11" For 
yif be tilier in be erbe ne delue nat in be felde. and yif 
be hider of be golde ne hadde hidd be golde in bilke 

, -,r i -i ^ -i , i 

place. be golde ne had de nat ben founde. bise ben 
ban be causes of be abreggynge of fortune hap. be whiche 
abreggynge of fortune hap comeb of causes encountrynge 
and flowyng to-gidre to hem selfe. and nat by be en- 

J ' J r 

tenciouw of be doer. 1l For neiber be hider of be gold, 
ne be deluer of be felde ne vndirstanden nat bat be 
golde sholde han be founde. but as I seide. it bytidde 

i i -\ -I'-ii 

and ran to-gidre bat he dalf bere as bat ober hadde hidd 


be golde. Now may I bus dimmssen hap/>e. 11 Hap/;e 
is an vnwar bytydyng of causes assembled in binges bat 
ben don for som ober binge, but bilke ordre p?*ocedynge 
by an vneschewable byndynge to-gidre. whiche bat 


descendeb fro be wel of purueaunce bat ordeineb alle 
binges m hire places and in hire tymes makeb bat be 

7 -uii'i AOfiO 

causes rennen and assemblen to-gidre. 4obo 


is [and] eufrates resoluen and spryngen of a welle in 
be kragges of be roche of be centre of achemenye bere flying e parthian 

doth pierce his 

as be fleenge fbataylel ficchib hire dartes retowrnid in pursuers with his 

J - 1 shafts there fr 

be brestes of hem bat folwen hem. IF And sone aftre 
be same ryueres tigris and eufrates vnioygne7^ and de- 

?$ coK- ed 

rence of these two 

causes that the 

one did dig where 

the ad 

anSon de^ 

signed for a par- 

which flows from 

the fountain of 

Providence and 
disposes all things 

shafts, there from 

4347 of (I) to 

fond MS. foude, C. 

4348 golde gold 
fallen by fall e 

4349 for (2) of 

4350 hab MS. hape 
hys hise 

4351 Jiappe hap 

4352 tilier tylyere 
delue dolue 

4353 hider hydcre 
golde srolcl 
MddltL8. hiddc 

4353-4 golde gold 

4354 Tiad{_de\ hadde 

4355 fortune- ^fortuit 
whiche which 

4356 fortune fortuit 
come]> comth 

4357 flowyng MS. folwyng, 
C. flowynge 

selfe self 

4358 doer doere 
hider hidere 

4359 deluer deluere 
felde feeld [en 
vndirstanden vndirstod- 

VS. hidde, C. 

4360 golde gold 

4361 U 

4362 happe (both] hap 

4365 whiche which 

4366 descended MS.defend- 
ep, C. descendith 

4369 [and] from C. 

4371 \batayle\- from C. 
4373 be tho 


ciivide S Sd I flow P arten nire watres. and yif pei coinen to-gidre and ben 
assembled and clepid to-gidre in to o cours. fan moten 
pilke pinges fletyn to-gidre whiche pat pe water of be 

petuous stream, 

S wJufd'bTaii entrecnaim oy n g ^^ Q brywgep pe shippes and pe stokkes 
arac ed wip pe flood moten assemble, and pe watres 
ymedlyd wrappip or impliep many fortimel happes or 

the current's 1-1 t i 

course. But the maneres. pe wnicne wandryng nappes nabeles bilke en- 

sloping earth, 

the laws of fluids, clmyng lowenes of be erbe. and be flowynge ordre of 

govern these J J 

J> e slid 7 n g water gouernip. IF Ey3t so fortune pat 
semep as [pat] it fletip wip slaked or vngouerned[e] 
curbed and re- bridles. It suffrib bridles bat is to sevn to ben eouerned 

strained by J 

Divine Provid- and passep by pilke lawe. pat is to sein by be deuyne 
tTh'e. 2d e. pr o S e.] rdinaunce. 4386 

B. Is there any 

c&taS Cohering AJTUfADUBRTO INQ^M. 

causes? Or doth 

s vndirstonde I wel quod I. and accorde wel pat it 
is ry^t as pou seist. but I axe yif per be any liberte 
freedom of the or fre wil in bis ordre of causes bat cliuew bus to-tcidre 

will possessed by 

bdng ^A raUonal ^ em S6 ^' ^ OT e ^^ S ^ W0 ^ e Wlten yif pat pC 

Sent to^ujgeof destinal cheine co?istreinip pe moeueuynge of pe corages 
ihing^'oflimsdf of mew. yis quod she per is liberte of fre wille. ne per 

he knows what he 

is to avoid or to ne was neuer no nature of resou^ bat it ne nadde liberte 

desire. He seeks 

de h siJabie JU al g d e he ^ ^ re w ^ e - ^ ^ or en ery ping pat may naturely vsen 
deems Souidbe resouTi. it hap doom by whiche it discernip and demip 
StiMiai being euery bing. ^T pan knowep it by it self pinges pat be?^ 

possesses, then, ' 

the liberty of to fleen. and binges bat ben to desiren. and bilk bmg 

choosing and re- ' ' 

Ifbertf 'is not 8 J^ ^J w ^ deme j ? to ^ en desired pat axep or desirep 
S gs in fn he and fleep [thilke] ping pat he trouep ben to fleen. 

heavenly sub- r - ' ' A " ' 11 .' i i- 

stances, as spirits, Tl wher-tore in alle pinges pat resourc is. in liem also is 

&c. judgment is 

f nillynge. f But I ne ordeyne 

nat - as who sei ^' J ne g raunt e nat pat pis libertee be 
euene like in alle pinges. forwhi in pe souereyns deuynes 

which are desired. . . . _ _ . 

[* foi. 34 &.] substauwces. pat is to *seyn in spirit^ ^1 lugement is 

4374 to-gidre to-?yderes 

4376 whiche which 

4377 flodefioA 

4378 assemble asserablyn 
4JM) enclinjjng dcclynyuge 
4381 lowcnca lowuesso 

4383 [J>afl from C. 
vngouerned[e] vngouem- 

,1385 pe thilke 

4389 or of 

4390 hern hyta 

4392 yif MS. yif, C. yis 
4392-94 wille wil 
4395 whiche which 
4397 \>illt thilke 

and still 


d con- 


more clere and wil nat be corumped. and hab my it The souls of men 

* 7 must needs be 

redy to speden finges fat ben desired. 1F But f e soules 
of men moten nedes ben more free whan fei loken hem 
in f e speculac/ouw or lokynge of )>e deuyne f ou3t. and they en 

lasse free whan bei sliden in to be bodies, and ait lasse ^ss fVee'wfien en- 
closed and < 
free whan jjei ben gadred to-gidre and cowprehendid in 

erf ely membris. but f e last[e] seruage is whan fat fei 

ben 2eue?z to vices, and han yfalle fro be possessions of over tovfcTand 

wholly fallen from 

hire propre resous IF For after bat bei han cast aweye their proper rea- 

' f * son. For at once 

hir eyen fro f e ly^t of f e souereyn sof efastnesse to lowe 
finges and dirke IF Anon fei dirken by J?e cloude of 
ignoraunce and ben troubled by felonous talento. to be by yielding to 

f J r which they aid 

whiche talent} whan fei approchen and assenten. fei 
hepen and encresen f e seruage whiche fei han ioigned 
to hem self, and in f is manere fei ben caitifs fro hire 

,., , . , . . . , . , , proper to them, 

propre libertee. be whiche binges nabeles be lokynge 01 they remain 

captives. Yet the 

f e deuyne purueaunce seef fat alle finges byholdef 

and seef fro eterne. and ordeynef hem eueryche in her etemtyes ail 

merites. as fei ben prodestinat. and it is seid in grek. according tothS- 

bat alle binges he seeb and alle binges he hereb. 4424 ** they are pre- 

destinated. He, 

as Homer says 
of the sun, sees 
and hears all 

[The .2<e. Hetwr.] 

Omer wib be bony moube. bat is to seyn. homer The sweet- 

tongued Homer 

wif f o swete dites syngef fat f e sonne is cleer by 8i " r | 8 1 ? f 1 " ie S Y" t ' s 


pure ly^t. nabeles ^it ne may it nat by f e inferme ly$t 
of hys bemes brekeTi or perc&n ]?e inwarde entrailes of 

into the depths 

be erbe. or ellys 01 be see. l so ne seeb nat god makere of the sea. But 

r r God, the world's 

of f e grete worlde to hym fat lokef alle finges from on 
heye ne wif standif nat no finges by heuynesses of erf e. 
ne fe ny^t ne wifstondef nat to hym by fe blake At a 
cloudes. IT bilke god seeb in o strook of bomt alle present, past, and 
finges fat ben or weren or schullen come. IF and filke 


4405 hab MS. habe 
4411 fcwtfe] laste 

4412 fro from 

4M5 cloude clowdcs 

4413 whlclie which 

4423 seid MS. seide, C. seyd 

4425 m<m\e Mowth 

4428 percen MS. pertew, 

C. percen 
inwarde inward 

4430 worlde world 
on heye an he?di 

4431 nat omitted 

4434 schwllen come shollen 


see ]> a ^ e fi^gCS al OOH. f OU 

seyn fat he is f e verray sonne. 4436 

true Sun. 

[The .8*>. prose.] 

s. i am distract- ~l+ An seide I now am I ccwfoiwded by a more harde 

ed by a more I/ 

WaS ' what doute is at < WO(i slle - 

Sge% f ee r m k sTo W " ^ F r certys I coniecte now by whiche finges f ou art 

with mail's 8 free- troubled. It semeb quod I to repugnen and to con- 

will. For if God 

foresees all things, trarien gretly fat god knowef byforn alle finges. and 

Sww'cSo- > at J> er is an y fredom of liberte. for yif so be fat god 

vidence hath fore- i i u M.I i /> i -i 

seen must needs lokef alle f mges bvlom. ne god ne may nat ben 

happen. If God 

from eternity desseiuid in no manere. ban mot it nedes ben bat alle 

doth foreknow 

work?Kt the f inges bytyden f e whiche fat f e purueaunce of god haf 

of S m^n, a therecan sein byforn to comen. IT For whiche yif fat god' 

be no liberty of 

will nor can knoweb by-forn nat oonly be werkes of men. but also 

there be any other 

than tiutwhich a n ^ r conse il s an< ^ n i r willes. fan ne shal fer be no 

Smbie Provid- liberte of arbitre. ne certys fer ne may ben noon of er 

seen. For if dede ne no wille but bilke whiche be deuyne purueaunce 

things fall out 

4451 fat ne may nat ben desseiued haf feled byforn IF For 

contrary to such 

foreseeing, and yif fat bei nmten wryf en awey in of er manere fan f 01 

are wrested an- * ' r ' 

scien r cIof'God P in" ^ en P urue 7 e( i- ) ?an ne sholde f er ben no "stedfast pre- 

wouidnot f be u s r m-e science of finge to comen but rafer an vncerteyn 
oppiniouw. f e whiche finge to trowen on god I deme it 

but an uncertain 

opinion of them; felonie and vnleueful. 11 !Ne I ne proeue nat bilk 

but I take it to be 

impious and un- saine rescue, as who seib I ne allowe nat. or I ne preise 

lawful to believe * * 

do i approve of or na ^ f ilke same resouw by whiche fat som men wenen 

by fat f Qi mowen assoilen and vnknytten f e knot of f is 

some. For they 

say that a tiling questions. 1 1 or certys f ei seyn fat f ing nis nat to 

GoKth 1 foresee^ come ^ or ^ f 6 P urueaunce of god haf seyn it byforne. 

Su b w t i t 8 1 be " fat is to comen but rafer fe contrarie. 1f And fat 

be wcuJom the 0t is bis fat for fat fe fing is to comen fat ferfore 

Divine Provid- 

ence. ne may it nat ben hyd fro f e purueaunce of god. 

4435 al oon alone 
4437 harde hard 
4445 ha\> MS. haj>e 
4416 wliiche which 
4450 wille wil 
whiche which \>ai 

4451 ha}) MS. hape 
4453 stedfast stydcfast 
4454-55 \>inge thing 

4455 on of 

4456 \>ilk thilke 
4r458 whiche which 

4459 knot knotte 
4461 come comyn 

ha]> MS. hape 
446-1 hyd MS. hydde, C. 


*and in bis mancrc bis necessite slydib a^ein in to be [* foi. ss.] 

J Now by this 

contrarie partie. ne it ne byhouej) [nat] nedes fat f inges 
bytiden fat ben ypurueid. [but it by-houeth nedes / 
fat thinges fat ben to comyn ben yporueyid] but as it Sing7whfch are 

foreseen should 

were ytrauailed. as who seif. bat filke answere pro- happen, but it is 

* necessary that the 

cedif ry^t as fou$ men trauailden or wereii bysy to S 

enqueren f e whiche f ing is cause of whiche f inges. as Aslfthe ques- 

tion was, which 

whef er f e prescience is cause of f e necessite of binges to was the cause of 
comen. or ellys fat f e necessite of f ircges to comen is 

cause of f e purueaurace. IT But I ne enforce me nat now JSsf o7the ture 

, . it.L'1 r> i -J.IP necessity the cause 

to snewew it bat be bytidyng of binges y-wist byiorn is of the prescience 

of future events ? 

necessarie. how so or in what manere bat be ordre of Bnt I l wi11 P rov i 

1 J that, however the 

causes haf it self, al f ou3 fat it ne seme nat fat f e 
prescience brynge in necessite of bytydynge of f inges 

to comen. IF For certys yif bat any wyst sitteb it by- prefciencedotn 

' ' not seem to im- 

houef by necessite fat f e oppiniouw be sof e of hym P0 ^ a f " t e u c r e e S8ity 
bat coniectib bat he sitteb. and a^einward. al so is it of 4481 

... things to fall out. 

f e contrarie. yif f e oppmiou/i be sof e 01 any wy^t lor For if a man sit 
fat he sittef it byhouef by necessite fat he sitte 11 fan 
is here necessite in fat oon and in fat ofer. for in fat 

../... 7 -ij.1 sitting, he must 

oon is necessite of sittynge. and certys in fat ofer is needs sit. in both 

cases there is a 

necessite of sof e but f erfore ne sittef nat a wy^t for fat JJjSJjte"]? the 
f e oppiniouw of sittyng is sof e. but f e oppiniourc is ^rfonmr'that 
rafer sofe for fat a wy3t sittef by-forn. and fus al Srn"ngthe C other 

-, t> r, -i -i i s true. But the 

bom bat be cause of sofe comef ol [ f e] syttyng. and man does not sit 

because the opin- 

nat of f e trewe oppinioufk Algates ^itte is f er comune J' 

necessite in fat oon and in fat ofer. f fus shewef it 

fat I may make semblable skils of f e pwrueauwce of god 

and of f inges to come. 1F For al f ou^ for fat fat f inges although the 

ben to comen. f er-fore ben f ei pwrueid. nat certys for JJHJJ ^ereHa a 

fei ben pwrueid. f er-fore ne bytide fei nat. $it nafeles ^bZ nn Tifus ity 

, , .. , .. .. .. may we reason 

byhoueb it by necessite fat eif er f e f inges to comen concerning Pro- 

vidence :md 
ben ypwrueied of god. or ellys fat f e f inges fat ben future events. 

4466 \naf\- from C. 

W67-8 [but yporueyid] 

from C. 

4471 \>ingcs thins 
1477 ha\> MS. 1m be 
4-1SO-82 su]>e both 

4486 sobe sooth 

4487 sobe soth 

4488 so \>e sooth 

4489 so\>e come\> sooth 

r>] from C. 

4490 comune MS. comme, 
C. comune 

4493 come comyn 

4494 to omitted 

4494-95 purueid MS. \mr- 
ucide, C. ptuaieyid 


P wrueied of g 0(i bitiden [.s.] by ncccssite. 1F And fis 
J> in g oonl y suffisef I-nou^ to distroien f e fredomc of 
not befaii because cure aibitre. fat is to seyn of oure fre wille 1F But now 

they are foreseen, _ 

it is necessary fceites | sheweb it wel how fer fro be sobe and how VD 

that future events " 

S0 d UW ls 318 > in g at We Sen e btidine of 

ppn temporel finges is fe cause of f e eterne prescience. 

and this alone is _ ^ .. m , 

sufficient to de- II But forto wenen bat god pwrueib tnel binges to comen. 

stroy all idea of 

* r 6 * ken t0 C0men - 

- wene )> at > ilke finges fat bitiden som tyme ben causes 

al things the cause , --n ... , 

of eternal presci- oi f like souereyne pwucaunce bat is iTi god. II And 

ence, which we 

go Ji imagining her-toJ adde ^itte fis fmg fat ry^t as whan fat I woot 
S f at > in S is & byhouef by necessite fat f ilke self f ing 
^> e - an & G ^- Q f a ^ whan I haue knowe fat any f mge shal 

know that any- , ., . , , , . .. , .. 

thing exists, it is bitiden so bvnoueb it by necessite bat bilk To i same 

necessary for my K 

should be* "so ^^ bytide. so folwef it fan fat f e bytydynge of f e 
4513 finge Iwist by-forn ne may nat ben eschewed. IF And 

SS2Sif now at J 36 last [ e l y if f at an y w y^ wene a l>^g to ben > er 

pass! itmust weyes fan it is. it nys nat oonly vnscience. but it is de- 
The event, there- ceiuable oppiniouw ful diuerse and fer fro be sobe of 

fore, of a thing 

foreseen ^must ^ science. IF whei-fore yif any f ing be so to comen so fat 
ti/Stoie^ffer- > e bytydynge of it ne be nat certeyne ne necessarie. 

ent to what it is fr t n j T i i *TT is not know- IF who may weten byfom bat bilke bmg is to come. 

ledge, but a false 

opinion of it, and TF For ivat as science ne may nat be medelyd wib fals- 

fHr from the true J > 

therefore^a thing nesse - as wno SB ty J 3 ^ yi^ I w t a fing. it ne may nat 
thTth e h event n of be fals fat I ne woot it. ^F Ry3t so filk fing fat 

it is neither . , n r . -, , 

necessary nor is conceyuecl by science TIG may nat I ben noon 

certain, how can J . 

^o^ foresee o f Gr weyes fan [as] it is concerned. For fat is f e cause 
pure knowSge 19 wni J> at science wa?ztif lesynge. as who seif . whi fat 
it a of n faisSod! so witynge ne receyuef nat lesynge of fat it woot. IF For 

what is compre- 

hended by true it byhoueb by necessite bat euery bmge be ry:t as science 

knowledge can- 

mpre 8 - 6 comprehendif it to be. what shal 1 fan sein. IF In 
that troT 6 whiche manere knowef god byforn fe finges to comen. 

