Piers Ploughman (Wright)/Passus 13

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Passus Decimus Tertius, etc.

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nd I awaked therwith       8025


Wit-lees ner-hande,
And as a freke that fre were
Forth gan I walke
In manere of a mendinaunt
Many a yer after,       8030
And of this metyng many tyme
Muche thought I hadde.

First how Fortune me failed
At my mooste nede;
And how that Elde manaced me,
Myghte we evere mete;
And how that freres folwede
Folk that was riche,
And folk that was povere
At litel pris thei sette;       8040
And no corps in hir kirk-yerde
Nor in his kirk was buryed,
But quik he biquethe aught
To quyte with hir dettes;
And how this Coveitise over-com
Clerkes and preestes;
And how that lewed men ben lad,
But oure Lord hem helpe,
Thorugh un-konnynge curatours,
To incurable peynes.       8050

And how that Ymaginatif
In dremels me tolde
Of Kynde and of his konnynge,
And how curteis he is to bestes,
And how lovynge he is to briddes
On londe and on watre.
Leneth he no lif
Lasse ne moore.
The creatures that crepen
Of kynde ben engendred.       8060
And sithen how Ymaginatif seide,
Vix salvabitur;
And whan he hadde seid so,
How sodeynliche he passed.

I lay doun longe in this thoght,
And at the laste I slepte.
And as Crist wolde, ther com Conscience
To conforte me that tyme,
And bad me come to his court,
With Clergie sholde I dyne;       8070
And for Conscience of Clergie spak,
I com wel the rather.
And there I seigh a maister,
What man he was I nyste,
That lowe louted
And loveliche to Scripture.

Conscience knew hym wel,
And welcomed hym faire.
Thei wesshen and wipeden,
And wenten to the dyner.       8080
And Pacience in the paleis stood
In pilgrymes clothes,
And preyde mete par charité
For a povere heremyte.

Conscience called hym in,
And curteisliche seide,
"Welcome! wye; go and wasshe;
Thow shalt sitte soone."

This maister was maad sitte,
As for the mooste worthi.       8090
And thanne Clergie and Conscience
And Pacience cam after.

Pacience and I
Were put to be macches,
And seten bi oureselve
At the side borde.

Conscience called after mete;
And thanne cam Scripture,
And served hem thus soone
Of sondry metes manye,       8100
Of Austyn, of Ambrose,
And of the foure Euvangelistes,
Edentis et bibentis quæ apud eos sunt.[1]

Ac this maister nor his man
No maner flesshe eten;
Ac thei eten mete of moore cost,
Mortrews and potages
Of that men mys-wonne
Thei made hem wel at ese.       8110
Ac hir sauce was over sour,
And unsavourly grounde
In a morter post mortem
Of many a bitter peyne,
But if thei synge for tho soules,
And wepe salte teris.
Vos qui peccata hominum comeditis,
nisi pro eis lacrimas et orationes
effunderitis, ea quæ in
deliciis comeditis, in tormentis       8120
evometis.

Conscience ful curteisly tho
Comaunded Scripture
Bifore Pacience breed to brynge
And me that was his macche.
He sette a sour loof to-forn us,
And seide, "agite pænitentiam."
"As longe," quod I, "as I lyve,
And lycame may dure."
"Here is propre service," quod Pacience,       8130
"Ther fareth no prince bettre,"

And thanne he broughte us forth a mees of oother mete,
Of Miserere mei, Deus,
And he broughte us of Beati quorum,
Of Beatus-virres makyng.
Et quorum tecta sunt peccata in a disshe,
Of derne shrifte Dixi et confitebor tibi.
"Bryng Pacience som pitaunce,"
Pryveliche quod Conscience.

