The Book of Margery Kempe: Book I, Part I
THE BOOK OF MARGERY KEMPE: FOOTNOTES
2 unspecabyl, unspeakable.
4 deyneth, deigns; nobeley, nobleness.
7 hynderawnce, hinderance; be, by.
9 sumdeel, somewhat.
10 charytefully, charitably; whech, which.
12 penawns, penance.
13 lech, like; reedspyr, reed stalk.
16 worshep, honor.
17 repref, reproof; this creatur, i.e., Margery.
18 gon wyl, become wayward; parfythly, perfectly; steryd, stirred.
20 trad, trod.
21 in party the levyng, in part the life.
23 be, by.
24 werdly, worldly.
26 leyd on syde, put aside; worshepd, honored; sythen, then.
27 kynred, kindred.
34 cheden, chided; indued, endued.
36 dysese, anxiety; lofe, love.
41 trost, trust.
42 prevy, private.
44 awondyr, amazed.
45 wysten, knew; homly, familiar.
49 gostly, spiritual.
52 ankrys, anchorites; hem, them.
53 mende, mind.
56 mevynggys, movings; steringgys, stirrings;
trustly, with faith, trustingly.
63 er than sche ded any wryten, before she committed any to writing.
65 levyngs, manner of living.
66 myth, might.
67 credens, credence.
68 Dewchlond, Germany.
73 comownd, talked the matter over.
74 evel wretyn, badly written.
74-75 cowd lytyl skyll theron, hardly understand it.
76 leved, believed.
77 behyte, promised.
80 behestyd, promised.
85-86 schuld cun best rede the booke, should best be able to read the book.
88 bewreyn, betray, speak ill of, divulge.
91 evel sett, badly set.
92 behestyd, promised.
93 a do, have done.
100 mend, memory.
104 eyn myssyd, eyes failed.
106 creatur, i.e., Margery.
107 lett, hinder.
108 levyn, leave off.
110 lyth, light; qwayr, quire.
111 proym, preface.
114 sythen, afterwards; schamis, shames; reprevys, reproofs.
116 han mend, had memory.
118 clef, cleaved; or, before.
121 bodyn, bidden.
124 obloquie, abuse, calumny.
127 asayd, tried.
129 Mary Maudelyn, Mary Magdalene. July 22 is the day of Mary Magdalene.
130 sumdele, somewhat.
131 worschepful, honorable; kynde, nature.
132 accessys, attacks of illness.
134 dyspered, despaired; wenyng, thinking.
136 lettyd, hindered.
137 heele, health.
138 inow, enough.
139 penawns, penance.
140 dedys, deeds; saf, except.
141 seke, sick; mende, mind.
142 schrevyn, shriven; defawt, lack, sin.
143 iseyd, was said.
145 conselyd, concealed.
146 undyrnemyn, reprove.
148 to, toward, i.e., toward-side.
150 sey, saw.
151 her, their; lowys, flames.
152 rampyng, ramping, adopting a threatening stance; thretyng, threatening.
153 halyng, haling.
154 thretyngys, threats; bodyn, bade.
155 denyin, deny.
157 dede, did.
158 schrewyd, mean-tempered.
160 a fordon hirself, have committed suicide; steryngys, anxieties. See note.
161 bot, bit.
162 roof, rent, tore.
163 agen, against; spetowsly, grievously.
164 a don saf, have done except.
166 wend, thought; a skapyd ne levyd, have escaped nor relinquished.
169 aperyd, appeared.
175 levyn, lightning; stey, rose; eyr, air; esly, easily.
177 stabelyd, settled.
179 botery, buttery.
181 wende, thought.
184 meny, servants.
186 Whan men wenyn . . . fro hem, When men think he is far from them.
187 fel, befell.
188 drawt, spiritual ecstasy.
191 befortym, before that time.
192 wyst, knew.
193 gold pypys on hir hevyd, gold pipes as part of a fashionable headdress.
194 hodys, hoods; typettys, tippets; daggyd, ornamented with points and incisions.
195 staryng, conspicuous.
197 levyn, leave off.
198 kenred, kindred; hym semyd nevyr forto a weddyd hir, i.e., he did not seem like the sort of person to have married her.
199 town N, see note, line 462; hey Gylde of the Trinyté, the Guild of the Trinity was the most powerful of the town of Lynn's parish fraternities.
200 savyn the worschyp, preserve the honor.
201 arayd, arrayed.
205 brewyn, brew (ale).
206 ure, experience.
207 prevyn, be successful.
208 fayr standyng undyr berm, fair standing under the barm, the yeast formed on brewing liquors.
211 punched, punished; war, wary; eftsons, again.
216 huswyfré, household occupation; horsmille, horse mill; tweyn, two.
219 craske, fat, lusty; lykand, in good condition.
221 drawe no drawt, draw no load.
223 don this hors drawyn, make or cause this horse to draw.
231 noysed, noised, rumored.
233 venjawns, vegeance; seyd on, said one (thing).
235 clepyd, summoned; kallyd, called.
236 wretthyd, wretched.
246 habunawnt, abundant.
247 syhyngys, sighings.
248 spytys, scorns.
249 drawt, ecstasy.
252 governawnce, manner of life.
256 to komown fleschly, to have intercourse.
256-57 dette of matrimony, debt of matrimony (a conventional way of speaking of marital relations).
257 levar, rather.
258 wose, ooze; comownyng, intercourse.
263 wyst, knew.
265-66 be her bothins wylle and consentyng of hem bothyn, by both their wills and (by) mutual consent.
272 schrevyn, shriven.
273 conselyd and curyd, concealed and covered.
277-78 an hayr of . . . dryen on malt, a haircloth from a kiln such as men used for drying of malt.
278 kyrtylle, woman's gown; prevylich, secretly.
283 japyd, joked.
286 dyspite, contempt; ches, chose.
291 compunccyon, remorse, penitence; boystows, violent.
292 bethowt, bethought.
296 contwnyng, continuing; wepyn and levyn whan sche wold, weep and leave off whenever she wanted to.
297-98 wept for the world for socowr and for wordly good, wept for the world in order to gain comfort and worldly goods.
302 dure, endure.
306-07 the crucifix, i.e., the figure on the cross, or Christ.
307 halsyn, embrace.
311 for no drede, for doubtless.
312 sergyth, searches.
313 freel , frail; sufferawns, sufferance; snar, snare.
314 skape, escape.
315 wend, thought.
317 hayr, hairshirt.
319 levar, rather.
322-23 Seynt Margaretys Evyn, St. Margaret, whose feast day was July 20, was the virgin martyr tortured and killed for her espousal of Christian chastity by Olybrius, ruler of Antioch. When at home, Margery worshipped in the church of St. Margaret's in Lynn, one of the town's main churches. It was attached to a priory of Benedictines.
325 chese, choose.
326 preve, prove (to).
329 labowrd, labored, afflicted.
330 Pater Noster, Our Father, the Lord's Prayer.
332 levyd, believed; suasyons, persuasions.
334 do, done.
335 symulacyon, simulation.
339 leful, lawful, permissable.
340 was labowrd, was afflicted.
341 inoportunyté, inopportunity.
343 wetyn, know.
344 levar, rather; hewyn, hewn.
350-52 Sche thowt . . . was so fals unto hym, She thought she was deserving of no mercy, for her consenting was so willfully done, not worthy of doing him (i.e., God) service, for she was so false unto him.
352 schrevyn, shriven.
354 rewelys, rules.
356 durst, dared.
357 lettherye, lechery.
359 party, part.
363 wer so wondyrful . . . far wyth hem, were so wonderful (astonishing) that she could hardly deal (fare) with them.
373-74 that have . . . schreve therof, who has brought your sins to your memory and made you to be shriven thereof.
374 contrysyon, contrition.
375 clepe, call.
376 hayr, hair (cloth).
378 derworthy, precious; that, what.
380-81 sacrament of the awter, Eucharist.
383 knawyn, gnawed.
383-84 raton knawyth the stokfysch, rat gnaws the stockfish.
385 inow, enough; be, by.
386 wel, well-being, good fortune; wo, woe.
388 mow, might.
389 leve, leave off; byddyng of many bedys, bidding of many beads (saying of many prayers).
391 be thowt, by thought.
392 hey, high.
393 ankyr, anchorite; Frer Prechowrys, Dominican Priory at Lynn; prevyteys, secrets.
397 ye sowkyn . . . Crysts brest, you suck even on Christ's breast (The nutritive or "female" attributes of Christ were conventional figures in late medieval devotional literature. See Bynum , pp. 270-76.).
398 ernest peny of hevyn, earnest penny (pledge-penny) of heaven.
402 geve hir, devoted herself; bodyn, bidden.
406 sche saw Seynt Anne gret wyth chylde, she saw Saint Anne great with child, i.e., pregnant with the Virgin. For the importance of extra-Biblical fictions relating to the private lives of Saint Anne and the Virgin in late medieval spirituality, see Ashley and Sheingorn.
408 besyde, busied.
409 kerchys, kerchiefs.
418-19 potel of pyment and spycys, two quart vessel of sweetened and spiced wine.
421 wonyd, dwelled.
422 toke hym up fro the erthe, took him up from the earth (where he lay after birth).
424 compassyf, compassionate.
427 dever, duty.
428 Bedlem, Bethlehem; purchasyd hir herborwe, purchased her lodging.
429 beggyd owyr Lady, begged for our Lady.
431 lyg, lie.
434-35 I schal not byndyn yow soor, I shall not bind you (swaddle you) tightly.
442 ob, of (see note).
443 purveyng hir herborw, purveying her lodging.
445 duryng, enduring.
446 sesyng, ceasing.
449-50 for sche was so long dyfferryd therfro, for she was so long deferred therefrom.
451 languren, languish.
456 chastyse us her how thow wylt, chastise us here however you will.
461 felaw, fellow, companion.
463 qwyte, requite.
466-67 executor, executor (of her spiritual estate).
469 halfyndel, half.
470 halvendel, half.
471 mede, reward.
473 even cristen, fellow Christians; dubbyl, double.
476 er Whitsonday, before Whitsunday, the Feast of Pentecost; sle, kill.
477 Estern woke, Easter week.
478 knowlach, knowledge; was wone befor, was accustomed to before; gan neygh hir, came near her.
479 wyse, way.
480 Whytson Evyn, Whitsunday Eve. Whitsunday is the Feast of Pentecost.
482 astoyned, bewildered; voys, voice.
483 venjawns, vengeance.
485 party, part; vowte, vault.
485-86 the fote of the sparre, the foot of the rafter.
486 weyd, weighed.
487-88 sche ferd as . . . a lytyl whyle, for a little while she fared (acted) as though she had been dead.
489 whech hygth, who was called; wondyr cas, wonderful case.
490 gretly dysesyd, greatly distressed.
491 hol, whole; cher, demeanor.
494 levyn, believe.
495-96 Maystyr Aleyn, the Carmelite friar, Alan of Lynn.
498 way, weighted; treys, tree's.
503 venjawns, vengeance.
504 quemfulnes, favor.
506 gostly, spiritual; mygth not, might not.
515 voys, voice; levyng, living.
516 behestyst, promise.
520 bere, beer; cake, cake, loaf.
521 her, there.
522 smyte of, smite off; les than, unless; comown kendly, lit., common naturally, i.e., have intercourse with. See note.
524 medele, meddle, have intercourse with.
525 why meve ye this mater, why do you bring up this matter.
526 For I wyl wete, For I will know.
527 levar, rather.
536 mede, meed, reward; hayr, haircloth; haburgon, jacket of mail (next to your skin).
537 wele, wills.
537-39 "Nay," he seyd . . . not so.", "Nay," he said, "that will I not grant you, for now I may use you without mortal sin and then I might not." (By taking a vow of wedded chastity, John and Margery would sacramentally eliminate the physical element of their marriage.)
541-42 to Brydlyngtonward, toward Bridlington; fornseyd, aforesaid.
544 clepyng, calling.
547 dettys, debts.
549 leve, live.
550 leve, leave.
551 goodlych, well.
557 contraryen, go against; mekyl, great; les, unless.
562 opteyn, obtain.
568 qwyte, requite, pay back.
574 sythen, afterward.
577 ankrys, anchorites; reclusys, recluses.
579 dyvers, different.
580 wetyn, know; dysseyt, deceit.
583 monkys, monks.
584 save, except; bar gret offyce, had great office (duties).
584-85 set hir at nowt, disparaged her.
585 at mete, at the midday meal; of, during.
588 dalyawns, daliance; gan gretly enclyne to hirward, began greatly to incline toward her.
589 savour, savour, delight.
592 levyn, believe.
597-98 in letthery . . . kepyng, in lechery, in despair, and in the keeping (hoarding) of worldly goods. (These are the three classic vices of lust, pride - of which despair is a type - and avarice.)
599 lesyng, lie.
600 leesyngys, lies.
603 schreve, shriven; wythowtynforth, without, outside.
610 Sorwyth, Sorrow (be sorry).
617 suppriowr, sub-prior.
623 as, as if.
624 aloon, alone; cheys hir as sche cowde, lit., choose her as she could, i.e., make her own way.
625 eld, old; an eld monk, whech had ben tresowrer wyth the Qwen, probably John Kynton, chancellor of Queen Joanna, wife of Henry V.
626 dred, feared by.
628 heryn, praise.
630 meynteyn, maintain.
637 in party, as part; that he schuld o yer hyer men, that he should for one year hire men.
640 lawhyng, laughing.
642 lawhyst thu, do you laugh; brothel, wretch.
649 brent, burnt.
650 lollare, Lollard, a follower of the beliefs of John Wyclif, the late fourteenth-century theologian, whose ideas were judged heretical. These included renunciation of the cult of images and saints, of the doctrine of transubstantiation, and of the church's involvement with temporal goods or offices. For the relevance of Wycliffite thought to the Book, see Staley (1994); tonne, tun, large barrel.
653 tremelyng and whakyng, trembling and quaking; erdly, earthly.
657 tweyn, two; eretyke, heretic.
658 loller, Lollard.
659 in, inn.
660 Dewchmannys, German man's.
661 ostel, hostel.
667 eyne, eyes; lestyn, last, survive.
671 peler, pillar.
673 ne were . . . grace, were not my grace alone.
675 chedyn and fletyn, chided and scolded.
676 comownyng in, talking about.
680 for dred of inpacyens, for fear of (her) lack of endurance.
681 stokke, piece of timber; ex, ax; lofe, love.
682-83 that thow woldyst for my lofe, what you would do for my love.
685 deryn, harm.
687 wroth, angry.
688 cun no skyl of the, will be able to have no knowledge of you.
692 funston, baptismal font.
695 hyd, hidden.
697 it arn, these are.
701 sekerest, most certain; les, unless.
705 mete, meal.
707 buxom, gentle; far, fare.
710 hete, heat.
711-12 at thi lyst, at your wish.
714-15 'He that doth . . . unto me,' Mark 3:35.
725 er than, before.
726 Seynt Jamys, the shrine of St. James at Compostella in Spain.
727 good, i.e., money.
731 deyn, die.
732-33 I wyl that thu were clothys of whyte, I will that you wear clothes of white (a sign of virginity).
733 arayd, arrayed.
735 wondryn, wonder.
739 veyn dred, vain dread.
743 proferyd, proferred.
746 commensowr in dyvinyté, doctor of divinity.
747 steryng, stirring, guidance.
748 ferd, fared.
752 thretyd, threatened.
754 dysese, trouble; boystows, unmannerly.
759 Bysshop of Lynkoln . . . Philyp, Philip Repingdon, Bishop of Lincoln from 1405 to 1419, when he resigned his see.
761 abedyn, abided.
762 wetyn, know.
766 lymyt, limited, set.
767 hy, devout.
768 qwyk, quick, alive.
769 hir lysted, she liked.
771 sadly, soberly, wisely.
774-75 the mantyl . . . in whygth, the ceremony by which Margery would officially be granted the clothing of married chastity.
775 in erth, on earth.
784 us, us, we, These are the only times Kempe uses first person pronouns in the Book.
786 er, before; mete, the midday meal; powyr, poor.
787 lovys, loaves.
790 meny, household; hyr eyled, ailed her.
791 swyers, squires.
792 gentylly, graciously; mees, mess.
795 pregnawntly, pregnantly, significantly, insightfully.
800 abyden, abide, wait; prevyd, proved, tested.
804 sey the Bysshop, tell the Bishop.
810 Archbusshop of Cawntyrbery, Arundel, Thomas Arundel, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1397, 1399-1414.
812 dyocyse, diocese. As an East Anglian, Margery is technically under the rule of the Bishop of Norwich; Lincoln is north of King's Lynn; feyned, feigned, pretended.
816 schelyngys, shillings.
817 clothyg, clothing.
818 Lambhyth, Lambeth, in London, the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
820 rekles, reckless; swyers, squires; yemen, yeomen.
821 othis, oaths.
822 undyrname, rebuked; dampnyd, damned; sweryng, swearing.
823 pylche, pilch, an outer garment of skin trimmed with the fur.
824 forschod, reviled; bannyd, banned.
825 Smythfeld, Smithfield, in London where the first two Lollards were burnt, William Sawtre in 1401 and John Badby in 1410.
826 levyst, livest.
829 auctoryté, authority; chesyng, choosing.
830 howselyd, houseled, be given the Eucharist. This is more frequent than was ordinary in the late Middle Ages when most people received the Sacrament once a year.
831 provynce, province.
836 defawte, lack.
839 aprevyd, approved.
841 meny, household.
842 alderes Lord, Lord of us all; gon, given.
843 tretowrys, traitors; hem, those.
844 les than, unless.
845 benyngly, benignly.
852 Lenne, Lynn, Margery's town.
853 Frer Prechowrys, Dominican priory.
856 owt, out.
857 ther is behyte, there is promised.
858 frenschepys, friendships; wyth condycyon, upon condition.
861 reme, realm.
866 Norwych, Norwich, some twenty miles southeast of Lynn.
868 vykary of Seynt Stefenys, Richard Caister, vicar of St. Stephens in Norwich.
870 prevytés, secrets.
880 revelyd, revealed.
882 aport, deportment, bearing.
883 evyn cristen, fellow Christians.
887 hedows, hideous.
892 er, or.
893 qwyk, quick, alive.
895 veryly, truly.
896 Secunde Persone in Trinyté, i.e., Jesus.
899 Hyltons boke, Walter Hilton's Scale of Perfection; Bridis boke, Liber Revelationum Celestium S. Birgitte; Stimulus Amorys, a fourteenth-century mystical text falsely attributed to St. Bonaventure; Incendium Amoris, a fourteenth-century mystical work by the English hermit Richard Rolle.
902 mend, mind.
903 Seynt Kateryn, St. Katherine of Alexandria, legendary fourth-century virgin martyr.
910 grutchyng, grudging, complaining.
915 trustly, trustfully.
916 enspyr, inspire.
919 howsyld, houseled, administered the Eucharist to.
920 moneschyd, admonished; artyculys, articles.
923 malys, malice.
925 hens, hence.
927 Whyte Frer. . .Wyllyam Sowthfeld, Carmelite friar (d. 1414) known for his devotion; whech hyte, who was named.
928 levar, living person.
933 gremercy, gramercy (an exclamation).
933-34 dredyth ye not, dread ye not.
935 heyly, highly.
944 fawt, fault; soget, subject.
954 bodyn, bidden.
955 ankres . . . Dame Jelyan, Julian of Norwich, anchorite mystic and author of the Revelations of Divine Love.
966 contraryows, contrarious, at cross purposes.
967 levars, living people.
969 dubbyl, double.
970 dowtyng, doubting.
972 lyche, likely.
975 owyth to levyn, should (or ought) to believe.
976 mornynggys, mournings.
978 nowmeryd, numbered.
979 turmentyn, torment.
983 feryth, fear.
989 abyte, habit, clothing.
991 perseverawnt, perseverant.
995 owtforth, outwardly.
996 dom, judgment.
997 her, their.
1000 sekyr, true, spiritually safe.
1002 asayn, assay, try.
1004-05 Than is my bodily . . . wher to have, Then is my bodily comfort gone, and spiritual comfort from any confessor such as you I will not know where to find.
1006 hoose, whose.
1012-13 tryfelys and japys, trifles and jokes.
1013 fawyn, fain.
1016 homly, homely, familiar.
1022 norych, nurse.
1025 levyn, leave.
1027 levyn, believe.
1036 eftsonys, again.
1038 departyd, parted; war, aware.
1040 departyn, separate.
1043 encresyd, increased.
1046 eraend, errand.
1054 talys, tales.
1061 Thow, Though.
1062 sekyr, certain.
1064 owyn, ought.
1065 wete, learn.
1067 les than he had bettyr frendys in erthe, unless he had better friends on earth.
1069 esse, ease.
1070 hede, heed.
1079 schok and flekeryd, shook and flickered.
1080 dowe, dove.
1081 chalys, chalice.
1082 sacre, consecration of the sacrament.
1083 sacreys, consecrations.
1085 Bryde, St. Bridget of Sweden (ca. 1303-73), whose reknown in England was particularly high, owing to the influence of the Brigittine Order; say, saw.
1086 wyse, manner; betokenyth, means.
1087 venjawnce, vengeance.
1088 erdene, earthquake.
1097 derworthy, honored.
1098 pepyl, people.
1100 pyté, pity.
1101 deyn, die.
1103 pestylens, pestilence; bataylys, battles; famynyng, famine.
1113 frwte, fruit.
1114 longyth, belongs; holy maydens, i.e., to virgins.
1116 besynes, business.
1118 wedlake, wedlock.
1119 let me to, hinder me from.
1129 Mary Mawdelyn, Mary Magdalene.
1129-30 Mary Eypcyan, Mary the Egyptian.
1130 Seynt Powyl, Saint Paul.
1136 forberyn, forego.
1139 schuld a brostyn, should have burst; Aswythe, quickly.
1141 sekyr, sure, certain.
1142 hily, highly.
1143 maystres, mistress; wyse, manner.
1146 he cowde most skyl in, he was most learned in.
1150 dawnsyn, dance.
1152 funtston, baptismal font.
1154-55 and that sor rewyth me, and that I sorely regret.
1155 ronnyn, run.
1156 suffer me, allow me.
1157 onyd, united, joined.
1159 behest, promise.
1163 thart, need.
1168 behygth, promised; schuldyst, should.
1175 feryd, frightened.
1176 hevynes, sorrows.
1177 sekenes, sicknesses; anoynted, anointed, i.e., given last rites.
1178 skapyd, escaped.
1181 wonyng, dwelling.
1183 govyn hem drynkyn, given them drink.
1185 wrowte, made.
1186 the body that the hath bowte, the body that has bought (redeemed) you (Jesus through his Passion).
1188 Seynt Barbara, St. Barbara, virgin martyr; dom, doom, judgment.
1189 bone, boon, favor.
1190 and, if.
1191 joyn, rejoice.
1195 thu schalt mown askyn, you shall be able to ask.
1196 telde, told.
1200 clepyn, call; dere abowte, dearly bought, dearly redeemed.
1206 vykary, vicar.
1207 cure, curacy, care of souls; benefyce, benefice, ecclesiastical living.
1208 parysshonys, parishoners.
1213 massage, message.
1215 qwer, choir; cors, corpse.
1217 hele, health; messe peny, mass penny.
1218 cors, body.
1229 an helply to the powyr, helpful to the poor.
1230 mone, moan.
1231 joyntys, joints.
1234 lyster, dyer.
1235 languryn, languish, linger.
1242 hem alle for to . . . of mor profyte, to write them all should perhaps hinder that which is more profitable.
1244 commendacyon, commendation, praise.
1246 ponyschyng, punishment.
1247 levar a, rather have.
1249 trubbyl, trouble.
1249-50 it fel not . . . undyrstandyng, it did not seem credible to her understanding.
1251 turbele, trouble.
1253 prevyn, test, ascertain.
1255 komyn, come; unsekyr, uncertain.
1256 thei, though; loth, loath, hesitant; wylly, willing.
1260 ellys not a, otherwise not have.
1263 gevyn credens, give credence, believe; hyndryd, hindered.
1266 expleyntyng, explaining.
1268 smet, smote, struck.
1269 tweyn, two.
1273 credens, credence; amyabyl, amiable.
1274 faveryd, favored; cuntenawns, countenance; sad, wise.
1275 gestur, gesture; vestur, clothing; purposyng, intending.
1276 into hys relevyng and comfort, for his relief and comfort.
1277 meyrs pere, mayor's peer.
1278 myschef, misfortune.
1283 anow, enough; holpyn, helped; relevyd, relieved.
1284 it was mor almes, it was more charitable.
1289 lettyd, hindered.
1295 medyl, meddle.
1307 whethyr2, whither, from whence.
1311 schrewe, scoundrel.
1312 proferyd, offered; portose, portable breviary.
1313 wetyn, know.
1314 by, buy; cheryd, cared for.
1321 profyr, offer.
1322 thryftyare, more prosperous; richare, richer.
1324 awt, owned.
1325 yef, if; sad, sober.
1327 mevyn, move.
1329 Penteney Abbey, Augustinian priory in Norfolk.
1330 sey, seen.
1331 lyvery, livery.
1332 lokyn, see; acordyn, agree.
1333 woke, week.
1337 matere, matter.
1338 her, here.
1340 o, one.
1342 purificacyons, purifications, the rite of "churching" women after childbirth; person, parson; Benetys, Benedict's, i.e., a Benedictine monk.
1346 fel gret ple, there fell (befell) great legal action; priowr, prior.
1347 paryschenys, parishioners; funtys, baptisms.
1348 on, one.
1349 fayrare, fairer; funte, baptismal font.
1350-51 The bulle was put in ple, The bull was appealed.
1352 derogacyon, detraction.
1355 spede, help; rewth, pity.
1356 er than, rather than; thei, though; powyr, poor.
1359 yrkyn, to irk, to annoy.
1360 my Lord of Norwych Alnewyk, William Alnwick, Bishop of Norwich, 1426-36; be trety, by negotiation.
1361 for to settyn, in order to establish; pes, peace.
1364 suyd, sued, petitioned; her, their.
1370 nobelys, nobles (gold coins).
1375 her intent, their intent; slakyn her bost, reduce their boasting.
1376 menys, means.
1381 sothfast and sekyr, truth and certainty.
1383 whyk, quick, alive.
1385 cleymyd, claimed; dette, debt.
1386 aseth, compensation.
1390 brokebakkyd, broken backed; safté, safety.
1392 Mayster Robert, Robert Spryngolde, parish priest of St. Margaret's church and Margery's chief confessor.
1393 Trinité, Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Norwich.
1394 Yermowth, Yarmouth.
1395 Seryce, Zierikzee, Zeeland, the Netherlands.
1402 Ynglond, England.
1406 mevyng, influence.
1408 lofe, love.
1409 tabyl, table; alto chedyn, severely chided.
1413 wrothar, angrier.
1414 wreth, wrath.
1417-18 develys deth mote . . . and rathe, devil's death might overcome you soon and quickly.
1421 han awey, take away.
1423 and tene to go wher sche wolde, and to direct herself wherever she would.
1424 hem, them.
1426 mekyn hir, humble herself.
1427 Constawns, Constance.
1431-32 dedyn hir don . . . not makyn of hir, made her to wear white canvas in the manner of a woman's sackcloth garment, for she would be taken for a fool and the people should not (then) make much of her.
1433 durst ful evyl, dared hardly.
1434 her, their.
1436 cheryn, take care of.
1438 to Constawnsward, toward Constance.
1446 Popys legat, papal legate.
1448 owyr, hour; ny, nearly.
1464 bordys ende, table's end; won, wont, used.
1466 myryar, merrier.
1470-71 I wyl not don hir etyn, I will not make her eat.
1472 avowe, a vow; barfote, barefoot.
1476 sesyn, cease; ther men wyl her hir, where men will hear her.
1481 maystres, mistress.
1482 behestyd, promised; sekyrd, assured.
1483 made hir chawnge, made her exchange.
1485 ordeyn hir a ledar, appoint her a leader or a guide.
1486 aswythe aftyr, quickly thereafter.
1487 Devynschir, Devonshire.
1488 gyde, guide.
1495 rewful, rueful, mournful.
1496 cowde no langage, lit., could no language (did not know the language).
1498-99 and I . . . forberyn my tabbarde, and I shall be beaten for you and made to give up my tabard (outer garment).
1500 mend, mind, memory.
1501 avowtré, adultery.
1503 defowlyd, defiled.
1504 avow, vow.
1509 Boleyn de Grace, Bologna.
1510 thedyr, thither.
1513 asayn, assay, try.
1514 comnawnt, covenant.
1518 nunnys, nuns.
1519 cher, comfort.
1521 amerveylyd, astonished.
1522 leryd, learned.
1524 hold yow comenawnt, keep covenant with you.
1525 forbodyn it me, forbidden it to me.
1526 toke hir chawmbre, took to her chamber.
1529 maystres, mistress; no dele, no deal, not at all.
1530 tabyl, table.
1531 seylyn, sail.
1533 her, their.
1534 ther, where.
1540 seldyn, sold.
1542-43 for thei . . . otherwyse don, for they dared not do otherwise.
1543 lokyd, locked; her, their.
1544 schete, sheet.
1557-58 in poynt to a fallyn of hir asse, at the point of falling off her ass.
1559 tweyn pylgrymys of Duchemen, two German pilgrims.
1560 spycys, spices.
1564 and thei wer . . . day at evynsong, and they were let in on the one day at evensong.
1571 veryly, verily.
1573 walwyd and wrestyd, wallowed and twisted.
1574 brostyn, burst; cité, city.
1576 mornyng, mourning.
1582 despyte, despite, scorn.
1583 astoynd, astonished.
1586-87 er yf sche sey . . . whethyr it wer, or if she saw a man or beast that had a wound.
1587 bett, beat; smet, smote.
1593 cotidianly, daily.
1599 noyng, annoying.
1601 bannyd, cursed; havyn, haven, harbor.
1602 gostly, spiritual.
1607 blo, leaden-colored.
1608 leed, lead.
1618 duffehows of holys, dovecot of holes.
1619 reverys, rivers.
1626-27 whan we may . . . men and women, when we may see each day with our eyes both men and women.
1628 thorw ovyr fele stody and erdly affeccyon, through over much devotion and earthly affection.
1631-32 to leevyn er seesyn, to leave off or cease.
1638 wrekyn hem, avenge them.
1641 offens, an offense; compassyfe, compassionate.
1643-44 ne not we wylle . . . indued wyth lofe, neither will we support our Lord's own secretaries (i.e., the holy men and women who "trace out" his life) which he has endued with love.
1644 hyndryn, hinder.
1653 ther owyr, where our.
1664 swownyd, swooned.
1668 mad hys Mawndé, made his Last Supper.
1670 sacryd, consecrated.
1672 plenyr remyssyon, plenary remission.
1675 ferd, fourth.
1679 the tyme of tweyn messys heryng, for the time it takes to hear two masses.
1684 asoyld, pardoned.
1684-86 and dispensyd wyth . . . thin owyn selfe, and absolved you so that you need not go (on pilgrimage) to Rome or to St. James (of Compostella) unless you yourself want to.
1697 partabyl in, capable of partaking.
1699 Bedlem, Bethlehem.
1703 Grey Frerys, Franciscans.
1710 Flod of Jurdon, River Jordan.
1713 askyd hem no leve, did not ask them permission.
1715 Mownt Qwarentyne, Mount Quarentyne (near Jericho).
1718 mekyl, much; happyd, came along.
1718-19 a Sarazyn, a welfaryng man, a Saracen, a comely man.
1719 grote, grote (silver coin).
1723 Grey Frerys, Franciscans.
1725 reprevys, reproofs.
1728 tho behestys, those promises.
1733 Betanye, Bethany; ther Lazer, where Lazarus.
1735 Estern Day, Easter Day.
1736-37 "Mary, why wepyst thu?", see John 20:15.
1739 Frerys of the Tempyl, Franciscans of the Convent of the Holy Sepulchre.
1744 Rafnys, Ramleh (town outside Jerusalem on the road to Jaffa).
1746 purchasyn hir mor pardon, lit., to "purchase" for herself more pardon.
1751 Venyce, Venice.
1752 deyin, die.
1759 velany, shame.
1761 diswer, doubt.
1767 deceyvabyl, deceiving.
1769 flowyn on the gret plenté of grace, pour out on you an abundance of grace.
1770 powyr, poor; cowche, hump.
1771 forclowtyd, patched.
1772 eyleth, aileth.
1774 Erlond, Ireland.
1781 bowys and arwys, bows and arrows.
1782 wepyn, weapon; cloke ful of clowtys, cloak full of patches.
1783 defowlyn, defile.
1784 ledyn the, lead you.
1787 too, two.
1788 chyst, chest.
1790 metyn, meet.
1791 gon on my purchase and beggyn my levyng, attend to my occupation and beg my living.
1794 herborwe, lodging; he . . . hemselfe, they . . . themselves; that, so that.
1798 worshepful wyfys lappys, the laps of honorable women.
1798-99 wold puttyn schirtys ther upon, would put shirts on the image.
1799 thei, though.
1806 nerhand, nearly.
1810 gravyn, engrave.
1810-11 "Jhesus est amor meus," Jesus is my love.
1811 thevys, thieves.
1814-15 purposyd befortyme er . . . a weryd ryng, previously intended, before she had it by revelation, never to wear a ring.
1816 cheryn, encourage.
1817 mett, measure.
1822 bone maryd, good marriage.
1823 as ho seyth, as one might say; awey, lost.
1825 sowt, sought.
1828 bordys, boards.
1830 pur, for; Assyse, Assisi.
1831 Frer Menowr, Franciscan.
1839 kerche, veil (The Lower Church of St. Francis holds the Veil of Our Lady.).
1841-42 Lammes Day, Lammas Day (August 1).
1842 plenyr, plenary.
1845-46 Knygtys of Roodys, Knights of Rhodes.
1846 mekyl good caryage, ample means of conveyance.
1855 hospital of Seynt Thomas of Cawntyrbery, hospice for English pilgrims to Rome.
1865 schrevyn, shriven.
1871 howselyd, administered the sacrament.
1876 confiteor, confession of sins.
1878 Seynt John the Evangelyst, St. John, the beloved disciple. He also appeared to Elizabeth of Hungary, whose Revelation was possibly important to Kempe. See McNamer, Staley (1994).
1879 "Benedicité," Bless you; "Dominus," Lord.
1881 swemful, sorrowful.
1882 enjoyned, commanded, directed.
1883 asoyled, absolved.
1887 wistly, certainly; wroth, angry.
1890 tresor, treasure.
1891 werdlys, worldly.
1895 far liche, fare (proceed) like.
1896 to, toward; arayn, array, dress.
1900 holdyn the ryth wel plesyd, hold yourself right well pleased.
1901 the the, you the.
1901-02 He is wel blyssed . . . hys wo stool, He is well blessed who can sit on his well stool and tell of his woe stool, i.e., He is lucky who can sit in good fortune and tell of his former misfortune.
1908 cowde, knew.
1909 be, by means of, through.
1912 sentys, saint; steryn, directing, urging; other that lovedyn, others who loved.
1920 therten, thirteen.
1924 les than, unless.
1928 swech mend, such memory.
1931 demyng, deeming, thinking.
1932 levyng, believing.
1933 symulacyon, simulation.
1944 chesyn, choose.
1946 seyng, seeing.
1950 wetyng, knowing; saf, except.
1956 defamyn, defame; detractyd of, disparaged by.
1957 nerhand, nearly.
1972 wyfys, women; malendrynes, highwaymen.