44Q8 [.si] from C. 
4499 fredome freedom 
,4500 wille wil 
4501 [certes] from C. 
4504 purueib MS. nwrueibe 

[<A<3] from C. 
4506 bitiden bytydden 

som tyme whiloui 

4509 o a 
self selue 

4510 binge thing 

4511 bilk[_e] thilke 
4513 binge thing 
4511 last[e] laste 
4515 nys is 

4518 it hit 

4519 \hyforri\- from C. 


4522 fals false 

4523 \nat~\- from C. 
ben MS. by, C. ben 

4524 ban [as] it is MS. ban 
it is be 

4527 [be] from C. 
452'J whicliG which 

i'HosE S 3.] TIIE HUMAN WILL. 157 

<!F yif fei no be nat certeyne. IF For yif fat he deme 

fat fei ben to comen vneschewably. and so may be fat ci"oiy be u i 

... .-, i . . T 11 jt -i true knowledge 

it is possible bat bei ne shulle?i *nat comen. god is [* ibi. :;5 &.] 

perceives it to be. 

desseiued. but nat only to trowen fat god is desseiued. what follows, 

but for to speke it wif moufe it is a felonous sy/me. 4534 

1F But yif fat god woot fat ry^t so as finges ben to foreknow these 

r .. uncertain con- 

comen. so shulle bei comen. so bat he wit e egaly. as tingencies? 

For if he thinks 

who seif indifferently fat finges mowen ben don or 

ellys nat don. what is f ilke prescience fat ne compre- J 
hendif no certeyne f inge ne stable, or ellys what differ- thiai* i 
ence is f er bytwixe f e prescience, and f ilke iape-worfi 4540 

dyuynynge of Tiresie f e diuinowr fat seide. IF Al fat 

I seie quod he eyber it shal be. or ellys it ne shal nat come they shuii 

come; if he 

be. Or ellis how moche is worbe be diuyne prescience knows that the y 

may or may not 

more fan f e oppiniourc of mankynde yif so be fat it 

demef f e finges vncerteyne as men don. of f e whiche 

domes of men be bytydynge nis nat certeyne. 1F But invariable ? "" 

Or how does 

yif so be fat noon vncerteyne finge may ben in hym ^" 
fat is ryjt certeyne welle of alle finges. fa?? is fe 
bytydynge certeyne of f ilke finges whiche he haf wist ffiS, 6 whereof 

T P p , T-, 1-i'ipi the events are un- 

byforn fermely to corner. For whiche it folwef fat f e certain and un- 
fredom of fe coriseils and of fe werkes of mankynde nis 4551 
non syn fat fe fou3t of god seef alle finges with outen 

tainty in his 

erro?/r of falsnesse byndeb and co?^streimb hem to a knowledge, who 

is the source of 

bitidynge by necessite. and yif [this] fircg be on-is 
grauTitid and receyued. fat is to seyn. fat f er nis no 
fre wille. ban sheweb it wel how gret distrucc^outt and evttaUe. 

Whence it fol- 

how grete. damages fer folwen of finges of mankynde. lows that men 
11 For in ydel ben fer fan purposed and byhy3t niedes 
of goode folk, and peynes to badde folk, syn fat no 

_ , , , , , endowed Aviili an 

moeuvnge of free cora^e uoluntane ne hab nat desenied infallible fore- 

sight, constrains 
hem. bat is to sevn neiber mede nor peyne. Tl And it and binds them 

f to a certain event. 

sholde seme fan fat filke finge is alfer worste whiche 4562 

4534 mou\>e Mowth 
4536 shulle shullyn 

^ult{_e} wite 
4538 don MS. done, C. y- 

4543 moche mochel 

4543 wor\>e worth 

4549 Tia\> MS. hape 

4550 wkiclie which 

4551 manl-ynde man-kynd 
4551 [this] from C. 

4555 grauntid ygraunted 

4558 medes of Meedes to 


4560 ha}) MS. ha>e 
4562 al\>er wnrste whiche 
aldorworst which 



Rewards and 


fat is nowe denied. for alber moste iustc and moste 

* f 

]> at is to se y n f at shiewes Iben punyssed. or 

molt b unj ) u n st dered ellys fat good[e] folk ben ygerdoned. f e whiche folk 

when, it is 

allowed, that syn bat be propre wille ne sent hem nat to bat oon rie 

J ' ' 

mankind are not 


is to 

ne > er to 

ne to 

harme. but constreinef hem certeyne necessite of f inges 

their actions are _.. , -in 

impelled by a to comen. H banne ne shollew ber neuer ben ne neuer 

fatal necessity. 

4570 weren vice ne vertue. but it sholde raf er ben confusioun 
f alle desertes medlid wif oute discresiou?*. f And 

but such a medley sitte ber folweb an ober iwcownenient of be whiche ber 

of the one and 

the other as 

would be pro- 

n e may ben bomt ne more felonous ne more wikke. and 

f at is J> is f at so as f e ordre of >inges is yledd and 
come]? of J?e purueaunce of god. ne fat no J>ing nis 
leueful to be conseils of mankvnde. as who seib bat 
me n han no power to done no bing. ne wilne no bing. 
J 58 - 11 folwej) it fat oure vices ben refferred to fe mak[er]e 
of alle good, as who seib ban folweb it, bat god au^tfel 

author of all good . 

which is a most han be blame of oure vices, syn he corcstreimb by 

impious opinion. 

tohope 8 for u a s n} e - ss necess i te to don vices, fan nis fer no resourc to han 
. hopen in god. ne forto preien to god. IT For what 

this it 

order comes of 

Divine Provid- 
ence, and that 
there is no free- 

men do either, sholde any wy^t hopen to god. or whi sholde he preien 

when all they can 

to god. syn fat f e ordenaunce of destine whiche fat ne 

HoS and prayer ma 7 nat ^ en enclined. knyttef and streinif alle f inges 

being thus in- ,. j -T. iiit -11 

effectual, aii in- fat men may desirew. H fan sholde fere be don awey 

tercourse is cut 

off between God Hike oonly alliaunce bytwixen god and men. bat is to 

and man. 

4588 seien to hopen and to preien. but by f e preis of ry^t- 
humbTc7uppSa- fulnesse and of veray mekenesse we deserue f e gerdoura 

tion we earn 

divine grace, a O f be deuyne grace whiche bat is inestimable, bat is to 

most inestimable J 

selves to the in- 

accessible light, 

S0 g 166 j 5 ne 

cmd f is is oonly f e manere. fat is to seyen hope and 

. . , .. , 

prayeres. lor whiche it semef fat [men] mowen speken 

4563 novae MS.newe,\v 
al\>er moste iuste alder 

moost lust 
moste most 

45fi6 wille wil 
[we] from C. 
4571 wi\)oute wtt/t-owti-n 
4573 bo 3 < thoght 

4574 yled&- MS. yledde, C. 

4575 comep comth 

4577 done doon 

4578 mak{_er]e makere 

4579 auit[_e] owhte 
4584 whiche vvhi(;b 
4588 preis prys 

rysffulnesse Rihtwesse- 


4589 deserue desseruyn 

4590 deuyne MS. deny lies, 
C. dyuyne 

4590-93 whiche which 

4591 grete gret 
4593 [men] from C. 

speken speke 


wib god. and by resoiw of supplicaciouw "ben conioigned JJ. 
to bilk clernesse bat nis nat approched no raber or 
bat men byseken it and emprenten it. And yif men 

r ., ., what other way 

ne wene [natl bat nope ne preiers ne nan no strengpes. can we be united, 

L J ' L r J ' and hold fast to 


by be necessite of binges to com en y-resceiued. what rdotn s? 

biwg is ber ban by whiche we mo wen be cowioygned 4599 

and clyuen to bilke souereyne prince of binges. IT For SmSKs- 

, _ , severed and dis- 

whiche it byhoueb by necessite bat be lynage ot man- united from the 

J Y J source of its ex- 

kynde as *bou songe a litel here byforne ben departed 

and vnioyned from hys welle and faylen of hys bygyn- 'g^ 

nynge. bat is to seien god. 4604 


What discordable cause hab to-rent and vnioigned be say what discord- 
ant cause looses 
byndyng or be alliaunce of binges, bat is to seyne the bonds of 

be coniunm'ouw of god and of man. IF whiche god 4607 

iii- i L -L J. -I T--.L t- What power doth 

hab establissed so grete bataile bitwixeTi bise two sobe- make tiiese two 

great truths (i. e. 

fast or verray binges, bat is to sein bytwixen be p?^-ue- fj^fj^.* 1 
aiince of god and fre wille. bat bei ben synguler and Sj^SSiSS 
diuided. ne bat bei ne wolen nat ben medeled ne united e appear 

dark and per- 

coupled to-gidre. but ber nis no discorde to [tho] verray piexed ? 
binges, but bei cleuen certeyne al wey to hem self, but 4613 

The mind of man 

be bou^t of man confounded and cuerbrowen by be dirke 

membris of be body ne may nat by fir of his dirkfed] ^ n cSy light, 

,, i-j T PI- i'i discover the 

lokynge. bat is to seyn by be vigoz^r ot nys msy^t while subtle and close 

bonds of things. 

be soule is in be body knowen be binne subtil knyt- 4617 

tynges of finges. IF But wherfore eschaufib it so by so 

_ _ , . ardour to learn 

grete Joue tofynden bilke note[sj of sobey-couered. (glosa) the hidden notes 

bat is to sein wherfore eschaufib be bou^t of man by so w r h e g knows h not 

grete desir to knowen bilke notincac^ouws bat ben yhidd None seek to 

... , , ., i -n i_- know what is 

vndir be couertowrs of sobe. woot it ou^t bilke binges known. 

4595 \>ilk ^thilke 

4596 emprenten impetrent 

4597 \nat~} from C. 
[hope] from C. 

4R01 wliiclie wliich 
4602 byforne by- torn 
4605 ha\> MS. ha>e 
4006 seyne seyn 
4607 whiche which 

4608 ha\> MS. haj>e 

grete gret 

so \>efast soothfast 
4610 wille wil 

4612 discorde discord 
Ithoj from C. 

4613 cleuen clyuen 

4615 dirkled] dcrkyd 

4616 while whil 

4617 knowen knowe 
4619-21 grete {zret 

note[s~] notes 
4619 so\>e soth 

4621 yhidd MS. yhidde, C, 

4622 so\>e sooth 
\>inges thing 



if he knows bat it anguissous desireb to knowe. as who seib nay. 

them not, what 

S? 16 s blindly ^ For no man ne trauaileb forto witen binges bat lie woot. 
4625 and berfore be texte seib bus. IF [Glosa] Si enim arwrca 

Who wishes for . i -i -i 

things he hath ignorat istas subtiles cownexiones. re,9onde. vnc?e est 

never known ? 

desiderat scirc cu?7i nil ignotu??i possit desiderare. 
, how But wno traua[i]leb to wyten binges y-knowe. and yif 
that he has found bat he ne knoweb hem nat. what sekib bilke blynde 

what he sought 

for ? The pure boust. what is he bat desireb any bin^e of whiche he 

soul that sees the * * 

things." u 

as W se w - so 
nedis som what he knoweb of it. or ellys he ne coube 

4633 nat desire it. or who may folwen binges bat ne ben nat 
ywist 1F and boii2 fbatl he seke bo binges where shal 


fleshly members, 

it hath some re- he fyndew hem. what wy^t bat is al vnknowynge and 

memhrance of its J 

tain e 8 S t t hetu"ms r of ignoraunt may knowe be forme bat is yfounde. 1F But 
SsTfheir'par^ 8 whan-bo soule byholdeb and seeb be heye bou^t. bat is 

ticulars. He who 

seeks truth is not to seyn prod, ban knoweb it to-gidre be so?rane and be 

in either circum- 

seyn be principles and eueryche 

e S0ule i 



ng8 ' 

hathhe cloude and in be derknesse of. be membris of be body. 

wliolly forgotten 

aii. it ne hab nat al for^eten it selfe. but it wibholdeb be 

4643 somme of binges and lesib be singularites. ban who so 
bat sekeb sobenesse. he nis in neiber noubir habit, for 
he not nat alle ne he ne hab nat alle for-2eten. IF But 
3^^ G ^J m remembrib be somme of binges bat he wib- 
holdeb and axeb couwseil and tretib depelyche bilges 
ysein byforne. [Glosa] bat is to sein be grete somme in 
hys mynde. [textus] so bat he mowe adden be parties 
bat he hab for^eten. to bilke bat he hab wibholden. 

i?ut he ponders 

on what he 

re'tams. a 

4625 \_Glosa] from C. 

4630 \>inge thing 
whiche which 

4631 woot not 
nat nawht 

4632 cov\>e kowde 
4631 [M] from C. 

where wher 

4635 what MS. >at, C. what 

4639 eueryche euerych 

4640 while whil 
J>e MS. be }>e 

toe? MS. hidde, C. hidde 

4641 derknesse derkenesse 

4642 ha\> MS. ha]?e 

selfe self 

4644 ??cm}nr 

4645 alle (both)al 
hab MS. ha be 




from C. 

4649 \Jtextu8} from 0. 



[The 4t h e prose.] 

anne seide she. bis is qwod she be olde questions of P. This is the 

old objection 

fe pwrueauiice of god. and marcus tulius whan he J{J5J n !oaWy id " 
deuided[e] fe deuinac^ouws. fat is to sein in hys booke Sfs^fco/* 

, . , ir -i ,1 , ' Divination ; and 

bat he wroot of deulnac^ou?^s. he moeued e gretly bis you yourself have 

J " anxiously dis- 

questiou?i. and fou fi self hast sou^t it mochel and 4655 
outerly and kwg[el. but ait ne haf it nat ben determined SSthe/of you* 

have offered a 

ne yspedd fermely and diligently of any of yow. satisfactory soiu- 
1T And fe cause of fis derkenesse and [of this] difficulte xhe C causeofthi8 
is for fat fe moeuynge of fe rescue of mankynde ne Eumar/ui? 

, . , i . derstanding can- 

may nat moeue?i to. bat is to sem applien or loygnen to not conceive the 

simplicity of the 

be simphcite of be deuyne prescience. I be whiche divine prescience, 

for if it were pos- 

symplicite of f e deuyne prescience 3if fat men [myhten 
thinkenit inanymanere/ fat istoseyn/f atyif men]my3te 

. , , , . . , . , ' I shall, therefore, 

Jjinken and comprehenden pe pmges as god seep hem. trv to explain and 
jjan ne sholde J?er dwellen outerly no doute. J>e whiche 4665 
resoim and cause of difficulte I shal assaie at J>e laste JK! why yoSo 
to she wen and, to speden. IT whan I haue *firste "[* P fpi. 36b.'] 

reasoning of such 

[yspendyd / and] ansewered to }>o resouws by whiche J>ou 
art ymoeued. 1[ For I axe whi j>ou wenest fat >ilk[e] 
rescues of hem fat assoilen f is questions ne ben nat 

- . . cause of future 

spedeful ynou? ne sutncient be whiche soluc^ou7^ or be events ? DO you 

draw an argu- 

whiche resouw for fat it demif fat f e prescience nis nat j* t ^' j ^ 
cause of necessite to f inges to comen. fan ne wenef it otheft'opivthaY 
nat fat fredom of wille be distourbed or ylett by pre- thlngTwhich' are 

foreknown must 

science, for ne drawest fou nat argumentes from ellys 4675 

where of f e necessite of f inges to comen. As who seif 

i i i_ j. i j. i-'n f rn_j. divine prescience 

any of er wey fan f us. but fat f like f ingel si fat f e pre- imposes no neces- 

sity upon future 

science woot byforn ne | mowen nat vnbitide. bat is to tilings, must not 

J the issue of thinu-s 

seyn fat f ei moten bitide. 1T But fan yif fat p/'escience 
ne puttef no necessite to f inges to comen. as fou f i self 

4653 deuided{e\ deuynede 
booke book 
4654 moeued[e] moeuede 
4655 soutf I-sowht 
4656 lonq[e\ longe 
7iap-MS. hape 
4657 yspedd MS. yspedde, 
C. Isped 
fermely MS. feruently, 

C. fermely 
4658 derkenesse dirknesse 
[of this] from C. 
4662-3 [mi/Men men] 
from C. 
4663 my$te myhten 
1667 firste fyrst 
4668 [yspendyd and] from 

4668 po the 
whiche which 
4669 artM8. arte 
}>ilk[e] thilke 
4671 spedeful spedful 
4672 whiche which 
4674 wille wyl 
4677 ]?ingc[s] thinprcs 




[HOOK 5. 

For argument 
sake let us sup- 
pose there is no 
prescience, would, 
then, the events 
which proceed 
from free-will 
alone be under 
the power of 
necessity ? 
B. No. 

P. Let us, then, 
admit Prescience, 
but that it im- 
poses no necessity 
on what is to 
happen; the 
freedom of the 
will would still 
remain entire 
and absolute. 
But although 
Prescience, you 
may say, is not 
the necessary 
cause of future 
events, yet it is a 
sign that they 
shall necessarily 
happen, and hence 
it follows that, 
although there 


were no pre- 
science, future 
events would still 
be an inevitable 
necessity. For 
the sign of a 
thing is not 
really the thing 
itself, but only 
points out what 
the individual is. 
Wherefore, it 
must be first 
proved that every- 
thing happens by 
necessity before 
we can conclude 
that prescience is 
a sign of that 
necessity. For if 
there be no ne- 
cessity, prescience 
cannot be the 
sign of that 
which has no 
existence. The 
assertion that 
nothing happens 
but by necessity, 
must be proved 
by arguments 
drawn from 
causes connected 

with this ne- 
cessity, and not 
from signs or 
foreign causes. 

hast confessed it and byknowenalitel herbyforne. IF what 
cause [or what] is it. as who seif fere may no cause be. 
by whiche fat f e endes (exitus) uoluntarie of fringes 
my^ten be constreyned to certeyne bitydyng. IF For 
by grace of possessions, so fat f ou mowe f e better vn- 
dirstonde f is fat folwef . IF I pose (inpossibile) fat 
f er ne be no prescience, fan axe I qwod she in as 
moche as appertenif to fat. sholde fan finges fat 
comen of frewille ben constreined to bytiden by 
necessite. Boicius. nay qwod I. fan a^einward quod. 
she. I suppose fat fere be prescience, but fat ne puttef 
no necessite to finges. fan trowe I fat f ilk self fredom 
of wille shal dwelles al hool and absolut and vn- 
bounden. but f ou wolt sein fat al be it so fat prescience 
nis nat cause of fe necessite of bitidynge to finges to 
comen. If Algates ^itte it is a signe fat f e finges ben 
to bytiden by necessite. by f is manere fan al f ou^ f e 
prescience ne hadde neuer yben. ^it algate or at f e 
lest[e] wey. it is certeyne fing fat fe esdys and fe 
bitydynges of finges to comes sholde ben necessarie. 
IT For euery sygne shewef and signifief oonly what f e 
fing is IF but it ne makif nat f e fing fat it signifief. 
IF For whiche it byhouef firste to shewen fat no fing 
ne bitidif [fat it ne bytydith] by necessite. so fat it 
may apere fat fe prescience is signe of f is necessito 
IF or ellys yif fere nere no necessite. certys f ilke pre- 
science ne my3t[e] nat ben signe of f inge fat nis nat. 
1F But certys it is nowe certeyne fat f e preue of f is 
sustenif by stedfast resous ne shal nat ben ladd ne 
proued by signes ne by argumentys ytaken fro wif oute. 
but by causes couenable and necessarie ^F But f ou 
mayst sein how may it be fat f e finges ne bitiden nat 

4683 whiche which 
46S5 better betere 
4BSS moche mochel 
46-^9 frewille free wyl 
4691 hat nc bat is ne 
M)2 M-MS. ban 
\>ilk self Ihilke scluc 

4693 wille wil 

4699 lest[e] leoste 

4700 sholde sholden 

4703 whiche which 
firste fyrst 

4704 [\>at bytydith] 

from C. 

