The Book of Margery Kempe: Book I, Part II
THE BOOK OF MARGERY KEMPE: FOOTNOTES
2 unspecabyl, unspeakable.
4 deyneth, deigns; nobeley, nobleness.
7 hynderawnce, hinderance; be, by.
9 sumdeel, somewhat.
10 charytefully, charitably; whech, which.
12 penawns, penance.
13 lech, like; reedspyr, reed stalk.
16 worshep, honor.
17 repref, reproof; this creatur, i.e., Margery.
18 gon wyl, become wayward; parfythly, perfectly; steryd, stirred.
20 trad, trod.
21 in party the levyng, in part the life.
23 be, by.
24 werdly, worldly.
26 leyd on syde, put aside; worshepd, honored; sythen, then.
27 kynred, kindred.
34 cheden, chided; indued, endued.
36 dysese, anxiety; lofe, love.
41 trost, trust.
42 prevy, private.
44 awondyr, amazed.
45 wysten, knew; homly, familiar.
49 gostly, spiritual.
52 ankrys, anchorites; hem, them.
53 mende, mind.
56 mevynggys, movings; steringgys, stirrings;
trustly, with faith, trustingly.
63 er than sche ded any wryten, before she committed any to writing.
65 levyngs, manner of living.
66 myth, might.
67 credens, credence.
68 Dewchlond, Germany.
73 comownd, talked the matter over.
74 evel wretyn, badly written.
74-75 cowd lytyl skyll theron, hardly understand it.
76 leved, believed.
77 behyte, promised.
80 behestyd, promised.
85-86 schuld cun best rede the booke, should best be able to read the book.
88 bewreyn, betray, speak ill of, divulge.
91 evel sett, badly set.
92 behestyd, promised.
93 a do, have done.
100 mend, memory.
104 eyn myssyd, eyes failed.
106 creatur, i.e., Margery.
107 lett, hinder.
108 levyn, leave off.
110 lyth, light; qwayr, quire.
111 proym, preface.
114 sythen, afterwards; schamis, shames; reprevys, reproofs.
116 han mend, had memory.
118 clef, cleaved; or, before.
121 bodyn, bidden.
124 obloquie, abuse, calumny.
127 asayd, tried.
129 Mary Maudelyn, Mary Magdalene. July 22 is the day of Mary Magdalene.
130 sumdele, somewhat.
131 worschepful, honorable; kynde, nature.
132 accessys, attacks of illness.
134 dyspered, despaired; wenyng, thinking.
136 lettyd, hindered.
137 heele, health.
138 inow, enough.
139 penawns, penance.
140 dedys, deeds; saf, except.
141 seke, sick; mende, mind.
142 schrevyn, shriven; defawt, lack, sin.
143 iseyd, was said.
145 conselyd, concealed.
146 undyrnemyn, reprove.
148 to, toward, i.e., toward-side.
150 sey, saw.
151 her, their; lowys, flames.
152 rampyng, ramping, adopting a threatening stance; thretyng, threatening.
153 halyng, haling.
154 thretyngys, threats; bodyn, bade.
155 denyin, deny.
157 dede, did.
158 schrewyd, mean-tempered.
160 a fordon hirself, have committed suicide; steryngys, anxieties. See note.
161 bot, bit.
162 roof, rent, tore.
163 agen, against; spetowsly, grievously.
164 a don saf, have done except.
166 wend, thought; a skapyd ne levyd, have escaped nor relinquished.
169 aperyd, appeared.
175 levyn, lightning; stey, rose; eyr, air; esly, easily.
177 stabelyd, settled.
179 botery, buttery.
181 wende, thought.
184 meny, servants.
186 Whan men wenyn . . . fro hem, When men think he is far from them.
187 fel, befell.
188 drawt, spiritual ecstasy.
191 befortym, before that time.
192 wyst, knew.
193 gold pypys on hir hevyd, gold pipes as part of a fashionable headdress.
194 hodys, hoods; typettys, tippets; daggyd, ornamented with points and incisions.
195 staryng, conspicuous.
197 levyn, leave off.
198 kenred, kindred; hym semyd nevyr forto a weddyd hir, i.e., he did not seem like the sort of person to have married her.
199 town N, see note, line 462; hey Gylde of the Trinyté, the Guild of the Trinity was the most powerful of the town of Lynn's parish fraternities.
200 savyn the worschyp, preserve the honor.
201 arayd, arrayed.
205 brewyn, brew (ale).
206 ure, experience.
207 prevyn, be successful.
208 fayr standyng undyr berm, fair standing under the barm, the yeast formed on brewing liquors.
211 punched, punished; war, wary; eftsons, again.
216 huswyfré, household occupation; horsmille, horse mill; tweyn, two.
219 craske, fat, lusty; lykand, in good condition.
221 drawe no drawt, draw no load.
223 don this hors drawyn, make or cause this horse to draw.
231 noysed, noised, rumored.
233 venjawns, vegeance; seyd on, said one (thing).
235 clepyd, summoned; kallyd, called.
236 wretthyd, wretched.
246 habunawnt, abundant.
247 syhyngys, sighings.
248 spytys, scorns.
249 drawt, ecstasy.
252 governawnce, manner of life.
256 to komown fleschly, to have intercourse.
256-57 dette of matrimony, debt of matrimony (a conventional way of speaking of marital relations).
257 levar, rather.
258 wose, ooze; comownyng, intercourse.
263 wyst, knew.
265-66 be her bothins wylle and consentyng of hem bothyn, by both their wills and (by) mutual consent.
272 schrevyn, shriven.
273 conselyd and curyd, concealed and covered.
277-78 an hayr of . . . dryen on malt, a haircloth from a kiln such as men used for drying of malt.
278 kyrtylle, woman's gown; prevylich, secretly.
283 japyd, joked.
286 dyspite, contempt; ches, chose.
291 compunccyon, remorse, penitence; boystows, violent.
292 bethowt, bethought.
296 contwnyng, continuing; wepyn and levyn whan sche wold, weep and leave off whenever she wanted to.
297-98 wept for the world for socowr and for wordly good, wept for the world in order to gain comfort and worldly goods.
302 dure, endure.
306-07 the crucifix, i.e., the figure on the cross, or Christ.
307 halsyn, embrace.
311 for no drede, for doubtless.
312 sergyth, searches.
313 freel , frail; sufferawns, sufferance; snar, snare.
314 skape, escape.
315 wend, thought.
317 hayr, hairshirt.
319 levar, rather.
322-23 Seynt Margaretys Evyn, St. Margaret, whose feast day was July 20, was the virgin martyr tortured and killed for her espousal of Christian chastity by Olybrius, ruler of Antioch. When at home, Margery worshipped in the church of St. Margaret's in Lynn, one of the town's main churches. It was attached to a priory of Benedictines.
325 chese, choose.
326 preve, prove (to).
329 labowrd, labored, afflicted.
330 Pater Noster, Our Father, the Lord's Prayer.
332 levyd, believed; suasyons, persuasions.
334 do, done.
335 symulacyon, simulation.
339 leful, lawful, permissable.
340 was labowrd, was afflicted.
341 inoportunyté, inopportunity.
343 wetyn, know.
344 levar, rather; hewyn, hewn.
350-52 Sche thowt . . . was so fals unto hym, She thought she was deserving of no mercy, for her consenting was so willfully done, not worthy of doing him (i.e., God) service, for she was so false unto him.
352 schrevyn, shriven.
354 rewelys, rules.
356 durst, dared.
357 lettherye, lechery.
359 party, part.
363 wer so wondyrful . . . far wyth hem, were so wonderful (astonishing) that she could hardly deal (fare) with them.
373-74 that have . . . schreve therof, who has brought your sins to your memory and made you to be shriven thereof.
374 contrysyon, contrition.
375 clepe, call.
376 hayr, hair (cloth).
378 derworthy, precious; that, what.
380-81 sacrament of the awter, Eucharist.
383 knawyn, gnawed.
383-84 raton knawyth the stokfysch, rat gnaws the stockfish.
385 inow, enough; be, by.
386 wel, well-being, good fortune; wo, woe.
388 mow, might.
389 leve, leave off; byddyng of many bedys, bidding of many beads (saying of many prayers).
391 be thowt, by thought.
392 hey, high.
393 ankyr, anchorite; Frer Prechowrys, Dominican Priory at Lynn; prevyteys, secrets.
397 ye sowkyn . . . Crysts brest, you suck even on Christ's breast (The nutritive or "female" attributes of Christ were conventional figures in late medieval devotional literature. See Bynum , pp. 270-76.).
398 ernest peny of hevyn, earnest penny (pledge-penny) of heaven.
402 geve hir, devoted herself; bodyn, bidden.
406 sche saw Seynt Anne gret wyth chylde, she saw Saint Anne great with child, i.e., pregnant with the Virgin. For the importance of extra-Biblical fictions relating to the private lives of Saint Anne and the Virgin in late medieval spirituality, see Ashley and Sheingorn.
408 besyde, busied.
409 kerchys, kerchiefs.
418-19 potel of pyment and spycys, two quart vessel of sweetened and spiced wine.
421 wonyd, dwelled.
422 toke hym up fro the erthe, took him up from the earth (where he lay after birth).
424 compassyf, compassionate.
427 dever, duty.
428 Bedlem, Bethlehem; purchasyd hir herborwe, purchased her lodging.
429 beggyd owyr Lady, begged for our Lady.
431 lyg, lie.
434-35 I schal not byndyn yow soor, I shall not bind you (swaddle you) tightly.
442 ob, of (see note).
443 purveyng hir herborw, purveying her lodging.
445 duryng, enduring.
446 sesyng, ceasing.
449-50 for sche was so long dyfferryd therfro, for she was so long deferred therefrom.
451 languren, languish.
456 chastyse us her how thow wylt, chastise us here however you will.
461 felaw, fellow, companion.
463 qwyte, requite.
466-67 executor, executor (of her spiritual estate).
469 halfyndel, half.
470 halvendel, half.
471 mede, reward.
473 even cristen, fellow Christians; dubbyl, double.
476 er Whitsonday, before Whitsunday, the Feast of Pentecost; sle, kill.
477 Estern woke, Easter week.
478 knowlach, knowledge; was wone befor, was accustomed to before; gan neygh hir, came near her.
479 wyse, way.
480 Whytson Evyn, Whitsunday Eve. Whitsunday is the Feast of Pentecost.
482 astoyned, bewildered; voys, voice.
483 venjawns, vengeance.
485 party, part; vowte, vault.
485-86 the fote of the sparre, the foot of the rafter.
486 weyd, weighed.
487-88 sche ferd as . . . a lytyl whyle, for a little while she fared (acted) as though she had been dead.
489 whech hygth, who was called; wondyr cas, wonderful case.
490 gretly dysesyd, greatly distressed.
491 hol, whole; cher, demeanor.
494 levyn, believe.
495-96 Maystyr Aleyn, the Carmelite friar, Alan of Lynn.
498 way, weighted; treys, tree's.
503 venjawns, vengeance.
504 quemfulnes, favor.
506 gostly, spiritual; mygth not, might not.
515 voys, voice; levyng, living.
516 behestyst, promise.
520 bere, beer; cake, cake, loaf.
521 her, there.
522 smyte of, smite off; les than, unless; comown kendly, lit., common naturally, i.e., have intercourse with. See note.
524 medele, meddle, have intercourse with.
525 why meve ye this mater, why do you bring up this matter.
526 For I wyl wete, For I will know.
527 levar, rather.
536 mede, meed, reward; hayr, haircloth; haburgon, jacket of mail (next to your skin).
537 wele, wills.
537-39 "Nay," he seyd . . . not so.", "Nay," he said, "that will I not grant you, for now I may use you without mortal sin and then I might not." (By taking a vow of wedded chastity, John and Margery would sacramentally eliminate the physical element of their marriage.)
541-42 to Brydlyngtonward, toward Bridlington; fornseyd, aforesaid.
544 clepyng, calling.
547 dettys, debts.
549 leve, live.
550 leve, leave.
551 goodlych, well.
557 contraryen, go against; mekyl, great; les, unless.
562 opteyn, obtain.
568 qwyte, requite, pay back.
574 sythen, afterward.
577 ankrys, anchorites; reclusys, recluses.
579 dyvers, different.
580 wetyn, know; dysseyt, deceit.
583 monkys, monks.
584 save, except; bar gret offyce, had great office (duties).
584-85 set hir at nowt, disparaged her.
585 at mete, at the midday meal; of, during.
588 dalyawns, daliance; gan gretly enclyne to hirward, began greatly to incline toward her.
589 savour, savour, delight.
592 levyn, believe.
597-98 in letthery . . . kepyng, in lechery, in despair, and in the keeping (hoarding) of worldly goods. (These are the three classic vices of lust, pride - of which despair is a type - and avarice.)
599 lesyng, lie.
600 leesyngys, lies.
603 schreve, shriven; wythowtynforth, without, outside.
610 Sorwyth, Sorrow (be sorry).
617 suppriowr, sub-prior.
623 as, as if.
624 aloon, alone; cheys hir as sche cowde, lit., choose her as she could, i.e., make her own way.
625 eld, old; an eld monk, whech had ben tresowrer wyth the Qwen, probably John Kynton, chancellor of Queen Joanna, wife of Henry V.
626 dred, feared by.
628 heryn, praise.
630 meynteyn, maintain.
637 in party, as part; that he schuld o yer hyer men, that he should for one year hire men.
640 lawhyng, laughing.
642 lawhyst thu, do you laugh; brothel, wretch.
649 brent, burnt.
650 lollare, Lollard, a follower of the beliefs of John Wyclif, the late fourteenth-century theologian, whose ideas were judged heretical. These included renunciation of the cult of images and saints, of the doctrine of transubstantiation, and of the church's involvement with temporal goods or offices. For the relevance of Wycliffite thought to the Book, see Staley (1994); tonne, tun, large barrel.
653 tremelyng and whakyng, trembling and quaking; erdly, earthly.
657 tweyn, two; eretyke, heretic.
658 loller, Lollard.
659 in, inn.
660 Dewchmannys, German man's.
661 ostel, hostel.
667 eyne, eyes; lestyn, last, survive.
671 peler, pillar.
673 ne were . . . grace, were not my grace alone.
675 chedyn and fletyn, chided and scolded.
676 comownyng in, talking about.
680 for dred of inpacyens, for fear of (her) lack of endurance.
681 stokke, piece of timber; ex, ax; lofe, love.
682-83 that thow woldyst for my lofe, what you would do for my love.
685 deryn, harm.
687 wroth, angry.
688 cun no skyl of the, will be able to have no knowledge of you.
692 funston, baptismal font.
695 hyd, hidden.
697 it arn, these are.
701 sekerest, most certain; les, unless.
705 mete, meal.
707 buxom, gentle; far, fare.
710 hete, heat.
711-12 at thi lyst, at your wish.
714-15 'He that doth . . . unto me,' Mark 3:35.
725 er than, before.
726 Seynt Jamys, the shrine of St. James at Compostella in Spain.
727 good, i.e., money.
731 deyn, die.
732-33 I wyl that thu were clothys of whyte, I will that you wear clothes of white (a sign of virginity).
733 arayd, arrayed.
735 wondryn, wonder.
739 veyn dred, vain dread.
743 proferyd, proferred.
746 commensowr in dyvinyté, doctor of divinity.
747 steryng, stirring, guidance.
748 ferd, fared.
752 thretyd, threatened.
754 dysese, trouble; boystows, unmannerly.
759 Bysshop of Lynkoln . . . Philyp, Philip Repingdon, Bishop of Lincoln from 1405 to 1419, when he resigned his see.
761 abedyn, abided.
762 wetyn, know.
766 lymyt, limited, set.
767 hy, devout.
768 qwyk, quick, alive.
769 hir lysted, she liked.
771 sadly, soberly, wisely.
774-75 the mantyl . . . in whygth, the ceremony by which Margery would officially be granted the clothing of married chastity.
775 in erth, on earth.
784 us, us, we, These are the only times Kempe uses first person pronouns in the Book.
786 er, before; mete, the midday meal; powyr, poor.
787 lovys, loaves.
790 meny, household; hyr eyled, ailed her.
791 swyers, squires.
792 gentylly, graciously; mees, mess.
795 pregnawntly, pregnantly, significantly, insightfully.
800 abyden, abide, wait; prevyd, proved, tested.
804 sey the Bysshop, tell the Bishop.
810 Archbusshop of Cawntyrbery, Arundel, Thomas Arundel, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1397, 1399-1414.
812 dyocyse, diocese. As an East Anglian, Margery is technically under the rule of the Bishop of Norwich; Lincoln is north of King's Lynn; feyned, feigned, pretended.
816 schelyngys, shillings.
817 clothyg, clothing.
818 Lambhyth, Lambeth, in London, the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
820 rekles, reckless; swyers, squires; yemen, yeomen.
821 othis, oaths.
822 undyrname, rebuked; dampnyd, damned; sweryng, swearing.
823 pylche, pilch, an outer garment of skin trimmed with the fur.
824 forschod, reviled; bannyd, banned.
825 Smythfeld, Smithfield, in London where the first two Lollards were burnt, William Sawtre in 1401 and John Badby in 1410.
826 levyst, livest.
829 auctoryté, authority; chesyng, choosing.
830 howselyd, houseled, be given the Eucharist. This is more frequent than was ordinary in the late Middle Ages when most people received the Sacrament once a year.
831 provynce, province.
836 defawte, lack.
839 aprevyd, approved.
841 meny, household.
842 alderes Lord, Lord of us all; gon, given.
843 tretowrys, traitors; hem, those.
844 les than, unless.
845 benyngly, benignly.
852 Lenne, Lynn, Margery's town.
853 Frer Prechowrys, Dominican priory.
856 owt, out.
857 ther is behyte, there is promised.
858 frenschepys, friendships; wyth condycyon, upon condition.
861 reme, realm.
866 Norwych, Norwich, some twenty miles southeast of Lynn.
868 vykary of Seynt Stefenys, Richard Caister, vicar of St. Stephens in Norwich.
870 prevytés, secrets.
880 revelyd, revealed.
882 aport, deportment, bearing.
883 evyn cristen, fellow Christians.
887 hedows, hideous.
892 er, or.
893 qwyk, quick, alive.
895 veryly, truly.
896 Secunde Persone in Trinyté, i.e., Jesus.
899 Hyltons boke, Walter Hilton's Scale of Perfection; Bridis boke, Liber Revelationum Celestium S. Birgitte; Stimulus Amorys, a fourteenth-century mystical text falsely attributed to St. Bonaventure; Incendium Amoris, a fourteenth-century mystical work by the English hermit Richard Rolle.
902 mend, mind.
903 Seynt Kateryn, St. Katherine of Alexandria, legendary fourth-century virgin martyr.
910 grutchyng, grudging, complaining.
915 trustly, trustfully.
916 enspyr, inspire.
919 howsyld, houseled, administered the Eucharist to.
920 moneschyd, admonished; artyculys, articles.
923 malys, malice.
925 hens, hence.
927 Whyte Frer. . .Wyllyam Sowthfeld, Carmelite friar (d. 1414) known for his devotion; whech hyte, who was named.
928 levar, living person.
933 gremercy, gramercy (an exclamation).
933-34 dredyth ye not, dread ye not.
935 heyly, highly.
944 fawt, fault; soget, subject.
954 bodyn, bidden.
955 ankres . . . Dame Jelyan, Julian of Norwich, anchorite mystic and author of the Revelations of Divine Love.
966 contraryows, contrarious, at cross purposes.
967 levars, living people.
969 dubbyl, double.
970 dowtyng, doubting.
972 lyche, likely.
975 owyth to levyn, should (or ought) to believe.
976 mornynggys, mournings.
978 nowmeryd, numbered.
979 turmentyn, torment.
983 feryth, fear.
989 abyte, habit, clothing.
991 perseverawnt, perseverant.
995 owtforth, outwardly.
996 dom, judgment.
997 her, their.
1000 sekyr, true, spiritually safe.
1002 asayn, assay, try.
1004-05 Than is my bodily . . . wher to have, Then is my bodily comfort gone, and spiritual comfort from any confessor such as you I will not know where to find.
1006 hoose, whose.
1012-13 tryfelys and japys, trifles and jokes.
1013 fawyn, fain.
1016 homly, homely, familiar.
1022 norych, nurse.
1025 levyn, leave.
1027 levyn, believe.
1036 eftsonys, again.
1038 departyd, parted; war, aware.
1040 departyn, separate.
1043 encresyd, increased.
1046 eraend, errand.
1054 talys, tales.
1061 Thow, Though.
1062 sekyr, certain.
1064 owyn, ought.
1065 wete, learn.
1067 les than he had bettyr frendys in erthe, unless he had better friends on earth.
1069 esse, ease.
1070 hede, heed.
1079 schok and flekeryd, shook and flickered.
1080 dowe, dove.
1081 chalys, chalice.
1082 sacre, consecration of the sacrament.
1083 sacreys, consecrations.
1085 Bryde, St. Bridget of Sweden (ca. 1303-73), whose reknown in England was particularly high, owing to the influence of the Brigittine Order; say, saw.
1086 wyse, manner; betokenyth, means.
1087 venjawnce, vengeance.
1088 erdene, earthquake.
1097 derworthy, honored.
1098 pepyl, people.
1100 pyté, pity.
1101 deyn, die.
1103 pestylens, pestilence; bataylys, battles; famynyng, famine.
1113 frwte, fruit.
1114 longyth, belongs; holy maydens, i.e., to virgins.
1116 besynes, business.
1118 wedlake, wedlock.
1119 let me to, hinder me from.
1129 Mary Mawdelyn, Mary Magdalene.
1129-30 Mary Eypcyan, Mary the Egyptian.
1130 Seynt Powyl, Saint Paul.
1136 forberyn, forego.
1139 schuld a brostyn, should have burst; Aswythe, quickly.
1141 sekyr, sure, certain.
1142 hily, highly.
1143 maystres, mistress; wyse, manner.
1146 he cowde most skyl in, he was most learned in.
1150 dawnsyn, dance.
1152 funtston, baptismal font.
1154-55 and that sor rewyth me, and that I sorely regret.
1155 ronnyn, run.
1156 suffer me, allow me.
1157 onyd, united, joined.
1159 behest, promise.
1163 thart, need.
1168 behygth, promised; schuldyst, should.
1175 feryd, frightened.
1176 hevynes, sorrows.
1177 sekenes, sicknesses; anoynted, anointed, i.e., given last rites.
1178 skapyd, escaped.
1181 wonyng, dwelling.
1183 govyn hem drynkyn, given them drink.
1185 wrowte, made.
1186 the body that the hath bowte, the body that has bought (redeemed) you (Jesus through his Passion).
1188 Seynt Barbara, St. Barbara, virgin martyr; dom, doom, judgment.
1189 bone, boon, favor.
1190 and, if.
1191 joyn, rejoice.
1195 thu schalt mown askyn, you shall be able to ask.
1196 telde, told.
1200 clepyn, call; dere abowte, dearly bought, dearly redeemed.
1206 vykary, vicar.
1207 cure, curacy, care of souls; benefyce, benefice, ecclesiastical living.
1208 parysshonys, parishoners.
1213 massage, message.
1215 qwer, choir; cors, corpse.
1217 hele, health; messe peny, mass penny.
1218 cors, body.
1229 an helply to the powyr, helpful to the poor.
1230 mone, moan.
1231 joyntys, joints.
1234 lyster, dyer.
1235 languryn, languish, linger.
1242 hem alle for to . . . of mor profyte, to write them all should perhaps hinder that which is more profitable.
1244 commendacyon, commendation, praise.
1246 ponyschyng, punishment.
1247 levar a, rather have.
1249 trubbyl, trouble.
1249-50 it fel not . . . undyrstandyng, it did not seem credible to her understanding.
1251 turbele, trouble.
1253 prevyn, test, ascertain.
1255 komyn, come; unsekyr, uncertain.
1256 thei, though; loth, loath, hesitant; wylly, willing.
1260 ellys not a, otherwise not have.
1263 gevyn credens, give credence, believe; hyndryd, hindered.
1266 expleyntyng, explaining.
1268 smet, smote, struck.
1269 tweyn, two.
1273 credens, credence; amyabyl, amiable.
1274 faveryd, favored; cuntenawns, countenance; sad, wise.
1275 gestur, gesture; vestur, clothing; purposyng, intending.
1276 into hys relevyng and comfort, for his relief and comfort.
1277 meyrs pere, mayor's peer.
1278 myschef, misfortune.
1283 anow, enough; holpyn, helped; relevyd, relieved.
1284 it was mor almes, it was more charitable.
1289 lettyd, hindered.
1295 medyl, meddle.
1307 whethyr2, whither, from whence.
1311 schrewe, scoundrel.
1312 proferyd, offered; portose, portable breviary.
1313 wetyn, know.
1314 by, buy; cheryd, cared for.
1321 profyr, offer.
1322 thryftyare, more prosperous; richare, richer.
1324 awt, owned.
1325 yef, if; sad, sober.
1327 mevyn, move.
1329 Penteney Abbey, Augustinian priory in Norfolk.
1330 sey, seen.
1331 lyvery, livery.
1332 lokyn, see; acordyn, agree.
1333 woke, week.
1337 matere, matter.
1338 her, here.
1340 o, one.
1342 purificacyons, purifications, the rite of "churching" women after childbirth; person, parson; Benetys, Benedict's, i.e., a Benedictine monk.
1346 fel gret ple, there fell (befell) great legal action; priowr, prior.
1347 paryschenys, parishioners; funtys, baptisms.
1348 on, one.
1349 fayrare, fairer; funte, baptismal font.
1350-51 The bulle was put in ple, The bull was appealed.
1352 derogacyon, detraction.
1355 spede, help; rewth, pity.
1356 er than, rather than; thei, though; powyr, poor.
1359 yrkyn, to irk, to annoy.
1360 my Lord of Norwych Alnewyk, William Alnwick, Bishop of Norwich, 1426-36; be trety, by negotiation.
1361 for to settyn, in order to establish; pes, peace.
1364 suyd, sued, petitioned; her, their.
1370 nobelys, nobles (gold coins).
1375 her intent, their intent; slakyn her bost, reduce their boasting.
1376 menys, means.
1381 sothfast and sekyr, truth and certainty.
1383 whyk, quick, alive.
1385 cleymyd, claimed; dette, debt.
1386 aseth, compensation.
1390 brokebakkyd, broken backed; safté, safety.
1392 Mayster Robert, Robert Spryngolde, parish priest of St. Margaret's church and Margery's chief confessor.
1393 Trinité, Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Norwich.
1394 Yermowth, Yarmouth.
1395 Seryce, Zierikzee, Zeeland, the Netherlands.
1402 Ynglond, England.
1406 mevyng, influence.
1408 lofe, love.
1409 tabyl, table; alto chedyn, severely chided.
1413 wrothar, angrier.
1414 wreth, wrath.
1417-18 develys deth mote . . . and rathe, devil's death might overcome you soon and quickly.
1421 han awey, take away.
1423 and tene to go wher sche wolde, and to direct herself wherever she would.
1424 hem, them.
1426 mekyn hir, humble herself.
1427 Constawns, Constance.
1431-32 dedyn hir don . . . not makyn of hir, made her to wear white canvas in the manner of a woman's sackcloth garment, for she would be taken for a fool and the people should not (then) make much of her.
1433 durst ful evyl, dared hardly.
1434 her, their.
1436 cheryn, take care of.
1438 to Constawnsward, toward Constance.
1446 Popys legat, papal legate.
1448 owyr, hour; ny, nearly.
1464 bordys ende, table's end; won, wont, used.
1466 myryar, merrier.
1470-71 I wyl not don hir etyn, I will not make her eat.
1472 avowe, a vow; barfote, barefoot.
1476 sesyn, cease; ther men wyl her hir, where men will hear her.
1481 maystres, mistress.
1482 behestyd, promised; sekyrd, assured.
1483 made hir chawnge, made her exchange.
1485 ordeyn hir a ledar, appoint her a leader or a guide.
1486 aswythe aftyr, quickly thereafter.
1487 Devynschir, Devonshire.
1488 gyde, guide.
1495 rewful, rueful, mournful.
1496 cowde no langage, lit., could no language (did not know the language).
1498-99 and I . . . forberyn my tabbarde, and I shall be beaten for you and made to give up my tabard (outer garment).
1500 mend, mind, memory.
1501 avowtré, adultery.
1503 defowlyd, defiled.
1504 avow, vow.
1509 Boleyn de Grace, Bologna.
1510 thedyr, thither.
1513 asayn, assay, try.
1514 comnawnt, covenant.
1518 nunnys, nuns.
1519 cher, comfort.
1521 amerveylyd, astonished.
1522 leryd, learned.
1524 hold yow comenawnt, keep covenant with you.
1525 forbodyn it me, forbidden it to me.
1526 toke hir chawmbre, took to her chamber.
1529 maystres, mistress; no dele, no deal, not at all.
1530 tabyl, table.
1531 seylyn, sail.
1533 her, their.
1534 ther, where.
1540 seldyn, sold.
1542-43 for thei . . . otherwyse don, for they dared not do otherwise.
1543 lokyd, locked; her, their.
1544 schete, sheet.
1557-58 in poynt to a fallyn of hir asse, at the point of falling off her ass.
1559 tweyn pylgrymys of Duchemen, two German pilgrims.
1560 spycys, spices.
1564 and thei wer . . . day at evynsong, and they were let in on the one day at evensong.
1571 veryly, verily.
1573 walwyd and wrestyd, wallowed and twisted.
1574 brostyn, burst; cité, city.
1576 mornyng, mourning.
1582 despyte, despite, scorn.
1583 astoynd, astonished.
1586-87 er yf sche sey . . . whethyr it wer, or if she saw a man or beast that had a wound.
1587 bett, beat; smet, smote.
1593 cotidianly, daily.
1599 noyng, annoying.
1601 bannyd, cursed; havyn, haven, harbor.
1602 gostly, spiritual.
1607 blo, leaden-colored.
1608 leed, lead.
1618 duffehows of holys, dovecot of holes.
1619 reverys, rivers.
1626-27 whan we may . . . men and women, when we may see each day with our eyes both men and women.
1628 thorw ovyr fele stody and erdly affeccyon, through over much devotion and earthly affection.
1631-32 to leevyn er seesyn, to leave off or cease.
1638 wrekyn hem, avenge them.
1641 offens, an offense; compassyfe, compassionate.
1643-44 ne not we wylle . . . indued wyth lofe, neither will we support our Lord's own secretaries (i.e., the holy men and women who "trace out" his life) which he has endued with love.
1644 hyndryn, hinder.
1653 ther owyr, where our.
1664 swownyd, swooned.
1668 mad hys Mawndé, made his Last Supper.
1670 sacryd, consecrated.
1672 plenyr remyssyon, plenary remission.
1675 ferd, fourth.
1679 the tyme of tweyn messys heryng, for the time it takes to hear two masses.
1684 asoyld, pardoned.
1684-86 and dispensyd wyth . . . thin owyn selfe, and absolved you so that you need not go (on pilgrimage) to Rome or to St. James (of Compostella) unless you yourself want to.
1697 partabyl in, capable of partaking.
1699 Bedlem, Bethlehem.
1703 Grey Frerys, Franciscans.
1710 Flod of Jurdon, River Jordan.
1713 askyd hem no leve, did not ask them permission.
1715 Mownt Qwarentyne, Mount Quarentyne (near Jericho).
1718 mekyl, much; happyd, came along.
1718-19 a Sarazyn, a welfaryng man, a Saracen, a comely man.
1719 grote, grote (silver coin).
1723 Grey Frerys, Franciscans.
1725 reprevys, reproofs.
1728 tho behestys, those promises.
1733 Betanye, Bethany; ther Lazer, where Lazarus.
1735 Estern Day, Easter Day.
1736-37 "Mary, why wepyst thu?", see John 20:15.
1739 Frerys of the Tempyl, Franciscans of the Convent of the Holy Sepulchre.
1744 Rafnys, Ramleh (town outside Jerusalem on the road to Jaffa).
1746 purchasyn hir mor pardon, lit., to "purchase" for herself more pardon.
1751 Venyce, Venice.
1752 deyin, die.
1759 velany, shame.
1761 diswer, doubt.
1767 deceyvabyl, deceiving.
1769 flowyn on the gret plenté of grace, pour out on you an abundance of grace.
1770 powyr, poor; cowche, hump.
1771 forclowtyd, patched.
1772 eyleth, aileth.
1774 Erlond, Ireland.
1781 bowys and arwys, bows and arrows.
1782 wepyn, weapon; cloke ful of clowtys, cloak full of patches.
1783 defowlyn, defile.
1784 ledyn the, lead you.
1787 too, two.
1788 chyst, chest.
1790 metyn, meet.
1791 gon on my purchase and beggyn my levyng, attend to my occupation and beg my living.
1794 herborwe, lodging; he . . . hemselfe, they . . . themselves; that, so that.
1798 worshepful wyfys lappys, the laps of honorable women.
1798-99 wold puttyn schirtys ther upon, would put shirts on the image.
1799 thei, though.
1806 nerhand, nearly.
1810 gravyn, engrave.
1810-11 "Jhesus est amor meus," Jesus is my love.
1811 thevys, thieves.
1814-15 purposyd befortyme er . . . a weryd ryng, previously intended, before she had it by revelation, never to wear a ring.
1816 cheryn, encourage.
1817 mett, measure.
1822 bone maryd, good marriage.
1823 as ho seyth, as one might say; awey, lost.
1825 sowt, sought.
1828 bordys, boards.
1830 pur, for; Assyse, Assisi.
1831 Frer Menowr, Franciscan.
1839 kerche, veil (The Lower Church of St. Francis holds the Veil of Our Lady.).
1841-42 Lammes Day, Lammas Day (August 1).
1842 plenyr, plenary.
1845-46 Knygtys of Roodys, Knights of Rhodes.
1846 mekyl good caryage, ample means of conveyance.
1855 hospital of Seynt Thomas of Cawntyrbery, hospice for English pilgrims to Rome.
1865 schrevyn, shriven.
1871 howselyd, administered the sacrament.
1876 confiteor, confession of sins.
1878 Seynt John the Evangelyst, St. John, the beloved disciple. He also appeared to Elizabeth of Hungary, whose Revelation was possibly important to Kempe. See McNamer, Staley (1994).
1879 "Benedicité," Bless you; "Dominus," Lord.
1881 swemful, sorrowful.
1882 enjoyned, commanded, directed.
1883 asoyled, absolved.
1887 wistly, certainly; wroth, angry.
1890 tresor, treasure.
1891 werdlys, worldly.
1895 far liche, fare (proceed) like.
1896 to, toward; arayn, array, dress.
1900 holdyn the ryth wel plesyd, hold yourself right well pleased.
1901 the the, you the.
1901-02 He is wel blyssed . . . hys wo stool, He is well blessed who can sit on his well stool and tell of his woe stool, i.e., He is lucky who can sit in good fortune and tell of his former misfortune.
1908 cowde, knew.
1909 be, by means of, through.
1912 sentys, saint; steryn, directing, urging; other that lovedyn, others who loved.
1920 therten, thirteen.
1924 les than, unless.
1928 swech mend, such memory.
1931 demyng, deeming, thinking.
1932 levyng, believing.
1933 symulacyon, simulation.
1944 chesyn, choose.
1946 seyng, seeing.
1950 wetyng, knowing; saf, except.
1956 defamyn, defame; detractyd of, disparaged by.
1957 nerhand, nearly.
1972 wyfys, women; malendrynes, highwaymen.
1979 ryth fawyn, right fain.
1980 schrewyd, sharp.
1986 deynté of, delight in, affection for.
1987 herby, hereby.
1992 party, part; hold, old; poure, poor.
1994 cured, covered.
1995 mentyl, mantle, cloak; vermyn, vermin.
1995-96 fet hom, fetched home.
1996 in her nekke, on her neck; mete, food.
1997 sowr, sour.
1998 gaf, gave.
2000 Postelys Cherch, Apostles' Church; Seynt Laterynes Day, St. John Lateran's Day, November 9.
2005 prevyteys, secrets.
2006 wonyn, dwell; sylens, silence.
2010 to, by.
2014 stede, place (i.e., instead of).
2015 semly, seemly, becoming.
2021 whoys, whose.
2031 fayrar, fairer; fowelar, fouler; powerar, poorer.
2032 buxom, gentle; bonyr, obedient.
2034 suyrté, surety.
2041-42 a levyd . . . a lestyd, could have lived thereby (i.e., on those sweet smells) had they lasted.
2044 nyhand, almost.
2048 sotyl, diaphanous; brygtare, brighter.
2057 der, harm.
2058-59 "Benedictus qui venit in nomine domini," "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord," the blessing used to welcome Christ's entrance into the elements of the Mass, thus a sentence underlining the sacramental nature of her visions.
2060 flawme of fyer, the sensation of inward burning was a fairly widespread experience among medieval mystics.
2062 lowe, flame.
2064 fyer, fire.
2071-72 heryn that thu nevyr herdist, hear what you never heard.
2073 sekyr, certain.
2075 onyd, joined.
2079 haburjon, habergeon, jacket of mail.
2080 hayr, hair shirt.
2084-85 byddyn many bedys, say many prayers.
2085 parfyte, perfect.
2086 fastarys, fasters.
2091 o yer, one year.
2094 whedir, whatever.
2095 erde, earth.
2098 homly, familiar.
2100 hed, heed.
2109 mede, reward.
2114 peyr of belwys, pair of bellows; ere, ear.
2115 fer, fear.
2116 voys of a dowe, voice of a dove.
2124 clevyst as sore, cleaves as sorely, tenderly.
2125 stokfysche, fish dried hard in the open air; sothyn, seethed, boiled.
2129 besynes, business.
2134 behestys, promises.
2135 behite, promised.
2136 dowt, doubt.
2140 durst not onys, dared not once.
2142 ostys, host's.
2145 mone, moan.
2148 bar, bare; lofe, love.
2151 gaf, gave.
2154 Brystowe, Bristol; Whitsunwoke, Whitsun week.
2158 Seynt Marcellys Chirche, the Church of Santa Marcello.
2160 cheys, sustain.
2164 theward, thee-ward, i.e., coming to you; hyte the, promised you.
2173 relevyd, relieved.
2179 Assyse, Assisi.
2180 syngnys, signs.
2182 grawnt, great.
2187 potage, soup, stew.
2188 botel, bottle.
2189 bolendinys, coins of Bologna; clepyd, called, named.
2190 bad hir to mete, invited her to dinner.
2193 purveyd, supplied, taken care of.
2197 sowkyng, sucking.
2199 brast, burst.
2201 halvendel, half.
2203 sesyn, cease.
2204 sey, saw.
2208 Seynt Brigypt, Bridget of Sweden.
2213 wolcomear, more welcome.
2217 and wyth ryght schulde a be so stylle, and by right should be so still.
2218 kepar, keeper.
2221 swem, sorrow.
2223 Brydys, Bridget's.
2228 lawhyng cher, laughing countenance; at hoste, boarding.
2229 wend, thought.
2234-35 on of Seynt Brigyptys days, There were three days sacred to St. Bridget, July 23, the feast of her death; May 28, the feast of her translation; and Oct 7, the medieval date for her canonization. See Meech, pp. 304-05, for reasons for linking this passage to the latter date.
2236-37 impressyons of eyrs, changes, disturbances.
2238 in socowryng . . . dyvers perellys, in relief of their bodies [and] to avoid diverse perils.
2239 wold, wanted.
2240 halwyd, hallowed.
2241 Stacyownys, Stations (of Rome), i.e., visiting and praying in a sequence of churches in Rome.
2242 fer, far; ostel, hostel.
2243 levenys, lightnings.
2245 wederyngys, stormy weather; elde, old.
2247 brent, burnt; contentys, contents.
2249-50 ben holpyn and socowryd, be helped and succoured.
2256 speryng, asking.
2266 discuryng the prevyté of hert, disclosing the secret of (her) heart.
2269 les than, unless.
2273 "Gold is to thewarde," lit., Gold is to thee-ward, or gold is coming to you.
2280 late, let.
2281 preyd, prayed, invited.
2286 in, on; hys unwetyng, he (the German priest's) unknowing.
2288 her, their.
2288-89 in party, in part.
2297 alyon, alien.
2306 mornyng, mourning.
2307 crumme, crumb.
2308 entyrlyest, "entireliest," most utterly; melydiows, melodious.
2309 savowrys, delights.
2313 unmythy, unable.
2315 eyled, ailed.
2316 sleth, slays.
2326 Seynt Jerom, The remains of Saint Jerome were held in the church of Santa Maria Maggiore.
2328 Seynt Lauerawnce, The remains of St. Lawrence lie in the church of San Lorenzo, some two miles from Santa Maria Maggiore.
2335 a boryn, have borne.
2338 Estern er ellys Paske, "Paske" was another word for Easter.
2339 natyf, native.
2340 peraventur, perhaps.
2342 behyte, promised.
2346 catel, chattels, goods.
2347-48 lych as we come hedyr, like (in the same condition) as we came hither.
2354 invyows, envious.
2355 pur, pure.
2356-57 so departyd . . . in oon, so parted asunder those whom charity had joined as one.
2358 kendly, natural.
2366 Medylborwgh, Middelburg (in Zeeland); jurné, journey.
2372 sportyn, disport.
2376 gret wederyng and perlyows, stormy and perilous weathers; hyed, hied, hastened.
2379 levenys, lightning; gresely and grevows, ghastly and grievous.
2382 the her, you here.
2388 defawte, default, lack.
2389 betymes, early.
2392 perseverawns, perseverance.
2394 algatys, anyway.
2395 hecke, small vessel.
2396 leve, permission.
2401 hyly, highly.
2408 Richard Castyr, Richard Caister, vicar of St. Stephen's church, Norwich.
2412 joyn, joyful.
2418 to mekyn hyrselfe, to meeken (humble) herself.
2419-20 wher sche had don . . . whil sche was owte, where she had disposed of her child, the one who was begotten and born while she was out (of the country).
2422-23 I dede nevyr . . . childe, I did nothing since I went out wherethrough I should have a child.
2427 I make no fors, I take no heed.
2428 hite, named.
2433 wostly, certainly.
2434 levyn, lightning.
2435 noy, annoy.
2452 Trinité Sunday, perhaps May 26, 1415 (see Meech, p. 308, n.104, for dating). Trinity Sunday was the Patron's Day of Norwich Cathedral.
2457 dowt, fear.
2458 Seynt Jamys, the shrine of St. James of Compostella in Spain.
2462 heyl, hale; hoyl, whole; drow, drew.
2463 powr, poor.
2474 wrestyd, twisted.
2475 blo, pale, leaden, grey.
2479 bodyn hir, bade hir.
2480 schrewyd, sharp.
2483 awt, owed.
2488 pylche, outer garment of skin.
2489 stody thow for no good, do not strive for goods.
2498 Brystowe, Bristol; Whitson, Whitsunday, the Feast of Pentecost comes seven Sundays and fifty days after Easter and celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit.
2507 lay stille, stayed.
2507-08 for to abyden schepyng, to await shipping.
2509 the kyng, Henry V, whose second expedition to France in 1417 placed great demands on English shipping.
2510 jurné, journey.
2516 schille schrykyngys, shrill shriekings.
2518 born hyr on . . . a seyd, accused her of saying.
2520-21 "Lord, as thu . . . thei don,' Luke 23:34.
2521 crucyfyerys, crucifiers, i.e., those who crucified Jesus.
2524-26 On Corpus Cristi . . . to be do, On Corpus Christi Day, as the priests carried the Sacrament about the town in a solemn procession, with many candles and great solemnity, as was proper to do.
2530 fawyn to takyn an hows, had to enter a house.
2542 rewyd, rued, grieved.
2547 Breteyn, Brittany.
2553 hath no deynté of, has no delight in.
