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^;> "^c 

Hl^rtp ^otittp* 







B1 T RICHAKUS. lil. QUEEN Sir.b:&! 




























J. H. DIXON, Esq. 


W. D HAGGARD, Esq, F.S.A. 

Honorary Secretary. 


JAMES PRIOR, Esq., F.S.A., M.R.I.A. 





THOMAS WRIGHT, Esq. M.A., F.S.A , Treas^irer. 


It has been affirmed in works of considerable 
reputation that the subject of the following 
' Passion' was almost wholly unknown to our fore- 
fathers till the period of the Crusaders, when he is 
said to have interposed in behalf of the Christians 
during the expeditions of Richard I. 

This statement is, however, untenable, as will 
be seen by referring to the notices of St. George, 
which belong to Anglo-Saxon history. The 
language of the present poem is of itself sufficient 
to convince us of his general recognition in 
England even before the Norman conquest. The 
MS. was perhaps executed somewhat later, but 
the author of it was none other than -^Ifric, 
archbishop of York, who presided over that see 
between the years 1023 and 1051. This fact has 
been ascertained by collating the Cambridge 
MS. with a volume of ' Lives of Saints,' in the 


Cotton library (Julius, E, vii), unquestionably the 
work of yElfric, as we learn from the preface. 
He also informs us that he had already translated 
two volumes of the same kind, to meet the wishes 
of the English people, while this third was chiefly 
undertaken for the gratification of the monks. 
The pages which relate to St. George agree 
almost literatim with the text of the following 

Nor is this the earliest vestige of St. George 
in Anglo-Saxon literature. We find him in a 
' Marty rology' surviving in Corpus Christi College, 
Cambridge (No. cxcvi, p. 12), given, it would 
seem, by bishop Leofric to the Cathedral Church 
of Exeter, early in the eleventh century.' He 

* I transcribe this Passion at length: "On 
]7one ]7reo and twentigo^an da?g j;pes monies 
(Eostor-month or April) by^ sancte Georius tyd 
Jjses seiSelan martyres, J^one Datianus se casere 
seofen gear myd unasecgendlicum wytum hync 
)?reatode )?at he Cryste wiSsoce; and he na}fre 
hyne ofer-swySan ne myhte. And J?a aefter ]?am 
seofon gearum het he hyne beheafdian. pi he J>a 
wajs gelaed to J^aere beheafdunge )m com fyr of 
heofenum and forbaernde ];one hseScnan casere 
and ealle j^a \q myd hym aer tyntregdon J?onc 
halgan wer. And sancte Georius hym to Dryhtne 


h;id also a place in the Anglo-Saxon ' Ritual of 
the Church of Durham,' published by the Surtees 
Society, and assignable to the beginning of the 
ninth century.* A still older channel by which 

gebaed and ]7us cwae^, ' Haelend Cryst, onfoh 
mynum gaste; and ic J^e bydde ]>at swa hwylc 
man swa myn gemynd on eorSan do, J?onn afyrr 
frara J^aes mannes huse aelce untrumnysse, ne hym 
feond ne sce^^e ne hunger ne man-cwealra ; and 
gif man mynne nama naeme^ on aenigre freced- 
nysse o^^e on sae o^^e on o^rum sy^ saete, J>onne 
fylge se J^ynre myld-heortnysse\ pa com staefen 
of heofenum and cwse^, ' Cum ]>u geblotsode, and 
swa hwylc man swa on aenigre stowe and freced- 
-nysse mynne naman J'urh ]?e cyg^, ic hyne gehyre.' 
And sy^San J^yses halgan weres mihta waeron 
oft mycele gecy^ed. Pa maeg on-gytan se^e rae^ed 
sancte Arculfes boc, |7at se man wses stranglice 
gewytnod, se^e geunarode sancte Georius anlyc- 
nysse, and se wses wy^ hys feondum gescyld 
betweox mycelre frecednysse se"Se hym J^am an- 
lycnysse to Jjyngunge gesohte." In p. 15, there 
is a commemoration of Alexandra, who is men- 
tioned in some legends of St. George as the queen 
of Datianus. 

* p. 52. — The prayer runs thus: God, ^v ^e 
vsig eadges Georg' ^rovres Sines earnvngv "j 


the Anglo-Saxon Church might have become 
acquainted with St. George, is the Gregorian 
Sacramentary, once very generally used in our 
island. It is true, questions have been raised 
touching the genuineness of the ' Preface,' where 
St. George is commemorated by name ; but other 
evidence is not wanting to prove that he was 
already known to Gregory the Great, and there- 
fore to the Roman missionaries, who took part in 
the conversion of the Saxons. For among the 
letters of St. Gregory, there is one in which he 
gives orders for the repair of a church dedicated 
in honour of St. George.* 

But all doubts as to his early introduction 
among our Anglo-Saxon forefathers are removed 
by the testimony of Adamnan, whose treatise 
' de Situ Terras Sanctse' (ed. Ingolstadt, 1619) 
supplies the following curious information. It 
appears that Arculf, the early traveller, on his 
return to his bishopric in France, was carried by 
adverse winds to lona (a.d. 701). At his own 
dictation, a narrative was made of his interesting 
pilgrimage ; and among other particulars we are 

^ingvuge gigladias, gilef rvmlice, ^te "Sa "Se his 
vel-fremnis' vc givga^, gefe giseleuisne gefes ve 

* Lib. ix, Indict, iv, ep. Ixviii. 


told (lib. iii, c. 4) : " Aliam quoque de Georgio 
martyre certara relationem nobis S. Arculfus 
intimavit, quam expertis quibusdam satis idoneis 
narratoribus in Constantinopoli urbe indubitanter 
didicit." In proof of the sanctity of the martyr, 
he subjoins a most singular story touching a man 
who vowed his horse to St. George, as he was 
proceeding on some perilous expedition. Having 
returned in safety, he wished to commute the 
oflFering by the payment of a sum of money. 
Whereupon the saint showed his deep displeasure 
by causing the animal to become restive, when 
his rider had mounted for his departure; and 
after several ineffectual attempts, and the promise 
of some extra shillings, the vow was at length 
literally fulfilled by leaving the horse behind. The 
moral which this story inculcated on the Anglo- 
Saxons is then stated by Adamnan : " Hinc 
manifeste colligitur, quodcumque Domino conse- 
cratur, sive homo erit sive animal (juxta id quod 
in Levitico scriptum est) nullo modo posse redimi 
aut mutari." 

From the same source Bede most probably 
derived the information contained in his Mar- 
tyrology, for he was well acquainted both with 
the travels of Arculf* and the book of Adamnan, 

* Hist. EccL, lib. v, c. 15-17. 


which latter. Indeed, he has epitomised. The 
notice at ix Kalend. Maii, is as follows : " Natale 
S. Georgii martyris, quisnb Datiano,rege Persarura 
potentissinio qui dominabatur super septuaginta 
reges, multis miraculis claruit, plurimosque con- 
vertit ad fidem Christi, simul et Alexandram 
uxorem ipsius Datiani usque ad martyrium 
confortavit. Ipse vero novissime decollatus mar- 
tyrium explevit, quamvis rfesta passionis ejus inter 
apocri/phas connumerentur scripturas.''^ 

This last clause will throw light upon the 
language at the opening of the Anglo-Saxon 
Passion. It is there stated that heretical accounts 
of St. George were not uncommon in the Western 
Church ; and that the compiler of the present 
legend undertook it with the hope of preserving 
the faithful from all further imposition. In what the 
heresy of those legends consisted we are unable 
to ascertain precisely, for the first mention of 
them, which occurs in a catalogue of spurious 
writings drawn up at Rome in 495, does no more 
than enumerate one relating to St. George. It 
may however be conjectured, with considerable 
probability, that the ground of condemnation was 
an alhision respecting St. Athanasius, who appears 
to have been foisted into the narrative at a very 
early period. As in our own legend, he is made 
to play the part of a magician in aid of the tyrant 


Datianus ; and since his adversaries were in the 
habit of taxing him with sorcery, there is reason 
to suspect that' the corruption of the legend is 
due to Arian malice. This at least has been the 
opinion of many writers who have investigated 
the story of St. George, including Baronius, 
Heylin, and the BoUandists. They also maintain, 
that the confusion of our saint with the Cappado- 
cian George, who lived nearly a century later, has 
resulted from similar interpolations.* However 
this may be, it is clear that the author of the 
legend from which our Anglo- Saxon text has 
been derived, reproduced several of the Arian 
elements, notwithstanding his zeal to vindicate 
the saint from all heretical misconstructions. This 
feature of the Passion will be found not the least 

I may add, in conclusion, that the accompa- 
panying version claims no merit beyond that 

* The main channel by which this corruption was per- 
petuated, seems to be a manuscript written in Lombardic 
characters, and referred to the seventh century. Baronius 
speaks of that legend of St. George as " multis procul dubio 
repertam mendaciis", and the BoUandists as " non tantum 
fide sed etiam lectione indignissima." They affirm, how- 
ever, that the basis of the legend was historical, and that 
it was subsequently expurgated by collation with the purer 
accounts of the Eastern Church. 


of a literal correctness, and that the few various 
readings are drawn from the Cotton MS. to which 
I have before alluded. 

C. H. 

St. Catharines Hall, Cambridge, 
June 29, 1«50. 



GEDWOL-menn awrlton 

gcdwyld on heora bocum* 

be ]?am halgan were 

J?e is gehaten Georius.* 

Nu wylle we eow secgan 

]?at soS is be ]?am* 

]>at heora gedwyld ne derie-f* 

digellice aenigum. 

Se halga Georius 

waes in hai'Senum dagum 

rice ealdormann' 

underi |)am re^am casere Datianus§' 

on ]yxrc scire Capadocia. 

)>a het Datianus 

J7a hai]?enan gegaderian* 

* A corruption of Georgius very common in Anglo-Saxon 
and Anglo-Norman MSS. Instances also occur in which 
Georgius has been confounded with Gregorius. t Derige. 

+ Under ^am rcham casere be wa3s Datianus geciged. 

§ The Greek Acts generally read Diocletianv.s, of which 


Misbelievers have written 

Misbelief in their books, 

Touching the saint 

That Georius hight. 

Now will we teach you 

What is true thereabout, 

That heresy harm not 

Any unwittingly. 

The holy Georius 

Was in heathenish clays 

A rich ealclorman, 

Under the fierce Caesar Datianus, 

In the sliire of Cappadocia. 

Then bade Datianus 

The heathen assemble 

Datianus may be a corrupted form. Heylin has endeavoured 
to prove that the Datianus here mentioned was Galerius 
Maximinus, a native of Dacia. — Hist, of St. George, p. 169, 

B 2 


to his deofol-gyklum 

liis Drihtne onteonan* 

and mid manegum J^eowracum 

]?at man-cyn geegsode* 

|>at hi heora lac geofFrodon 

])am leasiim god urn mid him. 

|ja geseah se halga wer 

];a;ra hse^enra gedwyld' 

hu hi )?am deoflum onsasgdon 

and heora Drihten forsawon. 

J>a aspende he his feoh 

unforht on aelmyssum* 

hafenleasum m annum 

]?am Hrelende to lofe* 

and wearS J>urh Crist gebyld 

and cwae'S to ]>am casere* 

Omnes dii gentium [demonia*] 

Dorainus autem coclos fecit. 

Ealle |>a3ra he];enra godas 

syndon gramlice deoflu'f 

and ure Drihten so^lice 

geworhte heofonas. 

J)ine godas casere 

syndon gyldene and sylfrene* 

stffi'ne and treowe*+ 

getreowleasra manna hand-geweorc* 

* Supplied from Cotton MS. t deofla. 

+ stsenene and treowene. 


At his devil-ofFerlngs§ 
His Lord to blaspheme ; 
And with many threatenings 
(So) frightened the people, 
That they offered their gilts 
To the false gods with him. 
Then witnessed the saint 
The heathens' delusion, 
How they were worshijjping devils. 
And despising their Lord. 
Then spent he his wealth 
Cheerful in alms, 
On shelterless men, 
to the praise of the Saviour ; 
And, through Christ, waxed courageous, 
And quoth to the Cffisar, 
" Omnes dii gentium dwmonia 
Dominus autem coelos fecit. \\ 
' All the gods of the heathen 
Are furious demons ; 
And our Lord, in sooth. 
Fashioned the heavens.' 
Thy gods, O Caesar, 
Are of gold and silver, 
Of stone and of tree, 
Of untrue men the hand-work ; 

§ I.e. idolatry. 11 Ps. xcv, o, Q<\. Viilg. 


and ge him wcardas setta^ 
^e hi bewaciaS wiS Jjcofas' 
hwset Sa Datianus 
deoflice geyrsode* 
ongen |?one halgan wer 
and het hine secgan* 
of hwilcere byrig he wicre 
o^^e hwset his nama wxyc. 
]>a. andwyrde Georius 
J>am arleasan and cwse^* 
Ic eom sot)lice Cristcn 
and ic Criste ]>eowie.* 
Georius ic eom gehaten 
and ic habbe ealdordora* 
on minum gearde"f" 
])e is gehaten Capadocia* 
and me bet Ilea's 
to forlfetenne nu" 
]7ysne hwihvendlican wur^mynt 
and ]??cs wuldorfyllan Godes* 
cync-dome gchyrsumian 
on haligre drohtnunge. 
I^a cwte-S Datianus 
]m dwclast Georius* 
gencalicV nu serest 
and geoffra ]nne lac* 
]?am unofcrs\vi]?cndum Ajiollino 
seSe so'Slice maig' 
beowige. t cardc. 


And ye station guards for them, 
Who may them watch against thieves." 
Whereupon Datianus 
Devilishly raged 
Against the holy man, 
And bade him declare 
Of which borough he was, 
Or what was his name ? 
Then answered Georius 
The sinner, and quoth, 
" I am, truly, a christian, 
And to Chi-ist am in thrall. 
My name is Georius, 
jVnd I rank as an ealdorman 
In my own province. 

That is hight Cappadocia ; 

And me it better liketh 

To forfeit at once 

This temporal honour, 

And the glorious God's 

Empire to follow 

In pureness of living." 

Then quoth Datianus, 
*' Thou art astray, O Georiu?^, 

Therefore come first 

And offer thy gift 

To unconquercd Apollo, 

AVho doubtless is able 


|>inre nytennysse gemiltsian 

and to his man-rsedene gebigan. 

Georius J?a befrau 

l^one feondlican Casere* 

hwaSer* is to lufigenne 

oj7|?e hwam lac to offrigennc 

J7am hfelende Criste 

ealra worulda-f- alusend*:]: 

o]/]?e Apolline 

ealra deofla ealdre. 

hwa3t ]7a Datianus 

mid deoflicum graman* 

het ]?one halgan wer 

on hengene ahebban'§ 

and mid isenum clawum 

clifrian his lima* 

and on-tendan blasan|| 

xt bam his sidanll' 

and het hinc ]7a siSban 

of |)8ere ceastrc aUcdan* 

and mid swinglum Jjicagan 

and mid sealtan* gnidan* 

ac se halga wer 

wunode ungederod. 

J7a het se Casere 

hine on cwcartcrnf don* 

* hwae^er. t woruldra. t alysend. 

§ ahaebban (which is probably the true reading). 


Thy folly to pardon, 
And to his allegiance to bend." 
Georius then asked 
The fiend-like Caesar, 
" Whether one should love. 
Or to which offer gifts, 
To the merciful Christ, 
Everlasting Redeemer, 
Or else to Apollo, 
Of all devils the chief?" 
Whereupon Datianus, 
With devilish fury. 
Gave order the saint 
In prison to hold, 
And with iron claws 
To harrow his limbs, 
And set torches on fire 
At both sides of him : 
And bade him thence forth 
From the city to lead, 
And with scourges chastise, 
And rub (him) with salt. 
Notwithstanding the saint 
Uninjured abode. 
Then ordered the Caesar 
Him in prison to lay, 

II blysan. ^ sidum. 

* sealte. t cwearternc. 



and hct gcaxlan ofer call 

sumne scltewne dry. 

]fa geaxode J^at - 

Athanaslus se dry'* 

and com to ]>am Casere 

and hine caflice befran* 

hwi hete 'Su me feccan 

|;us focrllce to ]>e' 

Datianus andwurde 

Athanasius ]?us* 

miht ]>n adw?escan 

j^cera Cristcnra dry-crieft" 

J^a andwyrde se dry' 

Datiane J?U8' 

liat cuman to me 

j7one crlstenan man* 

and ic beo scyldig 

gif ic his scm-craeft* 

ne ma3g mid ealle advvacscan 

mid minum dry-craifte. 

)?a facgnode Datianus 

)>at he funde swylcne dry* 

and het of cweartcrne hcdan 

|?one Godcs cempan* 

and cwa;'S to ]:'am halgan 

mid hctelicum mode* 

for ^c Geori 

ic bcgcat J/isne dry' 



And inquire above all 

For some eminent mage. 

Then news thereof heard 

Athanasius, the mage, 

And he came to the Caisar, 

And inquired of him quick, 
" Why badest thou fetch mc 

Thus suddenly to thee ?" 

Datiauus answered 

Athanasius thus : 
" Canst thou extinguish 

The Christians' magic ?" 

Then answered the mage 

To Datian thus : 
*' Bid come unto me 

The Christian man, 

And I am a sinner 

If I his illusion 

Do not quite extinguish 

By means of my magic." 

Datianus was fain 

That he found such a mage, 

And bade lead from prison 

The champion of God ; 

And quoth to the saint 

In vehement mood, 
" For thy sake, Georius, 

I have got mc this mage : 


of'er-swiS his dry-craft 
o'S'Se he "Se ofer-swyiSe* 
o]f]>e he ]>e fordo 
o'S^e ]hi fordo hine. 
Georius Jm beheold 
]jone hsej^enan dry'' 
and cwse^ ];at he gesawe 
Cristas gife on him. 
Athanasius Sa 
heardlice* genam* 
senne micelne bollan 
mid bealuwe afulled'*)- 
and deoflanj betsehte 
]7one drenc ealnc" 
and sealde him drincan 
ac hit him ne derode. 
]?a cwpe^ eft se dry'* 
gyt ic do an ]?ing" 
and gif him J^at ne dera"S 
ie buge to Criste. 
lie genam ^a ane cuppan 
mid cwealra-bserum drscncc 
and clypode swySe 
to |>am sweartum deoflum* 
and to ];am fyrmestum deoflum 
and to }>am full strangum" 
and on heora nam an begol 
J>one gramlican drenc. 
* ardlice. t afyllcd. + deoHuni. 


ercoine thou his magic, 
Or let him o'ercome thee : 
Either he do for thee, 

Or thou do for him." 
Then Georius beheld 
The heathenish mage. 
And quoth that he saw 
Christ's favour on him. 
Athanasius then 
Hastily took 
A bowl of great size 
With torment full-filled, 
And to devils devoted 
The whole of the drink, 
And gave him to drink ; 
But it injured him not. 
Then added the mage, 
" I do one thing more. 
And if that do not harm him 

1 bow unto Christ." 
He then took a cup 
Of death-bearing drink. 
And earnestly called 
On the swarthy devils, 
And the foremost of devils. 
And devils full strong ; 
And in their name enchanted 
The horrible drink. 


sealde |?a drincan 

J7am Drihtncs hal<jjan' 

ac him naht ne derodc 

sc deoflica waj'ta. 

J?a geseah se dry' 

|>at he him derian no mihte' 

and feoll to his fotum 

fuluhtes* biddende* 

and se halga Georius 

hine sona gefullode. 

hvvset "Sa Datianus 

deoflice wcar^S gram* 

and het geniman J)one dry'- 

ye 'Saer gelyfde on God* 

and laedan of J?a3re byrig 

and beheafdian sona. 

Eft on J>am o]?rum da;ge 

het se arleasa Cascre* 

gebindan Gcorium 

on anum bradum hweowle* 

and twa sccarpe swurd 

settan him to-geanes* 

and twa up ateon 

and under-baec sceofan. 

]>a gebaid Georius 

hine bealdhce to Godc* 

Deus in adjutoriuni nieum intcndc 

Domine ad adjuvandum me festina. 

* fulluhtes. 


Gave (it) then to drink 

To the saint of the Lord ; 

But no wise it harmed him. 

The devilish wet. 

Then the mage ascertained 

That he could not him harm. 

And fell at his feet. 

Imploring baptism ; 

And the holy Georius 

Baptized him forthwith. 

Whereupon Datianus 

Waxed devilishly fierce, 

And bade take the mage, 

AVho there trusted in God, 

And lead (him) out of the borough. 

And behead (him) forthwith. 

On the following day 

Bade the impious Caesar 

To fasten Georius 

Upon a broad wheel, 

And a pair of sharp swords 

Against him to fix, 

And so up to draw, 

And backwards to shove. 

Then Georius prayed 

Him boldly to God, 

Deus in adjutorium meum intende 

Domine ad adjuvandum me/estina.i 

f Common ejaculations in the Offices of the western 


])iit is, God beseoh "Sii' 

(»u minum fultume* 

Drihteu cfst ])u*- 

me to fultumigenne. 

and he weai-S gebroht 

mid }>isum gebede on ]7am liwcowle. 

J)a tyrndon ]>a haej^enan 

hetelice |?at hweowol' 

ac hit sona to-bserst 

and beah to eor'San ; 

and se halga wer 

wunode ungederod. 

Datianus ]?a 

dreorig wear"S on mode* 

and swor J?urh "Sa sunnan 

and ]>\irh ealle his godas* 

J^at he mid mislicum witum 

hine wolde fordon. 

)?a cwse'S se eadiga 

Georius him to* 

)jine ]?cowracan 

synd hwilwendlice* 

ac ic ne forhtige 

for "Sinum gebeote. 
, 5u haefest minne lichaman 

on ^iuum anwealde* 

church : see, for example, Rituale EcclesioB Dunelmensis. 
p. 1G9, ed. Surtees Society. 


That is, " Look thou, O God, 
Upon my support, 
Haste thee, O Lord, 
To succour and save." 
And he was brought 
With this prayer to the wheel. 
Then turned the heathen 
Hotly the wheel. 
But it soon burst asunder, 
And bowed to the earth ; 
And the holy man 
Continued unhurt. 
Thereupon Datianus 
Waxed dreary in mood, 
And swore by the sun, 
And by the whole of his gods, 
That with divers torments 
He would do him to death. 
Then quoth the blessed 
Georius to him, 
" Thy comminations 
Are but for a time. 
But naught do I quail 
Because of thy threats. 
Thou boldest my body 
Within thy dominion. 

]?u nu. t ha gebroht. 




ac Su naefst swa ]>ea]\ 
mine sawle ac God. 
]7a het se Casere 
his cwelleras feccan* 
senne serenne hwer 
and hine ealne afullan"^- 
mid weallendum leade 
and lecgan Georium* 
innan Jjone hwer 
])SL ^a he hatostt wses. 
J7a ahof se halga 
to heofonum his eagan* 
his Drihten biddende 
and bealdlice cwa^ende* 
ic 2;ano;e in to ^e 
on mines Godes naman* 
and ic hopige on Drihten 
l^at he me ungederodnc 
of ]?isum weallendum hwerc 
wylle ahreddan" 
]7am is lof and wuldor 
geond ealle worold. 
and he bletsode ]?at lead 
and laeg him on-uppan* 
and j^at lead wear^ acolod 
^urh CristesI mihte* 
and Georius sset 
gesund on J^am hwere" 
* afyllan. t hattost. * ]7urh Godes. 


But my spirit nathless 
Hast thou not, but Gotl." 
Then bade the Caesar 
His quellers to fetch 
A brazen ewer, 
And fill it all up 
With boiling lead, 
And lay Georius 
Inside the ewer. 
Where it was hottest. 
Then lifted the saint 
To heaven his eyes, 
Beseeching his Lord, 
And boldly declaring, 
" I go unto thee, 
In the name of my God, 
And I hope in the Lord 
That He me unharmed 
From this boiling ewer 
Will be pleased to deliver, 
Whose is praise and glory, 
World without end." 
And he hallowed the lead. 
And lay thereupon, 
And the lead waxed cold. 
Through the power of Christ ; 
And Georius sat 
Unhurt in the ewer. 



J)a cwicS se Casere 

to J)am Cristes j^egene* 

nast Su la Georius 

|>at ure godas swinca^ mi's j^e* 

and gyt hi sund ge]?yldige 

Jjat hi 'Se miltsian* 

nu lare ic ^e 

swa swa leofne sunu' 

]7at ^u l^sera lare cristenra* 

forliete mid ealle* 

and to minum rsede 

hra'Se gebuge. 

swa J>at "Su offrige 

J^am arwur^an Apolline. 

and ]7u miht micclne 

wur^munt swa begytan.t 

]7a se halga uiartir 

raid J)am halgan Gaste afuUed' 

smercode mid mu'Se 

and to ]7am manfullan cwse^' 

ys gedafenaS to offrienne 

J7am undeadlicum Gode. 

sefter ]?ysum behead 

se ablenda Datianus* 

]?at man his deadan godas 

deorwyr^lice fratewode* 

and )jat deofles tempi 

■* cristenra lare. 


Then quoth the Caesar 

To the liege-man of Christ, 
" Oh ! know'st not, Georius, 

That our gods toll with thee, 

And yet are they patient 

That they may thee pardon. 

Then counsel I thee, 

As a son of my love, 

That the Christian lore 

Thou abandon entire, 

And to my advice 

Readily bow, 

So that thou worship 

The reverend Apollo, 

And thou many honours 

So may obtain." 

Then the holy martyr, 

With the Holy Spirit full-filled. 

Smirked with his mouth, 

And to the impious one quoth, 
" Us becomes it to worship 

The undying God." 

After this ordered 

The blind Datianus, 

That they his dead gods 

Should richly adorn. 

And the devil's temple 

and hu micelne wur§mimt 
miht swa beeitan. 


mid deorwur^um seolfre* 

and het j^yder Isedan 

Jjone geleafFullan martir* 

wende j^at he wolde 

wur'Sian his godas* 

and his lac geofFrian 

]?am llfleasum stanum. 

hwaet )?a Georius 

to eor^an abeah. 

J7us biddende his Drihten 

sebisrdum cneowum* 

gehyr nu God aelmihtig 

Ymes ]?eowan bene* 

and J^as earman anlicnyssa 

mid ealle fordo. 

swa swa weax formylt 

for hatan fyre* 

l^at men ]?e oncnawan 

and on ]7e gelufon* 

Jjat J>u eart ana God 

aelmihtig scyppend. 

sefter J>ysum gebede 

bajrst ut of heofenum* 

swi^e faerlic fur 

and forbsernde ]?at tempi* 

and ealle ]>a. godas 

grundlunga suncon* 

in to ])pere eor^an 


With costliest silver, 
And bade thither lead 
The believing martyr. 
[HeJ weened that he would 
Worship his gods, 
And offer his gift 
To the lifeless stones. 
Whereat Georius 
Bowed him to earth, 
Thus beseeching his Lord 
On his bended knees : 
' Hear now, God Almighty, 
Thy servant's petition. 

And these helpless images 

Wholly destroy, 

Like as wax melts away 

Before the hot fire, 

That men Thee acknowledge 

And on Thee believe. 

That Thou art one God, 

Almighty Creator." 

After this prayer 

Burst out from heaven 

Instantaneous fire. 

And burnt up the temple ; 

And all the gods 
Utterly sunk 
Into the earth. 


and ne seteowden nsefre sy))]>an. 

eac swilce }>a sacerdas 

suncon for^ mid" 

and surae Jja haej^enan 

ye iSaer geliende stodon* 

and Georius axode 

|7one arleasan Casere* 

on hwilcum godum tihtst ^Su 

us to gelyfenne* 

hu magon hi ahreddan 

^e fram frsecednyssuni' 

]?onn hi ne mihton 

hi sylfe ahreddan. 

hwset 'Sa Datianus 

gedihte Jjysne cwyde* 

and het 'Sus acwellan 

]?one Godes cempan. 

nima"S jjysne scyldigan 

ye mid scin-crsefte to-wende* 

ure arwur^an godas 

mid ealle to duste* 

and drajra^ hine neowehie 

his neb to eorSan* 

geond ealle ]?as streat 

and stacneue wegas* 

and of-slea^ hine 

mid swurdes ecge. 

J^a tugun )?a hsej^enan 


And have not appeared ever since : 

So also the priests 

Were wholly engulphed, 

And some of the heathen 

Who stood near the place. 

And Georius asked 

The impious Cassar, 
" On what gods allur'st thou 

Us to believe? 

How can they save 

Thee from disasters. 

When they are powerless 

To deliver themselves?" 

Whereupon Datianus 

Drew up this command, 

And bade thus to kill 

The champion of God, 
" Lead off this sinner. 

Whose illusion upturned 

Our adorable gods 

Entirely to dust : 

And drag him prostrate. 

His face to the ground. 

Over all these streets 

And stony ways, 

And destroy him quick 

With the edge of the sword." 

Then drew the heathen 


]?one halgan wer* 

swa Datianus liet 

o"Sj7at In comon* 

to ^aere cwealm-stowe 

and se martir bsed 

J?at he hine gebidden raoste* 

to })am selmihtlgan Gode 

aud his gast betsecan* 

he J^anccde J^a Gode 

ealre his godnyssa* 

)7at he hine gescylde 

wiiS }?one swicolaa deofol* 

and him sige forgeaf 

]?urh so^ne geleafan* 

he gebaed eac swylce 

for eall Godes* folc* 

and J)at God forgeafe 

J?8ere eor^an renas* 

forJ?an )?e se hsej^a 

]>a hynde ^a eor^an* 

sefter Jjysum gebede 

he bletsode hine sylfne* 

and ba?d his slagan 

)?at he hine sloge* 

mid J^am ^e he acweald wa3s 

•Sa comon ]?yder sona* 

his agene land-leodat 

* cristen. 


The holy man, 
As Datianus bade, 
Until they came 
To the place of death ; 
And the martyr begged 
That he might him pray 
To the Almighty God, 
And his spirit commend. 
Then thanked he God 
For His goodness all, 
That He shielded him 
From the treacherous devil. 
And him victory granted 
Through a sound belief. 
He prayed likewise 
For all God's folk, 
And that God would grant 
To the country rains 
Inasmuch as the drought 
Was then wasting the land. 
After this prayer 
He hallowed himself, 
And ordered his slayer 
That he would him slay. 
Whereupon he was killed. 
Then came thither soon 
His own country-people, 

f land-leode. 


gelyfede* on God 

and gelfehton his lie 

and Iseddon to ^ere by rig* 

])e he on-J^rowode 

and hine "Ster bebyrigdon* 

mi^ micelre arwyr^nysse 

J?am selmihtigan to lofe. 

]?a asende Drihten 

sona ren-seuras* 

and J7a eor^an gewse'terode 

"Se se'r wses forburnen* 

swa swa Georius bsed 

ser^an ^e he abuge to siege* 

hwset J^a Datianus 

wear^ fserlice of-slagen* 

mid heofonlice*f- fyi'e 

and his geferan samod* 

)?a "Sa he hamwerd waes 

mid his heah-^egnum:}: 

ac he becom to helle 

aer'San ]>e to huse* 

and se halga Georius 

siiSode to Criste* 

mid |7am a wuna'S 

on wuldre. Amen. 

* geleofede. t heofonlicum. + ■begenum. 


Believers in God, 

And took up his corpse. 

And conveyed to the borough, 

Where he was martyred, 

And buried him there 

With manifold worship. 

To the praise of the Almighty. 

Then sent out the Lord 

Rain-showers forthwith, 

And watered the ground 

That ere had been parched ; 

Like as Georius prayed 

Ere that he bent him to death. 

Whereupon Datianus 

Was suddenly slain 

By heaven-sent fire, 

And his colleagues likewise. 

While on his way home 

With his notable thanes ; 

But he entered hell 

Ere (he reached) his house. 

And the holy Georius 

Journeyed to Christ, 

With whom he aye dwelleth 

In glory. Amen. 












€i)t ^ercj) ^onetp* 




J. H. DIXON, E.«Q. 

J. M. GUTCH, Esq., F.S.A. 

F.S.A., Acting Secretary. 

W. JERDAN, Esq. M.R.S.L. 
J. S. MOORE, Esq. 


T. J. PETTIGREW, Esq. F.R.S., F.S.A. 



THOMAS WRIGHT, Esq. M..A., F.S.A., Treasurer 





This curious relic of our earlier poetry is preserved 
at the end of a folio volume of Homilies, by 
Radulphus Acton, or Achedon, who flourished, 
according to Pits, about the year 1320. {De 
Scriptoribus, s. 474.) The volume was presented 
to St. Peter's College, Cambridge, by Thomas 
Beaufort, half-brother to King Henry IV, and 
afterwards Duke of Exeter; the use of it being 
reserved (as we gather from a note at the com- 
mencement) to one Mr. John Savage, " ad ter- 
minum vitse suae duntaxat." The donor was 
appointed Lord Chancellor of England in the year 
1410, and died in the year 1425 {Lord Campbeirs 
Lives, i. p. 316); by which dates we can approxi- 
mate with suflficient accuracy to the time when 
the manuscript reached its present resting-place. 

The hand-writing of the Poem belongs to the 
same period as that of the Homilies, and is possibly 


the work of the same scribe. It may be assigned 
to the reign of Edward III, or perhaps of Edward II. 
This opinion, however, as to the execution of the 
manuscript, is quite independent of the age of the 
Poem; and since nothing has survived respecting 
the author, his date can only be ascertained by 
the internal evidence of language and historical 

With respect to the language of the Poem, it 
will be found (speaking generally) to resemble 
the old English of Piers Ploughman's Creed and 
Vision, so that we shall not far misdate its com- 
position, if on a prima facie view we consider it 
not later than 1350. On the contrary, it will 
appear to be still more ancient. For, first, it con- 
tains allusion to certain calamities very prevalent 
in England at the time of its publication. Thus 
in stanza 1 : 

Why werre and wrake in londe 
And manslaugt is y-come : 
Why honger and derthe on erthe 
The pour hath ouer-nome ; 
Wy bestes beth i-storve 
And why come is so dere, 
3e that wyl abyde, 
Lystyn and 30 mow here. 

And similarly in stanza 78 ; both which passages 
furnish proof that the country was then, or had 
been very recently, suffering from war, famine. 


and a grievous murrain ; and that the price of 
corn was immoderately high. Now these various 
historical phases will, I think, be found to syn- 
chronize with that portion of the reign of Edward II, 
which is included between the years 1311-1320. 
The allusion to war and domestic divisions may 
be dismissed, by referring to the troubles con- 
nected with Piers Gaveston, and the unsuccessful 
expedition to Scotland. The other topics, which 
are of a less ordinary character, will be illustrated 
by the following extract from Stow's Chronicle:* 

" The king, in a Parliament at London, gave 
the rod and office of marshall vnto Thomas of 
Brotherton, Earle of Norfolke, his brother. Hee 
also reuoked the provisionsf before made for selling 
of victuals, and permitted all men to make the 
best of that they had; neuerthelesse the dearth 
increased through the aboundance of raine that 
fell in harvest, so that a quarter of wheate, or of 
salt was solde before mid-sommer for thirty 
shillings, and after forty shillings. There followed 
[a.d. 1316] this famine a grievous mortality of 

* Pp. 217, 218, Lond. 1632. 

+ These are probably the dietary provisions published in 
LelaniVs Collectanea, vi, 36, ed. Hearne. The date is 1315. 
A second visitation of the same kind is placed by Walsing- 
ham in the year 1319. Scotland and Ireland were equally 
afflicted. See Carte, ii, 337, 340. 



people, so that the quick might unneath bury the 

dead The beasts and cattail also, by the 

corrupt grasse whereof they fed, dyed, whereby 
it came to passe that the eating of flesh was sus- 
pected of all men; for flesh of beastes not cor- 
rupted was hard to finde. Horse-flesh was 
counted great delicates ; the poor stole fatte dogges 
to eate. Some (as it was sayd), compelled through 
famine, in hidden places, did eate the flesh of 
their own children, and some stole others which 
they deuoured. Theeues that were in prisons 
did pluck in peeces those that were newly brought 
amongst them, and greedily devoured them, halfe 
aliue. A gallon of small ale was at twopence, of 
the better threepence, and the best fourpence." 

Another allusion, of a character more specific, 
will place our Poem about the same period, i.e., 
between 1311 and 1320. In stanza 35, the fol- 
lowing lecture is read to the order of the Hospi- 
talers : — 

An other religion ther is 
Of the Hospital ; 
They ben lords and sires 
In contrey over al : 
Ther is non of hem all 
That ne awt to ben a-drad, 
Whan thei bethenken 
How the Templars have i-sped 
For pride : 


Forsothe catel cometh and goth 
As wederis don in lyde.* 

It will be observed that the poet is here moral- 
izing on the suppression of the Knig-lits Templars, 
and the transferring of their property to the 
Hospitalers. These changes had been effected at 
the council of Vienne, in the year 1811; so that 
a warning like the above, addressed to persons 
somewhat flushed by their recent good fortune, 
would be, on our hypothesis, both natural and 

A further corroboration will be found in stanza 
58, which refers to a general military conscription : 

Whan the kyng into his werre 

Wol haue stronge men, 

Of ech toun to help hym at his werre 

Fourteu or ten : 

The strong schul sytte a-doun 

For X. shylynge other twelue 

And send wreches to the kyng 

That mow not help hem selue. 

I believe no example of levying forces after this 
fashion has been recorded before the year 1316, 
nor have I met with any repetition of it for some 
time afterwards. In that year, however, we are 
told, "the great men, and knights of shires, 
granted the king one able-bodied footman, well 

* I.e., " property comes and goes as clouds do in March." 



armed, out of every village, or hamlet, in the 
kingdom. Market-towns were to furnish more, 
in proportion to their bigness and ability to defray 
the expense of sending them to the general ren- 
dezvous, and of paying each man a groat a day 
for sixty days ; upon the expiration of which term 
their wages were to be paid by the king, who de- 
clared, by his letters patent, that this should not 
be made a precedent, nor be drawn into a custom."* 

From these, and other incidental allusions, which 
it is not necessary to particularize, the poem be- 
fore us may be fairly assigned to somewhere 
about the year 1320. It would thus precede 
Piers Ploughman by an interval of more than 
thirty years, and was (if I mistake not) one of the 
very earliest satirical poems composed in the 
English language. 

