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The Vision of Piers Plowman - Passus 11
Thanne Scriptare scorned me and a skile tolde, And lakked me in Latyn and light by me sette, And seide, ' Multi multa sciunt et seipsos nesciunt.' Tho wepte I for wo andwrathe of hir speche And in a wynkynge w[o]rth til I [weex] aslepe. A merveillous metels mette me thanne. For I was ravysshed right there - for Fortune me fette And into the lond of longynge and love she me broughte, And in a mirour that highte Middelerthe she made me to biholde. Sithen she seide to me,-Here myghtow se wondres, And knowe that thow coveitest, and come therto, peraunter.' Thanne hadde Fortune folwynge hire two faire damyseles Concupiscencia Carnis men called the elder mayde, And Coveitise of Eighes ycalled was that oother. Pride of Parfit Lyvynge pursued hem bothe, And bad me for my contenaunce acounten Clergie lighte. Concupiscencia Carnis colled me aboute the nekke And seide, 'Thow art yong and yeep and hast yeres ynowe For to lyve longe and ladies to lovye; And in this mirour thow might se myrthes ful manye That leden thee wole to likynge al thi lif tyme.' The secounde seide the same' I shal sewe thi wille; Til thow be a lord and have lond, leten thee I nelle That I ne shal folwe thi felawship, if Fortune it like.' ' He shal fynde me his frend,' quod Fortune therafter; 'The freke that folwede my wille failled nevere blisse.' Thanne was ther oon that highte Elde, that hevy was of chere, ' Man,' quod he, 'if I mete with thee, by Marie of hevene Thow shalt fynde Fortune thee faille at thi mooste nede, And Concupiscencia Carnis clene thee forsake. Bittrely shaltow banne thanne, bothe dayes and nyghtes, Coveitise of Eighe, that evere thow hir knewe; And Pride of Parfit Lyvynge to muche peril thee brynge.' ' Ye? Recche thee nevere!' quod Rechelesnesse, stood forth in raggede clothes ' Folwe forth that Fortune wole - thow has wel fer til Elde. A man may stoupe tyme ynogh whan he shal tyne the crowne. ''Homo proponit,'' quod a poete, and Plato he highte, ''And Deus disponit'' quod he, 'lat God doon his wille.'' If Truthe wol witnesse it be wel do, Fortune to folwe, Concupiscencia Carnis ne Coveitise of Eighes Ne shal noght greve thee graithly, ne bigile thee but thow wolt.' ' Ye, farewel Phippe! ' quod Faunteltee, and forth gan me drawe, Til Concupiscencia Carnis acorded til alle my werkes. 'Allas, eighe!' quod Elde and Holynesse bothe, 'That wit shal torne to wrecchednesse for wil to have his likyng!' Coveitise of Eighes conforted me anoon after And folwed me fourty wynter and a fifte moore, That of Dowel ne Dobet no deyntee me thoughte. I hadde no likyng, leve me, [o]f the leste of hem ought to knowe. Coveitise of Eighes com ofter in mynde Than Dowel or Dobet among my dedes alle. Coveitise of Eighes conforted me ofte, And seide, ' Have no conscience how thow come to goode. Go confesse thee to som frere and shewe hym thi synnes. For whiles Fortune is thi frend freres wol thee lovye, And fe[stn]e thee in hir fraternitee and for thee biseke To hir Priour Provincial a pardon for to have, And preien for thee pol by pol if thow be pecuniosus. Pena pecuniaria non sufficit pro spiritualibus delictis. By wissynge of this wenche I dide, hir wordes were so swete, Til I foryat youthe and yarn into elde. And thanne was Fortune my foo, for al hir faire biheste, And poverte pursued me and putte me lowe. And tho fond I the frere afered and flittynge bothe Ayeins oure firste forward, for I seide I nolde Be buried at hire hous but at my parisshe chirche (For I herde ones how Conscience it tolde That there a man were cristned, by kynde he sholde be buryed). And for I seide thus to freres, a fool thei me helden, And loved me the lasse for my lele speche. Ac yet I cryde on my confessour that [so konnyng heeld hymself]. 