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Upland's Rejoinder


1 [This is] a rejoinder to the treatise (FDR) that a friar has composed

2 Rebuking with blasphemy, chattering like choughs (see note to line 7)

3 Of whom you don't know their knowledge or their ways of speaking

4 But each man who has understanding, and chance of discernment

5 "For wise men recognize that you are not loyal" (PLH)

6 Unless your chiefs challenge you and don't ask permission of kings

7 And the best masses sung, not preventing their labor

8 For despite the fact that they often sin, as is well known

9 Which, because of their serious beliefs, must needs be destroyed

10 But [of the charge] that I once lied about you, I know I am not guilty

11 But I suppose your sect trusts so much in its customary practices

12 Daw, you call upon Solomon to justify your sumptuous houses

13 Let us take up Christ's Cross, he says, and reckon [worldly] delights as clay

14 Topias (i.e., Daw), you write about me as an illiterate man

15 But ignorant men don't preach, as thou realize unless you choose to lie

16 I marvel, Daw, that you dare to lie about such a great ecclesiastic (John Wyclif)

17 To understand a cleric as [he] should be, according to his meaning

18 Cleric is as much as to say a person of God

19 Daw dung, you prate much of orders of angels in heaven

20 Unless you interpret - as you usually do - this Gospel text backwards

21 Yet, Daw, I think you resort to your accustomed state

22 Although you accuse the Friars Minor, I don't need to do so

23 Nor [against] any of that sect of Christ which I call mine

24 But against a convent in moderation, Daw, I don't complain at all

25 That has more basis in God's law than all your Cain's castles

26 For they don't have any ground unless it is here (on earth)

27 For they (pardoners) are close to you apostates in deceiving the people

28 But it may not be denied that you farm out [territory] to limiters

29 And, as I believe, the Holy Ghost will approve neither your life nor that of your brethren

30 Because of the people's sin, when they (disciples) were in distress

31 Yet, Daw, you chop your ax high and frame your words piously

32 Why do you compare the writing [down] of names, which you do for money

33 From this it follows [that] Satan, not God, admitted you


7 tame chowghe. The chough is a species of crow (Pyrrhocorax), but Upland here associates the chough with another crow-like bird, the daw or jackdaw (Corvus monedula), which could be tamed and taught to mimic the sounds of human voices. Upland portrays Daw's apocalyptic opening (FDR 1-30) as the chattering of birds, which was denounced in Deut. 18.10 as utterly worthless for purposes of divination.

13 Quia angelis suis. Matt. 4.6: "That he hath given his angels charge over thee" (from Psalm 90.11). This occurs in Satan's second temptation of Christ.

21 Loke how Sampson. See FDR 21 and note. The comparison of "twey foxes" and "werkes of twye freres" (18) together with Solomon's fable of the foxes bound two together alludes to the controversial issue of paired friars (FDR 772-89). Upland's point is that paired friars are doubly destructive. Lines 14-23 reply to FDR 21-24.

24-30 Reply to FDR 49-54.

31-36 Reply to FDR 55-62.

32 For Poule laborid. 1 Cor. 4.11: "Even unto this hour we both hunger and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no fixed abode; And we labour, working with our own hands."

33 oure gentil Jesu. When people marvel at Christ's teachings, they ask: "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James and Joseph, and Jude, and Simon?" (Mark 6.3).

37-47 Reply to FDR 75-83.

43-44 the prophetes of Achab. Elijah, with the Lord's help, killed all of Achab's prophets, who worshipped Baal (3 Kings 18.20-40). Upland here responds to FDR 27: "Baal preestes ben bolde sacrifice to make."

47 ne thee for your. "The pronominal variation is explicable if 3our is taken to refer both to priests who practise simony and to Daw who implicitly approves of it" (PLH). Symonye was the selling of clerical preferment.

48-62 Reply to FDR 99-104.

52 her habites. Their practices, although there is word-play (paranomasia) on habites as gowns.

54-55 Fuerunt pseudoprophete. 2 Pet. 2.1: "But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there shall be among you lying teachers, who shall bring in sects of perdition, and deny the Lord who brought them: bring upon themselves swift destruction."

59 speke. PLH's emendation of MS spake, which is also Wr's reading. Here at the end of the line may be by a corrector, in which case "Upland" may refer to some previous instance of his not speaking about Daw's "privey sodomye." Or the line may be an ironic occupatio.

63-75 Reply to FDR 105-11.

68 12a q 2a Gloria episcopi. A reference to Gratian's twelfth-century Decretum, the fundamental treatise for the academic study of canon law, which formed part 1 of the Corpus juris canonici. The decree reads: "Nunc uero, cum paupertatem domus suae pauper Dominus dedicauit, portemus crucem, et delicias lutum putemus" (in PLH). (Now then, since the indigent Lord dedicated His house [= Church] to poverty, let us take up the Cross, and let us consider delights [to be] clay.)

71 blynde leder. Matt. 23.16: "Woe to you, blind guides."

71-73 thowgh thou bigile. "Though you may fool simple people with your (i.e. Daw's) persuasive gloss and your talk of rich buildings, you don't fool me into accepting your (i.e. friars') ill-founded convents" (PLH).

74-75 Unde in Evangelio. Mark 11.17: [Whence in the Gospel]: "But you have made it a den of thieves."

76-84 Reply to FDR 114-28.

82 Surgent multi pseudoprophete. Matt 24.11: "And many false prophets shall arise."

84 ever the mo the werse. PLH's emendation; MS and Wr ever þo [tho] mo þe [the] werse. PLH speculates that þo anticipates mo. "Ever the more the worse" was a common Middle English expression.

85-92 Reply to FDR 148-58.

88 blynde Bayarde. Bayard was more commonly the proverbial name of a horse than a dog. See Chaucer's Canon's Yeoman's Tale VIII (G) 1413-14; Troilus and Criseyde 1.218. But here Upland seems to refer to a dog's "barking" and "baffing."