2555 glosyng, glossing, deception.
2557 bischop of Worcetyr, Thomas Peverel, Bishop of Worcester, 1407-1418/19.
2558 moneschid, admonished.
2562-63 al to raggyd and al to daggyd in her clothys, wearing ragged and dagged clothing (clothes fashionably slashed and pointed).
2566 lykar, more like.
2570 abood, awaited.
2571 somownde, summoned.
2572 noye, annoyance.
2574 John of Burnamys, John Brunham's.
2575 far fayr, behave properly.
2579 meny, many, affinity group, household.
2580 deyn, die.
2585 mené, servants.
2588 venjawns, vengeance.
2590 for, because of; wers, worse.
2594 bone, boon, request.
2601 Blod of Hayles, blood of Christ preserved at the Abbey of Hailes in Gloucestershire.
2603 undyrname, rebuked.
2606 yed, went; Leycetyr, Leicester.
2608 petowsly poyntyd, piteously decorated.
2609-10 al to relentyn be, completely dissolve in.
2610 yern, quickly.
2619 osteler, inn-keeper; scryppe, bag.
2620 yerne, quickly.
2623 burwgh, borough, town.
2626 loller, Lollard, heretic.
2628 chedyn, chided.
2632 hows, house.
2637 safwarde, safe-keeping.
2640 awarde, custody.
2643 dede hir etyn, allowed her to eat.
2648 spak Latyn unto hir, spoke Latin to her. In the fifteenth century, laywomen who were latinate were suspect, since they thereby intruded upon a male and clerical preserve and might well have read heretical texts or been inclined to interpret scripture without the mediation of a member of the clergy.
2656 fowyl rebawdy wordys, foul ribald words.
2657 opressyn hir, violate her; forlyn hir, lie with her.
2663-64 strobelyd wyth hir, wrestled with her (?).
2664 schewyng unclene tokenys, showing or making unclean signs; frayd, frightened.
2666 cunyng, cunning; astoyned, astonished.
2667 besynes, business.
2669 gayler, jailor.
2671 Wisbeche, Wisbeach (Cambridgeshire).
2672 hevy, sad.
2675 wederyng, stormy weather; levenys, lightnings.
2691 Alle Halwyn, All Saints.
2692 abbot of Leycetyr, Richard Rothley, the abbot of the house of Augustinian canons in Leicester.
2693 chanownys, canons; den, dean.
2694 freyrs, friars.
2695 stolys, stools.
2700 assessowrys, assessors; dedyn hir, made her.
2701 artyculys of the feyth, Articles of the Faith; in, about.
2702 And fyrst . . . of the awter, The subject of the Eucharist, or of belief in transubstantiation, was a key subject when addressing a suspected heretic. In this scene Margery is asked questions designed to catch suspected Lollards.
2706 Mawndé, Last Supper.
2708 onys, once.
2710 menyth, means.
2713 concelyd, concealed.
2717 For I do yow to wetyn, For I want you to know.
2726 despite, vexation.
2739-40 than schal . . . the trewth, then shall you tell no lies nor shall he know the truth.
2743-44 my Lord of Lynkoln, Philip Repingdon, Bishop of Lincoln.
2752 fettyn, fetch.
2757-58 lenyd hir to a peler, leaned herself against a pillar.
2759 plenté, abundance.
2766 sayd sone, literally, "said son," referring to Thomas Marshall, who calls her "mother."
2768 Melton Mowmbray, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.
2770 feryd, feared; brent, burnt.
2775 a staf of a Moyses yerde, a relic from the Holy Land (?).
2777 scryppe, small bag.
2778 scapyd of hard, escaped with difficulty.
2779 abood, waited for.
2781 forby, past.
2784 scrippe, small bag.
2795 bewté, beauty.
2796 sonar, sooner.
2798 monyschyng, admonishing.
2798-99 ne lettyn hir . . . whan sche wolde, nor hinder her from going and coming as she wished.
2800 demyd, deemed, thought.
2803 lettyd, hindered.
2804 letyn, allow.
2805 hyryd, hired.
2807 ancres, anchoress.
2808 gostly, spiritual; encres, spiritual increase.
2810 owr Ladiis Evyn, possibly September 7, 1417, the Eve of the Nativity of the Virgin.
2811 fremd, strange.
2815 evyl payd, evil pleased, i.e., not pleased.
2830 coler, collar.
2832 Childer of the monastery, Children of the monastery (i.e., going to school in or given to the monastery by their parents).
2833 wulle, wool.
2839 jangelyd, talked idly.
2840 prevyly, secretly.
2842 "Crescite et multiplicamini," Be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:22).
2851 the spiritualté, the churchmen.
2852 sumdel mor, somewhat more.
2859 chapelhows, chapter-house.
2860 monycyon, monition, warning.
2861 party, part.
2863 drow on bakke, hesitated.
2864 chapetilhows, chapter-house; Mynstyr, minister, a church of a monastery.
2874 Seynt William, shrine in York Minster of William Fitzherbert, Archbishop of York (d. 1154).
2881 meynteyn, maintain.
2884 disesyn, trouble.
2885 apere, appear.
2885-86 Erchebischop of Yorke, Henry Bowet, Archbishop of York from 1407 to 1423, known for his antipathy to Lollards.
2886 Cowoode, Cawood, Yorkshire.
2888 undirtakyn, be surety.
2891-92 sotyn ageyn hir, opposed her.
2911 velany, shame.
2914 loller, Lollard.
2918 gedyn, went.
2919 so to be demenyd, so to conduct herself.
2921 evyn cristen, fellow Christians.
2924 fettyn, fetch.
2925 feterys, fetters.
2928 socowryn, succour.
2929 tremelyd and whakyd, trembled and quaked.
2935 see, seat.
2943 welyn, wish.
2947 can, knows.
2949 peraventur, perhaps; pervertyn, pervert.
2950 I her seyn, I have heard it said.
2953 boistowsly, rudely, roughly.
2960 teryin, tarry.
2961 Brydlyngton, Bridlington, site of the cult of the fervently devout St. John of Bridlington (d. 1379), prior of the house of Augustinian canons there.
2962-63 the good priowrys . . . is now canonysed, i.e., William Sleightholme (to whom Kempe refers as Sleytham, chapter 53), confessor to St. John Bridlington.
2964 chalengyn, reprove.
2965 undirnemyn hem, reprove them.
2970 the bar, bore you; tetys, teats; sowkyn, suck.
2973-74 for sche spekyth of the gospel, the Lollards were known as Gospel-quoting "Bible men and women."
2974-75 and leyd Seynt Powyl . . . no woman schulde prechyn, 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, verses that were commonly used against women taking active and vocal parts in religious instruction, for which they might be accused of Lollardy. See Blamires and Marx; Lochrie, pp. 105-13.
2976 comownycacyon, talk.
2977 whil I leve, while I live.
2978 the werst talys, the worst tales.
2980 wil, wayward; wode, wood.
2981 sufferawns, sufferance.
2982 herborwe, lodging; erber, garden.
2983 pertre, pear tree; myddys, midst; floreschyd, adorned; belschyd, embellished; blomys, blooms.
2984 hogely, ugly.
2987 hymyr party, hinder, shameful part.
2990 agydd, aged; palmyr, palmer.
2995 massanger, messenger; aresond, addressed.
2996 sumdel, somewhat.
2998 mateynes, matins, the service that with lauds forms the first of the canonical hours; blaberyd, blabbered.
2999 messe, mass.
3002 choppyng and chongyng, buying and selling.
3003 Thu sittyst at the ale, You sit at ale, i.e., at the table.
3005 bakbytyng, backbiting, malicious gossiping.
3015 far ye be me, fare you by me, i.e., so you treat me.
3019 ledyn, lead.
3023 proferyd, offered.
3024 waryn, spend.
3030 hir not lettryd, her unlettered intelligence.
3032 ledar, leader.
3033 whech hite Sleytham, who was called Sleytham (i.e., William Sleightholme).
3036 jurné, journey.
3038 yed, went; Hulle, Hull.
3044 morwyn, morning.
3045 Hesyl, Hessle, Yorkshire.
3046 Humbyr, Humber; too, two.
3047 yemen, yeomen; Duke of Bedforthys, John, Duke of Bedford, third son of Henry IV, and at this time Lieutenant of the kingdom during Henry V's absence abroad.
3048 boot, boat.
3049 restyd, arrested.
3054 rokkys, distaffs.
3055 to Beverleward, toward Beverly.
3060 schrewyd, sharp.
3065 Me ovyrthynkyth, I regret.
3071 yedyn, went.
3085 for sche was evyl for thryste, she was badly off for thirst.
3087 leddyr, ladder.
3088 pynte of wyn . . . hir a pece, a pint of wine in a pot and took her a wine cup.
3091 clepyng, calling.
3093 sone, soon.
3095 disesys, troubles.
3098 joyn, rejoice.
3099 chapetylhows, chapter-house.
3101 chanowns, canons.
3102 delyveryd, delivered.
3104 Cowode, Cawood, Yorkshire.
3112 dispravyd, disparaged.
3113-14 that sche schulde a be brent . . . ne be, that she should have been burnt at Lynn had his Order, that of the Dominicans, not been there.
3116 Combomis dowtyr, probably a corruption of Cobham's daughter, thus a reference to Sir John Oldcastle, the Lollard who had escaped from the Tower and remained in hiding from 1413 to 1417.
3122 lesyngys, lies.
3124 can, knows.
3137 ferd wyth, fared with, treated.
3142 ben aknowe, confess.
3143 suffragan, suffragen, assistant.
3147 my Lady Westmorlond, Joan de Beaufort, daughter of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, and Catherine Swynford; wife of Ralph Neville, Earl of Westmorland.
3149-50 my Lady Greystokke, Elizabeth, daughter of Joan de Beaufort by her first husband; wife of John de Graystoke.
3158 qwite, free; ryth wel apayd, right well satisfied.
3163 baly, bailiff.
3167 hens, hence.
3171 seyl, seal.
3172 attyd, charged; herrowr, error.
3176 good, goods, money.
3186 watyr of Humbyr, i.e., Humber River.
3193 baly, bailiff; scapyd, escaped.
3196 noyful, annoying.
3197 lettyng, hindrance.
3206 It is don us to wetyn, It is given us to know.
3208 wetyngly, knowingly; levyn, leave.
3217 Erchebischop of Cawntyrbery, Henry Chichele, who succeeded Thomas Arundel as Archbishop of Canterbury (1414-43).
3219 credens, credence.
3225 unto Elywarde, unto Ely.
3235 kest a bolful . . . in the strete, cast a bowlful of water on her head as she came down the street.
3239 flyx, flux, dysentery.
3240 spon, spoon.
3241 dey, die; recuryd, recovered.
3247 voydyn, void.
3256 levyr, rather; shrewyd, sharp.
3262 discres, decrease; agens, towards.
3263 lesse, lessen.
3269 scapyd, went away.
3276 habundawns, abundance.
3282 at the tyme of remownyng, at the time of removing, day when clergy within a district moved to new locations.
3285 Thomas Hevyngham, Thomas Hevingham, prior of St. Margaret's.
3285-86 Robert Spryngolde, parish priest of St. Margaret's and Margery's principal confessor.
3299 awte, ought.
3304 Sepulcre, place sanctioned in church for the reserved sacrament.
3310 betyn, beaten.
3311 wowndyng, wounding; pité, pity.
3313 what hir eyled, what ailed her.
3316 bar, bore; priowrys cloistyr, prior's cloister.
3318 blew . . . leed, blue as if she were lead; swet, sweated.
3320 owrys, hours.
3322 febyl and weyke, feeble and weak; mytys, might.
3332 I aske . . . gevyn me, I ask nothing, Lord, but that which you may give me.
3340 constreyn, constrain, compel.
3341 to partyn, to separate.
3354 sese, cease.
3358 hewyn, hewn, chopped; flesch, meat.
3364 alych, equally.
3366 rewe on me, take pity on me.
3369 on fro fer, one from afar.
3371 sey, saw.
3372 speryd, inquired.
3380 redyn, read.
3388 to lokyn, to examine.
3390-92 the Bybyl wyth . . . Incendium Amoris, a vernacular Bible, probably the Wycliffite translation, which Archbishop Thomas Arundel had forbidden for private reading by lay people in the Constitutions of 1409. For other texts, see notes to p. 51.
3398-99 wex benefysyd . . . cur of sowle, received a benefice and had great spiritual charge of souls.
3409 heryn, hear.
3413 levyd, believed.
3414 frowardnes, boldness.
3415 mendys, thoughts.
3420 fowle, evil.
3421 schulde a be comown, should have been common.
3421-22 bar hyr on hande, accused her.
3426 mennys membrys, men's sexual organs.
3428 enchewyn, avoid.
3434 mendys, thoughts.
3435 er what so sche dede, or whatever she did.
3441 sothfastnes, truth.
3454 wrothar, angrier; thei, though.
3458-59 as he was wone to don, as he was wont to do.
3460 thu deynyst not, you do not scorn.
3465 lystere, reader.
3466-67 sche was steryd . . . nedful for hym, she was stirred in her soul to take care of him in God's service. And, when she lacked anything that was necessary for him.
3471 levyn, live.
3472 Seynt Stefenys Chirche wher is beriid the good vicary, i.e., Richard Caistyr (d. 1420), vicar of St. Stephens.
3474 recuryng, the recovery.
3482 divers, diverse.
3488 hym, i.e., Richard Caistyr. The people misunderstood the nature of Margery's tears.
3489 dede hir drynkyn, caused her to drink.
3491 ther, there (where).
3492 pyté, pity, depiction of Mary with the dead Jesus.
3495 thei, though.
3498 awt, ought.
3502 avoket, advocate.
3518 lestith, lasts.
3522 hir, herself; brast, burst.
3526 I trowe, and thu, I believe if you.
3528 sattelyn, settle; her, their.
3529 mict, might.
3534 noyith, annoys.
3539 her, hear; les, unless; levyn, stop.
3543 and assayn yyf he myth mekyn hys hert, and try to humble his heart.
3551 White Frer, White (Carmelite) Friar; aprevyd, approved.
3565 cardiakyl, heart disease.
3568 that, if; kendly, natural.
3575 ther, where.
3598 expleytyd hys conseytys, explained his thoughts.
3599 remowr, rumor.
3602 murmowr and grutchyng, murmur and complaining; geynseyd, gainsayed, contradicted.
3604-05 I schal so smytyn . . . mayntenowrys, I shall so smite the nail on the head (i.e., speak severely) that it shall shame all her supporters.
3607-08 of the whech . . . felyngys aftyr, among whom was the same priest who afterwards wrote this book and had purposed never to have believed her feelings thereafter.
3608 drow, drew.
3611 Maria de Oegines, Marie d'Oignies (c. 1177-1213), whose devotion to Christ and service for others made her one of the most important examplars of female piety. Jacques de Vitry, her contemporary, friend, and confessor, wrote her life.
3615 pyté, pity.
3617 capitulo, chapter; "Bonus es, domine, sperantibus in te," He is good, Lord, whose hope is in you.
3619 turbelyd, troubled; distrawt, distraught.
3621 beyng at messe, being at mass, i.e., when he was at Mass.
3623 mesuryn, restrain.
3633 drow ageyn, drew again; sadly, wisely.
3634 enchewyd, eschewed, avoided.
3635 "The Prykke of Lofe," the fourteenth-century devotional work, Stimulus Amoris, falsely attributed to St. Bonaventure.
3636-37 A, Lord . . . cryen?, A, Lord, of what shall I make the most noise or (of what shall I) cry?
3637 lettyst, tarry.
3638 for to maddyn, to go mad.
3639 thei that se me irkyn and rewyn, those who see me are irked by me and pity me.
3640-41 yen wood man . . . in the stretys, yon mad man cries in the streets.
3641 how meche, how great; parceyve, perceive.
3642 Stimulo Amoris, Stimulus Amoris; Richard Hampol, Richard Rolle of Hampole, the mid fourteenth-century mystic and writer.
3643 Incendio Amoris, the Latin mystical work by Richard Rolle which was translated into English as the Fire of Love by Richard Misyn in 1435.
3644 Elizabeth of Hungry, Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-31), the thirteenth-century saint, whose tears of devotion formed a key element of her legend, a legend that was current in England in the fifteenth century.
3648 demyn, think.
3650-51 slawnderyd, etyn, and knawyn, slandered, eaten, and gnawed.
3666 a chapel . . . the Jesyne, a chapel of our Lady called the Gesine, the chapel in St. Margaret's Church in which stood a picture of the birth of Jesus. See Gibson, p. 64.
3667 Anethe, Hardly.
3676 inqwietyng, disturbing.
3704 anow, enough.
3705 safe, save.
3706 prise, price.
3708 asayd, assayed, tested.
3715 faylyn, fail.
3728 faylyn and brestyn, fail and burst.
3734 leryn, learn, i.e., teach.
3738 deryn, harm.
3739 preyn, pray.
3740 to meward, toward me.
3743 clevyn as sor, cleave as closely.
3750 abyte, habit; curyd, covered.
3752 spar, spare (them).
3755 fayn, fain, eager.
3760 grutchyn, grudge, complain.
3776 her in erde, here on earth.
3780 lazerys, lepers.
3789 good to levyn wyth, "levyn" can mean either "live" or "believe"; hence, "good" might refer to either spiritual or material goods; leful, permissable, lawful.
3790 besyn hem, busy themselves.
3791 owt, out, away from.
3794 undyrnemyn, rebuke.
3805 pyment, sweetened and spiced wine.
3806 yrke, weary.
3812 hele, health.
3816-17 'Lord, . . . into thyn hert.' This couplet is repeated later, in chapter 88.
3821 bonowr, gentle, obedient.
3824 fastydyst, fasted.
3838 mythy, mighty, able.
3841 fode, food; discresyd, decreased.
3842 an, have.
3844 tho, those (weeping and crying); the mor thank, thank you more.
3846 gret fyer, the Guild Hall in Lynn was burned on January 23, 1420-21 (?).
3847 hydows, hideous.
3849 ne had grace ne myracle ne ben, had there not been grace nor miracle.
3865 wrowt, worked.
3869 qwer, choir; lantern, open structure upon a roof to give light to the interior.
3876 myrakyl, miracle.
3882 lettyd, hindered; hys kendly, its natural.
3883 sesyd, ceased.
3890 dur, endure.
3895 levyr, rather.
3898 dede hir drynkyn, caused her to drink.
3899 awter, altar.
3900 skylle, reason.
3902 wysys, manners, ways.
3904 for non, forenoon.
3911 demyng, deeming, thinking.
3912 awt, ought.
3919 chapetyl of the Frer Prechowrys, chapter (provincial assembly) of the Dominicans.
3920 it longyth on, one was obliged.
3928 conseyt, thought, (good) opinion.
3929 steryng, stirring.
3930 wistly, certainly.
3940-41 owr Ladiis Assumpsyon, the assumption of the body of the blessed Virgin into heaven.
3943 wol, well.
3946 supportacyon, support.
3950 maystyrschep, lordship, victory.
3954 compassyfly, compassionately.
3961 the priowr, Thomas Hevingham, see chapter 57.
3962 teme, theme.
3965-66 Bischop Wakeryng, John Wakering, Bishop of Norwich, 1416-25.
3978 the Provincyal of the White Frerys, Thomas Netter, elected provincial prior of the English Carmelites in 1414.
3989 sweme, sorrow.
3997 erde, earth.
4000 benefysed, have benefices, ecclesiastical livings or curacies; dar unethys, dare never.
4002 worthy, precious.
4004 oftynar, more often.
4007 Jesyn, see p. 151.
4014 hith, promised.
4025 levyn, live.
4026 be obediens, by obedience (to the will of figures of spiritual authority).
4029 heyl and hool, hale and whole; leve, leave, permission.
4031 dinyn, dine.
4032 mentyl and the ryng, mantle and ring of chastity, i.e., while continuing to live in the world.
4039-40 sawcyd and sawryd, sauced and savored (flavored).
4040 peyr of knyvys, pair of knives.
4045 remownyd, removed.
4047 clepyd, called.
4049 he that was sent to Lynne, John Derham, who briefly succeeded Thomas Hevingham.
4061 as loth as thu art to levyn my steryngys, as loath as you are to believe my stirrings.
4062 er this day sevenyth, within the week.
4063 rehersyd hir, repeated to her.
4070 wetyn in this mater, learn in this matter.
4073-74 for he was . . . of complexion, for he was a weak man with a feeble complexion (constitution).
4074 the kyng deyid, Henry V died on August 31, 1422.
4075 bood, abode.
4076 Bischop of Wynchestyr, Henry Beaufort, half-brother to Henry IV.
4083 lownes, lowness.
4084 frelté, frailty.
4091 deedly, mortal.
4093 wyth lyte, with candles.
4095 abrostyn, have burst.
4102 as sche, as if she.
4104 whech wolde a levyd ful fawyn, who would fain have lived.
4105 and aftyr me . . . yernyng, and after me you have no yearning.
4107 for cawse of comownyng, in order to talk with her.
4112-13 "To hem that . . . into goodnes," Romans 8:28.
4117 mené, supporters, followers, flock.
4124 telde hir in parcel of the cawse, told her part of the reason.
4126 sche myth not acordyn wyth, might not feel easy with; aray, array, clothing.
4127 say, saw.
4128 Holy Thursday, Thursday of Holy Week, the beginning of the intense period of prayer and ritual that ended in Easter; went processyon, went in procession.
4129 Mary Mawdelyn, Mary Magdalene.
4132 swemful, sorrowful.
4134 schulde a brostyn, should have burst.
4134-35 Sche myth . . . rewlyn hirselfe, She might not measure herself nor rule (control) herself.
4138 ententyd, attended.
4139 steyn up, rise up.
4139-40 for sche . . . in erde, in spite of the fact she could not relinquish him on earth.
4149 be teriid, be held back.
4155 dowt, doubt.
4158 to the, for you.
4159-60 Seynt Nicholas Day, there are no accounts in the Book of St. Nicholas' Day.
4160 plenowr remissyon, full forgiveness.
4166 Rafnys, i.e., Margery's stay at Rafnys when she went to Jerusalem and there received plenary remission for her sins.
4174 to ben sekyr, to be sure.
4179 duryn, endure.
4180 lazer, leper.
4185 that, those.
4186 lothful, loathful, hateful.
4188 halsyn, embrace.
4189-90 how gret desyre . . . lazerys, how great a desire she had to kiss lepers.
4191 algatys, anyhow.
4194 her, their.
4199 oo, one.
4202 horibyl thowtys, horrible thoughts. Kempe draws here upon the ancient and false link between leprosy and lechery.
4211 evyl afeerd, terribly afraid.
4212 manykyld, manacled.
4215 alienyd, aliened, out.
4220 gapyd, gaped.
4223 tediows, irritating.
4227 meke, meek.
4230 faryn, fare.
4231 recuryng, recovering.
4233 purifiid as other women be, The reference is to the ceremony of "churching" or purification which occurred some weeks after childbirth and signified a woman's re-entry into parish life.
4235 sey, seen.
4236 sey, saw.
4240 thre scor yer, sixty years.
4241 slederyd, slipped; fotyng, footing; gresys, steps.
4242 bresyd, bruised.
4243 teyntys, rolls of soft material for distending wounds; holyng, healing.
4245 dene, din, noise; luschyng, rushing.
4246 rowyd, streaked.
4254 enchewyn, avoid; perellys, perils; sojowryd, sojourned.
4255 incontinens, incontinence (to their vow of chastity).
4258-59 many evyl folke . . . Jhesu Crist, many evil folks whose tongues were their own, lacking the dread of and love for our Lord Jesus Christ.
4259 demtyn, thought.
4260 to usyn . . . her bodiis, to use, in the sense of sexual use, their physical desires.
4261 aspyin, spy; wetyn, know.
4263 be her . . . consentyng, by their good will and mutual consent.
4264 boord, meals.
4265 lettyd, hindered.
4270 bone, boon, request.
4275 fawyn, fain, gladly.
4282-83 don hys owyn . . . to a sege, could not relieve himself by going to a stool.
4286 costage in fyryng, expenditure in making fires.
4287 an yrked, have begrudged him; saf, except.
4297 fadom, fathoms.
4299 to synnyn on me wilfully, to sin willfully on account of me.
4306 algate, rather, prefer.
4310 buxom, obedient.
4312 planetys, planets.
4313 thundirkrakkys, thunder claps.
4314 levenys, lightning bolts.
4315 stepelys, steeples.
4318 yyt, yet.
4322 erdedenys, earthquakes.
4329 prys, price.
4340-41 he thar nevyr fallyn in dispeyr, he will never fall into despair because of it (his past).
4351 thei, though.
4352 sithys, times.
4356 hey, high.
4359 lest, least.
4363 hyrdil, hurdle.
4363-64 to wonderyn on, to wonder on, to marvel at.
4364 so it wer no perel to her sowlys, as long as it was no peril to their souls, i.e., as long as the sight did not imperil their souls; slory, slurry, thin mud.
4365 slugge, sludge, slime.
4368 Palme Sonday, Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter and the beginning of Holy Week. On this Sunday worshippers carrying palms would process out of the church, and then around it, from east to south to west and enter into the church again through the west door behind the priest and the sacrament (Duffy, pp. 23-27).
4384 langurith, languishes.
4387 fir, fire.
4390 a brostyn, have burst.
4391 al on a watyr, all wet.
4397 languryng, languishing.
4398 mornyng, mourning.
4409 merowr, mirror.
4410 for to, in order to.
4412 dever, duty.
4416 terys, tears.
4421-22 welyn good, will good.
4424 crossestaf, staff of the cross; smet on the chirche dor, smote on the church door, i.e., the point when the Palm Sunday procession entered the church, an entry that at once evoked Jesus' entry into Jerusalem and his entry into hell's gates on Holy Saturday.
4427 oste, host.
4428 mawgre, in spite of.
4433 drow up a cloth, All during Lent, the Crucifix was hidden from view by a painted veil suspended on the rood screen. At the climax of the Palm Sunday ceremony the people gathered in front of the rood screen and knelt as the veil was drawn up on the pulleys, the anthem "Ave Rex Noster'' was sung, and the priests venerated the Crucifix (Duffy, p. 27).
4449 rewth, pity. Much of Kempe's account of Christ's Passion is indebted to Nicholas Love's influential Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ.
4479 wel levar, far rather.
4481 her, here.
4486-87 how may yowr . . . sone se al this wo?, how may your heart endure and see your blissful son see all this woe?
4487 dur, endure.
4488 yyt, yet.
4491 Mownt of Olyvete, Mount of Olives. On the night of the Last Supper, Jesus took the disciples to the Mount of Olives, where he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. There, he asked that the cup of suffering be taken from his lips but only if it was God's will. Shortly thereafter he was betrayed by Judas. See, for example, Mark 14:26-50.
4494 stavys, staves; swerdys, swords.
4495 polexis, pole-axes.
4497 "Ego sum," I am (he).
4498 sowtyn, sought.
4503 be haldyn and drawyn wyth, be held and drawn by.
4505 betyng, beating; bofetyng, buffeting; bobyng, striking.
4506-07 how smet the, who smot you.
4507 wise, way.
4508 syhyd, sighed.
4509 ferd, fared; venymowslych, venomously.
4510 luggen, pull; erys, ears; drawyn, draw, pull.
4513 peler, pillar.
4516 baleys, scourges.
4525 bowt, bought.
4527 peler, pillar.
4528 babelys, metal tip of a lash; leed, lead.
4529 prekelys, prickles; rowelys, rowels, wheels on spurs having several rotating sharp points; tho, those.
4530 comenawnt, covenant.
4531 petows, piteous.
4533 losyd, loosed.
4535 metyn, meet.
4536 boystows, rough; unethe, scarcely.
4547 rendyn of, rend from.
4548 sylke, silk; the which was . . . owr Lordys body, which had stuck and hardened completely and tightly to our Lord's body.
4549 drow, drew.
4552 flayn, flayed.
4555 a row and a boistews, rough and huge.
4557 schrynkyd, shrank; senwys, sinews.
4561 morkyn, marked.
4564 ye cruel Jewys, The anti-Judaism here is similar to but not as intensely expressed as that found in the N-Town cycle, another work of East Anglian provenance. For remarks about anti-Judaism as it pertains to the Book, see Staley (1994), pp. 68-71.
4572 morteys, hole.
4574 reverys, rivers.
4580 Alas, Lord . . . careful modyr, Alas, Lord, you leave here a careful (care-filled) mother.
4581 too, two.
4592-93 Joseph ab Armathy, Joseph of Arimethea, who claimed Jesus' body and helped to bury it.
4599 kissyn hys feet, Margery here asks to venerate the most humble aspect of the body -the physical person - of Christ that unites him with us. Traditionally Mary Magdalene is pictured at the feet of Jesus, so later (p. 196) Margery assumes the position of the Magdalene in venerating Christ's toes.
4610 beriin, bury.
4623 merveyl, marvel.
4624 thens, thence.
4627 ageyn, towards.
4631 mad for owr Lady a good cawdel, made for our Lady a good hot drink. On this detail, see Gibson, p. 51.
4640 careful reed, care-filled counsel, advice.
4643-44 I, synful Petyr . . . Crist, I, sinful Peter, who has forsaken my Lord Jesus Christ.
4648 yerne, quickly.
4664 "Salve, sancta parens," Greetings, blessed parent.
4667 tastyn, examine.
4668 sorhed, soreness.
4680 and herd and . . . of a gardener, See John 20:1-18.
4682 hast awey, have (taken) away.
4690 up reson, up risen.
4697 Purificacyon Day, Feb. 2, the Feast of the Purification, marked by an elaborate procession in which each parishoner carried a candle. See Duffy, pp. 15ff.
4718 fervowr, fervor.
4725 welyn, will.
4733 prevy, secret.
4735 bareyn, barren.
4737 er a suffyrd . . . hem wyth, or would have suffered great bodily pain in order to get tears.
4746-49 whedyr it wer . . . heryn hir er not, whether it (her weeping) was deceptive or not. Since she cried and wept in the sight of the people, they (the two priests) had a secret plan, without her knowledge, by which they would prove whether she cried in order for the people to hear her or not.
4753 in fere, together.
4770 tho, those.
4774 peraventur, perhaps.
4777 lakkyd, lacked.
4781 a don hir left of hir good purpos, have caused her to leave off her good purpose.
4797 ny everydeel, nearly everything.
4798 Abbas of Denney, Abbess of Denny (Cambridgeshire).
4804 pestylens, pestilence.
4812 bodyn, bidden.
4813-14 bodyn ben at hom, bidden stay at home.
4815 yede, went.
4819 botys, boats.
4822 ordeynd, ordained, taken care of.
4838 yyf thu haddist had good anow, if you had had goods enough.
4849 preyst, prays.
4861 hakkyd, hacked; flesche, meat.
4866 nevyr a deel, never at all.
4870 hyd, hidden.
4873 forbere, do without.
4879 wreth, wrath.
4887 bedys byddyng, prayers bidding (saying).
4897 to demyn thin hert, to judge your heart.
4905-06 to the that hast ben synful, to you who have been sinful.
4910 oryson, prayer; hir eyne wer evyr togedirward, her eyes were closed.
4913 howge, huge.
4916 wist, knew.
4920 for none, before noon.
4932 qwer, choir, i.e., in that part of the church which, during services, is appropriated to the singers.
4935 have mynde of, have memory of.
4937 wistly, certainly.
4943 on, one; baselard knyfe, dagger.
4944 kytt, cut.
4952 toos, toes.
4954 sytys, sights.
4960 instawns, urgency.
4965 sotyl, subtle.
4972 ey ledys, eye lids.
4974 kerche, kerchief.
4976 swathyd, swaddled.
4991 clepist, call.
4998 mene, mean, medium.
5004 confessowrys, confessors, those who have given heroic evidence of their faith in Christ.
5005 arayn, array.
5007 cuschyn, cushion.
5008-09 is apropyrd, is given as a property.
5010-11 I bowt the so der, I bought you so dear, i.e., paid your debts on the cross.
5011 aqwityn, acquit, pay back.
5014 rememorawns, remembrance.
5016 gevar, giver.
5022 proparteys, properties.
5027 very, true.
5033 aforn, before.
5034 wistly, certainly.
5037 wostly, certainly.
5039 mekyl, much.
5044 on lyve, alive; hele, health.
5047 as frely fro, as freely from.
5055 sattelyn as sor, settle as sorely.
5081 lownes, lowness.
5083 hily, highly; alle men that thu hast kept seke in my name, all men you have cared for [who have been] sick in my name.
5089 herberwyd, lodged, harbored.
5096 on frende, one friend.
5110 stabelyd, made stable.
5125-26 Sche supposyd sumtyme . . . of an owr, She supposed sometime that five or six hours had not been the space of an hour.
5127 irke, weary.
5128 levar, rather.
5138 hom, home.
5139 bedys, prayers.
5149 wher is . . . owyn reson, where is a better prayer by your own reason.
5157 yowr on knew yowr other, you knew one another.
5160 ronne, ran.
5162 'Lord for thi . . . into thyn hert', This is a variation of the couplet in chapter 65 (p. 156).
5168 prise, value.
5171 dolful, doleful.
5193 levyst, believe.
5204-05 And I schal gevyn the ther ageyn al myn hert, And I shall give you there in return all my heart.
5207 tretys, treatise.
5229 tho that men wenyn . . . illusyons, those that men thought were revelations were deceits and illusions.
5230 sadly abydyn, wisely abide.
6 fest of Seynt Vital Martyr, April 28.
12 usyng marchawndyse, using merchandise, in the sense of being employed in trading goods.
13 a teynyd, have attained.
24 ponysch, punish.
27-28 hys face wex . . . a lepyr, his face grew full of pimples and pustules as if it had been a leper's.
31 lazer, leper.
32 bannyd, cursed.
36 as sche had mad no fors, since she would make no concession.
37 whan he sey non other bote, when he saw no other remedy.
38 promittyng, promising.
39 enchewyng, avoiding.
46 correpcyon, correction.
52 Pruce in Dewchelonde, Prussia in Germany.
61 nevyr purposyng to passyn the see whil sche levyd, never intending to cross the sea while she lived.
65 aray, clothing.
66 vanyté, vanity; daggys, long pointed ends along the hems of tunics or gowns; see chapter 2.
72 for dred of symulacyon, for fear of (his) simulation (of the appearance of virtue).
73 sadde, wise, sober.
74 the drawt, the draw.
84 to certifyin hir, to notify her.
86 levyng, believing.
89 safwarde, safe-keeping.
92 speryd, asked.
95 resyn, arose.
96 Pruce, Prussia.
110 Dewche, German.
111 Duchelond, Germany.
112 resortyn, resort, repair.
113 conseyte, plan; eldmodyr, stepmother.
116 speryd, inquired (about).
119 schrevyn, shriven, confessed.
127 Ho, Who; see, sea.
132 Yepiswech, Ipswich.
134 hirtyd, hurt.
137 ermyte, hermit.
140 jurné, journey; Lenton, Lent.
156 purveyin, provide.
159 Walsyngham, Walsingham, one of the most important pilgrim sites in England.
174 wenyn, knows.
177 durst, dared.
180 leve, believe.
186 that awt . . . wyth hir, who ought most to have been with her.
189 wetyng, knowing.
190 a, have; abeyn, obey.
201 levyng, way of life.
203-04 Passyon Weke, Passion Week, the week beginning with Palm Sunday and ending with Easter.
205 prevyng, proving.
208 cowde, knew; chefsyawns, protection, relief.
215 bannyd, reproached; wariid, cursed.
219 lesse than thu the sonar, unless you soon.
220 enjoyin, rejoice.
228 feerdnes, fearfulness.
247 drow, drew.
254 curyd, covered.
255 purveyd, provided for.
262 kende, natural.
264 monischyd, admonished.
265 diswer, doubt.
274 Wilsnak, Wilsnack in Brandenberg, Germany.
275 oostys, hosts.
280 al qwite, repay.
281 costys, coasts.
282 heeke, a small boat containing hatches.
283 myth sche han . . . of that lond, she could not get leave to go out of that land. In 1433 there were uneasy trade relations between England and Prussia that had an impact on shipping and, inevitably, upon English travellers in Prussia.
285 heerys of Pruce, Teutonic knights.
288 prevyly, secretly; apertly, openly.
291 wawe, wave.
293 resyn sor, arose greatly.
297 Strawissownd, Stralsund in Pomerania, Germany.
298 ryth wretyn, written correctly.
305-06 for ther was . . . tho cuntreys, for there was open war between the English and those countries. Kempe refers here to the hostilities over trade during the 1430s.
316 the yrkar, the more irked.
323 arayd, dressed; fyten, fight.
329 dysewsyd of, unused to; three scor yer of age, i.e., sixty years old.
330 cotidianly, quotidianly, daily; pase, pace; fryke, vigorous; lusty, eager.
331 it lukkyd hem, they happened; ostage, hostel.
333 leevyn, lightning.
338 wayne, wain, wagon.
346 beed, bode, stayed.
347 Akunward, Aachen in Prussia; waynys, carts.
349 rekles, reckless.
352 chapmen, merchants.
353-54 Frer Menowrys, Franciscans.
354 thrist, thirst; bodyn, bade.
357 potel, two quart vessel.
359 utas, octave; Corpus Cristi, the Feast of Corpus Christi, which occurs on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday.
365 waynys, wagons.
367 Sawter, Psalter, the Psalms.
367-68 "Qui seminant . . . and flebant", allusion to verses from Psalm 126:5-6: "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him."
369 wrothar, more angry.
373 instawns, urgency.
374 utas of, octave of (festive week after).
377 proferyd, offered; wolde, wished.
388 ther sche was at oste, where she was at hostel.
389 sterte, tail (?), probably a reference to continental jokes about the English having tails; perhaps a derogatory and salacious word for an Englishwoman.
396 Akun, Aachen.
397 betymys, early.
398 speryng at, asking of.
405 bowte, bought.
406 dedyn of her, took off their.
407 pykyd hem, picked them (for lice); abydyn hem, abide with them.
408 jurné, journey.
409 was abavyd, was afraid, embarrassed.
410 betyn, bitten.
416 owr Ladys smokke, the smock Mary wore at Christ's birth, one of Aachen's four important relics.
417 Seynt Margaretys Day, July 20; it lukkyd, it happened.
418 meny, household.
424 mené, household.
429-30 yf sche myth . . . yerne as thei, if she could endure going as quickly as they.
431 lettyng, loitering, hindering.
436 scharpar, more painful.
437 yern, swiftly.
438 socowr, help.
446 alle in fer, all in company.
447 agyd, aged; weyke, weak.
449 costys, costs.
453 softly, easily; beyng evyl for thryst, craving drink.
464 sped, speed.
467 latyn hir payn, let her pay.
469-70 sche had mad forward, she had made an agreement.
472 wenyng, thinking.
478 diswer, doubt.
489 hast, haste; drowyn ther, drew where.
491-92 an hep of brakys, a heap of ferns.
492 instawns, urgency.
493 berne, barn.
494 thei made aseth, they made compensation.
497 ful febyl herberwe, not many hostels.
501-02 Therfor sche . . . no nyth les, Therefore she went to bed gladly (easily) no night unless.
508 as sche myth ateyn, as she was able.
514 abydyng schepyng, awaiting shipping.
518 speryd and spyid, inquired and espied.
520 boryn, borne.
528-29 preservyn hir fro . . . in her presens, save her from sea-sickness in their presence.
531 her alderys mervelyng, all marvelling at her.
539 hogelyd, hastily dressed.
540 unsperd and unbotenyd, unfastened and unbuttoned.
546 yen, yonder.
548 clad in a . . . sekkyn gelle, clad in a cloth of canvas like a garment made of sack.
551 chefsyawns, financial transaction, borrowing.
552 bar a kerche befor hir face, bore a handkerchief before her face, i.e., to disguise herself until she had proper clothing.
553 Mar. Kempe of Lynne, only here does Kempe sign her book.
558 lesyngys, lies.
559 powyr, power.
560 tungys, tongues.
561 autorys, authors.
565 mete, meal.
566 divers of fyschys, different varieties of fish.
567-68 "A, thu fals flesch . . . han thi wille", A, you false flesh, you would now eat red herring (eat the lesser fish as a sign of false humility), but you shall not have your will.
573 kyd, known.
583 jangelyd, gossiped, talked idly.
587 leevyng of gret metys, leaving coarse meats.
591 arectyd, imputed.
595 aseeth makyng, making satisfaction; ageyn, against.
596 swerars, swearers; bannars, cursers.
605 ledyn, lead.
611 Lammes Day, Lammas Day, August 1, the feast of Saint Peter in Chains, a day on which rents were traditionally collected, a day associated with the agricultural harvest, and a day that commemorated Peter's freedom from his prison chains and thus our liberation from sin. In addition, the pope had set aside the day for special pardon for pilgrims who honored St. Bridget by visiting the abbey.
612 Schene, the Carthusian monastery at Shene, founded by Henry V in 1415; Kempe's reference, however, is to Mount Syon, the Brigettine abbey at Isleworth, where the Lammas Day pardon was a special indulgence.
614 rememorawns, remembrance.
625 abite, habit.
633 eyr, heir.
638-39 to the seward, seaward.
645 wetyn, let you know.
652 aqwityn, acquit, pay back.
654 her botherys, both of their.
656 obediencer, a person who vows obedience to some person, office, or rule.
664 ympne, hymn; "Veni creator spiritus," "Come Holy Spirit," the pentecostal hymn.
666 Pentecost Day, the festival that occurs on the seventh Sunday after Easter and celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit; induyn, endue, endow.
668 enchewyn, eschew, avoid.
675 wistly, certainly.
681 inseare, one who sees into.
685 moryn, increase.
686 lyvys er dedys, alive or dead; her, here; eyne, eyes.
690 wistly, certainly.
698 as anemst, as regards.
706 statys, states, estates.
712 partabyl of, able to share in.
717 weldyng, control.
728 titharys, tithers; vowtererys, adulterers.
729 levarys, people.
730 sonar, sooner.
739 bedred, bedridden.
750 spitys, spites.
753 moryng, increasing.
756 fres and salt, fresh and salt; cheselys, pebbles.
757 gresys, grasses; kyrnellys, kernels.
758 fedir, feather; er her, or hair.
761 kynnes, kind.
767 schenschep, disgrace.
769 lawdacyon, laudation.
773 leef, dear; der, precious.
782 Mary Egipcyan, St. Mary of Egypt, the third-century prostitute who, in grieving for her sins, lived forty years as a desert saint; Seynt Awstyn, Saint Augustine of Hippo.
784 beqwothyn, bequeathed.
785 lovars, lovers.
786 vowtré, adultery.
790 Lazer, Lazarus, brother of Martha and Mary, whom Jesus raised from the dead.
791 holy stede, holy place.
795 Gramercy, lit., Grant mercy.
798 feithyn, believe.
801 Salthows, the name of the man who copied the manuscript, probably in the mid-fifteenth century.
THE BOOK OF MAGERY KEMPE: NOTES
An early sixteenth-century reader/editor has gone through the manuscript emending it in red ink. In the notes I have dealt with these markings as if they came from Margery's first editor, noting some of those emendations particularly those that typify that reader's reconstruction of her text. Sometimes, as in lines 146 and 206, this effort simply modernizes Margery's idiom. Elsewhere the concern seems to be with streamlining the syntax (i.e., lines 714, 2035). In some instances the emendations seem necessary (e.g., lines 11 and 103), and I have adopted them for my text. We have no way of knowing whether the red hand has any authority for the alterations other than his/her own reading of the text. For a systematic annotation of the red hand see the notes to Meech's edition. In the MS, chapter numbers are written in the outer margins at the beginning of each chapter. Each chapter begins with a rubric capital.
11 oure. MS: added above Savyour in red.
32 sum men. MS: summen.