4707 myrtle] myhte 
\>inge thing; 

4708 notoe now 

4709 susteni\> ysustcnyd 
stert. ffi st sty c t< f ast 
latld-m. ladde, C. lad 


fat ben ypurueyed to comen. but certys ry 3 t as we 
trowen fat f o finges whiche fat f o ptt/'ueaurace woot by- our eyes/ 
forn to comen. ne ben nat to bitiden. but [bat] ne sholde ing his chariot, 

' and other things 

we nat demon, but rafer al foua [fat] fei schal bitiden. of like nature. 

r f 7 Lf J i Now, is there any 

jit ne haue fei no necessite of hire kynde to bitiden. 
and fis maist f ou Iy 3 tly aperceyuew by fis fat I shal 

.. , things were 

seyn. but we seen many binges whan bei ben don by- moved by com- 

forn oure eyen ry 3 t as men seen fe karter worken in fe JJJjJJibJjJJn and 
towrnynge and in attempryng or in adressywg of hys 
kartes or chariottes. H and by fis manere as who seif 

no necessity that 

mayst bou vnderstowde 01 alle manere obir werkemew. they should be 

done ; then first 

1F Is fere f anne any necessite as who seif in oure lok- 
ynge [fat] constreinef or compellif any of f ilke finges 

to ben don so. b. nay quod I IF For in ydel and in somethings hap- 
pen, the event of 
veyne were alle fe effect of crafte yif fat alle finges which is uncon- 

weren moeued by constreynynge. fat is to seyn by con- 
streynynge of oure eyen or of oure sy 3 t. P. f ise f ingus 

, . 111 known, have free 

ban quod she bat whan men don hem ne han non events: for as 

the knowledge 

necessite fat men don hem. eke fo same finges first or 4731 

fei be don. fei ben to comen wif out necessite. for whi u^pTe^n?-^ 

ber ben somme binges to bytide of whiche fe endys Sings which are 

now done, so 

and f e bitidynges of hem ben absolut *and quit of alle 
necessite. for certys I ne trowe nat fat any man wolde seyn 
fis. fat f o finges fat men don now fat fei ne weren ^J 

i mr i i MI come. But you 

to bitiden. first or bei were ydon Tl and bilk same may doubt 

whether there 

finges al fou 3 fat men hadderc ywyst hem by-forn. 
3 itte fei han fre bitidynges. for ry 3 t as science of 

i , . ., . necessitated: for 

fmges present ne bryngef m no necessite to finges here there seems 
[fat men doon // Eyht so the prescience of thinges to contradiction, if 
comen ne bryngeth in no necessite to thinges] to bytiden 
but f ou mayst seyn fat of f ilke same it is ydouted. as 

/> , ii i , -, 7 their event is not 

whef er fat of f ilke finges fat ne han non endes and necessary, 

4714 whiche which 

4715 [)>al from C. 
sholde sholclen 

4716 demen MS. denyen 
Cl>a^] from C. 

4717 necessite MS. necessi- 
4721 hys hise [tes 

4725 [_\>a] from C. 
4727 veyne veyn 


crafte craft [the 

4729 }>ise MS. J?ise )>ise, C. 

4732 wi\> outwith-ov/te 

4733 bytide bytyden 

4733 whiche which 

4737 were weeren [I-doon 

ydon MS. ydone, C. 

}>ilk thilke 

4741-2 [\>at thinges] 

from C. 
4744 endes issues 





they cannot be 
foreseen, because 
true knowledge 
can comprehend 
nothing but what 
is absolutely 
certain. And if 
things uncertain 
in their events 
are foreseen as 
certain, this 
knowledge is 
nothing more 
than a false 
opinion. For it 
is very remote 
from true know- 
ledge to judge of 
things otherwise 
than they really 
are. The cause 
of this error is 
that men imagine 
that their know- 
ledge is wholly 

nature of the 
things known, 
whereas it is 
quite the reverse. 
Things are not 
known from their 
inherent proper- 
ties, but by the 
faculties of the 


The roundness of 
a body affects 
the sight in one 
way, and the 
touch in another. 
The eye, from 
afar, darts its 
rays upon the 
object, and by be- 
-holding it com- 
prehends its form. 
But the object is 
not distinguished 
by the touch un- 
less the hand 
comes in contact 
with it and feels 
it all round. 
Man himself is 
surveyed in 
divers ways by 
the senses, by the 
imagination, by 
reason, and by 
the intelligence 
(of the Deity). 
The senses take 
note of his 
material figure 
the imagination 
considers the form 
alone, exclusive of 
the matter. 

bytidynges nccessaryes yif fer-of may ben any pre- 
science 1T For certys fei seme to discorde. for fou 
wenest J>at yif fat f inges ben yseyn byforn fat necessite 
folwef hem. and yif (et putas) necessite failef hem f ei ne 
my^ten nat ben wist byforn. and fat no f inge ne may 
ben comprehendid by science but certeyne. and yif f o 
f inges fat ne han no certeyne bytidynges ben ypurueied 
as certeyn. it sholde ben dirkenesse of oppiniouw nat 
sof efastnesse of science [and fou weenyst fat it be diuerse 
fro the hoolnesse of science / fat any man sholde deme 
a thing to ben oother weys thanne it is it self], and f e 
cause of f is errour is. fat of alle f e f inges fat euery 
wy^t haf yknowe. f ei wenen fat f o f inges ben y-knowe 
al oonly by f e strengf e and by f e nature of f e f inges 
fat ben ywyst or yknowe. and it is al f e contrarie. for 
alle fat euere is yknowe. it is raf er Cv/mprehendid and 
yknowerc nat after his strengef and hys nature, but after 
f e faculte fat is to seyn f e power and [the] nature of 
hem fat knowen. and for fat fis shal mo we shewen by 
a short ensample fe same roundenes of a body .0. ofer 
weyes f e sy^t of pe eye knowef it. and ofer weyes f e 
touchi?zg. f e lokynge by castynge of his bemes waitef 
and seef fro afer alle f e body to-gider wif oute mouynge 
of it self, but f e touchinge cliuif and conioignef to f e 
rounde body (orbi) and mouef abouten f e environynge. 
and comprehendif by parties f e roundenesse. H and 
fe man hym self ofer weies wyt byholdif hym. and 
oferweyes ymaginaciouw and ofer weyes resourc. and 
ofer weyes intelligence. IF For f e wit cowprehe?2dif 
fro wif outen furf e f e figure of f e body of f e man. fat 
is establissed in f e matere subiect. But f e ymaginac^ou^ 
[f-omprehendith only the figure wiih owte the matere / 

474*5 seme semyn 

discorde discordcn 
474$) ]>eUyif 
4753-5 land self] from 

4757 "ha\> MS. habe 
4760 alle-ti 

4763 motve mo wen 

4764 roundenes Rownd- 

4765 sin* sihte 
4767 alle al 

4769 abouten abowte 

4770 roundenesse Rownd- 

4774 fro wi}> outen fur\>e 

wit/t owt forth 
4776-7 [comprehendith 

ymaginaciouri] from C, 


Resou/i surmouwteth ymaginacioura] and coraprehendep 

, . T i ! / \ imaginations, and 

by an vnmersel lokynge be commune spcce (spec*em) examining exist- 

ences in general 

bat is in be simmler pcces. IT But be eye of intelligence discover* the par- 

ticular species, 

is hey3er for it sowmountep pe envirounynge of j)e J 
vniuersite and lookej) ouer fat by pure subtilite of pou^t. 

... . . ., . ' bounds of what is 

bilk same symple lorme oi man bat is pe?*durably in be general, it surveys 

1 * the simple forms 

dcuyne poujt. in whiche pis au$t[e] gretely to ben con- 
sidered pat pe heyest strengpe to coraprehenden pinges 

, r i j PL j J.-L chiefly to be con- 

enbracep and conteynep pe lower[e] strengpe [but the sidered, that the 

lowere strengthe ne arysith nat in no manere to heyere perception em- 

braces the lower ; 

strengthe]. for wit ne may no pinge comprehende oute of 
matere. ne pe ymagynac/oira ne lokep nat pe vniuerseles 

... i j> senses cannot go 

speces. ne resoun ne takeb nat be symple iorme. so as beyond the per- 

ITT ception of matter; 

intelligence takep it. but pe intelligence pat lokep al the imagination 
abouen whan it hap eomprehendid pe forme it knowep 
and demeb alle pe pinges pat bew vndir pat forme, but 

. . form. But the 

she knoweb liem vndir puke manere in pe whiche it intelligence look- 
ing down (as from 

comprehendip pilke same symple forme pat ne may 4794 

_ . above) and hav- 

neuer be knowen to non ot bat ober. bat is to seyn to ing conceived the 

form, discerns all 

non of po pre forseide strengpes of pe soule. for it 
knowep pe vniuersite of resou?z and pe figure of pe yma- 

., , . , T , . in the reach of 

gm&ciovLn. and be sensible matmal conseiued. and DDU the other faculties 

r of the mind. 

wenest bat it be diuerse fro be hoolnesse of science, bat without the aid 

* of those faculties 

any man sholde deme a ping to ben operweyes pan it is 
it self and pe cause of pis errowr efc\ vt supx&. by wit. 

p . . simple forms) by 

ne it ne vsep nat nor of rescue ne of ymagmaczoura ne one effort of 

mind. Reason, 

of wit wip oute forpe but it byholdep alle pinges so as I 

shal seye. by a strok of pou^t formely wip oute discowrs Srtn^things in 

,,. *r /-^ i i '.Lilt !- general, compre- 

,,. *r /-^ i i '.Lilt !- genera, cop- 

or collacioiuz IT Certys resoun whan it lokep any ping fiends aii imagin- 

able and sensible 

vniuersel it no vseb nat of ymagmaciouft nor of wit ana things. For in- 

stance, reason clo- 

algates 3it [it] co?rcprendip pe pinges ymaginable and 

sensible, for resouw is she pat *diffinissep pe vniuersel th |V M. 37 6i] 

4777 comprehended MS. 

4778 an omitted 

4780 hey^er heyore 
4783 whiche which 

auit[_e] owhte 

4781 heyest heyiste 

4785 lower\_e] lowere 

4785-7 [but strengthe] 

from C. 
4787 icit witte 

oute owt 

4791 /tab MS. habe 
4793 whiche which 

4795-6 non none 
4796 strengpes thinges 
4798-4801 and \>ou vt su- 
pra omitted 

4805 collaciouu MS. calla- 
ctovm, C. collaciouu 

4806 wit witte 


Man is a rational of hir conseitc iv^t bus. IT Man is a resonable tFwlo- 


footid beest. and how so fat fis knowynge [is] vniuersel. 
vet SSrone fo n y s f 61 no W J^ J> at ne woot WC L f at a maw is [ a thing] 

thus W defmed is ymaginable and sensible IF and bis same corasidereb wel 

perceived both by 

the imagination resou/i. but bat nis nat by ymaginaczouw. nor by witte. 

and the senses, J J 

kilt ** lokty it by [a] resonable concepczourc. 1F Also yma- 
ginacioim al be it so. }>at it take]? of wit fe bygynywgwa 
to seen and to formen be figures, algates al bous bat wit 

her own rational 

also ne ware no ^ P^sent. }it it envirounif and coraprehendif 
lSr of a lle finges sensible, nat by resoim sensible of demynge. 
ng fiures from but by resoiw ymaginatif. ^ sest bou nat ban bat alle 

the senses, yet in 

the absence and >je binges in knowynge vsen more of hir faculte or of hir 

without the use r * 

power, fan })ei don of [the] faculte or of power of ]>inges 
fat ben yknowen. ne fat nis no wronge. for so as euery 
ative power. DO iugement is be dede or be doynge of hym bat demeb. It 

not you see that 

4824 byhouef fat euery wy^t performe f e werke and hys en- 

men attain to the . P P , , , 

knowledge of tenczouft nat ot torein power : but 01 hys propre power. 

things more by 
their own facul- 


of things? 

[The .4the Metwr.j 1%E porche fat is to sein a gate of f e toune of athenis 
unreasonable -T f er a s philosophres hadde hir congregac?'ouw to dis- 
and f ilke porche brou3t[e] somtyme olde men ful 

person juging; derke in hire sentences, fat is to sein philosophers fat 

needs do his own hy^ten stoiciens. f at wenden f atymages [and] sensibilites 

tfe^anTnofb 111 " ^ ^ s ^ S6 " 1 sens i D ^ e yniaginaczou?zs. or ellys ymagin- 

power dofforeign actou^ of sensible finges wererc iwprentid in to soules 

obscure"va an the fro bodies wif oute forfe. IF As who seif fat filke 

who "aught tSS" stoicicns wenden fat f e soule hadde ben naked of it 

images of things 

obvious to the SQ \ as a mirour or a clene parchemyn. so fat alle 

mi?dnbyextcriwii fyg ur es mosten [fyrst] comen fro finges fro wif oute in to 

SKouilslt^flrst soules. and ben inprentid in to soules. Textus. Ry^t 

like a mirror or a 

clean parchment, as we ben wont some tyme by a swift poyntel to ficchen 

free from figures 

and letters. le^fres emprentid in f e smof enesse or in f e plainesse of 

4810 [is] from C. 
4813 witte wit 

4821 dow^-MS. done, C. doon 
[#?] from C. 

4822 yknowcn Iknowe 

4822 no wronge nat wrong 

4824 werke werk 

4825 forein foreyne 
482? hadde hadden 

dispoytertf desputeu 

4828 broui,t\_e] browlite 
4830 [awd] from C. 

4S37 inprentid aprcntyd 
4838 some tyme somtymc 
swift swyfte 


ind is 

ve in remv- 

be table of wex. or in parchemyn bat ne hab no figure But if the mi 

passive in re 

[ne] note in it. Glosa. But now arguib boece ajeins bat 
oppiniouw and seib bus. but yif be briuyng soule ne 
vnplitib no bing. bat is to sein ne dob no bing by hys 

comprehends all 

propre moeuynges. but suffrib and lieb subgit to be things? 
figures and to be notes of bodyes wib oute forbe. and 4845 

-, t i . n Whence its force 

seldeb ymages ydel and veyne in be manere ot a to conceive indi- 

Y J vidual existences, 

mirour. whennes briueb ban or whennes comeb ban to separate those 

* * things when 

bilke knowyng in oure soule. bat discernib and by- ^"3 fhin"l tc 
holdeb alle binges, and whennes is bilke strengbe bat change tspa e th, nd 

soaring to the 

bvholdeb be syngulere binges, or wnennes is be strengbe highest and de- 

scending to the 

bat dyuydeb binges yknowe. and bilke strewgbe bat 
gadereb to-gidre be binges deuided. and be strengbe bat 
cheseb hys entrechaurcged wey. for som tyme it heueb 
vp be heued. bat is to sein bat it heueb vp be entew- 4854 

. , ,. ., j. j. This cause is 

ctoun to ry^t heye binges, and som tyme it discendib in more efficacious 
to ry$t lowe binges, and whan it retournib in to hym 
self, it repreuib and destroieb be false binges by be 
trewe binges. ^ Certys bis strengbe is cause more 
efficient and mochel more my3ty to seen and to knowe 
binges, ban bilke cause bat suffrib and resceyueb be 4860 

7 , ~ . , . , Yet the sense in 

notes and be figures inpressed in manere of matere al- the living body 

excites and moves 

gates be passiouw bat is to seyn be suffraunce or be wit ,g 8 when 
in be quik[e] body gob byforne excitynge ara<. moeu- 
yng be strengbes of be bou^te. ry^t so as whan bat 

into the ear ex 

clerenesse smyteb be eyen and moeuib hem to seen, or cites hearing. 

so as voys or soune hurtlib to be eres and com- 4866 
moeuib hem to herkne. ban is be strewgbe of be bou^t 
ymoeuid and excitid and clepeb ftirbe be semblable forth the i 

, , within itself, and 

moeuynges be speces bat it halt wib mne it self, and adds to them the 

outward forms, 

addib bo speces to be notes and to be binges wib out 
forbe. and medeleb be ymages of binges wib out forbe 
to be forme[s] yhid wib iwne hym self. 4872 

4840 ha\> MS. ha>e 
4843 vnplitfy vnpleyteth 

do\> MS. do)>e 
4845 pe tho 
4803 gttift[o] qwykc 

4863 go\> MS. gope 

4864 pow?te thoght 

4865 clerenesse clcerncssc 

4866 soune sown 
48G8 furfye forth 

4870 o^ owte 

4871 oi/or)>e owte forth 

4872 formers] formes 
yhid I-iiiddo 



[*fol.S8.] *QUESTIO. 

Although there "Dut what fyif] bat in bodies to ben feelid bat is 

are in objects f\ 

certain qualities -^ to sein in be takynge of knowelechmge of Dodylv 

which strike ex- * J i J J 

Binges, and al be it so fat f e qualites of bodies fat ben 
in e motion r ; U S- ents obiect fro wif oute forf e moeuen and entalenten f e in- 
strumentes of be wittes. and al be it so bat be passioim 

upon the body 

precedes the ac- O f h e body bat is to sevn be witte for the] suffrauwce 

tion of the mind, 

the [g oth to-forn the strengthe of the workynge corage / the 
which passiouw or suffrauncel clepib furbe be dede of 

tion of boily 

things, the soul he bomt in hym sen. and moeueb and exiteb in bis 

is not by the im- ' ' > 

ternftings*" Hiene while J)e formes fat resten wij) in forfe. and yif 

these tMngs/but fat in sensible bodies as I haue seid oure corage nis nat 

by its own power , 

eth of these ytauat or enp?'entid by passiouw to knowe bise binges. 