It is well-known that this species of warfare had 
been long practised by our forefathers through 
the medium of the Latin language ; and that many 
who on this side the channel imitated the gentler 
branches of Proven9al poetry were not backward 
in copying its more caustic productions. In 
neither case, however, was the satire of a popular 
character; for besides the comparative obscurity 
of the language, it was nearly always disguised in 

* Carte, ii, 339. 


tropes and allegories. The exceptions, which are 
few, consisted of short English ballads, directed 
against some obnoxious individual, and differing 
in that respect from the poem before us, which is 
a broadside against whole orders. Indeed (as 
Warton* observes) the personalities of some of 
the above-mentioned ballads seem to have occa- 
sioned a statute against libels in 1275, entitled 
"Against slanderous reports, or tales to cause 
discord betwixt king and people"". Probably, 
through dread of this statute, as well as of eccle- 
siastical censure, the allegorical species of satire 
is revived by the author of Piers Ploughnaiis 
Vision, who moreover substituted the alliterative 
style of the Anglo-Saxon period for the rhyme 
now beginning to be almost universah Diverse 
from him in both these respects is the author of 
the poem before us. His versificationt is in 
rhyme, with occasional examples of alliteration ; 
neither does he confine his censures to any mere 
abstractions, such as pride, avarice, and simony, 

* Vol. i, 45; ed. 1840. 

t In the manuscript the stanzas appear in five long 
lines, each line divided by the metrical dot, or dash. The 
first four lines, by subdivision, produce eight lines, which 
rhyme in alternate pairs. At the end of the fourth long 
line is added a versicle, generally of two syllables, which 
(oddly enough) rhymes with the final syllable of the last line. 


but proceeds to a direct attack on all states and 
conditions of men, — the j)ope, archbishops and 
bishops, archdeacons, parsons, priests, abbots, priors, 
monks, canons, friars (white, black, and grey), 
hospitalers, deans and chapters, physicians, knights, 
barons, squires, ministers of state, judges, sheriffs, 
advocates, attorneys, merchants, and in short, 
every body.* The tone of our author, though 
here and there pathetic, must be described as, on 
the whole, deeply lugubrious, and his matter, with 
only a few exceptions, one volley of unmitigated 
invective. All classes of society, he is persuaded, 
find their chief pleasure in victimizing the poor; 
and although we do not read that he stirred up 
any violent demonstration, I cannot help thinking 
that [)oems like his had great force in predisposing 
the populace for the Lollard doctrines, as \vell as 
in urging them to Jack Cade excesses. 

Still it would be most unfair to argue as if the 
grievances of the people in that age were either 
few or trivial. The whole course of the reign of 

* There is one exception to this sweeping condemnation, 
in the absence of all allusion to the pardoner, -vvho in Piers 
Flougliman and in Chaucer is handled very roughly. I 
consider this sUeuce a further proof of the early date of the 
poem. Indulgences were not sold, at least puhlicly, till 
A.D. 131.3, so that we could scarcely expect to hear of their 
abuse so early as 1320. 


Edward II was one of domestic deterioration and of 
external disgrace ; the king, weak and capricious ; 
the courtiers, lawless, unprincipled, and oppressive. 
Among the bishops and secular clergy there were 
too few of those 

. . . Lele libbynge meu 
That Goddes lawe techen : 

while, in very many cases, the licentiousness of 
the monastic and mendicant orders kept pace with 
their pride and rapacity. These latter were wide- 
spread evils, and had been gradually provoking a 
spirit of satire not only in England,* but in almost 
every corner of western Christendom. t 

Again, we have abundant proof that when our 
poet was uttering his complaint in behalf of the 
poor and starving, the wealthier classes of the 
nation were revelling in ease and luxury. A 
curious picture of these habits is preserved in a 
dietary, or royal edict, bearing date 1315, and 
occasioned, most probably, by the famine to which 
we have before alluded. While all who had the 
means were faring sumptuously every day, the 
rest were literally abandoned to destitution, and 
hundreds, we know, shared the fate of the diseased 

* See the Latin Poems attributed to Walter Mapes, and 
Piers Ploughman, passim. 

t See a collection of kindred poems, De corrujito Ecclesiie 
Statu, Basil. 1556, edited by Flacius Illyricus. 



cattle, to which they were deemed hardly su- 

The last particular, which maj^ be adduced in 
extenuation of our author's acrimony, has refer- 
ence to the alleged corruption of the law-courts of 
that period. The lord chancellor was Robert de 
Baldock, who stands charged as one of the prin- 
cipal agents in bringing on the troubles of Edward 
II. " He seems," says Lord Campbell,* " to have 
been a very profligate man, and to have been un- 
scrupulous in perverting the rules of justice, re- 
gardless of public opinion, and reckless as to the 
consequences." He was afterwards seized by the 
mob, and thrown into Newgate, where he died of 
his wounds. 

On the whole, therefore, we must admit that 
there were numerous handles for satire; and if 
the specimen before us appears somewhat coarse 
and indiscriminate, it was probably the only kind 
of corrective which that age could have appreciated. 

C. H. 

iSt. Catharines Hall, Cambridge, 
I8(h Airril, 1849. 

P.S. I should remark (what was unknown to 
me when I transcribed this poem) that an imper- 
fect copy of it has been printed in Mr. Wright's 
Collection of Political Songs, from a manuscript 

* See Lives of the Chancellors, i, 199. 


in the Advocates"' Library at Edinburgh. The 
printed Poem agrees in the main with this one, 
not however without important variations of 
words, and even of lines and stanzas. From one 
or two circumstances 1 suspect that the Edinburgh 
manuscript was a sort of second edition corrected. 
Mr. Wright simply describes the fragment as 
very curious, and assigns it to the reign of Ed- 
ward II. I regret that he was unacquainted with 
the Peter-House MS., for besides supplying many 
various readings, it would have enabled him to 
complete his text, and would thus have enhanced 
the value of his interesting publication. 


ox THE 


1. Why weiTC and wrake in londe 
And manslaugt is y-come, 
Wliy honger and derthe on ertlie 
The pour hath over-nome ;* 
Wy bestes beth i-stovvef 

And why corne is so dere, 
36 that wyl abyde, 
Lystyn and 5c mow here, 

With skyl ; 
Certes without le,syng, 
Herken hit ho so wyl. 

2. In hevene y-blessyd mut he be 
That herkeneth here a stounde ;J 

* Overtaken. 

t Dead; perished. (A. S.) See examples in IluUiweirs 
Dictionary, p. 803. 

X A moment, or sliort time. (A. S.) See numerous examples 
in HalliwelVs Dictionary, p. 814. This stanza is not in the Edin- 
burgh MS. 



How plenteth and al myrthe, 
For pride is brout to giounde ; 
How stedfastnesse and trewthe 
Yt* turned to trecherye, 
And all poure mennes sing, 
Alas ! for hunger I dye 

Y-heredf be the kyng of heven, 
Such is hys my5t ! 

God greteth al tlie peple wel, 
And doth hem to understonde, 
That ther nys;]: but falsnes 
And trecherye in londe. 
At the court of Rome, 
That trewth schuld begynne, 
Hym is forbode the paleys ; 
He dar not com ther-ynne 

For dowte : 
Tliow the pope clepe§ hym, 
3et he schal stond ther-oute. 

Alle the popes clerkes 
Have i-take to redj|| 
Gif trewth com among hem, 
I-wys he schal 1)e ded : 
Ther ne dare he nojt com 
For doute to be slayn 

* Ys? t Glorified. J Is nought. 

§ Invito. II Have taken counsel. 


Withyn the popes paleys, 
;if he mi3t be sayn :* 

For ferde 
31!' symonye may mete hyiii, 
He wil smyte of his hede.f 

Yoys of clerk shal lytyl be herd 
At the court of Rome, 
Were he never so gode a clerk, 
Without selver and| lie come : 
Tho5 he were the holyest man, 
That ever jet was i-bore, 
But§ he bryng gold or sylvei', 
Al hys while is for-loi-e|| 

And his thowjt : 
Alias ! whi love thei that so mych 
That schal turne to nowgt? 

So another ther ajen 

That is an horlyng^ and a shrewe, 

Let hym com to the court 

Hys ncdes for to shewe, 

And bryng gold and selver 

And non other wedde,* 

* Seen. t Berde? t If- 
§ Unless. II All his time is lost. 

% An adulterer. (A. S.) 

" Aud wende bi heom that is wiif, 
And hire hoi'eling it were." 

MS. ap. HaUhi-flU's Diclionnrij, p. 4')9. 

* Pledge. (A. S.) 

n 2 


Be he never so niycli a shrcwe, 
Heys nedes scliul be sped, 
Fdl styll ; 
Covetyse and symonye 
Have all the world at wylle. 

Erehebisshopes and byshopes, 
That schuld trewly enquere 
Of al men of holy cherche 
In what Stat thei were, 
Some be foles hemself 
And ledeth a feble lyf ; 
Therfor dar thei nowjt speke, 
Lest ther i-yse a stryf 

Of clerkes ; 
Lest ych on bewrye other 
Of her feble werkes. 

Certes [holy cherche*] 

Is mych i-browt a-doun, 

Syth [seynt Thomas] of Cantrebury 

Was smyt of the crown. 

[He was byshop] of ry3t 

To governe holy cherche, 

These other be many lewed 

And feblech do the wyrche : 

That is i-senc in holy chyrch, 
Hyt farcth al amys. 

* See note ad fin. 


9. Every man hymself 
May ther-of take 3erae,* 
No man may serve 
Twey lordes to qweme :f 
Thei beth in offys with the kyng 
And gadereth gold an hepe, 
And the state of holy cherch 
Thei lat go lygge to slope 

Ful stylle : 
Al to many ther ben of" such 
Nerer^ Goddes wylle. 

10. The erchedeknes that beth sworn 
To visite holy cherche, 

Anon thei welle begynne 

Feblechell to wyrche. 

Thei wolleth take mede 

Of on and of other, 

And lete the personn have a wyf 

And his prest another 

At wille : ] 
Covetyse schal stoppen here moAvth, 
And make hem ful stille. 

1 1 . "Whan an old personn hys ded 
And his lyf agon, 

Than schal the patrone 
Have 3iftes anon : 

* Notice; care. t Tlease. (A. S.) 

t Were it not. (A. S.) § Feebly. 


Than vvolle the jong clerk 
Bygynne for to wowe,* 
The pati'oun sehal liavc jit'tes 
And presentes ynowe, 

And the byschopi)C : 
Ther schal syraonye wel sone 
Re take by the top])e.f 

1 2. Covetyse upon hys hors 
WoUe sone be ther, 

And brynge the bischop silver 
And rown in hys jhei'e iX 
AUe the pour clerk 
For nowt thei schul wyrclie, 
He that most bryngeth 
He shiil have the chyix-h 
I-wys : 
Thus the stat of holy chirch 
Is gyed§ al amys. 

13. Whan the 5ong peraoun 
Is stedyd|| in hys cherch, 
Anon he wolle bygynne 
Feblych to wyrch. 

Ne schal the corn in hys bernu 
Be cte with no mows, 

* Woo, or supplicate. 

f Be taken by the head, a very common old proverbial phrase. 
X Whibper in his ear. The phrase occurs in Shakespeare's 
Sonnets. § Ruled. || Stationed. 


Hit schal be spended sykyrly 
In a fill sory use, 

If lie may : 
Hit schal be alle i-tlirosshen* 
Art Christymasse day. 

14. Wan he hath gadred to-geder 
Markys and powndes, 

He pricket J out on hys centre 
AVith haukes and houndes 
Into a strange contre, 
And halt a wenche in cracche.§ 
A ! wel is her that first may 
Such a personn cacche 

In londe. 
Thus thei serveth the chapels, 
And leteth the chyrch stonde. 

15. He nymeth|l all that he may 
And muketh the cherch pour, 
And leteth^ ther behynde hym 
A thef and an hore, 

A servand and a deye* 
That ledeth a sory lyf : 

* Thrashed. f ^^e; before. J Kode. 

§ A crib, stall, or manger. Mr. Halliwell explains it, "a 
rack of any kind, a manger." || Taketh. ^ Leaveth. 

* A female servant who had the charge of the dairy, and all 
things pertaining to it. Chaucer has the word. Sometimes a 
male servant who performed those duties was so called. — HalliwelVs 
Diccionary, p. 301. 


As homlych* the gon to bedde 
As goJ-mau and hys wyf, 

With sorow, 
Ne schal ther pour man have ther gode 
At hevef nc at raorow. 

1 G. Wan he hath that sylver 
Of wolle and eke of lomb, 
He putteth in hys pawtenei :}: 
A kevchyf and a comb, 
A shewer,§ and a coyf 
To bynd with hys loks, 
And ratyl on the rowbyble|| 
And in uon other boks 

Ne moo ; 
Mawgrey^ have the bysshop 
That lat hyt so goo. 

1 7. Thei the bysshop hyt wyte 
And hit bename cowthe,* 
With a lytyl selver 
lie may stop his mowth ; 

* Homely. "[■ Evening, 

J Purse, or bag. See several examples in HalliwelVs Dictionary, 
p. 609. 

§ Mirror. The Edinburgh MS., edited by Mr. Wright, reads 

II A small ribibe, or kind of fiddle. See HalliweWs Dictionary, 
p. 682, in V. Ribible. Mr. Wright erroneously prints it as two 
words. ^ Mibfortune. (A, N.) * Became public. 


He medeth* the clerkes 
And sustyneth the wench, 
And lat the purysch far amys : 
The devyl hem a-drenchef 

For hys werkys ! 
Sory may the fader be 
That ever mad hem clerkys. 

18. 3if the person have a prest 
That is of clene lyf, 

And a gode shryft-faderj 
To maydyn and to wyf. 
Than schal an other putte hym out 
For a lytyl Iasse,§ 
That can not a ferthing worth, 
And nowjt wel hys masse 
But iile. 
Thus schul the persons shep 
For defaute spylle.[j 

1 9. Certes also byt fareth 
By a prest that is lewed^ 
As by a jay in a cage, 

That hymself hath beshrewed :* 
Gode Englysh he speketh 
But he notj never what. 
No more wot a lewed prest 

* Bribes. t Drown. X Confessor. § Less. 

II Be destroyed. ^ Uulcarned. * Cursed, t Knows not. 


Hys gospel wat he rat* 

By day ; 
Than is a levved prcst 
No better than a jay. 

20. Eche man may wel wyte, 
By the gode rode !f 
Ther bethe many prestes, 
But not alle gode. 

That maketh gode men ofte 
To be in mych blame, 
For these nysej prestes 
That playeth her nyse game 

By nyjt ; 
Thei goth with swerd and bokler 
As thei wolde fijt. 

21. Abbots and priours 
Doth a3enst the ry3tis, 

Thei rydeth with banks and hounds 

And contrefetith kny5ts ; 

Thei schuld by-leve§ such pride 

And be relygious, 

And now is pryde lord and syre 

In eche house 

I-wys : 
Religion is now3t i-loked,|| 
Hit fareth al arays. 

* Reads. t Cross. J Wanton. 

§ Leave. || Regarded. (A. S.) 


22. By that ilke* deth 
That I schal on dye, 
Thei" nysf no I'elygion, 
That ther nys yn ennye. 
Pryde and envie 

Have tempreth| so here gle, 
That among men of religion 
Is non unyte 

I-take : 
Forsothe love and charite 
Is turned to woo and wrake. 

23. Late come to an abbey 
Syx men other seven, 
And lat ther on aske gode 
For Godd love of heven. 
He schal stoiid theroute 
An-hungred and a-cold ; 
Schal no man do hys nede 
Nother 3ong ner old 

For hys love, 
That is kyng over all kyng, 
And setteth us al above. 

24. Bot lat a boye com fro a lord, 
And bryng hym a letter, 

And do hys erand to the porter. 
And he schal spede the better : 

* Same. t Is not. J Mingled; adulterated. 


3if he is with any man 
That may do the abbot harme, 
He schal be led into the halle 
And be maked warme 

Abowt mawe,* 
And a Goddes man shal stond ther-owt 
Sory was that lawe. 

25. Thus is God Almy3ty dryve 
Out of relygion, 

He ne mot no3t among hem come 

In felde ne in ton ; 

His men beth unwelcome 

Totli erlych and late, 

The porter hath comaundement 

To hold hem without the 3ate, 

In the fen : 
How my3t thei love wel the Lord, 
That faryth so with hys men ! 

26. Mych sorow theif suffre 
For our Lordes love ; 

Thei wereth sokkes in her schon| 

And felted botys above ; 

Wel thei beth i-fed 

"With gode flesch and fysch, 

And if it ys gode mete 

• Stomach. f I.e., the monks. 

J Their shoes. 


The lete* lytyl in her discli 

Of the beste : 
Thus thci p3'neth her bodyes 
To hold Crystes best ! 

27. Religion was i-maked 
Penance for to drye,f 
Now it is mych i-turned 
To pryde and glotonye. 
"Wer schalt thu fynde 
Redder men on lerysf 
Fayrer men other fatter 

Than raonkes, chanouns, other freres 

In toun ? 
Foi'sothe ther nys non aysier lyf 
Than is religion. 

28. Religion wot every day 
Redely what he schal don : 

He ne careth no skynnes thing § 

But for his mete at non. 

For clothes ne for hows hyrc 

He ne careth nowt, 

But whan he cometh to the mete 

He maketh his wombe tovvt|| 

Of the beste : 
And therafter he wol fondeH 
For to cache hys reste. 

* They leave. f Bear; undergo. J In complexion. 

§ Not the least. il Stomach full. % Seek. 


29. Hafter mete the liaf* a pyne 
That greveth hem ful sore : 
He wil drawe at a uravv3t 

A godc quart other more 
Of gode ale and strong 
Wei i-browenf of the beste, 
And sone therafter he wol fond 
For to each reste, 

31 f he may. 
Thus thei pyneth her bodyes 
Bothe ny3t and day ! 

30. Now beth ther other relygious, 
Menours and Jacobyn, 
Carmes,| and other freres 
I-found of seynt Austyn, 
That wol preche more 

For a buschel of whete 
Than brynge a sowle fro helle 
Out of grete hete 

In rest. 
Thus is covetyse lord 
Est and eke west. 

3 1 . Lete me come to a frer, 
And aske hym shryft, 
And come thu to another 
And bryng hym a 3ift, 

* They have. + Brewed. 

% Carmelite friars. See HaUiwelVs Dictionary, p. 232. 


Thou s^halt into the fraytrye* 
And be made glad, 
And I schal stond without 
As a man that wer mad 

In sorowe, 
And 3et schal myn erynd be undo 
For toj hyt be on the morow. 

32. 5if a ryche man be seke 
And evel hym hath nome, 
Than wol the frere 

Al day theder come, 
jif hit is a pore man 
And lyth in myche cai'e, 
Mych mysawntre| on that on 
That wol com thar 

Ful loth : 
Now mow 56 wel here 
How the game goth. 

33. 5if the rych man deyth, 
That was of grete my3t, 
Than wol the freres al day 
For the cors fi5t. 

Hyt is not al for the calf 
That the cow loweth, 
But it is for the gode gras 
That in the mede groweth, 

By my hod ! 

Refectory. t ^nti'- t Misadvonturc. 


And that may echc man know 
That can any god. 

34. So ych mat broke* myn hed 
Under myn hatte, 

The frer wol do dirige 

If the cors be fatte : 

Be the fayth ic schal to God, 

If the cors be lene, 

He walketh abowt the cloystre 

And halt his fet clene 

In hows : 
How mowe thei forsake 
That thei ne be covetows. 

35. An other religion ther is 
Of the Hospital, 

They ben lords and sires 

In contrey over al ; 

Ther is non of hem all 

That ne awt to ben a-drad 

Whan thei bethenkcn 

How the Templers have i-sped 

For pride : 
Forsothe catelf cometh and goth 
As wederisj don in lyde.§ 

* As sure as I wear? t Property. 

t Clouds. § Miirch. 


36. OiScial and denys 

That chapitres schuld holde, 

The schuld chaste men fro syne 

And thei make hem bolde. 

IMake a present to the official 

Ther* thu thenkest to dwelle, 

Thu schalt have leve a tvvelf-moneth 

To serve the devel of hell 

To qweme. 
Forsoth, have thei the selvre, 
Of synne take thei no jeme. 

37. jif a man have a wyf 
And he love her nowt, 
Bryng hyr to the cousteryf 
Ther trewth schuld be wrowt, 
Bring twei fals wytnes with liym 
And hymself the thrydde, 

And he schal be deperted,:}: 
As fair as he wold bydde, 

From his wyf : 
He schal be raayntend full wel 
To lede a sory lyf. 

38. Whan he is deperted 
From hys trew spowse, 
Take his ney3tbores wyf 
And bryng her to howse, 


* Where. j Consistory. (A. N.) J Divorced. 



jif he have selver 
Among the clerks to sende, 
He may have hir to hys wyf 
To hys lifs ende 

With onskyll :* 
Thei that so fair with falsenes dele,t 
Gods cors on her bill.J 

39. jut ther is another craft 
That towcheth to clergye, — 
That beth thes fisisiens§ 
That helpeth men to dye. 
He wol wag his uryn 

In a vessel of glass, 
And swer by seynt Ion 
That he is seker than he was, 
And seye 
" Dame, for defawjt 
The god-man is i-sleye." 

40. Thus he wol affray 
All that ben therinne, 
And mak many lesyngs 
Sylver for to wynne : 
After that he wol begynne 
To confort that wyf, 

* Wrongfully; with unskill. f Separate. 

J Bill of divorcement? or rather, mouth ami /ace; cf. stanza 43, 
'■ Gods cors on hys cheke," and stuiizu 69, " Fals in the biUe." 
§ See note ••. 


And sey, " Dame, ley cost,* 
And we schul save his lyf — 

And lye, 
Thow he be never the wysei* 
Whether he wol lyve or dye. 

4 1 . Furst he wol begynne 
To blere the wyfs ey5e ;t 
He wol aske half a pownd 
To bygge with spiserye 4 
The eyjt shillyngs schul up 
To wyn and to ale, 

And bryng hem rotys and rynds 
Bretful§ a male|| 

Of now5t : 
Hit schal be dere i-now a lekelf 
Wan it is al i-browt. 

42. He wol preise hit fast 

And swere as he were wod,* 

For the kyng of Ynglond 

The drynk is swet and god. 

And gif the gode-man to drynke 

A gode quantite, 

And make hyra wers than he was, 

* Pay the fee. 

•f I.e., to impose upon her. See examples in Halliwdl's 
Dictionary, p. 185. % I.e., to buy spicery with. 

§ Brimful. || Chest. f See Richardson. * ]M:ifl. 

c 2 


Evel mot be the* 

The clerk ; 
That so berytli aweythat selver 
And falselich dothe hys werk. 

43. He wol byd the wif sethe a caponn 
And a pese of bef ; 

The gode-man schal have never a mossel,f 

Be he never so lef.f 

He wol pike hit hyraself 

And make his mawe towt, 

And 3if the gode-man to drynk 

Lena broth that is nowjt 

For the sek : 
That so bygileth the gode-man 
Godds cors on hys cheke. 

44. He maketh hym al nyjt at ese 
As wel as he can, 

And loke that ha fare wel 

Hors and eke man : 

A-morow he taketh the uryn 

And waggeth in the sunne, 

And seyth, " Dame, blessed be God ! 

Thi maystre is i-wonne 

And lyketh :§ 
Thus he bereth avvey that selver 
And the gode-wyf biswyketh.|| 

* Thrive. + Morsel. J Desirous. 

§ Tliriveth. II Cheateth. 


45. Certes, and by my sowle, 
This world is al beslirewed ; 
Muche thei fare with falsenes 
Bothe lered and lewed. 

Of the lewed men 
Now speketh the pope, 
Whether I lye or I segge soth 
Now jhe it schul grope, 

That sothe 
Falsenes cometh to eche feire 
And piccheth first his bothe.* 

46. The pope gret wel al lewed men, 
William, Richard and Ion, 
And doth hem to understonde 
That trewth is ther non ; 

And seyth that he wer worthi 
To be hanged and drawe. 
That hathe dryve trewth out of lond 
Without proces of lawe : 

Alas ! 
Certes whil treweth was in londe 
A gode frend he was. 

47. Treweth was over al redyj 
For pore men to speke. 

And now go pore men al a-doun 
God hem mot a-wreke ! 

* Booth. 


Pryde and covetise 
Gyveth over al jugement, 
And turneth lawes u^^and doun 
Therfor pore men be shent* 

Al clene : 
Ther is no rycli man that dredeth God 
The worth of a bene.f 

48. Thei that weldeth al the world 
In town and in feld, 

Erles and barowns 

And also knyts of shelde, 

All thei be i-swore 

To maynten holy cherch ryjt, 

And therfor was kny3t i-raaked 

For holy cherch to fi3t 

Sanj fayl ; 
And thei beth the first men 
That holy cherch wolle assaile. 

49. Thei maketh werre and wrake 
In lond ther| schuld be pees ; 
Thei schuld to the Holy Lond 
To make ther a rees :§ 

Thei schuld into the Holy Lond 

And preve ther her myjt, 

And help to wreke Jhesum Crist, 

* Confounded, f A proverbial saying for anythinj^ wortliless. 
See Halliwell's DiclJonanj, in v. Dean. J ^V^hcrc. § Onslaught. 


And than were he a kny3t 

With sheld : 
Now be they lyons in the halle 
And hares in the feld. 

50. Knytes schuld were clothes 
I-schape in dewe manere, 
As his order wold aske 

, As wel as schuld a frere : 

Now thei beth disgysed 
So diverselych i-dijt, 
That no man may knowe 
A mynstrel from a kny3t 
Wel ny : 
So is mekenes fait a-down 
And pride aryse an hye. 

51. Thus is the order of kuy3t 
A-turned up and doun ; 
As wel wol a kny3t chide 
As eny scold in a toun ; 
Thei schuld be as hend* 
As any lady in londe, 

To speke al maner of fylth 
Ne nys ne kny3t fondef 

For shame ; 
Thus is chyualrye a-cloyed:j: 
And woxen fote-lame. 


* Gentle; polished. t See HalKwelTs Victionart/, under 

wonu'e, which is probably the true reading. if Debased. 


52. Chyvalrye now is a-cloyed 
And wyckedlych i-di3t ; 
Conne a boye breke a spere 
He sclial be made a kiiyjt. 
Thus beth kny5tis i-gadered 
Of unkynde* blod, 

And thei sliendetlif the order 
That schuld be hende and god, 

And hende : 
On shrew in a court 
May al a company shende. 

53. Knyjts to drawe, God almyjt 
Iche tyme schal be swore, 
His yen, his fat, his nayles, 
His sowle is 'nowt forbore : 
That is now the gentry:): 

In chawmbre and eke in halle, 
The lord wil hab on othe 
Grettest of hem alle 

For pride : 
At the day of dom 
Ne schal no man his othes hyde. 

54. Now is non mysprowd squier 
In al this mydil-3erd,§ 

Bot he here a long babel || abowt 

* Unaristocratic. See note ". t Corrupt. 

X La mode. § Earth. || Bauble. See HalUwcU's 

Diclionary, in v. 


And a longe berd, 
And swere by Godds sowle, 
And often vowen to God, 
" I byshrew hym for that, perdou,* 
Bothe hosed and shod, 

For his werke :" 
For such othes God is wroth 
With lewed men and clerke. 

55. Godds soAvle schal be swore, 
The knyf schal stond a-strout,f 
Thow his botes be al-to-tore 
jat he wol make it stout : 

His hod schal hang on his brest 
Ri5t as a draveled lowt, 
Alas ! the sowle worthel forlore 
For the body that is so prowd 

In felle ; § 
Forsothe he is deseyved 
He wenyth he dothe ful well, 

56. A new entaile|| thei have i-fend 
That is now in eche toun ; 
The ray^ is turned overthwart 
That was wont be up and doun ; 
Thei beth desgysed as turmentours 
I-come fro clerks pleye, 

* Par Dieu ! t Shall stick up. See a long account of this 

vford in HalliweU's Dictionart/, f. 102. J Is. § Skin? 

II Cut, or fashion. % Stripe in the cloth. 


Thei beth beleved al with pryde* 
And have cast norterf away 
In a diche : 
Thei beth so desgised 
Thei beth no man lych. 

57. Mynystres under the king 
That schuld meynten ryjt, 
Of the fair clere day 
Thei maken darke ny3t : 
Thei goth out of the hy-way, 
Thei lettenj for no sclandre, 
Thei maketh the mote-hall§ 
At home in here chawmbre 

With wrong ; 
That schal pore men a-bygge]] 
Ever more among. 

58. "When the kyng into his werre 
Wol have stronge men, 

Of ech toun to help hym at his werre 
Fourten or ten : 
The stronge schul sytte a-doun 
For X. shylynge other twelve 
And send vs^reches to the kyng 
That mow not help hemselve 
At nede : 

* I.e., are abandoned to pride. f Nurture. 

X Leave off. § Justice-hall. || Abide. 


Thus is the kyng deseyved 
And pore men shend for mede.* 

59. Whan the kyng into his werre 
Wol have a taxacion 

To help hym at his nede 
Of ech toun a portion : 
Hit schal be to-tolled,f 
Hit schal be to-twyjt,! 
Hit schal half-del§ be go 
Into the develes flijt 

Of helle : 
Ther beth so many parteners 
Ne dar no pore mon telle. || 

60. A man that hath an hundred powud 
Schal pay xij.pens round : 

And so mych schal a pore man pay 
That poverte hath browt to ground, 
That hath an housful of cliyldre 
Sitting abowt the flete :^ 
Cristis cors hab thei ! 
But* that be wel sette 

And sworn, 
The pore schal be i-pyltt 
And the rych schal be forborn. 

* Destroj-ed by bribery. "j" Levied in full, or divided out. 

X Snatched away. § One-half. || Give information. 

t Floor. * Unless. f Robbed. (A. S.) 


61. Wyst the kyng of Ynglond 
For god* he wold be wroth, 
How his pore men be i-pyled 
And how the selver goth : 
Hit is so to-tolled 

Bothe heder and theder, 
Hit is halfen-del i-stole 
Ar hit be brout togeder 

And a-counted : 
If a pore man speke a word 
He shal be foul a-frounted.f 

62. Wold the kyng do after me 
That wold tech hym a skyi,! 

That he ne schul never habbe wylle 
Pore men to pil : 
' He ne schuld not seke his tresor so fei", 
He schuld fynd it ner, 
At justices and at shiryves, 
Corowners, and chancelers 
No lesse : 
This my3t fynd hym i-now 
And let the pore have pes. 

63. Who that is in such offys 
Ne come he ner§ so pore, 
He fareth witin a while 

As he had selver in horde :|1 

* Doubtless. t Rebuked. 

J A reasonable plan. § Never. || Treasure. (A. S.) 

Cf. JlaUiireWs Dictinnnri/, in V. 


Thei byen londs and ledes* 
Ne may ther nowt astonde.t 
Wat shul pore men be i-pild 
Wil^: such be in londe 

Ful fele ?§ 
Thei pleyeth wit the kyngs selver 
And bredeth wode|| for wele. 

64. Sotelych^ for-sothe 
Thei don the kyngs best ; 
Whan ech man hath his parte 
The kyngs hath the lest ; 
Eche man is abowt 

To fille his own pors, 
The kyng hath the lest 
And he hath al the cors 

Wit wrong : 
God send trewth into Ynglond ! 
Trechery dureth to long. 

65. Thei byggeth wit tlie kyngs selver 
Bothe londes and ledes, 

Hors as fair as the kyngs 
Save grete stedes ; 
This myjt help the kyng 
And have hemself inow : 

* Landed possessions. | Withstand. J While. 

§ Many. || Become mad (thi'ough prosperity). 

^ With subtlety. 


Thei take thus wit a pore man, 
That hath but half, I trowe, 

A plow-land, 
Other of a wreched laborer 
That lyveth by hys bond. 

66. Baylys and southbailys* 
Under the shireves 
Ever thei fondethf wer 

Thei mow pore men to -grave : 
The pore men shul to London 
To somons and to syse, 
The rych wol sytte at home, 
Were:}: selver wol aryse 
Anon : 
Crist cors mut thei have ! 
But§ that be wel i-don. 

67. Courteous! in the benche 
That stondeth at the barre 
Wol bygile the in thin hond 
Bot if^ thu bewar : 

He wol take half a mark 

And do doun his hood, 

And speke a word for a pore man — 

And do hym lytil god, 

I trowe : 
Whan the gode-man gothe awey 
He maketh hym a mowe. 

* Sub-builiffs. t Seek. J Where. 

§ Unless. II Advocates. ^ Unless. 


68. Attorneis in contre 
Wynneth selfre for nowt ; 
Tliei make men to bigynne pie* 
That never had it thow5t : 
Wan thei cometh to the ryng 
Hoppef if thei con ; 

All that thei wynne wit falsenes 
All that thei tell i-wonne 
Ful wel ; 
Ne tryst no man to much to hem, 
Thei beth fals by skyl. 

69. Suche bethe men of this world, 
Fals in the bille. 

If eny man wolleth lyf 
In trewth and in skil, 
Let| his fals ney3bours 
And sewe§ not the rowte,|| 
He may ech day of his lyf 
Have grete dowte ; 

For why ? 
Thei schal al day be endited 
For manslau3t and robbery. 

70. Take the trewest man 
That ever in londe wa?, 

* Law -suit. 

X Dance; i.e., they can not dance. § I.e., if he leave. 

II Follow. 1' Crowd. 


He sclial be endited 

For thing that never was ; 

I-take and i-bounde- 

A strong thef as he were, 

And led to the kyngs prison 

And lote hym lygge there 

And rote : 
Other wit a fals enquest, 
Hang hym by the throte. 

7 1 . Many of thes assisours, 

That seweth shyre and hundred, 

Hangeth men for selver ; 

Therof is non wonder, 

For wan the rich j ustice 

Wol do wrong for mede 

Than thynketh hem thei mow the beter 

For thei have mor nede 

For to wyn ; 
Thus hath covetise benome* hem, 
Trowth for love of dedly syn. 

72. Be seynt Jame in Gal,t 
That many man hath sowt. 
The pelery and the cok-stol| 
Be i-made for nou3t : 

Wan thei have al i-reyned§ 
And i-cast on hepe, 

* Possessed. f See note '. 

J Cuckinj^-stool. § Ruined? 


Bred and ale is the derrer, 
And never the better schepe 
For al that : 
Trechery is i-meyntend 
And trewth is al-to-sqvvat.* 

73. Somtyme wer marchants 
That trewly bout and sold, 
Now is thilk assise"}" i-broke 
And trewth is now3t of told :;!: 
Marchandis was wont 

Be hold up with trewth, 
Now it is turned to trechery 
And that is grete rewth 

To wete, 
How trechery shal be hald up, 
And trewth doun i-smete. 

74. Ther nys wel ny no man 
That can any craft, 
That he nis a party 
Lose in the haft :§ 
Falsnes is over 

Al the world i-sprong 
That nys wel ny no trewth 
In bond ne in tonge 

Ne in hert ; 

* Quite prostrate. t The same rule, J Accounted of. 

§ The metaphor is borrowed from some manual implement 
out of repair: "in some degree loose in the haft." 



Forsothe thei nyl sese* 

Art God make hem co smert. 

75. Ther was a game in Ynglond 
That dured jer and other,| 
Even upon the Moneday 
Ech man beshrewed other. 
So long dured the game 
Among lered and lewed, 
That thei nold§ never beleve|| 
Ar the world wer beschrewed, 

I-wis : 
Al that ever schal help man 

All it fareth amys. 

76. For the mych falsenes 
That walketh in lond, 
God almy3ty of heven 
Hath bound nowt his bond,^ 
And send wederyng on erthe, 
Cold and unkynde,* 

And jet is ther non man 
That to God taketh mynde 

With ry5te ; 
We be nothing aferd 
Of Hys myche myjt. 

* Will not cease. f Till. % I.e., two years. 

§ Would not. II Leave off. 

^ Has abrogated his covenant. * Unseasonable. 


77. God is wroth with the world 
And that is wel i-sene, 

Al that was play and game 
Is turned to sorow and tene ; 
God shewed us plente inow, 
SufFre whil we wold, 
Al maner of frute 
Groweng on molde 

Ful thik, 
And ever ajens God Almy3ty 
We beth alych wyk.* 

78. "Whan God Almyjty seth 
The work is overthwart,f 
He sende his sondj into erthe 
And makethe us to smart ; 
Whan bestes beth i-storve 
And corne waxeth dere, 

And honger and pestilence in ech lond 
As 5e mow ofte here 

Over al ; — 
But if§ we amende us 
It wil wel wers befal. 


* Equally wicked. 

t Perverse: wrong. Hal liwell's Dictionary, ■p. 595. 

X Message. § Unless. 


* The words included between brackets have been almost 
entirely erased ; probably in obedience to the proclamation 
of Henry VIII, who after declaring " Thomas, sometime 
archbishop of Canterbury, to have been guilty of contumacy, 
treason, and rebellion," commanded "his loving subjects to 
destroy all images and pictures of the pseudo-saint Thomas, 
and to erase his name and remembrance from all books, 
under pain of his majesty's indignation." 

•• For a fuller delineation of a monastic gourmand, see 
Piers Ploughman s Vision, vol. i, p. 250, ed. Wright. 

"^ The Minors were the gray friars, or Franciscans ; the 
Jacobins, the black, or preaching friars, and were so called 
from their first establishment in Paris (see Fleury, Hist. 
Eccl., liv. Ixxviii, s. 5) ; the Carmes, or Carmelites, were the 
white friars, originally established at Mount Carmel ; the 
Austins were friars of the order of St. Augustine. They 
had all gained a footing in England about the year 1250. 
In the " Creed of Piers Ploughman" they are satmzed at 

^ Cf. Piers PloughmarC s Vision, vol. i, p. 133 : 

" For murthercris are inany leches 
Lord hem amende I 

They do men deye through hir drynkes 
Er destynee it wolde." 

Sentiments not unlike the above had been uttered long 
before, by John of Salisbury. 

« Allusion is perhaps made to royal edicts and decisions 
of Parliament, whereby it was ordained that all persons 
who had a whole knight's fee, or fifty pounds a-year in land, 
should be admitted to the honour of knighthood. Instances 
of this practice occurred in the years 1312 and 1316. See 
Carte, ii, 325, 339. 

f The reference is to St. James of Compostella in Galicia, 
which was then a most famous resort of pilgrims : 

" And til seint James be sought 
There I shal assigiie, 
That no man go to Galis 
But if he go for evere." 

Piers Ploughman's Vision, vol.i, p. 72. 






THOMAS WRIGHT, ESQ., M.A., F.S.A., etc. 

Correspotiiliii? Member of the Institute of France (Academie 
lies Imcriptions et Belles Lettrcs.) 



Cftf perq) ^orietp* 






J. H. DIXON, Esq. 


Honorary Secretary. 

W. JERDAN, Esq., M.R.S.L. 



T. J. PETTIGREW, Esq. F.R.S., F.S.A. 

JAMES PRIOR, Esq., F.S.A., M.R.I.A. 




THOMAS WRIGHT, Esq. M.A., F.S.A., Treasurer. 