92 yyf. MS: 3yf. With this construction, I have converted all yoghs to y.
105 of. MS: added in red above peyr.
126 be the. MS: bethe.
129 Mary Maudelyn. As a penitent, lover of Christ, mourner, chief witness of the Resurrection, missionary, and mystic seer, the Magdalene was a key figure in the literature of affective devotion. The numerous references to the saint throughout the Book of Margery Kempe seem designed to indicate a particular identity for Margery who, like the Magdalene, would see herself as one of Jesus' intimate friends or lovers. For a discussion of the role of the Magdalene in the late medieval literature of devotion, including further bibliographical references, see Johnson (1979) and (1984, pp.146-68). For a study of the Magdalene in relation to the late medieval and probably East-Anglian play, the Digby Mary Magdalene, see Davidson. By noting that the text of Margery's life began to take a written form on July 23, the day after the saint's feast day, Kempe suggests that Margery, like Mary, was a potent witness to the new life, that her visions inspired others to"see."
146 gan. MS: be in superscript correction above gan in red.
151 brennyng. MS: brennyg.
160 steryngys. Stirrings, from the verb stirren, is a term frequently used by Richard Rolle, the enormously popular and influential mid-fourteenth-century devotional writer, to describe the physical symptoms of his passionate spiritual ecstasy. It became a "key word" for those writing about or talking about devotion and/or subjectivity. The word itself could indicate either spiritual or physical arousal. Stirren could also mean to set in motion, to turn aside, to rouse, to trouble, to exhort or coax, to inspire or prompt, and to incite. Kempe's uses of it should be seen as one more instance of her self-conscious use of language. For a consideration of Hilton's proscriptive use of the term, see Staley, "Julian of Norwich and the Late Fourteenth-Century Crisis of Authority," in Aers and Staley, Powers of the Holy, pp. 107-78.
183 sche. Not in MS. Meech's emendation.
205 gan. MS: be in superscript above gan in red.
228 he2. MS: het.
233 seyd on. Meech mistranscribes as seyden and emends by adding [o thyng], which is unnecessary since on supplies the "one thing" sense.
250 cowd not. MS: cowdnot.
253 ye know. MS: yeknow.
289 entryng. MS: entryg.
306 wownd of. MS: vy crossed out after of.
309 temptacyon. MS: tamptacyon, with e in superscript above the first a.
332 suasyons. MS: suasynons with the first n expuncted and crossed out.
332 gan. MS: be in superscript above gan in red.
341 and. MS: k crossed out after and.
374 grawnt. MS: grawt.
392 to. to in superscript between gefe and the.
398 ernest peny of hevyn. It is worth noting that Hugh of St. Victor wrote a treatise on the earnest penny as a metaphor of Christ's love of his bride. See his Soliloquy on the Earnest Money of the Soul, trans. Kevin Herbert (Milwaukee: Marquette Christianity Press, 1956).
402 schuld. MS: schul.
406 than. MS: than in superscript between And and anoon.
442 ob. of is occasionally written ob in anticipation of words beginning with b.
462 N. Meech reads this letter as an R (see the note to Meech, p. 20), but it looks more like an N. This usage is consistent with the widespread habit (including that of the scribe of this manuscript) of using the letter N as a "wildcard character." See, for example, the beginning of Chapter 2, where Kempe identifies her father as mayor of the town of N.
462 mor. MS: thow in superscript above mor in red.
486 hir. k crossed out after hir and before bakke.
503 rathyr. Meech transcribes as rathar.
507 grawntyn. MS: grawtyn.
522 comown. Comown, from the verb comowmyn, has come down to us as "commune," but our word seems to me far less allusive than the medieval term. "Common," though it is now used only as an adjective, more closely captures the complicated association encoded in the medieval verb. Comown could be used to describe the act of sharing or entering into a partnership, of acting jointly, of having sexual intercourse, of communicating, or of receiving or administering Holy Communion. Like her equally elastic use of medelyn, Kempe's word-play hints at the many types of communities she considers in her Book.
571 to. Though the word is almost illegible, it looks like to.
622 a. Marked with a caret, in superscript between al and day.
626 mech. the expuncted after of; mech marked with a caret and in superscript between the and pepyl.
626 toke. ke in superscript above to.
629 thow. tho expuncted after wold; thow in superscript above.
671 begynnyng. MS: begynnyg.
678 thowt. MS: thow.
682 woldyst. The words suffer deth are added in very dark ink in large letters in the outer margin. The caret after the phrase corresponds to the caret after woldyst in the text.
692 watyr. fro, which is expuncted in red, follows watyr.
wasch it. MS: waschit.
697 hem. MS: to in superscript above hem in red.
700 compunccyon. MS: compuccyon.
711 Thowgh. MS: th, with a caret afterwards, owgh in dark letters above.
714 owyr Lord. MS: crossed out in red.
714 hys. MS: crossed out in red.
722 hir. as crossed through and expuncted after hir.
731 I. l crossed through after I.
735 slawndyr. MS: slawdyr.
804 mend. MS: soull in superscript above mend in red.
810 the. archsh crossed out after the.
813 to. MS: ty. o written in red on top of original y.
823 cam forth. MS: camforth.
829 hir. to crossed out after hir.
838 dalyawns. Lower right corner of the folio has been destroyed.
843 maynten. MS: mayten.
857 behyte. hyte partially destroyed.
863 The chapter break is followed in the MS by a directive note in red. It runs from the chapter into the margin. It reads: it begynnes thus in the tyme the vj lefe efter.The reference directs a reader to chapter 21, which recounts events (the beginning of Margery's special relationship with her confessor) prior to those in chapter 16. See also Introduction, p. 5, for a discussion of these lines.
880 sowle. owl partially destroyed, e completely destroyed.
899 Bridis. MS: Pridis.
899 The Latin titles refer to key works of affective piety that link Margery to the concerns of late medieval lay devotion. See Introduction, pp. 5-6.
902 sumtyme. sumty completely destroyed.
925 had. h and d partially destroyed. There was probably one more word at the end of the line. of is written in the lower margin under she.
949 helde. The word itself is obliterated, but there appears to be space for a four-letter word. Only the upper part of d, about two letter spaces from the left-hand margin, remains. Helde is Meech's suggestion.
972 muste. uste completely destroyed. At the end of the line, there is further space for either a two- or a three-letter word.
979 For a discussion of this attribution to Jerome (which seems not to belong to him but reflects pious popular tradition), see Meech, p. 279, n. 43/7.
982 sete. seet, perhaps in the original hand, is written above sete.
996 and causyd. Only syd is legible; the rest is completely destroyed. Meech's emendation.
1012 levyn. MS: be in red followed by a red hyphen in the margin.
1019 bryte. MS: yte partially destroyed.
1020 dyrke. One, or perhaps two, words may have been destroyed here at the end of the line.
the mor. This is Meech's emendation. The lower right-hand corner of the manuscript has been destroyed, and on this final line there is space for perhaps seven to nine more letters.
1023 a tyme. MS: atyme.
1046 eraend. Altered from erden. d changed to a, and d fitted in at the end of the word.
1055 wyth. many expuncted after wyth.
1068 Yyf ye. MS: 3yf ye completely destroyed.
messys. The tops of two letters (perhaps ss) are visible. See also Meech. There is space on the line for another word.
1078 a day. MS: aday.
1092 grace. gr completely destroyed.
1093 I prevyd. Only the d survives. Meech suggests I lovyd here, but the sense seems to indicate God's intent to test those he loves. There are about seven generous letter spaces here in the lower right-hand corner of the folio.
1093-94 that evyr men. Meech's suggestion; the words are completely destroyed.
1118 of. Only the top of a letter, probably f, remains.
1147 creatur. MS: mater.
1157 togedyr. MS: in love in superscript above togedyr in red.
1158 synguler. j crossed out after synguler.
1159 schal. Not in manuscript. In the far right margin, in very large dark letters, are the words that I xal.
1171 And therfor. And therfor is written twice; the first instance is expuncted and crossed through.
1177 anoynted. MS: a noyted.
1189 have. is crossed through after have.
1190 and. and preceding thei has been crossed out in red.
1199 dawnsyn. MS: gostly in superscript above dawnsyn in red.
1213 massage as. & expuncted after massage; as written in superscript above sche.
1217 messe peny. A "mass penny" was given to enter the name of the dead on the parish bede-roll. See Duffy, pp. 334-37.
1260 ellys not a. not in very dark letters above a, with a caret after ellys.
1266 had. The loop of the h is still visible, along with the top of what may be a d.
1270 irregularité. Defined by MED as "violation of the rules of holy orders or provisions of canon law."
1290 a. Only the top of the letter is visible.
1294 latyth. MS: lathyth, with the first h expuncted.
1317 hym. m is destroyed.
1321 than. MS: to in superscript above than in red.
1342 Benetys. Be completely destroyed; n partially destroyed. Meech's reconstruction.
1357 wythstod hem. MS: wythstodhem.
1361 He. Not in MS. Meech's emendation.
1369 geve. e destroyed. There is space at the end of the line for another short word, perhaps hem.
1391 befel in. Completely destroyed. Meech's reconstruction.
1415 gretly. The loop of the e and the tops of two letters are still visible.
1416 of God. Completely destroyed. Meech's reconstruction.
1417-18 The great fear that accompanied the final hours was that of the devil worrying or threatening the soul in extremis. Margery's fellows thus wish upon her not simply death, but a spiritually painful death.
1427 Constance, in Germany, was at once a city on the common route from Lynn to Venice and the site of the important Council of Constance from 1414 to 1418. For remarks about the significance of Constance for Margery's itinerary, see Staley (1994), pp. 157-58.
1429 wentyn. MS: wenty.
1438 to Constanwnsward. to completely destroyed.
1439 harmyd. Only the d is still visible. harmyd is Meech's emendation, but other words such as grevyd or robbyd are possible.
1442 owyr. MS: owryr.
1447 schewyd. hir crossed out after schewyd.
1464 syttyng. g is partially destroyed. After syttyng there is space for a short word, such as stylle.
1468 seyd. Not in MS. Meech's emendation.
1471 don. MS: byd in superscript above don in red.
1488 gyde. gy completely destroyed; de partially destroyed.
1515 speke. Only the top of the letter s is visible.
1535 whech. s crossed out after whech.
1538 to. Added in red in the margin.
1539 so than. Only the an is visible. Meech conjectures & than.
1541 thow it. MS: thowit.
1555 of. MS: written in superscript in black.
1564 to. to is underlined and crossed out in very dark ink. Above to is written on in very dark ink.
1566 on. MS blank at this point.
peynys. Only the top of what looks like a p remains; peynys is Meech's suggestion.
1581 for. th crossed through after for.
1583 ellys. MS: elly.
1589 best. Lower part of b destroyed.
1590 alone. a completely destroyed; lone partially destroyed.
1613 beforn. n partially destroyed.
1614 sowle. ow partially destroyed; le completely destroyed.
1637 suffyr yt. fyr completely destroyed; y partially destroyed.
1645 we. thei has been changed to we in red.
1651 so. owyr lady crossed out after so.
1658 was. Not in MS; then in superscript in red.
1663 to the. Conjectural; the words are destroyed in the MS.
1687 as. Only the top part of the s remains.
1688 wyth the. Completely destroyed; the suggestion is Meech's.
1711 hir gon. Letters ir and on are partially destroyed.
Lord. ord completely destroyed. Meech conjectures that Jhesu might have followed, since there is room at the end of the line.
1733 ther Lazer. ther and a are partially destroyed; zer is completely destroyed.
1734 went also. Meech's conjecture. Only what looks like the top part of the final o remains.
1748 holy. A caret is after tho; holy is written in very small letters above.
1757 servawnt that. nt that completely destroyed. There is space for, at most, five letters after w. Meech feels, and I concur, that þat is therefore a more likely choice than whech.
1758 Drede. Only the D remains.
1759 bryng the. Only br remains.
1760 be. k crossed out after be.
1774 of2. Added in superscript in red between sche and hir.
1780 For thy. For completely destroyed; th partially destroyed.
1781 whech. whec completely destroyed; h partially destroyed.
1781-82 I have no. I have completely destroyed; no partially destroyed. Meech's reconstruction.
1806 and. Ampersand partially destroyed.
1824 sche. con crossed out after sche.
1828 good wyfe. MS: wyfe good, with signs for inversion.
1829 hir. h partially destroyed.
1852 how. w partially destroyed.
1876 of. o completely destroyed; f partially destroyed.
1897 seyest. Second e in superscript, and second s written on top of a d.
1900 thu. Added in red in outer margin.
1901 blyssed. d partially destroyed.
1917 he. Not in MS. Meech's emendation.
1921 days. MS: dayd.
1932 spiryt, not levyng. er a sodeyn sekenes crossed through after spiryt and before not levyng.
2028 in. MS: gostle in superscript above in in red.
2035 in hir sowle. MS: crossed out in red.
2052 sche. sy crossed through after sche.
2096 many other. MS: other many with signs for inversion.
2106 wife. wife added in red above good, with a caret after good.
2180 undirstand. b crossed out after undirstand.
2227 Brigypt. MS: B.
2231 Brigypt. MS: Bri.
2241 our Lord. owyr lord expuncted after our lord.
2248 the. MS: þo
2266 in. MS: in in.
2270 she. MS: he; s added in red.
2290 lernyd. r in superscript between e and n.
2320 hir. r written on top of m.
2327-28 whech was . . . beriid. The section in parentheses is written at the end of the chapter and marked by an a that corresponds to another a in the left margin where the phrase should be inserted.
2340 goodys. MS: godys, with an o in superscript between g and o.
2460 not. not written in red above dey.
2467 cryen. MS: cryed. Meech's emendation.
2477 had. Not in MS. Meech's emendation.
2498 the brokebakkyd. the added in red in the inner margin.
2524 Corpus Cristi. MS: xpi.
2550 riche man. MS: richeman.
2552 ryche man. MS: rycheman.
2561 dalyin. MS: dalyid. Meech's emendation.
2609 gan meltyn. MS: be in superscript before gan in red; to in superscript before meltyn in red.
2633 mevyd. MS: was in superscript before mevyd in red.
the. Added in red in superscript between of and man.
2643 dede. MS: lete in superscript before dede in red.
2663 strobelyd. Meech emends to strogelyd, following the rubrications of the MS editor who placed g in red above a red caret between o and b. MED cites numerous instances of strobelin as a past participle form of striven. Perhaps the sense is that the inquisitor "roughed her up," or "verbally abused her," or "fondled her," or "threw her into confusion."
2718-19 "ther is no man in this worlde that I lofe so meche as God, for I lofe hym abovyn al thynge, and . . . I lofe al men in God and for God." Margery adheres here to a common-place Augustinian definition of love, that charity is the love of God for the sake of God and love of man and things for the sake of God. See On Christian Doctrine, Bk. I, ch. xxvi-xxvii and Bk. III, ch. x.16.
2757 not. Added in red above stondyn.
2775 sche. MS: sche sche; second sche crossed through in red.
2807 into. MS: in designated by a caret and written in superscript before to.
2812 thei. d crossed out after thei.
2854 a worschepful. MS: aworschepful.
2870 in. MS: Yok crossed through after in.
2885 a. a, designated by a caret, in superscript between as and juge.
2891 sotyn.Meech emended this word tofotyn; however, sotyn conveys the sense of the persecution of the innocent that is central to Kempe's presentation of Margery's difficulties with figures of authority. She also uses the verb in her account of the Passion (chapter 79).
2908 chawmbyr. MS: chawbyr.
2909 good man. MS: goodman.
2959 it. MS: is. Meech's emendation.
2964 schalt ne. ne not in MS.
2974 swythe. e in superscript.
2987 hymyr party. Meech glosses as "rear." MED glosses himmere in Ancrene Wise as "?inglorious," though this does not seem to be the same word. Hymyr might conceivably be a corruption of hamer (see MED himer), used here as a euphemism for genitalia.
2988 hevynes. d crossed through after hevynes.
3022 Erchebischopys. MS: Ercheb with a horizontal line through the stem of the b. This abbreviation is used often after this first mention.
3045 he. MS: sche, with sc crossed through in red.
3066 ryth good. Caret before good and ryth is written above.
3117 nowt. nowt not in MS. Meech's emendation.
3155 it. ky expuncted after it.
3166 we. MS: wey, with y expuncted and crossed through.
3172 prevyd. MS: neithyr l crossed through after prevyd.
3189 alle. cm L.vv. is written after alle to indicate the chapter that begins on the following page.
3191 happyd. The first p of happyd is written on top of a d.
3213 West Lynne. MS: Westlynne.
3276 was. MS: s crossed through after was.
3297 the awter. l crossed through after the.
3351 man. MS: or woman in superscript above man in red.
3392 that. that is written above what, which is expuncted.
3407 savyd. al expuncted and crossed through after savyd.
3409 belevyn. it expuncted after belevyn.
3434 mendys. abedyn with hir crossed through after mendys.
3441 the. thy has been crossed through, and an e written above the y, which has been changed into a þ.
3511 convent. MS: conent.
3525 and. he crossed out after and.
3639 se me. MS: seme
3736 charité. Though Meech retains the phrase "token of love," it is enclosed by parallel slash marks that indicate the scribe deleted the phrase and substituted charité, which he wrote above token of love.
3758 arn. passyd owt of the worlde crossed through after arn.
3788 thynkyst. al the world expuncted after thynkyst.
3789 unto. There is a caret before to; un is written above.
3883 whan. w expuncted after whan.
3895 divinité. MS: and sade in superscript after divinite in red.
3952 a gret. MS: agret.
3957 frer. as crossed out after frer.
3969 reguler and seculer. Refers to the distinction between a member of the clergy living under a monastic rule and one living within the world, such as a clerk or a canon.
3975 Holy Scriptur. MS: Scriptur Holy, with signs for inversion.
4012 God. w crossed through after God.
4024 that. l expuncted after that.
4098 desiryd. A dark stain obliterates si.
4101 owr. MS: Lord in superscript above owr in red.
4103 beheldyn. MS: ben heldeyn.
4108 a. Flourished m crossed through after a.
4109 sche. s crossed through after sche.
4116 meny. Literally "household," a term more often used to describe the households, or entourages, of the worldly. That Kempe often uses it to describe those persons surrounding or in the employ of ecclesiastical figures carries its own delicately charged irony.
4120 not. MS: to, with no in red above.
4130 Lady. Lady not in MS; designated by a red caret and added in dark ink in the right margin.
4150 sonys. MS: sonyd, with second s altering original d.
4168 and. MS: & &.
4183 seke man. MS: sekeman.
4249 hys. d crossed out after hys.
4259 owyn. hurt, indicated by a caret after owyn, is written in red above fayling.
4260 the. f expuncted after the.
4351 to me. MS: tome.
4452 teld. MS: tel.
4460 comfort. MS: comfor.
4470 ye. j has been changed to 3e, indicated by a caret, added above.
4478 ful. w crossed through after ful.
4509 venymowslych. MS: venowslych. Meech's emendation.
4512 had. Added in red above.
4513 he. Added in red above.
4531 ryth. wo crossed through after ryth.
4533 beryn. MS: to the mount expuncted after beryn.
4590 to. MS: to to.
4592 sorwe. wyth crossed through after sorwe; for is written between wyth and yow in superscript.
4631-33 mad for owr Lady . . . The creatur. These lines are crossed through in dark ink, which could be the same color as the original. The deletion is especially interesting, since it does not damage the sense of the narrative and perhaps suggests that the scribe himself exercised certain editorial liberties over the text he copied.
4634 er. er, indicated by a caret between gon and wher, is written in superscript.
4657 thynke. þ crossed through after thynke.
4663 wyth. wyth has been added in red in superscript.
ther. ther is written above of, which has been expuncted.
4670 schal. 3e crossed out and expuncted after schal.
4740 wythdrow. hir crossed through after wythdrow.
4825-26 and holpyn . . . his deth. These words have been crossed through in red.
4884 chosyn. specyal is expuncted here; chosyn is written above it.
4925 was. g crossed through after was.
4926 she. Added in red in the near right margin.
4943-44 And than . . . the brest. These words have been crossed through in red.
4950 to. to, indicated by a caret, is written in superscript.
4956 inundirstondabyl. in has been prefixed in red.
4980 as. meche has been expuncted after as.
5004 virginys. to wolcomyn me in thi sowle has been expuncted after virginys.
5051 that. the crossed through after that.
5137 so. MS: so so.
5148 be. be, indicated by a caret, is written in superscript between dowtyr and this.
5188 plesyd. MS: displesyd, with dis expuncted and crossed out.
5221 herd. herd has been added in red above the line.
26 evyl. MS: evyl evyl.
46 correpcyon. p has been written over an original c.
185 in. MS: in in, with the first in expuncted.
226 we. we is written in red on top of the original me.
sorw. sorw is written above perel, which is expuncted.
258 therfor. for is written on the line below ther.
276 ther. up expuncted and crossed through after ther.
379 han. j crossed out after han.
387 whom sche myth. MS: whom sche sche myth with second sche crossed out in red.
rest on. MS: reston.
412 Akun. Written on the line below comyn to.
424 of. MS: of of, with the second of crossed out in red.
519 o wey. MS: owey.
528 and. MS: &&, with the first & crossed through in red.
569 And swech . . . a seyd. These words are crossed through in red.
588 sche. t crossed through after sche.
594 thei. Not in MS. Meech's emendation.
628 the. e is written in superscript; th is added in red.
629 unkendnes. MS: unkednes.
642 Lynne. so crossed through after Lynne.
644 ful. ful is written in superscript between answeryng and schortly.
658-59 The second part of the Book ends nine lines into the first leaf of folio 120. The final words, "worschepyd be God," are closed by a period and followed by "Amen." On the same line in red ink is another "Amen." The remainder of the page has been left blank. The scribe began the prayers on the verso side of folio 120, using a large capital T ("Thys" . . .), suggesting that the prayers are a separate section of the manuscript.
676 spechys. c written over an original h.
677 ne myn. MS: nemyn.
689 fro. MS: fro fro, with first fro crossed out in red.
709 mercy. s crossed through after mercy.
715 the. MS: hym crossed through in red; the is written above in red.
719-20 And as thu hast spred thi mercy to hem that arn in erthe. The syntax is faulty here. Meech suggests that the sentence may originally have been something like this: And as thu hast spred thi mercy [to hem that arn in Heuyn, so spred thi mercy] to hem that arn in erthe (p. 250).
754 many. he and more letters are destroyed at the end of the line following many.
755 wythowtyn. ow is partially destroyed; tyn is completely destroyed; in the second wythowtyn, tyn is completely destroyed.
756 cheselys. y is partially destroyed; s is competely destroyed.
758 of1. man is expuncted after of.
778 fadrys. dr partially destroyed.
779 and. and completely destroyed.
780 in yow alle. alle is completely destroyed.
781 hast. h is completely destroyed; a is partially destroyed.
801 Jhesu mercy quod Salthows. This scribal thanksgiving is centered and written on the bottom of the last leaf.
On Corpus Cristi Day aftyr, as the prestys born the Sacrament abowte the town
wyth solempne processyon, wyth meche lyth and gret solempnyté, as was worthy to
be do, the forseyd creatur folwyd ful of terys and devocyon, wyth holy thowtys and
meditacyon, sor wepyng and boystows sobbyng. And than ther cam a good woman be
this creatur and seyd, "Damsel, God gef us grace to folwyn the steppys of owr Lord
Jhesu Crist." Than that worde wrowt so sor in hir herte and in hir mende that sche
myth not beryn it that sche was fawyn to takyn an hows. And ther sche cryed, "I dey,
I dey," and roryd also wondirfully that the pepil wonderyd upon hir, havyng gret
merveyl what hir eyled. And yet owr Lord mad summe to lofe hir and cherschyn hir
ryth meche and haddyn hir hom bothe to mete and to drynke and haddyn ful gret
gladnes to heryn hir dalyin in owre Lord. And so ther was a man of Newe Castel, hys
name was Thomas Marchale, whech oftetymes bad this creatur to mete for to heryn
hir dalyawns. And he was so drawyn be the good wordys that God put in hir to sey of
contricyon and compunccyon, of swetnes and of devocyon that he was al mevyd as he
had ben a newe man wyth terys of contricyon and compunccyon, bothe days and
nyghtys, as owr Lord wolde visiten hys hert wyth grace, that sumtyme whan he went
in the feldys he wept so sor for hys synnes and hys trespas that he fel down and myth
not beryn it and telde the forseyd creatur that he had ben a ful rekles man and
mysgovernyd, and that sore rewyd hym, thankyd be God. And than he blyssed the
tyme that he knew this creatur and purposyd hym fully to be a good man. Also he seyd
to the seyd creatur, "Modyr, I have her ten marke. I pray yow that it be yowr as yowr
owyn, for I wil helpyn yow to Seynt Jamys wyth Goddys grace. And what that ye byd
me gevyn to any powr man er woman I wyl do yowr byddyng, alwey o peny for yow
an other for myselfe." Than, as it plesyd owr Lord, he sent a schip owte of Breteyn
into Bristowe, whech schip was mad redy and arayd for to seylen to Seynt Jamys. And
than the seyd Thomas Marchale went and payd the maystyr for hymselfe and for the
seyd creatur. Than was ther riche man of Bristowe whech wolde not late the seyd
creatur seylen in that schip, for he held hir no good woman. And than sche seyd to that
ryche man, "Syr, yf ye put me owt of the schip, my Lord Jhesu schal put yow owt of
hevyn, for I telle yow, ser, owr Lord Jhesu hath no deynté of a ryche man les than he
wil be a good man and a meke man." And so sche seyde many scharp wordys onto
hym wythowtyn any glosyng er flateryng. And than owr Lord seyd to hir in hir sowle,
"Thow schalt han thy wylle and gon to Seynt Jamys at thi desyr." And anon aftyr sche
was putt up befor the bischop of Worcetyr that lay three myle beyondyn Bristowe and
moneschid to aper befor hym ther he lay. Sche ros up erly on the next day and went to
the place wher he lay hymselfe, yet beyng in bedde, and happyd to metyn on of hys
worschepfulest men in the town, and so thei dalyid of God. And, whan he had herd hir
dalyin a good while, he preyd hir to mete and sithyn he browt hir into the bischopys
halle. And, whan sche cam into the halle, sche saw many of the bischopys men al to
raggyd and al to daggyd in her clothys. Sche, lyftyng up hir hande, blissed hir. And
than thei seyd to hir, "What devyl eyleth the?" Sche seyd agen, "Whos men be ye?"
Thei answeryd agen, "the bischopys men." And than sche seyd, "Nay, forsothe, ye
arn lykar the develys men." Than thei weryn wroth and chedyn hir and spokyn angrily
unto hir, and sche suffryd hem wel and mekely. And sithyn sche spak so sadly ageyn
syn and her mysgovernawns that thei wer in sylens and held hem wel plesyd wyth hyr
dalyawns, thankyd be God, er than sche left. And than sche went into the chirch and
abood the comyng of the bischop. And whan he cam sche knelyd down and askyd
what was hys wille and why sche was somownde to come befor hym; it was to hir gret
noye and hynderawns inasmeche as sche was a pilgryme purposyng be the grace of
God to Seynt Jamyswarde. Than the bischop seyde, "Margery, I have not somownd
the, for I knowe wel inow thu art John of Burnamys dowtyr of Lynne. I pray the be not
wroth, but far fayr wyth me, and I schal far fayr wyth the, for thu schalt etyn wyth me
this day." "Syr," sche seyd, "I prey yow have me excusyd, for I have behestyd a good
man in town to etyn with hym today." And than he seyd, "thu schalt etyn wyth me and he
bothyn." And so sche abood wyth hym tyl God sent wynde that sche mytn seylen and
had gret cher of hym and of hys meny also. And sithyn sche was schrevyn to the
bischop. And than he preyd hir to prey for hym that he myth deyn in charité, for it was
warnyd hym be an holy man whech had be revelacyon that this bischop schulde be ded
wythinne the terme of two yer. And it fel so in dede. And therfor he compleynyd to
this creatur and preyde hir to prey for hym that he myth deyin in charité. At the last
sche toke hir leve of hym, and he gaf hir golde and hys blyssyng and comawndyd hys
mené to lede hir forth in hir wey. And also he preyd hir whan sche come fro Seynt
Jamys ageyn that sche wolde come unto hym. And so sche went forth to hir schip.
Befor that sche entryd the schip, sche mad hir preyerys that God schulde kepe hem and
preserve hem fro venjawns, tempestys, and perellys in the se that thei myth go and
come in safté, for it was telde hir yyf thei haddyn any tempest thei woldyn castyn hyr
in the se, for thei seyd it was for hir, and thei seyde the schip was the wers for sche was
therin. And therfor sche in hir preyer seyde on this maner, "Almythy God Crist Jhesu,
I beseche the for thi mercy, yyf thu wilte chastisyn me, spar me tyl I come ageyn into
Inglond. And, whan I come ageyn, chastyse me ryth as thu wilte." And than owr Lord
grawntyd hir hir bone. And so sche toke hir schip in the name of Jhesu and seylyd
forth wyth hir felaschip, whom God sent fayr wynde and wedyr so that thei comyn to
Seynt Jamys on the sevenyth day. And than thei that weryn agen hir whan thei wer at
Bristowe now thei made hir good cher. And so thei abedyn ther fourteen days in that
lond, and ther had sche gret cher, bothyn bodily and gostly, hy devocyon, and many
gret cryes in the mende of owr Lordys Passion, wyth plentyuows terys of compassyon.
And sithyn thei come hom ageyn to Bristowe in five days. And sche abood not long
ther but went forth to the Blod of Hayles, and ther was schrevyn and had lowde cryes
and boystows wepyngys. And than the religiows men had hir in amongse hem and
mad hir good cher, saf thei sworyn many gret othys and horryble. And sche undyrname
hem therof aftyr the Gospel, and therof had thei gret wondyr. Nevyrthelesse summe
wer ryth wel plesyd, thankyd be God of hys goodnesse.
Sythyn yed sche forth to Leycetyr, and a good man also, Thomas Marchale, of
whom is wretyn beforn. And ther sche cam into a fayr cherch wher sche behelde a
crucyfyx was petowsly poyntyd and lamentabyl to beheldyn, thorw whech beheldyng
the Passyon of owr Lord entryd hir mende, wherthorw sche gan meltyn and al to
relentyn be terys of pyté and compassyown. Than the fyer of lofe kyndelyd so yern in
hir hert that sche myth not kepyn it prevy, for, whedyr sche wolde er not, it cawsyd hir
to brekyn owte wyth a lowde voys and cryen merveylowslyche and wepyn and sobbyn
ful hedowslyche that many a man and woman wondryd on hir therfor. Whan it was
ovyrcomyn, sche goyng owt at the chirche dore, a man toke hir be the sleve and seyd,
"Damsel, why wepist thu so sor?" "Ser," sche seyd, "it is not yow to telle." And so
sche and the good man, Thomas Marchale, went forth and toke hir hostel and ther etyn
her mete. Whan thei had etyn, sche preyd Thomas Marchale to writyn a lettyr and
sendyn to hir husbond that he myth fettyn hir hom. And, wyl the lettyr was in wrytyng,
the osteler cam up to hir chawmbyr in gret hast and toke awey hir scryppe and bad hyr
comyn yerne and spekyn wyth the meyr. And so sche dede. Than the meyr askyd hir
of what cuntré sche was and whos dowtyr sche was. "Syr," sche seyd, "I am of Lynne
in Norfolke, a good mannys dowtyr of the same Lynne, whech hath ben meyr fyve
tymes of that worshepful burwgh and aldyrman also many yerys, and I have a good
man, also a burgeys of the seyd town, Lynne, to myn husbond." "A," seyd the meyr,
"Seynt Kateryn telde what kynred sche cam of and yet ar ye not lyche, for thu art a fals
strumpet, a fals loller, and a fals deceyver of the pepyl, and therfor I schal have the in
preson." And sche seyd ageyn, "I am as redy, ser, to gon to preson for Goddys lofe as
ye arn redy to gon to chirche." Whan the meyr had long chedyn hir and seyd many
evyl and horybyl wordys onto hir and sche, be the grace of Jhesu, had resonabely
answeryd hym to al that he cowde seyn, than he comawndyd the jaylerys man to
ledyn hir to preson. The jaylerys man, havyng compassyon of hir wyth wepyng terys,
seyd to the meyr, "Ser, I have non hows to put hir inne les than I putte hir among
men." Than sche, mevyd wyth compassyon of the man whech had compassyon of hir
preyng for grace and mercy to that man as to hir owyn sowle, seyd to the meyr, "I prey
yow, ser, put me not among men, that I may kepyn my chastité and my bond of
wedlak to myn husbond, as I am bowndyn to do." And than seyd the jayler hys owyn
selfe to the meyr, "Ser, I will be bowndyn to kepe this woman in safwarde tyl ye wyl
have hir ageyn." Than was ther a man of Boston, and seyd to the good wyfe ther sche
was at ostel, "Forsothe," he seyth, "in Boston this woman is holdyn an holy woman
and a blissed woman." Than the jayler toke hir into hys awarde and led hyr hom into
hys owyn hows and put hir in a fayr chawmbyr, schetyng the dor wyth a key and
comendyng hys wyfe the key to kepyn. Nevyrthelesse he lete hir gon to chirche whan
sche wolde and dede hir etyn at hys owyn tabyl and mad hir ryght good cher for owr
Lordys lofe, thankyd be almygthy God therof.
Than the styward of Leycetyr, a semly man, sent for the seyd creatur to the jaylerys
wyfe, and sche, for hir husbond was not at hom, wolde not late hir gon to no man,
styward ne other. Whan the jayler knew therof, he cam hys propyr persone and browt
hir befor the stywarde. The styward anon, as he sey hir, spak Latyn unto hir, many
prestys stondyng abowtyn to here what sche schulde say and other pepyl also. Sche
seyd to the stywarde, "Spekyth Englysch, yf yow lyketh, for I undyrstonde not what
ye sey." The styward seyd unto hir, "Thu lyest falsly in pleyn Englysch." Than seyd
sche unto hym agen, "Syr, askyth what qwestyon ye wil in Englysch, and thorw the
grace of my Lord Jhesu Cryst I schal answeyn yow resonabely therto." And than askyd
he many qwestyonys, to the whech sche answeryd redily and resonabely that he cowde
getyn no cawse ageyn hir. Than the stywarde toke hir be the hand and led hir into hys
chawmbyr and spak many fowyl rebawdy wordys unto hir, purposyng and desyryng,
as it semyd hir, to opressyn hir and forlyn hir. And than had sche meche drede and
meche sorwe, crying hym mercy. Sche seyd, "Ser, for the reverens of almythy God,
sparyth me, for I am a mannys wife." And than seyd the stywarde, "Thu schalt telle me
whethyr thu hast this speche of God er of the devyl, er ellys thu schalt gon to preson."
"Ser," sche seyd, "for to gon to preson I am not aferd for my Lordys lofe, the whech
meche mor suffyrd for my lofe than I may for hys. I pray yow doth as yow thynkyth
the beste." The stiwarde, seyng hir boldenes that sche dred no presonyng, he strobelyd
wyth hir, schewyng unclene tokenys and ungoodly cuntenawns, wherthorw he frayd
hir so mech that sche telde hym how sche had hyr speche and hir dalyawns of the Holy
Gost and not of hir owyn cunyng. And than he, al astoyned of hir wordys, left hys
besynes and hys lewydnes, seying to hir as many man had do beforn, "Eythyr thu art
a ryth good woman er ellys a ryth wikked woman," and delyveryd hir ageyn to hir
gayler. And he led hyr hom ageyn wyth hym. Sithyn thei tokyn two of hyr felaws that
went wyth hyr on pylgrimage, the on was Thomas Marchale beforn seyd, the other, a
man of Wisbeche, and put hem bothyn in preson for cawse of hyr. Than was sche
hevy and sory for her distres and preyd to God for her delyverawns. And than owr
mercyful Lord Crist Jhesu seyd to hys creatur, "Dowtyr, I schal for thy love so disposyn
for hem that the pepyl schal be ryth fayn to letyn hem gon and not longe kepyn hem."
And, on the next day folwyng, owr Lord sent sweche wederyng of levenys, thunderys,
and reynes contynuyng that al the pepyl in the town wer so afrayd thei wist not what to
do. Thei dreddyn hem it was for thei had put the pylgrimys in preson. And than the
governorys of the town went in gret hast and toke owt tho tweyn pilgrimys whech had
leyn in preson al the nyth beforn, ledyng hem to the gyldehalle ther to be examynyd
befor the meyr and the worschepful men of the town, compellyng hem to sweryn yyf
the forseyd creatur wer a woman of the ryth feyth and ryth beleve, continent and clene
of hir body, er not. As fer as thei knewyn, thei sworyn, as wittyrly God schulde help
hem at the day of dome, that sche was a good woman of the ryth feyth and ryth beleve,
clene and chaste in al hir governawns as fer as thei cowde knowyn in cher, cuntenawns,
in worde, and in werke. And than the meyr let hem gon whedyr thei wolde. And anon
the tempest sesyd, and it was fayr wedir, worschepyd be owre Lord God. The pilgrimys
thei wer glad that thei wer delyveryd and durst no lengar abydyn in Leycetyr but went
ten myle thens and abood ther that thei myth have knowlach what schulde be do wyth
the seyde creatur, for, whan thei bothyn wer put in preson, thei had telde hyr hemselfe
that thei supposyd, yyf the meyr myth han hys wil, he wolde don hir be brent.
On a Wednysday the seyd creatur was browt into a chirch of Alle Halwyn in
Leycetyr, in whech place befor the hy awter was sett the abbot of Leycetyr wyth
summe of hys chanownys, the den of Leicetyr, a worthy clerke. Ther wer also many
frerys and preystys, also the meyr of the same town wyth mech other of lay pepyl.
Ther was so meche pepyl that thei stodyn upon stolys for to beheldyn hir and wonderyn
upon hir. The sayd creatur lay on hir knes, makyng hir prayerys to almythy God that
sche myth han grace, wytte, and wysdam so to answeryn that day as myth ben most
plesawns and worschep to hym, most profyth to hir sowle, and best exampyl to the
pepyl. Than ther cam a preste to hir and toke hir be the hand and browt hir beforn the
abbot and hys assessowrys syttyng at the awter, the wheche dedyn hir sweryn on a
boke that sche schulde answeryn trewly to the artyculys of the feyth lych as sche felt in
hem. And fyrst thei rehersyd the blysful sacrament of the awter, chargyng hir to seyn
ryth as sche belevyd therin. Than sche seyd, "Serys, I beleve in the sacrament of the
awter on this wyse, that what man hath takyn the ordyr of presthode, be he nevyr so
vicyows a man in hys levyng, yyf he sey dewly tho wordys ovyr the bred that owr
Lord Jhesu Criste seyde whan he mad hys Mawndé among hys disciplys ther he sat at
the soper, I beleve that it is hys very flesch and hys blood and no material bred ne
nevyr may be unseyd be it onys seyd." And so sche answeryd forth to alle the artycles
as many as thei wolde askyn hir that thei wer wel plesyd. The meyr, whech was hir
dedly enmy, he seyd, "In fayth, sche menyth not wyth hir hert as sche seyth with hir
mowthe." And the clerkys seyden to hym, "Sir, sche answeryth ryth wel to us." Than
the meyr alto rebukyd hir and rehersyd many reprevows wordys and ungoodly, the
whiche is mor expedient to be concelyd than expressyd. "Sir," sche seyde, "I take
witnesse of my Lord Jhesu Crist, whos body is her present in the sacrament of the
awter, that I nevyr had part of mannys body in this worlde in actual dede be wey of
synne, but of myn husbondys body, whom I am bowndyn to be the lawe of matri
mony, and be whom I have born fourteen childeryn. For I do yow to wetyn, ser, that
ther is no man in this worlde that I lofe so meche as God, for I lofe hym abovyn al
thynge, and, ser, I telle yow trewly I lofe al men in God and for God." Also ferthermor
sche seyd pleynly to hys owyn persone, "Sir, ye arn not worthy to ben a meyr, and that
schal I prevyn be Holy Writte, for owr Lord God seyde hymself er he wolde takyn
venjawnce on the cyteys, 'I schal comyn down and seen.' And yet he knew al thyng.
And that was not ellys, sir, but for to schewe men as ye ben that ye schulde don non
execucyon in ponischyng but yyf ye had knowyng beforn that it wer worthy for to be
don. And, syr, ye han do al the contrary to me this day, for, syr, ye han cawsyd me
myche despite for thyng that I am not gilty in. I pray God forgeve yow it." Than the
meyr seyde to hir, "I wil wetyn why thow gost in white clothys, for I trowe thow art
comyn hedyr to han awey owr wyvys fro us and ledyn hem wyth the." "Syr," sche
seyth, "ye schal not wetyn of my mowth why I go in white clothys; ye arn not worthy to
wetyn it. But, ser, I wil tellyn it to thes worthy clerkys wyth good wil be the maner of
confessyon. Avyse hem yyf thei wyl telle it yow." Than the clerkys preyd the meyr to
gon down fro hem wyth the other pepyl. And, whan thei weryn gon, sche knelyd on
hir knes befor the abbot, and the den of Leycetyr, and a Frer Prechowr, a worschipful
clerke, and telde thes three clerkys how owr Lord be revelacyon warnyd hir and bad
hir weryn white clothys er sche cam at Jerusalem. "And so have I tolde my gostly
faderys. And therfor thei han chargyd me that I schulde gon thus, for thei dar not don
ageyn my felyngys for dred of God, and, yyf thei durste, thei wolde ful gladlych. And
therfor, serys, yyf the meyr wil wetyn why I go in whyte, ye may seye, yyf yow likyth,
that my gostly faderys byddyn me gon so, and than schal ye make no lesynggys ne he
schal not knowe the trewth." So the clerkys clepyd up agen the meyr and teldyn hym
in cownsel that hir gostly faderys had chargyd hir to weryn white clothis and sche had
bowndyn hir to her obediens. Than the meyr clepyd hir to hym, seying, "I wil not
letyn the gon hens for thyng that thow canst seyn les than thu wil gon to my Lord of
Lynkoln for a lettyr, inasmeche as thu art in hys jurisdiccyon, that I may be dischargyd
of the." Sche seyd, "Ser, I dar speke to my Lord of Lyncolne ryth wel, for I have had
of hym rith good cher afor this tyme." And than other men askyd hir yyf sche wer in
charité with the meyr, and sche seyd, "Ya, and with alle creaturys." And than sche,
obeyng hir to the meir, preyd hym to ben in charité wyth hyr wyth wepyng terys and
forgevyn hir any thyng that sche had displesyd hym. And he gaf hir goodly wordys
for a while that sche wend al had ben wel and he had ben hir good frende, but aftyrward
sche wist wel it was not so. And thus she had leve of the meir for to gon to my Lord of
Lyncolne and fettyn a lettyr be the whech the meyr schulde be excusyd.
