The Scale of Perfection, Book I

THE SCALE OF PERFECTION, BOOK I: FOOTNOTES

1 havynge, conduct; uttere, outer.

2 Goostli suster, Spiritual sister; callynge, her vocation as an enclosed anchorite.

3 paied, satisfied.

4 bisili, diligently; myghtes, powers.

5 sothfastnesse, truthfulness; staat, estate.

6 semynge, appearance; deed, dead.

8 dredes, fears; hooli, wholly; wite, know.

11 kepinge, maintaining; schapith, forms; withoute, on the outside.

13 demyng here defaughtes, judging their faults; wenynge, supposing; aught, something.

14 nought, nothing.

15 schape thee, conform yourself.

16 goostli, spiritual.

17 lightli, easily.

18 fulheed, fullness; speryd, locked.

19 bodili enclosynge, enclosure in a cell as an anchorite.

20 conversacioun, interaction.

21 fleisschli, carnal; dredis, fears.

23 me thynketh, it seems to me; ben, are.

24 saaf, saved.

25 ton, one.

27 schewyd, shown.

29 even Cristene, fellow Christians; this is Hilton's frequent usage; longeth, belongs; han, have.

30 plenté, plenty; staat, status; cure, reponsibility.

31 leryd, learned; lewyd, ignorant.

32 up here myght, according to their ability; connynge, knowledge.

33 asketh, requires; mykil1, much.

34 nought, nothing.

36 partie, part.

38 fleissch, flesh; trespaces, trespasses.

39 lustes, desires; likynges, pleasures; buxum, obedient; redi, prompt.

40 not for thi, nevertheless; ordaynen, dispose.

43 perfight, perfect; feelid, felt.

44 soothfaste, true; goosteli, spiritual; longeth, belongs.

45 hem, them.

46 besynesse, activity; gyven hem, give themselves.

47 occupacioun, activity; sithen, since.

48 thu, you.

49 freli, freely; entierli, entirely; thee, yourself; bihoveth thee, it is necessary for you.

50 right, very.

51 meenys, means.

54 occupacion, activities.

55 partye, part.

56 liyf, life; parties, parts.

57 geten, obtained.

58 affeccion, affection; savour, taste; feelid, felt; han, have.

59 studé, study.

60 after, according to; sutelté, subtlety; kyndeli wit, natural intelligence.

63 mykil, much.

64 schadewe, shadow; verry, true.

65 savoure, taste; swetnesse, sweetness.

66 propir, belonging to; welle, source.

67 noon, no.

68 veri, true; ofte sithes, often times.

69 ypocrites, hypocrites; han, have; sich, such.

72 Yif, If.

73 yhe, yea; privytees, mysteries.

74 hem, themselves.

75 han, have; fleen, flee; up her myght, according to their ability.

76 disposynge, disposition; yif, if.

77 after, for.

79 hemsilf, themselves; coveityse, covetousness; staatis, positions; worschipes, honors.

80 ne, nor; profight, profit; here, their.

82 sclaundren, slander.

84 bolneth, swells; medle, mingle.

85 unsavery, unsavory.

86 yif, if.

88 Architriclyn, ruler of the feast, mistakenly taken as a proper name; see John 2:9 and Clark, p. 162n14.

90 brennynge, burning.

91 partye, part.

92 affeccioun, the emotions.

93 gosteli, spiritual.

94 hem, themselves; hooli, wholly.

95-96 bi mynde of, by remembering.

96 manhede, humanity.

98 drede, fear.

99 pryvey, secret; doomes, judgments; rightwisenesse, righteousness.

100 streyned, contained.

101 upstiande, ascending; dylite, pleasure.

103 hym thenketh, it seems to him.

104 liketh, pleases.

106 brennande, burning.

107 mornynges, mournings; schoure, scour; clensyn, cleanse.

108 buxum, obedient; souple, compliant.

109 fulfulle, fulfill (the second u, if it is not the result of a minim error for i, indicates a southern spelling).

110 folfillid, fulfilled; styrynges, stirrings.

111 moo, more.

112 hope, suppose.

113 lorn, lost; lassed, diminished.

114 counfortable, comforting.

116 degrees, stages.

121 meke, humble; prevey, secret; but yif, unless.

123 to mykil, too much.

125 sautier, psalter.

128 halden, held; of thoo, by those.

129 reest, rest.

130 clennesse, purity; hem liketh, it pleases them.

132 blissid name Jhesu, devotion to the name of Jesus was popular in the later Middle Ages; see Clark, p. 162n20.

133 confortable, comforting; delitable, pleasant.

134 Pater Noster, the Lord's Prayer.

135 Ave Maria, the prayer, "Hail Mary"; ympnys, hymns.

137 dishese, distress.

141 seiande, saying; ympnes, hymns.

142 phalmynge, psalming (see Textual Notes).

144 thridde, third.

146 perfite, perfect.

148 mannys, man's; cleensid, cleansed.

149 fulheed, fulness.

150 ymaginacions, imaginings.

151 ravysschid, ravished; the term is from St. Paul's description of his mystical experience on the road to Damascus (2 Corinthians 12:2) and is typically associated with contemplation.

153 brennande, burning.

154 ooned, united.

156 fulheed, fulness; kepid, kept; onynge, union.

159 oo, one.

161 twynynge, separation.

166 verili, truly.

168 clerid, made clear.

172 sautier, psalter.

173 delitees, delights.

173-74 mylk for children . . . for perfite men, a commonplace contrast based on 1 Corinthians 3:1-2; used also in Scale, Book II, chapters 10 and 31.

173 mete, food.

174 assaied, tested; wittes, sense.

178 lyvande, living.

181 sobirté, soberness.

183 overpasse, surpass; wittes, senses.

184 felynge, feeling.

190 unhiled, revealed; iye, eye; schapen, formed.

191 oned, united.

192 clerté, brightness.

193 sprite, spirit.

194 lerid, learned; lewed, ignorant.

195 prelacie, prelacy; Clark notes (p. 163n33) that the women prelates referred to must be heads of religious houses.

197 hoope, suppose; liyf, life.

198 schewynges, revelations; wittis, senses.

201 slepand, sleeping; wakand, waking.

202 sownynge, sounding.

203 saverynge, tasting.

204 glowand, glowing; warmand, warming.

205 wit, sense; comfortable, comforting; lykande, pleasant.

205-06 aren not verili contemplacion, are not truly contemplation; the first of several critiques of the association of sensible phenomena with contemplation, an association found in the works of Richard Rolle; see also Scale, I.669-79; Clark, p. 163n36.

209 mowe by, may be; deceyvable, deceitful.

211 moun, may; yvel, evil.

212 wyte, know.

213 worche, work.

215 kunne, know how to.

216 lightli, easily; disseyved, deceived.

217 oughtward, outward.

221 leve, believe; frist, first.

222 bi, by; assaie, test.

225 iye, eye.

227 sowninge, sound.

228 kynde, nature; fier, fire.

230 woost weel, know well.

231 waar, aware.

232 stirynge, stirring; likinge, pleasure.

234 occupacions, activities; defautis, faults.

236 wenynge, supposing.

237-38 for thi thee thynketh, because it seems to you.

239 the enemye, one of Hilton's regular terms for the devil.

240 likinge, pleasant.

241 sleighte, deception.

242 wrooth, angry.

245 lette, prevent; dere, harm.

247 sikernesse, security; wenande, supposing.

250 myschevys, misfortunes.

251 lette, hinder.

254 stonyeth, astonishes; quykeneth, enlivens.

255 encreseeth, increases.

260 perfightli, perfectly; swich, such.

261 suyche, such.

262 not, know not.

263 pryvylegie, privilege; Mawdeleyn, Magdalene. Mary Magdalene was identified with Mary, the sister of Martha, thus becoming a type of the contemplative; the story of her dwelling in a cave was a widely known medieval legend. See Jacobus de Voragine, The Golden Legend, trans. William Granger Ryan (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993), 1:379-80.

265 eyr, air.

267 assayinge, testing.

276 lousere, looser; leeseth, loses.

278 kyndeli stiynge, natural rising.

287 ay, always.

294 halewes, saints.

295 brede, breadth.

303 O, One; as who seith, as is said; coveite, desire.

304 hyndward, behind.

305 gripe, grasp; meede, reward.

317 lowenesse, humility.

319 grucchinge, complaining; hevynesse, gloom.

320 drede, fear.

324 note, nut.

327 clennesse, purity; sobirté, soberness; delices, delights.

329 sithen, since.

330 bihoveth thee, it is necessary for you.

332 gyven hem, give themselves.

333 besi praeris, diligent prayers; with redynge and meditacion just mentioned, the conventional triad, lectio, meditatio, oratio, associated with the contemplative life. See Leclerq, Love of Learning, pp. 15-17, 72-74.

334 mai thu not wel use, Clark notes (p. 165n52) that the (female) reader addressed by Hilton presumably could not read Latin.

336 wanteth, lack.

337 pryde, an expanded list of the seven capital (or deadly) sins begins here; the others of the seven included here are avarice (coveytise), gluttony, lechery, envy, ire, and sloth (sleughthe).

338 haterede, hatred; malincolie, melancholy.

339 unskilful hevynesse, unreasonable sadness; schames, shames.

340 stirynges, stirrings. A frequent term in Hilton, as in other devotional writers; Staley (Kempe, p. 236) notes that it could refer to either physical or spiritual arousal; boylen ought, boil out.

341 letten, obstruct.

342 clenli, purely.

343 yclensid, cleansed.

344 bisi, active.

346 clene, pure.

347 schullen, shall.

348 rightwisenesse, righteousness, justice; in the list of virtues of which this is part are found the four cardinal virtues (justice, fortitude, mercy, temperance) and the three theological virtues (faith, hope, charity).

349 clennesse, purity.

353 entre, enter.

356-57 thee bihoveth, it behooves you [to].

358 siker, secure.

360 duelle, dwell.

361 conversacion, community.

362 wantynge, lacking; connynge, knowledge.

364 refuse of, rejected by; spered, locked.

365 dere, harm; ensaumple, example.

371 kyndeli, natural.

372 Sothfast, True.

373 boystous, unruly; lewed, ignorant.

377 lith, lies.

378 forthynke, reject; myspaide, dissatisfied.

380 lees, lies.

381 up thi myght, according to your ability.

382 trowand, believing.

384 sikirli, certainly; fulheed, fulness.

386 freel, frail.

393 unnethes, scarcely.

393-44 mowe suffre, be able to bear.

394 mykilnesse, greatness.

398 skile, reason.

399 letteth, hinders.

405 sothli, truly; dere, harm.

406 up, upon.

407 oon of the hooli fadres, Clark (p. 165n60) cites the Vitae patrum, 5.9.5 (PL 73:910); deme, judge.

409 sithen, since; undirneme, reproach.

414 cure, responsibility.

419 undirnyme, reproach.

421 troweth, believes.

422 Seynt Joon, for St. John as type of contemplative life and St. Peter as active life, see Augustine, Tractatus in Iohannis Evangelium, 124.5 (Clark, p. 166n63).

424 sopeer, supper.

427 privetees, secrets.

428 medfulli, worthy of reward.

434 travaile, trouble.

435 sustenaunce, support; lyvere, rather.

436 bisynesse, activity; fleen, flee.

437 astaat, estate, position.

439 wost, know.

440 lowe, humble.

446 highe, exalt.

447 mooste, greatest.

454 besi, diligent.

455 Seynt Austyn seith, Sermo 69.1.2 (Clark, p. 166n67).

456 bigge, build.

457 Seynt Gregor seith, Homilia in Evangelia, 7.4 (PL 76:1103) (Clark, p. 166n68).

459 spicerie, spices.

465 trowynge, believing.

466 more, greater.

467 thereagen, against it.

468 adraad, afraid.

469 peyne, punishment.

470 repreve, reject.

471 paide, content.

478 Gregor seith, Moralia, 34.32.43 (Clark, p. 166n69); dispice, despise.

483 reynes, kidneys, loins.

484 wenen, suppose.

490 unkunnynge, ignorance.

491 likynge, pleasure.

494 passynge, surpassing.

495 here, their.

501 in the Gospel, Luke 18:10-14.

502 not2, nothing.

503 hym thoughte, it seemed to him.

506 sigh, saw.

507 criande, crying.

508 twies, twice; woke, week.

509 yede, went.

510 gaat, got.

515 loovynge, praising.

517 knowelechynge, acknowledging.

518 loove, praise.

520 love, praise.

523 lovyng, praise.

526 love, praise.

529 poverli, poor.

533 siker, certain; trouth, faith.

536 dweer, uncertainty.

538 witte, intelligence; ransakynge, examining.

543-44 lawes and the ordenaunces, Hilton regularly defends orthodoxy and ecclesiastical authority.

547 thee thenketh, it seems to you; unskileful, unreasonable; deme, judge.

548 reprove, reject; longen, belong.

549 conceyt, conception.

551 kunnynge, knowledge; leeste, least.

553 hopen, think.

554 saaf, saved; hope, expectation; herist, hear.

557 hope, expectation; Yhe, Yea.

558 appereden, appeared.

560 leve, believe.

562 weyke, weak.

562-63 up here kunnynge, according to their knowledge.

563 incastynge, insertion.

565 astaat, condition; plesant, pleasing.

566 astonyed, astonished; unkunnynge, ignorance.

567 hevynesse, gloom.

568 spedeful, advantageous.

570 schryveth hym sone, confesses himself immediately; meketh, humbles.

571 thanne, then.

572 flen, flee; up here myght, according to their ability.

573 hafe, have.

580 not, nothing.

582 no tyme, at no time.

583 sithen, since.

584 wenande, supposing.

588 trowe, believe; sooth, true; seie, say.

589 mowen, be able to; ofte sithes, often times.

590 freelté, frailty.

594 usist, practice; leve, leave.

597 yrke, be annoyed with.

599 as anemptis, in regard to; kynde, nature.

602 swiche, such.

603 of, off.

604 mene, mean.

606 halde, keep.

610 spedeful, helpful.

612 that, what.

616 siker trowth, certain faith; hool, whole.

618 sei, say.

625 like, please; ilke, same.

629 hope, expect; with, by.

633 Menes, Means.

636 spedful, useful.

639 ynowgh, enough.

642 fier, fire.

645 peraventure, perhaps.

649 unskilful, unreasonable.

650 bisynesse, activity; quykene, enliven.

656 stiynge, ascending.

659 esid, eased; holpen, helped.

663 dereth, harms.

666 stieth, ascends.

667 lightned of, illuminated by.

668 upstyande, ascending; kyndeli, by nature; fro, from.

671 bodili feelid, felt in the body; see also Scale, Book I, chapter 11, for similar analysis.

673 witt, sense.

674 chafid, warmed; likynge, pleasant.

677 wenen, suppose.

683 mateyns . . . and houres, matins, evensong, and hours, regular times of public prayer appointed by the Church.

686 religious, in religious orders.

687 spedful, helpful.

688 Pater Noster, the Lord's Prayer.

689 ympnys, hymns.

691 gredili, greedily; yvel paid, ill-satisfied.

692 sadli, seriously.

697 lettynge, hindrance.

698 swiche, such.

701 boistous, rough.

702 fleiscli, fleshly.

705 sautier, psalter.

706 staaf, staff.

710 suete, sweet.

712 disceite, deceit.

714 to3, too.

716 though, you; yif, if; siche, such.

718 stablid, established.

720 reste, quiet.

722 ofte sithes, often times; overtravailen, overburden.

724 letten, hinder.

725 prevei, secret.

726 passand, exceeding; leesen, lose.

727 wisten, knew.

728 ought, anything.

729 sautier, psalter.

738 rewardes, concerns.

740 sleightes, tricks.

743 leche, physician.

752 have him, conduct himself.

753 suerd, sword.

755 unsped, unsuccessful.

759 plenteuousli, copiously.

760 likande, pleasant; wastande, wasting.

767 saad, serious.

776 stokyn, stuck.

781 feer, far; uncouthe, unknown; can, knows; skile, reason.

784 sobirté, soberness; spedeth swithe, succeeds greatly.

786 as gode schal doo, as good shall do.

787 charge, burden.

792 smert, smart.

794 moun, are able.

800 meedful, worthy of reward; frughte, fruit.

801 swettenesse, sweetness.

805 cowde, could.

808 light, lit.

809 autier, altar.

810 morwe lei to, morning lay on.

813 here traveyle, their labor.

817 maistrie, feat of skill.

821 taryynge, troubling.

822 seiynge, saying.

826 oute, ought.

827 mowen, are able.

832-33 Seynt Bernard seith, In Cant. 50.1.2 (see Clark, p. 169n115).

834 askyng, request.

835 hool, whole.

838 unpacient, impatient.

843 wite, know; dette, debt.

844 meede, reward.

845 longeth, belongs.

846 kenne, teach.

847 thee reklees, yourself reckless.

849 knowelechynge, acknowledging.

852 maistrie, force; of, off.

854 yhe, yea.

856 taried, disturbed.

857 sides, aspects.

862 profiten, advance; astaat, estate.

864 wexith, grows.

867 fooltes, fools.

877 conpuccion, compunction.

878 iye, eye; bisili, diligently.

879 soone clene, immediately pure.

880 unnethes, scarcely; mowe, be able to.

881 schryve, confess.

882 fretynge, eating.

883 unnethe, scarcely.

885 wole, will.

890 lofe, love.

896 teeris, tears.

900 profightable, profitable.

903 seighe, see.

907 stonge, pierced.

911 caitif, wretch.

918 iye, eye.

919-20 Seynt Bernard callith it, In Cant. 20.2.3-5.9 (Clark, p. 169n120, with other references).

920 kynde, nature.

924 trouthe, faith; mynde, thought.

927 couthe, knew.

932 As who seie, As if to say.

934 eendeles, endless.

936 ofte sithes, often times; skyles, reasons.

939 bi sithes, at times.

943 plenteuousli, plentifully.

945 resseyve, receive.

947 assaied, tested.

949 spedful, advantageous.

953 drawe, withdraw.

954 kenne, teach.

956 iye, eye.

957 ficchid, fixed.

963 hoot, hot.

966 nedynges, necessarily.

969 worcheth, works; doo hem forthenke, cause them to reject.

971 swithe, very.

972 sikirli, securely.

975-76 mystrowynge, disbelieving; the items of doubt enumerated here - about the eucharist and devotion to the saints - were among those characteristic of the Lollard movement, the heretical outgrowth of the teachings of John Wycliffe; see Clark, p. 170n131, 132.

980 ugglynesse, frightfulness.

981 tarieth, troubles.

982 unnethes, scarcely; wises, manners.

984 sere, various.

989 unkunynge, ignorant; reprovynge, blaming.

990 assayynge, testing.

991 mede, reward; disposynge, disposition.

993 trouthe, faith.

996 uggly, horrible.

997 tarie, trouble; apeire, injure.

998 despice, despise.

1000 moun, are able.

1001 chargiden, concerned.

1008 uncouth, ignorant; unkunnynge, unknowing.

1009 felid, felt; lightli, easily.

1016 poynt, small amount; reward of, comparison to.

1022 fordoon, ruined; stifli, resolutely.

1023 sterre, star.

1025 tarid, troubled.

1026 stableth, establishes.

1041 festeneth, fastens; gladith, cheers.

1044 uggli, horrible; spedful, useful.

1047 stille, constantly.

1050 merkenesse, darkness.

1052 agenstonde, resist; fondynges, temptations.

1053 saddenesse, firmness; vertues, virtuous.

1057 hope, expect.

1060 ascapid, escaped.

1065-66 Seynt Austyn seith, Soliloquia, 2.1.1; see Clark, p. 171n144.

1067 dette, debt.

1069 outaken, except for.

1077 kenned, taught.

1078 up that werk, work according to that.

1079 moun2, are able to; werke, perform.

1080 An hound, the story of the hound and the hare is common, based on Vitae patrum, 5.7.35 (PL 73:901) (Clark, p. 171n146).

1081 weri, weary.

1086 but yif, unless; waar, wary.

1087 or thanne, before; worcheth, works.

1088 lastandli, constantly.

1091 woso, whoever.

1098 saaf, saved.

1106 nedful, necessary; spedful, helpful.

1107 entre, enter.

1109 mow, be able to.

1112 clennesse, purity; worschipe, respect.

1113 grisynge, horror.

1117-18 Seynt Austen seith, possible reference to De civitate dei, 14.28; see Clark, p. 172n158.

1119 ransakid, examined; dolven, dug; outecastynge, casting out.

1120 brennande, burning.

1127 nedynge, necessarily; narwgh, narrow.

1129 seiande, saying.

1131 narw, narrow.

1139 sleynge, slaying.

1143 unskilful, unreasonable.

1144 agenstonde, resist.

1148 worschipe, respect.

1149 kynde, nature.

1150 liyf, life; myghtes, powers; mynde, resoun, and wille, the influential association of these powers of the soul with the persons of the Trinity is found in Augustine, De Trinitate, 10.11.17-12.19; see Clark, p. 168n108 and p. 172n167.

1151 perfight, perfect; rightwise, righteous.

1153 withoughte, without.

1159 maad, made.

1160 of, by.

1165 merk, dark.

1166 skilefulli, reasonably.

1168 worschipe, honor.

1176 unnethes, scarcely.

1178 cleenli, purely; delitable, delightful; take, taken; gleymed, smeared.

1182 withouten, except for.

1183 wite, know.

1185 loesynge, losing.

1186 saaf, saved.

1192 profight, profit.

1195 trustili, trustingly.

1196 ankir incluse, enclosed anchorite.

1198 meken, humble; knowelechynge, acknowledging.

1199 lowynge, humbling.

1203 saf, saved.

1205 caityves, wretches.

1210 liyn, lie.

1211 or, before.

1212 hemself, themselves.

1213 But than, From this point to the end of the chapter is the "Holy Name" section, omitted from several MSS; Gardner (1936, pp. 20-23) argues for its authenticity. See Textual Notes.

1214 sawes, sayings.

1215 delitableté, delightfulness.

1217 aliene, cast out; Sotheli, Truly.

1218 stoneth, astonishes; aferd, afraid.

1221 inly, inward.

1223 undirstonde, understood.

1225 heelere or hele, healer or health.

1227 perfight, perfect.

1231 heele, health.

1241 of, by.

1242 like, please.

1243 skile, reason.

1254 habundaunce, abundance.

1259 sere, various.

1260 loovynge, praise.

1262 mede, reward.

1263 derlyngges, darlings.

1276 celere, cellar.

1277 besi, diligent.

1280 rekles, careless.

1281 syn, since.

1283 lorn, lost.

1287 unto, to.

1290 bihight, promised; Marie Mawdeleyn, Mary Magdalene; for her as contemplative, see Scale, I.263.

1295 eschape, escape.

1296 peynes, punishments.

1299 renneth, runs.

1300 sleke, slake.

1302 biheste, promise.

1312 freelté, frailty.

1326 moun, are able to.

1327 hoolpen, helped.

1342 wharso, wherever.

1347 yhe, yea.

1356 sownes, sounds.

1362 likynge, pleasing.

1363 As who seith, As one says.

1375 traveilous, laborious.

1379 delf, delve.

1380 ought, out.

1387 dragme, drachma.

1388 upsodoun, upside down.

1388-89 As who seith, As one says.

1397 iye, eye.

1405 mulle, rubbish.

1409 besome, broom; iyen, eyes.

1412 swynke, toil.

1413 bisili, diligently.

1418 Hym, Himself.

1423 Soothli, Truly.

1436 bieth, buys; ilke, same.

1438 siker, certain.

1440 Hese, His.

1441 as tite, immediately.

1442 sone, at once.

1443 letteth, hinders.

1444 hope, suppose.

1445 prevy, secret; stilli, quietly.

1446 take keep, pay attention.

1450 kyndeli, natural.

1452 dene, din.

1457 straunge, estranged.

1458 lyveré, livery.

1461 hoomli, familiarly.

1462 privytee, mystery.

1467 Lereth of, Learn from.

1472 togedere, each other.

1480 mow, be able to.

1485 ficchid, fixed.

1487 maistrie, feat of skill.

1489 not, nothing.

1491 traveilous, difficult.

1492 presen, press.

1493 besinesse, diligence; agenstonde, resist.

1495 merk, dark.

1497 wittirly, surely; bilappid, surrounded; accidie, sloth.

1497-98 pride . . . leccherie, a list of the seven capital sins with the omission of avarice.

1500 Seynt Poul calleth hit, see Romans 6:6.

1504 steme, blaze (see Textual Notes).

1509 thereaboughte, thereabout.

1510 not, nothing.

1512 not, nothing.

1513 God, see Textual Notes.

1515 lightli, easily; drowgh, drew.

1518 merkenesse, darkness.

1523 flitynge, contentious; the aphorism in this sentence is a commonplace; see Proverbs 21:9, and Chaucer, The Wife of Bath's Prologue (The Canterbury Tales, III[D]278-80), where smoke is also mentioned.

1524 the silf, the self; possibly to be construed as theself, thyself.

1526 irke, irksome.

1530 swynke, toil.

1534 merkenesse, darkness; ilke, same.

1536 bere it doun, bring it down; grise, feel horror.

1537 despice, despise; tobreke, break in pieces.

1552 feer, far.

1557 sevene ryveres, i.e., the seven capital sins; the list that follows is complete (compare Scale, I.1497-98).

1561 grope, grasp.

1563 stokyn, inserted.

1564 flite, contend; bie, buy.

1568 hope, suppose.

1572 wende, supposed.

1573 siker, secure.

1577 corrumpe, corrupt.

1580 asai, testing.

1591 overpassynge, surpassing.

1598 oither, either.

1599 incastynge, injection.

1601 Jewes or Sarzynes, Jews or Saracens (Muslims); Clark (p. 178n251) describes Hilton's severe view of the status of the unbaptized as "ultra-Augustinian."

1604 trouth, faith.

1605 peyne of, punishment for.

1614 agenstondynge, resistance.

1620 ypocrites, hypocrites.

1623 aftir, according to.

1637 noithir, neither.

1642 An heretike, this chapter reflects the growing concern about heresy in Hilton's England; see Clark, p. 178n257.

1643 weneth, supposes.

1648 onyd, united.

1655 restynge, remaining.

1661 weneth, supposes.

1668 reste, goal.

1669 yput, put.

1671 doom, judgment.

1680 heire, i.e., the hairshirt, the traditional garment of the penitent.

1681 looveth, praises.

1682 iyen, eyes; inowgh, enough.

1685 god, good.

1686 agenstondynge, resistance.

1690 stiye, ascend.

1693 depeynte, depict; lovynge, praise.

1706 wityngeli, consciously.

1711 displesynge, displeasure.

1716 gif hem, give themselves.

1716-17 up her myght and her knowynge, according to their ability and knowledge.

1717 religious, in religious orders.

1718 religion, religious order.

1722 freelté, frailty.

1723 lewed, ignorant.

1735 frelté, frailty; unconnynge, ignorance.

1736 letted, hindered.

1742 sere, various.

1745 anker incloos, enclosed anchorite.

1747 special mede, the doctrine of graduated heavenly rewards is found in Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica 1, q.12, a.6 (Clark, p.178n264).

1756 toon, one.

1759 saaf, saved; gree, rank.

1760 mychilheed, greatness.

1761-62 lewid or lerid, ignorant or learned; here: lay or clergy.

1762 seculer or religious, living in the world or a member of a religious order.

1766 chanoun, canon.

1770 maydenhed, virginity.

1772 auriole, aureole, crown, halo; on this doctrine, see Clark, p. 179n266.

1778 religioun, religious order; streightere, stricter.

1779 meede, reward; doom, judgment.

1789 pryvitees, mysteries.

1791 soort, lot.

1803 besynesse, activity; mowe, are able.

1810 liyth, lies.

1812 nygh, almost.

1814 lovynge, praise.

1815 likynge, pleasing.

1816 apaied, satisfied.

1818 sclaundre, slander.

1819 disese, cause distress.

1820 unskilfulli, irrationally.

1821 agenstondynge, opposition.

1822 vilonye, villainy.

1823 merke, dark.

1825 daareth, lurks, is concealed.

1827 unnethis, scarcely; medeled, mingled.

1828 wlatsum, disgusting.

1835 aboughte, about.

1841 letten, hinder.

1842 unskilful, unreasonable; demynge, judging.

1844 disese, distress; felnesse, fierceness.

1847 ransake, examine.

1848-49 love the man . . . hate synne, an Augustinian idea, expressed in De doctrina christiana, 1.27-28, and elsewhere; see Clark, p. 180n294.

1853 myrkenesse, darkness.

1858 maistrie, feat of skill; wirke, ache; waike, weakens.

1859 stirte, start.

1860 turne, convert.

1862 kunne, know how to; viseli, wisely.

1871 deynté, valuable.

1872 sere, various; medis, rewards.

1874 medeful, worthy of reward.

1881 resseyved, received.

1882 auriol, aureole.

1885 habbeies, abbeys.

1889 ton, one.

1890 tothir, other.

1896 cursid, excommunicated.

1897 comonynge, association.

1898 reprove, condemn.

1900 sikirli, certainly.

1902 halde, consider.

1904 maistrie, difficulty; kunne, know how to.

1913 pryvitees, mysteries.

1918 sikir, secure.

1919 parfightli, perfectly.

1920 caytif, wretch.

1922 kyndeli, natural.

1925 sikirli, certainly.

1926 trowe, believe.

1933 covenable, suitable.

1936 knowynge, knowledge.

1938 leered, learned.

1941 do, act.

1943 lightli, easily.

1948 adrad, afraid.

1950 agenstondeth, resists.

1952 unperfightli, unperfectly.

1954 iyen, eyes.

1957 saaf, saved.

1962 visili, wisely.

1965 grucchist, complain.

1975 ground, foundation.

1979 schrewid, wicked.

1991 Seynt Stevene, see Acts 7:54-60.

1995 pursue, persecute.

1996 Leere, Learn.

1997 benynge, benign.

2001 biwreied, revealed.

2003 Judas, see Matthew 26:47-50.

2009 stoken, inserted.

2010 stide, place; mow, be able to.

2011 weneth, suppose.

2013 wordli, worldly (frequently spelled thus).

2016 reprovynge, blaming.

2017 ner, nearer.

2020 togidre, each other.

2025 rightful, righteous.

2037 techynge of Seynt Austyn, De doctrina christiana, 1.27-28; see Scale I.1848-49 and gloss; departe, separate.

2043 avere, possessions; sperid, locked.

2044 hope, suppose; maistrie, difficulty.

2052 traveiled, troubled; unskilful, irrational; bisynesse, activity.

2055 maistrie, force.

2056 disesid, distressed.

2057 thee wanteth, is lacking to you.

2061 flite, contend.

2063 defaute, fault.

2065 pursue, follow.

2068 leesynge, losing.

2069 Seynte Gregor seith, see Moralia, 1.5.7 and 31.13.21 (Clark, p. 181n298).

2081 glewid, glued.

2084 Seynt Austyn seith, Confessiones, 10.29.40 (Clark, p. 181n302).

2093 lette ne leese, prevent nor lose.

2108 myrk, dark.

2109 sleuthe, sloth.

2110 inli, inward.

2111 nedelynges, necessarily.

2114 up, according to.

2115 asketh, requires.

2118 kynde, nature.

2123 strengtheth, strengthens.

2124 Seynt Austyn seid, Confessiones, 10.31.44 (Clark, p. 181n306).

2125 mete, food.

2128 maistrie, difficulty; kunne departe visili, know how to separate wisely.

2129 likynge, pleasure.

2137 cumbred, encumbered.

2139 likynge, pleasure.

2140 reste, resting place.

2141 doughte, doubt.

2144 agenstonde, resist.

2152 levere forbere, rather forgo.

2155 to,, too.

2156 in untyme, at the wrong time.

2168 unskilful, irrational.

2172 skile, reason.

2180 wite, know.

2183 mowe, be able to.

2190 unskilful, irrational.

2191 mete, food.

2193 lightli reprevyd, easily rejected.

2194 unclennesse, impurity.

2195 goostli iye, spiritual eye.

2197 agrise, be horrified.

2199 wenen, suppose.

2200 arwgh, frightened.

2202 sawes, sayings.

2207 spices, species.

2211 up thi myght, according to your ability.

2212 unskilfulle likynges, irrational pleasures.

2215 kyndeli, natural.

2218 fleiscli, fleshly.

2219 nedelynges, by necessity; tente, tend.

2226 lette, hinder.

2231 skilfulli, reasonably; longeth, belongs.

2233 grucche, complain.

2235 mete, food.

2238 tarie, trouble.

2241 levere, better; of, off.

2243 ordeyne, dispose.

2246 reward, regard.

2253 sunnere, sooner.

2256 inow, enough.

2259 dwere, doubt.

2260 sad, resolute.

2262 sumdel, somewhat.

2266 myrkenesse, darkness.

2274 wittes, senses.

2275 sicheth, seeks.

2276 kynde, nature.

2278 unskilful, irrational.

2279 spere, lock.

2285 inli, inward.

2286 mete, food.

2290 kedis, kids.

2291 freel, frail.

2300 inow, enough.

2301 renne, run.

2304 seler, cellar; assaie, test.

2305 tonnes, vessels.

2308 wormode, wormwood.

2311 overpassynge, passing over.

2321 siker, certain.

2322 hoolis, holes.

2332 wantynge, lacking; forberynge, forgoing.

2333 peynful, punishable.

2337 sumdeel, somewhat.

2342 sopeer, supper.

2343 praied, invited.

2344 toun, farm.

2345 yokkes, yokes; yeede, went.

2346 assaie hem, try them out.

2367 lette, obstruct.

2368 have hir, conduct herself.

2372 visili, wisely.

2376 up thi myght, according to your ability; up thi knowing, according to your knowledge.

2377 syn, since; seche, seek.

2383 daungerous, standoffish.

2385 buxum, obedient.

2389 of, off.

2394 disese, distress.

2398 ansuere, answer.

2402 teche, teach.

2404 almasse, alms.

2406 hoomli, familiar.

2407 agreef, amiss.

2410 prees, crowd.

2418 mawmet, idol; from Mohammed, associated by medieval Christians with idolatry.

2419 forschapen, deformed.

2427 umbilapped, surrounded; kyndeli, natural.

2439 wreketh, avenges.

2441 ton, one.

2449 accidie, sloth.

2451 swithe, greatly.

2455 likere, more similar to.

2458 sumdel, somewhat.

2459 sautier, psalter.

2471 doo, put.

2479 stide, place.

2481 sobirté, soberness.

2489 mawmet, idol.

2500 filen, defile.

2501 bynemen, destroy; feble, enfeeble.

2502 seek, sick.

2507 for where thi love is, there is thyne iye, Proverbial. See Whiting, L558.

2519 charge, burden.

2528 cratures, creatures.

2530 nedelynges, of necessity.

2541 spice, species; waar, aware.

2542 lightli, easily.

2547 bisili, diligently.

2549 unnethis, scarcely.

2550 neerhande, almost.

2551 mow, be able to.

2554 self, same.

2557 Agenstonde, Resist.

2561 displesynge, disapproval.

2572 beynge, being.

2579 sonnere, sooner.

2582 maistrie, power.

2586 dere, harm.

2587 forschapen, deformed; kyndeli, natural.

2589 schapen, formed.

2590 bi, by; be, by.

2604 saad, serious.

2605 lyveray, livery.

2610 have hire, conduct herself.

2613 sithen, afterwards; worchynge, doing.

2617 bisili, diligently.

2623 streiteli, strictly.

2624 oithir, either.
 

THE SCALE OF PERFECTION, BOOK I: TEXTUAL NOTES

4 thyne. C: the.

79 desirynge. C: yernyng.

90 brennynge. C adds: love.

94 maner. C: matier.

106 oute. C omits. good. Inserted above the line; C omits.

132 name. C adds: of.

142 phalmynge. For the spelling, see MED under psalm(e), n.

155 bigynnyng. MS: bigynnyg.

170 deerkenesse. C: merkenes.

179 contynueli it. C: it comunly.

181 alle. Inserted above the line.

209 bi. C: be.

230 it. C omits.

233 from biholdinge of oure Lord Jhesu Crist and. C omits.

240 yif. C: thogh.

245 dere. C: hyndre.

254 biginnynge. C adds: when it comes.

257 the2. C adds: comforth or.

258 God. C adds: schewed eithir.

260 love of. C: lovyng. a. C: bodily.

261 ernest. C: erls.

262 blisse. C adds: of heven.

264 visited, whanne sche was. C omits.

266 legend. C: historie.

274 for to love and. C omits.

274 blisse. C adds: gostly.

275 goostli that he desireth. C: that this desire is.

275-76 he desireth. C: the desire is.

277 fro stable mynde of Jhesu Crist, and. C omits.

278 Hym. C: Jhesu.

280 revelacion. C adds: by an aungel.

