Thomas Usk, The Testament of Love: Book Three
THOMAS USK, THE TESTAMENT OF LOVE: FOOTNOTES
3 leudenesse, ignorance, lack of learning.
4 in, into.
6 dyeden, died; fette, fetched.
9 ycleped, called.
10 yeven, given.
11 yever, giver; thilke, that same; shapen, shaped.
12 souled blysse, bliss appropriate to the soul.
15 in any halve, on any side; tho, those.
17 leude, uninformed.
18 inseer, investigator.
19 pyne, pain.
22 wexynge, growing.
27 clepeth hem, call them.
33 more Britayne, Great Britain.
35 felyng, animal; Another, A second.
37 to, too; ren, run.
38 me lyst, it pleases me; liken, compare; speces, species, branches.
41 connynge, understanding.
42 leude, ignorant.
46 mokel, great; wenen, assume; more, greater.
48 mydle erth, middle-earth.
49 spece, type, species; kyndely, natural.
55 alyche, alike, equally.
56 easy bearyng, easy bearing, (i.e., moderation).
57 wight, person; that, that [which].
61 clergyal, clerical, learned.
67 privé, private, secret; soleyn, sullen, anti-social.
73 twey, two.
76 kyndly worchyng, natural operation.
77 ycleped, called.
82 writte, written.
85 gree, degree.
89 teneful, painful.
91 ferdenesse, fear.
93 Eke, Also.
96 professe, religious; reguler, lay (not having "professed" vows).
98 withsetten, resisted.
100 after, according to; mede, wealth; but if, unless; weyve, waive.
101 sey, seen.
102 passeth, surpasses; weten, know.
104 sleight, penetrating (see note); inseer, insightful viewer, reader.
105 fele, feel; nobley, nobility.
106 leude, uneducated.
108 eche, lengthen.
109 th'entré, entrance-way.
112 cop, summit; stanch, slake, staunch.
113 holpen, helped.
114 goost, spirit.
116 refrete, refrain; werbles, warblings; stoundes, times.
117 not than, don't know when; endite, compose.
118 unshyt, open.
121 reders, readers.
123 stered, directed.
126 wyte, blame that [on]; leudnesse, ignorance.
127 connyng, understanding.
128 letteth, hinders.
130 yeve, give.
131 preyse, praise.
137 drenched, drowned; spilte, slain.
140 yeveth, gives; mede, meed, wealth.
141 meded, rewarded.
144 Fole, Fool.
145 mykel, much.
148 mede, reward.
151 prevy, secret.
153 apertely, openly.
155 apartly, openly; chalenge, claim.
156 onehed, singleness.
168 leful, lawful; toforn, before.
169 unknowen, ignorant of.
170 ware, aware.
171 loked, considered.
174 surquedry, pride.
176 cleped, called; First Wercher, Prime Mover.
179 feled, felt.
182 stynteth, stops.
183 be nat, that is not.
184 al, all, whole.
188 ilke, same.
196 goodly, with a good motive.
203 leveth, leaves.
207 done, doing.
211 lackyng, blame.
212 sythen, since.
215 Ergo, Therefore.
216 longeth, belongs.
218 after-rewarde claym, may claim a reward.
222 arbitrement, will.
225 trowe, believe.
226 after-mede, reward.
227 him lyketh, pleases him.
228 leude, uninformed.
229 mokel, great; closyng, including.
230 betyde, happen.
232 teyed, tied.
234 wyte, blame; onelych, only.
238 mede, reward.
239 forwote, foreknows.
242 forwetyng, foreknowledge.
244 nygh me nere, draw nearer to me.
249 arbitrement, free will; onheed, unity.
253 mowe stande togider, may obtain at the same time.
258 wexeth, grows.
259 wot, knows.
262 wheder, whether.
265 forwetyng, foreknowledge.
274 thilke, that one.
275 wendest, assumed.
277 wote, knows.
278 coaction, compulsion.
279 defendynge, preventing, forbidding.
281 defended, prevented.
282 for I love, because I love.
283 maugre, displeasure, spite (i.e., something contrary to my desires).
285 coarted, compelled.
287 deedlyche, deadly (i.e., mortal).
288 defendeth, prohibits.
291 wete, knew.
293 wot, knows.
294 defended, hindered.
295 arbitrement, choice.
296 wene, assume.
297 forwetyng, foreknowing.
299 wyst, known.
303 defendeth, hinders.
305 for that, because.
308 that, that which.
315 swete, sweet.
316 er, before.
317 mokel, much.
318 stoundmele, sometimes.
320 demyn, judge.
322 maugre me, in spite of myself.
326 con, be able to; yeve, give.
327 by that, by the time that.
328 luste, desire; lerned, taught; wene, suppose.
330 weete, wet; brenne, burn.
331 unbyde, await.
332 supposaile, expectation; to determyne after, to be predetermined according to, or to be foretold by.
333 neigh, draw nigh.
335 wost, know.
336 al one for to say, one and the same thing.
349 that, that which.
354 Right, Just.
356 pert, open.
364 to thee-warde, toward you.
372 For, Because.
373 wot, knows.
381 queynt, curious, difficult.
390 defended, hindered.
392 that he wol, that [which] the will wants.
394 sythen, since; willyng, willingly.
396 assoyle, solve; thee blyvely, you happily.
397 is not love of wyl thorowe necessyté, there is no love in the will through necessity.
397-98 wrought thilke same wyl, did that same will operate.
398 with good wyl, willingly.
399 that, that which.
402-03 defended, blocked, prohibited.
407 yeve, given.
424 presence, i.e., present.
426 mevyng, moving.
429 wetyng, knowing; before-wetyng, foreknowledge.
432 wene, think.
435 arbitrement, deciding.
441 savour, understanding.
442 sithen, since.
443 revers, opposite.
446 bydde thee, order you.
447 alone, movement (OF aloigner). See note.
449 kyndly movyng, natural development.
450 clepe, call.
452 what part, whatever part.
454 heigheth, hastens.
460 Tho lyst, Then [it] pleased; stynt, stop.
465 henteth, takes (seizes).
468 or, before.
469 purposed, chosen; wyst, knew.
472 cleped, called.
475 mokel, much.
476 mevyng, moving; lych, like.
480 stoundes, times.
482 or, before.
485 dureth, endures.
486 onehed, unity.
491 sey, seen; wist, known.
499 nempned, named; evenlych, equally.
501 close and one, are closed and united.
504 thilke, that same.
505 gabbest, chatter.
506 moved, uttered.
514 mowe, may.
519 he, i.e., Holy Scripture.
524 sithen, since; yelke, yoke.
530 defendeth, prohibits (forbids).
538 denied (demed, judged). See note.
542 unconnyng, ignorance.
545 mokel, much.
549 nys, is not.
553 presence duryng, enduring present.
555 of tho thynges, by means of those things; ben to ben, i.e., possess being.
556 of Goddes wetyng, by His knowledge.
559-60 the noble philosophical poete, i.e., Chaucer.
562 pere, peer; schole, school.
564 assoyled, solved.
565 starieres, fabler's.
568 somdele, somewhat.
571 that God, just as God.
577 spire, shoot, sprout.
579 onbyde, abide.
582 springes, shoots.
584 soure docke, sorrel.
587 lowed, admitted.
588 setling, a slip taken from a tree and planted.
589 lyssed, healed, relieved; mote, must.
591 manace, menace.
592 lesynge, losing.
594 lusty, eagerly.
596 thy fre wyl, of thy free will.
598 lust, delight.
601 deme, judge.
603 nedes, necessarily.
608 but, except.
616 aparte, appropriate, open; his, its.
619 which, by which.
623 aptes, aptitudes.
625 equivocas, equivocation.
627 a, to.
642 ruled from, restricted from; wayters, inhibitors, interferers.
643-44 hautayn that, haughty who.
645 cleped, called.
653 nyl, will not.
654 us, use.
655 wenen, think.
656 mokel, much.
661 his, its.
664 retcheth, cares.
667 for, since.
669 dureth, endures.
670 ferdnesse no, fear nor.
671 falsheed, falsehood.
672 both, as well.
677 shonne, shun.
678 wenest, suppose.
684 trowe, believe; thou, though.
685 unbyde, abide.
687 assentaunt, assenting.
689 werchest, work.
692 apertly, plainly, openly; amaystreth, masters.
693 wrethe, wreath.
697 wexe, grow; Expowne, Explain.
698 rede, counsel.
706 springes, shoots; setlyng, plant.
707 apeyred, damaged; woxen, grown; somdele, somewhat.
708 wethers, storms; werche, cause.
709 and it, if it.
712 greves, griefs; sowe, sown.
713 accompte, account.
713-14 welked wyners, swollen vipers (see note).
714 as, such as.
715 medled, mixed; welked padde, swollen toad, frog.
716 wot, know.
719 ferdnesse, fear; leudnesse, ignorance.
721 compteth, account; cresse, trifle, sprig of watercress.
722 demed, judged.
724 wenyng, supposing.
726 leude, ignorant; nat for than, nevertheless; me, men.
727 wight, person; owen, ought.
728 wened, construed.
730 wil nat be acomered, desires not to be encumbered.
731 mokel, much.
732 sythen, since.
733 medled, mixed.
736 kyndly, natural.
737 stede, place.
738 unbyde, abide.
739 kydde, made known.
740 hye, hasten.
742 hye, high; onlofte, aloft; stynteth, ceases; his, its.
746 her, their.
749 durstest, dared.
750 unbyde, abide.
752 betyde, happen; yeveth, gives.
759 thus, so.
764 lyvelode, livelihood.
765 mowen, may.
766 tylthe, tillage.
768 meanynge, the meanwhile.
769 duryng tyme, duration.
772 jeuse, juice.
776 demen, judge.
778 mokel, much; azure, lapis lazuli.
779 atones, at once.
781 yeve, give.
783 countrevayled, weighed.
784 accompte, be reckoned.
785 yeft, gift.
789 Right, Justice; yolde, paid back.
790 quyte, repay; mede, reward.
791 nempnest, named.
794 acompted, accounted, reckoned.
796 evenhed, equity.
798 unbyde, abide.
799 medled, mixed.
801 wexyng, growing; meved, moved, discoursed.
803 wot, know.
805 leve, believe.
806 atast, taste, eat.
807 wexyng, growing.
810 woxen, grown.
811 nedes, necessarily.
814 ferforth, far.
815 thronge, thrust; leve, believe; seer, dry.
816 connyng, understanding.
817 mokel, much.
821 hardyed, [grown in] hardiness.
823 nere, were not; medled, mixed.
824 endite, write.
825 wene, suppose; recover, recourse.
826 bren, burn; gledes, sparks, burning brands.
829 palasy yvel, palsy; acomered, encumbered.
830 leudnesse, ignorance.
831 a, have; Wost, Know.
832 burjonynge, burgeoning.
834 delyvered, destroyed.
835 seer, dry; burjons, buds.
836 yve lefe, ivy-leaf.
838 wodelay, mad law or custom; tha, then.
839 spede, prosper.
840 queynt, curious, over-wrought; Freel-witted, Frail-witted.
843 printeth, make an impression.
844 hestes, commands.
845 wete, know.
846 lyst, [is] pleased; stylly, quietly, silently.
847 unwist, unknown; unwetyng, unknowing.
848 quyted, repaid.
850 perte, open; beaten of, beaten back; thilke, that same.
852 efte, again.
853 shent, destroyed.
855 Him thynketh, It seems to him.
856 leche, physician; wexeth, grows.
858 mokel, much.
859 lyte, frivolous, irresponsible.
860 not, do not know.
861 assoyle, answer.
862 leude, ignorant; demed, judged.
863 Sottes, Idiots; lette, let.
864 herted, hearted.
865 dent, blow, i.e., stroke of the ax.
869 ones, once; lesynge, [suffering a] loss.
870 oke, oak.
871 lethy, inducing Lethe-like results.
872 persed, pierced; wyre drawer, one who draws metal into wire.
878 mede, reward (usually monetary).
881 evenlyche, equally; quyte, repay.
885 yeldyng, yielding.
886 wene, suppose.
887 nyghe, nearly.
888 wot, know.
889 yeve, give.
890 garnement, garment; cote, coat.
892 yever, giver.
893 sythen, since.
894 Ergo, Therefore.
897 quitynge, repayment.
899 wyte, assign responsibility for.
901 rede, counsel.
903 mede, reward; in none halve, nowhere.
905 werche, work.
906 gyded, guided.
907 overthwartly, adversely.
910 tho, those.
911 sterte, moved; onbyde, abide.
912 me lyste, it pleases me; entermetyng, variable, hence meddling.
914 tho, then; astonyed, astonished.
916 sythen, since.
920 throwe, while; me might, one might.
924 nempne, name.
929 but for, except because; wol, desires.
931 for, if.
937 mowe, may.
939 sythen, since.
942 conseyt, conception.
943 mowe, may.
945 alowe, applaud; leaned, loaned.
947 lese, lose; it make, cause it [to be so].
953 werche, work.
957 mokel, much.
960 fordoynge, destruction.
961 withsytte, resist.
963 werchynges, workings.
966 thilke, that same.
970 behoten, promised.
971 accompted, accounted.
974 yeven, given.
978 withsytte, resist.
979 otherwhyle, at other times; me weneth, I suppose.
981 werne, were.
985 lerned, taught; nempne, name.
990 byleve, believe.
992 on, one.
994 apertly, openly.
1005 defended, prevented; without al maner nede, without any kind of necessity.
1007 hym nedeth, something is lacking in him.
1008 cleped, called; weten, know.
1010 toforngoyng, beforehand.
1014 lese, lose.
1018 incommodyté, inconvenience.
1019 yeven, given.
1020 lese, lose.
1022 mowe, might.
1024 nome, taken.
1025 unlusty, undesirable.
1031 unconnyng, ignorance; wenyng, assuming.
1034 frenesse of arbytrement, freedom of choice.
1035 halpe, helped.
1037 he, i.e., will of commodity.
1038 thralled, enslaved; sythen, since.
1040 cleped, called.
1043 veyne, vain.
1046 sythen, since.
1048-49 in kynde, natural.
1054 lese, lose.
1057 sythen, since.
1059 hardeth, to make something difficult to interpret.
1061 amendeth, i.e., He, God, amends.
1062 leneth, loans.
1063 in Him, i.e., in goodness; dothe that they ben, causes them to be good.
1064 werchen, work.
1065 lerned, taught; loketh, looks; weten, know.
1066 demed, judged; beforne-wetyng, foreknowledge.
1067 apertely, openly.
1068 in presence durynge, in the enduring present.
1070 mowe, may.
1073 werchyng, working.
1074 sleeth, slays; mokel, many.
1077 that, that one, the former.
1080 moste, most.
1083 mokel, great.
1086 wenen, assume.
1087 swetter, sweeter.
1090 reder, reader; leude, ignorant; wene, suppose.
1091 werke, work; shende, destroy.
1095 yelde, yield.
1098 gloton, villainous.
1100 mokel, great.
1101 mow, may.
1102 tenes, pains, vexations.
1104 plite, plight, condition.
1105 wimpled, veiled.
1106 Unneth, Scarcely; leude, ignorant; plites, folds.
1107 lene, loan.
1109 leudenesse, ignorance.
1110 mokel, much.
1112 yave, gave.
1113 unconnyng, ignorance.
1116 mede, reward; leude, ignorant.
1117 horisons, beseechings, prayers; yelden, yield.
1118 mowe, may.
1121 syghtful, visible; meate, food.
1122 Ryght so, Just as.
1126 yeveth, gives.
1129 frended, befriended.
THOMAS USK, THE TESTAMENT OF LOVE: NOTESAs readers will have already surmised from the Introduction to the edition as a whole, annotating TL is no easy task. This is a matter of great concern to me. There are about 800 annotations in the edition. On the one hand, we can argue that, of course, there should be no upper limit to the explanatory matter offered. On the other hand, however, realistically speaking, there has to be some limit. Knowing that practically there is an upper limit, I have endeavored to include information, wherever it is needed, that will get the reader started: from simple definitions to core bibliography and across a wide spectrum of information between, I have followed the guiding principle of helping readers know enough to decide when they need to know more.
All annotations originating with me are unmarked. All material originating with other editors and/or scholars is marked typically by their surnames (Skeat's surname refers, unless otherwise indicated, to his 1897 edition of TL). Regarding the work of Jellech, Leyerle, and Skeat, I should observe that material originating with them usually refers to their notes on a particular word, phrase, or moment in TL within the sequence of their textual notes. I am particularly grateful to Schaar for his closely reasoned emendations of corrupt passages.
Of Skeat's annotations, I have retained generally those that provide source and background information and have omitted those that are primarily his speculations. With the work of Jellech, Leyerle, and Schaar, I have exercised my judgment always on the principle of helping the reader get started.
Abbreviations: Boece: Chaucer's translation of the Consolation of Philosophy; BD: Book of the Duchess; CA: Confessio Amantis; CT: Canterbury Tales; Conc.: De Concordia Praescientiae et Praedestinationis et Gratiae Dei cum Libero Arbitrio; Conf.: Confessions; Cons.: Consolation of Philosophy; EETS: Early English Text Society (o.s., Original Series and e.s., Extra Series); HF: House of Fame; MED: Middle English Dictionary; N&Q: Notes and Queries; OED: Oxford English Dictionary; PPl: Piers Plowman; PL: Patrologia Latina; Purg.: Purgatorio; T&C: Troilus and Criseyde; Th: Thynne; TL: The Testament of Love
1 Of nombre. Jellech (p. 404) notes that this is a standard definition, derived ultimately from Boethius' De Arithmetica: "Numerus est unitatum collectio vel quantitatis acervas ex unitatibus profusa" [A number is a collection of unities, or a big mass of quantity issuing from unities (p. 76)].
4 in thre tymes is devyded. Recent studies of the extensive lore of the ages in English include Burrow (pp. 5-11; 66-92) and Dove (pp. 120-21). After St. Augustine, six is the norm for the number of ages prior to the Last Judgment in the later medieval period (Burrow, p. 80). I suspect that Usk has conflated the lores of three and six and has again proved somewhat atypical; however, in this case, his position -ages of deviation, grace, and joy -is certainly a very recognizable one in terms of the contemporary lore (see Burrow, p. 6 especially). Deviacion equates with life under the Old Law; grace is life after the Advent of Christ; joy is the life eternal after death. It is pertinent here to observe that TL, after it has been re-ordered through the Bradley-Skeat shift, as modified by Bressie, contains 33 chapters (not counting the Prologue) -see Medcalf's summary, pp. 44-45 above, for a quick count.
5 Deviacion. Th: Demacion, where the three consecutive minims for u [v] and i have been read as m. Skeat's emendation, followed by Jellech and Leyerle.
9 Grace. Not capitalized in Thynne. I have followed Skeat so that the designation of the second time is parallel with the first -Deviacion. So too Joye in line 13.
19 that. Th: is. Skeat's emendation, followed by Jellech and Leyerle, though Leyerle keeps Thynne's is (i.e., [that] is cryed).
20 whiche is faylinge. Schaar would read: whiche is <eke yeven to> faylinge, with the gloss "Which is also given to weakness without its deserving it." The actual wording he continues, "may of course have been different, but I think this must have been Usk's meaning" (p. 32).
faylinge. Leyerle emends to [av]aylinge.
20-21 whiche is faylinge without deserte. Skeat glosses deserte as "merit"; he suggests that the phrase is out of place here, and perhaps belongs to the preceding clause, after shewed in line 19 (p. 479).
21 and. Leyerle emends to in.
26 whit. Th: with. Leyerle's emendation, following Skeat. Later in the line he emends jewel to jewel[es].
26-27 us Englissh people. Skeat (p. 479) suggests that "Usk says the English alter the name Margarite-perle to Margery-perle, whereas Latin, French, and many other languages keep the true form."
29 Margery perles the. Leyerle, following Skeat, emends: Margery perles [by] the.
33 the more Britayne. That is, greater Britain (i.e., England, Scotland, and Wales), as distinguished from lesser Britain (Brittany). See Appendix 1 below. The same lore is found in Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire 1, chapter 1 (p. 33); Suetonius reports that "pearls seem to have been the lure that prompted [Caesar's] invasion of Britain; he would sometimes weigh them in the palm of his hand to judge their value" (p. 34).
34-37 On the capacity of pearls to control passion and staunch bleeding, see the Peterborough Lapidary (Evans and Serjeantson, pp. 107-08). The Lapidary identifies pearl as "Margarita." See, further, Appendix I below (p. 415).