So sche went fyrst to the Abbey of Leycetyr into the chirche, and, as sone as the
Abbot had aspyed hir, he, of hys goodnes, wyth many of hys brethyr, cam for wolcomyn
hir. Whan sche sey hem comyn, anon in hir sowle sche beheld owr Lord comyng wyth
hys apostelys, and sche was so raveschyd into contemplacyon wyth swetnes and
devocyon that sche myth not stondyn ageyns her comyng as curtesy wolde but lenyd
hir to a peler in the chirche and held hir strongly therby for dred of fallyng, for sche
wold a stondyn and sche myth not for plenté of devocyon whech was cawse that sche
cryed and wept ful sor. Whan hir criyng was ovyrcomyn, the Abbot preyd hys brethyr
to have hir in wyth hem and comfortyn hir, and so thei govyn hir ryth good wyn and
madyn hir ryth good cher. Than sche gat hir a lettyr of the abbot to my Lord of Lyncolne
into record what conversacyon sche had ben the tyme that sche was in Leicetyr. And
the Deen of Leicetyr was redy to recordyn and witnessyn wyth hir also, for he had gret
confidens that owre Lord lovyd hir, and therfor he cheryd hir ful hily in hys owyn
place. And so sche toke leve of hir sayd sone, purposyng forth to Lyncolnward wyth
a man whech hite Patryk, that had ben wyth hir at Seynt Jamys befortyme. And as this
tyme he was sent be Thomas Marchale beforn seyd fro Melton Mowmbray to Leycetyr
for to inqwir and se how it stod wyth the same creatur. For the forseyd Thomas Marchal
feryd meche that sche schuld a be brent, and therfor he sent this man Patryk to prevyn
the trewth. And so sche and Patryk wyth many good folke of Leicetyr comyn to cheryn
hir, thankyng God that had preservyd hir and govyn hir the victory of hir enmyis,
wentyn forth owt at the townys ende and madyn hir ryth good cher, behestyng hir yf
evyr sche come ageyn sche schuld han bettyr cher among hem than evyr sche had beforn.
Than had sche forgetyn and left in the towne a staf of a Moyses yerde whech sche had
browt fro Jerusalem, and sche wold not a lost it for forty shillings. Than went Patryk
agen into the towne for hir staffe and hir scryppe and happyd to metyn wyth the meyr,
and the meir wolde a putte hym in preson. So at the last he scapyd of hard and left ther
hir scrippe. Than the forseyd creatur abood this man in a blynd womanys hows in gret
hevynes, dredyng what was fallyn of hym for he was so long. At the last this man cam
rydyng forby ther that sche was. Whan sche sey hym sche cryed, "Patryk, sone, wher
ha ye ben so long fro me?" "Ya, ya, modyr," seyd he, "I have ben in gret perel for
yow. I was in poynt to a ben put in preson for yow, and the meyr hath gretly turmentyd
me for yow, and he hath takyn awey yowr scrippe fro me." "A, good Patryk," seyd
sche, "be not displesyd, for I schal prey for yow, and God schal rewardyn yowr labowr
ryth wel; it is al for the best." Than Patryk set hir upon hys hors and browt hir hom into
Melton Mowmbray into hys owyn hows wher was Thomas Marchale befor wretyn
and toke hir down of the hors, hyly thankyng God that sche was not brent. So thei
enjoyed in owr Lord al that nyth. And aftyrward sche went forth to the Byschop of
Lyncolne ther he lay that tyme. Sche, not verily knowyng wher he was, met a
worschepful man wyth a furryd hood, a worthy officer of the bischopys, whech seyd
unto hir, "Damsel, knowyst thu not me?" "No, sir," sche seyd, "forsothe." "And yet
thow wer beholdyn," he seyd, "for I have sumtyme mad the good cher." "Sir, I trust
that ye dedyn ye dedyn for Goddys lofe, and therfor I hope he schal ryth wel rewardyn
yow. And I prey yow heldyth me excusyd, for I take lytil heed of a mannys bewté er
of hys face, and therfor I forgete hym meche the sonar." And than he teld hir goodly
wher sche schulde have the bischop. And so sche gat hir a lettyr of the bischop to the
meyr of Leycetyr, monyschyng hym that he schulde not vexyn hir ne lettyn hir to gon
and comyn whan sche wolde. Than ther fellyn gret thunderys and levenys and many
reynes that the pepil demyd it was for venjawns of the sayd creatur, gretly desyryng
that she had ben owt of that cuntré. And sche wolde in no wise gon thens tyl that sche
had hir scryppe ageyn. Whan the seyde meyr receyved the forseyd lettyr, he sent hir
hir skryppe and leet hir gon in safté wher sche wolde. Three wokys sche was lettyd of
hir jurney be the meyr of Leycetyr er he wold letyn hyr gon owt that cooste. Than sche
hyryd the forseyd man Patryk to gon wyth hir in the cuntré and so went thei forth to
Whan sche was com into Yorke, sche went to an ancres wheche had lovyd hir wel
er sche went to Jerusalem to han knowlach of hyr gostly encres, also desiryng for mor
gostly communicacyon to etyn wyth the ancres that day no thyng ellys but bred and
watyr, for it was on owr Ladiis Evyn. And the ancres wolde not receyven hir, for sche
had herd telde so mech evyl telde of hir. So sche went forth to other fremd folk, and
thei made hir rith good cher for owr Lordys lofe. On a day, as sche sat in a chirche of
Yorke, owr Lord Jhesu Crist seyd in hir sowle, "Dowtyr, ther is meche tribulacyon to
thewarde." Sche was sumdel hevy and abaschyd therof and therfor sche, syttyng stille,
answeryd not. Than seyd owr blissed Lord agen, "What, dowtyr, art thu evyl payd for
to suffyr mor tribulacyon for my lofe? Yyf thu wilte no mor suffyr, I schal take it awey
fro the." And than seyd sche agen "Nay, good Lord, late me be at thi wille and make
me mythy and strong for to suffyr al that evyr thu wilt that I suffyr, and grawnt me
mekenes and pacyens therwyth." And so, fro that tyme forwarde that sche knew it was
owr Lordys wille that sche schulde suffyr mor tribulacyon, sche receyved it goodly
whan owr Lorde wolde send it and thankyd hym hily therof, beyng ryth glad and mery
that day that sche suffryd any disese. And be processe of tyme that day whech sche
suffyrd no tribulacyon sche was not mery ne glad as that day whan sche suffyrd
tribulacyon. Sithyn, as sche was in the Mynster at Yorke forseyd, a clerk cam to hir,
seying, "Damsel, how long wil ye abydyn her?" "Ser," sche seyd, "I purpose to abyden
thes fourteen days." And so sche dede. And in that tyme many good men and women
preyd hir to mete and madyn hir ryth good cher and weryn ryth glad to heryn hyr
dalyawns, havyng gret merveyle of hir speche for it was fruteful. And also sche had
many enmyis whech slawndryd hir, scornyd hir, and despysed hir, of whech o prest
cam to hir whil sche was in the seyd Mynstyr and, takyng hir be the coler of the
gowne, seyd, "Thu wolf, what is this cloth that thu hast on?" Sche stod stylle and not
wolde answeryn in hir owyn cawse. Childer of the monastery goyng besyde seyd to
the preste, "Ser, it is wulle." The preste was anoyed for sche wolde not answer and
gan to sweryn many gret othis. Than sche gan to spekyn for Goddys cawse; sche was
not aferd. Sche seyd, "Ser, ye schulde kepe the comawndmentys of God and not sweryn
so necgligently as ye do." The preste askyd hir hoo kept the comawndmentys. Sche
seyd, "Ser, thei that kepyn hem." Than seyd he, "Kepyst thu hem?" Sche seyd ageyn,
"Syr, it is my wille to kepyn hem, for I am bownde therto, and so ar ye and every man
that wil be savyd at the last." Whan he had long jangelyd wyth hir, he went awey
prevyly er sche was war, that sche wist not wher he becam.
An other tyme ther cam a gret clerke onto hir, askyng thes wordys how thei schuld
ben undirstondyn, "Crescite et multiplicamini." Sche, answeryng, seyd, "Ser, thes
wordys ben not undirstondyn only of begetyng of chyldren bodily, but also be
purchasyng of vertu, whech is frute gostly, as be heryng of the wordys of God, be
good exampyl gevyng, be mekenes and paciens, charité and chastité, and swech other,
for pacyens is more worthy than myraclys werkyng." And sche thorw the grace of
God answeryd so that clerke that he was wel plesyd. And owr Lord of hys mercy evyr
he mad sum men to lovyn hir and supportyn hir. And so in this cité of Yorke ther was
a doctowr of divinyté, Maistyr John Aclom, also a Chanown of the Mynstyr, Syr John
Kendale, and another preste whech song be the bischopys grave; thes wer hir good
frendys of the spiritualté. So sche dwellyd stille in that cité fourteen days, as sche had
seyd beforn, and sumdel mor, and on the Sundays sche was howseld in the Mynster
wyth gret wepyng, boistows sobbyng, and lowde crying that many man merveyled ful
meche what hir eyled. So aftyrward ther cam a preste, a worschepful clerke he semyd,
and seyd unto hir, "Damsel, thu seydest whan thu come first hedyr that thu woldyst
abydyn her but fourteen days." "Ya, ser, wyth yowr leve, I seyd that I wolde abydyn
her fourteen days, but I seyd not that I schulde neithyr abydyn mor her ne les. But as
now, ser, I telle yow trewly I go not yet." Than he sett hir a day, comawndyng hir for
to aperyn beforn hym in the chapelhows. And sche seyd that sche wolde obey hys
monycyon wyth a good wil. Sche went than to Maistyr John Aclom, the forseyd
doctowr, preyng hym to be ther on hir party. And so he was, and he toke gret favowr
amongys hem alle. Also another maistyr of divinité had behestyd hir to a ben ther
wyth hir, but he drow on bakke tyl he knew how the cawse schulde gon, whedyr wyth
hir or agen hir. Ther was meche pepil that day in the chapetilhows of the Mynstyr to
her and se what schulde ben seyd er do to the forseyd creatur. Whan the day cam, sche
was al redy in the Mynstyr to come to hir answer. Than cam hir frendys to hir and
bodyn hir ben of good cher. Sche, thankyng hem, seyd so sche schulde. And aswythe
cam a preste ful goodly and toke hir be the arme for to helpyn hir thorw the prees of
the pepil and browte hir beforn a worschepful doctowr, the whech had monyschyd hir
beforn for to aperyn beforn hym in the chapetylhows as this day in Yorke Minstyr.
And wyth this doctowr setyn many other clerkys ful reverende and worshepful, of the
whech clerkys summe lovyd the sayd creatur ryth wel. Than seyd the worschepful
doctowr to hir, "Woman, what dost thu her in this cuntré?" "Syr, I come on pilgrim
age to offyr her at Seynt William." Than seyd he agen, "Hast thu an husbond?" Sche
seyd, "Ya." "Hast thu any lettyr of recorde?" "Sir," sche seyd, "myn husbond gaf me
leve wyth hys owyn mowthe. Why fare ye thus wyth me mor than ye don wyth other
pilgrimys that ben her, wheche han no lettyr no mor than I have? Syr, hem ye latyn
gon in peys and qwyet and in reste, and I may no rest have amongys yow. And, syr,
yyf her be any clerke amongys yow alle that can prevyn that I have seyd any worde
otherwise than I awt for to do, I am redy for to amende it wyth good wille. I wil neithyr
meynteyn errowr ne heresy, for it is my ful wil to holdyn as Holy Chirche holdith and
fully to plesyn God." Than the clerkys examynde hir in the Articles of the Feyth and
in many other poyntys as hem likyde, to the whech sche answeryd wel and trewly that
thei myth have non occasyon in hir wordys for to disesyn hir, thankyd be God. And
than the doctowr whiche satt ther as a juge somownd hir to apere befor the Erchebischop
of Yorke and telde hir what day at a towne hite Cowoode, comawndyng hir to be kept
in preson tyl the day of hir aperyng come. Than the seculer pepil answeryd for hir and
seyde sche schulde not comyn in preson, for thei woldyn hemself undirtakyn for hir and
gon to the Erchebischop wyth hir. And so the clerkys seyd no mor to hir at that tyme,
for thei resyn up and went wher thei wolde and letyn hir gon wher sche wolde, worschip
to Jhesu. And sone aftyr ther cam a clerke unto hir, on of the same that had sotyn
ageyn hir, and seyd, "Damsel, I prey the be not displesyd wyth me, thow I sat wyth the
doctowr ageyns the; he cryed so upon me that I durst non otherwise don." And sche
seyd, "Ser, I am not displesyd wyth yow therfor." Than seyd he, "I pray yow than
preyth for me." "Sir," sche seyd, "I wil alredy."
Ther was a monke schulde prechyn in Yorke, the whech had herd meche slawndyr
and meche evyl langage of the sayd creatur. And, whan he schulde prechyn, ther was
meche multitude of pepil to heryn hym, and sche present wyth hem. And so, whan he
was in hys sermown, he rehersyd many materys so openly that the pepil conceyved
wel it was for cawse of hir, wherfor hir frendys that lovyd hir wel wer ful sory and
hevy therof, and sche was meche the mor mery, for sche had mater to prevyn hyr
paciens and hir charité wherthorw sche trostyd to plesyn owr Lord Crist Jhesu. Whan
the sermown was don, a doctowr of dyvinyté whech lovyd hir wel wyth many other
also come to hir and seyd, "Margery, how have ye don this day?" "Sir," sche seyd,
"ryth wel, blyssed be God. I have cawse to be ryth mery and glad in my sowle that I
may any thyng suffyr for hys lofe, for he suffryd mech mor for me." Anon aftyr cam
a man whech lovyd hir rith wel of good wil wyth hys wife and other mo, and led hir
seven myle thens to the Erchebischop of Yorke, and browt hir into a fayr chawmbyr,
wher cam a good clerke, seying to the good man whech had browt hir thedyr, "Sir,
why have ye and yowr wife browt this woman hedyr? Sche schal stelyn awey fro yow,
and than schal ye han a velany of hir." The good man seyd, "I dar wel say sche wil
abydyn and ben at hir answer wyth good wille." On the next day sche was browt into
the Erchebischopys chapel, and ther comyn many of the Erchebischopys meny,
despisyng hir, callyng hir "loller" and "heretyke," and sworyn many an horrybyl othe
that sche schulde be brent. And sche, thorw the strength of Jhesu, seyd agen to hem,
"Serys, I drede me ye schul be brent in helle wythowtyn ende les than ye amende yow of
yowr othys sweryng, for ye kepe not the comawndementys of God. I wolde not sweryn
as ye don for al the good of this worlde." Than thei gedyn awey as thei had ben
aschamyd. Sche than, makyng hir prayer in hir mende, askyd grace so to be demenyd
that day as was most plesawns to God and profyte to hir owyn sowle and good exampyl
to hir evyn cristen. Owr Lord, answeryng hir, seyd it schulde be ryth wel. At the last the
seyd Erchebischop cam into the chapel wyth hys clerkys, and scharply he seyde to hir,
"Why gost thu in white? Art thu a mayden?" Sche, knelyng on hir knes befor hym,
seyd, "Nay, ser, I am no mayden; I am a wife." He comawndyd hys mené to fettyn a
peyr of feterys and seyd sche schulde ben feteryd, for sche was a fals heretyke. And than
sche seyd, "I am non heretyke, ne ye schal non preve me." The Erchebisshop went awey
and let hir stondyn alone. Than sche mad hir prayers to owr Lord God almythy for to
helpyn hir and socowryn hir ageyn alle hir enmyis, gostly and bodily, a long while,
and hir flesch tremelyd and whakyd wondirly that sche was fayn to puttyn hir handys
undyr hir clothis that it schulde not ben aspyed. Sythyn the Erchebischop cam ageyn
into the chapel wyth many worthy clerkys, amongys whech was the same doctowr
whech had examynd hir beforn and the monke that had prechyd ageyn hir a lityl tyme
beforn in Yorke. Sum of the pepil askyd whedyr sche wer a Cristen woman er a Jewe;
sum seyd sche was a good woman, and sum seyd nay. Than the Erchebischop toke
hys see, and hys clerkys also, iche of hem in hys degré, meche pepil beyng present.
And in the tyme whil the pepil was gaderyng togedyr and the Erchebischop takyn hys
see, the seyd creatur stod al behyndyn, makyng hir preyerys for help and socowr
ageyn hir enmiis wyth hy devocyon so long that sche meltyd al into teerys. And at the
last sche cryed lowde therwith, that the Erchebischop and his clerkys and meche pepil
had gret wondyr of hir, for thei had not herd swech crying beforn. Whan hir crying
was passyd, sche cam beforn the Erchebischop and fel down on hir kneys, the
Erchebischop seying ful boystowsly unto hir, "Why wepist thu so, woman?" Sche,
answeryng, seyde, "Syr, ye schal welyn sum day that ye had wept as sor as I." And than
anon, aftyr the Erchebischop put to hir the Articles of owr Feyth, to the whech God
gaf hir grace to answeryn wel and trewly and redily wythowtyn any gret stody so that
he myth not blamyn hir, than he seyd to the clerkys, "Sche knowith hir feyth wel
anow. What schal I don wyth hir?" The clerkys seyden, "We knowyn wel that sche can
the Articles of the Feith, but we wil not suffyr hir to dwellyn among us, for the pepil
hath gret feyth in hir dalyawnce, and peraventur sche myth pervertyn summe of hem."
Than the Erchebischop seyd unto hir, "I am evyl enformyd of the; I her seyn thu art a
ryth wikked woman." And sche seyd ageyn, "Ser, so I her seyn that ye arn a wikkyd
man. And, yyf ye ben as wikkyd as men seyn, ye schal nevyr come in hevyn les than ye
amende yow whil ye ben her." Than seyd he ful boistowsly, "Why, thow, what sey
men of me." Sche answeryd, "Other men, syr, can telle yow wel anow." Than seyd a
gret clerke wyth a furryd hood, "Pes, thu speke of thiself and late hym ben." Sithyn
seyd the Erchebischop to hir, "Ley thin hand on the boke her beforn me and swer that
thu schalt gon owt of my diocyse as sone as thu may." "Nay, syr," sche sayd, "I praye
yow, geve me leve to gon ageyn into Yorke to take my leve of my frendys." Than he
gaf hir leve for on day er too. Sche thowt it was to schort a tyme, wherfor sche seyd
agen, "Sir, I may not gon owt of this diocyse so hastily, for I must teryin and spekyn
wyth good men er I go, and I must, ser, wyth yowr leve, gon to Brydlyngton and
spekyn wyth my confessor, a good man, the whech was the good priowrys confessor
that is now canonysed." Than seyd the Erchebischop to hir, "thow schalt sweryn that
thu schalt ne techyn ne chalengyn the pepil in my diocyse." "Nay, syr, I schal not sweryn,"
sche seyde, "for I schal spekyn of God and undirnemyn hem that sweryn gret othys
whersoevyr I go unto the tyme that the pope and holy chirche hath ordeynde that no
man schal be so hardy to spekyn of God, for God almythy forbedith not, ser, that we
schal speke of hym. And also the gospel makyth mencyon that, whan the woman had
herd owr Lord prechyd, sche cam beforn hym wyth a lowde voys and seyd, 'Blyssed
be the wombe that the bar and the tetys that gaf the sowkyn.' Than owr Lord seyd
agen to hir, 'Forsothe so ar thei blissed that heryn the word of God and kepyn it.' And
therfor, sir, me thynkyth that the gospel gevyth me leve to spekyn of God." "A ser,"
seyd the clerkys, "her wot we wel that sche hath a devyl wythinne hir, for sche spekyth
of the gospel." As swythe a gret clerke browt forth a boke and leyd Seynt Powyl for
hys party ageyns hir that no woman schulde prechyn. Sche, answeryng therto, seyde, "I
preche not, ser, I come in no pulpytt. I use but comownycacyon and good wordys, and
that wil I do whil I leve." Than seyd a doctowr whech had examynd hir befortyme,
"Syr, sche telde me the werst talys of prestys that evyr I herde." The bischop
comawndyd hir to tellyn that tale. "Sir, wyth yowr reverens, I spak but of o preste be
the maner of exampyl, the whech as I have lernyd went wil in a wode thorw the
sufferawns of God for the profite of hys sowle tyl the nygth cam upon hym. He,
destytute of hys herborwe, fond a fayr erber in the whech he restyd that nyght, havyng
a fayr pertre in the myddys al floreschyd wyth flowerys and belschyd, and blomys ful
delectabil to hys syght, wher cam a bere, gret and boistows, hogely to beheldyn,
schakyng the pertre and fellyng down the flowerys. Gredily this grevows best ete and
devowryd tho fayr flowerys. And, whan he had etyn hem, turnyng his tayl ende in the
prestys presens, voydyd hem owt ageyn at the hymyr party. The preste, havyng gret
abhominacyon of that lothly syght, conceyvyng gret hevynes for dowte what it myth
mene, on the next day he wandrid forth in hys wey al hevy and pensife, whom it
fortunyd to metyn wyth a semly agydd man lych to a palmyr er a pilgrime, the whiche
enqwiryd of the preste the cawse of hys hevynes. The preste, rehersyng the mater
beforn wretyn, seyd he conceyvyd gret drede and hevynes whan he beheld that lothly
best defowlyn and devowryn so fayr flowerys and blomys and aftirward so horrybely
to devoydyn hem befor hym at hys tayl ende, and he not undirstondyng what this
myth mene. Than the palmyr, schewyng hymselfe the massanger of God, thus aresond
hym, 'Preste, thu thiself art the pertre, sumdel florischyng and floweryng thorw thi
servyse seyyng and the sacramentys ministryng, thow thu do undevowtly, for thu
takyst ful lytyl heede how thu seyst thi mateynes and thi servyse, so it be blaberyd to
an ende. Than gost thu to thi messe wythowtyn devocyon, and for thi synne hast thu
ful lityl contricyon. Thu receyvyst ther the frute of evyrlestyng lyfe, the sacrament of
the awter, in ful febyl disposicyon. Sithyn al the day aftyr thu myssespendist thi tyme,
thu gevist the to bying and sellyng, choppyng and chongyng, as it wer a man of the
werld. Thu sittyst at the ale, gevyng the to glotonye and excesse, to lust of thy body,
thorw letchery and unclennesse. Thu brekyst the comawndmentys of God thorw
sweryng, lying, detraccyon, and bakbytyng, and swech other synnes usyng. Thus be
thy mysgovernawns, lych onto the lothly ber, thu devowryst and destroist the flowerys
and blomys of vertuows levyng to thyn endles dampnacyon and many mannys hyndryng
lesse than thu have grace of repentawns and amendyng."' Than the Erchebisshop
likyd wel the tale and comendyd it, seying it was a good tale. And the clerk whech had
examynd hir befortyme in the absens of the Erchebischop, seyd, "Ser, this tale smytyth
me to the hert." The forseyd creatur seyd to the clerk, "A, worschipful doctowr, ser, in
place wher my dwellyng is most, is a worthy clerk, a good prechar, whech boldly
spekyth ageyn the mysgovernawns of the pepil and wil flatyr no man. He seyth many
tymes in the pulpit, 'Yyf any man be evyl plesyd wyth my prechyng, note hym wel,
for he is gylty.' And ryth so, ser," seyd sche to the clerk, "far ye be me, God forgeve
it yow." The clerk wist not wel what he myth sey to hir. Aftyrward the same clerk cam
to hir and preyid hir of forgefnes that he had so ben ageyn hir. Also he preyid hir
specyaly to prey for hym. And than anon aftyr the Erchebischop seyd, "Wher schal I
have a man that myth ledyn this woman fro me?" As swythe ther styrt up many yong
men, and every man seyd of hem, "My Lord, I wyl gon wyth hir." The Erchebischop
answeryd, "Ye ben to yong; I wil not have yow." Than a good sad man of the
Erchebischopys meny askyd hys Lord what he wolde gevyn hym and he schulde ledyn
hir. The Erchebischop proferyd hym five shillings and the man askyd a nobyl. The
Erchebischop, answeryng, seyd, "I wil not waryn so mech on hir body." "Yys, good
ser," seyd the sayd creatur, "our Lord schal rewardyn yow ryth wel agen." Than the
Erchebischop seyd to the man, "Se, her is five shillings, and lede hir fast owt of this
cuntré." Sche, knelyng down on hir kneys, askyd hys blissyng. He, preyng hir to
preye for hym, blissed hir and let hir go. Than sche, goyng agen to Yorke, was receyved
of mech pepil and of ful worthy clerkys, whech enjoyed in owr Lord that had govyn
hir not lettryd witte and wisdom to answeryn so many lernyd men wythowtyn velani
or blame, thankyng be to God.
Sithyn that good man whech was hir ledar browte hir owt of the town and than
went thei forth to Brydelyngton to hir confessowr, whech hite Sleytham, and spak
wyth hym and wyth many other good men whech had cheryd hir befortyme and don
meche for hir. Than sche wolde not abydyn ther but toke hir leve for to walke forth in
hir jurné. And than hir confessowr askyd hir yyf sche durst not abydyn for the
Erchebischop of Yorke, and sche seyd, "No, forsothe." Than the good man gaf hir
sylver, besechyng hir to prey for hym. And so sche yed forth unto Hulle. And ther on
a tyme, as thei went in processyon, a gret woman alto despysed hir, and sche seyd no
word therto. Many other folke seyd that sche schulde be sett in preson and madyn gret
thretyng. And notwythstondyng al her malyce, yet a good man cam and preyd hir to
mete and mad hir ryth good cher. Than the malicyows pepil, the whech had despisyd
hir beforn, cam to this good man and bad hym that he schulde do hir no good, for thei
helde that sche was no good woman. On the next day at morwyn hir hoste led hir owt
at the townys ende, for he durst no lengar kepyn hir. And so sche went to Hesyl and
wolde a gon ovyr the watyr at Humbyr. Than happyd sche to fyndyn ther too Frer
Prechowrys and two yemen of the Duke of Bedforthys. The frerys telde the yemen
that woman sche was, and the yemen arestyd hir as sche wolde a takyn hir boot, and
restyd a man that went wyth hir also. "For owr Lord," thei seyd, "the Duke of Bedforth
hath sent for the. And thu art holdyn the grettest loller in al this cuntré er abowte
London eythyr. And we han sowt the in many a cuntré, and we schal han an hundryd
pownde for to bryng the beforn owr Lord." Sche seyd to hem, "Wyth good wil, serys,
I schal gon wyth yow wher ye wil ledyn me." Than thei browt hir agen into Hesyl, and
ther men callyd hir loller, and women cam rennyng owt of her howsys wyth her rokkys,
crying to the pepil, "Brennyth this fals heretyk." So, as sche went forth to Beverleward
wyth the seyd yemen and the frerys beforn seyd, thei mettyn many tymes wyth men of
the cuntré, whech seyd unto hir, "Damsel, forsake this lyfe that thu hast, and go spynne
and carde as other women don, and suffyr not so meche schame and so meche wo. We
wolde not suffir so meche for no good in erthe." Than sche seyd to hem, "I suffir not
so mech sorwe as I wolde do for owr Lordys lofe, for I suffir but schrewyd wordys,
and owr merciful Lord Crist Jhesu, worshepyd be hys name, suffyrd hard strokys,
bittyr scorgyngys, and schamful deth at the last for me and for al mankynde, blyssed
mot he be. And therfor it is ryth nowt that I suffir in regarde to that he suffyrd." And so,
as sche went wyth the forseyd men, sche telde hem good talys tyl on of the dukys
men whech had arestyd hir seyd unto hir, "Me ovyrthynkyth that I met wyth the, for
me semyth that thu seyst ryth good wordys." Than seyd sche unto hym, "Ser,
ovyrthynkyth ne repentith yow not that ye met wyth me. Doth yowr lordys wille, and
I trust al schal be for the best, for I am ryth wel plesyd that ye met wyth me." He seyd
agen, "Damsel, yf evyr thu be seynt in hevyn, prey for me." Sche answeryd, seying to
hym agen, "Sir, I hope ye schal be a seynt yowrselfe and every man that schal come to
hevyn." So thei yedyn forth til thei comyn into Beverlé, wher dwellyd on of the mennys
wifys that had arestyd hir. And thedyr thei leddyn hir and tokyn awey fro hir hir purs
and hir ryng. Thei ordeynd hir a fayr chambyr and an honest bed therin wyth the
necessarys, lokkyng the dor wyth the key and beryng awey the key wyth hem. Sithyn
thei tokyn the man whom thei arestyd wyth hir, wheche was the Erchebischopys man
of Yorke, and put hym in preson. And sone aftyr that same day cam tydyngys that the
Erchebischop was comyn into the town wher hys man was put in preson. It was telde
the Erchebischop of hys mannys presonyng, and anon he dede hym be latyn owte.
Than that man went to the sayd creatur wyth angry cher, seying, "Alas that evyr knew
I the. I have ben presonyd for the." Sche, comfortyng hym, seyd agen, "Havyth mekenes
and pacyens, and ye schal have gret mede in hevyn therfor." So yed he awey fro hir.
Than stode sche lokyng owt at a wyndown, tellyng many good talys to hem that wolde
heryn hir, in so meche that women wept sor and seyde wyth gret hevynes of her
hertys, "Alas, woman, why schalt thu be brent?" Than sche preyid the good wyfe of the
hows to gevyn hir drynke, for sche was evyl for thryste. And the good wife seyde hir
husbond had born awey the key, wherfor sche myth not comyn to hir ne gevyn hir
drynke. And than the women tokyn a leddyr and set up to the wyndown and govyn hir
a pynte of wyn in a potte and toke hir a pece, besechyng hir to settyn awey the potte
prevyly and the pece that whan the good man come he myth not aspye it.
The seyd creatur, lying in hir bed the next nyth folwyng, herd wyth hir bodily erys
a lowde voys clepyng, "Margery." Wyth that voys sche woke, gretly aferyd, and,
lying stille in sylens, sche mad hir preyerys as devowtly as sche cowde for the tyme.
And sone owr merciful Lord ovyral present, comfortyng hys unworthy servawnt, seyd
unto hir, "Dowtyr, it is mor plesyng unto me that thu suffyr despitys and scornys,
schamys and reprevys, wrongys and disesys than yif thin hed wer smet of thre tymes
on the day every day in sevyn yer. And therfor, dowtyr, fere the nowt what any man
can seyn onto the, but in myn goodnes and in thy sorwys that thu hast suffryd therin
hast thu gret cawse to joyn, for, whan thu comyst hom into hevyn, than schal every
sorwe turnyn the to joye." On the next day sche was browte into the chapetylhows of
Beverlé, and ther was the Erchebischop of Yorke and many gret clerkys wyth hym,
prestys, chanowns, and seculer men. Than seyd the Erchebischop to the seid creatur,
"What, woman, art thu come agen? I wolde fayn be delyveryd of the." And than a
preste browt hir forth befor hym, and the Erchebischop seyd, alle that wer present
heryng, "Serys, I had this woman befor me at Cowode, and ther I wyth my clerkys
examynd hir in hir feyth and fond no defawte in hir. Forthermor, serys, I have sithyn
that tyme spokyn wyth good men whech holdyn hir a parfyte woman and a good
woman. Notwythstandyng al this I gaf on of my men five shillings to ledyn hir owt of
this cuntré for qwietyng of the pepil. And, as thei wer goyng in her jurné, they wer
takyn and arestyd, my man put in preson for hir, also hir gold and hir sylver was takyn
awey fro hir wyth hir bedys and hir ryng, and sche is browt her agen befor me. Is her
any man can sey any thyng agens hir?" Than other men seyd, "Her is a frer can meche
thing agens hir." The frer cam forth and seyd that sche dispravyd alle men of holy
chirche and mech ylle langage he uttryd that tyme of hir. Also he seyd that sche schulde
a be brent at Lynne, had hys ordyr, that was Frer Prechowrys, ne be. "And, syr, sche
seyth that sche may wepyn and han contricyon whan sche wil." Than cam tho too men
whech had arestyd hir, seyng wyth the frer that sche was Combomis dowtyr and was
sent to beryn lettrys abowtyn the cuntré. And thei seydyn sche had nowt ben at Jerusa
lem ne in the Holy Lond ne on other pilgrimage, liche as sche had ben in trewth. Thei
denyed al trewth and meynteyned the wrong, as many other had don beforn. Whan
thei had seyd inow a gret while and a long tyme, thei wer in pes. Than seyd the
Erchebischop to hir, "Woman, what seyst thu herto?" Sche seyd, "My Lorde, save
yowr reverens, it arn lesyngys alle the wordys that thei sey." Than seyde the
Erchebischop to the frer, "Frer, the wordys arn non heresye; thei arn slawnderows
wordys and erroneows." "My Lord," seyde the frer, "sche can hir feyth wel inow.
Nevyrthelesse, my Lord of Bedforthe is wroth wyth hir, and he wyl han hir." "Wel
frer," seyde the Erchebischop, "and thu schalt ledyn hir to hym." "Nay, ser," seyde the
frer, "it fallyth not for a frer to ledyn a woman abowtyn." "And I wille not," seyde the
Erchebischop, "that the Duke of Bedforde be wroth wyth me for hir." Than seyde the
Erchebischop to hys men, "Takyth hede to the frer tyl I wyl have hym agen," and
comawndyd an other man to kepyn the seyde creatur also tyl he wolde have hir agen
an other tyme whan he lykyde. The sayd creatur preyde hym of hys lordschip that
sche schulde not be putte amongs men, for sche was a mannys wyfe. And the
Erchebischop seyde, "Nay, thu schalt non harm han." Than he that was chargyd wyth
hir toke hir be the hand and led hir hom to hys hows and dede hir sittyn wyth hym at
mete and drynke, schewyng hir goodly cher. Thedyr comyn many prestys and other
men eftsonys to se hir and spekyn wyth hir, and meche pepil had gret compassyon that
sche was so evyl ferd wyth. In schort tyme aftyr, the Erchebischop sent for hir, and
sche cam into hys halle. Hys meny was at mete, and sche was ledde into hys chawmbyr
evyn to hys beddys syde. Than sche, obeyng, thankyd hym of hys gracyows lordschip
that he had schewyd to hir befortyme. "Ya, ya," seyd the Erchebischop, "I am wers
enformyd of the than evyr I was beforn." Sche seyd, "My Lord, yyf it lyke yow to
examyn me, I schal ben aknowe the trewth, and, yf I be fowndyn gylty, I wyl abeyn
yowr correccyon." Than cam forth a Frer Prechowr whech was suffragan wyth the
Erchebischop, to whom the Erchebischop seyde, "Now, ser, as ye seyde to me whan
sche was not present, sey now whil sche is present." "Schal I so?" seyde the suffragan.
"Ya," seyde the Erchebischop. Than seyde the suffragan to the seyde creatur, "Dam
sel, thu wer at my Lady Westmorlond." "Whan, sir?" seyde sche. "At Estern," seyd
the suffragan. Sche, not replying, seyd, "Wel, ser?" Than seyd he, "My Lady hir owyn
persone was wel plesyd wyth the and lykyd wel thy wordys, but thu cownseledyst my
Lady Greystokke to forsakyn hir husbonde, that is a barownys wyfe and dowtyr to my
Lady of Westmorlonde, and now hast seyd inow to be brent for." And so he multiplyed
many schrewyd wordys befor the Erchebischop; it is not expedient to rehersyn hem.
At the last sche seyde to the Erchebischop, "My Lord, yf it be yowr wille, I saw not
my Lady Westmorlond this too yer and mor. Sir, sche sent for me er I went to Jerusa
lem and, yyf it lyke yow, I wyl gon ageyn to hir for recorde that I mevyd no sweche
mater." "Nay," seyde thei that stodyn abowtyn, "late hir be putte in preson, and we schal
sendyn a lettyr to the worshepful lady, and, yyf it be trewth that sche seyth, late hir go
qwite wythowtyn dawnger." And sche seyde sche was ryth wel apayd that it wer so.
Than seyde a gret clerke whech stood a lytyl besyden the Erchebischop, "Putte hir
forty days in preson and sche schal lovyn God the bettyr whyl sche levyth." The
Erchebischop askyd hir what tale it was that sche telde the Lady of Westmorlonde
whan sche spak wyth hir. Sche seyde, "I telde hir a good tale of a lady that was
dampmyd for sche wolde not lovyn hir enmiis and of a baly that was savyd for he
lovyd hys enmys and forgaf that thei had trespasyd agen hym, and yet he was heldyn
an evyl man." The Erchebischop seyd it was a good tale. Than seyd hys styward and
many mo wyth hym, crying wyth a lowde voys to the Erchebischop, "Lord, we prey
yow late hir go hens at this tyme, and, yf evyr sche come ageyn, we schal bren hyre
owrself." The Erchebischop seyde, "I leve ther was nevyr woman in Inglond so ferd
wyththal as sche is and hath ben." Than he seyde to the sayde creatur, "I wote not what
I schal don wyth the." Sche seyde, "My Lord, I pray yow late me have yowr lettyr
and yowr seyl into recorde that I have excusyd me ageyn myn enmys and no thyng is
attyd ageyns me, neithyr herrowr ne heresy that may ben prevyd upon me, thankyd be
owr Lord, and John, yowr man, agen to bryngyn me ovyr the watyr." And the
Erchebischop ful goodly grawntyd hir al hir desyr, owr Lord rewarde hym hys mede,
and delveryd hyr purs wyth hir ryng and hir bedys whech the Dukys men of Bedforth
had takyn fro hir beforn. The Erchebischop had gret merveyl wher sche had good to
gon wyth abowtyn the cuntré, and sche seyde good men gaf it hir for sche schulde prey
for hem. Than sche, knelyng down, receyved hys blissyng and toke hir leve wyth ryth
glad cher, goyng owt of hys chambyr. And the Erchebischopys mene preyd hir to prey
for hem, but the styward was wroth, for sche lowgh and made good cher, seying to
hir, "Holy folke schulde not lawghe." Sche seyd, "Ser, I have gret cawse for to lawghe,
for the mor schame I suffyr and despite, the meryar may I ben in owr Lord Jhesu
Crist." Than sche cam down into the halle, and ther stood the Frere Prechowr that had
cawsyd hir al that wo. And so sche passyd forth wyth a man of the Erchebischop,
beryng the lettyr whech the Erchebischop had grawntyd hir for a recorde, and he
browt hir to the watyr of Humbyr, and ther he toke hys leve of hir, returnyng to
hys lord and beryng the sayd lettyr wyth hym agen, so was sche left alone
wythowtyn knowlache of the pepyl. Al the forseyd disese fel hir on a Fryday,
thankyd be God of alle.
Whan sche was passyd the watyr of Humbyr, anon sche was arestyd for a loller and
ledde to presonwarde. Ther happyd to be a person whech had seyn hir beforn the
Erchebischop of Yorke and gate hir leve to gon wher sche wolde and excusyd hir
agen the baly and undirtoke for hir that sche was no loller. And so sche scapyd awey
in the name of Jhesu. Than met sche wyth a man of London and hys wife wyth hym.
And so went sche forth wyth hem tyl sche cam to Lyncolne, and ther sufferd sche
many scornys and many noyful wordys, answeryng agen in Goddys cawse wythowtyn
any lettyng, wysly and discretly that many men merveyled of hir cunnyng. Ther wer
men of lawe seyd unto hir, "We han gon to scole many yerys, and yet arn we not
sufficient to answeryn as thu dost. Of whom hast thu this cunnyng?" And sche seyd,
"Of the Holy Gost." Than askyd thei, "Hast thu the Holy Gost?" "Ya, serys," seyd
sche, "ther may no man sey a good worde wythowtyn the gyft of the Holy Gost, for
owr Lord Jhesu Crist seyd to hys disciplys, 'Stody not what ye schal sey, for it schal
not be yowr spiryt that schal spekyn in yow, but it schal be the spiryt of the Holy
Gost."' And thus owr Lord gaf hir grace to answer hem, worschepyd mote he be.
Another tyme ther cam gret lordys men unto hir, and thei sworyn many gret othys,
seying, "It is don us to wetyn that thu canst tellyn us whethyr we schal be savyd er
damnyd." Sche seyd, "Ya, forsothe can I, for, as long as ye sweryn swech horrybyl
othis and brekyn the comawndment of God wetyngly as ye do and wil not levyn yowr
synne, I dar wel say ye schal be damnyd. And, yyf ye wil be contrite and schrevyn of
yowr synne, wilfully don penawnce and levyn it whil ye may, in wil no mor to turne
agen therto, I dar wel say ye schal be savyd." "What, canst thu noon otherwise tellyn
us but thus?" "Serys," sche seyd, "this is ryth good, me thynkyth." And than thei went
awey fro hir. Aftyr this sche cam homward agen til sche cam at West Lynne. Whan
sche was ther, sche sent aftyr hir husbonde into Lynne Bischop, aftyr Maystyr Robert,
hir confessowr, and aftyr Maistyr Aleyn, a doctowr of dyvinité, and telde hem in
parcel of hyr tribulacyon. And sithyn sche telde hem that sche myth not comyn at hom
at Lynne Bischop unto the tyme that sche had ben at the Erchebischop of Cawntyrbery
for hys lettyr and hys seel. "For, whan I was befor the Erchebischop of Yorke," sche
seyd, "he wolde geve no credens to my wordys inasmeche as I had not my lordys
lettyr and seel of Cawntyrbery. And so I behestyd hym that I schulde not comyn in
Lynne Bischop tyl I had my lordys lettyr and the seel of Cawntyrbury." And than sche
toke hir leve of the sayd clerkys, askyng her blissyng, and passyd forth wyth hir
husbonde to London. Whan sche cam ther, sche was sped of hir lettyr anon of the
Erchebischop of Cawntirbury. And so sche dwellyd in the cité of London a long tyme
and had ryth good cher of many worthy men. Sithyn sche cam unto Elywarde for to a
comyn hom into Lynne, and sche was three myle fro Ely, ther cam a man rydyng aftyr
a gret spede and arestyd hir husbond and hir also, purposyng to ledyn hem bothyn into
preson. He cruely rebukyd hem and alto revylyd hem, rehersyng many reprevows
wordys. And at the last sche preyde hir husbonde to schewyn hym my Lordys lettyr of
Cawntirbery. Whan the man had redde the lettyr, than he spak fayr and goodly unto
hem, seying, "Why schewyd me not yowr lettyr beforn?" And so thei partyd awey fro
hym and than comyn into Ely and fro thens hom into Lynne, wher sche suffryd meche
despite, meche reprefe, many a scorne, many a slawndyr, many a bannyng, and many
a cursyng. And on a tyme a rekles man, litil chargyng hys owyn schame, wyth wil and
wyth purpose kest a bolful of watyr on hir hevyd comyng in the strete. Sche, no thyng
mevyd therwyth, seyd, "God make yow a good man," heyly thankyng God therof, as
sche dede of many mo other tymes.
