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Confessio Amantis: Book 6

The marginal Latin glosses, identified by a capital L in the left margin next to the text, are transcribed and translated in the notes and can be accessed by clicking on (see note) at the corresponding line.




1 It is Gluttony that first tainted our parents, by the forbidden apple over which every human being mourns. This sin makes the body yearn for things contrary to the soul, by which the flesh is made stout and the spirit thin. If anything virtuous belongs to a man, within or without, clamorous drunkenness destroys it with tippling. Indignant Venus rarely imprints kisses languid with sleep on lips that Bacchus the tavern host has made drunken.

2 Sensualities, along with riches, are the laws of the powerful, in which Venus, stirring, excites Gluttony's kisses. These are not such sensualities as feed the body and cause the filled stomach to give joy, but rather a sated love that takes joy in a greater reward, when the mind given to sensuality is satisfied in a lover.

3 While love is prodded, it dares and advances toward whatever rising voluptuousness commands, fearing nothing that ought to be feared. All that the stars or the power of herbs may do, or even the force of the infernal regions, the lover tries one by one. What sinister things he is not able to perform with God's help, he performs believing in the devil's magic art. Thus he gives no care to himself when he sets his nets to their job, provided that he might be able to take the naked bird.




ABBREVIATIONS: Bart. Ang.: Trevisa's translation of Bartholomaeus Anglicus, On the Properties of Things; BD: Chaucer, Book of the Duchess; CA: Gower, Confessio Amantis; De nuptiis: Martianus Capella, De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii; CT: Chaucer, Canterbury Tales; De formis: Petrus Berchorius, De formis figurisque deorum; De Is: Plutarch, De Iside et Osiride; Did.: Hugh of St. Victor, Didascalion; Diod.: Diodorus Siculus, Historia Librii; Etym.: Isidore, Etymologiae (PL 82); Ful.: Fulgentius, Mythographies; Gen. deorum: Boccaccio, Genealogie deorum gentilium libri; HF: Chaucer, House of Fame; Hyg.: Hyginus, The Myths of Hyginus (Fabulae); LGW: Chaucer, Legend of Good Women; Mac: G. C. Macaulay (4 vol. Complete Works); MED: Middle English Dictionary; Met.: Ovid, Metamorphoses; MO: Gower, Mirour de l'Omme; OCCL: Oxford Companion to Classical Literature; OED: Oxford English Dictionary; PL: Patrologia Latina; Poet. astr.: Hyginus, Poetica astronomica; RR: Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun, Le Roman de la Rose; TC: Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde; Trésor: Brunetto Latini, The Book of the Treasure; Val. Max.: Valerius Maximus, Memorable Doings and Sayings; Vat. Myth.: Vatican Mythographer I, II, or III; VC: Gower, Vox Clamantis; Vit. Barl.: Vitae Sanctorum Barlaam Ermitae et Josaphat Indiae Regis. For manuscript abbreviations, see p. 34.

8 ff. Latin marginalia: Hic in sexto libro tractare intendit de illo capitali vicio quod Gula dicitur, nec non et de eiusdem duabus solummodo speciebus, videlicet Ebrietate et Delicacia, ex quibus humane concupiscencie oblectamentum habundancius augmentatur. [Here in the sixth book he intends to discourse about that capital sin which is called Gluttony, and also about its two species, namely Drunkenness and Sensuality, by which the delights of human lust are abundantly increased.]

12 of hem alle I wol noght trete. Mindful of his original plan to address the five children of each sin, Genius prepares his reader for his new scheme where, now, he will speak only "of tuo . . . and of no mo" (lines 13-14).

60 baillez ça the cuppe. Compare Gloton's admonition in Piers Plowman, "Lat go þe cuppe!'" (B.5.337), the idea being that the revelers drink from a single bowl which, when one imbiber holds it too long, the company demands that he let go so that the next can drink. The ça heightens the imperative. That the glutton bursts into a macaronic French cuts two ways, with a jab at the drunk's pretension, but also at French inebriation. Most wine consumed in England was imported from France.

93-99 Tales of wise or powerful men besotted by love are virtually a genre of medieval entertainment unto itself. Tales of Samson's infatuations derive from Judges 14-16, with its folktale qualities; the famous story of David and Bathsheba originates in 2 Kings (2 Samuel) 11. The love follies of Virgil, Socrates, and Aristotle are favorite inventions of the fabliaux traditions. E.g., Juan Ruiz's Libro de Buen Amor, 261-64, where Virgil attempts to reach his love in a tower, but is tricked by her when she leaves him hanging midway up in a basket where, next day, he is dishonored with mockery by all who see him so compromised; he retaliates by enchanting every candle flame or fire in Rome so that all go out in an instant and none can be lit except by the private parts of the woman who tricked him. Or, see the variant in the Icelandic tale of Virgil and the basket, Virgilesrímur. For a visual depiction of Virgil's dilemma, see Lucas van Leyden's Netherlandish engraving of the scene. Aristotle is featured in various adaptations based mainly on Henri d'Andeli's thirteenth-century Le lai d'Aristote. For discussion of such popular tropes, see Smith, Power of Women, especially chapters 3 ("Tales of the Mounted Aristotle," pp. 66-102) and 5 ("The Power of Women Topos in Fourteenth Century Visual Art," pp. 137-90). Smith includes forty-five remarkable illustrations.

107-11 Of such phisique . . . schapen to that maladie / Of lovedrunke. Wack ("Lovesickness in Troilus," p. 56) summarizes Constantinus' Viaticum and Gerald of Berry's Glosses on such a malady:



The sight of a beautiful form may cause the soul to go mad with desire, as Constantinus says. In Gerard's formulation, the mind 'overestimates' the value of the perceived object and desires it excessively. This overestimation, however, can only take place if the material composition of the brain is corrupt, that is, the imagination must be excessively cold and dry so that the overestimated image adheres abnormally and excites the concupiscible power. An excess of black bile or another humor (some later treatises list semen in this category) may also cause the disease. The etiology is thus both psychic and somatic, but the material composition of the body, particularly of the brain, is crucial in the development of the illness. No ethical valuation is attached to the causal mechanisms in any of the texts - the patient is not held 'guilty' or 'responsible' for his illness.

Compare VC 5.3.130-40 ff: "When a man sees her womanly beauty - so sweet, elegant and fine, but more like an angel's - he thinks her a goddess, and puts his fate of life and death in her hands. . . . Outwardly, he does not show what the sight of her means to him; inwardly, the sting of love pierces his heart. . . . His mind's eye grows dull, blind from the darkness of lust, and he sinks down to his own destruction. . . . So he goes blindly mad because of his blind love." See also Bakalian, Aspects of Love, pp. 124-25 and 138-43, on lovesickness as a kind of drunkenness.

239 blanche fievere. "A stage of lovesickness analogous to chills" (MED, citing this passage). For an extensive discussion of ailments of love and their remedies, see Wack, Lovesickness, 1989.

248 peines fele. The primary sense is that the pains of love surpass all others. But fele can also mean "excellent," peines fele thus mirroring the oxymoronic "hote chele" (line 247) and "biter swete" (line 250).

325 ff. Latin marginalia: Hic narrat secundum Poetam, qualiter in suo celario Iupiter duo dolea habet, quorum primum liquoris dulcissimi, secundum amarissimi plenum consistit, ita quod ille cui fatata est prosperitas de dulci potabit, alter vero, cui aduersabitur, poculum gustabit amarum. [Here he narrates, according to the Poet (identified as "Homer" in RR 6813; see Iliad 24.527), how in his cellar Jupiter has two vats, the first of which is full of most sweet liquid, the second of most bitter liquid, such that he for whom prosperity is fated will drink from the sweet, but another, for whom there will be adversity, will drink the bitter cup.]

330 ff. The story of Jupiter's two tuns may be found in RR, lines 6813 ff., and before that in Boethius' Consolation, though Boethius does not name Homer as his source. Chaucer's Wife of Bath alludes to the story (CT III[D]170) as she delights in assuming Cupid's role as butler of the tuns, to serve sweet or bitter as she pleases.

352 hindreth many a mannes fode. The sense might be "causes indigestion," though more likely fode implies "emotional satisfaction" (n.b., MED fode n.1, 2a and 2b), hence the gloss "comfort."

391 ff. The story of Bacchus' return from war and the miraculous fountain in the desert occurs in Poet. astr. 2.20, under the heading "Aries," and in Vat. Myth. I 121.

399 ff. Latin marginalia: Nota hic qualiter potus aliquando sicienti precibus adquiritur. Et narrat in exemplum quod, cum Bachus de quodam bello ad oriente repatrians in quibusdam Lubie partibus alicuius generis potum non inuenit, fusis ad Iouem precibus, apparuit ei Aries, qui terram pede percussit, statimque fons emanauit; et sic potum petenti peticio preualuit. [Note here how a drink for a thirsty man is sometimes acquired by a prayer; and he tells in an illustrative story that, when Bacchus was returning home to the east from a certain war, in some regions of Libya he did not find a drink of any sort. Pouring forth prayers to Jupiter, a ram appeared before him, which stamped the earth with its hoof, and immediately a spring welled up. And thus a petition prevailed for a petitioner.]

467 ff. Latin marginalia: Hic de amoris ebrietate ponit exemplum, qualiter Tristrans ob potum, quem Brangweyne in naui ei porrexit, de amore Bele Isolde inebriatus extitit. [Here he presents an illustrative story about the intoxication of love, how Tristran, on account of a drink that Brangwein offered to him aboard the ship, was intoxicated with love for fair Isolde.]

The Tristran story was very popular. For a full account of the drinking of the love potion, see Gottfried von Strassburg's Tristan, lines 1367 ff. (ch. 15 in some editions).

485 ff. Latin marginalia: Hic de periculis ebrietatis causa in amore contigentibus narrat quod, cum Pirothous illam pulcherimam Ypotaciam in vxorem duceret, quosdam qui Centauri vocabantur inter alios vicinos ad nupcias invitauit; qui vino imbuti, noue nupte formositatem aspicientes, duplici ebrietate insanierunt, ita quod ipsi subito salientes a mensa Ipotaciam a Pirothoo marito suo in impetu rapuerunt. [Here, concerning the dangers of inebriation occurring in the cause of love, he narrates that when Pirithous took the most beautiful Ipotacia as his bride, he invited to the wedding certain ones among his other neighbors who were called centaurs. These, soused in wine, gazing on the shapeliness of the newlywed bride, raved madly with a double inebriation, until, suddenly leaping from the wedding feast table, they forcefully abducted Ipotacia from her husband Pirithous.]

The story of Pirithous is found in Met. 12.210 ff.

537 ff. No clear source is known for this story of Galba and Vitellius, though Hamilton suggests that the plot comes from a misreading of Eutropius, by way of the French Secretum Secretorum ("Some Sources," p. 340).

542 ff. Latin marginalia: Hic loquitur specialiter contra vicium illorum, qui nimia potacione quasi ex consuetudine ebriosi efficiuntur. Et narrat exemplum de Galba et Vitello, qui potentes in Hispannia principes fuerunt, set ipsi cotidiane ebrietatis potibus assueti, tanta vicinis intulerunt enormia, quod tandem toto conclamante populo pena sentencie capitalis in eos iudicialiter diffinita est: qui priusquam morerentur, vt penam mortis alleuiarent, spontanea vini ebrietate sopiti, quasi porci semimortui gladio interierunt. [Here he speaks particularly against the vice of those who regularly keep themselves inebriated by means of too much drink. And he narrates an illustrative story about Galba and Vitellius, who then were powerful rulers in Spain, but were accustomed to drinking for daily inebriation. They inflicted so many horrors on their neighbors that finally, from the outcry of the entire people, a sentence of judicial death was imposed on them. But before they might die, in order to blunt the pain of death, they willingly stunned themselves with the inebriation of wine, and were slaughtered half-alive like pigs, by the sword.]

625 ff. Latin marginalia: Hic tractat super illa specie Gule que Delicacia nuncupatur, cuius mollicies voluptuose carni in personis precipue potentibus queque complacencia corporaliter ministrat. [Here he treats about that species of Gluttony which is called Sensuality, whose softness of voluptuous flesh, especially in the persons of the powerful, each bodily pleasure serves.]

664 ff. Latin marginalia: Philosophus. Consuetudo est altera natura. [Philosopher: "Habit is a second nature."]

737 smale lustes whiche I pike. Several meanings are compatible with pike in this context: "steal" (given the fact that Amans feeds with his eyes [6.753] by stealing glances; see MED piken v.1, 8), but also "choose" (with his smale lustes Amans is perpetually willful) and "tidy up" (see MED piken v.1, 6 and 5), with a strong hint as well of "peck at" (the way one might pick at one's food), given the reference to his "hunger" in 6.736 (see MED piken v. 1, 2 and 4).

743 reherce. Amans' "rehearsal" of female beauty uses the device of effictio, so common in romance literature, praising the woman's parts beginning with the top of the head and moving downward. The device, which originates in Canticle of Canticles 4, is brought to life by Amans' dramatization of what his eye sees, which he personifies as a lusty voyeur (lines 753-826).

745-50 Amans' three degrees (line 745) of delicately feeding his fantasy define the primary avenues of intellection that Genius, as confessor, is attempting to exorcize: 1) the eye, 2) the ear (the eye and ear being two windows of the soul defined in Book 1 as the primary senses affecting the welfare of the psyche), and 3) thoght (line 749), the agency that converts what is seen and heard into images of desire that please and sustain the lover's fantasy. The trio is presented in RR (lines 2643-2764) as Douz Regart (Sweet Looking), Douz Parler (Sweet Hearing of the lady's "voice"), and Douz Penser (Sweet Thinking), three gifts from Cupid that make the lover's pains seem all the more desirable - all good cooks, in Gower, for the seasoning of delicate and tasty food. See the explanatory note to line 939.

753 ff. Latin marginalia: Nota qualiter visus in amore se continet delicatus. [Note how sensual sight restrains itself in love.]

767-76 Although Macaulay (2.xv) and others see the lady as "a creature of flesh and blood," Kinneavy emphasizes the conventional rhetoric (effictio) of Amans' lady, who need only be compared with Chaucer's Criseyde or Henryson's to see "how lacking she is in flesh and blood"; mainly she is a creature of "inference" ("Gower's Confessio Amantis and the Penitentials," p. 157).

786 Hire bodi round, hire middel smal. Commonplace figura of tantalizing female beauty in Middle English romance. Round equates with shapeliness (e.g., compare Chaucer's TC 3.1250) and smal with a lithesome, small-waisted womanly comeliness (e.g., compare Chaucer's Miller's Tale, CT I[A]3234; Merchant's Tale, CT IV[E]1602; TC 3.1247; and the Romaunt, line 1032); The Tale of Sir Thopas, CT VII(B2)2026, provides an amusing analogue.

793-94 the port and the manere . . . of hire wommanysshe chere. [C]here can refer to her lovely countenance, but more, to her courtly behavior and breeding. The bearing of the beautiful woman (port and manere, line 793) is a potent feature of the eroticizing of the female by the male fantasy. Compare Chaucer's TC 1.281-87, where Troilus first admires Criseyde's stature, then is captivated by "hire mevynge and hire chere" (1.289); or BD, where the Black Knight, having seen the good fair White amidst a "route" of ladies, falls in love with her manner (line 827), but is captivated when "I sawgh hyr daunce so comlily, / Carole and synge so swetely, / Laughe and pleye so womanly, / And loke so debonairly, / So goodly speke and so frendly, / That certes y trowe that everemore / Nas seyn so blysful a tresor" (lines 848-54; see also CA 6.868 ff.). As in Gower, sight, hearing, and thought all correspond to shape the impression in the male's fantasy.

795 on honde. I have glossed the phrase as "for the moment," though that may be too elaborate a gloss. The phrase often appears as a line filler (see the note to 5.17-18); perhaps something like "you can count on it" would be better.

817-19 The figure is of the courtly lady carrying a goshawk on hand as they set out on a hunt. Here the woman is eroticized as the object of the goshawk's piercing gaze.

830 ff. Latin marginalia: Qualiter auris in amore delectatur. [How the ear is sensually pleased in love.]

838 I hiere on seith. Amans revels in douz parler as he hears pleasing talk in praise of his lady. Chaucer offers a variant on the idea in TC as he has the lady laugh in her heart (2.1592) at kind words and praise of Troilus, who is sick (2.1576-96). She too is enjoying the aural delicacies.