284 thynge. C: felinge. felinge.C omits.

286 sette not to mykil. C: thou schalt noght cleve the thoght of.

287 hem. C adds: but thou schalt foryete hem if thou myght.

288 knowe. C adds: and fele.

300 thise. C adds: foure. of. C adds: alle.

303 bravium. C adds: thus mykel is this for to sey.

304 hyndward. C adds: or bakward. unto. C: out.

306 alle1. MS: alld or alls; C: alle.

311 it. C adds: is or.

314 he. C: if it.

320 bi strengthe and. C: only by.

325 swete. C omits.

326 into. C adds: verrey.

341 renne. C adds: out.

343-44 thorugh stedefaste trouthe. . . othir good werkes. C omits.

345 felynge of Hym. C: knowyng of God.

363 helpe. Following helpe MS has yng inserted above the line; C: helpe.

375 knowynge. MS: knowyge.

384 here. Inserted above the line; C omits.

399 of love. C omits.

418 no. C omits.

428 and. C adds: Seint. in tokenynge and. C omits.

472-73 thorugh devoute biholdynge on His manhede and His mekenesse.C omits.

478 as. C adds: Seint.

500 hath2. C adds: it.

525 herte. MS: hte; C: hert.

533 in. C adds: alle.

537 have drede. C: adred of felyng. ne of the feelynge of hem. C omits.

543 and worschipe. C omits.

554 hope. C: trouth.

557 this. C adds: trouth and in this.

563 or. C adds: elles.

571 and hope. C omits.

581 oure Lord Jhesu Crist. C: hym.

592 bodili or. C omits.

593 thy Lord Jhesu Crist. C: God.

597 prikke. C: hamere. to1. C adds: stirte and.

598 into inwarde biholdynge of Jhesu Crist bi praieres or. C omits. bi2. C: to.

599 dede or. C omits.

604-05 fro alle maner of unclennesse. C omits.

606 felynge. C: knowyng.

624 thi Lord Jhesu Crist. C: God.

640 praier. MS: praien; C: preyere.

653 ony erthly. C: a bodily.

654 erthli. C: bodily.

656 Jhesu Crist as yif thu were in His presence. C: God.

657 as He is in His Godhede. C omits.

657-58 thorugh devout biholdynge of His precious manhede. C omits.

658-59 of His Godhede. C omits.

661 His goostli presence. C: God.

664 of thi mynde. C omits.

665 praier. C: it.

685 matier. C: maner.

686 of. C: and.

699 best. A preceding the has been erased.

700 bigynnynge. MS: bigynnyge.

731 to2. MS: to to.

752 him. C adds: umwhile [in] his bodie.

760 it2. MS: hit with h expunged.

792 smert. C: scharp.

807 ligna. MS: lingua; C: ligna.

812-14 This reste oure Lord . . . in the blisse of hevene. Inserted from margin in a different hand; C omits.

882 fynde. C: fele.

895-96 with gret conpunccioun and with plent? of teeris. C omits.

903 Jhesu Crist. C omits.

921-22 to come to. C: into.

922 Jhesu Crist in His. C: the. come. C adds: comunly.

923 comtemplacioun. An unusual spelling, but see also comtemplatif in chapter 92 (line 2627), below and compare the scribe=s common variation confort/comfort.

924 and bi stable trouthe and stidefaste mynde. C omits.

930 oure. C adds: Lord.

951 oonli. C omits.

952 for thei trowed not fulli that Jhesu man was God. C omits.

956 a litil. C omits.

985 maner of. C omits.

986-87 putten al hire trust . . . and that thei. C omits.

992 litil. C omits.

992-93 with a nakid trouthe and stidefaste mynde of Jhesu Crist, so. C omits.

996 foulen. C: filen.

1002 good1. C omits.

1008 uncouth. C adds: or worldly. that is to seie, to noon unkunnynge man and worldli. C omits.

1022-23 stond stifli in hope, and. C omits.

1057 Jhesu Crist. Written following an expunged God.

1063 bigynne. C adds: a new gamen and.

1072 whanne God wole give it. Inserted from margin; C omits.

1086 him. C: home.

1106 inne. C adds: and I hope an heghe plein wey, als mykel as may lye in mannes werk to contemplacioun.

1110 of synne. C omits.

1112 clennesse. C: dignit?.

1114 al. C adds: thyng. fro that clennesse. C: that joye.

1120-21 oure Lord Jhesu Crist. C: God.

1121 ne have hoomlinesse of His gracious presence. C omits.

1123 out. Marginal gloss: or to drawe up; C: up. love1. C adds: and felyng of hymself.

1123-24 of alle ertheli creatures and from veyn love of himsilf. C omits.

1124 schulde. C adds: mo.

1126 and in the hoomli presence. C omits. Jhesu. C: God.

1136 hate. C adds: alle.

1136-37 the likynge of. C: his bodily felyng for.

1138-39 My manhede and of My Godhede. C: me.

1139 narwe. C adds: that no bodily thyng may passe thorogh it.

1155 derkenesse. C: merknes.

1158 of God. God added above the line; C omits of God. and. MS: an. so. C omits.

1196 saaf. C adds: yee and thou schalt be saufe.

1199 by. C: and.

1212 hemself. Added in margin: From this to the ende of this chapitille is more than othere bookys have. (the scribe=s notice of the so-called Holy Name passage).

1248 Jhesu. C: savacioun.

1248-50 for there may no man be saaf . . . by the merite of His passioun. C omits.

1253 in2. C adds: the blis of.

1263 are. C adds: in this life inperfite and are.

1309 of the firste makynge. C omits.

1319-20 Crist, that blissid persoone . . . virgyne, that is. C omits.

1322 love and to plese. C omits.

1323 othir. C omits.

1328 thorugh light of Goddis grace. C omits.

1329 into2. C: of.

1330 ertheli. C omits. thynge. C adds: that is made.

1332 anoynted. C adds: in Jhesu.

1332-33 and comfortid thorugh gracious presence of oure Lord Jhesu Crist. C omits.

1339 the mynde and. C omits.

1339-40 thi Lord Jhesu Crist, that blissid maidenys sone. C: Jhesu.

1340 His Godhede. C: him.

1341 joie. C adds: non othere.

1342 to be with Hym wharso He is, and to see Hym and love Hym. C omits.

1343 a litil His goostli presence. C: him.

1345 and wolt no more seken aftir Hym, but. C: bot foryete that thou has founden and.

1348 in His joie. C omits.

1350 blisse. C adds: of lovyng.

1351 praiers and of. C omits.

1353 love. C omits.

1354 myghte not seen of His Godhede. C: see ryght noght of him.

1357 ony. C omits.

1365 His grace and of His merciful presence. C: him.

1366 Hym. C: that desire.

1370 bi thi desire. C: it.

1370-71 in thi praieres . . . Lord Jhesu Crist in thi mynde. C omits.

1372 from Hym. C: therfro. Hym. C: it.

1373 as He sought thee. C omits.

1379 and2. MS: and erased; C: and.

1390 the dragme. C omits.

1391 lost. C adds: that is for to sey the dragme.

1404 into biholdynge of Jhesu Crist. C omits.

1404-05 bi Hym (for He is light). C omits.

1416-18 that is, yif thou may . . . to the face of thi soule. C omits.

1418 glymerynge. C adds: of him.

1444 betere. MS: betetere.

1458 lyver?. C: lovers; on C=s erroneous reading, see Clark, p. 175n218.

1461 lyver?. C: lovere.

1463 of. MS: of of.

1466 lyver?. C: lovers.

1490-91 upon thi Lord Jhesu oonly. . . Lord Jhesu Crist. C: only Jhesu.

1492-93 with stable mynde of Jhesu Crist with besinesse in praieres. C omits.

1494 sekest. Following sekest MS has expunged: but oonli a nakid mynde of his name.

1504 steme. Some MSS (not C) have stien (Aascend@), which makes better sense; see Clark, p. 176n232.

1505 ymage. MS: yma; C: ymage.

1512 lackynge. Marginal gloss: merknesse of consciens.

1513 God. C: gode (Agood@), perhaps a more satisfactory reading; see Clark, p. 176n235.

1515 clensid and. C omits.

1516-17 Jhesu C not oonli . . . thou schuldest fynde. C omits.

1518 bi Hym. C omits.

1519 of Hym. C omits.

1524 smoke. C: reke.

1530 nought. Marginal gloss: merknes of consciens. The same marginal gloss is found for nought in lines 1533, 1537, 1539, and 1541.

1535-36 not settynge the poynt . . . whiche thou desirest. C omits.

1543 hominis. C omits.

1571 opyn. C: hole.

1594 he. C: nevertheles it.

1605 of. C adds: the first.

1606 felyng. An illegible mark after g may be a final e.

1606 unwarli. C omits.

1613 reste. C: end.

1617 doth so, ne who. C omits. so. C omits.

1627 richere and highere than anothir. C: then othere.

1629 comaundement. MS: comaundedement.

1631 or1. C adds: lese it eithere of.

1637 noithir. C omits.

1645 with. C omits.

1648-49 he dooth agen that othir and so. C omits.

1652 Cristen. MS: Criste; C: Cristen.

1653 and so he synneth deedli. C omits.

1656 homni. sic MS.

1659 stille. C omits.

1661 evere. C omits.

1663 while he lyveth heere. C omits.

1673 it is sooth, for. C omits. men. C adds: for that is soth.

1676 neer hande. C omits.

1685 that he deliteth inne. C: and. as1. C: that he feles. god. C: gode. soule. C adds: whilk is synne.

1691 is1. C: schal be.

1695 wolde. C adds: hold and.

1711 and helpe. C omits.

1717 as. C adds: doun principaly. also. C omits. men. C omits.

1722 myght for. C omits. religious. MS: religigious.

1731 grace and a. An attempt has been made to erase, but still clearly visible; C omits.

1734 speke of and. C omits.

1736 resoun. MS: rosoun. of. C: and.

1739 forsake. C adds: al manere of.

1750 ony. C omits.

1751 of. C adds: alle.

1767 God. C adds: more.

1774 the love of God. C: love.

1775 is it. C: it may be seid.

1788 prefinitum tempus. C: ad tempus prefinitum.

1791 prophete2. C adds: at the last day. the. C adds: last.

1793 in thy sorte. C omits.

1795 worschip. C adds: in.

1797 this that I have seid. C: thise words. thorugh it. C: trowe hem.

1802-03 of the gifte of God as he or sche hath that dwelleth stille in the wordli besynesse. C: als fully and als perfitely as a worldly man or woman.

1804 dwellith. C adds: stille.

1805 or sche schal have. C: schal.

1806 have1. C omits.

1807 wel. C adds: meke thiself and

1808 is2. C adds: ryght. loke. C omits.

1809 to. C adds: destrue synnes and for to.

1815 holde thee. C omits.

1819 or disese thee. C omits.

1820 anguisch. C: angrynes and. the persoones. C: hem.

1831 and1. C adds: trewly. in. C adds: vertue of. mekenesse and. C omits.

1843 herte. C adds: despisyng, bakbityng, unskilfulle blamyng, misseying, unkyndnes, mislikyng, angrynes and hevynes.

1844 men. C adds: and othere.

1846 ponysschid. C adds: and chastised.

1847 wel. C adds: thou schalt fynd it summe tyme

1860 prechynge. MS: prchynge.

1862 kunne. C omits.

1864 and women. C omits.

1868 vestris. MS: vestrs.

1869 spiritum. C adds: sanctum.

1875 badde. C adds: to chosen and to reproved.

1881 resseyved. C adds: if he preche and teche Goddes worde he.

1883 Chirche. C adds: if thei prechen.

1894 and2. C adds: approve and.

1910 of2. C adds: alle.

1912 hadde. C adds: alle manere of.

1920 ony. C adds: wrecched.

1927 he2. C adds: sikerly.

1936 philosophie. C: philosophers he couthe noght do this; he schuld kun hate the synne of al othere men for he hates it in hymself, but he couthe noght love the man in charit? for al his philosophie. of2. C adds: alle.

1939 techynge. C: kennyng.

1943 wise. C adds: I sey that.

1945 y. C: thou then.

1958 mekenesse. C adds: at this tyme.

1962 visili. C: wisely.

1967 for ought that thei dooth agens thee. Inserted from margin.

1971 maner of. Added above the line; C omits.

1974 cause. C: purpose.

1976 quenchid. C: slekned.

1977 wil. C omits.

1983 or bi feel. C omits.

1989-90 thyn herte in affeccioun and love. C: affeccioun of love in thi hert.

1993 persequentibus. C adds: et calumpniatibus.

1995 pursue. C adds: and sclaundren.

1997 goodli. C omits. was to. C: loved. Judas. C adds: whilk was bothe his dedly enmy and a synfulle caytif, how godely Crist was to hym. benynge. C: benigne.

1999 apostelis. C adds: He wesch his fete and fede hym with his preciouse bodie, and preched hym als he did to othere apostles.

2001 not. C adds: openly for it was pryv?, ne mysseid hym noght ne despised hym.

2002 nothynge. C omits.

2008 goodnes. C adds: and forthi it falles to hym to schewe love and godenes. Judas. C adds: I sey noght that Crist loved hym for his synne, ne he loved hym noght for his chosen as he did Seint Petre, bot he loved hym in als mykel as he was his creature and schewed hym tokens of love if he wold have ben amended thereby.

2012 lovere and a. C omits.

2016 maliciousli. C: malencolious.

2028 thisilf. MS: silf, with a preceding caret for an addition, but none is supplied.

2044 forsaken. C adds: clenly.

2052 traveiled. C adds: and trobled.

2056 in thyn herte, and. C omits.

2058 gete it. C omits. for. C adds: to stryve and flite with hym for.

2065 pursue. C adds: for his godes.

2067 hyt. C adds: for itself.

2074 skilfulli. C adds: only for lust and likyng. love. C: ficche thi love upon.

2075 nedith. C adds: for itself. that. C adds: thyng that.

2076 it. C adds: more then kynde or nede asketh withouten whilk the thyng may not be used it. Soothli. C adds: in this poynt as I trow. and the likenesse. C omits.

2077 blyndid in this poynt. C: letted.

2080 his. C adds: love and his.

2081-82 the love of ony othir ertheli thynge. C: covetise of erthly gode.

2082 ellis. C omits.

2085 thee. C adds: that he loves noght for the.

2087-88 it be so moche . . . even Cristen, sothely. Inserted from margin.

2088 thee. C: hem.

2092 or. C adds: avere of.

2095 me. C: my hert.

2100 and3. C adds: bodily.

2109 sleuthe. C: accidie.

2114 more. C adds: likyng.

2131-33 Yif a man wolde oonli take . . . luste from the nede. C omits.

2140 herte. C adds: that he wold in his hert.

2145 likynges. C adds: when thei comen.

2150-51 so that the dede be not yvel in the silf. C omits.

2159 God merci. C: aftere merci specialy.

2160 fleischli. C omits.

2161 forgyveth. C adds: swythe.

2170 agens. MS: a3ns.

2175 venial. C adds: synne.

2176 arise. C: travaile. and the2. C: of.

2180 no. C omits.

2183 slee fleischli. C: flee.

2185 be. C adds: mykel.

2191 fulli. C: felly.

2197 delite. C: likyng. agrise. C: ugge.

2200 it. C adds: more soroe and.

2209 or lasse. C omits.

2210 synnes, the lasse. C: lesse the lesse.

2215 hevy. C adds: peynfulle.

2216 of the gostli presence of Jhesu Crist. C omits.

2218 agen. C adds: the ground thou schalt noght aryse as I have seid bifore for. that. C omits.

2224 or1. C adds: bodily.

2225 thisilf. C: gode rewlyng of hymself.

2230 lust. C: love.

2233 generali. C: gladly.

2235 mete. C adds: as it comes.

2240 forgevenesse. C adds: and sey thou wilt amend it and trust of for3yvenes.

2248 more and waxe. C: and kepe.

2249 and. MS: an.

2256 hem2. C adds: and if thou may gete hem.

2259 hevynesse. C adds: ne in lust ne in lyghtnes.

2266 grete. C: thik.

2267 chaos. C adds: a grete merknes.

2272 Lifte. C: Lyght.

2276 sight. C: eye.

2277 tydynges. C: thynges.

2282 cloude. C: mantel.

2284 outward. Written in margin; C omits.

2286 Lord. C adds: manassand.

2290 kedis. C: gaytes.

2295 kides. C: gayte.

2296 seke. MS: begge inserted over seke, apparently as an alternate reading; begge is found in other MSS; see Underhill, p. 193. withoute. forth added above the line; not in the chapter heading in the Table at the beginning of the book; not in C.

2299 seke. C: beg.

2300-01 curtais and free inow. C omits.

2307 dronkennesse. C: drynkes

2308 kynge. C: likyng.

2320 thus. C adds: as I hope thou dos.

2325 delite. C: an ese.

2329 loveth God or wole love soothfastli. C: wil sothfastly love God.

2334 venyal. C adds: and more fle it.

2345 that he myght not come. C omits.

2346 excusid hym. C omits.

2347 oxen. C adds: for he is to this purpose.

2351 to2. C adds: wilfully.

2355 the wise man. C: Seint Paule.

2379 love. C omits.

2386 ne what he wolde. C: ne whi he comes.

2387 hym2. C omits.

2396 hym. C adds: if thou canst.

2397 vanytees. C adds: of the world.

2400 knowe. C: kenne.

2402 teche1. C: kenne. teche2. C: kenne.

2403-04 goo his wai. C: take his leve.

2405 knowen. C: kenned. him withal. C: hem alle.

2407 agreef. C: of the.

2409 alle. C adds: othere.

2420 into many wrecchidnessis. C: in mony fleschly likynges and worldly vanities fro clennes of hert and fro the felyng of gostly vertus.

2421 thenketh yvel fore and. C omits.

2424 Writt. MS: wriit; C: writt. dominus. C: deus.

2430 firste. C adds: and the principale.

2432 extendam. C: extendo.

2441 ton. MS: to.

2452 meditacioun. C adds: here has thou herd the membres of this ymage.

2456 ymage. C omits.

2457 luste. C: love.

2469 of synne. C omits.

2485 of. C adds: synne and.

2497 lyve. Possibly corrected from have.

2500 comen. C: spryngen. filen. C: defoulen.

2503-04 and thyn even Cristene. C omits.

2508 Hym. C adds: and if thou love hym litel then litel thynkes thou on hym.

2512 hou veyn. C omits.

2513 malicious. C: malencolios.

2519 to breke the charge of this veyn. C: bere this hevy birthen of this.

2523 sorwe. C adds: I hope thou feled nevere more.

2527 thinge. C adds: and fro rest in thin oun bodily felyng.

2530 fynde no. C: noght lightly fynde.

2535 this. C adds: false.

2540 in. C: and.

2550 neerhande. C: half.

2554 of1. C: off.

2555 malicious. C: malencolie. overmoche. C: any.

2570 to2. C adds: plese hym, for to.

2574 teche. C: kenne.

2580 this felynge and. C omits.

2585 alle. C omits. adoune. C: awey.

2589 of. C adds: Jhesu.

2590 be. Possibly bi; C: bi.

2592 ful. C omits.

2593 Christus. C omits.

2594 child. C: barn.

2612 contemplacioun. C: contemplatif life.

2617 of lif. C: of, partially erased.

2619 thyn herte. C: the.

2620 it1. C adds: be so that it.

2628 thee. C adds: and with hym that writes this boke.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Print Copyright Info Purchase

The Scale of Perfection, Book I

 
 
1
 
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
 
 
 
 
26
 
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
 
 
 
 
42
 
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
 
 
 
 
55
 
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
80
81
82
83
84
85
86
87
88
89
90
 
 
 
 
91
 
92
93
94
95
96
97
98
99
100
101
102
103
104
105
106
107
108
109
110
111
112
113
114
 
 
 
 
115
 
116
117
118
119
120
121
122
123
124
125
126
 
 
 
 
127
 
128
129
130
131
132
133
134
135
136
137
138
139
140
141
142
143
144
 
 
 
 
145
 
146
147
148
149
150
151
152
153
154
155
156
157
158
159
160
 
 
 
 
161
162
 
163
164
165
166
167
168
169
170
171
172
173
174
175
176
177
178
179
180
181
182
183
184
185
186
187
188
189
190
191
192
193
194
195
196
197
 
 
 
 
198
199
 
200
201
202
203
204
205
206
207
208
209
210
211
212
213
214
215
216
217
218
219
220
221
222
 
 
 
 
223
224
 
225
226
227
228
229
230
231
232
233
234
235
236
237
238
239
240
241
242
243
244
245
246
247
248
249
250
251
252
253
254
255
256
257
258
259
260
261
262
263
264
265
266
267
268
269
270
271
 
 
 
 
272
 
273
274
275
276
277
278
279
280
281
282
283
284
285
286
287
288
289
290
291
292
293
294
295
296
297
 
 
 
 
298
 
299
300
301
302
303
304
305
306
307
308
 
 
 
 
309
310
 
311
312
313
314
315
316
317
318
319
320
321
322
323
324
325
326
327
328
329
330
 
 
 
 
331
 
332
333
334
335
336
337
338
339
340
341
342
343
344
345
346
347
348
349
350
351
352
353
354
 
 
 
 
355
 
356
357
358
359
360
361
362
363
364
365
366
367
368
369
370
371
372
373
374
375
376
377
378
379
380
381
382
383
384
385
386
387
388
389
390
391
392
393
394
395
396
397
398
399
400
401
402
403
404
405
406
407
 
 
 
 
408
 
409
410
411
412
413
414
415
416
417
418
419
420
421
422
423
424
425
426
427
428
429
430
431
432
433
434
435
436
437
438
439
 
 
 
 
440
441
 
442
443
444
445
446
447
448
449
450
451
452
453
454
455
456
457
458
459
460
461
 
 
 
 
462
463
 
464
465
466
467
468
469
470
471
472
473
474
475
476
477
478
479
 
 
 
 
480
481
 
482
483
484
485
486
487
488
489
490
491
492
493
494
495
496
497
498
499
500
501
502
503
504
505
506
507
508
509
510
511
512
513
514
515
516
517
518
519
520
521
522
523
524
525
526
527
528
529
530
531
 
 
 
 
532
 
533
534
535
536
537
538
539
540
541
542
543
544
545
546
547
548
549
550
551
552
553
554
555
556
557
558
559
560
561
562
563
564
565
566
567
568
569
570
571
572
573
574
575
 
 
 
 
576
577
 
578
579
580
581
582
583
584
585
586
587
588
589
590
591
592
593
594
595
596
597
598
599
600
601
602
603
604
605
606
607
608
609
610
611
 
 
 
 
612
613
 
614
615
616
617
618
619
620
621
622
623
624
625
626
627
628
629
630
631
632
633
634
635
 
 
 
 
636
 
637
638
639
640
641
642
643
644
645
646
647
648
649
650
651
 
 
 
 
652
 
653
654
655
656
657
658
659
660
661
662
663
664
665
666
667
668
 
 
 
 
669
 
670
671
672
673
674
675
676
677
678
679
 
 
 
 
680
681
 
682
683
684
685
686
687
688
689
690
691
692
693
694
695
696
697
698
699
700
701
702
703
704
705
706
707
708
709
710
711
712
713
 
 
 
 
714
715
 
716
717
718
719
720
721
722
723
724
725
726
727
728
729
730
731
732
 
 
 
 
733
734
 
735
736
737
738
739
740
741
742
743
744
745
746
747
748
749
750
751
 
 
 
 
752
753
 
754
755
756
757
758
759
760
761
762
763
764
765
766
767
768
769
 
 
 
 
770
 
771
772
773
774
775
776
777
778
779
780
781
782
783
784
785
786
787
788
 
 
 
 
789
 
790
791
792
793
794
795
796
797
798
799
800
801
802
803
804
805
806
807
808
809
810
811
812
813
814
 
 
 
 
815
 
816
817
818
819
820
821
822
823
824
825
826
827
828
829
830
831
832
833
834
835
836
837
838
839
840
841
842
843
844
845
846
847
848
849
850
851
852
853
854
855
856
857
858
859
860
861
862
863
864
865
866
867
868
869
870
871
 
 
 
 
872
 
873
874
875
876
877
878
879
880
881
882
883
884
885
886
887
888
889
890
891
892
893
894
895
896
897
 
 
 
 
898
899
 
900
901
902
903
904
905
906
907
908
909
910
911
912
913
914
915
916
917
918
919
920
921
922
923
924
925
926
927
928
929
930
931
932
933
934
 
 
 
 
935
936
 
937
938
939
940
941
942
943
944
945
946
947
948
949
950
951
952
953
954
955
956
957
 
 
 
 
958
 
959
960
961
962
963
964
965
966
967
968
969
970
971
972
973
974
975
976
977
978
979
980
981
982
983
 
 
 
 
984
 
985
986
987
988
989
990
991
992
993
994
995
996
997
998
999
1000
1001
1002
1003
1004
1005
1006
1007
1008
1009
1010
1011
1012
1013
1014
1015
1016
1017
1018
1019
1020
1021
1022
1023
1024
 
 
 
 
1025
1026
 
1027
1028
1029
1030
1031
1032
1033
1034
1035
1036
1037
1038
1039
1040
1041
1042
1043
1044
1045
1046
1047
1048
1049
1050
1051
1052
1053
1054
1055
1056
1057
 
 
 
 
1058
1059
 
1060
1061
1062
1063
1064
1065
1066
1067
1068
1069
1070
1071
1072
1073
1074
 
 
 
 
1075
1076
 
1077
1078
1079
1080
1081
1082
1083
1084
1085
1086
1087
1088
1089
1090
1091
1092
1093
1094
1095
1096
1097
1098
1099
1100
1101
1102
1103
 
 
 
 
1104
1105
 
1106
1107
1108
1109
1110
1111
1112
1113
1114
1115
1116
1117
1118
1119
1120
1121
1122
1123
1124
1125
1126
1127
1128
1129
1130
1131
1132
1133
1134
1135
1136
1137
1138
1139
1140
1141
1142
1143
1144
1145
1146
1147
 
 
 
 
1148
1149
 
1150
1151
1152
1153
1154
1155
1156
1157
1158
1159
1160
1161
1162
1163
1164
1165
1166
1167
1168
1169
1170
1171
1172
1173
1174
1175
1176
1177
1178
1179
1180
1181
1182
1183
1184
1185
1186
1187
 
 
 
 
1188
1189
 
1190
1191
1192
1193
1194
1195
1196
1197
1198
1199
1200
1201
1202
1203
1204
1205
1206
1207
1208
1209
1210
1211
1212
1213
1214
1215
1216
1217
1218
1219
1220
1221
1222
1223
1224
1225
1226
1227
1228
1229
1230
1231
1232
1233
1234
1235
1236
1237
1238
1239
1240
1241
1242
1243
1244
1245
1246
1247
1248
1249
1250
1251
1252
1253
1254
1255
1256
1257
1258
1259
1260
1261
1262
1263
1264
1265
1266
1267
1268
1269
1270
1271
1272
1273
1274
1275
1276
 
 
 
 
1277
1278
 
1279
1280
1281
1282
1283
1284
1285
1286
1287
1288
1289
1290
1291
1292
1293
1294
1295
1296
1297
1298
1299
1300
1301
1302
1303
1304
1305
 
 
 
 
1306
 
1307
1308
1309
1310
1311
1312
1313
1314
1315
1316
1317
1318
1319
1320
1321
1322
1323
1324
1325
1326
1327
1328
1329
1330
1331
1332
1333
1334
1335
1336
1337
1338
1339
1340
1341
1342
1343
1344
1345
1346
1347
1348
1349
1350
1351
 
 
 
 
1352
 
1353
1354
1355
1356
1357
1358
1359
1360
1361
1362
1363
1364
1365
1366
1367
1368
1369
1370
1371
1372
1373
1374
1375
1376
1377
1378
1379
1380
1381
 
 
 
 
1382
 
1383
1384
1385
1386
1387
1388
1389
1390
1391
1392
1393
1394
1395
1396
1397
1398
1399
1400
1401
1402
1403
1404
1405
1406
1407
1408
1409
1410
1411
1412
1413
1414
1415
1416
1417
1418
1419
1420
 
 
 
 
1421
 
1422
1423
1424
1425
1426
1427
1428
1429
1430
1431
1432
1433
1434
1435
1436
1437
1438
1439
1440
1441
1442
 
 
 
 
1443
 
1444
1445
1446
1447
1448
1449
1450
1451
1452
1453
1454
1455
1456
1457
 
 
 
 
1458
1459
 
1460
1461
1462
1463
1464
1465
1466
1467
1468
1469
1470
1471
1472
1473
1474
1475
 
 
 
 
1476
 
1477
1478
1479
1480
1481
1482
1483
1484
1485
1486
1487
1488
1489
1490
1491
1492
1493
1494
1495
1496
1497
1498
 
 
 
 
1499
 
1500
1501
1502
1503
1504
1505
1506
1507
1508
1509
1510
1511
1512
1513
1514
1515
1516
1517
1518
1519
1520
1521
1522
1523
1524
1525
1526
1527
 
 
 
 
1528
1529
 
1530
1531
1532
1533
1534
1535
1536
1537
1538
1539
1540
1541
1542
1543
1544
1545
1546
1547
1548
1549
1550
1551
1552
1553
1554
 
 
 
 
1555
 
1556
1557
1558
1559
1560
1561
1562
1563
1564
1565
1566
1567
1568
1569
1570
1571
1572
1573
1574
1575
1576
1577
1578
1579
1580
1581
1582
1583
 
 
 
 
1584
 
1585
1586
1587
1588
1589
1590
1591
1592
1593
1594
1595
1596
1597
1598
1599
1600
1601
1602
1603
1604
1605
1606
1607
1608
1609
 
 
 
 
1610
 
1611
1612
1613
1614
1615
1616
1617
1618
1619
1620
1621
1622
1623
1624
1625
1626
1627
1628
1629
1630
1631
1632
1633
1634
1635
1636
1637
1638
1639
1640
 
 
 
 
1641
 
1642
1643
1644
1645
1646
1647
1648
1649
1650
1651
1652
1653
1654
1655
1656
1657
1658
1659
1660
1661
1662
1663
1664
1665
 
 
 
 
1666
 
1667
1668
1669
1670
1671
1672
1673
1674
1675
1676
1677
1678
1679
1680
1681
1682
1683
1684
1685
1686
1687
1688
1689
1690
1691
1692
1693
1694
1695
1696
1697
1698
1699
1700
1701
1702
 
 
 
 
1703
 
1704
1705
1706
1707
1708
1709
1710
1711
1712
1713
1714
1715
1716
1717
1718
1719
1720
1721
1722
1723
1724
1725
1726
1727
1728
1729
1730
1731
1732
1733
1734
1735
1736
1737
1738
1739
1740
1741
 
 
 
 
1742
1743
 
1744
1745
1746
1747
1748
1749
1750
1751
1752
1753
1754
1755
1756
1757
1758
1759
1760
1761
1762
1763
1764
1765
1766
1767
1768
1769
1770
1771
1772
1773
1774
1775
1776
1777
1778
1779
1780
1781
1782
1783
1784
1785
1786
1787
1788
1789
1790
1791
1792
1793
1794
1795
 
 
 
 
1796
 
1797
1798
1799
1800
1801
1802
1803
1804
1805
1806
1807
1808
1809
1810
 
 
 
 
1811
 
1812
1813
1814
1815
1816
1817
1818
1819
1820
1821
1822
1823
1824
1825
1826
1827
1828
1829
1830
1831
1832
1833
1834
1835
1836
 
 
 
 
1837
1838
 
1839
1840
1841
1842
1843
1844
1845
1846
1847
1848
1849
1850
1851
1852
1853
1854
1855
1856
 
 
 
 
1857
 
1858
1859
1860
1861
1862
1863
1864
1865
1866
1867
1868
1869
1870
1871
 
 
 
 
1872
 
1873
1874
1875
1876
1877
1878
1879
1880
1881
1882
1883
1884
1885
1886
1887
1888
1889
1890
1891
 
 
 
 
1892
1893
 
1894
1895
1896
1897
1898
1899
1900
1901
1902
1903
1904
1905
1906
1907
1908
1909
1910
1911
1912
1913
1914
1915
1916
1917
 
 
 
 
1918
1919
 
1920
1921
1922
1923
1924
1925
1926
1927
1928
1929
1930
1931
1932
1933
1934
1935
1936
1937
1938
1939
1940
1941
1942
1943
1944
1945
1946
1947
1948
1949
1950
1951
1952
1953
1954
1955
1956
1957
1958
1959
 
 
 
 
1960
 
1961
1962
1963
1964
1965
1966
1967
1968
 
 
 
 
1969
1970
 
1971
1972
1973
1974
1975
1976
1977
1978
1979
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
2021
2022
2023
2024
2025
2026
2027
2028
2029
2030
2031
2032
2033
2034
2035
2036
2037
2038
2039
 
 
 
 
2040
 
2041
2042
2043
2044
2045
2046
2047
2048
2049
2050
2051
2052
2053
2054
2055
2056
2057
2058
2059
2060
2061
2062
2063
2064
2065
2066
2067
2068
2069
2070
2071
2072
2073
2074
2075
2076
2077
2078
2079
2080
2081
2082
2083
2084
2085
2086
2087
2088
2089
2090
2091
2092
2093
2094
2095
2096
2097
2098
2099
2100
2101
2102
2103
2104
2105
 
 
 
 
2106
2107
 
2108
2109
2110
2111
2112
2113
2114
2115
2116
2117
2118
2119
2120
2121
2122
2123
2124
2125
2126
2127
2128
2129
2130
2131
2132
2133
2134
2135
2136
2137
2138
2139
2140
2141
2142
2143
2144
2145
2146
2147
2148
2149
2150
2151
2152
2153
2154
2155
2156
2157
2158
2159
2160
2161
2162
2163
2164
2165
2166
2167
2168
2169
2170
2171
2172
2173
2174
2175
2176
2177
 
 
 
 
2178
 
2179
2180
2181
2182
2183
2184
2185
2186
2187
2188
2189
2190
2191
2192
2193
2194
2195
2196
2197
2198
2199
2200
2201
2202
2203
 
 
 
 
2204
2205
 
2206
2207
2208
2209
2210
2211
2212
2213
2214
2215
2216
2217
2218
2219
2220
2221
 
 
 
 
2222
 
2223
2224
2225
2226
2227
2228
2229
2230
2231
2232
2233
 
 
 
 
2234
 
2235
2236
2237
2238
2239
2240
2241
2242
2243
2244
2245
2246
2247
2248
2249
2250
2251
2252
 
 
 
 
2253
2254
 
2255
2256
2257
2258
2259
2260
2261
2262
2263
2264
2265
2266
2267
2268
2269
 
 
 
 
2270
2271
 
2272
2273
2274
2275
2276
2277
2278
2279
2280
2281
2282
 
 
 
 
2283
2284
 
2285
2286
2287
2288
2289
2290
2291
2292
2293
2294
2295
 
 
 
 
2296
2297
 
2298
2299
2300
2301
2302
2303
2304
2305
2306
2307
2308
2309
2310
2311
2312
2313
2314
2315
 
 
 
 
2316
2317
 
2318
2319
2320
2321
2322
2323
2324
2325
2326
2327
2328
2329
2330
2331
2332
2333
2334
 
 
 
 
2335
2336
 
2337
2338
2339
2340
2341
2342
2343
2344
2345
2346
2347
2348
2349
2350
2351
2352
2353
2354
2355
2356
2357
2358
2359
2360
2361
2362
2363
2364
2365
2366
2367
 
 
 
 
2368
 
2369
2370
2371
2372
2373
2374
2375
2376
2377
2378
2379
2380
2381
2382
2383
2384
2385
2386
2387
2388
2389
2390
2391
2392
2393
2394
2395
2396
2397
2398
2399
2400
2401
2402
2403
2404
2405
2406
2407
2408
2409
2410
2411
 
 
 
 
2412
 
2413
2414
2415
2416
2417
2418
2419
2420
2421
2422
2423
2424
2425
2426
2427
 
 
 
 
2428
 
2429
2430
2431
2432
2433
2434
2435
2436
2437
2438
2439
2440
2441
2442
2443
2444
2445
2446
2447
2448
2449
2450
2451
2452
 
 
 
 
2453
2454
 
2455
2456
2457
2458
2459
2460
2461
2462
2463
2464
2465
2466
2467
2468
2469
2470
2471
2472
2473
2474
2475
2476
2477
2478
2479
2480
2481
2482
2483
2484
2485
2486
2487
2488
2489
2490
 
 
 
 
2491
 
2492
2493
2494
2495
2496
2497
2498
2499
2500
2501
2502
2503
2504
2505
2506
2507
2508
2509
 
 
 
 
2510
 
2511
2512
2513
2514
2515
2516
2517
2518
2519
2520
2521
2522
2523
2524
2525
2526
2527
2528
2529
2530
2531
2532
2533
2534
2535
2536
 
 
 
 
2537
 
2538
2539
2540
2541
2542
2543
2544
2545
2546
2547
2548
2549
2550
2551
2552
2553
2554
2555
2556
2557
2558
2559
2560
2561
2562
2563
2564
2565
2566
 
 
 
 
2567
2568
 
2569
2570
2571
2572
2573
2574
2575
2576
2577
2578
2579
2580
2581
2582
 
 
 
 
2583
 
2584
2585
2586
2587
2588
2589
2590
2591
2592
2593
2594
2595
2596
2597
2598
2599
2600
2601
2602
2603
2604
2605
2606
2607
2608
2609
 
 
 
 
2610
2611
 
2612
2613
2614
2615
2616
2617
2618
2619
2620
2621
2622
2623
2624
2625
2626
2627
2628
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
N
N
 
N
N
N
 
N
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
N
 
N
N
 
N
 
 
 
N
 
N
N
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
N
N
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
N
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
N
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
N
 
 
 
N
N
N
 
 
 
 
N
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
N
 
N
N
N
 
 
N
 
 
N
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
N
N
N
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
N
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
N
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
N
 
N
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
N
N
 
N
N
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
N
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
N
N
 
 
 
 
N
N
N
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
N
N
N
N
 
N
 
 
N
 
N
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
N
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
N
 
 
 
N
 
N
N
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
N
 
N
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
N
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
N
 
N
N
 
N
N
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
N
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
N
 
 
 
N
N
 
 
N
 
 
N
 
N
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
N
 
N
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
N
 
N
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
N
 
N
N
N
N
N
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
N
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
N
 
N
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
N
 
N
 
 
 
N
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
N
 
 
 
N
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
N
 
N
N
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
N
 
N
 
N
 
N
 
N
N
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
N
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
N
N
N
 
 
N
N
N
 
 
N
 
N
N
 
 
 
N
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
N
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
N
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
N
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
N
 
 
 
 
N
N
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
N
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
N
N
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
N
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
N
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
N
N
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
N
 
 
N
 
N
N
 
N
 
N
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
N
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
N
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
N
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
N
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
N
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
N
N
 
N
N
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
 
 
 
 
N
 
N
N
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
N
Chapter One
 
That the innere havynge schulde be like to the uttere.
 