Afftyrward God ponyschyd hir wyth many gret and divers sekenes. Sche had the
flyx a long tyme tyl sche was anoyntyd, wenyng to a be deed. Sche was so febyl that
sche myth not heldyn a spon in hir hand. Than owr Lord Jhesu Crist spak to hir in hir
sowle and seyd that sche schulde not dey yet. Than sche recuryd agen a lytyl while. And
anon aftyr sche had a gret sekenes in hir hevyd and sithyn in hir bakke that sche feryd
to a lost hir witte therthorw. Aftyrwarde, whan sche was recuryd of alle thes sekenessys,
in schort tyme folwyd an other sekenes whech was sett in hir ryth syde, duryng the
terme of eight yer, saf eight wokys, be divers tymes. Sumtyme sche had it onys in a
weke contunyng sumtyme thirty owrys, sumtyme twenty, sumtyme ten, sumtyme eight,
sumtyme four, and sumtyme two, so hard and so scharp that sche must voydyn that
was in hir stomak as bittyr as it had ben galle, neythyr etyng ne drynkyng whil the
sekenes enduryd but evyr gronyng tyl it was gon. Than wolde sche sey to owr Lorde,
blysful Lord, why woldist thu becomyn man and suffyr so meche peyne for my
synnes and for alle mennys synnes that schal be savyd, and we arn so unkende, Lord, to
the, and I, most unworthy, can not suffyr this lityl peyne? A, Lord, for thy gret peyn
have mercy on my lityl peyne; for the gret peyne that thu suffredyst gef me not so
meche as I am worthy, for I may not beryn so meche as I am worthy. And, yyf thu
wilte, Lord, that I ber it, sende me pacyens, for ellys I may not suffyr it. A, blisful
Lord, I had levyr suffyr alle the schrewyd wordys that men myth seyn of me and alle
clerkys to prechyn agens me for thy lofe, so it were no hyndryng to no mannys sowle,
than this peyne that I have. For schrewyd wordys to suffyr for thi lofe it hirte me ryth
nowt, Lord, and the werlde may takyn no thyng fro me but worschep and worldly
good, and be the worschip of the werlde I sett ryth nowt. And alle maner of goodys
and worschepys and alle maner of lovys in erthe, I prey the, Lord, forbede me, namely
alle tho lovys and goodys of any erdly thyng whech schulde discres my lofe agens the,
er lesse my meryte in hevyn; and alle maner of lovys and goodys whech thu knowist
in thy Godheed schulde encresyn my love to the, I prey the, grawnt me for thy mercy to
thin evyrlestyng worschep." Sumtyme, notwythstondyng the sayd creatur had gret
bodily sekenes, yet the Passyon of owr merciful Lord Crist Jhesu wrowt so in hir
sowle that for the tyme sche felt not hir owyn sekenes but wept and sobbyd in the
mend of owr Lordys Passyon as thow sche seyn hym wyth hir bodily eye sufferyng
peyne and passyon beforn hir. Sithyn, whan eight yer wer passyd, hir sekenes scapyd
that it cam not weke be weke as it dede beforn, but than encresyd hir cryes and hir
wepyngys in so meche that prestys durst not howselyn hir opynly in the chirche but
prevyly in the priowrys chapel at Lenne fro the peplys audiens. And in that chapel
sche had so hy contemplacyon and so meche dalyawns of owr Lord, inasmeche as
sche was putte owt of chirche for hys lofe, that sche cryed what tyme sche schulde ben
howselyd as yyf hir sowle and hir body schulde a partyd asundyr, so that tweyn men
heldyn hir in her armys tyl hir cryng was cesyd, for sche myth not beryn the habundawns
of lofe that sche felt in the precyows sacrament, whech sche stedfastly belevyd was
very God and man in the forme of breed. Than owr blisful Lord seyde unto hir mende,
"Dowtyr, I wil not han my grace hyd that I geve the, for the mor besy that the pepil is
to hyndryn it and lette it, the mor schal I spredyn it abrood and makyn it knowyn to
alle the worlde."
Than it happyd ther cam an other monke to Lynne at the tyme of remownyng, as
custom was amongys hem, whech lovyd not the sayd creatur ne wolde suffryn hir to
comyn in her chapel as sche had do befor that he cam thedir. Than the priowr of
Lynne, Dawn Thomas Hevyngham, metyng wyth the sayd creatur and Maistyr Robert
Spryngolde, whech was hir confessowr that tyme, preyd hem to holdyn hym excusyd
thei sche wer no mo howselyd in hys chapel, "For ther is comyn," he seyd, "a newe
brothyr of myn whech wil not comyn in owr chapel as long as sche is therin. And
therfor provydith yow an other place, I pray yow." Maistyr Robert answeryd, "Syr,
we must than howselyn hir in the chirche; we may not chesyn, for sche hath my lordys
lettyr of Cawntyrbery and hys seel, in the whech we arn comawndyd be vertu of
obedyens to heryn hir confessyon and ministryn to hir the sacrament as oftyn as we
ben reqwiryd." Than was sche howselyd aftyr this tyme at the hy awter in Seynt
Margaretys Chirche, and owr Lord visited hir wyth so gret grace whan sche schulde ben
howselyd that sche cryed so lowde that it myth ben herd al abowte the chirche and
owte of the chirche as sche schulde a deyid therwyth that sche myth not receyvyn the
sacrament of the prestys handys, the preyst turnyng hym ageyn to the awter wyth the
preciows sacrament, til hir crying was cesyd. And than he, turnyng ageyn to hir, schulde
minystyr hir as hym awte to do. And thus it happyd many a tyme whan sche schulde ben
howselyd. And sumtyme sche schulde wepyn ful softly and stilly in receyvyng of the
preciows sacrament wythowtyn any boystowsnes as owr Lord wolde visityn hir wyth
hys grace. On a Good Fryday, as the sayd creatur behelde preystys knelyng on her
kneys and other worschepful men wyth torchys brennyng in her handys befor the
Sepulcre, devowtly representyng the lamentabyl deth and doolful berying of owr Lord
Jhesu Crist aftyr the good custom of Holy Cherch, the mende of owr Ladiis sorwys
whech sche suffryd whan sche behelde hys precyows body hangyng on the Crosse
and sithyn beriid befor hir syght sodeynly ocupiid the hert of this creatur, drawyng hir
mende al holy into the Passyon of owr Lord Crist Jhesu, whom sche behelde wyth hir
gostly eye in the syght of hir sowle as verily as thei sche had seyn hys precyows body
betyn, scorgyd, and crucifyed wyth hir bodily eye, whech syght and gostly beheldyng
wrowt be grace so fervently in hir mende, wowndyng hir wyth pité and compassyon,
that sche sobbyd, roryd, and cryed, and, spredyng hir armys abrood, seyd wyth lowde
voys, "I dey, I dey," that many man on hir wonderyd and merveyled what hir eyled.
And the mor sche besiid hir to kepyn hir fro criyng, the lowdar sche cryed, for it was
not in hir powyr to take it ne levyn it but as God wolde send it. Than a preyst toke hir
in hys armys and bar hir into the priowrys cloistyr for to latyn hir takyn the eyr,
supposyng sche schulde not ellys han enduryd, hir labowr was so greet. Than wex
sche al blew as it had ben leed and swet ful sor. And this maner of crying enduryd the
terme of ten yer, as it is wretyn beforn. And every Good Friday in alle the forseyd
yerys sche was wepyng and sobbyng five er six owrys togedyr and therwyth cryed ful
lowde many tymes so that sche myth not restreyn hir therfro, whech madyn hir ful
febyl and weyke in hir bodily mytys. Sumtyme sche wept on Good Fryday an owr for
the synne of the pepil, havyng mor sorwe for ther synnys than for hir owyn, inasmeche
as owr Lorde forgaf hir hir owyn synne er sche went to Jerusalem. Nevyrthelesse sche
wept for hir owyn synnes ful plentyuowsly whan it plesyd owr Lord to visityn hir
wyth hys grace. Sumtyme sche wept an other owr for the sowlys in Purgatory; an
other owr for hem that weryn in myschefe, in poverté, er in any disese; an other owr
for Jewys, Sarasinys, and alle fals heretikys that God for hys gret goodnes schulde puttyn
awey her blyndnes that thei myth thorw hys grace be turnyd to the feyth of Holy
Chirche and ben children of salvacyon. Many tymes, whan this creatur schulde makyn
hir preyerys, owr Lord seyd unto hir, "Dowtyr, aske what thu wylt, and thu schalt
have it." Sche seyd, "I aske ryth nowt, Lord, but that thu mayst wel gevyn me, and that
is mercy whech I aske for the pepil synnys. Thu seyst oftyntymes in the yer to me that
thu hast forgovyn me my synnes. Therfor I aske now mercy for the synne of the pepil,
as I wolde don for myn owyn, for, Lord, thu art alle charité, and charité browt the into
this wretchyd worlde and cawsyd the to suffyr ful harde peynys for owr synnys. Why
schulde I not than han charité to the pepyl and desiryn forgevenes of her synnes? Blyssed
Lorde, me thynkyth that thu hast schewyd ryth gret charité to me, unworthy wrech.
Thu art as gracyows to me as thei I wer as clene a mayden as any is in this worlde and
as thow I had nevyr synned. Therfor, Lorde, I wolde I had a welle of teerys to constreyn
the wyth that thu schuldist not takyn uttyr venjawns of mannys sowle for to partyn
hym fro the wythowtyn ende, for it is an hard thyng to thynkyn that any erdly man
schulde evyr do any synne wherthorw he schulde be departyd fro thi gloryows face
wythowtyn ende. Yyf I myth as wel, Lorde, gevyn the pepyl contricyon and wepyng
as thu gevyst me for myn owyn synnes and other mennys synnys also and as wel as I
myth gevyn a peny owt of my purse, sone schulde I fulfille mennys hertys wyth contricyon
that thei myth sesyn of her synne. I have gret merveyl in myn hert, Lord, that I, whech
have ben so synful a woman and the most unworthy creatur that evyr thu schewedist
thi mercy onto in alle this werlde, that I have so gret charité to myn evyn cristen
sowlys that me thynkyth, thu thei had ordeynd for me the most schamful deth that
evyr myth any man suffyr in erde, yet wolde I forgevyn it hem for thi lofe, Lord, and
han her sowlys savyd fro evyrlestyng dampnacyon. And therfor, Lord, I schal not
sesyn, whan I may wepyn, for to wepyn for hem plentyuowsly, spede yyf I may. And,
yyf thu wylt, Lord, that I sese of wepyng, I prey the take me owt of this world. What
schulde I don therin but yyf I myth profityn? For, thow it wer possibyl that al this
world myth be savyd thorw the teerys of myn eyne, I wer no thank worthy. Therfor
alle preysyng, al honowr, al worshep mot ben to the Lord. Yyf it wer thy wille, Lord,
I wolde for thi lofe and for magnyfying of thi name ben hewyn as smal as flesch to the
On a tyme, as the forseyd creatur was in hir contemplacyon, sche hungryd ryth sor
aftyr Goddys word and seyd, "Alas, Lord, as many clerkys as thu hast in this world,
that thu ne woldyst sendyn me on of hem that myth fulfillyn my sowle wyth thi word
and wyth redyng of Holy Scriptur, for alle the clerkys that prechyn may not fulfillyn,
for me thynkyth that my sowle is evyr alych hungry. Yyf I had gold inow, I wolde
gevyn every day a nobyl for to have every day a sermown, for thi word is mor worthy
to me than alle the good in this werld. And therfor, blyssed Lord, rewe on me, for thu
hast takyn awey the ankyr fro me whech was to me synguler solas and comforte and
many tymes refreschyd me wyth thin holy worde." Than answeryd owr Lord Jhesu
Cryst in hir sowle, seying, "Ther schal come on fro fer that schal fulfillyn thi desyr." So,
many day aftyr this answer, ther cam a preste newly to Lynne whech had nevyr knowyn
hir beforn, and, whan he sey hir gon in the stretys, he was gretly mevyd to speke wyth
hir and speryd of other folke what maner woman sche was. Thei seydyn thei trustyd to
God that sche was a ryth good woman. Aftyrward the preyst sent for hir, preyng hir to
come and spekyn wyth hym and wyth hys modyr, for he had hiryd a chawmbyr for
hys modyr and for hym, and so they dwellyd togedyr. Than the sayd creatur cam to
wetyn hys wille and spak wyth hys modyr and wyth hym and had ryth good cher of
hem bothyn. Than the preyste toke a boke and red therin how owr Lord, seyng the cité
of Jerusalem, wept therupon, rehersyng the myschevys and sorwys that schulde comyn
therto, for sche knew not the tyme of hyr visitacyon. Whan the sayd creatur herd
redyn how owr Lord wept, than wept sche sor and cryed lowde, the preyste ne hys
modyr knowyng no cawse of hyr wepyng. Whan hir crying and hir wepyng was cesyd,
thei joyyd and wer ryth mery in owr Lord. Sithyn sche toke hir leve and partyd fro
hem at that tyme. Whan sche was gon, the preste seyd to hys modyr, "Me merveylyth
mech of this woman why sche wepith and cryith so. Nevyrtheles me thynkyth sche is
a good woman, and I desyre gretly to spekyn mor wyth hir." Hys modyr was wel
plesyd and cownselyd that he schulde don so. And aftyrwardys the same preyste lovyd
hir and trustyd hir ful meche and blissed the tyme that evyr he knew hir, for he fond
gret gostly confort in hir and cawsyd hym to lokyn meche good scriptur and many a
good doctowr whech he wolde not a lokyd at that tyme had sche ne be. He red to hir
many a good boke of hy contemplacyon and other bokys, as the Bybyl wyth doctowrys
therupon, Seynt Brydys boke, Hyltons boke, Boneventur, Stimulus Amoris, Incendium
Amoris, and swech other. And than wist sche that it was a spirit sent of God whech
seyd to hir, as is wretyn a lityl beforn, whan sche compleynyd for defawte of redyng,
thes wordys, "Ther schal come on fro fer that schal fulfillyn thi desyr." And thus sche
knewe be experiens that it was a ryth trewe spiryt. The forseyd preste red hir bokys the
most part of seven yer er eight yer to gret encres of hys cunnyng and of hys meryte,
and he suffryd many an evyl worde for hyr lofe inasmeche as he red hir so many
bokys and supportyd hir in hir wepyng and hir crying. Aftyrwardys he wex
benefysyd and had gret cur of sowle, and than lykyd hym ful wel that he had redde
so meche beforn.
Thus, thorw heryng of holy bokys and thorw heryng of holy sermownys, sche evyr
encresyd in contemplacyon and holy meditacyon. It wer in maner unpossibyl to writyn
al the holy thowtys, holy spechys, and the hy revelacyons whech owr Lord schewyd
unto hir, bothyn of hirselfe and of other men and women, also of many sowlys, sum
for to ben savyd and sum for to ben dampnyd, and was to hir a gret ponyschyng and a
scharp chastisyng. For to knowyn of tho that schulde be savyd sche was ful glad and
joyful, for sche desyred in as meche as sche durst alle men to be savyd. And, whan
owr Lord schewyd to hir of any that schulde be dampnyd, sche had gret peyn. Sche
wolde not heryn it ne belevyn that it was God that schewyd hir swech thyngys and put
it owt of hir mende as mech as sche myth. Owr Lord blamyd hir therfor and badde hir
belevyn that it was hys hy mercy and hys goodnesse to schewyn hir hys prevy
cownselys, seying to hir mende, "Dowtyr, thu must as wel heryn of the dampnyd as of
the savyd." Sche wolde gevyn no credens to the cownsel of God but rathyr levyd it
was sum evyl spiryt for to deceyvyn hir. Than for hir frowardnes and hir unbeleve
owr Lord drow fro hir alle good thowtys and alle good mendys of holy spechys and
dalyawns and the hy contemplacyon whech sche had ben usyd to befortyme, and
suffyrd hir to have as many evyl thowtys as sche had beforn of good thowtys. And this
vexacyon enduryd twelve days togedyr. And, lyche as befortyme sche had four owrys
of the fornoon in holy spechys and dalyawns wyth owr Lord, so had sche now as
many owrys of fowle thowtys and fowle mendys of letchery and alle unclennes as
thow sche schulde a be comown to al maner of pepyl. And so the devyl bar hyr on
hande, dalying unto hir wyth cursyd thowtys liche as owr Lord dalyid to hir beforntyme
with holy thowtys. And, as sche beforn had many gloryows visyonys and hy
contemplacyon in the manhod of owr Lord, in owr Lady, and in many other holy
seyntys, ryth evyn so had sche now horybyl syghtys and abhominabyl, for any thyng
that sche cowde do, of beheldyng of mennys membrys and swech other abhominacyons.
Sche sey as hir thowt veryly dyvers men of religyon, preystys, and many other, bothyn
hethyn and Cristen comyn befor hir syght that sche myth not enchewyn hem ne puttyn
hem owt of hir syght, schewyng her bar membrys unto hir. And therwyth the devyl
bad hir in hir mende chesyn whom sche wolde han fyrst of hem alle and sche must be
comown to hem alle. And he seyd sche lykyd bettyr summe on of hem than alle the
other. Hir thowt that he seyd trewth; sche cowde not sey nay; and sche must nedys
don hys byddyng, and yet wolde sche not a don it for alle this worlde. But yet hir
thowt that it schulde be don, and hir thowt that thes horrybyl syghtys and cursyd mendys
wer delectabyl to hir ageyn hir wille. Wher sche went er what so sche dede, thes
cursyd mendys abedyn wyth hir. Whan sche schulde se the sacrament, makyn hir prayerys,
er don any other good dede, evyr swech cursydnes was putte in hir mende. Sche was
schrevyn and dede al that sche myth, but sche fonde no relesyng tyl sche was ner at
dispeyr. It can not be wretyn that peyn that sche felt and the sorwe that sche was inne.
Than sche seyd, "Alas, Lord, thu hast seyd befortyme that thu schuldyst nevyr forsake
me. Wher is now the sothfastnes of thy word?" And anon aftyr cam hir good awngel
unto hir, seying, "Dowtyr, God hath not forsakyn the ne nevyr schal forsake the, as he
hath behyte the, but, for thu belevyst not that it is the spiryt of God that spekyth in thi
sowle and schewyth the hys prevy cownselys of summe that schul ben savyd and summe
that schal ben dampnyd, therfor God chastisyd the on this wise and maner, and this
chastisyng schal enduryn twelve days tyl thu wyl belevyn that it is God whech spekyth
to the and no devyl." Than sche seyd to hir awngel, "A, I prey the, prey for me to my
Lord Jhesu Crist that he wyl vowchesafe to takyn fro me thes cursyd thowtys and
spekyn to me as he dede befortyme, and I schal makyn a behest to God that I schal
belevyn that it is God whech that hath spokyn to me afortyme, for I may no lengar
duryn this gret peyne." Hyr awngel seyd ageyn to hir, "Dowtyr, my Lord Jhesu wyl
not take it awey fro the tyl thu have suffyrd it twelve days, for he wyl that thu knowe
therby whethyr it is bettyr that God speke to the er the devyl. And my Lord Crist Jhesu
is nevyr the wrothar wyth the, thei he suffyr the to felyn this peyne." So sche suffryd
that peyn tyl twelve days wer passyd, and than had sche as holy thowtys, as holy
mendys, and as holy desyrys, as holy spechys and dalyawns of owr Lord Jhesu Crist
as evyr sche had beforn, owr Lord seying to hir, "Dowtyr, beleve now wel that I am no
devyl." Than was sche fylled wyth joye, for sche herd owr Lord spekyn to hir as he
was wone to don. Therfor sche seyd, "I schal belevyn that every good thowt is the
speche of God, blyssed mote thu Lord be that thu deynyst not to comfortyn me ageyn.
I wold not, Lord, for al this world suffryn swech an other peyne as I have suffryd thes
twelve days, for me thowt I was in helle, blyssed mote thu be that it is passyd. Therfor,
Lord, now wyl I lyn stille and be buxom to thi wille; I pray the, Lord, speke in me
what that is most plesawns to the."
The good preste, of whom it is wretyn beforn, the wheche was hir lystere, fel in
gret sekenes, and sche was steryd in hir sowle for to kepyn hym in Goddys stede. And,
whan sche faylde swech as was nedful for hym, sche went abowtyn to good men and
good women and gate swech thyng as was necessary unto hym. He was so seke that
men trustyd no thyng to hys lyfe, and hys sekenes was long contunyng. Than on a
tyme, as sche was in the chirche heryng hir messe and preyid for the same preste, owr
Lord seyd to hir that he schulde levyn and faryn ryth wel. Than was sche steryd to gon
to Norwych to Seynt Stefenys Chirche wher is beriid the good vicary, whech deyd but
lityl befor that tyme, for whom God schewyd hy mercy to hys pepil, and thankyn hym
for recuryng of this preyste. Sche toke leve of hir confessowr, goyng forth to Nor
wich. Whan sche cam in the chirch yerd of Seynt Stefyn, sche cryed, sche roryd, sche
wept, sche fel down to the grownd, so fervently the fyer of lofe brent in hir hert.
Sithyn sche ros up agen and went forth wepyng into the chirche to the hy awter, and
ther sche fel down with boistows sobbyngys, wepyngys, and lowde cryes besyden the
grave of the good vicary, al ravyschyd wyth gostly comfort in the goodnes of owr
Lord that wrowt so gret grace for hys servawnt whech had ben hir confessowr and
many tymes herd hir confessyon of al hir levyng, and ministryd to hir the precyows
sacrament of the awter divers tymes. And in so meche was hir devocyon the mor
incresyd that sche sey owr Lord werkyn so special grace for swech a creatur as sche
had ben conversawnt wyth in hys lyfetyme. Sche had so holy thowtys and so holy
mendys that sche myth not mesuryn hir wepyng ne hir crying. And therfor the pepil
had gret merveyl of hir, supposyng that sche had wept for sum fleschly er erdly
affeccyon, and seyd unto hir, "What eylith the woman? Why faryst thus wyth thiself?
We knew hym as wel as thu." Than wer prestys in the same place whech knew hir
maner of werkyng, and thei ful charitefully led hir to a taverne and dede hir drynkyn
and made hir ful hy and goodly cher. Also ther was a lady desyred to have the sayd
creatur to mete. And therfor, as honeste wolde, sche went to the cherch ther the lady
herd hir servyse, wher this creatur sey a fayr ymage of owr Lady clepyd a pyté. And
thorw the beholdyng of that peté hir mende was al holy ocupyed in the Passyon of owr
Lord Jhesu Crist and in the compassyon of owr Lady, Seynt Mary, be whech sche was
compellyd to cryyn ful lowde and wepyn ful sor, as thei sche schulde a deyd. Than cam
to hir the ladys preste seying, "Damsel, Jhesu is ded long sithyn." Whan hir crying was
cesyd, sche seyd to the preste, "Sir, hys deth is as fresch to me as he had deyd this
same day, and so me thynkyth it awt to be to yow and to alle Cristen pepil. We awt
evyr to han mende of hys kendnes and evyr thynkyn of the dolful deth that he deyd for
us." Than the good lady, heryng her communicacyon, seyd, "Ser, it is a good exampyl
to me, and to other men also, the grace that God werkyth in hir sowle." And so the
good lady was hir avoket and answeryd for hir. Sithyn sche had hir hom wyth hir to
mete and schewyd hir ful glad and goodly chere as long as sche wold abydyn ther.
And sone aftyr sche cam hom ageyn to Lenne, and the forseyd preyste, for whom sche
went most specialy to Norwich, whech had redde hir abowte seven yer, recuryd and
went abowte wher hym lykyde, thankyd be almythy God for hys goodnes.
Than cam ther a frer to Lenne whech was holdyn an holy man and a good prechowr.
Hys name and hys perfeccyon of prechyng spred and sprong wondyr wyde. Ther cam
good men to the sayd creatur of good charité and seyd, "Margery, now schal ye han
prechyng anow, for ther is comyn on of the most famows frerys in Inglond to this
towne, for to be her in convent." Than was sche mery and glad and thankyd God wyth
al hir hert that so good a man was comyn to dwellyn amongys hem. In schort tyme
aftyr he seyd a sermown in a chapel of Seynt Jamys in Lenne, wher was meche pepyl
gadyrd to heryn the sermown. And, er the frer went to the pulpit, the parisch preste of
the same place wher he schulde prechyn went to hym and seyd, "Ser, I prey yow, beth
not displesyd. Her schal comyn a woman to yowr sermown the whech oftyn tymes,
whan sche herith of the Passyon of owr Lord er of any hy devocyon, sche wepith,
sobbith, and cryeth, but it lestith not longe. And therfor, good ser, yyf sche make any
noyse at yowr sermown, suffyr it paciently and beth not abaschyd therof." The good
frer went forth to sey the sermown and seyd ful holily and ful devowtly and spak
meche of owr Lordys Passyon that the seyd creatur myth no lengar beryn it. Sche kept
hir fro crying as long as sche myth, and than at the last sche brast owte wyth a gret cry
and cryid wondyr sor. The good frere suffyrd it paciently and seyd no word therto at
that tyme. In schort tyme aftyr he prechyd ageyn in the same place. The seyd creatur
beyng present, and, beheldyng how fast the pepyl cam rennyng to heryn the sermown,
sche had gret joy in hir sowle, thynkyng in hir mende, "A, Lord Jhesu, I trowe, and thu
wer here to prechyn thin owyn persone, the pepyl schulde han gret joy to heryn the. I
prey the, Lorde, make thi holy word to sattelyn in her sowlys as I wolde that it schulde
don in myn, and as many mict be turnyd be hys voys as schulde ben be thy voys yyf thu
prechedist thyselfe." And wyth swech holy thowtys and holy mendys sche askyd
grace for the pepyl that tyme, and sithyn, what thorw the holy sermown and what
thorw hir meditacyon, grace of devocyon wrowt so sor in hir mende that sche fel in a
boystows wepyng. Than seyd the good frer, "I wolde this woman wer owte of the
chirche; sche noyith the pepil." Summe that weryn hir frendys answeryd agen, "Sir,
have hir excusyd. Sche may not withstand it." Than meche pepil turnyd agen hir and
wer ful glad that the good frer held agen hir. Than seyd summe men that sche had a
devyl wythinne hir. And so had thei seyd many tymys beforn, but now thei wer mor
bolde, for hem thowt that her opinyon was wel strenghthyd er ellys fortifyed be this
good frer. Ne he wolde not suffyr hir to her hys sermown les than sche wolde levyn
hir sobbyng and hir crying. Ther was than a good preyste whech had red to hir mech
good scriptur and knew the cawse of hir crying. He spak to an other good preyste, the
whech had knowyn hir many yerys, and telde hym hys conseyt, how he was purposyd
to gon to the good frer and assayn yyf he myth mekyn hys hert. The other good
preyste seyd he wolde wyth good wyl gon wyth hym to getyn grace yyf he myth. So
thei went, bothe preystys togedyr, and preyid the good frer as enterly as thei cowde
that he wolde suffyr the sayd creatur quyetly to comyn to hys sermown and suffyr hir
paciently yyf sche happyd to sobbyn er cryen as other good men had suffyrd hir
before. He seyd schortly agen, yyf sche come in any cherch wher he schulde prechyn
and sche made any noyse as sche was wone to do, he schulde speke scharply ageyn hir,
he wolde not suffyrn hir to crye in no wyse. Sithyn a worshepful doctowr of divinité,
a White Frer, a solem clerk and elde doctowr, and a wel aprevyd, whech had knowyn
the sayd creatur many yerys of hir lyfe and belevyd the grace that God wrowt in hir,
toke wyth hym a worthy man, a bacheler of lawe, a wel growndyd man in scriptur and
long exercisyd, whech was confessowr to the sayd creatur, and wentyn to the sayd frer
as the good preystys dedyn beforn and sentyn for wyne to cheryn hym wyth, preyng
hym of hys charité to favyr the werkys of owr Lord in the sayd creatur and grawntyn
hir hys benevolens in supportyng of hir yyf it happyd hir to cryen er sobbyn whyl he
wer in hys sermown. And thes worthy clerkys telde hym that it was a gyft of God and
that sche cowde not have it but whan God wolde geve it, ne sche myth not wythstande
it whan God wolde send it, and God schulde wythdrawe it whan he wilde, for that had
sche be revelacyon, and that was unknowyn to the frer. Than he, neythyr gevyng
credens to the doctowrys wordys ne the bachelerys, trustyng mech in the favowr of
the pepil, seyd he wolde not favowr hir in hir crying for nowt that any man myth sey
er do, for he wolde not levyn that it was a gyft of God. But he seyd, yyf sche myth not
wythstond it whan it cam, he levyd it was a cardiakyl er sum other sekenesse, and, yyf
sche wolde be so aknowyn, he seyd, he wold have compassyon of hir and steryn the
pepil to prey for hir, and undyr this condicion he wolde han paciens in hir and suffyr
hir to cryen anow, that sche schulde sey that it was a kendly seknes. And hirself knew
wel be revelacyon and be experiens of werkyng it was no sekenes, and therfor sche
wolde not for al this world sey otherwyse than sche felt. And therfor thei myth not
acordyn. Than the worschepful doctowr and hir confessowr cownselyd hir that sche
schulde not come at hys sermown, and that was to hir a gret peyne. Than went another
man, a worschepful burgeys, the whech in fewe yerys aftyr was meyr of Lenne, and
preyd hym as the worthy clerkys had don beforn, and he was answeryd as thei worn.
Than was sche chargyd be hir confessowr that sche schulde not comyn ther he prechyd,
but whan he prechyd in o chirche sche schulde gon into another. Sche had so mech
sorwe that sche wist not what sche myth do, for sche was putte fro the sermown
whech was to hir the hyest comfort in erth whan sche myth heryn it, and ryth so the
contrary was to hir the grettest peyne in erthe whan sche myth not heryn it. Whan sche
was alone be hirself in on cherch and he prechyng the pepil in an other, sche had as
lowde and as mervelyows cryis as whan sche was amongys the pepil. It was yerys that
sche myth not be suffyrd to come at hys sermown for that sche cryed so whan it
plesyd owr Lord to gyfe hir mende and very beholdyng of hys bittyr Passyon. But
sche was not excludyd fro non other clerkys prechyng, but only fro the good frerys, as
is seyd beforn, notwythstondyng in the menetyme ther prechyd many worschepful
doctorys and other worthy clerkys, bothyn religyows and seculerys, at whoys
sermownys sche cryid ful lowde and sobbyd ful boystowsly many tymes and ofte.
And yet thei suffyrd it ful paciently, and summe whech had spokyn wyth hir beforn
and haddyn knowlach of hir maner of levyng excusyd hir to the pepil whan thei herdyn
any rumowr er grutchyng agens hir.
Afftyr on Seynt Jamys Day the good frere prechyd in Seynt Jamys chapel yerd at
Lenne - he was as that tyme neythyr bacheler ne doctowr of divinyté - wher was
meche pepil and gret audiens, for he had an holy name and gret favowr of the pepyl, in
so meche that summe men, yyf thei wiste that he schulde prechyn in the cuntré, thei
wolde go wyth hym er ellys folwyn hym fro town to town, so gret delite thei had to
heryn hym and so, blissed mote God ben, he prechyd ful holily and ful devowtly.
Nevyrthelesse as this day he prechyd meche ageyn the seyd creatur, not expressyng
hir name, but so he expleytyd hys conseytys that men undirstod wel that he ment hir.
Than was ther mech remowr among the pepil, for many men and many women trustyd
hir and lovyd hir ryth wel and wer ryth hevy and sorweful for he spak so meche ageyn
hir as he dede, desiryng that thei had not an herd hym that day. Whan he herd the
murmowr and grutchyng of the pepil, supposyng to be geynseyd an other day of hem
that weryn hir frendys, he, smityng hys hand on the pulpit, seyd, "Yyf I here any mor
thes materys rehersyd, I schal so smytyn the nayl on the hed," he seyd, "that it schal
schamyn alle hyr mayntenowrys." And than many of hem that pretendyd hir frenschep
turnyd abakke for a lytyl veyn drede that thei haddyn of hys wordys and durst not wel
spekyn wyth hir, of the whech the same preyste was on that aftirward wrot this boke
and was in purpose nevyr to a levyd hir felyngys aftyr. And yet owr Lord drow hym
agen in schort tyme, blissed mote he ben, that he lovyd hir mor and trustyd mor to hir
wepyng and hir crying than evyr he dede beforn, for aftyrward he red of a woman
clepyd Maria de Oegines and of hir maner of levyng, of the wondirful swetnesse that
sche had in the word of God heryng, of the wondirful compassyon that sche had in hys
Passyon thynkyng, and of the plentyuows teerys that sche wept, the whech made hir
so febyl and so weyke that sche myth not endur to beheldyn the crosse, ne heryn owr
Lordys Passyon rehersyd, so sche was resolvyd into terys of pyté and compassyon. Of
the plentyuows grace of hir teerys he tretyth specyaly in the boke beforn wretyn the
eighteenth capitulo that begynnyth, "Bonus es, domine, sperantibus in te," and also in
the nineteenth capitulo wher he tellyth how sche, at the request of a preyste that he
schulde not be turbelyd ne distrawt in hys messe wyth hir wepyng and hir sobbyng,
went owt at the chirche dor, wyth a lowde voys crying that sche myth not restreyn hir
therfro. And owr Lord also visityd the preyste beyng at messe wyth swech grace and
wyth sweche devocyon whan he schulde redyn the Holy Gospel that he wept wondirly
so that he wett hys vestiment and ornamentys of the awter and myth not mesuryn hys
wepyng ne hys sobbyng, it was so habundawnt, ne he myth not restreyn it ne wel
stande therwyth at the awter. Than he levyd wel that the good woman, whech he had
beforn lityl affeccyon to, myth not restreyn hir wepyng, hir sobbyng, ne hir cryyng,
whech felt meche mor plente of grace than evyr dede he wythowtyn any comparison.
Than knew he wel that God gaf hys grace to whom he wolde. Than the preste whech
wrot thes tretys thorw steryng of a worshepful clerk, a bacheler of divinité, had seyn
and red the mater beforn wretyn meche mor seryowslech and expressiowslech than it
is wretyn in this tretys (for her is but a lityl of the effect therof, for he had not ryth cler
mende of the sayd mater whan he wrot this tretys, and therfor he wrot the lesse therof)
than he drow ageyn and inclined mor sadly to the sayd creatur, whom he had fled and
enchewyd thorw the frerys prechyng, as is beforn wretyn. Also the same preyste red
aftyrward in a tretys whech is clepyd "The Prykke of Lofe," the second chapitulo that
Boneaventur wrot of hymselfe thes wordys folwyng, "A, Lord, what schal I mor noysen
er cryen? Thu lettyst and thu comyst not, and I, wery and ovyrcome thorw desyr,
begynne for to maddyn, for lofe governyth me and not reson. I renne wyth hasty
cowrs wher that evyr thu wylte. I bowe, Lord, thei that se me irkyn and rewyn, not
knowyng me drunkyn wyth thi lofe. Lord, thei seyn 'Lo, yen wood man cryeth in the
stretys,' but how meche is the desyr of myn hert thei parceyve not." And capitulo
Stimulo Amoris and capitulo ut supra. He red also of Richard Hampol, hermyte, in
Incendio Amoris leche mater that mevyd hym to gevyn credens to the sayd creatur.
Also, Elizabeth of Hungry cryed wyth lowde voys, as is wretyn in hir tretys. And
many other whech had forsakyn hir thorw the frerys prechyng repentyd hem and
turnyd agen unto hir be processe of tyme, notwithstandyng the frer kept hys opinyon.
And alwey he wolde in hys sermown have a parte ageyn hir, whethyr sche wer ther er
not, and cawsyd mech pepil to demyn wol evyl of hir many day and long. For summe
seyd that sche had a devyl wythinne hir, and summe seyd to hir owyn mowth that the
frer schulde a drevyn to develys owt of hir. Thus was sche slawnderyd, etyn, and
knawyn of the pepil for the grace that God wrowt in hir of contricyon, of devocyon,
and of compassyon, thorw the gyft of whech gracys sche wept, sobbyd, and cryid ful sor
ageyn hir wyl, sche myth not chesyn, for sche had levar a wept softly and prevyly than
opynly yyf it had ben in hyr power.
Than summe of hir frendys cam to hir and seyd it wer mor ese to hir to gon owt of
the town than abydyn therin, so meche pepyl was ageyn hir. And sche seyd sche schulde
abydyn ther as long as God wolde. "For her," sche seyd, "in this town have I synned.
Therfor it is worthy that I suffyr sorwe in this town ther ageyn. And yet have I not so
meche sorwe ne schame as I have deservyd, for I have trespasyd agens God. I thank
almythy God what that evyr he sendith me, and I pray God that al maner of wikkydnes
that any man schal seyn of me in this world may stonde into remissyon of my synnys,
and any goodnesse that any man schal seyn of the grace that God werkyth in me may
turnyn God to worschep and to preysyng and magnifying of hys holy name wythowtyn
ende, for al maner of worschep longith to hym, and al despite, schame, and reprefe
longyth to me, and that have I wel deservyd." An other tyme hyr confessowr cam to
hir into a chapel of owr Lady, clepyd the Jesyne, seying, "Margery, what schal ye now
do? Ther is no mor agen yow but the mone and seven sterrys. Anethe is ther any man
that heldith wyth yow but I alone." Sche seyd to hir confessowr, "Ser, beth of a good
comforte, for it schal ben ryth wel at the last. And I telle yow trewly my Lord Jhesu
gevyth me gret comforte in my sowle, and ellys schulde I fallyn in dispeyr. My blisful
Lord Crist Jhesu wil not latyn me dyspeyryn for noon holy name that the good frer
hath, for my Lord tellyth me that he is wroth wyth hym, and he seyth to me it wer
bettyr he wer nevyr born, for he despisith hys werkys in me." Also owr Lord seyd to
hir, "Dowtyr, yyf he be a preyste that despisith the, knowyng wel wherfor thu wepist
and cryist, he is acursyd." And on a tyme, as sche was in the priowrys cloystyr and
durst not abydyn in the cherch for inqwietyng of the pepil wyth hir crying, owr Lord
seyd unto hir beyng in gret hevynes, "Dowtyr, I bydde the gon ageyn into cherch, for
I schal takyn awey fro the thy criyng that thu schalt no mor cryin so lowde ne on that
maner wyse as thu hast don beforn thei thu woldist." Sche dede the comawndment of
owr Lord and telde hir confessowr lich as sche felt, and it fel in trewth as sche felt.
Sche cryed no mor aftyr so lowde ne on that maner as sche had don beforn, but sche
sobbyd wondirly aftyr and wept as sor as evyr sche dede beforn, sumtyme lowde and
sumtyme stille, as God wolde mesur it hys selfe. Than meche pepil levyd that sche
durst no lengar cryen for the good frer prechyd so ageyn hir and wold not suffyr hir in
no maner. Than thei heldyn hym an holy man and hir a fals feynyd ypocrite. And, as
summe spoke evyl of hir aforn for sche cryed, so sum spoke now evyl of hir for sche
cryid not. And so slawndir and bodily angwisch fel to hir on every syde, and al was
encresyng of hir gostly comfort. Than owr mercyful Lord seyd unto hys unworthy
servawnt, "Dowtyr, I must nedys comfortyn the, for now thu hast the ryth wey to
hevyn. Be this wey cam I to hevyn and alle my disciplys, for now thu schalt knowe the
bettyr what sorwe and schame I suffyrd for thy lofe, and thu schalt have the mor
compassyon whan thu thynkyst on my Passyon. Dowtyr, I have telde the many tymys
that the frer schulde seyn evyl of the. Therfor I warne the that thu telle hym not of the
prevy cownsel whech I have schewyd to the, for I wille not that he here it of thy
mowth. And, dowtyr, I telle the forsothe he schal be chastised scharply. As hys name is
now, it schal ben throwyn down and thin schal ben reysed up. And I schal makyn as
many men to lofe the for my lofe as han despisyd the for my lofe. Dowtyr, thu schalt be
in cherch whan he schal be wythowtyn. In this chirche thu hast suffyrd meche schame
and reprefe for the gyftys that I have govyn the and for the grace and goodnes that I have
wrowt in the, and therfore in this cherche and in this place I schal ben worschepyd in
the. Many a man and woman schal seyn it is wel sene that God lovyd hir wel. Dowtyr, I
schal werkyn so mech grace for the that al the werld schal wondryn and merveylyn of
my goodnes." Than the sayd creatur seyd unto our Lord wyth gret reverens, "I am not
worthy that thu schuldist schewyn sweche grace for me. Lord, it is anow to me that thu
safe my sowle fro endles dampnacyon be thi gret mercy." "It is my worschep, dowtyr,
that I schal do, and therfore I wil that thu have no wyl but my wyl. The lesse prise that
thu settyst be thyselfe, the mor prise set I be the, and the bettyr wil I lovyn the, dowtyr.
Loke thu have no sorwe for erdly good. I have asayd the in poverté, and I have chas
tised the as I wole myselfe, bothe wythinne forth in thi sowle and wythowte forth
thorw slawndyr of the pepil. Lo, dowtyr, I have grawntyd the thin owyn desyr, for thu
schuldist non other purgatory han but in this werld only. Dowtyr, thu seyst oftyn to
me in thi mende that riche men han gret cawse to lovyn me wel, and thu seyst ryth
soth, for thu seyst I have govyn hem meche good wherwyth thei may servyn me and
lovyn me. But, good dowtyr, I prey the, love thu me wyth al thyn hert, and I schal gevyn
the good anow to lovyn me wyth, for hevyn and erde schulde rathyr faylyn than I
schulde faylyn the. And, yyf other men faylyn, thu schalt not faylyn. And, thow alle
thy frendys forsake the, I schal nevyr forsakyn the. Thu madist me onys stiward of
thin howsholde and executor of alle thy good werkys, and I schal be a trewe styward
and a trewe executor unto the, fulfillyng of al thi wil and al thy desyr. And I schal
ordeyn for the, dowtyr, as for myn owyn modyr and as for myn owyn wyfe."
The creatur seyd unto hir Lord Crist Jhesu, "A, blisful Lord, I wolde I knew wherin
I myth best love the and plesyn the and that my love wer as swet to the as me thynkyth
that thy love is unto me." Than owr swete Lord Jhesus, answeryng hys creatur, seyd,
"Dowtyr, yyf thu knew how swet thy love is unto me, thu schuldist nevyr do other
thyng but lovyn me wyth al thyn hert. And therfor beleve wel, dowtyr, that my lofe is
not so swet to the as thy lofe is to me. Dowtyr, thu knowist not how meche I lofe the,
for it may not be knowyn in this werld how meche it is, ne be felt as it is, for thu
schuldist faylyn and brestyn and nevyr enduryn it for the joye that thu schuldist fele.
And therfor I mesur it as I wil to thi most ese and comfort. But, dowtyr, thu schalt wel
knowyn in an other worlde how meche I lovyd the in erde, for ther thu schalt han gret
cawse to thankyn me. Ther thu schalt se wythowtyn ende every good day that evyr I
gaf the in erth of contemplacyon, of devocyon, and of al the gret charité that I have
govyn to the to the profyte of thyn evyn cristen. For this schal be thy mete whan thu
comyst hom into hevyn. Ther is no clerk in al this world that can, dowtyr, leryn the
bettyr than I can do, and, yyf thu wilt be buxom to my wyl, I schal be buxom to thy
wil. Wher is a bettyr charité than to wepyn for thi Lordys lofe? Thu wost wel, dowtyr,
that the devyl hath no charité, for he is ful wroth wyth the and he myth owt hurtyn the,
but he schal not deryn the saf a lityl in this world for to makyn the afeerd sumtyme,
that thu schuldist preyn the myghtilier to me for grace and steryn thy charité the mor
to meward. Ther is no clerk can spekyn agens the lyfe whech I teche the, and, yyf he
do, he is not Goddys clerk; he is the develys clerk. I telle the ryth forsothe that ther is
no man in this world, yyf he wolde suffyr as meche despite for my lofe wilfully as thu
hast don and clevyn as sor unto me, not willyng for anythyng that may be do er seyd
agen hym forsakyn me, but I schal far ryth fayr wyth hym and be ryth gracyowse unto
hym, bothyn in this worlde and in the other." Than seyd the creatur, "A, my derworthy
Lord, this lyfe schuldist thu schewyn to religiows men and to preistys." Owr Lord seyd
agen to hir, "Nay, nay, dowtyr, for that thyng that I lofe best thei lofe not, and that is
schamys, despitys, scornys, and reprevys of the pepil, and therfor schal thei not have
this grace. For, dowtyr, I telle the, he that dredith the schamys of the world may not
parfytely lovyn God. And, dowtyr, undyr the abyte of holynes is curyd meche
wykkydnes. Dowtyr, yyf thu sey the wikkydnes that is wrowt in the werld as I do, thu
schuldist have gret wondyr that I take not uttyr venjawns on hem. But, dowtyr, I spar
for thy lofe. Thu wepist so every day for mercy that I must nedys grawnt it the, and wil
not the pepil belevyn the goodnes that I werke in the for hem. Nevyrthelesse, dowtyr,
ther schal come a tyme whan thei schal be ryth fayn to belevyn the grace that I have
govyn the for hem. And I schal sey to hem whan thei arn passyd owt of this world,
'Lo, I ordeynd hir to wepyn for hir synnes, and ye had hir in gret despite, but hir
charité wolde nevyr sesen for yow.' And therfor, dowtyr, thei that arn good sowlys
schal hyly thank me for the grace and goodnes that I have gove the, and thei that arn
wikkyd schal grutchyn and han gret peyn to suffyr the grace that I schewe to the. And
therfor I schal chastisyn hem as it wer for myself." Sche preyd, "Nay, derworthy Lord
Jhesu, chastise no creatur for me. Thu wost wel, Lord, that I desyr no venjawns, but I
aske mercy and grace for alle men yyf it be thy wille to grawnt it. Nevyrthelesse,
Lord, rathyr than thei schulde ben departyd fro the wythowtyn ende, chastise hem as thu
wilt thiselfe. It semyth, Lord, in my sowle that thu art ful of charité, for thu seyst thu
wilt not the deth of a synful man. And thu seyst also thu wilt alle men ben savyd.