857 Lombard. I.e., Lombardy, where Milan was the seat of Italian bankers who, since the time of Edward I, financed much of England's opulence and thus became synonymous in late fourteenth-century literary parlance with luxury and delicacy (Macaulay notes that Gower refers to a pastry called "pain [bread] lumbard" in MO [3.514]), and, especially, with "merchants," "trade," "merchandizing," and "money."

879 Ydoine and Amadas. The allusion is to an Old French romance that enjoyed some popularity in England but was never translated into Middle English. It is alluded to in Emaré, Sir Degrevant, and Cursor Mundi. Amadas (not to be confused with Sir Amadace in the Middle English romance of that name) is utterly devoted to Ydoine, and though severely tried by unhappy circumstances, like Amans, remains utterly faithful to his lady and her provocative eyes. See Reinhard, Amadas et Ydoine, along with his Old French Romance of 'Amadas et Ydoine'. The Old French poem has been translated into English by Arthur, as Amadas and Ydoine. See also Meecham-Jones' discussion ("Questioning Romance," pp. 35-49).

891 cherie feste. Cherry season lasts about a fortnight, and thus a very short time.

913 ff. Latin marginalia. Qualiter cogitatus impressiones leticie ymaginatiuas cordibus inserit amantum. [How mental impressions impose imaginations of happiness in lovers' hearts.]

939 mi lustes thre. See note to lines 745-50, above, comparing the three dainties of Amans to the three gifts of the God of Love in RR (lines 2643-2764). See also the Proem to Boccaccio's Il Filostrato, where the lover debates which of the three gives greater pleasure.

943 plover. Proverbial. The plover (a bird) allegedly feeds on air, and thus has a most delicate palette. See Whiting, P272.

969 ff. Latin marginalia: Delicie corporis militant aduersus animam. [Sensualities of the body militate against the soul.]

975 ff. Latin marginalia: Hic ponit exemplum contra istos delicatos. Et narrat de diuite et Lazaro, quorum gestus in euangelio Lucas euidencius describit. [Here he presents an illustrative story against those sensualists. And he narrates about the rich man (Dives) and the leper (Lazarus), whose story will be found more fully in the Gospel of Luke.]

The story of Dives and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) was a common theme for homiletic elaboration.

1151-1227 Whether the raconteur be Chaucer, Jean de Meun, Boethius, or a marketplace storyteller, tales about Nero's atrocities and follies offered the medieval imagination endless moral pleasure. Hamilton notes that the general authority for Gower's rendition might be Eutropius, as in the account of Galba and Vitellius, but, like Macaulay, observes that the source for the experiment in digestion is unknown ("Some Sources," p. 340). Tiller notes that this particular episode is also told of Frederick II Hohenstaufen (p. 228).

1155 ff. Latin marginalia: Hic loquitur de delicacia Neronis, qui corporalibus deliciis magis adherens spiritalia gaudia minus obtinuit. [Here he speaks about the sensuality of Nero, who, adhering more to physical delights, all the less obtained spiritual joys.]

1197 Walkende a pass. The Secretum Secretorum agrees with Nero on value of walking after eating to enhance digestion: "When þu art arise fro mete, walke a litil vpon soft gress," rather than take a long nap (The Booke of Goode Governance, 12th doctrine; Secretum Secretorum, p. 6).

Latin verses iii(before line 1261). Line 8: Nudatam . . . auem [the "bird plucked naked"] keeps in view the lover's erotic goal, but simultaneously presents this in unappealing terms of preparing and eating game-fowl.

1261-66 Love dares anything. Proverbial. See Whiting, L503.

1267 ff. Latin marginalia: Hic tractat qualiter Ebrietas et Delicacia omnis pudicicie contrarium instigantes inter alia ad carnalis concupiscencie promocionem Sacrilegio magicam requirunt. [Here he treats of how Drunkenness and Sensuality, instigating against all modesty, among other things seek out magical advancement of carnal lust by sorcery.]

1280 as Baiard the blinde stede. Proverbial. See Whiting, B71; also B72 and B73. The proverb is common in fourteenth-century literature. Compare Chaucer, CT VIII(G)1413-16. Bayard as a figure of an unruly horse was also common. See TC 1.218-24.

1293 ff. Latin marginalia: Nota de Auctorum necnon et de librorum tam naturalis quam execrabilis magice nominibus. [Note the names both of authorities and books, of natural and of forbidden magic.]

1293-1334 Gower's principal source for the list of authors and titles seems to be Albertus Magnus' Speculum astronomiae: 11.85-87 cites Raziel (see line 1316); Balemuz appears twice, associated with Hermes (11.7, 47-51); Ghenbal (line 1320) appears in the first line of "Salomon's" book of magic De sigillis ad daemoniacos (On the sigils possessed by demons): "Capitulum sigilli gandal et tanchil etc." (11.81-83); and Thebit (see line 1322), son of Chora, is also cited (11.129-34). See Albertus 17.6-15 for connections between Saturn and kinds of divination (n.b. note to lines 1295-1302, below). See also note to lines 1317-18.

1295-1302 Geomance . . . Ydromance . . . Piromance . . . Aeremance. Divination according to the four elements. "Nigromance" (line 1308) is Black Magic, or the calling up of spirits from the dead. Gower seems to be classifying all such "sciences" under Delicacie in that they all attempt to make something out of nothing, like the plover feeding on air or the lover's fantasy becoming his precious reality.

1308-10 With Nigromance he wole assaile / To make his incantacioun / With hot subfumigacioun. Galloway, in his review of Conjuring Spirits, observes: "Gower writes, describing an illicit means of getting a beloved [by] parroting language like that found in . . . 'The Book of Angels' . . . where a man will be loved by all the women who see him if he writes the figure of Venus on a silver plate and 'suffumigates' it with aloe wood and other materials" (p. 565). See Lidaka, "Book of Angels," and Albertus on necromancy, that most abominable form of divination that requires "suffumigations and invocation" (11.4-5).

1311 Spatula. Not found in Albertus, this is "the art of divination from the shoulder blades of animals" (Fox, Mediaeval Sciences, pp. 146-47, who cites an Arabic treatise, De spatula, translated in the early twelfth century by Hugh of Santalla).

1314 ff. Thosz the Grek. Toz Graecus (Thoth, Thoz, and Hermes Trismegistus) is often cited by later writers such as Daniel of Morley, William of Auvergne, and Albertus 11.71-75, which includes a work on the stations for the cult of Venus, another on the four mirrors of Venus, and a third on the images of Venus, all of which are attributed to Toz Graecus. See Thorndike 2.225-28.

1317-18 Ne Salomones Candarie, / His Ydeac, his Eutonye. Gower seems to have misread Albertus, who states that "amongst the books of Salomon, there is the book, De quatuor annulis (On the four rings) . . . which begins like this: 'De arte eutonica et ydaica etc.' ('On eutonic and ydaic art etc.'); and the book De novem candariis (On the nine candles)" (11.76-68, trans. Zambelli).

1323 Gibiere. Probably Geber, who was not a magician but rather a noted alchemist (Fox, Mediaeval Sciences, p. 147). See chapter 2 of Albertus.

1325 Babilla with hire sones sevene. Babilla is one of the names for Babylon. The allusion seems to be astronomical, where "hire sones sevene" alludes to the seven planets and their spheres. See Lidaka ("Book of Angels," note to line 1327) for examples of charms and magic squares based on the seven planets, lore that may be, perhaps, traced back to Babylonian astrology.

1327 cernes bothe square and rounde. Cernes are "circles or other peripheral figures used in magic" (Fox, Mediaeval Sciences, p. 147). On circles and magic squares, see Lidaka, "Book of Angels," pp. 34-44, and Karpenko, "Magic Squares."

1331 The scole of Honorius. "Honorius was the supposed author of the Liber sacratus or Liber juratus as it was sometimes called because of the oath which had to be taken to gain possession of the volume" (Fox, Mediaeval Sciences, p. 147). See Mathiesen's essay on the Liber juratus, that is, The Sacred or Sworn Book, which includes a history of the work from the thirteenth century into the seventeenth, along with numerous excerpts on magical operations ("A Thirteenth-Century Ritual"). Honorius is not mentioned in Albertus, though Belamuz's book De horarum opere is, which may have suggested Honorius to someone.

1381 And thus the guilour is beguiled. Proverbial. See Whiting, G491. See also Piers Plowman B.15.340 ff.

1391 ff. The story of Ulysses and Telegonus is told by Dictys, 6.14, 15; by Benoît, lines 28701-28825, 29815-30300; and in the Gest Hystoriale 34.13208-53, 36. 13802-13989. Wetherbee notes that the Tale of Telegonus is the last of Gower's Troy narratives, the fatal encounter of father and son based on "the somber final episode of the Roman de Troie. Like Chaucer's Knight's Tale, it exposes the uncontrollable relation of intimacy and violence in the chivalric bond" ("John Gower," p. 602). See also Hyg. 126-27.

1392 ff. Latin marginalia: Nota contra istos ob amoris causam sortilegos; vbi narrat in exemplum quod, cum Vluxes a subuersione Troie repatriare nauigio voluisset, ipsum in Insula Cilly, vbi illa expertissima maga nomine Circes regnauit, contigit applicuisse; quem vt in sui amoris concupiscenciam exardesceret, Circes omnibus suis incantacionibus vincere conabatur. Vluxes tamen magica potencior ipsam in amore subegit, ex qua filium nomine Thelogonum genuit, qui postea patrem suum interfecit: et sic contra fidei naturam genitus contra generacionis naturam patricidium operatus est. [Note against those who use sorcery in the cause of love. Here he narrates in an instructive example that, when Ulysses wanted to return by ship to his homeland after the sacking of Troy, he happened to arrive at the Island of Cilly, where the most expert magician, Circes by name, ruled. Since she burned for him in the lust of her desire, Circes tried to conquer all his men with incantations. Ulysses, however, more powerful than magic, subjected her in love, from which a son, Theologonus by name, was born, who later killed his father. And thus having been generated in violation of the nature of faith (Theologonus) carried out patricide in violation of the nature of generation.]

1395-96 whyl ther is a mouth, / Forevere his name schal be couth. This tribute to Ulysses is testimony to the power and function of the voice of the people within their culture, as well as a tribute to the king's popularity.

1398 clerk knowende. Ulysses is wise in most ways. But Olsson, John Gower and the Structures of Conversion, p. 186, notes a deficiency in his wisdom: "Ulysses's knowledge lacks an ordinatio, or a field of topics to organize remembrance, and that is because he is driven by sensualitas, by a desire for immediate gratification of his 'lustes.' He is a character who has lost his history."

1408 al the strengthe of herbes. "A poem De Viribus Herbarum passed in the Middle Ages under the name of Macer" (Mac 3.516).

1422 nedle and ston. A "rather daring anachronism" on Gower's part (Mac 3.517).

1472 A betre wif. Genius deliberately sets Penelope's virtue against Ulysses' sensuality. In her wisdom, she is not confused or fooled by strangers at her door.

1513 ff. Latin marginalia: Oracius. Omnia sunt hominum tenui pendencia filo. [Horace: All human matters are dangling by a slender thread.] Stollreither notes that the passage is from Ovid, Ponti 4.3.35, not Horace (Quellen-Nachweise, p. 57).

1513-14 happes over mannes hed / Ben honged with a tendre thred. Proverbial. See Whiting, H99.

1523-63 he mette a swevene. "The dream of Ulysses is the only one described by Gower in which the will of a personal agent, god or magician, is not the initiating force. No cause is stated" (Fox, Mediaeval Sciences, p. 109).

1567 ff. Latin marginalia: Bernardus. Plures plura sciunt et seipsos nesciunt. [Bernard: Many know many things and are ignorant of themselves.] The phrase is also used in Piers Plowman, B.11.3, at a key moment.

1575-81 Bakalian points out that in Traitié 6.3, "Ulysses dies as a direct result of his infidelity" (Aspects of Love, p. 42). But in CA he is slain by his unknown son in part "because he has lost his ability to reason and correctly interpret the dream of his own death" (p. 41). Fox notes that although Ulysses' dream needs explication Ulysses is "unable to interpret it" (Mediaeval Sciences, p. 109). In Benoît he seeks help from others, but Gower leaves him on his own: "For al his calculacion / He seth no demonstracion / Al pleinly for to knowe an ende" (6.1579-81).

1660 Nachaie. Presumably Ithaca, though perhaps Achaeia. Benoît's Roman de Troie reads "Tant qu'il vint droit en Acaie," which Macaulay suggests refers to Ithaca, for which Nachaie could be a mistake (3.518).

1768-78 Perhaps Gower's most succinct moral. The anaphora provides both emphasis on sorcery as well as a plot review, leading up to an epigrammatic couplet (lines 1777-78), with multiple puns on unkindeschipe to imply not only witchcraft and sorcery but also an "unfilial act," "unnaturalness," "ingratitude," "improper rule," "disloyalty," "ungenerosity," "lack of natural affection," etc.

1789 ff. Because he was Alexander's teacher and a magician, Nectanabus was a favorite in popular medieval literature. Gower may be working from Thomas of Kent's Anglo-Norman Roman de toute Chevalerie, the Latin Historia de Preliis Alexandri (Macaulay [3.519] gives a comparison of these two texts with Gower), Valerius' Res Gestae Alexandri, or some version of the Alexandreis by Walter of Châtillon. See deAngeli, "Julius Valerius' Account of the Birth of Alexander"; and De Bellis, "Thomas of Kent's Account of the Birth of Alexander." For general discussion, see Hamilton, "Some Sources," pp. 504-16; and Beidler, "Diabolical Treachery in the Tale of Nectanabus." Simpson links this tale with the Tale of Ulysses and Telegonus as examples of "self-ignorance in the learned, and the political consequences of that ignorance" (Sciences and the Self, p. 211).

1793 ff. Latin marginalia: Hic narrat exemplum super eodem, qualiter Nectanabus ab Egipto in Macedoniam fugitiuus, Olimpiadem Philippi Regis ibidem tunc absentis vxorem arte magica decipiens, cum ipsa concubuit, magnumque ex ea Alexandrum sortilegus genuit: qui natus, postea cum ad erudiendum sub custodia Nectanabi comendatus fuisset, ipsum Nectanabum patrem suum ab altitudine cuiusdam turris in fossam profundam proiciens interfecit. Et sic sortilegus ex suo sortilegio infortunii sortem sortitus est. [Here he narrates an instructive example on the same thing, how Nectanabus, fleeing from Egypt into Macedonia, deceived by magic art Olimpias the wife of Phillip the king there, who was away at that time. The sorcerer slept with her and begot on her Alexander the Great, who, having been entrusted for his education to the tutelage of Nectanabus, murdered his father Nectanabus by throwing him from a certain high tower into a deep pit. And thus the sorcerer was fated to an ill fate by his own sorcery.] The last line puns on sor (fate) and sortilegus (fate-teller or sorcerer). See also VC 2.4.203-08, where Gower expounds upon sorcery and fate. See Peck, "Phenomenology of Make Believe," pp. 258-66.

1799 magique of his sorcerie. On Nectanabus' lack of real power over his victims as he manipulates illusions to gull people, see Peck, "Phenomenology of Make Believe," pp. 264-66.

1844 tymber. A percussion instrument, such as a small drum, tambourine, or a stringed instrument, used to accompany carols and other dances.

1848 hoved and abod. "paused and waited." Compare 2.3006. See MED hoven v 2a.

1858 He couthe noght withdrawe his lok. See Genius' fundamental advice on the importance of guarding your eyes well, with which he begins his instruction of Amans (1.304 ff.), and the dangers of "mislok" (1.334) as evidenced by stories of Acteon and Medusa. Queen Olympia needs some of the same advice (6.1864).

1882-83 The dai goth forth . . . man mot lete his werk. Compare Chaucer's Parliament of Fowls, where the nightfall trope is also used to set up a dream-troubled night.

1886-88 queene / And passeth over thilke nyht / Til it was on the morwe liht. It is possible that thilke nyht (line 1887) is the subject of passeth over rather than queene, but there are plenty of examples of people struggling with anxiety-provoking thoughts to get through the night in medieval poetry (e.g., the opening of Chaucer's BD). MED offers "survive," "escape," "endure" as glosses for passen over n. (e), which provide a more vivid sense of what is going on for the queen than simply saying "the night passed and it was day." I take queene (line 1886) to be the subject of passeth over, rather than nyht on grounds that her restless preoccupation with Nectanabus' words occupies her all night. How one gets through restless nights is a favorite topic in dream visions. The narrator in BD relies on a book "To rede and drive the night away" (line 49). Olympia's only relief is to rehearse the words.