Goostli suster in Jhesu Crist, y praye thee that in the callynge whiche oure Lord hath
callyd thee to His servyse, thu holde thee paied and stond stedefastli thereinne, travailynge
bisili with alle thyne myghtes of thy soule bi grace of Jhesu Crist to fullefille in
sothfastnesse of gode lyvynge the staat whiche that thou hast take thee too in likenesse
and in semynge. And as thu hast forsaken the world, as it were a deed man turnyd to
oure Lord bodili in sight of men, right so that thyn hert myght be as it were deed to alle
ertheli loves and dredes, turnyd hooli to oure Lord Jhesu Crist. For wite thu weel, a
bodili turnynge to God without the herte folwynge is but a figure or a likenes of vertues
and no soothfastnesse. Wherfore a wrecchid man or a woman is he or sche that leveth
al the inward kepinge of hymself and schapith hym withoute oonli a fourme and likenes
of hoolynesse, as in habite and in speche and in bodili werkes, biholdynge othere mennys
deedys and demyng here defaughtes, wenynge hymsilf to be aught whanne he is right
nought, and so bigileth hymsilf. Do thou not so, but turne thyne herte with thy body
principali to God, and schape thee withinne to His likenesse bi mekenesse and charité
and othere goostli vertues, and thanne art thou truli turned to Hym.
   I sey not that thou so lightli on the first day may be turnyd to Hym in thi soule bi
fulheed of vertues as thu may with thi bodi be speryd in an hous, but that thu schuldest
knowe that the cause of thy bodili enclosynge is that thu myght the betere come to
goosteli enclosynge; and as thi bodi is enclosid fro bodili conversacioun of men, right
so that thyn hert myght be enclosid from fleisschli loves and dredis of alle ertheli thynges.
And that thu myght the betere come therto, I schalle telle thee in this litel wrytinge, as
me thynketh. Thou schalt undirstonde that ther ben in Holi Chirche two maner of lyves,
as Seynt Gregor seith, in the whiche Cristene men schul be saaf. That on is callid actif
lif, that other contemplatif lif. Withoutin the ton of thise two may no man be saaf.
 
 
Chapter Two
 
Of actif lif and of the werkes of it.
 
   Actif lif lieth in love and charité schewyd outward in good bodili werkes, in fulfillynge
of Goddis comaundementes and of the sevene deedys of mercy, bodeli and goostli, to a
mannys even Cristene. This lif longeth to alle worldeli men whiche han richesse and
plenté of worldli goodes, and also to alle othere whiche eithir han staat, office, or cure
over other men and han goodis for to spende, leryd or lewyd, temporal or spiritual; and
generali alle worldli men. They aren bounden to fulfille up here myght and here connynge,
as reson and discrecion asketh. Yif he mykil have, mykil doo; yif he litil have, litil doo;
yif he nought have, that thanne he have a good wille. These aren werkes of actif lif,
eyther bodili or goostli.
   Also a partie of actif lif lieth in grete bodili deedes whiche a man dooth to hymsilf, as
greet fastynge, mykil wakynge, and other scharp penaunce-doynge for to chastise the
fleissch with discrecioun for trespaces that been bifore doon, and bi sich penaunce for
to refreyne lustes and likynges of it, and make it buxum and redi to the wil of the Spirit.
Thise werkes, though thei ben actif, not for thi they helpen mykel and ordaynen a man
in the bigynnynge to come to contemplatif lif, yif thei ben usid bi discrecion.
 
 
Chapter Three
 
Of contemplatif lif and the werkes of hit.
 
Contemplatif lif is in perfight love and charité feelid inwardli bi goostli vertues and bi
soothfaste knowynge and sight of God in goosteli thynges. This lif longeth speciali to
hem whiche forsaken for the love of God al worldli richesse and worschipes and outeward
besynesse and oonly gyven hem body and soule, up her myght and here kunnynge, to
the service of God bi goosteli occupacioun. Now sithen it is so that thy staat asketh to
be contemplatif, for that is the ende and the entent of thyn enclosynge, that thu myght
more freli and entierli gyve thee to gosteli occupacioun - thanne bihoveth thee for to be
right bisy nyght and day with travaile of bodi and of spirit, for to come to that lif as neer
as thu may bi swich meenys as thu hopist were best unto thee.
  Neverthelees bifore that I telle thee of the meenys, I schal telle firste a litil more of this
lif contemplatif that thu myght sumwhat see what it is and sette it as a mark in the sight
of thi soule wherto thu schalt drawe in al thyn occupacion.
 
 
Chapter Four
 
Of the first partye of contemplacioun.
 
Contemplatif liyf hath three parties. The first is in knowynge of God and goosteli thynges
geten by resoun, bi techynge of man and bi studie of Hooly Writ, withouten goostli
affeccion and inward savour feelid bi the special gift of the Hooli Goost. This party han
speciali summe lettred men and grete clerkes whiche bi longe studé and travaile in
Hooli Writ comen to this knowynge, more or lesse, after the sutelté of kyndeli wit and
contynuance of studie after the general gift that God gyveth to everi man that hath use
of reson. This knowyng is good, and it may be called a partie of contemplacioun in as
mykil as it is a sight of soothfastnesse and knowynge of goostli thynges.
   Neverthelees, it is but a figure and a schadewe of verry contemplacioun, for it hath
no gosteli savoure in God ne the inwarde swetnesse of love, whiche may no man feele
but he be in mykil charité. For that is the propir welle of oure Lord, to the whiche
cometh noon alien. But this maner of knowinge is comone to gode and to badde, for it
may be had withoute charité. And therfore it is not veri contemplacion, as ofte sithes
heretikes, ypocrites, and fleisschly lyvynge men han more sich knowynge than many
trewe Cristene men, and yit han thise men noo charité. Of this maner of knowynge
speketh Seynt Poul thus: Si habuero omnem scienciam et noverim misteria omnia,
caritatem autem non habuero, nichil sum (1 Corinthians 13:2). Yif I hadde ful knowynge
of alle thyngis, yhe, and y knewe al privytees and I hadde no charité, I am right nought.
Neverthelees, yif they that han this knowynge kepe hem in mekenesse and charité, sich
as thei han, and fleen worldli and fleischly synnes up her myght, it is to hem a good
wey and a gret disposynge to veri contemplacion yif thei desiren and prayen devouteli
after the grace of the Hooli Goost.
   Othere men whiche have this knowyng and turnen it into pride and veynglorie of
hemsilf, or into coveityse or desirynge of worldli staatis, worschipes or richesses, not
mekeli taken it in praisynge of God, ne charitabli spenden it in profight of here evene
Cristene, summe of hem fallen oither into errours and heresies, or into othere opyn
synnes bi the whiche thei sclaundren hemsilf and al Holi Chirche.
   Of this knowynge seyde Seynt Poul thus: Sciencia inflat, caritas autem edificat (1
Corinthians 8:1). Knowynge aloone bolneth up the hert into pride, but medle it with
charité and thanne turneth it to edificacion. This knowynge aloone is but water, unsavery
and cold; and therfore yif thei wold mekeli offre it up to oure Lord and praye Hym of
His grace, He schulde with His blissinge turne the water into wyn as He dide for the
praier of His moder at the feest of Architriclyn. That is for to seie, He schulde turne the
unsavery knowynge into wisdoom and the colde naked resoun into goosteli light and
brennynge bi the gift of the Holi Goost.
 
 
Chapter Five
 
Of the secunde partye of contemplacion.
 
The secunde partie of contemplacion lieth principali in affeccioun, withoute
undirstondynge of gosteli thynges, and this is comonli of simple and unlettrid men
which gyven hem hooli to devocion. And this is feelid on this maner. Whan a man or a
woman in meditacioun of God feelith fervour of love and gostli swettenesse, bi mynde
of His passioun or of ony of His werkes in His manhede; or he felith greet trust in the
goodnesse and in the merci of God, of forgyvenesse of his synnes and for His grete
giftes of grace; or ellis he feeleth drede in his affeccioun with gret reverence of the
pryvey doomes of God which he seeth not, and of His rightwisenesse; or in praier he
feelith the thought of his herte drawe up from alle ertheli thynges, streyned togedre with
alle the myghtes of it, upstiande into oure Lord bi fervent desire and goostili dylite; and
neverthelees in that tyme he hath noon opyn sight in undirstondyng in goostli thynges,
ne of pryvitees of Holi Writ in special, but oonly that hym thenketh for the tyme nothyng
liketh hym so mykil as for to praie or for to thynke as he dooth for savour, delite, and
comfort that he fyndeth thereinne; and yit he can not telle weel what it is, but he feelith
it wel, for oute of it springeth many good sweet teres, brennande desires, and many
stille mornynges, whiche schoure and clensyn the herte fro al the filthe of synne, and
maken hit melten into a wondirful swettenesse of Jhesu Crist, buxum, souple and redi
to fulfulle al Goddis wille, in so mykil that hym thynketh he maketh no charge what
come of hymsilf then, so that Goddis wille were folfillid, with siche many styrynges
moo thanne y can or may seye. Thes felynges mai not be had without greet grace, and
whoso hath hem, for the tyme I hope that he is in charité. Which charité may not be
lorn ne lassed, though the fervour of it passe away, but bi a deedli synne; and that is
counfortable. This may be called the secunde partie of contemplacioun.
 
 
Chapter Six
 
Of the lower degré of the secunde partie of contemplacioun.
 
Neverthelees this partie hath two degrees. The lowere degré of this feelynge, men
whiche aren actif may have bi grace whanne thei be visited of oure Lord, as myghtili
and as ferventli as thei that gyven hem hooli to contemplatiff liyf and han this gift. But
it lasteth not so longe. Also this feelynge in his fervour cometh not alwey whanne a man
wolde, ne it lasteth not wel longe. It cometh and gooth as he wole that gyveth it. And
therfore whoso hath it, meke hymsilf and thanke God, and kepe it prevey, but yif it be
to his confessour, and holde it as longe as he may with discrecion. And whanne hit
withdraweth, drede not to mykil, but stond in feith and in meke hope, with pacient
abidynge til it come agen. This is a litil tastynge of the swetenesse in the love of God, of
the whiche David seith thus in the sautier: Gustate et videte quam suavis est dominus
(Psalms 33:9). Tasteth and seeth the swettenesse of oure Lord.
 
 
Chapter Seven
 
Of the highere degree of the secunde partie of contemplacion.
 
But the highere degré of this partie may not be had ne halden, but of thoo that aren in
grete reest of bodi and soule, the which bi grace of Jhesu Crist and longe travaile bodili
and goostli felen rest of herte and clennesse in conscience, so that hem liketh nothynge
so mykil for to do as for to sitte stille in reste of bodi and for to alwey pray to God and
to thynke on oure Lord, and for to thynke sum tyme on the blissid name Jhesu, which
is maad confortable and delitable to hem, that they bi the mynde of it, felen hem feed in
here affeccion. And not oonli bi that name, but alle othere praieres, as the Pater Noster
or the Ave Maria or ympnys or psalmes or other devoute seyynges of Holi Chirche aren
turnyd as it were into gostli mirthe and swete songe, bi the which thei aren comfortid
and strengthed agens alle synnes, and mykil relevyd of bodili dishese. Of this degree
speketh Seynt Poul thus: Nolite inebriari vino sed impleamini spiritu sancto, loquentes
vobismetipsis in ympnis et psalmis, et canticis spiritualibus, cantantes et psallentes in
cordibus vestris domino
(Ephesians 5:18-19). Be not drunken with wyn, but be ye
fulfilled of the Holi Goost, seiande to youresilf in ympnes and psalmes and goostli
songes, syngynge and phalmynge in youre hertes to oure Lorde. Whoso hath this grace,
kepe hymself in lowenesse, and that he be evermore desirynge for to come to more
knowyng and feelynge of God in the thridde partie of contemplacioun.
 
 
Chapter Eight
 
Of the thridde partie of contemplacion.
 
The thridde partie of contemplacioun, whiche is perfite as it may be here, lieth bothe in
cognicion and in affeccion: that is for to seie, in knowyng and in perfight lovynge of
God. And that is whanne a mannys soule first is cleensid from alle synnes and reformyd
bi fulheed of vertues to the ymage of Jhesu; and after whanne he is visitid and is taken
up from alle ertheli and fleisschli affecciones, from veyn thoughtis and veyn ymaginacions
of alle bodili thynges, and as it were mykil ravysschid out of the bodili wittes and thanne
bi the grace of the Holi Gost is illumyned for to see bi undirstoondynge soothfastnesse,
whiche is God, and also goostli thynges, with a soft swete brennande love in hym, so
perfightli that bi ravyschynge of this love the soule is ooned for the tyme and conformyd
to the ymage of the Trinité. The bigynnyng of this contemplacioun may be felid in this
lif, but the fulheed of it is kepid in the blisse of hevene. Of this onynge and conformynge
speketh Seynt Poul thus: Qui adheret deo unus spiritus est cum illo (1 Corinthians 6:17).
That is for to seie, whoso bi raveschynge of love is fastned to God, thanne God and a
soule aren not two but bothe oon. Not in fleisch, but in oo spirit. And sotheli in this
onynge is the mariage maad bitwixe God and the soule, which schal nevere be brokyn.
 
 
Chapter Nine
 
Of the twynynge of the thridde partie of contemplacion fro the secunde, and of praysynge
of it.
 
That othir partie mai be called brennande love in devocioun, but this is brennande love
in contemplacion. That is the lowere, this is the highere. That is the swettere to the
bodili felinge, this is swettere to the goostli felynge, for it is more inward, more goostli,
and more worthi and more wonderful. For this is verili a taastynge, and as it were a
sight of heveneli joye, not cleerli, but half in derkenesse, which schal be fulfillid and
opynli clerid in the blisse of hevene, as Seynt Poul seith: Videmus nunc per speculum in
enigmate; tunc autem videbimus facie ad faciem (1 Corinthians 13:12). We seen now
God bi a myrour, as it were in deerkenesse, but in hevene we schulen see openli face to
face. This is the illuminacion of undirstondynge in delites of lovynge, as David seith in
the sautier: Et nox mea illuminacio mea in deliciis meis (Psalms 138:11). Mi nyght is
my light in my delitees. That othere partie is mylk for children, this is hool mete for
perfite men, which han assaied wittes to knowe the gode from the yvel, as Seynt Poul
seith: Perfectorum est solidus cibus qui habent sensus exercitatos ad discrecionem boni
et mali (Hebrews 5:14).
   The wirkynge and the ful use of this gift may no man have, but yif he bee first
reformed to the likenesse of Jhesu bi fulheed of vertues. Ther may no man lyvande in
fleisch dedli have contynueli it in his fulheed, but bi tymes whanne he is visited. And as
I conceyve of the writynge of holi men, it is ful schort tyme, for soone after he falleth
into sobirté of bodili felynge. And alle this werke maketh charité. Thus, as I undirstonde,
seid Seynt Poul of hymsilf: Sive excidimus, deo, sive sobrii sumus, vobis; caritas Christi
urget nos (2 Corinthians 5:13-14). Whether we overpasse oure bodili wittes to God in
contemplacion, or we aren more sobre to yow in bodily felynge, the charité of Crist
stireth us. Of this partie of contemplacioun and conformynge to God speketh Seint
Poul: Nos autem revelata facie gloriam domini speculamur, transformati in eandem
ymaginem, a claritate in claritatem tanquam a domini spiritu (2 Corinthians 3:18). This
is thus moche for to seie, Seynt Poul in the persone of hymsilf and of perfight men seith
thus: We, first reformed bi vertues to the likenes of God se the face of oure soule
unhiled bi openynge of the goostli iye, bihalden as in a myrour heveneli joye, ful schapen
and oned to the ymage of oure Lord, fro brightnesse of feith into brightnesse of
undirstondynge, or elles from clerté of desire into cleerté of blissid love. And al this is
wrought of the sprite of oure Lord in a mannes soule, as Seynt Poule seith. This part of
contemplacioun God gyveth where that he wole, to lerid or to lewed, men or women
occupied in prelacie, and to solitarie also, but it is special and not comone. And also
though a man which is actif have the gifte of it bi a special grace, neverthelees the ful
use of it as I hoope may no man have, but he be solitarie and in liyf contemplatif.
 
 
Chapter Ten
 
How the schewynges to the bodili wittis and the feelynge of hem may be bothe good
and yvel.
 
By this that I have seid myght thu sumwhat undirstonde that visiones or revelaciouns of
ony maner spirite, bodili apperynge or in ymagynynge, slepand or wakand, or ellis ony
othere feelinge in the bodili wittes maad as it were goosteli; either in sownynge of the
eere, or saverynge in the mouth, or smellynge in the nose, or ellis ony felable heete as it
were fier glowand and warmand the breest, or ony othere partie of the bodi, or onythinge
that mai be feelyd bi bodili wit, though it be never so comfortable and lykande, aren not
verili contemplacion; ne thei aren but symple and secundarie though thei be good, in
regard of goostli vertues and in goosteli knowynge and loovyng of God.
   For in vertues and in knowynge of God with love is noo disceit. But al swich maner
of feelyng thei mowe by gode, wrought bi a good angil, and they may be deceyvable,
feyned bi a wikkid angel whan he transfigurith him into an angel of light. Wherfore
sithen thei moun be bothe good and yvel, it semeth that thei aren not of the beste; for
wyte thou weel that the devyl may, whanne he hath leve, feyne in bodili felinge the
liknes of the same thinges whiche a good angil may worche. For as the good angil
cometh with light, so can the devel, and so of othere wittes. Whoso hadde felid bothe,
he schulde kunne telle whiche were gode and whiche were yvele, but he that nevere
feelid neither, or elles but that oon, may lightli be disseyved.
   Thei aren like in maner of feelynge oughtward, but thei aren ful diverse withinne; and
therfore thei aren not to desire greetli, ne for to resseyve lightli, but yif a soule myght bi
spirite of discrecioun knowe the gode from the yvele, that he were not bigiled. Seynt
Joon seith thus: Nolite credere omni spiritui, sed probate si ex deo sit/i> (1 John 4:1). Seynt
Joon biddeth us, we schulde not leve everi spirit, but we schullen assaien frist whether
he be of God or no. Therfore bi oon assaie, I schal telle thee as me thenketh.
 
 
Chapter Eleven
 
Hou thu schal knowe whanne the schewinges to thi bodili wittes and the feelynge of
hem aren good or yvele.
 
If it be soo that thou see ony maner of light or brightnes with thi bodili iye or in
ymagynynge, othir than every man mai see; or yif thou here ony meri or wondirful
sowninge with thi bodili eere; or in thi mouth ony swete sodayne savour, othir than of
kynde; or ony heete in thi breest as it were fier; or ony maner of deelighte in ony partie
of thi bodi; or yif a spirit bodili appere to thee as hit were an angel for to conforte thee
and teche thee; or ony swich feelynge which thu woost weel it cometh not of thiself ne
of noo bodili creature - be thanne waar in that tyme or soone aftir and wisili bihoold
the stirynge of thyne herte. Yif thou be stired bicause of that likinge that thu feelist, for
to drawe oute thyn herte from biholdinge of oure Lord Jhesu Crist and fro goostli
occupacions, as from preiers, and thenkinge of thisilf and of thi defautis, fro the inward
desire of vertues and of goostli knowynge and the feelinge of God, for to sette the sight
of thin herte and thyn affeccioun, thi delite and thi reest principali therinne, wenynge
that bodili feelinge schulde be a partie of heveneli joie and of angilis blisse, and for thi
thee thynketh that thu schuldest never pray ne thinke not elles, but al hooli tende therto,
for to kepe it and delite thee therinne: this feelinge is suspect and of the enemye. And
therfore, yif it be never so likinge and wondirful, refuse it and assente not therto, for
this is the sleighte of the enemy. Whanne he seeth that a soule gyveth him entierli to
goostli occupacioun, he is wondirful wrooth, for he hateth nothinge more thanne for to
see a soule in bodi of synne feele verili the savour of gostli knowinge and the love of
God, the whiche he withouten bodi of synne loste wilfulli. And therefore yif he may not
lette him bi opyn bodili synnes, he wole dere hym and bigile him bi swich a vanité of
bodili savoures or swettenesse in the wittis, for to bringe a soule into goostli pride and
into a fals sikernesse of himsilf, wenande therbi that he hadde a feelinge of heveneli
joye, and that he were half in paradise for delite that he feeleth al aboute hym, whanne
he is neer atte helle gates, and so bi pride and presumpcion he myght falle into errouris
or into fantasies or into othere bodili or goostli myschevys.
   Neverthelees, yif it so be that this maner of feelynge lette not thyn herte fro goostli
occupacion, but it maketh thee the more devoute and the more fervent for to pray, it
maketh thee the more wise for to thenke goostli thoughtes; and though it be so that it
stonyeth thee in the first biginnynge, neverthelees aftirward it turneth and quykeneth
thyn herte to more desire of vertues and encreseeth thi love more bothe to God and to
thyn evene Cristen; also it maketh thee more meke in thyn owyn sight. Bi thise tokenes
may thu knowe thanne that it is of God, maad bi the presence and the touchinge of the
good angil, and that is of the goodnesse of God in confort of symple devoute soulis for
to encrese ther trust and there desire to God, for to seke therbi the knowynge and the
love of God more perfightli for swich a confort, or ellis, yif thei be perfight, that thei
fele suyche a delite: it semeth than that it is an ernest, and as it were a schadewe of
glorifyynge of the bodi which it schal have in the blisse. But I not whether ther be ony
siche man lyvande in erthe. This pryvylegie hadde Marie Mawdeleyn, as hit seemeth to
my sight, in tyme whanne sche was visited, whanne sche was aloone in the cave thritti
wyntir and iche day was born up with angelis into the eyr, and was feed bothe bodi and
soule bi the presence of hem. Thus we reden in the legend of hire.
   Of this maner of assayinge of wirkynge of spirites speketh Seynt Joon in his epistil
thus, and techeth us: Omnis spiritus qui solvit Jhesum, hic non est ex deo (1 John 4:3).
Eche a spirit that looseth Jhesu or ellis unknitteth Hym, he is not of God. Thise woordes
may be undirstonde on many manerys; neverthelees upon oon maner I mai undirstonde
to that purpos whiche y have seid.
 
 
Chapter Twelve
 
What knetteth Jhesu to mannys soule and what looseth Hym therfro.
 
The knyttyng and the festenynge of Jhesu to a mannys soule is bi good wille and a greet
desire to Hym oonli, for to love and for to have Hym and see Him in His blisse. The
more goostli that he desireth, the fastere is Jhesu knyt to the soule; and the lesse that he
desireth, the lousere He is knyt. Than what spirit or what felyng that it be that leeseth
this desire and wolde drawe hit doun fro stable mynde of Jhesu Crist, and from the
kyndeli stiynge up to Hym, for to sette it upon himsilf, thys spirit wole unknytten and
undo Jhesu from the soule, and therfore it is not of God, but it is of the wirkynge of the
enemye. Neverthelees, yif a spirit, or a felynge, or revelacion maketh his desire more,
knytteth the knotte of love and of devocion to Jhesu fastere, openeth the sight of the
soule into goostli knowynge more cleerli, and maketh it more meke in itsilf, this spirit is
of God. Here mai thu see sumwhat that thu schalt not suffre thyn herte wilfulli for to
reste, ne for to delite hooli, in no bodili thynge of sich maner felinge, confortes or
swettenessis, though thei were gode; but thou schalt holde hem in thyn owen sight as
thei were right nought or litil in regard of gostli desire, ne sette not to mykil thyn herte
upon hem. But thou schalt ay seke that thou myght come to goostli feelynge of God;
and that is that thou myght knowe the wisdom of God, the eendelees myght of Hym,
the grete goodnesse of Hym in Hymsilf and in His creatures. For this is contemplacion
and that othir is noon. Thus seith Seynt Poul: In caritate radicati, et fundati, ut possitis
comprehendere cum omnibus sanctis, que sit longitudo, et latitudo, sublimitas, et
profundum
(Ephesians 3:17-18). Be ye rootid and groundid in charité, that ye may
knowe, he seith, neither the sound of the eere, ne the swete savour in the mouth, ne
siche bodili thyng, but that ye myght knowe and fele with alle halewes, whiche is the
lengthe of the eendelees beynge of God, the brede of the wondirful charité and goodnes
of God, the heighte of the almyghti magesté of Hym, and the groundlees depnesse of
the wisdom of God.
 
 
Chapter Thirteen
 
How and in what thynges a contemplatif man schuld ben occupied.
 
In knowynge and in felinge gostly, in thise schulde be the occupacion of a contemplatif
man, for in thise mai be undirstonden the ful knowynge of gosteli thynges. This
occupacion is that thynge that Seynt Poul coveitede, seiynge thus: Unum vero, que retro
sunt obliviscens, in anteriora me extendam sequor si quomodo comprehendam supernum
bravium
(Philippians 3:13-14). O thynge, as who seith, is left to me for to coveite, and
that is that I may forgeten al thynges whiche aren hyndward, and y schal strecche unto
myn herte ay forward for to feele and for to gripe the sovereyne meede of the endelees
blisse. Hyndward aren alle bodili thingis, foreward aren alle goostli thinges; and therfore
Seynt Poul wolde forgeten al bodili thyng, and his owen bodi also, forthi that he myght
see goostli thynges.
 
 
Chapter Fourteen
 
Hou in resoun and in wille vertues bigynnen, and in love and in likynge it is eendid and
maad perfight.
 
Now have y toolde thee a litil of countemplacion, what it schulde be, for this entent, that
thu myght knowe it and sette it as it were a mark bifore the sight of thi soule, and for to
desire al thy lyvetyme for to come to ony partie of it bi the grace of oure Lord Jhesu
Crist. This is the confoormynge of a soule to God, which may not be had but he be first
reformyd bi fulheed of vertues turnyd into affeccion. And that is whanne a man loveth
vertu, for it is good in the silf.
   There is many man that hath vertues, as lowenesse, pacience, charité to his even
Cristene, and siche othere, onli in his resoun and wille and hath no goostli delite ne love
in hem. For ofte tyme he felith grucchinge, hevynesse, and bittirnesse for to doo hem,
and neverthelees yit he doth hem bi strengthe and stirynge of resoun for drede of God.
This man hath vertues in resoun and in wille, but not the love of hem in affeccion. But
whanne bi the grace of gode Jhesu, and bi goostli and bodili exercise, reson is turnyd
into light and wil into love, thanne hath he vertues in affeccion, for he hath so wel
gnawen upon the bittir bark of the note that he hath broken it and fedeth him with the
swete kirnel. That is for to seie, the vertues whiche weren first hevy for to do aren now
turnyd into delite and savour, as whanne a man liketh in mekenesse, in pacience, in
clennesse, in sobirté and in charité, as in ony delices. Sothli whanne vertues be turned
thus into affeccioun, he may have the secunde partie of contemplacioun, but to the
thridde soothfastli he schal not come. Now sithen vertues aren so disposynge to
contemplacion, than bihoveth thee for to use certayn meenes for to come to vertues.
 
 
Chapter Fifteen
 
Of the meenes that bryngen a man to contemplacioun.
 
Thre meenys there ben whiche men most comonli use that gyven hem to contemplacioun:
redynge of Holi Writ and of hooli techynge, goosteli meditacion, and besi praeris with
devocioun. Redynge of Holi Writ mai thu not wel use, and therfore thee bihoveth more
occupye thee in prayer and in meditacioun. By meditacion schalt thou see hou mykil
thee wanteth of vertues; and bi prayer schalt thou gete hem. Bi meditacion schalt thou
see thi wrecchidnesse, thi synnes, and thi wikkidnessis, as pryde, coveytise, glotonye,
leccherie, wikide stiryngis of envye, ire, haterede, malincolie, angrynesse, bittirnesse,
sleughthe, and unskilful hevynesse. Thou schalt also see thyn herte ful of veyn schames
and dredes of thi fleisch and of the world. Alle thise stirynges wole alwey boylen ought
of the herte as watir wole renne from the sprynge of a stynkande welle, and letten the
sight of thi soule, that thu mai neither see ne fele clenli the love of Jhesu Crist; for wite
thou wel, til thyn herte be mykil yclensid from sich synnes thorugh stedefaste trouthe
and bisi biholdynge on Jhesu Crist in praieres and in othir good werkes, thou mai not
perfightli have goostli felynge of Hym. Witnessinge Hymsilf in the Gospel thus: Beati
mundo corde quoniam ipsi deum videbunt (Matthew 5:8). Blissid be the clene of herte,
for thei schullen see God. Also in meditacioun thou schal see vertues whiche aren
needful to thee for to have, as mekenesse, myldenesse, pacience, rightwisenesse, goosteli
strengthe, temperaunce, pees, clennesse, and sobirnesse, feith, hope, and charité. Thise
vertues schalt thou see in meditacion, hou goode, hou faire, hou profitable thei aren,
and bi prayer thou schalt desire hem and gete hem, withoute whiche thu may not be
contemplatif. For Job seith thus: In habundancia ingredieris sepulcrum (Job 5:26); that
is for to seie, thou schalt in plenté of gode bodili werkes and goostli vertues entre thi
grave, that is the reste in contemplacioun.
 
 
Chapter Sixteen
 
What a man schal use and refuse bi vertu of mekenes.
 
Now yif thou schuldest use wiseli thise goostli werkis and sikirli travaile in hem, thee
bihoveth bigynne right lowe. Thre thinges thee nedith to have first, upon whiche as
upon a siker ground thu schalt sitte al thi werk. These three aren mekenesse, siker feith,
and hool entencion to God. First thee bihoveth to have mekenesse in this maner. Thou
schalte holde thi silf in thi wille and in thi felynge, yif thou may, unable for to duelle
amonge men or women, and unworthi to serve God in conversacion with his servauntis,
unprofitable to thi even Cristene, wantynge bothe connynge and myght to fulfille gode
werkes of actif lif in helpe of thyn even Cristene, as othere men and women doon; and
therfore as a wrecche, outcaste and refuse of alle men and women, art spered in an
hous aloone, that thou schuldest dere no man ne woman bi yvel ensaumple, sithen thou
canst not profiten hem bi good wirkynge. Over this, thee bihoveth loke forthere that
sithen thou art so unable to serve oure Lord bi bodili werkis outeward, hou mykil more
thee bihoveth holde thee unable and unworthi to serve hym goosteli bi inward occupacion.
For oure Lord is a spirit, as the prophete seith: Spiritus ante faciem nostram Christus
dominus est (Lamentations 4:20). Bifore oure face a goost is oure Lord Jhesu Crist. And
the kyndeli service to Him is goostli, as He seith Himsilf: Veri adoratores adorabunt
patrem in spiritu et veritate (John 4:23). Sothfast servauntes schullen worschipen the
fadir in spirit and sothfastnesse. Thanne thou that art so boystous and so lewed, so
fleischli, so blynd in goostli thinges, and nameli of thyn owyn soule, which thee bihoveth
first to knowe yif thu schuldest come to the knowynge of God, hou schuldest thu
thanne fele thisilf able or worthi to have that staat and the likenes of lif contemplatif, the
which liyf, as y have seid, lith principali in goostli knowynge and lovynge of God? This
y seie to thee, not for thou schuldest forthynke thi purpos and be myspaide with thyn
enclosynge, but that thu schuldest fele this lowenesse soothfastli, yif thu myght, in thyn
herte, for it is sooth and noo lees. And though thou fele thus, yit schalt thou yerne nyght
and day up thi myght for to come as neer as thou myght to the staat that thou hast
taken, trowand stedefastli that it is best to thee bi the merci of God for to travaile inne.
And though it be so, that thu myght not come to the fulheed of it heere in this lif, that thu
myghttest be here in the bigynnynge of hit; and truste sikirli for to have the fulheed of it
bi the merci of God in the blisse of hevene. For soothli that is my liff. I feele me so
wrecchid, and so freel, and so fleischli, and so fer fro the trewe feelynge fro that that I
speke and have spoke, that y ne can not ellis but crie merci, and desire after as y may
with hope that oure Lord wol brynge me therto of His grace in the blisse of hevene. Do
thou soo, and betir, after that God geveth thee grace. The felynge of this lowenesse
schal putte oute of thyn herte unskilful bihooldynge of othere myslyvynge and demynge
of othere mennys dedes, and it schal dryve thee oonli to biholde thisilf, as ther were no
man lyvynge but God and thou; and thow schalte deeme and holde thisilf more vile and
more wrecchid thanne is ony creature that berith liyf, that unnethes thou schal mowe
suffre thisilf for mykilnesse of synne and filthe that thu schalt fynde and fele in thisilf.
Thus bihoveth thee for to feele sum tyme, yif thou wolt be verili meke; for I telle thee
soothli, yif thou wolt be truli meke, thee schal thenke a venial synne more grevous and
more peyneful to thee, and gretter schal be in thi sight sumtyme, thanne grete deedli
synnes of othere men. And that for this skile, that thynge whiche putteth thi soule or
letteth it moost from the felynge of love and knowynge of God, bihoveth to be moost
grevous and peynful to thee. But a venyal synne of thisilf letteth thee more fro the
felynge and fro the perfight love of Jhesu Crist thanne othere mennys synnes mai do, be
it never so mykil. Thanne semeth it that thou schuldest arise up in thyn owen herte
agens thisilf, for to hate and deme in thisilf al maner of synne which letteth thee from
the sight of God, more bisili thanne agens defautes of ony othir man. For yif thyn herte
be clene of thyn owen synnes, sothli the synnes of alle othere men schullen not dere
thee; and therfore yif thou wolt fynde reest here and in the blisse of hevene, up the
counseil of oon of the hooli fadres seie every dai, "What am I?" and deme no man.
 
 
Chapter Seventeen
 
Who schulde blame mennys defautis and deme hem, and who not.
 