92 Quia dignus est. Luke 10.7: "for the labourer is worthy of his hire." "A favourite text for those who attacked the friars. FitzRalph uses it three times in the Defensio" (PLH).

93-103 Reply to FDR 159-69.

95 Ve vobis. Isaiah 5.20: "Woe to you that call evil good, and good evil."

102-04 Qui mihi ministrat. John 12.26: "If any man minister to me, let him follow me"; Luke 12.1: "Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy"; Prov. 6.12: "A man that is an apostate, an unprofitable man, walketh with a perverse mouth."

104-13 Reply to FDR 191.

107 Whe have leve. PLH suggests Matt 5.16: "So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works"; and Matt. 7.20: "Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them."

110-11 Noli ante tempus judicare. 1 Cor. 4.5: "Therefore judge not before the time; until the Lord come."

112 confusoures. A bon mot which combines "confusion" with "confessors."

113 Quia si cecus. Matt. 15.14: "And if the blind lead the blind, both fall into the pit."

114-19 Reply to FDR 210-16.

119 pointes. Wr reads partes. The MS is difficult to decipher here.

120-29 Reply to FDR 234-57.

124-25 as the prestes of Bel. The priests of Bel (Baal) asked the king to leave food and drink for the god under the altar and to seal it up with his ring; but they had constructed a secret entrance and consumed the food themselves together with their families. Daniel discovered the ruse, and the king slew the priests and their families. See Dan. 14.

130-46 Reply to FDR 260-81.

141 Initium omnis peccati. Ecclus. 10.14, 15: "The beginning of the pride of man is to fall off from God . . . for pride is the beginning of all sin."

146 Avaricia. See Col. 3.5: "covetousness, which is the service of idols."

147-65 Reply to FDR 282-313.

152 Non potest civitas. Matt. 5.14: "A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid."

154-55 Neque accendunt. Matt. 5.15: "Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel."

158 ranes. "Probably an adaptation of Lat. rana `frog.' Cp. Rev. xvi. 13: `Et uidi . . . de ore pseudoprophetae spiritus tres immundos in modun ranarum' ["And I si3e thre vncleene spirites in to manere of froggis for to go out of the . . . mouth of the false prophet"]; see Augustine, Expositio in Apocalypsim, Hom. xiii (PL xxxv. 2446-7). The sense is perhaps `mucus"' (PLH).

159 Pacem relinquo vobis. John 14.27: "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you."

161-65 twey lyves. The two "lives" or "ways" of Martha, symbol of the active life, and of Mary, symbol of the contemplative life. See Luke 10.38-43. Upland criticizes Daw and friars generally for failing to live up to the ideals of the active life, which they abuse through begging and rich living, or of the contemplative life, which they evade while pursuing fraud.

166-69 Reply to FDR 322-29.

168-69 Panis egentium. Ecclus. 34.25: "The bread of the needy, is the life of the poor: he that defraudeth them thereof, is a man of blood."

170-72 Reply to FDR 330-36.

172 Quod Deus conjunxit. Matt. 19.6: "What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder."

173-88 Reply to FDR 337-64.

174 tateris and tagges, fashionably tattered and dagged clothing. Chaucer's Parson denounces such fashion in his Tale: ". . . ther is also costlewe furrynge in hir gownes, so muche pownsonynge [punching] of chisels to maken holes, so muche daggynge of sheres [cutouts with scissors]."

178 the coloure. Upland seems to identify Daw as a Dominican both here, with the reference to the "coloure that signifieth sadnes," and at line 299: "If thou callist, Dawe, your Dominikis reules." MS siginfieþ; Wr, PLH signifieþ.

185 misse-shapen shelde. This refers to Daw's hood; see FDR 373: "My greet hood behynde, shapun as a sheeld."

187-88 Genimina viperarum. Luke 3.7: "Ye offspring of vipers, who hath shewed you to flee from the wrath to come"; or Matt. 3.7: "Ye brood of vipers, who hath shewed you to flee from the wrath to come."

189-96 Reply to FDR 365-82.

192 Diabolus est mendax. See John 8.44: "You are of your father, the devil, and the desires of your father . . . for he is a liar, and the father thereof."

197-203 Reply to FDR 387-406.

198-99 For Salomon spekith not of silence. Solomon refers to a time and season for everything, including silence, rather than to the official observance of silence in convents. See FDR 389-90 and note and 390 and note.

200 etyng of your fleshe. Eating meat on fast-days was a point of contention between the Lollards and the clergy. See FDR 397-406 and note to 403.

203 "A horizontal stroke, probably an abbreviation mark, stands after dawe; the letter over which it was presumably placed lost in cropping" (PLH). PLH punctuates "Dawe <. . .> |"

204-16 Reply to FDR 407-21.

209-10 And yit shal tyde. 4 Kings 22, 23. Josiah repaired the temple, abolished idolatry, and renewed the law. He also threw out the vessels of Baal and put the soothsayers to death.

211 Jamnes and Mambres. See 2 Tim. 3.8: "Now as Jannes and Mambres resisted Moses, so these also resist the truth, men corrupted in mind, reprobate concerning the faith." "[I]t is generally assumed that the Egyptian sorcerers of Exod. vii. 11, 22 are meant. The names are traditional from the earliest Christian times" (PLH).

213-14 Attendite a falsis prophetis. Matt. 7.15: "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep."

217-29 Reply to FDR 452-77.

219-20 For bi this apis argument. Upland refers to Daw's argument, justifying wealthy fraternal convents, that man is better than a beast. See FDR 452-59.

223 Caymes castelles, i.e., fraternal houses. See PPC 486n and JU 56n.

227-29 Non habemus. Heb. 13.14: "For we have not here a lasting city." Ve qui edificatis. Hab. 2.12: "Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood." Et ve qui conjungitis. Isa. 5.8: "Woe to you that join house to house."

