Art. 94, Enseignements de saint Lewis a Philip soun fitz

ART. 94, ENSEIGNEMENTS DE SAINT LEWIS A PHILIP SOUN FITZ: EXPLANATORY NOTES


Abbreviations: AND: Anglo-Norman Dictionary; ANL: Anglo-Norman Literature: A Guide to Texts and Manuscripts (R. Dean and Boulton); BL: British Library (London); Bodl.: Bodleian Library (Oxford); CT: Chaucer, Canterbury Tales; CUL: Cambridge University Library (Cambridge); DOML: Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library; FDT: French Devotional Texts of the Middle Ages (Sinclair 1979); FDT-1French Devotional Texts of the Middle Ages, . . . First Supplement (Sinclair 1982); IMEV: The Index of Middle English Verse (Brown and Robbins); MED: Middle English Dictionary; MWME: A Manual of the Writings in Middle English, 1050–1500 (Severs et al.); NIMEV: A New Index of Middle English Verse (Boffey and Edwards); NLS: National Library of Scotland (Edinburgh).

59 seint Martyn. Saint Martin (316–397), Bishop of Tours, was a soldier before he decided that his Christian faith prohibited him from fighting.

 
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Art. 94, Enseignements de saint Lewis a Philip soun fitz

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¶ Ce est le aprise que le roy Lewis de Fraunce aprist a Philip soun fitz quant il
estoit en lit mortiel a Tunes.

¶ Tres cher fiz, je te aprenk a comencement que tu aymez Dieu de tot toun cuer e
de tote ta vertue, quar saunz ce n’est salut a nully. Gardez toi de totes choses que
despleisent a Dieu, e de tot mortiel pecchié te garde en tiele manere que vueilletz
mieux soffryr martire que fere nul. Si Dieu te envoie ascun adverseté, pren la
debonerement, en rendant graces a Nostre Seigneur, e pensez que ele te est avenu
pur toun bien, e que tu le as bien deservi pur toun mesfet.


E si Dieu te envoie prosperité, le regraciez sovent a ly, quar ce est pur sa
debonereté noun pas pur vostre desert, quar tu ne dois pas Dieu corocer ne
guerrer de ces bienfetz.

Soiez confés sovent, e elisez sage confessour que, solum ton quider, te sache
aprendre ce que tu dois fere, e te sache garnyr ce que tu dois lesser. E te contien
en tiele manere que ton confessour e tes amys te osent seurement reprendre quant
vous meserrez. Devoutement e volentiers oiez le service Dieu e de seinte Eglise, e
gardez que ta regardure ne soit volage taunt come vous estez en la eglise. E ileque
ne parlez vileynie ne chose veyne, mes priez Dieu devoutement de bouche e de
cuer, e enforcez ta pensee a devocioun, e nomément a le houre que le cors Dieu
est sacree, c’est a dire, a le sacrement de la messe.


Eyez pitous cuer as cheytyfs e as povres e a tormentez, e solum ton poer eidez les
e confortez. Si tu as nul dolour au cuer, di la a toun confessour ou autre leaus e
prodhome, e quant il te avera conforté, tu le aporteras plus legerement.


Amez compagnie des bonez gentz, lequel qu’il seient religious ou seculers, e fuez
compagnie des malveis.

Oyez volenters prechementz en segreez e en apert, e te purchacez pardouns.

E tes preomes amez e le bien, e haiez le mal.

Ne soffrez qe um die devant toy nulle parole atrayaunt a pecchié, ne que um parle
mal | de autruy par derere.

E gardez que tu ne oyez parole ou Dieu soit moské, ne nul de sez seyntz.


E si tu le as oy, je te comant que tu ly vengez en cely que le avera dit, e issi ren
graces a Dieu des biens qu’il te ad fet que tu soiez dignes a recevoir greynures.


Vers tes sogetz te porte si dreiturelement que tu tiengez tous jours la lygne de
dreiture ne enclinez a destre ne a senestre, e nepurquant tien toi auques plus vers
la partie du povre que du ryche, si la que tu sachez la verité.