But now seist thou, hou mai this bee, sithen it is a dede of a charité for to undirneme
men of here defautis, and for to deme hem for here amendynge, it is a dede of merci. As
to this I answere as me thenketh, that to thee or to ony othir which hath the staat and the
purpos of lif contemplatif it fallith not for to leve the kepynge of youresilf and underneme
othir men of here defautis, but it were in wel greet nede, that a man schulde perische but
yif he undernemyd hym. But to men which aren actif and han sovereynté and cure of
othere, as prelatis and curates and swich othere, thei aren bounden bi there office and
by wai of charité for to see and seke and deme rightfulli othere mennys defautis, not of
desire and delite for to chastise hem, but oonli for nede, with drede of God and in His
name, for love and savacioun of here soulis. Othere men that aren actif and han no cure
over othere men, thei aren boundyn for to undirnyme othere men of her defautis bi wei
of charité, oonly thanne whanne the synne is deedli and may not wel be correctid bi
noon othir man, and whanne he troweth that the synnere schulde be amendid bi
undirnymyng. Ellis it is betere that he cese. That this is sooth, it semeth bi Seynt Joon,
which hadde the staat of contemplatif lif, and Seynt Petir, whiche hadde the staat of
actif lif. Whanne oure Lord in His laste sopeer with His disciples, atte the pryvey stirynge
of Seynt Petir to Seynt Joon, toolde Seynt Joon how Judas schulde bitraie Hym, Seynt
Joon tolde it not to Seynt Petir, as he askide, but he turnede him and leide his heed upon
Cristis brest and was raveschid bi love into contemplacion of Goddis privetees, and so
medfulli to hym he forgaat bothe Judas and Petir - in tokenynge and in techynge of
othere men which wolden ben contemplatif that thei schulden dispose hem for to doo
the same.
   Thanne seest thou heere sumwhat that thu schalt neither deme othere men, ne conceyve
agens hem wilfulli noon evel suspicion. But thu schalt love hem in thyn herte, sich as
leden in the world actif lif and suffren many tribulacions and greet temptaciones which
thu sittynge in thyn hous felist not of. And thei han wel mykil travaile for here owen and
othir mennys sustenaunce, and manye of hem hadde wel lyvere serve God, yif thei
myghten, as thou doost in bodili reste; neverthelees thei in here worldli bisynesse fleen
many synnes, which yif thou were in here astaat schuldest falle in, and thei doon many
good deedes whiche thou kowdest not doo. It is no doute that many doon thus; whiche
thei are, thou wost not.
 
 
Chapter Eighteen
 
Whi meke men schal worschip othere, and lowe hemself in her owen herte undir alle
othere.
 
And therfore thou schalt worschipe alle, and sette hem in thyn herte al above thee as thi
sovereynes, and caste thee doun undir her feet, that thou be vileste and lowest in thyn
owen sight. For it is no drede ne peril to thee, how mykil thou may lowe thiself binethe
alle othere, though it were so that in Goddis sight thou hadde more grace than anothir.
But it is peril to thee for to highe thee and lifte thisilf in thi thought wilfulli above ony
othir man, though he were the mooste wrecche or the most synful caytif that is in
erthe. For oure Lord seith: Qui se humiliat exaltabitur, et qui se exaltat humiliabitur
(Luke 14:11). Whoso higheth hymsilf, he schal be lowed, and whoso loweth himsilf, he
schal be highed. This partie of mekenesse thee bihoveth for to have in thi bigynnynge,
and bi this and bi grace schalt thou come to the fulhede of it and of alle othere vertues.
For whoso hath oon vertu, hath alle. As mykil as thu hast of mekenesse, so mykil haste
thou of charité, of pacience, and of othere vertues, though thei be not alle schewid
outward. Be thanne besi for to gete mekenesse and for to holde it; for it is the first and
the laste of alle vertues. It is the firste, for it is the ground, as Seynt Austyn seith: Yif thu
thynke to bigge an high hous of vertues, ordeyne thee firste a deep grounde of meknes.
And also it is laste, for it is savynge and kepynge of alle vertues, as Seynt Gregor seith:
He that gadreth vertues withouten mekenesse, he is like to hym that maketh and berith
poudre of spicerie in the wynde. Doo thou nevere so many good dedis, fast thou or
wake thou, or ony good dede that thu doo, yif thu have no mekenesse it is nought that
thou doost.
 
 
Chapter Nineteen
 
Hou men schullen don that wanten the feelynge of mekenes in affeccioun, not dredynge
over mykil therof.
 
Neverthelees, yif thou mai not fele this mekenesse in thyn herte with affeccion as thu
woldest, do as thou may: meke thisilf in wille bi thi resoun, trowynge that it schulde be
so as I seie, though thou fele it not. And in that holde thee a more wrecche, that thou
may not feele sothfastli as thou art. And yif thu doo so, though thi fleisch rise thereagen
and wole not assente to thi wille, be not to mykil adraad, but thu schalt bere thanne and
suffre the fals feelynge of thi fleisch as a peyne. And thou schalt thanne dispise and
repreve that feelynge, and breke doun that risynge of thyn herte, as though thou woldest
be wel paide for to be troden and spurnyd undir every mannys feet as a thynge whiche
is outcast. And so bi grace of Jhesu Crist thorugh devoute biholdynge on His manhede
and His mekenesse schalt thu mykil abate the stirynge of pride, and the vertu of mekenesse
that was first in the nakid wille schal be turnyd into feelynge of affeccion. Withoutin
which vertu, either in a trewe wil or in felynge, whoso disposeth hym for to serve God
in lif contemplatif, as the blynde he schal stumble and nevere schal he come therto. The
highere he clymbeth bi bodili penaunce and othere vertues and hath not this, the lowere
he falleth. For as Gregor seith, he that cannot perfightli dispice hymsilf, he fond yit
nevere the meke wisdom of oure Lord Jhesu.
 
 
Chapter Twenty
 
Hou heretikes and ypocrites, for wantynge of mekenesse, highen hemself in herte bifore
alle othere.
 
Ypocrites ne heretikes feele not this mekenesse, neither in good wille, ne in affeccioun;
but wel drie and wel cold aren here hertis and here reynes fro the softe feelynge of this
vertu; and so mykil thei aren the ferther fro it, that they wenen for to have it. Thei
gnawen upoun the drie bark withoutyn, but the swete kirnel of it and the inli savoure
may he not come to. Thei schewen outward mekenesse, in habite, in hooli speche, in
loweli berynge, and, as it semeth, in many grete bodili and goostli vertues. But neverthelees
in the wille and the affeccioun of here herte, where mekenesse schulde principali be, it
is but feyned. For thei dispisen and setten at nought alle othere men that wolen not doo
as thei doon and techen. Thei holden hem fooles bi unkunnynge, or blyndid bi fleischli
likynge; and therfore thei liften hemsilf upoun high in there owen sight, above alle
othere, wenynge that thei lyven betere than othere and that they haave oonli the
soothfastnesse of good lyvynge and singuler grace of God, bothe in knowynge and
goostli feelynge, passynge othere men. And of this sight in hemsilf riseth a grete delite
in here hertes in the which thei worschipen and preisen hemself, as ther were noon but
thei. Thei preisen and thanken God with here lippes, but in her hertis thei stelen as
theves the worschip and the thankyng from God and setten it in hemself. And so thei
have neither mekenesse in wille ne in felynge. A fleischli caytif or a synnere which
falleth al day, and is sori for that he doth so, though he have not mekenesse in affeccioun,
he hath in a gode wille. But an heretik or an ipocrite hath neither, for thei han the
condicion of the pharisee, the which com as oure Lord seith in the Gospel with the
publican to the temple for to prey. And whanne he com he prayde not ne he askide not
of God, for hym thoughte he hadde no nede, but he bigan for to thanke God, and seide
thus: "Lord, y thanke Thee that Thu gyvest me more grace thanne another, that y am
not as othere men aren, robbours, lecchours, and sich synneres." And he lokide bisides
hym, and sigh the publican, whiche he knew for a wrecch, knokkand upon his brest
onli, criande after merci. Thanne he thanked God that he was not sich oon as he was.
"For Lord," he seide, "I faste twies in the woke, and I paye truli my tithes." And
whanne he hadde doon, oure Lord seide he yede hoom agen withouten grace as he
com, and gaat right nought. But now seist thou, "Whereinne thanne trespacide this
pharisee, sithen he thankid God, and was soth as he seide?" As to this I answere and
seie, that this pharisee trespacide in as mykil as he demede and reprovede in his herte
the publican, which was justifyed bi oure Lord. And also he trespacide, for he thanked
God oonly with his mouth, but he delitede willfulli by a pryvé pride in hymsilf of the
giftes of God, stelande the worschipe and the loovynge from God and sette it in hymsilf.
This same condicioun of this pharisee soothli han heretikes and ypocrites. Thei wolen
not gladli praie, and yif thei praien they meke not hemself knowelechynge truli here
wrecchidnesse, but thei maken hem by a feynynge for to thanke and loove God, and
speken of Hym with here mouth. But her delite is veyn and fals and not in God, and yit
thei wenen not so. They conne not love God, for the wise man seith: Non est speciosa
laus in ore peccatoris (Ecclesiasticus 15:9). It is neither fair ne semeli praisynge of God
in the mouth of a synnere. Wherfor it is profitable to thee and to me, and sich othere
wrecchis, for to leve the condicion of this pharisee and feyned lovyng of God, and
folwe the publican first in lowenesse, askynge merci and forgifnesse of synnes and
grace of goosteli vertues, that we myght afterward with a clene herte sothfastli thanke
Hym and love Hym and gyve Him hooli the worschipe withouten feynynge. For oure
Lord asketh bi His prophete thus: Super quem requiescet spiritus meus nisi super humilem
contritum spiritu et trementem sermones meos? (Isaiah 66:2). Upon whom schal My
spirit reste? And He answereth Himsilf and seith: upon noon but upon the meke, poverli
and contrite in herte and dredynge My wordes. Thanne yif thou wolt have the spirit of
God rulynge thyn herte, have mekenesse and dreede of Hym.
 
 
Chapter Twenty-one
 
What thinges men owen to trowe bi siker trouthe.
 
Secunde thynge which thee bihoveth for to have is a siker trouth in articlis of the feith
and the sacramentes of Holi Chirche, trowand hem stidefastli with al the wille of thyn
herte. And though thu feele ony stirynge in thyn herte agens ony of hem bi suggestion
of the enemye, for to putte thee in doute and in dweer of hem, be thu stidefast and not
to mykil have drede of sich stirynges ne of the feelynge of hem, but forsake thyn owen
witte withoute disputynge or ransakynge of hem, and sette thi feith generali in the feith
of Hooli Chirche, and charge not the styrynge of thyn herte whiche, as thee thenkith, is
contrarie therto. For that stirynge that thu felist is not thi feith, but the feith of Holi
Chirche is thi feith, though thou neither see it ne fele it. And bere thanne sich stirynges
pacienteli as a scourge of oure Lord, bi the which He wole clense thyn herte and make
thi feith stidefast. Also thee bihoveth love and worschipe in thyn herte the lawes and the
ordenaunces maad bi prelates and rulers of Hooli Chirche, either in declarynge of the
feith, or in the sacramentis, or in general governance of alle Cristen men.
   Mekeli and truli assente to hem, though it be so that thou knowe not the cause of here
ordenaunce; and though thee thenketh that summe were unskileful, thu schalt not deme
hem, ne reprove hem, but receyve and worschipe hem alle, though thei longen but litil to
thee; ne thou schalt not resseyve noon opynioun, ne fantasie, ne singuler conceyt undir
colour of more holynesse, as summe doon that aren not wise, neither bi thyn owen
ymaginacion ne bi kunnynge of noon othir man, whiche is contrarie to the leeste
ordenaunce of general techynge of al Hooli Chirche.
   And over this, thou schalt hopen stidefastli that thou art ordaynyd of oure Lord to be
saaf as oon of His chosene, bi His merci, and stire not fro this hope, whatso thou herist
or seest, what temptacion thou be inne. And though thou thenke thee so greet a wrecche
that thou were worthi to synke to helle for that thu doost no good, ne servest God as thu
schuldist doo, yit holde thee in this hope, and aske merci, and al schal be right weel. Yhe,
and though alle the develis of helle appereden in bodili likenesse, slepynge or wakynge,
seiden to thee that thou schulde not be saaf, or alle men lyvyng in erthe or alle the angelis
in hevene, yif it myght be seid to thee the same, thou schulde not leve hem, ne bee
myche stirid fro this truthe and hope of salvacioun. This y seie to thee, for summe aren
so weyke and so symple, that whanne thei have gyven hem al hooli to serve God up here
kunnynge, yif thei feelen ony styrynge withinne bi incastynge of the enemye, or fro
withouten of ony word of the develis prophetis, whiche men callen soothseieris, that thei
schulde not bee saaf, or here astaat or maner of lyvynge were not plesant to God, thei
ben astonyed and stired with sich wordis, and so for unkunnynge thei fallen sum tyme
into grete hevynesse, and as it were into dyspeir of savacioun. Wherfore as me thenketh
it is spedeful to everi creature whiche bi grace of oure Lord Jhesu Crist is in ful wille to
forsake synne, and as clerli as his conscience telleth hym he suffreth no deedli synne
reste in hym that he ne schryveth hym sone therof, and meketh hym to the sacramentis
of Holi Chirche, for to have a trust and hope of savacion. And mykil more thanne they
that gyven hem hooli to God, and flen venyal synnes up here myght. And on the contrarie
wise, as perilous it is to hym whiche lieth wityngeli in a deedli synne for to hafe truste
of savacion, and in hope of that trust wole not forsake his synne, ne lowe him trewli to
God and to Hooli Chirche.
 
 
Chapter Twenty-two
 
How a stable entent is nedefulle to thise that schal plese God and discrecioun in bodili
werkes.
 
The thridde thynge whiche is nedeful thee to have in the bigynynge is an hool and a
stable entencion, that is for to seie, an hool wille and a desyre oonli to plese God. For
that is charité, withoute whiche al were not that thou doost. Thu schalt sette thyn
entente alwey for to seke and traveile how thou myghttest plese oure Lord Jhesu Crist,
no tyme for to cese wilfulli of good occupacion either bodili or gostli. For thu schalt not
sette in thyn herte a tyme, as thus longe thou woldest serve God, and sithen to suffre
thyn herte wilfulli to falle doun into veyn thoughtes and ydel occupacions, wenande that
it were nedeful to thee for savynge of thi bodili kynde, levynge the kepynge of thy herte
and gode occupacion, sekynge reste and confort oughtward bi the bodili wittes or in
worldeli vanytees, as it were for recreacion of the spirit, that it schulde be more scharp
afterward to goostli travaile. For y trowe it is not sooth. I seie not that thou schal
mowen in deede ay performe thyn entent; for ofte sithes thi bodili nede in etynge,
slepynge, and spekynge, and the freelté of thi fleisch schal lette thee and hyndre thee, be
thu nevere so bisy. But I wolde that thyn entente and thi wille were alwey hool for to
traveil bodili or goostli, and no tyme to be ydel, but alwey liftynge up thyn herte bi desire
to thy Lord Jhesu Crist and to the blisse of hevene, whethir thu ete or drynke, or ony
othir bodili travaile that thu usist, as mykil as thou mai wilfulli leve it not. For yif thou
have this entent, it schal make thee ay quyk and scharp in thi traveile; and yif thou falle
bi freelté or necgligence to ony idel occupacion, or in veyn speche, it schal smyte upon
thyn herte scharpeli as a prikke and make thee for to yrke with alle vanitees, and for to
turne agen hastili into inwarde biholdynge of Jhesu Crist bi praieres or bi summe gode
dede or occupacion. For as anemptis thi bodili kynde, it is good to use discrecion in
etynge, and drynkynge, and in slepynge, and in alle maner bodily penaunce, or in longe
praier bi speche, or in bodili feelynge bi greet fervour of devocioun, eyther in weepynge
or in swiche othere, and also in ymagynynge of the spirit. Whan a man feeleth no grace
in alle thise werkes, it is good to kepe discrecion and for to breke of summe tyme, for
the mene is the beste. But in destroyynge of synne bi kepynge of thyn herte fro alle
maner of unclennesse, and in ay lastynge desire of vertues, and of the blisse of hevene,
and for to have the goostli felynge and lovynge of God, halde thou noo meene, for the
more it is of this, the betere is it. For thu schalt hate synne, and alle fleischli loves and
dredis, in thyn herte withouten cesynge, and thou schalt love vertues and clennesse,
and desire hem withouten stintynge, yif thou myghtest. I sey not that this is nedeful to
savacion, but y hope that it ys spedeful; and yif thou kepe it thou schalt profite more in
a yeer in vertues thanne thu schalt withoutin this entent profite in sevene.
 
 
Chapter Twenty-three
 
Of a litil rehersynge of thynges biforseid, and of makynge offrynge of that schulde be
offrid to God.
 
Now have y tolde thee first of the ende which thou schalt biholde in thi desire and
drawe toward as myche as thou may. Also y have seide of the bigynnynge, what thee
nedeth for to have, as mekenesse, siker trowth, and an hool entente to God, upon
whiche ground thou schalt sette thy goostli hous, bi praier and meditacioun and othere
goostli vertues. Thanne sei I to thee thus: praie thou, or thenke thou, or ony othir deede
that thou doost, good bi grace or badde bi synne or bi thin owne freelté, or what that
thou feelist, seest, or smellest or savours, withouten in thi bodili wittes, or withinne in
ymagynynge or feelynge in thi resoun or knowynge: brynge hit al withynne the trowthe
and rulis of Hooli Chirche and caste it al in the morter of mekenesse and breke it smal
with the pestel of drede of God, and throw the pouder of alle thise in the fier of desire,
and offre it soo to thi Lord Jhesu Crist. And y telle thee forsothe, wel schal that offrynge
like in the sight of oure Lord Jhesu, and swete schal the smoke of that ilke fier smelle in
the face of thi Lord Jhesu. This is for to seie, drawe al this that thou felist withinne the
trowthe of Holi Chirche and breke thisilf in mekenesse, and offre the desire of thin herte
oonli to thi Lord Jhesu Crist, for to have Hym and not ellis but Hym. And yif thou doo
thus, I hope bi the grace of Jhesu Crist thou schalt nevere be overcomen with thyn
enemye. Thus techeth us Seynt Poul, whanne he seide thus: Sive manducatis, sive
bibitis, sive quicquid aliud facitis, omnia in nomine domini facite (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Whether ye eten or ye drynken or what maner of dede that ye doon, dooth al in the
name of oure Lord Jhesu Crist, forsakynge youresilf, and offreth up to Hym. Menes
whiche thu schalt most use, as I have biforseid, aren praier and meditacion. First I schal
schewe thee a litil of praier, and sithen of meditacion.
 
 
Chapter Twenty-four
 
Of praier that is spedful to gete clennes in herte and vertues.
 
Preyer is profitable and spedful to use for to gete clennesse of herte bi distroynge of
synne and receyvynge of vertues. Not for thou schuldest bi thi praier kenne oure Lord
what thou desirest, for He knoweth wel ynowgh al that thee nedeth; but for to make
thee able and redi bi thi praier that thou myght receyve as a clene vessel the grace that
oure Lord wole freeli gyve to thee, whiche grace mai not be felid til thou be purified bi
fier of desire in devoute praier. For though it be so that praier is not the cause for
whiche our Lord geveth grace, neverthelees it is a weie bi the whiche grace freli gyven
cometh to a soule.
But now desirest thou peraventure for to knowe hou thu schuldest praie and upon
what thynge thu schal sette the poynt of thi thought in thi praier, and also what preier
were best to thee for to use. As unto the first, I answere and seie thus: That whan thou
art waken of thi sleep and art redi for to preie, thou schalt fele thisilf fleischli and hevy
and ai dounward into veyn thoughtes, either of dreemes or of fantasies, or unskilful
bisynesse of the world, or of thi fleisch. Thanne bihoveth thee for to quykene thyn
herte bi praier and stire it als mykil as thou mai to sum devocioun.
 
 
Chapter Twenty-five
 
Hou men schulde praie, and whereon the poynt of the thought schal be sette in prayere.
 
And in thi praier thou schalt not sette thyn herte in ony erthly thynge, but al thi travail
schal be for to drawe in thi thoughtis fro alle bihooldynges of alle erthli thinges, that thi
desire myght be, as it were, bare and nakid from alle ertheli thinges, evermore upward
stiynge into Jhesu Crist as yif thu were in His presence whom thou may neither see
bodili as He is in His Godhede, ne bi bodili liknes in ymaginacion; but thou may thorugh
devout biholdynge of His precious manhede fele His godenesse and the grace of His
Godhede, whanne thi desire is esid and holpen and as it were maad free and myghti
from alle fleschli thoughtes and affeccions, and is mykil lifted up bi a goostli myght into
gosteli savour and delite of His goostli presence, and holde stille thereinne mykil of the
tyme of thi praiere, so that thou hast no grete mynde of noon ertheli thynge, or elles the
mynde dereth thee but litil. Yif thou praye thus, than can thou preyen wel; for praier is
not ellis but a stiynge desire of the herte to God bi a withdrawinge of thi mynde from
alle ertheli thoughtes. And so is praier likenyd to a fier whiche of the owen kynde
leeveth the lowenesse of the erthe and alwei stieth up into the eir. Right so desire in
praier, whanne it is touchid and lightned of the goostli fier whiche is God, it is ay
upstyande to Hym kyndeli whom it com fro.
 
 
Chapter Twenty-six
 
Of the fier of love.
 
Alle men and women that speken of the fier of love knowe not wel what it is, for what
it is I can not telle thee, save this may I telle thee, it is neither bodili, ne it is bodili feelid.
A soule mai fele it in praiere or in devocioun, whiche soule is in the bodi, but he felith it
not bi no bodili witt. For though it be so, that yif it wirke in a soule the bodi mai turne
into an heete as it were chafid for likynge travaile of the spirit, neverthelees the fier of
love is not bodili, for it is oonly in the goostli desire of the soule. This is no doute to no
man ne woman that felith and knoweth devocion, but summe aren so symple and
wenen bicause that it is callid fier that it schulde be hoot as bodili fier is. And forthi I seie
that I have seid. Now as to that othir, for to knowe what prayer were best for to use, y
schal seie as me thenkith. Thou schalt undirstonde that there are thre maner of praieres.
 
 
Chapter Twenty-seven
 
That certayn praier in speche ordeyned of God and of Holi Chirche is best to hem that
aren bounden and ordeyned therto, and to hem that gyven hem newli to devocion.
 
The first is praier of speche maad speciali of God, as is the Pater Noster, and maad also
more generali bi the ordenaunce of Holi Chirche, as mateyns and evesonge and houres;
and also maad bi devout men of othere special seiynges, as to oure Lord and oure Ladi,
and to His seyntis. As unto this matier of praier, whiche is callid vocal, me thenketh unto
thee that art religious, and bi custum of rule art bounden for to seie mateyns and houres,
I holde it moost spedful for to seie hem as devouteli as thou mai. For whanne thou seist
thi mateyns, thou seist also thi Pater Noster principali; and over more to stire thee to
more devocioun was it ordeyned for to seie psalmys and ympnys and siche othere
whiche are maad bi the Holi Goost, as the Pater Noster is. And therfore thou schalt not
seie hem gredili ne rekleesli, as thou were yvel paid that thou art bounden with hem, but
thou schalt gadre thyn affeccioun and thi thought for to seie hem more sadli and more
devouteli than ony othir special praier of devocioun, trowande for sothe, that sithen it is
the praiere of Holi Chirche there is no praier so profitable to thee whiche is vocale for to
use comounli as that is. And so schalt thou put awey al the hevynesse, and bi grace thou
schalt turne thi nede into good wille and thi boond into gret freedom, that it schal no
lettynge be to thee of goostli occupacion. And after thise, yif thou wolte, thou mai use
othere, as the Pater Noster or ony swiche othir. And in thise, in whiche thou felist most
savour and most gostli confort, inne that holde y best for thee. This maner of praier is
spedful to everi man comonli in the bigynnynge of his conversioun, for to use most of
ony othir goostli occupacioun. For a man in the biginnynge is rude and boistous and
fleiscli, but yif he have the more grace, and cannot thenke gostli thoughtis in meditacioun,
for his soule is not yit clensid from olde synne. And therfore y hope it is most spedful
to use this maner of praiere, as for to seie his Pater Noster and his Ave Marie and rede
upon his sautier and sich othere. For he that cannot renne lightli bi goostli praier, for his
feet of knowynge and lovynge aren syke for synne, hym nedeth for to have a siker staaf
for to holde him bi. This staaf is special praier of speche ordayned of God and of Holi
Chirche in helpe of mennys soulis, bi the whiche praier a soule of a fleischli man that is
alwei fallynge dounward into worldli thoughtis and fleschli affeccions schal be liftid up
from hem, and holden bi hem as bi a staaf, feed with suete wordis of the praier as a
childe with mylk, and rulid bi it that he falle not in errours ne fantasies bi his veyn
meditacioun. For in this maner of praiere is no disceite, whoso wole stidefastli and
mekeli travaile thereinne.
 
 
Chapter Twenty-eight
 
What peril it is to men that in the bigynnynge of here turnynge to God leeven to sone the
comone praier of the ordenaunce of Holi Chirche and gyven hem to meditacion hooli.
 
Thanne mai though bi this see, that thise men, yif ony ben siche, that in the bigynnynge
of here conversioun or soone aftir, whanne thei han felid a litil of goostli comfort either
in devocion or in knowynge, and not aren stablid yit therinne, thei leven siche praier
vocal to sone, and othere bodili exercise, and gyven hem hooli to meditacion. Thei aren
not wise, for ofte in reste of here meditacion thei ymagen and thenken of gostli thinges
after here owen wittes, and folwen here bodili felyng, and han not yit receyved grace
therto. And therfore thei bi undiscrecion, ofte sithes overtravailen hire wittes and breken
here bodili myght, and so thei fallen into fantasies and singulere conceites, or into open
errours, and letten the grace that God gyveth hem bi sich vanytees. The cause of al this
is a prevei pride and presumpcion of hemself, as whanne thei han felid a litil grace thei
wenen that it is so mykil, passand othere, that thei fallen in veynglorie and so thei leesen
it. Yif thei wisten how litil it were that thei feelen in regard of that God geveth or mai
geven thei schulde be aschamed for to speke ought therof, but if it were in grete nede.
Of this maner of praiere bi speche speketh David in sautier thus: Voce mea ad dominum
clamavi; voce mea ad dominum deprecatus sum (Psalms 141:2). David the prophete,
for to stire othere men bothe with herte and with mouth seide: With my vois I criede to
God, and with my speche y bisoughte oure Lord.
 
 
Chapter Twenty-nine
 
Of the secunde maner of praier, that is in speche not certayn, but folweth the stirenges
that aren in devocioun.
 
The secunde maner of praiere is bi speche, but it is not of noon certayn special seiynge;
and this is whanne a man or a woman felith grace of devocioun bi the gifte of God, and
in his devocioun speketh to Hym as yif he were bodili in presence, with sich wordis and
acordande most to his stirynge for the tyme as comen to his mynde after sondri rewardes
which he felith in his herte, either rehersynge hise synnes and his wrecchidnesse or the
malice and the sleightes of the enemye, or ellis the godenesse and the merci of God. And
with that he crieth with desire of herte and with speche of his mouth to oure Lord for
socour and help, as a man that were in peril amonge his enemyes or as a man in
sikenesse, schewynge his sooris to God as to a leche, seiynge thus: Eripe me de inimicis
meis, deus meus (Psalms 58:2) Lord, delyvere me fro myn enemyes, or ellis thus: Sana,
domine, animam meam, quia peccavi tibi (Psalms 40:5). A, Lord, heele my soule, for I
have synned agenys Thee, or sich othere that come to mynde. And also hym thenketh
so mykil godenesse, grace, and mercy in God, that hym liketh with grete affeccioun of
the herte for to love Hym and thanke Hym by siche wordes and psalmys as acorden to
the lovynge and preisynge of God, as Davyd seith: Confitemini domino, quoniam bo-
nus, quoniam in seculum misericordia eius (Psalms 135:1). Loveth and preiseth oure
Lord for He is good and merciful, and bi siche othere as he is sterid for to seie.
 
 
Chapter Thirty
 
That this maner of praier pleseth moche God, and maketh a man to have him as he were
dronken, and maketh his soule to be woundid with the suerd of love.
 
This maner of praier mykil pleseth God, for it is oonli in the affeccion of the herte, and
therfore it goth nevere awey unsped withoutin sum grace. This praier longeth to the
secunde partie of contemplacioun, as I have bifore seide. Whoso hath this gift of God
ferventli, hym bihoveth for the tyme flee presence and cumpanye of alle men and to be
alone that he be not lettid. Whoso hath it, holde it while he may, for it mai not longe laste
in the fervour. For yif grace come plenteuousli, it is traveilous wondirfulli to the spirit,
though it be likande; and it is mykil wastande the bodili kynde, whoso mykil useth it, for
it maketh the bodi, yif grace come myghtili, for to stire and turne heer and theer as a
man that were mad or dronken and can have noo reste. And this is a poynt of the
passion of love, the whiche bi grete violence and maistrie breketh doun alle lustis and
likynges of alle ertheli thinges, and it woundeth the soule with the blisful swerd of love,
that the bodi faileth and falleth doun and mai not bere it. This touchynge is of so grete
myght that the moste vicious or fleschli man lyvand in erthe, yif he were wel touchid
ones myghtili with this scharp suerd, he schulde be right saad and sobre a grete while
after, and lothe alle likynges and the lustis of the fleisch, and of alle ertheli thinges
whiche he hadde bifore most likynge inne.
 
 
Chapter Thirty-one
 
Hou fier of love wasteth alle fleischli lustes, as othir fier wasteth alle bodili thynges here.
 
Of this maner of felynge speketh the prophete Jeremye thus: Et factus est in corde meo
quasi ignis estuans, claususque in ossibus meis, et defeci, ferre non sustinens (Jeremiah
20:9). This is thus mykil to undirstonde: The love and the felynge of God was maad in
myn herte not as fier, but as fier glowand; for as bodili fire brenneth and wasteth al
bodili thyng where it cometh, right so gosteli fier, as is love of God, brenneth and
wasteth fleischli loves and likynges in a mannys soule, and this fier is stokyn so in my
boonys, as the prophete seith of himsilf. That is for to seie, this love filleth ful the
myghtes of the soule, as mynde, wille, and resoun, of grace and goostli swettenesse, as
marwe filleth fulle the boon; and that is withinne, not withouten in the wittis. Neverthelees,
it is so myghti withinne that it smyteth oute into the bodi, and dooth al the bodi quake
and tremble, for it is so feer from the bodili kynde and so uncouthe that he can no skile
of it and mai not bere it, but faileth and falleth doun, as the prophete seide. Therfore
oure Lord temprith it and withdraweth the fervour and suffreth the herte for to falle into
sobirté of mor swettenesse. Whoso can preie thus ofte, he spedeth swithe in his travaile.
He schal gete more of vertues in a litil tyme thanne sum man withoutyn this, or anothir
as gode schal doo in a longe tyme, for al the bodili penaunce that he myght doo; and
whoso hath this, it nedeth not to charge the bodili kynde with more penance than he
bereth yif he have it ofte.
 
 
Chapter Thirty-two
 
Of the thridde maner of praier, oonli in herte withouten speche.
 
The thridde maner of praier is oonli in herte withoute speche, bi grete reste of the bodi
and of soule. A clene herte him bihoveth for to have that schulde prai wel thus, for it is
of sich men and women that bi longe travaile bodili and goostli, or ellis bi swich smert
smytynges of love, as I bifore seide, comen into reste of spirit, so that here affeccioun
is turnyd into goostli savoure, that thei moun neer contynueli praie in here herte, and
love and praise God withoutyn grete lettynge of temptacions or of vanitees, as I bifore
seide in the secunde partie of contemplacioun. Of this maner of preier seith Seynt Poul
thus: Nam si orem lingua, spiritus meus orat, mens autem mea sine fructu est. Quid
ergo? Orabo spiritu, orabo et mente, psallam spiritu, psallam et mente (1 Corinthians
14:15). This is thus mykil for to seie: Yif y praie with my tunge oonli, bi wille of spirit
and bi traveil, the preier is meedful, but my soule is not fed, for it felith not the frughte
of goostli swettenesse bi undirstondynge. What schal y thanne doo? seith Seynt Poul.
And he answereth and seith: I schal praie bi travaile and bi desire of the spirit, and I
schal pray also more inward in my spirit withouten travaile, bi felinge of goosteli savour
and the swettenesse of the love and the sight of God, bi the whiche sight and felynge of
love my soule schal be fed. Thus, as y undirstonde, Seynt Poul cowde preie. Of this
maner of preier speketh oure Lord in Holi Writ bi figure thus: Ignis in altari meo semper
ardebit, et cotidie sacerdos surgens mane subiciet ligna, ut ignis non extinguatur (Leviticus
6:12). This is for to seie thus mykil: The fier of love schal be ay light in the soule of a
devoute man or woman, the whiche is the autier of oure Lord, and the prest schal every
dai at morwe lei to stikkes and norissch the fier. That is to seie, this man schal bi hooli
psalmes, clene thoughtes, fervent desires, norische the fier of love in his herte, that it
goo not out noo tyme. This reste oure Lord geveth to summe of Hise servauntis, as it
were for a reward of here traveyle and a shadwe of the love whiche thei shullen have in
the blisse of hevene.
 
 
Chapter Thirty-three
 
How men schal do that aren traveylid with veyn thoughtes in her preier.
 
But now seist thou that y speke over highe to thee in this manere of praier, for it is no
maistrie to me for to seie it, but for to doo it is the maistrie. Thou seist that thu cannot
so hoolili ne thus devoutli prai in thyn herte as y speke of. For whanne thou woldest
have the mynde of thyn herte upward to God in praier, thou felist so many veyn thoughtis
of thyn owen deedis bifore doon, or what thu schalt doon, or of othir mennys dedis,
and siche many othire lettynge and taryynge thee, so that thou mai nevere fele savor ne
reste in thi praiere ne devocioun in thi seiynge. And ofte sithes the more thu traveilest to
kepe thyn herte, the ferthere it is fro thee and the hardere, sumtyme fro the bigynnynge
to the laste ende, that thee thenketh it is but loste, al that thou doost. As unto this that I
speke to highe to thee of praier, I graunt wel that y speke othirwise than y can do or mai
do. Neverthelees y sei it for this entent, that thu schuldest knowe hou we oute to praie
yif we dede wel. And sithen we mowen not do so, that we knowe thanne mekeli oure
feblenesse and crie God merci. Oure Lord seide so himsilf whan he seide: Diliges
dominum tuum ex tote corde tuo, et ex tota anima tua, et ex omnibus viribus tuis (Luke
10:27). Thou schalt love God of al thyn herte and al thi soule and al thi myghtis. It is
inpossible to ony man for to fulfille this biddynge soo fulli as it is seid, lyvynge in erthe,
and yit neverthelees oure Lord bad us for to love soo; for this entent, as Seynt Bernard
seith, that we schulde knowe therbi oure feblenesse and thanne mekeli crie merci and
we schul have it. Neverthelees, I schal telle thee as me thenketh in this askyng.
Whenne thu schalt praie, make thyn entente and thi wil in the biginnynge as hool
and as clene to God as thou mai schorteli in thi mynde, and than bigynne and do as thou
mai; and though thou be never so mykil lettid agens thi first wil, be not to mikil adreed,
ne to angri with thisilf, ne unpacient agens God, that he gyveth not thee that savour and
goostli swettenesse with devocioun as thee thenketh that he gyveth to othere creatures.
But se therbi thyn owen feblenesse and bere it esili, holdynge in thyn owyn sight thi
praier, simple as it is, with mekenesse of herte, trustynge also sikirli in the merci of oure
Lord, that He schal make it good more thanne thou knowyste or feeliste. And yif thou
doo thus, al schal be wel. For wite thou weel that thou art excusid of thi dette, and thou
schalt have meede for it as for anothir good dede that thou doost in charité, though thyn
herte were not thereupon in the doynge. Therfore doo thou that longeth to thee, and
suffre oure Lord to gyve what He wole, and kenne Hym not; and though thee thenketh
thee reklees and necgligent, and as thou were in greet defautis for sich thinges, yit
neverthelees schalt thu for this defaute and for alle othere veniales, whiche moun not
alle been eschewed in this wrecchid lif, lift up thyn herte to God, knowelechynge thi
wrecchid-nesse, and crie merci with a good truste of forgyvenesse, and God schal
forgyve thee. Stryve no more therewith, ne hange noo lenger therupon, as thou woldest
bi maistrie not fele siche wrecchidnesse. Leve of and goo to sum good deede, bodili or
goostli, and thenke to doo betere another tyme. But though thou falle another tyme in
the same, yhe an hundrid tymes, a thousand tymes, yit doo as I have seid, and al schal
be wel. For ther is many a soule that never mai fynde reste of herte in praiere, but al
here liftyme aren stryvande with here thoughtis and taried and troblid with hem. Yif thei
kepe hem in mekenesse and charité in othir sides, thei schul have wel mykil mede in
hevene for here gode travaile.
Now of meditacioun schal y telle thee as me thenketh. Thou schalt undirstonde that
in meditacion mai no certayn rule be sette ai a man for to kepe, for thei aren the free gift
of oure Lord, aftir the sondrie disposynges of chosen soules and aftir the staat that thei
ben inne. And also aftir that thei profiten in vertues and in here astaat, so He encreseth
here meditacion, in goostli knowynge and lovynge of Him; for whoso is ai likewise in
knowinge of God and of goosteli thinges, it semeth he wexith but litil in the lovynge of
God. And that mai be schewid opynli in the apostelis, whanne thei in the dai of Pente-
cost weren fulfilled with brennynge love of the Holi Gost; thei weren noo foolis ne
fooltes, but thei were maad wondir wise in knowynge and spekynge of God and goostli
thinges, als mykil as a man might have in fleschly lyvyng. Thus seith Holi Writ of hem:
Repleti sunt omnes spiritu sancto et ceperunt loqui magnalia dei (Acts 2:4, 11). Thei
weren fulfillid of the Holi Goost, and thei bigan to speke the grete merveiles of God.
And al that knowynge thei hadden bi ravyschynge of love of the Hooli Goost.
 