William de Shoreham is, as far as I know, a new 
name in the list of English writers. His poenis 
are interesting in two points of view ; they 
exhibit to us the popular doctrines of the age on 
subjects of religion, which alone were consigned 
to the vulgar tongue, and they present a good 
specimen of the English language as it was then 
spoken and written in the county of Kent. They 
seem to have been written by a zealous, and far 
I'rom unlearned, preacher, for the purpose of en- 
forcing the doctrines of the Church on the minds 
of those who were only capable of understanding 
them when oftercd in a popular form ; and they 
offer most of the subjects of Christian doctrine 
which were then considered important. The 
first of these poems recounts and illustrates the 


seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, and gives 
a very full description of its principal ceremonies 
and orders. The second is a rhyming version of 
some portion of the ceremonies. The third, on the 
ten commandments, and the fourth, on the seven 
sins, are short commentaries on Christian morality. 
The fifth is on the joys of the Virgin, a most 
popular subject in the middle ages. The sixth is 
a hymn on the Virgin, translated from E-obert 
Grosteste. The seventh and last, in vv^hich the 
writer becomes at times quite philosophical, is a 
sort of dissertation on some of the mysteries of 
the Christian faith, but more especially on the 
doctrine of original sin. 

Our information as to the author of these poems 
is derived from the colophons at the end of several 
of them, in which he is called William de Shore- 
ham, and is stated to have been vicar of Chart 
near Leeds. In Thorpe's Jiepistnim Roffense, 
p. 207, we have a charter of Walter archbishop 
of Canterbury, by which he impropriates the rec- 
tory of Chart-Sutton to the prior and convent of 
Leeds, upon which it became a vicarage, and wc 

learn that the first vicar admitted was William de 
Shoreham. The archbishop alluded to was Walter 
Raynolds, who held the see from 1313 to 1327. 
It is therefore probable that our Kentish poet, 
who was, no doubt, a native of Shoreham, near 
Otford (about four miles and a half from Seven- 
oaks), was originally a monk of the priory of 
Leeds, and he was made vicar of Chart-Sutton 
on the appropriation of that living to his convent 
by archbishop Walter. His poems may, there- 
fore, be attributed to the reign of Edward II. It 
appears from one of the colophons (p. 116 of the 
present volume) that he was living under Walter's 
successor, archbishop Simon Mepham (1327- 
1333): and he, probably, occupied himself in the 
latter period of his life in collecting his poems 
into the very manuscript from which they arc 
here printed, which appears to be of the beginning 
of the reign of Edward III. The manuscript 
was in private hands at the time my transcript 
was made ; but I am not sure whether at present 
it be in a private, or public collection. I have every 
reason to believe my transcript to be a correct 


one ; but, unfortunately, while the present edition 
was passing through the press, it was not in n^ 
power to refer to the original, and to. this circum- 
stance, I trust that any ircWs: that may have 
occurred in editing a text -which presents many 
difficulties, will be attributed. 

Thomas Wright. 

24, Sydney Street, Brompton. 
October 1849. 




De septem sacramentis. De psalmo, ExcercitafMS sum 
et defecit spiritus. 

SoNDERLicHE his man astoned 

In his owene mende, 
Wanne he note never wannes he comthe, 

Ne wider he schel wende ; 
And move, 
Thet al his lyf his here i-mengde 

Withe sorwe and eke withe sore. 

And wanne he deithe, ne mey me wite 

Woder he cometh to wisse ; 
Bote as a stocke ther lithe thet body, 

"Withethoute alle manere blisse ; 
"Wat thenkeste ? 
And hondred wynter jef a levethe. 

That his lyf mid the lengeste. 



Onnetlie creft eny that stat, 

Ac some crefteth that halve ; 
And for siknesse lechecreft, 

And for the goute sealve 

Me makethe ; 
For wanne roan drawith into olde-ward, 

Wei ofte his bones aketh. 

And be a man never so sprind, 

3ef he schel libbe to elde, 
Be him wel siker ther-to he schel, 

And his deythes dette 5elde, 
To gile ; 
3et meni 3onge man weneth longe leve, 

And leveth wel litle wyle. 

Thos we beth al awey-ward, 

That scholde her by-leve ; 
And 5et me seith y-demyd we bctlic 

In Adam and ine Eve, 

Te telle ; 
Wa3t hope his here of savement, 

Now time his for to telle. 

Me seithe the ri3te wone3ynge 

Ine hevene hyt his to manne ; 
Ac hevene his hei3e, and we beth hevy, 

Ilowe scholde we thider thanne ? 
Howe mey that be ? wo dar ther-oppe stei3e. 

For doii3te of fotes bleddre ? 


Than thy laddre nys naujt of wode 
Tliat may to hevene leste ; 

Ac on ther his that Jacob i-seije, 
Ther he sleppe inne hys reste ; 

Now schewe this : 

This like laddre is charite, 
The stales gode theawis. 

Her-on Jhesus stawe uppe bi-fore, 
Al for to teche ous stey5e ; 

Nowe hy5e, man, and ffolw3e wel, 
A-doun that thou ne sy5e, 

By-weyled ; 

For yf thou nelt naujt climme thos, 
Of hevene thou best y-fayled. 

And that man lovye God and man, 

Ase charite hyt hoteth, 
That he so wel y-theawed be, 

That alle men hit notethe ; 

Wat thaune ? 
jet senneles ne may he naujt be, 

Ac a deythe and he not wanne. 

Of brokele kende his that he deithe, 
For hy ne moje naujt dury ; 

And al dey he to senne falleth. 
Her ne moje naujt pury 

Of serewnessche. 

5et hope thou wel, man, for al this. 
That gojde lyf wole the wessche. 



For dethe ne falle naujt into wanhope, 
For God himself for the deide, 

The thridde day he aros ajeyn 

Of the throu5 ther men hine leyde ; 
Iiie tokene 

That, man, thi body arise schel, 
Of deithe nammore to blokne. 

The Bible seythe that mannys blodis 

Hys ry3t ther saule giste ; 
And water wasscheth the felthe awey, 

Ther me wesscheth by liste 

The onsounde ; 
To wesschen ous Cryst schedde his blod 

And water out of hys wonde. 

Here-of spronge the sacremens 

Of holy chyrche digne ; 
And his to segge sacrement 

Of holy thynge signe. 

For gode. 
Hou myjte fayrer signe be 

Thane of the water and blode ? 

Than thorwe that blod thi soule his boujt 

Fram the fendes powere ; 
And thorwe that water i-wessche thart 

Of thyne sennes here. 

Nou loke, 
50iu-e Cristendom his tokene throf 

Of Criste that we toke. 


For 5ef thou vangest thane cristendora, 

And for than bi-left clene, 
Thou schelt be marked to thet stode, 

To wichen heven his y-mene ; 
To sothe, 
Wanne the bisschop bisschopeth the, 

Tokene of marke he set to the. 

Ac cristendom hys saerement 

Of so grete powere, 
That hit thorwe-wasscheth thane man 

Of senna in alle manere ; 

And glorie 
Hit scheppeth, jef man deythe, 

And schilt fram purgatorie. 

And for we beth of nonn power 
To weryen ous fiam schame, 
Ther der no fend acorabry ous, 

Crist is mid ous to-sames 

And neade ; 
Tokene ther-of his Godes bodi 
At cherche in forme of brede. 

And jet for man his so brotel 

Ine his owene kende, 
Thaj he torni to senne ajen 

Thorwe fondynge of the feende, 
By chaunce, 
That he may come to stat ajeyn 

Thorwe bare repentaunce. 



Her-of we habbeth tokene gode, 
Wanne we fangeth peuaunce; 

For sennes that we habbeth i-done, 
To pyne allegaunce 

Ine fere, 

For ther we scholde hit under-go 
Sote we pinede hit here. 

That man ne falle ine wanhope 

A-last withoute bote, 
Al that he heth i-senoged her 

With honden and with fojte, 
Wyth thoute, 
Mouthe, nase, and ey3en, and with si5t, 

Eliinge brengeth hit to noujte. 

5et some hethe suche devocioun, 
That hym thingthe he his al ydel, 

For to libbe commun lif, 

Bote 3ef he hedde a brydel ; 
Wet thinge 

Of harder stat God graunteth 
Wei tokne throwj his ordiinge. 

5et that man mowe nau3t lecherie 
For-bere to donne in dede ; 

5et ne schal he nau5t be for-lore, 
For God 3efthe hym to rede 
Spousynge ; 

Tokene throf his the weddinge 
At cherche and bitere wyingc. 


Cristendom, and bisschoppynge, 

Penauns, and eke spousinge, 
Godes body ine forme of bred, 

Ordre, and aneliinge, 

Thes sevene 
Heth holi cherche sacremens, 

That beth tokeuen of bevene. 

God wescbt, and marketh, 

And for3efth, and joyneth men an wyves, 
And frevereth thorwe his body man, 

And grace sent, and lyves ; 
je, wanue ? 
Wanne we taketh the sacremens, 

Thar we seth hit thanne. 

That we ne mowe hyt naujt i-se, 

Ne forthe ine bodie inrede, 
We sethe hit wel ine oure fey, 

And fredeth hit at nede, 

Wel e3athe, 
God thorwe miracles ketheth hit 

A-lyve and eke a-dethe. 

And bote he thorwe hys sacramens 

Ous thos bi-redde, 
Ne scholde we of his grace wite 

Wanne we hit toke and hadde, 
To wisse ; 
Ther-fore he that bi-lefeth hit nau5t, 

Ri3t wyt neth he of nooe blisse. 


Al hit beth in these cherche sacremens, 
Thet tokeneth holi thynges, 

As hali water, and haly bred, 
Li5t, and bel-ryngynges 

To leste ; 

And of alle other sacremens 
Thes sevene beth the greste. 

De baplismo. 

Cristendom his that sacremeut 
That men her ferst fongeth ; 

Hit openeth ous to the hevene blisse 
That many man after longeth 
Wei sore ; 

For who that entreth ther, 
He his saufFe evere-more. 

Nou ferst ich wille telle 30U 

Wet may be the materie, 
Wer-inne cristninge may be mad, 

That bringeth ous so merie 
To honoure. 
Hijt mojt be do ine kende water, 

And non other licour. 

Ther-fore ine wine me ne may, 
Inne sithere, ne inne pereye, 

Ne ine thinge that nevere water nes, 
Thor3 cristninge man may reneye, 
Ne inne ale ; 

For-thie hijt were water ferst, 
Of water neth hit tale. 


Ne mede ne forthe no other licour 
That chaungeth wateres kende, 

Ne longeth naujt to cristendom, 
Tha3t some foles hit wende 
For wete ; 

For suich is kendeliche hot, 

Tha3t ther no feer hit ne hente. 

Ac water is kendeliche cheld, 
Tha3 hit be warmd of fere ; 

Ther-fore me mey cristni ther-inne, 
In whaut time falthe a 3ere 
Of yse ; 

So mey me nau3t in ewe ardaunt, 
That neth no wateris wyse. 

Also me may inne sealte se 

Cristny wel mitte beste ; 
And eke inne othere sealte watere, 

Bote me in to moche keschte 
Of sealte ; 
For 3ef that water his kende lest, 

That cristninge stant te-tealte. 

Ac 5yf ther were y-mengd licour 

Other wid kende watere, 
Ich wo5t wel thrinne to cristnye 

Hit nere nefur the betere, 

Ac wonde ; 
For bote that water his kende havcj 

That cristnynge may nau3t stonde. 


In water ich wel tlie cristny her, 
As Gode himself hyt dijte ; 

For mide to wessche nis uothynge, 
That man cometh to so lijte, 
In londe ; 

Nis non that habben hit ne may, 
That habbe hit wile founde. 

This bethe the wordes of cristninge 
Bi thyse Englissche costes, 
" Ich cristin the in the Vader name, 
And Sone, and Holy Gostes, 
And more". 
Amen ! wane hit his i-sed ther-toe 
Confermeth thet ther to-fore. 

The wordes schoUe be i-sed 
Witheoute wane and eche ; 

And onderstand hi more bi sed 
In alle manere speche, 

Ine lede ; 

That everich man hi sigge more, 
And cristny for uede. 

Ac 5if man scholde i-cristnid be, 
That neth none deathes signe, 

The pope for te cristny hyne 
So nere nau5t to digne 

The leste ; 

Ther-fore hi beth in cherche brou5t, 
To cristny of the preste. 


Ac he that jif so large water 

The fend fram ous to reave, 
In nede for to crystny men, 

jef alio men i-leave, 

At felle ; 
Olepi me mot hym depe ine the water, 

And eke the wordes telle. 

And wanne hi cristneth ine the foun3t, 

The prestes so thries duppeth, 
In the honur of the Trinite, 

Ac gode 3eme kepeth 

The ned ; 
On time a clothe that water i-kest, 

Ac ope the hevede to bede. 

Ac water i-kest another love 

Cristneth the man alyve, 
Ac hit his sikerest in the heeved 

Ther beth the wittes fyve, 

Wei, brother, 
Ne non ne may i-cristened be, 

Ar 36 his boren of moder. 

5et gret peryl hy undergothe 

That cristneth twyes enne, 
Other to 3eve asent ther-to, 

Other for love of kenne 

For-hedeth ; 
Wanne child ari5t cristnynge heth, 

And that other nau5t for-bedeth. 


Bote hi tliis conne, hit his pex'il 

To thise medewyves ; 
For ofte children scheawith quike, 

I-bore to schorte lyves, 

And deyeth ; 
Bote he ari3t i-cristned be, 

Fram hevene evere hi weyeth. 

Ac jif that child i-cristned his 
Ac ine fot at me hit weveth, 

Thise habbeth forme ther-of, 

A Latin that ham gevieth 

To depe ; 

And ich schel seggen hit an Englisch, 
Nou ther-of neme ^e kepe. 

The prest taketh that ilke child 
In his honden by-thuixte, 

And seith, "ich ne cristin thei nau3t, 
jef thou ert i-cristned, 

Eftsone ; 

Ac 5yf thou nart ich cristin the ;" 
And deth that his to donne. 

Ac 3et ther beth cristnynges mo, 
Ac no man ne may di3tti ; 

For hi beth Godes grace self, 
Men of gode ine \\i\ to ri5ti, 
And Wynne, 

^^'anne he wolde i-cristned be, 
And more mid none ginne. 


That on his cleped cristninge of blode, 
Wanne suche bledeth for Criste ; 

That other of the Holi Gost, 
That 111056 raid none liste 

Be i-cristned ; 

And deyeth so wanne hi beth deede, 
In hevene hi beth i-gistned. 

The children atte cherche dore 

So beth y-priniisined ; 
And that hi beethe eke atte fount 

Mid oylle and creyme alyned, 
Al faylleth ; 
Hijt wortheth cristnynge, 

And that child ther-to hit availleth. 

De confirtnaciu7ie. 

Confermynge his a sacrement, 

And other that we foungeth ; 
And wanne a man hit ondervangeth 

Ine saule hit hine straungeth 
Wei li3tte. 
For wanne a man y-maked his, 

The stronger he his to fy3te. 

And be thou siker that mannes lyf 

Is ri3t a kni5thod ine londe ; 
And so seythe Job, the holy man ; 

Now wote we thanne stonde 
To fi5te ; 
The feend, that flesche, and eke the wordle, 

Ajeins ous beth i-di5te. 


The feend with prede acombreth ous, 
With wrethe, and with envie ; 

That fleische with siouthe and glotonie, 
And eke with lecherie, 

Thou wyse ; 

The wordle, with here faljse scheawinge, 
Schent ous with coveytise. 

Ac he that ine saule is Strang, 

That he with-stent hi alle, 
And hardeliche hert othre men, 

A-doun that hi ne falle, 

Ac stoude ; 
So his i-hert thorj confermynge of gode, 

That for dethe nele nau5t wonde. 

Nou ich mot of this sacrement 

30U telle the materie, 
That maketh man so hardiliche 

To stonde ane so merie 

Ine goste, 
That he ne may nau3t y-weid be 

With blanding ne with boste. 

Hit his the oyle and baume y-menge, 

I-blessed, and wile lestne ; 
For oyle smereth thane champion 

That me ne schel on him evel festne, 
Ne presse ; 
And baume his riche and tokened I005 

Of thare holy prowesse. 


A prince longeth ibr to do 

The gode kui3tes dobbynge ; 
And so a prince of Godes ost 

Schel do the confermynge, 

None lojer ; 
Therfore hit mot a bisschoppe be, 

Nis non ther-to yn 03er. 

That me wasche men over the fant 

After confirmement, 
Nis naujt do bote for that honour 

Of thilke sacrement, 

Soe here ; 
Ther-fore me vvescht and kerfy thane clout, 

And berneth him in the fure. 

The bisschop these wordes seth, 
And beth wordes of selthe, 
" Ich signi the with signe of croys, 
And with the creme of hele 
Ine the foreheved the crouche a set, 
Fehhe of fendes to bermi. 

In the foreheved he croucheth hine, 

That hine be aschamed boute ; 
Bote for to bi-knowe Cristes name, 

Withoute alle manere doute, 

And with giune, 
Thorwe creymie anoynt straunge he bi-comthe, 

His sauvement to winne. 


Ac hou his hit ther bethe so fele 

Confermed of mankenne, 
And ther so feawe stondeth styf 

To fytte a5enis senne 

Maligne ? 
For hi ne fongeth noujt that thing, 

Bote the bare signs. 

The signe his of the sacrement, 
Mid creyme the markynge ; 

Ac thing that ther bi-tokned his, 

Strengthe his that God schel bringge 
Amonge ; 

"Withoute god fey and god wil, 
Mey non this thinge ounderfonge. 

Ac nou that wil that is to gode 

His al i-set bi-hinde ; 
And thi bi-leave of Jhesu Crist 

His nou al weverinde, 

Undigne ; 
Ther-fore ne habbeth that thing 

Nau5t bote the bare signe. 

Ac thare children take that thinge 
In hare chilhod so povre ; 

Hit leseth wanne hi cometh to wit, 
Thour5 hare misaventure 
Of senne ; 

Anon the foend fondeth hy so, 
And he ne spareth nanne. 


That deth that hi nastondeth noujt, 
Ac eche othren aschrencheth ; 

Ac 3if hy mowe 3et stonde bet, 
Waniie hi ham bet bi-thenketli 
To leve, 

And do ham to devocioun, 
3ef God ham strengthe 3ive. 

And thanne Gode that his so god 

Anon hi stronge maketh, 
As hi habbeth devocioun, 

And hie God fey taketh, 

Reversed ; 
And al his thor3 that sacrement, 

Thei3e hit ne be nan5t rehersed. 

For wanne we taketh this sacrement, 

His soule prente taketh ; 
And that hi nefer mo for-lest, 

Nau5t hi that God for-saketh, 

Ac hine healdeth ; 
Ine Stat that sacrement ine man, 

Wanne 3e ine Gode by-aldeth. 

And as thys ylke sacrement 

Her thynge and toke hiis signe. 

So habbeth the othere sacremens 
Syx3e that bethe so digne, 


Her signe, droppynge in the water, 
And thynge hiis for-3emynge. 


Thys ylke sygne, and eke thys thynge, 
Ine cure childhodc we 5yt toko, 

Ac afterward we lore that thynge, 
Tho we to senne toke 

By wylle ; 

Amend we the prente lefth 
Ine oure saule wel stille. 

Hym selve no man hebbe schel 

To the bischoppynge, 
Ine tokne of febleste of hiis goste, 

Anothei- schel him brynge, 
And lefte ; 
Ase he ne mi5tc nau3t himself 
To confermynge crefte. 

Ac her ich segge apcrteliche 
Thys men and eke this wyves. 

That hi ne hebbe hare o^e child 
By hare quicke lyves, 

And rede ; 

For 3ef hy dothe man and hys wyfe, 
Ther draweth God sibrede. 

Of seve sacremens thre 

Prente ine herte maketh ; 
That both cristnynge, and confermynge, 

And ordre that men taketh 
Wel blithe ; 
That hy ne take hiis for no man, 

Bote one-lepy sythe. 


De Sacramento altaris. 

Nou hyjt by-valtli to telle 30U, 

And so ich 111031 wel ncde, 
Of Godes flesche and eke hys blode 

At cherche ine forme of brede 
And wyne ; 
That frevereth ous in oure exil, 

And lytheth oui'e pyne. 

1156 blithe niy5ten hy be 

That folwede Cryst in londe, 

That my5te hyne eche day y-se, 
Hiis swete love to fonde, 

Ine keththe ; 

So niovve we be for ous ner lie, 
Hy faylled never seththe. 

For tho hiis tyme was y-conie 

No lenge to dwelle here, 
That wete brede and honde he toke, 
Ther he set atte soupere, 

And seyde, 
" Taketh and eteth, thys hiis my body," 
Of sothe he hara aneyde. 

For-wy hyjt moste nedes be 

Al sothe that he sede, 
That alle thynge his ase he seith, 

Thys resoun wole the redo, 
To dede, 
He seyde to al the worlde be. 

And al was ase he sede. 

c 2 


Nammore maystrye nys hijt to liyni 

To be. ine bredes lycbe, 
Thane bym was ine the liche of man, 

To kethen ous hiis rycbe ; 

Thet maketh 
That by beth alle mis-by-leved, 

That other throf for-saketb. 

The fend hymself him maky mey 

Wei dyverse liknynges, 
Of best, of men, and of wymmen, 

And mani other tbynges, 
To nusy ; 
Wei bet may Gode to oure prou 

Dyverse formes usy. 

Tho that the bred y-tourned was 

Into bys body sylve, 
He toke the coppe, with the wyne and water, 
And seide eft to the twelve 
" Taketh and drynketh everechoii 
Of this chalice here. 

" Thys hys my chalis of my blode 
Of testament nj'we, 
That schal be schad for manye men. 
And ase we sey3eth gode and trewe 
And kende ; 
And doth ^e thos wanne 36 hyt dothe, 
Doth hyt in 30ure mende." 


Tho that he sede, " doth 30 thos," 

The heyje kynge of hevene, 
He jaf ham power to don hyt, 

And forth pov,-er to 5evene, 
Wei werthe, 
That he ne toke Judas out, 

The worste man on erthe. 

And that power hys y'3ive 

Fram bysschoppe to preste, 
And so schel al so longe be, 

Ase cristyndom schel leste, 
Y-mete ; 
Seththe Crist four ous an orthe come, 

He nolde ous nau3t for-lete. 

Tha3 he her were inne, hys manhode 

Amanges ous to flotie, 
jet nere he naujt thanne ous so nej, 

Ase nou we mowe hyra notye 
In Gode ; 
We honorieth hyne al i-hoUiche 

Ine flesche and eke ine blode. 

Wat may amount! that he wyle 

So by-come oure fode, 
Chaungeth he nau3t ase othere mote 

Into oure flesche and blode. 
By kende ? 
Nay, ac he chaungeth ous in hym, 

To maky ous gode and hende. 


And ase Gode there liis hole men mete, 
And sike hyt by-swiketh, 

So his the mete dampnacion 
To hem that senne liketh 
To holde ; 

So he hyt tok and his lore, 
Judas, that Jhesus solde. 

Ther-fore ich segge a Godes half 

To alle crystyiie folke, 
That wanne hy scholle y-houseled be, 

That hy ne be abolke 

In prede ; 
Let ounde and wrethe and coveytynge, 

Sleuthe and lestes on lede. 

Nys none of wymraan beter i-bore 
To seint Johan the Baptyste, 

And jet he quakede wel arj 
Tho he touchede Crist 

In the flomme ; 

Thanne aujte we wel aryjt to be. 
To fange hym on tromrae. 

Ther-fore jef that 56 fredeth 30U, 
That he ne be naujt digne 

For te be housled wyth thys body 
Ine this thre holy signe, 

"Wyth-draweth ; 

For wo that hyjt taketh ondygneliche, 
Ilys jugement he gnajeth. 


May soni man segge, hou sclial me so 

Fram ther houslynge dwelle, 
Wanne God self aperteliche 
Seith ous in the Gospelle, 

Wei to mende, 
" Who that eteth my flesch and drynketh ray blod, 
Helh lyf withoute ende." 

That thou take hy3t wyth the mouthe, 

Ne myd teth ther-on ne werche, 
Thou takest hyt, man, jef that thou art 

A lyme of holy cherche, 

To blysse, 
Wanne eny prest his messe syngcth, 

I-lief hyt myd y-wysse. 

For on hys Godes flesch to nerame, 

Ase mouthe the mete taketh, 
Another ase the mete y-jete 

Into the raembres taketh ; 
Ac here, 
Cryst hys that heved, the prest the mouthe. 

The lymes that folke i-vere. 

And ase the bred to-gadere comthe 

Of menye greynys to-bake, 
And ase the wyne to-gadere flouthe 

Of manye greyns y-take, 
Cryst and liiis membrys, men, 

body beilie ine niystyke. 


Wet hys mystyke ne mey non wete 

Be nothynge a-founde, 
Bote wanne ther liys o thynge y-ked, 

Another to onderstonde 

Ther-inne ; 
Hy that aredeth thyse redeles, 

Wercheth by thilke gynne. 

So wane that body hym hys ked 

Of swete Jhesii Cryst, 
Me may wel onderstonde ther, 

By thulke selve lyste, 

An other ; 
Cryst and eke alle holy men 

Beth o body, my leve brother. 

Ther-fore guod beth this sacrement 

Y-mad of suiche thynges, 
That ray5te of manye make on, 

As Cryst and hys derlynges 
I-mouge ; 
Thenne scholde hy at one be, 

In love that scholde hyt fonge. 

Nou onderstand the signe her 
Fourme hys of wyne and brede ; 

Noble hys that thynge, ry3t Cristes body. 
And body of quike and dede ; 
Ac, brother, 

5ct ry5te body thaj hyt be thynge, 
Ilvjt hys signe of that other. 


Vor ase the ryjte bodyes lemes 

Habbeth dyverse wyke, 
So habbeth ryjt membrys eke 

Of the body ine mystyke, 

That weldeth ; 
Hys honden men beth that wel doth, 

The fet that wel op-hekleth. 

Alle taketh that ry5t body 

Thyse men at hare houslynge ; 
Ac some to prou, and some to lere, 

Ine vvyl of senejynge, 

To derye ; 
Ac one Gode ary3t hyt nometh, 

That body ine hys mysterye. 

Ac tha5 we be tokned ther 

Ine oui"e Sauveoure, 
Ne lef thou nau3t the we be ther, 

Ne forthe naujt of oure 

That were ; 
Tha3 ther be tokned thynges two, 

Ther nys bot o thyng thex'e. 

And that hys swete Jliesu Cryst 

Ine flesche and eke ine bloude, 
That tholede pyne and passyoun. 

And diath opene the roude, 
Wel soiire ; 
Ne lef non other Cryste, man, 
For safour ne coloure. 


For that colour, ne that savour, 
Ne beth nau3t ther-inne Cryste, 

Tha5 he ther-inne schewe hym, 
By hys myjtefoUe lyste. 

So couthe ; 

Ne myjte elles bet be seje, 
Ne beter yu5red iune mouthe. 

For 3ef he schewed hym in flesche. 

Other ine blody thynge, 
Hydous hy5t were to the sy5te, 

And to the cast wlatynge. 

And pyne ; 
Thanne hys hyt betere in fourme of brede, 

And eke in forme of wyne. 

For bred strengeth the herte of man, 
And wyn hys herte gledeth ; 

And strengthe longeth the body, 
And blice the saule fedeth, 
And nede ; 

Ther-fore hys double sacrement. 
Of wyne and eke of brede. 

For he y-brout heth oure body, 

Into OS he let hys sinke ; 
And vor the saule ine the blod, 

Ilys blod he let os drynke ; 
Nou wost, 
"NVyther hys double sacrement, 

For note of body and goat. 


Ac wen nau5t that Cryst be to-schyft, 

Thaj he scheweth ine bothe, 
To wane hys body wythoute blod, 

By tha weye ne gothe, 

To thryfte ; 
For ther he hys, he hys al y-hol, 

Ne mey ine hym to-schifte. 

The3 ther te breke aje ine the mouth, 

Other ine thyne honden, 
Hyt nas nau5t he that hys to-broke, 

Ensample thou myjt fonden 
To slyfte ; 
In a myrour thou inyjt fol wel thi-selve se, 

Bote naujt the ymage schefte. 

By thyse ensample thou myjt y-se 

He hys ine echautere ; 
Y-hol the prest hys messe syngeth, 

The5 he ne be naujt y-here, 

Ac wykke, 

Ase ther beth foles swiche fele 

Y-sawe al to thykke. 

Ac tha3 the prest hys messe do 

Inne dedleche senne corse 
Thet sacrement, man, be thou syker. 

For hym nys nase worse ; 
For loke, 
The sacrement nys nathe wors, 

Tha5 that Judas hyt tokc. 


Ac tlia5 hyt be never the wors 

That sacrement an honde, 
The bone that swych prest ther byjt 

No stel ne schel hym stonde, 
Ac derye ; 
For he despyseth Jhesu Cryst, 

TVanne he hym scholde herye 

And 3yf thou wylt tak hyt to prou, 

For the and thyne freende, 
Ry3t repentaunt and ry5t devout 

Take hys death in thy meende, 
Naut lyjt ; 
The more thou thenkest so on hys death, 

The more hys thy meryte. 

Manne, wanne thyt takest ase other mete, 
Into thy wombe hyjt sedlyth ; 

Ac ne defith naujt ase thy mete, 
Wyth thyne flesch medlyth, 
Ac kevereth 

Al other wyse, and so thy body 
And thy saule hy5t frevereth. 

Nabyd hy3t nau3t ase other mete 

Hys tyme of defyynge ; 
And ry3t anon hy3t frevereth 

In thare oundervanginge, 
Of syke men, tha3 hy hyt keste of, 

Ne helpeth hyt nau3t the lasse. 


For yf the syke man hys gode 

In the leve of holy cherche, 
The3 he hy5t cast op, hyt bylefth 

Sauvacion to werche, 

Ryjt there ; 
For al at ones he mey be god, 

Ther and elles-were. 

He soffreth wel to be kest op, 

And 3et to be honoured ; 
Ac he soffreth no5t to be to-trede, 

And of bestes devoured, 

And neade ; 
Ase he by-leve assayth in flesche, 

He assayth ine forme of brede. 

That body hyjt hys na3t that ther corathe op, 

5ef that a man hy5t keste ; 
For al so longe hyt hys that body, 

Ase forme of brede schel leste 
Ine manne ; 
3et tha3 the fourme of brede to-go, 

That body by-lefth h3et thanne. 

And 3yf he passeth nau3t fram ous, 
Wanne wey ary3tt hym healdeth, 

That vod hys for to take hym efte, 
Ther wyle he ous so wealdeth. 
For raende 

Of hys dethe and hys passyon, 
Ase he heth hit atte hys ende. 


Of pure wete hyt mot be, 

And eke of pure wyne, 
Thet scliel be to thys sacrement 

Ryjt of the grape of wyne 
I-lete ; 
For Jesus seyth the vygne be hys, 

And eke the greyn of wete. 

And 5ef mtinnes devocioun slaketh, 

Wanne he by-healdeth, 
For hyt thinkth bote other bread 

An-heaj that the prest healdeth ; 
By-thenche hym 
Of the vertue that ther hys, 

That non eri-our adrenche hym. 

And tak ensaumple of that he kneuth, 

The preciouse stone, 
Thaj he lygge amange othere y-lyche, 

Me honoureth hym alone, 
So swete ; 
Mid al thy wyl ther vertue hys, 
God self ine sacreraent y-mete. 

Namore ne greveth hyt Jhesus, 
Thane sonne i-trede in felthe, 

Tha5 eny best devoured hyt. 
Other eny other onselthe, 

Ech screade ; 

5et al so longe hys Godes body, 

Ase lest the fourme of breade. 


And al so longe hyt liys blod, 

Ase lest the forme of wyne ; 
Nau3t of fynegre kende chald, 

Ne offe water dropi)ynge of wyne ; 
Ac trye, 
So lyte water schel be me[n]gd, 
That wyne habbe the maystrye. 

For water self nys naujt that blod, 

Ac hyt hys an y-lyke, 
Ine folke that torneth al to Cryst, 

Ine the body of mystyke ; 

Nou, brother, 
I-lef al thys ine gode fey, 
For hit may no thynge be sother. 

De penite?icia. 
Wane man after hys crystendom 

Heth au5t i-do wyth wronge, 
Penaunce hyt hys a sacrement 
That men scholde fonge, 

Ande mote ; 
Penaunce heth maneres thre, 
Thor3 sor5e, schryfte, and edbote. 

Thy sorwe for thyne senne, man, 

Mot be ine gode wylle, 
That hy ne be nau5t ine wanhope, 

That made Judas to spylle ; 
Ac crye 
Mercy to swete Jliesu Cryst, 
Mid wyl to lete folye. 


And jet thy wylle mot be so gret, 

And ine so gode faye, 
That thou wenst thuu iioldest seneji eft, 

Ther-fore thcj thou scholdest deye, 
Ine wytte ; 
For jef thou woldest for death hyt do, 
Thy sorje hys al to lyte. 

Thej sorje hele man anon 

Of velth of sennes sl^'me, 
jet thanne were hyt naujt i-nouj, 

The fore sorwy on tyme, 
Ac evere, 
Ase longe ase, man, thy lyf y-lest, 
Elles senne may be kevei'e. 

For so, man, senne greveth in the. 

And eke in alle thyne, 
That wed schel grewen over the corn, 

Wythoutc medicyne 

Of sorjc ; 
Nou her-on thenche, man, day and nyjt, 
An even and a morwe. 

Thench thourj thy senne thou best i-lore 

Thy blys of hevene-ryche, 
An heth i-wrethed thane kynge 

That non hys y-liche ; 

And here, 
Thou best of-served dygnelyche 
The pyne of belle vere. 


Dra5 into mende that hydous si5t 

Of deade men a bere, 
That nadde never deade i-be, 

jef senne of Adam nere, 

Bye drytte ; 
5et thou ajtest habbe more hydour 

Of thyne ojene unry5te. 

Myd sucher sor5e schryfte, man, 

Wei stylle an nothynge loude ; 
For repentaunce ondeth the hel, 

And schreft hyt mot out-treude, 
Al clone ; 
For 3ef a3t leftli that treude my3t, 

God so thou schelt y-\venne. 

Ne non ne may hym schryve ary5t, 

Bote jef he hym by-tho3te 
Of sennes that he beth y-do, 

And hys lyf al thor3 so3te 

To kenne ; 
Ac manie dosper to the prest 

Al one by-se3e of senne. 

And understand that al i-hol 

Mot be thy schryfte, brother ; 
Na3t tharof a kantel to a pi-cst, 

And a kantel to another ; 

And thanne 
Tele 3ef thou my5t by-thenche the 

Wet hou and wer and wanne. 


And 5ef thou wylt, man, tlior5 thy schryft 

Lat thy senne al a-di'ouje, 
Ne wynd thou nauu-thy senne ine selke, 

Ac telle out al that rou3e, 
Tys la5e ; 
3ef thou wenst seie, and nast no prest, 

Schryf the to another felawe. 

Ac that ne schalt thou nevere do, 
Bote the wantrokye of lyve ; 

And 3ef thou comste to lyve ajen, 
Eft throf thou most the scryve 
To preste, 

That heth power to assoyly the, 
Thor3 power of the greste. 

Tha3 man on tyme i-healde be 

To schryve hym a 3ere, 
To schryve hym wanne he sene3ed heth, 

Wei syker thynge hyt were 
And mete ; 
Wald 3ef he sodeynlyche deith, 

And wald he hyt for-5ete. 

For wanne man sodeynleche deith, 
Hys tho3t the sor3e tumbleth ; 

And senne ony schryve wanne he vor-3et, 
Hys senne ther be doubleth 
To nusy ; 

For myttcr senne that he dede, 
The sleuthe bine wyle acusy. 


Man, schryf the, and wonde none schame, 

For-wy hyt hys to donne, 
A lytel schame hys betere her 

Thane overmoche eftsone ; 
To crefte 
Byvore God a domesday, 

Amang al Godes schefte. 

For thaj man moje i-sauved be 

Thor3 bare repentaunce, 
"Wanne he ne may to scryfte come, 

3ef hym valleth that chaunce, 
So holde ; 
3et ne may he naujt y-sauved be, 

Be he hym schrive wolde. 

Ther-fore thy schryfte, man, schel be 

"Wythoute stoneynge, 
Myd herte I03, and, 3ef thou my3t, 

Myd thyn e3ene wepynjje, 

In treuthe ; 
Thet ther be non ypocrysye, 

Bote repentaunce and reuthe. 

And 3yf that thou to schryfte coraff 

Ine thyse manere to fare, 
The schryft-vader that varth ary3t 
Schal be wel debonayre, 

And lo3e ; 
He schel wystlyche thy senne hele, 
Bet thane he wolde hys owe. 



jef he the schel anoye a-^t, 

Hyt wyle of-thenche hym sore ; 

And otherwyl anoye he mot, 
Wanne he scheweth the lore 
Of helthe, 

Ase mot the leche ine voule sores, 
"Wanne he royneth the felthe. 

Ther-fore 36 mote tholyen hyt, 
AVythoute alle manere tole ; 

And do ther-by ententyflyche, 
3yf 36 wolleth be hole 

To live, 

And to a betere beleave goth, 
3ef 30ure prest can nau3t schryve. 

Te mo prestes that thart i-sehryve 

Myd alle y-liole scryfte, 
The cleaner thert a3ens God, 

And of the more thryfte, 

Naujt nyce ; 
5ef hyt ne be naujt to thy prest 

Malice ne prejudice. 

Wanne man hys repentaunt i-schrive, 

He scholde don edbote, 
And the ferste hys that he by-fle 

Chypeans of sennes rote, 

Ase q nances ; 
He that by-fleke wel lecherye 

Bi-vlekth foule continaunce. 


Edbote hys dede after god conseyl 

Of gosslich medicine, 
Wanne senne sor y-clensed hys, 

To tholye a lytel pyne 

Thet frete, 
That he ne be ther-vore i-wrete 

In purgatoryes hete. 

Thre maner peyne man fangeth 

For hys senne nede ; 
Senne hys that on, that other fastynge. 

The thrydde hys almesdede ; 
Ac woste, 
Sene hys and edbote y-set 

For senne do ine goste. 

For senne in flesche 

Vestyng heth the flesche lothe ; 
Ac elmesdede senne bet 

Of gost and flesche bothe ; 

For thencheth, 
Thet almesdede senne quenketh, 

Ase water that fer aquencheth. 

To byddynge contemplacion 

Longeth rede ande wryte. 
To here predicacioun won 

Lore and herte srayte, 

And wreche, 
Dedes to 3yve devocioun 

To men ine holy cherche. 


Knewelynge, travayl, bar-vot go, 
Welle- ward and wakynge, 

Discipline and lyte mete, 
Thes longeth to vestynge, 
And here, 

Pelgrymage and beddynge hard, 
Flesch fram lykynge te arere. 

jeve, and lene, and conseil, 
Clothynge, herber3, and fede, 

Vysyty syke and prysones, 
And helpe povere at nede ; 

For to vor-3evene trespas, 
Tak dedes of elmesse. 

And sene jer tbou sclioldest, man, 
O dedlyche senne peyny, 

Ther-vore al that the prest the hast 
To done schalt thou nau5t fyny ; 
Ac more, 

For onmeathe thys ther eny prest 
That peyne set so sore. 

