Ancrene Wisse: Part Eight


1-2 Bivoren, on earst . . . uttre riwlen, Before, at first (or, at the beginning) I said that you should not in any way promise to keep any of the outer rules as if in a vow.

2-3 Thet ilke ich segge . . . ow ane, I say the same still, nor do I write them for any but you alone.

3-4 Ich segge this . . . neowe riwle, I say this so that other anchoresses may not say that I by my authority make them a new rule.

4-6 Ne bidde ich nawt . . . for betere, Nor do I ask that they keep them. But you must continually change these whenever you want for better ones.

6 Ayein thinges . . . strengthe, In comparison to the things which are [described] before - there is little importance for them (i.e., they have little importance).

7 sihthe, sight; is inoh i-seid, enough is said.

7-8 Nu is this leaste dale . . . stucchen, Now this last part is, as I promised at first, divided and separated into seven little pieces (or, sub-sections).

9-10 Me let leasse . . . fiftene sithen, One values (let = reduced form of leoteth - see glossary) less highly the thing which one has often. Therefore you should not receive the Eucharist (lit., be houseled) - except as our brothers do (lit., are) - fifteen times within a year.

10-16 Midwinter Dei . . . Seint Andrews Dei, Midwinter Day (December 21), Twelfth Day (January 6 - Epiphany, twelve days after Christmas), Candlemas Day (February 2), a Sunday midway between that (i.e., Candlemas) and Easter (moveable), or Our Lady's Day (the Annunciation of the Virgin, March 25), if it is near the Sunday, because of its loftiness, Easter Day (moveable), the third Sunday after that, Holy Thursday (Christ's Ascension, fifth Thursday after Easter), Whitsunday (Pentecost, seventh Sunday after Easter), Midsummer's Day (June 24), St. Mary Magdalene's Day (July 22), the Assumption [of the Virgin] (August 15), the Nativity [of the Virgin] (September 8), St. Michael's Day (September 29), All Hallows Day (November 1), St. Andrew's Day (November 30).

16-18 Ayein alle theose . . . pitance, In anticipation of all these, be (imper.) thoroughly confessed, and take on disciplines (i.e., a physical penance; for example, scourging), never though from anyone but yourself, and forgo for one day your ration of food.

18-20 Yef ewt i-limpeth . . . athet tenne, If anything happens amiss (or, goes wrong) so that you are not houseled (i.e., given the Eucharist) in these set times, let it be the next Sunday, or if the other time is near, wait until then (tenne = reduced form of thenne after preceding -t).

21-24 Ye schulen eoten . . . makie, You must eat twice each day from Easter until the Holy Rood Day (September 14, the Exaltation of the Cross) - the latter one, which is in the fall - except on the Fridays, or Ember-days (i.e., days of prayer and fasting, occurring on the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after certain feast days), Processional Days, and vigils (i.e., devotions the night before a holy day). In these days, nor during Advent you must not eat white food unless necessity force it.

24-25 The other half yer . . . blod-letene, The entire second half year fast (imper.), except Sundays alone, when you are in health and full strength - but [this] rule does not bind the sick or those who have had blood let (lit., the blood-let [ones]).

26 flesch ne seim, meat nor fat.

26-27 other hwa-se is over-feble, or [when] someone (lit., whoever) is overly feeble.

27 Potage eoteth blitheliche . . . drunch, Eat (imper. pl.) vegetable dishes happily, and accustom you[rself] to little drink.

28 haveth i-thuht me, have seemed to me.

29 Ne feaste ye . . . leave, Do not fast any day on bread or on water unless you have permission.

30 Sum ancre maketh . . . ute-with, Some anchoress (i.e., sometimes an anchoress) will sit to dinner (lit., make her board) outside with her guest.

30-31 to muche freondschipe, too much friendship.

31-32 for of alle ordres . . . to the world, for in all orders then it is unnatural, and [it is] most contrary [to the] order of the anchoress, who is completely dead to the world.

32-33 Me haveth i-herd . . . yet neaver, People have (lit., one has) heard often that the dead have spoken with the living - but that they have eaten with the living I never yet discovered.

34-36 Ne makie ye nane gestnunges . . . thohtes, Do not give (lit., make) any entertainments (or, entertain any guests), nor attract to the gate any unknown (i.e., strange) vagabonds; even though there would be no other evil but their unbridled racket (or, noise), it would sometimes hinder heavenly thoughts.

36-37 Ne limpeth nawt . . . to feaste? It is not fitting for an anchoress to make herself generous with another person's charity (or, donations). Would not people (lit., one) laugh a beggar loudly to scorn who invited people to a feast?

38 ba, both.

38-39 ah hare lif sundrede . . . herede, but their lives parted (i.e., differed): you anchoresses have taken you[rselves] (i.e., given yourselves) to Mary's part (or, role), whom our Lord Himself praised.

39-40 Maria optimam partem elegit, "Mary has chosen the better part" (Luke 10:42).

40-41 "thu art [in] muche baret . . . hire dale," "you are in a great fuss (or, commotion). Mary has chosen better, and nothing will steal her portion from her."

41-43 Husewifschipe is Marthe dale . . . stevene, Managing a household (lit., housewifery) is Martha's part; Mary's part is stillness and rest from all the world's noise, so that nothing may hinder her from hearing (lit., to hear) God's voice.

43 lokith, look (imper. pl.).

44 meoster, job (or, occupation).

44-46 leoteth hire i-wurthen . . . hus-leafdi, let her be. You should sit with Mary stone-still at God's feet and listen to Him alone. Martha's job is to feed the poor and clothe [them], like the lady of a house.

46-47 Marie ne ah . . . wereth hire, Mary ought not to meddle (or, busy herself) in that. If anyone blames her, God Himself defends her at all times.

47-50 Contra Symonem . . . opus, et cetera, [Jesus] in response to Simon: "[A certain moneylender had] two debtors. [The one owed five hundred denarii, the other fifty. As they had no means of paying, he forgave them both. Which of them, therefore, will love him more?" Simon answered and said, "He, I suppose, to whom he forgave more." "You have judged rightly" (Luke 7:36-41).] [Jesus] in response to Martha: "Mary [has chosen] the better part," etc. (Luke 10:42). In response to the apostles grumbling [about a woman pouring expensive oil on Christ's hair, saying,] "To what purpose is this waste?" He said, "[She has done me] a good work," etc. (Matthew 26:8).

50-51 On other half . . . large? At the same time (lit., on the other side), no anchoress ought to take [anything] except what is necessary for her (i.e., what she requires) in moderation. With what then can she be generous (lit., make herself generous)?

51-52 Ha schal libben . . . yeoven, She must live by donations as moderately as ever she can, and not accumulate (or, save) in order to give.

53-54 Yef ha mei spearien . . . sunne, If she can spare any poor scraps, (let her) send them entirely secretly out of her rooms. Under the appearance of good, sin is often hidden.

55-56 the tilieth . . . hare ealmesse? who till (i.e., have land in tillage) or have set incomes, give (lit., do) their donations to their poor neighbors secretly?

56-58 Ne wilni ha nawt . . . habben mare, Let her not want to have the reputation of [being] a generous anchoress, or [the reputation] of giving (lit., to give) much, or of being (lit., to be) any the greedier to have more.

58-60 For-hwon thet gredinesse . . . rihte, As long as greediness be the root of the gathering (or, collecting), all the branches which sprout from it (will) be bitter from its bitterness. To ask for it (i.e., something) in order to give it away is not right for an anchoress.

60-61 Of ancre curteisie . . . on ende, From an anchoress' courtesy, from an anchoress' generosity, sin and shame have often come in the end.

62-64 ant nomeliche ancre meidnes . . . to herbarhin, and especially anchoresses' maidens (i.e., servants) who are (lit., come) put to trouble for you - even if you must do without it for you[rself], or borrow or beg for it - have them eat with loving hospitality and invite (them) to lodge (or, stay) [with you].

65-66 Na mon ne eote . . . alle othre, Let no man eat in your presence except by your director's permission, [whether] general (i.e., blanket) or special [permission]: general for preaching friars (i.e., Dominicans) and friars minor (i.e., Franciscans), special for all others.

66 leathie, invite.

67-68 Liht is . . . hende ancren, As they say, permission is easy. I do not at all desire that people consider you fashionable (or, courtly) anchoresses because of such precautions (lit., commands).

68-70 I-hwear thah . . . scandle, Everywhere though and at all times be careful (reflex.) that no one part from you with scandal (i.e., scandalized) by your bad manners.

71-72 Ed gode men . . . gederinde ancren, From good people take all that is necessary to you (i.e., all you need). But see to it well (reflex.) that you do not catch the name of acquisitive (lit., gathering) anchoresses.

72-73 Of mon thet ye misleveth . . . mare, From a person (or, man) that you mistrust because of his foolish pretenses or by his weak words, neither take (imper.) less or more (i.e., anything).

73-75 Neode . . . meoseise, Need (or, distress) must drive you to ask for anything; nevertheless show your hardship humbly to good men and women.

76-79 bute yef neod ow drive . . . of heorte, unless distress drive you and your director advise it, you should have no animal but one cat only. An anchoress who has property (or, livestock) seems more (lit., better) a housewife, as Martha was - she cannot easily be Mary, Martha's sister, with [her] tranquillity of heart.

79-81 For thenne mot ha . . . the hearmes, For then she must think about the cow's fodder, about the herdsman's wages, [she must think about] flattering (lit., to flatter) the hay-warden (see hei-ward in glossary), cursing [him] when he impounds her (i.e., the cow) (punt = reduced form of pundeth), and paying for the damages nevertheless.

81 Ladlich thing . . . ancre ahte, It is a disgusting thing, Christ knows, when people in town complain (lit., make moan) about an anchoress' property (or, livestock).

82-83 yef eani mot nedlunge . . . i-festnet, if any[one] must necessarily have it (i.e., a cow), see that it not annoy or harm anyone, or that her thought not be at all fastened on it.

84 drahe, may draw.