Si ascun ad querele contre toy, seiez de la sue part si la que tu sachez la verité de
la querele. E par ce, avendra que vos concilers meintendrount volenters dreiture
pus qu’il veient que tu le meyntegnez countre toi meymes.

Si tu vois que tu tienez ascune chose de autrui a tort, ou de tempz de tes auncestres
ou de tuen, ren la acely a qy ele dust estre. E si la chose soit oscure, fetes enquere
la verité e pus en facez dreiture.

Soiez ententifs que tous tes sogetz soient meintenuz en dreiture e en misericorde
quant tu veiez que tu la pussez fere sauntz fere tort, e nomément eiez en amour les
persones de seinte Eglise e de religioun.

Je oy counter que un des consilers le roy Philip dist au roy que les clers ly fesoient
grantz damages en purpenant ces dreitures, e molt se merveillot qu’il le voleit
soffryr. E le roy respoundy, “Bien croy, mes quant je regard les grauntz bontez que
Dieu me ad fait, e le poy de bien que je ay deservy, je vueil mieux endurer damage
de siecle en bienz temporals que mover esclaundre entre seinte Eglise e moy.”
Amez donqe les clerkes pur le amour e la reverence de Nostre Seigneur, e eiez pes
a seinte Eglise e a eux. Amez especialment gentz de religion e les eydez en lur
bosoignes, e nomément ceux par qy Dieux est plus honoré en cest mound.


Honorez tes parentz e tien lur comaundementz en tote reverence. Benefices de
seinte Eglise donez as bones gentz e as digne persones, par le counsail de
prodeshonmes, e nomément a ceux que ne ount gareisoun de nul benefis.

Gardez que guerre ne movez sauntz grant counsail, e nomément countre cristien.
E si ce comenge guerrer, gardez que ceux que coupe ne ount seient damagez en
nulle manere a toun poer, e que seinte Eglise seit sauvé en tous ces dreitures. E
fetez pees a plustost qe tu porras de tes guerres e de tes contenks, sicome fesoit
seint Martyn.

Seiez ententifs que tu eiez leals bailifs, provotz, e ministres, | e que soient gentz de
bone conscience, e fetes enquere sovent coment eux si portent en lur offices. E ce
cointement que vous poez fere les redresses ou mestier est de amendement. E ensi
fetes de ceux de vostre hostiel.


Seiez obedient e devout a la eglise de Rome e a le apostoille come a vostre piere
espirital e come a cely que puet fere e desfere, lyer e deslyer, en cel e en terre.


Laborez a ce que pecchié e moskerie de Dieu e heresie seient hostez de vostre
roialme. Voiez que les despences de vostre hostiel seient mesurables, issi que vous
pussez vivre de vostre sauntz aprompt ou ravyne fere entre vos southmys.

Je vous pri que, si je muerge eynz de toy, eidez ma alme en messes e en oreisounz,
e envoiez a mesouns de religiouns e priez lur que ma alme eit part de lur bienfetz.


Je te doyn ma benesoun, e pri que tote la Trinité e touz seintz te gardent en tiele
manere que Dieu soit honoré par toy, e que tu facez ensi sa volenté, que aprés ceste     
cheytive vie venoms ambedeus a ly veoir, amer, e loer sauntz fyn. Amen.
¶ This is the teaching that King Louis of France taught his son Philip when he was
on his deathbed in Tunis.

¶ Dearest son, I instruct you first that you ought to love God with all your heart and
all your strength, for without this no one can be saved. Keep yourself from all
things that are displeasing to God, and keep yourself from every mortal sin in such
a way that you would prefer to endure martyrdom rather than commit any. Should
God send you any adversity, accept it graciously, giving thanks to Our Lord, and
think that it has happened to you for your good, and that you have fully deserved
it on account of your misdeeds.

And should God send you prosperity, thank him often, because it is on account of
his goodness and not for your merit, for you should neither anger God nor war
against his kindnesses.