1922 Amos of Lubie. Hammon of Lybia. See De nuptiis, Book 2 ("The Marriage," especially 2.158-93). Hammon is one of the demigods who, like Dionysus, Osiris, Isis, and Triptolemus, have celestial souls but may appear in human form for the benefit of the whole world. Philology places him as "the exalted power of the Father Unknown" (p. 58), a light in darkness (see CA 6.1981-82) known by many names - Phoebus, Lyceus, Serapis, Osiris, Mithras, Dis, Horus, Typhon, Attis, Phoenician Adonis, and "Hammon from parched Lybia" (p. 59), as he works his wonders.

1935 He schal a sone of you begete. For difficult-to-come-by sources for Gower's Tale of Nectanabus' conception and birth, see De Bellis' excerpts with translation (based on the Paris Manuscript) from "Thomas of Kent's Account of the Birth of Alexander," which includes the following subsections: The Prologue; Of Nectanabus, king of Lybia; How Nectanabus fled and came to Macedonia; Of the queen of Macedonia; How Alexander was conceived; How a shortwing hawk is transmitted to Philip in a vision; How Nectanabus changed himself into a dragon; Of the pheasant which, in flight, lays an egg; How Alexander is born and of the miracles that occur at his birth; Of Bucephalus, Alexander's horse, and how he ate people; and How Alexander killed his father, and how Nectanabus criticized Alexander. And, also, see deAngeli's text and translation of "Julius Valerius' Account of the Birth of Alexander."

1962 recepcions. MED cites this line, with the astrological meaning: "the reciprocal effect of two planets when each is in a sign where the other has a dignity."

1963 ascendent. The degree of the ecliptic or zodiac arising above the horizon at a given moment. See MED accendent n.

2274 Calistre. Callisthenes, Aristotle's nephew, accompanied Alexander as biographer and historian of his military campaigns on his eastern expedition. The biography extolled him as son of Zeus. Callisthenes quarreled with Alexander, however, and was accused of conspiracy; he was put to death in 327. The murder caused strong hostility against Alexander by the school of Aristotle. Although Callisthenes' biography of the king does not survive, his name became attached to early versions of the Romance of Alexander. See OCCL, pp. 111-12.

2338 sorcerie. See Peck, Kingship and Common Profit, pp. 87-88, on Nectanabus' sorcery and the fating of his life; and pp. 135-38, on the ultimate folly of his self-beguiling as he uses his sorcery to look out for himself.

2367 ff. Latin marginalia: Nota qualiter Rex Zorastes, statim cum ab vtero matris sue nasceretur, gaudio magno risit; in quo prenosticum doloris subsequentis signum figurabatur: nam et ipse detestabilis magice primus fuit inventor, quem postea Rex Surrie dira morte trucidauit, et sic opus operarium consumpsit. [Note how King Zoroaster laughed with great joy as soon as he was born from his mother's womb, in which was figured the prognostication of future sorrow; for he was also the first inventor of detestable magic, and later the king of Syria executed him in a terrible death, and thus the work consumed the workman.]

On Zoroaster see Pliny, Naturalis historiae 7.15, and Augustine, De civitate Dei, 21.14. Zoroaster is the Greek form of Iranian Zarathustra. He is treated as a historical figure of the sixth century or earlier.

2385 ff. See 1 Kings (1 Samuel) 27-31.

Latin marginalia: Nota de Saule et Phitonissa. [Note concerning Saul and Phitonissa.]

2387 Phitonesse in Samarie. The witch of Endor. See 1 Kings (1 Samuel) 28:3-25.

2392 Bot of to mochel no man yelpeth. Proverbial. See Whiting, M788.

2408-15 See Minnis, "'Moral Gower,'" pp. 74-75, on Gower's use of Amans' desire (min herte sore longeth, line 2414) to learn of Aristotle's instruction of Alexander as a means of providing a raison d'être for the encyclopedic doctrine of the Secretum Secretorum that constitutes much of Book 7.

2420-36 Genius announces the philosophical content and goals of Book 7. See Simpson on the "Platonic poetics" (Sciences and the Self, p. 70) grounded in Boethius and Alan of Lille that Gower works from in creating Genius and the rhetorical order that he shapes to present the idea of the philosopher king that becomes the center of Book 7 and, for that matter, the whole poem. See especially pp. 203-11, on self-knowledge; the encyclopedic matter of Book 7 "is produced out of the joint desire of Amans and Genius" and is first provoked by Amans (p. 207).




Abbreviations: A: Bodleian Library MS Bodley 902 (SC 27573), fols. 2r–183r; B: Bodleian Library MS Bodley 294 (SC 2449), fols. 1r–197r; C: Corpus Christi College, Oxford MS 67, fols. 1r–209r; F: Bodleian Library MS Fairfax 3 (SC 3883; copy text for this edition), fols. 2r–186r; J: St. John’s College, Cambridge MS B.12 (34), fols. 1r–214r; Mac: G. C. Macaulay; S: Stafford, now Ellesmere 26, fols. 1r–169v; T: Trinity College, Cambridge MS R.3.2 (581), fols. 1r–147v.

69 For. So S, B, J, Mac. F: ffro.

162 wyn. So F, S, B, J. Mac: win.

285 Omitted in B (eyeskip).

408 the. So S, B, J, Mac. F: thei.

495 fest. So F, C. S, B, A, J, Mac: feste.

536 thin. So F, S, B, J. Mac: thine.

554 never. So F, S, C, B. T, A, J, Mac: nevere.

665-964 Inserted after line 1146 in S, B, preceded by six additional lines (see Mac 3.198).

785 schapthe. So F, S. Other manuscripts read schappe (B) or schape (J), thinking, perhaps, that the earlier scribe must have unintentionally doubled the p with þ. But MED shaft(e) n. 1d, gives schapthe as a normal spelling for shaft, with the sense of "appearance, likeness; guise; a shape, form; an idol; also, an image in a mirror," citing this passage in Gower.

1140 Omitted in J (eyeskip).

1147-48 1147-48 Omitted in S, B.

1186 lete. So F, S, A, J. B, T, C, Mac: let.

1307 Omitted in J (eyeskip).

1391 which. So F, C, A, J. S, B, Mac: whiche.

1412 his. So B, J, Mac. F, S: hise.

1428 thei. So F, S, J. B, Mac: they.

1602 He. So S, B, J, Mac. F: His.

1735 badde. So F. S, Mac: badd. B: bad. J: bed.

1823 Bot. So F, S, J. B, Mac: But.

2062 put. So F, S, J. C, B, A, Mac: putte.

2071 wold. So F. S, B, J, Mac: wolde.

2233 myhte. So F. S, Mac: mihte. B: mighte. J: miht.

2247 sihe. So F. S, A, Mac: sih. B: sigh. J: sye.

2314 of. So S, B, Mac. F, A: if. J: yif.

2356 Alisandre. So F, S, J. B, Mac: Alisaundre.

2357-7.88 Omitted in S (missing leaf).

2433 philosophie. So B, J, Mac. F: Philophie.































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Incipit Liber Sextus

Est gula que nostrum maculauit prima parentem
Ex vetito pomo, quo dolet omnis homo.
Hec agit vt corpus anime contraria spirat,
Quo caro fit crassa, spiritus atque macer.
Intus et exterius si que virtutis habentur,
Potibus ebrietas conviciata ruit.
Mersa sopore, labris, que Bachus inebriat hospes,
Indignata Venus oscula raro premit.

"The grete senne original,
Which every man in general
Upon his berthe hath envenymed,
In Paradis it was mystymed:
Whan Adam of thilke appel bot,
His swete morscel was to hot,
Which dedly made the mankinde.
And in the bokes as I finde,
This vice, which so out of rule
Hath sette ous alle, is cleped Gule,
Of which the branches ben so grete,
That of hem alle I wol noght trete,
Bot only as touchende of tuo
I thenke speke and of no mo;
Wherof the ferste is Dronkeschipe,
Which berth the cuppe felaschipe.
Ful many a wonder doth this vice,
He can make of a wisman nyce,
And of a fool, that him schal seme
That he can al the lawe deme,
And given every juggement
Which longeth to the firmament
Bothe of the sterre and of the mone;
And thus he makth a gret clerk sone
Of him that is a lewed man.
Ther is nothing which he ne can,
Whil he hath Dronkeschipe on honde.
He knowth the see, he knowth the stronde;
He is a noble man of armes,
And yit no strengthe is in his armes.
Ther he was strong ynouh tofore,
With Dronkeschipe it is forlore,
And al is changed his astat,
And wext anon so fieble and mat,
That he mai nouther go ne come,
Bot al togedre him is benome
The pouer bothe of hond and fot,
So that algate abide he mot.
And alle hise wittes he forget,
The which is to him such a let,
That he wot nevere what he doth,
Ne which is fals, ne which is soth,
Ne which is dai, ne which is nyht,
And for the time he knowth no wyht,
That he ne wot so moche as this,
What maner thing himselven is,
Or he be man, or he be beste.
That holde I riht a sori feste,
Whan he that reson understod
So soudeinliche is woxe wod,
Or elles lich the dede man,
Which nouther go ne speke can.
Thus ofte he is to bedde broght,
Bot where he lith yit wot he noght,
Til he arise upon the morwe,
And thanne he seith, 'O, which a sorwe
It is a man be drinkeles!'
So that halfdrunke in such a res
With dreie mouth he sterte him uppe,
And seith, 'Nou baillez ça the cuppe.'
That made him lese his wit at eve
Is thanne a morwe al his beleve;
The cuppe is al that evere him pleseth,
And also that him most deseseth.
It is the cuppe whom he serveth,
Which alle cares fro him kerveth
And alle bales to him bringeth:
In joie he wepth, in sorwe he singeth,
For Dronkeschipe is so divers,
It may no whyle stonde in vers.
He drinkth the wyn, bot ate laste
The wyn drynkth him and bint him faste,
And leith him drunke be the wal,
As him which is his bonde thral
And al in his subjeccion.

[Drunkenness of Lovers]

And lich to such condicion,
As for to speke it other wise,
It falleth that the moste wise
Ben otherwhile of love adoted,
And so bewhaped and assoted,
Of drunke men that nevere yit
Was non, which half so loste his wit
Of drinke, as thei of such thing do
Which cleped is the jolif wo;
And waxen of here oghne thoght
So drunke, that thei knowe noght
What reson is, or more or lesse.
Such is the kinde of that sieknesse,
And that is noght for lacke of brain,
Bot love is of so gret a main,
That where he takth an herte on honde,
Ther mai nothing his miht withstonde.
The wise Salomon was nome,
And stronge Sampson overcome,
The knihtli David him ne mihte
Rescoue, that he with the sihte
Of Bersabee ne was bestad.
Virgile also was overlad,
And Aristotle was put under.
Forthi, mi sone, it is no wonder
If thou be drunke of love among,
Which is above alle othre strong.
And if so is that thou so be,
Tell me thi schrifte in privité;
It is no schame of such a thew
A yong man to be dronkelew.
Of such phisique I can a part,
And as me semeth be that art,
Thou scholdest be phisonomie
Be schapen to that maladie
Of lovedrunke, and that is routhe."
"Ha, holi fader, al is trouthe
That ye me telle: I am beknowe
That I with love am so bethrowe,
And al myn herte is so thurgh sunke,
That I am verrailiche drunke,
And yit I mai bothe speke and go.
Bot I am overcome so,
And torned fro miself so clene,
That ofte I wot noght what I mene;
So that excusen I ne mai
Min herte, fro the ferste day
That I cam to mi ladi kiththe,
I was yit sobre nevere siththe.
Wher I hire se or se hire noght,
With musinge of min oghne thoght,
Of love, which min herte assaileth,
So drunke I am, that mi wit faileth
And al mi brain is overtorned,
And mi manere so mistorned,
That I forgete al that I can
And stonde lich a mased man;
That ofte, whanne I scholde pleie,
It makth me drawe out of the weie
In soulein place be miselve,
As doth a labourer to delve,
Which can no gentil mannes chere.
Or elles as a lewed frere,
Whan he is put to his penance,
Riht so lese I mi contienance.
And if it nedes so betyde,
That I in compainie abyde,
Wher as I moste daunce and singe
The hovedance and carolinge,
Or for to go the newefot,
I mai noght wel heve up mi fot,
If that sche be noght in the weie.
For thanne is al mi merthe aweie,
And waxe anon of thoght so full,
Wherof mi limes ben so dull
I mai unethes gon the pas.
For thus it is and evere was,
Whanne I on suche thoghtes muse,
The lust and merthe that men use,
Whan I se noght mi ladi byme,
Al is forgete for the time
So ferforth that mi wittes changen
And alle lustes fro me strangen,
That thei seie alle trewely
And swere that it am noght I.
For as the man which ofte drinketh,
With wyn that in his stomac sinketh
Wext drunke and witles for a throwe,
Riht so mi lust is overthrowe,
And of myn oghne thoght so mat
I wexe that to myn astat
Ther is no lime wol me serve,
Bot as a drunke man I swerve
And suffre such a passion
That men have gret compassion,
And everich be himself merveilleth
What thing it is that me so eilleth.
Such is the manere of mi wo
Which time that I am hire fro,
Til eft agein that I hire se.
Bot thanne it were a nyceté
To telle you hou that I fare.
For whanne I mai upon hire stare,
Hire wommanhede, hire gentilesse,
Myn herte is full of such gladnesse,
That overpasseth so mi wit,
That I wot nevere where it sit,
Bot am so drunken of that sihte,
Me thenkth that for the time I mihte
Riht sterte thurgh the hole wall;
And thanne I mai wel, if I schal,
Bothe singe and daunce and lepe aboute,
And holde forth the lusti route.
Bot natheles it falleth so
Fulofte, that I fro hire go
Ne mai, bot as it were a stake,
I stonde avisement to take
And loke upon hire faire face;
That for the while out of the place
For al the world ne myhte I wende.
Such lust comth thanne into mi mende,
So that withoute mete or drinke,
Of lusti thoughtes whiche I thinke
Me thenkth I mihte stonden evere.
And so it were to me levere
Than such a sihte for to leve,
If that sche wolde gif me leve
To have so mochel of mi wille.
And thus thenkende I stonde stille
Withoute blenchinge of myn yhe,
Riht as me thoghte that I syhe
Of Paradis the moste joie.
And so therwhile I me rejoie,
Into myn herte a gret desir,
The which is hotere than the fyr,
Al soudeinliche upon me renneth,
That al mi thoght withinne brenneth,
And am so ferforth overcome,
That I not where I am become;
So that among the hetes stronge
In stede of drinke I underfonge
A thoght so swete in mi corage,
That nevere pyment ne vernage
Was half so swete for to drinke.
For as I wolde, thanne I thinke
As thogh I were at myn above,
For so thurgh drunke I am of love,
That al that mi sotye demeth
Is soth, as thanne it to me semeth.
And whyle I mai tho thoghtes kepe,
Me thenkth as thogh I were aslepe
And that I were in Goddes barm;
Bot whanne I se myn oghne harm,
And that I soudeinliche awake
Out of my thought, and hiede take
Hou that the sothe stant in dede,
Thanne is mi sekernesse in drede
And joie torned into wo,
So that the hete is al ago
Of such sotie as I was inne.
And thanne ageinward I beginne
To take of love a newe thorst,
The which me grieveth altherworst,
For thanne comth the blanche fievere,
With chele and makth me so to chievere,
And so it coldeth at myn herte,
That wonder is hou I asterte,
In such a point that I ne deie.
For certes ther was nevere keie
Ne frosen ys upon the wal
More inly cold than I am al.
And thus soffre I the hote chele,
Which passeth othre peines fele.
In cold I brenne and frese in hete.
And thanne I drinke a biter swete
With dreie lippe and yhen wete.
Lo, thus I tempre mi diete,
And take a drauhte of such reles,
That al mi wit is herteles,
And al myn herte, ther it sit,
Is, as who seith, withoute wit.
So that to prove it be reson
In makinge of comparison
Ther mai no difference be
Betwen a drunke man and me.
Bot al the worste of everychon
Is evere that I thurste in on;
The more that myn herte drinketh,
The more I may; so that me thinketh,
My thurst schal nevere ben aqueint.
God schilde that I be noght dreint
Of such a superfluité,
For wel I fiele in mi degré
That al mi wit is overcast,
Wherof I am the more agast,
That in defaulte of ladischipe
Per chance in such a drunkeschipe
I mai be ded er I be war.
For certes, fader, this I dar
Beknowe and in mi schrifte telle:
Bot I a drauhte have of that welle,
In which mi deth is and mi lif,
Mi joie is torned into strif,
That sobre schal I nevere worthe,
Bot as a drunke man forworthe;
So that in londe where I fare
The lust is lore of mi welfare,
As he that mai no bote finde.
Bot this me thenkth a wonder kinde,
As I am drunke of that I drinke,
So am I ek for falte of drinke;
Of which I finde no reles.
Bot if I myhte natheles
Of such a drinke as I coveite,
So as me liste, have o receite,
I scholde assobre and fare wel.
Bot so Fortune upon hire whiel
On hih me deigneth noght to sette,
Foreveremore I finde a lette.
The boteler is noght mi frend,
Which hath the keie be the bend;
I mai wel wisshe and that is wast,
For wel I wot, so freissh a tast,
Bot if mi grace be the more,
I schal assaie neveremore.
Thus am I drunke of that I se,
For tastinge is defended me,
And I can noght miselven stanche.
So that, mi fader, of this branche
I am gultif, to telle trouthe."
"Mi sone, that me thenketh routhe;
For lovedrunke is the meschief
Above alle othre the most chief,
If he no lusti thoght assaie,
Which mai his sori thurst allaie.
As for the time yit it lisseth
To him which other joie misseth.
Forthi, mi sone, aboven alle
Thenk wel, hou so it thee befalle,
And kep thi wittes that thou hast,
And let hem noght be drunke in wast.
Bot natheles ther is no wyht
That mai withstonde loves miht.
Bot why the cause is, as I finde,
Of that ther is diverse kinde
Of lovedrunke, why men pleigneth
After the court which al ordeigneth,
I wol thee tellen the manere;
Nou lest, mi sone, and thou schalt hiere.