1979 ryth fawyn, right fain.
1980 schrewyd, sharp.
1986 deynté of, delight in, affection for.
1987 herby, hereby.
1992 party, part; hold, old; poure, poor.
1994 cured, covered.
1995 mentyl, mantle, cloak; vermyn, vermin.
1995-96 fet hom, fetched home.
1996 in her nekke, on her neck; mete, food.
1997 sowr, sour.
1998 gaf, gave.
2000 Postelys Cherch, Apostles' Church; Seynt Laterynes Day, St. John Lateran's Day, November 9.
2005 prevyteys, secrets.
2006 wonyn, dwell; sylens, silence.
2010 to, by.
2014 stede, place (i.e., instead of).
2015 semly, seemly, becoming.
2021 whoys, whose.
2031 fayrar, fairer; fowelar, fouler; powerar, poorer.
2032 buxom, gentle; bonyr, obedient.
2034 suyrté, surety.
2041-42 a levyd . . . a lestyd, could have lived thereby (i.e., on those sweet smells) had they lasted.
2044 nyhand, almost.
2048 sotyl, diaphanous; brygtare, brighter.
2057 der, harm.
2058-59 "Benedictus qui venit in nomine domini," "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord," the blessing used to welcome Christ's entrance into the elements of the Mass, thus a sentence underlining the sacramental nature of her visions.
2060 flawme of fyer, the sensation of inward burning was a fairly widespread experience among medieval mystics.
2062 lowe, flame.
2064 fyer, fire.
2071-72 heryn that thu nevyr herdist, hear what you never heard.
2073 sekyr, certain.
2075 onyd, joined.
2079 haburjon, habergeon, jacket of mail.
2080 hayr, hair shirt.
2084-85 byddyn many bedys, say many prayers.
2085 parfyte, perfect.
2086 fastarys, fasters.
2091 o yer, one year.
2094 whedir, whatever.
2095 erde, earth.
2098 homly, familiar.
2100 hed, heed.
2109 mede, reward.
2114 peyr of belwys, pair of bellows; ere, ear.
2115 fer, fear.
2116 voys of a dowe, voice of a dove.
2124 clevyst as sore, cleaves as sorely, tenderly.
2125 stokfysche, fish dried hard in the open air; sothyn, seethed, boiled.
2129 besynes, business.
2134 behestys, promises.
2135 behite, promised.
2136 dowt, doubt.
2140 durst not onys, dared not once.
2142 ostys, host's.
2145 mone, moan.
2148 bar, bare; lofe, love.
2151 gaf, gave.
2154 Brystowe, Bristol; Whitsunwoke, Whitsun week.
2158 Seynt Marcellys Chirche, the Church of Santa Marcello.
2160 cheys, sustain.
2164 theward, thee-ward, i.e., coming to you; hyte the, promised you.
2173 relevyd, relieved.
2179 Assyse, Assisi.
2180 syngnys, signs.
2182 grawnt, great.
2187 potage, soup, stew.
2188 botel, bottle.
2189 bolendinys, coins of Bologna; clepyd, called, named.
2190 bad hir to mete, invited her to dinner.
2193 purveyd, supplied, taken care of.
2197 sowkyng, sucking.
2199 brast, burst.
2201 halvendel, half.
2203 sesyn, cease.
2204 sey, saw.
2208 Seynt Brigypt, Bridget of Sweden.
2213 wolcomear, more welcome.
2217 and wyth ryght schulde a be so stylle, and by right should be so still.
2218 kepar, keeper.
2221 swem, sorrow.
2223 Brydys, Bridget's.
2228 lawhyng cher, laughing countenance; at hoste, boarding.
2229 wend, thought.
2234-35 on of Seynt Brigyptys days, There were three days sacred to St. Bridget, July 23, the feast of her death; May 28, the feast of her translation; and Oct 7, the medieval date for her canonization. See Meech, pp. 304-05, for reasons for linking this passage to the latter date.
2236-37 impressyons of eyrs, changes, disturbances.
2238 in socowryng . . . dyvers perellys, in relief of their bodies [and] to avoid diverse perils.
2239 wold, wanted.
2240 halwyd, hallowed.
2241 Stacyownys, Stations (of Rome), i.e., visiting and praying in a sequence of churches in Rome.
2242 fer, far; ostel, hostel.
2243 levenys, lightnings.
2245 wederyngys, stormy weather; elde, old.
2247 brent, burnt; contentys, contents.
2249-50 ben holpyn and socowryd, be helped and succoured.
2256 speryng, asking.
2266 discuryng the prevyté of hert, disclosing the secret of (her) heart.
2269 les than, unless.
2273 "Gold is to thewarde," lit., Gold is to thee-ward, or gold is coming to you.
2280 late, let.
2281 preyd, prayed, invited.
2286 in, on; hys unwetyng, he (the German priest's) unknowing.
2288 her, their.
2288-89 in party, in part.
2297 alyon, alien.
2306 mornyng, mourning.
2307 crumme, crumb.
2308 entyrlyest, "entireliest," most utterly; melydiows, melodious.
2309 savowrys, delights.
2313 unmythy, unable.
2315 eyled, ailed.
2316 sleth, slays.
2326 Seynt Jerom, The remains of Saint Jerome were held in the church of Santa Maria Maggiore.
2328 Seynt Lauerawnce, The remains of St. Lawrence lie in the church of San Lorenzo, some two miles from Santa Maria Maggiore.
2335 a boryn, have borne.
2338 Estern er ellys Paske, "Paske" was another word for Easter.
2339 natyf, native.
2340 peraventur, perhaps.
2342 behyte, promised.
2346 catel, chattels, goods.
2347-48 lych as we come hedyr, like (in the same condition) as we came hither.
2354 invyows, envious.
2355 pur, pure.
2356-57 so departyd . . . in oon, so parted asunder those whom charity had joined as one.
2358 kendly, natural.
2366 Medylborwgh, Middelburg (in Zeeland); jurné, journey.
2372 sportyn, disport.
2376 gret wederyng and perlyows, stormy and perilous weathers; hyed, hied, hastened.
2379 levenys, lightning; gresely and grevows, ghastly and grievous.
2382 the her, you here.
2388 defawte, default, lack.
2389 betymes, early.
2392 perseverawns, perseverance.
2394 algatys, anyway.
2395 hecke, small vessel.
2396 leve, permission.
2401 hyly, highly.
2408 Richard Castyr, Richard Caister, vicar of St. Stephen's church, Norwich.
2412 joyn, joyful.
2418 to mekyn hyrselfe, to meeken (humble) herself.
2419-20 wher sche had don . . . whil sche was owte, where she had disposed of her child, the one who was begotten and born while she was out (of the country).
2422-23 I dede nevyr . . . childe, I did nothing since I went out wherethrough I should have a child.
2427 I make no fors, I take no heed.
2428 hite, named.
2433 wostly, certainly.
2434 levyn, lightning.
2435 noy, annoy.
2452 Trinité Sunday, perhaps May 26, 1415 (see Meech, p. 308, n.104, for dating). Trinity Sunday was the Patron's Day of Norwich Cathedral.
2457 dowt, fear.
2458 Seynt Jamys, the shrine of St. James of Compostella in Spain.
2462 heyl, hale; hoyl, whole; drow, drew.
2463 powr, poor.
2474 wrestyd, twisted.
2475 blo, pale, leaden, grey.
2479 bodyn hir, bade hir.
2480 schrewyd, sharp.
2483 awt, owed.
2488 pylche, outer garment of skin.
2489 stody thow for no good, do not strive for goods.
2498 Brystowe, Bristol; Whitson, Whitsunday, the Feast of Pentecost comes seven Sundays and fifty days after Easter and celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit.
2507 lay stille, stayed.
2507-08 for to abyden schepyng, to await shipping.
2509 the kyng, Henry V, whose second expedition to France in 1417 placed great demands on English shipping.
2510 jurné, journey.
2516 schille schrykyngys, shrill shriekings.
2518 born hyr on . . . a seyd, accused her of saying.
2520-21 "Lord, as thu . . . thei don,' Luke 23:34.
2521 crucyfyerys, crucifiers, i.e., those who crucified Jesus.
2524-26 On Corpus Cristi . . . to be do, On Corpus Christi Day, as the priests carried the Sacrament about the town in a solemn procession, with many candles and great solemnity, as was proper to do.
2530 fawyn to takyn an hows, had to enter a house.
2542 rewyd, rued, grieved.
2547 Breteyn, Brittany.
2553 hath no deynté of, has no delight in.
2555 glosyng, glossing, deception.
2557 bischop of Worcetyr, Thomas Peverel, Bishop of Worcester, 1407-1418/19.
2558 moneschid, admonished.
2562-63 al to raggyd and al to daggyd in her clothys, wearing ragged and dagged clothing (clothes fashionably slashed and pointed).
2566 lykar, more like.
2570 abood, awaited.
2571 somownde, summoned.
2572 noye, annoyance.
2574 John of Burnamys, John Brunham's.
2575 far fayr, behave properly.
2579 meny, many, affinity group, household.
2580 deyn, die.
2585 mené, servants.
2588 venjawns, vengeance.
2590 for, because of; wers, worse.
2594 bone, boon, request.
2601 Blod of Hayles, blood of Christ preserved at the Abbey of Hailes in Gloucestershire.
2603 undyrname, rebuked.
2606 yed, went; Leycetyr, Leicester.
2608 petowsly poyntyd, piteously decorated.
2609-10 al to relentyn be, completely dissolve in.
2610 yern, quickly.
2619 osteler, inn-keeper; scryppe, bag.
2620 yerne, quickly.
2623 burwgh, borough, town.
2626 loller, Lollard, heretic.
2628 chedyn, chided.
2632 hows, house.
2637 safwarde, safe-keeping.
2640 awarde, custody.
2643 dede hir etyn, allowed her to eat.
2648 spak Latyn unto hir, spoke Latin to her. In the fifteenth century, laywomen who were latinate were suspect, since they thereby intruded upon a male and clerical preserve and might well have read heretical texts or been inclined to interpret scripture without the mediation of a member of the clergy.
2656 fowyl rebawdy wordys, foul ribald words.
2657 opressyn hir, violate her; forlyn hir, lie with her.
2663-64 strobelyd wyth hir, wrestled with her (?).
2664 schewyng unclene tokenys, showing or making unclean signs; frayd, frightened.
2666 cunyng, cunning; astoyned, astonished.
2667 besynes, business.
2669 gayler, jailor.
2671 Wisbeche, Wisbeach (Cambridgeshire).
2672 hevy, sad.
2675 wederyng, stormy weather; levenys, lightnings.
2691 Alle Halwyn, All Saints.
2692 abbot of Leycetyr, Richard Rothley, the abbot of the house of Augustinian canons in Leicester.
2693 chanownys, canons; den, dean.
2694 freyrs, friars.
2695 stolys, stools.
2700 assessowrys, assessors; dedyn hir, made her.
2701 artyculys of the feyth, Articles of the Faith; in, about.
2702 And fyrst . . . of the awter, The subject of the Eucharist, or of belief in transubstantiation, was a key subject when addressing a suspected heretic. In this scene Margery is asked questions designed to catch suspected Lollards.
2706 Mawndé, Last Supper.
2708 onys, once.
2710 menyth, means.
2713 concelyd, concealed.
2717 For I do yow to wetyn, For I want you to know.
2726 despite, vexation.
2739-40 than schal . . . the trewth, then shall you tell no lies nor shall he know the truth.
2743-44 my Lord of Lynkoln, Philip Repingdon, Bishop of Lincoln.
2752 fettyn, fetch.
2757-58 lenyd hir to a peler, leaned herself against a pillar.
2759 plenté, abundance.
2766 sayd sone, literally, "said son," referring to Thomas Marshall, who calls her "mother."
2768 Melton Mowmbray, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.
2770 feryd, feared; brent, burnt.
2775 a staf of a Moyses yerde, a relic from the Holy Land (?).
2777 scryppe, small bag.
2778 scapyd of hard, escaped with difficulty.
2779 abood, waited for.
2781 forby, past.
2784 scrippe, small bag.
2795 bewté, beauty.
2796 sonar, sooner.
2798 monyschyng, admonishing.
2798-99 ne lettyn hir . . . whan sche wolde, nor hinder her from going and coming as she wished.
2800 demyd, deemed, thought.
2803 lettyd, hindered.
2804 letyn, allow.
2805 hyryd, hired.
2807 ancres, anchoress.
2808 gostly, spiritual; encres, spiritual increase.
2810 owr Ladiis Evyn, possibly September 7, 1417, the Eve of the Nativity of the Virgin.
2811 fremd, strange.
2815 evyl payd, evil pleased, i.e., not pleased.
2830 coler, collar.
2832 Childer of the monastery, Children of the monastery (i.e., going to school in or given to the monastery by their parents).
2833 wulle, wool.
2839 jangelyd, talked idly.
2840 prevyly, secretly.
2842 "Crescite et multiplicamini," Be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:22).
2851 the spiritualté, the churchmen.
2852 sumdel mor, somewhat more.
2859 chapelhows, chapter-house.
2860 monycyon, monition, warning.
2861 party, part.
2863 drow on bakke, hesitated.
2864 chapetilhows, chapter-house; Mynstyr, minister, a church of a monastery.
2874 Seynt William, shrine in York Minster of William Fitzherbert, Archbishop of York (d. 1154).
2881 meynteyn, maintain.
2884 disesyn, trouble.
2885 apere, appear.
2885-86 Erchebischop of Yorke, Henry Bowet, Archbishop of York from 1407 to 1423, known for his antipathy to Lollards.
2886 Cowoode, Cawood, Yorkshire.
2888 undirtakyn, be surety.
2891-92 sotyn ageyn hir, opposed her.
2911 velany, shame.
2914 loller, Lollard.
2918 gedyn, went.
2919 so to be demenyd, so to conduct herself.
2921 evyn cristen, fellow Christians.
2924 fettyn, fetch.
2925 feterys, fetters.
2928 socowryn, succour.
2929 tremelyd and whakyd, trembled and quaked.
2935 see, seat.
2943 welyn, wish.
2947 can, knows.
2949 peraventur, perhaps; pervertyn, pervert.
2950 I her seyn, I have heard it said.
2953 boistowsly, rudely, roughly.
2960 teryin, tarry.
2961 Brydlyngton, Bridlington, site of the cult of the fervently devout St. John of Bridlington (d. 1379), prior of the house of Augustinian canons there.
2962-63 the good priowrys . . . is now canonysed, i.e., William Sleightholme (to whom Kempe refers as Sleytham, chapter 53), confessor to St. John Bridlington.
2964 chalengyn, reprove.
2965 undirnemyn hem, reprove them.
2970 the bar, bore you; tetys, teats; sowkyn, suck.
2973-74 for sche spekyth of the gospel, the Lollards were known as Gospel-quoting "Bible men and women."
2974-75 and leyd Seynt Powyl . . . no woman schulde prechyn, 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, verses that were commonly used against women taking active and vocal parts in religious instruction, for which they might be accused of Lollardy. See Blamires and Marx; Lochrie, pp. 105-13.
2976 comownycacyon, talk.
2977 whil I leve, while I live.
2978 the werst talys, the worst tales.
2980 wil, wayward; wode, wood.
2981 sufferawns, sufferance.
2982 herborwe, lodging; erber, garden.
2983 pertre, pear tree; myddys, midst; floreschyd, adorned; belschyd, embellished; blomys, blooms.
2984 hogely, ugly.
2987 hymyr party, hinder, shameful part.
2990 agydd, aged; palmyr, palmer.
2995 massanger, messenger; aresond, addressed.
2996 sumdel, somewhat.
2998 mateynes, matins, the service that with lauds forms the first of the canonical hours; blaberyd, blabbered.
2999 messe, mass.
3002 choppyng and chongyng, buying and selling.
3003 Thu sittyst at the ale, You sit at ale, i.e., at the table.
3005 bakbytyng, backbiting, malicious gossiping.
3015 far ye be me, fare you by me, i.e., so you treat me.
3019 ledyn, lead.
3023 proferyd, offered.
3024 waryn, spend.
3030 hir not lettryd, her unlettered intelligence.
3032 ledar, leader.
3033 whech hite Sleytham, who was called Sleytham (i.e., William Sleightholme).
3036 jurné, journey.
3038 yed, went; Hulle, Hull.
3044 morwyn, morning.
3045 Hesyl, Hessle, Yorkshire.
3046 Humbyr, Humber; too, two.
3047 yemen, yeomen; Duke of Bedforthys, John, Duke of Bedford, third son of Henry IV, and at this time Lieutenant of the kingdom during Henry V's absence abroad.
3048 boot, boat.
3049 restyd, arrested.
3054 rokkys, distaffs.
3055 to Beverleward, toward Beverly.
3060 schrewyd, sharp.
3065 Me ovyrthynkyth, I regret.
3071 yedyn, went.
3085 for sche was evyl for thryste, she was badly off for thirst.
3087 leddyr, ladder.
3088 pynte of wyn . . . hir a pece, a pint of wine in a pot and took her a wine cup.
3091 clepyng, calling.
3093 sone, soon.
3095 disesys, troubles.
3098 joyn, rejoice.
3099 chapetylhows, chapter-house.
3101 chanowns, canons.
3102 delyveryd, delivered.
3104 Cowode, Cawood, Yorkshire.
3112 dispravyd, disparaged.
3113-14 that sche schulde a be brent . . . ne be, that she should have been burnt at Lynn had his Order, that of the Dominicans, not been there.
3116 Combomis dowtyr, probably a corruption of Cobham's daughter, thus a reference to Sir John Oldcastle, the Lollard who had escaped from the Tower and remained in hiding from 1413 to 1417.
3122 lesyngys, lies.
3124 can, knows.
3137 ferd wyth, fared with, treated.
3142 ben aknowe, confess.
3143 suffragan, suffragen, assistant.
3147 my Lady Westmorlond, Joan de Beaufort, daughter of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, and Catherine Swynford; wife of Ralph Neville, Earl of Westmorland.
3149-50 my Lady Greystokke, Elizabeth, daughter of Joan de Beaufort by her first husband; wife of John de Graystoke.
3158 qwite, free; ryth wel apayd, right well satisfied.
3163 baly, bailiff.
3167 hens, hence.
3171 seyl, seal.
3172 attyd, charged; herrowr, error.
3176 good, goods, money.
3186 watyr of Humbyr, i.e., Humber River.
3193 baly, bailiff; scapyd, escaped.
3196 noyful, annoying.
3197 lettyng, hindrance.
3206 It is don us to wetyn, It is given us to know.
3208 wetyngly, knowingly; levyn, leave.
3217 Erchebischop of Cawntyrbery, Henry Chichele, who succeeded Thomas Arundel as Archbishop of Canterbury (1414-43).
3219 credens, credence.
3225 unto Elywarde, unto Ely.
3235 kest a bolful . . . in the strete, cast a bowlful of water on her head as she came down the street.
3239 flyx, flux, dysentery.
3240 spon, spoon.
3241 dey, die; recuryd, recovered.
3247 voydyn, void.
3256 levyr, rather; shrewyd, sharp.
3262 discres, decrease; agens, towards.
3263 lesse, lessen.
3269 scapyd, went away.
3276 habundawns, abundance.
3282 at the tyme of remownyng, at the time of removing, day when clergy within a district moved to new locations.
3285 Thomas Hevyngham, Thomas Hevingham, prior of St. Margaret's.
3285-86 Robert Spryngolde, parish priest of St. Margaret's and Margery's principal confessor.
3299 awte, ought.
3304 Sepulcre, place sanctioned in church for the reserved sacrament.
3310 betyn, beaten.
3311 wowndyng, wounding; pité, pity.
3313 what hir eyled, what ailed her.
3316 bar, bore; priowrys cloistyr, prior's cloister.
3318 blew . . . leed, blue as if she were lead; swet, sweated.
3320 owrys, hours.
3322 febyl and weyke, feeble and weak; mytys, might.
3332 I aske . . . gevyn me, I ask nothing, Lord, but that which you may give me.
3340 constreyn, constrain, compel.
3341 to partyn, to separate.
3354 sese, cease.
3358 hewyn, hewn, chopped; flesch, meat.
3364 alych, equally.
3366 rewe on me, take pity on me.
3369 on fro fer, one from afar.
3371 sey, saw.
3372 speryd, inquired.
3380 redyn, read.
3388 to lokyn, to examine.
3390-92 the Bybyl wyth . . . Incendium Amoris, a vernacular Bible, probably the Wycliffite translation, which Archbishop Thomas Arundel had forbidden for private reading by lay people in the Constitutions of 1409. For other texts, see notes to p. 51.
3398-99 wex benefysyd . . . cur of sowle, received a benefice and had great spiritual charge of souls.
3409 heryn, hear.
3413 levyd, believed.
3414 frowardnes, boldness.
3415 mendys, thoughts.
3420 fowle, evil.
3421 schulde a be comown, should have been common.
3421-22 bar hyr on hande, accused her.
3426 mennys membrys, men's sexual organs.
3428 enchewyn, avoid.
3434 mendys, thoughts.
3435 er what so sche dede, or whatever she did.
3441 sothfastnes, truth.
3454 wrothar, angrier; thei, though.
3458-59 as he was wone to don, as he was wont to do.
3460 thu deynyst not, you do not scorn.
3465 lystere, reader.
3466-67 sche was steryd . . . nedful for hym, she was stirred in her soul to take care of him in God's service. And, when she lacked anything that was necessary for him.
3471 levyn, live.
3472 Seynt Stefenys Chirche wher is beriid the good vicary, i.e., Richard Caistyr (d. 1420), vicar of St. Stephens.
3474 recuryng, the recovery.
3482 divers, diverse.
3488 hym, i.e., Richard Caistyr. The people misunderstood the nature of Margery's tears.
3489 dede hir drynkyn, caused her to drink.
3491 ther, there (where).
3492 pyté, pity, depiction of Mary with the dead Jesus.
3495 thei, though.
3498 awt, ought.
3502 avoket, advocate.
3518 lestith, lasts.
3522 hir, herself; brast, burst.
3526 I trowe, and thu, I believe if you.
3528 sattelyn, settle; her, their.
3529 mict, might.
3534 noyith, annoys.
3539 her, hear; les, unless; levyn, stop.
3543 and assayn yyf he myth mekyn hys hert, and try to humble his heart.
3551 White Frer, White (Carmelite) Friar; aprevyd, approved.
3565 cardiakyl, heart disease.
3568 that, if; kendly, natural.
3575 ther, where.
3598 expleytyd hys conseytys, explained his thoughts.
3599 remowr, rumor.
3602 murmowr and grutchyng, murmur and complaining; geynseyd, gainsayed, contradicted.
3604-05 I schal so smytyn . . . mayntenowrys, I shall so smite the nail on the head (i.e., speak severely) that it shall shame all her supporters.
3607-08 of the whech . . . felyngys aftyr, among whom was the same priest who afterwards wrote this book and had purposed never to have believed her feelings thereafter.
3608 drow, drew.
3611 Maria de Oegines, Marie d'Oignies (c. 1177-1213), whose devotion to Christ and service for others made her one of the most important examplars of female piety. Jacques de Vitry, her contemporary, friend, and confessor, wrote her life.
3615 pyté, pity.
3617 capitulo, chapter; "Bonus es, domine, sperantibus in te," He is good, Lord, whose hope is in you.
3619 turbelyd, troubled; distrawt, distraught.
3621 beyng at messe, being at mass, i.e., when he was at Mass.
3623 mesuryn, restrain.
3633 drow ageyn, drew again; sadly, wisely.
3634 enchewyd, eschewed, avoided.
3635 "The Prykke of Lofe," the fourteenth-century devotional work, Stimulus Amoris, falsely attributed to St. Bonaventure.
3636-37 A, Lord . . . cryen?, A, Lord, of what shall I make the most noise or (of what shall I) cry?
3637 lettyst, tarry.
3638 for to maddyn, to go mad.
3639 thei that se me irkyn and rewyn, those who see me are irked by me and pity me.
3640-41 yen wood man . . . in the stretys, yon mad man cries in the streets.
3641 how meche, how great; parceyve, perceive.
3642 Stimulo Amoris, Stimulus Amoris; Richard Hampol, Richard Rolle of Hampole, the mid fourteenth-century mystic and writer.
3643 Incendio Amoris, the Latin mystical work by Richard Rolle which was translated into English as the Fire of Love by Richard Misyn in 1435.
3644 Elizabeth of Hungry, Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-31), the thirteenth-century saint, whose tears of devotion formed a key element of her legend, a legend that was current in England in the fifteenth century.
3648 demyn, think.
3650-51 slawnderyd, etyn, and knawyn, slandered, eaten, and gnawed.
3666 a chapel . . . the Jesyne, a chapel of our Lady called the Gesine, the chapel in St. Margaret's Church in which stood a picture of the birth of Jesus. See Gibson, p. 64.
3667 Anethe, Hardly.
3676 inqwietyng, disturbing.
3704 anow, enough.
3705 safe, save.
3706 prise, price.
3708 asayd, assayed, tested.
3715 faylyn, fail.
3728 faylyn and brestyn, fail and burst.
3734 leryn, learn, i.e., teach.
3738 deryn, harm.
3739 preyn, pray.
3740 to meward, toward me.
3743 clevyn as sor, cleave as closely.
3750 abyte, habit; curyd, covered.
3752 spar, spare (them).
3755 fayn, fain, eager.
3760 grutchyn, grudge, complain.
3776 her in erde, here on earth.
3780 lazerys, lepers.
3789 good to levyn wyth, "levyn" can mean either "live" or "believe"; hence, "good" might refer to either spiritual or material goods; leful, permissable, lawful.
3790 besyn hem, busy themselves.
3791 owt, out, away from.
3794 undyrnemyn, rebuke.
3805 pyment, sweetened and spiced wine.
3806 yrke, weary.
3812 hele, health.
3816-17 'Lord, . . . into thyn hert.' This couplet is repeated later, in chapter 88.
3821 bonowr, gentle, obedient.
3824 fastydyst, fasted.
3838 mythy, mighty, able.
3841 fode, food; discresyd, decreased.
3842 an, have.
3844 tho, those (weeping and crying); the mor thank, thank you more.
3846 gret fyer, the Guild Hall in Lynn was burned on January 23, 1420-21 (?).
3847 hydows, hideous.
3849 ne had grace ne myracle ne ben, had there not been grace nor miracle.
3865 wrowt, worked.
3869 qwer, choir; lantern, open structure upon a roof to give light to the interior.
3876 myrakyl, miracle.
3882 lettyd, hindered; hys kendly, its natural.
3883 sesyd, ceased.
3890 dur, endure.
3895 levyr, rather.
3898 dede hir drynkyn, caused her to drink.
3899 awter, altar.
3900 skylle, reason.
3902 wysys, manners, ways.
3904 for non, forenoon.
3911 demyng, deeming, thinking.
3912 awt, ought.
3919 chapetyl of the Frer Prechowrys, chapter (provincial assembly) of the Dominicans.
3920 it longyth on, one was obliged.
3928 conseyt, thought, (good) opinion.
3929 steryng, stirring.
3930 wistly, certainly.
3940-41 owr Ladiis Assumpsyon, the assumption of the body of the blessed Virgin into heaven.
3943 wol, well.
3946 supportacyon, support.
3950 maystyrschep, lordship, victory.
3954 compassyfly, compassionately.
3961 the priowr, Thomas Hevingham, see chapter 57.
3962 teme, theme.
3965-66 Bischop Wakeryng, John Wakering, Bishop of Norwich, 1416-25.
3978 the Provincyal of the White Frerys, Thomas Netter, elected provincial prior of the English Carmelites in 1414.
3989 sweme, sorrow.
3997 erde, earth.
4000 benefysed, have benefices, ecclesiastical livings or curacies; dar unethys, dare never.
4002 worthy, precious.
4004 oftynar, more often.
4007 Jesyn, see p. 151.
4014 hith, promised.
4025 levyn, live.
4026 be obediens, by obedience (to the will of figures of spiritual authority).
4029 heyl and hool, hale and whole; leve, leave, permission.
4031 dinyn, dine.
4032 mentyl and the ryng, mantle and ring of chastity, i.e., while continuing to live in the world.
4039-40 sawcyd and sawryd, sauced and savored (flavored).
4040 peyr of knyvys, pair of knives.
4045 remownyd, removed.
4047 clepyd, called.
4049 he that was sent to Lynne, John Derham, who briefly succeeded Thomas Hevingham.
4061 as loth as thu art to levyn my steryngys, as loath as you are to believe my stirrings.
4062 er this day sevenyth, within the week.
4063 rehersyd hir, repeated to her.
4070 wetyn in this mater, learn in this matter.
4073-74 for he was . . . of complexion, for he was a weak man with a feeble complexion (constitution).
4074 the kyng deyid, Henry V died on August 31, 1422.
4075 bood, abode.
4076 Bischop of Wynchestyr, Henry Beaufort, half-brother to Henry IV.
4083 lownes, lowness.
4084 frelté, frailty.
4091 deedly, mortal.
4093 wyth lyte, with candles.
4095 abrostyn, have burst.
4102 as sche, as if she.
4104 whech wolde a levyd ful fawyn, who would fain have lived.
4105 and aftyr me . . . yernyng, and after me you have no yearning.
4107 for cawse of comownyng, in order to talk with her.
4112-13 "To hem that . . . into goodnes," Romans 8:28.
4117 mené, supporters, followers, flock.
4124 telde hir in parcel of the cawse, told her part of the reason.
4126 sche myth not acordyn wyth, might not feel easy with; aray, array, clothing.
4127 say, saw.
4128 Holy Thursday, Thursday of Holy Week, the beginning of the intense period of prayer and ritual that ended in Easter; went processyon, went in procession.
4129 Mary Mawdelyn, Mary Magdalene.
4132 swemful, sorrowful.
4134 schulde a brostyn, should have burst.
4134-35 Sche myth . . . rewlyn hirselfe, She might not measure herself nor rule (control) herself.
4138 ententyd, attended.
4139 steyn up, rise up.
4139-40 for sche . . . in erde, in spite of the fact she could not relinquish him on earth.
4149 be teriid, be held back.
4155 dowt, doubt.
4158 to the, for you.
4159-60 Seynt Nicholas Day, there are no accounts in the Book of St. Nicholas' Day.
4160 plenowr remissyon, full forgiveness.
4166 Rafnys, i.e., Margery's stay at Rafnys when she went to Jerusalem and there received plenary remission for her sins.
4174 to ben sekyr, to be sure.
4179 duryn, endure.
4180 lazer, leper.
4185 that, those.
4186 lothful, loathful, hateful.
4188 halsyn, embrace.
4189-90 how gret desyre . . . lazerys, how great a desire she had to kiss lepers.
4191 algatys, anyhow.
4194 her, their.
4199 oo, one.
4202 horibyl thowtys, horrible thoughts. Kempe draws here upon the ancient and false link between leprosy and lechery.
4211 evyl afeerd, terribly afraid.
4212 manykyld, manacled.
4215 alienyd, aliened, out.
4220 gapyd, gaped.
4223 tediows, irritating.
4227 meke, meek.
4230 faryn, fare.
4231 recuryng, recovering.
4233 purifiid as other women be, The reference is to the ceremony of "churching" or purification which occurred some weeks after childbirth and signified a woman's re-entry into parish life.
4235 sey, seen.
4236 sey, saw.
4240 thre scor yer, sixty years.
4241 slederyd, slipped; fotyng, footing; gresys, steps.
4242 bresyd, bruised.
4243 teyntys, rolls of soft material for distending wounds; holyng, healing.
4245 dene, din, noise; luschyng, rushing.
4246 rowyd, streaked.
4254 enchewyn, avoid; perellys, perils; sojowryd, sojourned.
4255 incontinens, incontinence (to their vow of chastity).
4258-59 many evyl folke . . . Jhesu Crist, many evil folks whose tongues were their own, lacking the dread of and love for our Lord Jesus Christ.
4259 demtyn, thought.
4260 to usyn . . . her bodiis, to use, in the sense of sexual use, their physical desires.
4261 aspyin, spy; wetyn, know.
4263 be her . . . consentyng, by their good will and mutual consent.
4264 boord, meals.
4265 lettyd, hindered.
4270 bone, boon, request.
4275 fawyn, fain, gladly.
4282-83 don hys owyn . . . to a sege, could not relieve himself by going to a stool.
4286 costage in fyryng, expenditure in making fires.
4287 an yrked, have begrudged him; saf, except.
4297 fadom, fathoms.
4299 to synnyn on me wilfully, to sin willfully on account of me.
4306 algate, rather, prefer.
4310 buxom, obedient.
4312 planetys, planets.
4313 thundirkrakkys, thunder claps.
4314 levenys, lightning bolts.
4315 stepelys, steeples.
4318 yyt, yet.
4322 erdedenys, earthquakes.
4329 prys, price.
4340-41 he thar nevyr fallyn in dispeyr, he will never fall into despair because of it (his past).
4351 thei, though.
4352 sithys, times.
4356 hey, high.
4359 lest, least.
4363 hyrdil, hurdle.
4363-64 to wonderyn on, to wonder on, to marvel at.
4364 so it wer no perel to her sowlys, as long as it was no peril to their souls, i.e., as long as the sight did not imperil their souls; slory, slurry, thin mud.
4365 slugge, sludge, slime.
4368 Palme Sonday, Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter and the beginning of Holy Week. On this Sunday worshippers carrying palms would process out of the church, and then around it, from east to south to west and enter into the church again through the west door behind the priest and the sacrament (Duffy, pp. 23-27).
4384 langurith, languishes.
4387 fir, fire.
4390 a brostyn, have burst.
4391 al on a watyr, all wet.
4397 languryng, languishing.
4398 mornyng, mourning.
4409 merowr, mirror.
4410 for to, in order to.
4412 dever, duty.
4416 terys, tears.
4421-22 welyn good, will good.
4424 crossestaf, staff of the cross; smet on the chirche dor, smote on the church door, i.e., the point when the Palm Sunday procession entered the church, an entry that at once evoked Jesus' entry into Jerusalem and his entry into hell's gates on Holy Saturday.
4427 oste, host.
4428 mawgre, in spite of.
4433 drow up a cloth, All during Lent, the Crucifix was hidden from view by a painted veil suspended on the rood screen. At the climax of the Palm Sunday ceremony the people gathered in front of the rood screen and knelt as the veil was drawn up on the pulleys, the anthem "Ave Rex Noster'' was sung, and the priests venerated the Crucifix (Duffy, p. 27).
4449 rewth, pity. Much of Kempe's account of Christ's Passion is indebted to Nicholas Love's influential Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ.
4479 wel levar, far rather.
4481 her, here.
4486-87 how may yowr . . . sone se al this wo?, how may your heart endure and see your blissful son see all this woe?
4487 dur, endure.
4488 yyt, yet.
4491 Mownt of Olyvete, Mount of Olives. On the night of the Last Supper, Jesus took the disciples to the Mount of Olives, where he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. There, he asked that the cup of suffering be taken from his lips but only if it was God's will. Shortly thereafter he was betrayed by Judas. See, for example, Mark 14:26-50.
4494 stavys, staves; swerdys, swords.
4495 polexis, pole-axes.
4497 "Ego sum," I am (he).
4498 sowtyn, sought.
4503 be haldyn and drawyn wyth, be held and drawn by.
4505 betyng, beating; bofetyng, buffeting; bobyng, striking.
4506-07 how smet the, who smot you.
4507 wise, way.
4508 syhyd, sighed.
4509 ferd, fared; venymowslych, venomously.