85-86 Na chaffere . . . of helle, Do not engage in buying and selling. An anchoress who is a business-woman - that is, buys in order to sell for a profit - she sells her soul to the dealer of hell.

86-88 Thing thah thet ha . . . honden, Nevertheless, things which she makes (lit., works) she can, by her director's advice, sell for her need[s]. Holy people sometimes lived by their hands.

89-92 Nawt, deore dehtren . . . ofte sithen, Dear daughters, do not keep in your house anything of other people's things, neither property, nor clothes nor [medicine] chests, nor charters, tally sticks (see scoren in glossary), nor documents (see cyrograffes in glossary), nor the church vestments, nor the chalices, unless necessity or force compel it, or great fear. From such safekeeping much evil has happened oftentimes.

93 wanes, rooms (or, apartments).

93-95 Yef muchel neod . . . deies ant nihtes, If great emergency furthermore forces your house to be broken (passive inf.) open, while it is broken, have in it with you a woman of pure life day and night.

96-98 For-thi thet wepmen . . . to rugge, Because men do not see you, nor you them, it makes little difference (lit., it may well be proper) concerning your clothing, if it be white, if it be black, except it be plain, warm and well made, skins well tanned - and have (imper.) as many as it is necessary for you (i.e., you need) for bed and for back (i.e., to wear).

99-100 Nest flesch . . . buten, Next to the body no one must wear linen cloth (or, clothing) unless it be [made] of rough and coarse flax. Whoever wants [may] have a stamin (i.e., a coarse undergarment worn by monks and ascetics), whoever wants [may] be without [it].

101-02 Ye schulen in an hetter . . . ther-under, You should lie (i.e., sleep) in a robe and belted (i.e., with a belt), so loosely though that you can put [your] hands under it (i.e., the belt).

102-07 Nest lich . . . acwenchen, Next to the body let no one gird (or, belt) herself with any kind of belt, except by a confessor's permission, or [let anyone] wear any iron, or haircloth, or hedgehog's skins, or beat herself with them, or with a leaded scourge (i.e., a lead-tipped scourge), with holly or with briars, or bloody herself without [her] confessor's permission, in no place benettle herself (i.e., whip herself with nettles), or beat [herself] in front, or cut any slashes, or take at one time [any bodily] punishments too severe in order to quench temptations.

107-09 Ne for na bote . . . wurse, And do not believe in unnatural healing for a remedy against natural sicknesses, nor try [it], without your director's permission, lest (i.e., for fear that) it stand worse for you (i.e., lest you grow worse).

110 Ower schon . . . warme, Let your shoes in winter be soft, large and warm.

111 bear-vot gan, to go barefoot.

112-13 Hosen withute vampez . . . i bedde, Whoever likes may lie (i.e., sleep) in stockings without feet. Do not sleep with your shoes on (lit., shoed) or anywhere but in bed.

113-16 Sum wummon . . . heard here, Some women (lit., woman) readily enough wear breeches of haircloth very thoroughly knotted, the leggings down to the feet laced very firmly, but the sweet and gentle (lit., sweet) heart is always best - it is more preferable to me that you suffer a hard word well than a hard (or, coarse) haircloth.

117-19 Yef ye muhen . . . then leafdis, If you (pl.) can be without wimples (see glossary) and you fully want to, be in (i.e., wear) warm caps and over them white or black veils. Some anchoresses sin in their wimpling, no less than ladies do.

119-21 Ah thah seith sum . . . wriheles ane, But nevertheless someone will say that it is naturally fitting for each woman to wear a wimple. - No. Holy Writ does not mention either wimple or headcloth, but the veil (or, covering) only.

121 Ad Corinthios . . . caput suum, [Letter] to the Corinthians: "Let a woman cover her head" (1 Corinthians 11:6).

122 wreon (wrihen), cover.

123 "wimplin," put on a wimple; scheome, shame.

123-25 i mungunge . . . to prude, in memory of the sin that disgraced us all in the beginning, and she must not turn the veil (or, covering) to ornament and to ostentation (lit., pride).

125-26 Eft wule the Apostle . . . on-sihthe, Moreover the Apostle wishes that a woman [should] cover her face in church continually, lest (i.e., for fear that) evil thought arise through sight of her.

126 Et hoc est propter angelos, "And this is because of the angels" (based on 1 Corinthians 11:10).

126-28 Hwi thenne . . . ne hudest, Why then, you church-anchoress, do you, wimpled, open your face to a man's eye? The Apostle speaks against you (sing.) who see men, if you do not hide you[rself].

128-30 Ah yef thet ei thing . . . wimplunge, But if anything [else] covers your face from man's eye, be it wall, be it a cloth in a well-closed window, it may well serve an anchoress in place of other wimpling.

130-32 Toyeines the . . . other-hwiles, Against you who do not do so the Apostle speaks, not against others, whom their own wall covers from each man's sight, from where (i.e., from which sight) weak (or, foolish) thoughts often arise - and deeds sometimes.

132-34 Hwa-se wule beon . . . withuten, Whoever wants to be seen, if she beautify herself, [it] is not much wonder. But to God's eyes she is more lovely who is unadorned on the outside for love of Him.

135 broche, brooch.

135-36 gurdel i-membret . . . werien, a decorated belt (see i-membret in glossary), or gloves, or any such thing that is not fitting for you to have. You (pl.) may wear a modest gown in hot summer.

137 Eaver me is leovere . . . werkes, It is always preferable to me that (lit., so) you make coarser (i.e., less fine) [handi]work.

138-40 Ne makie ye . . . monne hettren, Do not make any purses to make friends for you[rself] with, except for those whom your director gives you his permission, or [do not make a] cap, or bandage (lit., blood-bandage) of silk, or silken cord, without permission. But fashion (or, cut out) and sew and mend church vestments and poor people's clothes.

140-43 Na swuch thing . . . edheolden, You should not give any such things (i.e., this kind of handiwork) without [your] confessor's permission, any more than receive what you do not tell him about before (i.e., receive anything without telling him beforehand) - as with other things: family or friends, how often you might receive [them], how long you might keep [them].

143 Tendre of cun . . . beonne, It is not fitting for an anchoress to be [too] soft to kin (or, attached to her family).

144-45 A mon wes . . . wundrinde, There was a man of religion (i.e., in a religious order), and there came to him for help his bodily brother, and he directed him to his third brother, who was dead [and] buried - he (i.e., the bodily brother) answered amazed.

146 gasteliche, spiritually.

147 Na fleschlich freond . . . frovre, Let no bodily friend ask me for bodily comfort.

147-49 Amites ant parures . . . mustreisun, Worldly ladies may well enough make scarves and their decorations. And if you make them, do not make any display of it.

149-50 Veine-gloire attreth . . . for hure, Vainglory (i.e., vanity) poisons all good habits and all good works. None of you must make lace (see criblin in glossary) for love nor for money (lit., pay).

150-52 Taveles ne forbeode ich nawt . . . neode, I do not forbid lace borders, if someone is trimming a surplice or mass-chemise (or, alb). Let her not trim other trimmings, especially overly elaborate ones, except for great necessity.

153-54 Helpeth ow . . . servith, Help you[rselves] (imper.) with your own labor as far as ever you can to clothe and feed yourselves, if there is need, and those who serve you.

155-57 As Sein Jerome leareth . . . thus, As St. Jerome teaches, you [should] never be completely idle for a long time or carelessly from some thing (i.e., kind of work), for immediately the devil offers (beot = reduced form of beodeth) his work to her who does not toil in God's work, and [the devil] whispers immediately to her, for while he sees her busy, he thinks the following.

157-59 For nawt . . . fondunge, "It is useless that (lit., for nothing) I should now come near her, nor can she pay attention to listen to my teaching." From idleness great temptation of the body arises (lit., awakens).

159-60 Iniquitas Sodome . . . ocium, "The crime of Sodom was a fullness of bread (i.e., a full stomach) and idleness (or, leisure)" (condensed from Ezekiel 16:49).

160 cwedschipe, wickedness; wombe, belly.

161 Irn thet lith stille, Iron that lies still; the ne stureth, which does not move, stir.

162-63 Ancre ne schal nawt . . . scole, An anchoress must not degenerate into a school-teacher or turn an anchor-house into a children's school.

163-65 Hire meiden mei learen . . . to learen, Her maiden (or, servant) may teach some other maiden who would be in danger to learn (i.e., if she learned) among men or among boys, but an anchoress ought not to pay attention to anything but God alone, though by her director's permission she can guide some and help [them] to teach (or, learn).

166 leattres, ne . . . ne writen, letters, nor receive letters, nor write [them].

167-69 Ye schulen beon i-doddet . . . oftre, You must be shorn (i.e., have your hair cut) or, if you like, shaved four times in the year, to lighten your head - be trimmed by the hair (i.e., have your hair [merely] trimmed) whoever prefers [it] so - and [be] let blood as often and, if there is a need, more often.

169-70 The mei beon . . . tholien, Whoever can be (i.e., go) without it (lit., there-without), I can well allow it.

170-72 Hwen ye beoth al greithe . . . togederes, When you are completely ready to have blood let, you must not do any thing for the three days which give you discomfort but talk to your maidens and entertain you[rselves] (or, pass the time) together with virtuous tales.

172-74 ow thuncheth hevie . . . to ancre, [things] seem heavy (or, oppressive) to you, or you are sorry or sick for some worldly thing though each worldly comfort is unworthy of an anchoress.

175-77 Swa wisliche witeth . . . tweolve, Thus protect (or, look after) you[rself] judiciously in your blood-letting and keep you[rself] in such rest that long after that you can work in God's service the more manfully (or, vigorously), and also [look after yourself] when you feel any sickness. It is great stupidity to lose for one day ten or twelve.

178-79 Wesscheth ow . . . lic-wurthe, Wash you[rselves], wherever there is need, as often as you like, and [wash also] your other things: filth was never beloved to God, though poverty and plainness are pleasing to Him.