230 thou accusest pardoneres. See FDR 482-83 and note.

230-35 Reply to FDR 478-86.

236 paiyng of tribut. See FDR 488 and note.

236-52 Reply to FDR 487-506.

240-41 Qui non est mecum. Matt. 12.30: "He that is not with me, is against me: and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth"; or Luke 11.23.

242 I saide first. See lines 3-4.

244 Thi resones. An allusion to the weak but treacherous reed of Isaiah 36.6: "Lo thou trustest upon this broken staff of a reed, upon Egypt: upon which if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it."

252 Benedicite. Romans 12.14: ". . . bless, and curse not."

253-56 Reply to FDR 524-37. The allusion to "a b from a bole fote" refers back to FDR 213.

254 the vertu. Luke 8.46.

257-65 Reply to FDR 538-54.

264-65 Ve vobis. Matt. 23.15: "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites: because you go round about the sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he is made, you make him the child of hell twofold more than yourselves." PLH suggests that Suple means something like "namely" or "that is."

266-77 Reply to FDR 555-77. Frentike am I not. See FDR 560.

269 when ye gode likith. PLH emends to "when 3ou gode likiþ." The MS reads 3e.

271-72 And the kyng . . . traytoures. Skeat thought these lines allude to the hanging of eight Franciscan friars at Tyburn, June, 1402, for their part in a plot against King Henry IV. PLH does not agree with Skeat's arguments.

276-77 Que conventio. 2 Cor. 6.15: "And what concord hath Christ with Belial?" Quid communicabit. Ecclus. 13.3: "What agreement shall the earthen pot have with the kettle?"

278-92 Reply to FDR 601-30.

287-88 Bot the harlot . . . any rewarde. The meaning of these lines is not wholly clear, but the general point seems to be that the scoundrel will go to extraordinary lengths to do Antichrist's work.

290-92 Mordent dentibus. Micah 3.5: ". . . that bite with their teeth, and preach peace: and if a man give not something into their mouth, they prepare war against him."

293-310 Reply to FDR 631-45.

296 thou callist Holichirche. PLH's emendation; MS þou ?seyst. There are erasures and the interpolator inserts seyst. See PLH's note to this line.

303 Odivi ecclesiam malignantium. Psalm 25.5: "I have hated the assembly of the malignant."

308 Ye, callid Hym a blasfeme. See Matt. 9.3: "And behold some of the scribes said within themselves: He blasphemeth."

310 Et vos implete. Matt. 23.32: "Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers."

311-29 Reply to FDR 646-98.

325 Ypocrita, eice primo. Matt. 7.5: "Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thy own eye."

327 For as God yaf Kyng Saule. Saul loved David, but a strange "rapture" or madness would come over him, especially when David won success on the battlefield. Upland compares Saul's madness in the pursuit of David to Daw's "following" of the Church.

329 Periculum in falsis fratribus. 2 Cor. 11.26: ". . . in perils from false brethren."

330-53 Reply to FDR 699-739. In lines 330-45 Upland outlines his position on mendicancy: namely, that begging is permissible provided the beggar be both poor and needy. Two Wycliffite conclusions condemned in Gregory XI's De haeretico comburendi (1401) were article 23: "That friars should be required to gain their living by the labor of their hands and not by mendicancy"; and article 24: "That a person giving alms to friars, or to a preaching friar, is ex-communicate; also the one receiving." See The World of Piers Plowman, ed. Jeanne Krochalis and Edward Peters (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1975), p. 127.

334 bolde beggeres. See Piers Plowman B 6.213. Langland condemns aggressive mendicancy by both lay and religious beggars.

339 Dawe, thou dotest allegyng. I adopt PLH's solution to the problem of "allegyng," which seems to mean "setting aside" or "annulling" rather than "citing." PLH thinks the water, ass, and inn (herberowe) refer to Christ's walking on the waters (or His rebuking of the sea and winds); His sending disciples to locate an ass for him to ride into Jerusalem; and His securing an inn for the Last Supper. Upland seems to be arguing that Daw conveniently omits or misconstrues evidence of Christ's divine powers.

341 thou mysse-takist Jerom. This line refers directly back to FDR 717-22.

343 likith. PLH's emendation. MS: likist.

344-45 evel mote he spede . . . more than is nede. See JU 224-25 note.

346 Mendax mendicus. "A lying beggar is not the friend of truth."

347 Nutantes transferantur. Psalm 108.10: "Let his children be carried about vagabonds, and beg."

349 After this line occurs the first of three interpolations in a different hand from the main text (the interpolator designated T by PLH). For the eight-line interpolation, see PLH's note to 349. T's other interpolations come after lines 374 and 393.

350 Dawe, thou hewist hye. PLH cites a proverb about receiving wood chips in the eye if one chops the tree too high.

351 likkith the chesefat. PLH cites statements concerning licking the fat from someone's beard as a way of depriving them of livelihood, or having one's beard smeared with fat (a sign of low-life indulgence).

352 pore wedowes porse . . . peny. Friars were often portrayed as so greedy that they would take a poor widow's last penny. See Chaucer's CT I 253-55.

353 Dawe Dotypolle. A term of contempt: "fool, simpleton, blockhead" (MED s.v. doti-pol). The Doty part refers to Daw's alleged foolishness (compare "dote," "dotard," "doddering," "dotty"), and polle to the head (LG polle, head). Answers Daw's abusive appellations Jakke Jospinel (823), and Jak Jawdewyne (760, 930).

354-56 Reply to FDR 740-54.

357-63 Reply to FDR 755-64.

357 glasen glose. "A sophistical interpretation, presumably of a biblical text; cf. MED, glasen, 1b." Robert W. Hanning, "`I Shal Finde It in a Maner Glose': Versions of Textual Harassment in Medieval Literature," in Medieval Texts and Contemporary Readers, ed. Laurie A. Finke and Martin B. Shichtman (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1987), p. 32. Of UR 357-59 Hanning comments: "In this accusation one kind of glossing leads naturally to the other: the tongue that twists language to justify clerical abuses easily becomes the tongue that flatters the rich to open their money bags" (p. 32).