And thanne hadde Pacience a pitaunce.       8140
Pro hac orabit ad te omnis sanctus
in tempore oportuno.
And Conscience conforted us,
And carped us murye tales.
Cor contritum et humiliatum Deus non despicies.[1]

Pacience was proud
Of that propre service,
And made hym murthe with his mete;
Ac I mornede evere,       8150
For this doctour on the heighe dees
Drank wyn so faste.
Væ vobis qui potentes estis ad bibendum vinum![1]
He eet manye sondry metes,
Mortrews and puddynges,
Wombe-cloutes and wilde brawen,
And egges y-fryed with grece.

Thanne seide I to myself so
Pacience it herde,       8160
"It is noght foure dayes that this freke
Bifore the deen of Poules
Preched of penaunces
That Poul the apostle suffrede,
In fame et frigore
And flappes of scourges."
Ter cæsus sum, et a Judeis quinquies
quadragenas, etc.

Ac o word thei over-huppen
At ech a tyme that thei preche,       8170
That Poul in his Pistle
To al the peple tolde:
Periculum est in falsis fratribus.

Holi writ bit men be war,
I wol noght write it here
In Englisshe, on aventure
It sholde be reherced to ofte,
And greve therwith goode men,
Ac gramariens shul redde.
Unusquisque a fratre se custodiat,       8180
quia, ut dicitur, periculum est
in falsis fratribus.

Ac I wiste nevere freke that as a frere yede
Bifore men on Englisshe
Taken it for his teme,
And telle it withouten glosyng.
They prechen that penaunce is
Profitable to the soule,
And what meschief and male ese
Crist for man tholede.       8190

"Ac this Goddes gloton," quod I,
"With hise grete chekes,
Hath no pité on us povere,
He perfourneth yvele;
That he precheth he preveth noght,"
To Pacience I tolde,
And wisshed ful witterly,
With wille ful egre,
That disshes and doublers
Bifore this ilke doctour       8200
Were molten leed in his mawe,
And Mahoun amyddes.
"I shal jangle to this jurdan
With his juste wombe,
To telle me what penaunce is,
Of which he preched rather."

Pacience perceyved what I thoughte,
And wynked on me to be stille,
And seide, "Thow shalt see thus soone,
Whan he may na-moore,       8210
He shal have a penaunce in his paunche,
And puffe at ech a worde;
And thanne shullen his guttes gothele,
And he shal galpen after.
For now he hath dronken so depe,
He wole devyne soone,
And preven it by hir Pocalips
And passion of seint Avereys,
That neither bacon ne braun,
Blancmanger ne mortrews,       8220
Is neither fissh nor flesshe,
But fode for a penaunt
And thanne shal he testifie of the Trinité,
And take his felawe to witnesse,
What he fond in a frayel,
After a freres lyvyng;
And but he first lyve be lesyng,
Leve me nevere after.
And thanne is tyme to take,
And to appose this doctour       8230
Of Do-wel and Do-bet,
And if Do-wel be any penaunce."

And I sat stille, as Pacience seide,
And thus soone this doctour,
As rody as a rose,
Rubbede hise chekes,
Coughed and carped;
And Conscience hym herde,
And tolde hym of a Trinité,
And toward us he loked.       8240

"What is Do-wel, sire doctour?" quod I,
"Is it any penaunce?"

"Do-wel," quod this doctour,
And took the cuppe and drank,
"Is do noon yvel to thyn even-cristen
Nought by thi power."

"By this day! sire doctour," quod I,
"Thanne be ye noght in Do-wel;
For ye han harmed us two,
In that ye eten the puddyng,       8250
Mortrews and oother mete,
And we no morsel hadde.
And if ye fare so in youre fermerye,
Ferly me thynketh,
But cheeste be ther charité sholde be.
And yonge children dorste pleyne,
I wolde permute my penaunce with youre,
For I am in point to Do-wel."

Thanne Conscience curteisly
A contenaunce made,       8260
And preynte upon Pacience
To preie me to be stille;
And seide hymself, "Sire doctour,
And it be youre wille,
What is Do-wel and Do-bet,
Ye dyvynours knoweth."