Confess often, and choose a wise confessor who, to the best of your knowledge,
knows how to teach you what you ought to do, and knows how to warn you of what
you ought to refrain from doing. And behave in such a way that your confessor and
your friends will venture without fear to retrieve you when you go astray. Listen
devoutly and gladly to the service of God and Holy Church, and take care that your
manner not be frivolous so long as you are in church. And do not speak evil or vain
things there, but pray devoutly to God with mouth and heart, and direct your
thought to devotion, especially at the hour when God’s body is consecrated, that
is to say, at the sacrament of the Mass.

Have a compassionate heart for the wretched and the poor and the tormented, and
aid and comfort them as best you can. If you have any sorrow of heart, tell it to
your confessor or to another loyal and worthy man, and when he has comforted
you, you will bear it the more lightly.

Enjoy the company of good men, whether they be religious or secular, and shun
the company of the wicked.

Listen gladly to admonitions in private and in public, and obtain pardons.

And love your worthy men and what is good, and hate what is bad.

Do not permit anyone to say in your presence any word leading to sin, nor anyone
to speak ill | of another behind his back.

And take care that you do not hear a word where God is mocked, nor any of his
saints.

And if you have heard it, I command you to avenge it against the one who has said
it, and so give thanks to God for the good things that he has done for you so that
you may be worthy to receive greater things.

Bear yourself toward your subjects so justly that you hold always to the rule of
justice without inclining to right or left, and nonetheless always stand more toward
the interest of the poor than the rich, insofar as you know the truth.

If anyone has a complaint against you, take his side until you know the truth of the
complaint. And as a result of this, your counselors will uphold justice willingly since
they see that you support it even against yourself.

If you see that you possess wrongly anything that belongs to someone else, whether
from the time of your ancestors or your own, return it to him to whom it belongs.
And if the question is unclear, search out the truth and then do what is right.

Be attentive that all your subjects are maintained in justice and mercy when you see
that you are able to do so without doing wrong, and especially hold in love the
people of Holy Church and in religious orders.

I have heard tell that one of King Philip’s counselors said to the king that the
clergy did great harm to him with regard to his rights, and that he greatly
marveled that he would willingly allow this. And the king answered, “That is right,
but when I look at the great favors that the Lord has done for me, and the little
good that I have deserved, I prefer to endure worldly harm in temporal goods
rather than provoke slander between Holy Church and myself.” Love therefore the
clergy for the love and reverence of Our Lord, and be at peace with Holy Church
and with them. Love especially men in religious orders and help them with their
needs, and particularly those by whom God is most honored in this world.

Honor your parents and hold their commands in full reverence. Give the benefices
of Holy Church to good men and worthy persons, following the counsel of prudent
men, and especially to those who do not have the provision of any benefice.

Take care not to initiate war without great deliberation, particularly against
Christians. And if war should begin, take care that those not at fault are not hurt
in any way by your power, and that Holy Church is secure in all its rights. And
make peace as soon as you can from your wars and your quarrels, as did Saint
Martin.

Be mindful that you have loyal bailiffs, provosts, and ministers, | and that they be
men of good conscience, and make inquiry often about how they comport
themselves in their duties. And do this so prudently that you are able to make
redress where there is a matter to be amended. And do the same with those of your
household.

Be obedient and devoted to the Church of Rome and the Apostles in the same way
as to your spiritual Father and the one who can make and unmake, bind and
unbind, in heaven and on earth.

Work to ensure that sin and mockery of God and heresy are eliminated from your
realm. See that the expenses of your household be moderate, so that you are able to
live by your own means without borrowing or causing plunder among your subjects.

I ask you that, should I die before you, you assist my soul in masses and in prayers,
and send word to the religious houses asking them that my soul share in their good
works.

I give you my blessing, and pray that all the Trinity and all the saints look after you
in such a way that God is honored by you, and that you act according to his will, so
that after this wretched life we may both come to see, love, and praise him without
end. Amen.


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