4885 but demif and knowef of hys owen strengfe f e passiouw 

or suffraiwce subiect to be body. Moche more ban boo 

pure spiritual 

" talent^ 01 

of ttSrundei ' an? ecci'ouws of bodies, as god or hys aungels ne folwen 
ySSouftheSciof nat in discernynge finges obiect from wif oute forfe. 

impressions from . _. _ , ii/i 

external objects? but bei accomplissen and speden be dede of hir bou^t 

For this reason, Y > 

^ ^ s resouw - ^ f 9 - 11 )' ere comen many manere know- 
Y n g es ^ dyuerse and differy/zg substaunces. for f e wit 
FO" sense e (of s ' of be body be whiche witte is naked and despoyled of 

sensation) desti- 

kn t owied 1 e?8 her a ^ e ^ &I ^nowynges. Jrilke witte comef to bestes fat ne 
mowen nat moeuen hem self here ne fere, as oystres 
and muscles and ofer swiche shelle fysshe of f e see. 

JJiveirto such 8 hat cliue?i and ben norissed to roches. but be ymagina- 

brutes capable of r 

motion, and i hav- c i oun comeb to remuable bestes fat semen to han talent 

ing in some degree * * 

sirin p g OTrefusing. to neen or to desiren any f inge. but resouw is al only to 
S?he attribute er> f e lynage of mankynde ry^t as intelligence is oonly f e 

of man alone, as ' ' --11 

intelligence is deuvne nature, of whiche it folweb bat bilke knowyny 

that of God. T * 

4902 is more worf e fan [th]is[e] ofer. syn it knowef by hys 

4373 (.yif} from C. 
4878 [or the] from C. 
suffraunce MS. suffi- 

auce, C. suffraunce 
4879-80 [ffoth suffraunce] 

from C. 

4883 seid MS. seide, C.seyd 

4887 quit quite 

4888 hys hise 

4889 discernynge MS. dis- 
cryuyng, C. discernynge 
from fro 

4893-94 witte wit 
4895 mowen mowe 
here ne \>ere her and thor 

4901 whiche which 

4902 [<*]iM o\>er thisc 


propie nature nat only hys subiect. as who seif it ne 
knowef nat al oonly fat apperteinif proprely to hys 
knowyn^e. but it knoweb be subgit* of alle ober know- wha* belongs to 

His own nature, 

ynges. but how shal it fan be yif fat wit and ymagina- 
cioun stryuen a3eins resonynge and sein fat of f ilke i 

, . , . , . be then, if sense 

vniuersel binges, bat resouw wenef to seen bat it nis and imagination 

oppose reason, 

ry^t nau}t. for wit and ymagmaczouw seyn fat fat. fat ainrminp thattho 
is sensible or ymaginable it ne may nat ben vniuersel. JSaSS'thillSit 
ban is eiber be iugement of resourc [soth]. ne bat i 8 s nothing ? See8> 

For what falls 

ber nis no binge sensible, or ellys for bat resourc woot under the cogni- 

sance of the ' 

wel fat many f inges ben subiect to wit and to ymagin- 
acioun. fan is f e consepcioun of resourc veyn and fals 
whiche bat lookeb and coraprehendib. bat bat is thfs that^he? 

idea of what la 

sensible and synguler as uniuersele. and 211 bat resouw general she 


wolde answeren a^ein to fise two fat is to sein to wit ^ e er an s d ima . 
and to ymaginacfc'ourc. and sein fat sofely she hir self. g'SUnS and 
bat is to seyn bat resourc lokef and comprehendif by Sot XSn to ey 

the knowledge of 

resouw of vniuersalite. bobe bat bat is sensible and bat what is general, 

J since their know- 

fat is ymaginable. and fat f ilke two fat is to seyn wit 4921 

ledge is confined to 

and yma2inaciou?i ne mo weft nat strecchen ne en- material figures ; 

J and therefore in 

haunsen hem self to knowynge of vniuersalite for fat aiireai knpw- 

* ledge or things we 

f e knowyrcg of hem ne may exceden nor sourmounten "elteft'credit to 
fe bodyly figurefs] 1T Certys of f e knowyng of f inges Sj'ifScSf ! 

, , fast and perfect 

men amten raber 2eue credence to be more stediast and judgment of 

things. In a con- 

to f e more perfit iugement. In f is manere stryuynge Sn^do^ghtSt 
fan we fat han strengfe of resonynge and of ymagin- JKfoS of ssei 
ynge and of wit fat is to seyn by resourc and by ymagin- si ? d^ with C rea?on 

and espouse her 

aci'ouft and by wit. and\ we sholde raber p?'eise be cause cause ? The case 

J is entirely similar 

of resouft, as who seif fan f e cause of wit or ymagina- ^ e alS n h "wnk 8 the 
c^ouw. semblable f inge is it fat f e resourc of mankynde Sncecannot be- 

hold future events 

ne weneb nat bat be deuyne intelliarence byholdeb or in any other way 

r ' than she herself 

knowef f inges to comen. but ry^t as f e resouw of man- 
kynde knowef hem. for f ou arguist and seist f us. fat 

4907 a^eins ayein 

4908 vniuersel vmuerscls 
4911 Isoth'] from C. 
4914/ate whiclie false which 

4917 wit witte 

4918 so\>ely soothly 
4923 knowynge knowy 
4926 %eue yeueii 

4926 stedfaststidefast 

4930 [and'] from C. 

4931 or and of 


[HOOK 5. 

Whatever, there- 
fore, is subjected 
to a temporal 
condition, as 
Aristotle thought 
of the world, 
may be without 
beginning and 
without end ; and 
although its dura- 
tion may extend 

[* fol. 39.] 
to an infinity of 
time, yet it can- 
not rightly be 
called eternal : 
for it doth not 
comprehend at 
once the whole 
extent of its in- 
finite duration, 
having no know- 
ledge of things 
future which are 
not yet arrived. 
For what is 
eternal must be 
always present to 
itself and master 
of itself, and have 
always with it 
the infinite suc- 
cession of time. 
Therefore some 
philosophers, who 
had heard that 


Plato believed 
that this world 
had neither be- 
ginning nor end, 
falsely concluded, 
that the created 
universe was 
coeternal with its 
Creator. Hut it 
is one thing to be 
through a life of 
infinite duration, 
which was Plato's 
opinion of the 
world, and an- 
other thing to 
comprehend at 
once the whole 
extent of this 
duration as pre- 
sent which, it is 
manifest, can only 
belong to the 
Divine mind. 
Nor ought it to 
seem to us that 
God is prior to 
and more ancient 
than his creatures 
by the space of 

of f is day 30 ne lyuen no more but ryjt as in f is moeue- 
able and transitorie moment, fan f ilke f inge fat suffrif 
temporel condic^oim. a[l]foughe fat [it] bygan neuer 
to be. ne f oughe it neuere cese forto be. as aristotle 
demde of f e worlde. and al f ou$ fat J>e lif of it be 
strecchid wif infinite of tyme. }it al*gates nis it no 
swiclie f ing fat men my^ten trowen by ry^t fat it is 
eterne. for al 0113 fat it comprehende and embrace f c 
space of life infinite, ^it algates ne [emjbraccf it nat f e 
space of f e lif alto-gidre. for it ne ha]) nat f e futwres 
fat ne ben nat 3it. ne it ne ha]> no lenger f e preterit} 
fat ben ydon or ypassed. but f ilke f ing fan fat haf 
and comprehendif to-gidre alle f e plente of f e lif in- 
terminable. to whom fere ne failif nat of f e future. 
and to whom for nis nat of f e preterit escapid nor 
ypassed. f ilk[e] same is ywitnessed or yproued by ry^t 
to ben eterne. and it byhouef by necessite fat f ilke 
f inge be alwey present to hym self and competent, as 
who seif alwey present to hym self and so my}ty fat al 
by ry^t at hys plesaunce. and fat he haue al present 
f e infinit of fe moeuable tyme. wherfore som men 
trowerc wrongefully fat whan f ei heren fat it semidfe] 
to plato fat f is worlde ne had[de] neuer bygynnynge 
of tyme. ne fat it neuere shal haue faylynge. f ei wenen 
in f is manere fat f is worlde ben maked coeterne wif 
his makere. as who seif. f ei wenen fat f is worlde and 
god ben maked to-gidre eterne. and it is a wrongful 
wenynge. for of er f ing is it to ben yladd by lif in- 
terminable as plato graunted[e] to fe worlde. and ofer 
f ing is it to embracen to-gidre alle f e presence to f e lif 
interminable, f e whicho f ing it is clere and manifest 


[if] from C. 
4999 worlde world 

6001 sivicJie swych 

6002 eterne from C., MS. 

5003 life lyf 

6004-6-6 7*ap MS. hapc 

5006 ydon MS. ydone, C. I- 


5007 alle al 
5008-9 nat nawht 
5010 JnttfcO] thilke 

or and 
5014 by be 

5016 semid[e] scmede 

5017 worlde world 

5018 haue ban 
5019-20 worlde world 

5022 yladd MS. yladde, C. 

5023 worlde world 

5024 embracen enbrace 
alle al 

presence to present of 

5025 clere clecr 


bat it is proprc to be deuinc bomt. no it ne sholde nat time, but rather 

by the simple and 

semen to vs bat god is elder ban binges bat ben ymaked 

by quantite of tyme. but raber by be proprete of hys j^' 

symple nature, for bis ilke infmitfe] moeuyng of temporel 

. the ever-present 

binges folwib bis p? > esentarie estat ol be liii iwmoeue- condition of an 

f immovable life : 

able, and so as it ne may nat contrefeten it ne feynew and since it can- 

** ^ not copy nor 

it ne ben euene lyke to it. for be inmoeueablete. bat is SSoIib 
to seyn bat is in be eternite of god. IT it faileb and 


faileb m to moeuynge fro be simplicite ol [thej pre- into an infinite 
sence of god. and disencresib to be infinite quantite of gjj 
future and of preterit, and so as it ne may nat ban to- 

, , P , T/ i !! r> i extent of its dura- 

gidre al be plente of be lif. algates sitte for as mocne as tion, yet, as it 

never ceases 

it ne cesib neuere forto ben in som manere it semeb 
somde[l] to vs bat it folwij? and resemblib bilke bing 

# in-n j -L -i i -j. neither attain nor 

bat it ne may nat attayne to. ne lulfille. and byndeb it express, by at- 

taching itself to 
self to som manere presence of bis litel and swifte 5041 

moment, be wbiche presence of bis lytele and swifte ing moment, ee 

which, because it 

moment, lor bat it bereb a manere ymage or lykenesse resembles the 

durable present 

of be ay dwellynge presence of god. it graunteb to 
swiche manere binges as it bitidib to bat it semeb hem 

bat bise binges ban ben and ben and for fbatl be pre- as Tt cannot stop 

or abide it pur- 

sence of swiche litel moment ne may nat dwelle ber-for sues its course 

through infinite 

[it] rauyssidfe] and took be innnit[e] wey of tyme. bat 
is to seyn by successiouw. and by bis manere it is ydon. 
for bat it sholde continue be lif in goynge of be whiche which it oooid 

not comprehend, 

lif it ne nrntrel nat embrace be plente in dwellynge. by abiding in a 

permanent stale. 

and for bi yif we willen putte worbi namefs] to binges Jj 
and folwen plato. lat vs seyn ba?i sobely bat god is S 
eterne. and bat be worlde is perpetual ban syn bat is eternal and th 

f world perpetiial. 

euery iugeme/it knoweb and comprehendib by hys owen His kn s 9" rlea 1 f e e> 
nature binges bat ben subiect vnto hym. bere is sobely 
al-wey to god an eterne and presentarie estat. and be 

5032 lyke 

5034 [the'] from C. 


5039 soindetl] somrlel 

5040 fulji lie- -fullfyllon 

5041 litel fr-m C., MS. lykly 

5042 whiche- -\\}\\ch 
lytele from C., MS. lykly 

50tfi ben (1) ybeu 

[\>af] from C. 
5017 swiche swvch 
5048 [if] from C. 

5051 w?/3/[e] myhte 

5052 willen putte wollen 

5052 name[s] names 
r.053 .wpeZ?/ sothly 

5054 worlde world. 

5055 owen owne 

5056 solely sothly 

5057 al-wey al-weys 


of past and future science of hym bat ouer-passeb alle temporel moe[ue]- 
cta??iisi I htau men ^> dwellij) in be symplicite of bys presence and em- 

kraceb awd considereb alle be infinit spaces of tymes 
ence fs, then, a preterit^ and futures and lokeb in bis symple knowynge 
e ^ n o es f preterit ry^t as bei weren ydoon presently 

^ f lf J> OU Wolt J"" 1 

(ui^wiuch God^ prescience by whiche it knoweb al[le] bircges *bou ne 

sees all things as 

if immovably snalt nat demen it as prescience of binges to conuoi. 

present). There- * 

J 5011 sna ^ deme [it] more ry^tfully bat it is science 
e nn of presence or of instaunce bat neuer ne fayleb. for 

for God looks ,.,... , , ., , . .. , , , 

down upon ail wmche it nis nat ycleped prouidence but it snolde raber 

things from the 

summit of the b e cleped purueaunce bat is establissed ful fer fro rvat 

universe. Do ou J ' 

lwe binges, and byholdeb from a-fer alle binges ry^t as 

it were fro be heye hey^te of binges, whi axest bou ban 

It is not so in IT , -n , i i i 

human affairs. or why disputest bou ban bat bilke binges ben don by 

Does your view 

5073 necessite whiche bat ben yseyen and yknowen by be 

any necey^ deuyne sv^t. syn bat for sobe men ne maken nat bilke 

upon it? B. No. r 

p. By parity of bmges neccssarie. whiche bat be[i] seen be ydoon in 

son it is clear J 

i byholdynge any necessite to bilke 


binges bat bou byholdest present. IT Nay quod I. p. 
-prefent 1 Certys ban yif men my^te maken any digne comparisons 

time. His Divine . . - 

prescience there- O r collacou?z of be presence diuine. and of be presence 
of thfngs h -but ure ^ mankynde. ry^t so as 30 seen somme binges in bis 
temporel presente. ry^t so seeb god alle binges by hys 

confusedly of 

shaiHn W time be eterne present. IF wherfore bis dyuyne prescience ne 

duced. Nor . 

es he judge chaunaeb nat be nature ne be pwprete ol binges but 

fusedly of 

w wTat byholdeb swyche binges present to hym ward, as bei 
shollen bytiden to 30 w ward in tyme to come, ne it ne 
cowfoundeb nat be Iugement3 of binges but by of 

sedn^aii thing's, of hvs bouit he knoweb be binges to comen as wel 

doth not alter the J 

properties of necessarie as nat necessarie. ry^t so as whan ^e seen to- 

tliin^s, for every- 

gi dre a man walke on be erbe and be sonne aryseii in 
[the] heuene. al be it so bat 36 seen and byholden bat 

5058 alle al 

moe\ue\ment m oeuemewt 
60fi3 \>enke thinken 

ainsen auyse 
5064 whiche which 

5060 shalt shal 

[if] from C. 
5068 whiche which 
5074-76 syrf syhte 
5075 whiche which 

)>e[t] they 

5085 come comyii 

5086 ofsyitO syhte 

5087 neA;woweb MS. repeats 
5090 Hhe]~ from C. 


oon and bat ober to-gidre. ait nabeles ae demcn and when God knows 

' m J that any thing is to 

discerne fat fat oon is uolurctarie and fat of er is neces- 8am^ k im7t 8 htt the 
sario. 1F Ry$t so fan [the] deuyne lokynge byholdynge JJeJUSfyof being 

, , . ,., but this is not 

alle bmges vndir hym ne troubleb nat be quaiite ol conjecture, but 

' certain knowledge 

f inges fat ben certeynely present to hym ward, but as (^" h ded ," po 1 u in . 
to f e condiciouw of tyme for sof e f ei ben futwre, for ^S^^SSSd 

, must happen ; and 

whiche it folwib bat bis nis non oppmioim. but raber a that which cannot 

' r do other-wise than 

stedfast knowyng ystrengefed by sofenes. fat whan JSE^J 

, , . . , , ... and so bind me to 

bat god knowef any binge to be he ne vnwoot nat bat admit a necessity, 

I must confess 

bilke binge wanteb necessite to be. bis is to seyn bat that things are 

1 under such a re- 

whan fat god knowef any f inge to bitide. he woot wel 

jjat it ne ha]) no necessite to bitide. and yif f mi seist JSen? 

, , . . . we be acquainted 

here bat bilke binge bat god seeb to bytide it ne may with the Divine 

counsels. For I 

nat vnbytide. as who sei)> it mot bitide. IT and jjilke J^^JJJt tS 
Jjinge ]?at jjat ne may nat vnbytide it mot bitide by 5105 

-, . . n thing which is to 

necessite. and bat bou streine me to bis name of neces- happen in relation 

to the Divine 

site, certvs I wol wel confessen and byknowe a binge ol knowledge is 

* l necessary; but, 

ful sadde troupe, but vnne]) shal J>ere any wy^t [mowe] ow n n si nature in ite 

seen it or comen fer-to. but yif J?at he be byholder of >e 

, *TJTI it-ii are two kinds of 

deuvne bouate. II for I wol answere be bus. bat bilke necessity-one 

J y simple ; as men 

])inge Jjat is future whan it is referred to J?e deuyne SJ^ 
knowywg pan is it necessarie. but certys whan it is vn- 
dirstonden in hys owen kynde mew sen it [is] vtterly fre 
and absolut from alle necessite. for certys ber ben two is known cannot 

be otherwise than 

maneres of necessites. bat oon necessite is symple as what it is appre- 

hended to be. But 

pus. J?at it byhouejj by necessite fat alle men be mortal 5SS>iStf tl)e 
or dedely. an oper necessite is condicionel as fus. yif sity^fw tlfe 68 " 
bou wost bat a man walkib. it byhoueb by necessite bat thing itself does 

- not here cmisti- 

he walke. filke finge fan fat any wy^t haf yknowe to 
be. it ne may ben non ofer weyes fan he knowef it to 
be. IF but fis condicioun ne drawef nat wif hir filke 

, _,, . , . . , compels a man to 

necessite symple. 1 or certys f is necessite condicionel. walk who does so 

5092 discerne discernen 

5093 [the] from C. 

5097 whiche which 

5098 stedfast stidefast 
so\>enes sothuesse 

5102 ha]> MS. haj>e 

a\> M 

6104 bitide-bitle 

5108 sadde sad 
vnne\> vnnethe 
[mowe] from C. 