4510 luggen, pull; erys, ears; drawyn, draw, pull.
4513 peler, pillar.
4516 baleys, scourges.
4525 bowt, bought.
4527 peler, pillar.
4528 babelys, metal tip of a lash; leed, lead.
4529 prekelys, prickles; rowelys, rowels, wheels on spurs having several rotating sharp points; tho, those.
4530 comenawnt, covenant.
4531 petows, piteous.
4533 losyd, loosed.
4535 metyn, meet.
4536 boystows, rough; unethe, scarcely.
4547 rendyn of, rend from.
4548 sylke, silk; the which was . . . owr Lordys body, which had stuck and hardened completely and tightly to our Lord's body.
4549 drow, drew.
4552 flayn, flayed.
4555 a row and a boistews, rough and huge.
4557 schrynkyd, shrank; senwys, sinews.
4561 morkyn, marked.
4564 ye cruel Jewys, The anti-Judaism here is similar to but not as intensely expressed as that found in the N-Town cycle, another work of East Anglian provenance. For remarks about anti-Judaism as it pertains to the Book, see Staley (1994), pp. 68-71.
4572 morteys, hole.
4574 reverys, rivers.
4580 Alas, Lord . . . careful modyr, Alas, Lord, you leave here a careful (care-filled) mother.
4581 too, two.
4592-93 Joseph ab Armathy, Joseph of Arimethea, who claimed Jesus' body and helped to bury it.
4599 kissyn hys feet, Margery here asks to venerate the most humble aspect of the body -the physical person - of Christ that unites him with us. Traditionally Mary Magdalene is pictured at the feet of Jesus, so later (p. 196) Margery assumes the position of the Magdalene in venerating Christ's toes.
4610 beriin, bury.
4623 merveyl, marvel.
4624 thens, thence.
4627 ageyn, towards.
4631 mad for owr Lady a good cawdel, made for our Lady a good hot drink. On this detail, see Gibson, p. 51.
4640 careful reed, care-filled counsel, advice.
4643-44 I, synful Petyr . . . Crist, I, sinful Peter, who has forsaken my Lord Jesus Christ.
4648 yerne, quickly.
4664 "Salve, sancta parens," Greetings, blessed parent.
4667 tastyn, examine.
4668 sorhed, soreness.
4680 and herd and . . . of a gardener, See John 20:1-18.
4682 hast awey, have (taken) away.
4690 up reson, up risen.
4697 Purificacyon Day, Feb. 2, the Feast of the Purification, marked by an elaborate procession in which each parishoner carried a candle. See Duffy, pp. 15ff.
4718 fervowr, fervor.
4725 welyn, will.
4733 prevy, secret.
4735 bareyn, barren.
4737 er a suffyrd . . . hem wyth, or would have suffered great bodily pain in order to get tears.
4746-49 whedyr it wer . . . heryn hir er not, whether it (her weeping) was deceptive or not. Since she cried and wept in the sight of the people, they (the two priests) had a secret plan, without her knowledge, by which they would prove whether she cried in order for the people to hear her or not.
4753 in fere, together.
4770 tho, those.
4774 peraventur, perhaps.
4777 lakkyd, lacked.
4781 a don hir left of hir good purpos, have caused her to leave off her good purpose.
4797 ny everydeel, nearly everything.
4798 Abbas of Denney, Abbess of Denny (Cambridgeshire).
4804 pestylens, pestilence.
4812 bodyn, bidden.
4813-14 bodyn ben at hom, bidden stay at home.
4815 yede, went.
4819 botys, boats.
4822 ordeynd, ordained, taken care of.
4838 yyf thu haddist had good anow, if you had had goods enough.
4849 preyst, prays.
4861 hakkyd, hacked; flesche, meat.
4866 nevyr a deel, never at all.
4870 hyd, hidden.
4873 forbere, do without.
4879 wreth, wrath.
4887 bedys byddyng, prayers bidding (saying).
4897 to demyn thin hert, to judge your heart.
4905-06 to the that hast ben synful, to you who have been sinful.
4910 oryson, prayer; hir eyne wer evyr togedirward, her eyes were closed.
4913 howge, huge.
4916 wist, knew.
4920 for none, before noon.
4932 qwer, choir, i.e., in that part of the church which, during services, is appropriated to the singers.
4935 have mynde of, have memory of.
4937 wistly, certainly.
4943 on, one; baselard knyfe, dagger.
4944 kytt, cut.
4952 toos, toes.
4954 sytys, sights.
4960 instawns, urgency.
4965 sotyl, subtle.
4972 ey ledys, eye lids.
4974 kerche, kerchief.
4976 swathyd, swaddled.
4991 clepist, call.
4998 mene, mean, medium.
5004 confessowrys, confessors, those who have given heroic evidence of their faith in Christ.
5005 arayn, array.
5007 cuschyn, cushion.
5008-09 is apropyrd, is given as a property.
5010-11 I bowt the so der, I bought you so dear, i.e., paid your debts on the cross.
5011 aqwityn, acquit, pay back.
5014 rememorawns, remembrance.
5016 gevar, giver.
5022 proparteys, properties.
5027 very, true.
5033 aforn, before.
5034 wistly, certainly.
5037 wostly, certainly.
5039 mekyl, much.
5044 on lyve, alive; hele, health.
5047 as frely fro, as freely from.
5055 sattelyn as sor, settle as sorely.
5081 lownes, lowness.
5083 hily, highly; alle men that thu hast kept seke in my name, all men you have cared for [who have been] sick in my name.
5089 herberwyd, lodged, harbored.
5096 on frende, one friend.
5110 stabelyd, made stable.
5125-26 Sche supposyd sumtyme . . . of an owr, She supposed sometime that five or six hours had not been the space of an hour.
5127 irke, weary.
5128 levar, rather.
5138 hom, home.
5139 bedys, prayers.
5149 wher is . . . owyn reson, where is a better prayer by your own reason.
5157 yowr on knew yowr other, you knew one another.
5160 ronne, ran.
5162 'Lord for thi . . . into thyn hert', This is a variation of the couplet in chapter 65 (p. 156).
5168 prise, value.
5171 dolful, doleful.
5193 levyst, believe.
5204-05 And I schal gevyn the ther ageyn al myn hert, And I shall give you there in return all my heart.
5207 tretys, treatise.
5229 tho that men wenyn . . . illusyons, those that men thought were revelations were deceits and illusions.
5230 sadly abydyn, wisely abide.
6 fest of Seynt Vital Martyr, April 28.
12 usyng marchawndyse, using merchandise, in the sense of being employed in trading goods.
13 a teynyd, have attained.
24 ponysch, punish.
27-28 hys face wex . . . a lepyr, his face grew full of pimples and pustules as if it had been a leper's.
31 lazer, leper.
32 bannyd, cursed.
36 as sche had mad no fors, since she would make no concession.
37 whan he sey non other bote, when he saw no other remedy.
38 promittyng, promising.
39 enchewyng, avoiding.
46 correpcyon, correction.
52 Pruce in Dewchelonde, Prussia in Germany.
61 nevyr purposyng to passyn the see whil sche levyd, never intending to cross the sea while she lived.
65 aray, clothing.
66 vanyté, vanity; daggys, long pointed ends along the hems of tunics or gowns; see chapter 2.
72 for dred of symulacyon, for fear of (his) simulation (of the appearance of virtue).
73 sadde, wise, sober.
74 the drawt, the draw.
84 to certifyin hir, to notify her.
86 levyng, believing.
89 safwarde, safe-keeping.
92 speryd, asked.
95 resyn, arose.
96 Pruce, Prussia.
110 Dewche, German.
111 Duchelond, Germany.
112 resortyn, resort, repair.
113 conseyte, plan; eldmodyr, stepmother.
116 speryd, inquired (about).
119 schrevyn, shriven, confessed.
127 Ho, Who; see, sea.
132 Yepiswech, Ipswich.
134 hirtyd, hurt.
137 ermyte, hermit.
140 jurné, journey; Lenton, Lent.
156 purveyin, provide.
159 Walsyngham, Walsingham, one of the most important pilgrim sites in England.
174 wenyn, knows.
177 durst, dared.
180 leve, believe.
186 that awt . . . wyth hir, who ought most to have been with her.
189 wetyng, knowing.
190 a, have; abeyn, obey.
201 levyng, way of life.
203-04 Passyon Weke, Passion Week, the week beginning with Palm Sunday and ending with Easter.
205 prevyng, proving.
208 cowde, knew; chefsyawns, protection, relief.
215 bannyd, reproached; wariid, cursed.
219 lesse than thu the sonar, unless you soon.
220 enjoyin, rejoice.
228 feerdnes, fearfulness.
247 drow, drew.
254 curyd, covered.
255 purveyd, provided for.
262 kende, natural.
264 monischyd, admonished.
265 diswer, doubt.
274 Wilsnak, Wilsnack in Brandenberg, Germany.
275 oostys, hosts.
280 al qwite, repay.
281 costys, coasts.
282 heeke, a small boat containing hatches.
283 myth sche han . . . of that lond, she could not get leave to go out of that land. In 1433 there were uneasy trade relations between England and Prussia that had an impact on shipping and, inevitably, upon English travellers in Prussia.
285 heerys of Pruce, Teutonic knights.
288 prevyly, secretly; apertly, openly.
291 wawe, wave.
293 resyn sor, arose greatly.
297 Strawissownd, Stralsund in Pomerania, Germany.
298 ryth wretyn, written correctly.
305-06 for ther was . . . tho cuntreys, for there was open war between the English and those countries. Kempe refers here to the hostilities over trade during the 1430s.
316 the yrkar, the more irked.
323 arayd, dressed; fyten, fight.
329 dysewsyd of, unused to; three scor yer of age, i.e., sixty years old.
330 cotidianly, quotidianly, daily; pase, pace; fryke, vigorous; lusty, eager.
331 it lukkyd hem, they happened; ostage, hostel.
333 leevyn, lightning.
338 wayne, wain, wagon.
346 beed, bode, stayed.
347 Akunward, Aachen in Prussia; waynys, carts.
349 rekles, reckless.
352 chapmen, merchants.
353-54 Frer Menowrys, Franciscans.
354 thrist, thirst; bodyn, bade.
357 potel, two quart vessel.
359 utas, octave; Corpus Cristi, the Feast of Corpus Christi, which occurs on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday.
365 waynys, wagons.
367 Sawter, Psalter, the Psalms.
367-68 "Qui seminant . . . and flebant", allusion to verses from Psalm 126:5-6: "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him."
369 wrothar, more angry.
373 instawns, urgency.
374 utas of, octave of (festive week after).
377 proferyd, offered; wolde, wished.
388 ther sche was at oste, where she was at hostel.
389 sterte, tail (?), probably a reference to continental jokes about the English having tails; perhaps a derogatory and salacious word for an Englishwoman.
396 Akun, Aachen.
397 betymys, early.
398 speryng at, asking of.
405 bowte, bought.
406 dedyn of her, took off their.
407 pykyd hem, picked them (for lice); abydyn hem, abide with them.
408 jurné, journey.
409 was abavyd, was afraid, embarrassed.
410 betyn, bitten.
416 owr Ladys smokke, the smock Mary wore at Christ's birth, one of Aachen's four important relics.
417 Seynt Margaretys Day, July 20; it lukkyd, it happened.
418 meny, household.
424 mené, household.
429-30 yf sche myth . . . yerne as thei, if she could endure going as quickly as they.
431 lettyng, loitering, hindering.
436 scharpar, more painful.
437 yern, swiftly.
438 socowr, help.
446 alle in fer, all in company.
447 agyd, aged; weyke, weak.
449 costys, costs.
453 softly, easily; beyng evyl for thryst, craving drink.
464 sped, speed.
467 latyn hir payn, let her pay.
469-70 sche had mad forward, she had made an agreement.
472 wenyng, thinking.
478 diswer, doubt.
489 hast, haste; drowyn ther, drew where.
491-92 an hep of brakys, a heap of ferns.
492 instawns, urgency.
493 berne, barn.
494 thei made aseth, they made compensation.
497 ful febyl herberwe, not many hostels.
501-02 Therfor sche . . . no nyth les, Therefore she went to bed gladly (easily) no night unless.
508 as sche myth ateyn, as she was able.
514 abydyng schepyng, awaiting shipping.
518 speryd and spyid, inquired and espied.
520 boryn, borne.
528-29 preservyn hir fro . . . in her presens, save her from sea-sickness in their presence.
531 her alderys mervelyng, all marvelling at her.
539 hogelyd, hastily dressed.
540 unsperd and unbotenyd, unfastened and unbuttoned.
546 yen, yonder.
548 clad in a . . . sekkyn gelle, clad in a cloth of canvas like a garment made of sack.
551 chefsyawns, financial transaction, borrowing.
552 bar a kerche befor hir face, bore a handkerchief before her face, i.e., to disguise herself until she had proper clothing.
553 Mar. Kempe of Lynne, only here does Kempe sign her book.
558 lesyngys, lies.
559 powyr, power.
560 tungys, tongues.
561 autorys, authors.
565 mete, meal.
566 divers of fyschys, different varieties of fish.
567-68 "A, thu fals flesch . . . han thi wille", A, you false flesh, you would now eat red herring (eat the lesser fish as a sign of false humility), but you shall not have your will.
573 kyd, known.
583 jangelyd, gossiped, talked idly.
587 leevyng of gret metys, leaving coarse meats.
591 arectyd, imputed.
595 aseeth makyng, making satisfaction; ageyn, against.
596 swerars, swearers; bannars, cursers.
605 ledyn, lead.
611 Lammes Day, Lammas Day, August 1, the feast of Saint Peter in Chains, a day on which rents were traditionally collected, a day associated with the agricultural harvest, and a day that commemorated Peter's freedom from his prison chains and thus our liberation from sin. In addition, the pope had set aside the day for special pardon for pilgrims who honored St. Bridget by visiting the abbey.
612 Schene, the Carthusian monastery at Shene, founded by Henry V in 1415; Kempe's reference, however, is to Mount Syon, the Brigettine abbey at Isleworth, where the Lammas Day pardon was a special indulgence.
614 rememorawns, remembrance.
625 abite, habit.
633 eyr, heir.
638-39 to the seward, seaward.
645 wetyn, let you know.
652 aqwityn, acquit, pay back.
654 her botherys, both of their.
656 obediencer, a person who vows obedience to some person, office, or rule.
664 ympne, hymn; "Veni creator spiritus," "Come Holy Spirit," the pentecostal hymn.
666 Pentecost Day, the festival that occurs on the seventh Sunday after Easter and celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit; induyn, endue, endow.
668 enchewyn, eschew, avoid.
675 wistly, certainly.
681 inseare, one who sees into.
685 moryn, increase.
686 lyvys er dedys, alive or dead; her, here; eyne, eyes.
690 wistly, certainly.
698 as anemst, as regards.
706 statys, states, estates.
712 partabyl of, able to share in.
717 weldyng, control.
728 titharys, tithers; vowtererys, adulterers.
729 levarys, people.
730 sonar, sooner.
739 bedred, bedridden.
750 spitys, spites.
753 moryng, increasing.
756 fres and salt, fresh and salt; cheselys, pebbles.
757 gresys, grasses; kyrnellys, kernels.
758 fedir, feather; er her, or hair.
761 kynnes, kind.
767 schenschep, disgrace.
769 lawdacyon, laudation.
773 leef, dear; der, precious.
782 Mary Egipcyan, St. Mary of Egypt, the third-century prostitute who, in grieving for her sins, lived forty years as a desert saint; Seynt Awstyn, Saint Augustine of Hippo.
784 beqwothyn, bequeathed.
785 lovars, lovers.
786 vowtré, adultery.
790 Lazer, Lazarus, brother of Martha and Mary, whom Jesus raised from the dead.
791 holy stede, holy place.
795 Gramercy, lit., Grant mercy.
798 feithyn, believe.
801 Salthows, the name of the man who copied the manuscript, probably in the mid-fifteenth century.
THE BOOK OF MAGERY KEMPE: NOTES
An early sixteenth-century reader/editor has gone through the manuscript emending it in red ink. In the notes I have dealt with these markings as if they came from Margery's first editor, noting some of those emendations particularly those that typify that reader's reconstruction of her text. Sometimes, as in lines 146 and 206, this effort simply modernizes Margery's idiom. Elsewhere the concern seems to be with streamlining the syntax (i.e., lines 714, 2035). In some instances the emendations seem necessary (e.g., lines 11 and 103), and I have adopted them for my text. We have no way of knowing whether the red hand has any authority for the alterations other than his/her own reading of the text. For a systematic annotation of the red hand see the notes to Meech's edition. In the MS, chapter numbers are written in the outer margins at the beginning of each chapter. Each chapter begins with a rubric capital.
11 oure. MS: added above Savyour in red.
32 sum men. MS: summen.
92 yyf. MS: 3yf. With this construction, I have converted all yoghs to y.
105 of. MS: added in red above peyr.
126 be the. MS: bethe.
129 Mary Maudelyn. As a penitent, lover of Christ, mourner, chief witness of the Resurrection, missionary, and mystic seer, the Magdalene was a key figure in the literature of affective devotion. The numerous references to the saint throughout the Book of Margery Kempe seem designed to indicate a particular identity for Margery who, like the Magdalene, would see herself as one of Jesus' intimate friends or lovers. For a discussion of the role of the Magdalene in the late medieval literature of devotion, including further bibliographical references, see Johnson (1979) and (1984, pp.146-68). For a study of the Magdalene in relation to the late medieval and probably East-Anglian play, the Digby Mary Magdalene, see Davidson. By noting that the text of Margery's life began to take a written form on July 23, the day after the saint's feast day, Kempe suggests that Margery, like Mary, was a potent witness to the new life, that her visions inspired others to"see."
146 gan. MS: be in superscript correction above gan in red.
151 brennyng. MS: brennyg.
160 steryngys. Stirrings, from the verb stirren, is a term frequently used by Richard Rolle, the enormously popular and influential mid-fourteenth-century devotional writer, to describe the physical symptoms of his passionate spiritual ecstasy. It became a "key word" for those writing about or talking about devotion and/or subjectivity. The word itself could indicate either spiritual or physical arousal. Stirren could also mean to set in motion, to turn aside, to rouse, to trouble, to exhort or coax, to inspire or prompt, and to incite. Kempe's uses of it should be seen as one more instance of her self-conscious use of language. For a consideration of Hilton's proscriptive use of the term, see Staley, "Julian of Norwich and the Late Fourteenth-Century Crisis of Authority," in Aers and Staley, Powers of the Holy, pp. 107-78.
183 sche. Not in MS. Meech's emendation.
205 gan. MS: be in superscript above gan in red.
228 he2. MS: het.
233 seyd on. Meech mistranscribes as seyden and emends by adding [o thyng], which is unnecessary since on supplies the "one thing" sense.
250 cowd not. MS: cowdnot.
253 ye know. MS: yeknow.
289 entryng. MS: entryg.
306 wownd of. MS: vy crossed out after of.
309 temptacyon. MS: tamptacyon, with e in superscript above the first a.
332 suasyons. MS: suasynons with the first n expuncted and crossed out.
332 gan. MS: be in superscript above gan in red.
341 and. MS: k crossed out after and.
374 grawnt. MS: grawt.
392 to. to in superscript between gefe and the.
398 ernest peny of hevyn. It is worth noting that Hugh of St. Victor wrote a treatise on the earnest penny as a metaphor of Christ's love of his bride. See his Soliloquy on the Earnest Money of the Soul, trans. Kevin Herbert (Milwaukee: Marquette Christianity Press, 1956).
402 schuld. MS: schul.
406 than. MS: than in superscript between And and anoon.
442 ob. of is occasionally written ob in anticipation of words beginning with b.
462 N. Meech reads this letter as an R (see the note to Meech, p. 20), but it looks more like an N. This usage is consistent with the widespread habit (including that of the scribe of this manuscript) of using the letter N as a "wildcard character." See, for example, the beginning of Chapter 2, where Kempe identifies her father as mayor of the town of N.
462 mor. MS: thow in superscript above mor in red.
486 hir. k crossed out after hir and before bakke.
503 rathyr. Meech transcribes as rathar.
507 grawntyn. MS: grawtyn.
522 comown. Comown, from the verb comowmyn, has come down to us as "commune," but our word seems to me far less allusive than the medieval term. "Common," though it is now used only as an adjective, more closely captures the complicated association encoded in the medieval verb. Comown could be used to describe the act of sharing or entering into a partnership, of acting jointly, of having sexual intercourse, of communicating, or of receiving or administering Holy Communion. Like her equally elastic use of medelyn, Kempe's word-play hints at the many types of communities she considers in her Book.
571 to. Though the word is almost illegible, it looks like to.
622 a. Marked with a caret, in superscript between al and day.
626 mech. the expuncted after of; mech marked with a caret and in superscript between the and pepyl.
626 toke. ke in superscript above to.
629 thow. tho expuncted after wold; thow in superscript above.
671 begynnyng. MS: begynnyg.
678 thowt. MS: thow.
682 woldyst. The words suffer deth are added in very dark ink in large letters in the outer margin. The caret after the phrase corresponds to the caret after woldyst in the text.
692 watyr. fro, which is expuncted in red, follows watyr.
wasch it. MS: waschit.
697 hem. MS: to in superscript above hem in red.
700 compunccyon. MS: compuccyon.
711 Thowgh. MS: th, with a caret afterwards, owgh in dark letters above.
714 owyr Lord. MS: crossed out in red.
714 hys. MS: crossed out in red.
722 hir. as crossed through and expuncted after hir.
731 I. l crossed through after I.
735 slawndyr. MS: slawdyr.
804 mend. MS: soull in superscript above mend in red.
810 the. archsh crossed out after the.
813 to. MS: ty. o written in red on top of original y.
823 cam forth. MS: camforth.
829 hir. to crossed out after hir.
838 dalyawns. Lower right corner of the folio has been destroyed.
843 maynten. MS: mayten.
857 behyte. hyte partially destroyed.
863 The chapter break is followed in the MS by a directive note in red. It runs from the chapter into the margin. It reads: it begynnes thus in the tyme the vj lefe efter.The reference directs a reader to chapter 21, which recounts events (the beginning of Margery's special relationship with her confessor) prior to those in chapter 16. See also Introduction, p. 5, for a discussion of these lines.
880 sowle. owl partially destroyed, e completely destroyed.
899 Bridis. MS: Pridis.
899 The Latin titles refer to key works of affective piety that link Margery to the concerns of late medieval lay devotion. See Introduction, pp. 5-6.
902 sumtyme. sumty completely destroyed.
925 had. h and d partially destroyed. There was probably one more word at the end of the line. of is written in the lower margin under she.
949 helde. The word itself is obliterated, but there appears to be space for a four-letter word. Only the upper part of d, about two letter spaces from the left-hand margin, remains. Helde is Meech's suggestion.
972 muste. uste completely destroyed. At the end of the line, there is further space for either a two- or a three-letter word.
979 For a discussion of this attribution to Jerome (which seems not to belong to him but reflects pious popular tradition), see Meech, p. 279, n. 43/7.
982 sete. seet, perhaps in the original hand, is written above sete.
996 and causyd. Only syd is legible; the rest is completely destroyed. Meech's emendation.
1012 levyn. MS: be in red followed by a red hyphen in the margin.
1019 bryte. MS: yte partially destroyed.
1020 dyrke. One, or perhaps two, words may have been destroyed here at the end of the line.
the mor. This is Meech's emendation. The lower right-hand corner of the manuscript has been destroyed, and on this final line there is space for perhaps seven to nine more letters.
1023 a tyme. MS: atyme.
1046 eraend. Altered from erden. d changed to a, and d fitted in at the end of the word.
1055 wyth. many expuncted after wyth.
1068 Yyf ye. MS: 3yf ye completely destroyed.
messys. The tops of two letters (perhaps ss) are visible. See also Meech. There is space on the line for another word.
1078 a day. MS: aday.
1092 grace. gr completely destroyed.
1093 I prevyd. Only the d survives. Meech suggests I lovyd here, but the sense seems to indicate God's intent to test those he loves. There are about seven generous letter spaces here in the lower right-hand corner of the folio.
1093-94 that evyr men. Meech's suggestion; the words are completely destroyed.
1118 of. Only the top of a letter, probably f, remains.
1147 creatur. MS: mater.
1157 togedyr. MS: in love in superscript above togedyr in red.
1158 synguler. j crossed out after synguler.
1159 schal. Not in manuscript. In the far right margin, in very large dark letters, are the words that I xal.
1171 And therfor. And therfor is written twice; the first instance is expuncted and crossed through.
1177 anoynted. MS: a noyted.
1189 have. is crossed through after have.
1190 and. and preceding thei has been crossed out in red.
1199 dawnsyn. MS: gostly in superscript above dawnsyn in red.
1213 massage as. & expuncted after massage; as written in superscript above sche.
1217 messe peny. A "mass penny" was given to enter the name of the dead on the parish bede-roll. See Duffy, pp. 334-37.
1260 ellys not a. not in very dark letters above a, with a caret after ellys.
1266 had. The loop of the h is still visible, along with the top of what may be a d.
1270 irregularité. Defined by MED as "violation of the rules of holy orders or provisions of canon law."
1290 a. Only the top of the letter is visible.
1294 latyth. MS: lathyth, with the first h expuncted.
1317 hym. m is destroyed.
1321 than. MS: to in superscript above than in red.
1342 Benetys. Be completely destroyed; n partially destroyed. Meech's reconstruction.
1357 wythstod hem. MS: wythstodhem.
1361 He. Not in MS. Meech's emendation.
1369 geve. e destroyed. There is space at the end of the line for another short word, perhaps hem.
1391 befel in. Completely destroyed. Meech's reconstruction.
1415 gretly. The loop of the e and the tops of two letters are still visible.
1416 of God. Completely destroyed. Meech's reconstruction.
1417-18 The great fear that accompanied the final hours was that of the devil worrying or threatening the soul in extremis. Margery's fellows thus wish upon her not simply death, but a spiritually painful death.
1427 Constance, in Germany, was at once a city on the common route from Lynn to Venice and the site of the important Council of Constance from 1414 to 1418. For remarks about the significance of Constance for Margery's itinerary, see Staley (1994), pp. 157-58.
1429 wentyn. MS: wenty.
1438 to Constanwnsward. to completely destroyed.
1439 harmyd. Only the d is still visible. harmyd is Meech's emendation, but other words such as grevyd or robbyd are possible.
1442 owyr. MS: owryr.
1447 schewyd. hir crossed out after schewyd.
1464 syttyng. g is partially destroyed. After syttyng there is space for a short word, such as stylle.
1468 seyd. Not in MS. Meech's emendation.
1471 don. MS: byd in superscript above don in red.
1488 gyde. gy completely destroyed; de partially destroyed.
1515 speke. Only the top of the letter s is visible.
1535 whech. s crossed out after whech.
1538 to. Added in red in the margin.
1539 so than. Only the an is visible. Meech conjectures & than.
1541 thow it. MS: thowit.
1555 of. MS: written in superscript in black.
1564 to. to is underlined and crossed out in very dark ink. Above to is written on in very dark ink.
1566 on. MS blank at this point.
peynys. Only the top of what looks like a p remains; peynys is Meech's suggestion.
1581 for. th crossed through after for.
1583 ellys. MS: elly.
1589 best. Lower part of b destroyed.
1590 alone. a completely destroyed; lone partially destroyed.
1613 beforn. n partially destroyed.
1614 sowle. ow partially destroyed; le completely destroyed.
1637 suffyr yt. fyr completely destroyed; y partially destroyed.
1645 we. thei has been changed to we in red.
1651 so. owyr lady crossed out after so.
1658 was. Not in MS; then in superscript in red.
1663 to the. Conjectural; the words are destroyed in the MS.
1687 as. Only the top part of the s remains.
1688 wyth the. Completely destroyed; the suggestion is Meech's.
1711 hir gon. Letters ir and on are partially destroyed.
Lord. ord completely destroyed. Meech conjectures that Jhesu might have followed, since there is room at the end of the line.
1733 ther Lazer. ther and a are partially destroyed; zer is completely destroyed.
1734 went also. Meech's conjecture. Only what looks like the top part of the final o remains.
1748 holy. A caret is after tho; holy is written in very small letters above.
1757 servawnt that. nt that completely destroyed. There is space for, at most, five letters after w. Meech feels, and I concur, that þat is therefore a more likely choice than whech.
1758 Drede. Only the D remains.
1759 bryng the. Only br remains.
1760 be. k crossed out after be.
1774 of2. Added in superscript in red between sche and hir.
1780 For thy. For completely destroyed; th partially destroyed.
1781 whech. whec completely destroyed; h partially destroyed.
1781-82 I have no. I have completely destroyed; no partially destroyed. Meech's reconstruction.
1806 and. Ampersand partially destroyed.
1824 sche. con crossed out after sche.
1828 good wyfe. MS: wyfe good, with signs for inversion.
1829 hir. h partially destroyed.
1852 how. w partially destroyed.
1876 of. o completely destroyed; f partially destroyed.
1897 seyest. Second e in superscript, and second s written on top of a d.
1900 thu. Added in red in outer margin.
1901 blyssed. d partially destroyed.
1917 he. Not in MS. Meech's emendation.
1921 days. MS: dayd.
1932 spiryt, not levyng. er a sodeyn sekenes crossed through after spiryt and before not levyng.
2028 in. MS: gostle in superscript above in in red.
2035 in hir sowle. MS: crossed out in red.
2052 sche. sy crossed through after sche.
2096 many other. MS: other many with signs for inversion.
2106 wife. wife added in red above good, with a caret after good.
2180 undirstand. b crossed out after undirstand.
2227 Brigypt. MS: B.
2231 Brigypt. MS: Bri.
2241 our Lord. owyr lord expuncted after our lord.
2248 the. MS: þo
2266 in. MS: in in.
2270 she. MS: he; s added in red.
2290 lernyd. r in superscript between e and n.
2320 hir. r written on top of m.
2327-28 whech was . . . beriid. The section in parentheses is written at the end of the chapter and marked by an a that corresponds to another a in the left margin where the phrase should be inserted.
2340 goodys. MS: godys, with an o in superscript between g and o.
2460 not. not written in red above dey.
2467 cryen. MS: cryed. Meech's emendation.
2477 had. Not in MS. Meech's emendation.
2498 the brokebakkyd. the added in red in the inner margin.
2524 Corpus Cristi. MS: xpi.
2550 riche man. MS: richeman.
2552 ryche man. MS: rycheman.
2561 dalyin. MS: dalyid. Meech's emendation.
2609 gan meltyn. MS: be in superscript before gan in red; to in superscript before meltyn in red.
2633 mevyd. MS: was in superscript before mevyd in red.
the. Added in red in superscript between of and man.
2643 dede. MS: lete in superscript before dede in red.
2663 strobelyd. Meech emends to strogelyd, following the rubrications of the MS editor who placed g in red above a red caret between o and b. MED cites numerous instances of strobelin as a past participle form of striven. Perhaps the sense is that the inquisitor "roughed her up," or "verbally abused her," or "fondled her," or "threw her into confusion."
2718-19 "ther is no man in this worlde that I lofe so meche as God, for I lofe hym abovyn al thynge, and . . . I lofe al men in God and for God." Margery adheres here to a common-place Augustinian definition of love, that charity is the love of God for the sake of God and love of man and things for the sake of God. See On Christian Doctrine, Bk. I, ch. xxvi-xxvii and Bk. III, ch. x.16.
2757 not. Added in red above stondyn.
2775 sche. MS: sche sche; second sche crossed through in red.
2807 into. MS: in designated by a caret and written in superscript before to.
2812 thei. d crossed out after thei.
2854 a worschepful. MS: aworschepful.
2870 in. MS: Yok crossed through after in.
2885 a. a, designated by a caret, in superscript between as and juge.
2891 sotyn.Meech emended this word tofotyn; however, sotyn conveys the sense of the persecution of the innocent that is central to Kempe's presentation of Margery's difficulties with figures of authority. She also uses the verb in her account of the Passion (chapter 79).
2908 chawmbyr. MS: chawbyr.
2909 good man. MS: goodman.
2959 it. MS: is. Meech's emendation.
2964 schalt ne. ne not in MS.
2974 swythe. e in superscript.
2987 hymyr party. Meech glosses as "rear." MED glosses himmere in Ancrene Wise as "?inglorious," though this does not seem to be the same word. Hymyr might conceivably be a corruption of hamer (see MED himer), used here as a euphemism for genitalia.
2988 hevynes. d crossed through after hevynes.
3022 Erchebischopys. MS: Ercheb with a horizontal line through the stem of the b. This abbreviation is used often after this first mention.
3045 he. MS: sche, with sc crossed through in red.
3066 ryth good. Caret before good and ryth is written above.
3117 nowt. nowt not in MS. Meech's emendation.
3155 it. ky expuncted after it.
3166 we. MS: wey, with y expuncted and crossed through.
3172 prevyd. MS: neithyr l crossed through after prevyd.
3189 alle. cm L.vv. is written after alle to indicate the chapter that begins on the following page.
3191 happyd. The first p of happyd is written on top of a d.
3213 West Lynne. MS: Westlynne.
3276 was. MS: s crossed through after was.
3297 the awter. l crossed through after the.
3351 man. MS: or woman in superscript above man in red.
3392 that. that is written above what, which is expuncted.
3407 savyd. al expuncted and crossed through after savyd.
3409 belevyn. it expuncted after belevyn.
3434 mendys. abedyn with hir crossed through after mendys.
3441 the. thy has been crossed through, and an e written above the y, which has been changed into a þ.
3511 convent. MS: conent.
3525 and. he crossed out after and.
3639 se me. MS: seme
3736 charité. Though Meech retains the phrase "token of love," it is enclosed by parallel slash marks that indicate the scribe deleted the phrase and substituted charité, which he wrote above token of love.
3758 arn. passyd owt of the worlde crossed through after arn.
3788 thynkyst. al the world expuncted after thynkyst.
3789 unto. There is a caret before to; un is written above.
3883 whan. w expuncted after whan.
3895 divinité. MS: and sade in superscript after divinite in red.
3952 a gret. MS: agret.
3957 frer. as crossed out after frer.
3969 reguler and seculer. Refers to the distinction between a member of the clergy living under a monastic rule and one living within the world, such as a clerk or a canon.
3975 Holy Scriptur. MS: Scriptur Holy, with signs for inversion.
4012 God. w crossed through after God.
4024 that. l expuncted after that.
4098 desiryd. A dark stain obliterates si.
4101 owr. MS: Lord in superscript above owr in red.
4103 beheldyn. MS: ben heldeyn.
4108 a. Flourished m crossed through after a.
4109 sche. s crossed through after sche.
4116 meny. Literally "household," a term more often used to describe the households, or entourages, of the worldly. That Kempe often uses it to describe those persons surrounding or in the employ of ecclesiastical figures carries its own delicately charged irony.
4120 not. MS: to, with no in red above.
4130 Lady. Lady not in MS; designated by a red caret and added in dark ink in the right margin.
4150 sonys. MS: sonyd, with second s altering original d.
4168 and. MS: & &.
4183 seke man. MS: sekeman.
4249 hys. d crossed out after hys.
4259 owyn. hurt, indicated by a caret after owyn, is written in red above fayling.
4260 the. f expuncted after the.
4351 to me. MS: tome.
4452 teld. MS: tel.
4460 comfort. MS: comfor.
4470 ye. j has been changed to 3e, indicated by a caret, added above.
4478 ful. w crossed through after ful.