"Do-wel," quod this doctour,
"Do as clerkes techeth;
And Do-bet is he that techeth,
And travailleth to teche othere;       8270
And Do-best doth hymself so,
As he seith and precheth."
Qui facit et docuerit, magnus vocabitur
in regno cœlorum.

"Now thow, Clergie," quod Conscience,
"Carpest what is Do-wel.
I have sevene sones," he seide,
"Serven in a castel,
Ther the lord of lif wonyeth,
To leren what is Do-wel;       8280
Til I se tho sevene
And myself acorde,
I am un-hardy," quod he,
"To any wight to preven it.
For oon Piers the Plowman
Hath impugned us alle,
And set alle sciences at a sope,
Save love one;
And no text ne taketh
To mayntene his cause,       8290
But Dilige Deum,
And Domine quis habitabit.
And seith that Do-wel and Do-bet
Arn two infinités,
Whiche infinités, with a feith!
Fynden out Do-best,
Which shal save mannes soule;
Thus seith Piers the Plowman."

"I kan noght heron," quod Conscience,
"Ac I knowe wel Piers;       8300
He wol noght ayein holy writ speken,
I dar wel undertake.
Thanne passe we over til Piers come,
And preve this in dede.
Pacience hath be in many place,
And peraunter mouthed
That no clerk ne kan,
As Crist bereth witnesse:
Patientes vincunt, etc."

"Ac youre preiere," quod Pacience tho,       8310
"So no man displese hym.
Disce," quo he, "Doce,
Dilige inimicos.
Disce, and Do-wel;
Doce, and Do-bet;
Dilige, and Do-best;
Thus taughte me ones
A lemman that I lovede,
Love was hir name:

"With wordes and with werkes," quod she,       8320
"And wil of thyn herte,
Thow love leelly thi soule
Al thi lif tyme,
And so thow lere the to lovye,
For oure Lordes love of hevene,
Thyn enemy in alle wise
Evene forth with thiselve.
Cast coles on his heed
Of alle kynde speche,
Bothe with werkes and with wordes       8330
Fonde his love to wynne;
And leye on him thus with love,
Til he laughe on the.
And but he bowe for this betyng,
Blynd mote he worthe.

"Ac for to fare thus with thi frend,
Folie it were.
For he that loveth thee leelly,
Litel of thyne coveiteth.
Kynde love coveiteth noght       8340
No catel but speche.
With halfe a laumpe lyne,
In Latyn, Ex vi transitionis,
I bere therinne aboute
Faste y-bounde Do-wel,
In a signe of the Saterday
That sette first the kalender,
And al the wit of the Wodnesday
Of the nexte wike after,
The myddel of the moone,       8350
As the nyght of bothe,
And herwith am I welcome
Ther I have it with me,

"Undo it, lat this doctour deme
If Do-wel be therinne.
For, by hym that me made!
Myghte nevere poverte
Misese ne meschief,
Ne no man with his tonge,
Coold ne care,       8360
Ne compaignye of theves,
Ne neither hete ne hayl,
Ne noon helle pouke,
Ne fuyr ne flood,
Ne feere of thyn enemy,
Tene thee any tyme,
And thow take it with the.
Caritas nihil timet, etc."

"It is but a dido," quod this doctour,
"A disours tale;       8370
Al the wit of this world,
And wight mennes strengthe,
Kan noght conformen a pees
Bitwene and hise enemys,
Ne bitwene two cristene kynges
Kan no wight pees make
Profitable to either peple;"
And putte the table fro hym,
And took Clergie and Conscience
To conseil, as it were,       8380
That Pacience thow most passe,
For pilgrymes konne wel lye.