358 galpen. A blended word akin to gape, gulp, and yelp. MED relates the word to opening the mouth wide, yawning, gaping; to galpen after grace suggests a greedy eagerness to obtain.

362-63 Amant enim primos recubitus. Matt. 23.6-7: "And they love the first places at feasts, and the first chairs in the synagogues, and salutations in the market place, and to be called by men, Rabbi." See also PPC 567, 761.

364-74 Reply to FDR 772-89.

364-65 Daw, thou herdist me not grucche. See lines 58-59.

371-72 Zambre with Corby. Zimri, an Israelite, took Cozbi, a Midianite, into his family in defiance of Moses. Phineas slew them both with a single spear thrust. See Numbers 25.6-8. For Jamnes and Mambres - traditional names of Pharoah's magicians in the time of Moses - see line 211 and note.

373-74 Hii sunt qui penetrant domos. 2 Tim. 3.6: "For of these sort are they who creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins." Among the frequent charges against friars was that they infiltrated hearth and home. Langland allegorizes the type in his character Sire Penetrans domos (Piers Plowman B 20.340); and Chaucer represents a similar type in the unnamed friar of the Summoner's Tale, who overstays his welcome in Thomas's house. After line 374 there follows an eleven-line interpolation, which PLH prints in his note to line 374.

375-79 Reply to FDR 810-38.

380-81 Thou saist . . . Cristis body. The argument, not well stated in these lines, seems to concern substance and accidence in the Transubstantiation. Upland tries to articulate the orthodox position. PLH comments: "Of UR's reply I can make nothing; but I feel safe in assuming confusion of thought rather than corruption of the text." Articles 1 and 2 of De haeretico comburendi concern Wycliffite conclusions about Transubstantiation: (1) "That the material substance of bread and wine remains, after the consecration, in the sacrament of the altar"; (2) "That the accidents do not remain without the subject, after the consecration, in the same sacrament."

380-93 Reply to FDR 839-72.

378-89 Sathanas was unbounde. A reference to the controversial millennial doctrine mentioned in Rev. 20.7: "And when the thousand years shall be finished, Satan shall be loosed out of prison, and shall go forth. . . ." The Church Fathers ("holi doctoures") debated the precise meaning of these lines and especially whether there would be a "carnal millenium." Upland implies - as did Wyclif - that Satan has already been "unbound" and that he is loose in the Church.

393 Commutaverunt veritatem Dei. Rom. 1.25: "Who changed the truth of God into a lie."
After this quotation there follows a twenty-eight line interpolation, which PLH prints in his note to line 393.