35 Another is good. Schaar suggests that the sentence should begin: Another good is: it is profitable helthe ayenst passions etc. (p. 32). Leyerle follows Schaar, but uses a comma instead of the colon.
38 speces. Jellech notes that speces as used here by Usk is one of the scholastic neologisms of Middle English uncovered by John Conley and listed by him in his article (, p. 209). So too opinyon in line 41 (p. 409).
40-41 good lyvyng, according to Jellech, means "living . . . the life of a good man; ethics" (p. 409).
50-51 arsmetrike . . . astronomye. Usk here is drawing on the tradition of the seven liberal arts, composed of the trivium and quadrivium. On the quadrivium, or "four ways" to knowledge (i.e., arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy) see Wagner, pp. 2-6 and 150-53.
54 prudence, justyce, temperaunce, and strength. On the four cardinal virtues (Prudence, Justice, Temperance, and Fortitude), see Piltz, p. 181.
59 One is arte. Jellech suggests that the completing phrase, "of logic," may have dropped out, although the MED does enter art (1.c) as being used alone to mean dialectics or rhetoric (p. 411). Skeat remarks that "it was usual to introduce here the trivium, or second group of the seven arts . . . which contained logic, grammar, and rhetoric. For the two former he has substituted `art,' the general term" (p. 479).On the trivium, or "three ways" (to knowledge), see Wagner, pp. 6-9 and 23, especially.
64 Ordre of homly thinges. I.e., domestic economy (Jellech, p. 411).
73ff. twey. Skeat (p. 479) differentiates natural and reasonable as the twey. The third is moral. Hence, he suggests, the following scheme.
natural: the quadrivium relating to the body < Philosophy < reasonable: the trivium relating to the soul moral: the cardinal virtues law: natural Law < right: reasonable written: constitution custom: < unwritten: usageSee further Piltz, p. 197.
75 lawe, right, and custome. Jellech points out that the division of law into three kinds goes back at least to Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae v.10, and became a commonplace of medieval political thought (p. 413). See Gilby, pp. 60-61. Lawe equates with natural law and right with civil law. See further King, p. 141; Pennington, p. 424; and Canning, pp. 454-56.
78 constitution is a technical legal term, equating with "statutes." See Jellech, p. 413.
85 strength. Th: strentgh. Emended by all.
87 Cause, forsothe, in ordaynyng of lawe. As Jellech notes, the "theory set forth here of the origin of law in men's evil wills is Augustinian" (p. 414); for a helpful overview, see Markus, pp. 108-11, especially 110.
90 harme for harme. Skeat: "That is, so that harm, (as punishment) for harm, should restrain evil-doers by the bridle of fear" (p. 480).
96 and unworthy. Skeat: "even if they be unworthy."
professe and reguler. Skeat observes, "the `professed' were such as, after a year of probation, had been received into a monastic order; the `regular' were such as were bound by the three monastic vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience" (p. 480).
97 obedyencer. One bound by obedience; used adjectivally; Skeat compares Low Latin obedientiarius (p. 480).
102 at the lest. Th: the lest. Leyerle's emendation.
104 sleight. Skeat emends to sleigh.
106 I so. Skeat emends to I [am] so.
111 sende me water. Jellech sees allusions to Exodus 17.1-7 and Psalm 114.8 (p. 416).
116-17 commyng about I not than. Skeat glosses "recurring I know not when," where than reads as whan, to make sense.
117 coude I endite. Th: coude endite. Skeat's emendation, followed by Jellech and Leyerle.
yet at dore. Jellech suggests an allusion to Revelations 3.7. The statement is in the way of a prayer with the antecedent for whiche, line 118, being key of David which is an image of Christ, as Leyerle observes (pp. 361-62). Jellech thinks the clause would be better placed following vnshyt (p. 417). See also John 10.9.
117-19 Schaar inserts the between at and dore and places the phrase and He bring me in between closeth and whose (p. 32).
118 whiche that childrens. The allusion is to Matthew 21.16.
119 wel. Skeat emends to wol, followed by Jellech and Leyerle.
119-20 whose spirite . . . lyketh. The figure of David equates with Christ or the Holy Spirit. The reference here is to John 3.8 and I Corinthians 12.11 (see Jellech, p. 417).
123 frenship plesance. Skeat emends to fren[d]ship [in] plesance, followed by Leyerle.
126 wyte that the. Leyerle emends to wi[te]th that [to] the.
128 wyttes in many. Th: wyttes many. Skeat's emendation, accepted by Leyerle but not Jellech. Schaar emends in to of.
135 and me wondreth . . . in the lawe. Jellech wonders what the verb "pass in" means. "Possibly it is the same as `pass over' or `skip over.' In his reply to Love Usk seems to quibble on a sense of `pass' as `to ford' or `to walk through water'" (p. 419).
141 innocent. Th: innocet. Silent emendation in Skeat, followed by Jellech, but noted and followed by Leyerle.
142-43 lybel of departicion. A bill (or writ) of separation; taken from libellum repudii in Matthew 5.31, which Wyclif translates by "a libel of forsakyng" (Skeat, p. 480). See Henryson's Testament of Cresseid, line 74, for a comparable literary usage.
143-44 Ye, ye . . . of desertes. Skeat reads the sentence as follows: "I find, in no law, (provision for) recompensing and rewarding in a bounteous way, those who are guilty, according to their deserts" (p. 480). Jellech opposes this reading, complaining that it "does not alter the tenor of the sentence as we have it in Thynne, but that meaning [i.e., in Thynne] goes against the tenor of the preceding and following statements of Love" (p. 420). Here I would intervene against Jellech but not necessarily for Skeat. It is possible to construe this and the following sentence as transitions, very abrupt and unprepared for in the preceding sentences, to a consideration of conversions and how the same law that condemns the guilty can also acknowledge and reward the guilty who have converted. The examples, then, that follow would illustrate this principle. Note that in this construal, Jellech's complaint that Skeat's "reading of in goodnes as `in a bounteous way' does not conform to any meaning of the term recorded in the MED," becomes irrelevant since we need read the phrase only as "reward in [i.e., with] goodness" to follow the construction I am proposing.
145ff. Paulyn. Th: Pauly, followed by Leyerle. Skeat emends to Pauly[n], i.e., Paulinus, but suggests there is some mistake. "Perhaps he refers to L. Aemilius Paullus, brother of M. Aemilius Lepidus the Triumvir. This Paullus was once a determined enemy of Caesar, but was won over to his side by a large bribe" (p. 480). Jellech follows Skeat.
147-50 This lawe . . . treason. Jellech cites Schaar, who makes two plausible suggestions for its emendation: "First, he judges this lawe to refer to a passage about laws against conspiracies which has been lost, since there is no earlier reference for is acompted in to. Using Higden's account of the Civil War as a guide to Usk's possible attitude towards those events, he concludes that for Usk the conspiracy was on the part of Caesar, and that it was Cato who was considered to have thwarted the betrayal of the republic by Caesar. Consequently, Schaar would emend the passage as follows: `This law in Rome hath yet his name of measuring, in mede, the bewraying of [a] conspiracy. Ordayned by the senatours, the deth [of] Julius Cesar is acompted into Catons rightwisness; for ever in trouth florisshes his name among the knowers of reason.' I have incorporated Schaar's proposals into my text, except for the indefinite article `a' which is often not used by Usk, though it seems necessary to modern ears" (p. 420). Leyerle and I, also, in the main, concur with Schaar.
150 treason. Th: reason. Leyerle's emendation.
150-52 Perdicas. Skeat: "Perdiccas, according to the romances, succeeded Alexander the Great; see note to Book 2, [line 180]. I do not find the anecdote referring to Porus. It is not improbable that the author was thinking of Philip the physician, who revealed to Alexander `a privy hate' entertained against that monarch by Parmenion; see the Wars of Alexander, lines 2559-83" (p. 480).
152-55 Heyworth (pp. 144-45) would re-punctuate. He argues that
The author's meaning is clarified if reward is allowed the rare sense "estimation, worth" recorded by OED (under reward sbI I 3) only in two texts from the fourteenth century, and the punctuation slightly modified.154 Schaar would omit rewarde and change is to art (p. 34).
Wherfore euery wight, by reson of lawe, after his rightwysenesse apertely his mede may chalenge, and so thou that maynteynest lawe of kynde and therfore disease hast suffred in the lawe. Rewarde is worthy to be rewarded and ordayned, and apartly thy mede might thou chalenge.
That is, everyone may claim his reward to the extent that he has earned it by virtue of his goodness; so may the Dreamer, who has maintained nature's laws and suffered for his pains. Moral worth deserves to be rewarded and clearly the Dreamer is justified in claiming what is due to him.
155-58 Heyworth (pp. 145-46) would re-punctuate. He comments:
The Dreamer is here restating the law that the Lady has just enunciated: that by virtue of his goodness a man may claim the reward due to him . . .; that worth ought to be rewarded. . . . His restatement is: "Wel deseruynge in to worship of a wight without nedeful compulsion ought medefully to be rewarded." That is, merit in voluntarily doing honour to a person deserves to be rewarded. . . . Repunctuation helps to make the meaning clearer.Leyerle modernizes this last sentence as follows: "Uncompelled and meritorious conduct in honor of a person ought to be rewarded richly."
Certes, quod I, this haue I wel lerned. And euer hensforward I shal drawe me therafter in onehed of wyl to abyde, this lawe bothe maynteyne and kepe (and so hope I best entre in to your grace): Wel deseruynge in to worship of a wight without nedeful compulsion ought medefully to be rewarded.
158 nedeful. Th: nedefnl. Leyerle's emendation.
compulsion ought. Skeat emends to compulsion [that] ought; Schaar supplies and in place of Skeat's that, noting, "it is the speaker, not the subject, who expects reward" (p. 35).
160 avauntage. Th: avautage. Leyerle's emendation.
161 may. Skeat emends to many, suggesting a parallel structure with line 160; followed by Jellech and Leyerle. But may makes satisfactory sense.
166 right as mater. Skeat cites Guido delle Colonne's Historia Troiae: "sicut ad formam de forma procedere materiam notum est" [just as one observes matter move from form to form] (pp. 480-81). See the note to Legend of Good Women, line 1582 ("As mater apetiteth forme alwey"), where the version "sicut appetit materia semper formam" [just as matter always hungers for form] is given.
173 do by. Skeat emends to do [it] by.
178 and right. Skeat: "if right-doing were not in the original working" (p. 481).
180 recche. Th: recth. Skeat's emendation, followed by Jellech and Leyerle.
183 parte be. Skeat emends to part [that] be.
191 muste do good nedes. Skeat: "must necessarily do good" (p. 481).
194-95 Aristotel . . . in understanding. Skeat refers to Nicomachean Ethics I.1.2 and 5; but Jellech notes that by Usk's time this was standard medieval moral doctrine. See further Piltz, p. 179.
195-97 and he that . . . must nedes be bad. Jellech: "The contrasts Usk seems to make are sufficiently clear, although the syntax is not. In line  I have emended Thynne's verb phrase `doth away,' meaning `to turn away from,' to doth alway, because Thynne's reading would not provide any contrast between the act and the ends for which it is done. Also, in line , Thynne's `he that' seems a certain instance of dittography, because there are only two kinds of good acts under consideration, not three. One kind is to do good and not take account of the ends for which it is done, which merely cancels out the goodness. The other kind is to do good, but not in a good manner or by a good means so that the direction of the end is perverted" (p. 425).
196 goodly and draweth. Th: goodly draweth. Skeat's emendation, followed by Jellech and Leyerle.
199 doth nat goodly. Th: doth goodly. Skeat's emendation.
203 ever. Th: even. Skeat's emendation, followed by Jellech and Leyerle. Even does make some sense, however.
210 commended. Th: eommended. Leyerle's emendation.
213 Clerkes . . . is blessed. Jellech cites St. Augustine, De Trinitate 13.8: "Quia beatus nolens nemo fit" [because no one becomes blessed against his will] (p. 427).
215 ne service in that is. Skeat emends to ne service [is] in that [that] is; followed by Jellech and Leyerle.
218 may after-rewarde. Th: after reward. Skeat's emendation, followed by Jellech and Leyerle.
229-30 so mote . . . it nat betyde. Jellech: "So mote it be nedes and otherwyse may it nat betyde are definitions offered for the terms `necessary' and `necessity'" (p. 428).
234 desyreth. Jellech emends to deserveth.
237-38 if it . . . or of mede. Compare Boethius, Cons. 5. pr. 3. 73-88.
239-43 Me thynketh . . . stande togyther. "This passage introduces the chief issue of this third book of the Testament, whether God's foreknowledge can be reconciled with man's free will. The statement is from St. Anselm, De Conc. Q.I.l, 507b" (Jellech, p. 429). (See Appendix 3.)
239-69 See Conc. 1.1 (Appendix 3, pp. 432-33).
248-49 lyberté of arbetry of arbitrement. Skeat emends silently to liberté of arbitrement. Leyerle emends of to or, which may well be right.
248-50 First, if . . . sothe to understonding. Jellech notes that "this statement follows closely the latter half of St. Anselm's opening sentence of the De Conc. Q. I.l. With some exceptions, this chapter is a close paraphrase of St. Anselm's Chapters 1, 2, and part of 3, of Question 1" (see Appendix 3).
251 repugnaunce. Th: repuguaunce. Emended by all.
253-54 whom foloweth necessité of thinges commyng. Jellech: "The antecedent of whom is prescience; the Latin reads `quam sequi necessitas futurorum rerum videtur'" (p. 432).
255-56 Bothe . . . I admyt. Jellech: "Usk's immediate capitulation to Love's assertion is undramatic and a contradiction of the doubt which he expressed at the end of Chapter 2. Nor does he follow St. Anselm in accepting the two propositions as not contradictory. Since Anselm's argument is rather paradoxical, it may not have been fully understood by Usk. Anselm asserts that there is another impossibility included in the two propositions; i.e., free will assumes something happens without necessity, but since God has foreknowledge and since God's foreknowledge assumes that what God knows is necessarily the future, the paradoxical conclusion is that there is something in the future without necessity by necessity. Anselm did not develop or resolve the issue, but left it open. Usk, however, makes definite the vagueness of his original and consequently is misled" (p. 432).
262 wheder. Th: whedto. Schaar notes that wheder is Skeat's emendation of the corrupt whedto in Thynne's text. "It seems that wheder was substituted for wherof (ergo), and that a negation corresponding to nequaquam should be restored: and wherof, to every wight that hath good understanding, is seen these thinges <in no wise> to be repugnaunt etc. After the second necessité a full stop is required" (p. 36).
267-69 God beforne wote . . . love dedes. Here Usk substitutes his own case of love and destiny for St. Anselm's topics of man's righteousness and sinfulness. See Jellech, p. 433. See also Leyerle, p. 370.
273 so it foloweth. Skeat misreads, so followeth.
273-74 And so . . . and shal be. Jellech suggests that the phrase "without necessity" was "either dropped by the printer or inadvertently omitted by Usk. It is essential for the sense: And so it follows, whether you love or do not love, either case is and shall be without necessity" (p. 434).
276 through. Th: though. Skeat's emendation, followed by Jellech and Leyerle.
281 if no love. Skeat emends to if [I] no[t] love; Leyerle, to if [I ne] love.
284-385 See Conc. 1.2 (Appendix 3, pp. 433-35).
289-90 Right so . . . or els none. Jellech: "Just as if I say that you are a lover or else not a lover through necessity" (p. 436).
291-92 whiche shal nat be. Jellech: "That which it will not be" (p. 436).
292 whiche shal be. Jellech: "That which it will be" (p. 436).
292-94 That same thynge . . . any other thing. Jellech: "It is possible that Usk did not understand the Latin construction here and transferred his confusion to the English version. The Latin is, `hoc ipsum namque praescit Deus, qui praevidet aliquid futurum ex sola voluntate, quod voluntas non cogitur, aut prohibetur ulla alia re.' The Latin `qui praevidet' has become which he beforne seeth instead of `who foresees' and no syntactical relationship between any thyng commende and the preceding verb is expressed in the English" (p. 436). See Appendix 3 below, p. 433.
296 inconvenyent. Leyerle emends to inconvenyen[ce].
298-300 Also farthermore . . . it is pronounced. Jellech: "Furthermore, whoever considers properly his understanding of [the word] `prescience,' in the same way that anything is said to be before known, [will realize] it is also pronounced or declared to be coming, or in the future" (p. 437).
302 if I sey if it shal be. Skeat reads: if I sey, it shal be. Leyerle: if I sey,`If it shal be [of necessyté it shal be].'
306-07 the thyng toforne put. In the general murkiness of language here, one key, centered in this phrase, the thyng toforne put, will be of considerable help to the reader. It is the order of the grammar -dyversité in settyng of wordes maketh dyversité in understandynge (lines 313-14). If something is, it is necessary -if loue is put to be it is said of necessyté to be; but necessity does not make it that it is -nat for that necessité constrayneth or defendeth love to be or nat to be. Or, as we find it a few lines later, and it is nat the same to saye, love to be passed, and love passed to be passed (lines 311-12) -i.e., the "setting of the words" is crucial: love passed must be passed.
307 that thyng shal be. Leyerle adds: [of necessite it shal be].
310 commyng to al. Leyerle: commyng to [be] al.
341 And yet. Leyerle emends to: and yet [after it is present].
342 whiche to her, Margarite, thee hath bounde. "which has bound you to her, Margarite." Th reads boude for bounde. Both Skeat and Jellech read bounde.
343 for. Th: ferre. Schaar argues that ferre in Usk's text was miswritten for for, translating St Anselm's quia. "The authentic reading, it can hardly be doubted, should be: `Trewly, som doing of accion nat by necessité is comminge, for toforn it be, it may be that it shal nat be comminge'" (p. 36).
355 right as this terme. Th: Right these termes. Jellech's emendation. Skeat emends: right [so] this terme, linking the clause to the previous sentence, as does Leyerle, who changes this to th[e].
356 that thyng. Skeat emends to that [a] thing.
357 that. Skeat: "that which."
with nothyng. Skeat: "yet not so as to be constrained by anything else" (p. 481).
357-58 foloweth with . . . constrayned. Leyerle emends to: folow[yng], w[hic]h nothyng [constrayneth] to be.
358-417 See Conc. 1.3 (Appendix 3, pp. 435-37).
359-61 Schaar notes, "as has been demonstrated often enough on the preceding pages, words and clauses have frequently dropped out during the copying of the text, and, I think, something has been lost in that way here as well. The passage, it seems, should be thus restored: "For if I say, `tomorowe love is comming in this Margarites herte,' nat therfore thorow necessité shal the ilke love be; yet it may be that <toforn it be,> it shal nat be, although it were comming" (p. 37).
361 that it shal nat be. Leyerle, following Schaar, emends to: that [toforn it be], it shal nat be.
370-71 one is . . . Another is. Leyerle observes that "the distinction . . . is between forgoing necessity . . ., Anselm's praecedens necessitas, which is causative, and folowyng necessite . . ., Anselm's sequens necessitas, which is not" (p. 373).
371 nedeful is. Skeat emends to nedeful [it] is.
375 commynge. Leyerle thinks some portion of the text is probably lost at this point.
389 For why . . . nat be. Schaar finds it more likely that Usk wrote now than that god wol may nat <nat> be, and that one negation was either dropped by haplography [shortened writing] or consciously eliminated by a scribe or printer, unfamiliar with philosophical argument (p. 37). Leyerle follows Schaar and adds the double negative.
400-01 Right so . . . wyl is necessarye. Jellech observes: "There is some corruption here. The Latin construction is very simple: `ita non est peccatum voluntatis necessarium, sicut velle non est necessarium' (see Appendix 3, p. 436). Skeat added `in' before maner, but this is no clarification. I have let the passage stand as is" (p. 448). Leyerle follows Skeat.
402 through. Th: though. Skeat's emendation, followed by Jellech and Leyerle.
403-04 right so . . . to wylne. Jellech: "This translation is confusing. It means, as the thing which free will wishes, it also may and may not wish. That is, in order to be free the will must have an option to choose or not to choose, but it is necessary for the will to choose something" (p. 448).