Ac Conscience carped loude,
And curteisliche seide,
"Frendes, fareth wel;"
And faire spak to Clergie,
"For I wol go with this gome,
If God wol yeve me grace,
And be pilgrym with Pacience,
Til I have preved moore."       8390

"What!" quod Clergie to Conscience,
"Ar ye coveitous nouthe
After yeres-geves, or giftes,
Or yernen to rede redels?
I shal brynge yow a Bible,
A book of the olde lawe,
And lere yow, if yow like,
The leeste point to knowe,
That Pacience the pilgrym
Parfitly knew nevere."       8400

"Nay, by Crist!" quod Conscience
To Clergie, "God thee for-yelde;
For al that Pacience me profreth
Proud am I litel.
Ac the wil of the wye,
And the wil of folk here,
Hath meved my mood
To moorne for my synnes.
The goode wil of a wight
Was nevere bought to the fulle.       8410
For ther nys no tresour, for sothe,
To a trewe wille.

"Hadde noght Maudeleyne moore
For a box of salve,
Than Zacheus for he seide
Dimidium bonorum meorum do pauperibus?[1]
And the poore widewe
For a peire of mytes,
Than alle tho that offrede       8420
Into gazophilacium?"

Thus curteisliche Conscience
Congeyed first the frere,
And sithen softeliche he seide
In Clergies ere,
"Me were levere, by oure Lord!
And I lyve sholde,
Have pacience perfitliche,
Than half thi pak of bokes."

Clergie of Conscience       8430
No congie wolde take,
But seide ful sobreliche,
"Thow shalt se the tyme
Whan thow art wery of-walked,
Wille me to counseille."

"That is sooth," quod Conscience,
"So me God helpe!
If Pacience be oure partyng felawe,
And pryvé with us bothe,
Ther nys wo in this world       8440
That we ne sholde amende,
And conformen kynges to pees,
And alle kynnes londes;
Sarsens and Surré,
And so forth alle the Jewes,
Turne into the trewe feith,
And intil oon bileve."

"That is sooth," quod Clergie,
"I se what thow menest;
I shal dwelle as I do,       8450
My devoir to shewe,
And confermen fauntekyns,
And oother folk y-lered,
Til Pacience have preved thee,
And parfit thee maked."

Conscience tho with Pacience passed,
Pilgrymes as it were.
Thanne hadde Pacience, as pilgrymes han,
In his poke vitailles,
Sobretee and symple speche,       8460
And soothfast bileve,
To conforte hym and Conscience,
If thei come in place
There un-kyndenesse and coveitise is,
Hungry contrees bothe.

And as the wente by the weye,
Of Do-wel thei carped;
Thei mette with a mynstral,
As me tho thoughte.
Pacience apposed hym first.       8470
And preyde he sholde hem telle
To Conscience what craft he kouthe,
And to what contree he wolde.

"I am a mynstrall," quod that man,
"My name is Activa-vita;
Al ydelnesse ich hatie,
For of actif is my name;
A wafrer, wol ye wite,
And serve manye lordes,
And fewe robes I fonge,       8480
Or furrede gownes.
Couthe I lye to do men laughe,
Thanne lacchen I sholde
Outher mantel or moneie
Amonges lordes or mynstrals.
Ac for I kan neither taboure ne trompe,
Ne telle no gestes,
Farten ne fithelen
At festes, ne harpen,
Jape ne jogele,       8490
Ne gentilliche pipe,
Ne neither saille ne saute,
Ne synge with the gyterne,
I have no goode giftes
Of thise grete lordes.
For no breed that I brynge forth,
Save a benyson on the Sonday
Whan the preest preieth the peple
Hir pater-noster to bidde
For Piers the Plowman,       8500
And that hym profit waiten;
And that am I actif,
That ydelnesse hatie;
For alle trewe travaillours
And tiliers of the erthe,
Fro Mighelmesse to Mighelmesse
I fynde hem with my wafres.