   An answere to this tretis that a frere hath forgid - 1
He callith hymself Daw Topias - ayens me Jak Uplonde.
He groundith hym upon seven thynges, as his ordre askith:
Lesynges with losengery, cursynges and false glose,
Chidyng with blasfemie, on chyteryng as chowghes. 2
Thou saist thi name is Dawe, it may right wel be so,
For thou hast condiciones of a tame chowghe.
He chiterith and he bribith alle that he may gete;
This he doth in dede assay of hem that knowith.
   Dawe, thou blaberest blasfemies and reson hast thou non,
Thou leggist oft Goddis lawe bot to a false entent -
Yee, falselier than the fende whan he saide to Crist,
   Quia angelis suis mandavit de te.
   Daw, thou fablest of foxes and appliest hem to a puple
Of whom nether thou knowyst kunnyng, ne her conversacion, 3
Bot iche man that witte hath, and happe of discrecion, 4
May knowe thee and thin ordre, as Crist saith, bi the werkes.
Take propirte of twey foxes and werkes of twye freres,
And than thou fyndest hem in eche acorde, bot freres ben the werse.
If thou saist this is not so, bot groundid with-out skil,
Loke how Sampson bonde the foxes two and two to-gedir,
Til that thai destried the corne alle about hem,
And this was, as a doctour saith, the figur of freres.
   Dawe, thou saist proudely I lie, for I telle the trouthe;
For that ye ben not lege, men knowlechen wise, 5
For whan ye ben trespassoures, in theft or other vices,
Your priour may at his wille fette you home to hym,
With-out kynges commission, bot gret ayen reson.
For oft ye leden a-waye mennes wifes and ben sette in stokkes,
Bot your captaynes chalengen you and asken not leve of kynges. 6
   Me mervelith of thi lewdnes, Dawe - or of wilful lesynges -
For Poule laborid with his hondes, and other postilles also: -
Yee, oure gentil Jesu, as it is opunly knowe.
And thes were the best prestes that ever rose on grounde,
And the best messes song, not lettyng hem her labour, 7
Bot suche bolde beggyng hatid thai in worde and werke.
   Dawe, thou spekist proudely apechyng our prestes;
Bot of oon thyng am I certen: thai ben lasse evel than ye.
For alle if thai synne oft, as it is wel knowen, 8
Yit the grounde that thai have is playnly Cristis religion;
And thowgh thai straye oft therfro yit mowe thai com to grace.
Bot ye han left that grounde and your patron bothe,
For as the prophetes of Achab wer multiplied in many
And by oon holy prophet were thai alle destried,
So the Chirche is cropun now to multitude of cursid men,
Whiche of sadde bileve most nede be destried. 9
Bot I prayse nother preestes ne thee for your assent in symonye.
   Daw, I have askid questiones of thee and of thi freres,
Bot that I lied oones on you, knowe I me not gilty. 10
For Goddis lawe forbedith this in many place, I wene,
And thowgh I be Jak Uplonde, yit drede I Goddis lawe.
Bot I suppose thi secte tristith so meche in her habites, 11
That thai kun lye of custom, as Peter prophecith of hem:
   Fuerunt pseudoprophete in populo, magistri
   mendaces etc.
Bot to lie thus playnly and opunly on men,
Ye count it not synne, as your wordes shewen.
Your freres ben taken alle day with wymmen and wifes,
Bot of your privey sodomye speke I not here.
Bot lat see, Dawe, if thou or any lyer of thin ordre
Can preve this on oon of hem that clepist my secte,
And sicurly shalt thou have of me an hundrith pounde.
   Daw, thou leggist Salomon for your hie houses, 12
Bot olde holy doctoures ben ayen thee here,
And specialy Jerom, that saith in the lawe:
Who wil allege the temple for glorie of our Chirche,
Forsake he to be Cristen, and be he newe a Jewe.
   12a q 2a Gloria episcopi.
For sith the pore Lorde, he saith, halowed his pore Chirche,
Take we Cristis Crosse, he saith, and counte we delices claye. 13
   Daw, blaberere and blynde leder, thowgh thou bigile symple hertes,
With thi gildyn glose and with thi costly houses,
Thou bigilest not Jak with your thevishe logges.
   Unde in Evangelio, vos autem fecistis eam
   speluncam latronum.
   Topias, thou writest me to be a lewed man, 14
Bot lewed men prechen not, as thou canst saye bot if the list lye; 15
Bot I wot thou saist thus by vertuouse prestes,
Bot thai ben ful bisie to edifie the Chirche
That the multitude of you han allemost destried.
For the Gospel saith,
   Surgent multi pseudoprophete.
Bot of hem ben fewe and gretly dispiside,
And of you ful many, and ever the mo the werse.
   Me mervelith, Daw, thou darst thus lie on suche a gret clerke, 16
And in hys tyme knowen wel a vertuouse man,
Of riche and pore that hym tho knewe.
Bot thou as blynde Bayarde berkest at the mone,
As an olde mylne dog when he bygynnith to dote.
Bot wel I wot thi baffyng, lye thou never so lowde,
May not menuse this seint, that lyved and taught so truly.
   Quia dignus est operarius mercede sua.
   I drede me, Dawe, the sentence of whiche the prophet spekith,
Shal falle hevy on thin hede, and many of thi brether:
   Ve vobis qui dicitis bonum malum, et malum bonum.
For alle trwe sentence that we taken here,
Thou turnest in to falsenes, that woo shal the bitide,
For to our secte that is Cristis, we drawen bot fewe puple,
For thou and other pseudo han marrid hem in the way,
That bot if God of His grace sende His honde of help,
The Chirche that shuld folowe Crist is lykly to synke.
   Qui mihi ministrat, me sequatur. Attendite a
   fermento Phariseorum, quod est ypocrisis.
   Homo apostata, vir inutilis, graditur ore perverso
   Dawe, thou hast light conscience thus fynaly to deme,
For here thou damnest men to helle with-out any condicion.
Whe have leve of Scripture to deme after mennes werkes,
Bot for to deme as thou dost is to robbe God of His power;
For the apostil saith,
   Noli ante tempus judicare, quoad usque veniat
Litil wondir thowgh lordis mysse tyme that han suche confusoures!
   Quia si cecus cecum ducat, ambo in foveam cadunt.
   Thou saist thou knowist no lettre here, as if thou wer noo clerke.
To take a clerke as it shuld be, aftir his undirstondyng, 17
Than sayst thou here more trwly than in any other place.
Clerk is als meche to mene as of the sort of God, 18
And so thou previst thi-self non suche if thou loke right,
Bot a liere apostata with alle his other pointes.
   Daw dirt, thou claterist meche of ordires of aungeles in heven, 19