[Tale of Jupiter and the Two Casks]

For the fortune of every chance
After the goddes pourveance
To man it groweth from above,
So that the sped of every love
Is schape there, er it befalle.
For Jupiter aboven alle,
Which is of goddes soverein,
Hath in his celier, as men sein,
Tuo tonnes fulle of love drinke
That maken many an herte sinke
And many an herte also to flete,
Or of the soure or of the swete.
That on is full of such piment,
Which passeth all entendement
Of mannes witt, if he it taste,
And makth a jolif herte in haste.
That other biter as the galle,
Which makth a mannes herte palle,
Whos drunkeschipe is a sieknesse.
Thurgh fielinge of the biternesse.
Cupide is boteler of bothe,
Which to the lieve and to the lothe
Gifth of the swete and of the soure,
That some lawhe, and some loure.
Bot for so moche as he blind is,
Fulofte time he goth amis
And takth the badde for the goode,
Which hindreth many a mannes fode
Withoute cause, and forthreth eke.
So be ther some of love seke,
Whiche oghte of reson to ben hole,
And some comen to the dole
In happ and as hemselve leste
Drinke undeserved of the beste.
And thus this blinde boteler
Gifth of the trouble in stede of cler
And ek the cler in stede of trouble:
Lo, hou he can the hertes trouble,
And makth men drunke al upon chaunce
Withoute lawe of governance.
If he drawe of the swete tonne,
Thanne is the sorwe al overronne
Of lovedrunke, and schalt noght greven
So to be drunken every even,
For al is thanne bot a game.
Bot whanne it is noght of the same,
And he the biter tonne draweth,
Such drunkeschipe an herte gnaweth
And fiebleth al a mannes thoght,
That betre him were have drunke noght
And al his bred have eten dreie;
For thanne he lest his lusti weie
With drunkeschipe, and wot noght whider
To go, the weies ben so slider,
In which he mai per cas so falle,
That he schal breke his wittes alle.
And in this wise men be drunke
After the drink that thei have drunke.
Bot alle drinken noght alike,
For som schal singe and som schal syke,
So that it me nothing merveilleth,
Mi sone, of love that thee eilleth;
For wel I knowe be thi tale,
That thou hast drunken of the duale,
Which biter is, til God thee sende
Such grace that thou miht amende.
Bot, sone, thou schalt bidde and preie
In such a wise as I schal seie,
That thou the lusti welle atteigne
Thi wofull thurstes to restreigne
Of love, and taste the swetnesse,
As Bachus dede in his distresse,
Whan bodiliche thurst him hente
In strange londes where he wente.

[Prayer of Bacchus in the Desert]

This Bachus sone of Jupiter
Was hote, and as he wente fer
Be his fadres assignement
To make a werre in Orient,
And gret pouer with him he ladde,
So that the heiere hond he hadde
And victoire of his enemys,
And torneth homward with his pris,
In such a contré which was dreie
A meschief fell upon the weie.
As he rod with his compainie
Nyh to the strondes of Lubie,
Ther myhte thei no drinke finde
Of water nor of other kinde,
So that himself and al his host
Were of defalte of drinke almost
Destruid, and thanne Bachus preide
To Jupiter, and thus he seide:
'O hihe fader, that sest al,
To whom is reson that I schal
Beseche and preie in every nede,
Behold, mi fader, and tak hiede
This wofull thurst that we ben inne
To staunche, and grante ous for to winne,
And sauf unto the contré fare
Wher that oure lusti loves are
Waitende upon oure homcominge.'
And with the vois of his preiynge,
Which herd was to the goddes hihe,
He syh anon tofore his yhe
A wether, which the ground hath sporned;
And wher he hath it overtorned,
Ther sprang a welle, freissh and cler,
Wherof his oghne boteler
After the lustes of his wille
Was every man to drinke his fille.
And for this ilke grete grace
Bachus upon the same place
A riche temple let arere,
Which evere scholde stonde there
To thursti men in remembrance.
Forthi, mi sone, after this chance
It sit thee wel to taken hiede
So for to preie upon thi nede,
As Bachus preide for the welle;
And thenk, as thou hast herd me telle,
Hou grace he gradde and grace he hadde.
He was no fol that ferst so radde,
For selden get a domb man lond.
Tak that proverbe, and understond
That wordes ben of vertu grete.
Forthi to speke thou ne lete,
And axe and prei erli and late
Thi thurst to quenche, and thenk algate,
The boteler which berth the keie
Is blind, as thou hast herd me seie.
And if it mihte so betyde,
That he upon the blinde side
Per cas the swete tonne arauhte,
Than schalt thou have a lusti drauhte
And waxe of lovedrunke sobre.
And thus I rede thou assobre
Thin herte in hope of such a grace,
For drunkeschipe in every place,
To whether side that it torne,
Doth harm and makth a man to sporne
And ofte falle in such a wise,
Wher he per cas mai noght arise.

[Tristram and Isolde]

And for to loke in evidence
Upon the sothe experience,
So as it hath befalle er this,
In every mannes mouth it is
Hou Tristram was of love drunke
With Bele Ysolde, whan thei drunke
The drink which Brangwein hem betok,
Er that king Marc his eem hire tok
To wyve, as it was after knowe.
And ek, mi sone, if thou wolt knowe,
As it hath fallen overmore
In loves cause, and what is more
Of drunkeschipe for to drede,
As it whilom befell in dede,
Wherof thou miht the betre eschuie
Of drunke men that thou ne suie
The compaignie in no manere,
A gret ensample thou schalt hiere.

[Marriage of Pirithous]

This finde I write in poesie
Of thilke faire Ipotacie,
Of whos beauté ther as sche was
Spak every man; and fell, per cas,
That Pirotous so him spedde,
That he to wyve hire scholde wedde,
Wherof that he gret joie made.
And for he wolde his love glade,
Agein the day of mariage
Be mouthe bothe and be message
Hise frendes to the fest he preide,
With gret worschipe and, as men seide,
He hath this yonge ladi spoused.
And whan that thei were alle housed,
And set and served ate mete,
Ther was no wyn which mai be gete,
That ther ne was plenté ynouh:
Bot Bachus thilke tonne drouh,
Wherof be weie of drunkeschipe
The greteste of the felaschipe
Were oute of reson overtake;
And Venus, which hath also take
The cause most in special,
Hath gove hem drinke forth withal
Of thilke cuppe which exciteth
The lust wherinne a man deliteth.
And thus be double weie drunke,
Of lust that ilke fyri funke
Hath mad hem, as who seith, halfwode,
That thei no reson understode,
Ne to non other thing thei syhen,
Bot hire, which tofore here yhen
Was wedded thilke same day,
That freisshe wif, that lusti may,
On hire it was al that thei thoghten.
And so ferforth here lustes soghten,
That thei the whiche named were
Centauri, ate feste there
Of on assent, of on acord
This yonge wif, malgré hire lord,
In such a rage awei forth ladden,
As thei whiche non insihte hadden
Bot only to her drunke fare,
Which many a man hath mad misfare
In love als wel as other weie.
Wherof, if I schal more seie
Upon the nature of the vice,
Of custume and of excercice
The mannes grace hou it fordoth,
A tale, which was whilom soth,
Of fooles that so drunken were,
I schal reherce unto thin ere.

[Tale of Galba and Vitellius]

I rede in a cronique thus
Of Galba and of Vitellus,
The whiche of Spaigne bothe were
The greteste of alle othre there,
And bothe of o condicion
After the disposicion
Of glotonie and drunkeschipe.
That was a sori felaschipe,
For this thou miht wel understonde,
That man mai wel noght longe stonde
Which is wyndrunke of comun us,
For he hath lore the vertus
Wherof reson him scholde clothe.
And that was seene upon hem bothe.
Men sein ther is non evidence,
Wherof to knowe a difference
Betwen the drunken and the wode,
For thei be never nouther goode;
For wher that wyn doth wit aweie,
Wisdom hath lost the rihte weie,
That he no maner vice dredeth.
No more than a blind man thredeth
His nedle be the sonnes lyht,
No more is reson thanne of myht,
Whan he with drunkeschipe is blent.
And in this point thei weren schent,
This Galba bothe and ek Vitelle,
Upon the cause as I schal telle,
Wherof good is to taken hiede.
For thei tuo thurgh her drunkenhiede
Of witles excitacioun
Oppressede al the nacion
Of Spaigne; for of fool usance,
Which don was of continuance
Of hem which alday drunken were,
Ther was no wif ne maiden there,
What so thei were, or faire or foule,
Whom thei ne token to defoule,
Wherof the lond was often wo:
And ek in othre thinges mo
Thei wroghten many a sondri wrong.
Bot hou so that the dai be long,
The derke nyht comth ate laste.
God wolde noght thei scholden laste
And schop the lawe in such a wise,
That thei thurgh dom to the juise
Be dampned for to be forlore.
Bot thei, that hadden ben tofore
Enclin to alle drunkenesse,
Here ende thanne bar witnesse;
For thei in hope to assuage
The peine of deth, upon the rage
That thei the lasse scholden fiele,
Of wyn let fille full a miele
And dronken til so was befalle
That thei her strengthes losten alle
Withouten wit of eny brain.
And thus thei ben halfdede slain,
That hem ne grieveth bot a lyte.
Mi sone, if thou be for to wyte
In eny point which I have seid,
Wherof thi wittes ben unteid,
I rede clepe hem hom agein."
"I schal do, fader, as ye sein,
Als ferforth as I mai suffise;
Bot wel I wot that in no wise
The drunkeschipe of love aweie
I mai remue be no weie,
It stant noght upon my fortune.
Bot if you liste to comune
Of the seconde Glotonie,
Which cleped is Delicacie,
Wherof ye spieken hier tofore,
Beseche I wolde you therfore."
"Mi sone, as of that ilke vice,
Which of alle othre is the norrice,
And stant upon the retenue
Of Venus, so as it is due,
The propreté hou that it fareth
The bok hierafter nou declareth."


Delicie cum diuiciis sunt iura potentum,
In quibus orta Venus excitat ora gule.
Non sunt delicie tales, que corpora pascunt,
Ex quibus impletus gaudia venter agit,
Quin completus amor maiori munere gaudet,
Cum data deliciis mens in amante satur.

"Of this chapitre in which we trete
There is yit on of such diete
To which no povere mai atteigne,
For al is past of paindemeine
And sondri wyn and sondri drinke,
Wherof that he wole ete and drinke.
Hise cokes ben for him affaited,
So that his body is awaited,
That him schal lacke no delit,
Als ferforth as his appetit
Sufficeth to the metes hote.
Wherof this lusti vice is hote
Of Gule the Delicacie,
Which al the hole progenie
Of lusti folk hath undertake
To feede, whil that he mai take
Richesses wherof to be founde.
Of Abstinence he wot no bounde,
To what profit it scholde serve.
And yit phisique of his conserve
Makth many a restauracioun
Unto his recreacioun,
Which wolde be to Venus lief.
Thus for the point of his relief
The coc which schal his mete arraie,
Bot he the betre his mouth assaie,
His lordes thonk schal ofte lese,
Er he be served to the chese.
For ther mai lacke noght so lyte,
That he ne fint anon a wyte;
For bot his lust be fully served,
Ther hath no wiht his thonk deserved.
And yit for mannes sustenance,
To kepe and holde in governance,
To him that wole his hele get
Is non so good as comun mete.
For who that loketh on the bokes,
It seith, confeccion of cokes,
A man him scholde wel avise
Hou he it toke and in what wise.
For who that useth that he knoweth,
Ful selden seknesse on him groweth;
And who that useth metes strange,
Though his nature empeire and change
It is no wonder, lieve sone,
Whan that he doth agein his wone.
For in phisique this I finde,
Usage is the seconde kinde.

[Delicacy of Lovers]