"Beggeris and bidderis
Of my breed craven,
Faitours and freres,       8510
And folk with brode crounes.
I fynde payn for the pope,
And provendre for his palfrey;
And I hadde nevere of hym,
Have God my trouthe!
Neither provendre ne personage
Yet of popes gifte,
Save a pardon with a peis of leed
And two polles amyddes.
Hadde ich a clerc that couthe write,       8520
I wolde caste hym a bille,
That he sente me under his seel
A salve for the pestilence,
And that his blessynge and hise bulles
Bocches myghte destruye.
In nomine meo dæmonia ejicient, et
super ægros manus imponent, et
bene habebunt.

"And thanne wolde I be prest to the peple
Paast for to make,       8530
And buxom and busy
Aboute breed and drynke
For hym and for alle hise,
Founde I that his pardon
Mighte lechen a man,
As I bileve it sholde.
For sith he hath the power
That Peter hymself hadde,
He hath the pot with the salve,
Soothly as me thynketh.       8540
Argentum et aurum non est mihi;
quod autem habeo tibi do: in
nomine Domini surge et
ambula.

"Ac if myght of myracle hym faille,
It is for men ben noght worthi
To have the grace of God,
And no gilt of pope.
For may no blessynge doon us boote,
But if we wile amende,       8550
Ne mannes masse make pees
Among cristene peple,
Til pride be pureliche for-do,
And thorugh payn defaute.
For er I have breed of mele,
Oft moot I swete;
And er the commune have corn y-nough,
Many a cold morwenyng.
So er my wafres be y-wroght,
Muche wo I tholye.       8560

"At Londone, I leve,
Liketh wel my wafres;
And louren whan thei lakken hem.
It is noght long y-passed,
There was a careful commune,
Whan no cart com to towne
With breed fro Stratforde;
Tho gonnen beggeris wepe,
And werkmen were agast a lite;
This wole be thought longe.       8570
In the date of oure Drighte,
In a drye Aprille,
A thousand and thre hundred
Twies twenty and ten,
My wafres there were gesene
Whan Chichestre was maire."

I took good kepe, by Crist!
And Conscience bothe,
Of Haukyn the actif man,
And how he was y-clothed.       8580
He hadde a cote of Cristendom,
As holy kirke bileveth;
Ac it was moled in many places
With manye sondry plottes;
Of pride here a plot,
And there a plot of unbuxome speche,
Of scornyng and of scoffyng,
And of unskilful berynge,
As in apparaill and in porte
Proud amonges the peple,       8590
Oother wise than he hym hath
With herte or sighte shewynge,
Hym willyng that alle men wende
He were that he is noght.
For-why he bosteth and braggeth
With manye bolde othes,
And inobedient to ben undernome
Of any lif lyvynge;
And noon so singuler by hymself,
Ne so pomp holy,       8600
Y-habited as an heremyte,
An ordre by hymselve,
Religion saunz rule
Or resonable obedience,
Lakkynge lettrede men
And lewed men bothe
In likynge of lele lif,
And a liere in soule,
With inwit and with outwit
Ymagynen and studie,       8610
As best for his body be
To have a badde name,
And entremetten hym over al
Ther he hath noght to doone,
Willynge that men wende
His wit were the beste.
And if he gyveth ought to povere gomes,
Telle what he deleth,
Povere of possession in purs
And in cofre bothe.       8620
And as a lyoun on to loke,
And lordlich of speche,
Boldest of beggeris,
A bostere that noght hath,
In towne and in tavernes
Tales to telle,
And segge thyng that he nevere seigh,
And for sothe sweren it,
Of dedes that he nevere dide
Demen and bosten       8630
And of werkes that he wel dide
Witnesse, and siggen—
"Lo! if ye leve me noght,
Or that I lye wenen,
Asketh at hym or at hym,
And he yow kan telle
What I suffrede and seigh
And som tymes hadde,
And what I kouthe and knew,
And what kyn I com of."       8640
Al he wolde that men wiste
Of werkes and of wordes
Which myghte plese the peple,
And preisen hymselve.
Si hominibus placerem, Christi
servus non essem. Et alibi:
Nemo potest duobus dominis
servire.