Bot lykkyn not thes to thin ordre, ne thin ordre to hem;
For thai ben ordenid of God there with-outen synne,
And thin is ordened of man, with many rotun rites.
And so as the prestes of Bel stale undir the awter,
To bigile the kyng to thefly cache here lyflode,
So ye forge your falshed, undir ydil ypocrisie,
To bigile the puple, bothe pore and riche,
And as the prestes fayned that Bel ete the kynges sacrifise,
So your wikkid wynnyng, ye saye, wirchipith God.
   Yit Daw, in this mater thou broylist up many lesynges,
For grounde of thin ordre not groundid in the Gospel.
For see thes thre vertues, whiche thou here rehersist,
Faylen in thin ordre welny in every persone.
For in obedience, and chastite, and poverte also,
Ye folowen more Anticrist than Jesu Crist our Lorde.
Ye ben more obedient to your owne reules
Than to the reules of Crist groundid in lawe.
And as to chastite of body, ye breken it ful oft;
Bot chastite of soule, forsakyng Crist our spouse,
For ye ben apostatas gon bak fro Holichirche.
   Initium omnis peccati apostatare a Deo.
As to verrei poverte, who that wil right loke,
Ye ben the most covetouse of alle men in erthe,
For with symonye, and begrye, and sellyng of shrift
Ye pillen bothe gret and smal, and prive hem of bileve.
   Avaricia, quod est ydolorum servitus.
   Dawe, thou ratelist many thynges, bot grounde hast thou non,
For where groundist thou in Goddis lawe to close men in stones
Bot if it were wode men or giloures of the puple,
Sith alle that is not groundid smacchith grete synne,
Bot if ye taken - as ye usen - arseworde this Gospel: 20
   Non potest civitas abscondi super montem posita.
Or ellis,
   Neque accendunt lucernam et ponunt eam
   sub modio.
Or wher fyndist thou, Dawkyn, that men shulden kille her brether,
Sith Crist our aller duke brought us verrei pees,
Bot if thou be of the ranes that ran fro Anticristis nose -
   Pacem relinquo vobis, pacem meam do vobis.
   Touchyng this pagyn, Dawe, thi lesynges ben ful rif,
For her thou spekist of twey lyves and ye don nother wel:
For Martha groundid hir labour fully in Goddis lawe,
So may not ye your beggyng, ne your castelles nouther.
Bot of contemplacion ye usen not bot as foxes,
So in this ye leven Crist, Martha and Marie both.
   As touchyng yiftes to pore men, ye pike that thai shulde have,
Bothe of godes and faithe of soule, I, Jak, can see non other.
   Panis egentium vita pauperis est; qui defraudat
   eum homo sanguinis est.
   We can not make mariage, Dawe, ne pursue no divorse,
We wynne not meche money with thes, as thi secte doth ful oft.
   Quod Deus conjunxit, homo non separet.
   I praise not, Dawe, the stremerse that thou herof spekest,
Bot of suche wide clothing, tateris and tagges,
It hirtith myn hert hevyly, I wil that thou it wite.
Bot your ypocrites habit, to whiche ye ben harde weddid,
Doth more harme than thes, bi thes two skilles:
Oon for the coloure that signifieth sadnes,
Whan ye ben most unstedfast of any folk in erthe;
An other for your disformed shap that signifieth your holines.
So if it be soth that ye therof saye,
It wold with litil help make an ape a seint!
The tipet is a comyn reule if it be not superflue,
And so it doth gode to bynde a mannes hede;
Bot your misse-shapen shelde, bihynde at your shulderes,
Blowith your ypocrisie and blyndith many foles.
   Genimina viperarum, quis demonstravit vobis
   fugere a ventura ira?
   Yit, Dawe, me thynkith thou usist thi customale condicion: 21
Thou hast so lerned to lye, thou canst not leve werk.
Bot yit I am gladde thou groundist thee on the Gospel -
   Diabolus est mendax, et pater eius.
The secte that thou seggist of - I wot is Jesu Cristis -
Tellen litil by clothing, bot now oon, now other.
Thowgh thou accuse the Menours have I not to do, 22
Bot wel I wot ye ben alle drawen in oo maner draggee.
   Lewde Dawe, whi laist thou forthe so many blunt resones,
For Salomon spekith not of silence propirde to an house,
Bot of silence in iche place, in tyme and in reson.
Bot the cursid ypocrisie of etyng of your fleshe,
Shuld iche man despise for your rotun rewle.
And so thes similitudes, with thes soluciones,
Ben not worthe the devellis dirt, Dawe.
   Daw, thi wordes ben many and ever medled with venym;
For ayenes gode men strecche I no malice,
Ne non of thilk Cristis secte that myn callist, 23
Bot ayenes heritikes, bosteres, and lieres,
Whiche han chosen hem a reule with blabereres of Baal;
And yit shal tyde the tyme when Josie shal regne,
And make an ende of suche fendes, and Cristis reule shal renue.
Yee, Jamnes and Mambres japid not so the kyng,
As thou with thi cursid secte the kyng and the puple.
   Attendite a falsis prophetis, qui veniunt ad vos
   in vestimentis ovium.
I til thee, Daw, with-out dout thes wordes ben said of you,
With other pregnant prophecies of Peter and of Poule.
   Daw, thou laborist fast to lede thi-self to helle,
And blyndest many lewde foles with thi stynkyng brethe.
For bi this apis argument that thou here now ratelist,
He that drynkith a quart wyne most nedis drynk a galon.
Bot ayen house in mesure, Dawe, grucche I right nought, 24
And thowgh thou saye ascorne a shepe house I have,
That hath more grounde in Goddis lawe than alle your Caymes castelles. 25
I thank God I beldid it with trwe-bygeten gode,
Bot ye youres with beggery, bargenyng, and robberye;
For grounde have thai non bot if it be here. 26
   Non habemus hic manentem civitatem. Et idem,
   Ve qui edificatis civitatem in sanguinibus,
   Et ve qui conjungitis domum ad domum.
   Yit, Dawe, thowgh thou accusest pardoneres that ben fals,
Thou lovest lesse a trwe prest than thou dost hem alle,
For thai gon neere you apostatas in gilyng of the puple. 27
Bot that ye ferme to limitoures it may not be denyed, 28
Lye thou never so lowde and therto sette a sele,
Bot thus with many fals meenes oppresse the cuntrees.
   Bot as to paiyng of tribut as Crist Hym-self did,
Thou lyknest you to Pharoes, and so ye ben, and werse,
Ayenes Cristis paiyng and alle other mekenes.
Thou autorisest your pride ayenes His holi werkes.
   Qui non est mecum, contra me est: et qui
   non colligit mecum, dispergit.
   Dawe, I saide first to thee oon of thi groundes was cursyng.
Whare autorisist thou this lewde saw - answere nowe!
Thi resones ben a staf of rede that lightly persen the honde.