Than, Lord, syn thu woldist alle men schulde ben savyd, I must wyl the same, and thu
seyst thyself that I must lovyn myn evyn cristen as myn owyn self. And, Lord, thu
knowist that I have wept and sorwyd many yerys for I wolde be savyd, and so must I
do for myn evyn cristen."
Owr Lord Jhesu Crist seyde unto the sayd creatur, "Dowtyr, thu schal wel seen whan
thu art in hevyn wyth me that ther is no man dampnyd but he that is wel worthy to be
dampnyd, and thu schalt holdyn the wel plesyd wyth alle my werkys. And therfor, dowtyr,
thank me hyly of this gret charité that I werke in thyn hert, for it is myself, almythy
God, that make the to wepyn every day for thyn owyn synnes, for the gret compassyon
that I geve the of my bittyr Passyon and for the sorwys that my modyr had her in erde,
for the angwischys that sche suffryd and for the teerys that sche wept, also, dowtyr,
for the holy martyres in hevyn (whan thu heryst of hem, thu gevist me thankyngys
wyth crying and wepyng for the grace that I have schewyd to hem, and, whan thu
seest any lazerys, thu hast gret compassyon of hem, yeldyng me thankyngys and
preysyngys that I am mor favorabyl to the than I am to hem), and also, dowtyr, for the
gret sorwe that thu hast for al this world that thu mythtyst helpyn hem as wel as thu
woldist helpyn thiself bothe gostly and bodily, and forthermor for the sorwys that thu
hast for the sowlys in purgatory that thu woldist so gladly that thei wer owt of her
peyn that thei mythyn preysyn me wythowtyn ende. And al this is myn owyn goodnes
that I geve to the, wherfor thu art meche bowndyn to thankyn me. And nevyrthelesse
yet I thank the for the gret lofe thu hast to me and for thu hast so gret wyl and so gret
desyr that alle men and women schulde lovyn me ryth wel, for, as thu thynkyst, holy and
unholy alle thei wolde have good to levyn wyth as is leful unto hem, but alle wyl not
besyn hem to love me as thei do to geten hem temperal goodys. Also, dowtyr, I thank
the for thu thynkyst so long that thu art owt of my blyssed presens. Forthermor, I
thank the, dowtyr, specyaly for thow mayst suffyr no man to breke my
comawndementys ne to sweryn be me but yyf it be a gret peyne to the and for thu art
alwey redy to undyrnemyn hem of her sweryng for my lofe. And therfor hast thu
suffyrd many a schrewyd word and many a repref, and thu schalt therfor han many a joy
in hevyn. Dowtyr, I sent onys Seynt Powyl unto the for to strengthyn the and comfortyn
the that thu schuldist boldly spekyn in my name fro that day forward. And Seynt
Powle seyd unto the that thu haddyst suffyrd mech tribulacyon for cawse of hys
wrytyng, and he behyte the that thu schuldist han as meche grace ther agens for hys
lofe as evyr thu haddist schame er reprefe for hys lofe. He telde the also of many joys of
hevyn and of the gret lofe that I had to the. And, dowtyr, I have oftyntymes seyd to the
that ther is no seynt in hevyn but yyf thu wilt speke wyth hym he is redy to the to
comfortyn the and spekyn to the in my name. Myn awngelys arn redy to offyrn thyn
holy thowtys and thi preyerys to me and the terys of thyn eyne also, for thi terys arn
awngelys drynk, and it arn very pyment to hem. Therfor, my derworthy dowtyr, be
not yrke of me in erde to syttyn alone be thiself and thynkyn of my lofe, for I am not
yrke of the and my mercyful eye is evyr upon the. Dowtyr, thu mayst boldly seyn to
me 'Jhesus est amor mes,' that is to seyn, 'Jhesu is my lofe.' Therfor, dowtyr, late
me be al thy lofe and al the joy of thyn hert. Dowtyr, yyf thu wilt bethynk the wel, thu
hast rith gret cawse to lofe me abovyn al thyng for the gret gyftys that I have govyn the
befortyme. And yet thu hast an other gret cawse to lovyn me, for thu hast thi wil of
chastité as thu wer a wedow, thyn husbond levyng in good hele. Dowtyr, I have drawe
the lofe of thin hert fro alle mennys hertys into myn hert. Sumtyme, dowtyr, thu thowtyst
it had ben in a maner unpossybyl for to ben so, and that tyme suffyrdyst thu ful gret
peyne in thin hert wyth fleschly affeccyons. And than cowdyst thu wel cryen to me,
seying, 'Lord, for alle thi wowndys smert, drawe al the lofe of myn hert into thyn
hert.' Dowtyr, for alle thes cawsys and many other cawsys and benefetys whech I
have schewyd for the on this half the see and on yon half the see, thu hast gret cawse
to lovyn me.
"Now, dowtyr, I wyl that thu ete flesch agen as thu wer won to don, and that thu be
buxom and bonowr to my wil and to my byddyng and leve thyn owyn wyl and bydde
thy gostly fadyrs that thei latyn the don aftyr my wyl. And thu schalt have nevyrthelesse
grace, but so meche the mor, for thu schalt han the same mede in hevyn as thow thu
fastydyst stille aftyr thin owyn wyl. Dowtyr, I badde the fyrst that thu schuldist leevyn
flesch mete and non etyn, and thu hast obeyd my wyl many yerys and absteynd the
aftyr my cownsel. Therfor now I bydde the that thu resort ageyn to flesch mete." The
sayd creatur with reverent drede, seyd, "A, blisful Lord, the pepil, that hath knowyn of
myn abstinens so many yerys and seeth me now retornyn and etyn flesch mete, thei
wil have gret merveyl and, as I suppose, despisyn me and scornyn me therfor." Owr
Lord seyd to hir agen, "Thu schalt non heed takyn of her scornys but late every man sey
what he wyl." Than went sche to hir gostly fadyrs and teld hem what owr Lord had
seyd unto hir. Whan hir gostly faderys knew the wyl of God, thei chargyd hir be vertu
of obediens to etyn flesch mete as sche had don many yerys beforn. Than had sche
many a scorne and meche reprefe for sche eete flesch ageyn. Also sche had mad a vow
to fastyn o day in the weke for worschep of owr Lady whyl sche had levyd, whech
vow sche kept many yerys. Owr Lady, aperyng to hir sowle, bad hir gon to hir
confessour and seyin that sche wolde han hir dischargyd of hir vow that sche schulde
ben mythy to beryn hir gostly labowrys, for wythowtyn bodily strength it mytyn not
ben enduryd. Than hir confessowr, seyng be the eye of discresyon it was expedient to
be do, comawndyd hir be the vertu of obediens to etyn as other creaturys dedyn
mesurabely wher God wolde sche had hir fode. And hir grace was not discresyd but
rathar encresyd, for sche had levar a fastyd than an etyn yyf it had ben the wyl of God.
Forthermor owr Lady seyd to hir, "Dowtyr, thu art weyke inow of wepyng and of
crying, for tho makyn the febyl and weyke anow. And I kan the mor thank to etyn thi
mete for my lofe than to fastyn, that thu mayst enduryn thy perfeccyon of wepyng."
On a tyme ther happyd to be a gret fyer in Lynne Bischop, whech fyer brent up the
gylde halle of the Trinité and in the same town, an hydows fyer and grevows ful lekely
to a brent the parysch cherch dedicate in the honowr of Seynt Margarete, a solempne
place and rychely honowryd, and also al the town, ne had grace ne myracle ne ben.
The seyd creatur beyng ther present and seyng the perel and myschef of al the towne,
cryed ful lowde many tymes that day and wept ful habundawntly, preyng for grace
and mercy to alle the pepil. And, notwythstondyng in other tymes thei myth not enduryn
hir to cryen and wepyn for the plentyuows grace that owr Lord wrowt in hir, as this
day for enchewyng of her bodily perel thei myth suffyr hir to cryen and wepyn as
mech as evyr sche wolde, and no man wolde byddyn hir cesyn but rathyr preyn hir of
contynuacyon, ful trustyng and belevyng that thorw hir crying and wepyng owr Lord
wolde takyn hem to mercy. Than cam hir confessowr to hir and askyd yyf it wer best
to beryn the sacrament to the fyer er not. Sche seyd, "Yys, ser, yys, for owr Lord
Jhesu Crist telde me it schal be ryth wel." So hir confessowr, parisch preste of Seynt
Margaretys Cherche, toke the precyows sacrament and went beforn the fyer as devowtly
as he cowde and sithyn browt it in ageyn to the cherche, and the sparkys of the fyer
fleyn abowte the cherch. The seyd creatur, desiryng to folwyn the precyows sacra
ment to the fyre, went owt at the cherch dor, and, as sone as sche beheld the hedows
flawme of the fyr, anon sche cryed wyth lowde voys and gret wepyng, "Good Lorde,
make it wel." Thes wordys wrowt in hir mende inasmeche as owr Lord had seyd to hir
beforn that he schulde makyn it wel, and therfor sche cryed, "Good Lord, make it wel
and sende down sum reyn er sum wedyr that may thorw thi mercy qwenchyn this fyer
and esyn myn hert." Sithyn sche went ageyne into the cherch, and than sche beheld
how the sparkys comyn into the qwer thorw the lantern of the cherch. Than had sche
a newe sorwe and cryed ful lowde ageyn for grace and mercy wyth gret plenté of
terys. Sone aftyr, comyn into hir three worschepful men wyth whyte snow on her
clothys, seying unto hir, "Lo, Margery, God hath wrowt gret grace for us and sent us
a fayr snowe to qwenchyn wyth the fyr. Beth now of good cher and thankyth God
therfor." And with a gret cry sche gaf preysyng and thankyng to God for hys gret
mercy and hys goodnes, and specyaly for he had seyd to hir beforn that it schulde be
ryth wel whan it was ful unlykely to ben wel, saf only thorw myrakyl and specyal
grace. And now sche saw it was wel in dede, hir thowt that sche had gret cawse to
thankyn owr Lord. Than cam hir gostly fadyr unto hir and seyd he belevyd that God
grawntyd hem for hir preyerys to be delyveryd owt of her gret perellys, for it myth not
be, wythowtyn devowt preyerys, that the eyr beyng brygth and cler schulde be so sone
chongyd into clowdys and derkys and sendyn down gret flakys of snow, thorw the
whech the fyr was lettyd of hys kendly werkyng, blyssed mote owr Lord ben.
Notwythstondyng the grace that he schewyd for hir, yet, whan the perelys wer sesyd,
sum men slawndyrd hir for sche cryed, and sum seyden to hir that owr Lady cried
nevyr, "Why crye ye on this maner?" And sche seyd for sche myth non otherwise do.
Than sche fled the pepil that sche schulde geve hem non occasyon into the priowrys
cloistyr. Whan sche was ther, sche had so gret mende of the Passyon of owr Lord
Jhesu Crist and of hys precyows wowndys and how dere he bowt hir that sche cryed
and roryd wondirfully so that sche myth be herd a gret wey and myth not restreyne
hyrself therfro. Than had sche gret wondyr how owr Lady myth suffyr er dur to see
hys precyows body ben scorgyd and hangyd on the crosse. Also it cam to hir mende
how men had seyd to hirself beforn that owr Lady, Cristys owyn modyr, cryed not as
sche dede, and that cawsyd hir to seyn in hir crying, "Lord, I am not thi modir. Take
awey this peyn fro me, for I may not beryn it. Thi passyon wil sle me." So ther cam a
worschepful clerk forby hir, a doctowr of divinité, "I had levyr than twenty pownde
that I myth han swech a sorwe for owr Lordys Passyon." Than the sayd doctowr sent
for hir ther he was to come and speke with hym, and sche wyth good wyl went to hym
wyth wepyng terys to hys chambyr. The worthy and worschepful clerk dede hir drynkyn
and made hir ryth good cher. Sithyn he ledde hir to an awter and askyd what was the
skylle that sche cryed and wept so sor. Than sche teld hym many gret cawsys of hir
wepyng and yet sche teld hym of no revelacyon. And he seyd sche was mech bowndyn
to lovyn owr Lord for the tokenys of lofe that he schewyd to hir in divers wysys.
Aftyrward ther cam a persun that had takyn degré in scole wheche schuld prechyn bothe
for non and aftyr non. And, as he prechyd ful holily and devowtly, the sayd creatur
was mevyd be devocyon in hys sermown, and at the last sche brast owt wyth a crye.
And the pepil began to grutchyn wyth hir crying, for it was in the tyme that the good
frer prechyd ageyn hir, as is wretyn beforn, and also er than owr Lord toke hir crying
fro hir. For, thow the mater be wretyn beforn this, nevyrthelesse it fel aftyr this. Than
the persun cesyd a lityl of hys prechyng and seyd to the pepil, "Frendys, beth stille and
grutchith not wyth this woman, for iche of yow may synne deedly in hir and sche is
nowt the cawse but yowr owyn demyng, for, thow this maner of werkyng may seme
bothe good and ylle, yet awt ye for to demyn the best in yowr hertys, and I dowt it not
it is ryth wel. Also I dar wel say it is a ryth gracyows gyft of God, blissed mote he be."
Than the pepil blissyd hym for hys goodly wordys and wer the mor steryd to belevyn
hys holy werkys. Aftyrward, whan the sermown was endyd, a good frend of the seyd
creatur met wyth the frer whech had prechyd so sor ageyn hir and askyd how hym
thowt be hir. The frer, answeryng scharply ageyn, seyd, "Sche hath a devyl wythinne
hir," no thyng mevyd fro hys opynyon but rathyr defendyng hys errowr.
Sone aftyr ther was at Lynne holdyn the chapetyl of the Frer Prechowrys, and
thedir comyn many worschepful clerkys of that holy ordyr of whech it longyth on to
seyn a sermown in the parisch cherch. And ther was come amongys other to the sayd
chapetyl a worschepful doctowr whech hite Maistyr Custawns, and he had knowyn
the forseyd creatur many yerys beforn. Whan the creatur herd seyn that he was comyn
thedyr, sche went to hym and schewyd hym why sche cryed and wept so sor, to wetyn
yyf he myth fyndyn any defawte in hir crying er in hir wepyng. The worschepful
doctowr seyd to hir, "Margery, I have red of an holy woman whom God had govyn
gret grace of wepyng and crying as he hath don onto yow. In the cherch ther sche
dwellyd was a preyste whech had no conseyt in hir wepyng and cawsyd hir thorw hys
steryng to gon owte of the cherche. Whan sche was in the cherch yerd, sche preyd
God that the preyst myth have felyng of the grace that sche felt as wistly as it lay not
in hir powyr to cryen ne wepyn but whan God wolde. And so sodeynly owr Lord sent
hym devocyon at hys messe that he myth not mesuryn hymself, and than wolde he no
more despisyn hir aftyr that but rathyr comfortyn hir." Thus the sayde doctowr,
confermyng hir crying and hir wepyng, seyd it was a gracyows and a specyal gyft of
God, and God was hyly to be magnifyed in hys gyft. And than the same doctowr went
to an other doctowr of divinité whech was assygned to prechyn in the parisch cherche
befor al the pepil, prayng hym that yyf the sayd creatur cryid er wept at hys sermown
that he wolde suffyr it mekely and no thyng ben abaschyd therof ne not spekyn ther
ageyns. So aftirward, whan the worschepful doctowr schulde prechyn and worthily was
browt to the pulpit, as he began to prechyn ful holily and devowtly of owr Ladiis
Assumpsyon, the sayd creatur, lyftyd up in hir mende be hy swetnesse and devocyon,
brast owt wyth a lowde voys and cryid ful lowde and wept ful sor. The worschepful
doctowr stod stille and suffyrd wol mekely tyl it was cesyd and sithyn seyd forth hys
sermowne to an ende. At aftyrnoon he sent for the same creatur into place ther he was
and mad hir rith glad cher. Than sche thankyd hym for hys mekenes and hys charité
that he schewyd in supportacyon of hir crying and hir wepyng befor noon at hys
sermown. The worschepful doctowr seyd ageyn to hir, "Margery, I wold not a spokyn
ageyn yow thow ye had cryid tyl evyn. And ye wolde comyn to Norwich, ye schal be
rith wolcom and han swech cher as I can make yow." Thus God sent hir good
maystyrschep of this worthy doctowr to strengthyn hir ageyn hir detractorys, worschepid
be hys name. Aftirward in Lenton prechyd a good clerk, a Frer Austyn, in hys owyn
hows at Lynne, and had a gret audiens, wher that tyme was the sayd creatur present.
And God of hys goodnes enspired the frer to prechyn mech of hys Passyon so
compassyfly and so devowtly that sche myth not beryn it. Than fel sche down wepyng
and crying so sor that meche of the pepil wondryd on hir and bannyd and cursyd hir
ful sor, supposyng that sche myth a left hir crying yyf sche had wolde, inasmech as the
good frer had so prechyd ther ageyn, as is beforn wretyn. And than this good man that
prechyd as now at this tyme seyd to the pepil, "Frendys, beth stille, ye wote ful lityl
what sche felyth." And so the pepil cesyd and was stille and herd up the sermown
wyth qwyet and rest of body and sowle.
Also on a Good Fryday at Seynt Margaretys Chirch the priowr of the same place
and the same town, Lynne, schuld prechyn. And he toke to hys teme, "Jhesu is ded."
Than the sayd creatur, al wowndyd wyth pité and compassyon, cryid and wept as yyf
sche had seyn owr Lord ded wyth hir bodily eye. The worschepful priowr and doctowr
of divinité suffyrd hir ful mekely and no thyng mevyd ageyn hir. An other tyme Bischop
Wakeryng, Bischop of Norwich, prechyd at Lynne in the seyd cherch of Seynt
Margarete, and the forseyd creatur cryid and wept ful boystowsly in the tyme of hys
sermown, and he suffyrd it ful mekely and paciently and so dede many a worthy clerk,
bothyn reguler and seculer, for ther was nevyr clerk prechyd opynly ageyn hir crying
but the Grey Frer, as is wretyn beforn. So owr Lord of hys mercy, liche as he had
promysyd the seyd creatur that he schulde evyr provydyn for hir, steryng the spiritys of
tweyn good clerkys the whech longe and many yerys had knowyn hir conversacyon
and al hir perfeccyon, made hem mythy and bolde to spekyn for hys party in excusyng
the seyd creatur, bothyn in the pulpit and besyden wher thei herd any thyng mevyd
agen hir, strengthyng her skyllys be auctoriteys of Holy Scriptur sufficiently, of whech
clerkys on was a White Frer, a doctowr of divinité. The other clerk was a bacheler of
lawe canon, a wel labowrd man in scriptur. And than sum envyows personys
compleynyd to the Provincyal of the White Frerys that the sayd doctowr was to
conversawnt wyth the sayd creatur, forasmech as he supportyd hir in hir wepyng and
in hir crying and also enformyd hir in qwestyons of Scriptur whan sche wolde any
askyn hym. Than was he monischyd be vertu of obediens that he schulde no mor spekyn
wyth hir ne enformyn hir in no textys of Scriptur, and that was to hym ful peynful, for,
as he seyd to sum personys, he had levar a lost an hundryd pownd, yyf he had an had
it, than hir communicacyon, it was so gostly and fruteful. Whan hir confessowr
perceyvyd how the worthy doctowr was chargyd be obediens that he schulde not spekyn
ne comownyn wyth hir, than he for to excludyn al occasyon warnyd hir also be vertu
of obediens that sche schulde no mor gon to the frerys, ne spekyn wyth the sayd doctowr,
ne askyn hym no qwestyons as sche had don beforn. And than thowt sche ful gret
sweme and hevynes, for sche was put fro mech gostly comfort. Sche had levar a lost
any erdly good than hys comunycacyon, for it was to hir gret encres of vertu. Than
long aftyrward it happyd hir goyng in the strete to metyn wyth the seyd doctowr and
non of hem spak o word to other. And than sche had a gret cry wyth many teerys.
Aftyr, whan sche cam to hir meditacyon, sche seyd in hir mende to owr Lord Jhesu
Crist, "Alas, Lord, why may I no comfort han of this worschepful clerk, the whech
hath knowyn me so many yerys and oftyn tymes strengthyd me in thi lofe? Now hast
thu, Lord, takyn fro me the ankyr, I trust to thi mercy, the most special and synguler
comforte that evyr I had in erde, for he evyr lovyd me for thy lofe and wold nevyr
forsakyn me for nowt that any man cowd do er seye whylys he levyd. And Maistyr
Aleyn is putt fro me and I fro hym. Syr Thomas Andrew and Syr John Amy arn
benefysed and owt of town. Maistyr Robert dar unethys spekyn wyth me. Now have I
in a maner no comfort neithyr of man ne of childe." Owr merciful Lord Crist Jhesu,
answeryng in hir mende, seyd, "Dowtyr, I am mor worthy to thy sowle than evyr was
the ankyr and alle tho whech thu hast rehersyd er alle the werld may be, and I schal
comfortyn the myself, for I wolde spekyn to the oftynar than thu wilt latyn me. And,
dowtyr, I do the to wetyn that thu schalt spekyn to Maistyr Aleyn ageyn as thu hast don
beforn." And than owr Lord sent be provysyon of the priowr of Lynne a preste to ben
kepar of a chapel of owr Lady, clepyd the Jesyn, wythinne the Cherch of Seynt
Margarete, whech preyst many tymes herd hir confessyon in the absens of hyr princi
pal confessowr. And to this preyst sche schewyd al hir lyfe as ner as sche cowde fro
hir yong age, bothe hir synnes, hyr labowrys, hir vexacyons, hir contemplacyons, and
also hir revelacyons and swech grace as God wrowt in hir thorw hys mercy, and so
that preyste trustyd ryth wel that God wrowt ryth gret grace in hir.
On a tyme God visited the forseyd doctowr, Maystyr Aleyn, wyth gret sekenes that
no man hith hym no lyffe that saw hym. And so it was teld the sayd creatur of hys
sekenes. Than sche was ful hevy for hym, and specialy for as meche as sche had be
revelacyon that sche schulde spekyn wyth hym ageyn as sche had don beforn, and,
yyf he had deyd of this sekenes, hir felyng had not ben trewe. Therfor sche ran into the
qwer at Seynt Margaretys Chirche, knelyng down beforn the Sacrament and seying
on this wise, "A, Lord, I prey the, for alle goodnes that thu hast schewyd to me and as
wistly as thu lovyst me, late this worthy clerk nevyr deyin tyl I may spekyn wyth hym
as thu hast behite me that I schulde do. And thu, gloriows Qwen of Mercy, have mende
what he was wont to seyn of the in hys sermownys. He was wont to seyin, Lady, that
he was wel blissyd that had yow to hys frend, for, whan ye preyid, alle the cumpany of
hevyn preyd wyth yow. Now for the blisful lofe that ye had to yowr Sone, late hym
levyn tyl the tyme that he hath leve to speke wyth me and I wyth hym, for now we arn
put asundyr be obediens." Than sche had answer in hir sowle that he schulde not dey
befor the tyme that sche had leve to speke wyth hym and he wyth hir as thei had don
yerys beforn. And, as owr Lord wolde, in schort tyme aftyr the worthy clerk recuryd
and went abowtyn heyl and hool and had leve of hys sovereyn to spekyn wyth the
sayd creatur. And sche had leve of hir confessowr to spekyn wyth hym. So it happyd
the forseyd doctowr schulde dinyn in towne wyth a worschipful woman whech had
takyn the mentyl and the ryng, and he sent for the sayd creatur to comyn and spekyn
wyth hym. Sche, havyng gret merveyl therof, toke leve and went to hym. Whan sche
cam into the place wher he was, sche myth not spekyn for wepyng and for joy that
sche had in owr Lord, inasmeche as sche fonde hir felyng trewe and not deceyvabyl
that he had leve to spekyn to hir and sche to hym. Than the worschepful doctowr seyd
to hir, "Margery, ye ar wolcome to me, for I have long be kept fro yow, and now hath
owr Lord sent yow hedyr that I may spekyn wyth yow, blissed mote he be." Ther was
a dyner of gret joy and gladnes, meche mor gostly than bodily, for it was sawcyd and
sawryd wyth talys of Holy Scriptur. And than he gaf the sayd creatur a peyr of knyvys
in tokyn that he wolde standyn wyth hir in Goddys cawse, as he had don beforn tyme.
On a day ther cam a preyst to the sayd creatur whech had gret trust in hir felyngys
and in hir revelacyons, desyryng to prevyn hem in divers tymes, and preyid hir to prey
to owr Lord that sche myth have undirstondyng yyf the priowr of Lynne, whech was
good maistyr to the sayd preyst, schulde be remownyd er not and, as sche felt, makyn
hym trewe relacyon. Sche preyd for the forseyd mater, and, whan sche had answer
therof, sche telde the preyste that the priowr of Lynne hys maistyr schulde be clepyd
hom to Norwich and an other of hys brethyr schulde be sent to Lynne in hys stede. And
so it was in dede. But he that was sent to Lynne abood ther but a lityl while er than he
was clepyd hom to Norwych ageyn, and he that had ben priowr of Lynne beforn was
sent ageyn to Lynne and dwellyd ther wel abowtyn four yer tyl he deyd. And in mene
tyme the seyd creatur had oftyn felyng that he the whech was last clepyd hom to
Norwich and abood but lityl while at Lynne schulde yet ben priowr of Lynne agen. Sche
wolde geve no credens therto inasmeche as he had ben ther and was in lityl tyme
clepyd hom ageyn. Than, as sche went on a tyme in the White Frerys Cherch at Lynne
up and down, sche felt a wondyr swet savowr and an hevynly that hir thowt sche myth
a levyd therby wythowtyn mete or drynke yyf it wolde a contynuyd. And in that tyme
owr Lord seyd unto hir, "Dowtyr, be this swet smel thu mayst wel knowyn that ther
schal in schort tyme be a newe priowr in Lynne, and that schal ben he whech was last
remownd thens." And sone aftyr the elde priowr deyid, and than owr Lord seyd to hir
as sche lay in hir bed, "Dowtyr, as loth as thu art to levyn my steryngys, yet schal thu
se hym of whom I schewyd the beforn priowr of Lynne er this day sevenyth." And so
owr Lord rehersyd hir this mater ech day the sevenyth tyl sche sey it was so in dede,
and than was sche ful glad and joyful that hir felyng was trew. Sithyn, whan this
worshepful man was comyn to Lynne and had dwellyd ther but lytil while, whech was
a wol worschepful clerk, a doctowr of divinité, he was poyntyd for to gon ovyr the see
to the Kyng into Frawnce and other clerkys also of the worthyest in Ynglond. Than a
preyste that had an offyce undyr the sayd priowr cam to the forseyd creatur and besechyd
hir to have this mater in mende whan God wolde mynystyr hys holy dalyawnce to hir
sowle and wetyn in this mater whethyr the priowr schulde gon ovyr the se er not. And so
sche preyid to have undirstondyng of this mater, and sche had answer that he schulde
not gon. Nevyrthelesse he wend hymself to a gon and was al purveyd therfor and wyth
gret hevynes had takyn leve of hys frendys, supposyng nevyr to a comyn ageyn, for he
was a ful weyk man and a febyl of complexion. And in the menetyme the kyng deyid,
and the priowr bood at hom. And so hir felyng was trewe wythowtyn any deceyte.
Also it was voysyd that the Bischop of Wynchestyr was ded, and notwythstandyng
sche had felyng that he levyd. And so it was in trewth. And so had sche felyng of
many mo than be wretyn whech owr Lord of hys mercy revelyd to hir undirstondyng,
thow sche wer unworthy of hir meritys.
So be processe of tyme hir mende and hir thowt was so joynyd to God that sche
nevyr forgate hym but contynualy had mende of hym and behelde hym in alle creaturys.
And evyr the mor that sche encresyd in lofe and in devocyon, the mor sche encresyd
in sorwe and in contrycyon, in lownes, in mekenes, and in the holy dreed of owr Lord,
and in knowlach of hir owyn frelté, that, yyf sche sey a creatur be ponischyd er scharply
chastisyd, sche schulde thynkyn that sche had ben mor worthy to ben chastisyd than that
creatur was for hir unkyndnes ageyns God. Than schulde sche cryen, wepyn, and sobbyn
for hir owyn synne and for the compassyon of the creatur that sche sey so ben ponyschyd
and scharply chastisyd. Yyf sche sey a prince, a prelat, er a worthy man of state and
degré whom men worschepyd and reverensyd wyth lownes and mekenes, anon hir
mende was refreschyd into owr Lord, thynkyng what joy, what blysse, what worschep
and reverens he had in hevyn amongys hys blyssyd seyntys, syn a deedly man had so
gret worschep in erth. And most of alle whan sche sey the precyows sacrament born
abowte the town wyth lyte and reverens, the pepil knelyng on her kneys, than had
sche many holy thowtys and meditacyonys, and than oftyntymys schulde sche cryin and
roryn as thow sche schulde a brostyn for the feyth and the trost that sche had in the
precyows sacrament. Also the sayd creatur was desiryd of mech pepil to be wyth hem
at her deying and to prey for hem, for, thow thei lovyd not hir wepyng ne hir crying in
her lyfe tyme, thei desiryd that sche schulde bothyn wepyn and cryin whan thei schulde
deyin, and so sche dede. Whan sche sey folke be anoyntyd, sche had many holy thowtys,
many holy meditacyons, and, yyf sche saw hem deyin, hir thowt sche saw owr Lord
deyin and sumtyme owr Lady, as owr God wolde illumyn hir gostly syth of
undirstondyng. Than schulde sche cryin, wepyn, and sobbyn ful wondirfully as sche
had beheldyn owr Lord in hys deying er owr Lady in hir deying. And sche thowt in hir
mende that God toke many owt of this worlde whech wolde a levyd ful fawyn, "And I,
Lord," thowt sche, "wolde ful fawyn comyn to the, and aftyr me thu hast no yernyng,"
and swech thowtys encresyd hir wepyng and hir sobbyng. On a tyme a worschepful
lady sent for hir for cawse of comownyng, and, as thei weryn in her comunycacyon,
the lady gaf to hir a maner of worschip and preysyng, and it was to hir gret peyne to
have any preysyng. Nevyrthelesse anoon sche offryd it up to owr Lord, for sche desyrid
no preysyng but hys only, wyth a gret cry and many devowt terys. So ther was neithyr
worschep ne preysyng, lofe ne lakkyng, schame ne despite that myth drawyn hir lofe
fro God, but, aftyr the sentens of Seynt Powle, "To hem that lovyn God al thyng
turnyth into goodnes," so it ferd wyth hir. What that evyr sche sey er herd, alwey hir
lofe and hir gostly affeccyon encresyd to owr Lordward, blissyd mot he ben, that
wrowt swech grace in hir for many mannys profyte. An other tyme ther sent for hir an
other worschepful lady that had meche meny abowtyn hir, and gret worschep and gret
reverens was don unto hir. Whan the sayd creatur behelde alle hir mené abowtyn hir
and the gret reverens and worschep that was don hir, sche fel on a gret wepyng and
cryid therwyth rith sadly. Ther was a preyst herd how sche cryid and how sche wept,
and he was a man not savowryng gostly thyngys, bannyd hir ful fast, seying unto hir,
"What devyl eylith the? Why wepist so? God geve the sorwe." Sche sat stille and
answeryd no word. Than the lady had hir into a gardeyn be hemself aloone and preyd
hir to tellyn why sche cryid so sor. And than sche, supposyng it was expedient for to
do, telde hir in parcel of the cawse. Than the lady was ille plesyd wyth hir preyste that
had so spokyn ageyns hir and lovyd hir ryth wel, desiryng and preying hir to abydyn
stille wyth hir. Than sche excusyd hir and seyd sche myth not acordyn wyth the aray
and the governawns that sche say ther among hir mené.
On the Holy Thursday, as the sayd creatur went processyon wyth other pepil, sche
saw in hir sowle owr Lady, Seynt Mary Mawdelyn, and the twelve apostelys. And than
sche beheld wyth hir gostly eye how owr Lady toke hir leve of hir blysful Sone, Crist
Jhesu, how he kyssed hir and alle hys apostelys and also hys trewe lover, Mary
Mawdelyn. Than hir thowt it was a swemful partyng and also a joyful partyng. Whan
sche beheld this sygth in hir sowle, sche fel down in the feld among the pepil. Sche
cryid, sche roryd, sche wept as thow sche schulde a brostyn therwith. Sche myth not
mesuryn hirself ne rewlyn hirselfe, but cryid and roryd that many man on hir wonderyd.
But sche toke non heed what ony man seyd ne dede, for hir mende was ocupyid in owr
Lord. Sche felt many an holy thowt in that tyme whech sche cowde nevyr aftyr. Sche
had forgetyn alle erdly thyngys and only ententyd to gostly thyngys. Hir thowt that al
hir joy was ago. Sche sey hyr Lord steyn up into hevyn, for sche cowde not forberyn
hym in erde. Therfor sche desiryd to a gon wyth hym, for al hir joy and al hir blysse
was in hym and sche knew wel that sche schulde nevyr han joy ne blys tyl sche come to
hym. Swech holy thowtys and swech holy desirys cawsyd hir to wepyn, and the pepil
wist not what hir eylyd. An other tyme the seyd creatur beheld how owr Lady was, hir
thowt, in deying and alle the apostelys knelyng beforn hir and askyng grace. Than
sche cryid and wept sor. The apostelys comawndyd hir to cesyn and be stille. The
creatur answeryd to the apostelys, "Wolde ye I schulde see the Modyr of God deyin and
I schulde not wepyn? It may not be, for I am so ful of sorwe that I may not wythstonde
it. I must nedys cryin and wepyn." And than sche seyd in hir sowle to owr Lady, "A,
blyssyd Lady, prey for me to yowr Sone that I may come to yow and no lengar be teriid
fro yow, for, Lady, this is al to gret a sorwe for to be bothe at yowr sonys dethe and
at yowr deth and not deyin wyth yow but levyn stille alone and no comfort han
wyth me." Than owr gracyows Lady answeryd to hir sowle, behestyng hir to prey for
hir to hir sone, and seyd, "Dowtyr, alle thes sorwys that thu hast had for me and for my
blissyd sone schal turne the to gret joye and blys in hevyn wythowtyn ende. And
dowt the not, dowtyr, that thu schalt comyn to us ryth wel and be ryth wolcome whan
thu comyst. But thu mayst not comyn yet, for thu schalt comyn in ryth good tyme. And,
dowtyr, wete thu wel thu schalt fyndyn me a very modyr to the to helpyn the and socowr
the as a modyr owyth to don hir dowtyr and purchasyn to the grace and vertu. And the
same pardon that was grawntyd the befor tyme, it was confermyd on Seynt Nicholas
Day, that is to seyn plenowr remissyon, and it is not only grawntyd to the but also to
alle tho that belevyn and to alle tho that schul belevyn into the worldys ende that God
lovyth the and schal thankyn God for the. Yyf thei wyl forsakyn her synne and ben in
ful wylle no more to turnyn ageyn therto but ben sory and hevy for that thei have do
and wil don dew penawnce therfor, thei schal have the same pardon that is grawntyd to
thiselfe, and that is alle the pardon that is in Jerusalem as was grawntyd the whan thu
wer at Rafnys," as is beforn wretyn.
The sayd creatur on a day, heryng hir messe and revolvyng in hir mende the tyme
of hir deth, sor syhyng and sorwyng for it was so long delayd, seyd on this maner,
"Alasse, Lord, how long schal I thus wepyn and mornyn for thy lofe and for desyr of thy
presens?" Owr Lord answeryd in hir sowle and seyd, "Al this fifteen yer." Than seyd
sche, "A, Lord, I schal thynkyn many thowsend yerys." Owr Lord answeryd to hir,
"Dowtyr, thu must bethynkyn the of my blissyd modyr that levyd aftyr me in erth
fifteen yer, also Seynt John the Evangelyst, and Mary Mawdelyn, the whech lovyd me
rith hyly." "A, blysful Lord," seyd sche, "I wolde I wer as worthy to ben sekyr of thy
lofe as Mary Mawdelyn was." Than seyd owr Lord, "Trewly, dowtyr, I love the as
wel, and the same pes that I gaf to hir the same pes I geve to the. For, dowtyr, ther is no
seynt in hevyn displesyd thow I love a creatur in erde as mech as I do hem. Therfor
thei wil non otherwyse than I wil." Thus owr mercyful Lord Crist Jhesu drow hys
creatur unto hys lofe and to mynde of hys passyon that sche myth not duryn to beheldyn
a lazer er an other seke man, specialy yyf he had any wowndys aperyng on hym. So
sche cryid and so sche wept as yyf sche had sen owr Lord Jhesu Crist wyth hys wowndys
bledyng. And so sche dede in the syght of hir sowle, for thorw the beheldyng of the
seke man hir mende was al takyn into owr Lord Jhesu Crist. Than had sche gret mornyng
and sorwyng for sche myth not kyssyn the lazerys whan sche sey hem er met wyth
hem in the stretys for the lofe of Jhesu. Now gan sche to lovyn that sche had most
hatyd befor tyme, for ther was no thyng mor lothful ne mor abhomynabyl to hir whil
sche was in the yerys of werldly prosperité than to seen er beheldyn a lazer, whom
now thorw owr Lordys mercy sche desyryd to halsyn and kyssyn for the lofe of Jhesu
whan sche had tyme and place convenyent. Than sche teld hir confessowr how gret
desyre sche had to kyssyn lazerys, and he warnyd hir that sche schulde kyssyn no men,
but, yyf sche wolde algatys kyssyn, sche schuld kyssyn women. Than was sche glad, for
sche had leve to kyssyn the seke women and went to a place wher seke women dwellyd
whech wer ryth ful of the sekenes and fel down on hir kneys beforn hem, preyng hem
that sche myth kyssyn her mowth for the lofe of Jhesu. And so sche kyssyd ther two
seke women with many an holy thowt and many a devowt teer, and, whan sche had
kyssyd hem and telde hem ful many good wordys and steryd hem to mekenes and
pacyens that thei schulde not grutchyn wyth her sekenes but hyly thankyn God therfor
and thei schulde han gret blysse in hevyn thorw the mercy of owr Lord Jhesu Crist, than
the oo woman had so many temptacyons that sche wist not how sche myth best be
governyd. Sche was so labowryd wyth hir gostly enmy that sche durst not blissyn hir
ne do no worschep to God for dreed that the devyl schuld a slayn hir. And sche was
labowryd wyth many fowle and horibyl thowtys, many mo than sche cowde tellyn.
And, as sche seyd, sche was a mayde. Therfor the sayd creatur went to hir many
tymys to comfortyn hir and preyd for hir, also ful specialy that God schulde strength
hir ageyn hir enmye, and it is to belevyn that he dede so, blissyd mote he ben.
As the sayd creatur was in a chirch of Seynt Margaret to sey hir devocyons, ther
cam a man knelyng at hir bak, wryngyng hys handys and schewyng tokenys of gret
hevynes. Sche, parceyvyng hys hevynes, askyd what hym eylyd. He seyd it stod ryth
hard wyth hym, for hys wyfe was newly delyveryd of a childe and sche was owt hir
mende. "And, dame," he seyth, "sche knowyth not me ne non of hir neyborwys. Sche
roryth and cryith so that sche makith folk evyl afeerd. Sche wyl bothe smytyn and
bityn, and therfor is sche manykyld on hir wristys." Than askyd sche the man yyf he
wolde that sche went wyth hym and sawe hir, and he seyd, "Ya, dame, for Goddys
lofe." So sche went forth wyth hym to se the woman. And, whan sche cam into the
hows, as sone as the seke woman that was alienyd of hir witte saw hir, sche spak to hir
sadly and goodly and seyd sche was ryth wolcome to hir. And sche was ryth glad of
hir comyng and gretly comfortyd be hir presens, "For ye arn," sche seyd, "a ryth good
woman, and I behelde many fayr awngelys abowte yow, and therfor, I pray yow, goth
not fro me, for I am gretly comfortyd be yow." And, whan other folke cam to hir, sche
cryid and gapyd as sche wolde an etyn hem and seyd that sche saw many develys
abowtyn hem. Sche wolde not suffyrn hem to towchyn hir be hyr good wyl. Sche
roryd and cryid so bothe nyth and day for the most part that men wolde not suffyr hir
to dwellyn amongys hem, sche was so tediows to hem. Than was sche had to the
forthest ende of the town into a chambyr that the pepil schulde not heryn hir cryin. And
ther was sche bowndyn handys and feet wyth chenys of yron that sche schulde smytyn
nobody. And the sayd creatur went to hir iche day onys er twyis at the lest wey, and,
whyl sche was wyth hir, sche was meke anow and herd hir spekyn and dalyin wyth
good wil wythowtyn any roryng er crying. And the sayd creatur preyid for this woman
every day that God schulde, yyf it were hys wille, restoryn hir to hir wittys ageyn. And
owr Lord answeryd in hir sowle and seyd, "Sche schulde faryn ryth wel." Than was
sche mor bolde to preyin for hir recuryng than sche was beforn, and iche day, wepyng
and sorwyng, preyid for hir recur tyl God gaf hir hir witte and hir mende agen. And
than was sche browt to chirche and purifiid as other women be, blyssed mote God
ben. It was, as hem thowt that knewyn it, a ryth gret myrakyl, for he that wrot this
boke had nevyr befor that tyme sey man ne woman, as hym thowt, so fer owt of hirself
as this woman was ne so evyl to rewlyn ne to governyn, and sithyn he sey hir sad and
sobyr anow, worschip and preysyng be to owr Lord wythowtyn ende for hys hy mercy
and hys goodnes that evyr helpith at nede.
It happyd on a tyme that the husbonde of the sayd creatur, a man in gret age passyng
thre scor yer, as he wolde a comyn down of hys chambyr bar foot and bar legge, he
slederyd er ellys faylyd of hys fotyng and fel down to the grownd fro the gresys, and
hys hevyd undyr hym grevowsly brokyn and bresyd, in so meche that he had in hys
hevyd five teyntys many days whil hys hevyd was in holyng. And, as God wold, it
was knowyn to summe of hys neybowrys how he was fallyn downe of the gresys,
peraventur thorw the dene and the luschyng of hys fallyng. And so thei comyn to hym
and fowndyn hym lying wyth hys hevyd undir hym, half on lyfe, al rowyd wyth
blood, nevyr lyke to a spokyn wyth preyst ne with clerk but thorw hy grace and myracle.