'By my feith, frere!' quod I, ' ye faren lik thise woweris That wedde none widwes but for to welden hir goodes. Right so, by the roode, roughte ye nevere ' Where my body were buryed, by so ye hadde my silver! Ich have muche merveille of yow, and so hath many another, Whi youre covent coveiteth to confesse and to burye Rather than to baptize barnes that ben catecumelynges. Baptizynge and buryinge bothe beth ful nedefulle; Ac muche moore meritorie me thynketh it is to baptize; - For a baptized man may, as maistres telleth, . Thorugh contricion come to the heighe hevene - Sola contricio delet peccatum - Ac a barn withouten bapteme may noght so be saved - Nisi quis renatus fuerit. Loke, ye lettred men, wheither I lye or do noght.' And Lewte tho lo[ugh] on me, for I loured after. 'Wherfore lourestow?' quod Lewtee and loked on me harde. 'If I dorste [amonges men,' quod I], 'this metels avowe!' ' Yis, by Peter and by Poul!' quod he, ' and take hem bothe to witnesse Non oderis fratres secrete in corde tuo set publice argue illos.' 'They wole aleggen also,' quod I, ' and by the Gospel preven Nolite iudicure quemquam. 'And wherof serveth lawe,' quod Lewtee, if no lif undertoke it - Falsnesse ne faiterie? For somwhat the Apostle seide Non oderis fratrem. And in the Sauter also seith David the prophete Existimasti inique quod ero tui similis &c. It is licitum for lewed men to [l]egge the sothe If hem liketh and lest - ech a lawe it graunteth'. Except persons and preestes and prelates of Holy Chirche It falleth noght for that folk no tales to telle - Though the tale were trewe - and it touched synne. 'Thyng that al the world woot, wherfore sholdestow spare To reden it in retorik to arate dedly synne? Ac be neveremoore the firste the defaute to blame; Though thow se yvel, seye it noght first - be sory it nere amended. No thyng that is pryve, publice thow it nevere;- Neither for love laude it noght, ne lakke it For envye Parum lauda; vitupera parcius.' ' He seith sooth,' quod Scripture tho, and skipte an heigh and preched; Ac the matere that she meved, if lewed men it knewe, The lasse, as I leve, lovyen thei wolde The bileve o[f Oure] Lord that lettred men techeth. This was hir teme and hir text - I took ful good hede 'Multi to a mangerie and to the mete were sompned; And whan the peple was plener comen, the porter unpynned the yate And plukked in Pauci pryveliche and leet the remenaunt go rome.' Al for tene of hir text trembled myn herte, And in a weer gan I wexe, and with myself to dispute Wheither I were chose or noght chose; on Holy Chirche I thoughte, That underfeng me atte font for oon of Goddes chosene. For Crist cleped us alle, come if we wolde - Sarsens and scismatikes, and so he dide the Jewes O vos omnes sicientes, venite &c; And bad hem souke for synne sa[l]ve at his breste. And drynke boote for bale, brouke it whoso myghte. 'Thanne may alle Cristene come,' quod I,-and cleyme there entree By the blood that he boughte us with and thorugh bapteme after Qui crediderit et baptizatus fuerit &c. For though a Cristen man coveited his Cristendom to reneye, Rightfully to reneye no reson it wolde. ' For may no cherl chartre make, ne his c[h]atel selle Withouten leve of his lord - no lawe wol it graunte. Ac he may renne in arerage and rome fro home, And as a reneyed caytif recchelesly aboute. Ac Reson shal rekene with hym and rebuken hym at the laste, And Conscience acounte with hym and casten hym in arerage, And putten hym after in prison in purgatorie to brenne, For his arerages rewarden hym there right to the day of dome, But if Contricion wol come and crye by his lyve Mercy for hise mysdedes with mouthe or with herte.' ' That is sooth,' seide Scripture; ' may no synne lette Mercy al to amende, and mekenesse hir folwe; For thei beth, as oure bokes telleth, above Goddes werkes:- Misericordia eius super omnia opera eius.' 'Ye, baw for bokes!' quod oon was broken out ofhelle. ' I Troianus, a trewe knyght, take witnesse at a pope How I was ded and dampned to dwellen in pyne ' For an uncristene creature; clerkes wite the sothe - That al the clergie under Crist ne myghte me cracche fro helle But oonliche love and leautee and my laweful domes. 