405-06 for impossyble . . . to him. Jellech suggests that "between impossyble, line , and to him, line , two and a half lines of text have been repeated in Thynne: to him it is one thyng and the same to wylne he may not wylne but thilk to wylne nedeful is: for impossyble to him it is one thyng and the same to wylne he may not wylne but thilk to wylne nedeful is: for impossyble to him it is one thyng and the same to wylne and not to wylne. In addition some equivalent portion of St. Anselm's text in translation has been omitted after he may not wylne, line 404: "antequam velit quia libera est; et cum jam vult, non potest non velle." "Sed eam velle necesse est" follows and the translation is duly included in Thynne. Possibly the similarity between this clause and the clause thilke to wylne nedeful is (line 406) was the source of the errour" (p. 449). Leyerle's emendation of lines 403-06 is as follows: "Right so thilke thynge that fre wyl wol: and [he] maye and not may not wylne, and nedeful is that to wylne. [For he maye not wylne toforne he wol, as wyl is fre, and whan than he wol] he maye [not] not wylne, but thilke to wilne nedeful is [etc.]." Leyerle also calls this passage "a locus desperatus" (p. 376):
. . . Thynne's text is little more than bewildering nonsense. . . . Anselm's De concordia is not easy to understand in itself and Usk's version of it is often baffling unless read beside the original, and sometimes then as well. At line . . .  of this chapter the manuscript from which Thynne's text was set had the major displacement of leaves discussed in the Introduction . . .; consequently, any attempt by the printer to get a general sense of the chapter's argument was futile. In view of these circumstances, the corruption of Thynne's text is not surprising. . . . [T]he editor must acknowledge that his proposals are little more than first aid to what must be considered a locus desperatus.408 and that he wol not. Leyerle emends to and that [it be not, that] he wol not.
or. Th: of. Skeat's emendation, followed by Jellech and Leyerle.
409-10 than by wyl . . . togyther be. Jellech: "The phrase than by wyl not constrayned seems to be Usk's explanatory insertion into the argument. The sentence following is hopelessly corrupt. The Latin is, `befariam est necessarium, quia et voluntate cogitur fieri, et quod fit non potest simul non fieri.' In Usk the negation of the final infinitive be is missing; as is the main clause" (p. 449).
413 seeth. Th: syght. Skeat's emendation, followed by Jellech and Leyerle.
414-15 al maner thynges ben. Skeat: al maner thinges [that] ben. Leyerle: al, [and] man[y] thynge ben.
415-16 might have ben never they. Skeat: [it] might have ben [that] never they. Leyerle: might have ben, never th[at].
418-19 Hereby . . . lybertie of wyl. Jellech: "There is a mixture of constructions here, of a noun clause dependent on ben knowe, `everything is not from necessity,' and an accusative-infinitive construction, `all things not be from necessity.' Hence, the non-agreement between subject and verb. For, line , means `but'" (p. 451).
418-38 See Conc. 1.4 (Appendix 3, p. 437).
424 movable tyme. There is. Here, as do Jellech and Leyerle, I intervene in Thynne's text to re-order it in conformity with the Bradley-Skeat shift, as modified by Bressie (see the Introduction, vi f, "The Problem of the Broken Sequence of Book 3," for extended comment). As a consequence of this intervention, the reader can no longer follow Thynne except by observing the boldface folia numbers in the lower half of the page and skipping across the breaks to connect Thynne's consecutive foliation. I will alert the reader to each break in my notes as well as marking it in the boldface foliation. Finally, I would like to cite Leyerle's important observation that "here the Bradley shift follows the order of [St. Anselm's] De concordia, conclusive proof of the accuracy of the shift at this point" (p. 379). The reader can test this assertion, with which I concur, by checking the relevant passages in Appendix 3 below (p. 437).
432-35 whiche thyng . . . for free arbitrement. Jellech: "This sentence is a straightforward calque [translation by modelling the target language on the original language] on the Latin, with much resultant confusion in the English. However, the Latin is not very coherent either. I would translate St. Anselm:
The conclusion is, if it is not too absurd even to state, either it is not by necessity or it is not anything which God knows or foreknows to be or not to be. Therefore [= Usk and yet] nothing prevents anything from being known or foreknown by him in our wills or from being done in our acts, or from being in the future through free will. (p. 453; see Appendix 3)442-60 See Conc. 1.4 (Appendix 3, p. 438).
447 first alone. Jellech: "`Alone' in the sense of `solitary' is not suitable here. A substantive derived from OF aloigner, `to move,' may have been the original word, misread or misunderstood by the printer. The OF noun `aloinement,' and the verb "aloinen" entered Middle English" (p. 454). Leyerle offers a very different explanation: "the word commyng, from line , is understood after first. Love's point in this discussion is that whether motion is coming or going is a matter of perspective. In its circular motion, the sun in going from a given position is also coming back to it" (p. 380).
462-63 Job . . . passe. Skeat (p. 481) cites Job 14.5: "Constituisti terminos eius, qui praeteriri non poterunt" [thou hast appointed his bounds which cannot be passed].
462-554 See Conc. 1.5 (Appendix 3, pp. 438-39).
464 dying. Th: doyng. Skeat's emendation.
466-67 ne He seeth . . . of necessyté. Jellech: "This sentence is an inaccurate calque on the Latin, `[Deus] dicitur constituisse apud se immutabiliter quod apud hominen priusquam fiat mutari potest.' An English rendering would read:
God is said to have ordained for himself immutably what can be changed amongst men before it happens.Usk's version loses the contrast between what has been set down as requisite for God and what is the case for man" (p. 456; see Appendix 3). Leyerle, following Schaar, emends nothing wheder to nothing [but the sothe], wheder.
470 conformes. Skeat cites the Vulgate (Romans 8.29, 30): "Nam quos praesciuit, et praedestinauit conformes fieri imaginis Filii sui" -For whom he foreknew, he also predestinated to be made conformable to the image of his Son (p. 481).
473 magnifyed. Compare Romans 8.30.
475 nowe as mokel . . . wynter. Jellech glosses: "And now a moment is as great as seven thousand winters" (p. 457).
490-92 But right as . . . very knowynge. Jellech: "This is an incomplete and confused rendering of the Latin, which contrasts the temporal present, even when projected to include every place and everything which is in existence anywhere, with the eternal present which contains everything which has ever existed in time, all at once" (p. 458; see Appendix 3). Leyerle solves the problem by emending coveyteth to co[nteyn]eth and both to b[e]th.
499 at the God. Jellech emends to at God and glosses "with God" (p. 459); Leyerle follows Jellech.
502 temporel, without. Skeat places and before the preposition without. Leyerle follows Skeat. Jellech notes that the subject is still al thynges and that "there is nothing in St. Anselm to correspond to this clause''(p. 460).
505 to thy. Leyerle, following Skeat, emends to [in] thy.
507-08 for at thilk . . . thilke seintes. Th: for al thilk . . . thilke sentences. Leyerle's emendation. Skeat reads: for al [at] thilk . . . [of] thilke sentence; Jellech: for al at thilk . . . at thilk sentence.
511 in wordes. Th: worde is. Jellech's emendation, followed by Leyerle. Skeat reads: [in] worde.
520-21 in whiche . . . your actes. Jellech suggests that a key word, true, has been lost here; i.e., . . . "your wylles and your actes true'' (p. 461).
525 nat. Th: no arte. Skeat suggests (p. 482), with a "(?)," the gloss "in no way"; but then he goes on to suggest that ne arte is "surely an error for nat, as writest nat is repeated in line ." Jellech and Leyerle follow Skeat's suggestion, as do I.
526 or els wylne to write. Jellech: "Or it is not necessary for you to wish to write" (p. 462).
528-29 for somthyng is . . . it nat be. Jellech: "Apparently nothing more was attempted here by Usk than an approximation of the Latin, but the rendering has become badly confused. The changes which I have made are only those errors which the printer might have made under influence of the surrounding text: `for somthyng is in the everlastynge presence that in temporal tyme it was nat in tyme in eterne presence shal it nat be'" (p. 462). Leyerle (p. 182) emends as follows: For somthynge [is nat in temporal tyme that] is in the everlastynge presence [and somthynge that was] in temporal tyme, it was nat in eternyte, [and somthynge that will be in temporal] tyme, in eterne presence shal it nat be: than no reason defendeth that somthyng [may] be in tyme temporal movyng that in eterne is immovable. Schaar (p.39) would read: For <if> somthing is in the everlastinge presence, than in temporal tyme it was nat; <if it was> in <temporal> tyme, in eterne presence shal it nat be; that is "if anything is in eternity, it was not in time; if it was in time, it shall not be in eternity."
532 immovable. Th: movable. Skeat's emendation, followed by Jellech and Leyerle.
535 is in eternyté. Th: is eternyté. Skeat's emendation, followed by Jellech and Leyerle.
536 ne. Leyerle, following Skeat, omits.
537-41 A so . . . in his present maner. Jellech: "Skeat drily calls attention to the obscurity of Usk's explanation and the incongruity of Love's enthusiasm for her pupil's perspicuity. Schaar attempted to remedy the apparent defects in Usk's explanation by going back to St. Anselm's work to see what is missing in ours. Schaar did not see the error `deemed' for denied in line . Moreover, Schaar did not realize the extent to which Usk is paraphrasing in these lines, so that his proposed emendations are too extensive to be genuine. I do not believe that emendation is required so much as syntactical expansion of Usk's paraphrase. Of course, access to the Latin treatise (see Appendix 3) is invaluable because at least one knows what he was trying to say. I would read these sentences as follows:
It seems to me that things coming or else past here in your temporal time ought not to be denied to be in eternity ever now and present. And yet it does not follow that anything which was or will be (in time) is not there [in eternity] in any manner, past or else future: we shall completely deny that, because there [in eternity] it is without ceasing in its manner of the present." (p. 464)Schaar would add it there to be passed or coming between deny and for in line 540, observing that the missing words may easily have been dropped by haplography "since the words there to ben passed or els comming had just before been written" (p. 40).
538 denied. Th: demed. Skeat follows Thynne, but Jellech emends to denied (followed by Leyerle), which makes good sense, presupposing a misreading of three consecutive minims.
540 than. Leyerle emends to tha[t].
541 be able. Th: able. Skeat's emendation, followed by Jellech and Leyerle.
542 cloude in unconnyng. Conceivably a verbal echo of the "cloud of unknowing."
547 afore. Th: and for. Skeat's emendation, followed by Jellech and Leyerle.
548 For right. Skeat: "for nothing at all exists there (i.e., in eternity) after the manner of that which is temporal" (p. 482).
554 that God al thyng. Th: that al thyng. Skeat and Leyerle add God, as head of the clause; Jellech adheres to Thynne.
554-58 See Conc. 1.7 (Appendix 3, pp. 440-41).
555 ben to ben. Leyerle emends to have beyng. Skeat glosses ben to ben as
"are to come because of God's knowledge" (p. 482).
559-60 the noble philosophical poete in Englissh. Jellech: "Ever since the discovery that Chaucer was not the author of TL . . . this reference has been taken to allude to Chaucer. Skeat makes the interesting point that the metaphysical question of greatest importance in Troilus and Criseyde is not the origin of evil, which is Usk's topic at this point, but predestination. From Usk's reference here to Chaucer as an authority on the origin of evil it would seem that he misread or misunderstood the Troilus" (p. 466). Pace Skeat and Jellech (and Bressie, too), Leyerle argues, correctly, I think, that (p. 387)
Usk's request . . . is for information on two problems: one concerns the problem of evil and the other concerns God's foreknowledge. Love replies by sending him in lines [569-73] back to II.13 and II.14 in the Testament, chapters that contain a discussion of the nature of evil; see, especially, II.13.1ff. . . . The reference to Tr can thus be seen as one to matters about foreknowledge.560 whiche. Leyerle emends to [spe]che.
565 starieres. Skeat: storiers, gen. pl. of storier, a teller of a story. Leyerle emends to storiers.
569 of two the laste. Jellech suggests chapters 13 and 14 of Book 2.
573 to be. Leyerle, following Skeat: to be [lykned].
577 muste come the spire. Jellech: "The tree allegory describing the lover's growth in steadfastness was foreshadowed at Book 2, chapter 11 [lines 1141-44]. Usk's use of the metaphor of the tree may have been inspired by St. Anselm's lengthy analogy (De Conc. Q.III.6 [see Appendix 3, p. 442]) of the garden of the human heart and the reception of God's word as seed" (p. 469). See below note to lines 806-07.
586 seconde booke. Skeat: Book 2, chapter 11 (lines 1106ff.).
588 setling. Th: setteles. Skeat's emendation, followed by Jellech and Leyerle.
591 frendes. Leyerle: f[erdn]es. Schaar emends to feendes (p. 41).
591-93 my wyl maye ben turned . . . Leyerle speculates that "this autobiographical reference would suggest that Book III was not written while Usk was in confinement. There are no references to the prison in the book, except possibly one at III.1 , disesely habitation" (pp. 388-89). With this speculation, compare Medcalf who argues, at great length (, pp. 232ff.), for a major change in and resumption of TL between Book 2, toward the end, and Book 3, transpiring perhaps as late as 1387 (p. 234):
Finally, imprisoned by the Lords Appellant, when his new political motive, the king's service, had become the reason why execution for treason was close upon him, he was driven to those profound considerations of value, vocation, commitment, and the analogy between human and divine love which are the intellectual glory of the Testament. The joins and inconsistencies in the book [viz., 3] are unrevised, presumably, because he suffered execution. (p. 237)If Medcalf is correct in his bold hypothesis -and his arguments are too complicated and subtle for me to paraphrase adequately here -then a great many received opinions about Usk and TL will have to be subjected to fresh examination.
595 hou. Th: thou. Leyerle's emendation. Jellech and Skeat read thou.
596 is thy. Leyerle emends to is [of] thy.
601 deme. Leyerle: de[in]e. This emendation (meaning "disdain to") is perhaps sound, given the trouble the compiler for Usk had in reading sequences of minims. But though it makes clearer sense, it is not absolutely necessary. Moreover, jugement in line 604 lends support to deme.
612 lovynge. Leyerle: l[e]vynge.
613 lykened. Leyerle: ly[nk]ed. Leyerle's emendation picks up the knot metaphor nicely, but lykened makes good sense and ties in with metaphors of similitude, which are also prominent.
613-40 See Conc. 3.11 (Appendix 3, pp. 441-42).
614 wylles. Leyerle: will[e], which is more idiomatic (and probably right) though less quaint, and the plural is repeated in the same line, which Leyerle is likewise obliged to emend.
615 Right as ye han in your body. Leyerle offers the following clarification (p. 390):
Because Usk does not define his terminology clearly, a brief summary of the argument may be helpful. As the body has instruments of use, such as eyes to see and feet to walk, so the soul has its instruments. One instrument of the soul is reason and another is will. Each instrument of the soul has use and also propensities, Anselm's aptitudines, which Usk renders as aptes. Anselm refers to the aptitudines voluntatis, the propensities of the will, by the word affectiones, which Usk renders as affections. Thus the will is an instrument of the soul and can be considered in three ways: it can be referred to simply as the will itself, or by its affections, or by its use.616 wyttes. The five wits are the five senses. See further Piltz, pp. 204-07.
616, 617 aparte. Leyerle emends to ap[t]e (see note to line 615), which makes sense, but loses the pun on "separate," "appropriate," and "open." Apte is the term in line 622, however, which strengthens Leyerle's case. But his emendation of apetytes to ap[t]es in line 624 is quite unnecessary.
624 apetytes. "Sanderlin has pointed out (p. 71n4) Usk's mistranslation of apetytes for the Latin `aptitudinibus' in the De conc." (Jellech, p. 474).
625 terme of equivocas. Skeat: "terms of like signification, terme being an error for termes. Answering to Lat. uerba aequiuoca, words of like signification" (p. 482). See further Piltz, p. 97.
629 whan ye. Leyerle: whan [ye reason, and eye is instrument of seeing whiche ye usen whan] ye.
632-37 And thus is instrument wyl . . . Leyerle observes that "there are three instances in [these lines] of the past participle affectum rendered as if it were the noun affectio; as a result, Usk's text makes little sense" (pp. 392-93). The reader should consult Anselm's original, Conc., 3.11, in Appendix 3, pp. 441-42 below.
636-37 For affection . . . to wake. Jellech suggests that a person never wants to be sick, or never wants always to be awake (p. 475).
641 purposed. Th: pursosed.
649 use supercedes ne ought. Leyerle: n[o si]ght. Between ye and ne ends the first shift of the text. As Leyerle notes "here, as at 3.4. , the shifted text follows the order of De concordia" (p. 395). At this point, Thynne's text must be rearranged again.
660 But utterly . . . ben rewarded. "But in order to be rewarded with grace to get thy desired bliss" (Jellech, p. 477).
672 Schaar inserts <and> before away and grace (p. 42).
683-85 for though . . . unbyde. Schaar: "Obviously, the second sentence is the concrete case in question, illustrated by the metaphor in the first. The clauses in the second sentence must therefore be paralleled in the first, and we must read: I trowe right, for though thy wil out of reson shulde not tourne, thy wil in one reson shulde not onbyde. The meaning seems to be: just as, though drunkenness is forbidden, people need not always be without drink, so, although your will ought not to lose its contact with reason, it need not necessarily be reasonable in one way only, but so as to make you satisfied, provided you remain virtuous" (p. 42). See also T&C 3.715-18:
"In every thyng, I woot, ther lith mesure.688 Thou might not chaunge. Schaar (p. 43) proposes punctuating here so that thou might not change begins a new sentence: Trewly, that wil and reson shulde be knit togider, was free wil of reson: after tyme thyne herte is assentaunt to them bothe. Thou might not chaunge, but if thou from rule of reson varye.
For though a man forbede dronkenesse,
He naught forbet that every creature
Be drynkeles for alwey, as I gesse."
711 envy. Leyerle: en[em]y.
714 wyners. Skeat notes that the word welked occurs twice in CT VI.738, IV.277; and wiver once, T&C 3.1010. Leyerle follows Skeat's suggestion and emends to wy[v]ers.
722 kynde. Th: kindly. Jellech's emendation, followed by Leyerle.
728 evydence. Th: evydece. Emended by all.
732 som. Th: no. Jellech's emendation, followed by Leyerle.
734-35 Why . . . t'other. Skeat: "Why, as soon as one has sprung up on high, does not the other spring up also?" Here "one" and "the other" seem to refer to "will" and "bliss" (p. 482).
739-40 anon as . . . to receyve. "As soon as that will proffers itself to be shown and revealed, the bliss should hasten to it, to receive the will" (Jellech, p. 484).
742 Great weight on hye onlofte. See Book 1, line 211, and note above.
his. Th: this. Skeat's emendation, followed by Jellech and Leyerle.
742-44 The lines echo the eagle's speech in Chaucer's HF, lines 729-56. See also Aristotle's Physics 8.4, but especially Boethius's Cons., 3. pr. 11.95-187.
752 if. Schaar would emend to in (p. 40).
759-75 See Conc. 3.6 (Appendix 3, pp. 442-43).
760-64 but suche . . . in traveyle. Leyerle rearranges the passage as follows: But suche as nought in norisshynge to mannes kynde serven, or els suche as tournen soone unto mannes confusyon in case that therof they ataste, [men might leave, though they were] comen forthe out of the earth by their owne kynde, withouten any mannes cure or any busynesse in traveyle.
761-62 Schaar would insert to between kynde and serven (p. 41).
767 yit. Th: it. Skeat's emendation, followed by Leyerle. Jellech emends to
774 in. Not in Th. Skeat's addition, followed by Leyerle.
787 amended. Th: ameded.
791-93 Certes, such . . . it to rewarde. Jellech: "There is some corruption here. The thought is, that bliss gotten quickly will be rewarded accordingly by brief duration, while bliss obtained slowly and laboriously will endure. At line  there was no antecedent for Thynne's hem, which I have emended to him; i.e., bliss" (p. 489).
792 thee wel. Leyerle reads the w[y]l, which may be better. Skeat and Jellech follow Th: the wel, where the may be the definite article rather than a pronoun, with wel as "weal."
793 right can . . . it to rewarde. "Right, or justice, can send such bitterness afterward to even out the reward for merit" (Jellech, p. 489).
797 blysse endelesse. Skeat reads: blysse [ben] endelesse, followed by Leyerle, but not Jellech.
805 wel. Th: wol. Skeat's emendation, followed by Jellech and Leyerle.