 
Chapter Thirty-four
 
Of meditacion of synful men, aftir that thei ben turned hooli to God.
 
   Sundrie meditacions ther aren whiche oure Lord putteth in a mannys herte. Sum
schal y telle thee, as me thenketh, for this entent, yif thou fele ony of hem, that thou
schulde the betere travaile in hem. In the bigynnynge of conversioun of siche a man as
hath ben mykil foulid with worldli or fleschli synnes, comounli his thought is most upon
his synnes, with gret conpuccion and sorwe of herte, grete wepynges and many teeris
of the iye, mekeli and bisili askynge merci and forgyvnesse of God for hem. And yif he
be touchid scharpeli, for oure Lord wole make him soone clene, hym schal thenke that
in his sight his synnes aren ai so foule and so horrible that unnethes schal he mowe bere
himsilf for hevynesse of synne. And though he schryve him never so cleerli, yit schal he
fynde bitynge and fretynge of conscience, that him schal thynke that he is not schriven
aright. And unnethe schal he mowe have ony reste, in so mykil that he schulde not
endure in siche traveile, ne were it that oure Lord of his merci comforteth him sum
tyme as He wole, bi grete devocioun of His passioun or bi sum othir wai. Upon this
maner werketh oure Lord in sum mennys hertis, more or lasse as He wole. And this is
the grete merci of oure Lord, that not oonli wole forgyve the synne and the trespace,
but He wole forgyve bothe trespas and peyne for it in purgatorie, for siche a litil peyne
here of bitynge of conscience. And also yif He wole dispose a man for to receyve ony
special gift of His lofe, him bihoveth first to be scourid and clensid bi siche a fier of
conpunccioun for alle the grete synnes bifore doon. Of this maner of travaile speketh
David in many psalmes of the sautier, and speciali in the psalme Miserere mei deus,
secundum magnam misericordiam tuam (Psalms 50:3).
   Thanne after this traveile, and sum tyme with alle, sich a man or ellis anothir, whiche
bi grace of God hath ben kepid in innocence, oure Lord gyveth a meditacion with gret
conpunccioun and with plenté of teeris of His manhede, as of His birthe or of His
passioun, or of the compassioun of oure Ladi Seynt Marie.
 
 
Chapter Thirty-five
 
That the meditacion of the manhede of Crist or of His passion is gyven of God, and how
it schal be knowen whanne it is geven.
 
Whanne this meditacion is maad bi the Holi Goost, thanne it is right profightable and
gracious, and that schalt thou wite bi this tokene: whanne it is so that thou art stired to
devocion, and sodeynli thi thought is drawen up from alle worldli and fleischli thinges,
and thee thenketh as thu seighe in thi soule thi Lord Jhesu Crist in bodili liknesse as He
was in erthe, how He was taken of the Jewes and bounden as a theef, beten and
dispisid, scourgid and demed to the deeth; hou mekeli He baar the Cros upon his bak,
and hou crueli He was nailed therupon; also of the crowne of thornes upon His heed,
and upon the scharp spere that stonge Him to the herte. And thou in this goostli sight
thou felist thyn herte stired into so greet compassioun and pité of thi Lord Jhesu that
thou mornest, and wepist, and criest with alle thy myghtes of thi bodi and of thi soule,
wondrynge the goodnesse and the love, the pacience and the mekenesse of oure Lord
Jhesu, that He wolde for so synful a caitif as thou art suffre so mykil peyne. And also
over this thou felist so mykil goodnesse and merci in oure Lord that thi herte riseth up
into love and glaadnesse of Him with manye swete teeris, havynge greet trust of
forgyvenesse of thi synnes and of savacioun of thi soule bi the vertu of this precious
passioun. Thanne whanne the mynde of Cristis passioun or ony poynt of His manhede
is thus maad in thi herte bi siche goostli sight, with devout affeccioun answerynge
therto, wite thou wel thanne that it is not thyn owen werkynge, ne feynynge of noo
wikkid spirit, but bi grace of the Holi Goost, for it is an openynge of the goostli iye into
Cristis manhede. And it mai be called the fleischli love of God, as Seynt Bernard callith
it, in as mekil as it is set in the fleischli kynde of Crist. And it is right good, and a greet
help in distroyynge of grete synnes, and a wei for to come to vertues. And so aftir to
come to comtemplacioun of Jhesu Crist in His Godhed. For a man schal not come to
goostli delite in comtemplacioun of His Godhede, but yif he come first in ymaginacion
bi bitirnesse and compassioun and bi stable trouthe and stidefaste mynde of His manhede.
Thus Seynt Poul dide. For first he seide thus: Nichil iudicavi me scire inter vos, nisi
Jesum Christum, et hunc crucifixum (1 Corinthians 2:2). I schewed yow right nought
that y couthe, but oonli Jhesu Crist and Him crucified. As yif he had seid: My knowynge
and my trust is oonli in the passioun of Crist. And therfore seide he thus also: Michi
autem absit gloriari, nisi in cruce domini nostri Jhesu Cristi (Galatians 6:14). Forbed be
it fro me al maner of joie and of likynge, but in the Cros and in the passioun of oure
Jhesu Crist. And aftirward he seid thus: Predicamus vobis Christum dei virtutem, et dei
sapientiam (1 Corinthians 1:24). As who seie: First he prechid to yow of the manhed
and of the passion of Crist; now y preche to yow of the Godhede and Cristis myght and
the eendeles wisdom of God.
 
 
Chapter Thirty-six
 
That the meditacioun of the passioun of Crist is withdrawen from hem that it is gyven
to ofte sithes for divers skyles.
 
This maner of meditacioun with gracious conpunccion a man hath not alwei whan he
wolde, but whanne oure Lord wole gyve it. Unto sum men and women He geveth it al
here lyvetyme, bi sithes whan He visiteth hem; as summe devout men and women aren
so tendre in here affeccion that whanne thei here men speke or ellis that thei thenken of
this precious passioun, her hertis melten in devocion and thei are fed and confortid bi
vertu of it agens al maner temptacions of the enemye, and that is a grete gift of God. To
summe men He gyveth it first plenteuousli, and aftirward He withdrawith it for dyverse
causis, either yif a man wex proud of it in his owen sight, or for sum othir synne bi the
whiche he maketh himsilf unable for to resseyve the grace; or ellis oure Lord withdrawith
it and al othir devocion sumtyme from a man or a woman, for He wole suffre hem for
to be assaied bi temptacions of His enemye, and so wole He dispose a man for to knowe
and fele Him more goostli. For he seide so Himsilf to His disciples: Expedit vobis ut ego
vadam; si enim non abiero, paraclitus non veniet ad vos (John 16:7). It is spedful to
you that y goo fro yow bodili; for yif y goo not, the Holi Goost mai not come to yow.
For as longe as He was with hem, thei lovyd Him mykil, but it was flesschli oonli in the
manhed; for thei trowed not fulli that Jhesu man was God, and therfore it was spedful
to hem that He schulde drawe the bodili forme from here sight that the Hooli Goost
myght come to hem, and kenne hem for to love Him and knowe Hym as God more
goostli, as He dide on the dai of Pentecost. Right so it is spedeful to summe that oure
Lord withdrawe a litil the bodili and the fleschli likenesse from the iye of her soule, that
the herte myght be set and ficchid more bisili in gosteli desire and felynge of His Godhed.
 
 
Chapter Thirty-seven
 
Of divers temptaciouns of the feend of helle.
 
Neverthelees it bihoveth a man for to suffre many temptacions first, and thise temptacions
fallen ofte sithes to sum men and women after whanne comfort is withdrawen upon
divers maneres bi the malice of the enemye, as thus. Whanne the devyl perceyveth
devocioun mykil withdrawen, that the soule is left as it were nakid for a tyme, thanne he
sendeth to summe men temptacions of leccherie or glotonye, so hoot and so brennynge
that hem schal thenke thei felid nevere noon so grevous in al here lif bifore whanne thei
gave hem to synne most. In so mykil that thei schul thenke it impossible for to stonde
longe and suffre, that thei ne schul nedynges falle but yif thei have helpe. And therfore
han thei than mykil sorwe, bothe for lakkynge of comfort and devocioun that thei
weren wonte to have, and mykil drede of fallyng from God bi siche open synnes. And
al this worcheth the devel for to doo hem forthenke here good purpos and turne agen to
synne as they were wont to doo; but whoso wole abide awhile and suffre a litil peyne,
the hande of oure Lorde is ful neer and helpeth swithe soone. For He kepeth hem wel
sikirli, and thei wot not how; as the prophete David seide in the persoone of oure Lord:
Cum ipso sum in tribulacione, eripiam eum et glorificabo eum (Psalms 90:15). I am
with him in tribulacion and in temptacion; I schal delivere him and y schal make him
glorious in my blisse. Sum men he tempteth bi gosteli synnes maliciousli, as of mys-
trowynge of the articles of the feith or of the sacrament of Goddis bodi, also dispeir or
blasphemye in oure Lord or in ony of His seyntis, or lothynge of here lif, or bittirnesse
and unskilful hevynesse, or to mykil drede of hemsilf or of here bodi, yif thei putten
hem hooli to Goddis service. Sum men he tempteth also, and nameli solitarie men and
women, bi dredes and ugglynesse and quakynges and schakynges, either apperynge to
hem in bodili liknesse or ellis in ymagynyng, slepynge and wakynge, and tarieth hem so
that thei mai unnethes have ony reste. And also on many othere wises he tempteth mo
than I can or mai seie.
 
 
Chapter Thirty-eight
 
Of sere remedies agennes temptaciounes of feend.
 
Remedie unto siche maner of men and women that aren thus travaled, or ony othir
wise, mai be this: first that thei wolen putten al hire trust in oure Lord Jhesu Crist and
bringe thanne to mynde His passioun and His peynes that He suffride, and that thei
trowe thanne stidefastli that al this sorwe and traveile that thei suffren in siche
temptacions, whiche to an unkunynge man semeth forsakynge of God, is no reprovynge
of God, ne non forsakynge, but assayynge for here betere, either for clensynge of here
synnes bifore doon, or for grete encresynge of here mede, or for greet disposynge to
mykil grace, yif thei wole abide and suffre a litil while and stonde faste with a nakid
trouthe and stidefaste mynde of Jhesu Crist, so that thei turne not wilfulli agene to
synne. Another remedye is that thei drede not ne sette not at herte siche malicious
stirynges of despeir or blasfemye, or of the sacrament or ony siche othere that were
uggly to here, for the felynge of thise temptacions foulen the soule no more than yif thei
herde an hound berke or felid a flee bite. Thei tarie the soule, but thei apeire not the
soule, yif a man wolde despice hem and sette hem at nought. It is not good to stryve
with hem, for to putte hem ought bi maistrie; for the more that men stryven with siche
thoughtes the more thei cleve to hem. And therfore thei schullen as mykil as thei moun
drawe oute the thought from hem, as yif thei chargiden hem not, and sette it to summe
othir good occupacion. And yit yif thei wolen ai hange upoun hem, thanne it is good to
hem that thei ben not angri ne hevy for to fele hem, but that thei with a good trust in
God wole bere hem as it were a bodili peyne and a scourge of oure Lord for clensynge
of here synnes, as longe as He wole. And over this it is good to hem, to schewe hire
hertes to sum wise man in the bigynnynge bifore thei ben rooted in the herte, and that
thei leve here owen witte and folwe the counsel of him; and that thei schewe hem not
lightli to noon uncouth man, that is to seie, to noon unkunnynge man and worldli, which
never hadde felid siche temptacions, for thei myghte lightli bringe a symple soule into
despeir bi unkunynge of hemsilf. Of this maner of temptacions, bi the whiche a man
semeth forsaken of God and is not, in comfort of hem that aren temptid oure Lord seith
thus bi His prophete: In modico dereliqui te et in memento indignacionis mee percussi
te, et in miseracionibus meis multis congregabo te (Isaiah 54:7). In a litil y forsook thee,
that is for to seie, I suffrid thee for to be taried a litil, and in a poynt of my wraththe y
smoot thee, that is to seie, al the penaunce and the peyne that thou suffrest heere is but
a poynt of my wraththe in reward of peyne of helle or of purgatorie. And yit in my
manyfold mercies y schal gadre thee togedre, that is for to sai, whanne that thee theenketh
that thou art forsaken, thanne schal y of my greet merci gadre thee agen to me, for
thanne whanne that thu wenest that thou art but lost, thanne schal oure Lord helpe thee,
as seith Job: Cum te consumptum putaveris, orieris ut lucifer et habebis fiduciam (Job
11:17). That is for to seie, whanne thou art brought so lowe bi traveil in temptacion that
thee thenketh noon help ne comfort, but as it were a fordoon man, yit stond stifli in
hope, and prai God, and sotheli thou schalt sodaynli springe up as the dai sterre in
gladnesse of herte, and have a veri trust in God, as Job seide.
 
 
Chapter Thirty-nine
 
Hou God suffreth hem that He cheseth for to be tarid and temptid; and aftirwarde He
comfortith hem and stableth hem yn grace.
 
And also in confort of sich men that thei schulde not despeire, the wise man seith thus
of oure Lord: In temptacione ambulat cum eo. In primis eligit eum. Timorem et metum
et approbacionem inducit super illum; et cruciabit illum in tribulacione doctrine sue,
donec temptet illum in cogitacionibus suis, et credat anime illius, ad iter directum adducet
illum et firmabit illum et letificabit illum; et denudabit abscondita sua illi, et thesaurizabit
super illum scienciam et intellectum iusticie
(Ecclesiasticus 4:18-21). This is thus mykil
for to sai: The wise man, for he wolde not that men schulde dispeire in temptacion, in
comfort of hem he seith thus: In tribulacion, ne in temptacioun oure Lord forsaketh not
a man, but He goth with him fro the bigynnynge to the laste ende, for He seith, first He
cheseth him, and that is whanne He draweth a man to him bi confort of devocion; and
aftirward sorwe and drede and assaiynge He bringeth upon him, and that is whanne He
withdraweth devocion and suffreth him to be temptid. Also He seith He tormenteth him
in tribulacion, until He hath assaied hym wel in his thoughtis, and til a man wole putte al
his trust fulli in Him. And thanne aftir this oure Lord bringeth hym oute to the right wai
and festeneth him to Hym, and gladith hym, and sithen scheweth him His pryvetees,
and geveth him His tresour of knowynge and undirstondinge and rightwisenesse.
   Bi thise wordes of Holi Writ mai thou see that thise temptacions, or ony othere, be thei
nevere so uggli to a man that bi grace is in ful wille to forsake synne, aren spedful and
profitable, yif he wole suffre as he mai and abide Goddis wille, and not turne agen to
synnes which he hath forsake for no sorwe ne peyne ne drede of siche temptacioun,
but ai stondeth stille in travaile, and in praiere. Oure Lord of His endelees godenesse,
havynge pité and merci of alle His creatures, whanne He seeth tyme He leith to His
hond, and smyteth doun the devel and al his power; and eseth hem of here travaile, and
putteth awei dredis and sorwes and merkenesse oute of here hertes and bringeth into
hire soules light of grace, and openeth the sight of here soule, gyvynge hem a newe
goostli myght to agenstonde al the fondynges of the fende and alle deedli synnes withoutin
gret travaile, and ledeth hem into saddenesse of good vertues lyvynge. In the which, yif
thei be meke, He kepeth hem to here laste ende, and thanne taketh He hem al hooli to
Hym. This thyng y seie to thee, yif thou be taried or traveiled with ony siche manere of
temptacions, be not to mykil adred, but doo as I have seide, and betere yif thou may;
and y hope bi the grace of Jhesu Crist thou schal never be overcome with thyn enemy.
 
 
Chapter Forty
 
That a man schulde not geve him to idelnesse ne lightli leve the grace that were gyven
to him of God.
 
Aftir this, whanne thou hast ascapid siche temptacions, or ellis oure Lord hath so kepid
thee, as He hath doon many of His merci, that thou hast not ben mykil taried with non
siche, thanne it is good to thee that thou turne not thi reste into idelnesse; for there is many
man that taketh reste upon Him to sone. But thou schalt, yif thou wolt, bigynne a newe
travaile, and that is for to entre into thyn owen soule bi meditacion, for to knowe what it is,
and bi the knowynge therof for to come to the goostli knowynge of God. For as Seynt
Austyn seith: "Bi the knowynge of mysilf, I schalle gete the knowing of God." I seie not
that it is nedeful to thee and dette for to travaile so, ne to noon othir man, but yif he fele him
stired bi grace and as it were callid therto. For oure Lord gyveth sundri giftes whereso He
wole, not oon man al, ne alle men oon, outaken charité whiche is comyn to alle. And
therfore, yif a man or a woman have receyved a gifte of oure Lord, as devocion in praier or
in the passion of Crist, or ony othir be it nevere so litil, leve it not to soone for noon othir,
but yif he felid sothfastli a betere, whanne God wole give it. Neverthelees aftirward yif hit
be withdrawen sumwhat, and he see a betere and felith his hert stired therto, thanne semeth
it a callynge of oure Lord to the betere, and thanne is tyme for to folwe aftir for to gete it.
 
 
Chapter Forty-one
 
That a man schulde knowe the mesure of his gifte, and evere desire more, and take a
betere, whanne God wole gyve it.
 
Oure holi fadres heere bifore kenned us that we schulde knowe the mesure of oure
gifte, and up that werk, not takynge upon us bi feynynge more thanne we han in
felynge. We moun ai desire the beste, but we moun not ay werke the beste, for we han
not yit receyved the grace. An hound that renneth aftir the hare oonli for he seeth othir
houndes renne, whanne he is weri he resteth him and turneth hym agen. But yif he
renne for he seeth the hare, he wole not spare for werynesse til he have geten it. Right
so it is gosteli. Whoso hath a grace, be it never so litil, yif he leve wilfulli the werkynge
of it, and make himsilf for to traveile in anothir whiche he hath not yit, oonli for he seeth
or heereth that othere men doo soo, sothli he may renne a while til he be weri, and
thanne schal he turne him agen, and but yif he be waar, he mai hurte his feet bi sum
fantasies, or thanne he come hoom. But he that worcheth in siche grace as he hath, and
desireth mekeli and lastandli aftir more, and aftir felith his herte stired for to folwe the
grace whiche he hath desired, he mai sikirli renne, yif he kepe mekenesse. And therfore
desire of God as mykil as thou mai, withoutyn mesure or discrecioun, of alle that
longith to His love, and to the blisse of hevene; for woso can best desire of God, most
schal fele of Hym. But worche as thu mai, and crie God merci for that that thou mai not.
Thus it semeth Seynt Poule seide: Unusquisque habet donum suum a deo, alius autem
sic, alius vero sic (1 Corinthians 7:7). Item: unicuique nostrum data est gracia secun-
dum mensuram donacionis Christi (Ephesians 4:7). Item: divisiones graciarum sunt,
alii datur sermo sapiencie; alii sermo sciencie (1 Corinthians 12:4, 8). Item: ut sciamus
que a deo donata sunt nobis (1 Corinthians 2:12). Seynt Poul seith that everi man hath
his gift of God, oon thus, and anothir thus. For to everi man that schal be saaf is geven
grace aftir the mesure of Cristis gifte, and therfore it is spedful that we knowe the giftis
whiche are gyven us of God, that we myght worche in hem, for bi hem we schullen ben
saaf; as summe bi bodili werkes and bi dedes of merci, summe bi grete penaunce, summe
bi sorwes and wepyngis for here synnes al here liyftyme, sum bi prechynge and techynge,
sum bi divers graces and giftes of devocioun schullen ben saaf and comen to blisse.
 
 
Chapter Forty-two
 
That a man schulde travaile for to knowe his owen soule and the myghtes of it, and
breke doun the ground of synne therinne.
 
Neverthelees, there is oon werke whiche is nedful and spedful for to traveile inne. And
that is a man for to entre into himsilf, for to knowe his owen soule and the myghtes
therof, the fairenesse and the foulenesse therof. In this inward biholdinge thou schalt
mow see the worschipe and the dignité whiche it hadde bi kynde of the firste makynge,
and thou schalt see also the wrecchidnesse and the myschief of synne whiche thou art
fallen in. And of this sight schal come grete desire with longynge in thyn herte for to
receyve agen that clennesse and that worschipe whiche thou hast lost. Also thou schalt
fele a lothynge and a grisynge of thisilf, with a grete wil for to distroie and bere doun
thisilf and al that synne that letteth thee fro that dignité and fro that clennesse. This is a
goostli travaile hard and scharp in bigynnynge, whoso wole quykli travayle thereinne,
for it is a traveile in the soule agens the ground of al synnes litil or mykil, which ground
is not ellis but a fals mysrulid love of a man to himsilf. Oute of this love, as Seynt
Austen seith, spryngeth alle manere of synne deedli and venial; and sothli until this
ground be wel ransakid and depe dolven, and as it were up dried bi outecastynge of alle
worldli and fleischli loves, a soule mai nevere fele goostli the brennande love of oure
Lord Jhesu Crist, ne have hoomlinesse of His gracious presence, ne cleer sightis of
goostli thinges bi light of undirstondynge. This is the travaile that a man bihooveth
drawe out his herte from the fleischli love of alle ertheli creatures and from veyn love of
himsilf, that his soule schulde no reste fynde in noo fleischli thought, ne in eertheli
affeccion. And yif he doo thus, thanne in as mykil as the soule mai not fynde redili his
goostli reste in the love and in the hoomli presence and in the sight of Jhesu, it schal
nedynge fele peyne. This travaile is sumdel streit and narwgh, and neverthelees it is a
wai whiche Crist techid to hem that wolden ben His perfight folweres in the Gospel,
seiande thus: Contendite intrare per angustam portam; quoniam arta est via que ducit
ad vitam, et pauci inveniunt eam (Luke 13:24; Matthew 7:13-14). Stryve ye for to
entre bi this streite gate, for the wai that ledeth to hevene is narw, and fewe men fynden
it. And hou streite this wei is, oure Lord tellith in another place thus: Si quis vult post me
venire, abneget semetipsum, et tollat crucem suam, et sequatur me (Matthew 16:24).
Item: qui odit animam suam in hoc mundo, in vitam eternam custodit eam (John 12:25).
That is for to seie: Whoso wole come aftir Me, forsake hymsilf and hate his owen soule.
That is for to seie: Forsake alle fleischli love and hate his owen fleschli lif and the likynge
of alle his fleischli wittis for the love of Me; and take the Cros, that is to seie suffre the
peyne of this for awhile, and thanne folwe, that is to seie in contemplacioun of My
manhede and of My Godhede. This is a streit weie and narwe, for it is a sleynge of alle
synnes, as Seynt Poul seith: Mortificate membra vestra, que sunt super terram, im-
mundiciam, libidinem, concupiscenciam malam (Colossians 3:5). Slee youre membris
upoun erthe - not youre membris of bodi, but the membris of thi soule, as unclenne
lust and unskilful love to youresilf and to erthili thinges. Therfore as thi travaile hath ben
here bifore for to agenstonde grete bodili synnes and open temptaciouns of the enemye
as hit were fro withoutin, right soo thee bihoveth now in this gostli werk withinne thisilf,
bigynnynge for to distroie and breke doun the ground of synne in thisilf, as mykil as thou
mai. And that thou myghtest redili bringe it aboute, I schal telle thee as me thenketh.
 
 
Chapter Forty-three
 
Hou a man schal knowe the worthinesse and the worschipe of his soule that it oweth to
have bi kynde, and the wrecchidnesse and myschief that it is fallen in thorw synne.
 
The soule of a man is a liyf, made of thre myghtes - mynde, resoun, and wille - to the
ymage and the likenes of the blissid holi Trinité, hooli perfight and rightwise. In as
myche as the mynde was maad myghti and stidefaste bi the Fadir almyghti, for to holde
Hym withoughte forgetynge, distractynge, or lettynge of ony creature, and so it hath
the likenes of the Fader. The resoun was maad cleer and bright withouten errour or
derkenesse, as perfightli as a soule in a bodi unglorifiede myght have; and so it hath the
likenes of the Sone, whiche is endelees wisdom. And the love and the wille was maad
clene, brenynge into God withouten beestly lust of the fleisch or of ony creature, bi
sovereyne goodnesse of God; and so it hath the likenes of the Hooli Goost, the whiche
is blissid love. So that a mannys soule, whiche mai be callid a maad trinyté, was fulfillid
in mynde, sight, and love, of the unmaad blissed Trinité, whiche is oure Lord. This is
the dignité, the state and the worschipe of a mannys soule, bi kynde of the firste makynge.
This staat haddest thou in Adam bifore the first synne of man; but whanne Adam
synnede, chosynge love and delite in himsilf and in creaturis, he loste al this worschipe
and his dygnyté and thou also lostest it in hym and felle from that blissid Trinité into a
foule merk wrecchid trinité, that is into forgetynge of God and unknowynge of him,
and into beestli likynge of thisilf, and that skilefulli, for as David seith in the sautier:
Homo, cum in honore esset, non intellexit; comparatus est iumentis, et similis factus est
illis
(Psalms 48:21). A man whanne he was in worschipe, he knewe it not, and therfore
he loste it and was maad like to a beest. See now thanne the wrecchidnesse of thi soule,
for as thi mynde was sum tyme stable in God, right so now it hath forgeten Hym, and
seketh his reste in creatures now froo oon to another, and never may fynde ful reste,
for he hath lost Him in whoom is ful reste. And right so it is of the resoun and of the
love also, whiche was clene in goostli savoure and suettenesse; now it is turned into
foule beestli lust and likynge into thisilf and into creatures and in fleischli savoures,
bothe in the wittes, as in glotonye and leccherie, and in the ymagynynge, as in pride,
veynglorie and covetise - in so mykil that thou mai unnethes doo ony good dede but
yif thou be defouled by veynglorie, ne thou may not wel use noon of thi five wittes
cleenli in noon creature delitable but yif thyn herte be take and gleymed with veyn lust
and likynge of it, whiche putteth oute the love of God from the herte, as in felynge and
the goosteli savour, that it may not come therinne. Everiche man that lyveth in spirite
knoweth wel al this. This is the wrecchidnesse of thi soule and the myschief for the
firste synne of man, withouten al othir wrecchidnesse and synnes whiche thou hast put
therto wilfulli. And wite thou wel, though thou hadde nevere doo synne with thi bodi
deedli ne venyal, but onli this that is callid origynal - for it is the first synne, and that is
not ellis but the loesynge of thi rightwisenesse whiche thou were maad inne - yit
schuldest thou nevere have ben saaf yif oure Lord Jhesu Criste bi His precious passioun
hadde not delyvered thee and restored thee agen.
 
 
Chapter Forty-four
 
Hou everi man mai be saved bi the passioun of Crist, be he never so wrecchid, yif he
aske it.
 
And therfore yif thou thenke that y have heere bifore spoken over highe to thee, for thou
mai not take it ne fulfille it as y have seid or schal seie, I wole fal doun to thee as lowe
as thou wolt, as wel for my profight as for thyn. And than I seie thus, that be thou
nevere so mykil a wrecche, have thou doon never so mykil synne, forsake thisilf and al
thi werkes goode and badde, crie merci and aske oonli savacioun bi the vertu of His
precious passion mekeli and trustili, and withoute doute thou schalt have it. And for this
origynal synne and all othere that thou hast doon, thou schalt be saaf, as ankir incluse;
and not oonli thou, but alle Cristene soulis whiche trusten upoun His passioun and
meken hemself, knowelechynge her wrecchidnesse, askynge merci and forgyvenesse,
by the fruit of His precious passioun oonli, lowynge hemsilf to the sacramentis of Holi
Chirche. Though it be so that thei han ben encombrid with synne al here liyftyme and
nevere hadden felynge of goostli savour or swetenesse or gostli knowynge of God, thei
schullen in this feith and in here good wille, bi vertue of this precious passioun of oure
Lord Jhesu Crist, be saf and come to the blisse of hevene. Al this knowist thou wel, but
yit me liketh for to seie it. See here the endelees merci of oure Lord, how lowe He falleth
to thee and to me and to alle synful caityves. Aske merci and have it. Thus seide the
prophete in the persone of oure Lord: Omnis enim quicunque invocaverit nomen do-
mini, salvus erit (Joel 2:32). Everi man, whatevere he be, calle the name of Jhesu, that
is to seie aske savacion bi Jhesu and bi His passioun, he schal be saaf. This curtesie of
oure Lord summe men taken wel, and ben savyd therbi, and summe in truste of merci
and of this curtesie liyn stille in here synne, and wenen for to have it whanne hem list.
And thanne mowe thei not, for thei aren taken or thei witen, and so thei dampnen
hemself.
   But than seist thou: "Yif this be sooth, thanne wondre y greteli for that y fynde writen
in summe hooli mennys sawes. Sume seyn, as I undirstonde, that he that cannot love
this blissid name Jhesu, ne fynde ne fele in it goostli joie and delitableté with wondirful
swettenesse in this lif here, fro the sovereyn joie and goostli swettenesse in the blisse of
hevene he schal be aliene, and nevere schal he come therto. Sotheli thise wordes, whanne
I hem rede, stoneth me and maketh me greteli aferd; for y hope, as thou seist, that many
bi the merci of oure Lord schullen ben saaf bi kepynge of Hise comaundementis and by
veri repentaunce for here yvel lif bifore doon, the whiche felid nevere goostli swetenesse
ne inly savoure in the name of Jhesu or in the love of Jhesu. And forthi I mervaile me
the more that thei seie contrarie hereto, as it semeth."
   As unto this y mai seie as me thenketh, that there seiynge, yif it be wel undirstonde,
is sooth, ne hit is not contrarie to that that y have seid. For this name Jhesu is not ellis
for to seie upon Ynglisch but heelere or hele. Now every man that lyveth in this wrecchid
lif is goostli sike, for there is no man that lyveth withoutin synne, the whiche is goostli
sikenesse, as Seynt Johun seith of hymsilf and othere perfight men thus: Si dixerimus
quia peccatum non habemus, ipsi nos seducimus, et veritas in nobis non est (1 John
1:8). Yif we seyn that we have noo synne, we bigile ouresilf and there is noo soothfastnes
in us. And forthi he mai nevere fele ne come to the joie of hevene unto he be first maad
hool of this goostli sikenesse. But this gostli heele mai noo man have that hath use of
resoun but yif he desire it and love it and have delite thereinne, in as michel as he hopith
for to gete it. Now the name of Jhesu is nothyng ellis but this goostli hele; wherfore it
is sooth that thei seyn, that ther mai no man be saaf but yif he love and like in the name
of Jhesu, for there mai no man be goostli hool but yif he love and desire goosteli heele.
For right as yif a man were bodili sike, there were noon ertheli thynge so dere ne so
nedeful to hym, ne so mykil schulde be desired of him as bodili heele, for though thou
woldest geve hym alle the rychessis and worschipis of this world and nought make
hym hool, yif thou myghtest, thou plesist hym not. Right soo it is to a man that is sike
goostli and felith the peyne of goostli sikenesse. Nothinge is so dere, ne so nedeful, ne
so mykil coveited of hym, as is goostli heele; and that is Jhesu, withouten which alle the
joies of hevene mai not like hym.
   And this is the skile, as I hope, whi oure Lord whanne He took mankynde for oure
savacion, He nolde not be callid bi noon name that bitokenyd His endelees beynge, or
His myght, or His wisdom, or His rightwisenesse, but oonli bi that that bitokened the
cause of His comynge and was savacion of mannys soule, which savacion was most
dere and most nedeful to man. And this savacion bitokeneth this name Jhesu. Thanne bi
this it semeth sooth that there schal no man be saaf, but yif he love Jhesu; for there may
no man be saaf but yif he love savacion oonli, for to have it thorugh that blissid persone
Jhesu bi the mekenesse of His manhede and by the merite of His passioun, whiche love
he may have that lyveth and dieth in the lowest degré of charité. Also y mai seie, on
anothir manere, that he that cannot love this blissid name Jhesu with goostli mirthe, ne
enjoie in it with heveneli melodie here, he schal nevere have ne fele in hevene that fulhed
of sovereyne joie the whiche he that myght in this liyf bi habundaunce of perfight
charité enjoie in Jhesu schal fele and have, and so mai here seiynge ben undirstande.
   Neverthelees he schal be saaf and have ful mede in the sight of God, yif he in this liyf
be in the lowest degré of charité bi kepinge of Goddis comaundementis; for oure Lord
seith Hymsilf thus: In domo patris mei multe mansiones sunt (John 14:2). In My Fadris
hous aren many sere dwellynges. Summe are for parfite soules, the which in this liyf
were fulfilled of grace of the Holi Gost and songen loovynge to God in contemplacion
of Hym, with wondirful swettenesse and heveneli savour. Thise soules, for thei hadden
moost charité, schullen have highest mede in the blisse of hevene, for thise are callid
Goddis derlyngges. Othere soulis that are not disposid to contemplacion of God, ne
hadden not the fulhed of charité as aposteles or martyres hadden in the bigynnynge of
Hooli Chirche, schullen have the lower meede in the blisse of hevene, for thise are callid
Goddis frendes. Thus calleth oure Lord in Holi Writ chosen soules, seiynge thus: Comedite,
amici, et inebriamini, carissimi (Canticle 5:1). Mi freendes, ete yee, and my derlynges,
be yee dronken. As yif oure Lord seid thus: Yee that aren My frendes, for yee kepid My
comaundementis and sette My love bifore the love of the world, and loved Me more
thanne ony erthli thyng, yee schullen be feed with goostli foode of the breed of liyf. But
ye that aren My derlynges, that not oonli keped My comaundementis, but also of youre
owen fre wil fulfilleden My conceils, and over that ye loveden Me oonli and entierli with
alle the myghtis of youre soule, and brenneden in My love with goostli delite, as diden
principali the aposteles and martires and alle othere soules that myghten bi grace come
to the gifte of perfeccioun: yee schullen be maad dronken with the highest and freschest
wyn in My celere, that is, the sovereyne joie of love in the blisse of hevene.
 
 
Chapter Forty-five
 
That a man schulde be besi for to recovere agen his worthynesse, and reforme in him
the ymage of the Trinité.
 
Neverethelees though this be sooth of the endelees merci of God unto thee and to me
and al mankynde, we schullen not therfore in trust of this be the more rekles wilfulli in
oure lyvynge, but more bisi unto plese Hym, nameli now, syn we aren restorid agen in
hope bi this passioun of oure Lord to the dignité and to the blisse whiche we hadden
lorn by Adammys synne. And though we myghten nevere geete it here fulli, yit we
schulde desire that we myght recovere here lyvand a figure and a likenesse of that
dignité, that oure soule myght be reformed, as it were in a schadewe, bi grace to the
ymage of the Trinité, whiche we hadden bi kynde and aftir schullen have fulli in blisse.
For that is the lif that is veri contemplatif, unto bigynne here in that felynge of love and
goosteli knowynge of God bi openyng of the goostli iye, whiche schal nevere be loste
ne bi taken awey, but the same schal be fulfilled othirwise in the blisse of hevene.
   This bihight oure Lord to Marie Mawdeleyn, whiche was contemplatif, and He seide
thus of here: Maria optimam partem elegit, que non auferetur ab ea (Luke 10:42), that
Marie hadde chosen the beste partie, that is the love of God in contemplacion, for it
schal nevere be taken awey fro hire. I seie not that thou mai here lyvande recovere so
hool ne so parfight clennesse, as innocence, knowynge and lovynge, as thou haddest
first, ne as thou schalt have; ne thou may not eschape alle the wrecchidnessis ne the
peynes of synne, ne thou lyvande in dedli fleisch may distroie and quenche al hooli the
veyn fals love of thisilf, ne flee alle venial synnes, that thei ne wole - but yif thei ben
stopped bi grete fervour of charité - alwey spryngyn oute of thyn herte, as watir
renneth oute from a stynkinge welle. But I wolde yif thou myght not fulli quenche hit,
that thou myghtest sumwhat sleke it and come to that clennesse as nygh as thou mai.
For oure Lord bihighte the children of Israel whanne He ledde hem into the lond of
biheste, and in figure of hem to alle Cristene men thus: Omne quod calcaverit pes tuus
tuum erit (Deuteronomy 11:24). That is for to seie, as mykil as thou may trede upon
with thi foot of verrey desire here, so mykil schalt thou have in the lond of biheste, that
is in the blisse of hevene whanne thou comest thider.
 