For hy habbeth in syke of men, 
Hy more sette the lesse, 

And betere hys ffor te apeched be 
Of more for3efnesse, 

Than wreche ; 

For 5yf thou to lyte peyne best, 
Purgatorye hyt schal eche. 


And 3et ther liys another cas, 

That prestes 5yvet so lyte 
Penaunce, tha5 me telle ham 

Ryjt moclie of sennes wyte, 
Ine mone ; 
Me mot ham legge lytel on, 

Other hy nolde do none. 

Beter hys that hy a lyte do 

Her ine obedience, 
And fol-velle that remenaunt 

Ine purgatoryes tense, 

Eftsone ; 
Nys nau3t god to vor-lete a man, 

That eny yinge hys wyl bone. 

The bydde ich, brother, be nau3t loth 

To do penaunce here ; 
For 3et ther hys here some reles, 

So nys nau3t ine the vere 
Areyved ; 
Ne thor3 the ry3tvolnesse of God 

Nys no sen omtheyvid. 

Man, wane thou senejyst thre thou dest. 

Thou wrethest God almy3ty, 
To holy cherche onbouxam thart, 

Makest thy selve onry3ty, 

Thos 3e mote 
Make thy pes wyth alle thre, 

Sorwe, schryfte, and edbote. 


Man taketh thys sacrement, 

And getb awey ondigne, 
For he ne schryfth nau3t of thet thynge, 

Bote of the bare signe, 

To Wynne ; 
The signe hiis that hys boute y-do, 

That thynge hys grace bynne. 

Two thynges her wythynne beth, 
For-jefthe and repentynge ; 

Ac repentaunce hys signe also 
Of sennys for-hevynge, 

Certayne ; 

For so may man repenti hyra, 
That ther voljeth no peyne. 

That was i-ked wel inne the thef 

Ope Calvaryes felde, 
Tho he escusede Jhesu Cryst, 

And hym gelty gan 5elde, 

Mid sourwe ; 
He deide and come to Parady!^, 

Nabod he nau5t fort a-morwe. 

De undone extrema. 
Sacrament of aneliinge 

Nou her ich woUe telle, 
That man vangeth wane he ne wenth 
No Icnge he my3te dwelle 
A-lyve ; 
The bodyes evcl that libbe ne mey, 
And sone hit mey to-dryve. 


Many for defaute deithe 

Of ther anelyynge ; 
And 3yf hys saule after hys dethe 

SolFrey harde pynynge, 
In fere, 
So scholde by nau3t hedde he i-hed 

Ryjt elyynge here. 

For seint James, in hys boke, 

Wysseth wyd gode mende, 
That 3yf eny by-falthe ry3t syke. 

The prest he scholde of-sende 
To hys ende ; 
And he schel elye hym wyth ele, 

Hys savement to wynne. 

Seynt Jame seythe that orysonne 

Of ther holy by-leve, 
Of hiis siknesse helthe wynthe, 

That no fend schal reve 

The helthe ; 
And 3ef that he ine sennys be, 

For-3eve hys him that felthe. 

Thys his, brother, and gret confort 

For for-3etene synnes, 
That oure foman aredy haveth 

A3eynys that we goth hennes, 
Tatuite ; 
Ac 3ef we ary5t anelede betli, 

Hy5t gayueth ham vvel lytel. 


And thanne hys man avy5t aneled, 
Wanne he myd wyl hyt taketh, 

Myd by-leve of devocioun 
And repentaunce maketh 
So digne ; 

And 3yf he hyt othere-wyse fangeth, 
He taketh ha bote the sygne. 

For the sygne of thys sacrement 

The elyyngys boute, 
That thyngge hys alleggaunce of evel, 

To lyf other diath 3ef he schel loute, 
And hennes, 
Thar he wende that thynge is eke 

Alleggaunce of hys sennes. 

And 3et me schal anelye a man, 
Thar that he lese hys speche ; 

For wet he thencheth in hys mod 
Ne may ous no man teche ; 
Ac stronge, 

He mot habbe devocioun, 
Thet schel a-ry3t hyt fonge. 

Ther-fore this children eleth me naui(t, 

Ne forthe none wode, 
For hy ne conne mende have 

Of thilke holy Gode ; 

Ac fonge 
The wode mey that sacrement, 

Wane reles coiueth amonge. 


A prest mot do thys sacrement, 

For-why hy3t hys wel worthe ; 
And that seyde seynt James wel, 

Ther-wyle he 5ede an erthe, 
36 hit hedde, 
Tho ich a lite her alone 

Thes holye wordes redde. 

The matyre of this sacrement 

Hys ry5t the oylle allone ; 
And wanne the bisschop blesseth hyt, 

Baume ther-with ne megth he none 
Ther-inne ; 
For baume tokneth lyves loos, 

Oyle mercy to wynne. 

For wanne man deithe, he let his lyf 

Ther the god los by-hoveth ; 
Ac senne 3ef he farthe ary3t. 

To bi-rensy he proveth, 

To oure Lorde 
Mercy he cryth, and biddeth hym 

Mercy and misericorde. 

The wordes that ther beth i-sed, 

Hyt beth wordes of sealthe ; 
For hy biddeth the sike man 

Of all his sennes helthe, 

In mende ; 
Ther-to me aneleth the wyttes fy3f, 

And fe3et, and breste, and lenden. 


And for the lecherye sy3t 

In lenden of the manne, 
And, ase the boke ous seyth, hy sit 

Inne navele of the wymman, 
To hele, 
Me schel the mannes lenden anelye, 

The navele of the femele. 

Thys beth the wordes wane me aneleth, 

" By thisse aneliinge, 
And be hiis milse, for-5yve the God 

Of thine senne3ynge, 

Myd eyen" ; 
And so he seyth be al hys lymes, 

That scholle the oyle dre5en. 

Caracter thet is prente y-cliped, 

Nys non of eliinge ; 
Ne furth of penaunce ne the mo, 

Nof housel nof spousynge, 
In thede ; 
For man ofter thane ones taketh 

The sacremens for nede. 

De ordi7iibits ecclesiasticis. 
Nou her we mote ine this sarmon 

Of ordre maky sa5e, 
Ther was by-tokned suithe wel 
Wylom by the ealde lawe, 

To a-gynne, 
Tho me made Godes hous 
And ministres ther-inne. 


God ches folkes specilliche 

Hys holy folke amonge, 
That was the kenred of Levy, 

Offyce for to fonge, 

Ase brotheren ; 
For to servy ine Godes house 

By-fore alle the notheren. 

To segge hys Levy an Englysch 

Fram the notheren y-take ; 
So beth of ordre i-take men, 

Ase wyte fram the blake, 

Of ly ve ; 

Gode 3eve al y-ordrede men 

Wolde a-ry5t her-of schryve. 

Ase ther beth of the Holy Gost 

5eftes ry5tfolle sevene ; 
So ther beth ordres foUe sevene, 

That made Cryst of hevene 
An orthe ; 
And hedde hys ek ine hys monheth, 

Toke thou hy that were wel werthe. 

The ferste hys dore-ward y-cleped ; 

The secunde redynge ; 
The thrydde hys i-cleped conjurement 

A3enys the foule thynge 

To wersiexe ; 
The fertile acolyt hys to segge y -wys, 

Tapres to bere wel worthe. 


The ordre fifte y-cleped hys 

The ordre of sudeakne ; 
And hys the syxte also y-cleped 

The holy ordre of dekene, 

And the greste ; 
The sevene hys and hys y-clyped 

The holy ordre of prest. 

Ine the elde lawe synagoge ferst 
God let the ordres werche, 

And that was sched of that hys ly3t, 
Non wryt ine holy cherche 
I nere ; 

Ich schel telle hou hyt was ther, 
And hou hyt hys now here. 

De hosliariis. 
Ine the ealde lawe dore-ward 

Lokede dore and gate, 
That ther ne scholde onclene thynge 
Ryjt non entry ther-ate, 

Wei couthe ; 
So doth thes dore-wardes eke 
Ine holy cherche nouthe. 

And 3ef eny other hyt doth, 
Nys hyt ordre ac i-leave, 

To helthe wane ther nede i-valth, 
Ac me ne schal nau3t reave 
The office, 

Wythoute leve to don hyt, 
Ne be no man so nice. 


The bisscliop, wanue he ordreth thes clerekes, 

Takth hym the cherche keyje, 
And seyth, " taketh and dotheth fol vvel, 

Ase wane je scholle deye, 

Scholde 3elde 
Acounte of thet hys ther-onder clos, 

Hardyst thet wo so hyt felde." 

Ine the temple, sweete Jhesus 

Thyse ordre toke at ones, 
Tho that he makede a baleys. 

And bet out for the nones, 
Tho that boujte and sealde in Godes hous, 

That hys a hous of bene. 

De lectoribtis. 
Nou ich habbe of the ferste y-teld. 

That other wyl ich trye ; 
Ine the aide laje the redere 
Rede the prophessye, 

By wokke ; 
So schulle the rederes now 
By-rede and conne on lowke. 

Ther-fore ere hy thys ordre have. 

Me schel hy wel assaye 
Of that hy redeth that hy wel 

Ham conne aneye, 

Otheren to reden schal me no5t, 

Ac soffry hyt for nede. 


Tliyse ordre swete Jhesu Cryst, 
Kedde wel that he hadde, 

Tho he toke Ysaies boke 

lue the synagoge, and radde, 
Wet welle, 

Wet he ther redde thou myjt se 
Ine seynt Lukes godspelle. 

The bysschop weiine he ordreth thes, 
The redynge boke hym taketh, 

And seyth, "tak and by-conie redre 
Of word that of God smaketh, 
And blyce 

Schelt habbe ase god prechour, 
jef thou wolt do thyne offyce." 

De exorcistis. 
The thrydde ordre conjurement, 

And was ine the ealde 1336, 
Go dry ve out develyn out of men, 
Fram God that were dra3e 
Alyve ; 
Thanne he mot habbe a clene gost, 
That schal the oneclene out-dryve. 

The bisschop wane he ordreth thes, 
Take ham boke of cristnynge, ^ 
Other of other conjuremens 
A3eyns the foule thynge, 

And scggeth, 
" Taketh power to legge hand 

Over ham tliat fendes op-biggeth." 


Thyse ordre swete Jhesu Cryst kedde 

Wei that he hedde, 
The he drof develen out of men 

That hyra wel sore dredde, 
The apryse 
Ine the elde le3e hyt ferst by-gan 

Kynge Salomon the wyse. 

De accolitis. 
The ordre fer the accolyt hys 

To here tapres aboute wijt ri3tte, 
Wanne me schel rede the gospel 
Other ofFry to oure Dryte, 

To thenche, 
That thet lyjt by-tokneth that ly3t 
Thet nothynge may quenche. 

And wanne that hey ordred hys, 

The bisschop schel hym teche 
Hou he schel lokke cherche ly3t, 

And wyne and water areche, 
To synge, 
In tokne taper and crowet 

To hand me schal hym brynge. 

Thet thys ordre hedde Jhesus, 

We habbeth wel a-founde 
By thet he seyd, '* Ich am that ly3t 

Of alle ther wordle rounde 
Wo so loketh, ne geth he nau3t derke, 

Ac lyt ine lyves route." e 


Ine the elde temple tokne was 
Of the ordre of acolytes, 

Tho certeyne men ly3te that lyjt, 
Ase the la3e jef the rytes, 
So brode ; 

Of weclie ly3t hys y-wryte 
Ine the boke of Exode, 

De subdiaconis. 
The ordre fifte sudeakne hys, 

That chastete enjoyeth; 
For sudeakne bereth the chalys 
To the auter and aolyveth, 

Ande weldeth 
Al bare and eke the corperaus 
Onder the deakne vealdeth. 

Ine the aide lawe y-hote hyt hys. 
That hy ham scholde clensy 

That there that vessel of God, 
And myd water bensy, 

By ry3tte, 

Clenne schel he in herte be 
That schal the chalys di3te. 

And wanne that he y-ordred hys, 
He taketh the chalys bare. 

And he a-vangeth a crowet eke, 
And a towaylle vare 


For he schel honden helde weter. 
That serveth to the autere. 


Tho liym with u touwaylc schete Jhesus 

After soper by-gerte, 
And watex" inta bacyn 

Myd a wel mylde herte, 

And wesschte 
Al hys apostlene veet, 

Thos ordre forthe he lesschte. 

De diaconis. 
Nou of the sixte telle ich schel, 
That hys the ordre of deakne, 
Thet hys of more perfeccioun 
Thane hys ordre of sudeakne ; 
He bryngeth 
To honde thet the prest schel have, 
Wanne he the masse singeth. 

Ine the ealde lawe beren hy 

The hoche of holy crefte, 
And nou the stole afongeth hy 

Ope here scholder lefte, 

To a-gynne ; 
And so for thane travaylle her, 

The ry5t half for to wynne. 

And at ordres avangeth hy 

The boke of the Godspelle, 
For than to rede the gospel, 

And sarraone for to telle, 
To wake 
Hy thet slepeth ine senne slep 

Amendement to maky. e 2 


Thyse ordre swete Jhesu Cryst 

Ine hys travayle kedde, 
Tho he prechinde thet folke 

To ry3tte weye ledde ; 

The thredde 
Was tho he wakede hymself 

The apostles for to bydde. 

De presbiteris. 
The sevende ordre hys of the prest, 

And hys i-cleped the ealde, 
Bote naujt of jeres, ac of wyt, 
Ase holy wryt ous tealde; 
For 3eres 
Ne maketh so naiijt thane prest aid, 
Ac sadnesse of maneres. 

And wanne he y-ordred hys, 

Hym faith an holy gyse, 
Hys honden beth anoynte bothe 

Thor -out a cirowche Avyse, 
Ther-inne Godes ojen flesch, 

That fode is to the stronge. 

He takth the helye inne of eyther luilf 

Y-joyned atte breste, 
Thet no god hap ne heji hyne, 

Ne non harm hyne don deste, 
In mode ; 
Ac thenche on hym that tholede dealli 

For ous opone the roude. 


He takth the chaljs vvyth the wyne. 

And brede of the pateyne ; 
He heth power to sacry hyt, 

And thet throf hys ther seyne, 
Wei trewe ; 
Inne the elde lawe the ordre a-gan, 

Ine tokne of thyssere newe. 

Cryst kedde that he hys a prest 

Ry3t in double manere ; 
That on tho he sacreded hys body, 

Ther he set atte sopere ; 

Thet other, 
Tho he an roude offrede hys body 

For ous, my leve brother. 

De prima tonsura. 
To thys ordre croune bet 

Ys an apparyblynge, 
Thet hys in holy cherche y-cleped wel 
The furste scherynge 

Of clerke ; 
Gierke hys to segge an Englysch, 
Eyr of Godes werke. 

Ac Godes werke an erthe was 

The puple for to teche, 
And also thourj hys holy dethe 

Of sennes he was leche ; 

Thes werkes 
Men taketh after Jhesu Cryst, 

Wanne hy by-coraeth clerkes. 


And 5) t' hy doiith wel hare dcver 

Ine thysse heritage, 
Ne may hem falle after thys lyf 

Noil one worth desperage, 
To wysse, 
liyjt y-marissched schelle hy be 

Ine hevene-ryche blysse. 

The croune of clerke y-opened hys, 
Tokneth the wyl to hevene, 

Thet habbe mot that entri schel 
Into eny of the sevene, 

And sedder, 

Tokneth ase he ine ordre a-ryst 
That hys the croune breddour. 

Ther drof bischop hys dignete 

To maky thulke sevene, 
And hyt by-tokneth thane bisschop 

In the bisschopriche of hevene, 
So wrethe 
Was and hys the pope vicary 

I-maked here an erthe. 

Tliythe ordres to thys sacrament 

By ryjte longis schoUe, 
And that mo be that gode beth, 

Thes maketh al that folle 

Be a-stentc ; 
'I'lierfore ich abbe ondo 30U thos, 

For thyse sacrement. 


And nou ich wolle ondo thys eft 

By the wey of mystyke, 
For crystene man hys Godes hous, 

Hye mote habbe wyke 

Nou lett ich schel onlouke thys, 

Ase God wyle grace 3yve. 

Thet inewyt hys the dore-ward, 

The doren wyttes fyve ; 
He schel loky wel bysylyche 

That no lykynge in dryve. 

That stenketh ; 
That inwyt hys the reddere eke 

That holy lore thencheth. 

Thet innewyt dryfth the fend awey, 
Myd meende of Crystes pyne ; 

Thet inwyt ly3t ther saule ly3t 
Myd theawes gode and fyne, 
To hele ; 

Thet inwyt wescht the felthe awey, 
And greydeth the fessele. 

Thet inwyt redeth that gospel. 
Wane hyt herereth Crystes lore ; 

And 3et ther-to hys charge hyt berth 
Of left half swythe sore, 

To abyde 

After thys lyf the hevene blys. 
And krefte the ry3t syde. 


That inwyt hys the masse prest, 
That ine the herte slaketh 

Thane auter of devocioun, 

Wane man hys bone maketh ; 
No lesse 

Nys hyt wane man stedevast by-leftU 
Sacrament of the messe. 

On inwyt mey al thys wel do, 
And ine the manne to werche, 

Ase on may al thys ordres have 
Ryt wel in holy cherche, 

Ase here ; 

5ef her nys suiche mynystre nou, 
Thys temple stent evere. 

Ther-fore ech man that crystene hys 

Hys wyttes loky fyve, . 
And thenche opan the lore of God, 

And fendes fram hym dryve. 
And ly3te 
Myd gode thewes ;il hys lyf, 

And ther-to do hys my5te. 

And wessche and greydy hys fessel, 
And do trewlyche hys charge, 

And maked offrynge of hys beden, 
Myd wel to elraesse large 

Thys wyke ; 

By thys 50 i-seoth how eth mey do 
Inc manere of mystyke. 


The signe hys of thys sacrement 

The bisschopes blessynge, 
Forth rayd the adraynystracioun 

That he deth atte ordynge, 
And grace 
Of wyt and of auctoryte, 

Thet thynge hys ine the place. 

De matrimonio. 
Her longeth nou to thys sarmon 

Of spousynge for to werche, 
Thet hys the tokne of the joynyng of 
Gode and holy cherche ; 

And woste 
Ry3t holy cherche y-cleped hys 
That holy folke ine goste. 

And ase ther mot atter spousynge 

Be ry3t asent of bothe, 
Of man, and of ther wymman eke, 

Yn love and nau3t y-lothe, 
By-tuixe God and holy folke 

Love hys wel trye and ryche. 

Thanne ajte men here wyves love, 

Ase God doth holy cherche ; 
And wyves naujt ajens men 

Non onwrestnesse werche, 
Ac tholye. 
And nau3t onwrost opsechem hy 

Ne tounge of hefede holye. 


Ine wlessche joyneth man and wyf 

Children to raulteplye ; 
And God hatli takea oure flesch 

Of the mayde Marye, 

TVel ferren, 
Ther-of springeth thet holye stren 

I-lykned to the sterren. 

Wei fayr thanne hys thys sacrement, 

And marye was by-gonne, 
Tho hyt by-gan ine Paradys 

Are Adam were y-wonne 
To senne ; 
Ac so changede to vylenye 

That Stat of man-kenne. 

For 3ef he hedde i-healde hym, 
Ase God hym hedde y-maked, 

He hedde y-brout forthe hys bearm-team 
Wythoute senne i-smaked ; 
Wet thanne, 

3et holy stren by-tokned hys 
By strenynge of the mane. 

Hyt was God self that spousynge ferst 

In Paradys sette ; 
The fend hyt was that schente hyt al 

Myd gyle and hys abette, 

Wranch evel, 
Spousoth scheawyth wet God ther dede, 

Hourdom wat dede the devel. 


For vvanne man drajth to horclom, 

And let hys ryjt spouse, 
So dede Adam ine Paradys 

Hys ryjt lord of house 

Of bevene, 
The gode for-horede the fend 

Wyth hys blaundynge stevene. 

That deth that God menteyneth 
Wei ry5t spousynge her an erthe, 

And ever mo schel go to schame 
Hordom and thet hys worthe, 
I-lome ; 

Bet some wenth ligge in spoushop, 
And lithe in hordome. 

Ther-fore ich wylle telle 30U 

The lore of ry3t spousynge, 
That he ne take horedom, 

Wanne taketh weddynge ; 

Nou lestneth. 
The lore al of the la3e y-wryte 

That holy cherche festneth. 

Ase to God hyt were y-now 

That bare assent oof bothe, 
Wythoute speche and by-treuthynge, 

And alle manere othe, 

And speche ; 
Ther mote be speche of hare assent, 

Holy cherche to teche. 


And 3ef the man other that wyf 
By cheaunce doumbe were, 

3ef may wyten hare assent 
By soum other abere, 

And seave, 

Hy mowe be wedded wel 3enge 
By holy cherche leve. 

Two manere speches beth i-woned, 

Ther two men for to nomene ; 
That one of thyng that hys now, 
That other of te comene, 

"Wel couthe ; 
" Her ich the take" wordes beth 
Of thynge that hiis nouthe. 

And jef me seythe " ich wille the have," 
And ther-to treuthe ply3te 

He speketh of thynge that his to come 
That scholde be myd ry3te 

Of treuthe ; 

Ac that ferste ne faylleth nau3t, 
That other may for sleuthe. 

And 3yf another treutheth sethe, 
Wyth word of that hys nouthe, 

The ferste dede halte beth, 
Ne be hy nase couthe. 

As none ; 

Bote 3ef ther fol3ede that treuthynge, 
A ferst flesch v-mone. 


For thet completh thet spoushod 

After the by-treuthynge, 
That hyt ne may be ondon 

Wyth none wythseggynge, 

By ry3te ; 

And that hyt were her ondo, 

Ry3t halt wythoute Dry3te. 

And her may treuthynge be ondo 

Thorwe falnesse of partye, 
And for defaute of witnessynge 

Wyth wrange and trycherye, 
Me weddeth suyche and liggeth so 

For than ine hordome. 

Ne hy3t ne may no man ondo, 

By lawe none kennes, 
And so by-leveth ever-mo 

Fort other vvendeth hennes, 
Thou wyse, 
So bryngeth hem in suche peryl, 

That hy ne mowe a-ryse. 

Ac 3ef eny hys ine the cas, 

Red ich that he be chaste ; 
And 3yf hys make mone craveth 

Ine leyser other in haste 
He mo3t hy3t do wyth sorye mod, 

And skyle wert wepynge. 


3yt he mot gret penaunce do 

The dayes of hys lyve, 
And 3et the more 3ef hath maked 

An hore of hys wyf, 

That ere, 
3ef that he hedde y- wedded hy, 

A goud wymman hyt were. 

For suche la3e is that manye beth 
Men other wymmen of elde, 

Thar suche contra3t y-maked hys 
That more ry3t prove 3elde, 

And schoUe ; 

And 3et of voices thane of tuo 
Hys prove to the folic. 

And 3yf ry3t contrait ys y-makcd 
Wy3thoutc wytnessyngc, 

3ef hy by-knoweth openlyche 
Byfore men of trewthynge, 
Tc take, 

To-gidere y-hoten schoUe hy be, 
Tha3 other oft for-sake. 

That hys bote hy wedded be 

To othren er hy hy5t by-knowe ; 

For tha3 hy by-knowe hyt, 
Ne hys nau3t y-helde trewe 
By lawe ; 

For 3ef hy were, hyt scholde be 
These spousebrechene sawe. 


Of ham that schokle y-\vedded be 

Her the age thou my3t lerne, 
That knave childe fortene 3er 

Schel habbe ane tuel thetherne, 
Spousynge ; 
At seve }er me maketh may, 

Ac none lyjt weddynge. 

For the5 hy were by assent 

Ry3t opelyche y-wedded, 
And ase thyse childre ofte beth 

To-gadere ry5t y-bedded, 
By ry3te ; 
Bot 3ef hy 3yve ine tyme assent. 

Departed be y-my3te. 

And the tyme is wane ather can 

Other fleschlyche y-knowe, 
For wanne hy habbeth thet y-do, 

Ne mowe hy be to-throwe, 
In sa3e ; 
Hy beth i-cliped pukeres, 

That hys a worde of lawe. 

Ne no treuthynge stonde ne schel, 
Wyth strenthe y-maked ine mone, 

Bote ther fol3y by assent 
Ry3t flesch y-mone, 

Ine dede ; 

For thet folvelleth that spoushoth, 
Ase ich by-fore sede. 


And 5yf liy bethe by assent 
The thrydde treuthe leyde, 

Here eyther other for to have, 
Other word to asenti seyde, 
Othe swore ; 

3ef by soflPreth hym mone of flesche, 
Hys wyfe and naujt hys hore. 

And 3ef ther hys condicioun 

Y-set atter treuthynge, 
3ef hyt hys goud wythoute quede, 

Hyt letteth the weddynge, 
Onhealde ; 
Bote 3ef ther vlesches y-mone be 

Fol5ynde, ase ich ear tealde. 

And hit is wykked condicioun, 
Covenaunt of schrewead-hede, 

Ase 3ef he seyth ich wille the have 
5ef thou deist suche a dede, 
Of queade; 

Tha3 thet covenant be nau5t y-do, 
Hy schoUe hem weddy nede. 

Bote that quead be a3eins spouthhoth, 

Ase ich schel here teche; 
And 3ef man seyth " ich wolie the have, 

3yf thou wilt be spousbreche, 
Other wealde 
For te destruwen oure stren," 

That treuthynge darf naut healde. 


Sudeakne mey be y-wedded naujt, 

Moneke, muneche, ne no frere, 
Ne no man of religion, 

Profes 3ef that he were, 
To leste 
Of chaste professioun 

Hys solempne by-heste. 

Ac 5ef man of religion, 

Be hys ryt fre wille, 
Over tyme of professioun 

Heldeth hym thrynne stylle, 
Schel hym nau5t be religioun, 

Thaj he be nau3t professed. 

Ac 3ef ther were ry3t treuthynge. 

That may nau3t be relessed ; 
Ore hye into suche ordre came, 

And here hi be professed, 
To sothe, 
Hy scholde a5en to the spousynge, 

And lete al that to nuthe. 

Hy that the man for-leyen hetlu; 

Under hys ry3t wyf. 
Other 3yf hy hosebonde heth 

Ine thet spousbreche alyve. 
Si dome ; 
3et hi ray3te be wedded eft, 

3ef by sengle by -come. 


Bote 5ef by by-treuthede hem, 
Wyth worde of noutbe i take, 

Other bote by by-speke his dethe 
In hare senvoUe sake, 

To sla3e ; 

For thanne scholde by weddi nou5t, 
By none ry5t lawe. 

Meseles mowe y-wedded be, 

5ef hi asenti wylle ; 
An tha3 other bi-come mesel, 

To-gadere healde hem stylle, 
To nomene; 
Bote the treuthege bare be, 

Wyth wordes of to comene. 

For 5ef thet by by-treutbed be 
With worde of nou y take, 

Other wyd wordes of to come. 
With dede of flesches sake, 

Ther, brother, 

Seel be renoveled that a-gonne hiis, 
And ayther fol3y other. 

Bote the syke into a spytel-hous 
Entry ther beth museles, 

Thanne der the hole naujt 
Ther-ine folwy hiis meles, 

Ne hiis gyfte ; 

Falthe bam nau3t in suche compaigni 
To-gadcre be a ny5t. 


And ine the weddynge ne gaynet 1101131, 
Thaj thou the other by-swyke ; 

Wanne them weneth the other be hoi, 
And wedded thane syke, 

Ne tinde ; 

Ne beth no thynges bote two 
That oundeth the weddynge. 

That on hys, wanne he weddeth the thral, 

And weneth the frye take ; 
That other, wanne he weddeth one other 

Thane hys ry5te make, 

By-gyled ; 
The lawe of God ne senteth nou5t 

That man be so by-wyled. 

And 5yf thet one weddeth the thral, 

And weneth the frye weddy. 
And 3yf a spyet that sothe throf, 

And wondeth nau3t to beddy, 
Ine mone ; 
3ef he by wyl serveth that flesche, 

Ry3t partynge worthe hym none. 

And 5yf thy wyf hebbeth a child, 

Wane thou he best for-leye, 
Ne my3t nau3t weddy that childe 

Eft tha3 that thy wyf deye, 
By lawe ; 
Ne forthe the moder thet hyt beer, 

Ne woldest thou nase y-fa3e. 


And 5yf thou habbest so a child, 
The lawe y-wryte hyt sede, 

Thy wyf that his thyn oje flesch 
Dra3eth eke the godesybred, 

That hy ne may weddy that child, 
Ne fade thet hyt bi-5ete. 

Thet ilke that y-crystned hys 

Ne may weddy by laje 
Him that hyra crystneth, ne hys child, 

Ne wolde nase na5e, 

Ac lete ; 
And eke hem that hym hebbeth so, 

And alle hare bi-5ete. 

And for the fader and moder 

That hyne fleschlyche forthwyseth, 

Gostlyche for hym by-sebbe beth. 
To ham that hine baptizeth, 
And heven ; 

Ther-fore thaj hy ham wedded eft, 
Ne myt so by-leven. 

And ase the gossybrede dra3th 
Ry5t to ous after crystnynge, 

So gossibrede dra3eth eke 
Ry3t after confermynge, 

By lawe ; 

That so hy mo5e hy weddy nau3t, 
Ne wolde hy nase y-na3e. 


More godsibrede nys ther nau3t 

Thane hys y-mene3ed here, 
Godfader wedded godsoaes child 

Fol wel, my leva fere, 

No senne, 
Neth man and wyf that weddeth ham, 

Godfader the3 he habbe enne. 

And 5yf a man hebbeth thy child, 

And naujt bye thyne wyfe, 
Thy wyf may weddy thane man 

Wel after thyne lyve, 

And libbe ; 
And in that cas thou my3t weddy 

To thyne wyfes gossibbe. 

And that lawe for-bode nau3t 

That man and wyf y-mene 
Toe hebbe a childe, 3et scholdy nau3t 

Honestete so 3wene, 

Ne wette, 
Schrewede tonge for te speke 

For sclaunder me schal lette. 

The sibbe mowe to-gadere nau3t, 

The foerthe grees wythinne; 
Ne me ne scholle telle the stoke 

That after hym by-genne, 
To telle; 
And 3ef other the fixte of-taketh, 

To gare more hy dwelle. 


3C'f thou nijd word, if tliet hys noutlie, 

Aiyjt bi-treuthest one, 
Other tha3 thet bi-tfeuthy hy iiau5t. 

And hast flesches mone, 
By lavve, 
AUe here sybbe affinite 

To the for-than schel drawe. 

And thet ine the selve degre 
That hy beth here by sybbe ; 

And 3ef thou weddest eny of ham, 
In inceste seboUe ye lybbe 
An erthe ; 

3ef hy y-sibbe ine degres 
Ry3t wythinne the ferthe. 

And so drawyth hy affinite 

Wyth alle thyne sibbe, 
Ase thou of hire sibben dra3St, 

For-than tlia3 hy ne libbe ; 

Wat doth hy3t ? 
Hyt deth the monynge ine flesche, 

The3 non ne wyte ne se hy3t. 

And holy cherche y-hote heth, 

Me schal maky the cryes 
At cherche oppe holy day3es thre 

By-fore the poeple thi*yes. 
To assaye. 
To sech contrait 3ef me mey 

Of dcstorber anaye. 


For ei'tlie the baues y-gi'ed 

He that the treuthe maketh, 
Farth ase he that great work by-gunth 

And thanne conseyl taketb, 

And tethleth; 
Ac mani man that so by-gunth, 

With grete harme fayleth. 

And thaj the weddynge were maked, 

Ase hyt mytte by lawe, 
3et hyt myjt eft be ondo, 

And eft also to-drawe, 

Wet wyse, 
3ef ther ne mey nothere kendelyche 

Do the flesches servyse. 

Thet hys, jef that ere the weddynge 

FoUe that ylke lette, 
That other were so i-let 

To do the flesches dette, 

By kende; 
For 3ef that lettyng velle seth, 

Ne scholde by nou3t to-wende. 

And tha3 thet on bi-wiched be 

Thanne by to-gadere come, 
That by ne my3te don ry5t nau3t, 

Ne asayde nase lome, 

And wolde; 
3et thre 3ier by abyde scholde. 

To do ere hi be scholde. 


And tha5 that servyse be foul, 
5et hyt liys tokne of gode ; 

For hy5t by-tokneth the takynge 
Of oure flesche and blode 

Ine Cryst ; 

No stren may non encressy 
Wythoute flesches loste. 

And dette hyjt hys in spoused, 
Wanne the other liy5t welde ; 

For 3yf thyt other nolde do, 

Destrayned be he scholde. 

Be rytte. 

To do hyt jyf that he may, 
The lawe heth the he myjte. 

And thaj man hath bysemer 
Of seche manere destresse. 

Be hem wel syker hyt hys y-do 
For wel grete godnesse, 
Of lyve ; 

For elles nolde the la5e naujt 
Of suche thynge schryve. 

In spoushod beth godnesse thre, 
Treuthe, strenyg, and signe ; 

Treuthe hys that ther no gile be 
Thourwe spousebreche maligne ; 
Ac, brother, 

That on may spousbreche by-come. 
For defaute of thet other. 


That Other godnesse hys strenynge, 

Ther me may children wene; 
And 3yf that on thothren warneth hys flesch, 

Ne myjt hy naut strene 

On nette, 
Tho scholde that godnesse be 

By-twene ham inlette. 

The thrydde godnesse hys sacrament, 

That hiis the holy signe 
Of the joynynge of God self 

And holye cherche digne, 

That abayleth; 
And 3yf thothren warnth hys flesch, 

That sacrement hem fayleth. 

By thyse thre hy moje i-se 

Wanne hy ine flesche sene3eth. 
Wanne hy wythoute thyse thre 

Wyth fleschlich mone megeth 

Hare other other. 
The more thyt doth, the wors hi beth, 

And God also the lother. 

Ase 3ef hy hy3t my3t wel a-come 

To letten other wyle, 
And lesse do hyt thane hy doth, 

Wythoute otheres peryl 

Ac blondeth, 
And nys non ned wyth foule handlynge 

Other other afondeth. 


Ne hy ne wondeth messe-day, 

Ne none holy tyde, 
Ne holy stede wyt'uoute peryl, 

Tha5 hy ray3te abyde 

Spy fehhe, 
Ther hy my3te hyt do kendelyche, 

Onkende hys hare onsehhe. 

Hyt nys nau5t a3ens sacrement 
Of God and holy cherche, 

Thay hy nolde by goud purpos 
Ine hare flesche worche 

By feld ; 

So ferde Marye and Joseph, 
By assent that clene hem held. 

For they hye wolde 

In flesch by-leve clene, 
5et a3eyns treuthe nere hyt nou^t, 

Ne forthe a5eyns strene ; 

Hou scholde hy3t 
A5e gode purpos of strene, 

Bote other of ham wolde hy3t ? 

Ne hy3t nys a3eyns sacrement, 
By assent tha3 hy be clene ; 

In spoushoth 3ef hy levies hem, 
And wel libbeth i-mene : 

Cry St and thys holy saulen eke, 
AI lovieth hem ine clannesse. 


And 5yf bothe betli of god wylle, 

And of assent an emne, 
To take to religioun 

And makye a vou solempne, 
Hy mytte 
In chastyte for evere mo 

Sei-vy onre Drytte. 

And 3ef that eyther other may 

Kendelyche serve, 
Ne mo5en hy ajeins wyl to go 

Er thane other schal starve, 
No sauve, 
Bote 3ef that on for-houred be, 

He may departyng have. 

And jef hy so departed be, 

Chastite he mote take, 
So longe ase thothres lyf y-lest, 

That whas hys ryjt make, 

Xyst gabbe, 
3ef he other thane hy for-lyth, 

A3en a schel hys habbe. 

Tha3 hy mysdede, 3et and he uyle 

Eft a3eyn he may crave, 
Tha3 ther such a departynge be, 

And hiis wyf a3eyn have, 

And scholde ; 
Tha3 hy wythseyde hyt openlyche, 

And a3eyn come nolde. 


Ac understond for thet hordom 

That maketh thes to stryve, 
That eche hordom ne parteth nau3t 

The man al fram hiis wyf ; 
Nou lestne, 
jef the other othren so by-swyketh, 

Ne mo3e hy nou5t ounnestne. 

Ne tha3 a wyf by-gyled be 

Of another by wrake, 
And weneth wel to for-leye be 

Of hyre ry3tte make ; 

3et more, 
Tha3 hy ben strengthe be for-leye, 

Takth he nau3t houre lore. 

Ne 3ef thon thother profreth 

Wyth any other to beddy, 
And ne 3ef the on welnith this otheres deth. 

And he another weddeth, 

Tha3 come ; 
The make a3en ne schelde hy be 

To do for hordome. 

Ac het nou ounderstand for ham 

That gooth a pylgrymage, 
On wenddeth, the other abyde schel, 

Wet other passeth age, 

By kende, 
Other wat that ther be of hys death 

Ry3t god and certayn mende. 


And 3yf man halt ase hys wyf 

After the gelt hys spouse, 
Thaj he by hyre ne ligge noujt, 

Other halt hys ine hys house, 
In torae, 
Ne schal hy nau3t departed be 

Fram hym for hordome. 

The signe hys of the sacrement, 

The treuthynge wel couthe, 
Other comthey signe of thet asent 

Wyth worde that hiis nouthe. 
And dygne ; 
Thynges ther beth her mo than on 

Onder thys ylke signe. 

Thet thyng hys thet hoi assent 

By-tuixte man an wyf, 
"Wat bynding hys of the spousehoth 

To helde to ende of lyf, 

And, brother, 
Thys ilke thynge a signe hys eke 

Of thyng to-forin another. 

And that thynge hys ase ich seyde her, 

Tho ich her-an gan worche. 
The holy joynynge of God self 

And of al holy cherche. 

In tome, 
Of spouhoth thys aneyment 

Louketh 50U for hordome, 


The seynt Johan ine the Apokalips 

Se3 pruveetes of hevene, 
He 863 ^ boke was fast i-schet 

Wyth strong lokes sevene, 
A wonder ; 
Ne hy my3ty no man ondo 

Above in hevene and onder. 

And tho that seint Johan y-se3 that, 
Wei sore he gan to wepe ; 

Tho seyde an angel, " Wep thou nou5t, 
Ac take wel gode kepe, 

Thys sygne, 

That holy larabe that shi3en hys 
To ondo hyt hys wel dygne." 

Thys ylke boke the mystikys 

Of these sacrementis, 
That were i-schet fram alle men, 

Wat God himself out sent hys, 
To tounne ; 
For be thou syker hy were in God, 

Er than the worlde by-gounne. 

For ase he wyste wel 

We scholde be by-gyled. 
So ever wyste he that the feend 

Scholde a5en be by-wyled, 

Thor3 Cryste ; 
Ac he hyt hadde wel priv6 

For Saternases lyste. 