4509 venymowslych. MS: venowslych. Meech's emendation.
4512 had. Added in red above.
4513 he. Added in red above.
4531 ryth. wo crossed through after ryth.
4533 beryn. MS: to the mount expuncted after beryn.
4590 to. MS: to to.
4592 sorwe. wyth crossed through after sorwe; for is written between wyth and yow in superscript.
4631-33 mad for owr Lady . . . The creatur. These lines are crossed through in dark ink, which could be the same color as the original. The deletion is especially interesting, since it does not damage the sense of the narrative and perhaps suggests that the scribe himself exercised certain editorial liberties over the text he copied.
4634 er. er, indicated by a caret between gon and wher, is written in superscript.
4657 thynke. þ crossed through after thynke.
4663 wyth. wyth has been added in red in superscript.
ther. ther is written above of, which has been expuncted.
4670 schal. 3e crossed out and expuncted after schal.
4740 wythdrow. hir crossed through after wythdrow.
4825-26 and holpyn . . . his deth. These words have been crossed through in red.
4884 chosyn. specyal is expuncted here; chosyn is written above it.
4925 was. g crossed through after was.
4926 she. Added in red in the near right margin.
4943-44 And than . . . the brest. These words have been crossed through in red.
4950 to. to, indicated by a caret, is written in superscript.
4956 inundirstondabyl. in has been prefixed in red.
4980 as. meche has been expuncted after as.
5004 virginys. to wolcomyn me in thi sowle has been expuncted after virginys.
5051 that. the crossed through after that.
5137 so. MS: so so.
5148 be. be, indicated by a caret, is written in superscript between dowtyr and this.
5188 plesyd. MS: displesyd, with dis expuncted and crossed out.
5221 herd. herd has been added in red above the line.
26 evyl. MS: evyl evyl.
46 correpcyon. p has been written over an original c.
185 in. MS: in in, with the first in expuncted.
226 we. we is written in red on top of the original me.
sorw. sorw is written above perel, which is expuncted.
258 therfor. for is written on the line below ther.
276 ther. up expuncted and crossed through after ther.
379 han. j crossed out after han.
387 whom sche myth. MS: whom sche sche myth with second sche crossed out in red.
rest on. MS: reston.
412 Akun. Written on the line below comyn to.
424 of. MS: of of, with the second of crossed out in red.
519 o wey. MS: owey.
528 and. MS: &&, with the first & crossed through in red.
569 And swech . . . a seyd. These words are crossed through in red.
588 sche. t crossed through after sche.
594 thei. Not in MS. Meech's emendation.
628 the. e is written in superscript; th is added in red.
629 unkendnes. MS: unkednes.
642 Lynne. so crossed through after Lynne.
644 ful. ful is written in superscript between answeryng and schortly.
658-59 The second part of the Book ends nine lines into the first leaf of folio 120. The final words, "worschepyd be God," are closed by a period and followed by "Amen." On the same line in red ink is another "Amen." The remainder of the page has been left blank. The scribe began the prayers on the verso side of folio 120, using a large capital T ("Thys" . . .), suggesting that the prayers are a separate section of the manuscript.
676 spechys. c written over an original h.
677 ne myn. MS: nemyn.
689 fro. MS: fro fro, with first fro crossed out in red.
709 mercy. s crossed through after mercy.
715 the. MS: hym crossed through in red; the is written above in red.
719-20 And as thu hast spred thi mercy to hem that arn in erthe. The syntax is faulty here. Meech suggests that the sentence may originally have been something like this: And as thu hast spred thi mercy [to hem that arn in Heuyn, so spred thi mercy] to hem that arn in erthe (p. 250).
754 many. he and more letters are destroyed at the end of the line following many.
755 wythowtyn. ow is partially destroyed; tyn is completely destroyed; in the second wythowtyn, tyn is completely destroyed.
756 cheselys. y is partially destroyed; s is competely destroyed.
758 of1. man is expuncted after of.
778 fadrys. dr partially destroyed.
779 and. and completely destroyed.
780 in yow alle. alle is completely destroyed.
781 hast. h is completely destroyed; a is partially destroyed.
801 Jhesu mercy quod Salthows. This scribal thanksgiving is centered and written on the bottom of the last leaf.
Here begynnyth a schort tretys and a comfortabyl for synful wrecchys, wherin thei
may have gret solas and comfort to hem and undyrstondyn the hy and unspecabyl
mercy of ower sovereyn Savyowr Cryst Jhesu, whos name be worschepd and magnyfyed
wythowten ende, that now in ower days to us unworthy deyneth to exercysen hys nobeley
and hys goodnesse. Alle the werkys of ower Saviowr ben for ower exampyl and
instruccyon, and what grace that he werkyth in any creatur is ower profyth yf lak of
charyté be not ower hynderawnce. And therfor, be the leve of ower mercyful Lord
Cryst Jhesu, to the magnyfying of hys holy name, Jhesu, this lytyl tretys schal tretyn
sumdeel in parcel of hys wonderful werkys, how mercyfully, how benyngly, and how
charytefully he meved and stered a synful caytyf unto hys love, whech synful caytyf
many yerys was in wyl and in purpose thorw steryng of the Holy Gost to folwyn oure
Savyour, makyng gret behestys of fastyngys wyth many other dedys of penawns. And
evyr sche was turned agen abak in tym of temptacyon, lech unto the reedspyr whech
boweth wyth every wynd and nevyr is stable les than no wynd bloweth, unto the tyme
that ower mercyfulle Lord Cryst Jhesu havyng pety and compassyon of hys handwerke
and hys creatur turnyd helth into sekenesse, prosperyté into adversyté, worshep into
repref, and love into hatered. Thus alle this thyngys turnyng up so down, this creatur
whych many yerys had gon wyl and evyr ben unstable was parfythly drawen and steryd
to entren the wey of hy perfeccyon, whech parfyth wey Cryst ower Savyowr in hys
propyr persoone examplyd. Sadly he trad it and dewly he went it beforn. Than this
creatur, of whom thys tretys thorw the mercy of Jhesu schal schewen in party the levyng,
towched be the hand of owyr Lord wyth grett bodyly sekenesse, wher thorw sche lost
reson and her wyttes a long tym tyl ower Lord be grace restoryd her ageyn, as it schal
mor openly be schewed aftyrward. Her werdly goodys, whech wer plentyuows and
abundawnt at that day, in lytyl whyle after wer ful bareyn and bare. Than was pompe
and pryde cast down and leyd on syde. Thei that beforn had worshepd her sythen ful
scharply reprevyd her; her kynred and thei that had ben frendys wer now hyr most
enmys. Than sche, consyderyng this wondyrful chawngyng, sekyng socowr undyr the
wengys of hyr gostly modyr, Holy Cherch, went and obeyd hyr to hyr gostly fadyr,
accusyng hyrself of her mysdeds, and sythen ded gret bodyly penawns. And in schort
tyme ower mercyful Lord vysytyd this creatur wyth plentyuows teerys of contricyon
day be day, in so mech that sum men seyden sche mygth wepen whan sche wold and
slawndered the werk of God. Sche was so usyd to be slawndred and repreved, to be
cheden and rebuked of the world for grace and vertu wyth whech sche was indued
thorw the strength of the Holy Gost that it was to her in a maner of solas and comfort
whan sche sufferyd any dysese for the lofe of God and for the grace that God wrowht
in hyr. For evyr the mor slawnder and repref that sche sufferyd, the mor sche incresyd
in grace and in devocyon of holy medytacyon of hy contemplacyon and of wonderful
spechys and dalyawns whech owr Lord spak and dalyid to hyr sowle, techyng hyr
how sche schuld be despysed for hys lofe, how sche schuld han pacyens, settyng all
hyr trost, alle hyr lofe, and alle hyr affeccyon in hym only. Sche knew and undyrstod
many secret and prevy thyngys whech schuld beffallen aftyrward be inspiracyon of
the Holy Gost. And often tymes, whel sche was kept wyth swech holy spechys and
dalyawns, sche schuld so wepyn and sobbyn that many men wer gretly awondyr, for
thei wysten ful lytyl how homly ower Lord was in hyr sowle. Ne hyrself cowd nevyr
telle the grace that sche felt, it was so hevenly, so hy aboven hyr reson and hyr bodyly
wyttys, and hyr body so febyl in tym of the presens of grace that sche myth nevyr
expressyn it wyth her word lych as sche felt it in hyr sowle. Than had this creatur
mech drede for illusyons and deceytys of hyr gostly enmys. Than went sche be the
byddyng of the Holy Gost to many worshepful clerkys, bothe archebysshopys and
bysshoppys, doctowrs of dyvynyté and bachelers also. Sche spak also wyth many
ankrys and schewed hem hyr maner of levyng and swech grace as the Holy Gost of
hys goodnesse wrowt in hyr mende and in hyr sowle as her wytt wold serven hyr to
expressyn it. And thei alle that sche schewed hyr secretys unto seyd sche was mech
bownde to loven ower Lord for the grace that he schewyd unto hyr and cownseld hyr
to folwyn hyr mevynggys and hyr steringgys and trustly belevyn it weren of the Holy
Gost and of noon evyl spyryt. Summe of these worthy and worshepful clerkys tokyn it
in perel of her sowle and as thei wold answer to God that this creatur was inspyred
wyth the Holy Gost and bodyn hyr that sche schuld don hem wryten and makyn a
booke of hyr felyngys and hir revelacyons. Sum proferyd hir to wrytyn hyr felyngys
wyth her owen handys, and sche wold not consentyn in no wey, for sche was comawndyd
in hir sowle that sche schuld not wrytyn so soone. And so it was twenty yer and mor fro
that tym this creatur had fyrst felyngys and revelacyons er than sche dede any wryten.
Aftyrward whan it plesyd ower Lord, he comawnded hyr and chargyd hir that sche
schuld don wryten hyr felyngys and revelacyons and the forme of her levyngs that hys
goodnesse myth be knowyn to alle the world. Than had the creatur no wryter that wold
fulfyllyn hyr desyr ne geve credens to hir felingys unto the tym that a man dwellyng in
Dewchlond whech was an Englyschman in hys byrth and sythen weddyd in Dewchland
and had ther bothe a wyf and a chyld, havyng good knowlach of this creatur and of hir
desyr, meved I trost thorw the Holy Gost, cam into Yngland wyth hys wyfe and hys
goodys and dwellyd wyth the forseyd creatur tyl he had wretyn as mech as sche wold
tellyn hym for the tym that thei wer togydder. And sythen he deyd. Than was ther a
prest whech this creatur had gret affeccyon to, and so sche comownd wyth hym of this
mater and browt hym the boke to redyn. The booke was so evel wretyn that he cowd
lytyl skyll theron, for it was neithyr good Englysch ne Dewch, ne the lettyr was not
schapyn ne formyd as other letters ben. Therfor the prest leved fully ther schuld nevyr
man redyn it, but it wer special grace. Nevyrthelesse, he behyte hir that if he cowd
redyn it he wolde copyn it owt and wrytyn it betyr wyth good wylle. Than was ther so
evel spekyng of this creatur and of hir wepyng that the prest durst not for cowardyse
speke wyth her but seldom, ne not wold wryten as he had behestyd unto the forseyd
creatur. And so he voyded and deferryd the wrytyng of this boke wel onto a fourth yer
or ellys mor, notwythstandyng the creatur cryed often on hym therfor. At the last he
seyd onto hir that he cowd not redyn it, wherfor he wold not do it. He wold not, he
seyd, put hym in perel therof. Than he cownseld hir to gon to a good man whech had
ben mech conversawnt wyth hym that wrot fyrst the booke, supposyng that he schuld
cun best rede the booke, for he had sum tym red letters of the other mannys wrytyng
sent fro beyonden the see whyl he was in Dewchland. And so sche went to that man,
preyng hym to wrytyn this booke and nevyr to bewreyn it as long as sche leved,
grawntyng hym a grett summe of good for hys labowr. And this good man wrot abowt
a leef, and yet it was lytyl to the purpose, for he cowd not wel fare therwyth the boke
was so evel sett and so unresonably wretyn. Than the prest was vexyd in his consciens,
for he had behestyd hyr to wrytyn this boke, yyf he mygth com to the redyng therof,
and dede not hys part as wel as he mygth a do, and preyd this creatur to getyn ageyn
the booke yf sche myth goodly. Than sche gat ageyn the book and browt it to the
preste wyth rygth glad cher, preyng hym to do hys good wyl, and sche schuld prey to
God for hym and purchasyn hym grace to reden it and wrytyn it also. The preste,
trustyng in hire prayers, began to redyn this booke, and it was mych mor esy, as hym
thowt, than it was beforntym. And so he red it ovyr beforn this creatur every word,
sche sumtym helpyng where ony difficulté was. Thys boke is not wretyn in ordyr,
every thyng aftyr other as it wer don, but lych as the mater cam to the creatur in mend
whan it schuld be wretyn, for it was so long er it was wretyn that sche had forgetyn the
tyme and the ordyr whan thyngys befellyn. And therfor sche dede no thing wryten but
that sche knew rygth wel for very trewth. Whan the prest began fyrst to wryten on this
booke, hys eyn myssyd so that he mygth not se to make hys lettyr ne mygth not se to
mend hys penne. Alle other thyng he mygth se wel anow. He sett a peyr of spectacles
on hys nose, and than wast wel wers than it was befor. He compleyned to the creatur
of hys dysese. Sche seyd hys enmy had envye at hys good dede and wold lett hym yf
he mygth and bad hym do as wel as God wold geve hym grace and not levyn. Whan
he cam ageyn to hys booke, he myth se as wel, hym thowt, as evyr he dede befor be
day lyth and be candel lygth bothe. And for this cause, whan he had wretyn a qwayr,
he addyd a leef therto, and than wrot he this proym to expressyn mor openly than doth
the next folwyng, whech was wretyn er than this. Anno domini 1436.
A schort tretys of a creature sett in grett pompe and pride of the world, whech sythen
was drawyn to ower Lord be gret poverté, sekenes, schamis, and gret reprevys in
many divers contres and places, of whech tribulacyons sum schal ben schewed aftyr,
not in ordyr as it fellyn but as the creatur cowd han mend of hem whan it wer wretyn,
for it was twenty yer and mor fro tym this creatur had forsake the world and besyly
clef onto ower Lord or this boke was wretyn, notwythstondyng this creatur had greet
cownsel for to don wryten hir tribulacyons and hir felingys, and a Whyte Frer proferyd
hir to wryten frely yf sche wold. And sche was warnyd in hyr spyrit that sche schuld
not wryte so sone. And many yerys aftyr sche was bodyn in hyr spyrit for to wrytyn.
And than yet it was wretyn fyrst be a man whech cowd neithyr wel wryten Englysch
ne Duch. So it was unable for to be red but only be specyal grace, for ther was so mech
obloquie and slawndyr of this creatur that ther wold fewe men beleve this creatur.
And so at the last a preste was sor mevyd for to wrytin this tretys, and he cowd not wel
redyn it of a four yere togedyr. And sythen be the request of this creatur and compellyng
of hys owyn consciens he asayd agayn for to rede it, and it was mech mor esy than it
was afortyme. And so he gan to wryten in the yer of owr Lord a 1436, on the day next
aftyr Mary Maudelyn aftyr the informacyon of this creatur.
Whan this creatur was twenty yer of age or sumdele mor, sche was maryed to a
worschepful burgeys and was wyth chylde wythin schort tyme, as kynde wolde. And,
aftyr that sche had conceyved, sche was labowrd wyth grett accessys tyl the chyld
was born, and than, what for labowr sche had in chyldyng and for sekenesse goyng
beforn, sche dyspered of hyr lyfe, wenyng sche mygth not levyn. And than sche sent
for hyr gostly fadyr, for sche had a thyng in conscyens whech sche had nevyr schewyd
beforn that tyme in alle hyr lyfe. For sche was evyr lettyd be hyr enmy, the devel,
evyrmor seyng to hyr whyl sche was in good heele hir nedyd no confessyon but don
penawns be hirself aloone, and all schuld be forgovyn, for God is mercyful inow. And
therfor this creatur oftyn tymes dede greet penawns in fastyng bred and watyr and
other dedys of almes wyth devowt preyers, saf sche wold not schewyn it in confessyon.
And, whan sche was any tym seke or dysesyd, the devyl seyd in her mende that sche
schuld be dampnyd, for sche was not schrevyn of that defawt. Wherfor, aftyr that hir
chyld was born, sche, not trostyng hir lyfe, sent for hir gostly fadyr, as iseyd beforn, in
ful wyl to be schrevyn of alle hir lyfetym as ner as sche cowde. And, whan sche cam
to the poynt for to seyn that thing whech sche had so long conselyd, hir confessowr
was a lytyl to hastye and gan scharply to undyrnemyn hir er than sche had fully seyd hir
entent, and so sche wold no mor seyn for nowt he mygth do. And anoon, for dreed
sche had of dampnacyon on the to syde and hys scharp reprevyng on that other syde,
this creatur went owt of hir mende and was wondyrlye vexid and labowryd wyth
spyritys half yer eight wekys and odde days. And in this tyme sche sey, as hir thowt,
develys opyn her mowthys al inflaumyd wyth brennyng lowys of fyr as thei schuld a
swalwyd hyr in, sumtyme rampyng at hyr, sumtyme thretyng her, sumtym pullyng hyr
and halyng hir bothe nygth and day duryng the forseyd tyme. And also the develys
cryed upon hir wyth greet thretyngys and bodyn hir sche schuld forsake hir Crystendam,
hir feyth, and denyin hir God, hys modyr, and alle the seyntys in hevyn, hyr goode
werkys and alle good vertues, hir fadyr, hyr modyr, and alle hire frendys. And so sche
dede. Sche slawndred hir husbond, hir frendys and her owyn self; sche spak many a
reprevows worde and many a schrewyd worde; sche knew no vertu ne goodnesse;
sche desyryd all wykkydnesse; lych as the spyrytys temptyd hir to sey and do so sche
seyd and dede. Sche wold a fordon hirself many a tym at her steryngys and a ben
damnyd wyth hem in helle. And into wytnesse therof sche bot hir owen hand so
vyolently that it was seen al hir lyfe aftyr. And also sche roof hir skyn on hir body
agen hir hert wyth hir nayles spetowsly, for sche had noon other instrumentys, and
wers sche wold a don saf sche was bowndyn and kept wyth strength bothe day and
nygth that sche mygth not have hir wylle. And, whan sche had long ben labowrd in
thes and many other temptacyons that men wend sche schuld nevyr a skapyd ne levyd,
than on a tym, as sche lay aloone and hir kepars wer fro hir, owyr mercyful Lord Crist
Jhesu, evyr to be trostyd, worshypd be hys name, nevyr forsakyng hys servawnt in
tyme of nede, aperyd to hys creatur, whych had forsakyn hym, in lyknesse of a man,
most semly, most bewtyuows, and most amyable that evyr mygth be seen wyth mannys
eye, clad in a mantyl of purpyl sylke, syttyng upon hir beddys syde, lokyng upon hir
wyth so blyssyd a chere that sche was strengthyd in alle hir spyritys, seyd to hir thes
wordys: "Dowtyr, why hast thow forsakyn me, and I forsoke nevyr the?" And anoon,
as he had seyd thes wordys, sche saw veryly how the eyr openyd as brygth as ony
levyn, and he stey up into the eyr, not rygth hastyli and qwykly, but fayr and esly that
sche mygth wel beholdyn hym in the eyr tyl it was closyd ageyn. And anoon the
creature was stabelyd in hir wyttys and in hir reson as wel as evyr sche was beforn,
and preyd hir husbond as so soon as he cam to hir that sche mygth have the keys of the
botery to takyn hir mete and drynke as sche had don beforn. Hyr maydens and hir
kepars cownseld hym he schulde delyvyr hir no keys, for thei seyd sche wold but geve
awey swech good as ther was, for sche wyst not what sche seyde as thei wende.
Nevyrthelesse, hir husbond, evyr havyng tendyrnes and compassyon of hir, comawndyd
thei schulde delyvyr to hyr the keyys. And sche toke hyr mete and drynke as hir
bodyly strength wold servyn hir and knew hir frendys and hir meny and all other that
cam to hir to se how owyr Lord Jhesu Cryst had wrowt hys grace in hir, so blyssyd
mot he be that evyr is ner in tribulacyon. Whan men wenyn he wer for fro hem, he is
ful nere be hys grace. Sythen this creatur dede alle other ocupacyons as fel for hir to
do wysly and sadly inow, saf sche knew not veryli the drawt of owyr Lord.
And, whan this creatur was thus gracyowsly comen ageyn to hir mende, sche thowt
sche was bowndyn to God and that sche wold ben his servawnt. Nevyrthelesse, sche
wold not leevyn hir pride ne hir pompows aray that sche had usyd befortym, neithyr
for hyr husbond ne for noon other mannys cownsel. And yet sche wyst ful wel that
men seyden hir ful mech velany, for sche weryd gold pypys on hir hevyd and hir
hodys wyth the typettys were daggyd. Hir clokys also wer daggyd and leyd wyth
dyvers colowrs betwen the daggys that it schuld be the mor staryng to mennys sygth
and hirself the mor ben worshepd. And, whan hir husbond wold speke to hir for to
levyn hir pride, sche answeryd schrewydly and schortly and seyd that sche was comyn
of worthy kenred, hym semyd nevyr forto a weddyd hir, for hir fadyr was sumtyme
meyr of the town N and sythyn he was alderman of the hey Gylde of the Trinyté in N
And therfor sche wold savyn the worschyp of hir kynred whatsoevyr ony man seyd.
Sche had ful greet envye at hir neybowrs that thei schuld ben arayd so wel as sche.
Alle hir desyr was for to be worshepd of the pepul. Sche wold not be war be onys
chastysyng ne be content wyth the goodys that God had sent hire, as hir husbond was,
but evyr desyryd mor and mor. And than, for pure coveytyse and for to maynten hir
pride, sche gan to brewyn and was on of the grettest brewers in the town N a three yer
or four tyl sche lost mech good, for sche had nevyr ure therto. For, thow sche had
nevyr so good servawntys and cunnyng in brewyng, yet it wold nevyr prevyn wyth
hem. For, whan the ale was as fayr standyng undyr berm as any man mygth se, sodenly
the berm wold fallyn down that alle the ale was lost every brewyng aftyr other, that hir
servawntys weryn aschamyd and wold not dwellyn wyth hir. Than this creatur thowt
how God had punched hir befortyme and sche cowd not be war, and now eftsons be
lesyng of hir goodys, and than sche left and brewyd no mor. And than sche askyd hir
husbond mercy for sche wold not folwyn hys cownsel afortyme, and sche seyd that
hir pride and synne was cause of alle her punschyng and sche wold amend that sche
had trespasyd wyth good wyl. But yet sche left not the world al hol, for now sche
bethowt hir of a newe huswyfré. Sche had an horsmille. Sche gat hire tweyn good hors
and a man to gryndyn mennys corne and thus sche trostyd to getyn hir levyng. This
provysion duryd not longe, for in schort tyme aftyr on Corpus Cristi Evyn fel this
merveyl. Thys man, beyng in good heele of body and hys tweyn hors craske and lykand
that wel haddyn drawyn in the mylle befortyme, as now he toke on of this hors and put
hym in the mylle as he had don befor, and this hors wold drawe no drawt in the mylle
for nothing the man mygth do. The man was sory and asayd wyth al hys wyttys how
he schuld don this hors drawyn. Sumtyme he led hym be the heed, sumtyme he beet
hym, and sumtyme he chershyd hym, and alle avayled not, for he wold rather gon
bakward than forward. Than this man sett a scharp peyr sporys on hys helys and rood
on the hors bak for to don hym drawyn, and it was nevyr the bettyr. Whan this man
saw it wold be in no wey, than he sett up this hors ageyn in the stabyl and gafe hym
mete, and he ete weel and freschly. And sythen he toke the other hors and put hym in
the mylle. And lech as hys felaw dede so dede he, for he wold not drawe for anything
that the man mygth do. And than this man forsoke hys servyse and wold no lengar
abyden wyth the fornseyd creatur. Anoon as it was noysed abowt the town of N that
ther wold neythyr man ne best don servyse to the seyd creatur, than summe seyden
sche was acursyd; sum seyden God toke opyn venjawns upon hir; sum seyd on; and
sum seyd another. And sum wyse men, whos mend was mor growndyd in the lofe of
owyr Lord, seyd it was the hey mercy of our Lord Jhesu Cryst clepyd and kallyd hir fro
the pride and vanyté of the wretthyd world. And than this creatur, seyng alle this
adversytes comyng on every syde, thowt it weryn the skourges of owyr Lord that wold
chastyse hir for hir synne. Than sche askyd God mercy and forsoke hir pride, hir
coveytyse, and desyr that sche had of the worshepys of the world, and dede grett
bodyly penawnce, and gan to entyr the wey of evyrlestyng lyfe, as schal be seyd aftyr.
On a nygth, as this creatur lay in hir bedde wyth hir husbond, sche herd a sownd of
melodye so swet and delectable, hir thowt, as sche had ben in paradyse. And therwyth
sche styrt owt of hir bedde and seyd, "Alas, that evyr I dede synne, it is ful mery in
hevyn." Thys melody was so swete that it passyd alle the melodye that evyr myght be
herd in this world wythowtyn ony comparyson, and caused this creatur whan sche
herd ony myrth or melodye aftyrward for to have ful plentyuows and habundawnt
teerys of hy devocyon wyth greet sobbyngys and syhyngys aftyr the blysse of heven,
not dredyng the schamys and the spytys of the wretchyd world. And evyr aftyr this
drawt sche had in hir mende the myrth and the melodye that was in heven, so mech
that sche cowd not wyl restreyn hyrself fro the spekyng therof. For, wher sche was in
ony cumpanye, sche wold sey oftyntyme, "It is ful mery in hevyn." And thei that
knew hir governawnce befortyme and now herd hir spekyn so mech of the blysse of
hevyn seyd unto hir, "Why speke ye so of the myrth that is in hevyn; ye know it not,
and ye have not be ther no mor than we," and wer wroth wyth hir for sche wold not
her no speke of wordly thyngys as thei dedyn and as sche dede beforntyme. And aftyr
this tyme sche had nevyr desyr to komown fleschly wyth hyre husbonde, for the dette
of matrimony was so abhominabyl to hir that sche had levar, hir thowt, etyn or drynkyn
the wose, the mukke in the chanel, than to consentyn to any fleschly comownyng saf
only for obedyens. And so sche seyd to hir husbond, "I may not deny yow my body,
but the lofe of myn hert and myn affeccyon is drawyn fro alle erdly creaturys and sett
only in God." He wold have hys wylle, and sche obeyd wyth greet wepyng and sorwyng
for that sche mygth not levyn chast. And oftyntymys this creatur levyd chast, cownseld
hir husbond to levyn chast, and seyd that thei oftyntymes, sche wyst wel, had dysplesyd
God be her inordynat lofe and the gret delectacyon that thei haddyn eythyr of hem in
usyng of other, and now it wer good that thei schuld be her bothins wylle and consentyng
of hem bothyn punschyn and chastysyn hemself wylfully be absteynyng fro her lust of
her bodys. Hir husbond seyd it wer good to don so, but he mygth not yett, he schuld
whan God wold. And so he usyd her as he had do befor, he wold not spar. And evyr
sche preyd to God that sche mygth levyn chast, and three or four yer aftyr, whan it
plesyd ower Lord, he made a vow of chastyté, as schal be wretyn aftyr be the leve of
Jhesu. And also, aftyr this creatur herd this hevenly melody, sche dede gret bodyly
penawnce. Sche was schrevyn sumtyme twyes or thryes on the day, and in specyal of
that synne whech sche so long had conselyd and curyd, as it is wretyn in the gynnyng
of the boke. Sche gaf hir to gret fastyng and to gret wakyng. Sche roos at two or three
of the clok and went to cherch and was ther in hir prayers onto tyme of noon and also
al the aftyrnoon. And than was sche slawnderyd and reprevyd of mech pepul for sche
kept so streyt a levyng. Than sche gat hir an hayr of a kylne swech as men dryen on
malt and leyd it in hir kyrtylle as sotyllych and prevylich as sche mygth that hir husbond
schuld not aspye it, ne no mor he dede, and yet sche lay be hym every nygth in his
bedde, and weryd the hayr every day, and bar chylderyn in the tyme. Than sche had
three yer of gret labowr wyth temptacyons whech sche bar as mekely as sche cowde,
thankyng ower Lord of alle hys geftys, and was as mery whan sche was reprevyd,
skornyd, or japyd for ower Lordys lofe, and mych mor mery than sche was befortyme
in the worshepys of the world. For sche wyst rygth wel sche had synned gretly agens
God and was worthy mor schame and sorwe than ony man cowd don to hir, and
dyspite of the werld was the rygth way to hevynward sythen Cryst hymself ches that
way. Alle hys apostlys, martyres, confessorys, and virgynes and alle that evyr comyn
to hevyn passed be the wey of tribulacyon, and sche desyryd nothyng so mech as
hevyn. Than was sche glad in hir consciens whan sche belevyd that sche was entryng
the wey whech wold leden hir to the place that sche most desyred. And this creatur
had contrycion and gret compunccyon wyth plentyuows teerys and many boystows
sobbyngys for hir synnes and for hir unkyndnesse ageyns hir maker. Sche bethowt hir
fro hir chyldhod for hir unkyndnes as ower Lord wold put it in hir mende ful many a
tyme. And than, sche beheldyng hir owyn wykkednes, sche mygth but sorwyn and
wepyn and evyr preyn for mercy and forgevenes. Hir wepyng was so plentyuows and
so contwnyng that mech pepul wend that sche mygth wepyn and levyn whan sche wold,
and therfor many men seyd sche was a fals ypocryte and wept for the world for
socowr and for wordly good. And than ful many forsokyn hir that lovyd hir befor
whyl sche was in the world and wold not knowyn hir, and evyr sche thankyd God of
alle, nothyng desyryng but mercy and forgefnes of synne.
The fyrst two yer whan this creatur was thus drawyn to owyr Lord, sche had gret
qwiete of spyryt as for ony temptacyons. Sche mygth wel dure to fastyn, it grevyd hir
not. Sche hatyd the joys of the world. Sche felt no rebellyon in hyr flesch. Sche was
strong, as hir thowt, that sche dred no devylle in helle, for sche dede so gret bodyly
penawnce. Sche thowt that sche lovyd God mor than he hir. Sche was smet wyth the
dedly wownd of veynglory and felt it not, for sche desyryd many tymes that the cruci
fix schuld losyn hys handys fro the crosse and halsyn hir in tokyn of lofe. Ower
mercyful Lord Crist Jhesu, seyng this creaturys presumpcyon, sent hir, as is wrete
befor, three yer of greet temptacyon, of the whech on of the hardest I purpos to wrytyn
for exampyl of hem that com aftyr that thei schuld not trostyn on her owyn self ne
have no joy in hemself as this creatur had, for no drede owyr gostly enmy slepyth not,
but he ful besyly sergyth owr complexions and owyr dysposycionys, and wher that he
fundyth us most freel ther be owyr Lordys sufferawns he leyth hys snar, whech may
no man skape be hys owyn power. And so he leyd beforn this creatur the snar of
letchery, whan sche wend that all fleschly lust had al hol ben qwenchyd in hir. And so
long sche was temptyd wyth the syn of letchory for owt that sche cowd do. And yet
sche was oftyn schrevyn, sche weryd the hayr, and dede gret bodyly penawns, and
wept many a byttyr teer and preyd ful oftyn to owyr Lord that he schuld preserve hir
and kepe hir that sche schuld not fallyn into temptacyon, for sche thowt sche had levar
ben deed than consentyn therto. And in al this tyme sche had no lust to comown wyth
hir husbond, but it was very peynful and horrybyl unto hir. In the secund yer of hir
temptacyons yt fel so that a man whech sche lovyd wel seyd onto hir on Seynt
Margaretys Evyn befor evynsong that for anythyng he wold ly be hir and have hys lust
of hys body, and sche schuld not wythstond hym, for, yf he mygth not have hys wyl
that tyme, he seyd, he schuld ellys have it another tyme, sche schuld not chese. And he
dede it for to preve hir what sche wold do, but sche wend that he had ment ful ernest
as that tyme and seyd but lytyl therto. So they partyd asondyr as than and wentyn
bothen for to here evensong, for her cherch was of Seynt Margaret. This woman was
so labowrd wyth the mannys wordys that sche mygth not heryn hir evynsong, ne sey
hir Pater Noster, er thynkyn ony other good thowt, but was mor labowrd than evyr
sche was befor. The devyl put in hir mende that God had forsakyn hir, and ellys
schuld sche not so ben temptyd. She levyd the develys suasyons and gan to consentyn
for because sche cowde thynkyn no good thowt. Therfor wend sche that God had
forsake hir. And, whan evensong was do, sche went to the man befor seyd that he
schuld have hys lust, as sche wend that he had desyred, but he made swech symulacyon
that sche cowd not knowe hys entent, and so thei partyd asondyr for that nygth. This
creatur was so labowrd and vexyd al that nygth that sche wyst nevyr what sche mygth
do. Sche lay be hir husbond, and for to comown wyth hym it was so abhomynabyl
onto hir that sche mygth not duren it, and yet was it leful onto hir in leful tyme yf sche
had wold. But evyr sche was labowrd wyth the other man for to syn wyth hym inasmech
as he had spoke to hir. At the last thorw inoportunyté of temptacyon and lakkyng of
dyscrecyon sche was ovyrcomyn, and consentyd in hir mend, and went to the man to
wetyn yf he wold than consentyn to hire. And he seyd he ne wold for al the good in
this world; he had levar ben hewyn as smal as flesch to the pott. Sche went away al
schamyd and confusyd in hirself, seyng hys stabylnes and hir owyn unstabylnes. Than
thowt sche of the grace that God had govyn hire befortyme, how sche had two yer of
gret qwyet in sowle, repentawns of hir synne wyth many byttyr teerys of compunccyon,
and parfyt wyl nevyr to turne ageyn to hir synne, but rather to be deed hir thowt. And
now sche saw how sche had consentyd in hir wyl for to don synne. Than fel sche half
in dyspeyr. Sche thowt sche wold a ben in helle for the sorw that sche had. Sche thowt
sche was worthy no mercy for hir consentyng was so wylfully do ne nevyr worthy to
don hym servyse for sche was so fals unto hym. Nevyrthelesse sche was schrevyn
many tymes and oftyn, and dede hir penawns whatsoevyr hir confessowr wold injoyne
hir to do, and was governd aftyr the rewelys of the Chirch. That grace God gafe this
creatur, blyssyd mot he be, but he wythdrowe not hir temptacyon but rather incresyd
it as hir thowt. And therfore wend sche that he had forsakyn hir and durst not trostyn
to hys mercy, but was labowrd wyth horrybyl temptacyons of lettherye and of dyspeyr
ny al the next yer folwyng, save owyr Lord of hys mercy, as sche seyd hirself, gaf hir
ech day for the most party too owerys of compunccyon for hir synnys wyth many
byttyr teerys. And sythen sche was labowrd wyth temptacyons of dyspeyr as sche was
befor and was as for fro felyng of grace as thei that nevyr felt noon. And that mygth
sche not beryn, and therfor alwey sche dyspeyrd. Safe for the tyme that sche felt
grace, hir labowrs wer so wondyrful that sche cowd evel far wyth hem but evyr mornyn
and sorwyn as thow God had forsakyn hir.