'Gregorie wiste this wel, and wilned to my soule Savacion for soothnesse that he seigh in my werkes. And after that he wepte and wilned me were graunted grace, Withouten any bede biddyng his boone was underfongen, And I saved, as ye may see, withouten syngynge of masses, By love and by lernyng of my lyvynge in truthe, Broughte me fro bitter peyne ther no biddyng myghte ' Lo! ye lordes, what leautee dide by an Emperour of Home That was an uncristene creature, as clerkes fyndeth in bokes. Nought thorugh preiere of a pope but for his pure truthe Was that Sarsen saved, as Seint Gregorie bereth witnesse. Wel oughte ye lordes that lawes kepe this lesson to have in mynde, And on Troianus truthe to thenke; and do truthe to the peple. 'This matere is merk for many of yow - ac, men of Holy Chirche, The Legend[a] Sanctorum yow lereth more largere than I yow telle. Ac thus leel love and lyvyng in truthe Pulte out of pyne a paynym of Rome. Yblissed be truthe that so brak helle yates And saved the Sarsyn from Sathanas and his power, Ther no clergie ne kouthe, ne konnyng of lawes! Love and leautee is a lell science, For that is the book blissed of blisse and of joye God wroughte it and wroot it with his owene fynger And took it to Moises upon the mount, alle men to lere. 'Lawe withouten love,' quod Troianus, 'ley ther a bene - Or any science under sonne, the seven arts and alle! - But thei ben lerned for Oure Lordes love, lost is al the tyme, For no cause to cacche silver therby, ne to be called a maister, But al for love of Oure Lord and the bet to love the peple. 'For Seint Johan seide it, and sothe arn hise wordes Qui non diligit manet in morte. Whoso loveth noght, leve me, he lyveth in deeth deyinge; And that alle manere men, enemyes and frendes, Love hir eyther oother, and lene hem as hemselve. Whoso leneth noght, he loveth noght, Oure Lord woot the sothe And comaundeth ech creature to conformen hym to lovye - His neighebour as hymselve and hise enemyes after. For hem that haten us is oure merite to lovye, And sovereynly povere peple to plese - hir preieres maye us helpe. For oure joy and oure [ju]ele, Jesu Crist of hevene, In a povere mannes apparaille pursueth us evere, And loketh on us in hir liknesse and that with lovely chere, To knowen us by oure kynde herte and castynge of oure eighen, Wheither we love the lordes here bifore the Lord of blis And exciteth us by the Evangelie that whan we maken festes, We sholde noght clepe oure kyn therto, ne none kynnes riche Cum facitis conviva, nolite invitare amicos. ''Ac calleth the carefulle therto, the croked and the povere; For youre frendes wol feden yow, and founde yow to quyte Youre festynge and youre faire yifte - ech frend quyteth so oother. Ac for the povere I shal paie, and pure wel quyte hir travaille That yyveth hem mete or moneie and loveth hem for my sake.' 'Almighty God myghte ha[ve] maad riche alle men, if he wolde, Ac for the beste ben som riche and some beggeres and povere. For alle arc we Cristes creatures, and of his cofres riche, And bretheren as of oo blood, as wel beggeres as erles. For at Calvarie of Cristes blood Cristendom gan sprynge, And blody bretheren we bicome there, of o body ywonne, As quasi modo geniti gentil men echone - No beggere ne boye amonges us but if it synne made. Qui facit peccatum servus est peccati. In the olde lawe, as the lettre telleth, 'mennes sones'' men called us, Of Adames issue and Eve, ay til God-Man deide; And after his resurexcion Redemptor was his name. And we hise bretheren thorugh hym ybought, bothe riche and povere. Forthi love we as leve children shal, and ech man laughe of oother, And of that ech man may forbere, amende there it neaeth, And every man helpe oother - for hennes shul we alle Alter alterius onera portate. And be we noght unkynde of oure catel, ne of oure konnyng neither, For woot no man how neigh it is to ben ynome fro bothe. Forthi lakke no lif oother, though he moore Latyn knowe, Ne undernyme noght foule, for is noon withoute defaute. For whatevere clerkes carpe of Cristendom or ellis, Crist to a commune womman seide in commune at a feste That Fides sua sholde saven hire and salven hire of synnes. 