And riht so changeth his astat
He that of love is delicat.
For though he hadde to his hond
The beste wif of al the lond,
Or the faireste love of alle,
Yit wolde his herte on othre falle
And thenke hem mor delicious
Than he hath in his oghne hous.
Men sein it is nou ofte so;
Avise hem wel, thei that so do.
And for to speke in other weie,
Fulofte time I have herd seie,
That he which hath no love achieved,
Him thenkth that he is noght relieved,
Thogh that his ladi make him chiere,
So as sche mai in good manere
Hir honour and hir name save,
Bot he the surplus mihte have.
Nothing withstondende hire astat,
Of love more delicat
He set hire chiere at no delit,
Bot he have al his appetit.
Mi sone, if it be with thee so,
Tell me."
"Myn holi fader, no:
For delicat in such a wise
Of love, as ye to me devise
Ne was I nevere yit gultif;
For if I hadde such a wif
As ye speke of, what scholde I more?
For thanne I wolde neveremore
For lust of eny wommanhiede
Myn herte upon non other fiede.
And if I dede, it were a wast.
Bot al withoute such repast
Of lust, as ye me tolde above,
Of wif, or yit of other love,
I faste, and mai no fode gete,
So that for lacke of deinté mete,
Of which an herte mai be fedd,
I go fastende to my bedd.
Bot myhte I geten, as ye tolde,
So mochel that mi ladi wolde
Me fede with hir glad semblant,
Though me lacke al the remenant,
Yit scholde I somdel ben abeched
And for the time wel refreched.
Bot certes, fader, sche ne doth;
For in good feith, to telle soth,
I trowe, thogh I scholde sterve,
Sche wolde noght hire yhe swerve,
Mine herte with o goodly lok
To fede, and thus for such a cok
I mai go fastinge everemo.
Bot if so is that eny wo
Mai fede a mannes herte wel,
Therof I have at every meel
Of plenté more than ynowh;
Bot that is of himself so towh,
Mi stomac mai it noght defie.
Lo, such is the delicacie
Of love, which myn herte fedeth.
Thus have I lacke of that me nedeth.
Bot for al this yit natheles
I seie noght I am gylteles,
That I somdel am delicat.
For elles were I fulli mat,
Bot if that I som lusti stounde
Of confort and of ese founde,
To take of love som repast;
For thogh I with the fulle tast
The lust of love mai noght fiele,
Min hunger otherwise I kiele
Of smale lustes whiche I pike,
And for a time yit thei like,
If that ye wisten what I mene."
"Nou, goode sone, schrif thee clene
Of suche deyntes as ben goode,
Wherof thou takst thin hertes fode."
"Mi fader, I you schal reherce,
Hou that mi fodes ben diverse,
So as thei fallen in degré.
O fiedinge is of that I se,
Another is of that I here,
The thridde, as I schal tellen here,
It groweth of min oghne thoght,
And elles scholde I live noght;
For whom that failleth fode of herte,
He mai noght wel the deth asterte.
Of sihte is al mi ferste fode,
Thurgh which myn yhe of alle goode
Hath that to him is acordant,
A lusti fode sufficant.
Whan that I go toward the place
Wher I schal se my ladi face,
Min yhe, which is loth to faste,
Beginth to hungre anon so faste,
That him thenkth of on houre thre,
Til I ther come and he hire se.
And thanne after his appetit
He takth a fode of such delit,
That him non other deynté nedeth.
Of sondri sihtes he him fedeth.
He seth hire face of such colour,
That freisshere is than eny flour,
He seth hire front is large and plein
Withoute fronce of eny grein,
He seth hire yhen lich an hevene,
He seth hire nase strauht and evene,
He seth hire rode upon the cheke,
He seth hire rede lippes eke,
Hire chyn acordeth to the face,
Al that he seth is full of grace,
He seth hire necke round and clene,
Therinne mai no bon be sene,
He seth hire handes faire and whyte;
For al this thing without wyte
He mai se naked ate leste,
So is it wel the more feste
And wel the more Delicacie
Unto the fiedinge of myn yhe.
He seth hire schapthe forth withal,
Hire bodi round, hire middel smal,
So wel begon with good array,
Which passeth al the lust of Maii,
Whan he is most with softe schoures
Ful clothed in his lusti floures.
With suche sihtes by and by
Min yhe is fed; bot finaly,
Whan he the port and the manere
Seth of hire wommanysshe chere,
Than hath he such delice on honde,
Him thenkth he mihte stille stonde,
And that he hath ful sufficance
Of liflode and of sustienance
As to his part foreveremo.
And if it thoghte alle othre so,
Fro thenne wolde he nevere wende,
Bot there unto the worldes ende
He wolde abyde, if that he mihte,
And fieden him upon the syhte.
For thogh I mihte stonden ay
Into the time of Domesday
And loke upon hire evere in on,
Yit whanne I scholde fro hire gon,
Min yhe wolde, as thogh he faste,
Ben hungerstorven al so faste,
Til efte agein that he hire syhe.
Such is the nature of myn yhe.
Ther is no lust so deintefull,
Of which a man schal noght be full,
Of that the stomac underfongeth,
Bot evere in on myn yhe longeth.
For loke hou that a goshauk tireth,
Riht so doth he, whan that he pireth
And toteth on hire wommanhiede.
For he mai nevere fulli fiede
His lust, bot evere aliche sore
Him hungreth, so that he the more
Desireth to be fed algate.
And thus myn yhe is mad the gate,
Thurgh which the deyntes of my thoght
Of lust ben to myn herte broght.
Riht as myn yhe with his lok
Is to myn herte a lusti coc
Of loves fode delicat,
Riht so myn ere in his astat,
Wher as myn yhe mai noght serve,
Can wel myn hertes thonk deserve
And fieden him fro day to day
With suche deyntes as he may.
For thus it is, that overal,
Wher as I come in special,
I mai hiere of mi ladi pris;
I hiere on seith that sche is wys,
Another seith that sche is good,
And som men sein, of worthi blod
That sche is come, and is also
So fair, that nawher is non so;
And som men preise hire goodli chiere.
Thus every thing that I mai hiere,
Which souneth to mi ladi goode,
Is to myn ere a lusti foode.
And ek min ere hath over this
A deynté feste, whan so is
That I mai hiere hirselve speke.
For thanne anon mi faste I breke
On suche wordes as sche seith,
That full of trouthe and full of feith
Thei ben, and of so good desport,
That to myn ere gret confort
Thei don, as thei that ben delices.
For al the metes and the spices,
That eny Lombard couthe make,
Ne be so lusti for to take
Ne so ferforth restauratif,
I seie as for myn oghne lif,
As ben the wordes of hire mouth.
For as the wyndes of the south
Ben most of alle debonaire,
So whan hir list to speke faire,
The vertu of hire goodly speche
Is verraily myn hertes leche.
And if it so befalle among,
That sche carole upon a song,
Whan I it hiere I am so fedd,
That I am fro miself so ledd,
As thogh I were in paradis.
For certes, as to myn avis,
Whan I here of hir vois the stevene,
Me thenkth it is a blisse of hevene.
And ek in other wise also
Fulofte time it falleth so,
Min ere with a good pitance
Is fedd of redinge of romance
Of Ydoine and of Amadas,
That whilom weren in mi cas,
And eke of othre many a score,
That loveden longe er I was bore.
For whan I of here loves rede,
Min ere with the tale I fede;
And with the lust of here histoire
Somtime I drawe into memoire
Hou sorwe mai noght evere laste;
And so comth hope in ate laste,
Whan I non other fode knowe.
And that endureth bot a throwe,
Riht as it were a cherie feste;
Bot for to compten ate leste,
As for the while yit it eseth
And somdel of myn herte appeseth.
For what thing to myn ere spreedeth,
Which is plesant, somdel it feedeth
With wordes suche as he mai gete
Mi lust, instede of other mete.
Lo thus, mi fader, as I seie,
Of lust the which myn yhe hath seie,
And ek of that myn ere hath herd,
Fulofte I have the betre ferd.
And tho tuo bringen in the thridde,
The which hath in myn herte amidde
His place take, to arraie
The lusti fode, which assaie
I mot; and nameliche on nyhtes,
Whan that me lacketh alle sihtes,
And that myn heringe is aweie.
Thanne is he redy in the weie
Mi rere souper for to make,
Of which myn hertes fode I take.
This lusti cokes name is hote
Thoght, which hath evere hise pottes hote
Of love buillende on the fyr
With fantasie and with desir,
Of whiche er this fulofte he fedde
Min herte, whanne I was abedde;
And thanne he set upon my bord
Bothe every syhte and every word
Of lust which I have herd or sein.
Bot yit is noght mi feste al plein,
Bot al of woldes and of wisshes,
Therof have I my fulle disshes,
Bot as of fielinge and of tast,
Yit mihte I nevere have o repast.
And thus, as I have seid aforn,
I licke hony on the thorn,
And as who seith, upon the bridel
I chiewe, so that al is ydel
As in effect the fode I have.
Bot as a man that wolde him save
Whan he is sek, be medicine,
Riht so of love the famine
I fonde in al that evere I mai
To fiede and dryve forth the day,
Til I mai have the grete feste,
Which al myn hunger myhte areste.
Lo suche ben mi lustes thre;
Of that I thenke and hiere and se
I take of love my fiedinge
Withoute tastinge or fielinge:
And as the plover doth of eir
I live, and am in good espeir
That for no such delicacie
I trowe I do no glotonie.
And natheles to youre avis,
Min holi fader, that be wis,
I recomande myn astat
Of that I have be delicat."
"Mi sone, I understonde wel
That thou hast told hier everydel,
And as me thenketh be thi tale,
It ben delices wonder smale,
Wherof thou takst thi loves fode.
Bot, sone, if that thou understode
What is to ben delicious,
Thou woldest noght be curious
Upon the lust of thin astat
To ben to sore delicat,
Wherof that thou reson excede.
For in the bokes thou myht rede,
If mannes wisdom schal be suied,
It oghte wel to ben eschuied
In love als wel as other weie.
For, as these holi bokes seie,
The bodely delices alle
In every point, hou so thei falle,
Unto the soule don grievance.
And for to take in remembrance,
A tale acordant unto this,
Which of gret understondinge is
To mannes soule resonable,
I thenke telle, and is no fable.

[Tale of Dives and Lazarus]

Of Cristes word, who wole it rede,
Hou that this vice is for to drede
In th'evangile it telleth plein,
Which mot algate be certein,
For Crist Himself it berth witnesse.
And thogh the clerk and the clergesse
In Latin tunge it rede and singe,
Yit for the more knoulechinge
Of trouthe, which is good to wite,
I schal declare as it is write
In Engleissh, for thus it began.
Crist seith: 'Ther was a riche man,
A mihti lord of gret astat,
And he was ek so delicat
Of his clothing, that everyday
Of pourpre and bisse he made him gay,
And eet and drank therto his fille
After the lustes of his wille,
As he which al stod in delice
And tok non hiede of thilke vice.
And as it scholde so betyde,
A povere lazre upon a tyde
Cam to the gate and axed mete.
Bot there mihte he nothing gete
His dedly hunger for to stanche,
For he, which hadde his fulle panche
Of alle lustes ate bord,
Ne deigneth noght to speke a word,
Onliche a crumme for to give,
Wherof the povere myhte live
Upon the gifte of his almesse.
Thus lai this povere in gret destresse
Acold and hungred ate gate,
Fro which he mihte go no gate,
So was he wofulli besein.
And as these holi bokes sein,
The houndes comen fro the halle,
Wher that this sike man was falle,
And as he lay ther for to die,
The woundes of his maladie
Thei licken for to don him ese.
Bot he was full of such desese
That he mai noght the deth eschape,
Bot as it was that time schape,
The soule fro the bodi passeth,
And He whom nothing overpasseth,
The hihe God, up to the hevene
Him tok, wher He hath set him evene
In Habrahammes barm on hyh,
Wher he the hevene joie syh
And hadde al that he have wolde.
And fell, as it befalle scholde,
This riche man the same throwe
With soudein deth was overthrowe,
And forth withouten eny wente
Into the helle straght he wente.
The fend into the fyr him drouh,
Wher that he hadde peine ynouh
Of flamme which that evere brenneth.
And as his yhe aboute renneth,
Toward the hevene he cast his lok,
Wher that he syh and hiede tok
Hou Lazar set was in his se
Als ferr as evere he mihte se
With Habraham; and thanne he preide
Unto the patriarch and seide:
"Send Lazar doun fro thilke sete,
And do that he his finger wete
In water, so that he mai droppe
Upon my tunge, for to stoppe
The grete hete in which I brenne."
Bot Habraham answerde thenne
And seide to him in this wise:
"Mi Sone, thou thee miht avise
And take into thi remembrance,
Hou Lazar hadde gret penance,
Whyl he was in that other lif,
Bot thou in al thi lust jolif
The bodily delices soghtest.
Forthi, so as thou thanne wroghtest,
Nou schalt thou take thi reward
Of dedly peine hierafterward
In helle, which schal evere laste;
And this Lazar nou ate laste
The worldes peine is overronne,
In hevene and hath his lif begonne
Of joie, which is endeles.
Bot that thou preidest natheles,
That I schal Lazar to thee sende
With water on his finger ende,
Thin hote tunge for to kiele,
Thou schalt no suche graces fiele;
For to that foule place of sinne,
Forevere in which thou schalt ben inne,
Comth non out of this place thider,
Ne non of you mai comen hider;
Thus be yee parted nou atuo."
The riche ageinward cride tho:
"O Habraham, sithe it so is,
That Lazar mai noght do me this
Which I have axed in this place,
I wolde preie another grace.
For I have yit of brethren fyve,
That with mi fader ben alyve
Togedre duellende in on hous;
To whom, as thou art gracious,
I preie that thou woldest sende
Lazar, so that he mihte wende
To warne hem hou the world is went,
That afterward thei be noght schent
Of suche peines as I drye.
Lo, this I preie and this I crie,
Now I may noght miself amende."
The patriarch anon suiende
To his preiere ansuerde nay,
And seide him hou that everyday
His brethren mihten knowe and hiere
Of Moises on erthe hiere
And of prophetes othre mo,
What hem was best. And he seith no;
Bot if ther mihte a man aryse
Fro deth to lyve in such a wise,
To tellen hem hou that it were,
He seide hou thanne of pure fere
Thei scholden wel be war therby.
Quod Habraham: "Nay sikerly;
For if thei nou wol noght obeie
To suche as techen hem the weie,
And alday preche and alday telle
Hou that it stant of hevene and helle,
Thei wol noght thanne taken hiede,
Thogh it befelle so in dede
That eny ded man were arered,
To ben of him no betre lered
Than of another man alyve."'
If thou, mi sone, canst descryve
This tale, as Crist Himself it tolde,
Thou schalt have cause to beholde,
To se so gret an evidence,
Wherof the sothe experience
Hath schewed openliche at ye,
That bodili delicacie
Of him which geveth non almesse
Schal after falle in gret destresse,
And that was sene upon the riche.
For he ne wolde unto his liche
A crumme given of his bred.
Thanne afterward, whan he was ded,
A drope of water him was werned.
Thus mai a mannes wit be lerned
Of hem that so delices taken;
Whan thei with deth ben overtaken,
That erst was swete is thanne sour.
Bot he that is a governour
Of worldes good, if he be wys,
Withinne his herte he set no pris
Of al the world, and yit he useth
The good that he nothing refuseth,
As he which lord is of the thinges.
The nouches and the riche ringes,
The cloth of gold and the perrie
He takth, and yit delicacie
He leveth, thogh he were al this.
The beste mete that ther is
He ett, and drinkth the beste drinke;
Bot hou that evere he ete or drinke,
Delicacie he put aweie,
As he which goth the rihte weie
Noght only for to fiede and clothe
His bodi, bot his soule bothe.
Bot thei that taken otherwise
Here lustes, ben none of the wise;
And that whilom was schewed eke,
If thou these olde bokes seke,
Als wel be reson as be kinde,
Of olde ensample as men mai finde.

[Nero's Sensuality]

What man that wolde him wel avise,
Delicacie is to despise,
Whan kinde acordeth noght withal;
Wherof ensample in special
Of Nero whilom mai be told,
Which agein kinde manyfold
Hise lustes tok, til ate laste
That God him wolde al overcaste;
Of whom the cronique is so plein,
Me list no more of him to sein.
And natheles for glotonie
Of bodili Delicacie,
To knowe his stomak hou it ferde,
Of that no man tofore herde,
Which he withinne himself bethoghte,
A wonder soubtil thing he wroghte.
Thre men upon eleccioun
Of age and of complexioun
Lich to himself be alle weie
He tok towardes him to pleie,
And ete and drinke als wel as he.
Therof was no diversité.
For every day whan that thei eete,
Tofore his oghne bord thei seete,
And of such mete as he was served,
Althogh thei hadde it noght deserved,
Thei token service of the same.
Bot afterward al thilke game
Was into wofull ernest torned;
For whan thei weren thus sojorned,
Withinne a time at after mete
Nero, which hadde noght forgete
The lustes of his frele astat,
As he which al was delicat,
To knowe thilke experience,
The men lete come in his presence.
And to that on the same tyde,
A courser that he scholde ryde
Into the feld, anon he bad;
Wherof this man was wonder glad,
And goth to prike and prance aboute.
That other, whil that he was oute,
He leide upon his bedd to slepe:
The thridde, which he wolde kepe
Withinne his chambre, faire and softe
He goth now doun nou up fulofte,
Walkende a pass, that he ne slepte,
Til he which on the courser lepte
Was come fro the field agein.
Nero thanne, as the bokes sein,
These men doth taken alle thre
And slouh hem, for he wolde se
The whos stomak was best defied.
And whanne he hath the sothe tryed,
He fond that he which goth the pass
Defyed best of alle was,
Which afterward he usede ay.
And thus what thing unto his pay
Was most plesant, he lefte non.
With every lust he was begon,
Wherof the bodi myhte glade,
For he non abstinence made;
Bot most above alle erthli thinges
Of wommen unto the likinges
Nero sette al his hole herte,
For that lust scholde him noght asterte.
Whan that the thurst of love him cawhte,
Wher that him list he tok a drauhte,
He spareth nouther wif ne maide,
That such another, as men saide,
In al this world was nevere yit.
He was so drunke in al his wit
Thurgh sondri lustes whiche he tok,
That evere, whil ther is a bok,
Of Nero men schul rede and singe
Unto the worldes knowlechinge,
Mi goode Sone, as thou hast herd.
Forevere yit it hath so ferd,
Delicacie in loves cas
Withoute reson is and was;
For wher that love his herte set,
Him thenkth it myhte be no bet;
And thogh it be noght fulli mete,
The lust of love is evere swete.
Lo, thus togedre of felaschipe
Delicacie and drunkeschipe,
Wherof reson stant out of herre,
Have mad full many a wisman erre
In loves cause most of alle.
For thanne hou so that evere it falle,
Wit can no reson understonde,
Bot let the governance stonde
To Will, which thanne wext so wylde,
That he can noght himselve schylde
Fro no peril, bot out of feere
The weie he secheth hiere and there,
Him recheth noght upon what syde.
For oftetime he goth beside,
And doth such thing withoute drede
Wherof him oghte wel to drede.
Bot whan that love assoteth sore,
It passeth alle mennes lore;
What lust it is that he ordeigneth,
Ther is no mannes miht restreigneth,
And of the godd takth he non hiede.
Bot laweles withoute drede,
His pourpos for he wolde achieve
Ageins the pointz of the believe,
He tempteth hevene and erthe and helle,
Hierafterward as I schal telle."