Than on a Fryday beforn Crystmes Day, as this creatur, knelyng in a chapel of
Seynt John wythinne a cherch of Seynt Margrete in N, wept wondir sore, askyng
mercy and forgyfnes of hir synnes and hir trespas, owyr mercyful Lord Cryst Jhesu,
blessyd mot he be, ravysched hir spyryt and seyd onto hir: "Dowtyr, why wepyst
thow so sor? I am comyn to the, Jhesu Cryst, that deyd on the crosse sufferyng byttyr
peynes and passyons for the. I, the same God, forgefe the thi synnes to the utterest
poynt. And thow schalt nevyr com in helle ne in purgatorye, but, whan thow schalt
passyn owt of this world, wythin the twynkelyng of an eye thow schalt have the blysse
of hevyn for I am the same God that have browt thi synnes to thi mend and mad the to
be schreve therof. And I grawnt the contrysyon into thi lyves ende. Therfor I bydde
the and comawnd the, boldly clepe me Jhesus, thi love, for I am thi love and schal be
thi love wythowtyn ende. And, dowtyr, thu hast an hayr upon thi bakke. I wyl thu do
it away, and I schal give the an hayr in thin hert that schal lyke me mych bettyr than
alle the hayres in the world. Also, my derworthy dowtyr, thu must forsake that thow
lovyst best in this world, and that is etyng of flesch. And instede of that flesch thow
schalt etyn my flesch and my blod, that is the very body of Crist in the sacrament of
the awter. Thys is my wyl, dowtyr, that thow receyve my body every Sonday, and I
schal flowe so mych grace in the that alle the world schal mervelyn therof. Thow
schalt ben etyn and knawyn of the pepul of the world as any raton knawyth the
stokfysch. Drede the nowt, dowtyr, for thow schalt have the vyctory of al thin enmys.
I schal geve the grace inow to answer every clerke in the love of God. I swer to the be
my magesté that I schal nevyr forsakyn the in wel ne in wo. I schal helpyn the and
kepyn the that ther schal nevyr devyl in helle parte the fro me, ne awngel in hevyn, ne
man in erthe, for develys in helle mow not, ne awngelys in hevyn wyl not, ne man in
erthe schal not. And dowtyr, I wyl thow leve thi byddyng of many bedys and thynk
swych thowtys as I wyl putt in thi mend. I schal gevyn the leve to byddyn tyl sex of the
cloke to sey what thow wyld. Than schalt thow ly stylle and speke to me be thowt, and
I schal gefe to the hey medytacyon and very contemplacyon. And I byd the gon to the
ankyr at the Frer Prechowrys, and schew hym my prevyteys and my cownselys whech
I schewe to the, and werk aftyr hys cownsel, for my spyrit schal speke in hym to the."
Than this creatur went forth to the ankyr, as sche was comawndyd, and schewyd hym
the revelacyons swech as wer schewyd to hir. Than the ankyr wyth gret reverns and
wepyng, thankyng God, seyd, "Dowtyr, ye sowkyn evyn on Crysts brest, and ye han
an ernest peny of hevyn. I charge yow receyveth swech thowtys whan God wyl geve
hem as mekely and as devowtly as ye kan and comyth to me and tellyth me what thei
be, and I schal, wyth the leve of ower Lord Jhesu Cryst, telle yow whether thei ben of
the Holy Gost or ellys of yowr enmy the devyl."
Another day this creatur schuld geve hir to medytacyon, as sche was bodyn befor,
and sche lay stylle, nowt knowyng what sche mygth best thynke. Than sche seyd to
ower Lord Jhesu Crist, "Jhesu, what schal I thynke?" Ower Lord Jhesu answeryd to
hir mende, "Dowtyr, thynke on my modyr, for sche is cause of alle the grace that thow
hast." And than anoon sche saw Seynt Anne gret wyth chylde, and than sche preyd
Seynt Anne to be hir mayden and hir servawnt. And anon ower Lady was born, and
than sche besyde hir to take the chyld to hir and kepe it tyl it wer twelve yer of age
wyth good mete and drynke, wyth fayr whyte clothys and whyte kerchys. And than
sche seyd to the blyssed chyld, "Lady, ye schal be the modyr of God." The blyssed
chyld answeryd and seyd, "I wold I wer worthy to be the handmayden of hir that
schuld conseive the sone of God." The creatur seyd, "I pray yow, Lady, yyf that grace
falle yow, forsake not my servyse." The blysful chyld passyd awey for a certeyn
tyme, the creatur being stylle in contemplacyon, and sythen cam ageyn and seyd,
"Dowtyr, now am I bekome the modyr of God." And than the creatur fel down on hir
kneys wyth gret reverens and gret wepyng and seyd, "I am not worthy, Lady, to do
yow servyse." "Yys, dowtyr," sche seyde, "folwe thow me, thi servyse lykyth me
wel." Than went sche forth wyth owyr Lady and wyth Josep, beryng wyth hir a potel
of pyment and spycys therto. Than went thei forth to Elysabeth, Seynt John Baptystys
modir, and, whan thei mettyn togyder, eythyr of hem worshepyd other, and so thei
wonyd togedyr wyth gret grace and gladnesse twelve wokys. And than Seynt John
was bor, and owyr Lady toke hym up fro the erthe wyth al maner reverens and gaf
hym to hys moder, seyng of hym that he schuld be an holy man, and blyssed hym.
Sythen thei toke her leve eythyr of other wyth compassyf terys. And than the creatur
fel down on kneys to Seynt Elysabeth and preyd hir sche wold prey for hir to owyr
Lady that sche mygth do hir servyse and plesawns. "Dowtyr, me semyth," seyd
Elysabeth, "Thu dost ryght wel thi dever." And than went the creatur forth wyth owyr
Lady to Bedlem and purchasyd hir herborwe every nyght wyth gret reverens, and
owyr Lady was receyved wyth glad cher. Also sche beggyd owyr Lady fayr whyte
clothys and kerchys for to swathyn in hir sone whan he wer born, and, whan Jhesu
was born sche ordeyned beddyng for owyr Lady to lyg in wyth hir blyssed sone. And
sythen sche beggyd mete for owyr Lady and hir blyssyd chyld. Aftyrward sche swathyd
hym wyth byttyr teerys of compassyon, havyng mend of the scharp deth that he schuld
suffyr for the lofe of synful men, seyng to hym, "Lord, I schal fare fayr wyth yow; I
schal not byndyn yow soor. I pray yow beth not dysplesyd wyth me."
And aftyr on the Twelfth Day, whan three kyngys comyn wyth her gyftys and
worschepyd owyr Lord Jhesu Crist being in hys moderys lappe, this creatur, owyr
Ladys handmayden, beheldyng al the processe in contemplacyon, wept wondyr sor.
And, whan sche saw that thei wold take her leve to gon hom agen into her cuntré, sche
mygth not suffyre that they schuld go fro the presens of owyr Lord, and for wondyr
that thei wold gon awey sche cryed wondyr sore. And soon aftyr cam an awngel and
bad owyr Lady and Josep gon fro the cuntré ob Bedlem into Egypt. Than went this
creatur forth wyth owyr Lady, day be day purveyng hir herborw wyth gret reverns
wyth many swet thowtys and hy medytacyons and also hy contemplacyons, sumtyme
duryng in wepyng two owyres and oftyn lengar in the mend of owyr Lordys Passyon
wythowtyn sesyng, sumtyme for hir owyn synne, sumtyme for the synne of the pepyl,
sumtyme for the sowlys in purgatory, sumtyme for hem that arn in poverté er in any
dysese, for sche desyred to comfort hem alle. Sumtyme sche wept ful plenteuowsly
and ful boystowsly for desyr of the blys of hevyn and for sche was so long dyfferryd
therfro. Than this creatur coveyted gretly to be delyveryd owt of this wretchyd world.
Ower Lord Jhesu Crist seyd to hir mende sche schuld abyden and languren in lofe.
"For I have ordeyned the to knele befor the Trynyté for to prey for al the world, for
many hundryd thowsand sowlys schal be savyd be thi prayers. And therfor, dowtyr,
aske what thow wylt, and I schal grawnt the thyn askyng." This creatur seyd, "Lord,
I aske mercy and preservyng fro evyrlestyng dampnacyon for me and for all the world,
chastyse us her how thow wylt and in purgatory, and kepe us fro dampnacyon for thin
Another tyme, as this creatur lay in hir prayer, the Modyr of Mercy, aperyng to hir,
seyd, "A, dowtyr, blyssyd may thow be, thi sete is mad in hevyn befor my sonys kne
and whom thow wylt han wyth the." Than askyd hyr blyssed sone, "Dowtyr, whom
wylt thow han felaw wyth the?" "My derworthy Lord, I aske my gostly fadyr Maystyr
" "Why askyst mor hym than thyn owyn fadyr er thin husbond?" "For I may nevyr
qwyte hym the goodnesse that he hath don to me and the gracyows labowrys that he
hath had abowt me in heryng of my confessyon." "I grawnt the thi desyr of hym, and
yet schal thi fadyr ben savyd, and thi husbond also, and alle thi chylderyn." Than this
creatur seyd, "Lord, sythen thow hast forgovyn me my synne, I make the myn execu
tor of alle the god werkys that thow werkyst in me. In prayng, in thynkyng, in wepyng,
in pylgrimage goyng, in fastyng, er in any good word spekyng, it is fully my wyl that
thow geve Maystyr N halfyndel to encres of hys meryte as yf he dede hem hys owyn
self. And the other halvendel, Lord, sprede on thi frendys and thi enmys and on my
frendys and myn enmys, for I wyl have but thiself for my mede." "Dowtyr, I schal be
a trew executor to the and fulfyllyn all thi wylle, and for thi gret charyté that thow hast
to comfortyn thin even cristen thu schalt have dubbyl reward in hevyn."
Another tyme, as this creatur prayd to God that sche myt levyn chast be leve of hir
husbond, Cryst seyd to hir mende, "Thow must fastyn the Fryday bothen fro mete and
drynke, and thow schalt have thi desyr er Whitsonday, for I schal sodeynly sle thin
husbonde." Than on the Wednysday in Estern woke, aftyr hyr husbond wold have had
knowlach of hir as he was wone befor, and whan he gan neygh hir, sche seyd, "Jhesus,
help me," and he had no power to towche hir at that tyme in that wyse, ne nevyr aftyr
wyth no fleschly knowyng. It befel on a Fryday befor Whytson Evyn, as this creatur
was in a cherch of Seynt Margarete at N heryng hir messe, sche herd a gret noyse and
a dredful. Sche was sore astoyned, sor dredyng the voys of the pepyl, whech seyd God
schuld take venjawns upon hir. Sche knelyd upon hir kneys, heldyng down hir hed
and hir boke in hir hand, prayng owyr Lord Crist Jhesu for grace and for mercy.
Sodeynly fel down fro the heyest party of the cherch vowte fro undyr the fote of the
sparre on hir hed and on hir bakke a ston whech weyd three pownd and a schort ende
of a tre weyng six pownd that hir thowt hir bakke brakke asundyr, and sche ferd as
sche had be deed a lytyl whyle. Soone aftyr sche cryed, "Jhesu mercy," and anoon hir
peyn was gon. A good man whech hygth John of Wyreham, seyng this wondyr cas
and supposyng that sche ben gretly dysesyd, cam and pullyd hir be the sleve and seyd
"Dame, how far ye?" The creatur al hol and sownd thankyd hym of hys cher and hys
charyté, mech merveylyng and gretly awonderyd that sche felt no peyn and had felt so
mech a lytyl befor. Ne twelve wekys aftyr sche felt no peyne. Than the spiryt of God
seyd to hir sowle, "Helde this for a gret myracle, and, yyf the pepyl wyl not levyn this,
I schal werkyn meche mor." A worschepful doctowr of dyvynité wych hygth Maystyr
Aleyn, a Whyte Frer, heryng of this wondyrful werk, inqwired of this creature alle the
forme of this processe. He, desyryng the werk of God to be magnyfyed, gat hym the
same ston that fel upon hir bakke and way it, and sythen he gat hym the treys ende that
fel upon hir hed whech oon of the kepars of the cherch had leyd in the fyre to bren it.
And this worshepful doctowr seyd it was a gret myracle and ower Lord was heyly to
be magnyfied for the preservyng of this creatur agen the malyce of hir enmy, and teld
it mech pepyl, and mych pepyl magnyfied mech God in this creatur. And also mech
pepyl wold not levyn it, but rathyr levyd it was a tokyn of wreth and venjawns than
thei wold levyn it was any token of mercy er quemfulnes.
Sone aftyr this creatur was mevyd in hir sowle to go vysyten certeyn places for
gostly helth inasmech as sche was cured, and mygth not wythowtyn consentyng of hir
husbond. Sche reqwired hir husbond to grawntyn hir leve, and, he, fully trostyng it
was the wyl of God, sone consentyng, thei went togedyr to swech place as sche was
mevyd. And than owyr Lord Cryst Jhesu seyd to hir, "My servawntys desyryn gretly
to se the." Than was sche wolcomyd and mech mad of in dyvers placys. Wherfor sche
had gret dred of veynglory and mech was aferde. Owyr mercyful Lord Cryst Jhesu,
worshepd be hys name, seyd to hir, "Drede the not, dowtyr, I schal take veynglory fro
the. For thei that worshep the thei worshep me; thei that despysen the thei despysen
me, and I schal chastysen hem therfor. I am in the, and thow in me. And thei that
heryn the thei heryn the voys of God. Dowtyr, ther is no so synful man in erth levyng,
yf he wyl forsake hys synne and don aftyr thi cownsel, swech grace as thu behestyst
hym I wyl confermyn for thi lofe." Than hir husbond and sche went forth to Yorke and
to other dyvers placys.
It befel upon a Fryday on Mydsomyr Evyn in rygth hot wedyr, as this creatur was
komyng fro Yorkeward beryng a botel wyth bere in hir hand and hir husbond a cake in
hys bosom, he askyd hys wyfe this qwestyon, "Margery, if her come a man wyth a
swerd and wold smyte of myn hed les than I schulde comown kendly wyth yow as I
have do befor, seyth me trewth of yowr consciens - for ye sey ye wyl not lye -
whether wold ye suffyr myn hed to be smet of er ellys suffyr me to medele wyth yow
agen as I dede sumtyme?" "Alas, ser," sche seyd, "why meve ye this mater and have
we ben chast this eight wekys?" "For I wyl wete the trewth of yowr hert." And than
sche seyd wyth gret sorwe, "Forsothe I had levar se yow be slayn than we schuld turne
agen to owyr unclennesse." And he seyd agen, "Ye arn no good wyfe." And than sche
askyd hir husbond what was the cawse that he had not medelyd wyth hir eight wekys
befor, sythen sche lay wyth hym every nygth in hys bedde. And he seyd he was so
made aferde whan he wold a towchyd hir that he durst no mor don. "Now, good ser,
amend yow and aske God mercy, for I teld yow ner three yer sythen that ye schuld be
slayn sodeynly, and now is this the thryd yer, and yet I hope I schal han my desyr.
Good sere, I pray yow grawnt me that I schal askyn, and I schal pray for yow that ye
schul be savyd thorw the mercy of owyr Lord Jhesu Cryst, and ye schul have mor
mede in hevyn than yyf ye weryd an hayr or an haburgon. I pray yow, suffer me to
make a vow of chastyté in what bysshopys hand that God wele." "Nay," he seyd, "that
wyl I not grawnt yow, for now may I usyn yow wythowtyn dedly synne and than
mygth I not so." Than sche seyd agen, "Yyf it be the wyl of the Holy Gost to fulfyllyn
that I have seyd I pray God ye mote consent therto; and, yf it be not the wyl of the
Holy Gost, I pray God ye nevyr consent therto." Than went thei forth to
Brydlyngtonward in rygth hoot wedyr, the fornseyd creatur havyng gret sorwe and gret
dred for hyr chastité. And, as thei cam be a cros, hyr husbond sett hym down
undyr the cros, clepyng hys wyfe unto hym and seyng this wordys onto hir, "Margery,
grawnt me my desyr, and I schal grawnt yow yowr desyr. My fyrst desyr is that we
schal lyn stylle togedyr in o bed as we han do befor; the secunde that ye schal pay my
dettys er ye go to Jherusalem; and the thrydde that ye schal etyn and drynkyn wyth me
on the Fryday as ye wer wont to don." "Nay ser," sche seyd, "to breke the Fryday I
wyl nevyr grawnt yow whyl I leve." "Wel," he seyd, "than schal I medyl yow ageyn."
Sche prayd hym that he wold geve hir leve to make hyr praerys, and he grawntyd it
goodlych. Than sche knelyd down besyden a cros in the feld and preyd in this maner
wyth gret habundawns of teerys, "Lord God, thu knowyst al thyng; thow knowyst
what sorwe I have had to be chast in my body to the al this three yer, and now mygth
I han my wylle and I dar not for lofe of the. For, yyf I wold brekyn that maner of
fastyng whech thow comawndyst me to kepyn on the Fryday wythowtyn mete or
drynk, I schuld now han my desyr. But, blyssyd Lord, thow knowyst I wyl not
contraryen thi wyl, and mekyl now is my sorwe les than I fynde comfort in the. Now,
blyssed Jhesu, make thi wyl knowyn to me unworthy that I may folwyn theraftyr and
fulfyllyn it wyth al my myghtys." And than owyr Lord Jhesu Cryst wyth gret swetnesse
spak to this creatur, comawndyng hir to gon agen to hir husbond and prayn hym to
grawntyn hir that sche desyred. "And he schal han that he desyreth. For, my derworthy
dowtyr, this was the cawse that I bad the fastyn for thu schuldyst the sonar opteyn and
getyn thi desyr, and now it is grawntyd the. I wyl no lengar thow fast, therfor I byd the
in the name of Jhesu ete and drynk as thyn husbond doth." Than this creatur thankyd
owyr Lord Jhesu Cryst of hys grace and hys goodnes, sythen ros up and went to hir
husbond, seyng unto hym, "Sere, yf it lyke yow, ye schal grawnt me my desyr, and ye
schal have yowr desyr. Grawntyth me that ye schal not komyn in my bed, and I grawnt
yow to qwyte yowr dettys er I go to Jerusalem. And makyth my body fre to God so
that ye nevyr make no chalengyng in me to askyn no dett of matrimony aftyr this day
whyl ye levyn, and I schal etyn and drynkyn on the Fryday at yowr byddyng." Than
seyd hir husbond agen to hir, "As fre mot yowr body ben to God as it hath ben to me."
Thys creatur thankyd God gretly, enjoyng that sche had hir desyr, preyng hir husbond
that thei schuld sey three Pater Noster in the worshep of the Trinyté for the gret grace
that he had grawntyd hem. And so they ded, knelyng undyr a cros, and sythen thei
etyn and dronkyn togedyr in gret gladnes of spyryt. This was on a Fryday on Mydsomyr
Evyn. Than went they forth to Brydlyngtonward and also to many other contrés and
spokyn wyth Goddys servawntys, bothen ankrys and reclusys and many other of owyr
Lordys loverys, wyth many worthy clerkys, doctorys of dyvynyté, and bachelers also
in many dyvers placys. And this creatur to dyvers of hem schewyd hir felyngys and hyr
contemplacyons, as sche was comawndyd for to don, to wetyn yf any dysseyt
were in hir felyngys.
Thys creatur was sent of owyr Lord to divers placys of relygyon, and among on
sche cam to a place of monkys wher sche was rygth wolcom for owyr Lordys lofe,
save ther was a monk whech bar gret offyce in that place despysed hir and set hir at
nowt. Nevyrthelesse sche was sett at mete wyth the abbot, and many tymes of the
mete sche seyd many good wordys as God wold hem puttyn in hir mende, the same
monke whech had so dyspysed hir beyng present and many other to heryn what sche
wold sey. And thorw hir dalyawns hys affeccyon gan gretly enclyne to hirward and gan
to have gret savour in hir wordys. So that aftyrward the forseyd monk cam to hir
and seyde, sche beyng in cherch and he also as that tyme, "Damsel, I her seyn God
spekyth onto the. I pray the telle me whethyr I schal be savyd or nowt and in what
synnes I have most dysplesyd God, for I wyl not levyn the but thow con telle me my
synne." The creatur seyd to the monke, "Goth to yowr Messe, and yyf I may wepe for
yow I hope to han grace for yow." He folwyd hir cownsel and went to hys messe.
Sche wept wondyrly for hys synnes. Whan messe was endyd, the creatur seyd to owyr
Lord Cryst Jhesu, "Blyssed Lord, what answer schal I geve to this man?" "My derworthy
dowtyr, sey in the name of Jhesu that he hath synned in letthery, in dyspeyr, and in
wordly goodys kepyng." "A, gracyows Lord, this is hard for me to sey. He schal do me
mech schame yyf I telle hym any lesyng." "Drede the not but speke boldly in my
name in the name of Jhesu, for thei arn no leesyngys." And than sche seyd agen to
owyr Lord Jhesu Crist, "Good Lord, schal he be savyd?" "Ya," seyd owyr Lord Jhesu,
"yf he wyl forsakyn hys synne and don aftyr thi cownsel. Charge hym that he for
sake hys synne and be schreve therof and also hys offyce that he hath wythowtynforth."
Than cam the monk agen, "Margery, telle me my synnes." Sche seyd, "I pray yow,
ser, askyth not theraftyr, for I undyrtake for yowr sowle ye schal ben savyd, yyf ye
wyl do aftyr my cownsel." "Forsothe I wyl not levyn yow but yyf ye telle me my
synne." "Syr, I undyrstond that ye han synned in letchery, in dyspeyr, and in kepyng
of wordly good." Than stod the monke stylle sumdel abaschyd, and sythen he seyd,
"Whether have I synned wyth wyfes er wyth sengyl women?" "Ser, wyth wyfes."
Than seyd he, "Schal I be savyd?" "Ya, syr, yf ye wyl do aftyr my cownsel. Sorwyth
for yowr synne, and I schal help yow to sorwyn; beth schrevyn therof and forsake it
wylfully. Levyth the offyce that ye han wythowtynforth, and God schal geve yow
grace for my lofe." The monke toke hir be the hand and led hir into a fayr hows of
offyce, made hir a gret dyner, and sythen gaf hyr gold to prey for hym. And so sche
toke hir leve at that tyme. Another tyme whan the creatur cam ageyn to the same
place, the fornseyd monke had forsakyn hys offyce at hir cownsel, and was turnyd fro
hys synne, and was mad suppriowr of the place, a wel governyd man and wel dysposyd,
thankyd be God, and made this creatur gret cher and hyly blyssed God that evyr he
On a tyme, as this creatur was at Cawntyrbery in the cherch among the monkys,
sche was gretly despysed and reprevyd for cawse sche wept so fast bothyn of the
monkys and prestys and of seculer men ner al a day bothe afornoon and aftyrnoon,
also in so mech that hyr husbond went away fro hir as he had not a knowyn hir and left
hir aloon among hem, cheys hir as sche cowde, for other comfort had sche noon of
hym as that day. So an eld monk, whech had ben tresowrer wyth the Qwen whyl he
was in seculer clothyng, a riche man, and gretly dred of mech pepyl, toke hir be the
hand, seying unto hir, "What kanst thow seyn of God?" "Ser" sche seyth, "I wyl bothe
speke of hym and heryn of hym," rehersyng the monk a story of scriptur. The munke
seyd, "I wold thow wer closyd in an hows of ston that ther schuld no man speke wyth
the." "A, ser," sche seyd, "Ye schuld meynteyn Goddys servawntys, and ye arn the
fyrst that heldyn agens hem. Owyr Lord amend yow." Than a yong monke seyde to
this creatur, "Eythyr thow hast the Holy Gost or ellys thow hast a devyl wythin the,
for that thu spekyst her to us it is Holy Wrytte, and that hast thu not of thiself." Than
seyd this creatur, "I pray yow, ser, geve me leve to tellyn yow a tale." Than the pepyl
seyd to the monke, "Late hir sey what sche wyl." And than sche seyd, "ther was onys
a man that had synned gretly agens God, and, whan he was schrevyn, hys confessowr
injoined hym in party of penawnce that he schuld o yer hyer men to chyde hym and
reprevyn hym for hys synnes and he schuld geven hem sylver for her labowr. And on
a day he cam among many gret men as now ben her, God save yow alle, and stod
among hem as I do now among yow, despysyng hym as ye do me, the man lawhyng er
smylyng and havyng good game at here wordys. The grettest maystyr of hem seyd to
the man, 'Why lawhyst thu, brothel, and art thow gretly despysed?' 'A, ser, I have a
gret cause to lawh, for I have many days put sylver owt of my purse and hyred men to
chyde me for remyssyon of my synne, and this day I may kepe my sylver in my purs,
I thank yow alle.' Rygth so I sey to yow, worshepful serys, whyl I was at hom in myn
owyn contré day be day wyth gret wepyng and mornyng, I sorwyd for I had no schame,
skorne, and despyte as I was worthy. I thank yow alle, serys, heyly what forenoon and
aftyrnoon I have had resonably this day, blyssed be God therof." Than sche went owt
of the monastery, thei folwyng and crying upon hir, "Thow schalt be brent, fals
lollare. Her is a cartful of thornys redy for the and a tonne to bren the wyth." And the
creatur stod wythowtyn the gatys at Cawntyrbery, for it was in the evenyng, mech
pepyl wonderyng on hir. Than seyd the pepyl, "Tak and bren hir." And the creatur
stod stylle, tremelyng and whakyng ful sor in hir flesch wythowtyn ony erdly com
fort, and wyst not wher hyr husbond was become. Than prayd sche in hir hert to owyr
Lord, thynkyng on this maner, "Hedyr cam I, Lord, for thi lofe. Blyssed Lord, help me
and have mercy on me." And anon, aftyr sche had mad hir prayerys in hir hert to owyr
Lord, ther komyn tweyn fayr yong men and seyd to hir, "Damsel, art thow non eretyke
ne no loller?" And sche seyd, "No, serys, I am neythyr eretyke ne loller." Than thei
askyd hir wher was hir in. Sche seyd sche wyst nevyr in what strete, nevyrthelesse it
schuld be at a Dewchmannys hows. Than this tweyn yong men browgt hir hom to hir
ostel and made hir gret cher, preyng hir to pray for hem, and ther fond sche hyr husbond.
And mech pepyl in N had seyd evyl of hir whyl sche was owte and slawndryd hir in
many thyngys that sche schuld a do whyl sche was in the contré. Than aftyr this sche
was in gret rest of sowle a gret whyle and had hy contemplacyon day be day and many
holy spech and dalyawns of owyr Lord Jhesu Cryst bothe afornoon and aftyrnoon,
wyth many swet terys of hy devocyon so plentyuowsly and contynualy that it was
mervayle that hir eyne enduryd er how hir hert mygth lestyn that it was not consumyd
wyth ardowr of lofe, whych was kyndelyd wyth the holy dalyawns of owyr Lord
whan he seyd to hir many tymes, "Derworthy dowtyr, lofe thow me wyth al thin hert,
for I love the wyth al myn hert and wyth al the mygth of my Godhed, for thow wer a
chosyn sowle wythowt begynnyng in my syghte and a peler of Holy Cherch. My
mercyful eyne arn evyr upon the. It wer unpossibyl to the to suffyr the scornys and
despytes that thow schalt have ne were only my grace supportyng the."
Than thys creatur thowt it was ful mery to be reprevyd for Goddys lofe; it was to hir
gret solas and cowmfort whan sche was chedyn and fletyn for the lofe of Jhesu for
reprevyng of synne, for spekyng of vertu, for comownyng in scriptur whech sche
lernyd in sermownys and be comownyng wyth clerkys. Sche ymagyned in hirself
what deth sche mygth deyn for Crystys sake. Hyr thowt sche wold a be slayn for
Goddys lofe, but dred for the poynt of deth, and therfor sche ymagyned hyrself the
most soft deth, as hir thowt, for dred of inpacyens, that was to be bowndyn hyr hed
and hir fet to a stokke and hir hed to be smet of wyth a scharp ex for Goddys lofe.
Than seyd owyr Lord in hir mende, "I thank the, dowtyr, that thow woldyst for my
lofe, for, as oftyn as thow thynkyst so, thow schalt have the same mede in hevyn as
thow thu suffredyst the same deth. And yet schal no man sle the, ne fyer bren the, ne
watyr drynch the, ne wynd deryn the, for I may not forgetyn the how thow art wretyn
in myn handys and my fete; it lykyn me wel the peynes that I have sufferyd for the. I
schal nevyr ben wroth wyth the, but I schal lovyn the wythowtyn ende. Thow al the
worlde be agens the, drede the not, for thei cun no skyl of the. I swer to thi mend, and
it wer possybyl me to suffyr peyn ageyn as I have do beforn, me wer levar to suffyr as
mech peyn as evyr I dede for thi sowle alon rathyr than thow schuldyst partyn fro me
wythowtyn ende. And therfor, dowtyr, rygth as thow seyst the prest take the chyld at
the funtston and dyppe it in the watyr and wasch it fro oryginal synne, rygth so schal I
wasch the in my precyows blod fro alle thi synne. And, thow I wythdrawe sumtyme
the felyng of grace fro the, eythyr of spech er of wepyng, drede the not therof, for I am
an hyd God in the that thu schuldyst have no veynglory and that thu schuldyst knowyn
wele thow mayst not han terys ne swych dalyawns but whan God wyl send hem the,
for it arn the fre gyftys of God wythowtyn thi meryte and he may geve hem whom he
wyl and don the no wrong. And therfor take hem mekely and thankyngly whan I wyl
send hem, and suffyr pacyently whan I wythdrawe hem, and seke besyly tyl thow
mayst getyn hem, for terys of compunccyon, devocyon, and compassyon arn the
heyest and sekerest gyftys that I geve in erde. And what schuld I don mor for the les than
I toke thi sowle owt of thi body and put it in hevyn, and that wyl I not yet. Nevyrtheles
whersoevyr God is hevyn is, and God is in thi sowle and many an awngel is abowte
thi sowle to kepe it bothe nygth and day. For, whan thow gost to chyrch, I go wyth the;
whan thu syttest at thi mete, I sytte wyth the; whan thow gost to thi bed, I go wyth the;
and, whan thu gost owt of towne, I go wyth the. Dowtyr, ther was nevyr chyld so
buxom to the fadyr as I wyl be to the to help the and kepe the. I far sumtyme wyth my
grace to the as I do wyth the sunne. Sumtyme thow wetyst wel the sunne schynyth al
abrod that many man may se it, and sumtyme it is hyd undyr a clowde that men may
not se it, and yet is the sunne nevyr the lesse in hys hete ne in hys brytnesse. And rygth
so far I be the and be my chosyn sowlys. Thowgh it be so that thu wepe not alwey at
thi lyst, my grace is nevyrthelesse in the. Therfor I preve that thow art a very dowtyr
to me and a modyr also, a syster, a wyfe, and a spowse, wytnessyng the gospel wher
owyr Lord seyth to hys dyscyples, 'He that doth the wyl of my Fadyr in hevyn he is
bothyn modyr, brothyr, and syster unto me.' Whan thow stodyst to plese me, than art
thu a very dowtyr; whan thu wepyst and mornyst for my peyn and for my passyon,
than art thow a very modyr to have compassyon of hyr chyld; whan thow wepyst for
other mennys synnes and for adversytés, than art thow a very syster; and, whan thow
sorwyst for thow art so long fro the blysse of hevyn, than art thu a very spowse and a
wyfe, for it longyth to the wyfe to be wyth hir husbond and no very joy to han tyl sche
come to hys presens."
Thys creatur, whan owyr Lord had forgovyn hir hir synne as is wrete beforn, had a
desyr to se tho placys wher he was born and wher he sufferyd hys passyon and wher
he deyd, wyth other holy placys wher he was in hys lyve and also aftyr hys resurrexyon.
As sche was in these desyres, owyr Lord bad hir in hir mend two yer er than sche went
that sche schuld gon to Rome, to Jherusalem, and to Seynt Jamys, for sche wold fayn
a gon but sche had no good to go wyth and than sche seyd to owyr Lord, "Wher schal
I han good to go wyth to thes holy placys?" Ower Lord seyd agen to hir, "I schal send
the frendys anowe in dyvers contreys of Ynglond to help the. And, dowtyr, I schal go
wyth the in every contré and ordeyn for the; I schal ledyn the thyder and brynge the
ageyn in safté, and noon Englyschman schal deyn in the schyp that thow art in. I schal
kepe the fro alle wykked mennys power. And, dowtyr, I sey to the I wyl that thu were
clothys of whyte and non other colowr, for thu schal ben arayd aftyr my wyl." "A, der
Lord, yf I go arayd on other maner than other chast women don, I drede that the pepyl
wyl slawndyr me. Thei wyl sey I am an ypocryt and wondryn upon me." "Ya, dowtyr,
the mor wondryng that thow hast for my lofe, the mor thu plesyst me." Than this
creatur durst non otherwyse do than sche was comawndyd in hir sowle. And so sche
went forth wyth hir husbond into the cuntré, for he was evyr a good man and an esy
man to hir. Thow that he sumtyme for veyn dred lete hir alone for a tyme, yet he
resortyd evyrmor ageyn to hir, and had compassyon of hir, and spak for hir as he durst
for dred of the pepyl. But alle other that went wyth hir forsokyn hir, and ful falsly thei
accusyd hir thorw temptacyon of the devyl of thyngys that sche was nevyr gylty in.
And so dede o man whech sche trostyd gretly on and proferyd hymself to gon wyth hir
into the contré, wherthorw sche was rygth glad, trostyng he wold wel supportyn hir
and helpyn hir whan sche had nede, for he had ben dwellyng long tyme wyth an
ankyr, commensowr in dyvinyté and an holy man, and that ankyr was this womans
confessowr. And so hys servawnt toke leve be hys owyn steryng to gon wyth this
creatur into the contré, and hir owyn mayden went wyth hir also long as thei ferd wel
and no man seyd nothyng ageyns hem. But, as sone as the pepyl thorw entysyng of
owyr gostly enmy and be the sufferawns of owyr Lord spak ageyn this creatur for sche
wept so sor, and seyd sche was a fals ypocryte and falsly deceyved the pepyl, and
thretyd hir to be brent. Than the forseyd man was holdyn so holy a man and that sche
trustyd so mech upon uttyrly reprevyd hir, and fowely despysed hir, and wold no
forther gon wyth hir. Hir mayden, seyng dysese on every syde, wex boystows agens
hir maystres. Sche wold not obeyn ne folwyn hir cownsel. Sche let hir gon alone in
many good townys and wold not gon wyth hir. And evyr hir husbond was redy whan
alle other fayled and went wyth hir wher owyr Lord wold sende hir, alwey trostyng
that al was for the best and schuld comyn to good ende whan God wold. And at this
tyme he led hir to spekyn wyth the Bysshop of Lynkoln, whech hygth Philyp, and
abod three wekys er thei mygth speke wyth hym, for he was not at hom at hys paleys.
Whan the Bysshop was comyn hom and herd seyn how swech a woman had abedyn
hym so long to speke wyth hym, anon he sent for hir in gret hast to wetyn hir wylle.