Al what OS com thet ilke lambe, 

Jbesus that was y-slawe, 
That onne schette the queynte loken, 

That spek of the aide lawe, 
And sevene, 
So kedde out thyse sacremens 

By-nethe and bove in hevene. 

The ferste loke oneleke Jhesus, 

Ase be wel coude and my3te, 
Tho Nychodemus to hym come 

At one tyme by nyjte, 

To lerny ; 
And he ondede hym cristendom, 

No lenge he nolde hyt derny. 

That lok onleake of confermynge 

Ther hiis apostles leye 
Slepynde tho that of ham bed 

Aryse for to preye, 

That by ne voile into fondynge. 

Ac that bye weren stronge. 

The thrydde loke onleke Jhesus 

Ther he set atte sopere, 
Tho he sacrede hys flesche and blod, 

Ase ich 30U seyde hyt here, 
So bolde, 
In fourme of bred and eke of wyn 

That we hyt notye scholde. 


And the Peter in 036 ny3t 
Thryes hedde hyne for-sake, 

And he by-held hyne ther a-set 
Ry3t atte hys pynyng-stake, 
Nem kepe, 

Ther he onleke penaunce loke, 
Tho Peter gan vor to wepe. 

The fy3te that hys elyynge, 
Cryst onleke to oure wayne, 

Tho hand and fet and al hys lymes 
I-persed were ine payne, 

Ene helede, 

For al the formes of oure lemes, 
Anon so be we anelede, 

The syxte onleke swete Jhesus, 
Of ordre nothynge orne, 

Tho he a-veng for oure love 
The croune of scharpe thornes ; 
Wei wyde 

Ondede the loke of ry3t spousynge 
The wounde onder hys syde. 

For ase wymman com of the ryb 
Of the mannes ry3t syde, 

So holyche spouse of God 

Sprange of thane wonden wyde ; 
Nou leste, 

IIou that was hed conseyl ine God, 
Sprounge hiis out at hys brest. 


Nou, Lord, that coudest maky open, 

Thet no man coude oneschette. 
And canste wel schetten thet hy be open 

That none other man derte 
To hopye. 
So graunte ous thyne sacremens, 

That non errour ne ous ascapye ; 

And that we hys mote a-redy have, 

Lord, her at oure nede, 
That no deve5l ne acombry ous, 

Lord, thou hy5t ham for-bede, 
Amonge ; 
And for the tokene that we neme, 

Lat ouse thy holy dole fonge. Amen. 

Oretis pro anima domini Willelmi de Schorham, 
quondam vicarii de Chart juxta Ledes, qui composuit 
istam compilacionem de septem sacramentis. 


Pater noster, Domine, labia mea aperies, etc. 

Thou opene myne lyppen, Lord, 
Let felthe of senne out wende ; 

And my mouthe wyth wel god acord 
Schel thyne worschypynge sende. 

Deus, in adjutorium meum intende. 

Vaderis wyt of heve an-he5, 

Sothnesse of oure Dry5te, 
God and man y-take was 

At matyn-tyde by nyjte. 
The disciples that were his, 

Anone by hyne for-soke, 
I-seld to Gywes and by-traid, 

To pyne hyne toke. 

Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicamus tibi, etc. 

We the honreth, Jhesu Cryst, 

And blesseth ase thou os tou3test ; 

For thourj thy crouche and passyon 
Thys wordle thou for-boujtest. 

Oremus, Domine Jhesu Criste. 

We the byddeth, Jhesu Cryst, 

Godes son a-lyve, 
Sete on crouche pyne and passyoun, 

And thy dethe that hys ryve ; 
Gode atende to ray socour, 

Lorde, hy3e, and help me fyjte ! 


Glorye to the Fader and Sone, 

And to the Gost of myjtte ; 
Ase hyt was ferst and hiis, 

And schal evere-more be wyth ryjte. 
Bytuext ous and jugement 

That no fend ous ne schende, 
Nou, ne wanne the tyme comthe 

Thet we scholle hennes wende. 
And 5yf the lyves mysse and grace, 

The dede redand and reste, 
Holy cherche acord and pays 

Ous glorye and lyf that beste ; 
That levest and regnest wyth the Fader 

Ther never nys no pyne, 
And also wyth the Holy Goste, 

Evere wythoute fyne. Amen. 

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum ; bene- 
dicta tu, etc. 

O swete levedy, wat they was wo, 

Tho Jhesus by-come in orne ; 
For drede tho the blodes dropen 

Of swote of hym doun orne. 
And, levedy, the was wel wors, 

Tho that thou se3e in dede 
Thy leve childe reulyche y-nome 

And ase a thef forthe lede. 
And ase he tholede thet for ous, 

Levedy, wythoute sake, 
Defende ous wanne we dede bethe. 

That noe fende ous ne take. g 2 


Paternoster. God, atente to my socour. Lord, hyye, 
etc. Deus, adjtitoruan meum, Domine, ad. Hora prima. 
At prime Jhesus was i-led 

To-fore sjre Pylate, 
Thar wytnesses false and fele 

By-lowen hjne for hate. 
In thane nekke hy hene smyte, 

Bonden hys honden of myjtte ; 
By-spet hym that sw... semblant 

That hevene and erthe k-lyjte. 

Adoramus te, Christe. We the honoureth, etc. 
Ave, Jhesu Christe. We the biddeth, Jhesu Cryst. 
Ave Maria, etc. 

swete levedy, wat the was wo 

A Gode Frydayes in orthe, 
Tho al the nyjt y-spende was 

In swete Jhesues sorwe. 
Thou se3e hyne hyder and thyder y-cathed, 

Fram Pylate to Herode ; 
So me bete hys bare flesche, 

That hyjt arne alle a-blode. 
And ase he tholede that for ous, 

Levedy, withoute crye, 
Schelde ous wanne we deade beth 

Fram alle feenden mestrye. 

Pater noster. Deus, in adjutoriiim. God, atende 
to my socour. Crncijige, etc. 

Crucyfige ! crucifige ! 
Gredden hy at ondre ; 


A pourpre cloth hi dede hym on, 

A scorne an liym to wondre. 
Hy to-steke hys swete hefed 

Wyth one thorn ene coroune ; 
Toe Calvarye his crouche ha beer 

Wei reuliche ou3t of the toune. 

Adoramus te. We the honoureth, Jhesu Cryst. Ut 
sancta, Domiiie Jhesu Christe. We the byddeth, Jhesu 
Cryst. Ave Maria, etc. 

swete lavedy, wat the was wo 

Tho that me Jhesus demde, 
Tho that me oppone hys swete body 

The hevye crouche semde ! 
To here hyt to Calvary 

I-wys hyt was wel wery, 
For so to-bete and so to-boned, 

Hy5t was reweleche and drery. 
And alse he tholede that for ous, 

Levedy, a thysse wyse, 
I-schelde ous, wanne we dede beth, 

Fram alle fendene jewyse. 

Deus, in adjutorium. Gode, atende to my socour. 
Pater noster. Hora sexta. 

On crouche y-nayled was Jhesus 

Atte six3te tyde, 
Stronge theves hengen hy on 

Eyther half hys sede. 
Ine hys pyne hys stronge therst 

Sthanchede hy wyth 5alle ; 


So that Godes holy lombe 
Of senne wesche ous alle. 

Adoramus te, Chrisle. We the honoureth, Jhesu 
Cryst. Oremus, Domine Jhesu Christe. We the 
biddeth, Jhesu Cryst. Ave Maria, gratia plena. 

swete levedy, wat the was wo 

Tho thy chyld was an-honge, 
I-tached to the harde tre 

Wyth nayles gret and longe ! 
The Gywes gradden, " com adoun," 

Hy neste way y raende, 
For thrau ha thole to be do 

To deth for mankende. 
And ase he henge, levedy, for ous, 

A-heye oppon the hulle, 
I-scheld ous wane we deade ben, 

That we ne hongy in helle. Amen. 

Pater noster. Deus, in adjutorium. God, ateiide 
to my socour. Lord, hy^e, etc. Hora nana. 

Atte none Jhesu Cryst 

Thane harde death felde ; 
Ha grade " Hely" to hys fader, 

The soule he gan op-3elde. 
A knijt wyth one scharpe spere 

Stange hyne i the ry3t syde ; 
Therthe schoke, the sonne dyni by-come, 

In thare tyde. 


Adoramus te. We the honoiireth, Jhesu Cryste. 
Domi/ie Jhesu Christe. We the biddeth, Jhesu Cryste. 
Ave Maria, gratia plena, etc. 

swete levedy, wat the was wo 

Tho Jhesus deyde on rode ! 
The crouche and the ground onder hym 

By-bled was myd his blode. 
That swerde persed thyne saule tho, 

And so hyt dede wel ofter, 
That was thy sorwe for thy child, 

Dethe adde be wel softer. 
And ase he tholed thane deth, 

Levedy, for oure mende, 
Schulde ous wane we dede beth, 

Fram deth wythouten ende. Amen. 

Pater noster. Deus, in adjutorium. God, altende 
to my socour. Lord, hi^e, etc. De cruce deponitur. 
Hora, etc. 

Of the crouche he was do 

At eve-sanges oure ; 
The strengthe lefte lotede ine God 

Of oure Sauveoure. 
Suche death a under-3ede, 

Of lyf the medicine, 
Alas ! hi was y-leyd adoun 

The croune of blysse in pyne. 

Adoramus te. We the honoureth, Jhesu Crist. 


Ave Jhesu Christe. We the biddeth, Jhesu Cryst. 
Ave Maria, gratia plena. 

swete levedy, wat the was wo 

Tho Cryst was do of rode ! 
For ase a mesel tlier he lay, 

A-stonned in spote and blode, 
For-bere wepyng ne iny3t hy 

That seje al hou thou weptyst ; 
Al hy the seje of hym blody, 

So ofte thou hine by-cleptyst. 
And ase he tholede the fylthe, 

For felthe of oure sennes, 
Helpe ous, levedy, we clene be, 

Wanne we scholle wende hennes. Amen. 

Pater noster, etc. Deus, adjiitorium. God, attende 
to my socour, etc. Lord, hi'^e, etc. Hora complectorii. 

At complyn hyt was y-bore 

To the beryynge. 
That noble corps of Jhesu Cryst, 

Hope of lives comynge. 
Wei richeleche hit was anoynt, 

Folfeld hys holy boke ; 
Ich bydde, lord, thy passioun ^ 

In myne mend loke. 

Adoramus te. We the honoureth, Jhesu Crist. 
Domine Jhesu Christe. We byddeth, Jhesu Cryst. 
Ave Maria, gratia plena : etc. 

O swete levedy, was the was wo, 


And drery was thy raone, 
Tho thou sei3e thy lefe sone 

I-bered under the stone ! 
That thou wystest thour3 thy feyth 

A-ryse that he scholde, 
A drery fayth hyt was to the 

That he lay under molde. 
And ase he was four ous y-bered, 

And a-ros thourwe hys myjtte, 
Help ous, levedy, a domes-day, 

That wey a-ryse mytte the, levedy brytte. 

Thyse oures of the canoune, 

Lord, mone5e ich the wel fayre, 
Wyth wel grejt devocioun 

A reyson debonayre ; 
And ase thou tholedest lor forme 

Ope Calvaryes doune. 
So acordaunt to thy travayl, 

Lord, graunte me thy coroune. Amen. 


De decern preceptis. 

The man that G-^des hestes halt, 

And that myd gode wylle, 
And naujt one by-fore men, 

Ac both loud and stille, 
Meche hys the mede that hym worthe, 

By so that he na drylle ; 
jef he hys breketh and so by-loefth, 

Hys sauylle schal he spylle. 
3ef thou hys halst man, God the seithe, 

Ha wole be the so kende, 
He wole be fo to thyne fon, 

And frend to thyne frende. 
Hye the mys-doth, ham wyle mys-do, 

And have thys ine thyne mende ; 
Hys angel schal to-forthe go 

To wyte the fram the fende. 
Thyne sustenaunce thou schel have, 

Thy3 naujt a-lyve delyce, 
Ac mete and clothes renableliche, 

And lyf ine herte blysce. 
Tha3 folke the beelde a nice man, 

Ther-fore nert thou naujt nyce ; 
I-likned worth thy gode loos 

So swete so the spyce. 
Thef the that art a crystene man 

Wei hy healde by-falleth, 
Syker thou my3t be of that lond 

Thar melke and hony walleth, 


That hys the blysse of hevene aljove, 

Thar holy soulen stalleth ; 
Ine glorye ther none ende nys, 

Ne none svvetnesse appalleth. 
To wyte thanne wat God hajt, 

Is eche man wel y-halde, 
Throf ich may telle ase ich wot, 

Ase other men me tealde, 
And ase hyt hys in holye boke 

I-wryten ine many a felde ; 
Lestneth to mey par charyte, 

Bothe 5onge and ealde. 
thynge hyt hys al that God hat, 

Bote a-two he hyjt dy3te. 
And that hys love, man, syker thou be. 

To lovye wyth thy my3t. 
Thou ert y-helde, man, ther-to 

Bye skele and eke by ryjtte ; 
Thou thenke her-on par charyte. 

By dayes and eke by ny3tte. 
Thys love God heth y-dijt a-tuo 

Amange hiis hostes alle, 
The ferste hys for to lovye God. 

By-falle what so falle ; 
Seththe to lovye alle men, 

So brothren scholde ine halle, 
Wythouten byternesse of mode 

That hiis thare saule galle. 
The man that healdeth thys two, 

Of charyte the heastes. 


Al he folveth the lawe of Gode 

And prophetene gestes. 
Ac lasse love th3r hys wyth men 

Thane be wyth wylde bestes, 
That doth that manye y-schodred ben 

Fram hevene-ryche festes. 
Ten hestes haveth y-hote God, 

Ase Holy "Wryt ous tealde, 
the two tablettes of stou 

"Wyth hys fynger bealde. 
He hys wrot Moyses by-toke 

Wylom by da3es ealde, 
To wyse man hou schal wel 

These ten hestes healde. 
In ston ich wot that he hys wrot, 

In tokne of sykernesse, 
That we that wole y-saved be, 

The more and eke the lesse, 
By-hoveth that he healde hy 

"Wyth al hys bysynysse. 
Alias ! feawe thencheth ther-on, 

Th a wykkednesse. 

Yet o table hedde thry 

Of thyse hestes tene. 
The thri longeth to love of Gode, 

Ase hy3t schel wel be sene ; 
The seven longet to love of man, 

That none scholde wene, 
Ine thother table sete tho 

To-gadere and al y-mene. 


Honury thou schelt enne God, 

Hjm one to by-knowe ; 
Take naujt hys name in ydelschepe, 

Wyth ydel wynde to blowe ; 
Halje thou the masse-day, 

Ase he comthe in the rewe. 
In these thre the love of God schewy hit, 

Were hyt hys to sewe. 
Worschipe thy fader and moder eke ; 

Ne brynge no man of ly ve ; 
Do the to none lecherye, 

Thaj the foundyngge dryve ; 
Wytnesse vals ne here thou non ; 

Of thefthe thou ne schryve ; 
Coveyte none mannes wyf, 

Ne nau3t of hys for-stryve. 
Thys bethe the sevene that love of man 

Schewe what hy5t be scholde. 
3ef eny man fayleth eny of thys, 

Nys hy3t bote an on holde ; 
Ac al to fewe lovyth ham, 

And wylleth that other wolde. 
Alas ! wat schal be hare red, 

Wanne hy beth under molde ? 
Ac many man desceyved hys, 

And weneth that he hys helde ; 
And weyneth that he be out of peryl, 

Other ine senne so schealde, 
That hym ne douteth of no breche 
Of Godes hestes healde, 


Ac he not nefer wat hy beeth, 

Ne never hy ne tealde. 
1-wryte hyt hys, ich telle hyjt the, 

Ine the boke of Wysdome, 
That eche man scholde conne hy, 

And rekeny wel y-lome, 
And that hy nere naujt for-3ete, 

Wane othere thoujtes come. 
Tys fyngres scolde man bynde hy, 

For doute of harde dome. 
For mannes honden and hys fet 

Beret tokene wel gode 
Of alle the tenne comaundemens, 

That man thyt onderstonde. 
Ten fyngres and ten thine tone, 

Of flesche and bon and blode, 
Tokneth that thyne workes ne be 

Ajeyns the hestes for broude. 
3et som man hiis that passioun lyche 

Can telle hy myd the beste, 
Ac me hys dedes nares he, 

Ase he naujt of hem neste. 
And 5et hym thingth that he beth wel, 

And for to come to reste ; 
Ac al desceyved schel he be, 

"Wanne cometh the grete enqueste. 
Here-fore nys hyjt nau3t y-nouj 

To telle hy ne vor to conne, 
And telle and werehe wel ther-by, 

Thanne hys hy5t alle y-wonne. 


For wel to conne and nau3 iio don, 

Nys nather rawe ne y-sponne ; 
Lytel hiis worth bote hyt endy 

Wel thynge that hiis wel by-gonne. 
They hyt be wel lyttelyche y-sed, 

The ferste heste a-rowe, 
For to honoui'y anne God, 

Hym one to by-knowe, 
Thenche thou most wel bysyly, 

And thy wyjt thran by-stowe, 
And bydde hym that thou hyt mote do 

Wel myldelyche a-knowe. 
For thou ne myjt hytte nefere do, 

Man, wel wythoute grace ; 
So heth thys wordle bounde the 

Wyth here lykynges .... 
Ther-fore the by-hoveth Godes helpe, 

That he hyt wolde arace, 
So that thou ne teldest no worth 

Of blandynge face. 
For 3yf thy wyl rejoth more 

In enyes kennes thynges, 
Be-hy3t the childe, other thy best, 

Land, brouches, other ryngeth ; 
Other ajt elles, wat so hyt be, 

Bote yne God that hys kynge of kynges, 
Thou ne anourest najt God a-ry3t, 

Ac dest is onderlynges. 
By-lef thou in no wychecraft, 

Ne ine none teliinge, 


Ne forthe inne none ymage self, 

Tha3 that be great botninge ; 
Bote as al holy cberche the tek, 

Thou make thyne worthynge. 
For Gode nele naujt that thou hyt do, 

Bote by there wyssynge. 
Thanne asay thyn 056 thojt 

By thysser ylke speche. 
And 3yf thou aunourest God a-ry3t, 

Thyne inwit wyle the teche. 
And 3yf thou fynst that thou ne dest, 

Amende, ich the by-seche ; 
Thou ert a sot, and my3t do bet, 

And so si5st yn the smeche. 
That other heste apertelyche 

Schewed mannes defaute, 
Wanne he aldey swereth ydelleche, 

In kebbynge and in caute. 
Mechel hys that he maketh hym 

Her eftervvard to tenty, 
"Wenne he schal hys acountes 3yve 

Of ech idel sente. 
Thenne ne couthe ich nanne red 

Of thylke acountes oure, 
Nere the milse and merci of God self 

Oure alder auditour, 
That wolle the arerages for-3eve, 

3ef hyt hys to hys honoure. 
Ac cesse, man, of thy ydelschop, 

Other ich wole out wel soure. 


The thrydde heste apertelyche 

Scheweth wyth wykked rote, 
Wanne thou halst thy masse-day, 

As God hyt hath y-hote ; 
Ac werkest other werke dest 

Werkes that beth to note, 
The wykkede ensample that thou 5efst, 

Thou abeyst, ich the by-hote. 
And that thou ne werche naujt, 

Ac gest to pyne gloutynge, 
Other in eny other folke 

In pleye of thretynge. 
Thou halst wel wors thane masse-day, 

Thane manne myd hys workynge ; 
Thare-fore to the al y-holliche 

That day to holy thynge. 
The feste heste scheweth the 

That thye senne schal slethe, 
3yf thou rewardest thyne eldrynges naujt 

A-lyve and eke a-dethe ; 
That were wel besy to brynge the forthe, 

As hy my5ten onnythe, 
5yf thou hy gnajst and flag5st eke, 

Ryjt hys that fendes fleathe. 
Naujt nys thys heste y-hote of God 

For suche eldren allone ; 
Ac hys of mannes eldren eke, 

Ase he te3t atte font-stone. 
Ther holy cherche thy moder hys. 

And fader in Cristes mone ; 


5ef thou ert onboxom to hyre, 

Grace of God ne worthe the none. 
The fyfte heste scheweth the 

That thou ne schalt naujt smyte, 
Ne nau3t ne mys-segge ne mys-do, 

Ne nau5t foules he atwyte. 
For ofte the mannes sie3te aryft, 

Were man hy3t weneth wel lytel ; 
And he that spilleth mannes lyf, 

Venjounse hyt schel avvyte. 
And 3ef ther hys man-sle3 the pur, 

As ous telleth holy boke, 
3yf eny man for defaute deyth, 

And eny hym for-soke 
To helpe hym of that he may, 

Hys lyf to save and loke, 
Her dere 3er acuseth fele, 

That God and arthe touke. 
And 3et seint Johan the wangelyst 

Al into mende drajeth. 
He that hatyeth eny man, 

He seche that he hym sla3e. 
Manye suche man-sle3 then beth, 

That al day men for-gna3etb, 
And sweche beth in helle depe 

That develen al to-draweth. 
The sixte heste scheweth wel 

The sothe to al mankenne. 
The dede y-do in lechery 

Hys ry3t a dedleche senne. 


And elles nere hy3t naujt 

For-bode amange the hestes tenne ; 
The that seggeth hyt nys naujt, 

So hare wy5t hys al to thenne. 
Her hys for-bode glotenye, 

So ich the by-hote ; 
For ich norysseth lechery e, 

Ase fer the brondes bote. 
And tha3 ther be alone lomprynge 

In lecheryes rote, 
Al hyt destrueth charyte, 

Wyth wrake and wyth threte. 
The sevende heste schewed wel 

Man schal be true in dede, 
That no man abbe of the otheres naut, 

Thor5 thefte wyckerede. 
For al hys thefte that man te5t 

Myd wyl of wymynghede, 
Ajens the ryjt ajeres wyl, 

So lawe y-wryte hyt sede. 
Thanne hys hyt a thef, wo so hyt be, 

That manne god so taketh, 
Be hy5t by gyle other mestry, 

Other wordes that he craketh. 
In londe suche his many a thef 

That y-now hym maketh ; 
He wenth by chere of jugement, 

Ac helle after hym waketh. 
The ejtende heste the for-bed 

The ffalse wytnessynge ; 

H 2 


And that hys, man, syker thou be, 

Alle manere lesynge 
To hermy in body, 

Othei" in hys other thynge, 
Other in hys saule, and that hys worst, 

In peryl for to brynge. 
Al hyt hys senne that me lejth, 

Bote that men lejth for gode ; 
Ryjt deadlyche senne nys that nau5t 

For myldenesse of mode. 
Ac elles, man, al that thou legst 

Is deathlich and for-brode, 
The thet hy3t useth, ich wot hy beth 

Unwyser thane the wode. 
Alas ! onnethe eny man 
* That thyse hestes healde ; 
Alle hy beth y-torned to lesynge, 

Thes 3onge and eke thes olde. 
Ther-to hys mentenaunce great. 

That raaketh hy wel bealde ; 
Do 3e nau5t so, par charyte, 

Ac 30ure tongen 3e wealde. 
The ne3ende heste the for-bed 

That wyl to lecherye ; 
And to spousbreche nameleche, 

That so meche hys to glye, 
Thanne nys hyt nau3t one dealyche 

Swych dede to complye, 
Ac ys that voule wyl also 

To swyche fylenye. 


The tethe heste the fo[r]-bet, 

Wyl tou other manne thynge, 
For that desturbet charyte, 

In onde man to brynge. 
Defendeth 50U, for Godes love, 

Fram alle wykked wyllynge ; 
For suche wyl hys for dede i-set 

In Godes knelechynge. 
Nou ich 30U bydde, for the blode 

That Jhesus blede on the rode, 
That into herte taketh thys two 

To 30ure soule fode ; 
And fojeth naujt in thys wordle 

The vyle commune floude, 
That fleuth into the fendes mouthe ; 

And so seithe Jop the gode. Amen. 


\_De septem mortalibus peccatis.^ 

Senne maketh many thral, 

That scholde be wel fry ; 
And senne maketh many fal, 

That he ne mote i-thy. 
Senne bryngeth man a-doun, 

That scholde sute a deys ; 
Senne maketh stoi'bylon, 

Thar scholde be godes peays. 
Senne maketh by-wepe 

That som man er by-105 ; 
Senne bryngeth wel depe 

That hyra wel hy5e droj. 
Senne hys swete and lyketh, 

Waune a man hi deth, 
And al so soure hy bryketh, 

Wane he venjaunce y-seth, 
Senne maketh nywe schame, 

Thaj hy for-3ete be ; 
And senne bryngeth men in grame, 

Thar er was game and gle. 
And senne maketh al the who 

That man an erthe hath ; 
And bryngeth rnannes saule also 

In helles voule breth. 
And they man be fram helle y-wered 

Thourj repentaunce here, 
5et ne may naujt some man be spared 

Fram purgatories fere, 



Tliat lie ne scliel soffry ther liys who, 

As he hiis here atenkt, 
And her nys fer namore ther -to, 

Thanne hys fer dereynt. 
Ac purgatorie and belle hy beth 

So lyte by-leved. 
That what soraevere men telleth, 

Beth throf al adeved. 
Hem wolde douty more 

A lytel pyne her. 
Thane havi wolde al that sore, 

And on y-sely fer. 
Ac hwo sej ever eny 

That hedde of senne glye. 
For bond other for peyne, 

That he ue changede hys blye, 
Wyth schame and eke wyth schounde, 

Wytb sor3e and eke wyth who, 
And that was ked in londe 

By some nau5t fern ago. 
Tlianne ich may wyssy ase ich can, 

I miself tha3 ich be spreth, 
That bote thou wylle wondy, man, 

Thy pyne after thy deth, 
Wonde the sor5e that hys her, 

Foljende after thy queed, 
And 3et the tyt the lasse fer, 

Whanne the faith to be dead. 
Whanne thou scholdest sene3y, 

By-thenche, leve frend. 


And thaj thy flesch the mene3y, 

The wordle other the fend, 
By-thenche hou schort hys the lykynge, 

And hou the schame hys stronge, 
And hou thou weiyest thane kynge 

Of hevene wyth thy wronge. 
Thij man mo 30 thorj hys resone, 

Y wote, wanne he mys-deth ; 
5ef ther by-hoveth gre5t sarmone 

To hame that levved bethe ; 
For feawe of ham conne the skele 

Hou senne aboute cometh, 
And that acombreth swytbe felc 

That none kepe nometh. 
Ther-fore thys tale rymeth 

Hou men in senne beth, 
And hou senne by-lymeth 

Than that to senne hym deth. 
Ther-fore neme 3e kepe 

Al hou the senne syt, 
That 36 ne falle to depe, 

For wane of 50ure wyt. 
Nou lyst hou man hys bounde 

Wyth senne swythe stronge, 
And hou he bereth death wounde, 

And fenym thare amonge. 
The wonde swelth an aketh 

So doth the naddre stenge, 
And gret and gretter maketh, 

And feithe make tluengc. 


I-wounded was mankende 

After that hy was wro3t, 
Thor} the neddre the feend, 

That hy heth al thorj soujt. 
Thorwe the fenym of senne, 

That al mankende slakth, 
Nes non nou that kenne 

That that fenym ne taketh. 
And that fenym was ferst y-kast 

On Eve and on Adam, 
And so forthe thenne hyt her y-Iest, 

Ase kenne of 3erneth yne man. 
So hyjt nys naujt senne lyas, 

That child that haveth lyf, 
Y-bore other onbore was, 

Bote crystnynge breketh that stryf. 
Oryginale thys senne hys cleped, 

For man of kende hyt taketh syn ; 
Ry3t so hys al mankende a-merred, 

Thor3 the route of fenym. 
That doth that mannes body y-bered, 

Nys bote a lyte slym, 
Her-uppe y-tho3t hath meny a man, 

And i-sed many a foul, 
That onwyslyche God ous by-gan, 

And hys red was to coul, 
That let man to suich meschyf, 

Tliat my3te hyt habbe undo. 
Ac 3ef thou wolt by gode lef, 

Thenche thou namore so. 


Ne velthe hyt nou3t to clypye a3en. 

We soeth wel hyt hys thous ; 
God to atwyte cure won 

No longeth nothynge to ous. 
For we dysputeth ajeyn hym, 

Concluded schel he be, 
Dispute nau5t, ac kepe nym, 

"Wo thart and who hys he. 
Wat helpth hyt the crokke, 

That hys to felthe y-do, 
A3e the crokkere to brokke, 

Wy madest thou rae so ? 
The crokkere myjtte segge 

Thou proud erthe of lompet, 
Ine felthe thou schelt lygge, 

Thou ert nau3t elles ne3t. 
Ry3t so may God answerye the, 

Wanne thou hym atwyst, 
Wat helpthe hyt so wran to be, 

Wanne thou wyth Gode chyst ? 
Do nau3t so, ac mercy crye. 

That the tyde vvors ; 
For suiche al day me may y-se 

Encresseth here cors. 
Ac be thou wel, man, be the wo, 

Of gode ne tel thou nau3t lytel ; 
For syker be that he let do, 

He let hyt do wyth ry3te. 
Swech ry3t scheaweth wyth 

God above, the hy3t be hyd fram the ; 


Thenche naraore for Godes love 

So heje pryvete. 
Ac thench thou nart bote esche, 

And so thou 1036 the ; 
And byde God that he wesche 

The felthe that hys in the. 
And thy3 thou lange abyde, 

Ne atvvyt hym naujt thy who ; 
Ac tyde the what by-tyde, 

Thou thenke hym evere mo. 
And so soum grace the by-tyde, 

Ac elles the hy for-gest ; 
For God wythstondeth hym that chyt 

And a3e God wrest, 
Ase he wythstent the prouden, 

And myld grace sent 
To libbe amange the louden, 

Wenne other beth i-schent. 
Nou we seeth wel hou hyt ys 

Of thane oryginal ; 
Nou lest ou man do amys 

Thor3 hys 03ene gale. 
Thys senne cometh naujt of thy ken, 

Ac thyself ech del. 
Tho seggeth thys leredemen, 

And clypyeth hyt accuel. 
Thys manere senne nys nau3t ones, 

Ac hys i-schyt in thry, 
In thou3t, in speche, in dede amys, 

Thys may ech man y-sy. 


He that ne thynketh nau3t bote wel, 

And speketh and doth al ryjt, 
The man hys sekere of accuel, 

Ac he hys here so bry3t. 
Ho hys he that al beth wel, 

The thojtes that he kakthe ? 
And who hys that spoke scheal 

A-ry3t al that he speketh ? 
And wo hys he that al newe deth 

Wel al thathe deth? 
No man, no man, ac ni3t and day 

Thys men by-soyled beth, 
So as hy beth men ase we seeth 

Wyth sennes al thor3 therled, 
Many ys the senne that me doth. 

In tal the wyde wordle. 
Of senne ich wot by thyse sckyle, 

That ther hiis wel great host ; 
And for the fend i-mut so fele, 

Ther-of hys alle hys host. 
And he arayeth hare trome 

As me areyt men in fy3t ; 
For he sykth gode theawes 

Some a3enes ham y-dy3t. 
And ase God dyst theawes 

In alle gode men, 
The feend arayeth the schreawes 

In wykken ther-a3en. 
Thys hys that fy3t an erthe 

That al wynth, other lest ; 


And ase the fy3ttere hys worthe, 

The cheveteyn hym chest. 
Ac cheveteyn of senne 

Ich wot that the fend hys ; 
For wyse and alle kenne 

Arayes hys amys. 
And ase there in bataylle 

O kynge bereth the beeth ; 
Soe hyt were a gret faylle, 

jef the host were eni he3. 
Ther-fore me maketh prynses 

The host to govern! ; 
And ase who welen the linses 

To-gadere heldeth hy. 
And ase al that hys here 

By sove da3es geth ; 
Of senne alle manere 

Seve develen prynces beth, 
That thene certeygne, 

That Cryst kest out hyt seyth, 
Of Marie Maudeleyne, 

That goospel that ne weyth. 
The ferst pryns hys prede, 

That ledeth thane floke, 
That of alle othere onlede 

Hys rote and eke stoke. 
For nys non of the syxe 

That hy ne cometh of thane, 
For myx of alle myxe 

In hevene by by-gan. 


Prede suweth in floures 

Of wysdom and of wyt, 
Amang levedys in boures 

The foule prude sy3t ; 
Under couele and cope 

The foule prede lythe ; 
Thej man go gert wyd rope, 

jet prede to hym swyth. 
Prede syjt under ragge, 

Wei cobel and vvel balgth, 
That ketheth wordes bragge, 

And countenaunces jaldeth. 
Nys non, thaj som myt wene, 

That some prede ne taketh ; 
Ne none so proud, ich wene, 

Ase he that al for-saketh. 
For who hys that nevere set hys thoujt 

And erthe to be hyj ? 
Who hys hit that never y-thoujt 

Of porape that he sej ? 
Who yst that never nas rebel 

Ajenis hys soverayn ? 
Who hist that be-nome schel. 

And nabbe non agayn ? 
Who hyst that nevere godlich nas 

Wanne chaunce at wylle come ? 
Who yst that wanne he preysed was. 

Never at hej hyt nome ? 
Who hyst that never thojte 

He scholde honoured be, 


For dedes that he wroute 

Wanne menne hy3t mytte se ? 
Who hys that never ho3the droj 

To-ward hys that was ? 
Ho hys never ne kedde W03 

In boste to hys sugges ? 
Ho neth wyth pompe y-schewed hym 

jet other thane he was ? 
Nou ypocresy kepe nym 

Regneth, hyt nys no leas. 
Ho yst that never was y-blent 

Wyth non surquydery ? 
That hys wanne a proud man 

Heth y-ment other thane hyt schel by. 
Wo that never ne dede thous 

He wole prede by-flej ? 
3ef that kebbede eny of ous, 

Ich wojt wel that he lej. 
The man the hym wole afayty 

Of prede that hys so hej, 
Fol wel he mojt hys weyti 

Bothe fer and nej. 
For jef he let to nothe 

That he ne awayteth hy, 
Ich segge hym wel to sothe, 

That ryjt proud schel he be. 
For prede hys a senne of herte, 

And bounte scheweth hy, 
Wyth kebbynges aperte 

And weddynge many able. 


Thor3 dedes of bostynge, 

And atyr stent and say, 
And other suche thynges 

That men usyeth al day. 
That other feend of onde 

Hys pryns and chevetayn, 
That senne hys ryf in londe, 

And nau3t hys hyre wayn. 
For sorwe he heth of gode, 

And harrae hys hyre blysse ; 
Ine here pryncy mode 

The hert wait al thys. 
Thys senne hys over nyce, 

Ac holde schal hy be, 
The senne of meste malice 

Ajeyns charyte. 
Wanne love hys here preye, 

Al for to confundy, 
And wyl het to by-traye 

That wolde gode by. 
Onde hys a senne of herte, 

And bounte scheweth hy. 
To harmy and to herte 

Wanne hey deth bacbyty. 
Wanne hy holdeth hy werches 

That god and hende beth, 
And othere southe plocches 

Scheweth wat onde deth. 
The thrydde senne hys wrethe, 

That so meche hys i-telde, 


Ilyt maketh bled and broche 

About the herte aneld. 
Wanne raanne neth naujt hys thouse 

To wylle and alse thynthe, 
He corapasyth venjaunce 

To hym that ajen clenketh ; 
And so hyt fret and hys y-frete 

Evere megrete, 
And wanne hy het to meche hete, 

Hyt letteth charite. 
Inne herte hys thys senne3in<Te, 

And bounte scleweth mod, 
Thor3 cheste and noys-doynge. 
And wythdrawynge of god. 
Covetyse hys the furte, 

I-lyche dropesy, 
"Wanne al that hys an erthe 

To hyre hys al besy. 
And hou hy habbeth hy verktb, 

And mannes herte by-set, 
Fram Gode and so thanne name y-kejt 

Servise of Mamenet. 
That hy by herte senne 
3et boute schentth hy 
To mochel amange mankenne, 

Thor3 wrange and trycherye, 
Thor3 3eskynge efter gode, 

Thor3 bor5 and 5emer 5elde, 
Thorw wrechydnesse of mode, 
And never more ful-felde. 



The fyfte senne hys sleuthe 

Of that man scholde do, 
Hye breketh god treuthe 

"Wyth God and man also. 
Wanne man leteth adrylle 

That he god 3elde schel, 
And for-slaggyth by wylle 

That scholde men to stel. 
Of herte cometh thes senne, 

And schewe boute also, 
Hon hy letteth mankenne 

Of that scholde by do. 
Hyt hys thorwe besynesse 

That men for-slewyth hyt ; 
And other wyle thor5 ydelnesse 

God dede era do for-slyt. 
Glotonye hys the syxte, 

And hys me ine flesche y-do ; 
And lecherye the nyxte in flesche 

Hys senne also. 
Ac glotonye entythyth 

To lecherye her, 
Ase that hy norysseth 

Hote brondes thet fere. 
Of glotonye hys foure, 

The boke speketh openlyche ; 
To meche fode devoury ; 

And to lykerouslyche ; 
An do to freche to fretene, 

Wanne men hiis tyme heth ; 


And out of tyme to hetene, 

That none siknesse neth. 
Of lecherye cometh 

Wreche, foule speche, and foule deljt, 
Commune hordora, 

Spousbreche, incest, and sodomye. 
And hys incest wyth kenne 

The lecherye so ; 
And sodomyt hys senne 

A5ens kende y-do. 
By-feld beth men in sleauthe, 

Ase glotonye hyt bryngeth ; 
And ofte hyt doth moni kepe, 

That man wakynge thencketli. 
Ac jef evyl hyt come naii5t 

Dealyche senne next, 
Ac hou hyt falleth y-lome ncj, 

Ech man nau3t y-wyst. 
Thyse manere sennes sevene, 

Ase he hys here i-sejeth, 
Me letteth men fram hevene, 

And al dedlyche hy beth. 
Wanne hy y-thou3t beth other y-speke, 

Other y-don in stat, 
A3e the lawe of God to breke 

The hestcs that he hat. 
Of alle the sennes tha ther beth, 

Thos bereth that los ; 
For everech senne that me doth 

Longeth to some of thes. 



Her-by thou my3t, man, y-seo, 

And liou here ende hys sour ; 
Nou loke her-in pur charite, 

And make hyt thy myrour. 

Oretis pro anima domini Willelmi de Schorham, 
quondam vicarii de Chart juxia Ledes, qui composuit 
istam compilacionem de septem mortalibus peccatis. Et 
omnibus dicentibus oracicnem dominicara cum saluta- 
cione angelica quadraginta dies Venice a domino Symoiie 
archiepiscopo Cantuarice conceduntur. 


Meche hys that me syngeth and redeth 
Of hyre that al mankende gladeth, 

I-bore was here on erthe ; 
And they alle speke, that speketli wyd tonge, 
Of hyre worschype and murye sounge, 

jet more he were worthe. 