5109 comen come 

5110 \>ou-$te thoght 
answere ansvvercn 

5113 sen MS. sene, C. sen 

5113 [is] from C. 
5117 dedely dertly 
5119 /jab MS. ha>o 
5121 condicioun from C., 
MS. necessite 




willingly, but it 
must be necessary 
that he walk 
when he does 
step forward. 
So everything 
that is present to 
the eye of Pro- 
vidence must 
assuredly be, al- 
though there is 

[* fol. 40.] 
nothing in its 
own nature to 
constitute that 
necessity. Since 
God beholds all 
future events pro- 
ceeding from free- 
will as actually 
present these 
events in relation 
to Divine sight 
are necessary 

es thy 

are absolutely 

free. AII things 

which God 

foresees shall 

surely come 

though they hap- 


their nature, as 

before they hap- 

pened they had it 


whether things 

are necessary in 

their own nature 

edg they ftSf*" 

0$; as if they were 


. The differ- 

event of the 16 

former was neces- 

sary before it be- 

felt, whereas that 

be propre nature of it ne makeb it nau^t. but be adiem'oiw 
of be condiczouft makib it. for no necessite ne constreyneb 
a man to [gon / bat] goob by his propre wille. al be it 
so bat whan he goob bat it is necessarie bat he goob. 
1F Ry3t on bis same manere ban. yif bat be pwrueaunce 
of god seeb any bing present, ban mot bilke *binge be 
by necessite. al bou3 bat it ne haue no necessite of hys 
owen nature, but certys be futw?*es bat bytyden by fre- 
dom of arbitre god seeb hem alle to-gidre present3. bise 
binges ban [yif] bei ben referred to be deuyne sy3t. 
ban ben bei maked necessarie to be condic?ou?i of be 
deuyne knowynge. but certys yif bilke binges ben con- 
sidred by hem self bei ben absolut of necessite. and ne 
forleten nat ne cesen nat of be liberte of hire owe?* 
nature, ban certys wijj outen doute alle be fingtti 
shollen be doon whiche bat god woot by-forn bat be 
ben to comen. but so?ftme of hem comen and bitiden of 
[free] arbitre or of fre wille. bat al be it so bat bei by- 
tiden. 3it algates ne lese bei nat hire propre nature ne 
beynge. by be whiche first or bat bei were doon bei 
hadden power nat to han bitidd. Boece. what is bis 
to seyn baft qwod I. bat binges ne ben nat necessarie by 
hire propre nature, so as bei comen in alle maneres in 
be lykenesse of necessite by be condicibun of be deuyne 
science. P/iilosophi'e. bis is be difference quod. she. bat 
bo binges bat I pwposed[e] be a litel here byforn. bat 
is to seyn be sonne arysynge and be man walkynge bat 
berwhiles bat bilke binges ben ydon. bei ne my3ten nat 
ben vndon. nabeles bat oon of hem or it was ydon it 
byhoued[e] by necessite bat it was ydon. but nat bat 
ober. ry3t so it is here bat be binges bat god hab present. 

5123 naurf nat 

5125 [ffon \>at] from C. 

wille wil 
5128 mot MS. mote, C. mot 

5131 present* present 

5132 [2/z/]-fromC. 
sy^i syhte 

513? wi\> outen wit/i-owte 
5138 whiche which 

5139 somme som 

5140 [free] from C. 

5141 ne (2) . in 

5142 whiche which 

ivere doon weeryn Idoon 

5143 bitidd MS. bitidde, C. 

5148 purposed^ pur 

5150 ydon MS. ydone, C t 
I- doon 

my^ten myhte 

5151 vndon, MS. vridone, C. 

5151-2 ydon MS. ydone, C, 

5152 lnjTioued\e\ honyd 

5153 ha\> MS. hn>e 


wib outen doute bei simile ben. but sowme of hem de- troth when r said 

f that some things 

scendif of jje nature of finges as f e sonne arysynge. Dj'vl'.'T knowledge 
and so?ttme descend!)) of f e power of J)e doers as f e man 

_ , . - T /.,, in themselves 

walkynge. 1T ban seide I. no wronge bat yil bat bise they are not under 

r r . thebondofneces- 

binges ben referred to be deuyne knowynge ban ben bei sity. in the same 

J * way e\ery thing 

necessarie. and yif f ei ben- considered by hem selfe fan 

ben bei absolut from f e bonde of necessite. ry3t so [as] 

alle f inges fat appieref or shewef to f e wittes yif J>ou ticuiar when con- 

referre it to resoim it is vniuersel. and yif fou referre ^ f ^ 

it or look[e] it to it self, fan is it sywguler. but now j 

yif fou seist bus bat yif it be in my power to chauiige 

which she hath 

my purpose, fan shal I voide be pwrueaunce of god. foreseen i would 
whan bat pe?'auenture I shal han chau?2ged fo binges 
bat he knoweb byforn. fan shal I answere fe fus 

. . takes note of your 

II Certys fou maist wel chaungen fi pwrpos but ior as 5168 
mochel as f e present sof enesse of f e deuyne pwrueaunce 
byholdef fat fou mayst chaungQn fi purpose, and 

divine prescience 

whebir bou wolt chaun^e it or 110. and winder- ward though you have 

the power, 

fat fou tourne it. fou maist nat eschewen f e deuyne S^var^atd 
prescience ry3t as fou ne mayst nat fleen f e sy3t of f e JJSSl y 7 SS 
present eye. al bom bat bou tourne bi self by bi fre IBS divine 

, Y knowledge be 

wille in to dyuerse acczouw^ 51 But bou mayst seyn changed accord- 

J ing to the muta- 

hoAv shal it fan be. shal nat f e dyuyne science ^^ ,nd d the 

ben chaunged by my disposicz'oiw whan fat I wol o 

ated with my 

fmg now and now an ofer. and filke prescience ne changing P ur- 
semef it nat to enterchau??ge stoundes of knowynges. f the D^ity forl- 
as who seif. ne shal it nat seme to vs fat fe deuyne eventfln? bring! 
p?*escience enterchaungef hys dyuers stoundes of know- presence of his 

own knowledge, 

ynge. so fat it knowe so?mne tyme o bing and sowme tyme wich does not 
f e contrarie. IF No for sof e. [qtwd I] for f e deuyne scy^i to C0n 
rennef to-forne and seef allefutwres and clepef hem a^ein 

5154 tvi\> outen with-ovvte 
shulle shollen 

5156 doers doeres 

5157 wronge wrong 

5159 selfe self 

5160 from fro 
bonde bond 
[a*] from C. 

5163 look[e~\ loke 
5166 po the 

5169 so\>enesse sothnesse 

5170 chaungen chaunge 
5173 sy^t syhte 

5175 wille wyl 
5177 wol wole 
5179 enterchaunge MS. en- 


terchatwgyng, C. entre- 

5181 hys hise 

5182 somme (l)s\\m 
somme (2) som 

5183 sy $ syhte 

5184 to-forne to-forn 



[HOOK 5. 
PltOSE 6. 

foresees and com- 
prehends all your 
changes. This 
faculty of com- 
prehending and 
seeing all things 
as present, God 
does not receive 
from the issue of 
futurities, but 
from the simpli- 
city of his own 
nature. Here, 
then, is an answer 
to your former 
objection that it 
is folly to think 
that our future 
actions and events 
are the causes of 
the prescience of 
God. For the 
Divine mind, em- 

[* fol. 41 ft.] 
bracing and com- 
prehending all 
things by a 

plans and directs 
all things and is 
not dependent 
upon futurity. 
Since no neces- 
sity is imposed 


upon things by 
the Divine pre- 
science, there re- 
mains to men an 
inviolable free- 
dom of will. And 
those laws are 
just which assign 
rewards and 
punishments to 
men possessing 
free-will. More- 
over, God, who 
sits on high, fore- 
knows all things, 
and the eternal 
presence of his 
knowledge con- 
curs with the 
future quality of 
our actions, dis- 
pensing rewards 
to good and pun- 
ishments to 
evil men. 
Nor are our hopes 
and prayers re- 
posed in, and ad- 
dressed to God in 
vain, which when 
they are sincere 
cannot be ineffi- 
cacious nor un- 
successful. Resist 
and turn from 
vice honour and 

and retowrnif hem to f e presence of hys propre know- 
ynge. ne he ne entrechaungef nat [so] as f ou wenest f e 
stoundes of forknowyng [as] now fis now fat. but he 
ay dwellynge comif byforn and eiibracef at o strook 
alle f i mutaci'ouws. and fis presence to comprehenden 
and to sen alle f inges. god ne haj> nat taken it of f e 
bitydynge of f inges forto come, but of hys propre sym- 
plicite. 1T and her by is assoiled filke fing fat fou 
puttest a litel her byforne. fat is to seyne fat it is vn- 
worj>i f inge to seyn fat oure futures ^euen cause of f e 
science of god IT For certys *f is strengf e of f e deuyne 
science whiche fat enbracef alle f inge by his present- 
arie knowynge establissef manere to alle fingus and it 
ne awif nat to lattere f inges. and syn fat f ise f inges 
ben fus. fat is to seyn syn fat necessite nis nat in" 
f inges by f e deuyne prescience, fan is f er fredom oi 
arbitre. fat dwellef hool and vnwemmed to mortal men. 
ne f e lawes ne pwrpose nat wikkedly meedes and peynes 
to f e willynges of men fat ben vnbounde and quit of 
alle necessite. IT And god byholder and forwiter of 
alle f inges dwellif aboue and f e present eternite of hys 
sy^t rennef alwey wif f e dyuerse qualite of oure dedes 
dispewsyng and ordeynynge medes to good[e] men. and 
tourment^ to wicked men. ne in ydel ne in veyn ne ben 
f er nat put in god hope and prayeres. fat ne mowen 
nat ben vnspedful ne wif oute effect whan f ei ben ry^t- 
ful ^F wif stond fan and eschewe foil vices, worshippe 
and loue f ou vertus. areise f i corage to ry^tful hoopes. 
^elde fou humble p?*eiers an heyje. grete necessite of 
prowesse and vertue is encharged and comaunded to 
30 w yif }e nil nat dissimulen. IT Syn fat 30 worchen 
and doon. fat is to seyn ^oure dedes and ^oure workes 

6186 [so] from C. 

5187 [as] from C. 

5188 comip comth 
6190 ha}) MS. hape 
5193 seyne seyn 
5196 whiche which 
6198 amp oweth 

5199 \>at is to pre- 
science om itted 
6203 vnbounde vnbownden 

quit quite 
52()6 gy}t sihte 
5207 good[c} goode 
5211 wiWond MS. wip- 

stonde, C. withstand 
5213 an lieys,c a heygh 
jrete Grot 

5215 worchen workyn 

5216 and (2) or 

HOOK r>. 1 

1'li.OsK 6.J 



by-fore J>e eycn of )>e luge J?at see)) and demej) alle 
j)inges. [To whom be goye and worshipe bi Infynyt 
tymes / AMEN.] 5219 ESSSyTV you 

are sincere you 

will feel that you are under an obligation to lead a good and virtuous life, inasmuch as all your 
actions and works are done in the presence of an all-discerning Judge. 


5217 by-fore by-torn 

6218 \To whom Amen} 

from C. : MS. reads et 
cetera after ' jnuges.' C. 

ends with the following 

Explicit expliceat ludere 
scriptor eat 

Finite librq sit laus et 

gloria Christo 
Corpore scribentis sit 

gratia, cunctipotentis 



[Camb. Univ. MS. li. 3. 21, fol 52 I.] 
Chawcer vp-on this fyfte metur of the second book 

A Blysful lyf a paysyble and a swete 
** Ledden the poeples in the former age 
They helde hem paied of the fructes jjat J>ey ete 
Whiche J?at the feldes yaue hem by vsage 4 

They ne weere nat forpampred w/t/i owtrage 
Onknowyn was J> e quyerne and ek the melle 
They eten mast hawes and swych pownage 
And dronken water of the colde welle 8 

^T Yit nas the grownd nat wowiided with j> e plowh 

But corn vp-sprong vnsowe of mannes hond 

}3e which they gnodded and eete nat half .I.-nowh 

No man yit knewe the forwes of his lond 12 

No man the fyr owt of the flynt yit fonde 

Vn-koruen and vn-grobbed lay the vyne 

No man yit in the morter spices grond 

To clarre ne to sawse of galentyne 1 6 

^T No Madyr welde or wod no litestere 

Ne knewh / the fles was of is former hewe 

No flessh ne wyste offence of egge or spere 

No coyn ne knewh man which is fals or trewe 20 

No ship yit karf the wawes grene and blewe 

No Marchauwt yit ne fette owt-landissh ware 

No batails trompes for the werres folk ne knewe 

Ne towres heye and walles rownde or square 24 

.ETAS TRIM A. 181" 

IT What sholde it han avayled to werreye 

Ther lay no profyt ther was no rychesse 

But corsed was the tyme .1. dar* wel seye [fo1 - 53 -l 

fiat men fyrst dede hir swety bysynesse 28 

To grobbe vp metal lurkynge in dirkenesse 

And in j>e Ryuerys fyrst gemmys sowhte 

Alias than sprong 1 vp al the cursydnesse 

Of coueytyse ]>at fyrst owr sorwe browhte 32 

IT Thyse tyraurat} put hem gladly nat in pres 

No places wyldnesse ne no busshes for to wynne 

Ther pouerte is as seith diogenes 

Ther as vitayle ek is so skars and thinne 36 

])ai nat but mast or apples is ther Inne 

But \er as bagges ben and fat vitaile 

Ther wol they gon and, spare for no synne 

al hir ost the Cyte forto a-sayle 40 

1T Yit was no paleis chaumbres ne non halles 

In kaues and wodes softe and swete 

Sleptin this blyssed folk 1 with-ovrte walles 

On gras or leues in parfyt loye reste and quiete 44 

No down of fetheres ne no bleched shete 

Was kyd to hem but in surte they slepte 

Hir hertes weere al on wit/i-owte galles 

Euerych of hem his feith to oother kepte 48 

1T Vnforged was the hawberke and the plate 

}? e lambyssh poeple voyded of alle vyse 

Hadden no fantesye to debate 

But eche of hem wolde oother wel cheryce 52 

No pride non enuye non Auaryce 

No lord no taylage by no tyranye 

Vmblesse and pes good feith the empmce 

.............. 56 

39, 40 MS. transposes the lines 44 On MS. Or 

56 A line omitted, but no pap left for one. 


IT Yit was nat luppiter the lykerous 

))at fyrst was fadyr of delicasie 

Come in this world ne nembroth desyrous 

To regne had nat maad his towres hye 60 

Alias alias now may [men] wepe And crye 

For in owre dayes nis but couetyse 

Dowblenesse and tresouw and enuye 

Poyson and manslawhtre and mordre in sondry wyse 


5T This wrecched worlde-is transmutacioiw 

As wele / or wo / now poeere and now honow? * 

"WVt/i-owten ordyr or wis descresyouw 

Goueraed is by fortunes errour 4 

But natheles the lakke of hyr fauowr* 

Ne may nat don me syngen thowh I. deye 

lay tout perdu mouw temps et mouw labour [foi. ss &.j 

For fynaly fortune .1. the deffye 8 

1T Yit is me left the lyht of my resouw 

To knowen frend fro foo in thi merowr* 

So mochel hath yit thy whirlynge vp and down 

I-tawht me for to knowe in an howr 12 

But trewely no fors of thi reddowr 1 

To hym J?at oner hym self hath the maystrye 

My suffysauwce shal be my socoui j 

For fynaly fortune I. thee deffye 16 

IT socrates fou stidfast chaumpyouw 

She neuer myhtfe] be thi tormentowr 

Thow neuer dreddest hyr oppressyouw 

Ne in hyr chere fownde thow no sauoui-' 20 

Thow knewe wel the deseyte of hyr colour 1 

And \a\> hir 1 mostfe] worshipe is to lye 

I knew hir ek a fals dissimuloui 

For fynaly fortune .1. the deffye -4 



1T No man ys wrechchyd but hym self yt wene 

And he J?at hath hym self hat suffisaunce 

Whi seysthow thawne y am [to] the so kene 

])at hast thy self owt of my gouemaurcce 

Sey thus grauwt mercy of thyn habouralaurace 

That thow hast lent or this why wolt J>ou stryue 

What woost thow yit how y the wol auauwce 

And ek thow hast thy beste frende a-lyue 32 

1T I haue the tawht deuisyouw by-twene 

Frend of effect 1 and frende of cowntenauwce 

The nedeth nat the galle of no hyene 

])ai cureth eyen derkyd for penauwce 36 

Now se[st] thow cleer fat weere in ignorauwce 

Yit halt thin ancre and yit thow mayst aryue 

Ther bownte berth the keye of my substaiwce 

And ek jjou hast thy beste frende alyue 40 

1T How manye haue .1. refused to sustigne 

Syn .1. the fostred haue in thy plesauTwse 

Wolthow thanne make a statute on J?y quyene 

])a\, .1. shal ben ay at thy ordynauwce 44 

Thow born art in my regne of varyauwce 

Abowte the wheel with oother most thow dryue 

My loore is bet than wikke is thi greuauwce 

And ek J?ou hast thy beste frende a-lyue 48 


1F Thy loore y dempne / it is aduersyte IfoL 54.] 

My frend maysthow nat reuen blynde goddesse 

\)at .1. thy frendes knowe .1. thanke to the 

Tak hem agayn / lat hem go lye on presse 52 

The negardye in kepynge hyr rychesse 

Prenostik is thow wolt hif towr 1 asayle 

37 se[sf] partly erased and ist written on it in a later hand. 
41 igne of sustigne is in a later hand. 