180-82 thet nan nis heast . . . the frumthe, that none [of these things] is a command or prohibition which is (lit., are) in the outer rule, which is of little importance as long as the inner [rule] be well directed, as I said in the beginning.

182-84 Theos mei beon i-changet . . . thuften, This [outer rule] can be changed wherever any need or logical reason requires (lit., asks) it, by which (or, according to which) she can best serve the lady rule as her humble handmaid.

184 Ah sikerliche . . . to wundre, But to be sure without her, the lady fares (i.e., gets along) terribly.

185-87 Ancre the naveth . . . feier ealde, For the anchoress who does not have her food near at hand two women are employed: one who always should stay at home, another who should go out when need forces, and let her be very plain, without any adornment - either a little servant girl (lit., handmaid) or of fair age.

187-90 Bi the wei . . . ham cume, On the path, as she is walking (lit., goes), let her go singing her prayers, and let her not hold any tale with man or with woman, or sit, or stand around, provided that [she does this] the least that she ever can before she come[s] home.

190 No-hwider elles . . . send hire, Let her go nowhere else but where she was sent (lit., one sent her).

190-91 ne ne eote ha . . . ute, let her not eat or drink while out.

191-92 The other . . . i sunne ane, Let the other [woman] always be inside, nor let her go outside the gates without permission. Let both be obedient to their lady in all things, except in sin alone.

192-93 Na thing nabben . . . yeove nowther, Let them have nothing which she (i.e., the anchoress) does not know about, [let them] not receive anything or give [anything] either.

194-95 Na mon ne leoten in . . . siker fere, They should let no man in, nor should the younger [one] speak with any man without permission, nor should she go out of town without a reliable companion.

195-96 Yef hit swa mei beon, ne ne ligge ute, If it may so be (i.e., if possible), let her not lie (i.e., sleep) out.

196-97 Yef heo ne con o boke . . . gruchunge, If she cannot [read] in a book, let her say her hours with "Our Fathers" and with "Hail Marys," and let her do what people tell her without complaining.

197 Habbe, Let her have.

198 Nowther . . . ne beore, Neither of the women should bear (or, carry).

199 nane idele talen, no idle tales; neowe tidinges, news; bitweonen ham-seolf, amongst themselves.

200 spechen, talk (lit., speeches).

200-01 ne lahhen . . . turnen, nor laugh or play in such a way that any man who would see it might turn it to evil.

202-03 leasunges . . . sitte lahhe, let them hate lies and wicked words. Let their hair be cut [short]; their head-cloth sit low.

203-04 Either ligge ane . . . open-heaved, Let each one sleep alone. Let their cape[s] be stitched (or, fastened) up high and without a brooch. Let no man (or, no one) see them unwrapped (i.e., without a cloak) or bare-headed.

204-07 Lah locunge habben . . . ne pleien, Let them have a low gaze (i.e., keep their eyes low). They must not kiss any man, neither acquaintance nor kinsman, nor hug out of any friendship or wash their (i.e., the men's) head[s], nor look steadily at any man, nor tussle with nor play [with them].

207-08 Hare weden . . . i-turnde, Let their clothes be of such a fashion and all their attire such that it is evident in which direction (lit., to where) they are turned (i.e., on what they are intent).

208-09 Hare lates . . . hus, They should look to their behavior carefully, so that none can upbraid them in the house or out of the house.

209-12 On alle wise . . . hire lahe, In every way they should refrain from angering (lit., forbear to anger) their lady, and as often as they do it, before they drink or eat, [let them] make their "Pardon," down on [their] knees before her, and say "The fault is mine," and receive the penance which she (i.e., the anchoress) lays upon her, bowing (reflex.) low.

212-14 The ancre th'refter . . . hire heorte, Let the anchoress thereafter nevermore upbraid that same fault out of any anger, unless she (i.e., the servant) soon fall into that same [fault], but let [the anchoress] put it completely out of her heart.

214-17 the ancre makie either to makien . . . gulte, let the anchoress make each [of them] make to the other a "Pardon" on knees [bent] to the ground (ther = def. art.: see glossary), and let each raise up the other, and kiss finally, and let the anchoress lay on each some penance, more upon the one who more greatly misbehaved.

217-18 This is a thing . . . lathest, This is a thing - let them know well - that is dearest to God: reconciliation and harmony - and most hateful to the fiend.

218-20 For-thi he is eaver umben . . . thet ilke, Therefore he is always busy to stir up (lit., raise up) some hostility. Now the deceiver sees well that when a fire is well aflame, and one wishes that it die out, one separates the brands (or, logs), and he (i.e., the devil) does just the same.

220-21 thet he wule . . . heorte, which He wishes that would blaze continually in your heart.

222 ne geineth nawt, gains nothing (or, is of no use).

222-24 sum other nohtunge . . . i-sundret, some other insult through which they recoil from each other (lit., knock each away from the other) - and the Holy Spirit's fire goes out when the brands are separated by anger.

224-25 For-thi halden ham . . . togederes, Therefore let them keep themselves firmly together in love.

225-26 Ant ne beo ham nawt of . . . ontende, And let it be nothing to them, when the fiend may blow, especially if many are joined together, and well set on fire (lit., ignited) with love.

226-28 Thah the ancre on hire meidnes . . . with leave, Though the anchoress [herself] lay penance on her maidens for open offenses, nonetheless let them confess themselves to the priest when there is need, but always though with permission.

229-31 Yef ha ne cunnen . . . on ende, If they do not know the meal graces (i.e., prayers), let them say in their place "Our Father" beforehand, along with "Hail Mary," and after the meal likewise, and one "I believe" more.

232 se lengre se mare . . . ende, "the longer the greater, and grant her and us both to have (lit., take) a good end."

232-34 Foryelde alle . . . sawles, Reward all [those] who do us good, and have mercy on souls of those who have done us good - their souls, and all Christian souls.

235-36 Bitweone mel . . . nis sunne, Between meals let them not snack (or, munch) on either fruit or anything else, or drink without permission, and let the permission be quick in everything that is not sin.

236-38 Ed te mete . . . i-sturbet, At the meal (lit., food) let there be no words, or few, and those quiet. Also after the anchoress' Compline until Prime, let them not do anything or say [anything] by which her silence may be disturbed.

239-40 Nan ancre servant . . . milce, No anchoress' servant ought by right to ask for fixed wages except [enough] food and clothing that she can live by (or, survive on) - and God's mercy.

240-41 Ne misleve nan . . . trukie, Let no one mistrust God - whatso[ever may] happen to the anchoress - that He [might] fail her.

241 The meidnes withuten, The maidens outside (i.e., who go outside).

241-42 alswa as ha ahen, just as they ought.

242 hare hure, their wages (or, pay); ehe, eye.

243 se heh hure, such high wages.

243-44 wule ha servin . . . blisse, will she serve and easily bear all woe (or, pain) and all hardship: one does not buy joy with comfort and with pleasure (buth = reduced form of buggeth).

245-47 ahen this leaste stucche . . . i-wurset, ought to read this last section to your women once each week until they know it. And there is great need that you pay (lit., take) much attention to them, for you (pl.) can be greatly improved or diminished (lit., worsened) by them.

247-51 On other half . . . sturne, At the same time (lit., on the other side), if they sin through your carelessness, you will be called before the high judge for it (lit., thereof), and therefore as it is very necessary (lit., there is great need) for you, and still more for them, eagerly teach them to keep their rule, both for you and for themselves, [teach them] mildly and lovingly, for so ought women's teaching to be, loving and mild, and seldom stern.

251-53 Ba is riht . . . fearen, Both is (i.e., are) right, that they should fear and love you, and nevertheless [it is right] that there (ter = reduced form of ther after preceding -t) should be more of love than of fear. Then it will go (lit., fare) well.

253-55 Me schal healden . . . luve eie, One must pour both oil and wine on wounds according to God's teaching, but more of soft oil than of biting wine. That is, more of mild words than of painful [ones], for from that comes the best of things - that is, love's fear (or, fear inspired by love).

255-57 Lihtliche ant sweteliche foryeoveth . . . bote, Forgive them their faults easily (or, readily) and sweetly when they acknowledge them and promise repentance (or, a remedy).

258-60 As forth as ye mahen . . . ow-seolven, As far as you (pl.) can, with food and with clothes, and with other things that the need[s] of the body demand, be generous towards them, even though you are sparing and severe to yourselves.

260-63 Swa deth . . . swa mote, amen, [The person] who blows [a trumpet] well does so (or, like this): he turns (went = reduced form of wendeth) the narrow [part] of the horn to his own mouth and [turns] the wide [part] outward. And you should do likewise as (or, if) you want your prayers to trumpet well and make music in the Lord's ears, not only for your own but for all people's salvation - as our Lord grant through the grace of Himself that it might [be] so, amen.

264-67 to frovre . . . biyete, for comfort, come to them at the window in the late morning (or, perhaps, before noon) and early afternoon once or twice, and go again immediately to your spiritual work, do not sit around before Compline beyond the proper time, so that their coming may be no loss of your religion (i.e., regulated life), but a spiritual benefit.

268 thet mahte hurten heorte, which might hurt the heart (i.e., someone's feelings).

268-69 ne beo hit nawt . . . eth-hurte, let it not be carried out, nor brought to another anchoress who is easily hurt.

269-71 To him . . . hit makie, It must be said (or, told) to him, who looks after them all. Two nights is enough for (lit., that) any maiden to be kept [as a guest], and let that be very seldom, and do not break silence for them at the meal (lit., the food) or for blood-letting, unless some great good or emergency force it.

272-76 The ancre ne hire meiden . . . th'ruppe, Let neither the anchoress or her maiden play any worldly games at the window, nor tussle together, for as St. Bernard says, every such bodily comfort is an unworthy thing for each spiritual person, and especially for an anchoress, and it takes away the spiritual which is beyond measure the supreme happiness - and that is a bad exchange, as is said above (see 4.137-41, 4.366-70).

277 Of this boc, From this book; hwen ye beoth eise, when you are at ease.

278 swithe biheve, very beneficial; muchele, great (or, abundant).