And than sche cam to hys presens and salutyd hym, and he derly wolcomyd hir and
seyd he had long desyred to speke wyth hir and he was rygth glad of hir comyng. And
so sche prayd hym that sche mygth speke wyth hym in cownsel and schewyn hym the
secretys of hir sowle, and he lymyt hir a tyme convenyent therto. Whan the tyme cam,
sche schewyd hym hyr medytacyons, and hy contemplacyons, and other secret thyngys
bothe of qwyk and of ded as owyr Lord schewyd to hir sowle. He was rygth glad to
heryn hem, and suffryd hir benyngly to sey what hir lysted, and commendyd gretly hir
felyngys and hir contemplacyons, seyyng thei wer hy maters and ful devowt maters
and enspyred of the Holy Gost, cownselyng hir sadly that hir felyngys schuld be
wretyn. And sche seyd that it was not Goddys wyl that thei schuld be wretyn so soon,
ne thei wer wretyn twenty yer aftyr and mor. And than sche seyd ferthermor, "My
Lord, yf it lyke yow, I am comawndyd in my sowle that ye schal gyve me the mantyl
and the ryng and clothyn me al in whygth clothys. And, yf ye clothyn me in erth, owyr
Lord Jhesu Cryst schal clothyn yow in hevyn, as I undyrstond be revelacyon." Than
the Bysshop seyd to hir, "I wyl fulffyllen yowr desyr yyf yowr husbond wyl consentyn
therto." "Than sche seyd to the Bysshop, "I prey yow late myn husbond come to yowr
presens, and ye schal heryn what he wyl sey." And so hyr husbond cam before the
Bysshop, and the Bysshop askyd hym, "John, is it yowr wyl that yowr wyf schal take
the mantyl and the ryng and levyn chast, and ye bothen?" "Ya, my Lord," he seyd, "
and in tokyn that we bothen vowyn to leve chast her I offyr myn handys into yowyr,"
and he put hys handys betwen the Bysshoppys handys. And the Bysshop dede no mor
to us at that day, save he mad us rygth good cher and seyd we wer rygth wolcome.
Another day this creatur cam to mete at the request of the Bysshop. And sche saw hym
gevyn wyth hys handys, er he set hym to mete, to thirteen powyr men thirteen pens
and thirteen lovys wyth other mete. And so he dede every day. This creatur was steryd
to hy devocyon wyth this sygth and gaf God preysyng and worshepyng that he gaf the
Bysshop grace to don thes good dedys wyth plentyuows wepyng, in so mych that alle
the Bysshopys meny wer gretly merveylyng what hyr eyled. And sythen sche was set
to mete wyth many worthy clerkys and prestys and swyers of the Bysshoppys, and the
Bysshop hymself sent hir ful gentylly of hys owyn mees. The clerkys askyd this creatur
many hard qwestyons, the wych sche be the grace of Jhesu resolvyd, so that hir answerys
lykyd the Bysshop rygth wel and the clerkys had ful gret mervayl of hir that sche
answeryd so redyly and pregnawntly. Whan the Bysshop had etyn, he sent for this
creatur into hys chawmbyr, seying to hir, "Margery, ye and your husbond spak to me
for to gyfe yow the mantyl and the ryng, for whech cause I have take my cownsel, and
my cownsel wyl not gyf me to professe yow in so synguler a clothyng wythowtyn
bettyr avysement. And ye sey be the grace of God ye wyl go to Jerusalem. Therfor
prayth to God that it may abyden tyl ye come fro Jerusalem that ye be bettyr prevyd
and knowyn." On the next day this creatur went to chirch and prayd to God wyth alle
hyr spyritys that sche mygth han knowlach how sche schuld ben governd in this mater
and what answer sche mygth gife to the Bysshop. Owyr Lord Jhesu Crist answeryd to
hir mend in this maner, "Dowtyr, sey the Bysshop that he dredyth mor the schamys of
the world than the parfyt lofe of God. Sey hym, I schuld as wel han excusyd hym yyf
he had fulfyllyd thi wyl as I dede the chyldren of Israel whan I bad hem borwe the
goodys of the pepyl of Egypt and gon awey therwyth. Therfor, dowtyr, sey hym, thow
he wyl not don it now, it schal be don another tyme whan God wyl." And so sche dede
hir massage to the Bysshop of Lyncolne as sche had in comawndment. Than he preyd
hyre to gon to the Archbusshop of Cawntyrbery, Arundel, and preyn hym to grawntyn
leve to me, Bysshop of Lyncoln, for to gevyn hir the mentyl and the ryng inasmech as
sche was not of hys dyocyse. This cawse he feyned thorw cownsel of hys clerkys, for
thei lovyd not this creatur. Sche seyd, "Ser, I wyl go to my Lord of Cawntyrbery wyth
rygth good wyl for other cawsys and materys whech I have to schewe to hys reverens.
As for this cawse I schal not gon, for God wyl not I aske hym theraftyr." Than sche
toke hir leve of the Bysshop of Lyncolne, and he gaf hir twenty-six schelyngys and
eight pence to byen hyr clothyg wyth and for to prey for hym.
Than went this creatur forth to London wyth hir husbond unto Lambhyth, ther the
Erchebisshop lay at that tyme. And, as thei comyn into the halle at aftyrnoon, ther wer
many of the Erchebysshoppys clerkys and other rekles men bothe swyers and yemen
whech sworyn many gret othis and spokyn many rekles wordys, and this creatur boldly
undyrname hem and seyd thei schuld ben dampnyd but thei left her sweryng and other
synnes that thei usyd. And wyth that cam forth a woman of the same town in a pylche
and al forschod this creatur, bannyd hir, and seyd ful cursydly to hir in this maner, "I
wold thu wer in Smythfeld, and I wold beryn a fagot to bren the wyth; it is pety that
thow levyst." This creatur stod stylle and answeryd not, and hir husbond suffred wyth
gret peyn and was ful sory to heryn hys wyfe so rebukyd. Than the Erchbusshop sent
for this creatur into hys gardeyn. Whan sche cam to hys presens, sche salutyd hym as
sche cowd, prayng hym of hys gracyows lordshyp to grawnt hir auctoryté of chesyng
hyr confessowr and to be howselyd every Sonday, yyf God wold dysposen hir therto,
undyr hys lettyr and hys seel thorw al hys provynce. And he grawnt it her ful benyngly
all hir desyr wythowtyn any sylver er gold, ne he wold latyn hys clerkys takyn anythyng
for wrytyn ne for seelyng of the lettyr. Whan this creatur fond this grace in hys sygth,
sche was wel comfortyd and strengthyd in hir sowle, and so sche schewyd this
worshepful lord hir maner of levyng and swech grace as God wrowt in hyr mende and
in hir sowle to wetyn what he wold sey therto yyf he fond any defawte eythyr in hyre
contemplacyon er in hir wepyng. And sche teld hym also the cawse of hyr wepyng
and the maner of dalyawns that owyr Lord dalyid to hyr sowle. And he fond no defawt
therin but aprevyd hir maner of levyng and was rygth glad that owyr mercyful Lord
Cryst Jhesu schewyd swech grace in owyr days, blyssed mot he be. Than this creatur
boldly spak to hym for the correccyon of hys meny, seying wyth reverens, "My Lord,
owyr alderes Lord almyty God hath not gon yow yowyr benefys and gret goodys of
the world to maynten wyth hys tretowrys and hem that slen hym every day be gret
othys sweryng. Ye schal answer for hem les than ye correctyn hem or ellys put hem
owt of yowr servyse." Ful benyngly and mekely he suffred hir to sey hir entent and
gaf a fayr answer, hir supposyng it schuld ben the bettyr. And so her dalyawns
contynuyd tyl sterrys apperyd in the fyrmament. Than sche toke hir leve and hyr
husbond also. Sythen thei comyn agen to London, and many worthy men desyred to
heryn hir dalyawns and hir comunycacyon, for hir communycacion was so mech in
the lofe of God that the herars wer oftyntyme steryd therthorw to wepyn ryt sadly.
And so sche had ther rygth gret cher, and hir husbond becawse of hir, as long as thei
wold abyden in the cyté. Aftyrward thei comyn ageyn to Lenne, and than went this
creatur to the ankyr at the Frer Prechowrys in Lenne and teld hym what cher sche had
had and how sche had sped whyl sche was in the contré. And he was rygth glad of hir
comyng hom and held it was gret myracle hir comyng and hir goyng to and fro. And
he seyd to hir, "I have herd mych evyl langwage of yow syth ye went owt, and I have
ben sor cownseld to leve yow and no mor to medyl wyth yow, and ther is behyte me
gret frenschepys wyth condycyon yf I leve yow. And I answeryd for yow thus: 'yyf
ye wer in the same plyte that ye wer whan we partyd asundyr, I durst wel say ye wer
a good woman, a lovere of God, and hyly inspyred wyth the Holy Gost. 'And I wyl not
forsake hyr for no lady in this reme for to speke wyth the lady and levyn hir, for rathyr I
schuld leve the lady and speke wyth hir, yyf I mygth not don bothen, than I schuld don
the contrarye."' Rede fyrst the twenty-first chapetre and than this chapetre aftyr that.
On a day long befor this tyme, whyl thys creatur was beryng chylder and sche was
newly delyveryd of a chyld, owyr Lord Cryst Jhesu seyd to hir sche schuld no mor
chyldren beryn, and therfor he bad hyr gon to Norwych. And sche seyd, "A, der Lord,
how schal I gon? I am bothe feynt and feble." "Drede the not, I schal make the strong
inow. I byd the gon to the vykary of Seynt Stefenys and sey that I gret hym wel and
that he is an hey chossyn sowle of myn, and telle hym he plesyth me mech wyth hys
prechyng and schew hym thy prevytés and myn cownselys swech as I schewe the."
Than sche toke hyr wey to Norwychward and cam into hys cherch on a Thursday a
lytyl befor noon. And the vykary went up and down wyth another prest whech was
hys gostly fadyr that levyd whan this boke was mad. And this creatur was clad in blak
clothyng that tyme. Sche salutyd the vykary, preyng hym that sche mygth speke wyth
hym an owyr or ellys tweyn owyrs at aftyrnone whan he had etyn in the lofe of God.
He, lyftyng up hys handys and blyssyng hym, seyd, "Benedicité. What cowd a woman
ocupyn an owyr er tweyn owyrs in the lofe of owyr Lord? I schal nevyr ete mete tyl I
wete what ye kan sey of owyr Lord God the tyme of on owyr." Than he sett hym
down in the chirche. Sche, syttyng a lytyl besyde, schewyd hym all the wordys whech
God had revelyd to hyr in hyr sowle. Sythen sche schewyd hym al hyr maner of
levyng fro hyr chyldhod as ny as it wolde come to hir mende: how unkynd sche had
ben ageyn owyr Lord Jhesu Crist, how prowde and veyne sche had ben in hir aport,
how obstynat ageyns the lawes of God, and how envyows ageyn hir evyn cristen,
sythen, whan it plesyd owyr Lord Crist Jhesu, how sche was chastysed wyth many
tribulacyons and horrybyl temptacyons, and aftyrward how sche was fed and comfortyd
wyth holy medytacyons and specyal in the mende of owyr Lordys Passyon. And,
whyl sche dalyed in the Passyon of owyr Lord Jhesu Crist, sche herd so hedows a
melodye that sche mygth not ber it. Than this creatur fel down as yf she had lost hir
bodyly strength and lay stylle a gret whyle, desyryng to put it away, and sche mygth
not. Than knew sche wel be hir feyth that ther was gret joye in hevyn, wher the lest
poynt of blys wythowtyn any comparyson passeth al the joye that evyr myt be thowt
er felt in this lyfe. Sche was gretly strengthyd in hir feyth and mor bold to tellyn the
vykary her felyngys whech sche had be revelacyons bothen of qwyk and of ded and of
hys owyn self. Sche teld hym how sumtyme the Fadyr of hevyn dalyd to hir sowle as
pleynly and as veryly as o frend spekyth to another be bodyly spech; sumtyme the
Secunde Persone in Trinyté; sumtyme alle thre Personys in Trinyté and o substawns
in Godhede dalyid to hir sowle and informyd hir in hir feyth and in hys lofe how sche
schuld lofe hym, worshepyn hym, and dredyn hym, so excellently that sche herd nevyr
boke, neythyr Hyltons boke, ne Bridis boke, ne Stimulus Amorys, ne Incendium Amoris,
ne non other that evyr sche herd redyn that spak so hyly of lofe of God but that sche
felt as hyly in werkyng in hir sowle yf sche cowd or ellys mygth a schewyd as sche
felt. Sumtyme owyr Lady spak to hir mend. Sumtyme Seynt Petyr, sumtyme Seynt
Powyl, sumtym Seynt Kateryn, er what seynt in hevyn sche had devocyon to aperyd
to hir sowle and tawt hir how sche schuld lovyn owyr Lord and how sche schuld
plesyn hym. Her dalyawns was so swet, so holy, and so devowt that this creatur myt
not oftyntymes beryn it but fel down and wrestyd wyth hir body and mad wondyrful
cher and contenawns wyth boystows sobbyngys and gret plenté of terys, sumtyme
seyng "Jhesu, mercy," sumtyme "I dey." And therfor mech pepyl slawndryd hir, not
levyng it was the werke of God but that sum evyl spyrit vexid hir in hir body er ellys
that sche had sum bodyly sekenesse. Notwythstondyng the rumowr and grutchyng of
the pepyl agen hir, this holy man, vykary of Seynt Stefenys chyrch of Norwych, whom
God hath exaltyd and thorw mervelyows werkys schewyd and prevyd for holy, evyr
held wyth hir and supportyd hir agen hir enmys into hys powyr aftyr the tyme that
sche be the byddyng of God had schewyd hym hir maner of governawns and levyng,
for he trustly belevyd that sche was wel lernyd in the lawe of God and indued wyth
grace of the Holy Gost, to whom it longyth to enspyr wher he wyl. And, thow hys
voys be herd, it is not wyst of the werld fro when it comyth er whedyr it goth. Thys
holy vykary aftyr this tyme was confessowr to this creatur alwey whan sche cam to
Norwych and howsyld hir wyth hys owyn handys. And, whan sche was on a tyme
moneschyd to aper befor certeyn offycerys of the bysshop to answer to certeyn artyculys
whech schuld be put ageyn hir be the steryng of envyows pepyl, the good vykary,
preferryng the lofe of God befor any schame of the world, went wyth hir to her hir
examynacyon and delyveryd hir fro the malys of hyr enmys. And than was it revelyd to
this creatur that the good vykary schuld levyn sevyn yer aftyr and than he schuld
passyn hens wyth gret grace, and he dede as sche had.
Thys creatur was chargyd and comawndyd in hir sowle that sche schuld go to a
Whyte Frer in the same cyté of Norwych whech hyte Wyllyam Sowthfeld, a good
man and an holy levar, to schewyn hym the grace that God wrowt in hir as sche had
don to the good vykary beforn. Sche dede as sche was comawndyd, and cam to the
frere on a fornoon, and was wyth hym in a chapel a long tyme, and schewyd hym hir
meditacyons and swech as God wrowt in hir sowle to wetyn yf sche wer dysceyved be
any illusyons or not. Thys good man, the White Frer, evyr whyl sche teld hir felyngys,
heldyng up hys handys, seyd, "Jhesu, mercy and gremercy. Syster," he seyd, "dredyth
ye not of yowr maner of levyng, for it is the Holy Gost werkyng plentyuowsly hys
grace in yowr sowle. Thankyth hym heyly of hys goodnes, for we alle be bowndyn to
thankyn hym for yow that now in owyr days wel inspir hys grace in yow to the help
and comfort of us alle whech arn supportyd be yowr preyers and be swech other as ye
ben. And we arn preservyd fro many myschevys and dysesys whech we schuld sufferyn
and worthily for owyr trespas ne wer swech good creaturys among us. Blyssed be
almyty God for hys goodnes. And therfor, syster, I cownsel yow that ye dyspose yow
to receyvyn the gyftys of God as lowly and mekely as ye kan and put non obstakyl ne
objeccyon agen the goodnes of the Holy Gost, for he may gevyn hys gyftys wher he
wyl, and of unworthy he makyth worthy, of synful he makyth rygtful. Hys mercy is
evyr redy unto us, les than the fawt be in owyrself, for he dwellyth not in a body soget
to syn. He fleth al fals feynyng and falshede; he askyth of us a lowe, a meke, and a
contryte hert wyth a good wyl. Owyr Lord seyth hymself, 'My spyrit schal restyn
upon a meke man, a contryte man, and dredyng my wordys.' Syster, I trost to owyr
Lord ye han these condicyons eythyr in your wyl or in your affeccyon er ellys in
bothyn, and I helde not that owyr Lord suffryth hem to be dysceyved endlesly that
settyn al here trost in hym and nothyng sekyn ne desyryn but hym only, as I hope that
ye don. And therfor belevyth fully that owyr Lord lovyth yow and werkyth hys grace
in yow I prey God incres it and continu it to hys evyrlestyng worshep for hys mercy."
The beforn seyd creatur was mech comfortyd bothe in body and in sowle be this good
mannys wordys and gretly strengthyd in hir feyth. And than sche was bodyn be owyr
Lord for to gon to an ankres in the same cyté whych hyte Dame Jelyan. And so sche
dede and schewyd hir the grace that God put in hir sowle of compunccyon, contricyon,
swetnesse and devocyon, compassyon wyth holy meditacyon and hy contemplacyon,
and ful many holy spechys and dalyawns that owyr Lord spak to hir sowle, and many
wondirful revelacyons whech sche schewyd to the ankres to wetyn yf ther wer any
deceyte in hem, for the ankres was expert in swech thyngys and good cownsel cowd
gevyn. The ankres, heryng the mervelyows goodnes of owyr Lord, hyly thankyd God
wyth al hir hert for hys visitacyon, cownselyng this creatur to be obedyent to the wyl of
owyr Lord God and fulfyllyn wyth al hir mygthys whatevyr he put in hir sowle yf
it wer not ageyn the worshep of God and profyte of hir evyn cristen, for, yf it wer, than
it wer nowt the mevyng of a good spyryte but rathyr of an evyl spyrit. The Holy Gost
mevyth nevyr a thing ageyn charité, and, yf he dede, he wer contraryows to hys owyn
self, for he is al charité. Also he mevyth a sowle to al chastnesse, for chast levars be
clepyd the temple of the Holy Gost, and the Holy Gost makyth a sowle stabyl and
stedfast in the rygth feyth and the rygth beleve. And a dubbyl man in sowle is evyr
unstabyl and unstedfast in al hys weys. He that is evyrmor dowtyng is lyke to the
flood of the see, the whech is mevyd and born abowte wyth the wynd, and that man is
not lyche to receyven the gyftys of God. What creatur that hath thes tokenys he muste
stedfastlych belevyn that the Holy Gost dwellyth in hys sowle. And mech mor, whan
God visyteth a creatur wyth terys of contrisyon, devosyon, er compassyon, he may
and owyth to levyn that the Holy Gost is in hys sowle. Seynt Powyl seyth that the
Holy Gost askyth for us wyth mornynggys and wepyngys unspekable, that is to seyn,
he makyth us to askyn and preyn wyth mornynggys and wepyngys so plentyuowsly
that the terys may not be nowmeryd. Ther may non evyl spyrit gevyn thes tokenys, for
Jerom seyth that terys turmentyn mor the devylle than don the peynes of helle. God
and the devyl ben evyrmor contraryows, and thei schal nevyr dwellyn togedyr in on
place, and the devyl hath no powyr in a mannys sowle. Holy Wryt seyth that the sowle
of a rytful man is the sete of God, and so I trust, syster, that ye ben. I prey God grawnt
yow perseverawns. Settyth al yowr trust in God and feryth not the langage of the
world, for the mor despyte, schame, and repref that ye have in the world the mor is
yowr meryte in the sygth of God. Pacyens is necessary unto yow for in that schal ye
kepyn yowr sowle." Mych was the holy dalyawns that the ankres and this creatur
haddyn be comownyng in the lofe of owyr Lord Jhesu Crist many days that thei were
togedyr. Thys creatur schewyd hyr maner of levyng to many a worthy clerke, to
worshepful doctorys of divinyté, bothe religiows men and other of seculer abyte, and
thei seyden that God wrowt gret grace wyth hir and bodyn sche schuld not ben aferde,
ther was no disseyte in hir maner of levyng. Thei cownseld hir to be perseverawnt, for
here most dred was that sche schuld turnyn and not kepyn hir perfeccyon. Sche had so
many enmys and so mech slawndyr that hem semyd sche myte not beryn it wythowtyn
gret grace and a mygty feyth. Other whech had no knowlach of hir maner of
governawns, save only be sygth owtforth er ellys be jangelyng of other personys,
pervertyng the dom of trewth, seyd ful evyl of hir and causyd hir to have mech enmyté
and mech dysese, mor than sche schuld have ellys had, had her evyl langage ne ben.
Nevyrthelesse the ankyr of the Frer Prechowrys in Lenn, whech was principal gostly
fadyr to this creatur as is wretyn beforn, toke it on charge of hys sowle that hir felyngys
wer good and sekyr and that ther was no disseyt in hem. And he be the spiryt of
prophecye teld hir, whan sche schuld gon to Jerusalemward, sche schuld have mech
tribulacyon wyth hir mayden and how owyr Lord schuld asayn hir scharply and prevyn
hir ful streytly. Than seyd sche ageyn, "A, good ser, what schal I than do whan I am
fer fro hom and in strawnge cuntreys and my mayden be agens me? Than is my bodily
comfort ago, and gostly comfort of any confessowr as ye beth wot I not wher to have."
"Dowtyr, drede ye nowt, for owyr Lord schal comfort yow hys owyn self, hoose
comfort passyth alle otheris, and, whan al yowr frendys han forsakyn yow owyr Lord
schal makyn a brokyn bak man to lede yow forth wher ye wyl be." And so it befel as
the ankyr had prophecyed in every poynt, and, as I trust, schal be wretyn more pleynly
aftyrward. Than this creatur in a maner compleynyng seyd to the ankyr, "Good ser,
what schal I do? He that is my confessowr in yowr absens is rygth scharp unto me. He
wyl not levyn my felyngys; he settyth nowt by hem; he heldyth hem but tryfelys and
japys. And that is a gret peyn unto me, for I lofe hym wele and I wold fawyn folwyn
hys cownsel." The ankyr, answeryng agen to hir, seyd, "It is no wondyr, dowtyr, yf he
kan nowt belevyn in yowr felyngys so sone. He knowyth wel ye han ben a synful
woman, and therfor he wenyth that God wold not ben homly wyth yow in so schort
tyme. Aftyr yowr conversyon I wold not for al this world ben so scharp to yow as he
is. God for yowr meryte hath ordeynd hym to be yowr scorge and faryth wyth yow as
a smyth wyth a fyle that makyth the yron to be bryte and cler to the sygth whech
beforn aperyd rusty, dyrke, evyl colowryd. The mor scharp that he is to yow the mor
clerly schinyth yowr sowle in the sygth of God, and God hath ordeyned me to be yowr
norych and your comfort. Beth ye lowe and meke and thanke God bothe of on and of
other." On a tyme beforn this creatur went to hir praerys for to wetyn what answer
sche schuld gevyn to the wedow. Sche was comawndyd in hir spyryt to byddyn the
wedow levyn hir confessowr that was that tyme, yf sche wold plesyn God, and gon to
the ankyr at the Frer Prechowrys in Lenn and schewyn hym hir lyfe. Whan this creatur
dede this massage, the wedow wold not levyn hir wordys ne hir gostly fadyr neythyr,
les than God wold gevyn hir the same grace that he gaf this creatur, and sche chargyd
this creatur that sche schuld no mor comyn in hir place. And for this creatur teld hir
that sche had to fele lofe of affecyon to hir gostly fadyr, therfor the wedow seyde it
had ben good to this creatur that hir lofe and hir affeccyon wer set as hir was. Than
owyr Lord bad this creatur don wryten a lettyr and send it hir. A maystyr of dyvynité
wrot a lettyr at the request of this creatur and sent to the wedow wyth these clawsys
that folwyn. On clause was that the wedow schuld nevyr han the grace that this creatur
had. Another was thow this creatur come nevyr in hir howse it plesyd God ryt wel.
Owyr Lord seyd eftsonys to this creatur, "It wer bettyr to hir than al this world and hir
lofe wer sett as thyn is. And I byd the gon to hir gostly fadyr and telle hym, for he wyl
not belevyn thi wordys, thei schal be departyd asundyr er than he be war, and thei that
ben not of hir cownsel schal knowyn it er than he, whethyr he wyl or not. Lo, dowtyr,
her mayst thow se how hard it is to departyn a man fro hys owyn wyl." And all this
processe was fulfyllyd in trewth as the creatur had seyd beforn twelve yer aftyrward.
Than this creatur suffryd mech tribulacyon and gret hevynesse for sche seyd these
wordys as owyr Lord bad hir sey. And evyr sche encresyd in the lofe of God and was
mor bold than sche was beforn.
Beforn this creatur went to Jerusalem, owyr Lord sent hir to a worshipful lady that
sche schuld spekyn wyth hir in cownsel and do hys eraend unto hir. The lady wold not
speke wyth hir les than hir gostly fadyr wer present, and sche seyd sche was wel
plesyd. And than whan the ladys gostly fadyr was comyn thei wentyn into a chapel al
thre togedyr, and than this creatur seyd wyth gret reverens and many teerys, "Madam,
owyr Lord Jhesu Crist bad me telle yow that yowr husbond is in purgatory and that ye
schal ben savyd but it schal be long er ye come to hevyn." And than the lady was
dysplesyd and seyd hir husbond was a good man; sche levyd not that he was in purga
tory. Hir gostly fadyr held wyth this creatur and seyd it mygth rygth wel ben so as
sche seyd and confermyd hir wordys wyth many holy talys. And than this lady sent
hir dowtyr wyth other meny wyth hir to the ankyr whech was princypal confessowr to
this creatur that he schuld forsakyn hir and ellys he schuld lesyn hir frenshep. The
ankyr seyd to the massangerys that he wold not forsakyn this creatur for no man in
erthe, for to swech creaturys as wold inqwiryn of hym hir maner of governawns and
how he held of hir he seyd sche was Goddys owyn servawnt and also he seyd sche
was the tabernakyl of God. And the ankyr seyd unto hir owyn persone for to strengthyn
hir in hir feyth, "Thow God toke fro yow al teerys and dalyawns, belevyth nevyrtheles
that God lovyth yow and that ye schal be ryt sekyr of hevyn for that ye have had
befortyme, for teerys wyth lofe is the grettest geft that God may gevyn in erth and al
men that lovyn God owyn to thankyn hym for yow." Also ther was a wedow preyd
this creatur to preyn for hir husbond and wete yf he had ony nede of help. And, as this
creatur preyd for hym, sche was answeryd that hys sowle schuld be thirty yer in purga
tory les than he had bettyr frendys in erthe. Thus sche teld the wedow and seyd,
"Yyf ye wyl don almes for hym three pownd er four in messys and almesgevyng to
powyr folke, ye schal hyly plesyn God and don the sowle gret esse." The wedow toke
lytyl hede at hir wordys and let it pasyn forth. Than this creatur went to the ankyr and
teld hym how sche had felt, and he seyd the felyng was of God and the dede in the self
was good, thow the sowle had no nede therof, and cownseld it schuld be fulfylled.
Than this creatur teld this mater to hir gostly fadyr that he schuld speke to the wedow,
and so it was long tyme that this creatur herd no mo of this mater. Aftyrward owyr
Lord Jhesu Crist seyd to this creatur, "that thyng I bad schuld a be don for the sowle
it is not don. Aske now thi gostly fadyr." And so sche dede, and he seyd it was not
don. Sche seyd agen, "My Lord Jhesu Crist teld me so rygth now."
On a day as this creatur was heryng hir messe, a yong man and a good prest heldyng
up the sacrament in hys handys ovyr hys hed, the sacrament schok and flekeryd to and
fro as a dowe flekeryth wyth hir wengys. And, whan he held up the chalys wyth the
precyows sacrament, the chalys mevyd to and fro as it schuld a fallyn owt of hys
handys. Whan the sacre was don, this creatur had gret merveyle of the steryng and
mevyng of the blyssed sacrament, desyring to se mor sacreys and lokyng yf it wold
don so agen. Than seyd owyr Lord Jhesu Crist to the creatur, "Thow schalt no mor sen
it in this maner, therfor thank God that thow hast seyn. My dowtyr, Bryde, say me
nevyr in this wyse." Than seyd this creatur in hir thowt, "Lord, what betokenyth this?"
"It betokenyth venjawnce." "A, good Lord, what venjawnce?" Than seyd owyr Lord
agen to hir, "Ther schal be an erdene, tel it whom thow wylt in the name of Jhesu. For
I telle the forsothe rygth as I spak to Seynt Bryde ryte so I speke to the, dowtyr, and I
telle the trewly it is trewe every word that is wretyn in Brides boke, and be the it schal
be knowyn for very trewth. And thow schalt faryn wel, dowtyr, in spyte of alle thyn
enmys; the mor envye thei han to the for my grace, the bettyr schal I lofe the. I wer not
rygthful God but I prevyd the, for I knowe the bettyr than thow dost thiself, what that
evyr men seyn of the. Thow seyst I have gret paciens in the syn of the pepyl, and thow
seyst soth, but, yf thow sey the synne of the pepyl as I do, thow schuldyst have mech
more mervayle in my pacyens and mech mor sorwe in the synne of the pepyl than
thow hast." Than the creatur seyd, "Alas, derworthy Lord, what schal I do for the
pepyl?" Owyr Lord answeryd, "It is inow to the to don as thow dost." Than sche
preyed, "Mercyful Lord Crist Jhesu, in the is al mercy and grace and goodnes. Have
mercy, pyté, and compassyon of hem. Schew thi mercy and thy goodnes upon hem, help
hem, send hem very contricyon, and late hem nevyr deyn in her synne." Owyr mercyful
Lord seyde, "I may no mor, dowtyr, of my rytfulnesse do for hem than I do. I send
hem prechyng and techyng, pestylens and bataylys, hungyr and famynyng, losse of
her goodys wyth gret sekenesse, and many other tribulacyons, and thei wyl not levyn
my wordys ne thei wyl not knowe my vysitacyon. And therfor I schal sey to hem that
I made my servawntys to prey for yow and ye despysed her werkys and her levyng."
In the tyme that this creatur had revelacyons, owyr Lord seyd to hir, "Dowtyr,
thow art wyth childe." Sche seyd agen, "A, Lord, how schal I than do for kepyng of
my chylde?" Owir Lord seyd, "Dowtyr, drede the not, I schal ordeyn for an kepar."
"Lord, I am not worthy to heryn the spekyn and thus to comown wyth myn husbond.
Nerthelesse it is to me gret peyn and gret dysese." "Therfor is it no synne to the,
dowtyr, for it is to the rathyr mede and meryte, and thow schalt have nevyrthelesse
grace, for I wyl that thow bryng me forth mor frwte." Than seyd the creatur, "Lord
Jhesu, this maner of levyng longyth to thy holy maydens." "Ya, dowtyr, trow thow
rygth wel that I lofe wyfes also, and specyal tho wyfys whech woldyn levyn chast, yyf
thei mygtyn have her wyl, and don her besynes to plesyn me as thow dost, for, thow
the state of maydenhode be mor parfyte and mor holy than the state of wedewhode,
and the state of wedewhode mor parfyte than the state of wedlake, yet dowtyr I lofe
the as wel as any mayden in the world. Ther may no man let me to lofe whom I wele
and as mech as I wyl, for lofe, dowtyr, qwenchith al synne. And therfor aske of me the
gyftys of lofe. Ther is no gyft so holy as is the gyft of lofe, ne nothing to be so mech
desyred as lofe, for lofe may purchasyn what it can desyren. And therfor, dowtyr,
thow mayst no bettyr plesyn God than contynuly to thinkyn on hys lofe." Than this
creatur askyd owyr Lord Jhesu how sche schuld best lovyn hym. And owyr Lord
seyd, "have mende of thi wykydnesse and thynk on my goodnes." Sche seyd ageyn, "I
am the most unworthi creatur that evyr thow schewedyst grace unto in erth." "A,
dowtyr," seyd owyr Lord, "fere the nowt, I take non hede what a man hath ben, but I
take hede what he wyl ben. Dowtyr, thow hast despysed thiself, therfor thow schalt
nevyr be despysed of God. Have mend, dowtyr, what Mary Mawdelyn was, Mary
Eypcyan, Seynt Powyl, and many other seyntys that arn now in hevyn, for of unwor
thy I make worthy, and of synful I make rytful. And so have I mad the worthy to me,
onys lovyd and evyrmor lovyd wyth me. Ther is no seynt in hevyn that thow wylt
speke wyth but he schal com to the. Whom that God lovyth thei lovyn. Whan thu
plesyst God, thow plesyst hys modyr and al the seyntys in hevyn. Dowtyr, I take
wytnesse of my modyr, of alle the awngelys in hevyn, and of alle the seyntys in hevyn
that I love the wyth all myn hert and I may not forberyn thi lofe." Owyr Lord seyd
than to hys blysful modyr, "Blyssed Modyr, telle ye my dowtyr of the gretnesse of
love I have unto hir." Than this creatur lay stylle al in wepyng and sobbyng as hir hert
schuld a brostyn for the swetnesse of spech that owyr Lord spak onto hir sowle. Aswythe
aftyr the Qwen of Mercy, Goddys modyr, dalyed to the sowle of this creatur, seying,
"My derworthy dowtyr, I bryng the sekyr tydyngys, wytnessyng my swet sone Jhesu
wyth alle awngelys and alle seyntys in hevyn whech lovyn the ful hily. Dowtyr, I am thy
modyr, thi lady, and thy maystres for to teche the in al wyse how thu schalt plese God
best." Sche tawt this creatur and informyd hir so wondyrfully that sche was abaschyd
to speke it or telle it to any, the maters wer so hy and so holy, saf only to the ankyr
whech was hir princypal confessowr, for he cowde most skyl in swech thyngys. And
he chargyd this creatur be vertu of obedyens to tellyn hym what that evyr sche felt, and
so sche dede.
As this creatur lay in contemplacyon, sor wepyng in hir spiryt, sche seyde to owyr
Lord Jhesu Cryst, "A, Lord, maydonys dawnsyn now meryly in hevyn. Schal not I
don so? For becawse I am no mayden, lak of maydenhed is to me now gret sorwe; me
thynkyth I wolde I had ben slayn whan I was takyn fro the funtston that I schuld nevyr
a dysplesyd the, and than schuldyst thu, blyssed Lorde, an had my maydenhed
wythowtyn ende. A, der God, I have not lovyd the alle the days of my lyve, and that
sor rewyth me; I have ronnyn awey fro the, and thow hast ronnyn aftyr me; I wold
fallyn in dyspeyr, and thu woldyst not suffer me." "A, dowtyr, how oftyntymes have
I teld the that thy synnes arn forgove the and that we ben onyd togedyr wythowtyn
ende? Thu art to me a synguler lofe, dowtyr, and therfor I behote the thu schalt have a
synguler grace in hevyn, dowtyr, and I behest the I schal come to thin ende at thi
deyng wyth my blyssed modyr and myn holy awngelys and twelve apostelys, Seynt
Kateryne, Seynt Margarete, Seynt Mary Mawdelyn, and many other seyntys that ben
in hevyn, whech gevyn gret worshep to me for the grace that I geve to the, God, thi
Lord Jhesu. Thow thart drede no grevows peynes in thi deyng, for thu schalt have thy
desyre, that is to have mor mynde of my Passyon than on thin owyn peyne. Thu schalt
not dredyn the devyl of helle for he hath no powyr in the. He dredyth the mor than
thow dost hym. He is wroth wyth the, for thu turmentyst hym mor wyth thi wepyng
than doth al the fyer in helle; thu wynnyst many sowlys fro hym wyth thi wepyng. And
I have behygth the that thu schuldyst noon other purgatory han than slawndyr
and speche of the world, for I have chastysed the myself as I wolde be many gret
dredys and turmentriis that thu hast had wyth evyl spyritys bothin slepyng and wakyng
many yerys. And therfor I schal preservyn the at thin ende thorw my mercy that thei
schal no powyr have ovyr the neythyr in body ne in sowle; it is gret grace and myracle
that thu hast thy bodyly wyttys for the vexacyon that thu hast had wyth hem afortyme.