[Sorcery and Witchcraft]

Dum stimulatur amor, quicquid iubet orta voluptas,
Audet et aggreditur, nulla timenda timens.
Omne quod astra queunt herbarum siue potestas,
Seu vigor inferni, singula temptat amans.
Quod nequit ipse deo mediante parare sinistrum,
Demonis hoc magica credulus arte parat.
Sic sibi non curat ad opus que recia tendit,
Dummodo nudatam prendere possit auem.

"Who dar do thing which love ne dar?
To love is every lawe unwar,
Bot to the lawes of his heste
The fissch, the foul, the man, the beste
Of al the worldes kinde louteth.
For love is he which nothing douteth.
In mannes herte where he sit,
He compteth noght toward his wit
The wo no more than the wele,
No more the hete than the chele,
No mor the wete than the dreie,
No mor to live than to deie,
So that tofore ne behinde
He seth nothing, bot as the blinde
Withoute insyhte of his corage
He doth merveilles in his rage.
To what thing that he wole him drawe,
Ther is no God, ther is no lawe,
Of whom that he takth eny hiede;
Bot as Baiard the blinde stede,
Til he falle in the dich amidde,
He goth ther no man wole him bidde;
He stant so ferforth out of reule,
Ther is no wit that mai him reule.
And thus to telle of him in soth,
Ful many a wonder thing he doth,
That were betre to be laft,
Among the whiche is wicchecraft,
That som men clepen Sorcerie,
Which for to winne his druerie
With many a circumstance he useth,
Ther is no point which he refuseth.
The craft which that Saturnus fond,
To make prickes in the sond,
That Geomance cleped is,
Fulofte he useth it amis;
And of the flod his Ydromance,
And of the fyr the Piromance,
With questions ech on of tho
He tempteth ofte, and ek also
Aeremance in juggement
To love he bringth of his assent.
For these craftes, as I finde,
A man mai do be weie of kinde,
Be so it be to good entente,
Bot he goth al another wente.
For rathere er he scholde faile,
With Nigromance he wole assaile
To make his incantacioun
With hot subfumigacioun.
Thilke art which Spatula is hote,
And used is of comun rote
Among paiens, with that craft ek
Of which is auctor Thosz the Grek,
He worcheth on and on be rowe:
Razel is noght to him unknowe,
Ne Salomones Candarie,
His Ydeac, his Eutonye;
The figure and the bok withal
Of Balamuz, and of Ghenbal
The seal, and therupon th'ymage
Of Thebith, for his avantage
He takth, and somwhat of Gibiere,
Which helplich is to this matiere.
Babilla with hire sones sevene,
Which hath renonced to the hevene,
With cernes bothe square and rounde,
He traceth ofte upon the grounde,
Makende his invocacioun;
And for full enformacioun
The scole which Honorius
Wrot, he poursuieth: and lo, thus
Magique he useth for to winne
His love, and spareth for no sinne.
And over that of his sotie,
Riht as he secheth sorcerie
Of hem that ben magiciens,
Riht so of the naturiens
Upon the sterres from above
His weie he secheth unto love,
Als fer as he hem understondeth.
In many a sondry wise he fondeth:
He makth ymage, he makth sculpture,
He makth writinge, he makth figure,
He makth his calculacions,
He makth his demonstracions;
His houres of astronomie
He kepeth as for that partie
Which longeth to th'inspeccion
Of love and his affeccion;
He wolde into the helle seche
The Devel himselve to beseche,
If that he wiste for to spede
To gete of love his lusti mede.
Wher that he hath his herte set,
He bede nevere fare bet
Ne wite of other hevene more.
Mi sone, if thou of such a lore
Hast ben er this, I red thee leve."
"Min holi fader, be youre leve
Of al that ye have spoken hiere
Which toucheth unto this matiere,
To telle soth riht as I wene,
I wot noght o word what ye mene.
I wol noght seie, if that I couthe,
That I nolde in mi lusti youthe
Benethe in helle and ek above
To winne with mi ladi love
Don al that evere that I mihte;
For therof have I non insihte
Wher afterward that I become,
To that I wonne and overcome
Hire love, which I most coveite."
"Mi sone, that goth wonder streite,
For this I mai wel telle soth,
Ther is no man the which so doth,
For al the craft that he can caste,
That he n'abeith it ate laste.
For often he that wol beguile
Is guiled with the same guile,
And thus the guilour is beguiled.
As I finde in a bok compiled
To this matiere an old histoire,
The which comth nou to mi memoire,
And is of gret essamplerie
Agein the vice of Sorcerie,
Wherof non ende mai be good.
Bot hou whilom therof it stod,
A tale which is good to knowe
To thee, mi sone, I schal beknowe.

[Tale of Ulysses and Telegonus]

Among hem which at Troie were,
Uluxes ate siege there
Was on be name in special,
Of whom yit the memorial
Abit, for whyl ther is a mouth,
Forevere his name schal be couth.
He was a worthi knyht and king
And clerk knowende of every thing.
He was a gret rethorien,
He was a gret magicien;
Of Tullius the rethorique,
Of King Zorastes the magique,
Of Tholomé th'astronomie,
Of Plato the philosophie,
Of Daniel the slepi dremes,
Of Neptune ek the water stremes,
Of Salomon and the proverbes,
Of Macer al the strengthe of herbes,
And the phisique of Ypocras,
And lich unto Pictagoras
Of surgerie he knew the cures.
Bot somwhat of his aventures,
Which schal to mi matiere acorde,
To thee, mi sone, I wol recorde.
This king, of which thou hast herd sein,
Fro Troie as he goth hom agein
Be schipe, he fond the see divers,
With many a wyndi storm revers.
Bot he thurgh wisdom that he schapeth
Ful many a gret peril ascapeth,
Of whiche I thenke tellen on,
Hou that malgré the nedle and ston
Wynddrive he was al soudeinly
Upon the strondes of Cilly,
Wher that he moste abyde a whyle.
Tuo queenes weren in that yle
Calipsa named and Circes;
And whan thei herde hou Uluxes
Is londed ther upon the ryve,
For him thei senden als so blive.
With him suche as he wolde he nam
And to the court to hem he cam.
Thes queenes were as tuo goddesses
Of art magique sorceresses,
That what lord comth to that rivage,
Thei make him love in such a rage
And upon hem assote so,
That thei wol have, er that he go,
Al that he hath of worldes good.
Uluxes wel this understod:
Thei couthe moche, he couthe more.
Thei schape and caste agein him sore
And wroghte many a soutil wyle,
Bot yit thei mihte him noght beguile.
Bot of the men of his navie
Thei tuo forschope a gret partie,
Mai non of hem withstonde here hestes;
Som part thei schopen into bestes,
Som part thei schopen into foules,
To beres, tigres, apes, oules,
Or elles be som other weie.
Ther myhte hem nothing desobeie,
Such craft thei hadde above kinde.
Bot that art couthe thei noght finde
Of which Uluxes was deceived,
That he ne hath hem alle weyved,
And broght hem into such a rote
That upon him thei bothe assote;
And thurgh the science of his art
He tok of hem so wel his part
That he begat Circes with childe.
He kepte him sobre and made hem wilde,
He sette himselve so above
That with here good and with here love,
Who that therof be lief or loth,
Al quit into his schip he goth.
Circes toswolle bothe sides
He lefte, and waiteth on the tydes,
And straght thurghout the salte fom
He takth his cours and comth him hom,
Where as he fond Penolopé.
A betre wif ther mai non be,
And yit ther ben ynowhe of goode.
Bot who hir goodschipe understode
Fro ferst that sche wifhode tok,
Hou many loves sche forsok
And hou sche bar hire al aboute,
Ther whiles that hire lord was oute,
He mihte make a gret avant
Amonges al the remenant
That sche was on of al the beste.
Wel myhte he sette his herte in reste,
This king, whan he hir fond in hele.
For as he couthe in wisdom dele,
So couthe sche in wommanhiede.
And whan sche syh withoute drede
Hire lord upon his oghne ground,
That he was come sauf and sound,
In al this world ne mihte be
A gladdere womman than was sche.
The fame, which mai noght ben hidd,
Thurghout the lond is sone kidd,
Here king is come hom agein:
Ther mai no man the fulle sein,
Hou that thei weren alle glade,
So mochel joie of him thei made.
The presens every day be newed,
He was with giftes al besnewed;
The poeple was of him so glad,
That thogh non other man hem bad,
Taillage upon hemself thei sette,
And as it were of pure dette
Thei geve here goodes to the king:
This was a glad hom welcomyng.
Thus hath Uluxes what he wolde,
His wif was such as sche be scholde,
His poeple was to him sougit,
Him lacketh nothing of delit.
Bot Fortune is of such a sleyhte,
That whan a man is most on heyhte,
Sche makth him rathest for to falle:
Ther wot no man what schal befalle,
The happes over mannes hed
Ben honged with a tendre thred.
That proved was on Uluxes,
For whan he was most in his pes,
Fortune gan to make him werre
And sette his welthe al out of herre.
Upon a dai as he was merie,
As thogh ther mihte him nothing derie,
Whan nyht was come, he goth to bedde,
With slep and bothe his yhen fedde.
And while he slepte, he mette a swevene:
Him thoghte he syh a stature evene,
Which brihtere than the sonne schon;
A man it semeth was it non,
Bot yit it was as in figure
Most lich to mannyssh creature,
Bot as of beauté hevenelich
It was most to an angel lich.
And thus betwen angel and man
Beholden it this king began,
And such a lust tok of the sihte,
That fain he wolde, if that he mihte,
The forme of that figure embrace;
And goth him forth toward the place,
Wher he sih that ymage tho,
And takth it in his armes tuo,
And it embraceth him agein
And to the king thus gan it sein:
'Uluxes, understond wel this,
The tokne of oure aqueintance is
Hierafterward to mochel tene.
The love that is ous betuene,
Of that we nou such joie make,
That on of ous the deth schal take,
Whan time comth of destiné -
It may non other wise be.'
Uluxes tho began to preie
That this figure wolde him seie
What wyht he is that seith him so.
This wyht upon a spere tho
A pensel which was wel begon,
Embrouded, scheweth him anon:
Thre fisshes alle of o colour
In manere as it were a tour
Upon the pensel were wroght.
Uluxes kneu this tokne noght,
And preith to wite in som partie
What thing it myhte signefie.
'A signe it is,' the wyht ansuerde,
'Of an empire,' and forth he ferde
Al sodeinly, whan he that seide.
Uluxes out of slep abreide,
And that was riht agein the day,
That lengere slepen he ne may.
Men sein, a man hath knowleching
Save of himself of alle thing;
His oghne chance no man knoweth,
Bot as Fortune it on him throweth.
Was nevere yit so wys a clerk,
Which mihte knowe al Goddes werk,
Ne the secret which God hath set
Agein a man mai noght be let.
Uluxes, thogh that he be wys,
With al his wit in his avis,
The mor that he his swevene acompteth,
The lasse he wot what it amonteth.
For al his calculacion,
He seth no demonstracion
Al pleinly for to knowe an ende.
Bot natheles hou so it wende,
He dradde him of his oghne sone.
That makth him wel the more astone,
And schop therfore anon withal,
So that withinne castel wall
Thelamachum his sone he schette,
And upon him strong warde he sette.
The sothe furthere he ne knew,
Til that Fortune him overthreu.
Bot natheles for sikernesse,
Wher that he mihte wite and gesse
A place strengest in his lond,
Ther let he make of lym and sond
A strengthe where he wolde duelle;
Was nevere man yit herde telle
Of such another as it was.
And for to strengthe him in that cas,
Of al his lond the sekereste
Of servantz and the worthieste,
To kepen him withinne warde,
He sette his bodi for to warde;
And made such an ordinance,
For love ne for aqueintance,
That were it erly, were it late,
Thei scholde lete in ate gate
No maner man, what so betydde,
Bot if so were himself it bidde.
Bot al that myhte him noght availe,
For whom Fortune wole assaile,
Ther mai be non such resistence
Which mihte make a man defence;
Al that schal be mot falle algate.
This Circes, which I spak of late,
On whom Uluxes hath begete
A child, thogh he it have forgete,
Whan time com, as it was wone,
Sche was delivered of a sone,
Which cleped is Thelogonus.
This child, whan he was bore thus,
Aboute his moder to ful age,
That he can reson and langage,
In good astat was drawe forth.
And whan he was so mochel worth
To stonden in a mannes stede,
Circes his moder hath him bede
That he schal to his fader go,
And tolde him al togedre tho
What man he was that him begat.
And whan Thelogonus of that
Was war and hath ful knowleching
Hou that his fader was a king,
He preith his moder faire this,
To go wher that his fader is;
And sche him granteth that he schal,
And made him redi forth withal.
It was that time such usance,
That every man the conoiscance
Of his contré bar in his hond,
Whan he wente into strange lond;
And thus was every man therfore
Wel knowe, wher that he was bore.
For espiaile and mistrowinges
Thei dede thanne suche thinges,
That every man mai other knowe.
So it befell that ilke throwe
Thelogonus as in this cas;
Of his contré the signe was
Thre fisshes, whiche he scholde bere
Upon the penon of a spere.
And whan that he was thus arraied
And hath his harneis al assaied,
That he was redy everydel,
His moder bad him farewel,
And seide him that he scholde swithe
His fader griete a thousand sithe.
Thelogonus his moder kiste
And tok his leve, and wher he wiste
His fader was, the weie nam,
Til he unto Nachaie cam,
Which of that lond the chief cité
Was cleped, and ther axeth he
Wher was the king and hou he ferde.
And whan that he the sothe herde,
Wher that the king Uluxes was,
Alone upon his hors gret pas
He rod him forth, and in his hond
He bar the signal of his lond
With fisshes thre, as I have told.
And thus he wente unto that hold,
Wher that his oghne fader duelleth.
The cause why he comth he telleth
Unto the kepers of the gate,
And wolde have comen in therate,
Bot schortli thei him seide nay.
And he als faire as evere he may
Besoghte and tolde hem ofte this,
Hou that the king his fader is.
Bot they with proude wordes grete
Begunne to manace and threte,
Bot he go fro the gate faste,
Thei wolde him take and sette faste.
Fro wordes unto strokes thus
Thei felle, and so Thelogonus
Was sore hurt and welnyh ded;
Bot with his scharpe speres hed
He makth defence, hou so it falle,
And wan the gate upon hem alle,
And hath slain of the beste fyve;
And thei ascriden als so blyve
Thurghout the castell al aboute.
On every syde men come oute,
Wherof the kinges herte afflihte,
And he with al the haste he mihte
A spere cauhte and out he goth,
As he that was nyh wod for wroth.
He sih the gates ful of blod,
Thelogonus and wher he stod
He sih also, bot he ne knew
What man it was, and to him threw
His spere, and he sterte out asyde.
Bot destiné, which schal betide,
Befell that ilke time so,
Thelogonus knew nothing tho
What man it was that to him caste,
And while his oghne spere laste,
With al the signe therupon
He caste unto the king anon,
And smot him with a dedly wounde.
Uluxes fell anon to grounde;
Tho every man, 'The king! the king!'
Began to crie, and of this thing
Thelogonus, which sih the cas,
On knes he fell and seide, 'Helas!
I have min oghne fader slain.
Nou wolde I deie wonder fain,
Nou sle me who that evere wile,
For certes it is riht good skile.'
He crith, he wepth, he seith therfore,
'Helas, that evere was I bore,
That this unhappi destiné
So wofulli comth in be me!'
This king, which yit hath lif ynouh,
His herte agein to him he drouh,
And to that vois an ere he leide
And understod al that he seide,
And gan to speke, and seide on hih,
'Bring me this man.' And whan he sih
Thelogonus, his thoght he sette
Upon the swevene which he mette,
And axeth that he myhte se
His spere, on which the fisshes thre
He sih upon a pensel wroght.
Tho wiste he wel it faileth noght,
And badde him that he telle scholde
Fro whenne he cam and what he wolde.
Thelogonus in sorghe and wo
So as he mihte tolde tho
Unto Uluxes al the cas,
Hou that Circes his moder was,
And so forth seide him everydel,
Hou that his moder gret him wel,
And in what wise sche him sente.
Tho wiste Uluxes what it mente,
And tok him in hise armes softe,
And al bledende he kest him ofte,
And seide, 'Sone, whil I live,
This infortune I thee forgive.'
After his other sone in haste
He sende, and he began him haste
And cam unto his fader tyt.
Bot whan he sih him in such plit,
He wolde have ronne upon that other
Anon, and slain his oghne brother,
Ne hadde be that Uluxes
Betwen hem made acord and pes,
And to his heir Thelamachus
He bad that he Thelogonus
With al his pouer scholde kepe,
Til he were of his woundes depe
Al hol, and thanne he scholde him give
Lond wher upon he mihte live.
Thelamachus, whan he this herde,
Unto his fader he ansuerde
And seide he wolde don his wille.
So duelle thei togedre stille,
These brethren, and the fader sterveth.
Lo, wherof sorcerie serveth.
Thurgh sorcerie his lust he wan,
Thurgh sorcerie his wo began,
Thurgh sorcerie his love he ches,
Thurgh sorcerie his lif he les;
The child was gete in sorcerie,
The which dede al this felonie.
Thing which was agein kynde wroght,
Unkindeliche it was aboght:
The child his oghne fader slowh,
That was unkindeschipe ynowh.
Forthi tak hiede hou that it is
So for to winne love amis,
Which endeth al his joie in wo.
For of this art I finde also,
That hath be do for loves sake,
Wherof thou miht ensample take,
A gret cronique imperial,
Which evere into memorial
Among the men, hou so it wende,
Schal duelle to the worldes ende.