'Thanne is bileve a lele help, above logyk or lawe. Of logyk ne of lawe in Legendo Sanctorum Is litel alowaunce maad, but if bileve hem helpe; For it is overlonge er logyk any lesson assoille, And lawe is looth to lovye but if he lacche silver. Bothe logyk and lawe, that loveth noght to lye, I conseille alle Cristene, clyve noght theron to soore, For some wordes I fynde writen, were of Feithes techyng, That saved synful men, as Seint Johan bereth witnesse Eadem mensura qua mensi fueritis remecietur vobis. Forthi lerne we the lawe of love as Oure Lord taughte; And as Seint Gregorie seide, for mannes soule helthe, Melius est scrutari scelera nostra quam naturas rerum. 'Why I meve this matere is moost for the povere; For in hir liknesse Oure Lord ofte hath ben yknowe. Witnesse in the Pask wyke whan he yede to Emaus - Cleophas ne knew hym noght, that he Crist were, For his povere apparaille and pilgrymes wedes, Til he blessede and brak the breed that thei eten. So bi hise werkes thei wisten that he was Jesus, Ac by clothyng thei knewe hym noght, ne by carpynge of tonge. And al was ensample, for sooth, to us synfulle here, That we sholde be lowe and loveliche of speche, And apparaille us noght over proudly - for pilgrymes are we alle. And in the apparaille of a povere man and pilgrymes liknesse Many tyme God hath ben met among nedy peple, Ther nevere segge hym seigh in secte of the riche. 'Seint Johan and othere seintes were seyen in poore clothyng, And as povere pilgrymes preyed mennes goodes. Jesu Crist on a Jewes doghter lightegentil womman though she were, Was a pure povere maide and to a povere man ywedded. 'Martha on Marie Maudelayne an huge pleynt she made, And to Oure Saveour self seide thise wordes Domine, non est tibi cure quod soror mea reliquit me solam ministrare ? And hastily God answerde, and eitheres wille ful [wel lo]wed, Bothe Marthaes and Maries, as Mathew bereth witnesse; Ac poverte God putte bifore, and preised it the bettre Maria optimam partem elegit, que non auferetur ab ea. 'And alle the wise that evere were, by aught I kan aspye, Preisen poverte for best Iif. if Facience it folwe, And bothe bettre and blesseder by many fold than Richesse. Although it be sour to suffre, ther cometh swete after; As on a walnote - withoute is a bitter barke, And after that bitter bark, be the shelle aweye, is a kernel of confort kynde to restore. So is after poverte or penaunce paciently ytake, Maketh a man to have mynde in God and a gret wille To wepe and to wel bidde, wherof wexeth mercy, Of which Crist is a kernell to conforte the soule. And wel sikerer he slepeth, the segge that is povere, And lasse he dredeth deeth and in derke to ben yrobbed Than he that is right riche - Reson bereth witnesse Pauper ego ludo dum tu dives meditaris. 'Although Salomon seide, as folk seeth in the Bible, Divicias nec paupertates &c, Wiser than Salomon was bereth witnesse and taughte That parfit poverte was no possession to have, And lif moost likynge to God, as Luc bereth witnesse Si vis perfectus esse, vade et vende &c - And is to mene to men that on this moolde lyven, Whoso wole he pure parfit moot possession forsake. Or selle it, as seith the Book. and the silver dele To beggeris that goon and begge and bidden good for Goddes love. For failed nevere man mete that myghtful God serveth, As David seith in the Sauter; to swiche that ben in wille To serve God goodliche, ne greveth hym no penaunce - Nichil inpossibile volenti - Ne lakketh nevere liflode, lynnen ne wollen *Iuquirentes autem Dominum non minuentur omni bono. 'If preestes weren wise, thei wolde no silver take For masses ne for matyns, noght hir mete of usureres, Ne neither kirtel ne cote, theigh thei for cold sholde deye, And thei hir devoir dide, as David seith in the Sauter Iudica me, Deus, et discerne causam meam. 'Spera in Deo speketh of preestes that have no spendyng silver That if thei travaille truweliche and truste in God almyghty, Hem sholde lakke no liflode, neyther lynnen ne wollen. And the title that ye take ordres by telleth ye ben avaunced; Thanne nedeth yow noght to [nyme] silver for masses that ye syngen. For he that took yow youre title sholde take yow youre wages, Or the bisshop that blessed yow, if that ye ben worthi. 