Than the sayd creatur, hys wife, was sent for, and so sche cam to hym. Than was he
takyn up and hys hevyd was sowyd, and he was seke a long tyme aftyr, that men wend
that he schulde a be deed. And than the pepil seyd, yyf he deyd, hys wyfe was worthy to
ben hangyn for hys deth, forasmeche as sche myth a kept hym and dede not. They
dwellyd not togedyr, ne thei lay not togedyr, for, as is wretyn beforn, thei bothyn wyth
on assent and wyth fre wil of her eithyr haddyn mad avow to levyn chast. And therfor
to enchewyn alle perellys thei dwellyd and sojowryd in divers placys wher no suspicyon
schulde ben had of her incontinens, for first thei dwellyd togedir aftyr that thei had mad
her vow, and than the pepil slawndryd hem and seyd thei usyd her lust and her likyng
as thei dedyn beforn her vow makyng. And, whan thei wentyn owt on pilgrimage er to
se and spekyn wyth other gostly creaturys, many evyl folke whos tongys wer her
owyn, faylyng the dreed and lofe of owr Lord Jhesu Crist, demtyn and seydyn that
thei went rathyr to woodys, grovys, er valeys to usyn the lust of her bodiis that the
pepil schuld not aspyin it ne wetyn it. They, havyng knowlach how prone the pepil
was to demyn evyl of hem, desiryng to avoydyn al occasyon, in as mech as thei myth
goodly, be her good wil and her bothins consentyng, thei partyd asundyr as towchyng
to her boord and to her chambrys, and wentyn to boord in divers placys. And this was
the cawse that sche was not wyth hym and also that sche schulde not be lettyd fro hir
contemplacyon. And therfor, whan he had fallyn and grevowsly was hurt, as is seyd
beforn, the pepil seyd, yyf he deyid, it was worthy that sche schulde answeryn for hys
deth. Than sche preyid to owr Lord that hir husbond myth levyn a yer and sche to be
deliveryd owt slawndyr yyf it wer hys plesawns. Owr Lord seyd to hir mende, "Dowtyr,
thu schalt have thi bone, for he schal levyn and I have wrowt a gret myrakyl for the that
he was not ded. And I bydde the take hym hom and kepe hym for my lofe." Sche seyd,
"Nay, good Lord, for I schal than not tendyn to the as I do now." "Yys, dowtyr," seyd
owr Lord, "Thu schalt have as meche mede for to kepyn hym and helpyn hym in hys
nede at hom as yyf thu wer in chirche to makyn thi preyerys. And thu hast seyd many
tymys that thu woldist fawyn kepyn me. I prey the now kepe hym for the lofe of me,
for he hath sumtyme fulfillyd thi wil and my wil bothe, and he hath mad thi body fre
to me that thu schuldist servyn me and levyn chast and clene, and therfor I wil that thu be
fre to helpyn hym at hys nede in my name." "A, Lord," seyd sche, "for thi mercy
grawnt me grace to obeyn thi wil and fulfille thi wil and late nevyr my gostly enmys
han no powyr to lett me fro fulfillyng of thi wil." Than sche toke hom hir husbond to
hir and kept hym yerys aftyr as long as he levyd and had ful mech labowr wyth hym,
for in hys last days he turnyd childisch agen and lakkyd reson that he cowd not don
hys owyn esement to gon to a sege, er ellys he wolde not, but as a childe voydyd his
natural digestyon in hys lynyn clothys ther he sat be the fyre er at the tabil, whethyr it
wer, he wolde sparyn no place. And therfor was hir labowr meche the mor in waschyng
and wryngyng and hir costage in fyryng and lettyd hir ful meche fro hir contemplacyon
that many tymys sche schuld an yrkyd hir labowr saf sche bethowt hir how sche in hir
yong age had ful many delectabyl thowtys, fleschly lustys, and inordinat lovys to hys
persone. And therfor sche was glad to be ponischyd wyth the same persone and toke it
mech the mor esily and servyd hym and helpyd hym, as hir thowt, as sche wolde a don
Whan the seyd creatur had first hyr wondirful cryis and on a tyme was in gostly
dalyawns wyth hir sovereyn Lord Crist Jhesu, sche seyd, "Lord, why wilt thu gyf me
swech crying that the pepil wondryth on me therfor and thei seyn that I am in gret
perel, for, as thei seyn, I am cawse that many men synne on me. And thu knowist,
Lord, that I wolde gevyn no man cawse ne occasyon of synne yyf I myth, for I had
levar, Lord, ben in a preson of ten fadom depe ther to cryin and wepyn for my synne
and for alle mennys synnys and specialy for thy lofe al my lyf tyme than I schulde gevyn
the pepil occasyon to synnyn on me wilfully. Lord, the worlde may not suffyr me to
do thy wil ne to folwyn aftyr thi steryng, and therfor I prey the, yyf it be thy wil, take
thes cryingys fro me in the tyme of sermownys that I cry not at thin holy prechyng and
late me havyn hem be myself alone so that I be not putt fro heryng of thin holy prechyng
and of thin holy wordys, for grettar peyn may I not suffyr in this worlde than be put
fro thi holy worde heryng. And, yyf I wer in preson, my most peyn schulde be the
forberyng of thin holy wordys and of thin holy sermownys. And, good Lord, yyf thu
wilt algate that I crye, I prey the geve me it alone in my chambyr as meche as evyr thu
wilt and spar me amongys the pepil, yyf it plese the." Owr merciful Lord Crist Jhesu
answeryng to hir mende seyd, "Dowtyr, prey not therfor; thu schalt not han thy desyr in
this thow my modyr and alle the seyntys in hevyn preye for the, for I schal make the
buxom to my wil that thu schalt criyn whan I wil, and wher I wil, bothyn lowde and
stille, for I teld the, dowtyr, thu art myn and I am thyn, and so schalt thu be wythowtyn
ende. Dowtyr, thu seist how the planetys ar buxom to my wil, that sumtyme ther cum
gret thundirkrakkys and makyn the pepil ful sor afeerd. And sumtyme, dowtyr, thu
seest how I sende gret levenys that brennyn chirchys and howsys. Also sumtyme thu
seest that I sende gret wyndys that blowyn down stepelys, howsys, and trees owt of
the erde and doth mech harm in many placys, and yet may not the wynd be seyn but it
may wel be felt. And ryth so, dowtyr, I fare wyth the myth of my Godheed; it may not
be seyn wyth mannys eye, and yyt it may wel be felt in a sympil sowle wher likyth to
werkyn grace, as I do in thi sowle. And, as sodeynly as the levyn comith fro hevyn, so
sodeynly come I into thy sowle, and illumyn it wyth the lyght of grace and of
undirstandyng, and sett it al on fyr wyth lofe, and make the fyr of lofe to brenne therin
and purgyn it ful clene fro alle erdly filth. And sumtyme, dowtyr, I make erdedenys
for to feryn the pepil that thei schulde dredyn me. And so, dowtyr, gostly have I don
wyth the and wyth other chosyn sowlys that schal ben savyd, for I turne the erthe of her
hertys upsodown and make hem sore afeerd that thei dredyn venjawnce schulde fallyn
on hem for her synnys. And so dedist thu, dowtyr, whan thu turnedist fyrst to me, and
it is nedful that yong begynnarys do so, but now, dowtyr, thu hast gret cawse to lovyn
me wel, for the parfyte charité that I gyf the puttyth away al drede fro the. And, thow
other men settyn lityl be the, I sett but the mor prys be the. As sekyr as thu art of the
sunne whan thu seest it schynyn bryghtly, ryth so sekyr art thu of the lofe of God at al
tyme. Also, dowtyr, thu wost wel that I send sumtyme many gret reynys and scharp
schowerys, and sumtyme but smale and softe dropis. And ryth so I far wyth the, dowtyr,
whan it likyth me to spekyn in thi sowle; I gyf the sumtyme smale wepyngys and soft
teerys for a tokyn that I lofe the, and sumtyme I geve the gret cryis and roryngys for to
makyn the pepil aferd wyth the grace that I putte in the into a tokyn that I wil that my
modrys sorwe be knowyn by the that men and women myth have the mor compassyon
of hir sorwe that sche suffyrd for me. And the thryd tokyn is this, dowtyr, that what
creatur wil takyn as mech sorwe for my passyon as thu hast don many a tyme and wil
sesyn of her synnys that thei schal have the blys of hevyn wythowtyn ende. The ferth
tokyn is this: that any creatur in erthe, haf he be nevyr so horrybyl a synner, he thar
nevyr fallyn in dispeyr yyf he wyl takyn exampil of thy levyng and werkyn sumwhat
theraftyr as he may do. Also, dowtyr, the fifte tokyn is that I wil thu knowe in thiself
be the gret peyne that thu felist in thyn hert whan thu cryist so sor for my lofe that it schal
be cawse thu schalt no peyn felyn whan thu art comyn owt of this worlde and also that
thu schalt have the lesse peyn in thy deying, for thu hast so gret compassyon of my
flesche I must nede have compassyon of thi flesch. And therfor, dowtyr, suffyr the
pepil to sey what thei wil of thi crying, for thu art nothyng cawse of her synne. Dowtyr,
the pepil synnyd on me, and yet was I not cawse of her synne." Than sche seyd, "A,
Lord, blissyd mote thu be, for me thynkyth thu dost thiself al that thu biddist me don.
In Holy Writte, Lord, thu byddyst me lovyn myn enmys, and I wot wel that in al this
werld was nevyr so gret an enmye to me as I have ben to the. Therfor, Lord, thei I wer
slayn an hundryd sithys on a day, yyf it wer possibyl, for thy love, yet cowde I nevyr
yeldyn the the goodnes that thu hast schewyd to me." Than answeryd owr Lord to hir
and seyd, "I prey the, dowtyr, geve me not ellys but lofe. Thu maist nevyr plesyn me
bettyr than havyn me evyr in thi lofe, ne thu schalt nevyr in no penawns that thu mayst
do in erth plesyn me so meche as for to lovyn me. And, dowtyr, yyf thu wilt ben hey
in hevyn wyth me, kepe me alwey in thi mende as meche as thu mayst and forgete me
not at thi mete, but thynk alwey that I sitte in thin hert and knowe every thowt that is
therin, bothe good and ylle, and that I parceyve the lest thynkyng and twynkelyng of
thyn eye." Sche seyd agen to owr Lord, "Now trewly, Lord, I wolde I cowde lovyn
the as mych as thu mythist makyn me to lovyn the. Yyf it wer possibyl, I wolde lovyn
the as wel as alle the seyntys in hevyn lovyn the and as wel as alle the creaturys in erth
myth lovyn the. And I wolde, Lord, for thi lofe be leyd nakyd on an hyrdil, alle men to
wonderyn on me for thi love, so it wer no perel to her sowlys, and thei to castyn slory
and slugge on me, and be drawyn fro town to town every day my lyfetyme, yyf thu
wer plesyd therby and no mannys sowle hyndryd, thi wil mote be fulfillyd and not
Many yerys on Palme Sonday, as this creatur was at the processyon wyth other
good pepyl in the chirch yerd and beheld how the preystys dedyn her observawnce,
how thei knelyd to the sacrament and the pepil also, it semyd to hir gostly sygth as thei
sche had ben that tyme in Jerusalem and seen owr Lord in hys manhod receyvyd of
the pepil as he was whil he went her in erth. Than had sche so meche swetnes and
devocyon that sche myth not beryn it, but cryid, wept, and sobbyd ful boistowsly.
Sche had many an holy thowt of owr Lordys passyon and beheld hym in hir gostly
syght as verily as he had ben aforn hir in hir bodily syght. Therfor myth sche not
wythstondyn wepyng and sobbyng, but sche must nedys wepyn, cryin, and sobbyn
whan sche beheld hir Savyowr suffyr so gret peynys for hir lofe. Than schulde sche
preyn for al the pepil that was levyng in erth that thei myth do owr Lord dew worschep
and reverens that tymys and al tymys and that thei myth ben worthy to heryn and
undirstondyn the holy wordys and lawys of God and mekely obeyn and trewly fulfillyn
hem upon her powyr. And it was custom in the place ther sche was dwellyng to have
a sermown on that day, and than, as a worschepful doctowr of divinité was in the
pulpit and seyd the sermown, he rehersyd oftyntyme thes wordys, "Owr Lord Jhesu
langurith for lofe." Tho wordys wrowt so in hir mende whan sche herd spekyn of the
parfyte lof that owr Lord Jhesu Crist had to mankynde and how der he bowt us wyth
hys bittyr Passyon, schedyng hys hert blood for owr redempcyon, and suffyrd so
schamful a deth for owr salvacyon, than sche myth no lengar kepyn the fir of lofe clos
wythinne hir brest, but, whethyr sche wolde er not, it wolde aperyn wythowteforth
swech as was closyd wythinneforth. And so sche cryed ful lowde and wept and sobbyd
ful sor as thow sche schulde a brostyn for pité and compassyon that sche had of owr
Lordys passyon. And sumtyme sche was al on a watyr wyth the labowr of the crying,
it was so lowde and so boistows, and mech pepil wondryd on hir and bannyd hir ful
fast, supposyng that sche had feynyd hirself for to cryin. And sone aftyr owr Lord
seyd onto hir, "Dowtyr, this plesith me rith wel, for the mor schame and mor despite
that thu hast for my lofe, the mor joy schalt thu have wyth me in hevyn, and it is rithful
that it be so." Sumtyme sche herd gret sowndys and gret melodiis wyth hir bodily
erys, and than sche thowt it was ful mery in hevyn and had ful gret languryng and ful
gret longyng thedyrward wyth many a stille mornyng. And than many tymys owr
Lord Jhesu Crist wolde sey to hir, "Dowtyr, her is this day a fayr pepil, and many of
hem schal ben ded er this day twelmonyth," and telde hir beforn whan pestilens schulde
fallyn. And sche fonde it in dede as sche had felt beforn, and that strengthyd hir mech
in the lofe of God. Owr Lord wolde seyn also, "Dowtyr, thei that wil not belevyn the
goodnes and the grace that I schewe onto the in this lyfe, I schal make hem to knowe the
trewth whan thei arn dede and owt of this world. Dowtyr, thu hast a good zele of
charité in that thu woldist alle men wer savyd, and so wolde I. And thei seyn that so
wolde thei, but thu maist wel se that thei wol not hemself be savyd, for alle thei wil
sumtyme heryn the word of God, but thei wil not alwey don theraftyr, and thei wil not
sorwyn hemself for her synnys, ne thei wil suffyr non other to suffir for hem.
Nevyrthelesse, dowtyr, I have ordeynd the to be a merowr amongys hem for to han
gret sorwe that thei schulde takyn exampil by the for to have sum litil sorwe in her
hertys for her synnys that thei myth therthorw be savyd, but thei lovyn not to heryn of
sorwe ne of contricyon. But, good dowtyr, do thu thi dever and prey for hem whil thu
art in this world, and thu schalt have the same mede and reward in hevyn as yyf al the
werlde wer savyd be thi good wil and thi preyer. Dowtyr, I have many tymys seyd to
the that many thowsand sowlys schal be savyd thorw thi preyerys, and sum that lyn in
poynt of deth schal han grace thorw thi meritys and thi preyerys, for thi terys and thi
preyerys arn ful swet and acceptabil unto me." Than sche seyd in hir mende to owr
Lord Jhesu Crist, "A, Jhesu, blissyd mote thu be wythowtyn ende, for I have many a
gret cawse to thank the and lofe the wyth al myn hert, for it semith to me, Lord, that thu
art alle charité to the profyte and helth of mannys sowle. A, Lord, I beleve that he
schal be ryth wikke that schal be partyd fro the wythowtyn ende. He schal neithyr welyn
good, ne do good, ne desiryn good. And therfor, Lord, I thanke the for al goodnes that
thu hast schewyd onto me, ryth unworthy wrech." And than on the same Sonday,
whan the preyste toke the crossestaf and smet on the chirche dor and the dor openyd
ageyn hym, and than the preyst entryd wyth the sacrament and al the pepil folwyng
into chirche, than thowt sche that owr Lord spak to the devyl and openyd helle gatys
confowndyng hym and alle hys oste and what grace and goodnes he schewyd to tho
sowlys, delyveryng hem fro evyrlestyng preson, mawgre the devyl and alle hys. Sche
had many an holy thowt and many an holy desyr whech sche cowde nevyr tellyn ne
rehersyn ne hir tunge myth nevyr expressyn the habundawnce of grace that sche felt,
blissyd be owr Lord of alle hys gyftys. Whan thei wer comyn into the cherch and sche
beheld the preystys knelyng beforn the crucifixe, and, as thei songyn, the preyste
whech executyd the servyse that day drow up a cloth befor the crucyfixe thre tymys,
every tyme heyar than other, that the pepil schulde se the crucifixe, than was hir mende al
holy takyn owt of al erdly thyngys and set al in gostly thyngys, preying and desyryng
that sche myth at the last han the ful syght of hym in hevyn whech is bothin God and
man in oo persone. And than schulde sche al the messe tyme aftyr wepyn and sobbyn
ful plentyuowsly, and sumtyme among cryin rith fervently, for hir thowt that sche saw
owr Lord Crist Jhesu as verily in hir sowle wyth hir gostly eye as sche had seyn beforn
the crucifixe wyth hir bodily eye.
Than sche beheld in the syght of hir sowle owr blisful Lord Crist Jhesu comyng to
hys passyonward, and, er he went, he knelyd down and toke hys moderys blissyng.
Than sche saw hys modyr fallyng down in swownyng befor hir sone, seyng unto hym,
"Alas, my der Sone, how schal I suffyr this sorwe and have no joy in al this werlde but
the alone." "A, der Sone, yyf thu wilt algatys dey, late me deye befor the and late me
nevyr suffyr this day of sorwe, for I may nevyr beryn this sorwe that I schal han for thi
deth. I wolde, Sone, that I myth suffir deth for the so that thu schuldist not deyin, yyf
mannys sowle myth so be savyd. Now, der sone, yyf thu have no rewth of thiself, have
rewth of thi modyr, for thu wost ful wel ther can no man in al this worlde comfortyn
me but thu alone." Than owr Lord toke up hys modyr in hys armys and kissyd hir ful
swetly and seyde to hyr, "A, blissyd modyr, beth of a good cher and of a good comforte,
for I have teld yow ful oftyn that I must nedys suffyr deth and ellys schulde no man be
savyd ne nevyr comyn in blisse. And modir, it is my fadyrs wil that it be so, and
therfor I preye yow late it be yowr wil also, for my deth schal turne me to gret worschep
and yow and al mankynde to gret joye and profyte whech that trustyn in my passyon
and werkyn theraftyr. And therfor, blissyd modir, ye must abydyn her aftyr me, for in
yow schal restyn al the feith of Holy Chirch, and be yowr feith Holy Chirch schal encresyn
in hir feith. And therfor I prey yow, derworthy modyr, cesyth of yowr sorweng, for I
schal not levyn yow comfortlees. I schal levyn her wyth yow John, my cosyn, to
comfort yow in stede of me; I schal send myn holy awngelys to comfort yow in erth; and
I schal comfortyn yow in yowr sowle myn owyn self, for, modir, ye wote wel I have
behyte yow the blys of hevyn and that ye ar sekyr therof. A, derworthy modyr, what
wolde ye bettyr than ther I am kyng ye for to be qwen, and alle awngelys and seyntys
schal be buxom to yowr wil. And what grace ye aske me I schal not denye yowr desyr. I
schal gevyn yow powyr ovyr the develys that thei schal be aferd of yow and ye not of
hem. And also, my blissyd modyr, I have seyd to yow befor tyme that I schal comyn for
yow myn owyn self whan ye schal passyn owt of this world wyth alle myn awngelys and
alle myn seyntys that arn in hevyn and bryng yow befor my fadyr wyth al maner of
musyk, melody, and joy. And ther schal I sett yow in gret pees and rest wythowtyn ende.
And ther schal ye be corownyd as for Qwen of Hevyn, as for lady of al the worlde, and
as for Empres of Helle. And therfor, my derworthy modyr, I pray yow blissyth me and
late me go do my fadrys wille, for therfor I cam into this worlde and toke flesch and blood
of yow." Whan the sayd creatur beheld this gloriows syght in hir sowle and saw how
he blissyd hys modyr and hys modyr hym, and than hys blissyd modyr myth not
spekyn o word mor to hym but fel down to the grownde, and so thei partyd asundyr,
hys modyr lying stille as sche had ben ded, than the sayd creatur thowt sche toke owr
Lord Jhesu Crist be the clothys and fel down at hys feet, preyng hym to blissyn hir,
and therwyth sche cryid ful lowde and wept rith sor, seying in hir mende, "A, Lord,
wher schal I become? I had wel levar that thu woldist sle me than latyn me abydyn in
the worlde wythowtyn the, for wythowtyn the I may not abydyn her, Lord." Than
answeryd owr Lord to hir, "Be stille, dowtyr, and rest wyth my modyr her and com
fort the in hir, for sche that is myn owyn modyr must suffyr this sorwe. But I schal
come ageyn, dowtyr, to my modyr and comfortyn hir and the bothyn and turnyn al yowr
sorwe into joye." And than hir thowt owr Lord went forth hys wey, and sche went to
owr Lady and seyd, "A, blissyd Lady, risith up and late us folwe yowr blissyd sone as
long as we may se hym that I may lokyn inow upon hym er he deye. A, der Lady, how
may yowr hert lestyn and se your blisful sone se al this wo? Lady, I may not dur it, and
yyt am I not hys modyr." Than owr Lady answeryd and seyd, "Dowtyr, thu herist wel
it wil non otherwise be, and therfor I must nedys suffyr it for my sonys lofe." And
than hir thowt that thei folwyd forth aftyr owr Lord and sey how he mad hys preyeris
to hys fadyr in the Mownt of Olyvete and herdyn the goodly answer that cam fro hys
fadyr and the goodly answer that he gaf hys fadyr ageyn. Than sche sey how owr Lord
went to hys discipulys and bad hem wakyn; hys enmys wer ner. And than com a gret
multitude of pepil wyth meche lyght and many armyd men wyth stavys, swerdys, and
polexis to sekyn owr Lord Jhesu Crist. Owr merciful Lord as a meke lombe seying
onto hem, "Whom seke ye?" Thei answeryd wyth a scharp spiryt, "Jhesu of Nazareth."
Owr Lord seyd agen, "Ego sum." And than sche sey the Jewys fallyn down on the
grownde, thei mowt not stondyn for drede, but anon thei resun ageyn and sowtyn as
thei had don beforn. And owr Lord askyd, "Whom seke ye?" And thei seyd ageyn,
"Jhesu of Nazareth." Owr Lord answeryd, "I it am." And than anon sche sey Judas
come and kyssyn owr Lord, and the Jewys leyd handys upon hym ful violentlyche.
Than had owr Lady and sche meche sorwe and gret peyn to se the lombe of innocencye
so contemptibly be haldyn and drawyn wyth hys owyn pepil that he was specialy sent
unto. And aswithe the sayd creatur beheld wyth hir gostly eye the Jewys puttyng a
cloth beforn owr Lordys eyne, betyng hym and bofetyng hym in the hevyd and bobyng
hym beforn hys swete mowth, criyng ful cruelly unto hym, "Telle us now how smet
the." Thei sparid not to spittyn in hys face in the most schamful wise that thei cowde.
And than owr Lady and sche hyr unworthy handmaydyn for the tyme wept and syhyd
ful sor for the Jewys ferd so fowle and so venymowslych wyth hir blisful Lord. And
thei wolde not spare to luggen hys blisful erys and drawyn the her of hys berd. And
anon aftyr sche saw hem drawyn of hys clothys and makyn hym al nakyd and sithyn
drewyn hym forth aforn hem as it had ben the most malefactowr in al the worlde. And
he went forth ful mekely aforn hem al modyr nakyd as he was born to a peler of ston
and spak no worde ageyn hem but leet hem do and sey what thei wolde. And ther thei
bowndyn hym to the peler as streyt as thei cowde and beetyn hym on hys fayr white
body wyth baleys, wyth whippis, and wyth scorgys. And than hyr thowt owr Lady
wept wondir sor. And therfor the sayd creatur must nedys wepyn and cryin whan sche
sey swech gostly syghtys in hir sowle as freschly and as verily as yyf it had ben don in
dede in hir bodily syght, and hir thowt that owr Lady and sche wer alwey togedyr to se
owr Lordys peynys. Swech gostly syghtys had sche every Palme Sonday and every
Good Fryday, and in many other wise bothe many yerys togedyr. And therfor cryid
sche and wept ful sor and suffyrd ful myche despite and repref in many a cuntré. And
than owr Lord seyd to hir sowle, "Dowtyr, thes sorwys and many mo suffyrd I for thi
lofe, and divers peynys, mo than any man can tellyn in erth. Therfor, dowtyr, thu hast
gret cawse to lovyn me ryght wel, for I have bowt thi lofe ful der."
An other tyme sche saw in hyr contemplacyon owr Lord Jhesu Crist bowndyn to a
peler, and hys handys wer bowndyn abovyn hys hevyd. And than sche sey sextene
men wyth sextene scorgys, and eche scorge had eight babelys of leed on the ende, and
every babyl was ful of scharp prekelys as it had ben the rowelys of a spor. And tho
men wyth the scorgys madyn comenawnt that ich of hem schulde gevyn owr Lord forty
strokys. Whan sche saw this petows syght, sche wept and cryid ryth lowde as yyf sche
schulde a brostyn for sorwe and peyne. And, whan owr Lord was alto betyn and scorgyd,
the Jewys losyd hym fro the peler and tokyn hym hys crosse for to beryn on hys
schuldyr. And than hir thowt that owr Lady and sche went be an other wey for to
metyn wyth hym, and, whan thei mettyn wyth hym, thei sey hym beryn the hevy
crosse wyth gret peyne, it was so hevy and so boystows that unethe he myth bere it.
And than owr Lady seyd unto hym, "A, my swete sone, late me help to ber that hevy
crosse." And sche was so weyke that sche myth not but fel down and swownyd and
lay stille as it had ben a ded woman. Than the creatur say owr Lord fallyn down by
hys modyr and comfortyn hir as he myth wyth many swete wordys. Whan sche herd
the wordys and sey the compassyon that the modyr had of the sone and the sone of hys
modyr, than sche wept, sobbyd, and criyd as thow sche schulde a deyid for pité and
compassyon that sche had of that petows syght and the holy thowtys that sche had in
the menetyme, the whech wer so sotyl and hevynly that sche cowde nevyr tellen hem
aftyr so as sche had hem in felyng. Sithyn sche went forth in contemplacyon thorw the
mercy of owr Lord Jhesu Crist to the place ther he was naylyd to the crosse. And than
sche sey the Jewys wyth gret violens rendyn of owr Lordys precyows body a cloth of
sylke, the which was clevyn and hardyd so sadly and streitly to owr Lordys body wyth
hys precyows blood that it drow awey al the hyde and al the skyn of hys blissyd body
and renewyd hys preciows wowndys and mad the blod to renne down al abowtyn on
every syde. Than that precyows body aperyd to hir syght as rawe as a thyng that wer
newe flayn owt of the skyn, ful petows and rewful to beholdyn. And so had sche a
newe sorwe that sche wept and cryid ryth sor. And anon aftyr sche beheld how the
cruel Jewys leydyn hys precyows body to the crosse and sithyn tokyn a long nayle,
a row and a boistews, and sett to hys on hand and wyth gret violens and cruelnes thei
drevyn it thorw hys hande. Hys blisful modyr beheldyng and this creatur how hys
precyows body schrynkyd and drow togedyr wyth alle senwys and veynys in that
precyows body for peyne that it suffyrd and felt, thei sorwyd and mornyd and syhyd
ful sor. Than sey sche wyth hyr gostly eye how the Jewys festenyd ropis on the other
hand, for the senwys and veynys wer so schrynkyn wyth peyne that it myth not come
to the hole that thei had morkyn therfor, and drowyn theron to makyn it mete wyth the
hole. And so her peyne and hir sorwe evyr encresyd. And sithyn thei drowyn hys
blisful feet on the same maner. And than hir thowt in hir sowle sche herd owr Lady
seyn to the Jewys, "Alas, ye cruel Jewys, why far ye so wyth my swete sone and dede
he yow nevyr non harm? Ye fille myn hert ful of sorwe." And than hir thowt the
Jewys spokyn ageyn boystowsly to owr Lady and put hir away fro hir sone. Than the
forseyd creatur thowt that sche cryid owt of the Jewys and seyd, "Ye cursyd Jewys,
why sle ye my Lord Jhesu Crist? Sle me rathyr, and late hym gon." And than sche
wept and cryid passyngly sor that myche of the pepil in the chirche wondryd on hir
body. And anon sche sey hem takyn up the crosse wyth owr Lordys body hangyng
theron and madyn gret noyse and gret crye and lyftyd it up fro the erthe a certeyn
distawnce and sithyn letyn the crosse fallyn down into the morteys. And than owr
Lordys body schakyd and schoderyd, and alle the joyntys of that blisful body brostyn
and wentyn asundyr, and hys precyows wowndys ronnyn down wyth reverys of blood
on every syde. And so sche had evyr mor cawse of mor wepyng and sorwyng. And
than sche herd owr Lord hangyng on the crosse seyn thes wordys to hys modyr,
"Woman, se thy sone of Seynt John, the Evangelist." Than hir thowt owr Lady fel
down and swownyd, and Seynt John toke hir up in hys armys and comfortyd hir wyth
swete wordys as wel as he cowde er myth. The creatur seyd than to owr Lord, as hir
semyd, "Alas, Lord, thu leevyst her a careful modyr. What schal we now don and how
schal we beryn this gret sorwe that we schal han for thy lofe?" And than sche herd the too
thevys spekyn to owr Lord, and owr Lord seyd to the on thefe, "This day thu schalt ben
wyth me in paradys." Than was sche glad of that answer and preiyd owr Lord for hys
mercy that he wolde ben as gracyows to hir sowle whan sche schulde passyn owt of this
worlde as he was to the thef; for sche was wers, hir thowt, than any thef. And than hir
thowt owr Lord comendyd hys spiryt into hys fadrys handys and therwyth he deyid.
Than hir thowt sche sey owr Lady swownyn and fallyn down and lyn stille as sche had
ben ded. Than the creatur thowt that sche ran al abowte the place as it had ben a
mad woman, crying and roryng. And sithyn sche cam to owr Lady and fel down on hir
kneys beforn hir, seying to hir, "I prey yow, Lady, cesyth of yowr sorwyng, for yowr
sone is ded and owt of peyne, for me thynkyth ye han sorwyd anow. And, Lady, I wil
sorwe for yow, for yowr sorwe is my sorwe." Than hir thowt sche sey Joseph ab
Armathy takyn down owr Lordys body of the crosse and leyd it beforn owr Lady on a
marbil ston. Owr Lady had than a maner of joye whan hir dere sone was takyn down
of the crosse and leyd on the ston befor hir. And than owr blisful Lady bowyd down to
hir sonys body and kyssyd hys mowth and wept so plentyuowsly ovyr hys blissyd
face that sche wesch awey the blod of hys face wyth the terys of hir eyne. And than
the creatur thowt sche herd Mary Mawdelyn seyn to owr Lady, "I pray yow, Lady,
gyf me leve to handelyn and kissyn hys feet, for at thes get I grace." Anon owr Lady
gaf leve to hir and alle tho that wer ther abowte to do what worschip and reverens thei
wolde to that precyows body. And anon Mary Mawdelyn toke owr Lordys feet and
owr Ladiis sisterys toke hys handys, the on syster on hand and the other sister an other
hand; and wept ful sor in kissyng of tho handys and of tho precyows feet. And the
sayd creatur thowt that sche ran evyr to and fro as it had be a woman wythowtyn
reson, gretly desyryng to an had the precyows body be hirself alone that sche myth a
wept anow in presens of that precyows body, for hir thowt that sche wolde a deyid
wyth wepyng and mornyng in hys deth for love that sche had to hym. And as swythe
sche saw Seynt John the Evangelist, Joseph of Aramathye, and other frendys of owr
Lord comyn and woldyn beryn owr Lordys body and preyide owr Lady that sche
wolde suffyr hem to beriin that precyows body. Owr dolful Lady seyd to hem, "Serys,
wolde ye takyn awey fro me my Sonys body? I myth nevyr lokyn upon hym inow
whil he levyd; I pray yow, late me han hym now he is ded, and partith not my sone and
me asondyr. And, yyf ye welyn algatys beryin hym, I prey yow berith me wyth hym,
for I may not levyn wythowtyn hym." And the creatur thowt that thei preyid owr Lady
so fayr til at the last owr Lady leet hem beryin hir der sone wyth gret worschep and
wyth gret reverens as longyth to hem to do.
Whan owr Lord was beriid, owr Lady fel down in swownyng as sche schulde a comyn
fro the grave, and Seynt John toke hir up in hys armys and Mary Mawdelyn went on
the other syde to supportyn and comfortyn owr Lady in as meche as thei cowde er
myth. Than the sayd creatur, desiryng to abydyn stille be the grave of owr Lord,
mornyd, wept, and sorwyd wyth lowde crying for tendyrnes and compassyon that
sche had of owr Lordys deth and many a lamentabyl desyr that God put in hir mende
for the tyme. Wherfor the pepil wondryd upon hir, havyng gret merveyl what hir
eylyd, for thei knewe ful litil the cawse. Hir thowt sche wolde nevyr a partyd thens but
desiryd to a deyd ther and ben beriid wyth owr Lord. Sithyn the creatur thowt sche sey
owr Lady gon homward ageyn. And, as sche went, ther comyn many good women
ageyn hir and seyd, "Lady, us is wo that yowr sone is ded and that owr pepil han don
hym so meche despite." And than owr Lady, bowyng down hir hevyd, thankyd hem
ful mekely wyth cher and wyth contenawnce, for sche myth not spekyn, hir hert was
so ful of hevynes. Than the creatur thowt, whan owr Lady was comyn hom and was
leyd down on a bed, than sche mad for owr Lady a good cawdel and browt it hir to
comfortyn hir, and than owr Lady seyd onto hir, "Do it awey, dowtyr. Geve me no
mete but myn owyn childe." The creatur seyd agen, "A, blissyd Lady, ye must nedys
comfortyn yowrself and cesyn of yowr sorwyng." "A, dowtyr, wher schulde I gon er
wher schulde I dwellyn wythowtyn sorwe? I telle the certeyn was ther nevyr woman in
erth had so gret cawse to sorwyn as I have, for ther was nevyr woman in this world bar
a bettyr childe ne a mekar to hys modyr than my sone was to me." And hir thowt sche
herd owr Lady cryin anon wyth a lamentabyl voys and seyd, "John, wher is my sone
Jhesu Crist?" And Seynt John answeryd agen and seyd, "Der Lady, ye wetyn wel that
he is ded." "A, John," sche seyd, "that is to me a careful reed." The creatur herd as
clerly this answer in the undirstondyng of hir sowle as sche schulde undirstondyn o man
spekyn to an other. And anon the creatur herd Seynt Petyr knokkyng at the dor, and
Seynt John askyd who was ther. Petyr answeryd, "I, synful Petyr, that hath forsakyn
my Lord Jhesu Crist." Seynt John wolde a don hym comyn in, and Petyr wolde not tyl
owr Lady bad hym comyn in. And than Petyr seyd, "Lady, I am not worthy to comyn
in to yow," and was stille wythowtyn the dor. Than Seynt Jon went to owr Lady and
telde hir that Petyr was so abaschyd that he durst not comyn in. Owr Lady bad Seynt
John gon ageyn yerne to Seynt Petyr and bid hym comyn in to hir. And than the
creatur in hyr gostly syght beheld Seynt Petir comyn beforn owr Lady and fallyn
downe on hys kneys wyth gret wepyng and sobbyng, and seyd, "Lady, I cry yow
mercy, for I have forsakyn yowr derworthy sone and my swete maistyr that hath
lovyd me ful wel, and therfor, Lady, I am nevyr worthy to lokyn on hym ne yow
neithyr but up yowr gret mercy." "A, Petyr," seyd owr Lady, "drede the not, for, thow
thu have forsakyn my swete sone, he forsoke nevyr the, Petir, and he schal comyn ageyn
and comfortyn us alle ryth wel, for he behite me, Petir, that he wolde comyn ageyn on
the thryd day and comfortyn me. A, Petyr," seyd owr Lady, "ful long tyme schal I
thynke tyl that day comyth that I may se hys blissyd face." Than owr Lady lay stille on
hir bed and herd how that the frendys of Jhesu madyn her compleynt of the sorwe that
thei haddyn. And evyr owr Lady lay stille, mornyng and wepyng wyth hevy cher, and
at the last Mary Mawdelyn and owr Ladys sisterys tokyn her leve of owr Lady for to
go byin onyment that thei myth anoyntyn therwyth our Lordys body. Than the creatur
left stille wyth owr Lady and thowt a thowsand yer tyl the thryd day cam, and that day
sche was wyth owr Lady in a chapel ther owr Lord Jhesu Crist aperyd unto hir and
seyd, "Salve, sancta parens." And than the creatur thowt in hir sowle that owr Lady
seyd, "Art thu my swete sone, Jhesu?" And he seyd, "Ya, my blissyd Modyr, I am
yowr owyn sone, Jhesu." Than he toke up hys blissyd modyr and kissyd hir ful swetly.
And than the creatur thowt that sche say owr Lady felyn and tastyn owr Lordys body
al abowtyn and hys handys and hys feet yyf ther wer ony sorhed er any peyne. And
sche herd owr Lord seyn to hys modyr, "Der Modyr, my peyne is al agoo, and now schal
I levyn for evyr mo. And, modyr, so schal yowr peyne and yowr sorwe be turnyd into
ful gret joye. Modyr, aske what ye wole I schal tellyn yow." And whan he had suffyrd
hys modyr to aske what sche wolde and had answeryd to hir questyons, than he seyd,
"Modir, be yowr leve I must go spekyn wyth Mary Mawdelyn." Owr Lady seyd, "It is
wel don, for, sone, sche hath ful meche sorwe for yowr absens. And, I prey yow, beth
not long fro me." Thes gostly syghtys and undirstondyngys cawsed the creatur to
wepyn, to sobbyn, and to cryin ful lowde that sche myth not mesuryn hirself ne restreyn
hir therfro on Estern Day and other days whan owr Lord wolde visityn hir wyth hys
grace, blissyd and worschepyd mote he ben. And anon aftyr the creatur was in hir
contemplacyon wyth Mary Mawdelyn, mornyng and sekyng owr Lord at the grave,
and herd and sey how owr Lord Jhesu Crist aperyd to hir in lekenes of a gardener,
seying, "Woman, why wepist thu?" Mary, not knowyng what he was, al inflawmyd
wyth the fyre of lofe, seyd to hym ageyn, "Sir, yyf thu hast awey my Lord, telle me,
and I schal takyn hym agen." Than owr merciful Lord, havyng pité and compassyon of
hir, seyd, "Mary." And wyth that word sche, knowyng owr Lord, fel down at hys feet
and wolde a kyssyd hys feet, seying, "Maistyr." Owr Lord seyd to hir, "Towche me
not." Than the creatur thowt that Mary Mawdelyn seyd to owr Lord, "A, Lord, I se wel
ye wil not that I be so homly wyth yow as I have ben aforn," and mad hevy cher.
"Yys, Mary," seyd owr Lord, "I schal nevyr forsake the, but I schal evyr be wyth the
wythowtyn ende." And than owr Lord seyde to Mary Mawdelyn, "Go telle my bretheryn
and Petyr that I am up reson." And than the creatur thowt that Mary went forth wyth
gret joye, and that was gret merveyl to hir that Mary enjoyid, for, yyf owr Lord had
seyd to hir as he dede to Mary, hir thowt sche cowde nevyr a ben mery. That was
whan sche wolde a kissyd hys feet, and he seyd, "Towche me not." The creatur had so
gret swem and hevynes in that worde that evyr whan sche herd it in any sermown, as
sche dede many tymys, sche wept, sorwyd, and cryid as sche schulde a deyd for lofe
and desir that sche had to ben wyth owr Lord.
On the Purificacyon Day er ellys Candilmesse Day whan the sayd creatur beheld
the pepil wyth her candelys in cherch, hir mende was raveschyd into beholdyng of
owr Lady offeryng hyr blisful sone owr Savyowr to the preyst Simeon in the tempyl,
as verily to hir gostly undirstondyng as yyf sche had be ther in hir bodily presens for
to an offeryd wyth owr Ladys owyn persone. Than was sche so comfortyd be the
contemplacyon in hir sowle that sche had in the beholdyng of owr Lord Jhesu Crist
and of hys blissyd Modyr, of Simeon the preyste, of Joseph, and of other personys that
ther weryn whan owr Lady was purifyid, and of the hevynly songys that hir thowt
sche herd whan owr blisful Lord was offeryd up to Symeon that sche myth ful evyl
beryn up hir owyn candel to the preyst, as other folke dedyn at the tyme of offeryng,
but went waveryng on eche syde as it had ben a dronkyn woman, wepyng and sobbyng
so sor that unethe sche myth stondyn on hir feet for the fervowr of lofe and devocyon
that God putte in hir sowle thorw hy contemplacyon. And sumtyme sche myth not
stondyn but fel downe amonge the pepil and cryid ful lowde, that many man on hir
wonderyd and merveylyd what hir eyled, for the fervowr of the spiryt was so meche
that the body fayld and myth not endur it. Sche had swech holy thowtys and meditacyons
many tymes whan sche saw women ben purifyid of her childeryn. Sche thowt in hir
sowle that sche saw owr Lady ben purifiid and had hy contemplacyon in the beheldyng
of the women wheche comyn to offeryn wyth the women that weryn purifiid. Hir
mende was al drawyn fro the erdly thowtys and erdly syghtys and sett al togedyr in
gostly syghtys, whech wer so delectabyl and so devowt that sche myth not in the tyme
of fervowr wythstondyn hir wepyng, hir sobbyng, ne hir crying, and therfor suffyrd
sche ful mech wonderyng, many a jape and many a scorne. Also whan sche sey
weddyngys, men and women ben joyned togedyr aftyr the lawe of the chirche, anon
sche had in meditacyon how owr Lady was joynyd to Joseph and of the gostly joynyng
of mannys sowle to Jhesu Crist, preying to owr Lord that hir lofe and hir affeccyon
myth ben joynyd to hym only wythowtyn ende, and that sche myth han grace to obeyn
hym, lovyn and dredyn hym, worschepyn and preysyn hym, and no thyng to lovyn but
that he lovyth, ne no thyng to welyn but that he wolde, and evyr to be redy to fulfillyn
hys wil bothyn nyght and day wythowtyn grutchyng er hevynes, wyth al gladnes of
spiryt, and many mo holy thowtys an sche evyr cowde rehersyn, for sche had hem not
of hir owyn stody ne of hir owyn witte, but of hys gyfte whos wisdom is in
-comprehensibyl to alle creaturys saf only to hem that he chesith and illuminyth mor er
lesse as he wil hys owyn selfe, for hys wil may not be constreyned, it is in hys owyn
fre disposicyon. Sche had thes myndys and thes desyrys wyth profownde teerys,
syhyngys, and sobbyngys, and sumtyme wyth gret boistows cryingys as God wolde
sende it, and sumtyme soft teerys and prevy wythowtyn any boistowsnesse. Sche
myth neythyr wepyn lowde ne stille but whan God wolde sende it hir, for sche was
sumtyme so bareyn fro teerys a day er sumtyme half a day and had so gret peyne for
desyr that sche had of hem that sche wold a govyn al this worlde, yyf it had ben hir, for
a fewe teerys, er a suffyrd ryth gret bodily peyne for to a gotyn hem wyth. And than,
whan sche was so bareyn, sche cowde fynde no joye ne no comforte in mete ne drynke
ne dalyawns but evyr was hevy in cher and in cuntenawnce tyl God wolde send hem
to hir ageyn, and than was sche mery anow. And, thei so wer that owr Lord wythdrow
fro hir sumtyme the habundawnce of teerys; yet he wythdrowe not fro hir holy mendys
ne desyrys of yerys togedyr, for evyr hir mynde and hir desyr was to owr Lord. But hir
thowt it was no savowr ne swetnesse but whan sche myth wepyn, for than sche thowt
that sche cowde preyin.
Tweyn preistys whech had gret trost in hir maner of crying and wepyng,
nevyrthelesse thei wer sumtyme in gret dowte whedyr it wer deceyvabyl er not.