Wikke appetyt comth ay before sykenesse 

In general this rewle may nat fayle 56 


11 Thow pynchest at my mutabylyte 

For .1. the lente a drope of my rychesse 

And now me lykyth to w?M-drawe me 

Whi sholdysthow my realte apresse 60 

The see may ebbe and flowen moore or lesse 

TJie welkne hath myht to shyne reyne or hayle 

Ryht so mot .1. kythen my brutelnesse 

In general this rewle may nat fayle 64 


IT Lo excussyoim of the maieste 

J}at al purueyeth of his ryhtwysnesse 

That same thinge fortune clepyn ye 

Ye blynde beestys fill of lewednesse 68 

The heuene hath proprete of sykyrnesse 

This world hath euer resteles trauayle 

Thy laste day is ende of myn inter[e]sse 

In general this rewele may nat fayle 72 


IT Prynses .1. prey yow of yowre gentilesses 

Lat nat this man on me thus crye and pleyne 

And .1. shal quyte yow yowre bysynesse 

At my requeste as thre of yow or tweyne 76 

J)at but yow lest releue hym of hys peyne 

Preyeth hys best frend of his noblesse 

That to som betere he may atiayne 



ABAIST = ABYEST, sufferest, en- 

durest, 39/1014 
ABAIST, abashed, 107/3047 
ABASSBN,to be abashed, dismayed, 

ABESID (= ABAYSSHED), abashed, 

ABIDE, to await, 7/93. 'ABIDE 

after ' = look after, expect, 13/ 

250 ; p.p. ABIDEN, waited, 86/2405 

Abief, suffers, 109/3101 
ABLYNGE, enabling, fitting (ap- 

tan*\ 26/624, 88/2440 
Abood, abode, 63/1716 
Aboven, above, 6/52 
Abreggynge, curtailing ; hence 

gain obtained by curtailment (com- 
pendium), 151/4355 
Accoie, to soothe, quiet (demul- 

cere\ 38/967 
Accordaunce, agreement, 143/ 

Accordaunt, agreeing, unanimous, 


Accorde, to agree, 42/1080 
Accoumpte, account, 47/1251 
Accountyng, calculation, 8/110 
Achat, purchase, 15/310 
Achcve, to achieve, accomplish, 

Achoken, to choke, 47/1235 

Acomplise, Acomplisse, to accom- 
plish, 92/2575, 118/3356 

Acordable, agreeing, 62/1694 
Acusor, informer, 72/1990 
Addre (Nadre), adder, 170/4959 
Adoune, down, downward, 7/92 
Adounward, downwards, 7/87 
Adrad, in fear, afraid, 43/1132 
Adresse, to direct, control, 163/ 


Afer, afar, 164/4767 
Agast, aghast, frightened, 76/ 

Agaste, to terrify, frighten, 1417 


Agon, ago, 70/1907 
Agreablete, goodwill, 42/1099 
Agrisen, to be afraid, dread, 10/ 

178, 31/777 

Ajuge, to adjudge, 15/325 
Aknowe, acknowledged, 17/367 
Aldirmost, most of all, 124/3557 
Algates, Algate, yet, nevertheless, 

19/439, 68/1849, 81/2242, 162/ 

4696, 4698 
Allegge, to alleviate, 124/3529 

Alouterly, utterly, entirely, 109/ 

Alj>erfairest, fairest of all, 87/ 




Atyerfirst, first of all, 10/180 
AlJ>ermoste, most of all, 158/4563 

Alperworste, worst of all. 157/ 

Alyene, to alienate, 27/671 

Amenuse, to lessen, diminish, 19/ 
426, 40/1039 

Amenusynge, diminution. 46/ 

Ameve, Amoeve, Amove, to move, 
6/64, 23/551 

Amoneste, to admonish, 171/4971 

Amonestyng, admonition, exhort- 
ation, 149/4296 

Amongus, amongst, 52/1380 

Amonicioun, admonition, 13/253 

Amynistre, to administer, 135/ 


Ancre, anchor, 41/1050 
Angre, grief, misery, 41/1072 

Anguisse, Angysse, anguish, 79/ 
2177 ; to torment, SO/2198 

Anguissous, anxious, sorrowful, 
41/1062, 1606 

Anoie, to be grieved, be sorry, 

Anoienge, 22/532 

Anoies, hurtful, 47/1238 

Anoious, annoying, hurtful, 7/ 

An-oone, anon, 42/1086 

Anoyously, dangerously, hurt- 
fully, 80/2214 

Apaise, to appease, 148/4278 

Apasse, to pass away, go, 46/1195 

Aperceive, to perceive, 16/344, 


Apertly, plainly, 17/386, 91/2543 
Appaie, to please, satisfy, 47/1235 
Appaire, to impair, 25/597 
Apparaile, to clothe, adorn, 8/116 

Apparaillement, clothing, orna- 
ment, 49/1300 

Appertiene, to appertain, 73/1996 
Applien, bend to, join, 161/4660 
Apresse, to oppress, 184/60 
Aprochen, to approach, 6/63, 66 
Arace, Arase, Arrace, to tear, tear 

from, separate, 11/196, 27/671, 

98/2774, 152/4278 

Araise, Areise, Areyse, to raise, 

51/1357, 118/3369, 178/5212 
Arbitre, will, free will, 156/4500 
Ardaunt, ardent, 106/3031 
Aresten, to stop, arrest, 32/815 

Aretten, to ascribe to, impute to, 

Arist, arises, 143/4138 

Armurers, armours, arms, 5 1/1 342 

Armures, armour, 9/131 

Arst, first, 95/2675 

Arwe, arrow, 148/4262 

Arysynge, rising, 22/512 

Aryve, to bring to shore, 122/ 

Asayle, to assail, 181/40 

Ascape, to escape, 8/129 

Asondre, asunder, 64/1740 

Aspre, sharp, rough, 32/806, 

Asprenesse, sharpness, 127/3627 

Assaie, to essay, 42/1083 

Assemble, to gather together, 
amass (money), 80/2208 

Asseure, to assure, 16/330 

Assoilen, to absolve, pay, unloose, 
dissolve, 149/4303, 154/4459 

Astat, estate, state, 30/738 

Astoned, astonished, 7/92, 63/ 
1702 ; slupidus, 122/3471 

Astonynge, Astonyenge, astonish- 
ment, 9/134, 132/3780 

Ataste, to taste, 30/756 

Ataynt, Ateint, attained, know- 
ing, experienced, 31/772, 69/1905 



Attayne, to reach, 12/227 

Atte, at the, 95/2675 

Attemperaunce, tempering, tem- 
perament, 138/3973, 144/4145 

Attempre, to temper, moderate, 
8/115, 111/3154; control, 163/ 
4721; (adj.) modest, 29/728, 40/ 

Atteyne, to attain, 118/3358 
Atwyne, in two, 98/2769 
Avalen, to fall down, 143/4139 
Avaunce, to advance, further, 4 1/ 


Avaunte, to boast, 5/26, 19/426 
Auctorite, authority, 7/91 

Aventerouse, fortuitous, 28/697, 

Aventure, event, 21/476 
Autour, author, 58/1556 
Au^te, ought, 11/213 
Avisen, to consider, 174/5063 
Awaite, snare, 80/2214 

Awaitour, one who lies in wait, 

AwiJ) =aweb, oweth (delet), 17 S/ 

Ay, ever, 184/55 

Ay-dwellynge, ever-dwelling, 17 3/ 


Ayenis, against, 97/2749 
Axe, to ask, 17/357, 24/579 
A^eins, A^eynes, A^eynest, 

against, 10/183, 11/194, 12/221, 


A^einewarde, on the contrary, on 
the other hand, 42/1098 

Bacine, basin, 133/3806 

Batailen, to war on, do battle 

against, 18/412 
Been, bees, 80/2200 
Ber, did bear, 6/61 
Bere, Bear, 143/4124 

Beren on hond, to accuse falsely, 

20 449 
Bet, better, 63/1703 

Bibled. covered over with blood, 

Bisien, to trouble, 8/112 

Bitake. See Bytake. 

Bitidd, happened, 176/5143 

Bitwixen. See Bytwixen. 

Blaundissinge, nattering, 30/749 

Blaundyshincr, flattery, blandish- 
ment, 34/866 

Bleched, bleached, 181/45 

Blemisse, to blemish, abuse 

(lacero\ 20/472 
Blyssed, blessed, 181/43 
Blyj>enesse, joyfulness, 37/957 
Boch, botch, blain, sore, 72/1977 
Bode, to foretell, 143/4130 
Bole, bull, 148/4274 
Boot, did bite, 53/1400 
Bordure, border, hem, 6/50 
Bosten, to boast, 79/2171 
Botme, bottom, 12/234 

Bounte, Bownte, goodness, kind- 
ness, 19/444, 46/1202, 183/39 
Brenne ('pret. Brende), to burn, 

19/437, 106/3031 
Brid, bird, 68/1867 
Bristlede, bristly, 148/4281 
Brode, broadly, plainly, 49/1298 
Brutel, brittle, fragile, 45/1174 

Brutelnesse, brittleness, frailty, 
f 184/63 

BurJ>e, birth, 78/2165 
Busshel (corn), 15/312 

Bydolven (p.p.), buried, 15 1/ 

Byen (for alyen), suffer, 125/ 

Byforen, BYFORN, BYFORNE, be- 
fore, 20/454 



Alperfirst, first of all, 10/180 
Atyermoste, most of all, 158/4563 

Aljjerworste, worst of all. 157/ 

Alyene, to alienate, 27/671 

Amenuse, to lessen, diminish, 19/ 
426, 40/1039 

Amenusynge, diminution, 46/ 

Ameve, Amoeve, Amove, to move, 
6/64, 23/551 

Amoneste, to admonish, 171/4971 

Amonestyng, admonition, exhort- 
ation, 149/4296 

Amongus, amongst, 52/1380 

Amonicioun, admonition, 13/253 

Amynistre, to administer, 135/ 


Ancre, anchor, 41/1050 
Angre, grief, misery, 41/1072 
Anguisse, Angysse, anguish, 79/ 

2177 ; to torment, 80/2198 
Anguissous, anxious, sorrowful, 

41/1062, 1606 

Anoie, to be grieved, "be sorry, 


Anoienge, 22/532 
Anoies, hurtful, 47/1238 

Anoious, annoying, hurtful, 7/ 

An-oone, anon, 42/1086 

Anoyously, dangerously, hurt- 
fully, 80/2214 

Apaise, to appease, 148/4278 
Apasse, to pass away, go, 46/1195 

Aperceive, to perceive, 16/344, 


Apertly, plainly, 17/386, 91/2543 
Appaie, to please, satisfy, 47/1235 
Appaire, to impair, 25/597 
Apparaile, to clothe, adorn, 8/116 

Apparaillement, clothing, orna- 
ment, 49/1300 

Appertiene, to appertain, 73/1996 
Applien, bend to, join, 161/4660 
Apresse, to oppress, 184/60 
Aprochen, to approach, 6/63, 66 
Arace, Arase, Arrace, to tear, tear 

from, separate, 11/196, 27/671, 

98/2774, 152/4278 

Araise, Areise, Areyse, to raise, 

51/1357, 118/3369, 178/5212 
Arbitre, will, free will, 156/4500 
Ardaunt, ardent, 106/3031 
Aresten, to stop, arrest, 32/815 

Aretten, to ascribe to, impute to, 


Arist, arises, 143/4138 
Armurers, armours, arms, 5 1/1 342 
Armures, armour, 9/131 
Arst, first, 95/2675 
Arwe, arrow, 148/4262 
Arysynge, rising, 22/512 

Aryve, to bring to shore, 122/ 


Asayle, to assail, 181/40 
Ascape, to escape, 8/129 
Asondre, asunder, 64/1740 

Aspre, sharp, rough, 32/806, 


Asprenesse, sharpness, 127/3627 
Assaie, to essay, 42/1083 
Assemble, to gather together, 

amass (money), 80/2208 
Asseure, to assure, 16/330 

Assoilen, to absolve, pay, unloose, 
dissolve, 149/4303, 154/4459 

Astat, estate, state, 30/738 

Astoned, astonished, 7/92, 63/ 
1702 ; slupidus, 122/3471 

Astonynge, Astonyenge, astonish- 
ment, 9/134, 132/3780 

Ataste, to taste, 30/756 

Ataynt, Ateint, attained, know- 
ing, experienced, 31/772, 69/1905 



Attayne, to reach, 12/227 

Atte, at the, 95/2675 

Attemperaunce, tempering, tem- 
perament, 138/3973, 144/4145 

Attempre, to temper, moderate, 
8/115, 111/3154; control, 1(>3/ 
4721; (adj.-) modest, 29/728, 40/ 

Atteyne, to attain, 118/3358 
Atwyne, in two, 98/2769 
Avalen, to fall down, 143/4139 
Avaunce, to advance, further, 4 1/ 


Avaunte, to boast, 5/26, 19/426 
Auctorite, authority, 7/91 

Aventerouse, fortuitous, 28/697, 


Aventure, event, 21/476 
Autour, author, 58/1556 
Au^te, ought, 11/213 
Avisen, to consider, 174/5063 
Awaite, snare, 80/2214 

Awaitour, one who lies in wait, 

AwiJ) = aweb, oweth (debet), 17 S/ 

Ay, ever, 184/55 

Ay-dwellynge, ever-dwelling, 1 73/ 


Ayenis, against, 97/2749 
Axe, to ask, 17/357, 24/579 
A^eins, A^eynes, A^eynest, 

against, 10/183, 11/194, 12/221, 


A^einewarde, on the contrary, on 
the other hand, 42/1098 

Bacine, basin, 133/3806 

Batailen, to war on, do battle 

against, 18/412 
Been, bees, 80/2200 
Ber, did bear, 6/61 
Bore, Bear, 143/4124 

Beren on hond, to accuse falsely, 

20 449 
Bet, better, 63/1703 

Bibled. covered over with blood, 

Bisien, to trouble, 8/112 

Bitake. See Bytake. 

Bitidd, happened, 176/5143 

Bitwixen. See Bytwixen. 

Blaundissinge, flattering, 30/749 

Blaundyshin?, flattery, blandish- 
ment, 34/866 

Bleched, bleached, 181/45 

Blemisse, to blemish, abuse 

(lacero\ 20/472 
Blyssed, blessed, 181/43 
BlyJ>enesse, joyfulness, 37/957 
Boch, botch, blain, sore, 72/1977 
Bode, to foretell, 143/4130 
Bole, bull, 148/4274 
Boot, did bite, 53/1400 
Bordure, border, hem, 6/50 
Bosten, to boast, 79/2171 
Botme, bottom, 12/234 

Bounte, Bownte, goodness, kind- 
ness, 19/444, 46/1202, 183/39 
Brenne (pret. Brende), to burn, 

19/437, 106/3031 
Brid, bird, 68/1867 
Bristlede, bristly, 148/4281 
Brode, broadly, plainly, 49/1298 
Brutel, brittle, fragile, 45/1174 

Brutelnesse, brittleness, frailty. 
, 184/63 

Burbe, birth, 78/2165 
Busshel (corn), 15/312 

Bydolven (p.p.), buried, 15 17 

Byen (for dbyen), suffer, 125/ 

Byforen, BYFORN, BYFORNE, be- 
fore, 20/454 



Bygunne, didst begin, 37/941 
Bygyle, to beguile, 25/615 
Byhate, to hate, 75/2051 
Byheste, promise, 149/4303 

Byhete, to promise, 61/1651, 69/ 

Byhynde, Byhynden, behind, 
108/3062, 110/3137 

Byhy3t, promised, 70/1925, 85/ 
2374, 157/4558 

Byknowen, Byknowe, to acknow- 
ledge, 146/4211, 175/5107; p.p. 
B.ykuowen, 90/2514 

Byleve, believe, 28/695 

Byname, an additional name, 84/ 


Bynejjen, beneath, 49/1295 
Bynomen (p.p.\ taken from, 124/ 

Bynyme, to deprive of, take away, 

43/1117, 70/1930 
Byreft, bereft, 33/837 
Byseche, to beseech, 86/2408 
Bysmoked, besmoked, 5/49 
Byspotte, to defile, 73/2009 
Bystowe, to bestow, 24/585 
Bysynesse, toil, 184/75 
Bytake, to entrust, 32/808 

Bytide (pret. BYTIDDE, p.p. BY- 
TID), to befall, happen, 20/474, 
151/4360, 155/4467 
Bytwene, between, 6/54 
Bytwixen, betwixt, 132/3785 
Bytynge, biting, sharp, 63/1721 
Bywepe, to weep for, 26/644 
Byweyle, to bewail, 26/643 

Caitif, Caytif, wretched, 21/489, 

Careyne, carcase, corpse, 116/ 

3307 - 
Cariages, taxes (vectigalia), 15/ 


Celebrable, commendable, noted, 

84/2320, 147/4257 
Certein, certain, 170/4952 
Cese, to cease, 36/904, 130/3716 
Cesse, to cease, 133/3821 
Chalenge, to claim, 52/1380 

Chastie, Chastysen, to chastise, 

125/3579, 145/4170 
Chayere, chair; seat, 21/503 

Cheminey, furnace (caminus), 1 2/ 


Cheryce, to cherish, 181/52 
Chesen, to choose, 76/2096 
Cheyn, chain, 8/122 

Chiere, CHERE, CHOERE, face, 
countenance, 8/123, 12/232, 108/ 

Chirkynge, groaning (stridens), 


Claire, a kind of wine, 50/1329 
Cleer, serene, 45/1168 

Clepe, to call, 4/17, 11/188, 17/ 


Clifte, fissure, cleft, 130/3721 
Cliven, CLIVE, to stick, cling, ad- 
here to, 41/1050, 101/2858, 159/ 

Cloumben = CLOMBEN, climbed, 

ascended, 57/1533 
Coempcioun, coemption, 15/309 
Coeterne, coeternal, 172/5019 
Colasioun, collation, 125/3569 
Collacioun, comparison, 165/4805 
Coinbred, troubled, 94/2642 
Commoeve, to move, 107/3043 
Commoevyng, moving (excitans), 

Communalite, commonwealth, 14/ 

271, 142/4108 
Comparisoune, to compare, 58/ 

Complyssen, to accomplish, 124/ 




Competent, having the mastery 

(compos\ 172/5012 
Compoune, to compose, form, 87/ 

2419, 93/2598 
Comprende, comprehend, 165/ 

Comunablete, commonwealth, 1 3/ 


Comune, common, 9/140, 15/310 
Confederacie, conspiracy, 53/1399 
Confus, confused, 132/3788 

Conjecte, to conjecture, 27/649, 

Conjoignen, to join, 92/2573 

Conjuracioun, conspiracy, 18/394, 

Consequente, consequence, 84/ 

Constreyne, to constrain, con- 
tract, 5/38 

Consuler (CONSEILER), consul, 5 1/ 
1364, 1366 

Consumpt (consumptus), con- 
sumed, 60/1632 

Contek, contest, strife, 130/3745 

Contene, Contienen, to contain, 
comprehend, 24/573, 116/3302 

Contrarien, to be opposed to, ad- 
verse to, 154/4440 

Contrarious, adverse, opposite, 
21/488, 53/1420 

Contrefeten, to counterfeit, 173/ 

Convenably, fitly, conveniently, 

Convict, convicted, 19/440 

Cop, top, summit, 44/1159 

Corage, mind, spirit, 118/3367, 

Corige, to correct, 125/3581 

Corompe, Corrumpe, to become 
corrupt, 98/2766, 96/2697 

Corone, Coroune, a crown, 119/ 

Corsed, cursed, 181/27 
Corsednesse, cursedness, 90/2526 
Corumpynge, corruption, 103/ 


Cosyne, cousin, 106/3020 
Couche, to lay, set, 35/890 
Coupable, guilty, 10/172 
Couth, known, 25/592 
Coveite, to covet, 51/1365 

Covenable, fit, convenient, 97/ 

Covertour, Coverture, covering, 
118/3361, 159/4622 

Covetise, Coveytyse, covetous- 
ness, 20/451, 181/32 

Covine, deceit, collusion, 21/493 

Coyn, money, 180/20 

Great, created, 99/2796 

Crike, creek, 82/2260 

Croppe, top, 69/1877 

Curacioun, cure (curatio), 26/ 


Curage, 30/753. See Corage. 
Cure, care, 64/1753 

Dalf (pret. of delven), dug, delved, 

Damoisel, damsel, 30/762 

Dampnacioun, condemnation, 1 6/ 

Daunten, Dawnte, to subdue, 

daunt, 77/2115, 147/4258 

Debonairly, mildly, 122/3490 

Deboneire, gentle (mitis), 22/519 ; 
good, 88/2450 

Deceivable, deceptive, 77/2124 

Dede, did, 181/28 

Dedid, made dead, 127/3623 

Deef, deaf, 4/18 

Deere, dear, 37/941 

Deef, death, 4/15 



Defautc, fault, defect, 18/402 
Defende, to forbid, 34/859 
Deffcted, enfeebled, weakened 