806-07 Thou hast herde . . . wexyng. Skeat (p. 483) argues, vigorously, that "the idea of this Tree is copied from PPl C.19.4-14." But as the article by Dronke amply demonstrates, there are many other, possibly more proximate sources for the image in TL (see also above, note to line 577). My own position is currently one of suspicion: I can show Usk's familiarity with T&C to a very fine degree; not so his familiarity with PPl -I am therefore still sceptical that he knew Piers, even as I am strongly inclined to believe that even if he did, he was nowhere near being so intimate with it as he was with T&C and Cons./Boece. See further the Introduction, Section iv, "Usk and his Contemporaries."
807 wyse this. Leyerle inserts [is].
826-28 as gledes . . . overleyn. See T&C 2.538-39: "And wel the hotter ben the gledes rede, / That men hem wrien with asshen pale and dede.''
842-43 Voice without . . . in hert. Skeat: "The reference appears to be to Aristotle, De Interpretatione . . . Chapter 1. Voice seems to mean `a word unrelated to a sentence,' i.e., not related to something else as forming part of a sentence" (p. 483). Skeat's opinion, then, is that Usk means the distinction between mere words and propositions, propositions being Aristotle's express subject in Peri hermenias (4; p. 121); only of propositions can one speak of truth or falsity. Hence, Usk continues: ". . . in ful sentence of trewe menyng . . ." (p. 483 -emphasis added). See further Shoaf (1983), pp. 9-11 and Isaac on the fortunes of the Peri hermenias.
852 avoyde. Schaar: "There is nothing here to be avoided, either with or without difficulty, but there is obviously something which it is not easy to wait for: Alas! than, after suche stormes, how hard is it to abyde, til efte wedring and yeres han maked her circute cours al about, er any frute be able to be tasted!'' (p. 43).
866 That, fole. At this point, Thynne's text must be rearranged again.
868 A marchaunt. Compare Chaucer, CT VIII.947-50.
870 on the oke smyte. Skeat (p. 483) rightly compares Chaucer, T&C 2.1380-84, which reads:
"Thenk here-ayeins: whan that the stordy ook,N.b., the close verbal echoes here in both works: happy, sweigh, come al at ones.
On which men hakketh ofte, for the nones,
Receyved hath the happy fallying strook,
The greete sweigh doth it come al at ones.''
871 falleth the lethy water. Skeat cites Ovid, Ex Ponto 4.10.5.
876-77 my thynketh . . . rewarde for my longe traveyle. The language here reflects perhaps the complaint in BD, lines 36-38: "hit be a sicknesse / That I have suffred this eight yeer; / And yet my boote is never the ner." See Book 1, lines 486-87 where Usk draws upon this same passage. See also lines 879-910, and the idea that reward comes through peace which becomes possible through Margaryte's goodness, an idea similar to Blanche's gracious therapy of the distraught dreamer in BD.
881 your selven sayd. Skeat compares Book 3, chapter 2 (lines 217-21).
890-91 it is not to put to him. "It is not imputed to him" (Jellech, p. 498).
898-99 kyndely drawen homewarde. See BD, lines 1314ff.
899-900 al is holy her to wyte. "It is all to be accounted to her wholly" (Skeat, p. 483). To wyte usually has a bad sense, as implying blame. Hence, Jellech would emend wyte to quyte and construe "her" as "for her" so as to read: "it is entirely for her to repay the love that you have" (p. 499).
910 this lady. I.e., "Heavenly Love suddenly took up its place in his heart." "This of course puts an end to the dialogue, but in Thynne's misarranged print the lady speaks to him again, as if it were out of his heart!" (Skeat, p. 483).
918 lyves. Skeat emends to lynes, i.e., written lines of writing, which he imagines to be imprinted on his understanding (p. 483); see lines 919 and 923-24.
928-43 See Conc. 3.3 (Appendix 3, pp. 443).
928ff. It is no maner doute. . . . Jellech: "The abstraction Love has been substituted for Anselm's example of Justice" (p. 502).
932 wyl wylne. Skeat inserts may between the two words; Leyerle inserts to.
937 nothynge. Th: nothyuge. Leyerle's emendation.
942ff. Schaar: "The last sentence is an interpolation of Usk's own, continuing an argument borrowed from St Anselm . . .. There seems to be a slight corruption . . .. The passage, to all appearances, emphasizes the fact that `will' and `not will' do not go together; thus it is a commentary on the preceding statement that anyone who is not willing may not have `loving' (for this implies free will): Pardé, every conseyt of every resonable creature otherwyse wol not graunte:wil in affirmative with not willing by no way mowe accorde. This continuation shows that Grace added to free will is the way to `loving': And although this loving wol come in myn herte by freenesse of arbitrement, as in this booke fully is shewed, yet owe I not therfore as moche alowe my free wil as grace of that Margaryte to me lened" (p. 44).
943-76 See Conc. 3.4 (Appendix 3, p. 443-44).
950 his owne gylte by fre wyl that leseth. Jellech: "Through his own guilt by free will so that he loses" (p. 504).
953-56 See Conc. 3.5 (Appendix 3, p. 444).
959 Trewly. Th: Trewy; grace. Th: grae.
961 accepted. Leyerle: acc[om]pted on grounds that the term anticipates line 971.
963 consydereth. Skeat emends to considereth [howe] and Leyerle concurs.
968 havynge. Th: havyuge. Leyerle's emendation.
975 so no man to her blysse shal ben folowed. Jellech: "This unclear clause has no counterpart in the Latin. Man is probably an error for `men' -`so no men to their bliss. . . .' Still, shal ben folowed makes no sense; if it were not for the passive, `folowe' might have the meaning `reach or arrive at' (MED 6.c); compare Chaucer, Boece 4. p. 2. 152, where `folowen' means `to attain'" (p. 507).
976-86 See Conc. 3.12 (Appendix 3, p. 445).
981-82 good savour. Skeat cites 2 Corinthians 2.15-16: "Quia Christi bonus odor sumus Deo, in iis qui salui fiunt; . . . aliis quidem odor mortis in mortem" [For we are the good odour of Christ unto God, in them that are saved, . . . to the one indeed the odour of death unto death (but to the others the odour of life unto life)] (p. 484).
986-1051 See Conc. 3.13 (Appendix 3, pp. 445-47).
1003 ne had. Skeat prints had, disregarding ne, which is inserted after the word denyded in line 1002.
herte. Jellech emends to hete (also in line 1004); followed by Leyerle.
1009 God. Th: good. Skeat's emendation, followed by Leyerle.
1014 God. Not in Th. Skeat's addition, followed by Jellech and Leyerle.
1015 thylke two. Leyerle identifies the two through emendation: [wylles, or affections], which he places after two.1024-25 fyl man unto lykenesse of unreasonable bestes. On "unlikeness" to God (i.e., likeness to beasts) as punishment for the Fall, see Shoaf (1983), p. 250n4 and the sources cited there. The idea finds particularly vivid expression in St. Augustine's Confessions (7.10; p. 147) as the "regio dissimilitudinis," or "land of unlikeness"; see also his commentary on Psalm 95 (Expositions 4, pp. 383-85).
1026ff. But yet wyl of blysse . . . Leyerle argues at length (pp. 410-12) that
this passage is an account of why Usk withdrew his support from Northampton and appealed him for treason presented in terms of Anselm's discussion of free will, justice and grace. . . The point is clear enough in outline, if not in the veiled statement in the Testament. Usk presents his appeal of Northampton for treason as a return by means of grace received from the Margarite perle to the full freedom of his will, that is, of his capacity to leave off injustice and bestyal appetytes and chose [sic] justice. To explain this political shift of allegiance in terms of Anselm's theological philosophy is an unusual and remarkably sophisticated argument without parallel in Middle English literature.1028-29 in his owne comodyté. "in what is suitable for him." Skeat defines comodites as "desires that are suitable" (p. 484). Leyerle says that "comodytees means `advantages'" (p. 410).
1029 where. Th: were. Skeat's emendation, followed by Leyerle. Jellech emends to trewe.
1034 And frenesse of arbytrement. Jellech: "There is some corruption here. The Latin translates `man cannot wish for uprightness through free choice when he does not have uprightness, however much he was powerful to keep uprightness when he did have it'" (p. 513). See Appendix 3.
1036 Wyl of commodyté. Jellech: "That aspect of the will which is the instrument or means for desiring satisfactory things" (p. 513).
1048 flesh. Th: flyes. Skeat's emendation, followed by Jellech and Leyerle.
1050 their. Th: they. Leyerle's emendation; he cites the their in [line 1051] as proof of the emendation's validity.
1052-54 See Conc. 3.14 (Appendix 3, p. 447).
1056-68 See Conc. 2.2 (Appendix 3, p. 448).
1057 badnesse. Th: hadnest. Schaar's emendation, followed by Jellech and Leyerle. Skeat emends to hath desteness.
1057-59 Schaar: "Usk's argument is here very obscure, and it would be useless to try and get complete sense and coherence out of it, the obscurity being doubtless mainly due to the author's own confusion. The reason why he has been led astray seems to be his attempt to combine some reflections on Grace and destiny with a remark of St. Anselm's that predestination is true not only of good things, but of evil things as well. . . . Usk's conjunctions, then, are the chief cause of the incoherence in his passage. There are, however, other weak points in it, but for these it is less probable that Usk should be blamed. . . . the correct reading seems to be `god badnesse made' etc. It seems more probable, further, that missayth (Thynne: missaythe) is a copyist's error than a mistranslation of emollit; but it is difficult to suggest a convincing emendation of this detail of Usk's passage. In Thynne mis is printed at the end of one line, saythe at the beginning of the next, and it is possible that some letters are missing. Perhaps the author wrote mis allayth, `puts an end to wrong-doing,' a paraphrase of (hominem) emollit" (p. 45).
1059 missaythe. Schaar emends to mis allayeth; Leyerle emends to [ne]iss[h]ythe, "softens." Leyerle's emendation depends on Conc. 2.2 (See Appendix 3, pp. 447-48).
into temptacion. The reference is to Romans 9.18.
1062 leneth. Th: leveth. Skeat's emendation, followed by Jellech and Leyerle.
1066 chapitre. Skeat suggests Book 3, chapter 3 (p. 484).
1068-78 See Conc. 2.3 (Appendix 3, pp. 448-49).
1073 falleth, fre wyl. Skeat emends to falleth [through] fre wyl; Leyerle supplies fro as the medial word. I punctuate, however, to recognize Usk's loose ablative absolute construction.
1077-78 Schaar: "Skeat's additions do not agree with the statement that both actions were done out of free will; no emendation seems necessary, and for if that with free wil there had it not willed, neyther had wrought that he perfourmed is a literal and awkward translation of St Anselm's `quia si non sponte voluisset, neuter quod fecit fecisset'" (p. 44).
1080 seyntes. Th: sentence. Jellech's emendation, followed by Leyerle.
1085 and the grettest. At this point, Thynne's text must be rearranged one final time.
1090 pamflet. Leyerle (p. 415):
A pamflet is a small treatise occupying fewer pages than would make a book. The word is, apparently, a generalized use of Pamphilet, a familiar name of a twelfth-century Latin amatory poem Pamphilus seu de amore. Usk's use is the first in English, and it may have a sense still connected with its source: "a short work about love."1098 of. Not in Th. Supplied by Skeat and Leyerle.
1115 booke amender. A request for prayers and for the reader's indulgence was a conventional conclusion of the medieval writer. See C.S. Lewis (1964), p. 195.
1125-26 spyrite that yeveth lyfe. Compare John 6.63.
1127 The letter sleeth. See 2 Corinthians 3.6.
1128-29 God graunt us . . . . Skeat: "Printed as prose in Thynne; but two riming verses seem to be intended. If so, al-le is dissyllabic" (p. 484).
Of nombre, sayne these clerkes, that it is naturel somme of discrete thynges, as in
tellynge one, two, thre, and so forth, but amonge al nombres thre is determyned for
moste certayne. Wherfore in nombre certayne this werke of my besy leudenesse I
thynke to ende and parfourme. Ensample by this worlde in thre tymes is devyded: of
whiche the firste is cleped Deviacion, that is to say, goyng out of trewe way; and al that
tho dyeden, in hel were they punisshed for a mans synne, tyl grace and mercy fette hem
thence, and there ended the firste tyme. The seconde tyme lasteth from the commyng
of merciable grace untyl the ende of transytorie tyme, in whiche is shewed the true way
in fordoynge of the badde, and that is ycleped tyme of Grace. And that thynge is not
yeven by deserte of yeldynge one benefyte for another, but onely through goodnesse of
the yever of grace in thilke tyme. Whoso can wel understande is shapen to be saved in
souled blysse. The thirde tyme shal gyn whan transytorie thynges of worldes han made
their ende, and that shal ben in Joye, glorie, and rest, both body and soule, that wel han
deserved in the tyme of grace. And thus in that heven togyther shul they dwel perpetuelly
without any ymaginatyfe yvel in any halve. These tymes are fygured by tho thre dayes
that our God was closed in erthe, and in the thirde arose shewyng our resurrection to
joye and blysse of tho that it deserven by his merciable grace. So this leude boke in thre
maters accordaunt to tho tymes lightly by a good inseer maye ben understonde as in the
firste, erroure of mysse goynge is shewed with sorowful pyne punysshed that cryed
after mercy. In the seconde, is grace in good waye proved, whiche is faylinge without
deserte, thylke first mysse amendynge in correction of tho erroures and even waye to
bringe with comforte of welfare in to amendement wexynge. And in the thirde, joye and
blysse graunted to hym that wel canne deserve it and hath savour of understandynge in
the tyme of grace. Thus in joye of my thirde boke shal the mater be tyl it ende. But
special cause I have in my hert to make this processe of a Margarit peerle that is so
precious a gemme, whit, clere and lytel, of whiche stones or jewel the tonges of us
Englissh people tourneth the right names and clepeth hem "Margery perles." Thus varyeth
our speche from many other langages, for trewly, Latyn, Frenche, and many mo other
langages cleapeth hem Margery perles the name Margarites or Margarite perles; wherfore
in that denomynacion I wol me acorde to other mens tonges in that name clepyng.
These clerkes that treaten of kyndes and studyen out the propertie there of thynges
sayne the Margarite is a lytel whyte perle, throughout holowe and rounde and vertuous,
and, on the see sydes in the more Britayne, in muskle shelles, of the hevenly dewe the
best ben engendred; in whiche by experience ben founde thre fayre vertues. One is, it
yeveth comforte to the felyng spyrites in bodily persones of reason. Another is good: it
is profytable helthe ayenst passyons of sorie mens hertes. And the thirde, it is nedeful
and noble in staunchyng of bloode, there els to moche wolde out ren. To whiche perle
and vertues me lyst to liken at this tyme Philosophie with her thre speces, that is, natural
and moral and resonable, of whiche thynges hereth what sayne these great clerkes.
Philosophie is knowyng of devynly and manly thinges joyned with studye of good
lyvyng, and this stante in two thynges: that is connynge and opinyon. Connynge is
whan a thyng by certayne reson is conceyved. But wretches and fooles and leude men,
many wyl conceyve a thyng and mayntayne it as for sothe, though reson be in the
contrarye, wherfore connynge is a straunger. Opinyon is whyle a thyng is in non
certayne and hydde from mens very knowlegyng, and by no parfyte reason fully de-
clared as thus: if the sonne be so mokel as men wenen, or els if it be more than the
erthe. For in sothnesse the certayn quantyté of that planet is unknowen to erthly dwell-
ers, and yet by opinyon of some men it is holden for more than mydle erth. The first
spece of philosophie is naturel, whiche in kyndely thynges treten and sheweth causes
of heven and strength of kyndely course, as by arsmetrike, geometry, musyke, and by
astronomye techeth wayes and course of hevens, of planetes, and of sterres aboute
heven and erthe and other elementes. The seconde spece is moral, whiche in order of
lyvyng maners techeth, and by reson proveth vertues of soule moste worthy in our
lyveng; whiche ben prudence, justyce, temperaunce, and strength. Prudence is goodly
wysdome in knowyng of thynges. Strength voydeth al adversitees alyche even. Temp-
eraunce distroyeth beestyal lyveng with easy bearyng. And justyce rightfully jugeth,
and jugyng departeth to every wight that is his owne. The thirde spece turneth into
reason of understandyng al thynges to be sayd soth and discussed, and that in two
thynges is devyded. One is arte, another is rethorike, in whiche two al lawes of mans
reason ben grounded, or els maintayned. And for this booke is al of love and therafter
beareth his name, and phylosophie and lawe muste hereto acorden by their clergyal
discripcions -- as phylosophie for love of wisdome is declared, lawe for mainteynaunce
of peace is holden -- and these with love must nedes acorden, therfore of hem in this
place have I touched. Ordre of homly thinges and honest maner of lyvynge in vertue
with right ful jugement in causes and profitable administration in commynalties of
realmes and cytes by evenhed profitably to raigne nat by singuler avauntage, ne by
privé envy, ne by soleyn purpose in covetise of worship or of goodes, ben disposed in
open rule shewed by love, philosophy, and lawe, and yet love toforn al other. Wherfore
as susterne in unité they accorden, and one ende -- that is peace and rest -- they
causen norisshinge, and in the joye maynteynen to endure.
Nowe than, as I have declared: my boke acordeth with discription of thre thynges,
and the Margarit in vertue is lykened to Philosophy, with her thre speces. In whiche
maters ever twey ben acordaunt with bodily reason, and the thirde with the soule. But
in conclusyon of my boke and of this Margarite peerle in knyttynge togider, lawe by
thre sondrie maners shal be lykened; that is to saye, lawe, right, and custome, whiche
I wol declare. Al that is lawe cometh of Goddes ordynance by kyndly worchyng, and
thilke thynges ordayned by mannes wyttes arn ycleped right, which is ordayned by
many maners and in constitution written. But custome is a thyng that is accepted for
right or for lawe, there as lawe and right faylen, and there is no difference whether it
come of scripture or of reason. Wherfore it sheweth that lawe is kyndly governaunce.
Right cometh out of mannes probable reson; and custome is of commen usage by
length of tyme used, and custome nat writte is usage; and if it be writte, constitutyon it
is ywritten and ycleped. But lawe of kynde is commen to every nation, as conjunction
of man and woman in love, succession of children in heritance, restitution ofthyng by
strength taken or lent, and this lawe among al other halte the soveraynest gree in wor-
ship, whiche lawe began at the begynnyng of reasonable creature. It varyed yet never
for no chaungyng of tyme. Cause, forsothe, in ordaynyng of lawe was to constrayne
mens hardynesse into peace, and withdrawing his yvel wyl, and turnyng malyce into
goodnesse, and that innocence sykerly withouten teneful anoye amonge shrewes safely
might inhabyte by protection of safe-conducte, so that the shrewes, harme for harme,
by bridle of ferdenesse shulden restrayne. But, forsothe, in kyndely lawe nothynge is
commended but such as Goddes wyl hath confyrmed, ne nothyng denyed but
contraryoustie of Goddes wyl in heven. Eke, than al lawes or custome or els constitucion
by usage or writyng that contraryen lawe of kynde utterly ben repugnaunt and adversarye
to our Goddes wyl of heven. Trewly, lawe of kynde for Goddes own lusty wyl is verily
to maintayne, under which lawe (and unworthy) bothe professe and reguler arne
obedyencer and bounden to this Margarite perle as by knotte of loves statutes and
stablysshment in kynde whiche that goodly maye not ben withsetten. Lo, under this
bonde am I constrayned to abyde, and man under lyveng lawe ruled; by that lawe
oweth after desertes to ben rewarded by payn or by mede, but if mercy weyve the
payne. So than be parte reasonfully may be sey that mercy bothe right and lawe
passeth. Th'entent of al these maters is, at the lest clere understanding, to weten at
th'ende of this thirde boke. Ful knowing thorowe Goddes grace I thynke to make
neverthelater yet, if these thynges han a good; and a sleight inseer, whiche that can
souke hony of the harde stone, oyle of the drye rocke, may lyghtly fele nobley of mater
in my leude ymagination closed. But for my boke shal be of joye (as I said) and I so
ferre set fro thilke place fro whens gladnesse shulde come, my corde is to short to let
my boket ought catch of that water, and fewe men be abouten my corde to eche, and
many in ful purpose ben redy it shorter to make and to enclose th'entré, that my boket
of joye nothing shulde catch, but empty returne, my careful sorowes to encrese. And
if I dye for payne, that were gladnesse at their hertes. Good Lorde sende me water into
the cop of these mountayns, and I shal drynke therof my thurstes to stanch, and sey,
"these be comfortable welles; in to helth of goodnesse of my saviour am I holpen." And
yet I saye more: the house of joye to me is nat opened. How dare my sorouful goost
than in any mater of gladnesse thynken to trete? For ever sobbynges and complayntes
be redy refrete in his meditations, as werbles in manyfold stoundes commyng about I
not than. And therfore, what maner of joye coude I endite? But yet at dore shal I knocke
if the key of David wolde the locke unshyt, and He bring me in, whiche that childrens
tonges both openeth and closeth, whose spirite where He wel worcheth departyng
goodly as Him lyketh.
