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Duodecim Abusiones (The Twelve Abuses)


1 Each of the twelve Latin abuses is remedied in the ME verses by the assertion of its opposite.

13 God hath sette you. In essence, the poem recommends the status quo of medieval estates theory. Every person has been assigned a place in society, and that position requires certain behaviors in order for the whole of the society to function properly.

Rex sine sapientia.
Episcopus sine doctrina.
Dominus sine consilo.
Mulier sine castitate.
Miles sine probitate.
Judex sine justicia.
Dives sine elemosina.
Populus sine lege.
Senex sine religiose.
Servus sine timore.
Pauper suberbus.
Adolescens sine obedientia.
Go forth kynge, rule thee by sapyence.
Bysshop, be able to mynyster doctrine.
Lorde, to trewe counsell gyve audyence.
Womanhede, to chastyté ever enclyne.
Knyght, lette thy dedes worshyp determyne.
Be ryghtwyse juge, in savynge thy name.
Ryche, do almes lest thou lese blysse with shame.
People, obeye your kynge and the lawe.
Age, be thou ruled by good relygyon.
Trewe servaunt, be dredul and kepe thee under awe.
And thou, poore, fye on presumpcyon.
Inobedyence, to youth, is utter destruccyon.
Remembre you howe God hath sette you, lo:
And do your parte as ye are ordeyned to.
A king without wisdom
A bishop without doctrine
A lord without counsel
A woman without chastity
A soldier without honesty (i.e., honor)
A judge without justice
A rich man without pity (i.e., giving no alms)
A people without laws
An old man without religion
A servant without fear
An arrogant poor man
A youth without obedience

wisdom; (see note)

works of charity


you [all]; (see note)

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