I mervel that thou, a clerk, blaberst thus blyndely.
Thou takest comynly no grounde of Crist ne of His lawe,
Bot ether of the Pope, as if he were thi God,
Or of other fantasies that han no grounde hem-self.
For whi shuld not alle prestes be meke after Crist
In payng of tribut and alle other werkes?
Daw, lat be thi false glose: it drivith thee to the devel!
   Benedicite, et nolite maledicere.
   Lo, Daw, with thi draffe thou liest on the Gospel,
For Crist said it Hym-self: the vertu passid fro me.
And here thou maist see I knowe a b from a bole fote,
For I cacche thee in lesynges that thou laist on the Gospel.
   Bot thus to stele a childe is a gretter theft
Than to stele an oxe, for the theft is more.
Dawe, for thou saist ye robbe hym fro the worlde,
Ye maken hym more worldly than ever his fadir -
Yee, thowgh he were a plowman lyvyng trwe lyf,
Ye robbe hym fro the trwe reule and maken hym apostata,
A begger and a sodomit, for suche thai ben many.
   Ve vobis qui facitis unum proselitum. Suple,
   filium gehenne duplo quam vos.
   Daw, I do thee wel to wite, frentike am I not,
Bot it semith thi sotil witte marrith many man.
Bot how stondith this to-gedir: ye sle men in your prison;
Ye have your conspiracies when ye gode likith;
Ye damne the trwe, ye hyen the false; deme, Dawe, wher this be gode!
And the kyng, by his juges trwe, execute his lawe,
As he did now late whan he hangid you traytoures.
Wilt thou Dawe, allegates, compere you to the kyng,
Or to other lordes that han her grounde in God?
Lefe, fole, thi losengerie, and studie Cristis lyf.
   Que conventio Christi ad Belial? Quid
   communicabit cacabus ad ollam?
   Daw, how maist thou saye - for shame! - that Crist stale thus childre,
And Poule beggid as ye don, ye lyven bi the Gospel?
Yee, Dawe! Ye selle derrere lesynges and poyson
Than ever did Poule alle his holy writyng.
Ever thou likynest you to Crist whan ye ben verrei Anticrist;
And if bisshopes byside wel to knowe alle your dedes,
Thai fonde you werse than harlotes or joguloures ether;
For ye begge or ye preche, many tymes and oft,
Somen men and threten hem, bot if thai yif you gode.
Bot the harlot wil drawe the blode of his arse
Or he ask any gode or any rewarde.
And Daw, truly your dedes contrarie Crist.
   Mordent dentibus et predicant pacem; et si quis
   non dederit in ore eorum quippiam,
   sanctificant super eum proelium
   Daw, here thou blaberist to-gedir falsenes and trouthe,
For a bastarde is he that holdith ayenes the sothe.
(God and trwe men discusse wher that be ye or I!)
For if thou callist Holichirche the techyng of Crist,
The reules of apostles, the lyf of hem alle,
I summitte me to hem, and wil while I lyve.
If thou callist, Dawe, your Dominikis reules,
With determinacion of many false prestes,
Holichirche - as I wene as oft thou hast done -
I forsake the for ever, with this cursid Chirche.
   Odivi ecclesiam malignantium.
   If thou purposist to pursuwe and drawe men to dethe,
I mervel not meche, for it is thin office;
The fadires of freres, whiche were the Pharisees,
Pursuwed Crist to the paynful dethe -
Ye, callid Hym a blasfeme as ye clepen hem heritikes
That holde ayenes your falsehede, alle if thai men truthe.
   Et vos implete mensuram patrum vestrorum.
   Daw, thou hast lerned so long to lye, thou wenest thou saist soth
Whan thou liest most lowde and sclaunderist the truthe.
Thou saidist thou were no lettred man; thou prevest thi-self fals,
For thou spekist of jerarchies, of herisies also.
Thou art gilty in alle thes poyntes, and thi brether bothe;
That I wolde preve apertly if that the tyme suffrid.
Lok your lyvyng, your prechyng, with other opun dedes,
And laye it by the apostles lyf, and se how thai acorde;
And, as I wene, the Holigost appreveth nether nouther. 29
Me thinkith ye ben tapsteres in alle that ye don.
Ye tappe your absoluciones that ye bye at Rome:
Your prechyng, your praying, and also your berying.
Bot thou accusist other men that han bot the mote
In the comparison of alle your gret synnes.
   Ypocrita, eice primo trabem de oculo tuo.
   Dawe, ye folowen Crist as greyhounde doth the hare;
For as God yaf Kyng Saule in his wodenes,
So ye ben clekkid out to pursuwe Holichirche.
   Periculum in falsis fratribus.
   Yit, Dawe, thou drawist in many fals prompynges,
For to hirt symple men, bot me never a del;
For Crist in His membres beggid ful oft
For synne of the puple whan thai were at mischef; 30
Bot as suche bolde beggeres in bodily hele,
Begged never Crist ne non of His membres.
For Crist, that is truthe, may in no wise
Contrarie Him-self, ne God that is His Fadir,
For in many places thai damnen suche sturdy beggyng.
And so, Dawe, thou dotest, allegyng the water,
The asse, or the herberowe, for He was Lorde of alle.
And so thou mysse-takist Jerom and lyest on Bernarde,
For Alrede his clerke wrote this reson
That thou mysse-layst and dokkist it as the likith.
Herfor a clerke saith, that "evel mote he spede
That beggith of the puple more than is nede."
   Mendax mendicus non est veritatis amicus.
   Nutantes transferantur filii eius et mendicent.
God gif the grace to knowe how thou art Judas childe,
Whiche psalme thou leggist to me as to an evel entent.
Yit, Dawe, thou hewist hye and puttist thi mouthe in heven; 31
Thy tong likkith the chesefat and the garner also,
And the pore wedowes porse, thowgh she have bot a peny,
And yit, Dawe Dotypolle, thou justifiest this harlotrie.
   Why lykkennest thou writyng of names, which thou dost for money, 32
To the Holi Scripture that is our bileve?
For God ne any godeman appreved never this symonye.
   Thou approvest your capped maisters with a glasen glose,
Whiche galpen after grace, bi Symonye your sister,
And after sitten on hie dece and glosen lordes and ladies;
And this is no liknes bitwix my knave and hem,
For of thes and suche it ben that Crist spekith in His Gospel:
   Amant enim primos recubitus in cenis, et primas
   cathedras in synagogis, et vocari ab hominibus Rabbi.
   Daw, thou herdist me not grucche that ye went two to-gedir,
For other while ye gon three, a womman is that oon;
Bot whether ye go two or oon, if ye wol do wele,
It were a gret joye to me, God wot the sothe.
Bot wel I wote that charite may not duelle there,