'For made nevere kyng no knyght but he hadde catel to spende As bifel for a knyght, or foond hym for his strengthe. It is a careful knyght, and of a caytif kynges makyng, That hath no lond ne lynage riche ne good loos of hise handes. The same I segge for sothe by alle swiche preestes That han neither konnynge ne kyn, but a crowne one And a title, a tale of noght, to his liflode at meschief. He hath moore bileve, as I leve, to lacche thorugh his croune Cure than for konnynge or 'knowen for clene of berynge.' I Have wonder for why and wherfore the bisshop Maketh swiche preestes, that lewed men bitrayen ! 'A chartre is chalangeable bifore a chief justice If fals Latyn be in that lettre, the lawe it impugneth, Or peynted parentrelynarie, parcelles overskipped. The gome that gloseth so chartres for a goky is holden. 'So is it a goky, by God! that in his gospel failleth Or in masse or in matyns maketh any defaute Qui offendit in uno, in omnibus est reus. And also in the Sauter seith David to overskipperis, Psallite Deo nostro, psallite; quoniamrex terrae Deus Israel, psallite sapienter. 'The bisshop shal be blamed bifore God, as I leve, That crouneth swiche Goddes knyghtes that konneth noght sapienter Synge, ne psalmes rede, ne seye a masse of the day. Ac never neither is blamelees, the bisshop ne the chapeleyn; For hir either is endited, and that of 'Ignorancia Non excusat episcopos nec ydiotes preestes.' 'This lokynge on lewed preestes hath doon me lepe from poverte - The which I preise, ther pacience is, moore parfit than richesse.' Ac muche moore in metynge thus with me gan oon dispute - And slepynge I seigh al this; and sithen cam Kynde And nempned me by my name, and bad me nymen hede, And thorugh the wondres of this world wit for to take. And en a mountaigne that Myddelerthe highte, as me tho thoughte, I was fet forth by ensaumples to knowe, Thorugh ech a creature, Kynde my creatour to lovye. I seigh the sonne and the see and the sond after, And where that briddes and beestes by hir make thei yeden, Wilde wormes in wodes, and wonderful foweles With fleckede fetheres and of fele colours. Man and his make I myghte se bothe; Pverte and plentee, both pees and werre, Blisse and bale - bothe I seigh at ones, And how men token Mede and Mercy refused. Reson I seigh soothly sewen all beestes In etynge, in drynkynge and in engendrynge of kynde. And after cours of concepcion noon toke kepe of oother As whan thei hadde ryde in rotey tume; anoonright therafter Males drowen hem to males amornynge by hemselve, And [femelles to femelles ferded and drowe]. Ther ne was cow ne cowkynde that conceyved hadde That wolde belwe after bole, ne boor after sowe. Both hors and houndes and alle othere beestes Medled noght with hir makes that [mid] fole were. Briddes I biheld that in buskes made nestes; Hadde nevere wye wit to werche the leese. I hadde wonder at whom and wher the pye Lerned to legge the stikkes in which she leyeth and bredeth. Ther nys wrighte, as I wene, sholde werche hir nest to paye; If any mason made a molde therto, muche wonder it were. And yet me merveilled mooremany othere briddes Hidden and hileden hir egges ful derne In mareys and moores for men sholde hem noght fynde, And hidden hir egges whan thei therfro wente, For fere of othere foweles and for wilde beestes. And some troden hir makes and on trees bredden And broughten forth hir briddes so al above the grounde. And some briddes at the bile thorugh brethyng conceyved, And some caukede; I took kepe how pecokkes bredden. Muche merveilled me what maister thei hadde, And who taughte hem on trees to tymbre so heighe That neither burn ne beest may hir briddes rechen. And sithen I loked on the see and so forth on the sterres; Manye selkouthes I seigh, ben noght to seye nouthe. I seigh floures in the fryth and hir faire colours, And how among the grene gras growed so manye hewes, And some soure and some swete - selkouth me thoughte. Of hir kynde and hir colour to carpe it were to longe. Ac that moost meved me and my mood chaunged - That Reson rewarded and ruled alle beestes Save man and his makemany tyme and ofte No Reson hem folwede, [neither riche ne povere]. And thanne I rebukede Reson, and right til hymselven I seyde. 