Nowe to Goddes laude and reverence, profite of the reders, amendement of maners
of the herers, encresyng of worship among loves servauntes, relevyng of my hert into
grace of my jewel, and frenship plesance of this peerle, I am stered in this makyng and
for nothyng els. And if any good thyng to mennes lyking in this scripture be founde,
thanketh the Maister of grace, whiche that of that good and al other is authour and
principal doer. And if any thing be insufficient or els myslyking, wyte that the leudnesse
of myne unable connyng, for body in disese anoyeth the understanding in soule. A
disesely habitation letteth the wyttes in many thinges and namely in sorowe. The custome,
neverthelater, of love be long tyme of service in termes I thinke to pursue, whiche
ben lyvely to yeve understandyng in other thynges. But nowe to enform thee of this
Margarites goodnesse I may her nat halfe preyse. Wherfore nat she for my boke, but
this boke for her is worthy to be commended, tho my boke be leude; right as thinges
nat for places, but places for thynges, ought to be desyred and praysed.
"Nowe," quod Love, "trewly thy wordes I have wel understonde. Certes, me thynketh
hem right good, and me wondreth why thou so lightly passest in the lawe." "Sothly,"
quod I, "my wyt is leude and I am right blynde, and that mater depe. Howe shulde I
than have waded? Lightly might I have drenched and spilte ther my selfe." "Yea," quod
she, "I shal helpe thee to swym. For right as lawe punyssheth brekers of preceptes and
the contrary doers of the written constitutions, right so ayenwarde lawe rewardeth and
yeveth mede to hem that lawe strengthen. By one lawe this rebel is punisshed and this
innocent is meded; the shrewe is enprisoned and this rightful is corowned. The same
lawe that joyneth by wedlocke without forsakyng, the same lawe yeveth lybel of
departicion bycause of devorse both demed and declared." "Ye, ye," quod I, "I fynde in
no lawe to mede and rewarde in goodnes the gyltie of desertes." "Fole," quod she,
"gyltie converted in your lawe mykel merite deserveth. Also Paulyn of Rome was
crowned that by him the maynteyners of Pompeus weren knowen and distroyed; and
yet toforne was this Paulyn chefe of Pompeus counsaile. This lawe in Rome hath yet
his name of mesuring in mede the bewrayeng of the conspiracy. Ordayned by tho
senatours, the dethe of Julyus Cesar is acompted into Catons right wisnesse, for ever in
trouth florissheth his name amonge the knowers of treason. Perdicas was crowned in
the heritage of Alexander the great for tellynge of a prevy hate that kynge Porrus to
Alexander hadde. Wherfore every wight, by reason of lawe after his rightwysenesse
apertely, his mede may chalenge; and so thou that maynteynest lawe of kynde and
therfore disease hast suffred in the lawe rewarde is worthy to be rewarded and ordayned,
and apartly thy mede might thou chalenge." "Certes," quod I, "this have I wel lerned,
and ever hensforward I shal drawe me therafter in onehed of wyl to abide, this lawe
bothe mayntene and kepe, and so hope I best entre into your grace wel deservynge into
worship of a wight without nedeful compulsion ought medefully to be rewarded."
"Truly," quod Love, "that is sothe, and tho by constitution good service into profite
and avauntage stretch, utterly many men it demen to have more desert of mede than
good wyl nat compelled." "Se now," quod I, "howe may men holden of this the con-
trary. And what is good service? Of you wolde I here this question declared." "I shal
say thee," quod she, "in a fewe wordes: resonable workynges in plesaunce and profite
of thy soverayne."
"Howe shulde I this performe?" quod I. "Right wel," quod she, "and here me nowe a
lytel. It is hardely," quod she, "to understande that right as mater by due overchaungynges
foloweth his perfection and his forme, right so every man by rightful werkynges ought
to folowe the leful desyres in his hert and se toforn to what ende he deserveth. For
many tymes he that loketh nat after th'endes, but utterly therof is unknowen, befalleth
often many yvels to done, wherthrough er he be ware, shamefully he is confounded.
Th'ende ther of neden to be before loked. To every desirer of suche foresight in good
service, thre thynges specially nedeth to be rulers in his workes. First, that he do good;
next that he do by electyon in his owne hert; and the thirde, thathe do godly withouten
any surquedry in thoughtes. That your werkes shulden be good, in servyce or in any
other actes, authorites many may be aleged; neverthelater, by reason thus maye it be
shewed. Al your werkes be cleped seconde and moven in vertue of the Firste Wercher,
whiche in good workes wrought you to procede, and right so your werkes moven into
vertue of the laste ende; and right in the first workynge were nat, no man shulde in the
seconde werche. Right so, but ye feled to what ende, and seen their goodnes closed, ye
shuld no more recche what ye wrought; but the gynnyng gan with good, and there shal
it cease in the last ende, if it be wel consydred. Wherfore the myddle, if other wayes it
drawe than accordant to the endes, there stynteth the course of good, and another
maner course entreth. And so it is a partie by himselve, and every parte be nat
accordant to his al, is foule and ought to be eschewed. Wherfore every thinge that
is wrought and be nat good is nat accordant to th'endes of his al hole. It is foule and
ought to be withdrawe. Thus the persons that neither don good ne harme shamen foule
their makyng: Wherfore without workyng of good actes in good service may no man
ben accepted. Truely, the ilke that han might to do good and done it nat, the crowne of
worship shal be take from hem, and with shame shul they be anulled. And so to make
one werke acordant with his endes, every good servaunt, by reason of consequence,
muste do good nedes. Certes, it suffiseth nat alone to do good, but goodly withal
folowe. The thanke of goodnesse els in nought he deserveth. For right as al your being
come from the greatest good in whom al goodnesse is closed, right so your endes ben
directe to the same good. Aristotel determyneth that ende and good ben one and con-
vertible in understanding, and he that in wyl doth away good, and he that loketh nat to
th'ende, loketh nat to good. But he that doth good and doth nat goodly and draweth
away the direction of th'ende nat goodly, must nedes be bad. Lo, badde is nothing els
but absence or negatyfe of good, as derkenesse is absence or negatyve of lyght. Than
he that doth nat goodly directeth thilke good in to th'ende of badde. So muste thyng nat
good folowe; eke, badnesse to suche folke ofte foloweth. Thus contrariaunt workers
of th'ende that is good ben worthy the contrary of th'ende that is good to have."
"How," quod I, "may any good dede be done but if goodly it helpe?" "Yes," quod Love,
"the devyl dothe many good dedes, but goodly he leveth behynde. For ever badly and in
disceyvable wyse he worketh, wherfore the contrary of th'ende him foloweth. And do
he never so many good dedes bicause goodly is away, his goodnes is nat rekened. Lo,
than, tho a man do good, but he do goodly, th'ende in goodnesse wol nat folowe, and
thus in good service both good dede and goodly done musten joyne togider and that it be
done with free choise in hert; and els deserveth he nat the merite in goodnes -- that wol
I prove. For if thou do anythyng good by chaunce or by happe, in what thyng art thou
therof worthy to be commended? For nothing by reason of that turneth into thy praysing
ne lackyng. Lo, thilke thing done by hap by thy wyl is nat caused, and therby shulde I
thanke or lacke deserve? And sythen that fayleth th'ende which that wel shulde, rewarde
must neds faile. Clerkes sayn no man but wyllynge is blessed; a good dede that he hath
done is nat done of free choice wyllyng, without whiche blyssednesse may nat folowe.
Ergo, neither thanke of goodnesse ne service in that is contrary of the good ende, so
than to good service longeth good dede goodly don thorowe fre choice in hert." "Truely,"
quod I, "this have I wel understande." "Wel," quod she, "every thyng thus done suffi-
ciently by lawe that is cleped justice may after-rewarde claym. For lawe and justice was
ordayned in this wise suche desertes in goodnesse after quantité in doynge by mede to
rewarde; and of necessyté of suche justyce, that is to say, rightwysenesse, was free
choice in deservyng of wel or of yvel graunted to resonable creatures. Every man hath
free arbitrement to chose good or yvel to performe." "Nowe," quod I tho, "if I by my
good wyl deserve this Margarit perle and am nat therto compelled, and have free choice
to do what me lyketh, she is than holden as me thynketh to rewarde th'entent of my
good wyl." "Goddes forbode els," quod Love, "no wight meaneth otherwise, I trowe.
Free wyl of good hert after-mede deserveth." "Hath every man," quod I, "fre choice by
necessary maner of wyl in every of his doynges that him lyketh by Goddes proper
purvyaunce? I wolde se that wel declared to my leude understanding, for `necessary'
and `necessyté' ben wordes of mokel entention, closyng (as to saye) `so mote it be
nedes,' and `otherwyse may it nat betyde.'" "This shalt thou lern," quod she, "so thou
take hede in my speche. If it were nat in mannes owne lyberté of fre wyl to do good or
bad, but to the one teyed by bonde of Goddes preordynaunce, than do he never so wel
it were by nedeful compulcion of thilk bonde and nat by fre choice, wherby nothyng he
desyreth; and, do he never so yvel, it were nat man for to wyte, but onelych to him that
suche thyng ordayned him to done. Wherfore he ne ought for bad be punished ne for no
good dede be rewarded, but of necessité of rightwisnesse was therfore fre choice of
arbitrement put in mans proper disposition. Truely, if it were otherwise, it contraried
Goddes charité that badnesse and goodnesse rewardeth after desert of payn or of mede."
"Me thynketh this wonder," quod I, "for God by necessité forwote al thynges comyng,
and so mote it nedes be; and thilke thinges that ben don be our fre choice comen nothing
of necessité but onely be wyl. Howe may this stonde togyther? And so me thynketh
truely that fre choyce fully repugneth Goddes forwetyng. Trewly, lady, me semeth
they mowe nat stande togyther."
Than gan Love nygh me nere and with a noble countenance of visage and lymmes
dressed her nigh my sytting place. "Take forth," quod she, "thy pen and redily write
these wordes, for if God wol I shal hem so enforme to thee that thy leudnesse which I
have understand in that mater shal openly be clered, and thy sight in ful loking therin
amended. First, if thou thynke that Goddes prescience repugne lyberté of arbetry of
arbitrement, it is impossible that they shulde accorde in onheed of sothe to
understonding." "Ye," quod I, "forsothe, so I it conceyve." "Wel," quod she, "if thilke
impossible were away, the repugnaunce that semeth to be therin were utterly removed."
"Shewe me the absence of that impossibilyté," quod I. "So," quod she, "I shal. Nowe
I suppose that they mowe stande togider: prescience of God whom foloweth necessité
of thinges commyng and lyberté of arbitrement thorowe whiche thou belevest many
thinges to be without necessité." "Bothe these proporcions be sothe," quod I, "and wel
mowe stande togider wherfore this case as possyble I admyt." "Truely," quod she,
"and this case is impossible." "Howe so?" quod I. "For herof," quod she, "foloweth
and wexeth another impossyble." "Prove me that," quod I. "That I shal," quod she,
"for somthing is commyng without necessyté, and God wot that toforn, for al thing
commyng He before wot, and that He beforn wot of necessyté is commyng; as He
beforne wot be the case. By necessary maner than or els thorowe necessité is somthyng
to be without necessité and wheder to every wight that hath good understanding is
seen these thynges to be repugnaunt: Prescience of God, whiche that foloweth
necessyté, and lyberté of arbytrement, fro whiche is removed necessyté, for truely, it is
necessary that God have forwetyng of thing withouten any necessité commynge." "Ye,"
quod I, "but yet remeve ye nat away fro myne understandyng the necessyté folowyng
Goddes beforewetyng, as thus: God beforne wote me in service of love to be bounden
to this Margarite perle, and therfore by necessité thus to love am I bounde, and if I nat
had loved, thorowe necessyté had I ben kepte from al love dedes." "Certes," quod
Love, "bicause this mater is good and necessary to declare, I thynke herein wel to
abyde and not lyghtly to passe. Thou shalte not," quod she, "say al onely, `God beforne
wote me to be a lover or no lover,' but thus: `God beforne wote me to be a lover without
necessyté.' And so it foloweth, whether thou love or not love every of hem is and shal
be. But nowe thou seest the impossibylité of the case, and the possibylité of thilke that
thou wendest had been impossyble, wherfore the repugnaunce is adnulled." "Ye," quod
"and yet do ye not a waye the strength of necessyté whan it is said, through necessyté
it is me in love to abyde, or not to love without necessyté, for God beforne wote it. This
maner of necessyté, forsothe, semeth to some men into coaction, that is to sayne,
constraynyng, or else prohibycion, that is defendynge, wherfore necessyté is me to
love of wyl. I understande me to be constrayned by some privy strength to the wyl of
lovynge, and if no love, to be defended from the wyl of lovynge, and so thorowe
necessyté me semeth to love, for I love; or els not to love, if I not love, wherthrough
neyther thanke ne maugre in tho thynges maye I deserve."
"Nowe," quod she, "thou shalte wel understande that often we sayne thynge thorowe
necessyté to be that by no strength to be neyther is coarted ne constrayned, and throughe
necessyté not to be that with no defendynge is removed. For we sayne it is thorowe
necessyté God to be immortal, nought deedlyche, and it is necessyté God to be rightful,
but not that any strength of violente maner constrayneth him to be immortal, or defendeth
him to be unrightful, for nothing may make him dedly or unrightful. Right so, if I say
thorowe necessyté is thee to be a lover or els none, onely thorowe wyl as God beforne
wete, it is nat to understonde that anythyng defendeth or forbit thee thy wyl, whiche
shal nat be, or els constrayneth it to be whiche shal be. That same thynge, forsoth, God
before wot, whiche He beforn seeth, anythyng commende of onely wyl, that wyl neyther
is constrayned ne defended thorowe any other thing. And so thorowe lyberté of
arbitrement it is do that is done of wyl. And trewly, my good childe, if these thynges be
wel understond, I wene that non inconvenyent shalt thou fynde betwene Goddes
forwetyng and lyberté of arbitrement, wherfore I wot wel they may stande togider.
Also farthermore, who that understandyng of prescience properlych consydreth, thorowe
the same wyse that any thyng be afore wyst is said, for to be commyng it is pro-
nounced, there is nothing toforn wist but thing commyng. Foreweting is but of trouth;
dout may nat be wyst: wherfore whan I sey that God toforn wote anythyng, thorowe
necessyté is thilke thyng to be commyng. Al is one if I sey if it shal be, but this necessyté
neither constrayneth ne defendeth anythyng to be or nat to be. Therfore, sothly, if love
is put to be, it is said of necessyté to be; or els for it is put nat to be, it is affirmed nat to
be of necessyté, nat for that necessité constrayneth or defendeth love to be or nat to be.
For whan I say if love shal be of necessité it shal be, here foloweth necessyté, the thyng
toforne put. It is as moch to say as if it were thus pronounced `that thyng shal be.'
None other thyng signifyeth this necessyté but onely thus, that shal be may nat togider
be and nat be. Evenlych also it is soth, love was, and is, and shal be nat of necessyté.
And nede is to have be al that was, and nedeful is to be al that is, and commyng to al
that shal be. And it is nat the same to saye, love to be passed, and love passed to be
passed; or love present to be present, and love to be present; or els love to be commynge,
and love commynge to be commyng: dyversité in settyng of wordes maketh dyversité
in understandynge, altho in the same sentence they accorden of signification, right as it
is nat al one, love swete to be swete, and love to be swete. For moch love is bytter and
sorouful er hertes ben eased, and yet it gladeth thilke sorouful hert on suche love to
thynke." "Forsothe," quod I, "outherwhile I have had mokel blysse in hert of love that
stoundmele hath me sorily anoyed. And certes, lady, for I se myselfe thus knit with this
Margarite peerle as by bonde of your servyce and of no lyberté of wyl, my hert wyl
nowe nat acorde this servyce to love. I can demyn in myselfe non otherwise, but
thorowe necessité am I constrayned in this service to abyde. But alas. Than if I thorowe
nedeful compulsioun maugre me be withholde, lytel thanke for al my great traveil have
I than deserved." "Nowe," quod this lady, "I saye as I sayde: me lyketh this mater to
declare at the ful, and why. For many men have had dyvers fantasyes and reasons,
both on one syde therof and in the other. Of whiche right sone, I trowe, if thou wolt
understonde, thou shalte con yeve the sentence to the partie more probable by reason
and in soth knowing, by that I have of this mater maked an ende." "Certes," quod I,
"of these thynges longe have I had great luste to be lerned, for yet I wene Goddes wyl
and His prescience acordeth with my service in lovynge of this precious Margarite
perle, after whom ever in my hert with thurstyng desire weete, I do brenne. Unwastyng
I langour and fade, and the day of my desteny in dethe or in joye I unbyde, but yet in
th'ende I am comforted be my supposaile in blysse and in joye to determyne after my
desyres." "That thyng," quod Love, "hastely to thee neigh, God graunt of His grace and
mercy, and this shal be my prayer, tyl thou be lykende in herte at thyne owne wyl. But
nowe to enforme thee in this mater," quod this lady, "thou wost where I lefte; that was
love to be swete, and love swete to be swete, is nat al one for to say. For a tree is nat
alway by necessité white. Somtyme, er it were white, it myght have be nat white, and
after tyme it is white it maye be nat white. But a whyte tree evermore nedeful is to be
white, for neither toforn ne after it was white myght it be togider white and nat white.
Also love, by necessyté, is nat present as nowe in thee, for er it were present it myght
have be that it shulde nowe nat have be. And yet it maye be that it shal nat be present,
but thy love present, whiche to her, Margarite, thee hath bounde, nedeful is to be
present. Trewly, some doyng of action nat by necessyté is commynge, for toforn it be
it may be that it shal nat be commynge. Thyng, forsoth, commyng nedeful is to be
comming, for it may nat be that commyng shal nat be commyng. And right as I have
sayd of present and of future tymes, the same sentence in sothnesse is of the preterit,
that is to say, tyme passed, for thyng passed must nedes be passed. And er it were, it
might have nat be, wherfore it shulde nat have passed. Right so whan love comming is
said of love that is to come, nedeful is to be that is said; for thing commyng never is nat
commynge, and so ofte the same thynge we sayn of the same, as whan we sayne,
`every man is a man,' or `every lover is a lover,' so muste it be nedes. In no waye may
he be man and no man togider. And if it be nat by necessité, that is to say nedeful, al
thyng commyng to be commyng, than somthyng commyng is nat commynge, and that
is impossible. Right as these termes `nedeful,' `necessité,' and `necessary' betoken and
signify thyng nedes to be, and it may nat otherwise be, right as this terme `impossible'
signifieth that thyng is nat and by no way may it be, than thorowe pert necessité al
thyng commyng is commyng, but that is by necessité foloweth with nothyng to be
constrayned. Lo, whan that commyng is said of thynge nat alway thyng thorowe
necessité is, altho it be commyng. For if I say `tomorowe love is commyng in this
Margarites hert,' nat therfore thorow necessité shal the ilke love be. Yet it may be
that it shal nat be, altho it were commyng. Neverthelater, somtyme it is soth that
somthyng be of necessité that is sayd to come: as if I say tomorowe by commynge the
risynge of the sonne. If therfore with necessité I pronounce commyng of thyng to
come, in this maner love tomorne commynge in thyne Margarite to thee-warde, by
necessité is commynge, or els the risyng of the sonne tomorne commynge through
necessité is commynge. Love, sothely, whiche may nat be of necessyté alone folowynge,
thorowe necessyté commyng it is made certayne. For futur of future is said; that is to
sayn, commyng of commynge is said; as if to morowe commyng is thorow necessité,
commynge it is. Arisyng of the sonne thorowe two necessités in commyng, it is to
understande that one is to forgoing necessité, whiche maketh thyng to be; therfore it
shal be, for nedeful is that it be. Another is folowyng necessité whiche nothyng
constrayneth to be, and so by necessyté it is to come. Why? For it is to come. Nowe
than whan we sayn that God beforn wot thyng commyng, nedeful is to be commyng,
yet therfore make we nat in certayne evermore, thynge to be thorowe necessité
commynge. Sothly, thyng commyng maye nat be nat commyng by no way, for it is the
same sentence of understandyng; as if we say thus: If God beforn wot anythyng,
nedeful is that to be commyng. But yet therfore foloweth nat the prescience of God
thyng thorowe necessité to be commyng. For altho God toforn wote al thinges
commyng, yet nat therfore He beforn wot every thyng commyng thorowe necessité.