Where covetise crepith in and lecherie is loggid;
Therfor, Dawe, allegge thou no figur for thin ordre
Bot if it be Zambre with Corby his lotby,
Or Jamnes and Mambres, Pharaouse freres.
   Hii sunt qui penetrant domos, et ducunt
   mulierculas oneratas peccatis.
   Oft, Dawe, in thi writtyng thou wryngist out contradiction,
Bot yit thou puttist defaut to prestes, as erst thou didist to curates.
I wot thai ben defectif, bot yit stondith Cristis religion,
Of whose defaut I dout not, Dawe, ye ben the chef cause.
Bi this it suwith not God bot Sathanas brought you in. 33
   Thou saist, Dawe, as thou felist, that there is Cristis body;
Bot I afferme faithfully that that is Cristis body.
Daw, aske thi capped maisters as if thai were heritikes,
What is the sacred host, and grounde hem in Scripture -
To whiche we knele and doffe our hodes and don alle this wirchip:
And I bileve that sacred, whiche is bothe whit and rounde,
Is verrei Cristis body, as men shuld bileve,
And did to the tyme that Sathanas was unbounde.
The wittnesse of this reson is Crist and His apostles,
With many holi doctoures of the thousande yere;
Bot this ye falsely forsake, with alle your secte (or many),
And blynden the puple with heresie, and leven Goddis lawe,
For ye sayen ther is Cristis body and nought that sacred host.
   Commutaverunt veritatem Dei in mendacium.
order requires
Lies and falsehood
are like; (see note)
chatters; begs
does; overt trial
allege; but for
more falsely
(see note)
your works
property; two; works
proper argument
Observe; (see note)
destroyed; them
(see note)
prior; recover
powerful beyond reason
(see note)
apostles; (see note)
(see note)
But; they hated
accusing; (see note)
less evil
yet may
But; founder
(see note)
i.e., Elijah; destroyed
has come to include
(see note)
your friar; (see note)s
forbids; believe
yet fear
(see note)
lie habitually
(see note)
manifestly; to
don't count it as
caught all the time
secret; (see note)
[you] call
truly; hundred
(see note)
cite; Solomon's temple
(see note)
poor; sanctified
leader; (see note)
gilt gloss
ill-begotten convents
(see note)
(see note)
know; because of
have almost destroyed
(see note)
there are few; despised
(see note)
(see note)
bark; moon; (see note)
mill; to get old
barking; outrageously
(see note)
fear; (see note)
head; brethren
(see note)
true meaning
woe shall befall you
attract; people
fales men; spoiled
(see note)
(see note)
We; leave; judge; (see note)
judge; do
(see note)
Little; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)
prove; see it
apostate liar; traits; (see note)
(see note)
don't compare
have been ordained
ordained; corrupt
thievishly steal; altar; (see note)
by theft; livelihood
untruths; vain
gains; honors
stir up; lies; (see note)
basis; anchored
nearly (well nigh)
own rules
disobey it very often
apostates from Holy Church
(see note)
true; properly enquire
on earth
begging; confessions
pillage; rob them of faith
(see note)
prate about; (see note)
Unless; madmen; beguilers
Since; smacks of
(see note)
(see note)
little Daw
leader of us all; true peace
frogs; (see note)
(see note)
specious argument; rife
here; two; neither; (see note)
nor; either
steal what they; (see note)
(see note)
nor; (see note)
gain; much; does
(see note)
cloth strips; (see note)
torn clothing; (see note)
hurts; want you to know
fast committed
Does; for; reasons
One; seriousness (black); (see note)
Since; fickle; on earth
true; say about it
would take very little
rule; superfluous
does good; man's head
misshapen hood; (see note)
Proclaims; hypocrisy; fools
(see note)
(see note)
prevaricate; stop doing it
(see note)
speak about; know
Little values; one [thing]
from the same draft
set forth; arguments; (see note)
as appropriate for; (see note)
each; in [its] time (season)
eating; meat; (see note)
Each man should; corrupt rule
appearances; measures
devil's dung; (see note)
mingled; venom; (see note)
against good; extend
against; boasters; liars
come; Josiah; (see note)
fiends; renew
tricked not the king as much; (see note)
(see note)
tell; doubt
significant; Paul
i.e., work hard; lead; (see note)
fools; breath (words)
ape's; rattle off; (see note)
scornfully; sheep-house
(see note)
built; truly-begotten goodness
(see note)
(see note)
true priest
outrageously; affix a seal
ways; countries
paying; tribute; (see note)
compare yourself; worse
(form of) payment; meekness
license; works
(see note)
(see note)
did you authorize; decree
reed; pierces; (see note)
marvel; blabber on
But either
priests; following
(see note)
chaff; lie about; (see note)
power; (see note)
bull's foot
attribute to
steal; (see note)
more reprehensible
Yea; virtuous life
true rule; apostate
(see note)
(see note)
subtle wit; harms
see fit; (see note)
Even if; judges; (see note)
nevertheless, compare yourself
who have their grounding
Desist; deceits
(see note)
stole; (see note)
St. Paul; according to
at greater expense lies
jugglers either
Summon; unless
wretch; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)
argues against
(see note)
submit myself
believe you have done very often
(see note)
intend to persecute
don't wonder much
Yea; blasphemer; (see note)
argue against; mean
(see note)
think; (see note)
prove yourself
brethren also
move openly; allowed
Examine; plain deeds
compare; agree
bartenders ("tappers")
siphon off; buy
who have only the speck
(see note)
gave [to]; madness; (see note)
marked out
(see note)
instigations; (see note)
injure; not at all
i.e., Christ's disciples
health; (see note)
in no manner
Contradict; Father
begging by sturdy folk
behave foolishly, denying; (see note)
misinterpret; (see note)
Ailred; argument
misplace; mutilate; (see note)
may he ill prosper; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)
give you
(see note)
(see note)
tongue licks; storeroom; (see note)
widow's purse; (see note)
Dumbhead; wickedness; (see note)
(see note)
never authorized
(see note)
gape (gulp); (see note)
high dais; flatter
(see note)
complain; (see note)
i.e., the third
or alone; behave well
creeps; lodged
cite no emblem
Unless it should be; concubine; (see note)
(see note)
bring forth; (see note)
blame; before
(see note)
i.e., the wafer
[academic] masters
hoods; do
host (wafer)
did [believe]; (see note)
(see note

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