 
Chapter Forty-six
 
Hou Jhesu schal be sought, desired, and founden.
 
Seke thanne that thou hast lost, that thou myght fynde it. Wel y woot, whoso myght
oones have an inward sight a litil of that dignité and that goosteli fairenesse whiche a
soule hadde bi kynde of the firste makynge and schal have bi grace, he schulde lothe
and dispice in his herte alle the blisse, the likynge, and the fairnesse of al this world as
stynk of carioun; and he schulde nevere have wil to doo othir dede nyght ne dai -
savynge the freelté and the bare nede of the bodili kynde - but desire, morne, prai, and
seke hou he myght come agen therto. Neverthelees, in as moche as thou hast not yit
fulli seen what it is, for thi goostli yye is not yit openyd, I schal telle oon word for alle
whiche thou schalt seke, desire, and fynde, for in that word is al that thou hast loste.
This word is Jhesu. I mene not oonli this word Jhesu peynted upon the wal, or writen
bi letres on the book, or fourmed bi lippes in soun of the mouthe, or feyned in the herte
bi traveil of mynde; for on this maner wise may a man oute of charité fynde Hym. But
I mene Jhesu Crist, that blissid persoone, God and man, son of Marie, that glorious
virgyne, that is al goodnesse, endelees wisdom, love, and swettenesse, thi joie, thi
worschipe, and thyn ai lastynge blisse, thi God, thi Lord, and thy savacioun.
  Thanne yif it be so that thou felist grete desire in thyn herte to love and to plese Jhesu,
either bi the mynde of this name Jhesu, or bi mynde or seynge of ony othir word, or
praier, or in ony dede that thou doost, whiche desire is so mykil that hit putteth ought as
it were bi strengthe alle othere thoughtes and desires of the world and of the fleisch,
that thei moun not reste in thyn herte, thanne sekest thou wel Jhesu. And whanne thou
felist this desire to God, to Jhesu Crist (al is oon) hoolpen and comfortid bi gostli myght
thorugh light of Goddis grace so mykil that it is turnyd into love and into affeccioun,
gosteli savour, and swettenesse, into light and knowynge, into soothfastnesse - so
mykil that for the tyme the poynt of thi thought is sette upoun noon ertheli thynge, ne
felith no stirynge of veynglorie, ne non othir yvel affeccioun (for thei moun not appere
that tyme), but oonli is enclosid, rested, softed, anoynted, and comfortid thorugh gra-
cious presence of oure Lord Jhesu Crist, thanne hast thou founden sumwhat of Jhesu.
Not yit Hym fulli as he is, but a schadewe of Hym; for the betere that thou fyndest
Hym, the more schalt thou desire Hym. Thanne bi what maner of praier or meditacioun
or occupacion that thou mai have grettest desire to Hym, and have most felynge of
Hym, bi that occupacion thou sekest Hym best and best fyndest Hym. Therfore yif it
come to thy mynde as it were askand what hast thou lost and what sekest thou, lift up
the mynde and the desire of thyn herte to thi Lord Jhesu Crist, that blissid maidenys
sone, though thou be blynd and not mai see of His Godhede, and seie Hym hast thu lost,
and Hym wolde thou have, and nothynge but Hym, noon othir joie, blisse in hevene ne
in erthe, but Hym, to be with Hym wharso He is, and to see Hym and love Hym. And
though it be so that thou fele a litil His goostli presence in devocion or in knowynge, or
in ony othir gifte what it be, reste not therinne as though thou haddest fulli founden
Jhesu and wolt no more seken aftir Hym, but ai be desirande aftir Jhesu more and more
for to fynde Hym betere, as thou hadde right nought. For wite thou wel, what that thou
felist of Hym, be it nevere so mykil, yhe, though thou were raveschid into the thridde
hevene with Poule, yit haste thou not fulli founden Jhesu as He is in His joie. Knowe
thou or fele thou never so mykil of Hym here in this liyf, He is yit above it. And therfore
yif thou wolt fulli fynde Hym as He is in the blisse, cese nevere while thou lyvest of
praiers and of goostli desyrynge.
 
 
Chapter Forty-seven
 
What profite is to have the desire of Jhesu.
 
Sotheli y hadde lever feele and have a sothfast desire and a clene love longynge in myn
herte to my Lord Jhesu, though y myghte not seen of His Godhede with my goostli iye,
thanne for to have withoutin this desire alle bodili penaunce of alle men lyvynge, alle
visiouns or revelacions of angels apperynge, songes and sownes, savours or smelles,
brennynges and ony likynges, bodili felande, and schortli for to seie, alle the joies of
hevene and of erthe whiche y myght have withouten this desire to my Lord Jhesu.
David the prophete felid as y seie, as I undirstonde, whanne he seide thus: Quid enim
michi est in celo, et a te quid volui super terram? (Psalms 72:25). Lord, what thynge is
to me in hevene, or what wolde y, withouten Thee above the erthe? As yif he seide thus:
Lord Jhesu, what heveneli joie is likynge to me, withouten desire of Thee whiles y am in
erthe, or withouten love of Thee whanne I come to hevene? As who seith, right noon.
Thanne yif thou woldest fele onythynge of Hym bodili or goostli, coveite not but for to
fele soothfasteli in thyn herte a desire of His grace and of His merciful presence that
thee thenketh that thyn herte mai fynde noon othir reste in nothynge but in Hym. Thus
coveitide David whanne he seide thus: Concupivit anima mea desiderare iustificaciones
tuas in omni tempore (Psalms 118:20). Lord, my soule coveitide the desire of Thi
rightwisenesse in every tyme. Seke thanne, as David dide, desire bi desire; and yif thou
mai fele bi thi desire in thi praieres and in thy meditacions the homli and the merciful
presence of thi Lord Jhesu Crist in thi mynde, bynde thyn herte feste therto, that thou
falle not from Hym, and yif thou stumble, that thou myght fynde Hym soone agen. Seke
thanne Jhesu, whom thou haste loste, as He sought thee. He wole be sought and He mai
sumdel be founde, for He seith hymsilf: Omnis qui querit, invenit (Matthew 7:8). Every
man that seketh schal fynde. The sekynge is traveilous, but the fyndynge is blisful. Doo
therfore aftir the conceile of the wise man, yif thou wilt fynde Hym: Si quisieris quasi
pecuniam sapienciam, sicut thesaurum effoderis illam; tunc intelliges timorem domini,
et scienciam invenies
(Proverbs 2:4-5). Yif thou seke wisdoom (which is Jhesu) as
silver and gold, and delf deepe therafter, thou schalt fynde it. Thee bihoveth for to delve
deepe in thyn herte, for thereinne He is hid, and cast ought clenli alle loves and likynges,
sorwis and dreedis of alle ertheli thynges; and so schalt thou fynde wisdom, Jhesu.
 
 
Chapter Forty-eight
 
Where and wherewith Jhesu schal be sought and founden.
 
Be thou like thanne to the woman of the Gospel, of the whiche oure Lord seith thus:
Que mulier habens dragmas decem, et si perdiderit unam, nonne accendit lucernam, et
evertit domum suam et querit diligenter, donec invenerit illam? Et cum invenerit, convocat
amicas suas, dicens, congratulamini michi, quia inveni dragmam, quam perdideram

(Luke 15:8-9). What woman is that whiche hath lost a dragme, that sche ne wole
lightne a lanterne and caste hir hous upsodoun and seke it til sche fynde it? As who
seith, noon. And whanne sche hath founden hit sche calleth hire frendis to hire, and
seith to hem thus: "Makith mirthe with me and melodie, for I have founden the dragme
that I had lost." This dragme is Jhesu, whiche thou hast lost; yif thou wilt fynde Hym,
light up a lanterne, whiche is Goddis word, as David seith: Lucerna pedibus meis ver-
bum tuum (Psalms 118:105). Lord, Thi word to my feet is a lanterne. Bi this lanterne
schalt thou see where He is, and hou thou schalt fynde Hym; and yif thu wilt, thou mai
with this light opyn anothir lanterne, that is the resoun of thi soule, for oure Lord seith:
Lucerna corporis tui est oculus tuus (Matthew 6:22). The lanterne of thi bodi is thi bodili
iye. Right so it mai be seid that the lanterne of thi soule is resoun, bi the whiche the soule
mai see alle gosteli thinges. Bi this lanterne mai thou fynde Jhesu, and that is soth yif
thou holde the lanterne up fro undirnethe the busschel, as oure Lord seith: Nemo accendit
lucernam et ponit eam sub modio, sed super candelabrum (Matthew 5:15). There is no
man that lighteth a lanterne for to sette it undir a busschel, but upon a candelstike; that
is to seie, thi reson schal not be overleid with worldli bisinesse, ne veyn thoughtes and
fleisschli affecciones, but ai upward above alle ertheli thynges, as mykil as thou may
into biholdynge of Jhesu Crist; and yif thou doo soo, thou schalt thanne see bi Hym (for
He is light) alle the mulle and the filthe and smale motes in thy hous, that is to seie, alle
flesschli loves and dredis in thi soule. Not al, as David seith: Delicta quis intelligit?
(Psalms 18:13). Who mai knowe alle his trespaces? As who seith, no man. And thou
schalt cast oute of thyn herte alle siche synnes, and swepe thi soule clene with the
besome of the drede of God, and with watir of thyn iyen wassch it; and so schalt thou
fynde thi dragme Jhesu. He is dragme, He is peny, and He is thyn heritage. This dragme
wole not be founde so lightli as it mai be seid; for this werk is not of oon houre, ne of
oon dai, but many daies and yeeris with mykil swete and swynke of the bodi and traveile
of the soule. And yif thou cesist not, but sekest bisili, sorwe and seke depe, morne stille,
and stoupe lowe til thyn iyen wateren for anguysche and for peyne for thou hast loste
thi tresoure Jhesu; and at the laste, whanne that He wole, wel schalt thou fynde thi
dragme Jhesu. And yif thou fynde as I have seide, that is, yif thou may in cleernesse and
clennesse of conscience fele the hoomli and the peesful presence of Jhesu Crist mercifulli
schewande Hym to the face of thi soule as a schadewe or a glymerynge, thou mai, yif
thou wolt, calle thi frendes to thee for to make mirthe with thee, for thou hast founden
thi dragme Jhesu.
 
 
Chapter Forty-nine
 
Where Jhesu is loste and founden thorugh His mercy.
 
Se now thanne the curtesie of Jhesu and the merci of Hym. Thou haste loste Hym, but
where? Soothli in thyn hous, that is in thi soule. Yif thou haddest lost Hym oughte of
thyn hous, that is to seie, yif thou haddest lost al the resoun of thy soule bi thi first
synne, thi soule schulde nevere have founden Him agen; but He lefte to thee thi resoun,
and so He is in thi soule and nevere schal be lost oute of hit. Neverthelees, thou art
nevere the neer to Hym til thou have founden Him. He is in thee, though He be lost fro
thee; but thou art not in Hym til thou have founden Hym. Thanne was this His merci,
that He wold suffre Hym be loste onli where He mai be founden. It nedeth not to renne
to Rome ne to Jerusalem for to seke Hym there, but turne thi thought into thyn owen
soule, where He is hid - as the prophete seith, Vere tu es deus absconditus (Isaiah
45:15), Soothli Lord, thou art an hid God - and seke Hym there. Thus seith Hymsilf in
the Gospel: Simile est regnum celorum thesauro abscondito in agro; quem qui invenit
homo, pre gaudio illius vadit, et vendit universa que habet, et emit agrum illum (Mat-
thew 13:44). The kyngedom of hevene is like to tresoure hid in a feld, whiche, whanne
a man fyndeth, for joie of it he goth and selleth al that he hath, and bieth that ilke feeld.
Jhesu is tresoure hid in thi soule; thanne yif yow fynde myght Hym in thi soule, and thi
soule in Him, I am siker for joie of it thou woldest gyve alle the likynges of alle ertheli
thinges for to have it. Jhesu slepeth in thyn herte gosteli, as He dide sumtyme whanne
He was in the schip with Hese disciplis, but thei for drede of perisschynge wakeden
Hym, and as tite He savyd hem from tempest. Doo thou so stire Him bi praiere and
waken Hym with criynge of desire, and He schal ryse sone and helpe thee.
 
 
Chapter Fifty
 
What letteth a man to heere and see Jhesu withinne hymsilf.
 
Neverthelees, I hope betere that thou slepist to Hym and not He to thee; for He calleth
thee wel ofte with His swete prevy vois and stireth thyn herte wel stilli, that thou
schuldest leve alle othere jangelynge of vanitees in thi soule and oonli take keep to Him
for to heere Him speke. Thus seith David of oure Lord: Audi, filia, et vide, et inclina
aurem tuam, et obliviscere populum tuum, et domum patris tui (Psalms 44:11). Mi
doughter, heere and see and bowe thyn ere to me, and forgete the folk of thy worldeli
thoughtes and the hous of thi fleischli and kyndeli affeccions. Loo, here mai thou see
how oure Lord calleth thee and alle othere whiche wolen herkene to Hym. What letteth
thee thanne, that thou mai neither see Hym ne heere Him? Sotheli there is mykil dene
and criynge in thyn herte of veyn thoughtes and fleischli desires, that thou mai neither
heere Hym ne see Him; and therfore put awey unrestful dene and breke the love of
synne and of vanité, and bringe into thyne herte love of vertues and ful charité, and
thanne schalt thou here thi Lord speke unto thee. For as longe as He fyndeth not His
ymage reformed in thee, He is straunge and fer fro thee.
 
 
Chapter Fifty-one
 
That mekenesse and charité are the special lyveré of Jhesu, thorugh the whiche mannys
soule is reformed to the liknes of Him.
 
Forthi schape thee for to be araied in His likenes, that is in mekenesse and charité,
whiche is His lyveré, and thanne wole He hoomli knowe thee and schewe to thee His
privytee. Thus seide Himsilf to His disciplis: Qui diligit me, diligetur a patre meo, et
manifestabo ei meipsum (John 14:21). Whoso loveth Me, schal be loved of My Fadir,
and I schal schewe Mysilf unto Him. There is no vertu ne werk that thou mai doo mai
make thee like to oure Lord, withouten mekenesse and charitee; for thise aren special
Goddis lyveré. And that semeth wel in the Gospel, where oure Lord speketh of mekenesse
thus: Discite a me, quia mitis sum et humilis corde (Matthew 11:29). Lereth of Me, He
seith, not for to goo baarfoot ne for to goo into desert and faste fourti daies, ne for to
cheese yow disciplis, but lerith of Me mekenesse, for I am mylde and meke of herte.
Also of charitee He seith thus: Hoc est preceptum meum: ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi
vos. Item: in hoc cognoscent homines quia discipuli mei estis, si dileccionem habueritis
ad invicem
(John 13:34-35). This is My biddynge, that yee love you togedere, as I have
loved you; for in that schal men knowe yow for My disciples. Not for ye worchen
miraclis or casten out develis, or prechen or techen, but yif eche of you love other in
charité. That charité is that thou coudest als wel love thyn even Cristene as thisilf.
 
 
Chapter Fifty-two
 
Hou a man schal see the groound of synne in hymsilf.
 
Now hast thow herd a litil what thi soule is, and what worschipe it hadde, and how he
loste it; and also y have told thee that this worschipe myght bi grace and bisi travaile
sumwhat be recovered agen in partie of felynge. Now schal I telle thee febli as y can
hou thou schalt mow entre into thisilf, for to se the ground of synne and for to distroie
it as mykil as thou may, and so schalt thou mowe recovere a partie of thi dignité. Thou
schalt cese for a tyme from alle bodili werkes, from al outeward besinesse as thou mai
wel. Thanne schalt thou drawe into thisilf thi thought from thi bodili wittes, that thou
take noo kepe what thou heerest or seest or felist, so that the poynt of thyn herte be not
ficchid in hem. Aftir this drawe inner thi thought from al ymaginynge, yif thou mai, of
ony bodili thyng, and from alle thoughtis of thi bodili dedis bifore doon, or of othere
mennys dedis. This is a litil maistrie for to doo whanne thou hast devocioun; but thou
schalt doo thus as I seie whanne thou hast no devocioun, for thanne is it mykil the
hardere. And sette thyn entent and thi purpoos as thou woldest not seke, ne fele, ne
finde, but upon thi lord Jhesu oonly, the grace and the presence, the techynge and the
comfort of thi Lord Jhesu Crist. This is traveilous, for veyn thoughtis wolen alwei
presen to thyn herte thikke, for to drawe thi thought doun to hem. But thou schalt with
stable mynde of Jhesu Crist with besinesse in praieres agenstonde hem, and yif thou
doo thus, thou schalt fynde sumwhat - not Jhesu whom thou sekest. What thanne?
Sotheli, right nought but a merk ymage and a peynful of thyn owen soule, whiche hath
neither light of knowynge ne felynge of love ne likynge. This ymage yif thou biholde it
wittirly, is al bilappid with blake stynkande clothis of synne, as pride, envie, ire, accidie,
glotonye, and leccherie.
 
 
Chapter Fifty-three
 
Unto what thinge is the ymage of synne like, and what it is in itsilf.
 
This is not the ymage of Jhesu, but it is an ymage of synne; as Seynt Poul calleth hit, a
bodi of synne and a bodi of deeth. This ymage and this blak schadewe thou berist
aboughte with thee whereevere thou goost. Out of this springen many grete stremes of
synne, and smale also. Right as out of the ymage of Jhesu, yif it were reformed in the
beemes of goostli light, schulde steme up to hevene and brennynge desires, clene
affecciouns, wise thoughtis, and alle honesté of vertues; right so out of this ymage
springen stiryngis of pride, of envie, and sich othere, whiche casten thee doun from the
honesté of man into a beestis likenesse. But peraventure thou bygynnest for to thenke
unto what thynge this ymage schulde be like; and therfore that thou schuldest not longe
studie thereaboughte, I telle thee it is like to no bodili thing. "What is it thanne?" seistow.
Sothli it is not, and that may thou fynde yif thou wilt assaie as y have seid to thee.
Drawe into thisilf thi thought from alle bodili thynges, and thanne schalt thou fynde
right not whereinne thi soule mai reste. This nought is nothynge ellis but a lackynge of
love and of light, as synne is not ellis but a wantynge of God.
   Yif it so were that the ground of synne were mykil abatid and dried up in thee, and thi
soule were clensid and reformyd lightli to the ymage of Jhesu, thanne yif thou drowgh
into thisilf thyn herte thou schuldest not fynde nought, but thou schuldest fynde Jhesu
not oonli the nakid mynde of His name, but thou schuldest fynde light of
undirstondynge bi Hym, and no merkenesse of unknowynge; thou schuldest fynde love
and likynge of Hym, and noo peyne of bitternesse ne bitynge. But for thou art not yit
reformed, therfore whanne thi soule cometh in fro al bodili thynge, and fyndeth not but
merkenesse and hevynesse, hym thenketh an hundrid wynter til he be out agen bi sum
bodili delite or veyn thought. And that is no wonder; for whoso come to his hous and
founde nothynge therinne but stynkynge smoke and a flitynge wif, he wolde sone renne
oute of it. Right so thi soule, whanne it fyndeth noo comfort in the silf but blak smoke
of goostli blyndenesse and grete flitynge of fleischli thoughtes criynge upon thee that
thou may bee in noo pees, soothli it is sone irke til it be oute agen. This merkenesse is
that ilke nought the whiche y spak of and the ymage.
 
 
Chapter Fifty-four
 
Whoso wole fynde Jhesu, hym bihoveth abide and traveile in this goostli merkenesse of
this ymage of synne.
 
Neverthelees, in this nought bihoveth thee to swynke and swete; that is to sai, thee
bihoveth drawe in thi thought from alle bodili thynges as moche as thou may. And
thanne, whanne thou fyndest right nout but sorwe and peyne and blyndenesse, yif thou
wolt fynde Jhesu, the peyne of this nought bihoveth thee to suffre, and abide in this
merkenesse and arise in thi thought agens this ilke merkenesse, bi fervent desire to God;
not settynge the poynt of thi thought in that ilke nought, but in Jhesu whiche thou
desirest, as thou woldest bere it doun, and goo thorugh it. Thou schalt grise and lothe
this nought right as it were the devyl of helle, and thou schalt despice it and al tobreke
it; for al withinne this nought is Jhesu hid in His joie, whom thou mai not fynde bi thi
sekynge, but yif thou passe thorugh this merkenesse of this nought. This is that goosteli
traveile that I spak of; and this travaile is a cause of al this writynge, for to stire thee
therto yif thou feele grace. This nought that y speke of is the ymage of the firste Adam.
Seynte Poul knewe it wel, for he seid thus of it: Sicut portavimus ymaginem terreni
hominis, ita portemus ymaginem iam et celestis hominis (1 Corinthians 15:49). As we
han here biforn born the ymage of an ertheli man (that is, the first Adam), right so that
we myght now bere the ymage of the heveneli man, whiche is Jhesu, the secunde
Adam. He baar this ymage wel often ful hevye, for it was so comberous to hym that he
criede oute of it seiynge thus: O quis me liberabit de corpore huius mortis? (Romans
7:24). A, whoo schal delyvere me fro this bodi and ymage of deeth? And thanne he
comforteth hymsilf and othere thus: Gracia dei per Jesum Christum (Romans 7:25), the
grace of God bi Jhesu Crist.
   Now have y tolde thee a litil of this ymage, how it is nought. Neverthelees, yif it be
feer fro thi knowynge hou it myght be sooth that y sai, that nought myght be an ymage,
for nought is but nought; and so that thou mai lightli undirstande it, I schal telle thee
more opynli of this ymage as me thenketh.
 
 
Chapter Fifty-five
 
What propirli is the ymage of synne and what cometh thereof.
 
This ymage is a fals mysruled love unto thisilf. Oute of this love cometh al maner of
synnes bi sevene ryveres, the whiche aren thise: pride, envie, ire, accedie, coveitise,
glotony, and leccherie. Loo, this is sumwhat that thou may see and feele, that bi oon of
thise ryveris renneth out al maner of synne and putteth thee out of charité yif it be
deedli, or it letteth the savour of charité yif it be venial.
   Now mai thou grope that this ymage is nought, but is moche of badde; for it is a grete
springe of love unto thisilf with sich sevene ryveris as I have seid. But now seist thou,
"How mai this be sooth? I have forsaken the world and am stokyn in an hous; I deele
with no man. I flite not, ne I stryve not, I neither bie ne selle, ne have no wordeli
bisynesse, but bi the merci of God y kepe me chaste. I withhalde me from delites; and
over this I preie, y wake, y travaile bodili and goostli as y mai. How thanne schulde this
ymage be thus moche in me as thou seist?"
    As unto this I graunte and answere to thee that I hope that thou doost alle thise
werkis and many mo therto, and yit mai hit be soth that I seie. Thou art besi up thi
myght for to stoppe the ryveres withoute, but inhap the sprynge withinne thou levest al
opyn. Thou art like to a man whiche hadde in his gardeyn a stinkynge welle with many
ryveres fro it. He wente and stopped the ryveres and lefte the sprynge hool, and wende
al hadde be siker. But the water spronge up atte the ground of the welle and stood stille,
so moche that it corruptid al the fairnesse of the gardeyn, and yit ran there no watir out.
Right so it mai be with thee, yif it be soo that thou hast bi grace stopped the ryveris of
this ymage withouten. So moche it is wel, but bewaar of the sprynge withinne. Soothli,
but yif thou stoppe and clense that as moche as thou mai, it wole corrumpe alle the
floures of the gardyn of thi soule, schewe thei nevere so faire outeward in sighte of
men. But now seist thou: "Wherbi schal I knowe that the ground is stoppid, yif y
traveile aboute it?" As unto this y schal telle thee bi asai, hou thou schalt knowe this
image yif it be in thee, and hou moche it is in thee, and therbi thou schalt knowe how
moche it is stoppid in thee, and how litil also. And in as moche as pride is the principal
ryvere, I schal telle thee therof first.
 
 
Chapter Fifty-six
 
What pride is and whanne it is synne.
 
Pride is not ellis, as clerkes tellen, but love of thyn owen excellence, that is, of thyn
owen worschipe. Thanne the more thou lovest and likest in thyn owen worschipe, the
more is thi pride, and so the more is this ymage in thee. Yif thou fele in thyn herte a
stirynge of pride, that thou art holier, wisere, betere, and more vertuous than an nothir
is, that God hath geven thee grace for to serve Hym betere than othir doon, and thee
thenketh alle othire binethe thee and thee above hem, or ony othir thought of thisilf
whiche schewith to the sight of thi soule ony excellence, and an overpassynge of othir
men or of women, and of this stirynge thou felist a love and a delite, and a veyn
plesynge in thi silf that thou art so: this is a tokene that thou berist this blak ymage,
which though it be prevei in mannys iye, he schewith him opynli in Goddis sight. But
now seist thou, that thou mai not flee siche styrynges of pride. For ofte sithes thou
felist hem agens thi wil, and therfore thou holdest hem no synne, or if thei be synne, thei
are not but venial synne. As unto this I seie thus, that the felynge of thise stirynges of
pride or of ony othir sich springen out, oither of the corrupcion of this foule ymage or
bi incastynge of the enemye, it is no synne, in as moche as thou felist hem. And that is
a grace and a privelege bi vertu of the passioun of Jhesu Crist grauntid to alle Cristene
men baptizid in watir and in the Hooli Goost; for sothli to Jewes or Sarzynes, whiche
trowen not in Crist, alle siche stirynges aren deedli synnes to hem. For Seynt Poul seith:
Omne, quod non est ex fide peccatum est (Romans 14:23). Al that is doon withouten
trouth in Crist is deedli synne. But we Cristene men have this privelegie of His merci,
that sich felynges aren no synne, but thei are peyne of origynal synne. Neverthelees
whanne bi necgligence of thisilf and blyndenesse of thisilf this felyng is receyved unwarli
in thi thought and turned into love and a likynge, thanne is ther synne more or lasse aftir
the mesure of the love sumtyme venyal and sumtyme deedli. Whanne it is venial and
whanne deedli, fulli I cannot wel telle thee.
 
 
Chapter Fifty-seven
 
Whanne pride is deedli synne, and hou it is in fleischli lyvande men deedli synne.
 
Nevertheles, a litil schal I telle thee, as me thenketh. Whanne the stirynge of pride is
receyved and turned into a likynge, so moche that the herte chesith hit for a ful reste and
a ful delite, and seketh noon othir reste, but oonli likynge thereinne, thanne pride is
deedli synne; for he maketh and cheseth this delite as his God, withouten agenstondynge
of resoun and of wille, and therfore it is deedli synne. But now seist thou: "What fool is
he that wole chese pride for his God? No man that lyveth wolde doo so." As unto this
I seie y ne cannot, ne wole not, telle thee in special who doth so, ne who synneth so in
pride deedli, but in general I schal seie thee ther is two maner of pride, oon is bodili
pride, and anothir is gostli pride.
   Bodili pride is of fleischli lyvynge men; goostli pride is of ypocrites and heretikes.
Thise thre synnen dedli in pride. I mene of siche a fleischli lyvynge man as Seynt Poul
speketh of thus: Si secundum carnem vixeritis, moriemini (Romans 8:13). Yif ye lyven
aftir youre fleisch, ye schal die. Thanne seie y thus, that a worldli man whiche lyveth
and seketh principali the worschipe of himsilf, and cheseth the likynge of it as a reste of
his herte and the ende of his blisse, he synneth deedli. But now seist thou: "Who wolde
chese love of his worschipe instide of God?" As unto this I sai that he that loveth his
worschipe, as for to seme betere and grettere of staat, richere and highere than anothir,
and travaileth aboute it as moche as he mai, yif he love it so moche, that for the getynge
of it, the kepyng of it, and the savynge of it, he breketh the comaundement of God, or
breketh love or charité to his evene Cristene, or is redi and in ful wille for to breke it
rathere thanne he schulde forbere his worschipe, or his name or his fame or his staat or
of fulfillynge of his wil, soothli he synneth deedli, for he loveth his worschipe and
chesith it more than the love of God and of his even Cristene. And yit neverthelees this
man that synneth thus deedli, he wolde seie with his mouth that he wolde not chese
pride for his God; but he bigileth himsilf, for he chesith it bifore in his dede. Neverthelees,
anothir worldli man that loveth worschipe of hymsilf and pursueth thereaftir, yif he
loveth it not so moche that noithir he wold for the getynge or for the savynge of it doo
a deedli synne or ellis breke charité to his even Cristene, he synneth not deedli but
venyali, more or lasse aftir the mesure of his love and his likynge, with othire
circumstancis.
 
 
Chapter Fifty-eight
 
Hou pride is in heretikes deedli synne.
 
An heretike synneth deedli in pride, for he chesith his reste and his delite in his owen
opynyoun and in his owen seiynge, for he weneth it is sooth that opynyon or seiynge
whiche is agens God and Hooli Chirche. And therefore synneth he in pride deedli, for he
loveth himsilf and his owen wil, and with so moche that though it be opynli agens
ordenaunce of Hooli Chirche, he wole not leve it, but reste thereinne, as in a ful
soothfastnesse, and so maketh he it his god. But he bigileth himsilf, for God and Holi
Chirche are so onyd and acordid togidere that whoso dooth agen that oon, he dooth
agen that othir and so he doth agens bothe. And therfore who that seith he loveth God
and kepith his biddynge, and dispiceth Hooli Chirche, and setteth at nought the lawes
and the ordenaunce of it maad bi the heed and the sovereyn in governaunce of alle
Cristen men, he lieth. He chesith not God, but he cheseth the love of himsilf, whiche is
contrarie to the love of God, and so he synneth deedli. And in that, that he weneth most
for to plese God, he most displeseth him, for he is blynde and wole not see. Of this
blyndenesse and of this fals restynge of heretikes in here owen felynge speketh the wise
man thus: Est via que videtur homni recta; et novissima eius ducunt ad mortem (Prov-
erbs 14:12). There is a wai whiche semeth to a man rightful, and the laste ende of hit
bringith him to endelees deth. This wai speciali is called heresie, for othir fleischli synneres
that synnen deedli and lyen stille thereinne comonli supposen evere amys of hemsilf,
and felen bitynge in conscience that thei goo not the right wai. But an heretik supposith
evere that he dooth wel and techeth wel, and so he weneth that his wai were the right
wai, and therfore felith he no bitynge of conscience ne mekenesse in herte. And sothli
but God sende hym mekenesse while he lyveth heere, of His merci, at the laste ende he
goth to helle, and neverthelees yit weneth he for to have doon weel and geten him the
blisse of hevene for his techynge.
 
 
Chapter Fifty-nine
 
Hou pride is in ypocrites deedli synne.
 
The ypocrite also synneth deedli in pride. He is an ipocrite that cheseth veyn joie of
himsilf as the reste and ful delite of his herte, upon this manere wise: whanne a man
dooth many good dedes bodili and goostli, and aftir is yput to his mynde by suggestioun
of the enemye a biholdynge of hymsilf and of his good dedes, how good, how holi he is,
how worthi in mennes doom, and hou high in Goddis sight above othere men, he
perceyveth this styrynge and resseyveth it wilfulli, for he weneth it be gode and of God
in as mykil as it is sooth, for he dooth alle thise good dedes betere thanne othere men.
And whanne it is receyved thus bi assent of his wil as good, thanne riseth therof a love
and a delite in his herte of himsilf that he is so good and so hooli and so moche grace
hath, that it neer hande ravesschith his mynde out of alle othere thoughtis, bothe goostli
and fleischli, for the tyme, and settith it in this veyn joie of himsilf as in a reste of his
herte. This ravyschynge in goostli pride is delectable, and therfore he kepith it, holdeth
it, and norischith it as moche as he mai; for this love and this veyn delite he praieth, he
waketh, he fasteth, he wereth the heire, and othere affliccions, and al this greveth hym
but litil. He looveth and thanketh God sumtyme with his mouth and sumtyme wringeth
out a teer of his iyen, and thanne hym thenketh al saaf inowgh. But soothli al this is for
love of hymsilf, whiche he cheseth and resseyveth it as it were love and joie in God.
And in that is al the synne. He cheseth not synne wilfulli as for synne, but he cheseth
this delite that he deliteth inne, this joie, as for god, as the reste of his soule, withouten
displesynge or agenstondynge of wille, for he weneth it were joie in God. And it is not
so, and therfore he synneth deedli. Job seith thus of an ypocrite: Gaudium ypocrite ad
instar puncti. Si ascendit in celum superbia eius, et caput eius nubes tetigerit, velut
sterquilinium in fine perdetur
(Job 20:5-6). The joie of an ypocrite is no more thanne a
poynt, for yif he stiye into hevene with risynge of his herte, and his hed touche the
skies, at the laste ende he is cast oute as a dongeheep. The joie of an ypocrite is but a
poynt, for though he worschipe himsilf nevere so moche and joie in hymsilf al his
liftyme, and depeynte himsilf with alle hise good deedes in sight and lovynge of the
world, at the laste it is not but sorwe and peyne. But now seist thou, there are fewe sich
or ellis noon that is so blynd that wolde chese veyn joie in hymsilf as for the joie in God.
As unto this I cannot seie, ne wole not yif I knew; but oo thynge I telle thee, there be
many ypocrites, and neverthelees thei wene thei been none, and there ben many that
dreden as ypocrites themself, and soothli thei ben none. Which is oon and whiche is
othir, God knoweth and noon but He. Whoso wil mekeli drede, he schal not be bigiled,
and whoso weneth to be siker he mai lightli falle; for Seynt Poul seith: Qui existimat se
aliquid esse, cum nichil sit, ipse se seducit (Galatians 6:3). Whoso weneth hymsilf to be
ought whanne he is right nought, he bigileth hymsilf.
 
 
Chapter Sixty
 
Hou stirynges of pride and veynglorie in good men are but venial synne.
 
Neverthelees, a man or a woman whiche disposeth hym to lif contemplatif, yif it be so
that he forsake hymsilf as in his wille and offre hym hooli to God with a ful general wil
that he wolde not synne in pride wityngeli, ne have no veyn joye in hymsilf wilfulli, but
oonli in God, yif he coude and myght; and aftir this ful wille offred hym to God he felith
manye stirynges of veynglorie and deliteth in hem for the tyme, for he perceyveth hit
not; this likyng is but venyal synne. And nameli yif it be so that whanne he cometh to
himsilf he perceyveth this veyn likynge, he reproveth hymsilf and agenstondeth this
stirynge with displesynge of wille, and asketh merci and helpe of God, thanne the
likynge that was bifore synne, oure Lord of His merci soone forgeveth it. And yit he
schal have meede for his good travaile in the agenstondynge. And that is the curtesie of
oure Lord to alle thoo that aren speciali Hise servauntis and more hoomli of His court, as
alle thoo aren whiche for His love forsaketh in gode trewe wille alle worldli and fleischli
synnes, and gif hem hooli, bodi and soule, unto His service up her myght and her
knowynge, as ankeris enclosed and also trewe religious men, whiche principali for the
love of God and savacioun of here soules entreden ony religion approvid bi Hooli Chirche.
Or ellis yif it be so that they entre religion first for a wordli cause, as for here bodili
sustenaunce or ony othir siche, yif thei repente hem and turne it into a goosteli cause, as
for the service of God, thise, as longe as thei kepe this wille and pursue it as thei mai up
here myght for freelté, thei are trewe religious. Also what man or woman that it be, in
what degree he bee in Holi Chirche, preest, clerk, or lewed man, widue or wif or
mayden, that wole for the love of God and salvacion of his soule forsake alle the
worschippis and likynges of the world in his herte trewli and fulli bitwixe God and hym,
and al wilfulle bisynesse of ertheli thynges unto bare nede, and offre his wille entierli for
to be his servaunt up his myght, bi devoute praieres and hooli thoughtes with othere
gode deedis that he mai doon bodili or goosteli, and kepeth this wille hool to God stidefastli
alle these aren special Goddis servauntis in Holi Chirche. And for this good wille and
this good purpoos that thei have of the gift of God, thei schal encreese in grace and
charité here lyvynge, and thei schal have for this special wille a special grace and a mede
in the blisse of hevene bifore othere chosen soulis the whiche offrid not hooli here wille
and here bodi to Goddis service, neithir opynli ne privelé, as thei diden. Alle thise,
whiche y speke of and calle Goddis servauntes, and of His court more speciali, though
thei bi frelté or bi unconnynge whanne thei feele sich stirynge of veynglorie, for the
tyme delite therinne, and perceyve not it, for here resoun of here witte is letted bi the
likynge that thei feele, that it mai not see the stirynge - thei synnen not deedli in this
likynge of veineglorie. For that wille that they have sette general in here herte bifore unto
plese God and for to forsake synne, yif thei knewe hit, kepith hem there in siche stirynges,
and in alle othere that comen of freelté, that thei synnen not deedli, and schal kepe hem
as longe as the ground of that wille is keped hool.
 