Some thinges He beforn wot commyng of fre wyl out of resonable creature." "Certes,"
quod I, "these termes `nede' and `necessité' have a queynt maner of understandyng.
They wolden dullen many mennes wyttes." "Therfore," quod she, "I wol hem openly
declare and more clerely than I have toforn er I departe hense."
"Here of this mater," quod she, "thou shalte understande that right as it is nat nedeful
God to wylne that He wyl, no more in many thynges is nat nedeful a man to wylne that
he wol. And ever right as nedeful is to be what that God wol, right so to be it is nedeful
that man wol in tho thynges whiche that God hath put into mannes subjection of wyllynge:
as if a man wol love that he love; and if he ne wol love, that he love nat; and of suche
other thynges in mannes disposition. For why nowe than, that God wol may nat be
whan He wol the wyl of man thorowe no necessyté to be constrayned or els defended
for to wylne, and he wol th'effecte to folow the wyl, than is it nedeful wyl of man to be
fre, and also to be that he wol. In this maner it is soth that thorowe necessité is mannes
werke in lovyng that he wol do, altho he wol it not with necessyté." Quod I than,
"Howe stante it in love of thilke wyl, sythen men loven willyng of free choyce in herte?
Wherfore, if it be thorowe necessyté I praye you lady of an answere this questyon to
assoyle." "I wol," quod she, "answere thee blyvely. Right as men wyl not thorowe
necessyté, right so is not love of wyl thorowe necessyté, ne thorowe necessyté wrought
thilke same wyl. For if he wolde it not with good wyl, it shulde nat have ben wrought,
although that he dothe, it is nedeful to be doone. But if a man do synne, it is nothyng els
but to wyl that he shulde not. Right so synne of wyl is not to be maner necessary done,
no more than wyl is necessarye. Neverthelater, this is sothe: if a man wol synne, it is
necessarye him to synne, but through thilke necessyté nothyng is constrayned ne de-
fended in the wyl, right so thilke thynge that fre wyl wol and maye, and not may not
wylne. And nedeful is that to wylne he maye not wylne, but thilke to wylne nedeful is;
for impossyble to him it is one thyng and the same to wylne he may not wylne. But thilk
to wylne nedeful is; for impossyble to him it is one thyng and the same to wylne and not
to wylne. The werke, forsothe, of wyl to whome it is yeve that it be that he hath in wyl,
and that he wol not, voluntarie or spontanye it is, for by spontanye wyl it is do, that is
to saye, with good wyl not constrayned: than by wyl not constrayned it is constrayned
to be, and that is it may not togyther be. If this necessyté maketh lybertie of wyl whiche
that, aforne they weren, they might have ben eschewed and shonned. God than, whiche
that knoweth al truthe, and nothynge but truthe, al these thynges as they arne spontanye
or necessarie seeth; and as He seeth, so they ben. And so with these thynges wel
consydred it is open at the ful that without al maner repugnaunce God beforne wote al
maner thynges ben done by fre wyl whiche, aforne they weren, might have ben
never they shulde be. And yet ben they thorowe a maner necessyté from fre wyl
"Hereby maye," quod she, "lightly ben knowe that not al thinges to be is of necessyté,
though God have hem in His prescience. For somthynges to be is of lybertie of wyl.
And to make thee to have ful knowynge of Goddes beforne-wetyng, here me," quod
she, "what I shal say." "Blythly lady," quod I, "me lyst this mater entyrely to understande."
"Thou shalte," quod she, "understande that in heven is Goddes beynge; although He be
over al by power, yet there is abydinge of devyne persone, in whiche heven is everlastynge
presence, withouten any movable tyme. There is nothyng preterit, ne passed; there is
nothyng future, ne commyng, but al thynges togider in that place ben present everlastyng,
without any mevyng. Wherfore, to God al thynge is as nowe; and though a thynge be
nat in kyndly nature of thynges, as yet, and if it shulde be herafter, yet evermore we
shul saye, `God it maketh be tyme present and nowe, for no future ne preterit in hym
may be founde.' Wherfore His wetyng and His before-wetyng is al one in understandyng.
Than if wetyng and before-wetyng of God putteth in necessité to al thynges whiche He
wot or before-wot, ne thyng after eternyté or els after any tyme He wol or dothe of
lyberté, but al of necessyté, whiche thyng if thou wene it be ayenst reason, nat thorowe
necessyté to be or nat to be, al thinge that God wot or before-wot to be or nat to be,
and yet nothynge defendeth anythynge to be wyst or to be before-wist of Him in our
wylles or our doynges to be done, or els commynge to be for free arbitrement. Whan
thou haste these declarations wel understande, than shalt thou fynde it resonable at
prove and that many thinges be nat thorowe necessyté, but thorowe lyberté of wyl,
save necessyté of free wyl, as I tofore said, and, as me thynketh, al utterly declared."
"Me thynketh lady," quod I, "so I shulde you nat displease and evermore your rever-
ence to kepe that these thynges contraryen in any understandyng, for ye sayne, somtyme
is thorowe lyberté of wyl and also thorowe necessité. Of this have I yet no savour,
without better declaration." "What wonder," quod she, "is there in these thynges, sithen
al day thou shalte se at thyne eye in many thynges receyven in hemselfe revers, thorow
dyvers reasons, as thus: I pray thee," quod she, "which thinges ben more revers than
`comen' and `gone?'For if I bydde thee `come to me,' and thou come, after,
whan I bydde thee `go' and thou go, thou reversest fro thy first commyng." "That is soth,"
quod I. "And yet," quod she, "in thy first alone by dyvers reasone was ful reversynge
to understande." "As howe?" quod I. "That shal I shewe thee," quod she, "by ensample
of thynges that have kyndly movyng. Is there any thyng that meveth more kyndly than
doth the hevens eye whiche I clepe the sonne?" "Sothly," quod I, "me semeth it most
kyndly to move." "Thou sayest soth," quod she. "Than if thou loke to the sonne in
what parte he be under heven evermore he heigheth him in movyng fro thilke place,
and higheth mevyng towarde the ilke same place; to thylke place from whiche he
gothe, he heigheth commynge, and without any ceasynge to that place he neigheth,
from whiche he is chaunged and withdrawe. But nowe in these thynges after dyversité
of reason, revers in one thinge may be sey without repugnaunce. Wherfore in the same
wyse, without any repugnaunce, by my reasons tofore maked, al is one to beleve,
somthyng to be thorowe necessyté comminge for it is commyng, and yet with no
necessité constrayned to be comming but with necessité that cometh out of free wyl, as
I have sayd." Tho lyst me a lytel to speke and gan stynt my penne of my writyng and
sayd in this wyse: "Trewly, lady, as me thynketh, I can allege authoritees gret that
contrarien your sayenges. Job saith of mannes person, `thou hast putte his terme,
whiche thou might not passe.' Than saye I that no man may shorte ne length the day
ordayned of his dying, altho somtyme to us it semeth some man to do a thynge of free
wyl, wher-thorowe his dethe he henteth." "Naye, forsothe," quod she, "it is nothing
ayenst my sayeng; for God is nat begiled, ne He seeth nothing wheder it shal come of
lyberté or els of necessyté, yet it is sayd to be ordayned at God immovable whiche at
man or it be done may be chaunged. Suche thyng also is that Poule the apostel saithe of
hem that tofore werne purposed to be sayntes, as thus: whiche that God before wyst
and hath predestyned conformes of ymages of his Sonne that He shulde ben the firste
begeten, that is to saye, here amonges many brethern. And whom He hath predestyned
hem He hath cleped, and whom He hath cleped hem He hath justifyed and whom He hath
justifyed hem He hath magnifyed. This purpose after whiche they ben cleped sayntes or
holy in the everlasting present wher is neither tyme passed ne tyme commynge, but
ever it is onely present, and nowe as mokel a moment as sevyn thousande wynter. And
so ayenwarde withouten any mevyng is nothyng lych temporel presence for thinge that
there is ever present. Yet amonges you men, er it be in your presence, it is movable
thorowe lyberté of arbytrement. And right as in the everlastyng present no maner thyng
was, ne shal be, but onely is, and nowe here in your temporel tyme, somthyng was and
is and shal be, but movynge stoundes, and in this is no maner repugnaunce, right so in
the everlastynge presence nothyng may be chaunged; and in your temporel tyme
otherwhile it is proved movable by lyberté of wyl or it be do withouten any incon-
venyence therof to folowe. In your temporel tyme is no suche presence as in the t'other,
for your present is done whan passed and to come gynnen entre, whiche tymes here
amonges you everych easely foloweth other. But the presence everlastyng dureth in
onehed withouten any ymaginable chaungyng, and ever is present and nowe. Trewly,
the course of the planettes and overwhelmynges of the sonne in dayes and nightes with
a newe gynnyng of his circute after it is ended, that is to sayn, one yere to folowe
another -- these maken your transitory tymes with chaungynge of lyves and mutation
of people. But right as your temporel presence coveyteth every place, and al thinges in
every of your tymes be contayned, and as nowe both sey and wist to Goddes very
knowynge." "Than," quod I, "me wondreth why Poule spake these wordes by voice of
signification in tyme passed that God His sayntes before-wist hath predestined, hath
cleped, hath justifyed, and hath magnified. Me thynketh he shulde have sayde tho
wordes in tyme present and that had ben more accordaunt to the everlastyng present
than to have spoke in preterit voice of passed understandyng."
"O," quod Love, "by these wordes I se wel thou hast lytel understandyng of the
everlastyng presence, or els of my before spoken wordes, for never a thing of tho thou
hast nempned was tofore other or after other, but al atones evenlych at the God ben,
and al togider in the everlastyng present be nowe to understandyng. The eternal pres-
ence, as I sayd, hath inclose togider in one al tymes in which close and one al thynges
that ben in dyvers tymes and in dyvers places temporel, without posteriorité or priorité
ben closed therin perpetual nowe and maked to dwel in present sight. But there thou
sayest that Poule shulde have spoke thilke forsaid sentence be tyme present, and that
most shulde have ben acordaunt to the everlastynge presence, why gabbest thou to thy
wordes? Sothly, I say, Poule moved the wordes by signification of tyme passed to
shewe fully that thilk wordes were nat put for temporel signification, for at thilk tyme
were nat thilke seintes temporallych borne whiche that Poule pronounced God have
tofore knowe and have cleped than magnified, wherthorowe it may wel be know that
Poule used tho wordes of passed signification for nede and lacke of a worde in mannes
bodily spech be tokenynge the everlastyng presence. And therfore in wordes moste
semelyche in lykenesse to everlastyng presence he toke his sentence, for thynges that
here beforne ben passed utterly be immovable, ilyke to the everlasting presence. As
thilke that ben there never mowe not ben present, so thynges of tyme passed ne mowe
in no wyse not ben passed. But al thinges in your temporal presence that passen in a
lytel while shullen ben not present. So than in that, it is more symilytude to the everlastyng
presence signification of tyme passed than of tyme temporal present, and so more in
accordaunce. In this maner, what thynge of these that ben done thorowe fre arbitrement,
or els as necessary, holy writte pronounceth. After eternyté he speketh, in whiche
presence is everlastyng sothe and nothyng but sothe immovable, nat after tyme in whiche
naught alway ben your wylles and your actes. And right as while they be nat it is nat
nedeful hem to be, so ofte it is nat nedeful that somtyme they shulde be." "As how?"
quod I, "for yet must I be lerned by some ensample." "Of love," quod she, "wol I nowe
ensample make, sithen I knowe the heed knotte in that yelke. Lo, somtyme thou wrytest
nat, ne arte than in no wyl to write. And right as while thou writest nat or els wolt nat
write, it is nat nedeful thee to write or els wylne to write. And for to make thee knowe
utterly that thynges ben otherwise in the everlastyng presence than in temporal tyme, se
nowe my good childe; for somthyng is in the everlastynge presence, than in temporal
tyme it was nat; in eternyté, tyme in eterne presence shal it nat be. Than no reason
defendeth that somthynge ne may be in tyme temporal movyng that in eterne is immov-
able. Forsothe, it is no more contrary ne revers for to be movable in tyme temporel,
and, immovable in eternyté, than nat to be in any tyme and to be alway in eternité and
have to be or els to come in tyme temporel, and nat have be ne nought commyng to be
in eternyté. Yet neverthelater, I say nat somthyng to be never in tyme temporel that ever
is in eternyté, but al onely in somtyme nat to be; for I saye nat thy love to morne in no tyme
to be, but today alone I deny ne it to be, and yet, neverthelater it is alwaye in eternyté."
"A so," quod I, "it semeth to me that commyng thyng or els passed here in your
temporal tyme to be in eternité ever nowe and present oweth nat to be denied; and yet
foloweth nat thylke thynge that was or els shal be, in no maner therto ben passed or els
commyng: than utterly shul we deny, for there without ceasyng it is, in his present
maner." "O," quod she, "myne own disciple nowe gynnest thou be able to have the
name of my servaunt. Thy wytte is clered; away is nowe errour of cloude in unconnyng,
awaye is blyndnesse of love, awaye is thoughtful study of medlyng maners. Hastely
shalte thou entre into the joye of me that am thyne owne maistres. Thou haste," quod
she, "in a fewe wordes wel and clerely concluded mokel of my mater. And right as there
is no revers ne contrarioustie in tho thynges, right so withouten any repugnaunce, it is
sayd somthyng to be movable in tyme temporel afore it be that in eternyté dwelleth
immovable, nat afore it be or after that it is, but without cessyng. For right naught is
there after tyme; that same is there everlastynge that temporallyche somtyme nys, and
toforne it be it maye not be, as I have sayd." "Nowe sothly," quod I, "this have I wel
understande, so that nowe me thynketh that prescience of God and fre arbytrement
withouten any repugnaunce acorden, and that maketh the strength of eternyté whiche
encloseth by presence duryng al tymes and al thinges that ben, han ben, and shul ben in
any tyme. I wolde nowe," quod I, "a lytel understande sythen that God al thyng thus
beforne wot, whether thilke wetynge be of tho thynges, or els thilke thynges ben to ben
of Goddes wetyng, and so of God nothynge is: and if every thyng be thorowe Goddes
wetyng and therof take His beyng, than shulde God be maker and auctour of badde
werkes, and so He shulde not ryghtfully punysshe yvel doynges of mankynde." Quod
Love, "I shal tel thee this lesson to lerne: myne owne trewe servaunt the noble philo-
sophical poete in Englissh whiche evermore hym besyeth and travayleth right sore my
name to encrease, wherfore al that wyllen me good owe to do him worshyp and rever-
ence bothe, trewly, his better ne his pere in schole of my rules coude I never fynde; he,"
quod she, "in a treatise that he made of my servant Troylus, hath this mater touched,
and at the ful this questyon assoyled. Certaynly his noble sayenges can I not amende: In
goodnes of gentyl manlyche speche without any maner of nycité of starieres ymagynacion
in wytte and in good reason of sentence he passeth al other makers. In the Boke of
Troylus the answere to thy questyon mayste thou lerne. Neverthelater, yet may lightly
thyne understandynge somdele ben lerned if thou have knowyng of these to fornsayd
thinges. With that thou have understandyng of two the laste chapiters of this seconde
boke, that is to say good to be somthyng and bad to want al maner beyng, for badde is
nothing els but absence of good, and that God in good maketh that good dedes ben
good, in yvel he maketh that they ben but naught that they ben bad; for to nothyng is
badnesse to be." "I have," quod I tho, "ynough knowyng therin. Me nedeth of other
thinges to here, that is to saye, howe I shal come to my blysse so longe desyred."
"In this mater toforn declared," quod Love, "I have wel shewed that every man hath
fre arbytrement of thinges in his power to do or undo what him lyketh. Out of this
grounde muste come the spire that by processe of tyme shal in greatnesse sprede to
have braunches and blosmes of waxyng frute in grace, of whiche the taste and the
savour is endelesse blysse in joy ever to onbyde."
"Nowe lady," quod I, "that tree to set fayne wolde I lerne." "So thou shalt," quod she,
"er thou departe hence. The first thing thou muste set thy werke on grounde syker and
good accordaunt to thy springes. For if thou desyre grapes thou goest not to the hasel;
ne for to fetchen roses thou sekest not on okes; and if thou shalt have honysoukels
thou leavest the frute of the soure docke. Wherfore, if thou desyre this blysse in parfite
joy, thou must set thy purpose there vertue foloweth and not to loke after the bodily
goodes, as I said whan thou were writyng in thy seconde booke. And for thou haste set
thyselfe in so noble a place and utterly lowed in thyn herte the misgoyng of thy first
purpose, this setling is the esyer to spring and the more lighter thy soule in grace to be
lyssed. And, trewly, thy desyre that is to say thy wyl algates mote ben stedfast in this
mater without any chaungynge, for if it be stedfast no man maye it voyde." "Yes,
parde," quod I, "my wyl maye ben turned by frendes and disease of manace and
thretnyng in lesynge of my lyfe and of my lymmes and in many otherwyse that nowe
cometh not to mynde. And also it mote ofte ben out of thought, for no remembraunce
may holde one thyng contynuelly in herte be it never so lusty desyred."
"Nowe se," quod she, "hou thy wyl shal folowe thy frewil to be grounded contynuelly
to abyde. It is thy fre wyl that thou lovest and haste loved and yet shal loven this
Margaryte perle, and in thy wyl thou thinkest to holde it. Than is thy wyl knyt in love,
not to chaunge for no newe lust besyde: this wyl teacheth thyn herte from al maner
varyeng. But than although thou be thretened in dethe or els in otherwyse, yet is it in
thyn arbytrement to chose thy love to voyde or els to holde: And thilke arbytrement is in
a maner a jugement bytwene desyre and thy herte. And if thou deme to love thy good
wyl fayleth, than arte thou worthy no blysse that good wyl shulde deserve. And if thou
chose contynuaunce in thy good servyce, than thy good wyl abydeth; nedes blysse
folowyng of thy goodwyl must come by strength of thilke jugement. For thy first wyl
that taught thyn herte to abyde and halte it from th'eschaunge, with thy reson is ac-
corded. Trewly, this maner of wyl thus shal abyde; impossible it were to turne if thy
hert be trewe, and if every man dyligently the menynges of his wyl consyder, he shal
wel understande that good wyl knyt with reason but in a false herte never is voyded.