279-80 elles ich hefde . . . donne, otherwise I would have wasted (lit., used badly) my great time (i.e., the great time it took to write the book). I would rather (lit., to me it would be preferable), God knows, put myself [on the road] towards Rome, (i.e., go to Rome) than to begin to do it again.

280-83 Yef ye findeth . . . ower mihte, If you find that you do (i.e., behave) as you read (i.e., as the book advises), thank God earnestly; if you do not, ask for God's grace, and be busy afterwards that you keep it better according to your strength.

284-86 an almihti Godd . . . him-seolven, one almighty God protect you in His keeping. May He gladden you and comfort you, my dear sisters, and for everything that you suffer and endure for Him, may He never give you less than all of Himself together (or, at once).

286-87 Beo he aa i-heiet . . . ecnesse, Let Him be exalted forever from world into world always in eternity.

288-89 Ase ofte as ye habbeth i-red . . . Explicit, As often as you have read anything herein (i.e., in this book), greet the Lady with a "Hail Mary" for him that labored on it (lit., here-about). I am moderate enough who ask so little. The End.

290-91 I-thench on thi writere . . . othre, Think about your writer (or, scribe) in your prayers sometime: be it ever so little, it will turn to good for you (i.e., do you good), that you pray for others.



    With this section, AW returns to the subject of the outer rule with a series of prescriptions and suggestions about such things as food, clothing, servants and other practical arrangements. As in the Preface, the outer rule is treated as a variable and relatively unimportant aspect of the anchoritic life. Some of the prescriptions seem to be adapted from Aelred's De Institutione Inclusarum (see the headnote to the Author's Preface and the notes below) and perhaps also from other rules (see Barratt's "Anchoritic Aspects," pp. 37, 40-41 and Dobson's Origins, pp. 27 ff.). If the section has a leading theme, it is that the anchoress should choose the role of Mary (representing the contemplative life), not Martha (the active life) - see 8.38 ff.


    Introduction (8.1-8). The introduction begins by stressing the variability and adaptability of the outer rule and that fact that unlike the previous three sections, this one is exclusively for anchoresses. The author announces that Part Eight is divided into seven sections - there is an outline of these divisions in Pref.147-51 - but does not number them here.
    1. Food and Drink (8.9-70). This section begins with prescriptions about communion (8.9-20) and then moves on to discuss when and what the anchoress should eat (8.21-29), how she should treat guests at the table (8.30-33), why she should not hold parties or dinners - with a discussion of the roles of Mary and Martha, who symbolize the contemplative and active lives respectively (8.34-61) - and ends with advice about feeding servants and eating in the presence of men (8.62-70).
    2. What an Anchoress Can Receive, Own, or Keep (8.71-95). Anchoresses should be careful about receiving things from men (8.71-75) and should keep only a cat, not livestock or goods to sell (8.76-88). Anchoresses should not store anything for safekeeping or allow any man to sleep in their apartments (8.89-95) - a lapse that could result from her agreeing to keep valuables.
    3. Clothing (8.96-136). Amidst a number of prescriptions, the main theme is that an anchoress' clothing should be comfortable but plain.
    4. Work (8.137-66). The author writes that he wishes the anchoresses would concentrate on making plain and useful kinds of cloth goods, not fine purses or lace (8.137-39), especially for men or relatives. Next follows a list of specific pieces of advice and prohibitions (8.139-61). Other kinds of work are also discussed: the anchoress is not to run a school (8.162-65) or send, receive, or write letters (8.166).
    5. Care of the Body (8.167-84). In this section the author advises the anchoresses about the cutting of their hair (8.167-74), about bloodletting (8.175-77), and washing (8.178-79), reminding them that matters of the outer rule can be changed and adjusted (8.180-84).
    6. Maidens' Rule (8.185-244). Here Part Eight discusses in depth the servants or maidens the anchoress is to keep - how many there should be, what their ideal qualities are, how they should behave (8.214-28), and what they should eat and wear (8.235-44).
    7. Teaching of Maidens (8.245-76). The author suggests reading the preceding "rule" to the maidens once a week until they know it (8.245-47), then goes on to give advice about how to govern and provide for her own maidens (8.247-63), and how to treat the visiting maidens of her sisters (8.264-76).
    Conclusion (8.277-91). Here the author gives recommendations for reading AW itself, offers a prayer for the anchoresses (8.284-87) and in turn asks for prayers on his behalf (8.288-91).

7 Of sihthe ant of speche ant of the othre wittes is inoh i-seid. This reference to the contents of Part Two is good evidence that the author considered it to be part of the outer rule.

10 as ure brethren beoth. In an attempt to identify the order of the author (referred to in this phrase), Dobson discusses at length how the Dominicans, Franciscans, and Augustinian canons took communion (the number of times and what dates). He concludes that the description here parallels Dominican practice (Dobson, Origins, p. 64).

21 ff. See Aelred's more elaborate and restrictive advice about meals and fasting: "On vigils of feasts, on Ember Days and on the Wednesdays and Fridays out of Lent she should fast on a Lenten diet. In Lent one meal a day should suffice, and on Fridays, unless ill-health prevent her, she should fast on bread and water. From the Exaltation of the Holy Cross until Lent she should have one meal a day after none, while in Lent she should not break her fast until after vespers. From Easter to Pentecost, except for the Rogation Days and the vigil of Pentecost, she should take dinner after sext and supper in the evening; this should be the rule throughout the summer except for the Wednesdays and Fridays and solemn fasts. On these fast days in summer, she may, instead of taking a midday sleep, allow herself a short rest between lauds and prime" (chapter 12, p. 60).

23 ne schule ye nawt eoten hwit. White food contains milk.

26 ff. As Savage and Watson note, the "French version of AW preserved in the Cotton Vitellius manuscript here adds a short passage offering a slightly less rigorous alternative, as followed by the Augustinian canons, in which meat can be eaten three times a week . . . . The passage also mentions that the more rigorous practice is that of the Augustinian friars and Benedictines" (p. 403n7).

38 ff. For the account of Mary and Martha, see Luke 10:38-42. In the medieval exegesis, Mary and Martha stood for the contemplative and active lives, respectively. See Barratt's "Anchoritic Aspects" (pp. 38-40) for a review of the standard interpretations of Mary and Martha in medieval exegesis.

66 freres preachurs ant meonurs. This reference to the Dominicans and Franciscans is, as Millett and Wogan-Browne point out, a later addition (Medieval English Prose, p. 162). See Explanatory Note to 2.236.

71 Ed gode men neometh al thet ow to nedeth. See Explanatory Notes to 4.164 and 4.1007 ff. In Anchorites and their Patrons, Warren devotes considerable attention to anchoresses' sources of income, concluding that they had to show proof of private means or outside patronage before the bishop would approve their enclosure (see especially chapters 5-8).

71-95 This rather odd collection of advice about food, cats, cows, etc., is tied together by its interest in possessions - what an anchoress can receive, own, keep, etc. The last prohibition (8.92-95) imagines human guests as objects that should not be kept within the anchorhold.

79 ff. Aelred also warns against the dangers of property: "Others . . . are yet so eager to make money or to increase the size of their flocks, are so painstaking about it and exert themselves so strenuously that they could well be mistaken for châtelaines rather than anchoresses. Finding pasture for their flocks and shepherds to tend them; demanding a statement of the numbers, weight, and value of the flock's yearly produce; following the fluctuations of the market. Their money attracts money, it accumulates and gives them a thirst for wealth" (chapter 3, p. 47). Savage and Watson observe that "Ownership of a cow involves the anchoress deeply in the local economy, land-rights and bylaws. It is interesting that the author still concedes that it may be necessary for some anchoresses (failing other means of livelihood) to own one anyway" (p. 404n14).

89 Nawt . . . ne wite ye in ower hus of other monne thinges. Anchorholds were often used as a kind of vault - see H. Mayr-Harting's "Functions of a Twelfth-Century Recluse," pp. 337-52, and Warren, pp. 111-12.

96 ff. The advice about clothing shows a number of parallels to Aelred's, including the mention of coarse linen (chapter 13, p. 60).

117 ff. The advice on wimples is greatly expanded in the Corpus version.

136 ff. See Aelred: "It is a common custom now to send a young monk or priest a belt, a gaily embroidered purse, or some such thing, but this only fosters illicit affections and can cause great harm. Employ yourself rather with something necessary or serviceable; the proceeds can be used for your own needs, or if you have none, given, as I have already said, to the church or the poor" (chapter 8, p. 53).

144 ff. A mon wes of religiun. This exemplum from The Lives of the Desert Fathers, Corpus' addition to the basic text, also appears the early thirteenth-century exempla collections of Odo of Cheriton and Jacques de Vitry, as Hall points out (Selections, p. 73), as well as in Cassian's Collationes 24.9 (PL 49, cols. 1297-98).

161 Irn thet lith stille gedereth sone rust. Weater the ne stureth nawt readliche stinketh. Both sentences are proverbial. See Whiting, I59 and W85.

162 This warning against running a school may be derived from Aelred, however much reshaped: "Never allow children access to your cell. It is not unknown for a recluse to take up teaching and turn her cell into a school. She sits at her window, the girls settle themselves in the porch . . . . Swayed by their childish dispositions, she is angry one minute and smiling the next, now threatening, now flattering, kissing one child and smacking another . . . . For yourself, be content with services and conversation of your two attendants" (chapter 4, pp. 49-50). See Warren (pp. 112-13) for similar warnings in other anchoritic rules.

166 Compare Aelred's warning: "Never allow messages to pass between you and any man, whatever the pretext, whether to show him kindness, to arouse his fervor, or to seek spiritual friendship and intimacy with him. Never accept letters or small gifts from a man, nor send them yourself" (chapter 7, pp. 52-53). Hall cites a similar passage in the Gilbertine Rule (p. 99).