"By Crist!" quod Conscience tho,
"Thi beste cote, Haukyn,       8650
Hath manye moles and spottes,
It moste ben y-wasshe."

"Ye, who so toke hede," quod Haukyn,
"Bihynde and bifore,
What on bak and what on body half,
And by the two sydes,
Men sholde fynde manye frounces,
And manye foule plottes."

And he torned hym as tyd,
And thanne took I hede,       8660
It was fouler bi fele fold
Than it first semed.
It was bi-dropped with wrathe
And wikkede wille,
With envye and yvel speche,
Entisynge to fighte,
Liynge and laughynge,
And leve tonge to chide,
Al that he wiste wikked
By any wight tellen it,       8670
And blame men bihynde hir bak,
And bidden hem meschaunce,
And that he wiste by Wille
Tellen it Watte,
And that Watte wiste
Wille wiste it after,
And make of frendes foes
Thorugh a fals tonge,
Or with myght or with mouth,
Or thorugh mennes strengthe       8680
Avenge me fele tymes,
Other frete myselve
Withinne as a shepsteres shere,
Y-sherewed man and cursed.
Cujus maledictione os plenum est
et amaritudine, sub lingua ejus
labor et dolor. Et alibi: Filii
hominum, dentes eorum arma
et sagittæ, et lingua eorum
gladius acutus.       8690

"Ther is no lif that me loveth
Lastynge any while;
For tales that I telle,
No man trusteth to me.
And whan I may noght have the maistrie,
Swich malencolie I take,
That I cacche the crampe,
And the cardiacle som tyme,
Or an ague in swich an angre,
And som tyme a fevere       8700
That taketh me al a twelve monthe,
Til that I despise
Lechecraft of oure Lord,
And leve on a wicche,
And seye that no clerc ne kan,
Ne Crist, as I leve,
To the soutere of Southwerk,
Or of Shordyche dame Emme;
And seye that no Goddes word
Gaf me nevere boote,       8710
But thorugh a charme hadde I chaunce
And my chief heele."

I waitede wisloker,
And thanne was it soilled
With likynge of lecherie,
As by lokynge of his eighe.
For ech a maide that he mette
He made hire a signe
Semynge to synne-warde,
And some tyme he gan taste       8720
Aboute the mouth, or bynethe
Bigynneth to grope,
Til eitheres wille wexeth kene,
And to the werke yeden,
As wel in fastyng dayes and Fridaies
As forboden nyghtes,
And as wel in Lente as out of Lente,
Alle tymes y-liche.
Swiche werkes with hem
Were nevere out of seson,       8730
Til thei myghte na-moore;
And thanne murye tales,
And how that lecchours lovye
Laughen and japen,
And of hir harlotrye and horedom
In hir elde tellen.

Thanne Pacience perceyved
Of pointes of this cote,
That were colomy thorugh coveitise
And unkynde desiryng;       8740
Moore to good than to God
The gome his love caste,
And ymagynede how
He it myghte have
With false mesures and met,
And with fals witnesse;
Lened for love of the wed,
And looth to do truthe;
And awaited thorugh which
Wey to bigile,       8750
And menged his marchaundise,
And made a good moustre;
"The worste withinne was,
A greet wit I let it,
And if my neghebore hadde any hyne,
Or any beest ellis,
Moore profitable than myn,
Manye sleightes I made
How I myghte have it,
Al my wit I caste.       8760
And but I it hadde by oother wey,
At the laste I stale it;
Or priveliche his purs shook,
And unpikede hise lokes;
Or by nyghte or by daye
Aboute was ich evere,
Thorugh gile to gaderen
The good that ich have.

"If I yede to the plowgh,
I pynched so narwe,       8770
That a foot lond or a forow
Fecchen I wolde
Of my nexte neghebore,
And nymen of his erthe.
And if I repe, over-reche,
Of yaf hem reed that ropen
To seise to me with hir sikel
That I ne sew nevere.