[Tale of Nectanabus]

The Hihe Creatour of thinges,
Which is the King of alle Kinges,
Ful many a wonder worldes chance
Let slyden under His suffrance:
Ther wot no man the cause why,
Bot He the which is almyhty.
And that was proved whilom thus,
Whan that the king Nectanabus,
Which hadde Egipte for to lede,
Bot for he sih tofor the dede
Thurgh magique of his sorcerie,
Wherof he couthe a gret partie,
Hise enemys to him comende,
Fro whom he mihte him noght defende,
Out of his oghne lond he fledde;
And in the wise as he him dredde
It fell, for al his wicchecraft,
So that Egipte him was beraft,
And he desguised fledde aweie
Be schipe, and hield the rihte weie
To Macedoine, wher that he
Aryveth ate chief cité.
Thre yomen of his chambre there
Al only for to serve him were,
The whiche he trusteth wonder wel,
For thei were trewe as eny stiel.
And hapneth that thei with him ladde
Part of the beste good he hadde.
Thei take logginge in the toun
After the disposicion
Wher as him thoghte best to duelle.
He axeth thanne and herde telle
Hou that the king was oute go
Upon a werre he hadde tho;
Bot in that cité thanne was
The queene, which Olimpias
Was hote, and with sollempneté
The feste of hir nativité,
As it befell, was thanne holde;
And for hire list to be beholde
And preised of the poeple aboute,
Sche schop hir for to riden oute
At after mete al openly.
Anon were alle men redy,
And that was in the monthe of Maii,
This lusti queene in good arrai
Was set upon a mule whyt.
To sen it was a gret delit
The joie that the cité made;
With freisshe thinges and with glade
The noble toun was al behonged,
And every wiht was sore alonged
To se this lusti ladi ryde.
Ther was gret merthe on alle syde.
Wher as sche passeth be the strete,
Ther was ful many a tymber bete
And many a maide carolende.
And thus thurghout the toun pleiende
This queene unto a pleine rod,
Wher that sche hoved and abod
To se diverse game pleie,
The lusti folk jouste and tourneie;
And so forth every other man,
Which pleie couthe, his pley began,
To plese with this noble queene.
Nectanabus cam to the grene
Amonges othre and drouh him nyh.
Bot whan that he this ladi sih
And of hir beauté hiede tok,
He couthe noght withdrawe his lok
To se noght elles in the field,
Bot stod and only hire behield.
Of his clothinge and of his gere
He was unlich alle othre there,
So that it hapneth ate laste,
The queene on him hire yhe caste,
And knew that he was strange anon.
Bot he behield hire evere in on
Withoute blenchinge of his chere.
Sche tok good hiede of his manere,
And wondreth why he dede so,
And bad men scholde for him go.
He cam and dede hire reverence,
And sche him axeth in cilence
Fro whenne he cam and what he wolde.
And he with sobre wordes tolde,
And seith, 'Ma dame, a clerk I am,
To you and in message I cam,
The which I mai noght tellen hiere;
Bot if it liketh you to hiere,
It mot be seid al prively,
Wher non schal be bot ye and I.'
Thus for the time he tok his leve.
The dai goth forth til it was eve,
That every man mot lete his werk.
And sche thoghte evere upon this clerk,
What thing it is he wolde mene,
And in this wise abod the queene
And passeth over thilke nyht
Til it was on the morwe liht.
Sche sende for him, and he com,
With him his astellabre he nom,
Which was of fin gold precious
With pointz and cercles merveilous;
And ek the hevenely figures
Wroght in a bok ful of peintures
He tok this ladi for to schewe,
And tolde of ech of hem be rewe
The cours and the condicion.
And sche with gret affeccion
Sat stille and herde what he wolde.
And thus whan he sih time, he tolde
And feigneth with hise wordes wise
A tale, and seith in such a wise:
"Ma dame, bot a while ago,
Wher I was in Egipte tho,
And radde in scole of this science,
It fell into mi conscience
That I unto the temple wente,
And ther with al myn hole entente
As I mi sacrifice dede,
On of the goddes hath me bede
That I you warne prively,
So that ye make you redy,
And that ye be nothing agast;
For he such love hath to you cast,
That ye schul ben his oghne diere,
And he schal be your beddefiere,
Til ye conceive and be with childe.'
And with that word sche wax al mylde,
And somdel red becam for schame,
And axeth him that goddes name,
Which so wol don hire compainie.
And he seide, 'Amos of Lubie.'
And sche seith, 'That mai I noght lieve,
Bot if I sihe a betre prieve.'
'Ma dame,' quod Nectanabus,
'In tokne that it schal be thus,
This nyht for enformacion
Ye schul have an avision,
That Amos schal to you appiere,
To schewe and teche in what manere
The thing schal afterward befalle.
Ye oghten wel aboven alle
To make joie of such a lord,
For whan ye ben of on acord,
He schal a sone of you begete,
Which with his swerd schal winne and gete
The wyde world in lengthe and brede.
Alle erthli kinges schull him drede,
And in such wise, I you behote,
The god of erthe he schal be hote.'
'If this be soth,' tho quod the queene,
'This nyht, thou seist, it schal be sene.
And if it falle into mi grace,
Of god Amos that I pourchace
To take of him so gret worschipe,
I wol do thee such ladischipe,
Wherof thou schalt foreveremo
Be riche.' And he hir thonketh tho,
And tok his leve and forth he wente.
Sche wiste litel what he mente,
For it was guile and sorcerie,
Al that sche tok for prophecie.
Nectanabus thurghout the day,
Whan he cam hom wher as he lay,
His chambre be himselve tok,
And overtorneth many a bok,
And thurgh the craft of artemage
Of wex he forgeth an ymage.
He loketh his equacions
And ek the constellacions,
He loketh the conjunccions,
He loketh the recepcions,
His signe, his houre, his ascendent,
And drawth fortune of his assent:
The name of queene Olimpias
In thilke ymage write was
Amiddes in the front above.
And thus to winne his lust of love
Nectanabus this werk hath diht;
And whan it cam withinne nyht,
That every wyht is falle aslepe,
He thoghte he wolde his time kepe,
As he which hath his houre apointed.
And thanne ferst he hath enoignted
With sondri herbes that figure,
And therupon he gan conjure,
So that thurgh his enchantement
This ladi, which was innocent
And wiste nothing of this guile,
Mette, as sche slepte thilke while,
Hou fro the hevene cam a lyht
Which al hir chambre made lyht.
And as sche loketh to and fro,
Sche sih, hir thoghte, a dragoun tho,
Whos scherdes schynen as the sonne,
And hath his softe pas begonne
With al the chiere that he may
Toward the bedd ther as sche lay,
Til he cam to the beddes side.
And sche lai stille and nothing cride,
For he dede alle his thinges faire
And was courteis and debonaire.
And as he stod hire fasteby,
His forme he changeth sodeinly,
And the figure of man he nom,
To hire and into bedde he com,
And such thing there of love he wroghte,
Wherof, so as hire thanne thoghte,
Thurgh likinge of this god Amos
With childe anon hire wombe aros,
And sche was wonder glad withal.
Nectanabus, which causeth al
Of this metrede the substance,
Whan he sih time, his nigromance
He stinte and nothing more seide
Of his carecte, and sche abreide
Out of hir slep, and lieveth wel
That it is soth thanne everydel
Of that this clerk hire hadde told,
And was the gladdere manyfold
In hope of such a glad metrede,
Which after schal befalle in dede.
Sche longeth sore after the dai,
That sche hir swevene telle mai
To this guilour in priveté,
Which kneu it als so wel as sche.
And natheles on morwe sone
Sche lefte alle other thing to done,
And for him sende, and al the cas
Sche tolde him pleinly as it was,
And seide hou thanne wel sche wiste
That sche his wordes mihte triste,
For sche fond hire avisioun
Riht after the condicion
Which he hire hadde told tofore;
And preide him hertely therfore
That he hire holde covenant
So forth of al the remenant,
That sche may thurgh his ordinance
Toward the god do such plesance,
That sche wakende myhte him kepe
In such wise as sche mette aslepe.
And he, that couthe of guile ynouh,
Whan he this herde, of joie he louh,
And seith, 'Ma dame, it schal be do.
Bot this I warne you therto:
This nyht, whan that he comth to pleie,
That ther be no lif in the weie
Bot I, that schal at his likinge
Ordeine so for his cominge,
That ye ne schull noght of him faile.
For this, ma dame, I you consaile,
That ye it kepe so privé,
That no wiht elles bot we thre
Have knowlechinge hou that it is;
For elles mihte it fare amis,
If ye dede oght that scholde him grieve.'
And thus he makth hire to believe,
And feigneth under guile feith.
Bot natheles al that he seith
Sche troweth; and agein the nyht
Sche hath withinne hire chambre dyht,
Wher as this guilour faste by
Upon this god schal prively
Awaite, as he makth hire to wene.
And thus this noble gentil queene,
Whan sche most trusteth, was deceived.
The nyht com, and the chambre is weyved,
Nectanabus hath take his place,
And whan he sih the time and space,
Thurgh the deceipte of his magique
He put him out of mannes like,
And of a dragoun tok the forme,
As he which wolde him al conforme
To that sche sih in swevene er this;
And thus to chambre come he is.
The queene lay abedde and sih,
And hopeth evere, as he com nyh,
That he god of Lubye were,
So hath sche wel the lasse fere.
Bot for he wold hire more assure,
Yit eft he changeth his figure,
And of a wether the liknesse
He tok, in signe of his noblesse
With large hornes for the nones.
Of fin gold and of riche stones
A corone on his hed he bar,
And soudeinly, er sche was war,
As he which alle guile can,
His forme he torneth into man,
And cam to bedde, and sche lai stille,
Wher as sche soffreth al his wille,
As sche which wende noght misdo.
Bot natheles it hapneth so,
Althogh sche were in part deceived,
Yit for al that sche hath conceived
The worthieste of alle kiththe,
Which evere was tofore or siththe
Of conqueste and chivalerie;
So that thurgh guile and sorcerie
Ther was that noble knyht begunne,
Which al the world hath after wunne.
Thus fell the thing which falle scholde.
Nectanabus hath that he wolde:
With guile he hath his love sped,
With guile he cam into the bed,
With guile he goth him out agein.
He was a schrewed chamberlein,
So to beguile a worthi queene,
And that on him was after seene.
Bot natheles the thing is do.
This false god was sone go,
With his deceipte and hield him clos,
Til morwe cam, that he aros.
And tho, whan time and leisir was,
The queene tolde him al the cas,
As sche that guile non supposeth;
And of tuo pointz sche him opposeth.
On was, if that this god no more
Wol come agein, and overmore,
Hou sche schal stonden in acord
With king Philippe hire oghne lord,
Whan he comth hom and seth hire grone.
'Ma dame,' he seith, 'let me alone:
As for the god I undertake
That whan it liketh you to take
His compaignie at eny throwe,
If I a day tofore it knowe,
He schal be with you on the nyht;
And he is wel of such a myht
To kepe you from alle blame.
Forthi conforte you, ma dame,
Ther schal non other cause be.'
Thus tok he leve and forth goth he.
And tho began he for to muse
Hou he the queene mihte excuse
Toward the king of that is falle,
And fond a craft amonges alle,
Thurgh which he hath a see foul daunted,
With his magique and so enchaunted,
That he flyh forth, whan it was nyht,
Unto the kinges tente riht,
Wher that he lay amidde his host.
And whanne he was aslepe most,
With that the see foul to him broghte
And othre charmes, whiche he wroghte
At hom withinne his chambre stille,
The king he torneth at his wille,
And makth him for to dreme and se
The dragoun and the priveté
Which was betuen him and the queene.
And over that he made him wene
In swevene, hou that the god Amos,
Whan he up fro the queene aros,
Tok forth a ring, wherinne a ston
Was set, and grave therupon
A sonne, in which, whan he cam nyh,
A leoun with a swerd he sih.
And with that priente, as he tho mette,
Upon the queenes wombe he sette
A seal, and goth him forth his weie.
With that the swevene wente aweie,
And tho began the king awake
And sigheth for his wyves sake,
Wher as he lay withinne his tente,
And hath gret wonder what it mente.
With that he hasteth him to ryse
Anon, and sende after the wise,
Among the whiche ther was on,
A clerc, his name is Amphion.
Whan he the kinges swevene herde,
What it betokneth he ansuerde,
And seith, 'So siker as the lif,
A god hath leie be thi wif,
And gete a sone, which schal winne
The world and al that is withinne.
As leon is the king of bestes,
So schal the world obeie his hestes,
Which with his swerd schal al be wonne,
Als ferr as schyneth eny sonne.'
The king was doubtif of this dom;
Bot natheles, whan that he com
Agein into his oghne lond,
His wif with childe gret he fond.
He mihte noght himselve stiere,
That he ne made hire hevy chiere;
Bot he which couthe of alle sorwe,
Nectanabus, upon the morwe
Thurgh the deceipte and nigromance
Tok of a dragoun the semblance,
And wher the king sat in his halle,
Com in rampende among hem alle
With such a noise and such a rore,
That thei agast were also sore
As thogh thei scholde deie anon.
And natheles he grieveth non,
Bot goth toward the deyss on hih;
And whan he cam the queene nyh,
He stinte his noise, and in his wise
To hire he profreth his servise,
And leith his hed upon hire barm;
And sche with goodly chiere hire arm
Aboute his necke ageinward leide,
And thus the queene with him pleide
In sihte of alle men aboute.
And ate laste he gan to loute
And obeissance unto hire make,
As he that wolde his leve take.
And sodeinly his lothly forme
Into an egle he gan transforme,
And flyh and sette him on a raile;
Wherof the king hath gret mervaile,
For there he pruneth him and piketh,
As doth an hauk whan him wel liketh,
And after that himself he schok,
Wherof that al the halle quok,
As it a terremote were.
Thei seiden alle, god was there:
In such a res and forth he flyh.
The king, which al this wonder syh,
Whan he cam to his chambre alone,
Unto the queene he made his mone
And of forgivenesse hir preide;
For thanne he knew wel, as he seide,
Sche was with childe with a godd.
Thus was the king withoute rodd
Chastised, and the queene excused
Of that sche hadde ben accused.
And for the gretere evidence,
Yit after that in the presence
Of king Philipp and othre mo,
Whan thei ride in the fieldes tho,
A phesant cam before here yhe,
The which anon as thei hire syhe,
Fleende let an ey doun falle,
And it tobrak tofore hem alle.
And as thei token therof kepe,
Thei syhe out of the schelle crepe
A litel serpent on the ground,
Which rampeth al aboute round,
And in agein it wolde have wonne,
Bot for the brennynge of the sonne
It myhte noght, and so it deide.
And therupon the clerkes seide,
'As the serpent, whan it was oute,
Went enviroun the schelle aboute
And mihte noght torne in agein,
So schal it fallen in certein:
This child the world schal environe,
And above alle the corone
Him schal befalle, and in yong age
He schal desire in his corage,
Whan al the world is in his hond,
To torn agein into the lond
Wher he was bore, and in his weie
Homward he schal with puison deie.'
The king, which al this sihe and herde,
Fro that dai forth, hou so it ferde,
His jalousie hath al forgete.
Bot he which hath the child begete,
Nectanabus, in priveté
The time of his nativité
Upon the constellacioun
Awaiteth, and relacion
Makth to the queene hou sche schal do,
And every houre apointeth so,
That no mynut therof was lore.
So that in due time is bore
This child, and forth with therupon
Ther felle wondres many on
Of terremote universiel.
The sonne tok colour of stiel
And loste his lyht; the wyndes blewe
And manye strengthes overthrewe.
The see his propre kinde changeth,
And al the world his forme strangeth;
The thonder with his fyri levene
So cruel was upon the hevene,
That every erthli creature
Tho thoghte his lif in aventure.
The tempeste ate laste cesseth,
The child is kept, his age encresseth,
And Alisandre his name is hote,
To whom Calistre and Aristote
To techen him philosophie
Entenden, and astronomie,
With othre thinges whiche he couthe
Also, to teche him in his youthe
Nectanabus tok upon honde.
Bot every man mai understonde,
Of sorcerie hou that it wende,
It wole himselve prove at ende,
And namely for to beguile
A lady, which withoute guile
Supposeth trouthe al that sche hiereth.
Bot often he that evele stiereth
His schip is dreynt therinne amidde,
And in this cas riht so betidde.
Nectanabus upon a nyht,
Whan it was fair and sterre lyht,
This yonge lord ladde up on hih
Above a tour, wher as he sih
The sterres suche as he acompteth,
And seith what ech of hem amonteth,
As thogh he knewe of alle thing;
Bot yit hath he no knowleching
What schal unto himself befalle.
Whan he hath told his wordes alle,
This yonge lord thanne him opposeth,
And axeth if that he supposeth
What deth he schal himselve deie.
He seith, 'Or Fortune is aweie
And every sterre hath lost his wone,
Or elles of myn oghne sone
I schal be slain, I mai noght fle.'
Thoghte Alisandre in priveté,
'Hierof this olde dotard lieth,'
And er that other oght aspieth,
Al sodeinliche his olde bones
He schof over the wal at ones,
And seith him, 'Ly doun there apart:
Wherof nou serveth al thin art?
Thou knewe alle othre mennes chance
And of thiself hast ignorance.
That thou hast seid amonges alle
Of thi persone, is noght befalle.'
Nectanabus, which hath his deth,
Yit while him lasteth lif and breth
To Alisandre he spak and seide
That he with wrong blame on him leide.
Fro point to point and al the cas
He tolde, hou he his sone was.
Tho he, which sory was ynowh,
Out of the dich his fader drouh,
And tolde his moder hou it ferde
In conseil; and whan sche it herde
And kneu the toknes whiche he tolde,
Sche nyste what sche seie scholde,
Bot stod abayssht as for the while
Of his magique and al the guile.
Sche thoghte hou that sche was deceived,
That sche hath of a man conceived,
And wende a god it hadde be.
Bot natheles in such degré,
So as sche mihte hire honour save,
Sche schop the body was begrave.
And thus Nectanabus aboghte
The sorcerie which he wroghte.
Thogh he upon the creatures
Thurgh his carectes and figures
The maistrie and the pouer hadde,
His creatour to noght him ladde,
Agein whos lawe his craft he useth,
Whan he for lust his god refuseth,
And tok him to the dievles craft.
Lo, what profit him is belaft:
That thing thurgh which he wende have stonde,
Ferst him exilede out of londe
Which was his oghne, and from a king
Made him to ben an underling;
And siththen to deceive a queene,
That torneth him to mochel teene;
Thurgh lust of love he gat him hate,
That ende couthe he noght abate.
His olde sleyhtes whiche he caste,
Yonge Alisandre hem overcaste:
His fader, which him misbegat,
He slouh; a gret mishap was that.
Bot for o mis another mys
Was yolde, and so fulofte it is.
Nectanabus his craft miswente,
So it misfell him er he wente.
I not what helpeth that clergie
Which makth a man to do folie,
And nameliche of nigromance,
Which stant upon the mescreance.