Defoule, to defile, 21/491, 68/ 


Degrees, steps, 6/54 
Delices, delight, delights (deli- 

citB\ 38/968, 41/1062, 66/1787 
Delitable, delectable, 30/756 
Delitably, delightfully, 108/3078 
Delve, should dig, 151/4352 
Delver, a digger, 151/4359 
Delye, thin, fine, 5/43. Fr. delie. 
Dempne, to condemn, 183/49 
Denoye, to deny, 88/2464 
Departe, to separate, 29/719 
Depelyche, deeply, 160/4647 
Depeynte, to depict, 111/3146 
Depper, deeper, 27/649 

Derke, Derken, to darken, 7/90, 

Derworbe,Derworbi, precious, 31/ 

787, 41/1046 

Desarmen, disarm, 13/241 
Desceivaunce, deception, 81/2240 
Desceive, Desseive, to deceive, 

9/141, 38/967 

Descryven, to describe, 99/2813 
Desmaie, to dismay, 35/896 
Desordene, inordinate, 36/912 
Despoylynge, spoil, prey, 147/ 

Destempraunce, severity, 97/ 


Destinal, fatal, 135/3884 
Destourbe, disturb, 143/4123 
Destrat, distracted, 80/2216 
Destreine, to constrain, bind. 54/ 

Diffinisse, to define, 88/2459, 


Digne, worthy, just, 43/1124, 


Digneliche, worthily, 53/1427 
Dirke, dark, 83/2306 

Dirke, Dirken, to make dark, 

darken, 5/48, 49 
Dirkenesse, darkness, 23/535 
Disceyvable, deceptive, 4/23 
Discardable, discordant, 1 43/41 33 

Discorde, to disagree, 94/2632, 

Discordyng, disagreeing, discord- 
ant, 68/1849 

Discours, judgment, reason, 165/ 

Discressioun, discretion, 93/2594 

Discussed, dispersed, scattered, 9/ 

Disdaignen, to disdain (indig- 

nari), 146/4213 

Disencrese, to decrease, 173/5035 
Disordinaunce, disorder, 150/4324 

Dispenden, to spend, expend, 45/ 

Dispone, to dispose, 135/3864 

Disputisoun, disputation, 1 49/ 

Disseveraunce, separation, 96/ 

Dissimulen, to dissemble, 178/ 

Distempre, intemperate, 1 21/3466 

Distingwed, distinguished, 47/ 


Dite, ditty, 134/3850 
Divinour, diviner, 157/4541 
Domesman, judge, 55/1467 
Doom, judgment, 152/4395 
Doumbe, dumb, 9/138 
Doutous, Dowtos, doubtful, 5/37 
Dowblenesse, duplicity, 182/63 
Drede, dread, 21/497 



Dredeful, timid, 121/3468 
Dredles, fearless, 106/3028 
Dreint, Dreynt, drowned, 

drenched, 4/22, 7/99, 148/4271 
Dresse, to direct, order, 137/3954, 


Drouppe, to drop, 20/455 
Drow, drew, 15/300 
Duelly, duly, 22/530 
Dulle, to become dull, 7/100 
Dure, Duren, to last, 98/2755 
Duske, to make dusk or dim, 5/ 


Dy verses (pl.) 9 divers, 8/120 
Dyvynynge, divination, 15 7/45 41 

Echid, increased, 77/2134 
Echynnys, sea-urchins, 82/2266 

Egalite, equality, evenness (of 

mind), 42/1099 
Egaly, equally, evenly, 43/1108, 


Egge, edge, 180/19 
Egre, sharp, 25/610 
Egren, to urge, excite, 141/4060 
Eir, air, 45/1169 
Ek, Eke, also, 40/1040, 181/36 
Elde, old age, 5/48 
Eldefadir, grandfather, 40/1042 
Elder, older, 89/2493 
Embelise, to embellish, 47/1223 
Emperie, government, 51/1363 
Emperisse, empress, 109/3098 
Empoysenyng, poisoning, 11/206 

Emprente, to imprint, 166/4839 
Emprenten, obtain (translates the 
Latin, impetrent\ 159/4596. Per- 
haps a mistake for empetren. 
Emptid, exhausted, 5/34 
Enbaissynge, a debasing, 109/3107 
Enbrase, embrace, 142/4092 

Enchaufen, to make hot, chafe, 

Encharge, to impose, 178/5214 

Enchaunteresse, enchantress, 1 23/ 


Endamagen, to damage, 15/316 
Endirken, to obscure, 120/3418 
Enditen, to indite, 4/4 

Enfourme, to inform, instruct, ll/ 
212, 13/263 

Enhaunse, Enhawnse, to raise, 
exalt (enhance), 33/825 

Enlace, to bind, entangle, enter- 
twine, perplex, 13/245, 80/2207, 

Enoynte, to anoint, 36/923 
Eripeyren, to impair, 120/3418, 


Ensample, example, 9/151 
Entalenten, to excite, 168/4876 

Entecche, defile, pollute, 120/ 

Entendyng, intent, looking sted- 

fastly on, 8/126 
Entente, to intend, 150/4345 

Ententes, endeavours, labours, 7/ 

Ententif. attentive, intent, 12/ 

223, 29/731 
Ententifly, attentively, 103/2931 

Enterchaimge, to interchange, 65/ 
1785, 131/3753 

Entercomunynge, commerce, com- 
munication, 57/1528 

Entermedle, to intermix, 54/1436 

Entre (adytum), 30/751 

Entrechaunge, to interchange, 39/ 

Entrelaced, intermingled, en- 
tangled, 105/2981 

Entremete, intermeddle, 104/ 

Enveneme, to poison, infect, 1 20/ 



Envirounc, to surround, 34/848, 

Environynge, circumference, 164/ 

Erjjeliche, Erpelyche, earthly, 52/ 

1378, 69/1888 

Erye, to plough, ear, 71/1964 
Eschapen, to escape, 41/1054 

Eschaufe, to become hot, to burn, 

Eschewen, to avoid, escape, 177/ 


Eschuynge, eschewing, 99/2802 
Establisse, to establish, 15/311 

Eterne, eternal; fro eterne = from 

eternity, 153/4422 
Eternite, eternity, 171/4986 
Evenliche, evenly, 25/599 
Everyche, every, 11/190; each, 


Evesterre, evening star, 22/510 
Excussyoun, execution, 184/65 

Exercen, to exercise, practise, 52/ 


Exercitacioun, exercise, 140/4034 
Exilynge, banishment, 11/205 
Exite, to excite, 168/4881 
Eyen, eyes, 183/36 
Eyer, air, 170/4962 

Fader, father, 18/414 
Familarite, familiarity, 30/740 
Familers, familiars, 18/407 

Fantesye, fancy, inclination, 18 1/ 


Fasoun, fashion, 62/1693 
Feffe, (?) 38/966 
Fel, felle, fierce 
Felawschipe, to accompany, 111/ 


Felefold, manifold, 30/738 
Felliche, fiercely, 39/997 

Felnesse, fierceness, 25/618 

Felonous, wicked, depraved, IS/ 

Felonye, crime, 124/3542 
Fer, far, 23/554 
Ferm, firm, 78/2148 
Fermely, firmly, 157/4550 
Feme, fern, 64/1741 
Feme, distant, 60/1621 
Ferfe, fourth, 56/1509 
Festivaly, gaily, 59/1581 
Festne, to fasten, fix, 10/166 
Fette, fetched, 180/22 
Fey, faith, truth, 112/3178 

Ficchen, to fix, fasten, 45/1164, 

Fieblesse, feebleness, 81/2240, 


Fille, abundance, 48/1269 
Flaumbe, flame, 98/2761 
Fleme, to banish, 29/723 
Fles, fleece, 180/18 

Flete, Fleten, to float, flow, pass 
away, abound, 8/118, 28/690, 146/ 
4223, 152/4376 

Fletynge, flowing, 71/1961 
Fley, flee, 149/4289 
Fleyen, to flee, 125/3584 
Flies, fleece, 50/1330 
Flitte, to remove, 68/1853 

Flittyng, changing, fickle, 78/ 


Flityng, flitting, 12/220 
Flotere, to float, 99/2817 
Floterynge, floating, 87/2420 
Flouren, to flourish, 131/3763 
Fodre, fodder, 148/4267 
Foleyen, Folyen, to act foolishly, 

67/1821, 1826 
Folyly, foolishly, 12/220 
Fooldest, foldest, 105/2984 



Forbrek, broke, interrupted, 108 / 

Fordoon, to undo, destroy, 62/ 


Fordryven, driven about, 12/215 
Foreyne, foreign, 34/851 
Forghe, furrow, 170/4959 
Forheved, forehead, 16/346 
Forknowyng, foreknowledge, 178 

Foiieften, left (pret. of forleve, 

linqvo), 9/150 
Forlete, to cease, 96/2697 ; leave, 

forsake, 22/525 

Forleten (p.p.), neglected, for- 
saken, 5/47 
Forliven, degenerate from (de- 

genero], 78/2163 

Forlorn, lost, 34/858, 121/3452 
Forme, an error for /erne, to make 

firm, 23/547 

ForpampredjOverpampered, 180/5 
Fors, force ; ' no fors,' no matter, 


Forsweryng, perjury, 23/536 
Forpenke, to be sorry, grieved, 

Forbere, to further, promote, 41/ 


Forjjest, farthest, 136/3918 
Forjji, therefore, 28/689 

Fortroden, trodden upon, 

trampled, 109/3100 
Fortunel, fortuitous, 152/4379 

Fortunause, Fortuouse, fortuitous, 

26/639, 38/983, 132/3779 
Forwes, furrows, 180/12 
Forwiter, forekiiower, 178/5204 
Foryetyn, forgotten, 101/2872 
Fouiidement, foundation, 98/2754 
Fowel, bird, 107/3053 
Fram, from, 70/1931 
Freele, frail, 61/1658 

Frete, to eat, devour, 147/4252 
Frounce, flounce, 9/147 
Fructe, fruit, 180/3 

Frutefiyng, fructifying, fruitful, 


Fulfilling, satisfying, 79/2178 

Fycche, fix, 108/3073. See 

Fyn, end, 69/1892 

Gabbe, ' gabbe If am I deceived ? 

Galentyne, a dish in ancient 
cookery made of sopped bread and 
spices (Halliwell), 180/16 

Galles, galls, 181/47 

Gapen, to desire, be greedy for, 

15/324, 36/910 
Gapinge, desire, 36/910 
Gastnesse, terror, fear, 75/2079 
Geaunt, giant, 104/2966 
Gentilesse, nobility, 78/2154 

Geometrien, geometrician, 9 1/ 


Gerdoned, rewarded, 120/3410 
Gerdoun, reward, 13/265 
Gerner, garner, 15/305 

Gesse, Gessen, to deem, suppose, 
estimate, 17/378, 19/416, 65/1782 
Gessinge, opinion, 21/475 
Gest, guest, 38/979 
Gideresse, a female guide, 108/ 


Gise, guise, mode, 71/1943 
Giser, gizzard, 107/3054 
Glotonus, greedy, 26/620 
Gnodded, pounded, 180/11 
Gobet, a bit (of gold), 51/1349 
Godhed, divinity, 122/3492 
Goost, spirit, ghost, 40/1036 
Governaile, government (guber- 
i, 27/651 




Malice, nefas, wickedness, 20/466 
Malyfice, mdleficium, 20/468 
Manace, menace, 12/232 
Manase, to menace, 118/3365 
Manassynge, threatening, 44/1 158 

Mareis, Mareys, marsh, 56/1513, 


Margarits, pearls, 94/2650 
Marye, pith, marrow, 97/2744 
Maugre, in spite of, 70/1928 
Mede, meed, reward, 91/2555 

Medle, to mix, Medefyng, mixing, 
mixture, 20/449, 122/3482, 126/ 

Meenelyche, moderate, 28/706 
Meistresse, mistress, 17/363 
Melle, mill, 180/6 

Mene, the mean or middle path, 


Meremaydenes, mermaids, 7/83 
Merken, to mark, 16/346 

Mervaille, Merveile, marvel, 18/ 

403, 132/3787 

Merveilen, to marvel, 46/1205 
Mervelyng, wondering, 10/161 
Mest, most, 42/1081 
Mesuren, to measure, 65/1782 

Meyne, servants, domestics, 47/ 


Mirie, pleasant, sweet, 4/16 
Mirinesse, pleasure, 66/1793 
Misericorde, mercy, pity, 1077 

Mistourne, to misturn, mislead, 


Mochel, great, 62/1674, 109/3110 
Moeveable, mobile, fickle, 133/ 

Moeven, to move, 8/112, 150/ 

Moewyng, moving, motion, 130/ 


Mokere, to hoard up, 45/1182 

Mokere, miser, 45/1182. A mis- 
take for mokerere. 
Moleste, trouble, grief, 85/2346 
Monstre, prodigy, 18/403 
More, greater, 129/3697 
Morwe, morning, 22/513 
Mosten (pi), must, 166/4836 
Mot, must, 40/1038 
Mowen, be able, 25/608 

Mowynge, ability, power, 124/ 


Myche, much, 21/475 
Mychel, much, 46/1215 
Myntynge, purposing, endeavour- 
ing, 7/101 

Myrie, pleasant, 45/1165 
Myrily, pleasantly, 59/1582 
Myrj>es, pleasures, 132/3782 
Mys, badly, wrongly, 131/3772 

Mysese, grievance, trouble, 157 


Mysknowynge, ignorant, 61/1659 
Mysweys, wrong paths, 149/4309 

Naie, to refuse, 4/19 

Nake, to make naked, 148/4288 

Nameles, unrenowned, 131/3762 

Namelyche, Namly, especially, 


Nare, were not, 10/176 
Nart, art not, 23/556 
Narwe, narrow, 57/1520 
Nas, was not, 180/9 
Najjeles, nevertheless, 6/57 
Nat, not, 23/556 
Necesseden, necessitated, 8 7/2 419 
Nedely, of necessity, 84/2334 
Negardye, (&.) misers, 183/53 
ISTere, were not, 26/646 



Nejjemaste, lowest, nethermost, 


Nejjereste, lowest, 6/50 
Newe, to renew, 137/3938 
Newliche, recently, 122/3489 
Nice, foolish, 148/4287 
Nil, will not, 107/3055 
Nillynge, being unwilling, 97/ 


Nilt, wilt not, 112/3193 
Ms, is not, 12/218 
Niste, knew not, 102/2882 
Noblesse, nobleness, 37/947 

Nobley, nobility, nobleness, 37/ 


Nolden, would not, 52/1369 
Norice, nurse, 10/167 
Norisse, to nourish, 79/2174 
Norry, nursling, pupil, 10/173 
Norssinge, nourishment, support, 

47/1231 ; nutriment, 37/932 
Not, know not (1st pers.), 27/ 


Notful, useful, 7/85 
Nounpower, impotence, 75/2074 
Noujjir, neither, 160/4644 

Noyse, to make a noise (about a 

thing), to brag, 79/2171 
Nurry (see Norry), 86/2386 
Nys, is not, 45/1175 

0, one, 24/564 

Obeisaunt, obedient, 13/266, 32/ 


Object, presented, 168/4889 
Occupye, to seize, 146/4227 
Offence, hurt, damage, 180/19 
Offensioun, offence, 20/473 
Olifuntj, elephants, 80/2223 
Onknowyn, unknown, 180/6 
Onlyche, only, 171/4968 

Onone, Onoon, at once, anon, 

23/553, 74/2027 
Ony, any, 21/488 
Ooned, united, 135/3879 
Oor, oar, 50/1338 
Oosteresse, hostess, 122/3495 
Or, ere, before, 9/143 
Ordeinly, orderly, 140/4044 
Ordenour. ordainer, 109/3110 
Ordeyne, orderly, 109/3109 
Ordinat, ordered, settled, 12/229 
Ordinee, orderly, 102/2902 
Ordure, filth, 29/716 
Ostelment}, furniture, goods, 48/ 

Ojjerweyes, otherwise (aliter), 


Outerage, excess, 50/1326 
Outerest, extremest, remotest, 55/ 

1469, 89/2476 

Outerly, utterly, 108/3081 
Outraien, do harm (?), 78/2162 
Over-comere, conqueror, 8/109 
Overmaste, highest, uppermost, 

Overmyche, overmuch, very much, 


Overoolde, very old, 11/209 
Overjjrowen, prostrate, 21/497 

Overjjrowyng, forward, head- 
strong, 7/99, 141/4058 
Overtymelyche, untimely, 4/13 

Owh, an exclamation (papcv), 

Owtrage, excess, 180/5 

Paied, satisfied, 58/1549 
Paleis, pale, 24/574 
Palude, marsh, 148/4262 
Paraventure, peradventuip, 1 8/ 

Parchemyn, parchment, 166/4835 



Parsoners, sharers, partakers, 

Parties, without a share, 120/ 

Pas, paces, 19/442 

Paysyble, peaceable, peaceful, 

Peisible, quiet, placid, 23/550, 


Percen, to pierce, 81/2236 
Perdurable, lasting, perpetual, 

5/44, 21/503 
Perdurablete, immortality, 58/ 

Perfitlyche, Perfitly, perfectly, 

87/2426, 133/3833 
Perfourny, to afford, furnish, 67/ 


Perisse, to perish, 96/2712 
Perturbacioun, perturbation, 7/98 
Perverte, to destroy, 11/201 
Peyne, punishment, 121/3439 
Piment, a kind of drink, 50/1329 
Plent6, fulness, 173/5037 
Plentevous, affluent, 67/1824 
Plentivous, yielding abundantly, 

fertile, 64/1739 

Plentivously, abundantly, 25/592 
Plete, argue, plead, 33/833 

Pletyngus, pleadings, debates 

(at law), 70/1933 

Pleyne, to complain, 31/777 , 
Pleynelyche, plainly, 28/681 
Pleynt, complaint, 110/3122 

Plonge, Ploungen, to plunge, 7/ 
89, 65/1784 

Ploungy, wet, rainy (imbrifer), 

Polute, polluted, 20/450 

Pose, to put a case, cf. put a 
poser, 162/4686 

Poustc, power, 131/3765 

Pownage, pasturage, 180/7 
Poyntel, style, 166/4838 
Preiere, prayer, 107/3044 
Preisen, to estimate, judge, 7/379 
Preisynge, praising, 77/2131 
Preke, to prick, 85/2346 
Prenostik, prognostic, 183/54 
Presentarie, present, 178/5196 
Preterit, preterite, past, 171/4990 
Pretorie, the imperial body-guard, 