"And who so borwed of me,
A-boughte the tyme       8780
With presentes prively,
Or paide som certeyn;
So he wolde or noght wolde,
Wynnen I wolde,
And bothe to kith and to kyn
Unkynde of that ich hadde.

"And who so cheped my chaffare,
Chiden I wolde,
But he profrede to paie
A peny or tweyne       8790
Moore than it was worth;
And yet wolde I swere
That it coste me muche moore,
And swoor manye othes.

"On holy daies at holy chirche
Whan ich herde masse,
Hadde I nevere wille, woot God,
Witterly to biseche
Mercy for my mysdedes,
That I ne moorned moore       8800
Nor losse of good, leve me,
Than for my likames giltes.
As if I hadde dedly synne doon,
I dredde noght that so soore,
As when I lened, and leved it lost,
Or longe er it were paied.
So if I kidde any kyndenesse
Myn even cristen to helpe,
Upon a cruwel coveitise
Myn herte gan hange.       8810

"And if I sente over see
My servauntz to Brugges,
Or into Pruce-lond my prentis,
My profit to waiten,
To marchaunden with moneie,
And maken hire eschaunges,
Mighte nevere me conforte.
In the mene while
Neither masse ne matynes,
No none maner sightes;       8820
Ne nevere penaunce perfournede,
Ne pater-noster seide,
That my mynde ne was moore
On my good in a doute,
Than in the grace of God,
And hise grete helpes.
Ubi thesaurus tuus, ibi et cor tuum.

"Whiche ben the braunches
That bryngen a man to sleuthe?
He that moorneth noght for hise mysdedes,       8830
Ne maketh no sorwe,
And penaunce that the preest enjoyneth
Perfourneth yvele,
Dooth noon almesse,
Dred hym of no synne,
Lyveth ayein the bileve,
And no lawe holdeth,
Ech day is holy day with hym,
Or an heigh ferye;
And, if he aught wole here,       8840
It is an harlotes tonge.
Whan men carpen of Crist,
Or of clennesse of soules,
He wexeth wroth and wol noght here
But wordes of murthe;
Penaunce of povere men,
And the passion of seintes,
He hateth to here therof,
And alle that it telleth.
Thise ben the braunches, beth war,       8850
That bryngen a man to wanhope.

"Ye lordes and ladies,
And legates of holy chirche,
That fedeth fooles sages,
Flatereris and lieris,
And han likynge to lithen hem
To do yow to laughe,
Væ vobis qui ridetis, etc.
And gyveth hem mete and mede,
And povere men refuse;       8860
In youre deeth deyinge,
I drede me ful soore
Lest tho thre manner men
To muche sorwe yow brynge.
Consentientes et agentes pari pœna punientur.[1]

"Patriarkes and prophetes,
And prechours of Goddes wordes,
Saven thorugh hir sermons
Mannes soule fro helle.       8870
Right so flatereris and fooles
Arn the fendes disciples
To entice men thorugh hir tales
To synne and to harlotrie.
Ac clerkes, that knowen holy writ,
Sholde kenne lordes
What David seith of swiche men,
As the Sauter telleth.
Non habitabit in medio domus meæ,
qui facit superbiam, et qui       8880
loquitur iniqua.

"Sholde noon harlot have audience
In halle nor in chambre,
Ther wise men were,
Witnesseth Goddes wordes,
Ne no mys-proud man
Amonges lordes ben allowed.

"Ac flaterers and fooles
Thorugh hir foule wordes
Leden tho that loven hem       8890
To Luciferis feste,
With Turpiloquio, a lady of sorwe,
And Luciferis fithele."
Thus Haukyn the actif man
Hadde y-soiled his cote,
Til Conscience acouped hym therof
In a curteis manere,
Why he ne hadde whasshen it,
Or wiped it with a brusshe.       8899

Piers Ploughman Decoration 08.png

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 In Wright's edition each of these lines was printed and counted as two lines