167 ff. Millett and Wogan-Browne point out that bloodletting was considered as a kind of vacation or recreation (Medieval English Prose, p. 162), hence the relaxing of normal discipline after bloodletting. Dobson (Origins, p. 33 ff.) attempts to match the number of bloodlettings to those prescribed in other rules, pointing out a number of parallels to the Prémontré statutes of 1236-38.

180 ff. This paragraph is another expansion found only in the Corpus version.

185 ff. Aelred gives similar though not identical advice about servants: "Choose for yourself some elderly woman, not someone who is quarrelsome or unsettled or given to idle gossip; a good woman with a well-established reputation for virtue. She is to keep the door of your cell, and, as she thinks right, to admit or refuse visitors; and to receive and look after whatever provisions are needed. She should have under her a strong girl capable of heavy work, to fetch wood and water, cook vegetables, and when ill-health demands it, to prepare more nourishing food. She must be kept under strict discipline, lest, by her frivolous behavior she desecrate your holy dwelling-place" (chapter 4, p. 49). In AW maidens have a much more important role to play.

267 ff. See 4.944-46 for practical advice about sending messengers in a section devoted to peace and community (as a remedy for wrath).

273 ne ticki togederes. The word ticki may refer to a children's game (involving chasing) of the same name (see OED tick [v.]), a suggestion first made by Hall. See Millett and Wogan-Browne's discussion for further details (Medieval English Prose, p. 163).

ase seith Seint Beornard. This sentiment has so far not been traced to any of Bernard's works, though Hall (p. 220) cites a loose parallel in a letter ascribed to Bernard.

277 Of this boc redeth hwen ye beoth eise. This advice may echo the ending of Augustine's Letter 211, incorporated into the Augustinian Rule, as Millett and Wogan-Browne point out (Medieval English Prose, p. 163).

289 Inoh meathful ich am. Dobson, attempting to identify the author of AW, detects an anagram in this line on the phrase, Of Linthehum "from Lingen," the birthplace of Brian of Lingen, whom Dobson advances as the likely author of AW (Origins, pp. 365-68). Though the suggestion is intriguing, Dobson makes his attribution on the basis of a series of inferences and educated guesses - in fact, Linthehum is a conjectural form which does not appear in any medieval text. No one inference seems completely unlikely, but when added together, they make Dobson's conclusion seem rather shaky.

290-91 This last sentence occurs only in the Corpus version and is probably the farewell of the scribe, as Millett and Wogan-Browne point out (Medieval English Prose, p. 163).



11 MS: Tweofte dei. Tolkien, somewhat paradoxically, thinks that this is both a mistake and a genuine form (p. 210, fol. 111r, line 25). Probably he means that it is a deviation from the original reading but legitimate in its own right (see note to 1.145). [Cleo. (lost); Titus: twelfte dai; Nero: tweolfte dei; Vernon (lost); Pepys: þe xij day; Caius (lacking).]

22-23 bute the Fridahes [other Umbri-dayes, Yong-dayes, vigilies. I theose dayes] ne i the Advent. MS: bute þe fridahes. ne i þe aduent. It is difficult to decide whether the omission of several words before ne is the result of scribal error or conscious revision, but since a legitimate case can be made for eye-skip between the two dahes and since the omitted passage occurs in most of the other versions, it is restored here from Cleo. [Cleo.: bute frida3es oðer umbrida3es. 3eoncda3es. vigilies. i þeose da3es ne i þe aduenz; Titus: bute fridaies ant imbringdahes. 3ong dahes ant vigiles in þose sahes. ni i þe advenz; Nero: bute uridawes and umbridawes and 3oingdawes. and uigiles. i þeos dawes; Vernon (lost); Pepys: bot friday one and ymbryng dayes. and vigiles. Þe goyng dayees ne in þe aduent; Caius (lacking); Vitellius: les vendredies et quatuor tempres rouoisons et veilles en ces iours ne les aduentz; Trinity (lacking); Lat.: Rogacionum et vigiliis Sanctorum dum taxat ex ceptis. et in hiis diebus nec in Aduentu.]

40 thu art [in] muche baret. MS: þu art muche baret. Tolkien's observation (p. 211, fol. 112r, line 6), accepted by Millett and Wogan-Browne (p. 132), that a preposition has been dropped before muche is fully supported by the other MSS, and thus we insert an in, which was probably lost due to eye-skip since its three minims would have looked like an m. [Cleo.: þu art in muche baret; Titus: þu art in muche baret; Nero: þu ert ine muche baret; Vernon (lost); Pepys (lacking); Caius (lacking); Vitellius: vous estes en grant barat; Trinity (lacking); Lat.: so[lici]ta es.]

44 Marthe haveth hire meoster. MS: Marie haueð hire meoster. As Tolkien (p. 212, fol. 112r, line 11) and Millett and Wogan-Browne (p. 132) point out and the context confirms, the scribe has inadvertently substituted Mary for Martha, and thus Marthe is restored here. [Cleo.: Marthe haueð hire mester; Titus: Marthe haues hire mester; Nero: Marthe haueð hire mester; Vernon (lost); Pepys (lacking); Caius (lacking); Vitellius: marthe ad son mester; Trinity (lacking); Lat.: Opus Marthe est.]

55 theose riche ancres. MS: þeose chirch ancres. The scribe's eye has apparently skipped back to MS lines 22-23, ah is a chirch ancre (line 53), leading her or him to substitute chirch for the correct reading riche, demanded by the context. This edition follows Tolkien (p. 212, fol. 112r, lines 25-26) and Millett and Wogan-Browne (p. 132) in emending to riche. [Cleo.: þeos riche ancres; Titus: þise riche ancres; Nero: þeos riche ancren; Vernon (lost); Pepys (lacking); Caius (lacking); Vitellius: ces riches recluses; Trinity (lacking); Lat. (lacking).]

55-56 MS: to poure nehburs. Tolkien finds the spelling of nehburs faulty (p. 212, fol. 112r, line 27), and indeed the other versions all have an e before the b. The missing e would correctly represent the ge- prefix in OE neah-gebur "near dweller," but it seems possible that the form without -e- results from linguistic processes, not error. [Cleo.: to poure necheburs; Titus: to poure nehhebures; Nero: to poure neihebures; Vernon (lost); Pepys (lacking); Caius (lacking).]

57 ne beo nan the gred[i]ure. MS: ne beo nan þe gnedure. The word gnedure seems to be a mistake for grediure "greedier," and thus it is emended here, following Tolkien (p. 212, fol. 112v, line 1), Zettersten (p. 200), and Millett and Wogan-Browne (p. 132). It is just possible that the word represents a legitimate revision in Corpus, since gnedure could mean "more frugally" (see OE gnead "frugal"). The MS text would then read: "let no one be the more frugal to have more." [Cleo.: ne beo nan þe gredure; Titus: ne beo nan þe gredire; Nero: ne beo non þe grediure; Vernon (lost); Pepys (lacking); Caius (lacking); Vitellius: ne soit nule plus coueitouse; Trinity (lacking); Lat. (recast).]

65-66 general other spetial: [general] as of freres preachurs ant meonurs, spetial of alle othre. MS: general oðer spetial. as of freres preachurs. ant meonurs. spetial; of alle oþre. Salu conjectures that the "word general seems to have been omitted between spetial and as" (p. 184n3). This suggestion makes good sense, and it is adopted here. [All other versions lack this addition.]

73-74 MS: ne leasse ne mare. neode schal driuen ow. Corpus omits a phrase between mare and neode which survives in most of the other MSS: Naut swa muche þet beo an rote of ginguire ("not so much as (lit., that is) a root of ginger") The fact that it is canceled in Cleo. must be related to its exclusion from Corpus, though it is difficult to know why the cancellation in Cleo. was made. [Cleo.: lesse ne mare. Naut swa muche þet beo an rote of gingiure. Muche neode schal driuen ow; Titus: lasse ne mare. nawt swa muchel þet beo a rote of ginguire. Muchel ned schal driuen ow; Nero: lesse ne more. nout so muche ðet beo a rote of gingiure. Muchel neode schal driuen ou; Vernon (lost); Pepys (lacking); Caius (lacking); Vitellius: ne plus ne meins ne tant soulement qe soit une racine de zinzeure. Grant bosoig vous deit chacer; Trinity (lacking); Lat. (recast).]

123 MS: as eue sunfule dohter. Tolkien argues that sunfule "sinful" should come before eue "Eve's" (p. 215, fol. 113v, line 26) and Millett and Wogan-Browne agree (p. 138), though of course the phrase makes perfect sense as "Eve's sinful daughter" (i.e., womankind) and is thus retained. [Cleo. (marginal addition): as sunful eue dohte(r); Titus (lacking); Nero (lacking); Vernon: as sunful Eue douhter; Pepys (lacking); Caius (lacking); Vitellius (lacking); Trinity (lacking); Lat. (lacking).]

127-28 Toyeines [the] the sist men. MS: to3eines þe sist men. As it stands, the text reads, "Against who see (pres. 2. sg.) men the Apostle speaks." As Tolkien notes (p. 215, fol. 114r, line 4), in order to make sense of this phrase, another þe must be provided: "Against you who see men . . . ," A suggestion supported by Cleo. [Cleo.: Te3eines þe. þe isist men; Titus (lacking); Nero (lacking); Vernon (lacking); Pepys (lacking); Caius (lacking); Vitellius (lacking); Trinity (lacking); Lat. (lacking).]

194 Na mon ne leoten in, ne the yungre ne speoke with na-mon. MS: Na mon ne leote 3e in. ne þe 3ungre ne speoke wið namon. On its face, this sentence makes perfect sense "Let no man in" - a command in the imperative. Tolkien suspects a mistake here, "sic, for leoten ha" (p. 218, fol. 115v, line 6) because the passage is instructing the anchoress on the behavior of her maidens and thus the context demands third-person pl., "they are to let no man in," instead of the second in both the verb ending and the pronoun. Millett and Wogan-Browne, with an eye on Cleo., Titus, and Vitellius emend to ne leoten in (p. 142), the correction adopted here. [Cleo.: Nanmon ne leten in ne ne speoken wið ute leaue; Titus: Na mon ne letin in. ni þi 3ungre ne speke wið na wepmon; Nero: nenne mon ne leten heo in. ne ðe 3ungre ne speke mid none monne; Vernon (lacking); Pepys (lacking); Caius (lacking); Vitellius: Nul hom ne lessent entrer ne la plus joefne ne parole od nul hom; Trinity (lacking); Lat. (lacking).]