I have also, dowtyr, chastised the wyth the drede of my godhede, and many tymes
have I feryd the wyth gret tempestys of wyndys that thu wendyst venjawns schuld a
fallyn on the for synne. I have prevyd the be many tribulacyons, many gret hevynes,
and many grevows sekenes in so mech that thu hast ben anoynted for deed, and al
thorw my grace hast thu skapyd. Therfor drede the nowt, dowtyr, for wyth myn owyn
handys, whech wer nayled to the crosse, I schal take thi sowle fro thi body wyth gret
myrthe and melodye, wyth swet smellys and good odowrys, and offyr it to my Fadyr
in hevyn, ther thu schalt se hym face to face, wonyng wyth hym wythowtyn ende.
Dowtyr, thu schalt be ryte wolcome to my Fadyr and to my modyr and to alle my seyntys
in hevyn, for thu hast govyn hem drynkyn ful many tymes wyth teerys of thyn eyne.
Alle myn holy seyntys schal enjoyen of thi comyng hom. Thu schalt be fulfyllyd of al
maner lofe that thu coveytyst. Than schalt thu blysse the tyme that thu wer wrowte
and the body that the hath bowte. He schal joyen in the and thu in hym wythowtyn
ende. Dowtyr, I behote the the same grace that I behyte Seynt Kateryne, Seynt Margarete,
Seynt Barbara, and Seynt Powle, in so mech that what creatur in erth unto the day of dom
aske the any bone and belevyth that God lovyth the he schal have hys bone and er
ellys a bettyr thyng. Therfor and thei that belevyn that God lovyth the thei schal ben
blyssed wythowtyn ende. The sowlys in purgatory schal joyn in thi comyng hom, for
thei knowyn wel that God lovyth the specyaly. And men in erth schal joyn in God for the,
for he schal werkyn meche grace for the and makyn al the world to knowyn that God
lovyth the. Thu hast be despysed for my lofe, and therfor thu schalt be worshepyd for
my lofe. Dowtyr, whan thu art in hevyn, thu schalt mown askyn what thu wylt, and I
schal grawnte the al thi desyr. I have telde the befortyme that thu art a synguler lover,
and therfor thu schalt have a synguler love in hevyn, a synguler reward, and a synguler
worshep. And, forasmech as thu art a mayden in thi sowle, I schal take the be the on
hand in hevyn and my modyr be the other hand, and so schalt thu dawnsyn in hevyn
wyth other holy maydens and virgynes, for I may clepyn the dere abowte and myn
owyn derworthy derlyng. I schal sey to the, myn owyn blyssed spowse, 'Welcome to
me wyth al maner of joye and gladnes, her to dwellyn wyth me and nevyr to departyn fro
me wythowtyn ende, but evyr to dwellyn wyth me in joy and blysse, whech non eye may
se, ne eer heryn, ne tunge telle, ne non hert thynkyn, that I have ordeynd for the and for
alle my servawntys the whech desyryn to lofe me and plesyn me as thu dost."'
Ther cam onys a vykary to this creatur, preyng hir to prey for hym and wetyn
whedyr he schuld mor plese God to levyn hys cure and hys benefyce or to kepe it
stylle, for hym thowt he profyted not among hys parysshonys. The creatur beyng in
hir preyers havyng mende of this mater, Crist seyde unto hir spyrite, "Bydde the vykary
kepyn stylle hys cure and hys benefyce and don hys diligence in prechyng and techyng
of hem hys owyn persone and sumtyme procuryn other to teche hem my lawys and
my comawndmentys so that ther be no defawte in hys parte, and, yyf thei do nevyr the
bettyr, hys mede schal nevyr be the lesse." And so sche dede hir massage as sche was
comawndyd, and the vykary kept stylle hys cur.
As this creatur was in a cherch of Seynt Margarete in the qwer wher a cors was
present, and he that was husbond of the same cors whyl sche levyd was ther in good
hele for to offeryn hir messe peny aftyr the custom of the place, owyr Lord seyd to the
forseyd creatur, "Lo, dowtyr the sowle of this cors is in purgatory, and he that was hir
husbond is now in good hele, and yet he schal ben ded in schort tyme." And so it befel
as sche felt be revelacyon. Also, as this creatur lay in the qwer in hir preyers, a prest
cam to hir and preyde hir to prey for a woman whech lay in poynt of deth. As this creatur
gan to prey for hir, owyr Lord seyd to hir, "Dowtyr, it is gret nede to prey for hir, for
sche hath ben a wykkyd woman and sche schal be ded." And sche seyd agen "Lord, as
thu lovyst me, save hir sowle fro dampnacyon," and than sche wept wyth plentyuows
teerys for that sowle. And owyr Lord grawntyd hir mercy for the sowle, comawndyng
hir to prey for hir. Thys creaturys gostly fadyr cam to hir, mevyng hir to prey for a
woman whech lay in poynt of deth to mannys sygthe. And anon owyr Lord seyd sche
schuld levyn and faryn wel, and so sche dede. A good man whech was a gret frend to
this creatur and an helply to the powyr pepyl was strongly seke many wekys togedyr.
And mech mone was mad for hym, for men wend he schuld nevyr a levyd, hys peyn
was so wondyrful in alle hys joyntys and in al hys body. Owyr Lord Jhesu seyd to hir
spirite, "Dowtyr, be not abaschyd for this man, he schal levyn and faryn rygth wel."
And so he levyd many yerys aftyr in good helth and prosperité. Another good man
whech was a lyster lay seke also, and, whan this creature preyd for hym, it was answeryd
to hir mende that he schulde languryn a whyle and sythen he schuld ben ded wyth that
same sekenesse. And so he was in schort tyme aftyr. Also a worshepful woman and,
as men levyd, an holy woman wech was a specyal frende to this creatur was ryte seke,
and mech pepyl wend sche schuld a be ded. Than, this creatur preyng for hyr, owyr
Lord seyd, "Sche schal not deyn this ten yer for ye schal aftyr this makyn ful mery
togedyr and han ful good comunycacyon as ye han had befor." And so it was in trewth;
this holy woman levyd many yerys aftyr. Many mo swech revelacyons this creatur
had in felyng; hem alle for to wryten it schuld be lettyng peraventur of mor profyte.
Thes be wretyn for to schewyn the homlynes and the goodlynes of owyr mercyful
Lord Crist Jhesu and for no commendacyon of the creatur. Thes felyngys and swech
other many mo than be wretyn, bothe of levyng and of deyng, of summe to be savyd,
of summe to be dammyd, weryn to this creatur gret peyn and ponyschyng. Sche had
levar a sufferyd any bodyly penawns than thes felyngys and sche mygth a put hem
awey for the dred that sche had of illusyons and deceytys of hir gostly enmys. Sche
had sumtyme so gret trubbyl wyth swech felyngys whan it fel not trewe to hir
undyrstandyng, that hir confessowr feryd that sche schuld a fallyn in dyspeyr therwyth.
And than aftyr hir turbele and hir gret fere it schuld ben schewyd unto hir sowle how
the felyngys schuld ben undyrstondyn.
The prest whech wrot this boke for to prevyn this creaturys felyngys many tymes
and dyvers tymes he askyd hir qwestyons and demawndys of thyngys that wer for to
komyn, unsekyr and uncerteyn as that tyme to any creatur what schuld be the ende,
preyng hir, thei sche wer loth and not wylly to do swech thyngys, for to prey to God
therfor and wetyn, whan owyr Lord wold visiten hir wyth devocyon, what schuld be
the ende, and trewly wythowtyn any feynyng tellyn hym how sche felt, and ellys wold
he not gladlych a wretyn the boke. And so this creatur, sumdel for drede that he wold
ellys not a folwyd hir entent for to wryten this boke, compellyd, dede as he preyd hir
and telde hym hir felyngys what schuld befallyn in swech materys as he askyd hir yyf
hir felyngys wer trewth. And thus he prevyd hem for very trewth. And yet he wold not
alwey gevyn credens to hir wordys, and that hyndryd hym in this maner that folwyth.
It befel on a tyme that ther cam a yong man to this prest, whech yong man the preste
nevyr sey beforn, compleynyng to the preste of poverté and disese whech he was
fallyn in be infortunyté, expleyntyng the cawse of infortunyté, seying also he had
takyn holy orderys for to be a preste. For a lytil hastynes, hymself defendyng as he
mygth not chesyn les than he wold a be ded thorw pursute of hys enmys, he smet a
man or ellys tweyn, wherthorw, as he seyde, wer ded or ellys lyche for to be ded. And
so he was fallyn into irregularité and mygth not executyn hys orderys wythowtyn
dispensacyon of the cowrt of Rome, and for this cawse he fled fro hys frendys and
durst not comyn in hys contré for drede to be takyn for her deth. The forseyd preste,
gevyng credens to the yong mannys wordys, inasmech as he was an amyabyl persone,
fayr feturyd, wel faveryd in cher and in cuntenawns, sad in hys langage and dalyawns,
prestly in hys gestur and vestur, havyng compassyon of hys disese, purposyng to
getyn hym frendys into hys relevyng and comfort, went to a worshepful burgeys in
Lenn, a meyrs pere and a mercyful man, whech lay in gret seknes and long tyme had
don, compleynyng to hym and to hys wyfe, a ful good woman, of the myschef of this
yong man, trustyng to have fayr almes as he oftyntyme had for other that he askyd for.
It happyd the creatur of whom this boke is wretyn to ben ther present and herd how the
preste compleyned for the yong man and how the preste preysed hym. And sche was
sor mevyd in hir spiryt ageyns that yong man, and seyd thei haddyn many powyr
neybowrys whech thei knewyn wel anow hadyn gret nede to ben holpyn and relevyd,
and it was mor almes to helpyn hem that thei knewyn wel for wel dysposyd folke and
her owyn neybowrys than other strawngerys whech thei knew not, for many spekyn
and schewyn ful fayr owtward to the sygth of the pepyl, God knowyth what thei arn in
her sowlys. The good man and hys wyfe thowtyn that sche seyd rygth wel, and therfor
thei woldyn grawntyn hym non almes. At that tyme the preste was evyl plesyd wyth
this creatur, and, whan he mett wyth hir alone, he rehersyd how sche had lettyd hym
that he mygth non almes getyn for the yong man whech was a wel dysposyd man as
hym thowt and commendyd mech hys governawns. The creatur seyd, "Sere, God
knowyth what hys governawns is, for, that I wot of, I sey hym nevyr and yet I have
undyrstondyng what hys governawns schuld be, and therfor, ser, yf ye wyl do be my
cownsel and aftyr that I fele, latyth hym chesyn and helpyn hymselfe as wel as he can
and medyl ye not wyth hym, for he schal dysceyve yow at the last." The yong man
resortyd alwey to the preste, flateryng hym and seyng that he hath good frendys in
other placys whech schuld helpyn hym yyf thei wysten wher he wer, and that in schort
tyme, and also thei woldyn thankyn tho personys that had supportyd hym in hys dysese.
The preste, trustyng it schuld be as this yong man teld hym, lent hym sylver wyth
good wyl to helpyn hym wyth. The yong man preyed the preste to have hym excused
if he sey hym not of too days er thre, for he schuld gon a lytyl wey and comyn ageyn
in schort tyme and bryng hym agen hys sylver rygth wel and trewly. The preste,
havyng confidens in hys promysse, was wel content, grawntyng hym good lofe and
leve unto the day whech he had promysed to come ageyn. Whan he was gon, the
forseyde creatur havyng undyrstondyng be felyng in hir sowle as owyr Lord wold
schewyn that he was an untrewe man and no mor wold come ageyn, sche for to preve
whethyr hir felyng was trewe or fals askyd the preste whethyr the yong man was that
he had preysed so mech. The preste seyd he walkyd a lytil way and trustyd that he
wold come ageyn. Sche seyd sche supposyd that he wold no mor se hym, ne no mor
he dede nevyr aftyr. And than he repentyd hym that he had not don aftyr hir cownsel.
In schort tyme aftyr this was passyd, comyth another fals schrewe, an elde man, to the
same preste and proferyd hym a portose, a good lytyl boke, for to selle. The preste
went to the forseyd creatur, preying hir to preye for hym and wetyn whedyr God
wolde he schulde by the boke er not, and, whyl sche preyd, he cheryd the man as wel
as he cowde, and sythen he cam ageyn to this creatur and askyd how sche felt. "Syr,"
sche seyth, "byith no boke of hym, for he is not to trustyn upon, and that schal ye wel
knowyn yyf ye medyl wyth hym." Than the preste preyde the man that he mygt se this
boke. The man seyde he hath it not upon hym. The preste askyd how he cam therby.
He seyd he was executor to a preste whech was of hys kynred, and he chargyd hym to
sellyn it and dysposyn it for hym. "Fadyr," seyde the preste becawse of reverens,
"why profyr ye me this boke rathar than other men or other prestys whan ther arn
many mo thryftyare, richare prestys in this cherch than I am, and I wel wot ye had
nevyr no knowlach of me before this tyme?" "Forsothe, syr," he seyde, "no mor I had,
nevyrtheles I have good wyl wyth yowr persone, and also it was hys wyl that awt it
befor that, yef I knew any yong preste that me thowt sad and wel dysposyd, that he
schuld han this boke before any other man and for lesse prys than any other man that
he myt prey for hym. And these cawsys mevyn me to come to yow rather than to
another man." The preste askyd wher was hys dwellyng. "Ser," he seyde, "but fyve
myle fro this place in Penteney Abbey." "Ther have I ben," seyd the preste, "and I
have not sey yow." "No ser," seyd he ageyn, "I have be ther but lytyl whyle and now
have I ther a lyvery, thankyd be God." The preste preyd hym that he mygth have a
sygth of the boke and lokyn yf thei mygth acordyn. He seyde, "Sere, I hope to be her
ageyn the next woke and bryng it wyth me and, ser, I behote yow ye schal have it
before any other man yyf yow lyke it." The preste thankyd hym for hys good wyl, and
so they partyd asundyr, but the man wold nevyr comyn at the preste aftyr, and than the
preste knew wel that the forseyd creaturys felyng was trewe.
Ferthermore her folwyth a rygth notabyl matere of the creaturys felyng, and it is
wretyn her for convenyens inasmech as it is in felyng leche to the materys that ben
wretyn beforn, notwythstondyng it befel long aftyr the materys whech folwyn. It happyd
in a worshepful town wher was o parysch cherch and tweyn chapelys annexid, the
chapellys havyng and mynystryng alle sacramentys, except only cristenyng and
purificacyons, thorw sufferawns of the person, whech was a monke of Seynt Benetys
Ordyr sent fro the hows of Norwych, kepyng resydens wyth three of hys bretheryn in
the worshepful town befornwretyn. Thorw summe of the parischenys desyryng to
make the chapelys lych to the parysch cherch, pursuyng a bulle fro the cowrt of Rome,
fel gret ple and gret hevynes betwen the priowr whech was her person and curat and
the forseyd paryschenys that desyred to have funtys and purificacyons in the chapelys
lych as weryn in the parysch cherch. And specyaly in the on chapel whech was the
grettar and the fayrare thei wold have a funte. Ther was pursuyd a bulle, in the whech
was grawntyd a funte to the chapel so it wer no derogacyon to the parysch cherch. The
bulle was put in ple, and divers days wer kept be forme of lawe to prevyn whethyr the
funte, yyf it wer had, schuld ben derogacyon to the parysch chyrch or nowt. The
paryschenys whech pursuyd weryn rygth strong and haddyn gret help of lordshyp,
and also, the most of alle, thei wer ryche men, worshepful marchawntys, and haddyn
gold anow, whech may spede in every nede, and that is rewth that mede schuld spede
er than trewth. Nevyrthelesse the priowr whech was her person, thei he wer powyr,
manfully he wythstod hem thorw the help of summe of hys paryschenys whech wer
hys frendys and lovedyn the worshep of her parysch chyrch. So long this mater was in
ple that it began yrkyn hem on bothe sydes, and it was nevyr the nerar an ende. Than
was the mater put in my Lord of Norwych Alnewyk to say if he mygth be trety bryng
it to an ende. He laboryd this mater diligently, and for to settyn rest and pes he proferyd
the forseyd paryschenys mych of her desyre wyth certeyn condycyons, in so mech
that thei that heldyn wyth the person and wyth her parysch chyrche weryn ful sory,
dredyng gretly that thei that suyd for to have a funte schuld obteyn and getyn her
intent and so makyn the chapel eqwal to the parysch cherch. Than the preste whech
aftyrward wrot this boke went to the creatur of whom this tretys makyth mencyon, as
he had don beforn in the tyme of ple, and askyd hir how sche felt in hir sowle in this
mater whethyr thei schuld have a funte in the chapel or nowt. "Syr," seyd the creatur,
"drede ye not, for I undyrstond in my sowle, thow thei woldyn geve a buschel of
nobelys, thei schuld not have it." "A modyr," seyd the preste, "my Lord of Norwych
hath proferyd it hem wyth certeyn condycyons, and thei have a tyme of avysement for
to sey nay or ya whethyr thei wyl, and therfor I am aferd thei wyl not deny it but be ryt
glad to have it." Thys creatur preyd to God that hys wyl myt be fulfyllyd. And,
forasmech as sche had be revelacyon that thei schuld not have it, sche was the mor
bold to preyn owyr Lord to wythstonde her intent and to slakyn her bost. And, so as
owyr Lord wolde, thei obeyd not ne lyked not the menys whech wer proferyd hem,
for thei trostyd fully to han her entent be lordshep and be proces of lawe; and, as God
wolde, thei wer deceyvyd of her entent, and for thei wold han al thei lost al. And so,
blyssed mot God ben, the parysch cherch stod stylle in her worshep and hyr degré as
sche had don two hundryd yer befor and mor, and the inspiracyon of owyr Lord was
be experiens prevyd for very sothfast and sekyr in the forseyd creatur.
Whan tyme cam that this creatur schuld vysiten tho holy placys wher owyr Lord
was whyk and ded, as sche had be revelacyon yerys aforn, sche preyd the parysch
preste of the town ther sche was dwellyng to sey for hir in the pulpyt that, yyf any man
er woman that cleymyd any dette of hir husbond or of hir thei schuld come and speke
wyth hir er sche went, and sche, wyth the help of God, schulde makyn aseth to ech of
hem that thei schuldyn heldyn hem content. And so sche dede. Sythen sche toke hir
leve at hir husbond and of the holy ankyr, whech had teld hir beforn the proces of hir
goyng and mech dysese that sche schuld sufferyn be the wey, and, whan alle hir
felaschep forsoke hir, how a brokebakkyd man schuld ledyn hire forth in safté thorw
the help of owyr Lord. And so it befel in dede, as it schal be wretyn aftyrwarde. Than
sche toke hir leve of Mayster Robert and preyd hym of hys blyssyng, and so forth of
other frendys. And than sche went forth to Norwych and offeryd at the Trinité, and
sythen sche went to Yermowth, and offeryd at an ymage of owyr Lady, and ther sche
toke hir schyp. And the next day thei cam to a gret town hyte Seryce, wher owyr Lord
of hys hey goodnesse vysited this creatur wyth abundawnt teerys of contricyon for hir
owyn synnes and sumtyme for other mennys synnes also. And specyaly sche had
teerys of compassyon in the mende of owyr Lordys Passyon. And sche was howselyd
eche Sonday wher that tyme was and place convenient therto wyth gret wepyngys and
boystows sobbyngys that many men merveyled and wonderyd of the gret grace that
God wrowt in hys creatur. Thys creatur had etyn no flesch ne drunkyn no wyn four
yere er sche went owt of Ynglond. And as now hyr gostly fadyr chargyd hir be vertu
of obediens that sche schulde bothyn etyn flesch and drynkyn wyn, and so sche dede
a lytyl whyle. Sythen sche preyd hir confessowr he wolde heldyn hir excused thow
sche ete no flesch, and suffred hir to do as sche wold for a tyme as hym lykyd. And
sone aftyr thorw mevyng of summe of her cumpany hyr confessowr was dysplesyd
for sche ete no flesch, and so was mech of alle the cumpany. And thei wer most displesyd
for sche wepyd so mech and spak alwey of the lofe and goodnes of owyr Lord as wel
at the tabyl as in other place. And therfor schamfully thei reprevyd hir and alto chedyn
hir and seyden thei wold not suffren hir as hir husbond dede whan sche was at hom and
in Inglond. And sche seyd mekely ageyn unto hem, "Owyr Lord almygty God is as
gret a lord her as in Inglond, and as gret cawse have I to lofe hym her as ther,
blyssed mot he be." For thes wordys hir felaschep was wrothar than thei wer beforn,
whose wreth and unkyndnesse to this creatur was mater of gret hevynes, for thei wer
holdyn ryt good men, and sche desyred gretly her lofe yyf sche myth an had it to the
plesawns of God. And than sche seyd to oon of hem specyaly, "Ye do me meche
schame and gret grevawns." He answeryd ageyn anoon, "I prey God that the develys
deth mote ovyrgo the sone and rathe." And many mo cruel wordys he seyd to hir than
sche cowde rehersyn. And sone aftyr summe of the cumpany on whech sche trostyd
best and hir owyn mayden also seyden sche schuld no lengar gon in her felaschep, and
thei seyden thei woldyn han awey hyr mayden fro hir that sche schuld no strumpet be
in hyr cumpany. And than on of hem he had hir gold in kepyng left hir a nobyl wyth
gret angyr and tene to go wher sche wolde and helpyn hirself as wel as sche myth, for
wyth hem, thei seyden, sche schuld no lengar abyde, and forsokyn hir that nygth.
Than on the next morwyn ther com to hir on of her cumpany, a man whech lovyd hir
wel, preyng hir that sche wold go to hys felaws and mekyn hir onto hem and preyn
hem that sche myth go stylle in her cumpany tyl sche come at Constawns. And so sche
dede, and went forth wyth hem tyl sche cam at Constawns wyth gret dissese and gret
turbyl, for thei dedyn hir mech shame and mech reprefe as thei wentyn in dyvers
placys. They cuttyd hir gown so schort that it come but lytil benethyn hir kne and
dedyn hir don on a whyte canwas in maner of a sekkyn gelle, for sche schuld ben
holdyn a fool and the pepyl schuld not makyn of hir ne han hir in reputacyon. Thei
madyn hir to syttyn at the tabelys ende benethyn alle other that sche durst ful evyl
spekyn a word. And, notwythstondyng al her malyce, sche was had in mor worshep
than thei wherthatevyr thei comyn. And the good man of the hows ther thei wer
hostellyd, thow sche sat lowest at the tablys ende, wold alwey cheryn hir befor hem
alle as he cowde and myth and sent hir of hys owyn mees of swech servyse as he had,
and that grevyd hir felawshep ful evyl. As thei went be the wey to Constawnsward, it
was teld hem thei schuldyn ben harmyd and han gret disese les than thei had gret
grace. Than this creatur cam be a cherch and went in to make hir prayer, and sche
preyde wyth al hir hert, wyth gret wepyng and many teerys, for help and socowr
ageyn her enmys. Anoon owyr Lord seyd to hir mende, "Drede the nowt, dowtyr, thi
felawshep schal non harm han whyl thu art in her cumpany." And so, blyssed mote
owyr Lord ben in alle hys werkys, thei wentyn forth in safté to Constawns.
Than this creatur and hir felawshep was come to Constawns sche herd tellyn of an
Englysch frer, a maystyr of divinité and the Popys legat, was in that cité. Than sche
went to that worshepful man and schewyd hym hire lyfe fro the begynnyng unto that
owyr as ny as sche mygth in confessyon, because he was the Popys legate and a
worshepful clerk. And aftyr sche teld hym what disese sche had wyth hir felawshep.
Sche teld hym also what grace God gaf hir of contricyon and compunccyon, of swetnes
and devocyon, and of many dyvers revelacyons whech owyr Lord had revelyd unto
hir, and the dred that sche had of illusyons and deceytys of hir gostly enmys, wherfor
sche levyd in gret drede, desyryng to putte hem away and non for to felyn yyf sche
myth wythstonde hem. And, whan sche had seyd, the worshepful clerke gaf hir wordys
of gret comfort and seyd it was the werke of the Holy Gost, comawndyng and chargyng
hir to obey hem and receyve hem whan God wold geve hem and no dowt han, for the
devyl hath no powyr to werkyn swech grace in a sowle. And also he seyd he wold
supportyn hir agen the evyl wyl of hir felawschep. Aftyrward, whan it lykyd hir
felawshep, thei preyde this worthy doctowr to dyner. And the doctowr teld so the
forseyd creatur, warnyng hir to syttyn at the mete in hys presens as sche dede in hys
absens and kepyn the same maner of governauns that sche kept whan he was not ther.
Whan tyme was comyn that thei schulde syttyn at mete, every man toke hys place as
hym lyked, the worshepful legat and doctowr fyrst sett, and sythen other, and at the last
the seyd creatur at the bordys ende syttyng and no word spekyng as sche was won
to do whan the legate was not ther. Than the legate seyd unto hir, "Why ar ye no
myryar?" And sche sat stylle and answeryd not, as hymself had comawndyd hir to do.
Whan thei had etyn, the company mad gret compleynt upon this creatur to the legate,
and seyd uttyrly sche schulde no lengar be in her company les than he wolde
comawndyn hir to etyn flesch as thei dedyn and levyn hir wepyng and that sche schulde
not speke so mech of holynes. Than the worshepful doctowr seyde, "Nay, serys, I wyl
not don hir etyn flesch whyl sche may absteyne hir and ben the bettyr disposyd to
lovyn owyr Lord. Of whech of yow alle that mad avowe to gon to Rome barfote I
wolde not dispense wyth hym of hys vow whyl he myth fulfillyn it, ne I wyl not
byddyn hir etyn flesch whyl owyr Lord gevyth hir strength to absteyne. As for hyr
wepyng, it is not in my power to restreyn it, for it is the gyft of the Holy Gost. As for
hir spekyng, I wyl prey hir to sesyn tyl sche comyth ther men wyl her hir wyth bettyr
wyl than ye wyl do." The company was wroth and in gret angyr. Thei govyn hir ovyr
to the legate and seyden uttyrly thei woldyn no mor medyl wyth hir. He ful benyngly
and goodly receyved hir as thow sche had ben hys modyr and receyved hir golde
abowte twenty pownd, and yet on of hem wythhelde wrongfully abowte sixteen pownd.
And thei wythheldyn also hir mayden and wolde not letyn hir gon wyth hir maystres,
notwythstondyng sche had behestyd hir maystres and sekyrd hir that sche schulde not
forsake hir for no nede. And the legate ordeyned for this creatur and made hir chawnge
as sche had ben hys modyr. Than this creatur went into a cherche and preyd owyr
Lorde to ordeyn hir a ledar. And anon owyr Lord spak to hir and seyd, "Thu schalt
have rygth good help and a good ledar," and aswythe aftyr ther cam to hir an olde man
wyth a whyte berde. He was of Devynschir, and he seyd, "Damsel, wyl ye prey me for
Goddys lofe and for owyr Ladys to gon wyth yow and ben yowr gyde for yowr
cuntremen han forsake yow?" Sche askyd what was hys name. He seyde, "My name
is Willyam Wever." Sche preyd hym at the reverens of God and of owyr Lady that he
wolde helpyn hir at hir nede, and sche schulde wel rewardyn hym for hys labowre.
And so thei wer acordyd. Than went sche to the legate and telde hym how wel owyr
Lord had ordeynd for hir, and toke hir leve of hym and of hir cumpany that so ungoodly
had refusyd hir and also of hir mayden whech was bowndyn to a gon wyth hir. Sche
toke hir leve wyth ful hevy cher and rewful, havyng gret hevynes inasmeche as sche
was in strawnge cuntré and cowde no langage ne the man that schuld ledyn hir neythyr.
And so the man and sche went forth togydder in gret drede and hevynes. As thei went
togydder, the man seyd unto hir, "I am aferde thu schalt be take fro me, and I schal be
betyn for the and forberyn my tabbarde." Sche seyd, "Willyam, dredyth yow not; God
schal kepyn us rygth wel." And this creatur had every day mend of the Gospel whech
tellyth of the woman whech was takyn in avowtré and browt beforn owyr Lord. And
than sche preyde, "Lord, as thow dreve awey hir enmys, so dryfe awey myn enmys,
and kepe wel my chastité that I vowyd to the, and late me nevyr be defowlyd, for yyf
I be, Lord, I make myn avow I wyl nevyr come in Inglonde whil I leve." Than went
thei forth day be day and met wyth many joly men. And thei seyd non evyl worde to
this creatur but govyn hir and hyr man mete and drynke, and the good wyvys ther thei
weryn at inne leyden hir in her owyn beddys for Goddys lofe in many placys ther thei
come. And owyr Lord vysite hir wyth gret grace of gostly comfort as sche went be the
wey. And so God browt hir forth tyl sche cam to Boleyn de Grace. And, aftyr that sche
was come thedyr, cam hir other felawshep thedyr also whech had forsakyn hir befor.
And, whan thei herdyn sey that sche was come to Boleyn er than thei, than had thei
gret wondyr, and on of her felawshep cam to hir preyng hir to gon to hys felaschep
and asayn yyf thei woldyn receyven hir ageyn into her felawshep. And so sche dede.
"Yyf ye wyl gon in owyr felawshep, ye must makyn a new comnawnt, and that is this,
ye schal not speke of the Gospel wher we come, but ye schal syttyn stylle and makyn
mery, as we don, bothin at mete and at soper." Sche consentyd and was receyvyd
ageyn into hir felawshep. Than went thei forth to Venyce and thei dwellyd ther thir
teen wekys. And this creatur was howselyd every Sonday in a gret hows of nunnys
and had gret cher among hem, wher owyr mercyful Lord Cryst Jhesu visite this creatur
wyth gret devocyon and plentyuows terys that the good ladiis of the place wer mech
amerveylyd therof. Sythyn it happyd, as this creatur sat at mete wyth hir felawshep,
that sche rehersyd a text of a Gospel lych as sche had leryd befortyme wyth other
goode wordys. And anon hir felawshep seyd sche had brokyn comenawnt. And sche
seyd, "Ya, serys, forsothe I may no lengar hold yow comenawnt, for I must nedys
speke of my Lord Jhesu Crist thow al this world had forbodyn it me." And than sche
toke hir chawmbre and ete alone six wokys unto the tyme that owyr Lord mad hir so
seke that sche wend to a be ded, and sythyn sodeynly he mad hir hool agen and al the
tyme hir mayden let hir alone and mad the cumpanyes mete and wesch her clothis, and
to hir maystres, whom sche had behestyd servyse, sche wolde no dele attende.
Also this cumpany whech had putt the forseyd creatur fro her tabyl that sche schulde
no lengar etyn among hem ordeynd a schip for hemself to seylyn in. Thei bowtyn
vessellys for her wyn and ordeyned hem beddyng for hemselfe but nothyng for hir.