 
Chapter Sixty-one
 
Hou sere states in Holi Chirche schulle have sere medes in the blisse of hevene, and of
two medes, sovereyn and secundarie.
 
And overe this I seie more, in comforte of thee and of alle othere havynge the staat of
anker incloos, and also bi the grace of God in comfort of hem alle that entren ony
religioun approved bi Holi Chirche, that alle thoo that bi the merci of oure Lord schal be
savyd, thei schal have special mede and a singuler worschipe in the blisse of hevene for
here staat of lyvynge, bifore othere soulis that hadden not that staat in Holi Chirche,
though thei be nevere so hooli. Whiche worschipe is betere thanne al the worschipe of
this world withouten ony comparison, for yif thou myghte see what it were, thou
woldest not for al the worschipe of this world, though thou myghtest have it withoutin
synne, chaunge thi staat either of ankir or of religious, ne leese that syngulere mede in
the blisse of hevene, whiche is called accidental meede.
   Neverethelees, that othere men mystake not this that y seie, therfore I schal seie it
more opynli. Thou schalt undirstonde that there are two meedis in the blisse of hevene,
whiche oure Lord geveth to chosen soulis. The toon is sovereyn and principal, as is
love and knowynge of Hym aftir the mesure of charité geven of God to a soule lyvynge
in deedli fleisch. This meede is best and sovereyne, for it is God Himsilf; and it is
comone to alle soulis that schul be saaf in what staat or gree that thei ben lyvynge in
Hooli Chirche, more or lasse aftir the quantité and the mychilheed of here charité. For
he that most loveth God in charité here in this liyf, what degree he be in, be he lewid or
lerid, seculer or religious, he schal have most mede in the blisse of hevene, for he schal
most love God and knowe Hym, and that is the sovereyne meede. And as for this
meede, it schal falle that sum wordli man or woman, as a lord or a ladi, knyght or
squyer, marchaunt or plowman, what degree he be in, man or woman, schal have more
meede than sum prest or frere, monke or chanoun or ankir incloos. And whi? Soothli
for he lovede more God in charité of His gifte. An nothir meede there is, that is secundarie,
whiche oure Lord geveth for special good deedes that a man dooth wilfulli over that he
is bounden to doo. Of three deedis principali doctours of Holi Chirche maken mynde of,
as of martirdom, prechynge, and maydenhed. Thise three werkes as for an excellence,
in as moche as thei passe alle othere, thei schullen have a special meede, whiche thei
calle auriole, and that is not ellis but a synguler worschipe and a special tokene ordeyned
of God in reward of that special deede, bifore othere men that diden not so, over the
sovereyne meede of the love of God whiche is comoun to hem and to alle othere. Right
so is it of othere special gode dedis, the whiche yif thei be doo soothfastli aren speciali
acceptable in the sight of God, and in the doom of Hooli Chirche thei are excellente; as
are enclosynges of ankeris doon bi auctorité of Holi Chirche, also entrynges into ony
religioun approved, and the streightere that the religioun is, the more excellent is the
meede in the doom of Hooli Chirche. And also aftir thise and binethe thise, the takynge
of the ordre of prest for cure of mennys soulis, and for to ministre the sacraments of
Holi Chirche, or ellis for singuler devocioun for to pleese God and profiten here even
Cristene bi the sacrifice of the precious bodi of oure Lord Jhesu Crist. Sothli thise aren
special deedis and excellent, opynli schewid in the doom of Hooli Chirche and in the
sight of oure Lord, whanne thei aren doon soothfasteli for God; and thei schal have a
special meede, ech man in his degree, in the blisse of hevene. The staat of bischop and
of prelates is aboven alle thise deedes as for this accidental meede. That this is sooth it
semeth bi Holi Writte in the prophete Daniel, where he seith thus: Tu autem, vade
prefinitum tempus, et requiesces, et stabis in sorte tua in fine dierum (Daniel 12:13).
This is thus moche to seie: The angel whanne he hadde schewed to Daniel the pryvitees
of God, he seide to hym thus: Go thou to the reste of thi bodili deeth, and thou schalt
stonde in thi soort as a prophete. And sothli as Daniel schal stonde as a prophete at the
day of doom, and have the worschipe and the excellence as a prophete over the sovereyne
blissid mede of the love and the sight of God, right soo schalt thou stonde in thy sorte
as an anker, and a religious in the sort of religioun, and so have othere excellent dedes,
and so have a synguler worschip passynge othere men at the dai of doom.
 
 
Chapter Sixty-two
 
A schort stirynge to mekenesse and to charité.
 
Now bi this that I have seid, thou mai, yif thou wole thorugh it, conceyve comfort for
thi degree of lyvynge and also maner of mekenesse. For though it so be that thou schalt
have thus moche mede special for thi staat of lyvynge, yif thou be saaf, neverthelees it
mai be that many a wif and many a wordli woman schal be neer God than thou, and
more schal love God and betere schal knowe Him than thou, for al thi staat, and that
oweth to be schame to thee but thou be besi to gete love and charité of the gifte of God
as he or sche hath that dwelleth stille in the wordli besynesse. For yif thou mowe have
as moche charité of the gifte of God as sche or he hath that dwellith in wordli besynesse,
thou schalt have as moche of sovereyne meede as he or sche schal have. And thou
schalt have over that, for that staat whiche thou hast taken, have singuler mede and a
worschipe whiche he schal not have. Thanne yif thou wolt doo wel, forgete thi staat, as
hit were right nought, for it is sooth, bi itsilf it is nought; and loke that al thi desire be
and thi bisynesse be for to gete charité and mekenesse and othere goostli vertues, for
therin liyth al.
 
 
Chapter Sixty-three
 
Hou a man schal knowe hou mykil pride is in hym.
 
I have nygh forgete this ymage, but now I turne agen therto. Yif thou wolt wite hou
moche pride there is in thee, thou mai assaie thisilf thus. Loke now wiseli, and flatere
not thisilf, yif lovynge, praisynge or worschip or fleischli favour of wordli men or of
othere be likynge to thyn herte, and turneth it into veyn gladnesse, and holde thee wel
apaied of thisilf, thenkynge stilli in thin herte that men schulde preise thi liyf, and rewarde
thi speche more thanne anothir; also, on the contrarie wise, yif it be so that men reprove
thee and sette thee at nought, holde thee but a fool or an ypocrite, or yif thei sclaundre
thee or speke yvel of thee falsli, or in ony othir wei that thei dispice thee or disese thee
unskilfulli, and therfore thou felist in thyn herte anguisch hevynesse agens the persoones
and a greet risynge in thyn herte with agenstondynge for to suffre ony schame or
vilonye in sight of the world; yif it be thus with thee, this is a tokene that there is moche
pride in this merke ymage, seeme thou nevere so hooli in the sight of men. For though
thise stirynges be not but litil or venial, neverthelees thei schewe wel that ther is moche
pride hid in the grounde of thyn herte, as a fox daareth in his den.
   Thise stirynges and many moo springen out of this image, so moche, that it mai
unnethis doo ony good deede but it schal be medeled with sum pride or sum veyn delite
in thisilf, and so with thi pride thou defoulest thy good dedes and makest hem wlatsum
in the sight of thi Lord. I seie not that thei aren lost for thei are medelid with this pride,
but I seie that thei are not so plesaunt to thi Lord as thei schulde bee yif thei were symple
and rooted in mekenesse. And therfore yif thou wolt have mekenesse and clennesse of
herte for to come to the love of God, thee bihoveth not oonli flee reste of thyn herte in
veynglorie bi wilful assentynge to pride, and also the rekles likynge thereinne of freelté,
though it be agen thi wille; but also the feelynge of pride thou schalt flee and eschewe as
moche as thu mai. But that may thu not doo but yif thou be ful quyk and redi aboughte
the kepynge of thyn herte, as I schal telle thee aftir.
 
 
Chapter Sixty-four
 
Of envie and ire and of here braunchis, and hou sumtyme instide of synne mannys
persoone is hated.
 
Turne this image upsodoun and loke wel thereinne, and thou schal fynde two membris
of envie and ire fastned therto, with many branches spryngynge ought of hem, the
whiche letten the love and charité that thou schuldest have to thyn even Cristene. The
braunchis of envie and ire aren thise: haterede, yvel suspecioun, fals and unskilful demynge,
malencolie, risynge of herte agens hem that dispisen thee or speken yvel agens thee, a
gladnesse of here disese, and a felnesse agens synful men that wole not doo as thee
thenketh thei schulde doo, with gret desire of thyn herte undir colour of charité and
rightwesnesse desirest that thei were wel ponysschid for here synne. This stirynge
semeth good, neverthelees it is, yif thou ransake it wel, more fleischli agens the persoone
thanne goostli agen the synne. Thou schalt love the man, be he nevere so synful, and
thou schalt hate synne in everi man what that he bee. Manye aren bigiled in this, for thei
sette the bittir instide of the swete, and taken myrkenesse instide of light, as the prophete
telleth: Ve vobis, qui dicitis malum bonum, et bonum malum; ponentes lucem tenebras et
amarum dulce (Isaiah 5:20). Woo bee to hem that seyn yvel is good and good is yvel,
and setteth light as myrkenesse, and bittir instede of swete. Thus doon alle thoo that
whanne thei schulden hate the synne of here even Cristene and love the persoone, thei
hate the persoone instide of synne, and wene that thei hate the synne. Wherefore it is a
craft bi hitsilf, whoso cowde doon it wel.
 
 
Chapter Sixty-five
 
That it is mykil maistrie sothfastli to love men in charité and hate here synne.
 
It is no maistrie for to wake and faste til thyn heed wirke and thi bodi waike, ne for to
goo to Rome and to Jerusalem upon thi bare feet, ne for to stirte aboute and preche as
thou woldest turne alle men bi thi prechynge; ne it is noo maistrie for to make chirches
and chapeles, for to feede pore men and make hospitales. But it is a greet maistrie for a
man to kunne love his even Cristene in charité, and viseli hate the synne of him and love
the man. For though it be soo that alle thise deedis toforeseide aren goode in hemsilf,
neverthelees thei aren comone to gode men and women and also to badde, for eche man
mai doo hem yif he wolde and hadde wherof, and forthi for to doo that ech man mai
doo, I holde no maistrie. But for to love his even Cristene in charité and hate his synne,
mai there no man doo but gode men oonli, whiche have it of the gift of God and not of
her owene travaile, as Seynt Poule seith: Caritas dei diffusa est in cordibus vestris per
spiritum, qui datus est vobis (Romans 5:5). Love and charité is sched and spred in
youre hertis bi the Hooli Goost, whiche is gyven to you, and therfore it is the more
precious and the more deynté for to come bi.
 
 
Chapter Sixty-six
 
That for the same deedis outewarde sere men schal have seere medis.
 
Alle othere gode deedis withouten this maketh not a man good, ne worthi the blisse of
hevene, but this aloone, and oonli it, maketh a man good and alle his good deedis medeful.
Alle othere giftis of God and werkes of man are comoun to gode and to badde, but this
gifte of charité is oonli to gode and chosen soulis.
   A good man for the love of God he fasteth, he waketh, gooth on pilgrimage, and
forsaketh the likynge of the world soothfasteli in his herte withoutin feynynge. Hee
schal have his meede in the blisse of hevene. An ypocrite for veynglorie of himsilf dooth
the same deedis and receyveth his meede heere. Also a verry prechour of Goddis word,
fulfilled of charité and of mekenesse, sent of God, and of Holi Chirche resseyved, schal
have a special mede, that is the auriol, for his prechynge. An ypocrite or an heretik, that
nevere hadde mekenesse ne charité, ne aren not sent off God ne of Holi Chirche, thei
have here mede heere. Also a gode man in wordli staat, for love of God maketh chirchis
and chapeles, habbeies, hospitales, and othere good deedis of merci. He schal have his
mede in the blisse of hevene, not for the deede in hitsilf, but for the good wil and the
charité that he hadde of the gifte of God for to doo thoo gode deedes. Anothir man for
vanité of himsilf and worschipe and praisynge of the world and his owene name dooth
the same good deedis and hath his meede heere. The cause is, in al thise, that the ton
hath charité and the tothir hath noon. Whiche is oon and whiche is othir, oure Lord
knowith and noon but He.
 
 
Chapter Sixty-seven
 
That alle menys good deedis schal be appreved that hath likenes of good, save of the
opyn heretik and the opyn cursid man.
 
And therfor we schulden love and worschipe alle men in oure hertis, and receyve alle
heere dedes that have the likenes of godenesse, though the dooeres in Goddis sight be
badde, save of the opyn heretike and the opyn cursid man. Of thise two speciali we
schullen flee and eschewe the presence and the comonynge with hem, and we schulde
reprove and refuse here deedes, seme thei nevere so goode, as longe as thei are rebel to
God and to Holi Chirche. As yif a wordli cursid man make a chirche, or feede a pore
man, thou mai sikirli holde it nought and deme it as it is. Also yif an opin heretike,
whiche is rebel to Hooli Chirche, preche and teche, though he converte an hundrid
thousand soulis, halde the dede as to himsilf right nought. For thise men aren opinli oute
of charité, withouten whiche al is nought that a man doth; and therfore seie I it is a grete
maistrie a man for to kunne love his even Cristene in charité. Al this seiynge mai opynli
be proved bi Seynt Poulis wordis thus: Si linguis hominum loquar, et angelorum, caritatem
non habuero, nichil sum; et si habuero omnem fidem, ita ut montes transferam, caritatem
non habeam, nichil sum. Et si noverim misteria omnia, nichil sum; et si distribuero
omnes facultates meas in cibos pauperum, et tradidero corpus meum igni ut ardeam,
caritatem non habuero, nichil michi prodest
(1 Corinthians 13:1-3). Seynt Poul in
preisynge of charité seith thus: Yif I speke the langage of men and angelis also, and I
have no charité, I am right nought. And yif I have so moche feith that y mai turne hillis
and bere hem awey, and I have no charité, yit am I nought. And also yif I hadde
knowynge of alle pryvitees, withouten charité I am nought. And yif I gyve al that y have
to pore men, and my bodi to the fier to be brent, and y have no charité, it profiteth me
nought. Heere it semeth wel bi Seynt Poulis wordis that a man mai doo alle bodily gode
deedis withoute charité, and that charité is not ellis but for to love God and his even
Cristen as himsilf.
 
 
Chapter Sixty-eight
 
That no good deede mai make a man sikir withoute charité; and that charité is oonli had
of the gifte of God to hem that are meke, and who is parfightli meke.
 
How schulde thanne ony caytif lyvynge in erthe, what that he be, have delite or trust or
sikirnesse in himsilf for aughte that he can doo or mai doo with alle his bodili myghtes
and al his kyndeli reson, sethen al is not worth withouten love and charité to his even
Cristene? And this charité mai not be geten bi no worchinge of hymsilf, for it is a free
gift of God sent to a meke soule, as Seynt Poul seith. Who daar seie hardili, "I have
charité," or "I am in charité"? Sothli no man mai seie it sikirli, but he that is perfightli and
sothfastli meke. Othir men mai trowe and hope of hemsilf that thei ben in charité bi
tokenes of charité, but he that is perfightli meke feleth it, and therfore mai he seie it.
Thus meke was Seynte Poul, and therfore he seide thus of himsilf: Quis me separabit a
caritate dei? Tribulacio, an anguscia? (Romans 8:35). Who schal departe me fro the
charité of God? Tribulacion or anguisch? And he answerith hymsilf and seith, that there
schal no creature putte me from the charité of God whiche I have in Crist Jhesu.
    Many man dooth deedis of charité and hath no charité, as I have seide. For to re-
prove a synner for his synne into his amendynge and in covenable tyme, it is a deede of
charité, but for to hate the synnere instide of synne, it is agens charité. He that is verili
meke can departe the toon from the tothir, and no man but he; for yif a man hadde alle
morale vertues of al philosophie, also yif man hadde knowynge of cleergie and of al
dyvynyté and is not sothfastli meke, he schal erre and stumble and take the toon for the
tothir; but mekenesse is worthi to receyve a gifte of God, the whiche mai not be leered
bi techynge of man. And therfor he that is meke can hate the synne and truli love the man.
   But now peraventure thou bigynnest for to dreede, for I seide that charité mai not be
geten bi no werk of man that man mai doo. Hou thanne schal thou do? As unto this I
seie that there is nothinge so harde for to gete as is charité; this is sooth, as with thyn
owen traveile. Also, on the contrarie wise, there is no gift of God mai be hadde so lightli
as charité, for oure Lord gyeveth noo gifte so freeli, ne so glaadli, ne so comonli as He
dooth charité. "Hou schal y have it?" seist thou thanne. Be meke and lowe in spirite and
thou schalt have it; and what is lightere for to doo thanne for to be meke? Sotheli noo
thynge. Thanne semeth it that there is nothynge that mai so lightli be had as charité, and
therfore be not thou to moche adrad; be meke, and have it. Thus seide Seynt Jame the
Apostil: Deus superbis resistit, humilibus dat graciam (James 4:6). Oure Lord, he seith,
agenstondeth proude men, but to meke men He geveth grace. Whiche grace is propirli
charité, for aftir the mesure of thi mekenesse so schal thu have charité.
   Yif thou have mekenesse unperfightli, oonli in thi wille not in thyn affeccion, than
schalt thou have unperfight charité. This is good, for it sufficeth to savacioun, as David
seith: Imperfectum meum viderunt oculi tui (Psalms 138:16). Lord with thyn iyen of
merci thou seest my unperfeccioun. But yif thou have mekenesse perfightli, than thou
schalt have perfight charité, and that is the beste. The tothir bihoveth us to have yif we
wolen be saaf, and this we schullen desire. Than yif thou aske me who is perfightli
meke, thou schalt no more have at this tyme of me of mekenesse but this: he is meke
that soothfastli knoweth and felith himsilf as he is.
 
 
Chapter Sixty-nine
 
Hou a man schal wite hou moche ire and envie is hid in the ground of hys herte.
 
Now turne agen to this image, yif thou wole asaie hou moche ire and envie is hid in the
ground of thyn herte that thou felist not. Loke wel and biholde thiself visili whanne
siche stirynges of envie and ire agens thyn even Cristen spryngen out of thyn herte. The
more arisynge that thou hast, and the more stired that thou art bi malencolie bittirnesse
or wikkid wil agens hem, the more is this image in thee; for the more thou grucchist bi
unpacience either agens God for tribulacion or sikenesse or for bodili disese sent of
God, or agens thyn even Cristene, for ought that thei dooth agens thee, the lasse is the
image of Jhesu reformed in thee.
 
 
Chapter Seventy
 
Bi what tokenes thou schalt wite yif thou love thyn enemye and what ensample thou
schalte take of Crist for to love Hym also.
 
I seye not that siche maner of grucchynges or fleischli angres aren deedli synnes; but I
seie that thei letten clennesse of herte and pees of consciencie, that thou mai not have
ful charité, bi the whiche thou schuldest come to lif contemplatif. For that ende is the
cause of al my seiynge, that thou schuldest not oonli clense thyn herte from deedli
synnes, but also of venyal, as moche as thou mai, that the ground of synne myght bi
grace of Jhesu Crist be sumwhat quenchid in thee. For though it be so that thou feelist
noon yvel wil agens thyn even Cristen for a tyme, yit art thou not sikir that the ground
of ire is quenchid in thee, ne yit arte thou not lord of the vertu of charité. For suffre him
touche thee a litil bi ony angrynesse or a schrewid word, and thou schalt feele anoon yif
thyn herte be yit maad hool bi fulhede of charité. The more that thou art stirid and yvel
willed agens the persone, the ferthere art thou from perfight charité of thyn even Cristene
and the lasse that thou art stirid, the neer art thu to charité.
   And yif thou be not stirid agen the persoone bi angir or bi feel cheer outeward, ne bi
no privey hate in thyn herte for to dispice hym or deme hym or for to sette him at
nought; but the more schame and velanye he doth to thee in word or in dede, the more
pité and the more compassioun thou haste on hym, as thou woldst of a man that were
oute of his mynde. And thee thenketh that thou cannot fynde in thyn herte for to hate
hym, for love is so good in the silf, but praie for hym and helpe hym and desire his
amendynge, not oonli with thi mouth as ypocrites doon, but with thyn herte in affeccioun
and love. And thanne hast thou perfight charité to thyn even Cristene. This charité had
Seynt Stevene perfightli whanne he preide for hem that stooned him to the deeth. This
charité counceilide Crist to alle thoo that wolden be his perfite folwers whanne he seide
thus: Diligite inimicos vestros, benefacite hiis qui oderunt vos, orate pro persequentibus
vos (Matthew 5:44). Love youre enemyes and dooth good to hem that haten you; praieth
for hem that pursue you. And therfore yif yee wolen folwe Crist, be like to Hym in this
craft. Leere for to love thyne enemyes and synful men, for alle thise been thyn even
Cristene. Looke and bithenke thee how goodli Crist was to Judas, hou benynge, hou
curteis, and how loweli to hym that He knewe dampnable. And neveretheles He chees
him to His apostel, and sente him for to preche with othere apostelis. He gaaf hym
powere to worche myracles, He schewed to him the same good chiere in worde and in
deede as He dide to the tothire aposteles. He biwreied hym not, ne spak nevere yvel of
hym; and yit though He hadde doon alle thise, He had seid nothynge but sooth. And
overmore, whanne Judas toke Hym, He kissid hym and called hym His frend. And al
this charité schewed Crist to Judas, whiche He knewe for dampnable, in no manere of
flaterynge ne feynynge, but in soothfastnesse of good love and clene charité. For though
it were so that Judas were unworthi for to have had ony gift of God or ony signe of love
for his wikkiddenesse, neverthelees it was worthi and skilful that oure Lord schulde
schewe as He is. He is love and goodnes to alle Hise creatures, as He was to Judas.
Folwe aftir sumwhat if thou may, for though thu be stoken in an hous with thi bodi,
neverthelees in thyn herte, where the stide of love is, thou schulde mow have part of
siche love to thyn even Cristen as y speke of. Whooso weneth thanne hymsilf for to be
a perfighte lovere and a folwer of Cristis techynge and His lyvynge (as sum man weneth
that he is, in as mykil as he prechith and techith and is pore of wordli goodis as Crist
was), and cannot folwe Crist in this love and in this charité for to love his evene
Cristene, ecche man, good and badde, frendes and foos, withoutin feynynge or flateringe,
dispisynge in his herte agens the man, angrynesse, and maliciousli reprovynge, sothli he
bigileth hymsilf. For the ner that he weneth for to bee, the ferthere he is; for Crist seide
Himsilf to hem that wolden be His folweres and His disciples thus: Hoc est preceptum
meum, ut diligatis invicem, sicut dilexi vos (John 13:34). This is My biddynge, that ye
love you togidre, as I lovede you. For yif ye love as I lovede, thanne are ye My disciplis.
   But now, seist thou, how schal y love him that is badde als wel as him that is gode? As
unto this I seie, that thou schalt love bothe in charité, but not for the same cause; as I
schal telle thee hou thou schalt love thyne evene Cristene as thysilf. Now thou schalt
love thysilf oonli in God, or ellis for God. In God thou loveste thisilf whanne thu art
rightful bi grace and vertues; and thou lovest not thisilf, but oonli for that rightwisenesse
and vertu that God gyveth thee. Thanne lovest thou thisilf in God, for thou lovest not
thisilf but God; also for God thou lovest thisilf, as yif thou were in deedli synne and
woldest be maad rightful and vertuous; thanne lovest thou thisilf not as thou art, for
thou art unrightful, but as thou woldest be. Right so schalt thou love thyn even Cristene.
Yif thei ben goode and rightful, thou schalt love hem bi charité in God, oonli for thei ben
goode and rightful; for thanne lovest thou God in hem, as goodnesse and rightwisenesse,
more thanne hem yif thei ben badde and in deedli synne, as thyn enemyes that haten thee
or othere of the whiche thou haste ful evidence that thei aren not in grace. Yit schalt
thou love hem not as thei aren, ne as good men and rightful, for thei are badde and
unrightful, but thou schalt love hem for God, that thei myght be gode and rightful. And
so schalte thou nothynge hate in hem, but the thynge that is contrarie to rightwisenesse,
and that is synne. This is as I undirstonde the techynge of Seynt Austyn, for to departe
the love of the man fro the hate of the synne in the love of thyn evene Cristene. He that
is sothfastli meke, or wolde be meke, can love his evene Cristene, and noon but he.
 
 
Chapter Seventy-one
 
Hou a man schal knowe hou mochel coveytise is hid in hys herte.
 
Lifte up this image and loke wel al aboughte, and thou schalt mowe see covetise and
love of erthely thynge occupie a greet partie of this ymage, though it seme litil. Thou
haste forsaken the richesse and moche avere of this world, and art sperid in a dongoun;
but hast thou forsaken the love of al this? I hope not yit; it is lasse maistrie for to forsake
goodis of the world thanne for to forsake the love of hem. Peraventure thou hast not
forsake coveitise, thou haste chaunged fro grete thyngis into smale, as from a pound to
a peny and from a silveren pece into a dische of an halpeny. This is a symple chaunge;
thou art no good marchant. Thise ensamples aren childisch; neverthelees thei bitoken
more. Yif thou trowe not me, assaie thisilf yif thou have love and delite in the havynge
and in the biholdynge of ony thynge that thou haste, swich as it is, with the whiche love
thou feedist thyn herte for a tyme or yif thou have desire and yeerne for to have sum
thynge that thou haste not, with siche desire thyn herte is traveiled bi unskilful bisynesse,
that the clene desire of vertues and of God mai not reste thereinne. This is a tokene that
there is coveitise in this ymage, and yif thou wole assaie betere, loke yif onythinge that
thou haste be taken awai from thee, bi maistrie or bi borwynge or bi ony othir wise, and
thou mai not geten it agen, and forthi thou art disesid in thyn herte, and angrid and
trobelid in thyn herte; bothe thee wanteth that thynge that thou wolde have and mai not
gete it, and also agen hym that hath it thou art stired, for he myght restore it agen and
wole not. This is a tokene that thou lovest wordli goodes, for thus doon wordli men.
   Whanne that heer good and her richesse is taken from hem, thei aren hevy, sori, and
angry, and flite and stryve agens hem that han it, openli with word and bi deede; but
thou doost alle thise in thyn herte pryveli, where God seeth. And yit arte thou in more
defaute thanne a wordli man, for thou hast forsaken in likenesse the love of alle wordli
thynges; but a wordli man hath not so, and therfore he is excusid though he stryve and
pursue bi lawful weies for to have hem agen. But now seist thou, that thee bihoveth
have thy necessaries of siche thinges as longeth to thee, as wel as a wordli man. I
graunte wel therto, but thou schuldest not love hyt, ne noo likynge have in the biholdynge
and in the kepynge of it, ne sorwe ne hevynesse fele in the leesynge or in the withdraw-
ing of it; for, as Seynte Gregor seith, as moche sorwe as thou hast in the lesynge of a
thynge, so moche love haddest thou in the kepynge. And therfore yif thyn herte were
maad hool and thou hadde soothfastli felid a desire of goostli thynges, and hadde thereof
a sighte of the leste goostli thynge that is, al the love and likyng of ony ertheli thynge
thou schuldest sette it at nought, it schulde not cleve on thee. For to love and for to have
more thanne thee nedeth skilfulli, it is a grete defaute. Also for to love that thing that
thee nedith is defaute, but not so greet; but for to have and use that thee nedeth withoutin
love of it is no defaute. Soothli manye that han the staat and the likenesse of povertee
aren moche blyndid in this poynt and hyndred froo the love of God. But I accuse no
man, ne no staat reprove, for in every astaat summe aren goode and sume aren othir.
But oo thynge I seie to eche man and woman whiche hath take the staat of poverté
wilfulli, whethir he be religious or seculer, or what degree he be inne: As longe as his
affeccioun is bounden, festened, and as it were glewid with the love of ony othir ertheli
thynge that he hath or ellis wolde have, he mai not have ne feele soothfastili the clene
love and the cleer sight of goostli thyngis.
   For as Seynt Austyn seith to oure Lord thus: "Lord, he loveth Thee but litil, that loveth
ony thynge with Thee." For the more love and coveitise of ony ertheli thinge is in thee,
the lasse is the love of God in thyn herte. For though it be soo that this love of ertheli
thinge putte hem not oute of charité, but it be so moche that it strangle the love of God
and of here even Cristen, sothely it hyndreth hem and letteth thee from the fervour of
charité, and also from that special meede that thei schulde have in the blisse of hevene
for perfight poverté. And that is a grete losse yif they myght see it; for whooso myght
knowe goosteli mede, how good, and how precious, and how worthi it is ay lastynge,
he wolde not for al ertheli joie, or al ertheli thynge, though he myght have it withouten
synne, lette ne leese the leeste meede of the blisse of hevene, whiche he myghte have yif
that he wolde. I speke ferthere thanne y can do, but I pray thee thorugh the grace of
God, doo soo yif thou mai, or ony othir whoso wole; for that were a comfort to me,
that though y mai not have it in mysilf as I seie, that I myght have it in thee, or in ony
othir creature whiche hath receyved of oure Lord more plenté of His grace thanne y.
But see now thanne, hou coveitise in the nakid ground letteth a man or a woman so
moche from the goosteli felynge of the love of God, how moche more it letteth thanne
and encombrith wordli men and women whiche, bi alle here wittes and bisynesse,
nyght and dai studie and travaile hou thei myght gete richesse and plenté of wordli
goodis. Thei kunne noon othir delite have but in wordli thynges, ne thei wole not, for
thei seke it not. I sei no more at this tyme of hem, for in this writynge y speke not to
hem; but this I seie, yif thei myght see and wold see what thei doo, thei schulde not
doo so.
 
 
Chapter Seventy-two
 
Hou a man schal knowe whanne he synneth not in etynge and drynkynge and whanne
he synneth deedli and whan veniali.
 
Yit mai thou see more in thys image, though it be myrk; and that is fleischli love to thisilf
in glotonie, sleuthe, and leccherie. Thise fleischli likynges maken a man wel beestli, and
fer from inli savour of the love of God and from the cleer sight of goostli thingis. But
now seist thou, that y seie that thee bihoveth nedelynges ete and drynke and slepe, and
that mai thou not doo withoute likynge, therfore thee thenketh this likynge is no synne.
   As unto this I answere, yif thou kepe in etynge and drynkynge and in othir nedeful
thinges to the bodi mesure, up thi nede as resoun asketh, and thou resseyvest no more
thanne kynde asketh, and al this thou doost for thi goostli delite whiche thou felist in thi
soule, I graunte for sothe that thou thanne synnest right nought. For thanne can thou
wel ete and slepe, sothli and withoutin doute. I am ful fer from that knowynge, and
ferthere from the wirkynge; for to ete I have bi kynde, but for to kunne ete I mai not but
bi grace. Seynt Poul hadde bi grace this knowynge as he seide of himsilf thus: Ubique
et in omnibus institutus sum; et scio satiari, et esurire, habundare, et penuriam pati.
Omnia possum in eo qui me confortat
(Philippians 4:12-13). I am enformed and taught
in alle thinges, for I can hungre and can ete, I can with plenté and I can with poverté. I
mai al in Him that strengtheth me.
   Seynt Austyn seid to oure Lord thus: "Lord, Thou hast taughte me that I schulde take
mete as medicene." For honger is a sikenesse of kynde, and mete is medicyn therto and
therfore the likynge that cometh withal, in as moche as it is kyndeli and nedefulle, it is
no synne; but whanne it passith into luste and into wilful likynge, thanne it is synne. And
therfore, there lieth al the maistrie, for to kunne departe visili the nede fro the lust and
wilful likynge. Thei aren so knettid togedre, and that oon cometh so with the tothir,
thanne it is hard to receyve that oon as the nede and reprove the tothir as wilful likynge
and luste, whiche ofte tyme cometh undir colour of nede. Yif a man wolde oonli take
mete and drynke as medicyn for sikenesse, he schulde kunne departe wel the luste from
the nede. Neverthelees, syn it is so that nede is the ground of this synne, and that neede
is no synne. For be a man nevere so hooli, hym bihoveth ete and drynke and slepe,
therfore the lust and the likynge that cometh undir colour of this nede and passeth this
nede is the lasse synne.
   For a man comonli synneth not deedli in glotonye, but he be cumbred with othere
deedli synnes bifore doon. Thanne mai he the lightliere synne deedli in this. For this is
sooth, he that chesith the luste and the likynge of his fleisch in delices and welfare of
mete and drinke as a ful reste of his herte, nevere to have othir joie ne othir blisse, but to
lyve ay in siche lustis of his fleisch, yif he myght, hit is no doughte but that he synneth
deedli, for he loveth his fleisch more than God. But he that lieth in deedli synne as pride
or envie or siche othere, he is blynde and so bounden to the devel that for the tyme he
hath not the power clenli of his free wille; and therefore he mai not weel agenstonde
fleischli likynges, but falleth doun wilfulli into hem, as a beest doth upoun a carioun.
   And in as moche as he hath noo general wille bifore to God principali, bicause that he
is in deedli synne, therfore the lust of glotonye whiche he falleth inne is lightli to hym
deedli synne, for he maketh noon agenstondynge, general ne special. But anothir man or
woman whiche is in grace and in charité hath alwei a good general wille to God in hise
soule, whethir he slepe or wake, ete or drinke, or what dede that he dooth, so that the
dede be not yvel in the silf; bi the whiche wille he chesith and desireth God aboven alle
thynges, and he hadde wel levere forbere al the likynge of this world thanne his God, for
the love of Him. This wille, though it be but general, it is of so greet vertu bi the grace
of oure Lord Jhesu, that though he falle bi freelté in luste and likynge of mete and
drinke, or in siche othere sikenessis, othir in excesse of to moche etynge, or to often, or
to gredili, or to lustli and delicatli, or to soone in untyme, it saveth and kepith hym from
deedli synne. And this is soth, as longe as he is in charité bi othere good deedis and
kepith this general wille hool in al that he dooth; and nameli yit, yif he knowe amonge his
owen wrecchidnesse, and crieth God merci, and is in purpos speciali for to agenstonde
alle siche lustis fleischli.
   Oure Lord is good and merciful, and thise venyal synnes of glotonye He forgyveth
sone to a meke man; for the stirynges and the likynges of glotonye, in as moche as thei
ben hardest for to flee bicause of nede of the bodili kynde, amonge alle othere synnes
aren most excusable and lest perilous. And therfore thou schal not rise agens the ground
of this synne as thou schalt agenes alle othere synnes. For the ground of this synne is
oonli nede, whiche mai not be eschewid but yif thou wolt doo wors and slee the nede,
as many foolis doo, whiche schulden slee the theef and spare the trewe man, that is to
seie thei schulde slee the unskilful lust and the wilful likynge, and spare and kepe the
bodili kynde. But agen alle othere synnes thou schalt arise for to distroie; not oonli the
gret deedli and the grete venyal synnes, but also agens the ground of hem in as moche
as thou mai.
   See bi this skile, thou mai not lyve withoute mete and drinke; but thou mai lyve
withoute leccherie yif thou wole, and nevere be but the betere. And therfore thou schalt
not oonli flee the dede in the silf, whiche is deedli synne, and also the wilful likynge of
it in thyn herte withoutin dede, whiche is venial, and sumtyme it is deedli; but also thou
schalt arise agen the ground of it, for to distroie the risynge and the felynge and the
fleischli stirynges.
 
 
Chapter Seventy-three
 
The ground of leccherie schulde be distroied with goostli travaile and not with bodili.
 