Preve, secret, 121/3464 
Preven, to prove, 90/2503 
Prie, to pray, 25/600 

Pris, value ; ' worjri of pris,' pre- 
cious, 24/583 

Proche, to approach, 145/4182 
Proeve, to approve, 154/4456 
Punisse, to punish, 22/531 

Puplisse, to publish, spread, pro- 
pagate, 58/1549, 98/2753 
Purper, purple, 25/617 
Purpose, to propose, 176/5148 

Purveaunce, providence, 134/ 

Purveiable, provident, foreseeing, 


Purveie, to ordain, order, 21/478 
Purvyance, providence, 99/2795 

Quereles, complaints, 70/1932 
Quik, living, 134/3839 
Quyene, queen, 183/43 
Quyerne, a mill, 180/6 

Eafte, bereft, 147/4259 
RaJ>er, earlier, former, 30/735 
Raviner, a plunderer, 12/228 
Ravische, to snatch, 11/190 
Ravyne, plunder, rapine. 15/302, 



Ravynour, plunderer, 121/3460 
Ravysse, to carry off, 131/3774 
Real, royal, 19/420 
Recche, to care, reck, 33/827, 38 

Recompensacioun, recompense, 

Recorde, to recount, recall, 92/ 

2580, 101/2871 

Reddowr, severity, rigour, 182/13 
Redenesse, redness, flushing, 7/88 
Redoutable, venerable, 131/3763 
Redoute, to fear, 10/178, 57/1535 
Redy = rody, red, ruddy, 39/995 
Refet, refreshed, 143/4116 
Reft (away), carried off, 22/521 
Refut, refuge, 94/2644 
Regne, kingdom, 67/1843 
Regnen, to reign, rule, 29/726 
Remewe, to remove, 19/441 
Remorde, to vex, trouble, 140/ 

Remuable, able to remove from 

one place to another, 168/4898 
Remuen, to remove, 52/1394 
Renomed, renowned, 41/1070, 


Renovele, to renew, 98/2752 
Replenisse, to replenish, 20/469 
Repreve, to reprove, 167/4857 
Repugnen, to be repugnant to, 


Requerable, desirable, 52/1377 
Requere, to require, 99/2790 
Rescowe, to recover, 133/3809 
Rescowe, to rescue, 35/881 
Resolve, to loosen, melt, 1 33/381 4 
Resoune, to resound, 107/3036 
Rethoryen, rhetorical, 30/759 

Rewlyche, pitiable, sorrowful, 


Risorse = recourse (recursus), 

course, 8/108 
Rody, ruddy, 143/4122 
Roos, roes, 82/2258 
Rosene, roseat, 8/117 
Route, company, 47/1243 
Royle, to run, roll, 29/717 
Rynnyng, running, 50/1335 
Ry^twisnesse, righteousness, 

equity, 16/331 

Sachel, satchel, sack, 12/223 
Sad, stable, 41/1064 
Saddenesse, stability, 110/3123 
Sarpuler, a sack made of coarse 

cloth (Sarcinula\ 12/223 
Sauuacioun, safety, salvation, 


Sau3, Say, saw, 8/106, 9/137 
Saye, sawest, 37/958 
Schad, shed, 4/13 
Schrew, a wicked person, a 

wretch, 12/217 
Schrewed, wicked, 18/398 
Schrewednesse, wickedness, 18/ 

401, 117/3324 
Schronk, shrunk, 5/38 
Schulden (pi.), should, 9/132 
Schullen (pi.), shall, 25/605 
Scorn, foam, froth, 148/4281 
Scripture, writing, 17/382 
Sege, seat, 13/258 
Seien (pi.), saw, 51/1344 
Seien (p.p.), seen, 6/54 
Selde, seldom, 133/3818 
Seler, cellar, 35/890 
Selily, happily, blissfully, 42/1 076 
Selve, very, 5/42 
Semblable, like, 48/1279 
Semblaunce, likeness, 142/4106 
Semblaunt, appearance, counten- 
ance, 5/31 



Senglely, singly, 85/2369 
Sensibilites, sensations, 166/4830 
Servage, servitude, 153/4411 
Sewe, to follow, 88/2441 
Seye, sawest, 37/955 
Seyntuaries, sanctuaries, 16/343 
Shad, divided, spread, 136/3922 
Sholdres, shoulders, 148/4281 
Sich, such, 6/67 
Sikerly, certainly, 94/2635 

Singler, individual, single, 577 


Singlerly, singly, 135/3890 
Sittyng, fitting, becoming, 10/176 
Skilynge, reason, 137/3931 

Slaken, to slake (hunger), 50/ 


Slede, sledge, 110/3131 
Sleen, Slen, to slay, 53/1409, 


Slou}, slew, 55/1461 
Smaragde, emerald, 94/2650 
Smerte, to smart, pain, 39/1011 
Smot, smote, 147/4254 
SmoJ>e, smooth, 8/112 
Sodeyn, sudden, 10/161 
Somedel, somewhat, 25/606 
Somer, summer, 22/517 
Songen (p.p.), sung, 108/3078 
Soory, sorry, grievous, 38/978 
So]>e, true, 17/377, 118/3352 
So]?efastly, truly, 89/2481 
Sojjely, truly, 169/4918 
Sojjenesse, truth, 26/641 
Sothfast, true, 61/1652 
Soun, sound, 68/1852 
Soune, to sound, 37/929 

Sounyng, sounding, roaring, 87 

Sovereyne, supreme, 90/2508 

Sovereynely, supremely, 91/2545 
Sourmounte, to surpass, 80/2223 
Spece, species, 165/4789 

Speculacioun, looking, contem- 
plation, 153/4408 
Spedeful, Spedful, efficacious, 

conducive, 125/3570, 161/4671 
Speden, to make clear, explain, 


Spere, sphere, 8/108 
Sperkele, spark, 104/2971 
Sprad, spread (p.p.), 9/156 
Stablete, stability, 137/3950 
Stablise, to establish, 134/3860 
Stably, firmly, 135/3890 
Stappe, step, 170/4963 
Staunche, to satisfy, 71/1948, 

Stere, to move (agitare), 106/ 


Sterre, star, 36/903 
Sterry, starry, 36/904 
Sterten, to start, 104/2971 
Stidefastnesse, stability, strength, 


Stidfast, steadfast, 182/17 
Stien, to ascend, 88/2444 
Stiere, steer, rudder (gulernacu- 

lum), 103/2926 
Stiern, stern, 60/1628 
Stoon, stone, 45/1165 
Stormynge, making stormy, 29/ 


Stont, stands, 9/154 
Stoundes, times, 178/5187 
Strait, stretched, extended, 170/ 


Strengere, stronger, 12/221 
Strenke]}, strength, 12/240 
Streyhte, stretched, 63/1702 
Streyne, to restrain, 150/4325 



Strond, strand, 51/1339 
Strook, stroke, 153/4433 
Strumpet, 6/66 
Stye, to ascend, 143/4117 
Stynte, to stop, 37/929 
Styntynge, stopping, ceasing, 6 1/ 

Suasioun, persuasion (suadela), 


Subgit, subject, 48/1273 
Submytte, to compel, force (sum- 

mitto^ 19/434 
Sudeyn, sudden, 30/752 
Suffisaunce, sufficiency, 70/1922 
Suffisaunt, sufficient, 70/1924 

Suffisauntly, sufficiently, 133/ 

Summitte, Summytte, to submit, 

Superfice, surface, 81/2238 
Supplien, to supplicate, 80/2210 
Surte, security, 181/46 
Sustigne, to sustain, 183/41 

Sweighe, whirl, circular motion 

(turbo\ 22/504 
Swerd, sword, 19/438 
Swety, sweaty, 181/28 
Sweyes, whirlings, 32/816 
Swich, such, 20/446 
Swolwe, to swallow, 98/2777 
Syker, secure, safe, 12/224, 16/ 

Sykernesse, security, safety, 9/ 


Symplesse, simplicity, 136/3914 
Syn, since, 31/789 
Syjjen, since, 32/802 

Talent, affection, desire, will, 6/ 

71, 168/4887 

Taylage, tollage, 181/524 
fear, need, 38/987 

Jperwhiles, whilst, 176/5150 
feilke, the same, that, 99/2814 
feo, feoo (pZ.),the,l 1/200, 1 68/4886 
feondre, thunder, 45/1166 
]5oru3, through, 11/202 
jpreschefolde, threshold, 7/89 
fcrest, thirst, 36/914, 71/1945 

fereste, feresten, thrust, 47/1237, 


Throf, throve, flourished, 74/2050 
Jprust, thirst, 107/3053 
Til, to, 69/1891 
Tilier, a tiller, 151/4352 
To-breke, break in pieces, 88/2447 

Todrowen (pl.) t drew asunder, 


Toforne, before, 177/5184 
Togidres, together, 53/1421 
To hepe, together, 140/4029 
Tokene, to token, 26/624 
Tollen, to draw, 56/1496 
Torenten (pL), rent asunder, ll/ 

To-teren, tear in pieces, 68/1865 

Traas, Trais, trace, track, 170/ 

4958, 4963 
Transporten, throw on (trans- 

ferre), 19/419 

Travaille, labour, toil, 10/174 
Travayle, to toil, labour, 64/1754 
Travayle, labour, 148/4286 
Tregedie, tragedy, 77/2126 
Tregedien, tragedian, 77/2125 
Trenden, to roll, turn, 100/2835 
Troublable, troublesome, IIS/ 

Trouble, turbid, stormy, 29/711 

Troubly, troubled, cloudy (nubi- 

lus}, 133/3819 
Trowen, to trow, believe, 20/46B, 




Twitre, to twitter, 68/1875 
Twynkel, to wink, 38/971 
Tylienge, tilling, 151/4347 
Tyren, to tear, 107/3055 

Umblesse, humility, 181/55 
Unagreable, unpleasant, disagree- 
able, 4/25 

UnassaieJ?, untried, 42/1082 
Unbitide, not to happen, 16 1/ 


Unbowed, unbent, 148/4284 
Uncovenable, unmeet, importu- 
nate {importnnus), 141/4058 
Undefouled, undefiled, 40/1023 
Undepartable, inseparable, 120/ 

Underput, put under, subject, 

Understonde, to understand, 30/ 

733, 43/1120 

Undigne, unworthy, 54/1444 
UndirneJ), underneath, 75/2074 

Undiscomfited, not discomfited 

(inmctus), 12/232 
Undoutous, indubitable, 1 49/ 

Uneschewably, unavoidably, 157/ 


Ungentil, ignoble, 41/1070 
Ungrobbed, ungrubbed, 180/14 
Unhonestee, disreputableness, 24/ 


Unhoped, unexpected, 139/4006 
Universite, whole, 165/4797 
Unjoynen, Unjoygnen, to separ- 
ate, 151/4373 
Unknowyng, ignorant, 139/3997 

Unknytten, to unloose (dissolvere), 

Unkonnyng, Unkunnynge, un- 
knowing, ignorant, 7/76, 11/202 

Unkorven, uncut, 180/14 

UnkouJ), unknown, foreign, 34/ 

Unlace, to disentangle, 105/2982 

Unleveful, illicit, unlawful, 154/ 

Unmeke, fierce, cruel, 148/4267 

Unmoeveable, immovable, 136/ 

Unmoeveablete, immobility, 136/ 

Unmysty, weak, impotent, 13/ 


Unne]?, scarcely, 27/652 
Unparygal, unequal, 63/1708 
Unpitouse, cruel, 4/24 
Unpleyten, to explain, 61/1647 
Unplite, explain, unfold, 167/ 


Unpunissed, unpunished, 21/498 
Unpurveyed, unforeseen, 30/743 

Unraced, unbroken, whole, 110/ 

Unry3tful, unjust, 10/185 

Unry^tfully, unrightfully, un- 
justly, 23/533 

Unscience, unreal knowledge, no 
knowledge, 156/4515 

Unsely, wretched, 39/1013 

Unselynesse, wretchedness, 124/ 

Unskilfuly, unwisely, improperly, 

Unsolempne, not famous, not 
celebrated, 11/210 

Unsowe, unsown, 180/10 

Unspedful, unsuccessful, 178/ 

Unstauncheable, unlimited, in- 
finite, 58/1573 

Unstaunched, uncurbed, unre- 
strained, 54/1439 

Unsuitable, intolerable, 79/2179 

Unusage, unfrequency, 57/1528 



Untretable, inexorable, impla- 
cable, 61/1641 

Unwar, unexpected, 35/886 
Unwarly, unaware, unexpectedly, 

Unwemmed, inviolate, 40/1023, 


Unwened, unexpected, 139/4006 
Unwoot, knows not, 175/5099 
Unworshipful, dishonoured, 75/ 


Uphepyng, heaping up, 37/951 
Upsodoun, upside down, 48/1274, 


Upsprong, upsprung, 180/10 
Used, accustomed, wonted, 22/ 

Uterreste, extremest, outermost, 


Vanisse, to vanish, 74/2027 
Variaunt, varying, 22/518 
Vengerisse, a she-avenger, 107/ 


Verray, Verrey, true, 19/429 
Vilfully (Wilsfully), wilfully, 

Voide, having an empty purse 

(vacum\ 50/1316 
Voyded (of), emptied of, free 

from, 181/50 

Wakyng, watchful, 148/4263 
Walwe, to toss, 51/1361 
Walwyng, tossing, 29/712 
Wan, did win, 147/4240 
War, be aware, take care, 145/ 


Warne, to refuse, deny, 37/950 
Wawe, a wave, 8/115 
Wayk, weak, 28/706 
Weep (pret.), wept, 35/883 
Welde, wild, 180/17. It may 

mean boiled, since another copy 
reads wellyd. 

Weleful, Welful, prosperous, joy- 
ful, 4/15 

Welefulnesse, Welfulnesse, pros- 
perity, felicity, 11/188, 21/478 
Welken, to wither, fade, 146/ 


Welkne, welkin, 184/62 
Welle, well, source, 157/4548 
Wende, weened, thought, 53/ 


Wenge, wing, 170/4961 
Wenynge, opinion, 172/5022 
Wepen (p.p.), wept,, 25/596 
Wepli, tearful, 5/29 
Werdes, fates, destinies, 4/10 
Werreye, to make war, 181/25 
Weten, to know, 156/4519 
Wex, wax, 167/4840 
Weyve, to waive, forsake, 29/722 
Wham, whom, 89/2482 
Whelwe, to toss, roU, 39/1001 
Whiderward, whither, 177/5171 
Whist, hushed, 51/1341 
Wierdes, fates, destinies, 12/231 
Wikke, wicked, bad, 64/1743 
Willynge, desire, 178/5203 
Wilne, to desire, 17/367 
Wilnynge, desire, 98/2781 
Wirche, to work, 12/235 
Wirchyng, working, operation, 


Wist, known, 170/4937 
Witen, to know, learn, 88/2458, 

132/3776, 160/4624 
WiJ>drow, withdrew, 64/1751 
Wi)>halden, to withhold, 142/ 

Wiboute forjje, outwardly, 165/ 

WiJ?seid, denied, 90/2501 



Wijjstant, withstand, 29/715 

Wijjstonde (p.p.), withstood, 14y 

Witnesfully, attestedly, publicly. 


Witynge, knowledge, 156/4526 
Wod, woad, 180/17 
Wod, Wode, mad, raging, 12/225 
Wode, wood, 39/995 

Wodenesse, rage, madness, 45/ 

1169, 107/3052 
Wolen (pi), wiU, 94/2645 
Woltow, wilt thou, 97/2741 
Wone, to dwell, 60/1627 

Woode, Wode, furious, mad, 25 / 

Woode, to rage, 123/3515 

Woodnesse, rage, madness, 107/ 

Woot, knows, 43/1128 
Wope, to weep, 36/905 
Worchen, to work, 178/5215 
Wost, knowest, 19/423 

Woxe, to increase, wax, grow, 


Woxen (p.p.), grown, 25/607 
Wrekere, avenger, 128/3665 
Wrekyng, vengeance, 147/4238 
Wropely, grieved, sad, 7/87 

Wry fen, twist, turn, wrest, 154/ 

Wymple, to cover with a veil or 

wimple, 31/774 
Wyt, sense, 164/4771 
Wy^t, wight, person, 19/425 

Yave (pi), gave, 180/4 
Yben, been, 162/4698 
Ybeyen, to obey, 105/2998 
Ycau^t, caught, captured, 118/ 

Ycleped, caUed, 150/4346 

Ydel, in ydd] in vain, 5/43 
Ydred, feared, 33/825 

Yfelawshiped, associated, united, 

Yficched, fixed, 136/3910 
Yfinissed, finished, 125/3558 
Yflit, flitted, removed, 8/108 
Ygeten, gotten, 65/1776 
Yhardid, hardened, 133/3814 
Yheuied, made heavy, 171/4974 
Ylad, led, 37/956, 172/5022 
Ylete, permitted, 130/3730 
Ylett, hindered, 161/4674 
Ylorn, lost, 147/4250 

Ymaginable, possessing imagina- 
tion, 166/4812 
Ymaked, made, 87/2426 
Ymedeled, mixed, 140/4029 
Ynou3, enough, 71/1947 
Yplitid, pleated, folded, 9/147 

155/4467, 4468 
Ysen, seen, 72/1982 
Yshad, shed, scattered, 68/1874 
Yshet, shut, 170/4955 
Ysmyte, smitten, 80/2202 
Yspedd, made clear, determined. 
161/4657 ; despatched, 149/4295 ' 
Yspendyd, examined (expediero), 

Ysprad, spread, 78/2140 

Yspranid, sprinkled, .mixed, 42/ 
1102. .Zfctffi? ysprairid. 

Ystrengebed, strengthened, 175/ 

Yjjewed, behaved, 139/4008 

Yjjrongen, pressed, squeezed, 57/ 

Ytravailed, laboured, 155/4469 

Ytretid, handled, performed, 13 1/ 



Yvel, evil, 105/2976 
Ywened, believed, 145/4178 
Ywist, known, 155/4475 
Ywoven, woven, 6/51 
Ywyst, known, 164/4759 
Y^even, given, 141/4069 

3af, gave, 8/130 

3eelde, 3elde, seldom, 39/1002, 

3eld, yielded, 147/4253 

3elden, to yield, 149/4303 

3eve, to give, 149/4291 

3evyng, giving, 45/1188 

3if, if, 9/131 

3is, yes, 103/2919 

3isterday, yesterday, 171/4994 

3itte, yet, 156/4508 

3ok, 3okke,yoke, 32/802, 60/1620 

3olde (p.p.), yielded, 25/599 

3onge, young, 35/889 

3ouJ>e, youth, 10/168 



Bnngay, Suffolk. 

Morris, R. - Chaucer's "Boece 11