Thyse aungeles heryeth here wyth stevene, 
Ase he hys hare quene of he[ve]ne. 

And eke hare blysse ; 
Over al erthe levedy hys here, 
And thorjout helle geth here power, 

Ase he hys emperysse. 

Cause of alle thyse dignyte, 
Thorj clennesse and huraylyte. 

Was Godes owene grace ; 
Wer-thorj he ber than hevene kynge, 
Worschype hys worthy ine alle tbynge 

Ine evereche place. 

Al that hys bove and under molde, 
Hou myjt hyt bote hyt bowe scholde 

To hyre owene mede ; 
Wanne he that al thys wordle schel welde. 
To hyre worschipe hys y-helde, 

For here moderhede. 


Al thyse maydenes wythout bost 
Hy beretli God in here goste 

In hare holy thou}! ; 
Ac hy wythoute mannes y-mone 
In body and naujt in gost alone 

To manne hyne broute. 

Of hyre that hys thos dygne of take, 
Hou my5te ich of hyre songes make, 

That am so foul of lyve ; 
And thou me bade, soster, synge, 
And alle into one songe brynge 

Here swete joyen fyve. 

To segge that ich hyt maky can, 
That am so oneconnende a man, 

Dar ich me naujt avanty ; 
Ac tryste ich AvoUe to oure levedy, 
And maky hyt ase hyt wyle by, 

And ase hy hy wolde me granty . 

As man me hys by leave y-seth, 
Joyen of hyre so fele ther beth, 

Ne may hyt no man telle, 
Ase hy hath of hyre leve sone, 
Hyt passeth al mankeudes wone, 

And out of mannes spelle. 

Four manere joyen hy hedde here 
Of hyre sone so lef an dere, 

Wytnes opan the Godspelle ; 


And 111 Cometh of'te the blysse, 
Tliat hye heth nou wythoute mysse, 
So stremes of the welle. 

Tho, wylle that hys in paradys 
Fol wel by-tokneth thys avys, 

Wyth here stremes foure, 
Thet orneth out over al that londe, 
Nys never erthlyche raaa that fond 

Hou fele come of the stoure. 

Thys wuUe hys God self man by-come ; 
Of hym thys joyen beth alle y-norae, 

And alle ine nout raaner. 
The furste was wyth concepcioun, 
Tho the angel Gabryel come a-doun 

Ine stede of messager, 

To bryuge the tythynge by-fore, 
That Cryst of hyre wolde by bore, 

Mannes trespas to jelde ; 
For to brynge ous out of helle, 
Wo mytte thenche other telle 

Wat joye ther y-velde. 

In Najareth the ryche toun, 
Ave Maria was that soun 

Of Gabrieles stevene ; 
Tho was that mayde was y-gret, 
And wyth a present wel a-geet 

Fram vader oure of hevene. 


So he was ine hyre y-come, 

For fleasch and blod of hyre to nome, 

Ase the angel hyre seyde ; 
Ne hy of mannes mone neste, 
Ne hy ne breke nau5t hyre by-heste, 

Ac evere clene a mayde. 

Seynt Johun the Baptyst onbore, 
Tho hy spek hys moder by-fore, 

Ine joye he gan to asprynge ; 
Elyzabet wel that aspyde, 
Hon aspylede onder hys syde, 

And made hys rejoyynge. 

More encheyson hadde oure levedy 
Joyous and blythe for to be, 

AYythoute prede and boste ; 
For in hyre selve hy hyne fredde, 
Fol wel hy wyste hou hyne hadde 

Thor3 self the Holy Goste. 

Joseph kedde that he was niylde, 

Tho that he wyste hy was wyth chylde, 

Awey he wolde alone ; 
Ha nolde nau3t he were a-slawe, 
Ne forthe y-juged by the lawe 

To by stend wyth stone. 

Ac Joseph was wel blythe aply3t, 
So to hym cam the angel bryjt. 

To scggc hym wat he scholde ; 


Wei blyththere my3te be that may, 
That was y-conforted al day 

Wyth aungeles wanne by wolde. 

In thyssere joye we scholde by-louken 
Al byre joyen of vourti woken 

The wylest he jede wyth chylde ; 
Of byre hyt was god game, 
Ther-ine thet unicorn weks tame 

That erthange was so wylde. 

Thet other joye of byre y-core, 
Was of Jhesus of byre y-bore 

A Crystesmasse ny3te, 
Wythoute sor3e, wytboute sore, 
And so ne scbal ther nevere more 

Wymman wyth cbilde dy3te. 

For so by byne scholde ferst a-vonge, 
Ther nys no senna ther amonge, 

Ne noe fles^cbes lykynge ; 
Ther-fore of byre y-bore be was, 
Ase the Sonne passe3t thorj the glas, 

Wytb-outen onopenynge. 

In suathe-bendes by byne dyjte, 

Ase hyt hys the chyldes ry3te, 

And 3ef hym melke to souke ; 

Tba3 hyt were tbustre of ny3t, 

Tlicr nas wane of no ly3t. 

The bevene ean onlouke. 


Out com an aungel vvyth great loom 
Into the feld of Bedleem, 

Amonges the schoperden, 
Te telle that Cryst was y-bore, 
Ther come singinde ther-fore 

Of angeles manye verden. 

Thanne sede he swythe wel, 
Gracia plena, Gabryel, 

And that hys fol of grace ; 
Wanne glorye of hyre hys fol above, 
And pays i-grad for hyre love 

Of angeles in-place. 

The oxe and asse in hare manyour, 
The that hy sejen hare creature 

Lyggynde ine hare forage, 
Alone knowynge thaj hy were, 
Hy makede joye in hare manere, 

And eke in hare langage. 

Ope the heje e3tynde day 

He onder-jede the Gywen lay, 

And was y-circumcysed. 
Jesus me clepede hyne ther-vore, 
Ase aungeles er he were y-bore 

Hys eldren hedde y-wysed. 

Mochele joye hy aspyde, 

The kynges thre that come ryde 

Fram be easte wcl i-verre ; 


Gold, myrre, scor, were here ofFrynges, 
That he was lord and kyng of kynges 
Wei by-toknede the sterre. 

The that he scholde y-offred be 
In the temple domini, 

Ase la3e 5ef the termes, 
Symeon the olde man gan crye, 
And spek of hym fur propheeye, 

And tok hym ine hys earmes. 

Tho 36 was bote twelf wynter aid, 

And hejhe ine the temple he seat wel bald, 

And tha3 he speke smale, 
Many man wondrede on hym there, 
For to alle clerkes that ther were 

He 3af answere and tale. 

A-lyve vertu was hys childehode, 
And so he com to hys manhode ; 

Ine flom Jordanes syche 
He was y-crystned, the hevene onleake. 
The Fader of hevene doun to hym spake, 

The Gost com colvere y-lyche. 

To thyssere joye longye schoUe 
Alle the joy en that hyre foUe, 

Of hyre chylde God, 
Fram than tyme he was y-bore, 
For al mankende that was for-lore. 

For he deyde one the roudc. 


The thrydde joye that com of Cryste, 
Hadde oure levedy of hys op-ryste 

Frara deathcs harde bende, 
Out of tlie sepulcre ther he laye, 
Ase hyt fel thane thrydde daye 

After hys lyves ende. 

Wet joye of hyra myjte be more, 
After suiche sorjynge and swyche sore, 

Ase hye y-seye bine feye, 
Thanne i-si5e hyne come to lyve ajen, 
And everest more a-lyve to ben, 

And nevere eft to dey3e ? 

That he was lyf and strengthe and myjte, 
And that he kedde on Estre nyjtte, 

Al ine the dawyynge, 
Altha was an erthe-schoke, 
And hevene above undertoke 

Hys holy uppe-rysynge. 

Thar doun come aungeles whyte ine wede, 
And that he was a-ryse by sede, 

And hare sawe was trewe ; 
That he ne laye nau3t under molde, 
For to asaye ho so wolde, 

Thane ston hye over-threwe. 

Thu5 tliat he ine liys manhoth deyde, 
Do minus tecum that a seyde, 

Tho the aungel here by-redde ; 


That hys to seggenc Godes ray5te, 
Ine ry3te sothe hyt moste sitte, 

That godhoth wel hyt kedde. 

Nedde oure levedy thyse blysse alone, 
Ac al hyre frendes in hyre mone, 

So meche was here the more ; 
For more hys blysse god and clene, 
Amonge frendes to habbe y-mene, 

After sor3ynge and sore. 

O that hy were blythe, tho hye were si3en, 
So glorious a-lyve wyth hare e3en, 

Thet hy y-seye er in paygne ; 
Furste aschewed hym wyth a fayre chaunce, 
To here thet hys ensample of repentaunce, 

Marye Magdaleyne. 

And so hygeye hyne Peter and sothenes hy alle ; 
And ther Thomas of Ynde a kowes y-falle 

Groped hys holy wounde ; 
Thare he fond flesche and blod myd the bones, 
An nou he gan to crye loude for the nones, 

" My Lord ich abbe y-founde." 

Houre Lord hym answerde in thet cas, 

" Thou levedest, for thou 8636 me, Thomas, 

That thou me haddest y-founde, 
Ac, Thomas, ich the telle, y-blessed hy betli, 
Tho that on me by-Ieveth and nau5t rae setli, 

Ne gropyeth none wounde." 


To thyssere joyen scholle be y-leyd 
Alle the joyen that mo5e be y-seyd, 

Ine wyttes other in mende ; 
Fram Crystes resurreccioun, 
Wat Cometh hya ascencioun, 

At fourty da3en ende. 

Ne for the joye telle ich may, 
That fel opon the Holy Thoresday, 

Opon a mounte yne heje ; 
He 863 Jhesus and othere some, 
Of flesche and blod of hyre y-nome, 

Op into hevene steje. 

Al ine joye was hyre mende, 
So hy seje here and oure kende 

Jhesus, hyre leve sone, 
Into the blysse of hevene sty, 
To agredy worthy scholde hy be 

At hyre assumpcioun. 

And 5et ne were hyt ii05t y-noj, 
One to agredy hyre I003 

And he3 ine hevene blysse ; 
Ac oure also, hyt nis non other. 
For he hys oure kende brother, 

That leve we to wysse. 

Ine hym ne sehalt hyt nau3t lang be, 
That we to hym ne scholle te, 

Wanne we scholle wende hcnnes ; 


Ac schel on ous, that beth onkende, 
Ne drajeth naujt hys love to mende, 

And wretheth hyne wyth sennes. 

And 3et he hys milde, and sparyeth some, 
And ase he wente op he wole corae 

A domesday wel bry3te ; 
For to crye manne dede, 
And after dede 3ive mede, 

And jugement to ry3tte. 

Betere red nys ther non here, 
For to be Crystes y-vere, 

And hy3 ine hevene blysse ; 
Bote folthe of senne to by-vly, 
And bydde God and oure levedy, 

That hy ous helpe and wysse. 

For hyre poer nys nou3t y-lessed, 
Ac toup alle othren hys y-blessed, 

Sothe wyf and mayde ; 
Ase that Godspel telleth ous, 
Benedicta tu in mulieribus, 

Elizabeth hyt sayde, 

Al here joyen a lok Sounday, 
And alle the that me aspye may, 

That hyre and erthe felle, 
Al frani Crystes ascencioun, 
Al wat comthe hyre assunipcioun. 

To thyssere loungy schellc 


The fyfte joye of oure levedy, 
Not erlychman hou hyt may by 

Ne ther-of raore aspye, 
Bote that the gloriouse beerde, 
Out of thyse world the gloriouse ferde 

Wyth greate melodye. 

Eve couth to the man hys thes figure, 
For the offyce of hyre sepulture 

"Was al an hevene gyse ; 
And toller hys man to hevene speche, 
Thane be abest, thaj man hym teche, 

Reyson and mannes wyse. 

Ther-fore nys ther-of naut y-wryte, 
For man ne mot noujt her y-wyte 

Wat hys so hej a stevene ; 
Ac holy cherche der wel by-knowe, 
That hy ne tholede none deathes thro3e, 

That lower that lyf of hevene. 

Hyt hys y-wryte that angeles brytte 
To holy manne deathe aly3te 

Her an erthe leye ; 
In holy boke hys hyt i-nome, 
That God hymself a wolde come, 

Wanne hy seholde deye, ' 

Ther-bye we mowe wel y-wyte, 
Thaj ther he naujt of y-wryte, 

That Cryst hymself was thei'e ; 


Myd hym of hevene the ferede, 
The eadi levedy for to lede, 

Most here no fend offere. 

Hy vvente uppe, my leve brother, 

In body and soule, hyt nys non other, 

For Cryst hys god and kende ; 
That body that he toke of hys 03en, 
Hou mytte hyt ligge araange the lojen, 

Wythoute honour and mende. 

Thanne ich dar segge, mid gode ryjte, 
That alle the court of hevene a-ly5te 

Attare departynge ; 
And Cryst hyraself ajeins hyre com, 
And body and saule op wyth hym nom 

Into hys wonyynge. 

That hy hys quen, ase ich er mende, 
Here grace hy may doun to ous sende, 

Hire joye to fol-velle ; 
Ich hopye hy nele nau3t let ous spylle, 
For he hys al to hyre wylle 

Of joye that hys the welle. 

For of hyre wombe he hys that frut, 
Were-of thes angeles habbeth hare dut, 

And men hare holy fode ; 
Elizabeth hy sede thys, 
Et benedictus fructus ventris 

Tui, Jesus the gode. 


Of songe liys to then entle y-brout, 
Ase thou hest, soster, me by-so5t, 

Ase ich bene myjtte frede. 
Now synge and byde the hevene quene, 
Thet by ous brynge al out of tene 

At oure mest nede. Amen. 

Oretis pro anima JVillehni de Schorham, quondam 
vicarii de Chart juxta Ledes. 


JMarye, mayde mylde and fre, 
Chambre of the Tiynyte, 
One wyle lest to rae, 

Ase ich the grete wyth songe ; 
Tha3 my fet onclene be, 

My mes thou onder-fonge, 

Thou art quene of paradys, 

Of hevene, of erthe, of al that hys ; 

Thou here thane kynge of blys, 

Wythoute senne and sore ; 
Thou hast y-ryjt that was a-mys, 

Y-wonne that was y-lore, 

Thou ert the colvere of Noe, 

That broute the braunche of olyve tre, 

In tokne that pays scholde be 

By-tuexte God and manne ; 
Swete levedy, help thou me, 

Wanne ich schal wende hanne. 

Thou art the bosche of Synay ; 
Thou art the rytte Sarray ; 
Thou hast y-broujt ous out of cry 

Of calenge of the fende ; 
Thou art Crystes ojene drury, 

And of Davyes kende. 

K 2 


Thou ert the slinge, thy sone the ston, 
That Davy slange Golye open ; 
Thou ert the 3erd al of Aaron, 

Me dreye i-se3 spryngynde ; 
Wytnesse at ham everechon, 

That wyste of thyne chyldynge. 

Thou ert the temple Salomon ; 
In the wondrede Gedeon ; 
Thou hest y-gladed Symeon, 

Wyth thyne swete offrynge 
In the temple atte auter ston, 

Wyth Jhesus hevene kynge. 

Thou ert Judith, that fayre wyf. 
Thou hast abated al that stryf, 
Olofernes wyth hys knyf 

Hys hevede thou hym by-nome ; 
Thou hest y-saved here lef, 

That to the wylle come. 

Thou ert Hester, that swete thynge, 
And Assever, the ryche kynge. 
They heth y-chose to hys Aveddynge, 

And queue he heth a-vonge ; 
In Mardocheus, thy derlynge, 

Syre Aman was y-honge. 

The prophete Ezechyel, 

In hys boke, hyt wytnesseth wel, 

Thou ert the gate so stronge so stel, 


Ac evere y-schet frara raanne ; 
Thou erte the ry3te nayre Rachel, 
Fayrest of alle wymman 

By ry3te toknynge, thou ert the hel 

Of wan spellede Danyel ; 

Thou ert Emaus, the ryche castel, 

Thar resteth alle werye ; 
Ine the restede Emanuel, 

Of wany speketh Ysaye. 

Ine the hys God by-come a chyld ; 
Ine the hys wreche by-come myld ; 
That unicorn that was so wyld 

Aleyd hys of a cheaste, 
Thou hast y- tamed and i-styld 

Wyth melke of thy breste. 

Ine the Apocalyps sent Johan 

I-sej ane wymman wyth sonne by-gon, 

Thane mowe al onder hyre ton, 

I-crouned wyth tuel sterre ; 
Swyl a levedy nas nevere non, 

Wyth thane fend to werre. 

Ase the sonne taketh hyre pas 
Wythoute breche thorjout that glas, 
Thy maydenhod onwemmed hyt was 

For here of thyne chylde : 
Now, swete levedy of solas. 

To ous senfoUe be thou mylde. 


Have, levedy, thys lytel songe, 
That out of senfol herte spronge ; 
A5ens the feend thou make me stronge, 

And 5yf me thy wyssynge ; 
And tha3 ich habbe y-do the wrange, 

Thou graunte me amendynge. 

Oretis pro anima domini Roberti Grosseteyte quon- 
dam episcopi Lincolnice. 


In holy sauter rue may rede, 

Hou God thourwe the prophete sede, 

Davyd, y-wysse, 
That Ibl in liys herte sede, 
Ther nys no Gode, dar man naujt drede 

To don amys. 

Thesse hyt hys, so hyt hys grete doute, 
Tliat thare be woxe of thare route 

Mani and fole, 
Tliat weneth ryt wythoute mysse 
That ther nys God ine hevene blysse, 

Ne lelle pool. 

That eny soche be crystene man, 
God for-bede, and naujt for-than 

"Wey soeth al day, 
That menye y-crystnedde were 
Fareth ryt ase hy nere 

INaajt of the fay. 

And manye of ham that beth so fele, 
That tha3 me godne sckele hem telle, 

Naujt hy3t ne ganth ; 
A3en hy clappeth thys and tliat, 
And manye of ham not nevere wat, 

Ne wat he menth. 


To sechen hyt hys wel lytel prys, 
Reyson to telle thet hys y-wys, 

Ac lete ham be ; 
For bote hy take a betere fay, 
Atte last hy goth to schame a-way, 

Me may hyt see. 

Ac 3ef thou wenst, man, that errour, 
That thare ne be no Sauveour, 

Ne other lyf. 
And hyt be for defaute of lore, 
Lest now wat ich segge more, 

Wythoute stryf. 

And jef thou [be] y-lered man, 
And onderstant 3et al for-than 

No God ne be, 
Ich acsy the a questioun. 
And ase hyt longeth to reysoun 

Andswere thou me. 

The erthe hys hevy wythoute wylle, 
That wey y-seoth and by al stylle 

To gonne throp ; 
What hou fareth hy that hy nasynketh, 
Ase here kende were hyt thenketh, 

Ho halt ys op ? 

Her-to me seyth, and heth y-sed, 
To healdc hy op hyt nys no ned, 
Ne nevere nes ; 


For chisel gravet stones harde, 
Ande here depnysse ry3t douu-vvarde 
Hys endeles. 

Thaj that be fals, me may aspye, 
By wytnesse of philosophye, 

And clerkes fele ; 
And fals ich may hit provie wel, 
Ther hyt hys ned, and were ich scliol, 

By thysse skyle. 

The Sonne and monne and many sterren 
By easte aryseth swythe ferren, 

Ase ham y-worthe ; 
By weste hy grendeth alle thyse, 
And cometh a3en ther hy a-ryse 

A under forthe. 

Thos myjt wete wel, wo so wolde, 
The wolkne by-clepth al the molde, 

And so hyt doth ; 
Ne may hy naujt thanne be endeles, 
That thos be go so hys and was, 

An that hys southe. 

Ac saye ryjt thos, and ich afowe, 
That everech man hyt mojt alowe, 

That reson hent, 
Hyjt hys a my3t of alle myjtte, 
That halt op therthe and sterren bryjte 

Aboute i-trent. 


Thys ilke raytte, for hyt wel may, 
Bryngeth forthe a wyt of swete aray, 

Thet no swech nys ; 
For al that hys an Iiej and loje. 
Hit schift and ditteth ase hys oje, 

And so hyt hys. 

Wat maketh sonne, mone, and sterren 
To certeyn go aboute and ferren, 

And faylleth noujt ? 
Hyt mot wyt and wysdom neade, 
Thet of the mytte thet ich er sede 

Hys forthe arajt. 

Nou thou sixte wel hou hyt syt, 
Thys ylke my5te and eke thys wyt, 

In oiu'e boke ; 
The mytte hys fader of our crede, 
Wysdom the sone, for wyttihede 

That he forth toke. 

Ever was thys ylke my5tte, 
And ever worth, bye gode ryte, 

Ne say naujt nay ; 
Hou mytte hyt and eft by-gynne, 
Thet nede neth of none gynne, 

Ac al do mey ? 

And ase hyt hys by-fore y-nome, 
Thaj that wyt of the mytte 
By kende way ; 


That wyt was evere natheles, 
The myjtte nys never wytles, 
Ne by ne may. 

Her-to acordeth cure fay, 
That holy cherche nej eche day 

Wei merye syngth, 
Ine a song ofte by note, 
Quicumque vult thet hys y-hote, 

Ry3t ase me singeth. 

For ther hyt of the Vader seyth, 
And of the Sone to-gadere leyth, 

In boke y-set ; 
The Sone hys of the Fader alone, 
Engendred nau5t, y-mad of mone, 

Nes othe wat. 

Folye hyt hys to meche to tbynche 

Of the engendrure and thynne adrenche 

Of Fader and Sone ; 
So ase hy bethe, ever were, 
And sothe by-3ete nevere nere, 

Elles me wone. 

Ac naujt forth than that hyt be soth 
Holy cherche to wytene doth, 

We wyten hyt wel ; 
I-lef hyt, other thou ert by-caut, 
For ho that nele by-leve hyt naujt, 

To helle he schel. 


And thelke Sone ^et natheles 
Ryjt ase the Fader hys endeles, 

Ase myji and wyt ; 
3ef ever was, ever was sone, 
For bethe reysoun and eke wone 

Aloweth hyt. 

Nou we habbeth Vader and Sone, 
Ase bye beth ry5t ine persone, 

And tbancheysone ; 
Wat may the Holy Gost nou be, 
Persone tbrydde in Trynyte, 

Nou herkne reysone. 

Thou sixt thet al that farth a-ryjt. 
Be hyt thyster, be hyt ly3t. 

To acord hys wyve ; 
For 3ef ther were weyre above 
Amange the sterren, and no love, 

Al hy to-dryve. 

And bote a truwe love come 

Of tliare my3tte and tha wysdome, 

Ne my3t hyt by ; 
And ry3t of ham he moste come. 
For wer-of elles te be y-nome 

Can non y-sy. 

Ever to lef that love were, 
For niy5tte and wysdom never nere, 
Wytlioute acord ; 


For 3ef acord hem hedde y-faylled, 
Ar ayder other hedde asaylled 
Wyth wykked word, 

Hou scholde my5tte maky wrake, 
Other eny descord onder-take, 

Wyth eje wyt ? 
So nest ac ever weren hy, 
Thanne moste love ever by, 

Nou thou sixt hyt. 

Thys love hys self that holy spyryt, 
Ther-to acordeth holy wryjt, 

Ine thylke songe, 
That ich was embe oure faye, 
That holy cherche singeth a-daye 

At pryme longe. 

The holy of Fader ryche, 

And of the Sone of other y-lyche, 

So he for-comthe, 
Nother by hete ne forthe i-wrojt 
Of ajt that hys, ne forthe of nau5t, 

By lawe hyt nometh. 

And ever was that holy spyryjt, 
That ylke songe wytnesseth hyt, 

And more ther-to ; 
That hy schal by and hys and was. 
That Fader of hevene ry3t endeleas, 

And Sone also. 


3et our by-leave wole onder-gon, 
That thyse thre beth vj^t al on, 

And nys no wronge ; 
Tha3 hy be ine reyson dyvers, 
O God hyt hys, and stent in vers 

Ine thulke songe. 

Thaj myjte, wysdom, and eke love, 
Hy thre by ase ich sede above 

Divers ine worke ; 
Ine hem self o God hy beth, 
Nys non that a3t elles y-seth, 

So god clerke. 

And uatheles ofte hy beth y-blend, 
Thyse clerkes vvyth here argument, 

Ande gynneth lye ; 
Hare a3e wyt hys hym by-kecheth. 
That God so sotylleche secheth, 

That syt so he3e. 

The Fader hys God, for he may alia ; 
The Sone hys sv.ete, for he wot alle, 

"Wythout crye ; 
The Gost hys God that oneth al ; 
3et ne beth hy bote o God al, 

Nau3t Codes thry. 

Tha3 my3tte be to the Fader y-leyd. 
And wysdome of the Sone y-seyd. 
And love the Goste •, 


3et beth by tbre of one niy3tte, 
Of one wytte and love ly3tte, 

Thor3 faythe byt wost. 

Nou thou syxt wel tbat encbeysone 
Of oure by-leve, and eke reysone, 

Tbet o God bys ; 
3ef tbou tbenkest fortber bou byt may be, 
Go nau3t to ni3 bys majeste, 

To thencbe a-mys. 

Nou bys al tbys by skele ondo, 
And by leave alegged tber-to, 

Tbat God bys be ; 
Now we moste y-wyte more 
Of thyse wordle some lore, 

How by5t may be. 

Fader, tby worldle ever were, 
Otber a some tyme nere, 

And tbo by-gan ; 
Everte mytte by nau3t by, 
Icb schal the telle reyson wy, 

Sothe ase icb can. 

For Godes my3tte ande eke bys wyt, 
And eke bys wylle to soffry by3t. 

So were W03 ; 
For 36 bys almytty, ase icb er sede, 
Al wys and wyl ine godhede. 

That bys y-no5. 


Ac 3ef he nedde thys world y-wrou3t, 

And my3te. and couthe and dede hy5t noii3t, 

Hyt were a-mys ; 
Ac hys almy3tty hys of suche entaylle, 
And hys ahnytty hou mytte hyt fayile, 

Of thet god hys. 

He made hyt al, nys hyt non other, 
And that of nau3te, ray leve brother, 

He made hys werke ; 
For er he a-gounne hys worke so merye, 
Nas nother fourme ne materye, 

Ne ly3t ne derke. 

Ne acombre nau3t thy wyt and nio, 
To meche to thenche hou hyt was tho, 

Hyt nau3t worth. 
Hou man hyt my3te wete ich not. 
For so to wytene ase God hyt wot, 

Comest thou nau3t forthe. 

Ac some mey acsy, war God was 
Tho nothynge of the worlde nas 

Ne great ne smal ? 
Ther the worlde hys nou was he, 
And 5et he hys and ever schal be, 

I-hole over al. 

He hedde nede of none gynne, . 
Ne 3et hou neth, to wonye ynne, 
Thou kepe nyra ; 


3ef the faly throf to be aposed, 
Sey God nys naujt in ther worldle a-closed, 
Ac liy hys ine hyni. 

Tha5 hy nabbe ende ne forthe gol, 
jet over al he hys y-hol, 

Wythoute crede ; 
Naujt o del here, another there, 
Ase great body as hyt were, 

That al by-jede. 

Thou wost be may by y-thojt of me 
Alle y-hollyche, and eke of the ; 

Wei betere ich plyjte, 
He may by wel ine dyvers I03, 
Ryjt al at ones, wel y-noj, 

That deitb hys myjtte. 

Thyse \voi"dle he made, as ich er sede, 
Al ase hy hys ryjt nou ine dede, 

And I03 and hej ; 
Ine the gynynge of holy wryt, 
IIou he hy made ryjt ther hyt syjt, 

Ich hyt y-seje. 

Ine dajes sixe he made hyt ryjt, 
Hevene and erthe and wolkne bryjt, 

Thet water to dyjt ; 
Tren and gras and erthe dreje, 
Sonne and mone and sterren greyje, 

That beth so bryjt ; l 


Fojeles, fisches ine the depe, 
Bestes, wormes for to crepe, 

And a-last man ; 
So that hyt was god and sad, 
Al thys world that was y-raad, 

Of hym that cam. 

Al hyt was god, wythoute lake. 
Hard and nesche, wyte and black e, 

And al that was. 
Nedes Godes creature 
Moste be ryjt by nature, 

Al sennes led. 

3ef quead so were of Gode y-norae, 
By ry3tte he myjtte be wythnome, 

Ry5t ase a qued. 
Ther-fore ne my5te he naujt do wrothe, 
Ac schrewadnesse beth hym lothe, 

And hys for-beade. 

And thesse God self hyt for-beade, 
"Wannes coraeth forthe al that quead, 

So meche ther hys ? 
And wel to donne apanyeth neawe, 
Ac hym apayneth many a screwe 

To do amys. 

That God hyt sofFreth, hou meny hyt be, 
Seththe of so great rayjtte hys he, 
Thet 5ef ha wolde, 


He niy5tte vor-do that hys quead, 
And lete ous libbe, and nau3t be dead, 
Ilyt thingth ha scholde. 

Leve brother, jef he so scholde, 
By the syker that he so wolde, 

Ac he hyt nele ; 
Ich kan the telle reyson \vy 
He let y-worthe quead to by, 

Nou harkne skele. 

That alther-ferste that god scliop, 
That was hevene, ther nys no wop, 

Soth for to telle ; 
For he hyt made of swyche aray, 
For alle manere blysse and play 

Ther to folfelle. 

Ac o blysse hys nys nau3t folfeld, 
War-fore that hevene hys al y-dueld, 

And 3et nou werth ; 
Ac ich schel telle wat hys that blysse. 
And so we scholle wyte to wysse 

Hou quead cometh forthe. 

3ef the by-falth avencement, 
Of 3ef the that the was y-ment, 

Wei blythe art thou ; 
And 3ef the falleth to be eyr 
Of a regne mechel and fayr, 

More hys thy proii. l 2 


Ac nys no blysse ne no feste 
Ajeyns the joye of conqueste, 

Thet hys thor3 god ; 
Ne mey me more joye aspye, 
Thane wanne a man thor5 pur niestrye 

Keth hys manhod. 

And to great defaute hyt were, 
3ef no joye of conqueste nere, 

So merye hys hy. 
Nou sixt thou thanne mytte beste, 
How joye that cometh of conqueste 

Mot neades by. 

Nys gryt stryf wythoute queade, 

And ther conqueste hys, stryf hys neade, 

And som y-schent. 
Thanne nys hyt to God no wrang, 
To soffre queade the gode amange 

To avancement. 

For jef quead nere in none thynge, 
Ther nere stryf ne contekynge, 

Ne no wythsey ; 
And 3yf stryf nere ne victorye, 
So scholde ine hevene that glorye, 

Ac hyt ne mey. 

Ther-fore ther hys a mastrye schreawe, 
Wyth hym mo beth and thet naujt neawe, 
And neades mote; 


For he hys heaved of schrevvednesse, 
Ase God hys cheaf of alle godnesse 
And alle bote. 

Hou mytte schreaudnesse by, 
Bote scherewen were by, 

That hy ferst thou3te ? 
For God ne dede no quead in dede, 
For al was god, ase ich er sede, 

Al that he wroute^ 

Thes ilke screawe so hys hyjt barn, 
That into helle God at arn 

Ferst for hys prede ; 
Ac God hyne makede fayr y-noj, 
Bry3t ande schene and he3est in I03, 

Ferst ine hys dede. 

Ac are he were y-mad parfyt, 
Ase Gode soffrede hy3t, 

He waux wel proud ; 
He wolde sette hys sete ryche 
Of north half, and be God y-lyche, 

To be alowed. 

And so he werry ferst by-gan 

"\Tyth Gode ine hevene, and 3et te than 

Other wel fele, 
Wyth hym that helde wyth alle my3tte, 
Angeles that God hedde y-mad bry3tte, 

Ine alle wele. 


Thys by-ganne schrewednesse, 
Op an he3 ine hevene blysse, 

The ferste «lay ; 
Hy5t moste neades for the glorye, 
Elles hedde y-faylled fyctorye, 

Ac hyt ne may. 

Ac alle hy weren y-dryven out, 
Wyth Lucyfer that was so stout, 

Tho3r Godes mj^tte ; 
Hy that ne hylde wyth the left, 
Stale woxe that nevere eft 

Sene jy ne my3tte. 

Tuo skeies beth that me may wyte, 
That none nere y-mad parfyte 

Ine hevene ferst, 
Er the bataylle y-ended was 
By-twexte God and Sathanas, 

That now hys worst. 

O reyson was for angeles gode, 
That chot^e a-ry5t and faste stode 

At thylke dede ; 
For that hy scholde thorj pur coqueste 
Ilabbe joye evere to leste 

For hare mode. 

That other reyson was for the devel, 
That he schal to mys-wende hys chevel, 
Thorj hys Ynalyco ; 


So that fulvelfl were the glorye, 
And hym seelf thorj noble victorye 
Lys al hy blysse. 

jef hy heade be mad parfy3t, 

We nedde y-haved ryjt no profy3t 

Ine hevene above ; 
Nou schal man be in hare I03, 
Ande habbe joye and blysse y-no3, 

And pes and love. 

And seththe hyt moste nides by, 
Thet sothe schrewen were hy, 

Ase gode hyt mente ; 
Hou yst thet hy ine helle slabbeth, 
And thare tou none grace nabbeth 

To repente. 

Suppose here hys o justyse, 
God and truwe in alle wyse, 

And wys of rede ; 
And dampneth theves for to ordeyne 
Peys in londe, nau3t so weyne, 

Ne for quoadhevede. 

Suppose he that schel hem spylle, 
And hongeth hy wyth grete wylle, 

And hys wel glad ; 
Ne he neth reuche of hys eny Cryste, 
Tha3 hy nevere of thef the neste, 

Thes hys a quead. 


For that he hys manslej the pur, 
Of wylle of inysaventure, 

To spylle blod ; 
And he that meiite hyt that justyse, 
Hys to preysy in thysse wyse 

For hys wyl god. 

So thou sixte that me may dyjte 
Quead for gode, and that wyth ry3tte, 

And so me deth. 
And hy that doth hyt ine deade, 
Wyth hare wyl of schrewedhede, 

Dampnable beth. 

Thos moje we wel by reysoun scheawe, 
That thaj God soffrede such a schreawe 

Al for to spylle, 
Hyt was for gode, ase ich er sede ; 
And Lucyfer, in hys mys-dede, 

Was wykke of wylle. 

And thare-vore dampnable he hys, 
For he was to don amys 

Tho that he my3tte ; 
And God soffred that ylke dede. 
For god come throf, ase ich er sede, 

As God hyjt dy3tte. 

Ne hyt nys of god ne malyce, 
The3 he hym soffi-ede lasse hys blysse, 
In alle hys wele ; 


Al that he thor3 hys grace my5tte, 
Habbe y-don hym wilni that ryjttc, 
Now harkne skele. 

Hyt ou by-come ine eche place, 
5ef echynge hadde y-lyche grace, 

To joye and blysse ; 
And ich mey 3yven, and eke wythdraje, 
Al that myn myn hys by gode laje, 

Wythoute malyce. 

Ne may naujt thanne God also 
War he wyle hys grace do, 

And eke wyth-draje, 
jef he wole, wythout malyce, 
And wythoute alle manere vyce ? 

Nys nys god laje ? 

3es, y-wys, god laje hys, 

Thet hyt be al ase hys wyl hys, 

Hyt wyle wel by-come ; 
Nys non that conne dyjte hyt bet, 
Al tha3 hyt thenche wel ou net, 

Hys wyl to some. 

Ther that God wyle grace 5yve, 
Ever to libbe hyt mot leva 

Ine savement ; 
And thar he wyle wyth grace \vythdra3e, 
Nys nau3t malyce, ac hyt hys laje 

And jugement. 


Ac vvy he ^raunteth grace to one, 

And soche and otheren grauntyeth none, 

Segge ich ne kanne ; 
Bote tbet hys hys pryvete 
Of hys domes in equyte 

Wyth wel to thanne. 

P'or ther nys noujt of thysse wylle 
Her to jugy, ac be we stylle, 

We beth y-lete ; 
F'or Davyd ous to wyten deth, 
In boke, that Godes domes beth 

A groundlyas pet. 

For hys ne may no wyt areche, 
Bot tho thet hym self wyle teche, 

He scheawyth hyj 
And the hevele hy beth pryve, 
Al tiiat y-ordeyned beth he 

JMot neadys by. 

Thus the devel y-dampned hys, 
And wyth hym also that beth hys, 

Develen wel mo ; 
For that the grace of God hym faylleth, 
Moche hys the pyne that hem eyleth, 

And eke the who. 

Wy hy ne mowe, asc ich er sede, 
Wel repenty of hare mys-dede, 
Lest enne .^kele, 


That icU schal segge, ase ich can ; 
Mo betb at thet longy te man, 
Ne beth nau3t fele. 

Swythe fayr thynge hys that wyte, 
And ther by-syde bloke alyte 

Wei y-dry3t ; 
The wyte the vayrer hyt maketh, 
And selve more hyt blaketh, 

And al hyt hy5t. 

The wyser man, the wyser soneth ; 
Ther thet menye foules dremeth, 

And no reysone ; 
The merrer hyt hys ine batayle, 
Thet insykth al the vomen faylle, 

And falle a-doun. 

Thys lykynge hys for hevene blysse, 
That leste schal wythoute raysse, 

Ase evere mo ; 
Thar hys so meche the more merye, 
The develys that me nau3t ne derye 

And helle also. 

Tly thet ther beth so more y-sy, 
Wat peryl ascaped bey hy, 

And be the blythere ; 
So that folveld the joye nere. 
Bote evere helle pyne were 

And thrynne withere. 


Ac WO beth werther for to by 
Ever in o helle, thane by 

Ther &ech gelt hys ? 
Thenne raey be wel thys skele, 
Thaj grace fayllth ham to wole, 

No wonder nys. 

And ase angeles the f'aste stode, 
For hever eft by-come gode, 

And glad and blythe ; 
Ryjt develen for screawedhede 
Ever ine force scholle brede, 

And vvrethe and nythe. 

Ac tho by hedde ine hevene y-topped, 
Wy nedde hy be ine helle y-stopped 

For evere mo, 
Ac naujt her in thys myddeluerde, 
For to maky men offerde, 

And to mys-do ? 

For tho bye weren out y-cached, 
And ou3t of hare I03 arached, 

For hare senne ; 
We moje weten hyt wel y-nou, 
That ase ydel was hare I03, 

That hy weren ynne. 

And one by comeleche thynge hyt were, 
5e3 eny bo3 ther lothy were 
Servynde of nou3t ; 


Thar-fore God made mannes schefte, 
That ylke I03 al for to crafte, 
As God hyjt thoiite. 

Ac manne ne niytte iiau3t the glorye 
Crefte wythoute victorye, 

My leve brother ; 
For 3ef he nadde hyjt thor3 conqueste, 
Folfeld ue mytte be hys feste, 

Al ase another. 