220 he deth [on] hond thet ilke. MS: he deð hond þet ilke. At first glance, the MS text makes little sense. Tolkien suggests a missing on before hond to yield he deð [on] hond þet ilke ("he does in time the same") (p. 219, fol. 116r, line 14) - on hond is an idiom meaning "in time, as time goes by" (see 5.306 for another example in Corpus). Millett and Wogan-Browne (p. 144 and glossary) attempt to keep the MS reading by interpreting hond as a free-standing adverb meaning "just, exactly." See Zettersten (p. 41) for a summary of earlier, less likely solutions. Since hond as an adverb in English is doubtful, this edition follows Tolkien here. [Cleo.: he deð þet ilke; Titus: and he dos hond to þet ilke; Nero: he deð onond þet ilke; Vernon (lacking); Pepys (lacking); Caius (lacking); Vitellius: il fet meismes ceste chose; Trinity (lacking); Lat. (lacking).]

231 Hali Gast, [an] almihti Godd. MS: hali gast al mihti godd. Millett and Wogan-Browne rightly note that an has fallen out between gast and mihti. [Cleo.: haligast an almichtin god; Titus: hali gast. an al mihti godd; Nero: holi gost. ant on almihti god; Vernon (lacking); Pepys (lacking); Caius (lacking); Vitellius: seint esperit vn dieu; Trinity (lacking); Lat. (lacking).]

235 ne gruseli nawt. MS: ne gruchesi 3e nawt. There are two problems here. The word gruchesi has been altered by a later hand, and though it is difficult to detect the original reading, it was most likely grulesi (Tolkien, p. 220, fol. 116v, line 4) - the emender altered the l, inserting ch. The original grulesi was itself apparently an mistake for gruseli - though it is possible that the original reading was gruseli and the emender changed the final l to a long s. The reading in Cleo. argues against this idea. The second problem has to do with a shift in persons as above (8.194): "3e is, as context shows, an error for ha or heo." The best course seems to be to follow Cleo., which has no pronoun and to see 3e as a natural slip into the imperative. [Cleo.: ne gruuesi naut; Titus: ne gruse 3e nawt; Nero: ne gruselie 3e nout; Vernon (lacking); Pepys (lacking); Caius (lacking); Vitellius: ne manguent; Trinity (lacking); Lat. (lacking).]

239 i-set hure bute mete ant clath. MS: iset hure. bute mete ant hure. Tolkien rightly points out that the second hure is an "erroneous repetition replacing hetter or clað" (p. 220, fol. 116v, line 9). Millett and Wogan-Browne also endorse this solution (p. 146). [Cleo.: iset hure bute mete ant clað; Titus: iset hure. bute mete and clað; Nero: i sette huire; bute mete and cloð; Vernon (lacking); Pepys (lacking); Caius (lacking); Vitellius: louer fors le mangier et a uestir; Trinity (lacking); Lat. (lacking).]

245 ahen this leaste stucche reden. MS: ahen þis leaste stucche reden. Millett and Wogan-Browne would emend þis leaste stucche "this last part" to bring it in line with the other MSS: þis leaste lutle stucche ("this last little part") (p. 146). Though this is an attractive addition, one might argue that Part Eight of Corpus, which is much fuller and longer than any of the other versions (especially since several marginal additions were made in Cleo. and further additions made in Corpus) the word lutle no longer seemed appropriate. The MS reading is retained here on this possibility. [Cleo.: ach3e þis laste lutle stuche reden; Titus: ahen þis laste lutle stucche rede; Nero: owen þis lutle laste stucchen reden; Vernon (lacking); Vitellius: deuez ceste dereine petite parcel lire; Trinity (lacking); Lat. (lacking).]