'I have wonder of thee, that witty art holden, Why thow ne sewest man and his make, that no mysfeet hem folwe.' And Reson arated me, and seide, 'Recche thee nevere Why I suffre or noght suffre - thiself hast noght to doone. Amende thow it if thow myght, for my tyme is to abide. Suffraunce is a soverayn vertue, and a swift vengeaunce. Who suffreth moore than God?' quod he; 'no gome, as I leeve. He myghte amende in a minute while al that mysstandeth, Ac he suffreth for som mannes goode, ad so is oure bettre. ' Holy Writ,' quod that wye, 'wisseth men to suffre Propter Deum subiecti estote omni creature. Frenche men and fre men affaiteth thus hire children Bele vertue est suffraunce; mal dire est petite vengeance. Bien dire et bien suffrir fait lui suffrant a bien venir. Forthi I rede,' quod Reson, 'thow rule thi tonge bettre, And er thow lakke my lif, loke if thow be to preise. For is no creature under Crist can formen hymselven, And if a man myghte make hymself good, Ech a lif wolde be laklees - leeve thow non other. Ne thow shalt fynde but fewe fayne for to here Of here defautes foule bifore hem reherced. 'The wise and the witty wroot thus in the Bible:- De re que te non molestat noli certare. For be a man fair or foul. it falleth noght to lakke The shap ne the shaft that God shoop hymselve; For al that he wrought was wel ydo, as Holy Writ witnesseth Et vidit Deus cuncta que fecerat, et erant valde bona. And bad every creature in his kynde encreesse, Al to murthe with man that moste wo tholie In fondynge of the flessh and of the fend bothe. For man was maad of swich a matere he may noght wel asterte That som tyme hym bitit to folwen his kynde. Caton acordeth therwith - Nemo sine crimine vivit!' Tho caughte I colour anoon and comsed to ben ashamed, And awaked therwith. Wo was me thanne That I in metels ne myghte moore have yknowen. And thanne seide I to myself, and [sherewe]de that tyme, 'Now I woot what Dowel is,' quod I, ' by deere God, as me thynketh!' And as I caste up myne eighen, oon loked on me and asked Of me, what thyng it were? ' Ywis, sire,' I seyde, 'To se muche and suffre moore, certes,' quod I, 'is Dowel.' 'Haddestow suffred,' he seide, 'slepynge tho thow were. Thow sholdest have knowen that Clergie kan and conceyved moore thorugh Reson- For Reson wolde have reherced thee right as Clergie seide. Ac for thyn entremetynge here artow forsake Philosophus esses, si tacuisses. 'Adam, whiles he spak noght, hadde paradis at wille; Ac whan he mamelede aboute mete and entremeted to knowe The wisedom and the wit of God, he was put fram blisse. And right so ferde Reson bi thee - thow with thi rude spec Lakkedest and losedest thyng that longed noght to doone. Tho hadde he no likyng for to lere the moore. ' Pryde now and presumpcion paraventure wol thee appele, That Clergie thi compaignye ne kepeth noght to suwe. For shal nevere chalangynge ne chidynge chaste a man so soone As shal shame, and shenden hym, and shape hym to amende. For lat a dronken daffe in a dyk falle, Lat hym ligge, loke noght on hym til hym liste aryse. For though Reson rebuked hym thanne, reccheth he nevere; Of Clergie ne of his counseil he counteth noght a risshe. [To blame] or for to bete hym thanne, it were but pure synne. Ac whan nede nymeth hym up, for doute leste he [ne] sterve, And shame shrapeth hise clothes and hise shynes wassheth, Thanne woot the dronken daffe wherfore he is to blame.' 'Ye siggen sooth, by my soule,' quod I, 'lch have yseyen it ofte. Ther smyt no thyng so smerte, ne smelleth so foule As shame, there he sheweth hym - for ech man shonyeth his felaweshipe. Why ye wisse me thus,' quod I, 'was for I rebuked Reson.' 'Certes,' quod he, 'that is sooth,' and shoop hym for to wal n. And I aroos up right with that and [raughte] hym after, And preyde hym [if his wille were, he wolde] telle me his name.
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