And for to se more evidence,
Zorastes, which th'experience
Of art magique ferst forth drouh,
Anon as he was bore, he louh,
Which tokne was of wo suinge.
For of his oghne controvinge
He fond magique and tauhte it forth;
Bot al that was him litel worth,
For of Surrie a worthi king
Him slou, and that was his endyng.
Bot yit thurgh him this craft is used,
And he thurgh al the world accused,
For it schal nevere wel achieve
That stant noght riht with the believe.
Bot lich to wolle is evele sponne,
Who lest himself hath litel wonne,
And ende proveth every thing.

[Saul and the Witch]

Saul, which was of Juys king,
Up peine of deth forbad this art,
And yit he tok therof his part.
The Phitonesse in Samarie
Gaf him conseil be Sorcerie,
Which after fell to mochel sorwe,
For he was slain upon the morwe.
To conne moche thing it helpeth,
Bot of to mochel no man yelpeth.
So for to loke on every side,
Magique mai noght wel betyde.
Forthi, my sone, I wolde rede
That thou of these ensamples drede,
That for no lust of erthli love
Thou seche so to come above,
Wherof as in the worldes wonder
Thou schalt forevere be put under."

[Alexander and Aristotle]

"Mi goode fader, grant mercy,
Forevere I schal be war therby.
Of love what me so befalle,
Such Sorcerie aboven alle
Fro this dai forth I schal eschuie,
That so ne wol I noght poursuie
Mi lust of love for to seche.
Bot this I wolde you beseche,
Beside that me stant of love,
As I you herde speke above
Hou Alisandre was betawht
To Aristotle, and so wel tawht
Of al that to a king belongeth,
Wherof min herte sore longeth
To wite what it wolde mene.
For be reson I wolde wene
That if I herde of thinges strange,
Yit for a time it scholde change
Mi peine, and lisse me somdiel."
"Mi goode sone, thou seist wel.
For wisdom, hou that evere it stonde,
To him that can it understonde
Doth gret profit in sondri wise;
Bot touchende of so hih aprise,
Which is noght unto Venus knowe,
I mai it noght miselve knowe,
Which of hir court am al forthdrawe
And can nothing bot of hir lawe.
Bot natheles to knowe more
Als wel as thou me longeth sore;
And for it helpeth to comune,
Al ben thei noght to me comune,
The scoles of philosophie,
Yit thenke I for to specefie,
In boke as it is comprehended,
Wherof thou mihtest ben amended.
For thogh I be noght al cunnynge
Upon the forme of this wrytynge,
Som part therof yit have I herd,
In this matiere hou it hath ferd."

Explicit Liber Sextus


ate (bit)
too spicy

called Gluttony

(see note)


judge (arbitrate)

unlearned (layman)


totally lost

spent (powerless)

[from] him is taken away






grown senseless

put to bed

delirium (stupor)
arises abruptly
pass (let go) the cup!; (see note)

in the morning; trust

does most harm to him

extirpates (removes)
disasters (harms)

unstable (perverse); (t-note)
in order (metrical form)

captivates securely
slave to vice

befuddled and infatuated


neither more nor
judgment (common sense)

taken; (see note)


Bathsheba; overwhelmed

natural science; know a bit; (see note)

by physical features


do confess

know not

I gained knowledge of my lady


enter into group activities

solitary; by myself alone

knows; behavior
stupid (misguided; unlearned)

must so happen

court dance (a kind of round dance)
"dance in the newfangled way"

out in public (in view)

scarcely walk

beside me


Became; a time



each to himself


act in a lusty (or joyful) manner

stare (take advisement)

turn [away]
desire; mind


blinking; eye
greatest happiness
therewith; rejoice


do not know

am filled with (welcome, receive, appropriate)
sweetened wine

had succeeded

besottedness thinks

God's bosom

certainty afrighted
fire; gone

pains me worst of all
pale; (see note)
chills; shiver


burning cold
many/excellent; (see note)
burn; freeze; heat
experience pain and pleasure mingled
eyes wet



forbid; drowned


absence; the person of [my] lady

before I know it

be enfeebled

pleasure; lost
relief (deliverance)


one draught [of love's drink]
become sober

difficulty (obstacle)

by the fastening cord

prohibited (denied)
aspect [of Gluttony]

seems a pity to me

assuages pain



before it happens
(see note)

wine cellar

one; sweet, spiced wine
surpasses; understanding

grow faint

chief wine servant
beloved; hateful

laugh; glower

bad [wine]
comfort (emotional satisfaction); (see note)
improves [it] also
bestowing cup
With good fortune; themselves please





by chance


narcotic drink

get well
(see note)

When bodily thirst seized him

By; father's instructions
war; East

upper hand
barren (dry)

near; shores of Libya


[you] who see all

safely; go

before; eye
sheep; who had scraped

be raised

prayed for
silent person

desist not



cask presents itself

make sober


Fair Isolde
gave them
Before; uncle

better avoid

by chance

feast; invited; (t-note)

fiery spark
half mad

before their eyes


of one mind; unanimously

their drunken conduct
suffered misfortune

ear; (t-note)

(see note)

commonly drunk on wine
lost; natural abilities

causes intelligence to wander

So that; fears


foolish behavior
By them who


by judgment of punishment



senses entirely



get rid of by

second [species of]



cooks; controlled
taken care of (served)

spicy foods


restraint (propriety)

in order to please him
cook; food prepare
Unless; tempt
small [a thing]
But; will find some fault

ordinary food

be careful

that which

exotic foods
should degenerate
against; custom
medical theory


at his disposal



did; waste


happy countenance
fed (as mother bird her nestling)

believe; die


defeated (checkmated)

steal; (see note)


(see note)

(see note)
One; what



him = my eye

he = my eye

sees; (see note)

forehead; broad; smooth
wrinkle of any blemish
eyes like
rosy complexion

goes well with


likeness; (t-note)
shapely; waist thin; (see note)


sights perpetually

bearing; (see note)
for the moment; (see note)



takes in

pulls; (see note)


ear; its

he = my ear

lady's renown
hear one say; (see note)



(see note)

heart's physician


(see note)

not last forever

little while
cherry festival; (see note)
Yet even so to say




desirable; taste
must; at night

he = my thought
late supper

cook's; called

placed; table


I champ [futilely]

wishes to heal himself
sick, by

three desires (joys); (see note)

on air; (see note)

In respect to which

[truly] voluptuous

too greatly





purple fabric; precious linen; himself

leper; time
begged for food


Even to give so much as a crumb

poor man

provided for

had fallen

bodily infirmity


Abraham's bosom

it happened as happen it should
any turning aside

heavenly seat


passed beyond

what you prayed for

taste (sense [with your tongue])

rich man again

world turns

in response




made evident by the rich man
(Lazarus') body



[so] that; denies [himself]
As he [behaves] who is lord
precious stones

even though he should wear



(see note)



Even though

following the noon meal

one; time

second; he (the equestrian)

(see note)

The [one] whose; digested

walked about



pleasure; not escape him


order (off the hinges)

grows so wild
without fear

infatuates sorely



(see note)

(see note)



reckons not in
woe; gladness
heat; cold

neither before or behind (i.e., nowhere)


(see note)
middle of the ditch
where; command


invented; (see note)
Divination by Earth is called; (see note)

Divination by Water
Divination by Fire

Divination by Air

Unless; direction
Divination with the dead; venture; (see note)

smoky incense
Divination with bones is called; (see note)
originator; (see note)
one after the other in order

(see note)


(see note)

(see note)

figures; (see note)

(see note)




astronomy (and astrology)

pertains to

he (the devil) knew how to succeed
love's desired results

would ask never to fare better
Nor know
before; advise; desist


did not wish

To do

Provided that I won


Despite; skill; devise
does not pay for it

(see note)


those who; (see note); (t-note)

one by

Remains; (see note)

(see note)


[interpretation of] sleepy dreams
i.e., navigation

(see note)



despite the compass; (see note)

shores of Sicily
had to

immediately (gladly)

to become so madly in love

plot (scheme)

their commands
bears; owls

them (Calypso and Circe) in nothing
beyond nature

share (spoils)
himself; them

their wealth

exempt from their power
swollen up


(see note)
are plenty of excellent ones

carried herself

make a great boast

one of the very best

[good] health (prosperity)


soon made known
entirely tell

presents; were produced

ordered them to
Taxation; themselves



most swiftly

chance possibilities; head; (see note)

peaceful security
out of kilter

eyes nourished
dreamt; dream; (see note)
saw a comely form





intimate fellowship
grief (chagrin, misfortune)

one of us


person (creature); tells

pennant; undertaken

pennant; embroidered
heraldic emblem

royal estate; departed

just prior to

understanding (knowledge)
fate (destiny, circumstance)
casts (as with dice)

(see note)

dream considers



Telemachus; imprisoned


ordered to be made; lime and sand (cement)

most certain
most noble
guarded condition
protect; (t-note)

whatever might happen


protect a man
must happen anyway

as inevitably happened





emblem of allegiance

Because of spying; distrust

at that time

pennant mounted on a spear

gear; made ready

greet; times

Ithaca (Achaeia); (see note)

called; asked

at a swift gait



seize; imprison

took; despite all of them

raised the battle cry immediately

trembled (was disturbed)

nearly insane for anger

at him
lept aside
shall inevitably come




the reasonable thing to do

to himself


dream; dreamt

Then knew; it (the dream)

sorrow; woe

told him everything
sent greetings to him


bleeding; kissed



power; look after

(see note)
begotten through

paid for

in the wrong way


(see note)
wonder of the world's happenings
Allowed to happen

(see note)


despite all

direct way




birthday celebration

since it pleased her to be beheld

prepared herself
after supper; publicly

person; sorely longing

timbrel beaten; (see note)
singing and dancing
onto the green park rode
paused; waited; (see note)

Who knew a sport


(see note)
anything else

immediately knew; foreign
turning his face away

what his purpose was

And I came to you with a message
pleases you to hear

(see note)
must leave

(see note)
[thus] gets through the night

astrolabe; brought

brought; show
in order

excitement (feeling)

saw the right moment

in this manner

read (studied)

One; commanded
advise secretly
set upon you
precious love
lover (bedfellow)

grew quiet

Hammon of Libya; (see note)
see; proof

prophetic dream

you are conjoined
(see note)
far and wide
fear him


knew; intended

wax; shaped

reciprocal effect of planets; (see note)
(see note)





saw, it seemed to her
scales shone; sun

with propriety

close to her



charm; started


Who knew

might trust

keep his promise with her

dreamt in sleep


believes; in preparation for

Serve (wait upon); think



what she saw; dream before

continually believes

reassure; (t-note)


for the occasion


who thought nothing done amiss


i.e., Alexander

made evident

And with his deceit kept hidden
morning came, when


sees; give birth
leave it to me

any time



sea fowl taken control of

fully asleep
By means of what



lion; saw
impression; dreamed



As certain as life itself

animals (beasts)


control himself

creeping (crawling)

aghast with fear
die immediately
harms none


in return laid

bend down
paid homage to her (formally bowed)

perched on a railing


violent motion; flew


whipping stick

pheasant; their eyes






saw; (t-note)

Observes; [a] discourse


assumed; steel

sea its own nature
alters its form

Then; its life in peril

watched over (nurtured)
Callisthenes; Aristotle; (see note)

poorly steers

just so it happened

just as he recounts


Either; mistaken
character (place)


In this instance; fool lies
i.e., whole body
Lie at some distance apart


has not come to pass


Then; who


knew not

made arrangements so that; buried
paid for
(see note)


thought to have



overturned; (t-note)
one evil (crime); evil (crime)
given in return
twisted awry
before he died

heresy (treachery)


sign; ensuing woe


turn out well
in accord with the [true] faith
wool; poorly spun

king of the Jews

(see note)

boasts; (see note)


(see note)
Apart from my concerns with love


comfort me somewhat
(see note)

since; discuss
Although they are not



Go To Confessio Amantis, Book 7