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Ancrene Wisse: Part Eight

from: Ancrene Wisse  2000


Part Eight

The Outer Rule

Bivoren, on earst, ich seide thet ye ne schulden na-wiht as i vu bihaten for-
te halden nan of the uttre riwlen. Thet ilke ich segge yetten, ne nane ne
write ich ham buten ow ane. Ich segge this for-thi thet othre ancren ne
seggen nawt thet ich thurh mi meistrie makie ham neowe riwle. Ne bidde ich nawt
thet ha halden ham. Ah ye yet moten changin hwen-se ye eaver wulleth theose for
betere. Ayein thinges the beoth bivoren - of ham is lutel strengthe.
    Of sihthe ant of speche ant of the othre wittes is inoh i-seid. Nu is this leaste
dale, as ich bihet on earst, todealet ant i-sundret o lutle seove stucchen.
    Me let leasse of the thing thet me haveth ofte. For-thi ne schule ye beon bute -
as ure brethren beoth - i-huslet in-with tweolf-moneth fiftene sithen: (i) Mid-
winter Dei, (ii) Tweofte Dei, (iii) Condelmeasse Dei, (iiii) a Sunnedei mid-wei
bitweonen thet ant Easter, other Ure Leafdi Dei, yef he is neh the Sunnedei, for
the hehnesse, (v) Easter Dei, (vi) the thridde Sunnedei th'refter, (vii) Hali Thursdei,
(viii) Witsunne Dei, (ix) Midsumer Dei, (x) Seinte Marie Dei Magdaleine, (xi)
the Assumptiun, (xii) the Nativite, (xiii) Seinte Mihales Dei, (xiii) Alle Halhene
Dei, (xv), Seint Andrews Dei. Ayein alle theose beoth cleanliche i-schrivene, ant
neometh disceplines, neaver thah of na-mon bute of ow-seolven, ant forgath an
dei ower pitance. Yef ewt i-limpeth misliche thet ye ne beon nawt i-huslet i theose
sette tearmes, beoth hit the neste Sunnedei, other yef the other terme is neh,
abideth athet tenne.
    Ye schulen eoten from Easter athet te Hali Rode Dei - the leatere, the is in
hervest - euche dei twien bute the Fridahes, [other Umbri-dayes, Yong-dayes,
vigilies. I theose dayes] ne i the Advent ne schule ye nawt eoten hwit bute neode
hit makie. The other half yer feasten al, bute Sunnedahes ane, hwen ye beoth in
heale ant i ful strengthe - ah riwle ne tweast nawt seke ne blod-letene.
    Ye ne schulen nawt eoten flesch ne seim, bute for muche secnesse other hwa-
se is over-feble. Potage eoteth blitheliche, ant wunieth ow to lutel drunch. No-
the-les, leove sustren, ower mete ant ower drunch haveth i-thuht me ofte leasse
then ich walde. Ne feaste ye na dei to bread ne to weattre, bute ye habben leave.
    Sum ancre maketh hire bord with hire gest ute-with. Thet is to muche
freondschipe, for of alle ordres thenne is hit uncundelukest, ant meast ayein ancre
ordre, the is al dead to the world. Me haveth i-herd ofte thet deade speken with
cwike - ah thet ha eten with cwike ne fond ich yet neaver.
    Ne makie ye nane gestnunges, ne ne tulle ye to the yete nane uncuthe hearloz;
thah ther nere nw uvel bute hare meadlese nurth, hit walde letten other-hwile
heovenliche thohtes. Ne limpeth nawt to ancre of other monnes ealmesse to makien
hire large. Nalde me lahhen a beggere lude to bismere the leathede men to feaste?
Marie ant Marthe ba weren sustren, ah hare lif sundrede: ye ancren beoth i-numen
ow to Marie dale, the ure Laverd seolf herede: Maria optimam partem elegit.
"Marthe, Marthe," quoth he, "thu art [in] muche baret. Marie haveth i-core bet,
ant ne schal hire na thing reavin hire dale." Husewifschipe is Marthe dale; Marie
dale is stilnesse ant reste of alle worldes noise, thet na thing ne lette hire to heren
Godes stevene. Ant lokith hwet Godd seith, thet "na thing ne schal ow reavin this
dale." Marthe haveth hire meoster - leoteth hire i-wurthen. Ye sitten with Marie
stan-stille ed Godes fet ant hercnith him ane. Marthe meoster is to feden povre ant
schruden, as hus-leafdi. Marie ne ah nawt to entremeatin th'rof. Yef ei blameth
hire, Godd seolf i-hwer wereth hire, as Hali Writ witneth: Contra Symonem:
duo debitores, et cetera. Contra Martham: Maria optimam partem, et cetera.
Contra apostolos murmurantes, ut quid perditio hec? Bonum, inquit, opus,
et cetera
. On other half, nan ancre ne ah to neomen bute meathfulliche thet hire to
neodeth. Hwer-of thenne mei ha makien hire large? Ha schal libben bi ealmesse
ase meathfulliche as ha eaver mei, ant nawt gederin for-te yeoven. Ha nis nawt
huse-wif, ah is a chirch-ancre. Yef ha mei spearien eani povre schraden, sende
ham al dearnliche ut of hire wanes. Under semblant of god is ofte i-hulet sunne.
Ant hu schulen theose riche ancres, the tilieth other habbeth rentes i-sette, don to
povre nehburs dearnliche hare ealmesse? Ne wilni ha nawt to habbe word of a
large ancre, ne for-te yeoven muchel, ne beo nan the gred[i]ure for-te habben
mare. For-hwon thet gredinesse beo rote of thet gederunge, of hire bitternesse al
beoth the bohes bittre, the of hire spruteth. Bidden hit for-te yeoven hit nis nawt
ancre rihte. Of ancre curteisie, of ancre largesce is i-cumen ofte sunne ant scheome
on ende.
    Wummen ant children ant nomeliche ancre meidnes the cumeth i-swenchet for
ow - thah ye spearien hit on ow, other borhin other bidden hit - makieth ham to
eotene with chearitable chere, ant leathieth to herbarhin.
    Na mon ne eote bivoren ow bute bi ower meistres leave, general other spetial:
[general] as of freres preachurs ant meonurs, spetial of alle othre. Ne leathie ye
nane othre to eoten ne to drinken bute alswa thurh his leave. Liht is, me seith,
leave. Na-wiht ne yirne ich thet me for swucche boden telle ow hende ancren. I-
hwear thah ant eaver yemeth ow thet nan from ow thurh ower untuhtle ne parti
with scandle.
    Ed gode men neometh al thet ow to nedeth. Ah thet lokith ow wel, thet ye ne
kecchen the nome of gederinde ancren. Of mon thet ye misleveth thurh his fol
semblant other bi his wake wordes, nowther ne neome ye ne leasse ne mare. Neode
schal driven ow for-te bidden ei thing; thah eadmodliche schawith to gode men
ant wummen ower meoseise.
    Ye, mine leove sustren, bute yef neod ow drive ant ower meistre hit reade, ne
schulen habbe na beast bute cat ane. Ancre the haveth ahte thuncheth bet huse-
wif, ase Marthe wes - ne lihtliche ne mei ha nawt beo Marie, Marthe suster, with
grithfullnesse of heorte. For thenne mot ha thenchen of the kues foddre, of heorde-
monne hure, olhnin the hei-ward, wearien hwen he punt hire, ant yelden thah the
hearmes. Ladlich thing is hit, wat Crist, hwen me maketh i tune man of ancre
ahte. Nu thenne yef eani mot nedlunge habben hit, loki thet hit na-mon ne eili ne ne
hearmi, ne thet hire thoht ne beo na-wiht th'ron i-festnet. Ancre ne ah to habben
na thing thet ut-ward drahe hire heorte.
    Na chaffere ne drive ye. Ancre thet is chepilt - thet is, buth for-te sullen efter
biyete - ha chepeth hire sawle the chap-mon of helle. Thing thah thet ha wurcheth
ha mei, thurh hire meistres read, for hire neode sullen. Hali men sum-hwile liveden
bi hare honden.
    Nawt, deore dehtren, ne wite ye in ower hus of other monne thinges, ne ahte ne
clathes, ne boistes, ne chartres, scoren ne cyrograffes, ne the chirch vestemenz,
ne the calices, bute neode other strengthe hit makie, other muchel eie. Of swuch
witunge is muchel uvel i-lumpen ofte sithen.
    In-with ower wanes ne leote ye na-mon slepen. Yef muchel neod mid alle maketh
breoken ower hus, hwil hit eaver is i-broken habbeth th'rinne with ow a wummon
of cleane lif deies ant nihtes.
    For-thi thet wepmen ne seoth ow, ne ye ham, wel mei don of ower clath, beo hit
hwit, beo hit blac, bute hit beo unorne, warm ant wel i-wraht, felles wel i-tawet -
ant habbeth ase monie as ow to neodeth to bedde ant to rugge.
    Nest flesch ne schal nan werien linnene clath bute hit beo of hearde ant of
greate heorden. Stamin habbe hwa-se wule, hwa-se wule beo buten.
    Ye schulen in an hetter ant i-gurd liggen, swa leotheliche thah thet ye mahen
honden putten ther-under. Nest lich nan ne gurde hire with na cunne gurdles, bute
thurh schriftes leave, ne beore nan irn ne here, ne iles-piles felles, ne ne beate hire
ther-with, ne with scurge i-leadet, with holin ne with breres, ne biblodgi hire-
seolf withute schriftes leave, no-hwer ne binetli hire, ne ne beate bivoren, ne na
keorvunge ne keorve, ne ne neome ed eanes to luthere disceplines, temptatiuns
for-te acwenchen. Ne for na bote ayein cundeliche secnesses, nan uncundelich
lechecreft ne leve ye, ne ne fondin, withuten ower meistres read, leste ow stonde
    Ower schon i winter beon meoke, greate ant warme. I sumer ye habbeth leave
bear-vot gan, ant sitten, ant lihte scheos werien.
    Hosen withute vampez ligge in hwa-se liketh. I-scheoed ne slepe ye nawt, ne
no-hwer bute i bedde. Sum wummon inoh-reathe wereth the brech of here ful wel
i-cnottet, the streapeles dun to the vet i-lacet ful feaste, ah eaver is best the swete
ant te swote heorte - me is leovere thet ye tholien wel an heard word, then an
heard here.
    Yef ye muhen beo wimpel-les ant ye wel wullen, beoth bi warme cappen ant
ther-uppon hwite other blake veiles. Ancren summe sungith in hare wimplunge,
na leasse then leafdis. Ah thah seith sum thet hit limpeth to euch wummon
cundeliche for-te werien wimpel. - Nai. Wimpel ne heaved-clath nowther ne
nempneth Hali Writ, ah wriheles ane: Ad Corinthios: Mulier velet caput suum.
"Wummon," seith the Apostle, "schal wreon hire heaved." "Wrihen" he seith -
nawt "wimplin." Wrihen ha schal hire scheome, as Eve sunfule dohter, i mungunge
of the sunne thet schende us on earst alle, ant nawt drahe the wriheles to tiffunge
ant to prude. Eft wule the Apostle thet wummon wreo i chirche hire neb yetten,
leste uvel thoht arise thurh hire on-sihthe. Et hoc est propter angelos. Hwi thenne,
thu chirch-ancre, i-wimplet, openest thi neb to wepmonnes ehe? Toyeines [the]
the sist men speketh the Apostle, yef thu the ne hudest. Ah yef thet ei thing wriheth
thi neb from monnes ehe, beo hit wah, beo hit clath i wel i-tund windowe, wel mei
duhen ancre of other wimplunge. Toyeines the the thus ne dest speketh the Apostle,
nawt toyeines othre, thet hare ahne wah wriheth with euch monnes sihthe, ther
awakenith ofte wake thohtes of - ant werkes other-hwiles. Hwa-se wule beon i-
sehen, thah ha atiffi hire nis nawt muche wunder. Ah to Godes ehnen ha is lufsumre,
the is for the luve of him untiffet withuten.
    Ring ne broche ne habbe ye, ne gurdel i-membret, ne gloven, ne nan swuch
thing thet ow ne deh to habben. A meoke surpliz ye mahen in hat sumer werien.
    Eaver me is leovere se ye doth greattre werkes.
    Ne makie ye nane purses for-te freondin ow with, bute to theo thet ower meistre
yeveth ow his leave, ne huve, ne blod-binde of seolc, ne laz, buten leave. Ah
schapieth ant seowith ant mendith chirche clathes ant povre monne hettren. Na
swuch thing ne schule ye yeoven withuten schriftes leave, na-mare then neomen
thet ye ne seggen him fore - as of othre thinges: kun other cuththe, hu ofte ye
undervengen, hu longe ye edheolden. Tendre of cun ne limpeth nawt ancre beonne.
A mon wes of religiun, ant com to him efter help his fleschliche brother, ant he
tahte him to his thridde brether, the wes dead biburiet - the ondswerede wundrinde:
"Nai," quoth he, "nis he dead?" "Ant ich," quoth the hali mon, "am dead gasteliche.