Forasmeche as sche cryid and wept in the syght of the pepil, thei had a prevy conseyt,
hir unwetyng, that thei wolde prevyn whedyr sche cryid for the pepil schulde heryn hir
er not. And on a day the preistys cam to hir and askyd yyf sche wolde gon too myle fro
then sche dwellyd on pilgrimage to a cherch stod in the feld, a good party distawnce
fro any other hows, whech was dedicate in the honowr of God and Seynt Michael
Archawngyl. And sche seyd sche wolde gon wyth hem wyth good wil. Thei toke
wyth hem a childe er tweyn and went to the seyd place al in fere. Whan thei had a
while mad her preyerys, the sayd creatur had so mech swetnes and devocyon that sche
myth not kepyn it prevy but brast owt in boistows wepyng and sobbyng and cryid as
lowde er ellys lowder as sche dede whan sche was amongys the pepil at hom, and sche
cowde not restreyn hirselfe therfro, ne no personys beyng ther present than the tweyn
preistys and a childe er tweyn wyth hem. And than, as thei cam homward ageyn, thei
mett women wyth childeryn in her armys, and the forseyd creatur askyd yyf ther wer
any man childe amongys hem, and the women seyd, "Nay." Than was the mende so
raveschyd into the childhod of Crist for desir that sche had for to see hym that sche
mith not beryn it but fel downe and wept and cryid so sor that it was merveyl to her it.
Than the preistys haddyn the mor trust that it was ryth wel wyth hir whan thei herd hir
cryin in prevy place as wel as in opyn place and in the feld as in the town. Also ther
wer nunnys desiryd to have knowlach of the creatur and that thei schulde the mor be
steryd to devocyon. Sche was in her chirch at myddenyght to heryn her mateyns, and
owr Lord sent hir so hy devocyon and so hy meditacyon and swech gostly comfortys
that sche was al inflawmyd wyth the fir of love, the whech encresyd so sor that it brast
owt wyth lowde voys and gret crying, that owr Lordys name was the mor magnifiid
amongys hys servawntys, tho that weryn good, meke, and sympil sowlys and wolde
belevyn the goodnes of owr Lord Jhesu Crist, that gevith hys grace to whom he wole.
And specialy to hem that dowtyn not ne mystrostyn not in her askyng hir crying gretly
profityd to encres of merite and of vertu. To hem that litil trostyd and lityl belevyd
peraventur was litil encres of vertu and of merite. But whethyr the pepil belevyd in hir
crying er not, hir grace was nevyrthelesse but evyr encresyd. And as wel and as goodly
owr Lord visityd hir on nyght as on day, whan he wolde, and how he wolde, and wher
he wolde, for sche lakkyd no grace but whan sche dowtyd er mistrostyd the goodnes
of God, supposyng er dredyng that it was the wyle of hir gostly enmy to enformyn hir
er techyn hir otherwyse than wer to hir gostly hele. Whan sche supposyd thus er
consentyd to any swech thowtys thorw steryng of any man er thorw any evyl spiryt in
hir mende that wolde many a tyme a don hir left of hir good purpos, had the myghty
hand of owr Lordys mercy not withstande hys gret malyce, than lakkyd sche grace
and devocyon and alle good thowtys and alle good mendys, tyl sche was thorw the
mercy of owr Lord Jhesu Crist compellyd to belevyn stedfastly wythowtyn any dowtyng
that it was God spak in hir and wolde be magnyfiid in hir for hys owyn goodnes and
hir profyte and for the profyte of many other. And, whan sche belevyd that it was God
and no evyl spiryt that gaf hir so mech grace of devocyon, contricyon, and holy
contemplacyon, than had sche so many holy thowtys, holy spechys, and dalyawns in
hir sowle techyng hir how sche schulde lovyn God, how sche schulde worschepyn hym
and servyn hym, that sche cowde nevyr rehersyn but fewe of hem; it wer so holy and
so hy that sche was abaschyd to tellyn hem to any creatur, and also it weryn so hy
abovyn hir bodily wittys that sche myth nevyr expressyn hem wyth hir bodily tunge
liche as sche felt hem. Sche undirstod hem bettyr in hir sowle than sche cowde uttyr
hem. Yyf on of hir confessowrys come to hir whan sche ros up newely fro hir
contemplacyon er ellys fro hir meditacyon, sche cowde a telde hym meche thyng of
the dalyawnce that owr Lord dalyid to hir sowle, and in a schort tyme aftyr sche had
forgetyn the most party therof and ny everydeel.
The Abbas of Denney, an hows of nunnys, oftyn tymys sent for the sayd creatur
that sche schulde come to speke wyth hir and wyth hir sisterys. The creatur thowt sche
wolde not gon tyl an other yer, for sche myth evyl duryn the labowr. Than, as sche was
in hir meditacyon and had gret swetnes and devocyon, owr Lord comawndyd hir to
gon to Denney and confortyn the ladiis that desyryd to comownyn wyth hir, seying
on this maner to hir sowle, "Dowtyr, go forth to the hows of Denney in the name of
Jhesu, for I wole that thu comfort hem." Sche was loth to gon, for it was pestylens
tyme, and hir thowt that sche wolde for no good a deyd ther. Owr Lord seyd to hir
mende agen, "Dowtyr, thu schalt go saf and come saf agen." Sche went than to a
worschepful burgeys wyfe, the whech lovyd hir and trostyd hir ryth mech, whos
husbond lay in gret sekenes, and teld the worschepful wife that sche schulde go to
Denney. The worthy woman wolde that sche schulde not a gon and seyd, "I wolde not,"
sche seyd, "that myn husbond deyid whil ye wer owt for forty shillings." And sche
seyd agen, "Yyf ye wolde geve me an hundryd pownde, I wolde not abydyn at hom."
For, whan sche was bodyn in hir sowle for to gon, sche wolde in no wey wythstond it,
but for anythyng sche wolde forth what that evyr fel. And, whan sche was bodyn ben
at hom, sche wolde for no thyng gon owte. And than owr Lord telde hir that the
forseyd burgeys schulde not dey. Than yede she ageyn to the worthy wife and bad hir
ben of good comforte, for hir husbond schulde levyn and faryn ryth wel and that he
schulde not dey yet. The good wife was ryth glad and seyd agen to hir, "Now gospel
mote it ben in yowr mowth." Sithyn the creatur wolde a sped hir forth as sche was
comawndyd, and, whan sche cam to the watyrs syde, alle the botys weryn forth to
Cambryggeward er than sche cam. Than had sche mech hevynes how sche schulde
fulfillyn owr Lordys biddyng. And anon sche was bodyn in hir sowle that sche schulde
not ben sory ne hevy, for sche schulde ben ordeynd for wel anow and sche schulde gon
safe and come saf agen. And it fel so in dede. Than owr Lord mad a maner of thankyng
to hir, for as meche as sche in contemplacyon and in meditacyon had ben hys modyrs
maydyn and holpyn to kepyn hym in hys childhod and so forth into the tyme of hys
deth and seyd unto hir, "Dowtyr, thow schalt han as gret mede and as gret reward wyth
me in hevyn for thi good servyse and the good dedys that thu hast don in thi mynde
and meditacyon as yyf thu haddyst don tho same dedys wyth thy bodily wittys
wythowtyn forth. And also, dowtyr, whan thu dost any servyse to the and to thin
husbond in mete or drynke er any other thyng that is nedful to yow, to thi gostly
fadirs, er to any other that thu receyvyst in my name, thu schalt han the same mede in
hevyn as thow thu dedist it to myn owyn persone er to my blissyd modyr, and I schal
thankyn the therfor. Dowtyr, thu seyst that it is to me a good name to be callyd al good,
and thu schalt fyndyn that name is al good to the. And also, dowtyr, thu seyst it is
wel worthy that I be callyd al lofe, and thu schalt wel fyndyn that I am al lofe to the, for
I knowe every thowt of thyn hert. And I knowe wel, dowtyr, that thu hast many tymys
thowt, yyf thu haddist an had many chirchys ful of nobelys, thu woldist a govyn hem
in my name. And also thu hast thowt that thu woldist, yyf thu haddist had good anow,
a made many abbeys for my lofe for religiows men and women to dwellyn in and a
govyn iche of hem hundryd powndys be yer for to ben my servawntys. And thu hast
also in thi mende desyryd to han many preistys in the town of Lynne that myth syngyn
and redyn nyght and day for to servyn me, worschepyn me, and preysyn and thankyn
me for the goodnes that I have don to the in erthe. And therfor, dowtyr, I behote the
thu schalt have the same mede and reward in hevyn for this good willys and thes good
desyrys as yyf thu haddist don hem in dede. Dowtyr, I knowe alle the thowtys of thin
hert that thu hast to alle maner men and women, to alle lazerys, and to alle presonerys,
and as mech good as thu woldist gevyn hem be yer to serve me wyth I take it as yf it
wer don in dede. And, dowtyr, I thanke the for the charité that thu hast to alle lecherows
men and women, for thu preyst for hem and wepist many a teer for hem, desyryng that
I schulde delyvyr hem owt of synne and ben as gracyows to hem as I was to Mary
Mawdelyn and that thei myth han as gret lofe to me as Mary Mawdelyn had. And
wyth this condicyon thu woldist that every of hem schulde have twenty pownde be yer
to lovyn me and preysyn me. And, dowtyr, this gret charité that thu hast in thi preier to
hem plesyth me ryth wel. And also, dowtyr, I thanke the for the charité that thu hast in
thi preyer whan thu preyist for alle Jewys and Sarazenys and alle hethyn pepil that thei
schulde comyn to Cristen feith that my name myth be magnyfiid in hem, and for the
holy teerys and wepyngys that thu hast wept for hem, preying and desyryng that yyf
any preyer myth bryngyn hem to grace or to Cristyndom that I schulde heryn thi preyer
for hem yf it wer my wille. Forthermor, dowtyr, I thanke the for the general charité
that thu hast to alle the pepil that is now in this worlde levyng and to alle tho that arn
for to come into this worldys ende, that thu woldist ben hakkyd as smal as flesche to
the potte for her lofe so that I wolde be thi deth savyn hem alle fro dampnacyon yyf it
plesyd me, for thu seyst oftyn in thy thowt that ther arn inowe in helle and thu woldist
that ther schulde nevyr mo men deservyn for to comyn therin. And therfor, dowtyr, for
alle thes good willys and desyrys thu schalt han ful hy mede and rewarde in hevyn.
Beleve it ryth wel, and dowt it nevyr a deel, for alle thes gracys ar my gracys, and I
werke hem in the myself for thu schuldist han the mor mede in hevyn. And I telle the
trewly, dowtyr, every good thowt and every good desyr that thu hast in thi sowle is the
speche of God, al yf it be so that thu her me not spekyn to the sumtyme as I do
sumtyme to thi cler undirstondyng. And therfor, dowtyr, I am as an hyd God in thi
sowle, and I wythdrawe sumtyme thi teerys and thi devocyon that thu schuldist thynkyn
in thyself that thu hast no goodnes of thiself but al goodnes comyth of me, and also thu
schuldist verily wetyn what peyn it is for to forbere me, and how swet it is for to fele me,
and that thu schuldist be the mor besy for to sekyn me agen, also, dowtyr, for thu schuldist
knowyn what peyne other men han that wolde felyn me and may not. For ther is many
a man in erth that, yyf he had but oo day in al hys lyve tyme of swech as thu hast many
days, he wolde evyr lovyn me the bettyr and thankyn me for that oo day. And thu
maist not, dowtyr, forberyn me oo day wythowtyn gret peyne. Therfor, dowtyr, thu
hast gret cawse to lovyn me ryth wel, for it is for no wreth, dowtyr, that I wythdrawe
sumtyme fro the the felyng of grace and the fervowr of devocyon but that thu schuldist
knowyn ryth wel that thu maist be no ypocryte for no wepyng, for no criyng, for no
swetnes, for no devocyon, for no mynd of myn passyon, ne for non other gostly grace
that I geve er send to the. For thes arn not the develys gyftys, but thei arn my gracys
and my gyftys, and thes arn myn owyn special gyftys that I geve to myn owyn chosyn
sowlys the whech I knew wythowtyn begynnyng schulde come to grace and dwellyn
wyth me withowtyn endyng. For in alle other thyngys thu maist ben an ypocrite yf thu
wilt, that is to sey, in undirstandyng, in many bedys byddyng, in gret fastyng, in gret
penawnce doyng wythowtyn forth that men may se it, er in gret almes dedys doyng
wyth thin handys, er in good wordys spekyng wyth thi mowth. In alle thes, dowtyr, thu
maist ben an ypocrite yf thu wilte, and thu maist also don hem wel and holily yf thu
wilt thiselfe. Lo, dowtyr, I have gove the swech a lofe that thu schalt non ypocrite be
therin. And, dowtyr, thu schalt nevyr lesyn tyme whil thu art ocupiid therin, for hoso
thynkyth wel he may not synnyn for the tyme. And the devyl knowith not the holy
thowtys that I geve the ne no man in erde knowyth how wel and holily thu art ocupiid
wyth me, ne thiself can not tellyn the gret grace and goodnes that thu felist in me. And
therfor, dowtyr, thu begilyst bothe the devyl and the worlde wyth thin holy thowtys,
and it is ryth gret foly to the pepil of the worlde for to demyn thin hert that no man may
knowyn but God alone. And therfor, dowtyr, I telle the trewly thu hast as gret cawse to
enjoyin and ben mery in thi sowle as lady er maydyn in this world. My lofe is so mech
to the that I may not drawyn it fro the, for, dowtyr, ther may non hert thynke ne tunge
telle the gret love that I have to the, and that I take witnes of my blissyd modyr, of myn
holy awngelys, and of alle the seyntys in hevyn, for thei alle worschep me for thi lofe
in hevyn. And so schal I ben worschepyd in erth for thi love, dowtyr, for I wyl have
the grace that I have schewyd to the in erth knowyn to the worlde that the pepil may
wonderyn in my goodnes and merveylyn of my gret goodnes that I have schewyd to
the that hast ben synful, and becawse that I have be so gracyows and mercyful to the,
thei that ben in the worlde schal not dispeyrin, be thei nevyr so synful, for thei may
han mercy and grace yyf thei wil hemself.
On a tyme, as the sayd creatur was knelyng beforn an awter of the cros and seying
on an oryson, hir eyne wer evyr togedirward as thow sche schulde a slept. And at the last
sche myth not chesyn; sche fel in a lityl slomeryng, and anon aperyd verily to hir
syght an awngel al clothyd in white as mech as it had ben a lityl childe beryng an
howge boke beforn hym. Than seyd the creatur to the childe, er ellys to the awngel,
" sche seyd, "This is the boke of lyfe." And sche saw in the boke the Trinité and al
in gold. Than seyd sche to the childe, "Wher is my name?" The childe answeryd and
seyd, "Her is thi name at the Trinyté foot wretyn," and therwyth he was ago, sche wist
not how. And anon aftyr owr Lord Jhesu Crist spak unto hir and seyde, "Dowtyr, loke
that thu be now trewe and stedfast and have a good feith, for thi name is wretyn in
hevyn in the boke of lyfe, and this was an awngel that gaf the comfort. And therfor,
dowtyr, thu must be ryth mery, for I am ryth besy bothe for none and aftyr none to
drawe thin hert into myn hert, for thu schuldist kepyn thi mende altogedyr on me, and
schal most encresyn thi love to God. For, dowtyr, yyf thu wilt drawyn aftyr Goddys
cownsel, thu maist not don amys, for Goddys cownsel is to be meke, pacient in charité
and in chastité. An other tyme, as the creatur lay in hir contempplacyon in a chapel of
owr Lady, hir mynde was ocupiid in the Passyon of owr Lord Jhesu Crist, and hyr
thowt verily that she saw owr Lord aperyn to hir gostly syght in hys manhod with hys
wowndys bledyng as fresch as thow he had ben scorgyd beforn hir. And than sche
wept and cryid wyth alle the myghtys of hir body, for, yyf hir sorwe wer gret beforn
this gostly syght, yet it was wel grettar aftyr than it was beforn, and hir love was mor
encresyd to owr Lord ward. And than had sche gret wondyr that owr Lord wolde
becomyn man and suffyr so grevows peynys for hir that was so unkynde a creatur to
hym. An other tyme, as sche was in a chirch of Seynt Margarete in the qwer, beyng in
gret swetnes and devocyon wyth gret plenté of teerys, sche askyd owr Lord Jhesu
Crist how sche myght best plesyn hym. And he answeryd to hyr sowle, seying, "Dowtyr,
have mynde of thi wykkydnes and thynk on my goodnes." Than sche preyd many
tymys and oftyn thes wordys, "Lord, for thy gret goodnes have mercy on al my
wykkydnes as wistly as I was nevyr so wykkyd as thu art good ne nevyr may be thow
I wolde, for thu art so good that thu mayst no bettyr be. And therfor it is gret wondyr
that evyr ony man schulde be departyd fro the wythowtyn ende." Than, as sche lay stille
in the qwer, wepyng and mornyng for hir synnys, sodeynly sche was in a maner of
slep. And anon sche saw wyth hir gostly eye owr Lordys body lying beforn hir, and
hys hevyd, as hir thowt, fast be hir wyth hys blissyd face upward, the semeliest man
that evyr myth be seen er thowt. And than cam on wyth a baselard knyfe to hir syght
and kytt that precyows body al on long in the brest. And anon sche wept wondyr sor,
havyng more mynde, pité, and compassyon of the passyon of owr Lord Jhesu Crist
than sche had beforn. And so every day encresyd hir mynde and hir lofe to owr Lord,
blissyd mote he ben, and the mor that hir love encresyd the mor was hir sorwe for
synne of the pepil. An other tyme, the seyd creatur beyng in a chapel of owr Lady sor
wepyng in the mynde of owr Lordys passyon and swech other gracys and goodnes as
owr Lord ministryd to hir mynde, and sodeynly, sche wist not how sone, sche was in
a maner of slep. And anon in the syght of hir sowle sche sey owr Lord standyng ryght
up ovyr hir so ner that hir thowt sche toke hys toos in hir hand and felt hem, and to hir
felyng it weryn as it had ben very flesch and bon. And than sche thankyd God of al, for
thorw thes gostly sytys hir affeccyon was al drawyn into the manhod of Crist and
into the mynde of hys passyon unto that tyme that it plesyd owr Lord to gevyn hir
undirstondyng of hys inundirstondabyl Godhed. As is wretyn beforn, thes maner of
visyons and felyngys sche had sone aftyr hir conversyon, whan sche was fully set and
purposyd to servyn God wyth al hir hert into hir power, and had fully left the worlde,
and kept the chirche bothe for none and aftyr none, and most specialy in Lent tyme
whan sche wyth gret instawns and mech preyer had leve of hir husbond to levyn chast
and clene and dede gret bodily penawns er sche went to Jerusalem. But aftyrwardys,
whan hir husbond and sche wyth on assent had mad avow of chastité, as is beforn
wretyn, and sche had ben at Rome and Jerusalem and suffyrd mech despite and repref
for hir wepyng and hir criyng, owr Lord of hys hy mercy drow hir affeccyon into hys
Godhed, and that was mor fervent in lofe and desyr and mor sotyl in undirstondyng
than was the manhod. And nevyrthelesse the fyr of love encresyd in hir, and hir
undirstandyng was mor illumynyd and hir devocyon mor fervent than it was befor
whyl sche had hir meditacyon and hir contemplacyon only in hys manhod, yet had
sche not that maner of werkyng in crying as sche had befor, but it was mor sotyl and
mor softe and mor esy to hir spiryt to beryn and plentyuows in teerys as evyr it was
beforn. An other tyme, as this creatur was in an hows of the Frer Prechowrys wythinne
a chapel of owr Lady, stondyng in hir preyerys, hir ey ledys went a lityl togedyr wyth
a maner of slep, and sodeynly sche sey, hir thowt, owr Lady in the fayrest syght that
evyr sche say, holdyng a fayr white kerche in hir hand and seying to hir, "Dowtyr, wilt
thu se my sone?" And anon forth wyth sche say owr Lady han hyr blissyd sone in hir
hand and swathyd hym ful lytely in the white kerche that sche myth wel beholdyn
how sche dede. The creatur had than a newe gostly joye and a newe gostly comfort,
wheche was so mervelyows that sche cowde nevyr tellyn it as sche felt it.
On a tyme owre Lord spak to the sayd creatur whan it plesyd hym, seying to hyr
gostly undirstondyng, "Dowtyr, for as many tymys as thu hast receyvyd the blissyd
sacrament of the awter wyth many holy thowtys mo than thu canst rehersyn, for so
many tymys schalt thu be rewardyd in hevyn wyth newe joyis and new comfortys. And,
dowtyr, in hevyn schal it be knowyn to the how many days thu hast had of hy
contemplacyon thorw my gyft in erth. And of alle that it so be that it arn my gyftys and
my gracys whech I have govyn the, yet schal thu han the same grace and reward in
hevyn as yyf it weryn of thyn owyn merytys, for frely I have govyn hem to the. But
hyly I thanke the, dowtyr, that thu hast suffyrd me to werkyn my wil in the and that
thu woldist latyn me be so homly wyth the. For in no thyng, dowtyr, that thu myghtyst
do in erth thu myghtyst no bettyr plesyn me than suffyrn me speke to the in thi sowle,
for that tyme thu undirstondyst my wyl and I undirstond thi wyl. And also, dowtyr,
thu clepist my modyr for to comyn into thi sowle and takyn me in hir armys and leyn
me to hir brestys and gevyn me sokyn. Also, dowtyr, I knowe the holy thowtys and
the good desyrys that thu hast whan thu receyvyst me and the good charité that thu
hast to me in the tyme that thu receyvyst my precyows body into thi sowle, and also
how thu clepist Mary Mawdelyn into thi sowle to wolcomyn me, for, dowtyr, I wot
wel anow what thu thynkyst. Thu thynkyst that sche is worthiest in thi sowle, and
most thu trustyst in hir preyerys next my modyr, and so thu maist ryth wel, dowtyr, for
sche is a ryth gret mene to me for the in the blysse of hevyn. And sumtyme, dowtyr,
thu thynkyst thi sowle so large and so wyde that thu clepist al the cowrt of hevyn into
thi sowle for to wolcomyn me. I wot ryth wel, dowtyr, what thu seist, 'Comyth alle
twelve apostelys that wer so wel belovyd of God in erde and receyvyth yowr Lord in
my sowle.' Also thu preyist Kateryn, Margarete, and alle holy virginys to wolcomyn
me in thi sowle. And than thu preyist my blissyd modyr, Mary Mawdelyn, alle apostelys,
martirys, confessowrys, Kateryne, Margaret, and alle holy virginys that thei schulde
arayn the chawmbre of thi sowle wyth many fayr flowerys and wyth many swete
spicys that I myth restyn therin. Ferthermor thu thynkist sumtyme, dowtyr, as thow
thu haddist a cuschyn of gold, an other of red velvet, the thryd of white sylke in thy
sowle. And thu thynkist that my Fadyr sittyth on the cuschyn of golde, for to hym is
apropyrd myght and power. And thu thynkist that I the Secunde Persone, thi love and
thi joy, sytte on the red cuschyn of velvet, for on me is al thi thowte becawse I bowt
the so der, and thu thynkyst that thu kanst nevyr aqwityn me the lofe that I have
schewyd the thei thu wer slayn a thowsend tymys on the day yyf it wer possibyl for
my lof. Thus thu thynkist, dowtyr, in thi sowle that I am worthy to syttyn on a red
cuschyn in rememorawns of the red blood that I schad for the. Morovyr thu thinkist
that the Holy Gost sittyth on a white cuschyn, for thu thynkist that he is ful of lofe and
clennesse, and therfor it semyth hym to sittyn on a white cuschyn, for he is gevar of
alle holy thowtys and chastité. And yet I wot wel inow, dowtyr, that thu thynkyst thu
maist not worschepyn the Fadyr but thu worschep the Sone, ne thu may not worschep
the Sone but thu worschep the Holy Gost. And also thu thynkyst sumtyme, dowtyr,
that the Fadyr is al myghty and al witty and al grace and goodnes, and thu thynkyst the
same of the Sone that he is al myghty and al witty and al grace and goodnes. And thu
thynkyst that the Holy Gost hath the same proparteys evyn wyth the Fadyr and the
Sone, procedyng of hem bothyn. Also thu thynkyst that eche of the three personys in
Trinité hath that other hath in her Godhed, and so thu belevyst verily, dowtyr, in thy
sowle that ther be three dyvers personys and oo God in substawnce, and that eche
knowyth that other knowyth, and ech may that other may, and eche wil that other wil.
And, dowtyr, this a very feith and a ryght feyth, and this feith hast thu only of my
gyfte. And therfor, dowtyr, yf thu wilt bethynk the wel, thu hast gret cawse to lovyn
me ryth wel and to gevyn me al holy thin hert that I may fully restyn therin as I wil
myself, for, yyf thu suffyr me, dowtyr, to restyn in thi sowle in erthe, beleve it ryght
wel that thu schalt restyn wyth me in hevyn wythowtyn ende. And therfor, dowtyr,
have thu no wondyr thow thu wepe sor whan thu art howselyd and receyvyst my
blissyd body in forme of breed, for thu preyist to me aforn er thu be howselyd, seying
to me in thy mende, 'As wistly, Lord, as thu lovyst me, make me clene fro al synne
and geve me grace to receyve thi precyows body worthily wyth al maner of worschep
and reverens.' And, dowtyr, wete thu wel I her thi preyer, for a bettyr word maist thu
not sey to my lykyng than 'as wostly as I love the,' for than I fulfille my grace in the
and geve the many an holy thowt, it is unpossibyl to tellyn hem alle. And for the gret
homlynes that I schewe to the that tyme that thu art mekyl the boldar to askyn me
grace for thiselfe, for thin husbond, and for thi childryn and thu makyst every Cristen
man and woman thi childe in thi sowle for the tyme and woldist han as meche grace
for hem as for thin owyn childeryn. Also thu askyst mercy for thyn husbonde, and thu
thynkyst that thu art meche beholdyn to me that I have govyn the swech a man that
wolde suffryn the levyn chast, he beyng on lyve and in good hele of body. Forsothe,
dowtyr, thu thynkist ful trewe, and therfore hast thu gret cawse to lovyn me ryth wel.
Dowtyr, yyf thu knew how many wifys ther arn in this worlde that wolde lovyn me
and servyn me ryth wel and dewly, yyf thei myght be as frely fro her husbondys as thu
art fro thyn, thu woldist seyn that thu wer ryght meche beheldyn onto me. And yet ar
thei putt fro her wyl and suffyr ful gret peyne, and therfor schal thei have ryght gret
reward in hevyn, for I receyve every good wyl as for dede. Sumtyme, dowtyr, I make
the to have gret sorwe for thi gostly fadyrs synnys in special that he schulde have as ful
forgevenes of hys synnys as thu woldist have of thyn. And, sumtyme whan thu receyvyst
the precyows sacrament, I make the to prey for thy gostly fadyr on this wyse: that as
many men and women myth be turnyd be hys prechyng as thu woldist that wer turnyd
be the teerys of thyn eyne and that myn holy wordys myght sattelyn as sor in her
hertys as thu woldist that thei schulde sattelyn in thyn hert. And also thu askyst the
same grace for alle good men that prechyn my word in erth that thei myght profityn to
alle resonabyl creaturys. And oftyntymys that day that thu receyvyst my precyows
body thu askyst grace and mercy for alle thi frendys and for alle thin enmyis that evyr
dede the schame er repref eythyr scornyd the er japyd the for the grace that I werke in
the and for al this world bothe yong and elde, wyth many teerys sore wepyng and
sobbyng. Thu hast suffyrd mech schame and meche repref, and therfor schalt thu han ful
mech blys in hevyn. Dowtyr, be not aschamyd to receyvyn my grace whan I wil geven
it the, for I schal not ben aschamyd of the that thu schalt ben receyvyd into the blys of
hevyn, ther to be rewardyd for every good thowt, for every good word, and for every
good dede, and for every day of contemplacyon, and for alle good desyrys that thu
hast had her in this world wyth me evyrlestyngly as my derworthy derlyng, as my
blissyd spowse, and as myn holy wife. And therfor drede the not, dowtyr, thow the
pepyl wondyr why thu wepist so sor whan thu receyvyst me, for, yyf thei knew what
grace I putte in the that tyme, thei schulde rathyr wondyr that thin hert brost not asundyr.
And so it schulde yyf I mesuryd not that grace myself, but thu seest wel, dowtyr, thiself,
that whan thu hast receyvid me into thy sowle thu art in pees and in qwyete and
sobbist no lengar. And therof the pepil hath gret wondyr, but it thar no wondyr be to
the, for thu wost wel that I far lyke an husbond that schulde weddyn a wyfe. What
tyme that he had weddyd hir, hym thynkyth that he is sekyr anow of hir and that no
man schal partyn hem asundyr, for than, dowtyr, may thei gon to bedde togedyr
wythowtyn any schame er dred of the pepil and slepyn in rest and pees yyf thei wil.
And thus, dowtyr, it farith betwix the and me, for thu hast every weke specialy on the
Sunday gret feer and drede in thy sowle how thu maist best be sekyr of my lofe, and
wyth gret reverens and holy drede how thu maist best receyvyn me to the salvacyon of
thy sowle wyth al maner of mekenes, lownes, and charité, as any lady in this werld is
besy to receyve hir husbond whan he comyth hom and hath be long fro hir. My
derworthy dowtyr, I thank the hily for alle men that thu hast kept seke in my name and
for al the goodnes and servyse that thu hast don to hem in any degré for thu schalt
havyn the same mede wyth me in hevyn as thow thu haddist kept myn owyn self whil
I was her in erde. Also, dowtyr, I thanke the for as many tymys as thu hast bathyd me
in thi sowle at hom in thi chambre as thow I had be ther present in my manhod, for I
knowe wel, dowtyr, alle the holy thowtys that thu hast schewyd to me in thi mende.
And also, dowtyr, I thank the for alle the tymys that thu hast herberwyd me and my
blissyd modyr in thi bed. For thes and for alle other good thowtys and good dedys that
thu hast thowt in my name and wrowt for my lofe thu schalt have wyth me and wyth my
modyr, wyth myn holy awngelys, wyth myn apostelys, wyth myn martirys,
confessowris and virginys, and wyth alle myn holy seyntys al maner joye and blysse
lestyng wythowtyn ende."
The sayd creatur lay ful stille in the chirch, heryng and undirstondyng this swet
dalyawnce in hir sowle as clerly as on frende schulde spekyn to an other. And, whan
sche herd the gret behestys that owr Lord Jhesu Crist behite hir, than sche thankyd
hym wyth gret wepyngys and sobbyngys and wyth many holy and reverent thowtys,
seying in hir mende, "Lord Jhesu, blissyd mote thu be, for this deservyd I nevyr of the,
but I wolde I wer in that place ther I schulde nevyr displese the fro this tyme forward."
Wyth swech maner of thowtys and many mo than I cowde evyr writyn sche worschepyd
and magnifyed owr Lord Jhesu Crist for hys holy visitacyon and hys comfort. And in
swech maner visitacyons and holy contemplacyonis as arn beforn wretyn, mech mor
sotyl and mor hy wythowtyn comparison than be wretyn, the sayd creatur had continuyd
hir lyfe thorw the preservyng of owr Savyowr Crist Jhesu mor than twenty-five yer
whan this tretys was wretyn, weke be weke and day be day, les than sche wer ocupiid
wyt seke folke er ellys wer lettyd wyth other nedful occupasyon as was necessary
unto hir er to hir evyn crystyn. Than it was wythdrawyn sumtyme, for it wil be had but
in gret qwyet of sowle thorw long excersyse. Of this maner speche and dalyawnce
sche was mad mythy and strong in the lofe of owr Lord and gretly stabelyd in hir feith
and encresyd in mekenes and charité wyth other good vertuys. And sche stabely and
stedfastly belevyd that it was God that spak in hir sowle and non evyl spiryt, for in hys
speche sche had most strength and most comfort and most encresyng of vertu, blissyd
be God. Dyvers tymys, whan the creatur was so seke that sche wend to a ben ded and
other folke wende the same, it was answeryd in hir sowle that sche schulde not deyin but
sche schulde levyn and far wel, and so sche dede. Sumtyme owr Lady spak to hir and
comfortyd hir in hir sekenes. Sumtyme Seynt Petyr, er Seynt Powle, sumtyme Seynt
Mary Mawdelyn, Seynt Kateryne, Seynt Margaret, er what seynt in hevyn that sche
cowde thynke on thorw the wil and sufferawns of God, thei spokyn to the undirstondyng
of hir sowle, and enformyd hir how sche schulde lovyn God and how sche schulde best
plesyn hym, and answeryd to what that sche wolde askyn of hem, and sche cowde
undirstond be her maner of dalyawns whech of hem it was that spak unto hir and
comfortyd hir. Owr Lord of hys hy mercy visityd hir so mech and so plenteuowsly
wyth hys holy spechys and hys holy dalyawnce that sche wist not many tymys how
the day went. Sche supposyd sumtyme of five owrys er six owrys it had not ben the
space of an owr. It was so swet and so devowt that it ferd as sche had ben in an hevyn.
Sche thowt nevyr long therof ne sche was nevyr irke therof; the tyme went awey sche
wist not how. Sche had levar a servyd God, yyf sche myght a levyd so long, an hundryd
yer in this maner of lyfe than oo day as sche began fyrst. And oftyn tymys sche seyd
to owr Lord Jhesu, "A, Lord Jhesu, syn it is so swet to wepyn for thi lofe in erth, I
wote wel it schal be ryght joyful to be wyth the in hevyn. Therfor, Lord, I prey the, late
me nevyr han other joy in erthe but mornyng and wepyng for thy lofe. For me thynkith,
Lord, thow I wer in helle, yyf I myth wepyn ther and mornyn for thi lofe as I do her,
helle schuld not noyin me, but it schulde be a maner of hevyn, for thy lofe puttyth
awey al maner of drede of owr gostly enmye, for I had levar ben ther as long as thu
woldist and plesyn the than ben in this worlde and displesyn the. Therfor, Lord, as thu
wilt so mote it be."
Whan this booke was first in wrytyng, the sayd creatur was mor at hom in hir
chambre wyth hir writer and seyd fewer bedys for sped of wrytyng than sche had don
yerys beforn. And, whan sche cam to chirche and schulde heryn messe, purposyng to
seyn hir mateyns and swech other devocyons as sche had usyd afor tyme, hir hert was
drawyn awey fro the seying and set mech on meditacyon. Sche beyng aferd of
displesawns of owr Lord, he seyd to hir sowle, "Drede the not, dowtyr, for as many
bedys as thu woldist seyin I accepte hem as thow thu seydist hem, and thi stody that
thu stodiist for to do writyn the grace that I have schewyd to the plesith me ryght
meche and he that writith bothe. For, thow ye wer in the chirche and wept bothyn
togedyr as sore as evyr thu dedist, yet schulde ye not plesyn me mor than ye don wyth
yowr writyng, for dowtyr, be this boke many a man schal be turnyd to me and belevyn
therin. Dowtyr, wher is a bettyr preyer be thyn owyn reson than to preyin to me wyth
thin hert er thyn thowt? Dowtyr, whan thu preyist be thowt, thu undirstondist thiselfe
what thu askyst of me, and thu undirstondist also what I sey to the, and thu undirstondist
what I behote the to the and to thin and to alle thi gostly fadyrs. And, as for Maistyr
Robert, thi confessour, I have grawntyd the that thu hast desiryd, and he schulde han
halfe thy teerys and half the good werkys that I have wrowt in the. Therfor he schal
trewly be rewardyd for thy wepyng as thow he had wept hymselfe. And beleve wel,
dowtyr, that ye schal be ful mery in hevyn togedyr at the last and schal blyssyn the tyme
that evyr yowr on knew yowr other. And, dowtyr, thu schalt blissyn me wythowtyn
ende that evyr I gaf the so trewe a gostly fadyr, for, thow he hath be scharp to the
sumtyme, it hath ben gretly to thy profyte, for thu woldist ellys an had to gret affeccyon
to hys persone. And, whan he was scharp to the, than thu ronne wyth al thy mynde to
me, seying, 'Lord, ther is no trost but in the alone.' And than thu crydist to me wyth al
thin hert, 'Lord, for thi wowndys smerte drawe alle my lofe into thyn hert.' And,
dowtyr, so have I do. Thow thynkyst oftyn tymys that I have do ryght meche for the,
and thu thynkyst that it is a gret myracle that I have drawyn al thyn affeccyon to me,
for sumtyme thu wer so affectyd to sum synguler persone that thu wendist that tyme it
had ben in a maner inpossibyl to a wythdrawyn thyn affeccyon fro hym. And sithyn
thu hast desyryd, yyf it had plesyd me, that the same persone schulde a forsakyn the for
my lofe, for, yyf he had not supportyd the, fewe men wolde a sett any prise by the, as
the semyd. And thu thowtist, yf he had a forsakyn the, it had be the grettest repref that
evyr cam to the as agens the pepil, and therfor thu woldist a suffyrd that repref wyth
good wil for my lofe yf it had lykyd me. And thus wyth swech dolful thowtys thu
encresyst thi lofe to meward, and therfor, dowtyr, I receyve thi desirys as yf thei wer
don in dede. And I knowe ryth wel that thu hast ryth trewe love to that same persone,
and I have oftyn seyd to the that he schulde be ryth fawyn to lovyn the and that he schulde
belevyn it is God that spekith in the and no devyl. Also, dowtyr, that persone hath
plesyd me ryth wel, for he hath oftyn in hys sermownys excusyd thy wepyng and thi
crying, and so hath Maystyr Aleyn don bothyn, and therfor thei schal have ful gret
mede in hevyn. Dowtyr, I have telde the many tymys that I schulde maynteyn thi wepyng
and thy crying be sermownys and prechyng. Also, dowtyr, I telle the that Maistyr
Robert, thi gostly fadyr, plesyth me ful meche whan he byddyth the belevyn that I
love the. And I knowe wel that thu hast gret feyth in hys wordys, and so thu maist ryth
wel, for he wil not flatyr the. And also, dowtyr, I am hyly plesyd wyth hym, for he bid
-dith the that thu schuldist sittyn stille and gevyn thyn hert to meditacyon and thynkyn
swech holy thowtys as God wyl puttyn in thi mende. And I have oftyn tymys bodyn
the so myself, and yet thu wilt not don theraftyr but wyth meche grutchyng. And yet
am I not displesyd wyth the, for, dowtyr, I have oftyn seyd onto the that whethyr thu
preyist wyth thi mowth er thynkist wyth thyn hert, whethyr thu redist er herist redyng,
I wil be plesyd wyth the. And yet, dowtyr, I telle the, yf thu woldist levyn me, that
thynkyng is the best for the and most schal incresyn thy lofe to me; and the mor homly
that thu suffyr me to be in thi sowle in erthe, it is worthy and rythful that I be the mor
homly wyth thi sowle in hevyn. And therfor, dowtyr, yf thu wilt not don aftyr my
cownsel, do aftyr the cownsel of thi gostly fadyr, for he biddith the do the same that I
bidde the do. Dowtyr, whan thi gostly fadyr seith to the thu displesyst God, thu levyst
hym ryth wel, and than takist thu meche sorwe and gret hevynes and wepist ful fast tyl
thu hast gotyn grace ageyn. And than I come oftyn tymys to the myself and comfort
the, for, dowtyr, I may not suffyr the to have peyne any while but that I must do
remedy. And therfor, dowtyr, I come to the and make the sekyr of my lofe and telle the
wyth myn owyn mowth that thu art as sekyr of my lofe as God is God and that no
thyng is so sekyr to the in erthe that thu maist se wyth thi bodily eye. And therfor,
blissyd dowtyr, love hym that lovyth the and forgete me not, dowtyr, for I forgete not
the, for my mercyful eye is evyr upon the. And that wote my mercyful modyr ful wel,
dowtyr, for sche hath oftyn tymys telde the so, and many other seyntys bothyn. And
therfor, dowtyr, thu hast gret cawse to lovyn me ryth wel and to gevyn me al thyn hool
hert wyth alle thyn affeccyonis, for that I desyr and nothyng ellys of the. And I schal
gevyn the ther ageyn al myn hert. And, yyf thu wilt be buxom to my wil I schal be
buxom to thi wil, dowtyr, beleve it ryth wel.
Also, whil the forseyd creatur was ocupiid abowte the writyng of this tretys, sche
had many holy teerys and wepingys, and oftyntymys ther cam a flawme of fyer abowte
hir brest ful hoot and delectabyl, and also he that was hir writer cowde not sumtyme
kepyn hymself fro wepyng. And oftyn in the mene tyme, whan the creatur was in
cherche, owr Lord Jhesu Crist wyth hys gloryows Modyr and many seyntys also comyn
into hir sowle and thankyd hir, seying that thei wer wel plesyd wyth the writyng of
this boke. And also sche herd many tymys a voys of a swet brydde syngyn in hir ere,
and oftyn tymys sche herd swet sowndys and melodiis that passyd hir witte for to
tellyn hem. And sche was many tyme seke whyl this tretys was in writyng, and, as
sone as sche wolde gon abowte the writyng of this tretys, sche was heil and hoole
sodeynly in a maner. And oftyn sche was comawndyd to makyn hir redy in al hast.
And on a tyme, as sche lay in hir preyerys in the chirche the tyme of Advent befor
Cristmes, sche thowt in hir hert sche wolde that God of hys goodnes wolde makyn
Maistyr Aleyn to seyin a sermown as wel as he cowde. And, as swithe as sche had
thowt thus, sche herd owr Sovereyn Lord Crist Jhesu seyin in hir sowle, "Dowtyr, I
wot ryth wel what thu thynkist now of Maistyr Aleyn, and I telle the trewly that he schal
seyin a rith holy sermowne. And loke that thu beleve stedfastly the wordys that he schal
prechyn as thow I prechyd hem myselfe, for thei schal be wordys of gret solas and
comfort to the, for I schal spekyn in hym." Whan sche had herd this answer, sche went
and telde it hir confessowr and other tweyn preistys that sche trustyd mech on. And,
whan sche had telde hem hir felyng, sche was ful sory for dreed whethyr he schulde
sey so wel as sche had felt er not, for revelacyons be hard sumtyme to undirstondyn.
And sumtyme tho that men wenyn wer revelacyonis it arn deceytys and illusyons, and
therfor it is not expedient to gevyn redily credens to every steryng but sadly abydyn
and prevyn yf thei be sent of God. Nevyrthelesse as to this felyng of this creatur, it
was very trewth schewyd in experiens, and hir dred and hir hevynes turnyd into gret
gostly comforte and gladnes. Sumtyme sche was in gret hevynes for hir felyngys,
whan sche knew not how thei schulde ben undirstondyn many days togedyr, for drede
that sche had of deceytys and illusyons, that hir thowt sche wolde that hir hed had be
smet fro the body tyl God of hys goodnesse declaryd hem to hir mende. For sumtyme
that sche undirstod bodily it was to ben undirstondyn gostly, and the drede that sche
had of hir felyngys was the grettest scorge that sche had in erde and specialy whan
sche had hir fyrst felyngys, and that drede made hir ful meke for sche had no joye in
the felyng tyl sche knew be experiens whethyr it was trewe er not. But evyr blissyd
mote God ben, for he mad hir alwey mor myty and mor strong in hys love and in hys
drede and gaf hir encres of vertu wyth perseverawns. Her endith this tretys, for God
toke hym to hys mercy that wrot the copy of this boke, and, thow that he wrot not
clerly ne opynly to owr maner of spekyng, he in hys maner of wrytyng and spellyng
mad trewe sentens the whech, thorw the help of God and of hirselfe that had al this
tretys in felyng and werkyng, is trewly drawyn owt of the copy into this lityl boke.