Thare-fore God made hym god and wys, 
And mayster over al paradys, 

Ac nau3t parfyt ; 
For trou thynne God for-bead, 
Ase he nolde nou3t be dead, 

Nau3t take hyt. 

And god reyson was that bevere 
Nau3t parfy3t ase other were 

To-vore y-sed ; 
Ac ase he was y-mad of erthe, 
Ry3t here an erthe hyt was wel worthe 

He were asayd. 

Ther-fore nas belle nau3t y-schet, 
Ne develyn ther-inne nau3t y-dut, 

Ine thare crybbe ; 
For that hy scholde man asaye, 
Wather he was worthe for to deye, 

Other to libbe. 


Ac the the devel hyt aspyde, 
That man hym scholde ther abyde 

To be assayde, 
He thoujte gyle al onder-go, 
For of that he hadde her y-do 

He was affrayde. 

Nas wonder tha3 he wede aifrayd, 
For swythe Avel he was anayd 

Of mannes stad. 
For after God serablant he here, 
And he thou3te a thet hym wel er, 

Tho he was y-mad. 

Ac hys envie ajeins man 

So great by-cometh, thet al for-tlian 

He nolde lette, 
That he nold man afounde, 
And an hym bote he mytte stonde, 

Hys venym sente. 

And dede hym in an addre wede, 
That best was of mest schreuhede 

Of alle beste ; 
Hyt moste neades screwed by-come, 
Tho that hy hedde me hym y-noine 

Soche a tempest. 

And he gan to the trowe glyde, 
That was for-boden, al forte abyde 
After hys praye. 


Ac sore liym drade for to faylly, 
And dorste naii3t Adam asaylly, 
Al for to waye. 

Ac wel liyin thoujte that E)ve nas 
Najt so stedefast ase Adam was, 

That was hyre lorde ; 
And ase hy come, he gan here knowe, 
And to hyre speke out of the trowe 

Thys ylke word : 

" Leve Dame, say me now, 
Wy heth God for-bode hyt now, 

Thet he ne mote 
Eten of al that frut that hys 
Here growynde in paradys 

To 3oure bote ?" 

" "We eteth y-nou," quath Eve, "y-wys 
Of alle the trowes of paradys, 

And beth wel glad ; 
Bote thys trow mote we nau3t take, 
For bothe me and mynne make 

God hyt for-bede. 

And seyde jef we ther-of ete. 
We scholde deye and lyf for-lete. 

And alle blysse." 
"Nay," quath the fend, " ac 30 ne scholde,' ; 
Ac he wot fol wel wet he wolde 

That for-bcad thys. 


36 wot wel 3ef ^e ther-of toke, 
Wyth ejen scholde je forth loke, 

Ryjt ase gocles ; 
And conne bothe god and quead, 
And never the rather be dead 

For hys for-bodys." 

Thos he gan hyre herte ablowe, 
And hy sej that frut ine the trowe 

Was fayr and god ; 
And et throf dame lykerouse, 
And maden eke eten hyt hyre spouse ; 

Hy weren wode. 

Anon opened ther bothe hare ejen, 
And naked that hy weren y-sejen, 

And woxe of-schamed ; 
Wyth leaves hy helete hem ther-fore, 
Ne mytte hy noseng be for-bore 

To be y-blaraed. 

Ac tho hy herde God speke, 
Wel sone an hal by-gonne threke 

Wer thet hy niytte. 
" Adam !" quath God " wer my3tou be ?" 
Queth he, " Lord, tho we herde the. 

We were of fly5te ; 

And nedes moste, Lord, to sothe, 
Al for that we beth naked bothe, 
Ase vole thynges." 


Queth God, "Ho hath y-scheawed 30U 
That he beth bothe naked nou, 
Bote 3oure otinges ?" 

Sede Adam wytherlyche to Gode, 

" Nedde ich y-broke nau3t thy for-bode, 

Ne nau3t do so, 
Nedde the wymman, Lord, y-be, 
That to fela3e thou madest me, 

Hyt dede hyt me hyt do." 

So seyde God Almy3ty to Eve, 

" Wy madest thou man mys-beleve, 

And thous mys-went ?" 
Ac tho seyde Eve, so wey that wyle, 
" The eddre. Lord, wyth hyre gyle 

Heth ous y-schent." 

Tho by-gan God speke to that worm, 
" For thou areredst therne storm 

And alle thys hete, 
Acorsed be thou bestes by-syde, 
Opone thy wombe thou schalt glyde, 

And erthe frete. 

And ich schal makye contekhede 
By-tuyce thyne and wyves sede, 

And moche to pleny. 
So schal thy power be by-rev ed, 
That 3ef schal wymman trede thine heved, 

And thou hyre wayti." 


So sede he, " Wymman here lere, 
Hou hy scholde al hyre children here 

Ine sor3e and stryf ; 
And thet hy scholde lybbe her 
Evere ine mannes daunger, 

Al hyre lyf." 

To Adam seyde God of hevene, 

" For thou dedest by thine wyves stevene 

Thet was for-hote, 
Ther hys acorsed ine thyne deade, 
In swinched then schalt tliy lyf lead(% 

And ete ine swote. 

Al wat thou art a5en y-corae 
Into erthe that thart of y-nome, 

Thor3 deathes bende ; 
For thou nart bote of poudre y-welt. 
And a3en into poudre schelt, 

Manne, at thyne ende." 

Thor3 the fend that hys oure vo, 
Thos by-ganne ferst al oure wo 

Thet we beth inne ; 
An thos by-ganne ferst trecherye, 
Thor3 the feend, and eke onnye 

Manne for to wynne. 

And wondervol was thys assay, 
And wonderlyche 3ede man away 
Ly5tlyche y-lore ; 


And wonderlyche jet forth myt than 
Her ine thys world hys ever man 
To sorwe y-bore 

Ac, crystene man, for al thys wounder, 
Loke that thou ne go naujt onder, 

Thou5 wantrokynge ; 
For sothe apreved hys thys saje, 
Bothe by the elde and nywe laje, 

Wythoute lesynge. 

And skefol was thys ordinaunce, 
Thaj man by-voUe so hard a chaunce, 

Thorj trycherye ; 
For thorj mestrye that he vorth droj, 
The feend in hevene has hys I05, 

Thorj pur mastrye. 

Ryjt also tho he gyle thoujte, 
For to brynge man to nojte 

Pryvelyche ; 
God Almyjty that hys wyl wyste, 
Ajeyus hym thojte go by lyste 

Also styllyche. 

For ine the trowe death was kene, 
And that God made wel y-sene, 

Thet hyt for-bead. 
And je weste that God hyt sede, 
5ef man throf ete he scholde av. ede, 

And eke be dead. 


Ac lyf was also ine the trowe, 

Ac that ne my5te be nau3t y-knowe, 

For God hyt hedde ; 
For hyt was pryve for a wyle, 
Aje the fendes prive gyle 

The man for-ledde. 

For naujt nas hyt y-cleped ne hys 
Trou of lyve in paradys ; 

Ac wyste, 
For ase man was thorj trowe by-cou5t, 
In trowe he scholde be for-bou5t, 

That the fende neste. 

And that was ine the holy rode, 
Thorj the schewynge of the blode 

Of Godes sone ; 
Ase ich her-after telle may, 
That he tok of a clene may, 

A3ens wone. 

Hedde he wyst ther hedde y-be 
Lyf for-boute ine the appel-tre. 

He nedde assaylled 
Nother Adam ne non of hys ; 
Ac are the worlde was and hys 

Was y-conseyled, 

God wyste wel that man schold erry. 
And thor3 onboxamnesse nerry 
Frain alle heaUhe ; 


Tlier-fore that consayl was vvel trye, 
A3eyns the feendes foule envie 
To abatye welthe. 

Thys consayl hou hyt scholde be, 
Al was y-consayled of thre, 

Ere eny tyme ; 
Of Fader, and Sone, and Holy Gost, 
That icli was embe that thou wel wost 

Ferst in thyse ryme. 

And was that conseyl so y-tayled, 
That hyt ne my3te habbe faylled. 

To bote of manne ; 
And certeyn tyme y-set ther-to. 
And hou hyt scholde be y-do. 

And wer and wanne. 

And her mankende swank and dalf, 
Fy3f thousend wynter and an half, 

And 5et vvel mo, 
Er thane the tyme of lyve come. 
And death man hedde for hys dome. 

And helle also. 

Thet go so longe abod the skyle, 
Wel mey be thys that on of vele 

To mannes mende ; 
For death scholde hys meystryes kethe. 
And for-sopil and for-sethe 

In deathes bende. 


That myjte ryjt wel y-kno\ve, 
That he was ryjt al one threawe, 

And hai'de y-nome ; 
And the feud hy5t niy3te wene, 
That men out of so longe tene 

Ne myjte come. 

Ac her aryst question, 

Tho that Adam was bro3t a-doun, 

And Eve also, 
Wet gelt hedden hy that tho nere, 
Tiict hy to dethe i-schape were, 

And eke to wo ? 

Thou syxt, brother, by than by-fore, 
That oure aldren were al for-lore, 

Adam and Eve ; 
For thai' nas of ham no partye, 
That nas torned to vylanye 

So to by-leve. 

Ac now be wey of ham y-come, 
Wyth flesch and blod of ham i-nome, 

Tliet was ablowe 
Thor3 the fenym of the fende ; 
Thanne faith ous rewelyche by kende, 

To sofFry wo we. 

And thos that chyld to ny3t y-bore, 
Tiui5 hyt deyde hyt were for-lore, 
5ef crystnynge nere ; 


T}ior5 the flosch that hyt iiome 
Of hys eldrene that hyt of come, 
That wykkede were. 

And neades moste, leave brother, 
Ry5t of ham come and man of other, 

And be nature. 
For elles nadde man y-be 
Nau5t y-lych Gode in Trynyte, 

Thor3 engendrure. 

Tha5 hy be thor5 senne demeyned, 
So nas hyt naujt ferst y-ordeyned, 

Thy engendrure ; 
For tho man seDe5ed in Paradys, 
Al chaungede that flesch a-mys 

To mysaventure. 

Elles nedde hyt be no senne, 
Thy engendrure of al mankenne, 

In al thys wone ; 
Ac senneleas hy hadde y-be, 
Ase the engendrure in Trynyte 

Of Fader and Sone. 

Ase mannes y-lyche y-mad of tre 
May naujt be al ase man may be, 

Inne alle thynge ; 
Ne Godes y-lyche, man, y-wys 
Ne may nau5t be al ase God ys, 

Of hevene kynge. 


For God the fader hys leve sone 
Engendrede out of alle wone, 

Wythcute tyde ; 
Ac man hath certayn tyme of elde, 
Wanne he may engendrure jelde, 

And tyme abyde. 














Ci)e prrri.) ^ocietp* 






J. H. DIXON, Esq. 


Honorary Secretary. 

W. JERDAN, Esq., M.R.S.L. 



T. J. PETTIGREW, Esq. F.R S., F.S.A. 

JAMES PRIOR, Esq., F.S.A., M.R.I.A. 




THOMAS WRIGHT, Esq. M.A., F.S.A , Treasvrcr. 


The interlude, presented to the modern reader 
for the first time in the following pages, was 
printed from a copy formerly in the possession 
of Steevens, the eminent Shakesperian critic, 
before it was noticed that a copy in the British 
Museum contained several variations and su- 
perior readings. These were the more important, 
settling in some places the distribution of the 
speeches with greater accuracy than they were 
arranged in the exemplar we used. Perhaps, 
indeed, this may in some measure have arisen 
from the one last mentioned having been what 
booksellers technically term " cropped", but we 
have noticed all variations of importance in the 
notes, and some of them seem incompatible with 
any supposition, except that there were two 


different impressions in the same year,* or that 
the Museum copy had been corrected while the 
work was in the press. 

Mr. Collier conjectures that the Trial of 
Treasure was written some years before it was 
printed, but subsequently to the composition of 
Lusty Juventus, which is, he says, " mentioned 
in it." But it appears to me that the allusion 
to Lusty Juventus^ (p. 5), is merely a generic 
proverbial title, and has no reference whatever 
to the old play so called. iMr. Collier, Hist. 
Dram. Poet, ii, 330, has given a brief analysis 
of the interlude now reprinted. 
December 2\st, 1849. 

* The Museum copy has a wood-cut on the back of the 
title-page, which is wanting in the other copy, a circumstance 
which appears to confirm this opinion. 





The names of the players. 

First, Sturdiness, Contentation, Visitation, 
and Time. 

The Second, Lust, Sapience, Consolation. 

The Third, the Preface, Just, Pleasure, 

The Fourth, Elation ; Trust, a "Woman ; and 
Treasure, a Woman. 

The Fifth, Inclination, the Vice. 

Imprinted at London, in Paules Churcheyarde, at the sitjne 
of the Liicrece, by Tlionias Purfoote. 




Doe all things to edijie the Congregation. 

Diogenes, which used a barell for his house, 
Being fled from his father to the citie of Athens, 
Comforted himself much in beholding the mouse. 
Which desired neither castell nor hold for her defence ; 
Concerning sustentation she made no difference, 
But eate whatsoever to her did befall, 
And, touching her apparell, she had least care of all ; 
This poore mouses propertie noted Diogenes, 
AVhiche oftentimes also he would have in sight. 
And though he were disciple unto Antisthenes, 
Yet he learned of the mouse as much as he might ; 
In the science of Sophy he had great delight, 
But concerning his state and outward condition, 
The most can declare, if you make inquisition. 
On a time he chaunsed accumpanied to be 
With Alexander, which stode betwene him and the 

AVhat requirest thou to have, Diogenes, (quod he), 
Is there any thing that by me may be done ? 

B 2 


I pray thee stande asyde, and make a little rourae 

(Quod Diogenes), that the sunne upon me may shine, 

Nought els require I of that that is thine. 

He used to saie, that as servauntes be obedient 

To their bodely maisters, being in subiection, 

Euen so euill men, that are not contente. 

Are subiects and slaues to their lustes and aiFection ; 

This lesson unto us may be a direction 

Which way our inclination to bridle and subdeawe, 

Namely, if we labour the same to eschewe. 

Thus see you howe little this Philosopher estemed 

The aboundaunt possessions of this mundaine treasure, 

Which yet, notwithstanding, at these dayes is deemed 

To be the original! and fountaine of pleasure ; 

This causeth luste to raigne without measure. 

To the whiche men are subjects, Diogenes doth say, 

Yet both lust and treasure in time weareth away. 

A philosopher is he that wisdome doth love, 

Which before Pithagoras wyse men were named. 

Now Diogenes being wyse, this doth approve 

That some of this age ought as fooles to be blamed. 

For where the one with treasure lack his life framed, 

The other travaile, care and labour with gredinesse 

The same by all meanes to enjoy e and possesse. 

But luste with the lustes converteth to dusle. 

And leaveth of force his pleasant prosperitie. 

So pleasure, in time, is turned to ruste, 

As S. James, in his Epistle, sheweth the veritie ; 

Hereof we purpose to speake without temeretie. 

Therefore our matter is named the Triall af Trensure, 


Which time doth expell, with all mundaine pleasure ; 

Both mery and short we purpose to be, 

And therefore require your pardon and pacience ; 

"SVe trust in our matter nothing shall you see 

That to the godly may geve any offence ; 

Though the style be bai'barous, not fined with eloquence, 

Yet our author desireth your gentle acceptation, 

And we the plaiers likewyse with all humiliation. 


Enter Luste, like a gallant, singing this songe. 

Heye howe, care away, let the world passe, 
For I ara as lusty as euer I was ; 
In floures I florishe as blosomes in May, 
Hey howe, care away ; hay hewe, care away ! 

Luste. What the deuill ailed me to singe thus ? 
I crie you mercy, by my faith, for entring ; 
Moste like I haue ridden on the flying Pegasus, 
Or in Cock Lowels barge I haue bene a ventringe. 
Syng : why, I would singe if it were to do againe. 
With Orpheus and Amphion I went to schole : 
What ! laddes must be liuely attending on the traine 
Cf Lady Delectation, whiche is no small foole. 
Hey rowse, fill all the pottes in the house ; 
Tushe, man, in good felowship let us be mery. 
Looke up like a man, or it is not worth a louse ; 
Hey howe, troly lowe ; hey dery, dery. 
Ha, pleasaunt youths, and lusty Juventus, /> 

In faithe, it is good to be mery this May : 
For of man's liuing here there is no point endentus. 


Tlierfore a little mirth is worth much sorrow, some say. 

Enter Juste. 
But remember ye not the wyse man's sentence ? 
It is better in the house of mourning to be 
Then in the house of laughter, where foly hath residence, 
For lightnes with wisdome cannot agree ; 
''•'^ Though many haue pleasure in foolish phantasie, 
Ensuing their inclination and luste, 
Yet much better is the life of one that is iuste. 
Luste, Sir, in this you seme against me to inuaye. 
Juste. Nothing but reason, I thinke, I do saye. 
Luste. Mary, you shall haue a night-cap for making 
the reason. 
Frinde, haue you not a pece of stocke-fishe to selle ? 
I would you had a dishe of buttered peason. 
By ray faith, your communication likes me well, 
But, I beseche you, tell me, is not your name Juste ? 
Juste. Yes, forsothe. 

Luste. And my name thou shalt understands is Luste, 
And according therto I am lusty in deede ; 
But, I think, thou haste drunke of Morpheus seede. 
y Thou goest like a dromeldory, dreamy and drowsy ; 

I holde twenty pounde the knaue is lousy ! 

Juste. Myne apparell is not like unto thine, 
Disguysed and lagged, of sundrie fashion ; 
Howe be it, it is not golde alwayes that doth shine, 
But corrupting copper, of small valuation ; 
To horrible besides is thy operation, 
Nothing more odious unto the juste, 
Then the beastly desires of inordinate luste. 


Luste. It is a shameful! thinge, as Cicero doth saje, 
That a man his owne actes shoulde praise and commonde; 
Hypocrites accustome thee like, daye by daye, 
Checking other men, when they doe offende. 

Juste. Yea, but it is an harde thing, saieth the 
For a foolishe man to haue his maners reprehended ; 
And euen at this dale it is come so farre, 
God graunt, for his mercy, it may be amended ! 
For tell a man friendly nowe of his faulte, 
Being blasphemy, pryde, or vyle fornication, 
He will be as presumptuous as Haman, the haulte, 
And repaye with reuenge, or els defamation : 
Thus fewe men a friendly monition will beare, 
But stoutly persiste and mainteine their ill ; 
And in noblemen's houses truly I do feere, ^^ 
Thei'e are to many haue suche froward will. 

Liiste. "Woundes and hartes, who can abyde this ? 
Nay, ye vyle vylayne, I will dresse you therefore ; 
Your lasy bones I pretend so to blisse, 
That you shall haue small luste to prate any more. 

Juste. Behold the image of insipient fooles ! 
There not a few, euen nowe, of thy propertie, 
Untill you be put into pouerties scholes, 
Ye will not forsake this folishe insolencie. 

Luste. Nay, soft, with thee I haue not made an end. 

\_Draue out hi-i suoonle. 

Juste. The just against lust must always contend, 
Therfore I purpose to wrestle with thee \jjut it uj)'^, 
Who shall haue the victorie streightwaye we shall see. 


Luste. When thou wilt; by his fleshe I shall holde 
the wag. 
[^]Vrestle, and let Luste seeme to hnue the better at 
the first e. 
Juste. I know that Lust useth not little to brag. 
Luste. Thou shalt find me as mighty as Sampson 

the strong. 
Juste. Yea, the battel of lust endureth long. 
Luste. Woundes and fleshe ! I was almost down on 
But yet I will wrestle till my bones cracke. [my back ; 

^^Staije, and then spcakc. 
Juste. The end of thy presumption nowedoth appeare. 
Luste. Yet dooe what thou canst, I will not lie here; 
No, by his woundes, you old doating knaue ! 

\_Caste him, and let him arise again. 
Thinkest thou Lust will be made a slaue ; 
Y I shall mete you in Sraithfield, or else other wheare, 

By his flesh and bloud, I will thee not forbeare ! 

Juste. Not of my power I doe thee expell, 
But by the mighte of his spirite that dwelleth in me : 
Inordinate luste with the just may not dwell. 
And therfore may not I accompanie thee. 

Luste. Well, goodman Juste, it is no matter, 
But, in faithe, I pretend not with thee to flatter ; 
Though from thy company departe I muste, 
I shall Hue in as much welthyuesse, I truste. 

\_Go out. He must drive him out. 
Juste. Where moste wealth is, and most dilectation, 
There ipste is commonly of moste estimation ; 
For whereas wealth wanteth, idleness doth slake. 


For where idlenes is, Lust parteth the stake. \_Pause. 
Thus have you scene the conflicte of the juste, 
Which all good men ought to use and frequent ; 
For horrible are the fruites of inordinate luste, 
Which in some case resembleth Hydra, the serpent ; 
Whose head being cut of, another ryseth incontinent : 
So, one of Luste's cogitations being cut away. 
There ryseth up another, yea many, we may say. 
It is requisite, therfore, that euery degree 
Against this, his lust, both striue and contende ; 
And though, at the first, he seeme sturdy to be, 
The Lord will conuince him for you in the ende. 
Your cause unto him, therefore, holy commende. 

Labouring to auoyde all inordinate luste, 
And to practise in lyfe, to live after the Juste. 

[^Go out. Enter Inclination the Vise. 
Ltd in. I can remember synce Noe's ship 

Was made, and builded on Salisbury Plaine ; [pip? 

The same yeere the weathercocke of Paules caught the 

So that Bowe bell was like much woe to sustaine. 

I can remember, I am so olde. 

Since Paradise gates were watched by night ; 

And when that Vulcanus was made a cuckold, 

Among the great gods 1 appeared in sight. 

Nay, for all you smiling, I tell you true. 

No, no, ye will not knowe me nowe ; 

The mightie on the earth I doe subdue. 

Tush, if you will giue me leaue, yle tell ye howe ; 

Nowe, in good faith, I care not greatly, 

Althoughe I declare my dayly increase ; 


But then these gentlewomen wil be angry, 
Therfore I thinke best to holde my peace : 
Nay, I beseche you, let the matter staye, [handes ; 
For I would not for twenty pounde come into their 
For if there should chaunce to be but one Dalila, 
By the mas, thei would bind me in Samson's bands ! 
But what meane I first with them to beginne, 
Seing that in all men I doe remaine ? 
Because that first I remayned Eue within, 
And after her, Adam, and so foorth to Caine. 
I perceiue, by your lookes, my name ye would knowe ; 
Why, you are not ignoraunt of that, I dare saye ; 
It is I that doe guyde the bent of your bowe, 
And ruleth your actions also, daye by daye ; 
Forsothe, I am called Natural Inclination, 
Whiche bred in old Adam's fostred bones ; 
So that I am proper to his generation, 
I will not awaye with casting of stones ! 
I make the stoutest to bowe and bende : 
Ir Againe, when I luste, I make men stande uprighte ; 

From the lowest to the highest I doe ascende, 
Drawing them to thinges of naturall might. 

Enter Luste and Stordiness, singing this song. 
Where is the knaue that so did raue ? 
O, that we could him finde, 
We would him make for feare to quake, 
That loute of lobbishe kinde. 
My name is Luste, and let him truste 
That I will haue redresse ; 
For thou and I will make him flie 



Mine oulde I'rientle Sturdiness. 

Lnste. Where is now that valiuunt Hercules ? 
For all his bragges, he is nowe runne away. 

Stiirdl. (hrcifigiiuj). By the guttes of Golya it is beste 
for his ease, 
For he was moste like for the pottage to paye, 

Inclina. Cockes soule ! what bragging knaves have 
we here ? 
Come ye to conuince the mightiest conqueror ? 
It was I, that before you now doth appeare, [ander : 
Whiche brought to confusion both Hector and Alex- 
Looke on this legge, ye prating slaues, 
I remember since it was no greater then a tree ; 
At that time I had a cupple of knaues, 
Much like unto you, that wayghted on me. 

Liiste. Cockes precious soule, let us conquer the knaue. 
■ Sturdi. By his flesh and sydes, a good courage I have ; 
Stande you, therfore, a little asyde, 
And ye shall see me quickely abate the fooles pryde. 
\_Draiv out the suvorde ; make him put it up ; and 
then strike him. Looke in your spectacles. 

Inclina. Naye, I dare not I, if tljou lookest so bigge ; 
What, suche a bore fight with a pigge ! 
Put up thy swoorde, man, we will agree ; 
So lo : doe so much as beare that for mee. 

Sturdi. Nay, by his harte then, I will you dresse. 

Inclin. Be good in thine office, gentle friend Stur- 
diness ; 
For though thou and I doe seme to contende, 
Yet we are, and must be, friendes till the ende. 


SturiU. Come, geue me thy hande, I beshrowe thy 

IncUn. Nay, you must take all thinges in good parte ; 
"Who standeth yonder, Captain Luste ? 

Stitrdi. Yea, mary. 

Inclln. No remedy then, to him go I must. 
You haue forgot, I dare say, your old friend Inclination ; 
But let us renew acquaintance again, for cocks passion! 

Luste. Why, man, our acquaintaunce hath bene of 
olde ; 
I am your's at commaundement, therfore be bolde ; 
For Luste can doe nothing without Inclination, 
Chiefly in matters concerning a pleasaunt vocation. 

Inclin. Indede Luste may be taken for a thing iu- 
Except Inclination be joyned therunto ; [different, 
But when that I once haue reuealed ray entent, 
As I will men to worke, so commonly they doe. 

Luste. Ye haue harde of the combate betwene me 
and Juste. 

Lie. Ye, mary, I harde saye that you laye in the duste, 

Luste. 'What saye ye ? 

Lie. Neither one worde, nor other, ye may me truste. 

Luste. Of mine honestie my company he utterly 
And in wrestling with me he gaue me the foyle, 
Saying that I had myselfe and other abused, 
Leading men in perplexitie and marvellous toile. 

Sturdi. By gogs woundes, if we had founde him hei'e, 
We should by his fleshe haue abated his chere. 

luclin. I perceive, Sturdi ness, thou art no foole ; 
Tell me, of felowship, where wentest thou to schole. 


Sturdi. What, to reade or wrighte ? 

Inclin. Nay, to sweare and figlite : 
For I thinke thou canst neither wryte, reade, nor spel, 
But in swearing and fighting thou doest excell. 

Sturdi. Thou knowest that I amjoynedwith Luste, 
And sturdy, by nature, I ara in like case ; 
What, let the worlde wag, all cannot be juste. 
Some must naturall inclination embrace. 

Luste. All men juste ? no ; I remember the sentence 
of Tully, 
That no man is j uste that feareth death, pouertie, or paine. 
Which I doe feare all, and that marueilously ; 
For fortune is variable, I doe perceiue playne. 
And notwithstanding that Felix possessed great gaine, 
Yet when Paule preached of the judgement daye, — 
He trembled for feare, and bad him go awaye. 

Inc. Doth such passions often trouble your mynde ? 

Luste. Nay, not often, but sometime I do them fynde ; 
But then, to the entent to dryve them awaye, 
I either go to sleape, or els to some playe. 

Sturdi. By gogs precious hearte, euen so doe I ; 
But sometyrae they comber me pestilently, 

Liclin. Well, maister Luste, suchedumpestoeschewe. 
My advise and request you must nedes ensue ; 
That is, to become disciple to doctor Epicurus, 
And then youshall hauemyrthbymeasureandoverplus ; 
Tushe, I knowe a cupple companions in store 
That were marueilous mete for you euermore ; 
I wishe you were knowne unto them. 

Luste. Well, then, call them in. 


Inc. Here they come, each of them in a knaues skinne. 
\^Enter Elation and Greedy-gutte. 
With luste to live is our delight, 
In high estate and dignitie ; 
Seing that the Just put us to flight, 
Let them alone in miserie. 

Stur. Nay, they be lusty laddes, I tell ye. 

Ela. What, Inclination ! methought I did smell thee: 
Gyve me thy hande or we forther go. 

Inc. Nowe, welcome in faith, and Gredy-gutte also; 
But, syrs, are none of you both acquainted with Lust? 

Luste. Yes, that they have bene both of them, I 
truste ; 
Welcome, syrs, in faithe ; welcome unto me. 

Ela. By my trothe, I am glad your maistership to 
In health and prosperitie, as presently you bee. [see 

Gre. Bom fay zo, am I Avod all my harte. 

Inc. This covve-bellied knave doth come from the 
carte ; 
Ise teache you to speake, I hold you a pounde ! 
Curchy, lob, curchy downe to the grounde. 

Gre. Che can make curchy well enowe. 

Inc. Lower, olde knave, or yle make ye to bowe ! 
The great bellied loute methinke can not bende 
Yet so lo, he beginneth to amende. 

Luste. Well, syrs, nowe I remember Esopes advise 
Whiclie he gave to the Samies against king Crassus ; 
Therfore, it is good to be wyttye and wyse, 
And being in libertie to kepe me still thus, 
I cannot abide a life that is dolorous, 


And seing that ray name is properly Luste, 
I hate the conversation of the Juste. 

Inc. Well, maister Luste, first joyne you to me, 
Next here with Sturdiness you must you acquainte ; 
Turne you about and embrace Elation ; 
And that wealth may encrease without any restraint, 
Joine you with Gredy-gutte here in our presence, 
That all these in you may have prosperous influence. 

(Boive to the grounde). 

Luste. Out, alas ! what a sodaine passion is this ! 
I am so taken that I can not stande ; 
The crampe, the crampe, hath touched me y-wis; 
I shall die without remedie nowe out of hande, 

Gre. By my matins chese, our master is sicke. 

Inc. Stande back, Nycollnoddy, with the pudding 
More braines in thy skinne then witte in thy braine, 
Such Gredy-guttes in faith would be flayne ! 
This crampe doth signifie nothing in effect ; 
None of all your councels he will now rejecte. 
And therfore feare not to make full declaration. 

Stnr. Then feare not the force of these that be juste, 
But labour youi'self to aduaunce and augment ; 
Be jocund and lively, sithe your name is Luste, 
And then you shall easely obtaine your entente. 

Ela. Esteme yourselfe alwayes equall with the beste. 
And seeke for promotion, power and dignitie ; 
It is good when men may live as they luste, 
And unto the juste beare hate and malignitie. 


Gre. O, zur, ye must be gredy to catche and clawe. 
Inc. Well said, Gredy-gutte, as wyse as a dawe I 
Gre. Eate up, at a monthfull, houses and landes. 
Inc. There's a vengeable mouth to — 

[Gape and the Vise gape). 
Gre. Never feare God, nor the governours lawe, 
But gripe, gripe, gripe gredely all that cometli in 
your hands. 
y^{i*^-v*^ -^7 ^^^ masse, but Hewe Howlet is pestilent witty, 

''^'What guttish gredinesse the horeson can teache ! 
That thou art not ejected, in faith, it is pitie. 
As hie as three trees and a halter will reache. 
yMary, syrs, but your councels hath set rae on fire ! 
^ Hey, lusty lad, how freshe am I nowe ! 
^ I Leade me, Inclination, to have my desire, 

And then at thy requeste I wyll ever bende and bowe; 
He that bendetli to folowe his own inclination, 
Must nedes live a wicked and vile conversation, 
//:>^ .' But so, maister Luste, I will leade you to a place 

Where you shall have pleasure enough in short space; 
,Yea, but shall not this company go thether? 
Yes, mary, we foure will all go together ; 

t Sturdiness shall tary to face out the matter. 
If Juste peradventure against you should clatter: 
By the masse, and well said, but first let us sing, 
/ I must tune my pipes first of all' by drinking, 
- • Tu.?he, what then ? I praie thee help us a part ; 

Yes, I will sing the treble with all ray harte. 
Luste shall be led by Inclination 
,/,; To carnall cogitation ; 





"Where luste is led wholj by me, 

He must Ml to Cupiditie ; 

For carnal cares shall him assaile, 

And spedeley they shall prevaile ; 

I, Sturdiness, will face it out 

In his cause, sturdy, stiiFe and stoute. 

Then Gredy-gutte shall make him eate 

Both house and lands like bread and meate ; 

Elation shall puffe him hie 

For to aspier above the skie ; 

Then naturall and lordly Luste 

Shall with his poure dispise the Juste. 

Elation. Our songe is ended, haste thou other in store? 

Inc. I shall not haue done this halfe houre and more. 
Yet I will, nowe I remember. Come in, Luste ; 
That I go before is but nedeful and just. 
You shall be nowe led by me. Inclination, 
To reason and talke with Carnall cogitation. 
Is there more vanitie underneath the sonne - ''ToP.t.lfy^ 
Then to be inclined after this sorte ? 
"Well, Luste doth now as others haue done, 
Yea, and doe daye by daye, esteming it a sporte ; 
This Luste is the image of all wicked men, 
"Whiche in seeking the worlde liaue all delectation ; 
They regarde not God, nor his commaundements tenne, 
But are wholly led by their owne inclination. 
First, to inculcate with Carnall cogitation. 
And, after, to the desier of all worldly treasure, 
"U^hiche alone they esteeme the fulness of pleasure. 
With Elation, or pride, he is also associate, 



Which puffethuphis sences with presumption pestilent ; 
Then Gredy-gutte maketh them continually to grate 
On the mock of this world, which he thinketh permanent. 
J^^a^"-^^ I, Sturdiness, to heare out all things am bent : 

Thus, see jou howe men that are led by their luste 
Dissent from the vertuous, godlie, and juste. 

\Go out. Enter Juste and Sapience. 
Sapience. The advise of Aristippus haue in your 
Which willed me to seke such thinges as be permanent, 
And not such as are of a vanishing kinde, 
For the one with the other is not equivalent. 
Be circumspect, therefore, forseing and sapient, 
For treasures here gotten are uncertain and vaine, 
But treasures of the mynde do continually remaine. 

Juste. This is the mynde of , and I remember 

^ Like as presently you haue advertised me, 

For the whiche I cannot but thankefuUy render 
Such commendations as is requisite to be ; 
And as your name is Sapience, thus muche I see 
That on heauenly wisedome you doe depende, 
And not on as time doth bring to an ende. 

Sapience. Truthe, indeed, and therfore your name 
being Juste, 
With me and my documentes must be associate ; 
Where, contrary, suche as are led by their lust, 
, , To incline euill are alwayes appropriate : 

r They haue not, as you haue, battel and combate 

Against the cogitations that inwardly spring, 
But rather are obedient unto the same thing ; 



And this is the occasion that men are so an)bitious, 
And so foolishe, led by the luste of their braine 
Sometime to couet, sometime to be vicious ; 
Sometime the councell of the wyse to disdaine ; 
Sometime to clime till they fall down againe ; 
Sometime to usurpe the possessions of other ; 
Sometime to disobeye bothe father and mother. 

Juste. Alas, what availeth it ryches to enjoye, 
Though as muche in comparison as Cressus the king ? 
What helpeth it to haue Helena in Troye, 
If the conscience of man continually sting ? 
Elation and Pride no commoditie doth bring, 
But is often knowen the forerunner of shame, 
And the blotte of immortall memorie and fame. 

[Enter I^'CLINATlo^•, the Vise. 

Inc. Nowe, by my hallydome, it is alone a, 
-Better sporte in my life I never sawe. 
It is trimme, I tel you, to daunce with John and Jone a, 
"We passe not a point for God nor his law ; 

But lust is 

Cogitation and he in one bed doth lie. 

Here is maister Juste, with his cancred corage. 

What, and olde doting Sapience ! then I am dressed I. 

So often already Juste hath me restrained, 

That I dare not entise him any more. 

For through Sapience he hath me clerely disdained. 

That my courage is spent and I have no more. 

[Make a going hack. 

Sap. Nay, softe, syr, we must talke with you or ye 


c 2 


Inc. I can not tary at this time, the truthe is so. 
Juste. Nay, there is no remedy with you : we muste 

Inc. By the body of me, I holde best that I walke. 
Or els learne to speake language another whyle, 
And so I may happen the knaves to beguyle. 
Juste. Turne back or you go, we have somewhat to 

Inc. Non point parla fransois, nonne par ma foy. 
Sap. To deceiue us nowe himselfe he doth prepare. 
Inc. Ick en can ghene englishe spreken von waer. 
Body of me, let me go, or els I shall . . . ; 
I wis, maister Juste, you have loved me or this ; 
Therfore nowe be ruled after my councell, 
And godly thinges for your coramoditie I shall you tell. 

Sci}). Let him that is juste not lightly ensue 
His vile inclination and carnall concupiscence, 
But let him rather contende the same to subdue ; 
And chiefly those that haue knowledge of Sapience : 
Therfore to brydle this luste do your diligence, 
His craftie provocations utterly to restraine, 
That Just may Hue while life doth remaine. 

Inc. Godd man Hoball, speake you in earnest ? 
What doest thou saye, shall the Just bridle me ? 
No, no, brother Snappes, doe the worst and thy best, 
I will not be bridled of him nor of thee. 

Juste. Seing Sapience consisteth in heauenly docu- 
And that heauenly document consisteth in S:ipience, 
To bridle this wretch I cannot but consent, 


Sithe I of his purpose haue had oft intelligence. 

Inc. Yet again brydle it doth not preuayle ; 
I will not be bridled of the best of you both. 
See you this gere ? heres one will make you to quaile ; 
Stande backe! to kil you, raaister Ju^te, I would be loth ! 
You_have been so burned and fried of late, N^ 

That it were pitie to hurt you any more. 
Back, I say, or ray dagger shall about your pate, 
By the masse, but I will, syr, yle make your bones 
sore. [Struggle two or three times. 

Juste. I will bridle thee, beast, for all thy bragging. 

Inc. In faith, good man Juste, yle holde ye wagging; 
Nay, brother, ye shall find me a curste colt to bridle. 
Nay, in faith, better yet I will make thee to struggle. 

Sap. Never leve him, but ensue the councell of 

Juste. Lo, nowe I have brought him under obedience. 

[Brydle him. 

Inc. Not so obedient as thou thinkest me to have ; 
Nay, brother, ye shall finde me a coltishe knave : 
We, he, he, it is good for you to holde faste. 
For I will kicke and winche whyle the lyfe doth laste. 

Sap. Thou shalt kicke indeed, but no victorie 
Wynne ; 
Neither to conquer the Juste to ungodliness nor synne. 

Inc. O yes, yes, I will make a proclamation. 

Juste. "What shall that be ? 

Inc. If ye will geve me leave, then you shall see. 
yes ! is there any man or woman that hath lost 
A gambolling gelding with a graye tayle. 


Let him come to the Crier and pay for his coste, 
And he will tell him tidinges without any fayle. 

Saj^. To the entent that you may him sharpely 
Let him not enjoy e so muche of the raine. 

[Bridle him shorter. 

Inc. Coekes sole, now the snaflfel cutteth my lip, 
I would this luberly knave had the pip ! 
I shall leape no hedges whyle this brydle is on, 
Out, alas ! I think it will fret me to the bone. 