For power and might of kepyng this good wyl is thorowe lyberté of arbytrement in hert,
but goodwil to kepe may not fayle. Eke, than if it fayle it sheweth it selfe that good wyl
in kepyng is not there. And thus false wyl that putteth out the good anone constrayneth
the herte to accorde in lovynge of thy goodwyl and this acordaunce bytwene false wyl
and thyn herte in falsyté ben lykened togyther. Yet a lytel wol I say thee in good wyl thy
good wylles to rayse and strength. Take hede to me," quod she, "howe thy wylles thou
shalt understande. Right as ye han in your body dyvers membres and fyve sondrie
wyttes, everyche aparte to his owne doyng whiche thynges as instrumentes ye usen as
your handes aparte to handle, fete to go, tonge to speke, eye to se, right so the soule
hath in him certayne sterynges and strengthes whiche he useth as instrumentes to his
certayne doynges. Reason is in the soule which he useth thinges to knowe and to prove,
and wyl whiche he useth to wylne; and yet is neyther wyl ne reason al the soule, but
everych of hem is a thing by himself in the soule. And right as everich hath thus singuler
instrumentes by hemselfe they han as wel dyvers aptes and dyvers maner usinges and
thilke aptes mowen in wyl ben cleped affections. Affection is an instrument of willynge
in his apetytes. Wherfore mokel folke sayn if a resonable creatures soule anythinge
fervently wylneth, affectuously he wylneth. And thus may wyl by terme of equivocas
in thre wayes ben understande: One is instrument of willing; another is affection of this
instrument; and the third is use that setteth it a werke. Instrument of willyng is thilke
strength of the soule which that constrayneth to wylne, right as reason is instrument of
resons which ye usen whan ye loken. Affection of this instrument is a thyng by whiche
ye be drawe desyrously any thyng to wylne in coveytous maner, albeit for the tyme out
of your mynde, as if it come in your thought thilke thyng to remembre anon ye ben
willyng thilke to done or els to have. And thus is instrument wyl -- and affection is wyl
also -- to wylne thynge as I sayd, as for to wylne helth whan wyl nothing theron
thinketh, for anon as it cometh to memorie it is in wyl, and so is affection to wylne slepe
whan it is out of mynde; but anon as it is remembred wyl wylneth slepe whan his tyme
cometh of the doynge. For affection of wyl never accordeth to sicknesse ne alway to
wake. Right so in a true lovers affection of willyng, instrument is to wylne truthe in his
servyce, and this affection alway abydeth, although he be slepyng or thretned or els not
theron thinkyng; but anon as it cometh to mynde, anon he is stedfast in that wyl to
abyde. Use of this instrument, forsothe, is another thing by himselfe, and that have ye
not but whan ye be doyng in wylled thing by affecte or instrument of wyl purposed or
desyred. And this maner of usage in my servyce wisely nedeth to be ruled from wayters
with envye closed, from spekers ful of jangeling wordes, from proude folk and hautayn
that lambes and innocentes bothe scornen and dispysen. Thus in doyng varieth the
actes of willynge everich from other, and yet ben they cleped wyl, and the name of wyl
utterly owen they to have, as instrument of wyl is wyl whan ye turne into purpose of
any thing to don, be it to syt or to stande or any such thing els. This instrument may ben
had, although affect and usage be left out of doyng, right as ye have sight and reson, and
yet alway use ye ne ought to loke thynges with resonnyng to prove. And so is instru-
ment of wyl wyl, and yet varyeth he from effecte and using bothe. Affection of wyl
also for wyl is cleped, but it varyeth from instrument in this maner wise by that name
lyche whan it cometh in to mynde anon right it is in wyllynge desyred; and the negatyfe
therof with wyllyng nyl not acorde. This is closed in herte, thoughe usage and instru-
ment slepe. This slepeth whan instrument and us waken: and of suche maner affection,
trewly, some man hath more and some man lesse. Certes trewe lovers wenen ever
therof to lytel to have. False lovers in lytel wenen have right mokel: Lo, instrument of
wyl in false and trewe bothe evenlyche is proporcioned, but affection is more in some
place than in some, bycause of the goodnesse that foloweth, and that I thynke herafter
to declare. Use of this instrument is wyl, but it taketh his name whan wylned thyng is in
doyng. But utterly grace to catche in thy blysse desyred to ben rewarded, thou muste
have than affection of wyl at the ful and use whan his tyme asketh wysely to ben
governed. Sothly, my discyple, without fervent affection of wil may no man ben saved.
This affection of good servyce in good love may not ben grounded without fervent
desyre to the thyng in wyl coveyted. But he that never retcheth to have or not to have
affection of wyl in that hath no restyng place. Why? For whan thing cometh to mynde
and it be not taken in hede to comyn or not come, therfore in that place affection
fayleth; and for thilke affection is so lytel thorow whiche in goodnesse he shulde come
to his grace, the lytelnesse wyl it not suffre to avayle by no way in to his helpes: Certes,
grace and reason thilke affection foloweth. This affection with reason knytte dureth in
everyche trewe herte and evermore is encreasyng; no ferdnesse no strength maye it
remove whyle truthe in herte abydeth. Sothly, whan falsheed gynneth entre truthe
draweth away -- grace and joy both; but than thilke falsheed that trouth hath thus
voyded hath unknyt the bonde of understandyng reason bytwene wyl and the herte.
And whoso that bonde undothe and unknytteth wyl to be in other purpose than to the
first accorde knytteth him with contrarye of reason, and that is unreason. Lo, than wyl
and unreson bringeth a man from the blisse of grace, which thyng of pure kynde every
man ought to shonne and to eschewe, and to the knot of wyl and reason confyrme. Me
thynketh," quod she, "by thy studyent lokes thou wenest in these wordes me to contrarien
from other sayenges here toforne in other place as whan thou were somtyme in affec-
tion of wyl to thinges that nowe han brought thee in disease, whiche I have thee counsayled
to voyde, and thyn herte discover. And there I made thy wyl to ben chaunged, whiche
now thou wenest I argue to witholde and to kepe. Shortly I say the revers in these
wordes may not ben founde, for though dronkennesse be forboden men shul not alway
ben drinklesse. I trowe right, for thou thy wyl out of reason shulde not tourne, thy wyl
in one reason shulde not unbyde. I say thy wyl in thy first purpose with unreason was
closed: Constrewe forthe of the remenante what thee good lyketh. Trewly, that wyl and
reson shulde be knyt togyder was fre wyl of reason; after tyme thyne herte is assentaunt
to them bothe. Thou might not chaunge but if thou from rule of reason varye, in whiche
variaunce to come to thilke blysse desyred contrariously thou werchest; and nothyng
may knowe wyl and reason but love alone. Than if thou voide love than wevest the
bonde that knytteth, and so nedes or els right lightly that other gone a sondre, wherfore
thou seest apertly that love holdeth this knot and amaystreth hem to be bounde. These
thinges as a ringe in cyrcuit of wrethe ben knyt in thy soule without departyng." "A, let
be, let be," quod I, "it nedeth not of this no rehersayle to make; my soule is yet in
parfyte blysse in thynking of that knotte."
"Nowe trewly, lady, I have my grounde wel understonde, but what thynge is thilke
spire that into a tree shulde wexe? Expowne me that thing what ye therof meane." "That
shal I," quod she, "blithly and take good hede to the wordes I thee rede. Contynuaunce
in thy good servyce by longe processe of tyme in ful hope abydyng, without any
chaunge to wylne in thyne herte: this is the spire whiche if it be wel kept and governed
shal so hugely springe tyl the fruite of grace is plentuously out sprongen. For althoughe
thy wyl be good, yet may not therfore thilk blysse desyred hastely on thee discenden --
it must abyde his sesonable tyme. And so by processe of growyng with thy good traveyle
it shal into more and more wexe, tyl it be founde so mighty that wyndes of yvel speche
ne scornes of envy make nat the traveyle overthrowe ne frostes of mystrust ne hayles
of jelousy right lytel myght have in harmynge of suche springes. Every yonge setlyng
lightly with smale stormes is apeyred, but whan it is woxen somdele in gretnesse than
han great blastes and wethers but lytel might any disavantage to them for to werche."
"Myne owne soverayne lady," quod I, "and welth of myne hert and it were lykyng unto
your noble grace therthrough nat to be displeased, I suppose ye erren. Nowe ye maken
jelousy envy and distourbour to hem that ben your servauntes. I have lerned ofte toforne
this tyme that in every lovers hert great plentie of jelousies greves ben sowe, wherfore
me thynketh ye ne ought in no maner accompte thilke thynge among these other welked
wyners and venomous serpentes, as envy, mystrust, and yvel speche." "O fole," quod
she, "mystrust with foly, with yvel wil medled, engendreth that welked padde. Truely if
they were distroyed jelousy undone were for ever, and yet some maner of jelousy I wot
wel is ever redy in al the hertes of my trewe servauntes as thus: to be jelous over him
selfe lest he be cause of his own disease. This jelousy in ful thought ever shulde be kept
for ferdnesse to lese his love by miskepyng thorowe his owne doyng in leudnesse, or
els thus: Lest she that thou servest so fervently is beset there her better lyketh, that of al
thy good service she compteth nat a cresse. These jelousies in herte for acceptable
qualytees ben demed. These oughten every trewe lover by kynde evermore haven in his
mynde tyl fully the grace and blysse of my service be on him discended at wyl. And he
that than jelousy catcheth, or els by wenyng of his owne folysshe wylfulnesse
mystrusteth, truely with fantasy of venyme he is foule begyled. Yvel wyl hath grounded
thilke mater of sorowe in his leude soule, and yet nat for than to every wight shuld me
nat trust ne every wight fully mysbeleve: the meane of these thynges owen to be used.
Sothly, withouten causeful evydence, mistrust in jelousy shulde nat be wened in no
wyse person commenly; suche leude wickednesse shulde me nat fynde. He that is wise
and with yvel wil nat be acomered can abyde wel his tyme tyl grace and blisse of his
service folowyng have him so mokel eased as his abidynge toforehande hath him dis-
eased." "Certes lady," quod I tho, "of som thyng me wondreth sythen thilke blysse so
precious is and kyndly good and wel is and worthy in kynde whan it is medled with love
and reason as ye toforn have declared. Why, anon as hye one is sprong, why springeth
nat the t'other? And anone as the one cometh, why receyveth nat the other? For every
thynge that is out of his kyndly place by ful appetite ever cometh thiderwarde kyndely
to drawe, and his kyndly beyng therto him constrayneth. And the kindly stede of this
blysse is in suche wyl medled to unbyde and nedes in that it shulde have his kyndly
beyng. Wherfore, me thinketh, anon as that wyl to be shewed and kydde him profreth,
thilke blysse shulde him hye thilk wyl to receyve, or els kynde of goodnesse worchen
nat in hem asthey shulde. Lo be the sonne never so ferre ever it hath his kynde werching
in erthe. Great weight on hye onlofte caried stynteth never tyl it come to his restyng
place. Waters to the seewarde ever ben they drawing; thing that is lyght blithly wyl nat
synke but ever ascendeth and upward draweth. Thus kynde in every thyng his kyndly
course and his beynge place sheweth. Wherfore be kinde on this good wil anon as it
were spronge this blysse shulde thereon discende, her kynde wolde they dwelleden
togider and so have ye sayde yourselfe." "Certes," quod she, "thyne hert sytteth won-
der sore this blysse for to have; thyne hert is sore agreved that it tarieth so longe, and if
thou durstest as me thynketh by thyne wordes this blysse woldest thou blame. But yet
I saye thilke blysse is kyndly good and his kyndely place in that wyl to unbyde.
Neverthelater, their commyng togider after kyndes ordynaunce nat sodaynly maye
betyde; it muste abyde tyme, as kynde yeveth him leave, for if a man as this wyl medled
gonne hym shewe and thilke blysse in haste folowed, so lyghtly commynge shulde
lyghtly cause going: longe tyme of thurstyng causeth drinke to be the more delycious
whan it is atasted." "Howe is it," quod I than, "that so many blysses se I al daye at myne
eye in the firste moment of a syght with suche wyl accorde? Ye, and yet otherwhyle
with wyl assenteth syngulerly by himselfe there reason fayleth. Traveyle was none;
servyce had no tyme. This is a queynt maner thynge howe suche doynge cometh
aboute." "O," quod she, "that is thus: the erthe kyndely after seasons and tymes of the
yere bringeth forthe innumerable herbes and trees, bothe profytable and other; but
suche as men might leave though they were nought in norisshynge to mannes kynde
serven or els suche as tournen soone unto mennes confusyon in case that therof they
ataste comen forthe out of the erthe by their owne kynde, withouten any mannes cure
or any busynesse in traveyle. And the ylke herbes that to mennes lyvelode necessarily
serven, without whiche goodly in this lyfe creatures mowen nat enduren, and most ben
nourisshen to mankynde, without great traveyle, great tylthe, and longe abidynge tyme,
comen nat out of the erthe, and yit with seede toforne ordayned suche herbes to make
spring and forthe growe. Right so the parfyte blysse, that we have in meanynge of
duryng tyme to abyde, may nat come so lyghtly, but with great traveyle and right besy
tylth, and yet good seed to be sowe, for ofte the croppe fayleth of badde seede be it
never so wel traveyled. And thilke blysse thou spoke of so lightly in commyng, trewly,
is nat necessary ne abidynge. And but it the better be stamped and the venomous jeuse
out wrongen it is lykely to enpoysonen al tho that therof tasten. Certes, right bytter ben
the herbes that shewen first in the yere of her own kynde. Wel the more is the harvest
that yeldeth many graynes, tho longe and sore it hath ben traveyled. What woldest thou
demen if a man wold yeve thre quarters of nobles of golde -- that were a precious
gyft?" "Ye certes," quod I. "And what," quod she, "thre quarters ful of peerles?" "Certes,"
quod I, "that were a riche gifte." "And what," quod she, "of as mokel azure?" Quod I,
"a precious gifte at ful." "Were nat," quod she, "a noble gifte of al these atones?" "In
good faith," quod I, "for wantyng of Englyssh namyng of so noble a worde I can nat
for preciousnesse yeve it a name." "Rightfully," quod she, "haste thou demed, and yet
love knytte in vertue passeth al the golde in this erthe. Good wyl accordant to reason
with no maner properté may be countrevayled. Al the azure in the worlde is nat to
accompte in respecte of reason. Love that with good wyl and reason accordeth with
non erthly riches may nat ben amended. This yeft hast thou yeven, I know it myselfe,
and thy Margarite thilke gift hath receyved, in whiche thynge to rewarde she hath her
selfe bounde. But thy gifte, as I said, by no maner riches may be amended; wherfore
with thynge that may nat be amended thou shalt of thy Margarites rightwisenesse be
rewarded. Right suffred yet never but every good dede somtyme to be yolde. Al wolde
thy Margarite with no rewarde thee quyte, right, that never more dieth, thy mede in
merit wol purvey. Certes, such sodayne blisse as thou first nempnest ryght wil hem
rewarde as thee wel is worthy, and though at thyn eye it semeth the rewarde the desert
to passe, right can after sende suche bytternesse evenly it to rewarde. So that sodayne
blysse by al wayes of reason in gret goodnesse may not ben acompted, but blisse long,
both long it abideth and endlesse it wol last. Se why thy wyl is endelesse, for if thou
lovedest ever thy wyl is ever ther t'abyde and nevermore to chaunge: evenhed of rewarde
must ben don by right. Than muste nedes thy grace and this blysse endelesse in joy to
unbyde. Evenlyche disese asketh evenlyche joy whiche hastely thou shalt have." "A,"
quod I, "it suffyseth not than alone good wyl be it never so wel with reson medled but
if it be in good servyce longe travayled. And so through servyce shul men come to the
joye, and this me thynketh shulde be the wexyng tre of which ye first meved."
"Very trouth," quod she, "hast thou nowe conceyved of these thinges in thyne hert;
hastely shalt thou be able very joye and parfyte blysse to receyve. And nowe I wot wel
thou desyrest to knowe the maner of braunches that out of the tree shulde spring."
"Therof lady," quod I, "hertely I you pray. For than leve I wel that right soone after I
shal atast of the frute that I so long have desyred." "Thou hast herde," quod she, "in
what wyse this tre, toforn this have I declared, as in grounde and in stocke of wexyng.
First the grounde shulde be thy fre wyl ful in thyne hert, and the stocke (as I sayde)
shulde be contynuaunce in good service by long tyme in traveyle tyl it were in greatnesse
right wel woxen. And whan this tree suche gretnesse hath caught as I have rehersed,
the braunches than that the frute shulde forth bringe speche must they be nedes, in
voice of prayer in complayning wise used." "Out, alas," quod I tho, "he is soroufully
wounded that hydeth his speche and spareth his complayntes to make. What, shal I
speke the care? But payne even lyke to hel sore hath me assayled, and so ferforth in
payne me thronge that I leve my tre is seer and never shal it frute forth bring. Certes, he
is greatly eased that dare his prevy mone discover to a true felowe that connyng hath
and might wherthrough his pleint in any thynge may ben amended. And mokel more is
he joyed that with herte of hardynesse dare complayne to his lady what cares that he
suffreth by hope of mercy with grace to be avaunced. Truely, I saye for me sythe I
came this Margarit to serve durst I never me discover of no maner disease, and wel the
later hath myn herte hardyed suche thynges to done, for the great bounties and worthy
refresshmentes that she of her grace goodly without any desert on my halve ofte hath
me rekened; and nere her goodnesse the more with grace and with mercy medled,
whiche passen al desertes, traveyls, and servynges that I in any degre might endite, I
wolde wene I shulde be without recover in gettyng of this blysse for ever. Thus have
I stylled my disease; thus have I covered my care, that I bren in sorouful anoy as gledes
and coles wasten a fyre under deed asshen. Wel the hoter is the fyre that with asshen it
is overleyn. Right longe this wo have I suffred." "Lo," quod Love, "howe thou farest.
Me thynketh the palasy yvel hath acomered thy wittes; as faste as thou hiest forwarde,
anon sodaynly backwarde thou movest. Shal nat yet al thy leudnesse out of thy braynes?
Dul ben thy skilful understandinges thy wyl hath thy wyt so a maistred. Wost thou nat
wel," quod she, "but every tree in his sesonable tyme of burjonynge shewe his blomes
fro within in signe of what frute shulde out of him spring, els the frute for that yere men
halte delyvered be the grounde never so good? And though the stocke be mighty at the
ful and the braunches seer and no burjons shewe, farwel the gardyner: he may pype
with an yve lefe, his frute is fayled. Wherfore, thy braunches must burjonen in presence
of thy lady if thou desyre any frute of thy ladies grace, but beware of thy lyfe that thou
no wodelay use as in askyng of thynges that stretchen into shame, for tha myght thou
nat spede by no way that I can espy. Vertue wol nat suffre villany out of himselfe to
spring. Thy wordes may nat be queynt ne of subtel maner understandinge. Freel-witted
people supposen in suche poesies to be begyled. In open understandinge must every
worde be used. `Voice without clere understandyng of sentence,' saith Aristotel, `right
nought printeth in hert.' Thy wordes than to abide in hert and clene in ful sentence of
trewe menyng platly must thou shewe and ever be obedient her hestes and her wyls to
performe and be thou set in suche a wyt to wete by a loke ever more what she meaneth.
And he that lyst nat to speke but stylly his disease suffre, what wonder is it tho he come
never to his blysse? Who that traveyleth unwist and coveyteth thyng unknowe, unwetyng
he shal be quyted and with unknowe thyng rewarded." "Good lady," quod I than, "it
hath ofte be sene that wethers and stormes so hugely have fal in burjonyng tyme and by
perte duresse han beaten of the springes so clene, wherthrough the frute of thilke yere
hath fayled. It is a great grace whan burjons han good wethers their frutes forthe to
bringe. Alas, than after suche stormes howe harde is it to avoyde, tyl efte wedring and
yeres han maked her circute cours al about er any frute be able to be tasted. He is shent
for shame, that foule is rebuked of his speche. He that is in fyre brennyng sore smarteth
for disease. Him thynketh ful long er the water come that shulde the fyre quenche.
While men gone after a leche the body is buryed. Lo, howe semely this frute wexeth;
me thynketh that of tho frutes maye no man ataste for pure bytternesse in savoure. In
this wyse bothe frute and the tree wasten away togider though mokel besy occupation
have be spente to bringe it so ferforthe that it was able to spring. A lyte speche hath
maked that al this labour is in ydel." "I not," quod she, "wherof it serveth thy questyon
to assoyle. Me thynketh thee nowe duller in wittes than whan I with thee first mette.
Although a man be leude, commenly for a foole he is nat demed but if he no good wol
lerne. Sottes and foles lette lyghtly out of mynde the good that men teacheth hem. I sayd
therfore, thy stocke must be stronge and in greatnesse wel herted; the tree is ful feble
that at the firste dent falleth. And although frute fayleth one yere or two, yet shal suche
a season come one tyme or other that shal bringe out frute. That, fole, have I not sayd
toforn this? As tyme hurteth, right so ayenward tyme healeth and rewardeth, and a tree
oft fayled is holde more in deyntie whan it frute forthe bringeth. A marchaunt that for
ones lesynge in the see no more to aventure thynketh, he shal never with aventure come
to rychesse. So ofte must men on the oke smyte tyl the happy dent have entred, whiche
with the okes owne swaye maketh it to come al at ones. So ofte falleth the lethy water
on the harde rocke tyl it have thorowe persed it. The even draught of the wyre drawer
maketh the wyre to ben even and supple werchynge, and if he stynted in his draught the
wyre breaketh a sonder. Every tre wel springeth whan it is wel grounded and not often
removed." "What shal this frute be," quod I, "nowe it gynneth rype?" "Grace," quod
she, "in parfyte joy to endure and therwith thou begon." "Grace," quod I, "me thynketh
I shulde have a rewarde for my longe travayle?" "I shal tel thee," quod she, "retrybucion
of thy good wylles to have of thy Margaryte perle, it beareth not the name of mede but
onely of good grace, and that cometh not of thy deserte, but of thy Margarytes goodnesse
and vertue alone." Quod I, "shulde al my longe travayle have no rewarde but thorowe
grace and somtyme your selven sayd rightwysnesse evenlyche rewardeth to quyte one
benefyte for another." "That is sothe," quod Love, "ever as I sayde as to him that dothe
good whiche to done he were neyther holden ne yet constrayned." "That is sothe,"
quod I. "Trewly," quod she, "al that ever thou doest to thyne Margaryte perle of wyl, of
love, and of reson thou owest to done it, yet is nothyng els but yeldyng of thy dette in
quitynge of thy grace whiche she thee lent whan ye first mette." "I wene," quod I,
"right lytle grace to me she delyvered. Certes it was harde grace; it hath nyghe me astrangled."