But this travaile agen the ground of leccherie nameli schal be goostli, as bi prayers and
goostli vertues, and not bodili bi no bodili penaunce. For wite thou wel, though thou
wake and faste and scourge thisilf and doo al that thou can, thou schal nevere have the
clennesse and that chastité withoute the gifte and the grace of mekenesse. Thou schulde
mowe rathere slee thisilf thanne thou schuldest slee fleischli stirynges and likynges of
lustis of leccherie, oither in thi herte or in thi fleisch, bi ony bodili penaunce. But bi the
grace of Jhesu in a meke soule, the ground mai be stoppid and distroied, and the springe
mai be dried and that is veri chastité in bodi and soule.
   And the same manere mai be seid of pride, coveitise, and siche othere; for thou
myghttest lyve though thou were neither proud ne covetous, and therfore thou schalt
distroie alle the felynges of hem as moche as thou myght. But in glotonye thou schal
arise and smyte awey alle unskilful stirynges, and save the ground hool. And therfore he
that riseth agens the feelynge of fleischli likynge in mete and drinke more fulli and more
scharpli thanne agen the feelynge and the stirynge of pride, for thei seme faire and are
not lightli reprevyd, or of envie, ire, coveitise, or leccherie, I seie that he is half blynd.
For he seeth not yit goostli the unclennesse of pride and envie, how foul it is in Goddis
sight. I hope yif a man myght see with his goostli iye hou foule pride and coveitise aren
in the sight of God, and hou contrarie to Him, he schulde more lothe the stirynge of
pride and the veyn delite of it; and also he schulde more agrise and arise agen an yvel wil
of envie or ire to his even Cristene, thanne agens many stirynges and likynges, oithir of
glotonye or leccherie. Nevertheles, alle men wenen not so, for comonli men aren more
arwgh for to fele a stirynge of fleischli synne, and have for it more hevynesse, thanne
for grete likynges in veynglorie or othere goostli synnes. But thei aren not wise, for yif
thei wole undirstonde Holi Writ and doctours sawes thereof, schulde thei fynde as I
saie, whiche y ne mai ne wole not reherce now.
 
 
Chapter Seventy-four
 
That a man schulde be bisi for to putte awai alle stirynges of synne but more bisili
goostli synnes than bodili.
 
I ne wole not excuse hem that fallen in likynges of glotonye and leccherie, that thei
synnen not; for I woot wel that alle the spices of hem aren synne more or lasse, aftir the
mesure of the lust and wilful likynges, with othere circumstaunces of hem. But I wolde
that thou knewe and chargid eche a synne as it is: more or lasse the more, as aren alle
goostli synnes, the lasse as aren alle fleischli synnes. Yit schal thou neverthelees hate
and flee alle bodili and goostli synnes up thi myght; for wite thou wel, that fleischli
desires and unskilfulle likynges in mete or drinke, or ony likynges that longen to the bodi
passynge resonable nede, though thei be not ay grete synnes to hem that aren in charité,
neverthelees to a soule that desireth clennesse and goostli felynge of God, thei aren ful
hevy and bittir, and moche for to eschewe. For the spirit mai not fele hys kyndeli savour
withinne of the gostli presence of Jhesu Crist til the fleisch have lost moche of his bestli
savoure withoute; and therfore yif thou wole come to clennesse in herte, thee byhoveth
agenstonde unskilful stirynges of fleiscli desires. But agen the ground of it that is nede,
as kyndeli honger whiche thou schal nedelynges fele and tente thertoo in tyme, and
helpe thisilf agens it bi medicyn of mete as thou woldest helpe thisilf resonabli agens
bodili sikenesse, that thou myght ete and the more freli serve thi God bodili and goostli.
 
 
Chapter Seventy-five
 
That hunger and othere peynes of the bodi letteth moche goostly wirkynge.
 
   For wite thou wel that what man or woman schal ben occupied in goostli thoughtes,
unskilful peyne of hungir wilfulli taken, or sikenesse in the stomac or in the heed or in
ony othir partie of the bodie, for the defaute of thisilf bi to moche fastynge or in ony
othir wise, schal moche lette the spirit and moche hyndre him from the knowynge and
the biholdynge of goosteli thynges, but he have more grace. For though it be so that
bodili peyne, othir of penaunce othir of siknesse, or ellis bodili occupaccion, sumtyme
letteth not the fervour of love to God in devocioun but often encresith it. Sothli y hope
that it letteth the fervour of lust in contemplacion, whiche mai not be had ne felid sadli,
but in gret reste of bodi and soule. Forthi doo thou skilfulli that longeth to thee and kepe
thi bodili kynde up resoun and suffre than til God sende what He wole, be it heele or
sikenesse. Take it generali and grucche not agens God wilfulli.
 
 
Chapter Seventy-six
 
What remedie a man schal use agenes defaute maad in etynge and drinkynge.
 
Doo thanne as I seie thee: take thi mete, and ordeyne for it yif nede it be up resoun, and
take it gladli as for nede. But beware of lust that cometh with the nede; eschew to
moche as wel as to litil. And whanne thou hast doon, and it cometh to thi mynde bitynge
in conscience that thou hast eten to moche or to litil, and bigynnest to tarie and drawest
thee to over moche bittirnesse, lift up thi desire of thyn herte to thi good Lord Jhesu,
and know thisilf for a wrecche and a beeste, and aske Him forgevenesse bi His merci.
And whanne thou hast doon thus, the schortliere the levere, leve of thanne and tarie no
lengere withal, ne stryve not to moche as thou wolde distroie it uttirli, for it is not for to
doo. Thou schal never brynge it so aboute. But redili ordeyne thee to sum othir
occupacioun bodili or gostli, aftir thou felist thee disposid, that thou mighttest the more
profite in othire vertues, as mekenesse and charité.
   For wite thou wel, he that hath in his desire and in his travaile noon othir reward to
noon othir thinge but to mekenesse and charité, ai cravynge aftir hem how he myght
gete hem, he schal in that desire with worchynge folwynge aftir, profite more and waxe
in alle other vertues, as in chastité, abstinence, and siche othire, though he have but litil
reward to hem, more in a yeer thanne he schulde have withouten this desire profite in
sevene yeer, though he stryve with glotonye and leccherie and siche othire contynueli
and bete himsilf eche dai with scourgis from morwe til evesong tyme.
 
 
Chapter Seventy-seven
 
That thorwgh besi desire and travaile in mekenesse and charité, a man cometh sunnere
to othere vertues to travaile in hemself.
 
Gete to thee thanne mekenesse and charité, and yif thou wole traveile and swynke bisili
for to have hem, thou schal mowe have inow for to doo in getynge of hem. Thei schal
rule and mesure thee ful pryveli, hou thou schalt ete and drynke and socoure al thi bodili
nede, that ther schal no man wite it but yif thou wole, and it schal not be in perplexité,
ne in dwere, ne in angirnesse and hevynesse, but in a pees of glaad conscience with a
sad restfulnesse. I speke forthere thanne I thought for to have spoken in this matier, but
neverthelees doo, yif thou mai, as y sai, and I hope God schal make al wel.
   Bi this thanne that I have seid mai thou sumdel see in this ymage of synne hou moche
it letteth thee. The Gospel seith how Abraham spak to the riche man that was biried in
helle on this wise: Est chaos magnum inter nos et vos firmatum, ut hii qui volunt
transire ad vos, non possunt, nec huc transmeare (Luke 16:26). There is a gret chaos
(that is a grete myrkenesse to sai) is bitwix us and yow, that we moun not come to you
ne yee to us. This myrke image in thi soule and in myn also mai be callid a greet chaos,
for it letteth us that we moun not come to Abraham, whiche is Jhesu, and it letteth him
that he wole not come to us.
 
 
Chapter Seventy-eight
 
What cometh of the merkenese of the image of synne and what cometh bi the wyndowes
thereof.
 
Lifte up this lanterne and see in this ymage fyve wyndowis bi the whiche synne cometh
into thi soule, as the prophete seith: Mors ingreditur per fenestras nostras (Jeremiah
9:21). Deeth cometh in bi oure wyndowes. Thise wyndowes aren oure fyve wittes, bi
the whiche oure soule gooth out from himsilf and sicheth his delite and his feedynge in
ertheli thynges, agens his owen kynde: as bi the sight, for to se corious and faire
thynges; bi the eere, for to heere wondres and newe tydynges; and so of the othere
wittis. Bi unskilful usynge of thise wittes into vanyté wilfulli, the soule is moche letted
from the goostli wittys withinne; therfore thee bihoveth stoppe the wyndowis and spere
hem, but oonli whanne nede asketh for to open hem. And that were litil maistrie yif
though myghttest oones see thi soule bi cleer undirstondynge, what it is, and hou faire
it is in his owen kynde, ne were that it is overleid with a blaak cloude of this foule ymage.
 
 
Chapter Seventy-nine
 
That a soule for defaute of knowynge of hitsilf wendith out bi the fyve wittes for to sek
liking outward.
 
But now for thou knowest it not, therfore thou levest the inli sight of thisilf and sekest
thi mete from withoutin as a beest unresonable. Thus seith oure Lord to a chosen soule
in Hooli Writ: Si ignoras te, o pulcra inter mulieres, egredere et abi post vestigia gregum
sodalium tuorum, et pasce edos tuos (Canticle 1:7). Thou faire amonge women, if thou
knowe not thisilf, goo oute and walke aftir the steppis of the flok of thyne felawes and
feede thy kedis. And it is thus moche for to seie: Thou soule faire in kynde, maad to the
likenesse of God, freel as woman in thi bodi for thi first synne, bicause that thou
knowist not thisilf, that aungels foode schulde be thi delites withinne, therfore thou
goost out bi thi bodili wittes and sekest thi mete and thi likynge as a beest of the flook,
that is, as oon of the reproved; and therwith thou fedist thi thoughtes and thyn affecciouns,
whiche aren unclene as kides.
 
 
Chapter Eighty
 
That a soule schulde not seke withoute, but aske withinne of Jhesu, al that it
nedeth.
 
This is a schame to thee for to do so. And therfore turne agen hom into thisilf, and holde
thee withinne and seke no more withouten, and nameli swynes mete; for yif thou algate
be a beggere, aske and crave withinne of thi Lord Jhesu, for He is riche inow, curtais
and free inow, and gladliere wole gyve thanne thou wolt aske. And renne no more out as
a beest of the flook, as a wordli man or woman that hath no nothir delite but in his bodili
wittes. And yif thou do thus, thy Lord Jhesu wole gyve thee al that thee nedeth, for He
mai lede thee into His wyne seler and make thee to assaie of His wynes, for He hath
many tonnes, whiche thee liketh best. Thus a chosen soule, joiynge in Holi Writ, seith to
oure Lord: Introduxit me rex in cellam vinariam (Canticle 2:4). A kynge ledde me into
his wyne seeler. And that is for to sai: In as moche as I forsook the dronkennesse of
flesschli lustes and wordli likynges, whiche aren bittere as wormode, forthi the kynge
of blisse, oure Lord Jhesu ledde me in; that is to saie, first into mysilf for to biholde and
knowe mysilf, and aftir He ladde me into his seler, that is to seie, above mysilf bi
overpassynge oonli into Hym, and gaf me assaie of His wyne, that is to saie, a taast and
a liknesse of goostli swettenesse and heveneli joie. Thise aren not wordes of me, a
wrecchid caitif lyvynge in synne, but thei aren the wordes of the spouse of oure Lord in
Hooli Writte. And thise wordes I seie to thee, that thou myght drawe in thi soule fro
withoutin and folwe aftir as as thou may.
 
 
Chapter Eighty-one
 
That the hoole of ymaginacion nedeth to be stopped, als wel as the wyndowes of the
wittes.
 
But now seist thou, that thou doost soo. Thu seist thou hast no wordeli thinges, ne
heerist, ne hast noon use of the bodili wittes more thanne nede asketh, and forthi thou
art enclosid. As to this I seie: Yif thou doo thus, thanne hast thou stopped a grete
wyndowe of this image. But yit art thou not siker, for thou hast not stopped the privey
hoolis of this image in thyn herte. For though thou see not me with thi bodili iye, thou
may see me with thi soule bi imaginacioun; and so mai thou doo of alle othere bodili
thinges. Than yif thi soule be feed wilfulli bi imagynynge in vanitees of the world, in
desirynge of wordeli thynge for a wilful comfort and delite, sothli though thi soule be
withinne as for thi bodili wittes it is neverthelees ful feer withoute bi sich veyn ymaginacion.
   But now askist thou for it be ony gret synne, a soule for to occupie him in sich
vanytees, eithir in wittis or in ymagynynge. As unto this I wolde thou schuldest nevere
aske no man this questioun, for he that loveth God or wole love soothfastli, he askith
not whethir this is gretter synne. For him schal thenke what thynge letteth hym fro the
love of God is gret synne, and hym schal thenke no synne but that thynge that is not
good and letteth him fro the love of God. What is synne but a wantynge and a forberynge
of God? I seie not that it schal be peynful to hym as a deedli synne or a venial schulde
be, ne I seie not but that hee knowe deedli from a venyal.
 
 
Chapter Eighty-two
 
Whanne the use of the wittes and of the imaginacioun is deedli synne, and whanne
venyal.
 
Neverethelees, sumdeel schal y seie to thi questioun, for thi desire draweth oute of myn
herte more thanne I thought for to have seid in the bigynnynge. Oure Lord seith in the
Goospel thus: Homo quidam fecit cenam magnam et vocavit multos. Et misit servum
suum dicere invitatis ut venirent. Primus dixit: Villam emi; rogo te, habe me excusatum.
Secundus dixit: Iuga boum emi quinque, et eo probare ea. Et tercius dixit: Uxorem duxi,
et ideo non possum venire
(Luke 14:16-20). A man made a gret sopeer and called many
therto, and sent his servaunt at sopeer tyme to hem that weren praied. The first excuside
hym that he myght not come, for he hadde bought a toun; the tothir also excuside hym
that he myght not come, for he hadde bought fyve yokkes of oxsen and yeede for to
assaie hem; the thridde excusid hym for he hadde wedded a wif. I leve for to speke of
the firste and of the laste, and telle the myddel, of hym that boughte the oxen.
Thise fyve yokkes of oxen bitoken the fyve wittes, whiche aren beesteli, as an oxe.
Now this man that was callid to the sopeer was not reproved for he boughte the oxen,
but for he yeede for to assaie hem, and so he wolde not come. Right so y seie to thee,
for to have thy wittes and use hem in nede, it is no synne; but yif thou goo for to assaie
hem bi veyn delite in creaturis, thanne it is synne. For yif thou chese that delite as a fynal
reste of thi soule and as a ful likynge, that thou kepist noon nother blisse have but sich
othir wordli vanyté, thanne it is deedli synne. For thou chesist it as thi God, and so schal
thou be putte fro the sopeer. For the wise man forbeed us that we schulde not assaie
oure wittes so, whanne he seide thus: Non eatis post concupiscentias vestras
(Ecclesiasticus 18:30). Thou schalt not goo aftir thi lustes, ne wilfulli assaie thyn likynges.
A man or a woman that is encombred with deedli synnes schal not ascape deedli synne
in this, though he see it not; but I hope that it toucheth not thee. Neverethelees, yif thou
bi freelté delite thee in thi wittes and in sich vanyté, but with that, thou kepist thee in
charité in othir sides, and thou chesist not that delite for a ful reste of thi soule, but thou
settest ai God bifore al thyng in thi desire, this synne is venyal, aftir the circumstaunces
more or lasse. Ne thou schalt not for thise venyal synnes be putte fro the sopeer in the
blisse of hevene, but thou schal wante the tastynge and the assaiynge of that delicat
sopeer lyvynge in erthe, but yif thou be bisie with alle thi myghtes for to agenstonde
sich venyal synnes. For though it be soo that venial synnes breketh not charité, soothli
thei lette the fervour and the goostli felynge of charité.
 
 
Chapter Eighty-three
 
Hou an ankir schal have hir to hem that comen to hir.
 
But now seist thou that thou mai not kepe thee from heerynge of vanytees, for divers
worldli men and othere that comen ofte tyme for to speke with thee, and telle thee
sumtyme talis of vanité. As unto this y seie thus, that comenynge with thyn evene
Cristene is not moche agens thee, but helpith thee sumtyme yif thou worche visili. For
thou mai assaie therbi the mesure of thi charité to thyn evene Cristene, whethir hit be
moche or litil. Thou art bounden, as eche man or woman is, to love thyn evene Cristene
principali in thyn herte, and also in deede for to schewe hym tokenes of charité as
resoun asketh, up thi myght and up thi knowing.
   Now syn it is so that thou owest not to goo oute of thyn hous for to seche occasioun
how thou myght profite thyn evene Cristene bi deedis of merci, for thou art inclose,
neverethelees thou art bounden for to love hem alle in thyn herte, and to hem that
comen to thee for to schewe hem tokenes of love sothfastli. And therfore whoso wole
speke with thee, what that he be, or in what degree that he be, and thou knowe not what
he is, ne whi that he cometh, be soone redi with a good wille for to wite what his wille
is. Be not daungerous, ne suffre him stonde longe for to abide thee, but loke hou redi
and hou glaad thou wolde be yif an angel of hevene wolde come and speke with thee.
Soo redi and so buxum be thou in wille for to speke with thyn even Cristene whanne he
cometh to thee. For thou wost not what he is, ne what he wolde, ne what nede he hath
to thee, ne thou of hym, til thou have assaied hym.
    And though thou be in preiere or in devocioun, that thee thenketh looth for to breeke
of, for thee thenketh thou schuldest not leve God for mannys speche, me thenketh it is
not so in this caas; for yif thou be wise, thou schal not leve God, but thou schal fynde
Hym and have Hym and see Him in thyn evene Cristene as wel as in praiere. Yif thou
coude wel love thyn evene Cristene, but schulde not hyndre thee for to speke with hem
discretli. Discrecioun schalt thou have upoun this manere as me thenketh. Whoso cometh
to thee, aske hym mekeli what he wole; and yif he come to telle his disese and to be
comfortid of thi speche, heere him glaadli, and suffre him to seie what he wole for ese
of his owen herte. And whanne he hath doon, comforte hym goodli and charitabli, and
sone breke of. And thanne aftir, yif he wole falle into idel tales or vanytees, or of othere
mennys deedis, ansuere hym not but litil, ne feede not his speche; and he schal soone be
irke and sone take his leve.
   Yif it be anothir man that cometh to knowe thee, as a man of Holi Chirche, heere hym
loweli with reverence for his ordre, and yif his speche comforte thee, aske of hym,
and make thee not for to teche hym. For it falleth not to thee for to teche a preest, but
in nede. Yif his speche comforte thee not, answere but litil, and he wole soone goo his
wai. Yif it be anothir man that cometh for to gyve his almasse or ellis for to heere thee
speke, or for to be knowen of thee, speke mekeli and goodli to him withal. Repreve no
man of his defautis; it falleth not to thee, but yif he be the more hoomli with thee, that
thou wite wel that he wole not take it agreef. And schorteli for to seie, as moche as thou
conceyvest that schulde profite thyn evene Cristene goostli, mai thou seie yif thou can
and he wil take it. And of alle thynges kepe silence as moche as thou mai, and thou schal
have litil prees in schort tyme that schal lette thee. Thus thenketh me; doo betere yif
thou mai.
 
 
Chapter Eighty-four
 
Of the myrke image of synne and of the clothinge therof.
 
Bi this that y have seide mai thou see a litil the myrkenesse of this ymage; nought for y
have discreyed it to thee for fulli as it is, can y not. Neverthelees bi this litil mai thou see
the more yif thou loke weel. But now seist thou: "Wherbi knowest thou that I bere siche
an ymage aboute with me as thou spekest of?" As unto this I answere: y mai take upoun
me a word of the prophete, and is this: Inveni idolum michi (Hosea 12:8) This is thus
mykil to seie, I have founden a fals ymage, that men calle a mawmet, in mysilf, wel
foule disfigured and forschapen with wrecchidnesse of alle thise synnes whiche I have
spoken of, bi the whiche I am cast doun into many wrecchidnessis more thanne y can
or mai seie; that me thenketh yvel fore and repente and crie merci. Bi this wrecchidnesse
that y feele in mysilf, moche more than I have seide, mai I the betere telle thee of thyne
image. For alle comen we of Adam and of Eve, cloothid with clothis of a beestis hide,
as Hooli Writt seith of oure Lord thus: Fecit dominus Ade et uxori eius tunicas pelliceas
(Genesis 3:21). Oure Lord maade to Adam and to his wif clothis of a beestis hide, in
tokene that for synne he was forschapen like to a beest; with whiche beestli clothis we
alle aren born, and umbilapped and disfigured from oure kyndeli schaap.
 
 
Chapter Eighty-five
 
Whiche aren the lymes of the ymage of synne.
 
Thanne is this an uggli ymage for to loke upon. The heed is pride, for pride is principal
and the firste synne, as the wise man seith: Inicium omnis peccati superbia (Ecclesiasticus
10:15). The bigynnynge of al maner synne is pride. The baak and the hyndre part of it
is coveitise, as Seynt Poul seith: Que retro sunt obliviscens, in anteriora me extendam
(Philippians 3:13). I schal forgete alle wordli thynges whiche aren bakward, and I schal
strike me forward to endelees thynges. The brest, in whiche is the herte, is envie, for it
is noo fleischli synne, but it is a develis synne, as the wise man seith: Invidia diaboli
mors intravit in orbem terrarum. Imitantur illum omnes qui ex parte eius sunt (Wisdom
2:24-25). Bi envie of the devil deeth com into al the world; forthi al thoo that aren of his
part folwen hym thereinne. The armes of it aren wraththe, in as moche as a man
wreketh hym with his armes of his wraththe, agens Cristis forbedynge in the Gospel: Si
quis percusserit te in unam maxillam, prebe sibi et alteram (Matthew 5:39). Yif a man
smyte thee upon the ton cheke with his hond, thou schalt not smyte hym agen, but
offre hym that othir cheke. The beli of this image is glotonye, as Seynt Poul seith: Esca
ventri, et venter escis; deus hunc et has destruet (1 Corinthians 6:13). Mete serveth to
the beli, and the beli serveth for to gete mete; but God schal distroie bothe the beli and
the mete. That schal be in the laste ende, in the fulle reformynge of chosene, and in the
demynge of the reproved. The membris of hit aren leccherie, of the whiche Seynt Poul
seith thus: Non exhibeatis membra vestra arma iniquitatis ad peccatum (Romans 6:13).
Yee schullen not gyve youre membres, speciali youre pryvé membres, to be armes to
synne. The feet of this ymage aren accidie, and therfore the wise man seith to the slowe
for to stire him to goode werkis thus: Discurre, festina, suscita amicum tuum (Proverbs
6:3). That is to seie, renne quykli aboute to good werkes, and haste thee swithe, for the
tyme passeth; and reise up thi freend, whiche is Jhesu, bi devoute praier and meditacioun.
 
 
Chapter Eighty-six
 
Whereof the image of Jhesu is maad, and the ymage of synne and hou we aren passynge
forth by the image of synne.
 
This is not the ymage of Jhesu, but it is likere an image of the devyl; for the ymage of
Jhesu is maad of vertues with mekenesse, parfite love, and charité. But this ymage is of
fals fleschli luste to thisilf, with alle thise membris festned therto. This ymage berist
thou aboute, and eche man, what that he be, until bi the grace of Jhesu it be sumdel
destroied and broken doun. Thus it semeth that David seith in the sautier: Verumptamen
in ymagine pertransit homo; sed et frustra conturbatur (Psalms 38:7). This is for to
seie, though it so were that a man were maad in the bigynnynge to the ymage of God,
stable and stidefast, neveretheles bicause of synne he firste passith lyvynge in this
world, in this image of synne, bi the whiche he is unstable and trobiled in veyn. Also
Seynt Poule speketh of this ymage thus: Sicut portavimus ymaginem terreni hominis, sic
portemus ymaginem celestis hominis (1 Corinthians 15:49). That is to seie, yif we wolen
come to the love of God, as we have bore bifore the ymage of the ertheli man, that is of
the first Adam, that is this ymage of synne, right so now that we myght bere the ymage
of the heveneli man Jhesu, whiche is the image of vertues.
   What schalt thou thanne doo with this ymage of synne? Unto this I answere thee bi
the word that the Jewes seiden to Pilat of Crist: Tolle, tolle, crucifige eum! (John
19:15). Take this bodi of synne and doo hym on the Cros, that is for to seie, breke doun
this image and slee the fals love of synne in thisilf. As Cristis bodi was slayn for oure
trespace, right so thee bihoveth, yif thou wole be like to Crist, slee thi bodili feelynge
and fleschli luste in thisilf. Thus seid Seynt Poul: Qui autem Christi sunt, carnem suam
crucifixerunt cum viciis et concupiscenciis (Galatians 5:24). Ye that aren Cristis folweres
have crucified and slayn here fleisch, that is the image of synne, with alle the lustis and
the unskilful likynges of it.
   Slee thanne and breke doun pride and sette up mekenesse; also breke doun ire and
envie and reise up love and charité to thyn even Cristene; also in stide of coveitise,
poverté in spirite; in stide of accidie, fervour of devocioun with a glaad redynesse to alle
good deedes; and in stide of glotonye and leccherie, sobirté and chastité in bodi and in
soule. Thus counceileth Seynt Poul whanne he seid thus: Deponentes veterem hominem
cum suis actibus, qui corrumpitur secundum desideria erroris; et induite novum hom-
inem, qui secundum deum creatus est in sanctitate et iusticia
(Ephesians 4:22, 24). Ye
schal put doun the olde man, that is the ymage of the olde Adam with alle his membris,
for he is roten in desires of errour, and ye schal schape you and clothe you in a newe
man, whiche is the ymage of God, bi holynesse and rightwisenesse and fulheed of
vertues. Who schal helpe thee to breke doun this ymage? Sothli thi Lorde Jhesu. In the
vertue and in the name of Hym schal thou breke doun the mawmet of synne. Prai Hym
bisili, and desire, and He schal helpe thee.
 
 
Chapter Eighty-seven
 
What profite cometh of the kepynge of the herte, and hou moche the soule is.
 
Gadere thanne thyn herte togidre and doo aftir the conceile of the wise man, whanne he
seith thus: Omni custodia serva cor tuum, quoniam ex ipso procedit vita (Proverbs
4:23). With al thi bisinesse kepe thyn herte, for out of it cometh liyf; and that is soth
whanne it is wel kepid, for thanne wise thoughtes, clene affeccions, and brennynge
desires of vertues and of charité and of the blisse of hevene comen oute of it, and
maketh the soule for to lyve a blissid lif. Also upoun the contrarie wise, yif it be not wel
kepid, thanne as oure Lord seith in the Gospel: De corde exeunt cogitaciones male, que
coinquinant hominem (Matthew 15:19-20). Badde thoughtes and unclene affeccions
comen oute of the herte, the whiche filen a man, as oure Lord seith. Thei owthere
bynemen the liyf of the soule bi deedli synne, or ellis thei feble the soule and maketh it
seek, yef thei ben venial. For what is a man but hise thoughtes and his loves? Thise
maken a man oonli good or badde. As moche as thou lovest thi God and thyn even
Cristene and knowest Hym, so moche is thi soule; and if thou litil love Hym, litil is thi
soule; and yif thou nought love Hym, nout is thi soule. It is nought as for good, but it is
moche as for synne. And yif thou wolt wite what thou lovest, loke whereupoun thou
thenkest; for where thi love is, there is thyne iye; and where thy likynge is, there is most
thyn herte thynkynge. Yif thou moche love God, thee liketh to thenke moche upon
Hym. Rule wel thi thoughtes and thyne affeccions, and thanne art thou vertuous.
 
 
Chapter Eighty-eight
 
Hou the ymage of synne schal be broken doun.
 
Bigyn thanne on, and breke this image. Whanne thou hast inwardli bithought thee of
thisilf and of thi wrecchidnesse as I have seid - how proud, hou veyn, how envious,
how malicious, how covetous, and how fleischli and how ful of corrupcioun; also of
how litil knowynge, felynge, or savour thou hast in God; how wise, how quyk, and
how moche savour thou hast in ertheli thynges; and schorteli that thee thenketh thee as
ful of synne as the hide is ful of fleisch - be thou not adreed to moche, yif thee
thenketh so of thisilf. And whanne thou hast don thus, lift up thi desire and thyn herte to
thi Lord Jhesu Crist, and prey Hym of helpe. Crie to Him bi greet desire and sighynges,
that He wole helpe thee to breke the charge of this veyn image, or elles that He wole
breke it. Thenke also that sich a schame it is to thee to be feed with swynes mete of
fleischli savouris, that schuldest feele a goostli savour of heveneli joie. Yif thou doo
thus, thanne bigynnest thou for to arise agen the hool ground of synne in thee; and it mai
so be that thou schal feele peyne and sorwe, for thou schalt undirstonde that there mai
no soule lyve withoute greet peyne, but he have reste and delite in his creatour or in his
creaturis.
   Thanne whanne thou arisest agens thisilf bi a fervent disire to feele of thi Lord Jhesu,
and for to drawe thi love from al bodili thinge, in so moche that thou art encombred of
thisilf and thee thenketh that alle cratures risen agen thee and alle thynge whiche thou
hadde delite in bifore turneth thee to peyne; and whanne thou forsakest thus thisilf and
thou mai fynde no confort in God: nedelynges thi soule schal suffre peyne. Nevertheles,
I hope whoso wolde suffre this peyne awhile, stidefastli clevynge upon that desire that
he wolde have not but his Lord Jhesu, and falle not lightli therfro ne seeke no confort
outward for a tyme, for it lasteth not longe, oure Lord is neer and soone schal eese thyn
herte. For He wole helpe thee to bere thi bodi ful of corrupcioun, and He wole breke
doun this image of love in thisilf; not al at oonys but litil and litil, til thou be sumdel
reformed to His liknesse.
 
 
Chapter Eighty-nine
 
How a man schal have hym agens stirynges of pride and of alle othere vices.
 
Aftir sich an hool risynge agen thisilf, whanne it is passid thou schal the more sobirli
and more esili rule thisilf and sette thee more saadli for to kepe thisilf and thi thoughtes
in thyne affecciouns, for to knowe hem whethir thei ben good or badde. Thanne yif
thou feele a stirynge of pride, or ony othir spice of it, be soone waar yif thou mai, and
suffre hit not lightli passe awai, but take in thi mynde and rende it, breke it and dispice
it, and doo al the schame that thou mai therto. Loke that thou spare it not, ne trowe it
not, speke he nevere so faire, for it is fals though it seme sooth, as the prophete seith:
Popule meus, qui beatum te dicunt ipsi te decipiunt, et in errorem te ducunt (Isaiah
3:12). This is to saie thus: Thou man of my peple, thei that seyn thou art blissid and holi,
thei bigile thee and brynge thee into errour. And yif thou doo ofte thus bisili, thou schalt
bi grace of Jhesu withinne schort tyme stoppe moche of the spryng of pride and moche
abate the veyn delite therof, that thou schal unnethis fele it. And whanne thou felest it,
it schal be so weyke, and as it were neerhande deed, that it schal not moche deere thee.
And thanne schalt thou mow have a goostli sight of mekenesse, hou good and hou faire
it is, and thou schalt desire it and love it for the goodnesse of itsilf, that thee schal like
for to biholde as thou art, and yif nede be for to suffre gladli dispite and reprof for the
love of rightwisenesse. Upon the self maner whanne thou feelist stirynges of ire, and
malicious risynge of herte, or overmoche yvel wil agens thyn even Cristene for ony
maner of cause, though it seme resonable and for charité, bewaar of it and be redi with
thi thought for to refreyne it, that hit turne not into fleschli appetite. Agenstonde it, and
folwe hit not neither in word ne in deede, as moche as thou mai, but as he riseth smyte
him doun agen; and so schalt thou slee it with the swerd of drede of God, that it schal
not dere thee. For wite thou wel in alle thise stirynges of pride, envie, veynglorie, or ony
othir, that as sone that thou perceyvest it, and with displesynge of thi wille and of thi
resoun thou agenstondist it, thou sleest it, though it so be that it cleve stille upon thyn
herte agens thi wille, and wole not lightli passe awai. Drede it not; for it letteth thi soule
from pees, but it defouleth not thi soule. Right so upon the same wise schalt thou doo
agens alle yvele stirynges of covetise, accidie, glotonye, and leccherie, that thou schal
be ay redi with thy reson and with thi wille for to reprove hem and despice hem.
 
 
Chapter Ninety
 
What thynge helpith most a mannys knowynge, and geteth him that hym wanteth, and
distroieth synne in hym.
 
And thanne mai thou doo the more redili and betere, yif thou be besi for to sette thyn
herte most upon oon thyng. And that thyng is not ellis but a gosteli desire to God for to
love Him, for to knowe Hym, for to see Hym, for to have Him heer bi grace in a litil
felynge, and in the blisse of hevene a ful beynge. This desire, yif thou kepe, it schal wele
telle thee whiche is synne and whiche is noon, and whiche is good and whiche is bettere
good. And if thou wilt festyn thi thought therto, it schal teche thee al that thee nedeth,
and it schal gete thee al that thee wanteth. And therfore, whanne thou schal arise agens
the ground of synne in general, or ellis agens ony special synne, hange faste upon this
desire and sette the poynt of thi thought more upon God whom thou desirest thanne
upon the synne whiche thou reprovest; for yif thou doo so, thanne feighteth God for
thee and He schal destroie the synne in thee. Thou schalt moche sonnere come to thi
purpos yif thou soo doo thanne yif thou lose this felynge and this meke desire to God
principali, and wole sette thyn herte oonli agen stirynge of synne, as thou woldest
destroie it by maistrie of thisilf. Thou schalt nevere brynge it so aboute.
 
 
Chapter Ninety-one
 
Hou a man schal be schapen to the image of Jhesu, and Jhesu schapen in hym.
 
But doo as I have seid, and betere yif thou may, and I hope bi grace of Jhesu thou schal
make the devel aschamed, and alle sich wickid stirynges thou schalt breke adoune, that
thei schal not moche dere thee. And upon this maner wise mai this image of synne be
broken doun and destroied in thee, bi the whiche thou art forschapen fro the kyndeli
schap of the ymage of Crist. And thanne schalt thou be schapin agen to the ymage of
Jhesu bi mekenesse and charité; and thanne schalt thou be ful schapen to the image of
God, heere lyvynge bi a schadewe in contemplacion, and in the blis of hevene be ful
sothfastnesse.
   Of this schapynge to the ful liknesse of Crist speketh Seynt Poul thus: Filioli, quos
iterum parturio, donec Christus formetur in vobis (Galatians 4:19). Mi dere children,
whiche y bere as a woman berith a child, unto Crist be agen schapen in you. Thou hast
conceived Crist bi truthe, and He hath liyf in thee in as moche as thou hast a good wille
for to serve Hym and please Hym, but He is not yit ful schapen in thee, ne thou in Him
bi fulheed of charité. And therfore Seynt Poul baar me and thee and othere also with
traveile, as a woman bereth a child, unto the tyme that Crist hath His ful schap in us and
we in Hym.
   Whoso weneth for to come to the workyng and to the ful use of contemplacioun and
not bi this way, that is for to sai not bi fulheed of vertues, he cometh not in bi the dore,
and therfore as a theef he schal be caste out. I seie not but that a man bi gifte of God mai
have bi tymes a taastynge and a glymerynge of lif contemplatif, sum man in the
bigynnynge, but the saad feelynge of hit schal he not have. For Criste is the doore and
porter, and withoute His leve and His lyveray mai there no man come in, as He seith
Hymsilf: Nemo venit ad patrem nisi per me (John 14:6). No man cometh to the Fadir but
bi Me. That is for to seie, no man mai come to the contemplacion of the Godheed but he
be first reformed bi fulhed of mekenesse and charitee to the liknesse of Jhesu in His
manhede.
 
 
Chapter Ninety-two
 
Hereinne is told the cause whi this writynge is maad, and hou sche schal have hire in the
redynge that it was maad unto.
 
Lo, I have tolde thee a litil, as me thenketh, first of contemplacioun, what it is, and
sithen of the weies that bi grace leden therto. Not for I have it in felynge and in worchynge
as I have it in seiynge; nevertheles I wolde bi thise wordes, siche as thei aren, first stire
myn owen necgligence for to doon betere than I have doon, and also my purpos is for
to stire thee or ony othir man or woman that hath take the staat of contemplatif liyf for
to traveile more bisili and more mekeli in that maner of lif bi siche simple wordes as God
hath gyven me grace for to seie. And therfore yif ony word be thereinne that stireth or
conforteth thyn herte more to the love of God, thanke God, for it is His gift and not of
the word. And yif it conforteth thee nought, or ellis thou takest it not redeli, studie not
to longe theraboute, but lei hit biside thee til anothir tyme, and gyve thee to praier or to
othir occupacion. Take it as it wole come, and not al at onys.
   Also thise wordes that I write, take hem not to streiteli, but there as thee thenketh bi
good avysement that I speke to schorteli, oithir for lackynge of Ynglisch or wantynge
of resoun, I prey thee mende it there nede is oonli. Also thise wordis that y write to thee
longen not alle to oon man whiche hath actif lif, but to thee or to anothir whiche hath the
staat of liyf comtemplatif.
The grace of oure Lord Jhesu Crist be with thee. Amen

Go To The Scale of Perfection, Book 2