Sap. Thus should every man that wil be called 
Brydle and subdue his beastly inclination. 
That he in the ende may obtaine perfect truste, 
The messenger of God to geve sight to salvation. 

Juste. That truste to obtaine with him I have 

Sap. Then let us departe, and leave this beast 
bridled. [Go out both. 

Inc. May the deuill go with you and his dun dame ! 
Suche horse maisters will make a colte quickely tame ; 
I would he were hanged that this snaffell did make, 
It maketh my chappes so shamefully to ake ; 
Ye haue no pitie on me, you, I se, by your laughing ; 
I care not greatly if I fall to gambolling ; 
We, he, he, he, he, he, come alofte, I saye. 
Beware the horse heles, I avyse you stande awaye ; 
The raine of my bridle is tied so shorte, 
That I can not make you any more sport. 
But thoujrh I be bridled now of the Juste, 



I cloubte not but I slial be unbridled by Luste, 
And let not Juste thinke but I will rebell, 
Although he bridle me tenne times all well ; 
Though Nature saitb one done with a croche, 
It will not lie long but incontente aproche ; 
Even so though that I be bridled a whyle, 
The colte will at length the curser beguyle. 

Enter Gredy-gutte running and catche a fall. 

Gre. Chill ran I as fast as I can, 
Zures, did none of you zee a man ? 
Cham zent in haste from my maister Luste, 
So that Inclination nedes come to him must. 
Inc. Where is he now ? I pray thee tell me. 
Gre. Why what have we here, Jesus, benedicitie ! 
I holde twenty pounde it is Baalam's asse, 
Nay tis a colte, I see his tayle by the masse ! 

Inc. Am I a colte ? nay, thou liest lyke a knaue, 
Somewhat for thy labour nowe shalt thou haue. 
Gre. Hoball, ho, lousy jade, must ye kicke ? 
Inc. "Who euer sawe suche a desperate Dicke ? / ■/ 

Why, Gredy-gutte, doest thou not knowe Inclination ? 
Gre. Body of me, who hath drest thee of that fashion? 
Thou arte brydled for byting nowe indeede, 
Syra, maister Luste would have thee make spede. 

Inc. I am bridled I, euen as thou doest see, 
Therefore desier him to come and helpe me. 
But what is the matter that he for me sente ? 

Gre. Mary, to gather with Grediness nowe he is 
bent ; 


He hath had long talke with Carnal Cogitation, 
And is set on fier by the means of Elation, 
So that he is so lusty he cannot abyde, 
Therefore one or other for him must be spied. 

Inc. Well, Gredy-gutte, I praye thee, go and make 

Gre. Tush, feare not, chill spend no time in waste. 

Inc. I had rather then'xL pence that he were come ; 
If I be bridled long I shall be undone. 
So sharpe is this snafFell called restrainte, 
That it maketh me sweate I am so fainte: 
Harke ! I heare the voyce of my maister Luste ; 
Now 1 shall be unbridled shortly I truste. 

Enter Luste. 

Lnste. Cocks precious woundes, here hath bene 
vilanie I 

Inc. Heye, they have used me with to much 
That old knave Sapience so counseled Juste ; 
But let me be unbridled, good maister Luste. 

[Unbridle him. 

Luste. Lo, now thou art unbridled, be of good chere. 

Inc. By Lady, I am glad I have gotten thus cleare. 
But harke you, maister Lust, if I may do you pleasure, 
Whisper, whisper, she is called Treasure. 

Luste. O my harte is on fyre till she come in place. 

Inc. O maister Luste, she hath an amiable face ; 
A tricker, a trimmer, in faith that she is, 
The goddess of wealth, prosperitie and bliss. 


Luste. But thinke you that this minion long endure 
shall ? 

Inc. For euer and euer, man, she is iramortall. 
There be many other, but she exceadeth tliem all. 

Luste. "What be they, haue you their names in store? 

Inc. Yea, harke, in youreare — And many other more. 

Luste. Sithe that the apple of Paris before me is 
And that I may deliuer the same where I will, 
I would Prometheus were here to helpe me holde fast, 
That I might haue a fore witte with me euer still. 
Pallas I consider in science hath skill. 
But Juno and Venus good will do I beare ; 
Therefore to geue the appull I know not where. 

Inc. Be conciled by me, and geve it Lady Treasure, 
It shal be for your commoditie in the end without 

For hauing the company of this minion lasse, 
You shall never wante the societie of Pallas ; 
Juno, nor yet the armipotent Mars, 
Can not resiste your strengthe be they never so fearce; 
And as for Venus, you shall haue at pleasure. 
For she is bought and solde alwayes with Treasure ; 
She of her power hath whole countries conquered, 
The moste noble champions by her hath ben murthered; 
Aeon for her sake was stoned to death. 
Tushe, innumerable at this day spende their breathe, 
Sume hange or be hanged, they love her so well. 
She is the great goddesse, it is true that I telle. 

Luste. Which way should I worke of her to haue a 
sight ? 



Inc. I, Inclination, will leade you thyther right ; 
But we must haue Gredy-gutte, and also Elation. 
Luste. They are at the bouse of Carnal Cogitation. 
Inc. Whether I would wyshe that we might departe ; 
I will lead you thither with all my harte. 

[Go out. Enter Just. 
Trust, a woman x>lo.lnly, and Contentation, hxele down 
and sing, she have a crowne. 
So happy is the state of those 

That walke uprighte and juste, 
That thou, Lorde, doest thy face disclose 

By perfect hope and truste. 
Their inclination thou dost stay, 

And sendeth them Sapience, 
That they should serue, and eke obey 

Thy highe magnificence. 
Thou sendest Coutentation, 

That we in thee may rest. 
Therefore all adoration 

To thee perteineth best. f^^J^j 

Juste. God careth for his people, as the prophet doth 
And preserveth them under his merciful! wynges ; 
Namely the juste, that his will do obey. 
Observing his holy commaundement in all thynges ; 
Not for our sake, or for our deservinges, 
But for his owne sake, openly to declare, 
That all men on earth ought to live in his feare. 

Truste. Howe God hath blissed you all men may see; 
For first, at your entraunce you conquered Luste, 
Not by your power, but by might of the deitie, 


As all persons ought to doe that be juste. 
Then through Sapience which God did you sende, 
You bridled that brutishe beaste Inclination, 
And also ordered you with Contentation. 

Con. Those that are contented with their vocation 
Be thankefull to God; this is a true consequent ; 
And those that be thankefull in their conversation, 
Can not but please the Lorde God omnipotent ; 
But those that be sturdie, proude, and disobedient, 
The Ruler of all rulers will them confounde, 
And rote their remembraunce of from the grounde. 

Juste. When Solon was asked of Cressus the king, 
"What man was moste happie in this vale terestriall, 
To the ende he semeth to attribute that thing 
When men be asociate with treasures celestiall. 
Before the ende can no man judge, he doth saie. 
That any man is happy that here beareth breath, 
But then by his end preteley judge we may; 
Thus true happines consisteth, saith he, after death. 
If this be a truthe, as undoubtedly it is, 
What men are more foolish, wretched, and miserable, 
Then those that in these treasures accompt their whole 

Being infect with ambition, that sickness incurable ; 
A ! wicked Adrastia, thou goddes deceiuable, 
Thus to plucke from men the sence of their mynde. 
So that no contentation therein they can finde. 

Truste. The treasure of this worlde we may well 
To Circes, the witche, with her craftie cautilitic, 


Wherewith many mens myndes so poysoned are, 
That quite they are cari'ied into all fidelitie ; 
They are conjured in deedd and bewitched so sore, 
That treasure is their truste, joye, and delighte. 
True truste is expelled, they passe not therefore, 
And against contentation they continually fight. 
But though wicked men folowe their luste, 
Crying on earth is our felicitie and pleasure, 
Yet God doth so guide the hartes of the juste. 
That they respect chiefly the celestiall treasure. 

Con. Alas! should we not have that estimation 
Which God hath prepared for his dere elect ? 
Should not our myndes rest in full contentation. 
Having truste in this treasure, most highe in respecte? 
St. Paule, whom the Lorde so high did erecte, 
Saith ; It passeth the sence of our memory and mynde, 
Much lesse can our outward eyes the same finde. 
And as for treasures which men possesse here, 
Through fickelnes of fortune sone fadeth away ; 
The greatest of renowme and most worthy here 
Sometime falleth in the ende to myserie and decay. 
Recorde of Dionisius, a king of much fame. 
Of the valiaunt Alexander and Caesar the strong. 
Record of Tarquin, which Superbus had to name, 
And of Ileliogabalos, that ministred with wronge ; 
If I should recite all, I should stand very long, 
But these be sufficient plainly to approue 
Howe sone by uncertaintie this treasure doth rcmoue. 

Juste. It is true ; therfore a mynde well contente 
Is great riches, as the wyse king Salomon doth say. 


"We have sene of late days this cancard pestilent 

Corrupting our realme to our great decaie, 

Ambition, I meane, which chiefly did raigne 

Among those that should be examples to others ; 

We sawe how their brethren they did disdaine, 

And burned with fire the childe with the mother ; 

It is often seene that such monsters ambitious 

As spare not to spile the bloud of the innocente, ^ '^ - 

"Will not greatly sticke to become seditious, 

The determination of God thereby to prevente. 

God graunt every one of us earnestly to repente, 

And not to set our minds on this fading treasure, 

But rather wyshe and wille to doe the Lordes pleasure. 
Trusts O ye emperours, potentates, and princes of 

Learn of Juste with Truste yourselves to associate. 

That like as your vocation by right doth aske the crown, 

And also due obedience, being the appointed magistrate, 

So rule that at the last you may be resuscitate 

And raigne with the Almightie with perfect continu- 

Receiving double crownes for your godly governaunce. 

Ye noblemen whome God hath furnished with fame, 

Be myndefuU to walke in the waves of the Juste, 

And be not ouercome of concupiscence or luste. 

Fie from loue of treasure, catche holde of me, Truste; 

And then double felicitie at the last you shall possesse. 

And in all earthly doings God shall geue you succes. 

Ye poore men and commons, walke well in your 


Banishe lust and desier, which is not convenient ; 
Let truste worke in you a full contentation, 
Considering that it leadeth to treasures more excellent, 
For these are uncertaine, but they are most permanent. 
Your necessitie supplie with vertue and truste, 
And then shall you enjoye your crown among the just. 

Juste. As I, being properly nominate Juste, 
Am here associate with Contentation, 
So have I my whole felicitie in Truste, 
Who ilumineth myne eyes to see my saluation. 

Truste. Feare you not, shortly you shall haue 
If I were once growen in you to perfection, 
Euen thus goeth it alwaies with the children of 

Juste. I will departe now ; will ye go with me, Truste ? 

Truste. Yea, I must alwaies associate the Juste. 

Cont. A psalme of thankesgeuing first let us sing, 
To the laude and prayse of the immortall Kinge. 

(Here if you tcill : smg "the man is blest thatfear- 
eth God'*\ dc. — Go out). 

Enter Inclination laughing. 

Inc. Lust (quod he) nowe in faithe he is lusty. 
Lady Treasure and he hath made a matche ; 
He thinketh that I ware marvelous trusty, 
Because I teache him to clawe and to catche, 
And now a daies amitie doth therein consi.ste ; 
He that can flatter shal be well beloued ; 
But he that saieth, thii^i and thvs, saieth Christe, 
Shall as an enemy be openly reproued. 


Friendship, yea fi'iendship consisteth now in adulation; 

Speake faire and please the lust of thy lorde, 

I warrant thee be had in great estimation, 

When those that tel truthe shal be abhorde. 

A ! unhappy lingua, whether wilt thou ten ? 

Take heed, I advise thee, least thou be shent ; 

If ye chaunce to tell any tales of these gentlewomen, 

With flesh hokes and nayles you are like to be rent ; 

Nay, for the passion of me be not so moued, 

And I will please you incontinent againe. 

Above all treasures you are worthy to be loued. 

Because you do no men deride nor disdaine ; 

You do not contempte the simple and poore ; 

You be not hie-minded, proude, and presumptuous, 

Neither wanton nor wyly you be neuer more. 

But gentle, louing modestie, and vertuous. 

Behold howe a lie can please some folkes diet ! 

pacific their myndes maruellous well, 

All whyste, I warrant ye, so they in quiet. 

Howe to please you hereafter I can tell : 

Harke, I heare Luste and my lady Treasure, 

They are given to solace, singing, and pleasure. 

Enter JjVste and Treasure, a woman finehj appareled. 

Lust. Ah, amorous lady, of bewtifull face, 
Thou art hartely welcome unto this place ; 
My harte is inclined to the, lady Treasure, 
My love is insatiate, it kepeth no mesure. 

Treas. It is I, maister Luste, that will you aduaunce; 
Treasure it is that things doth enhaunoe : 


Upon me set your whole affection and luste, 
And passe not a point for the wayes of the Juste. 
Treasure is a pleasure, be»re that in mynde ; 
Both trusty and true ye shall me alwayes finde. 

Inc. As trusty as is a quick ele by the tayle ! 
What, lady Treasure, welcome withoute fayle ; 
To be better acquainted with you once I truste, 
But I dare not in the presence of my maister Luste. 
Ye are welcome, syr, hartely ; what ! be of good 

courage : 
Drawer, let us have a pinte of whyte wine and borage. 

Luste. Wherefore, I praye thee tell ? 

Inc. Mary, methinke you are not well. 

Luste. Not well, who can a better life craue. 
Then to possesse suche a lady as I haue ? 
Is there any wealth not contained in Treasure ? 
Ah, lady, I love thee in faith out of measure. 

Inc. It is out of measure indeede, as you sale. 
And euen so must men loue her at this dale ; 
Oh, she is a mynion of amorous hewe. 
Her pere in my dales yet I neuer knew. 
Old (quod you) I am an old knaue I tell ye, 
Nay, neuer laughe at the matter, for doubtles I sniel 

She passeth Juno, Ceres, and Pallas, 
More beautifull then euer dame Venus was. 
Other in sapience she doth excede, 
And Diana in dignitie, of whome we doe reade ; 
What should faire Helene once named be. 
She excelleth all these, maister Luste, beleue me. 


Lmte. Howe say you, is not this an eloquent lad ? 

Treas. That you have suche a servaunt truly I am 

Inc. Ha, ha, now indeede I can you not blame, 
For women of all degrees are glad of the same ; 
They that flatter and speake them fayre 
Shal be their sonnes, and peradventure their ayre. 

Luste. You tolde me of a brother you had, lady 

Treas. Yea, syr, that I haue ; his name is called 
Pleasure ; 
And seeing you enjoye me now at your will, 
Right sone, I am sure, he will come you untill. 

Luste. Truly of him I would faine haue a sight. 
For because that in pleasure I haue marueilous delight. 

Inc. Then honestie and profite you may bidde good 

Luste. What saiest thou ? 

Lic. I sale he will shortly appeare in sight ; 
I knowe by his singing the same is he. 
The misbegotten Orpheus I think that he be. 

Enter Pleasure, sinrj'uuj t]m Song. 

O, happy dales, and pleasaunt playes, 

Wherein I doe delight, a ; 
I doe pretende, till my liues ende. 

To liue still in such plighte, a. 

Lie. Maister Pleasure, I perceive you be of good 

Pleas. What, Inclination, old lad, art thou here ? 



Inc. Yea, syr, and lady Treasure, your sister, also. 

Plea. Body of me, then unto her I will go. 
What, sjster, I am glad to mete with you here. 

Trea. Welcome unto me, mine owne brother dere. 
Maister Luste, this is my brother, of whome I tolde ; 
He is pleasaunt and lustj, as you may beholde. 

Luste. Gentlema (I pray you) is your name master 
Pleasure ? 

Plea. Yea, syr, and I am brother to lady Treasure. 

Luste. And are you contented to accompanie me ? 

Plea. Whereas she is resident, I must nedes be ; 
Treasure doth Pleasure commonly preceade. 
But the one is with the other, they have both so decreed. 

Lie. Mary, nowe you are well indeede, maister Luste ; 
This is better, I trowe, than the life of the juste : 
They be compelled to possesse contentation, 
Hauing no treasure but trust of saluation. 
But my lady your mistris, my mistris I would saye, 
She worketh, you may see, to keepe you from decaie. 

Luste. 0, madame I in you is all my delight, 
And in your brother, Pleasure, bothe daye and nighte. 
The Triall of Treasure, this is indeede, 
I perceive that she is a true frende at neede ; 
For I haue proued her, according as Thales doth saye, 
And I perceive that her be w tie cannot decaye. 

Trea. Alwayes with you I will be resident. 
So that your life shall be most excellent. 

Plea. Yea, syr, and me, Pleasure, also you shall have. 
So that none other thinge there nedeth to craue ; 
I will replenislie your harte with delighte. 


And I will be alwayes with Treasure in sighte. 
But if you desire to enjoy me at your will, 
My sister you must haue in reputation still ; 
And then, as her treasure is certaine and excellent, 
My pleasure shal be both perfect and permanent. 
Credite not those, syr, that talke that and this, 
Saying, that in us twoo consisteth no bliss. 
But let experience your mynde euer moue, 
And see if all men us twoo doe not loue. 

Inc. Loue, yes, they loue you indeede without 
Which shutteth some of them God's kingdome without. 
They loue you so well that their God they do hate, 
As time hath declared to us even of late. ' 

But he that on such thinges his study doth caste, 
Shal be sure to be deceiued at the last. 

Luste. What doest thou sale ? 

Inc Of Treasure, forsoth, ye must euer holde fast, 
For if you should chance to lose lady Treasure, 
Then farewell in post this gentleman, Pleasure. 

Lush'. My loue to them both cannot be exprest, 
And especially my lady, you I loue best. \y 

Treas. If you love me as you doe professe, . .. 

Be ye sure you shall wante no kinde of welthiness. 

Pleas. And if you haue welthiness at your own wyll, 
Then will I, Pleasure, remayne with you still. 

Inc. You are both as constant as snowe in the sun. 
Which from snow to water through melting doth run ; 
But worldly wyse men cannot conceave that, 
To honte for suche myse they learne of the cat. 

D 2 


Liuste. My lady is amorous, and full of favour. 
Lie. I may say, to you she hath an ill-fauoured 

Luste. What saiest thou ? 

/??c. I saye she is loving, and of gentle behauiour. 
Treas. And so I will continue still, be you sure. 
Pleas. And I in like case whyle your life doth endure. 
Luste. Ah, truste Treasure ; ah, pleasaunt Pleasure; 
All wealth I possesse nowe without measure ; 
And seing that the same shall firmely remayne, 
To helpe me sing a songe will you take the paine. 
Treas. Euen with all ray harte, begin whan ye will. 
Inclin. To it, and I will either helpe or stand still. 

[Sini/e this Songe. 
Am I not in blissed case, 

Treasure and Pleasure to possesse ; 
I would not wishe no better place, 

If I may still haue welthiness : 
And to enjoye in perfect peace. 

My lady, lady. 
My pleasaunt pleasure shall encrease, 
My deare lady. 

Helene may not compared be. 

Nor Creseda that was so bright ; 
These cannot staine the shine of thee, 

Nor yet Minerua of great might. 
Thou passest Venus farre away, 

Lady, lady ; 
Loue thee I will, both night and day, 
My dere lady. 


My mouse, my nobs, and cony sweete, 

My hope, and ioye, my whole delight ; 
Dame nature may fall at thy feete, 

And may yeelde to thee her crowne of righte. 
I will thy body now embrace. 

Lady, lady ; 
And kisse thy swete and pleasaunt face, 
My dere lady. 

Enter God's Visitation. 
Visit. I am Gods minister, called Visitation, 
Which diuers and many waies you may understande ; 
Sometime I bring sicknes; sometime perturbation ; 
Sometime trouble and misery throughout the lande ; 
Sometime I signifie God's wrath to be at hande ; 
Sometime a foreronner of distruction immenent. 
But an executer of paine I am at this present. 
Thou insipient foole, that hast folowed thy luste, 
Disdaining the doctrine declared by Sapience, 
In Treasure and Pleasure hath bene thy truste. 
Which thou thoughtest should reiuaine euer in thy 

presence : 
Thou neuer remembrest Thales his sentence, 
Who willeth men in all thinges to kepe a measure, 
Especially in loue to incertaintie of treasure ; 
Even nowe I am come from visiting the Just, 
Because God beginneth first with his elect ; 
But he is so associated and comforted with Truste, 
That no kinde of impacience his soule can infecte. 
Contentation in suche sort his race doth directe, 


That he is contented with God's operation, 
Comfortably embracing me his visitation ; 
But nowe I am come to vcxe thee with paine, 
Whiche makest Treasure thy castell and rocke, 
Thou shalt knowe that both she and Pleasure is vaine, 
And that the Almighty thou canst not mocke. 
Anguishe and griefe into thee I doe caste, 
With paine in thy members continually. 
Now thou hast paine thy pleasure can not laste. 
But I will expelle him incontinently. 

Luste. cockes harte ! what a pestilence is this ! 
Departs from me, I saye, hence, Gods Visitation ! 
Helpe, helpe, lady Treasure, thou goddes of blis ! 
At tby handes let me haue some consolation. 

Treas. I will remaiue with you, be out of doubte. 

Inc. Will ye be packing, you 11 favoured lowte ? 

Visi. Presently, in dede from him thou shalt not go, 
And why ? because Gods will hath not determined so; 
But in tyme thou. Treasure, shalt be turned to ruste. 
And as for Pleasure he shall nowe attende on the Just. 

Luste. Gogs woundes ! these panges encrease euer 

Inc. And my littell finger is spitefully sore ; 
You will not beleue how my hele doth ake. 

Treas {To Visitation) Nay, let me alone, your 
part I will take. 
(To Lust) Be of good comforte, whyle I here remainej 
For pleasure and he shall be parted in twaine. 

Visit. It is not mete that he should be participate 
with Luste, 


But rather vertuous, godly and juste. 

Litstc. Kemaine with me still, maister Pleasure, I 

Pleas. Nay, there is no remedy ; I must away ; 
For where God doth punition and paine, 
I Pleasure in no case can not remaine. 

Visit. I could in like case separate thy treasure, 
But God doth admonishe thee by losing thy pleasure. 
[6^0 out Visitation and Pleasure. 
Inc. Fare well in the deuils name olde lousy loute. 
That my maister will die I stand in great doubte. 
Ho, ho, ho, howe is it with you, maister Luste ? 
Luste. By the flesh of Goliah, yet Treasure is my 
Though Pleasure be gone, and I liue in paine, 
I doubte not but Treasure will fetche him againe. 
Treas. Yea, that I will ; feare not, and with you to 

Inc. The propertie of riche men undoubtedly he 
Whiche thinke with monie to pacific God's wrath, 
And health at their pleasure to bye and to sell. 
Howe is maister Lust, are you anything well ? 

Luste. Against this Visitation my harte doth rebell. 
Gogs woundes I shall I still in these panges remaine ? 
Treas. Feare you not, maister Lust, I will helpe 
you again. 
Treasure in phisicke exceadeth Gallenus : 
Tushe ! thei'e is no phisition but we must haue with 
us ; 



To the ease of your body they will you bringe, 
And therefore I praie you despaire in nothing ; 
Put your trust alwayes in me, lady Treasure, 
And I will restore you againe unto pleasure, 
For I am the goddes that therein hath power, 
Which shall remain perfect unto the last houre. 

Inc. Yea, yea, maister Luste, be as mery as you may; 
Let Treasure be your truste, who so euer say naye. 

Enter Tyme. 

Time. The auncient Grekes haue called me Chronos, 
Whiche in our vulgar tongue signifieth Time ; 
I am entred in presently for a certainly purpose, 
Euen to turne Treasure to ruste and to slime ; 
And Luste whiche hath long disdained the Juste, 
Ensuing his filthy and vyle inclination. 
Shall iramediatly be turned into duste, 
To the example of all the whole congregation ; 
For time bringeth both these matters to passe, 
As experience hath taught in euery age, 
And you shall beholde the same in this glasse, 
As a document both profitable and sage. 
Both Lust and Treasure, come foorth with spede 
Into the shop of the most mighty God, 
There shall you be beaten to pouder in dede, 
And for your abusion fele his scourge and rod. 

Inc. By Saint Mary ! then they haue made a wise 
I pretende therefore to leape ouer the hatche ; 
Nay, let me depart e, syrs ; stop me not, I saye, 
For I must remayne, though both these decaye. [Go out. 


Luste. Luste from the beginning frequented hath 
And shall I now turne to nothing for thee ? 

Ticas. Treasure in all ages hath bene beloued, 
And shall she from the earth by thee be remoued ? 

Time. You know that all suehe thinges are subject 
to time ; 
Therefore, me to withstande is no reason nor ryme ; 
For like as all thinges in time their beginning had, 
So must all thinges in time vanishe and fade. 

Luste. Gog's woundes, let Treasure remaine stil 
with me. 

Treas. Yea, let me continue still in my dignitie. 

Time. Nay, I must cary you into Vulcan's fire, 
"Where you shall be tried unto the uttermost. 
Seing Lust against Lust did daily conspier, 
To dust he shall turne for all his great boaste : 
Both of you shall haue one rigorous hoaste ; 
Come therefore with spede, Time cannot tary, 
To the ende of your felicitie I will you carie. 

Treas. If there be no remedie, then there is no shifte. 

Luste. He must nedes go, that is driuen by the 
deuil's drifte ; 
A ! cocke's precious sydes, what fortune is this ? 
"Whether go I nowe, to misery, or blis ? [Go out. 

Enter Juste, leading Inclination in his bridle shakled. 

Inc. 'SVe, he, he, he, he ! ware the horse heles, I saye ; 
I would the raine ware lose, that I might run away. 
Juste. Nay, sithe thou wilt not spare against me to 


I will not spare, by God's grace, thee to brydell ; 
All men may see how vile Inclination 
Spareth not to put the just to vexation ; 
Euen so may all men learne of me againe, 
Thy beastly desiers to bridle and restraine. 

Inc. Mary, syr, I am bridled indeede, as you say, 
And shakled, I thinke, for running away ; 
This snafle is sharp indeed for the nones, 
And these shakkels doe chafe my legs to the bones ; 
And yet will I prouoke, spurne, and pricke, 
Rebell, repugne, lashe out and kicke. 
We, he ! in the jade's name are ye so freshe ? 
This gere I suppose will plucke downe your fleshe. 

Juste. Kay, softe, thou shalt haue a little more paine, 
For somewhat shorter nowe I will tye thy rayne. 

E}iter Trust and Consolation. 

Trust e. Most blissed and happie, I say, are the juste, 
Euen because they restraine their owne inclination ; 
Thou, therefore, that hast made thy treasure of trust, 
Beholde, I haue brought thee here Consolation. 

Juste. Nowe blyssed be God of his mercy and grace, 
With all my harte and soule I doe you embrace. 

Con. Consolation is my name, euen as Truste hath 
Which is joye, or comfort, in this life transitorie ; 
He that possesseth me is of nothing afraide. 
But hathe a most quiet and peaciable memorie. 
For I, tln-ough Trust, doth shewe thee the glorie 
Tliut God hath prepared for them beforehand, 



Wherein at the last they shall perfectly stande. 

Tniste. Receive this crowne of felicitic now at this 
"Which shall be made richer at the celestiall place. 

Inc. Byr lady, I woulde I had suclie a gay croune. 

Juste. Nowe praysed be God for this riches of 
renoune ; 
Felicitie, in this worlde, the juste doth enjoye, 
Namely, when the deuill can them not anoye ; ^ 

The Lorde's worke this is, who be praysed for ever, 
Who graunte us in his lawes still to persever. 

Con. Amen, amen. God gyve us delight 
In his holy couenaut bothe day and night. 

Trust. Our matter is almost brought to an ende, 
Sauing that Inclination in prison must be shut. 
Juste, carie him forth, that useth to contende, 
And see that surely enoughe he be put. 

Juste. That shall be done shortely, by God's grace. 

Inc. What, softe, I say, me thinke ye go a shamfull 
pace ; 
Was ther euer poore colte thus handled before ? 
Fie upon it, my legs be onreasonably sore ; 
Well, yet I will rebell, yea, and rebell againe, 
And though athousand times you shouldest merestraine. 

\_LeaJe him out. 

Enter Time, with a similitude of dust, and rust. 

Time. Beholde here, howe Luste is conuerted to 
duste ; 
This is his image, his wealth and prosperitie ; 


And Treasure in like case is turned to ruste, 
Whereof this example sheweth the veritie. 
The Triall of Treasure, this is, no doubte, 
Let all men take hede that truste in the same, 
Considering what thinges, I, Tyme, bringe aboute, 
And quenche out the ungodly, their memory and fame. 

Enter Juste. 

Juste. Why, and is Lust and Treasure conuerted to 

Time. Yea, forsothe. 

Juste. What foolishe man in them would put truste. 
If this be the finall end of their blisse ? 
Muche better I commend the life of the j uste. 

Con. So it is, no doubte, for they haue consolation. 
Possessing felicitie euen in this place ; 
I meane through trust and hope of saluation, 
Which setteth out to us God's mercy and grace. 

Juste. Let all men consider this good erudition, 
And not to put conlidence in Luste nor Treasure ; 
By these two examples receiue admonition. 
And also of the sodaine banishment of Pleasure. 

Time. Remember that Time turneth all things about ; 
Time is the touchstone the juste for to try. 
But whereas Lust and Treasure in time is come to 

Just, possessing Trust, remayneth constantly. 
So that as I, Time, hath reuealed their infainie. 
So haue I shewed the consolation and gaine 
That tlie juste sliall receiue that justly do raigne. 


Con. We will now no longer trouble this audience, 
Sythe somewhat tedious to you we have bene ; 
Beseching you to beare all thinges with pacience, 
And remember the examples that you haue scene. 
God graunte them to florishe liuely and grene, 
That some of us the better therefore may be, 
Amen, amen ! I beseche the blyssed Trinitie. 

Praie for all estates. 

Take hede in tyme, and note this well. 
Be ruled alwaies by councell. 

Learne of the just to leade thy life 
Being free from envie, wrath, and strife, 
Presumption, pride, and covetousnesse. 
With all other ungodlinesse. 

Learne of them alwayes to obey 
The Lordes preceptes, from daye to daye, 
That thou maiest walke as he doth wyll, 
And labour thy fonde affectes to kill. 

Alwayes subdue thy beastly luste, 
And in the Lorde put hope and truste ; 
Bridle thine inclination 
By godly conversation. 


The counsell of the wyse embrace, 
The fooles advise doe then deface. 
Whiche fast and praie wiih good delight, 
That Adam may be killed quite. 

That joy in us may still encrease, 
That God, the Lorde, may give us peace, 
That we may be content with Truste 
To have our crowne among the just. 

Imprinted at London, in Paules Chnrcheyarde, at the signe of 
the Lucrc'ce, by Thomas Purfoote. 





P. 4, /. 21. Some men — I. 25. As luste with the luster — 
/. 27. So treasure. — P. 5, 1. 4. You shall — I. 14. Hay ho we 
— 1. 18. Cocke Lorrels, ('the text is incorrect) — I. 27. Pleasant 
youth.— P. 8, 1. 16. Thou that Lust.— P. 9, 1. 5. Resemble 
Hybra- ^. 27. The might— ?. 29. Howe in.— P. 10, I. 4. 
Come in — I. 9. Even within. — P. 11, I. 4. Braggingly — 
I. 20. The swearde— ?. 23. What should suche.— P. 13, 1. 29. 
You unto them. — P. 14, I. 3. This is a Song — I. 25. Yes, so 
lo. — P. 15, /. 2. Also of — I. 20. After this, read a line, " But 
ho we he is bowed by me, Inclination." — P. 16, ^. 1. And to 
clawe — I. 9. Pestilens witty—?. 11. Art not erected — I. 13. 
This is spoken hy Lust ; 1. 17 hy Inclination ; /. 21 hy Luste ; 
I. 22 hy Inclination ; I. 25 hy Sturdiness ; I. 26 hy Incli- 
nation ; 1.11 hy Elation ; I. 28 hy Inclination, and from line 
29 is a Song. [A transcript, in the King's Library, British 
Museum, has these speeches aU assigned to Greedy-gut, as 
in our text]. P. 17, I. 16. Marginal direction, " Go out all 
foure." — I. 19. This is spoken hy Sturdiness — I. 21. As other. 
—P. 18, I. 16. Of Musonus, also I.— P. 19, I. 20. But 
Lust is lusty, and full of porridge — /. 22. When here. — 
P. 20, L 2. No remedy; with you we.— P. 23, I. 4. One 
dome — ?. 5. Incontiuente — ?. 9. Chill runne. — P. 24, ?. 23. 


This speech is not assigned to Inclination in the origiiuil. — 
P. 26, 1. 14. And sendest— ^, 21. For his, as —P. 28, /. 20. 
Worthy pere — I. 24. Tarquinius — I. 25. Heliogabolos. — 
P. 29, I. 1. Cancar — I. 24. After this line, add, " Adde 
vertue everaiore to your honorable name." — I. 28. Good 
succes— ^. 30. Vocation.— P. ZO,l. 11. Feare ye not.— P. 31, 
/. 5. Thou Tcn—l. 20. Now I— ;, 25. Into.— P. 32, I. 19. 
So most— ^. 27. Othea.— P. 33, I. 23. Happy eaies.— P. 34, 
I. 12. Proceade.— P. 39, I. 29. Shall have.— P. 40, I. 16. 
To duste. 





(Council, LSoO-5L 
The Rt. Hon. LORD BRAYBROOKP:, F.S.A., President. 

T. AMYOT, ESQ., F.R.S., F.S.A. 

M.R.I. A. 



F.S.A., SEC. 
T. WRIGHT, ESQ., M.A., F.S.A., 


Subscription £1 per Annum. 

A new work is issued on the first day of every alternate 
Month, and will be delivered to the order of each Member, at 
Mr. Richai-ds's Printing Office, 100, St. Martin's Lane, where 
also Subscriptions are received. 

Subscriptions become due in advance on the 1st of May in 
each year, and no books are considered due until the subscrip- 
tion has been paid. 

The Society is limited to Five Hundred Members. 

Persons wishing to become Members are requested to send 
their names to the Secretary, Care of Mr. Richards, 100, St. 
Martin's Lane, London, where all communications on the affairs 
of the Society should be addressed. 

hetv Members may have the Works already printed, on pai/ment of the 

Subscription for those years. No complete Sets remain of the 

Publicali'ins of the First Year. 



May 1st, 1850. 

The Council of the Percy Society, in submitting the 
present Annual Report to the Members, feel satis- 
faction in congratulating them on the continued pros- 
perity of the Society ; for, although the limited funds 
at their disposal have not permitted them to carry out 
the objects for which the Society was founded as 
efficiently as they might desire, it is something that 
amidst the general depression under which nearly all 
the publication societies have suffered, the Percy 
Society possesses its number of members undi- 
minished, while its works continue to retain their 
value in the market. 

The Council have much pleasure in informing the 
Members that the third and concluding volume of 
Mr. Wrio;ht''s valuable edition of Chaucer will be 

ready for delivery in the course of the present month, 
and will be considered as the issue for May 1st. 

The Council have had under their consideration a 
proposal for printing the complete works of some of 
the best early English poets and dramatists Avhose 
writings have not yet appeared in a collective form, 
or been but imperfectly edited. They hope to pre- 
sent the members, before long, with the works of 
William Browne, author of the Britannia s Pastorals, 
including a third book of that celebrated work, from 
a manuscript that has not been seen by any of his 

The publications during the past year have been, 

1. A Poem on the times of Edward II. From a manuscript 
preserved in the Library of St. Peter's College, Cambridge. 
Edited by the Rev. C. Hardwick. 

2. Fugitive Tracts and Chap Books. Edited by J. 0. 

Halliwell, Esq., F.R.S. 

3. The Man in the Moone. From the Unique Copy, printed 
in 1609, preserved in the Bodleian Library. Edited by 
the same. 

4. The Poems of William de Shoreham, vicarof Chart-Sutton, 

in Kent, in the Reign of Edward II. Edited by Thomas 
Wright, Esq., M.A., F.S.A., etc. 

5. The Triall of Treasure. Reprinted from the black letter 
edition, by Thomas Purfoote, LOG?. Edited by J. 0. 
Halliwell, Esq., F.R.S. 

6. The use of Dice Play. A Manifest Detection of the most 

vyle and detestable use of Dice Play. Edited by the 

The following works are preparing for publication, 
or have been suggested to the Council for that 

1. The Works of William Browne, including a third book of 
the Britannia's Pastorals, from a manuscript hitherto 

2. A Selection from the Roxl)urghe Ballads now in the British 

Museum. Edited by J. H. Dixon, Esq. 

3. The Semi-Saxon Poem on St. George, from a manuscript 
at Cambridge. Edited, with a translation, by the Rev. 
C. Hardwick, of St. Catharine's Hall. 

4. A Collection of Poems on the Assassination of the Duke 

of Buckingham. Edited by F. W. Fairholt, Esq., F.S.A. 

5. The Minor Poems of Drayton. To be edited by Bolton 

Comey, Esq. 

6. The early poem of " John the Gardener," a metrical treatise 
on Domestic Gardening, in the Foiirteenth and Fifteenth 

7. A Collection of Old Ballads, relating to the Processions 

of the Irish Trades. 

8. A new edition of Lord Cork's " True Remembrances," 

with Notes by T. Crofton Croker, Esq. 

9. The Poems of Hoccleve. To be edited by W. H. Black, 

10. An Edition of Heywood's " Dialogue, contayning in effect 
the number of al the Proverbes in the English Tongue 
compact in a matter concerning two marriages." 

11. A Collection of Ballads, in old French and English, re- 

lating to Cocaygne. To be edited by T. Wright, Esq. 

12. A Collection of Jacobite Ballads and Fragments, many of 
them hitherto unpublished. To be edited by William 
Jerdan, Esq., M.R.S.L. 

1.3. A Collection of Charms, illustrative of English super- 
stitions in former days. From early manuscripts. 

14. " Rede me ;ind be nott wrothe." A Satire on Cardinal 

Wolsey, by William Roy. 
1-5. History of the Office of Poet Laureate in England, with 

Notices of the existance of similar offices in Italy and 

Germany. By James J. Scott, Esq. 

16. Historical Ballads, in the Scottish Dialect, relating to 
events in the years 1570, 1571, and 1572 ; from the 
copies preserved in the Library of the Society of Anti- 
quaries, London. To be edited by David Laing, Esq., 
F.S.A. Sc. 

1 7. A Continuation of the Collection of Ballads, by J. Payne 

CoUier, Esq., F.S.A. 

The Council may be allowed to repeat the invi- 
tation made in its former Reports to Members of the 
Society and others, to suggest new works for consi- 
deration. The Society is obliged to all gentlemen 
who may contribute rare tracts or ballads from pri- 
vate collections ; as well as to the different Editors, 
by whose zeal and gratuitous labours they may be 
ushered into the world. 

J. 0. HALLIWELL, Secretary. 



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