"That it was good grace I wot wel thou wylt it graunt er thou departe hence. If any man
yeve to another wight to whom that he ought not and whiche that of himselfe nothynge
maye have, a garnement or a cote, though he weare the cote or els thilke clothyng it is
not to put to him that was naked the cause of his clothynge, but onely to him that was
yever of the garnement. Wherfore I saye thou that were naked of love and of thyselfe
non have mightest, it is not to put to thyne owne persone, sythen thy love came thorowe
thy Margaryte perle. Ergo, she was yever of the love, althoughe thou it use, and there
lent she thee grace thy servyce to begynne. She is worthy the thanke of this grace, for
she was the yever. Al the thoughtes, besy doynges, and plesaunce in thy might and in
thy wordes that thou canste devyse ben but right lytel in quitynge of thy dette, had she
not ben, suche thing hadde not ben studyed. So al these maters kyndely drawen
homewarde to this Margaryte perle, for from thence were they borowed: al is holy her
to wyte the love that thou havest. And thus quytest thou thy dette, in that thou stedfastly
servest. And kepe wel that love, I thee rede, that of her thou hast borowed, and use it in
her servyce thy dette to quite, and than arte thou able right sone to have grace, wherfore
after mede in none halve maist thou loke. Thus thy gynnyng and endyng is but grace
alone and in thy good deservynge thy dette thou aquitest. Without grace is nothyng
worthe, what so ever thou werche. Thanke thy Margaryte of her great grace that
hytherto thee hath gyded, and praye her of contynuaunce forthe in thy werkes herafter
and that for no mishappe thy grace overthwartly tourne. Grace glorie and joye is
comyng thorowe good folkes desertes, and by gettyng of grace therin shullen ende.
And what is more glorie or more joye than wysdome and love in parfyte charité whiche
God hath graunted to al tho that wel canne deserve?" And with that this lady al at ones
sterte in to myn hert: "here wol I onbyde," quod she, "for ever and never wol I gon
hence and I wol kepe thee from medlynge while me lyste here onbyde: thyne entermetyng
maners in to stedfastnesse shullen be chaunged."
Soberlyche tho threwe I up myn eyen and hugely tho was I astonyed of this sodayne
adventure and fayne wolde I have lerned howe vertues shulden ben knowen, in whiche
thynges I hope to God hereafter she shal me enfourmen and namely sythen her restynge
place is nowe so nyghe at my wyl. And anon al these thynges that this lady said I
remembred me by myselfe and revolved the lyves of myne understondynge wyttes.
Tho founde I fully al these maters parfytely there written: howe mysse rule by fayned
love bothe realmes and cyties hath governed a great throwe; howe lightly me might the
fautes espye; howe rules in love shulde ben used; howe somtyme with fayned love
foule I was begyled; howe I shulde love have knowe; and howe I shal in love with my
servyce procede. Also furthermore I founde of perdurable letters wonderly there graven
these maters whiche I shal nempne. Certes, none age ne other thynge in erthe maye the
leest syllable of this in no poynte deface, but clerely as the sonne in myne understandynge
soule they shynen. This maye never out of my mynde howe I maye not my love kepe,
but thorowe wyllynge in herte: Wylne to love maye I not, but I lovynge have. Love have
I none but thorowe grace of this Margarite perle. It is no maner doute that wyl wol not
love but for it is lovynge, as wyl wol not rightfully but for it is rightful itselve. Also, wyl
is not lovynge, for he wol love, but he wol love for he is lovynge. It is al one to wyl to
be lovynge, and lovynges in possessyon to have. Right so wyl wol not love, for of love
hath he no partie, and yet I denye not lovynge wyl wylne more love to have whiche that
he hath, not whan he wolde more than he hath, but I saye he maye no love wylne if he
no love have, through which thilke love he shuld wylne. But to have this lovyng wyl may
no man of himselfe, but onely through grace toforne-goyng. Right so maye no man it
kepe but by grace-folowynge. Consyder nowe every man aright, and let sene if that any
wight of himselfe mowe this lovyng wel get, and he therof first nothynge have, for if it
shulde of himselfe spring eyther it muste be wyllyng or not wyllyng. Wyllyng by himselfe
may he it not have, sythen him fayleth the mater that shulde it forthe bring. The mater
him fayleth. Why? He maye therof have no knowyng tyl whan grace put it in his herte.
Thus willyng by himselfe may he it not have, and not wyllyng may he it not have.
Pardé, every conseyt of every reasonable creature otherwyse wyl not graunt: Wyl in
affyrmatife with not wyllyng by no way mowe acorde. And although this lovyng wol
come in myn hert by frenesse of arbytrement, as in this booke fully is shewed, yet owe
I not therfore as moche alowe my fre wyl as grace of that Margaryte to me leaned. For
neyther might I without grace toforn-goyng and afterwarde-folowyng thilke grace get
ne kepe, and lese shal I it never but if fre wyl it make as in wyllynge otherwyse than
grace hath me graunted. For right as whan any person taketh wyllyng to be sobre and
throweth that away, willyng to be dronke or els taketh wyl of drinkyng out of mesure,
whiche thyng anon as it is done maketh thorowe his owne gylte by fre wyl that leseth
his grace. In whiche thing, therfore, upon the nobley of grace I mote trusten, and my
besy cure set thilke grace to kepe that my fre wyl otherwyse than by reason it shulde
werche cause not my grace to voyde. For thus must I bothe loke to fre wyl and to
grace. For right as naturel usage in engendring of children maye not ben without father
ne also but with the mother, for neyther father ne mother in begettyng maye it lacke,
right so grace and fre wyl accorden, and without hem bothe maye not lovynge wyl in
no partie ben getten. But yet is not fre wyl in gettynge of that thyng so mokel thankeworthy
as is grace, ne in the kepynge therof so moche thanke deserveth, and yet in gettynge
and kepyng bothe done they accorde. Trewly, oftentyme grace fre wyl helpeth in
fordoynge of contrarye thinges that to wyllynge love not accorden and strength wyl
adversytees to withsytte, wherfore al togyther to grace oweth to ben accepted that my
wulyng deserveth. Fre wyl to lovyng in this wyse is accorded. I remembre me wel
howe al this booke (whoso hede taketh) consydereth al thynges to werchynges of
mankynde evenly accordeth, as in turnyng of this worde `love' into `trouthe' or els
`rightwysnesse,' whether that it lyke. For what thyng that falleth to man in helpyng of
free arbytrement, thilke rightwysnesse to take or els to kepe thorowe whiche a man
shal be saved, of whiche thyng al this booke mencion hath maked in every poynte --
therof grace oweth to be thanked. Wherfore, I saye every wight havynge this
rightwysnesse rightful is, and yet therfore I fele not in my conscience that to al rightful
is behoten the blysse everlastynge, but to hem that ben rightful withouten any
unrightfulnesse. Some man after some degree maye rightfully ben accompted as chaste
men in lyvyng, and yet ben they janglers and ful of envy pressed. To hem shal this
blysse never ben delyvered. For right as very blisse is without al maner nede, right so to
no man shal it be yeven but to the rightful, voyde from al maner unrightfulnesse founde,
so no man to her blysse shal ben folowed but he be rightful and with unrightfulnesse
not bounde and in that degree fully be knowe. This rightfulnesse, in as moche as in
himselfe is, of none yvel is it cause, and of al maner goodnesse trewly it is mother. This
helpeth the spyrit to withsytte the leude lustes of flesshly lykinge. This strengtheth and
maintayneth the lawe of kynde, and if that otherwhyle me weneth harme of this pre-
cious thyng to folowe, therthorough is nothynge the cause -- of somwhat els cometh
it aboute who so taketh hede. By rightfulnesse, forsothe, werne many holy sayntes good
savour in swetenesse to God almighty, but that to some folkes they weren savour of
dethe into deedly ende. That come not of the sayntes rightwysnesse, but of other wycked
mennes badnesse hath proceded. Trewly, the ilke wyl whiche that the Lady of Love me
lerned `affectyon of wyl' to nempne, whiche is in wyllyng of profytable thynges, yvel
is it not but whan to flesshly lustes it consenteth ayenst reason of soule. But that this
thynge more clerely be understand it is for to knowe whence and howe thylke wyl is so
vycious and so redye yvel dedes to perfourme. Grace at the gynnynge ordeyned thilke
wyl in goodnesse ever to have endured and never to badnesse have assented. Men
shulde not byleve that God thilke wyl maked to be vycious. Our firste father as Adam
and Eve, for vycious appetytes and vycious wyl to suche appetytes consentynge, ben
not on thynge in kynde; other thyng is done for the other. And howe this wyl fyrst into
man first assented, I holde it profytable to shewe. But if the first condycion of reason-
able creature wol be consydred and apertly loked, lightly the cause of suche wyl may be
shewed. Intencion of God was that rightfully and blyssed shulde reasonable nature ben
maked himselfe for to kepe, but neyther blysful ne rightful might it not be withouten
wyl in them bothe. Wyl of rightfulnesse is thilke same rightfulnesse as here to forne is
shewed. But wyl of blysse is not thilke blysse, for every man hath not thilke blysse in
whom the wyl therof is abydynge. In this blysse after every understandynge is
suffysaunce of covenable comodytees without any maner nede, whether it be blysse of
aungels or els thilke that grace first in paradise suffred Adam to have. For al though
angels blysse be more than Adams was in paradyse, yet maye it not be denyded that
Adam in paradyse ne had suffysaunce of blysse. For ryght as great herte is without al
maner of coldenesse and yet maye another herte more heate have, right so nothynge
defended Adam in paradyse to ben blessed without al maner nede. Althoughe aungels
blysse be moche more, forsothe it foloweth not lasse than another to have, therfore
hym nedeth, but for to wante a thynge whiche that behoveth to ben had, that maye nede
ben cleped and that was not in Adam at the first gynnyng. God and the Margaryte weten
what I meane. Forsothe, where as is nede, there is wretchydnesse. God without cause
toforngoyng made not reasonable creature wretched, for hym to understande and love
had He firste maked. God made therfore man blyssed without al maner indygence.
Togyther and at ones toke reasonable creature blysse, and wyl of blyssednesse, and wyl
of rightfulnesse, whiche is rightfulnesse itselve, and lybertie of arbytrement, that is fre
wyl with whiche thilke rightfulnesse may he kepe and lese. So and in that wyse God
ordayned thylke two that wyl, whiche that instrument is cleaped, as here toforne mencion
is maked, shulde use thilke rightfulnesse by teachyng of his soule to good maner of
governaunce in thought and in wordes, and that it shulde use the blysse in obedyent
maner, withouten any incommodyté. Blysse, forsothe, into mannes profyte and
rightwysnesse into his worshyp God delyvered at ones. But rightfulnesse so was yeven
that man might it lese, whiche if he not loste had not, but contynuelly have it kepte, he
shulde have deserved the avauncement into the felowshyppe of angels; in whiche thyng,
if he that loste, never by himselfe forwarde shulde he it mowe ayenwarde recover, and
as wel the blysse that he was in, as aungels blysse that to himwardes was comyng,
shulde be nome at ones, and he deprived of hem bothe. And thus fyl man unto lykenesse
of unreasonable bestes, and with hem to corrupcion and unlusty apetytes was he under
throwen. But yet wyl of blysse dwelleth, that by indygence of goodes whiche that he
loste through great wretchydnesse by right shulde he ben punisshed. And thus for he
weyved rightfulnesse, loste hath he his blysse, but fayle of his desyre in his owne
comodyté may he not; and where comodytes to his reasonable nature whiche he hath
loste may he not have, to false lustes whiche ben bestyal appetytes he is turned. Folye
of unconnyng hath him begyled in wenyng that thilke ben the comoditees that owen to
ben desyred. This affection of wyl by lyberté of arbitrement is enduced to wylne thus
thing that he shulde not, and so is wyl not maked yvel but unrightful by absence of
rightfulnesse, whiche thing by reason ever shulde he have. And frenesse of arbytrement
may he not wylne whan he it not haveth, for whyle he it had thilke halpe it not to kepe,
so that without grace may it not ben recovered. Wyl of commodyté, inasmoche as
unrightful it is maked by wyllynge of yvel lustes, wyllyng of goodnesse may he not
wylne: for wyl of instrument to affection of wyl is thralled, sythen that other thyng may
it not wylne. For wyl of instrument to affection desyreth, and yet ben bothe they wyl
cleped. For that instrument wol, through affection it wylneth, and affection desyreth
thilke thyng wherto instrument him ledeth. And so fre wyl to unlusty affection ful
servaunt is maked, for unrightfulnesse maye he not releve; and without rightfulnesse ful
fredome may it never have. For kyndly lybertie of arbytrement without it veyne and
ydel is, forsothe. Wherfore, yet I say as often have I sayd the same whan instrument of
wyl loste hath rightfulnesse, in no maner but by grace may he ayen retourne rightfulnesse
to wylne. For sythen nothyng but rightfulnesse alone shulde he wylne, what that ever
he wylneth with out rightfulnesse unrightfully he it wylneth. These than unrightful
appetytes and unthrifty lustes which the flesh desyreth in as mokel as they ben in
kynde, ben they nat bad; but they ben unrightful and badde, for they ben in resonable
creature, where as their beyng in no waye shulde ben suffred. In unreasonable beestes
neyther ben they yvel ne unrightful for there is their kynde beyng.
Knowen may it wel ben nowe of these thynges toforne declared that man hath not
alway thilke rightfulnesse which by duté of right evermore haven he shulde, and by no
way by himselfe may he it get ne kepe. And after he it hath, if he it lese, recover shal he
it never without especial grace. Wherfore the comune sentence of the people in opinyon
that every thynge after destenye is ruled false and wicked is to byleve. For thoughe
predestynacion be as wel of good as of badde, sythen that it is sayde God badnesse
made, whiche He never ne wrought, but for He suffreth hem to be maked as that He
hardeth whan he naught missaythe, or ledde into temptacion whan He not delyvereth.
Wherfore, it is none inconvenyent if in that maner be sayd God toforne have destenyed
bothe badde and her badde werkes whan hem ne their yvel dedes neyther amendeth ne
therto hem grace leneth. But specyallyche predestynacion of goodnesse alone is sayde
by these great clerkes, for in him God dothe that they ben, and that in goodnesse they
werchen. But the negatyfe herof in badnesse is holden as the Lady of Love hath me
lerned, whoso aright in this booke loketh. And utterly it is to weten that predestynacion
properly in God may not ben demed no more than beforne-wetyng. For in the chapitre
of Goddes beforne-wetyng as Love me rehersed al these maters apertely maye ben
founden. Al thynges to God ben nowe togyther and in presence durynge. Trewly,
presence and predestynacion in nothynge disacorden, wherfore as I was lerned howe
Goddes before-wetyng and free choyce of wyl mowe stonden togyther, me thynketh
the same reason me leadeth that destenye and fre wyl accorden so that neyther of hem
bothe to other in nothing contraryeth. And reasonablyche may it not ben demyd as often
as any thyng falleth, fre wyl werchyng, as if a man another man wrongfully anoyeth,
wherfore he him sleeth, that it be constrayned to that ende as mokel folke cryeth and
sayth: `Lo, as it was destenyed of God toforne-know, so it is thorowe necessyté fal,
and other wyse might it not betyde.' Trewly, neyther he that the wronge wrought ne he
that himselfe venged, none of thilke thinges thorowe necessyté wrought. For if that
with fre wyl there had it not wylled, neyther had wrought that he perfourmed. And so
utterly grace that fre wyl in goodnesse bringeth and kepeth and fro badnesse it tourneth,
in al thynge moste thanke deserveth. This grace maketh seyntes in vertue to abyde,
wherfore in body and in soule in ful plentie of connynge after their good deservyng in
the everlastynge joy, after the day of dome shul they endelesse dwel, and they shul ben
lerned in that kyngdome with so mokel affecte of love and of grace that the leste joye
shal of the greatest in glorie rejoyce and ben gladded as if he the same joye had. What
wonder? syth God is the greatest love and the grettest wisdom in hem shal he be, and
they in God. Nowe than whan al false folke be ashamed which wenen al bestyalté and
erthly thing be swetter and better to the body than hevenly is to the soule, this is the
grace and the frute that I long have desyred: it dothe me good the savour to smel. Christ
now to Thee I crye of mercy and of grace and graunt of Thy goodnes to every maner
reder ful understandyng in this leude pamflet to have, and let no man wene other cause
in this werke than is verily the soth. For envy is ever redy al innocentes to shende;
wherfore, I wolde that good speche envy evermore hynder. But no man wene this
werke be sufficiently maked, for Goddes werke passeth mans. No mans wyt to perfyt
werke may by no way purvay th'ende. How shuld I than so leude aught wene of
perfection any ende to get? Neverthelater, grace, glorie, and laude I yelde and put with
worshipful reverences to the sothfast God in thre, with unité closed whiche that the
hevy langour of my sicknesse hath turned into myrth of helth to recover. For right as I
was sorowed thorow the gloton cloud of manyfolde sickly sorow, so mirth of ayen-
comyng helth hath me gladed and gretly comforted. I beseche and pray, therfore, and
I crye on Goddes gret pyté and on his mokel mercy that this present scorges of my
flessh mow make medecyn and lechcraft of my inner mans helth, so that my passed
trespas and tenes through wepyng of myn eyen ben wasshe, and I voyded from al
maner disese, and no more to wepe. Herafter I now be kept thorowe Goddes grace, so
that Goddes hande, which that merciably me hath scorged, herafter in good plite from
thence merciably me kepe and defende. In this boke be many privy thinges wimpled and
folde. Unneth shul leude men the plites unwinde, wherfore I pray to the Holygost He
lene of His oyntmentes mens wittes to clere, and for Goddes love no man wonder why
or how this question come to my mynde, for my great lusty desyre was of this lady to
ben enfourmed my leudenesse to amende. Certes, I knowe not other mennes wyttes
what I shulde aske, or in answere what I shulde saye. I am so leude myselfe that mokel
more lernynge yet me behoveth. I have made therfore as I coude, but not suffyciently
as I wolde, and as mater yave me sentence, for my dul wytte is hyndred by stepmother
of foryetyng and with cloude of unconnyng that stoppeth the lyght of my Margarite
perle, wherfore it may not shyne on me as it shulde. I desyre not onely a good reder, but
also I coveyte and pray a good booke amender in correction of wordes and of sentence.
And onely this mede I coveyte for my travayle, that every inseer and herer of this leude
fantasye devoute horisons and prayers to God the great juge yelden, and prayen for me
in that wyse that in His dome my synnes mowe ben released and foryeven. He that
prayeth for other, for himselfe travayleth. Also I praye that every man parfytly mowe
knowe thorowe what intencion of herte this treatyse have I drawe. Howe was it that
syghtful Manna in deserte to chyldren of Israel was spirytuel meate. Bodily also it was,
for mennes bodies it norissheth. And yet neverthelater, Christ it signyfyed. Ryght so a
jewel betokeneth a gemme and that is a stone vertuous or els a perle: Margarite a
woman betokeneth grace, lernyng, or wisdom of God, or els holy church. If breed
thorowe vertue is made holy flesshe, what is that our God saythe? It is the spyrite that
yeveth lyfe; the flesshe of nothyng it profyteth. Flesshe is flesshly understandynge;
flessh without grace and love naught is worth. The letter sleeth, the spyrit yeveth lyfelych
understandyng. Charyté is love, and love is charyté. God graunt us al therin to be
frended. And thus the Testament of Love is ended.
Thus endeth the Testament of Love
Go To Thomas Usk, The Testament of Love, Appendix 1