Na fleschlich freond ne easki me fleschlich frovre." Amites ant parures worldliche
leafdis mahen inoh wurchen. Ant yef ye ham makieth, ne makie ye th'rof na
mustreisun. Veine-gloire attreth alle gode theawes ant alle gode werkes. Criblin
ne schal nan of ow for luve ne for hure. Taveles ne forbeode ich nawt, yef sum
riveth surpliz other measse-kemese. Othre rivunges ne rive ha nawt, nomeliche
overegede, bute for muche neode.
    Helpeth ow with ower ahne swinc se forth se ye eaver mahen to schruden ow-
seolven ant feden, yef neod is, ant theo the ow servith.
    As Sein Jerome leareth, ne beo ye neaver longe ne lihtliche of sum thing allunges
idel, for anan-rihtes the feond beot hire his werc, the i Godes werc ne swinketh,
ant tuteleth anan toward hire, for hwil he sith hire bisi, he thencheth thus: "For
nawt ich schulde nu cume neh hire, ne mei ha nawt i-yemen to lustni mi lare." Of
idelnesse awakeneth muchel flesches fondunge. Iniquitas Sodome saturitas panis
et ocium - thet is, "Sodomes cwedschipe com of idelnesse ant of ful wombe."
Irn thet lith stille gedereth sone rust. Weater the ne stureth nawt readliche stinketh.
    Ancre ne schal nawt forwurthe scol-meistre, ne turnen ancre-hus to childrene
scole. Hire meiden mei learen sum other meiden thet were pliht of to leornin among
wepmen other bimong gromes, ah ancre ne ah to yemen bute Godd ane, thah bi
hire meistres read ha mei sum rihten ant helpen to learen.
    Ye ne schulen senden leattres, ne undervon leattres, ne writen bute leave.
    Ye schulen beon i-doddet other, yef ye wulleth, i-schaven fowr sithen i the yer,
to lihtin ower heaved - beo bi the her i-eveset, hwa-se swa is leovere - ant as
ofte i-leten blod ant, yef neod is, oftre. The mei beo ther-buten, ich hit mei wel
tholien. Hwen ye beoth al greithe i-lete blod, ye ne schule don na thing the threo
dahes thet ow greveth, ah talkith to ower meidnes, ant with theawfule talen schurteth
ow togederes. Ye mahen swa don ofte hwen ow thuncheth hevie, other beoth for
sum worltlich thing sare other seke, thah euch worltlich frovre is unwurthe to
    Swa wisliche witeth ow in ower blod-letunge ant haldeth ow i swuch reste thet
ye longe th'refter mahen i Godes servise the monluker swinken, ant alswa hwen
ye feleth eani secnesse. Muchel sotschipe hit is leosen for an dei tene other tweolve.
    Wesscheth ow, hwer-se neod is, as ofte as ye wulleth, ant ower othre thinges:
nes neaver fulthe Godd leof, thah poverte ant unorneschipe beon him lic-wurthe.
    Understondeth eaver of alle theose thinges, thet nan nis heast ne forbod thet
beoth of the uttre riwle, thet is lute strengthe of, for-hwon thet te inre beo wel i-
wist, as ich seide i the frumthe. Theos mei beon i-changet hwer-se eani neod other
eani skile hit easketh, efter thet ha best mei the leafdi riwle servin as hire eadmode
thuften. Ah sikerliche withuten hire, the leafdi feareth to wundre.
    Ancre the naveth nawt neh honde hire fode beoth bisie twa wummen: an eaver
the leave ed hame, an other the wende ut hwenne driveth neod, ant theo beo ful
unorne, withuten euch tiffunge - other a lutel thuftene other of feier ealde. Bi the
wei as ha geath, ga singinde hire beoden, ne ne halde na tale with mon ne with
wummon, ne sitte, ne ne stonde, bute thet leaste thet ha eaver mei ear then ha ham
cume. No-hwider elles ne ga heo, bute thider as me send hire. Withute leave, ne
ne eote ha, ne ne drinke ute. The other beo eaver inne, ne withute the yeten ne ga
withute leave. Ba beon obedient to hare dame in alle thing, bute i sunne ane. Na
thing nabben thet heo hit nute, ne undervo na thing, ne ne yeove nowther, withuten
hire leave. Na mon ne leoten in, ne the yungre ne speoke with na-mon bute leave,
ne ga ha nawt ut of tune, withuten siker fere. Yef hit swa mei beon, ne ne ligge
ute. Yef heo ne con o boke, segge bi Pater nostres ant bi Avez hire ures, ant
wurche thet me hat hire withute gruchunge. Habbe eaver hire earen opene toward
hire dame. Nowther of the wummen ne beore from hare dame, ne ne bringe to
hire, nane idele talen, ne neowe tidinges, ne bitweonen ham-seolf ne singen, ne ne
speoken nane worldliche spechen, ne lahhen swa ne pleien, thet ei mon thet hit
sehe mahte hit to uvel turnen.
    Over alle thinges, leasunges ant luthere wordes heatien. Hare her beo i-corven;
hare heaved-clath sitte lahhe. Either ligge ane. Hare cop beo hehe i-sticchet ant
bute broche. Na mon ne seo ham unleppet ne open-heaved. Lah locunge habben.
Heo ne schulen cussen na mon, ne cuthmon ne cunnesmon, ne for na cuththe
cluppen ne weschen hare heaved, ne lokin feaste o na mon, ne toggin with ne
pleien. Hare weden beon of swuch schape, ant al hare aturn swuch, thet hit beo
edscene hwer-to ha beoth i-turnde. Hare lates lokin warliche, thet nan ne mahe
edwiten ham in hus ne ut of hus. On alle wise forbeoren to wreathen hare dame,
ant as ofte as heo hit doth, ear ha drinken other eoten, makien hare Venie, o cneon
dun bivoren hire, ant seggen, Mea culpa, ant undervon the penitence thet ha leith
upon hire, lutinde hire lahe. The ancre th'refter neaver mare thet ilke gult ne
upbreide for na wreaththe, bute yef ha eft sone falle i thet ilke, ah do hit allunge ut
of hire heorte. Yef ei strif ariseth bitweone the wummen, the ancre makie either to
makien other Venie o cneon to ther eorthe, ant either rihte up other, ant cussen on
ende, ant te ancre legge on either sum penitence, mare up-o the ilke the greatluker
gulte. This is a thing - witen ha wel - thet is Gode leovest: sahtnesse ant some
- ant te feond lathest. For-thi he is eaver umben to arearen sum leaththe. Nu sith
the sweoke wel, thet hwen fur is wel o brune, ant me wule thet hit aga, me sundreth
the brondes, ant he deth [on] hond thet ilke. Luve is Jesu Cristes fur, thet he wule
thet bleasie aa i thin heorte, ant te deovel blaweth for-te puffen hit ut. Hwen his
blawunge ne geineth nawt, he bringeth up sum uvel word, other sum other
nohtunge, hwer-thurh ha tohurten either frommard other - ant te Hali Gastes fur
cwencheth hwen the brondes thurh wreaththe beoth i-sundret. For-thi halden ham
i luve feaste togederes. Ant ne beo ham nawt of, hwen the feond blawe, nomeliche
yef monie beon i-veiet somet, ant wel with luve ontende. Thah the ancre on hire
meidnes for openliche gultes legge penitence, to the preost no-the-leater schriven
ham hwen neod is, ah eaver thah with leave.
    Yef ha ne cunnen nawt the mete-graces, seggen in hare stude Pater noster
bivoren, ant Ave Maria, ant efter mete alswa, ant a Credo mare, ant segge thus
on ende: "Feader, Sune, Hali Gast, [an] almihti Godd, yeove ure dame his grace,
se lengre se mare, ant leve hire ant us ba neomen god ende. Foryelde alle the us
god doth, ant milci hare sawle the us god i-don habbeth - hare sawle, ant alle
Cristene sawles."
    Bitweone mel ne gruseli nawt nowther frut ne other-hwet, ne drinken bute leave,
ant te leave beo liht in al thet nis sunne. Ed te mete na word, other lut, ant teo
stille. Alswa efter the ancre Complie, athet Prime, ne don na thing ne seggen,
hwer-thurh hire silence mahe beon i-sturbet.
    Nan ancre servant ne ahte bi rihte to easkin i-set hure bute mete ant clath thet
ha mei flutte bi - ant Godes milce. Ne misleve nan Godd - hwet-se tide of the
ancre - thet he hire trukie. The meidnes withuten, yef ha servith the ancre alswa
as ha ahen, hare hure schal beon the hehe blisse of heovene. Hwa-se haveth ehe of
hope toward se heh hure, gleadliche wule ha servin ant lihtliche alle wa ant alle
teone tholien: with eise ant with este ne buth me nawt blisse.
    Ye ancres ahen this leaste stucche reden to ower wummen euche wike eanes,
athet ha hit cunnen. Ant muche neod is thet ye neomen to ham muche yeme, for ye
mahen muchel beon thurh ham i-godet, ant i-wurset. On other half, yef thet ha
sungith thurh ower yemeles, ye schule beo bicleopet th'rof bivore the hehe deme,
ant for-thi as ow is muche neod, ant ham yet mare, yeornliche leareth ham to
halden hare riwle, ba for ow ant for ham-seolf, litheliche ant luveliche, for swuch
ah wummone lare to beonne, luvelich ant lithe, ant selt-hwenne sturne. Ba is riht
thet ha ow dreden ant luvien, ant thah thet ter beo eaver mare of luve then of
drede. Thenne schal hit wel fearen. Me schal healden eoli ant win ba i wunden
efter Godes lare, ah mare of softe eoli then of bitinde win. Thet is, mare of lithe
wordes then of suhinde, for ther-of kimeth thinge best - thet is, luve eie. Lihtliche
ant sweteliche foryeoveth ham hare gultes hwen ha ham i-cnaweth ant bihateth
    As forth as ye mahen, of mete ant of clathes, ant of othre thinges thet neode of
flesch easketh, beoth large toward ham, thah ye nearowe beon ant hearde to ow-
seolven. Swa deth the wel blaweth: went te nearewe of the horn to his ahne muth,
ant ut-ward thet wide. Ant ye don alswa as ye wulleth thet ower beoden bemin
wel ant dremen i Drihtines earen, nawt ane to ower ahnes, ah to alle folkes heale
- as ure Laverd leve thurh the grace of him-seolf thet hit swa mote, amen.
    Hwen ower sustres meidnes cumeth to ow to frovre, cumeth to ham to the thurl
ear-under ant over-under eanes other twien, ant gath ayein sone to ower note
gastelich, ne bivore Complie ne sitte ye nawt for ham over riht time, swa thet hare
cume beo na lure of ower religiun, ah gastelich biyete. Yef ther is eani word i-seid
thet mahte hurten heorte, ne beo hit nawt i-boren ut, ne i-broht to other ancre thet
is eth-hurte. To him hit schal beon i-seid, the loketh ham alle. Twa niht is inoh
thet ei beo edhalden, ant thet beo ful seldene, ne for heom ne breoke silence ed te
wmete ne for blod-letunge, bute yef sum muche god other neod hit makie.
    The ancre ne hire meiden ne plohien nane worldliche gomenes ed te thurle, ne
ne ticki togederes, for ase seith Seint Beornard, unwurthe thing is to euch gastelich
mon, ant nomeliche to ancre, euch swuch fleschlich frovre, ant hit binimeth
gastelich thet is withute met utnume murhthe - ant thet is uvel change, as is i-
seid th'ruppe.
    Of this boc redeth hwen ye beoth eise euche dei leasse other mare. Ich hopie
thet hit schal beon ow, yef ye hit redeth ofte, swithe biheve thurh Godes muchele
grace, elles ich hefde uvele bitohe mi muchele hwile. Me were leovere, Godd hit
wite, do me toward Rome, then for-te biginnen hit eft for-te donne. Yef ye findeth
thet ye doth alswa as ye redeth, thonckith Godd yeorne; yef ye ne doth nawt,
biddeth Godes are, ant beoth umben ther-onuven thet ye hit bet halden efter ower
    Feader, Sune, Hali Gast - an almihti Godd wite ow in his warde. He gleadie
ow ant frovri ow, mine leove sustren, ant for al thet ye for him dreheth ant dreaieth,
ne yeove ow neaver leasse then al togedere him-seolven. Beo he aa i-heiet from
world into world aa on ecnesse. AMEN.
    Ase ofte as ye habbeth i-red ea-wiht her-on, greteth the Leafdi with an Ave for
him thet swonc her-abuten. Inoh meathful ich am the bidde se lutel. Explicit.
    I-thench on thi writere i thine beoden sum-chearre: ne beo hit ne se lutel, hit
turneth the to gode, thet tu bidest for othre.

Go To Appendix 1, Motif and Exempla Index