Than sche, seyng her unkyndnesse, went to that same man wher thei haddyn ben, and
purveyd for hyr beddyng as thei had don, and cam ther thei weryn and schewyd hem
how sche had don, purposyng to seylyn wyth hem in that schyp whech thei had
ordeyned. Sithyn, as this creatur was in contemplacyon, owyr Lord warnyd hir in hir
mende that sche schuld not seylyn in that schip, and he assyngned hir another schip, a
galey, that sche schulde seylyn in. Than sche told this to summe of the cumpany, and
thei teld it forth to her felawshep, so than thei durst not seyl in the schip whech thei
had ordeyned. And so thei seldyn awey her vessellys whech thei had ordeyned for her
wynys and wer ryth fayn to comyn to the galey ther sche was, and so, thow it wer
ageyn her wyl, sche went forth wyth hem in her cumpany, for thei durst non otherwyse
don. Whan it was tyme to makyn her beddys, thei lokyd up her clothis, and a preste
wech was in her cumpany toke awey a schete fro the forseyd creatur and seyd it was
hys. Sche toke God to wytnesse that it was hire schete. Than the preste swor a gret
othe, and be the boke in hys hand, that sche was as fals as sche mygth be and dispysed
hir and alto rebukyd hir. And so sche had evyr mech tribulacyon tyl sche cam to
Jherusalem. And, er sche cam ther, sche seyd to hem that sche supposyd thei weryn
grevyd wyth hir. "I prey yow serys, beth in charité wyth me, for I am in charité wyth
yow and forgevyth me that I have grevyd yow be the wey. And, yyf any of yow hath
anything trespasyd agens me, God forgeve it yow and I do." And so thei went forth
into the Holy Lond tyl thei myth se Jerusalem. And, whan this creatur saw Jerusalem,
rydyng on an asse, sche thankyd God wyth al hir hert, preyng hym for hys mercy that
lych as he had browt hir to se this erdly cyté Jerusalem he wold grawntyn hir grace to
se the blysful cité of Jerusalem abovyn, the cyté of hevyn. Owyr Lord Jhesu Cryst,
answeryng to hyr thowt, grawntyd hir to have hir desyr. Than, for joy that sche had
and the swetnes that sche felt in the dalyawnce of owyr Lord, sche was in poynt to a
fallyn of hir asse, for sche myth not beryn the swetnesse and grace that God wrowt in
hir sowle. Than tweyn pylgrymys of Duchemen went to hir and kept hir fro fallyng, of
whech the on was a preste. And he put spycys in hir mowth to comfort hir, wenyng
sche had ben seke. And so thei holpyn hir forth to Jerusalem. And, whan sche cam
ther, sche seyd, "Serys, I prey yow beth nowt displesyd thow I wepe sore in this holy
place wher owyr Lord Jhesu Crist was qwyk and ded." Than went thei to the tempyl in
Jerusalem, and thei wer latyn in on the to day at evynsong tyme and abydyn therin til
the next day at evynsong tyme. Than the frerys lyftyd up a cros and led the pylgrimys
abowte fro on place to an other wher owyr Lord had sufferyd hys peynys and hys
passyons, every man and woman beryng a wax candel in her hand. And the frerys
alwey, as thei went abowte, teld hem what owyr Lord sufferyd in every place. And the
forseyd creatur wept and sobbyd so plentyuowsly as thow sche had seyn owyr Lord
wyth hir bodyly ey sufferyng hys Passyon at that tyme. Befor hir in hyr sowle sche
saw hym veryly be contemplacyon, and that cawsyd hir to have compassyon. And
whan thei cam up onto the Mownt of Calvarye sche fel down that sche mygth not
stondyn ne knelyn but walwyd and wrestyd wyth hir body, spredyng hlr armys abrode,
and cryed wyth a lowde voys as thow hir hert schulde a brostyn asundyr, for in the cité
of hir sowle sche saw veryly and freschly how owyr Lord was crucifyed. Beforn hir
face sche herd and saw in hir gostly sygth the mornyng of owyr Lady, of Sen John and
Mary Mawdelyn, and of many other that lovyd owyr Lord. And sche had so gret
compassyon and so gret peyn to se owyr Lordys peyn that sche myt not kepe hirself
fro krying and roryng thow sche schuld a be ded therfor. And this was the fyrst cry
that evyr sche cryed in any contemplacyon. And this maner of crying enduryd many
yerys aftyr this tyme for owt that any man myt do, and therfor sufferyd sche mych
despyte and mech reprefe. The cryeng was so lowde and so wondyrful that it made the
pepyl astoynd les than thei had herd it beforn and er ellys that thei knew the cawse of
the crying. And sche had hem so oftyntymes that thei madyn hir ryth weyke in hir
bodyly myghtys, and namely yf sche herd of owyr Lordys Passyon. And sumtyme,
whan sche saw the crucyfyx, er yf sche sey a man had a wownde er a best whethyr it
wer, er yyf a man bett a childe befor hir er smet an hors er another best wyth a whippe,
yyf sche myth sen it er heryn it, hir thowt sche saw owyr Lord be betyn er wowndyd
lyk as sche saw in the man er in the best, as wel in the feld as in the town, and be hirselfe
alone as wel as among the pepyl. Fyrst whan sche had hir cryingys at Jerusalem, sche
had hem oftyn tymes, and in Rome also. And, whan sche come hom into Inglonde,
fyrst at hir comyng hom it comyn but seldom as it wer onys in a moneth, sythen onys
in the weke, aftyrward cotidianly, and onys sche had fourteen on o day, and an other
day sche had seven, and so as God wolde visiten hir, sumtyme in the cherch, sumtyme
in the strete, sumtym in the chawmbre, sumtyme in the felde whan God wold sendyn
hem, for sche knew nevyr tyme ne owyr whan thei schulde come. And thei come
nevyr wythowtyn passyng gret swetnesse of devocyon and hey contemplacyon. And,
as sone as sche parceyvyd that sche schulde crye, sche wolde kepyn it in as mech as
sche myth that the pepyl schulde not an herd it for noyng of hem. For summe seyd it
was a wikkyd spiryt vexid hir; sum seyd it was a sekenes; sum seyd sche had dronkyn
to mech wyn; sum bannyd hir; sum wisshed sche had ben in the havyn; sum wolde
sche had ben in the se in a bottumles boyt; and so ich man as hym thowte. Other gostly
men lovyd hir and favowrd hir the mor. Sum gret clerkys seyden owyr Lady cryed
nevyr so ne no seynt in hevyn, but thei knewyn ful lytyl what sche felt, ne thei wolde
not belevyn but that sche myth an absteynd hir fro crying yf sche had wold. And
therfor, whan sche knew that sche schulde cryen, sche kept it in as long as sche mygth
and dede al that sche cowde to withstond it er ellys to put it awey til sche wex as blo as
any leed, and evyr it schuld labowryn in hir mende mor and mor into the tyme that it
broke owte. And, whan the body myth ne lengar enduryn the gostly labowr but was
ovyr come wyth the unspekabyl lofe that wrowt so fervently in the sowle, than fel
sche down and cryed wondyr lowde. And the mor that sche wolde labowryn to kepe it
in er to put it awey, mech the mor schulde sche cryen and the mor lowder. And thus
sche dede in the Mownt of Calvarye, as it is wretyn beforn. Sche had so very
contemplacyon in the sygth of hir sowle as yf Crist had hangyn befor hir bodily eye in
hys manhode. And, whan thorw dispensacyon of the hy mercy of owyr sovereyn
savyowr Crist Jhesu it was grawntd this creatur to beholdyn so verily hys precyows
tendyr body, alto rent and toryn wyth scorgys, mor ful of wowndys than evyr was
duffehows of holys, hangyng upon the cros wyth the corown of thorn upon hys hevyd,
hys blysful handys, hys tendyr fete nayled to the hard tre, the reverys of blood flowyng
owt plenteuowsly of every membr, the gresly and grevows wownde in hys precyows
syde schedyng owt blood and watyr for hir lofe and hir salvacyon, than sche fel down
and cryed wyth lowde voys, wondyrfully turnyng and wrestyng hir body on every
syde, spredyng hir armys abrode as yyf sche schulde a deyd, and not cowde kepyn hir
fro crying, and these bodily mevyngys for the fyer of lofe that brent so fervently in hir
sowle wyth pur pyté and compassyon. It is nowt to be merveyled yyf this creatur
cryed and made wondirful cher and cuntenawns, whan we may se eche day at eye
bothe men and women, summe for los of werdly good, sum for affeccyon of her kynred
er for werdly frenshepys thorw ovyr fele stody and erdly affeccyon, and most of alle
for inordinat lofe and fleschly affeccyon yyf her frendys er partyn fro hem, thei wyl
cryen and roryn and wryngyn her handys as yyf thei had no wytte ne non mende, and
yet wetyn thei wel inow that thei displesyn God. And, yyf a man cownsel hem to
leevyn er seesyn of her wepyng er crying, thei wyl seyn that thei may not; thei lovyd
her frend so meche and he was so gentyl and so kende to hem that thei may be no wey
forgetyn hym. How meche mor myth thei wepyn, cryen, and roryn yyf her most belovyd
frendys wer wyth vyolens takyn in her sygth and wyth al maner of reprefe browt befor
the juge, wrongfully condemnyd to the deth, and namely so spyteful a deth as owr
mercyful Lord suffyrd for owyr sake. How schuld thei suffyr yt? No dowt but thei
schulde bothe cry and rore and wrekyn hem yyf thei myth, and ellys men wold sey
thei wer no frendys. Alas, alas, for sorwe, that the deth of a creatur whech hat oftyn
synned and trespasyd ageyn her maker schal be so unmesurabely mornyd and sorwyd.
And it is offens to God and hyndryng to the sowlys on eche syde. And the compassyfe
deth of owyr Savyowr, be the whech we arn alle restoryd to lyfe is not had in mende
of us unworthy and unkende wretchys, ne not we wylle supportyn owyr Lordys owyn
secretariis whech he hath indued wyth lofe, but rathyr detractyn hem and hyndryn
hem in as mech as we may.
Whan this creatur wyth hir felawshep cam to the grave wher owyr Lord was beriid,
anon, as sche entryd that holy place, sche fel down wyth hir candel in hir hand as sche
schuld a deyd for sorwe. And sythen sche ros up ageyn wyth gret wepyng and sobbyng
as thow sche had seyn owyr Lord beriid even befor hir. Than sche thowt sche saw
owyr Lady in hir sowle, how sche mornyd and how sche wept hir sonys deth, and than
was owyr Ladiis sorwe hir sorwe. And so ovyr al wher that evyr the frerys led hem in
that holy place sche alwey wept and sobbyd wondyrfully, and specialy whan sche
cam ther owyr Lord was nayled on the cros. Ther cryed sche and wept wythowtyn
mesur that sche myth not restreyn hirself. Also thei comyn to a ston of marbyl that
owyr Lord was leyd on whan he was takyn down of the cros, and ther sche wept wyth
gret compassyon, havyng mend of owyr Lordys Passyon. Aftyrwardys sche was
howselyd on the Mownt of Calvarye, and than sche wept, sche sobbyd, sche cryed so
lowde that it wondyr was to heryn it. Sche was so ful of holy thowtys and medytacyons
and holy contemplacyons in the Passyon of owyr Lord Jhesu Crist and holy dalyawns
that owyr Lord Jhesu Crist dalyed to hir sowle that sche cowde nevyr expressyn hem
aftyr, so hy and so holy thei weryn. Meche was the grace that owyr Lord schewyd to
this creatur whyl sche three wekys was in Jerusalem. Another day erly in the morwenyng
thei went ageyn to the gret hyllys. And her gydes teld wher owyr Lord bare the cros on
hys bakke, and wher hys Modyr met wyth hym, and how sche swownyd, and how
sche fel down and he fel down also. And so thei went forth al the fornoone tyl thei cam
to the Mownt Syon. And evyr this creatur wept abundawntly al the wey that sche went
for compassyon of owyr Lordys Passyon. In the Mownt Syon is a place wher owyr
Lord wesch hys disciplys fete, and a lityl therfro he mad hys Mawndé wyth hys
disciplys. And therfor this creatur had gret desyr to be howselyd in that holy place
wher owyr mercyful Lord Crist Jhesu fyrst sacryd hys precyows body in the forme of
bred and gaf it to hys discipulys. And so sche was wyth gret devocyon, wyth plenteuows
teerys, and wyth boystows sobbyngys, for in this place is plenyr remyssyon. And so is
in other four placys in the tempyl. On is in the Mownt of Calvarye; an other at the
grave wher owyr Lord was beriid; the thridde is at the marbyl ston that hys preciows
body was leyd on whan it was takyn of the cros; the ferd is ther the holy cros was
beriid, and in many other placys of Jerusalem. And, whan this creatur cam into the
place ther the apostelys receyved the Holy Gost, owyr Lord gaf hir gret devocyon.
Aftyrward sche went to the place ther owyr Lady was beriid, and as sche knelyd on
hyr knes the tyme of tweyn messys heryng, owyr Lord Jhesu Crist seyd onto hir, "Thu
comyst not hedyr, dowtyr, for no nede but for meryte and for mede, for thy synnes wer
forgovyn the er thow come her, and therfor thu comyst hedyr for incresyng of thi
mede and of thi meryte. And I am wel plesyd wyth the, dowtyr, for thu stondist undyr
obedyens of Holy Cherch and that thu wylt obey thi confessowr and folwyn hys
cownsel, whech thorw auctorité of Holy Cherch hath asoyld the of thi synnes and
dispensyd wyth the that thu schuldist not go to Rome ne to Seynt Jamys les than thu
wyl thin owyn selfe. Notwythstondyng al this, I comawnde the in the name of Jhesu,
dowtyr, that thu go vysite thes holy placys and do as I byd the, for I am above al Holy
Cherch and I schal gon wyth the and kepyn the rygth wel." Than owyr Lady spak to
hir sowle on this maner, seying, "Dowtyr, wel art thu blyssed, for my sone Jhesu schal
flowyn so mech grace in the that al the world schal wondryn of the. Be not aschamyd,
my derworthy dowtyr, to receyve the gyftys whech my sone schal gevyn the, for I
telle the in trewth thei schal be gret gyftys that he schal geve the. And therfore, my
derworthy dowtyr, be not aschamyd of hym that is thi God, thi Lord, and thi lofe, no
mor than I was whan I saw hym hangyn on the cros, my swete sone, Jhesu, for to
cryen and to wepyn for the peyn of my swete sone, Jhesu Crist; ne Mary Mawdelyn
was not aschamyd to cryen and wepyn for my sonys lofe. And therfor, dowtyr, yyf thu
wylt be partabyl in owyr joye, thu must be partabil in owyr sorwe." Thes swet spech
and dalyawns had this creatur at owyr Ladiis grave, and mech mor than sche cowde
evyr rehersyn. Aftyrward sche rood on an asse to Bedlem and whan sche cam to the
tempyl and to the crybbe wher owyr Lord was born, sche had gret devocyon, mech
spech, and dalyawns in hyr sowle, and hy gostly comfort wyth mech wepyng and
sobbyng so that hir felaws wold not latyn hir etyn in her cumpany. And therfor sche
ete hir mete be hirselfe alone. And than the Grey Frerys whech had led hir fro place to
place receyved hir into hem and sett hir wyth hem at the mete that sche schuld not etyn
alone. And on of the frerys askyd on of hir felawshep yyf that wer the woman of
Inglond the which thei had herd seyd spak wyth God. And, whan this cam to hir
knowlach, sche wist wel that it was trewth that owyr Lord seyd to hir er sche went owt
of Inglond, "Dowtyr, I schal makyn al the werld to wondryn of the, and many man and
many woman schal spekyn of me for lofe of the and worshepyng me in the."
An other tyme this creaturys felawshep wold gon to Flod of Jurdon and wold not
letyn hir gon wyth hem. Than this creatur preyd owyr Lord that sche myth gon wyth
hem, and he bad that sche schuld go wyth hem whethyr thei wold er not. And than sche
went forth be the grace of God and askyd hem no leve. Whan sche cam to the Flood
of Jurdan, the wedyr was so hoot that sche wend hir feet schuld a brent for the hete
that sche felt. Sithyn sche went forth wyth hir felawschep to the Mownt Qwarentyne
ther owyr Lord fastyd fowrty days. And ther sche preyd hir felawshep to helpyn hir up
onto the Mownt. And thei seyd nay, for thei cowd not wel helpyn hemself. Than had
sche mekyl sorwe for sche myth not comyn on the hille. And anon happyd a Sarazyn,
a welfaryng man, to comyn by hir, and sche put a grote in hys hand, makyng to hym a
token for to bryng hir onto the Mownt. And as swythe the Sarazyn toke hir undyr hys
arme and led hir up onto the hey Mownt wher owyr Lord fastyd fowrty days. Than
was sche sor athryste and had no comfort of hir felashyp. Than God of hys hey goodnes
mevyd the Grey Frerys wyth compassyon and thei comfortyd hir whan hir cuntremen
wolde not knowyn hir. And so sche was evyrmor strengthyd in the lofe of owyr Lord
and the mor bold to suffyr shamys and reprevys for hys sake in every place ther sche
cam for the grace that God wrowt in hir of wepyng, sobbyng, and crying, the which
grace sche myth not wythstonde whan God wold send it. And evyr sche prevyd hir
felyngys trewe. And tho behestys that God had behyte hir whil she was in Inglond and
in other placys also thei fellyn to hir in effect lych as sche had felt beforn, and therfor
sche durst the bettyr receyven swech spechys and dalyawns and the mor boldly werkyn
theraftyr. Sithyn, whan this creatur was comyn down of the Mownt, as God wold,
sche went forth to the place ther Seynt Jon Baptyst was born. And sythyn sche went to
Betanye ther Mary and Martha dwellyd and to the grave ther Lazer was beriid and
reysed fro deth into lyfe. And sche went also in the chapel ther owyr blyssed Lord
aperyd to hys blysful modyr on Estern Day at morwyn fyrst of alle other. And sche
stode in the same place ther Mary Mawdelyn stode whan Crist seyd to hir, "Mary,
why wepyst thu?" And so sche was in many mo placys than be wretyn, for sche was
three wekys in Jerusalem and in the cuntreys therabowtyn. And sche had ever gret
devocyon as long as sche was in that cuntré. And the Frerys of the Tempyl mad hir
gret cher and govyn hir many gret relykys, desiryng that sche schuld a dwellyd stille
amongs hem, yyf sche had wold, for the feyth thei had in hir. Also the Sarazines mad
mych of hir and conveyd hir and leddyn hir abowtyn in the cuntré wher sche wold
gon. And sche fond alle pepyl good onto hir and gentyl saf only hir owyn cuntremen.
And, as sche cam fro Jerusalemward unto Rafnys, than wold sche a turnyd ageyne to
Jerusalem for the gret grace and gostly comfort that sche felt whan sche was ther and
for to purchasyn hir mor pardon. And than owyr Lord comawndyd hir for to gon to
Rome, and so forth hom into Inglond, and seyd unto hir,"Dowtyr, as oftyntymes as
thu seyst or thynkyst, 'Worshepyd be alle tho holy placys in Jerusalem that Crist
suffyrde bittyr peyn and passyon in,' thu schalt have the same pardon as yyf thu wer
ther wyth thi bodily presens bothyn to thiself and to alle tho that thu wylt gevyn it to."
And, as sche went forth unto Venyce, mych of hir felaschep was ryth seke, and evyr
owyr Lord seyd to hir, "Drede the not, dowtyr, ther schal no man deyin in the schip
that thu art in." And sche fond hir felyngys ryth trewe. And, whan owyr Lord had
browt hem ageyn to Venyce in safté, hir cuntremen forsokyn hir and went away fro
hir, levyng hir alone. And summe of hem seyden that thei wold not go wyth hir for an
hundryd pownd. And, whan thei wer gon awey fro hir, than owyr Lord Jhesu Crist,
that evyr helpyth at nede and nevyr forsakyth hys servawnt that trewly trostith to hys
mercy, seyd to hys creatur, "Drede the not, dowtyr, for I schal ordeyn for the ryth wel
and bryng the in safté to Rome and hom ageyn into Inglond wythowtyn ony velany of
thi body yyf thow wilt be clad in white clothys and weryn hem as I seyd to the whil
thu wer in Inglond." Than this creatur, beyng in gret hevynes and gret diswer, answeryd
agen in hir mende, "Yyf thu be the spiryt of God that spekyst in my sowle and I may
prevyn the for a trew spiryt wyth cownsel of the chirche, I schal obey thi wille, and,
yyf thu bryng me to Rome in safté, I schal weryn white clothys, thow alle the world
schuld wondyr on me, for thi lofe." "Go forth, dowtyr, in the name of Jhesu, for I am
the spirit of God, the whech schal helpyn the at al thy nede, gon wyth the, and supportyn
the in every place, and therfor mystrost me not. Thu fondist me nevyr deceyvabyl, ne
I bid the no thyng do but that whech is worshep to God and profyte to thy sowle yyf
thu wilt do theraftyr, and I schal flowyn on the gret plenté of grace." Than anon, as
sche lokyd on the on syde, sche sey a powyr man sittyng whech had a gret cowche on
hys bakke. Hys clothis wer al forclowtyd, and he semyd a man of fifty wyntyr age. Than
sche went to hym and seyde, "Gode man, what eyleth yowr bak?" He seyd, "Damsel,
it was brokyn in a sekenes." Sche askyd what was hys name and what cuntreman he
was. He seyd hys name was Richard and he was of Erlond. Than thowt sche of hir
confessorys wordys whech was an holy ankyr, as is wretyn befor, that seyd to hir whil
sche was in Inglond in this maner, "Dowtyr, whan yowr owyn felawshep hath forsakyn
yow God schal ordeyn a brokebakkyd man to lede yow forth ther ye wil be." Than
sche wyth a glad spirit seyde unto hym, "Good Richard, ledith me to Rome, and ye schal
be rewardyd for yowr labowr." "Nay, damsel," he seyd, "I wot wel thi cuntremen han
forsakyn the, and therfor it wer hard to me to ledyn the. For thy cuntremen han bothyn
bowys and arwys, wyth the whech thei myth defendyn bothyn the and hemself, and I
have no wepyn save a cloke ful of clowtys. And yet I drede me that myn enmys schul
robbyn me and peraventur takyn the awey fro me and defowlyn thy body, and therfor
I dar not ledyn the, for I wold not for an hundryd pownd that thu haddyst a vylany in
my cumpany." And than sche seyd agen, "Richard, dredith yow not; God schal kepyn
us bothen ryth wel, and I schal geve yow too noblys for yowr labowr." Than he
consentyd and went forth wyth hir. Sone aftyr ther cam too Grey Frerys and a woman
that cam wyth hem fro Jerusalem, and sche had wyth hir an asse the whech bar a chyst
and an ymage therin mad aftyr our Lord. And than seyd Richard to the forseyd creatur,
"Thu schalt go forth wyth thes too men and woman, and I schal metyn wyth the at
morwyn and at evyn, for I must gon on my purchase and beggyn my levyng. And so
sche dede aftyr hys cownsel and went forth wyth the frerys and the woman. And non
of hem cowde undirstand hir langage, and yet thei ordeyned for hir every day mete,
drynke, and herborwe as wel as he dedyn for hemselfe and rathyr bettyr that sche was
evyr bownden to prey for hem. And every evyn and morwyn Richard wyth the broke
bak cam and comfortyd hir as he had promysed. And the woman the which had the
ymage in the chist, whan thei comyn in good citeys, sche toke owt the ymage owt of
hir chist and sett it in worshepful wyfys lappys. And thei wold puttyn schirtys ther
upon and kyssyn it as thei it had ben God hymselfe. And, whan the creatur sey the
worshep and the reverens that thei dedyn to the ymage, sche was takyn wyth swet
devocyon and swet meditacyons that sche wept wyth gret sobbyng and lowde crying.
And sche was mevyd in so mych the mor as, whil sche was in Inglond, sche had hy
meditacyons in the byrth and the childhode of Crist, and sche thankyd God forasmech
as sche saw thes creaturys han so gret feyth in that sche sey wyth hir bodily eye lych
as sche had beforn wyth hir gostly eye. Whan thes good women seyn this creatur
wepyn, sobbyn, and cryen so wondirfully and mythtyly that sche was nerhand
ovyrcomyn therwyth, than thei ordeyned a good soft bed and leyd hir ther upon and
comfortyd hir as mech as thei myth for owyr Lordys lofe, blyssed mot he ben.
The forseyd creatur had a ryng the whech owyr Lord had comawndyd hir to do
makyn whil she was at hom in Inglond and dede hir gravyn ther upon, "Jhesus est
amor meus." Sche had mech thowt how sche schulde kepe this ryng fro thevys and
stelyng as sche went be the cuntreys, for sche thowt sche wold not a lost the ryng for
a thowsand pownde and meche mor because that sche dede it makyn be the byddyng
of God. And also sche weryd it be hys byddyng, for sche purposyd befortyme er than
sche had it be revelacyon nevyr to a weryd ryng. And, as it happyd hir to be herberwyd
in a good mannys hows, and many neyborwys comyn in to cheryn hir for hir perfeccyon
and hir holynes, and sche gaf hem the mett of Cristys grave, the whech thei receyved
ful goodly, havyng gret joy therof, and thankyd hir hyly therfore, sithen this creatur
went to hir chawmbre and let hir ryng hang be hir purs stryng whech sche bar at hir
brest. In the morwenyng on the next day whan sche wold a takyn hir ryng it was go,
sche myth not fyndyn it. Than had sche mekyl hevynes and compleyned to the good
wyfe of the hows, seying in this wyse, "Madam, my bone maryd ryng to Jhesu Crist,
as ho seyth, it is awey." The good wyfe, undirstondyng what sche ment, preyde hir to
prey for hir, and sche chongyd hir cher and hir cuntenawns wondyrly as thow sche
had ben gylty. Than this creatur toke a candel in hir hand and sowt al abowtyn hir bed
ther sche had leyn al nygth, and the good wyfe of the hows toke another candel in hir
hand and bisyed hir to sekyn also abowte the bed. And at the last sche fonde the ryng
undyr the bed on the bordys, and wyth gret joye sche telde the good wyfe that sche
had fownden hir ryng. Than the good wyfe, obeyng hir, preyd this creatur of forgevenes
as sche cowde, "Bone Cristian, prey pur me." Aftyrward this creatur cam to Assyse
and ther sche met wyth a Frer Menowr, an Englyschman, and a solempne clerke he
was holdyn. Sche tolde hym of hir maner levyng, of hir felingys, of hir revelacyons,
and of the grace that God wrowt in hir sowle be holy inspiracyons and hy
contemplacyons, and how owyr Lord dalyed to hir sowle in a maner of spekyng. Than
the worshepful clerke seyd that sche was mech beholdyn to God, for he seyd he had
nevyr herd of non sweche in this worlde levyng for to be so homly wyth God be lofe
and homly dalyawnce as sche was, thankyd be God of hys gyftys, for it is hys goodnes
and no mannys meryte. Upon a tyme as this creatur was in cherche at Assyse, ther was
schewyd owyr Ladys kerche whech sche weryd her in erth wyth gret lygth and gret
reverens. Than this creatur had gret devocyon. Sche wept, sche sobbyd, sche cryed
wyth gret plenté of teerys and many holy thowtys. Sche was ther also on Lammes
Day, whan ther is gret pardon of plenyr remyssyon, for to purchasyn grace, mercy,
and forgevenes for hirself, for alle hir frendys, for alle hir enmys, and for alle the
sowlys in purgatory. And ther was a lady was comyn fro Rome to purchasyn hir
pardon. Hir name was Margaret Florentyne and sche had wyth hir many Knygtys of
Roodys, many gentylwomen, and mekyl good caryage. Than Richard, the brokebakkyd
man, went to hir, preyng hir that this creatur mygth gon wyth hir to Rome and hymself
also for to be kept fro perel of thevys. And than that worshepful lady receyved hem
into hir cumpanye and let hem gon wyth hir to Rome as God wolde. Whan the forseyd
creatur was comyn into Rome, and thei that weryn hir felaws beforntyme and put hir
owt of her cumpany weryn in Rome also and herd tellyn of swech a woman was come
thedyr, thei had gret wondir how sche cam ther in safté. And than sche went and
ordeynd hir white clothys and was clad al in white liche as sche was comawndyd for
to do yerys beforn in hir sowle be revelacyon, and now it was fulfilt in effect. Than
was this creatur receyved into the hospital of Seynt Thomas of Cawntyrbery in Rome
and ther was sche howselyd every Sonday wyth gret wepyng, boistows sobbyng, and
lowde crying and was hyly belovyd wyth the maystyr of the hospital and wyth alle
hys brethyr. And than thorw steryng of hyr gostly enmy ther cam a preste that was
holdyn an holy man in the hospital and also in other placys of Rome, the whech was
on of hir felaws and on of hir owyn cuntremen. And notwythstondyng hys holynes he
spak so evyl of this creatur and slawndryd so hir name in the hospital that thorw hys
evyl langage sche was put owte of the hospital that sche myth no lengar be schrevyn
ne howselyd therin.
Whan this creatur sey sche was forsakyn and put fro among the good men, sche
was ful hevy, most for sche had no confessowr ne myth not be schrevyn than as sche
wolde. Than preyde sche owyr Lord of hys mercy that he wolde disposyn for hir as
was most plesawns unto hym, wyth gret plenté of teerys. And sithyn sche clepyd onto
hir the forseyd Richard wyth the broke bak, preyng hym to go ovyr to a cherch agen
the hospital and enformyn the person of the chyrche of hir maner of governawnce,
and what sorwe sche had, and how sche wept for sche myth not be schrevyn ne
howselyd, and what compunccyon and contricyon sche had for hir synnes. Than Ri
chard went to the person and enformyd hym of this creatur, and how owyr Lord gaf
hir contricyon and compunccyon wyth gret plenté of teerys, and how sche desired to
be howseld every Sonday yyf sche myth and sche had no preste to be schrevyn to.
And than the person, heryng of hir contricyon and compunccyon, was ryth glad and
bad sche schulde come to hym in the name of Jhesu and sey hir confiteor, and he
schulde howseln hire hys owyn self, for he cowde not undyrstond non Englysch. Than
owyr Lord sent Seynt John the Evangelyst to heryn hir confessyon, and sche seyd
"Benedicité." And he seyd "Dominus" verily in hir sowle that sche saw hym and herd
hym in hire gostly undirstondyng as sche schuld a do an other preste be hir bodily
wittys. Than sche teld hym alle hir synnes and al hir hevynes wyth many swemful
teerys, and he herd hir ful mekely and benyngly. And sythyn he enjoyned hir penawns
that sche schuld do for hir trespas and asoyled hir of hir synnes wyth swet wordys and
meke wordys, hyly strengthyng hir to trostyn in the mercy of owyr Lord Jhesu Crist,
and bad hir that sche schulde receyven the sacrament of the awter in the name of
Jhesu. And sithyn he passyd awey fro hir. Whan he was go, sche preyd wyth al hir hert
alle the tyme as sche herd hir messe, "Lord, as wistly as thu art not wroth wyth me,
grawnt me a welle of teerys, wherthorw I may receyve thi precyows body wyth al
maner terys of devocyon to thi worshep and encresyng of my meryte, for thu art my
joye, Lord, my blysse, my comfort, and alle the tresor that I have in this world, for
other werdlys joye coveyt I non but only the. And therfor, my derworthy Lord and my
God, forsake me not." Than owyr blysful Lord Crist Jhesu answeryd to hir sowle and
seyd, "My derworthy dowtyr, I swer be myn hy magesté that I schal nevyr forsakyn
the. And, dowtyr, the mor schame, despite, and reprefe that thu sufferyst for my lofe,
the bettyr I lofe the, for I far liche a man that lovyth wel hys wyfe, the mor envye that
men han to hir the bettyr he wyl arayn hir in despite of hir enmys. And ryth so, dowtyr,
schal I faryn wyth the. In no thyng that thu dost, dowtyr, ne seyest, thu mayst no bettyr
plesyn God than belevyn that he lovyth the, for, yyf it were possybyl that I myth
wepyn wyth the, I wold wepyn wyth the, dowtyr, for the compassion that I have of the.
Tyme schal come whan thu schalt holdyn the ryth wel plesyd, for it schal be verifyed in
the the comown proverbe that men seyn, 'He is wel blyssed that may sytten on hys wel
stool and tellyn of hys wo stool.' And so schalt thu don, dowtyr, and al thi wepyng
and thi sorwe schal turnyn into joy and blysse, the whech thu schalt nevyr mysse."
An other tyme, as this creatur was at Seynt Jonys Cherch Lateranens befor the
awter heryng the messe hir thowt that the preste whech seyd messe semyd a good man
and devowte. Sche was sor mevyd in spiryt to speke wyth hym. Than sche preyd hir
man wyth the brokyn bak for to gon to the preste and preyn hym to spekyn wyth hir.
Than the preste undirstod non Englysch ne wist not what sche seyd, and sche cowde
non other langage than Englisch, and therfor thei spokyn be an interpretowr, a man
that telde her eythyr what other seyde. Than sche preyd the preste in the name of
Jhesu that he wolde makyn hys preyeris to the blysful Trinité, to owir Lady, and to
alle the blissed sentys in hevyn, also steryn other that lovedyn owir Lord to preyn for
hym, that he myth han grace to undirstondyn hir langage and hir speche in swech
thyngys as sche thorw the grace of God wold seyn and schewyn unto hym. The preste
was a good man, and of hys birth he was a Dewcheman, a good clerke, and a wel
lernyd man, hily belovyd, wel cherschyd, and myche trostyd in Rome, and had on of
the grettest office of any preste in Rome. Desyryng to plese God, he folwyd the cownsel
of this creatur, and mad hys praerys to God devowtly as he cowde every day that he
myth han grace to undirstandyn what the forseyd creatur wolde seyn to hym, and also
he mad other loverys of owyr Lord to prey for hym. Thus thei preyd therten days. And
aftyr therten days the preste cam ageyn to hir to prevyn the effect of her preyerys, and
than he undirstod what sche seyd in Englysch to hym and sche undirstod what that he
seyd. And yet he undirstod not Englisch that other men spokyn; thow thei spokyn the
same wordys that sche spak, yet he undirstod hem not les than sche spak hirselfe.
Than was sche confessyd to this preste of alle hir synnes as ner as hir mende wold
servyn hir fro hir childhode unto that owre and receyved hir penawns ful joyfully.
And sithyn sche schewyd hym the secret thyngys of revelacyonys and of hey
contemplacyons, and how sche had swech mend in hys Passyon and so gret compassyon
whan God wolde geve it that sche fel down therwyth and myth not beryn it. Than sche
wept bittyrly, sche sobbyd boistowsly and cryed ful lowde and horybly that the pepil
was oftyntymes aferd and gretly astoyned, demyng sche had ben vexyd wyth sum
evyl spiryt, not levyng it was the werk of God but rathyr sum evyl spiryt, er a sodeyn
sekenes, er ellys symulacyon and ypocrisy falsly feyned of hir owyn self. The preste
had gret trost that it was the werk of God, and, whan he wolde mystrostyn, owyr Lord
sent hym swech tokenys be the forseyd creatur of hys owyn mysgovernawns and hys
levyng, the whech no man knew but God and he, as owyr Lord schewyd to hir be
revelacyon and bad hir tellyn hym, that he wist wel therby hir felyngys wer trewe.
And than this preste receyved hir ful mekely and reverently as for hys modyr and for
hys syster and seyd he wolde supportyn hir agen hir enmys. And so he dede as long as
sche was in Rome and sufferd many evyl wordys and meche tribulacyon. And also he
forsoke hys office becawse that he wolde supportyn hir in hir sobbyng and in hir
crying whan alle hir cuntremen had forsakyn hir, for thei weryn evyr hir most enmys
and cawsyd hir mych hevynes in every place ther they comyn, for thei wold that sche
schulde neythyr a sobbyd ne cryed. And sche myth nowt chesyn, but that wolde thei
not belevyn. And ther thei wer evyr ageyn hir and ageyn the good man whech supportyd
hir. And than this good man, seyng this woman so wondirfully sobbyn and cryin, and
specialy on Sondays whan sche schuld ben howselde among alle the pepyl, purposyd
hym to prevyn whethyr it wer the gyfte of God, as sche seyd, er ellys hir owyn feynyng
by ypocrisy, as the pepyl seyd, and toke hir alone an other Sonday into an other chirche
whan mes was don and alle the pepil was hom, no man wetyng therof saf hymself and
the clerk only. And, whan he schulde howselyn hir, sche wept so plentyuowsly and
sobbyd and cryed so lowde that he was astoyned hymself, for it semyd to hys heryng
that sche cryed nevyr so lowde befor that tyme. And than he belevyd fully that it was
the werkyng of the Holy Gost and neithyr feynyng ne ypocrisé of hir owyn self. And
than aftyrward he was not abasshyd to heldyn wyth hir and to spekyn agens hem that
wolde defamyn hir and spekyn evyl of hir tyl he was detractyd of the enmys of vertu
nerhand as mech as sche, and that lykyd hym wel to suffir tribulacyon for Goddys
cawse. And meche pepyl in Rome that wer disposyd to vertu lovyd hym meche the
mor and hir also and oftyntymes preyd hir to mete and madyn hir ryth gret cher,
preyng hir to prey for hem. And evyr hir owyn cuntremen wer obstynat, and specyaly
a preste that was amonx hem. He steryd meche pepyl agen hir and seyd mech evyl of
hir, for sche weryd white clothyng mor than other dedyn whech wer holyar and bettyr
than evyr was sche as hym thowt. The cawse of hys malyce was for sche wold not
obeyn hym. And sche wist wel it was ageyn the helth of hir sowle for to obeyn hym as
he wolde that sche schulde a don.
Than the good man, the Duche preste that sche was schrevyn onto, thorw the steryng
of the Englysch preste whech was hir enmye askyd hir yf sche wolde be obedient unto
hym er not. And sche seyd, "Ya, syr." "Wyl ye don than as I schal byd yow don?"
"Wyth ryth good wyl, sire." "I charge yow than that ye leve yowr white clothys, and
weryth ageyn yowr blak clothys." And sche dede hys comawndment. And than had
sche felyng that sche plesyd God wyth hir obediens. Than suffyrd sche many scornys
of wyfys of Rome. Thei askyd hir yyf malendrynes had robbyd hir, and sche seyd,
"Nay, madame." Sythen, as sche went on pylgrimage, it happyd hir to metyn wyth the
preste that was hir enmye, and he enjoyid gretly that sche was put fro hir wille and
seyd unto hir, "I am glad that ye gon in blak clothyng as ye wer wont to do." And sche
seyd agen to hym, "Ser, owyr Lord wer not displesyd thow I weryd whyte clothys, for
he wyl that I do so." Than the preste seyd to hir agen, "Now wote I wel that thu hast a
devyl wythinne the, for I her hym spekyn in the to me." "A, good ser, I pray yow
dryvyth hym away fro me, for God knowyth I wolde ryth fawyn don wel and plesyn
hym yf I cowde." And than he was ryth wroth and seyd ful many schrewyd wordys.
And sche seyd to hym, "Ser, I hope I have no devyl wythinne me, for, yyf I had a
devyl wythin me, wetyth wel I schuld ben wroth wyth yow and, sir, me thynkyth that
I am nothyng wroth wyth yow for no thyng that ye can don onto me." And than the
preste partyd awey fro hir wyth hevy cher. And than owyr Lord spak to this creatur in
hir sowle and seyd, "Dowtyr, drede the not what that evyr he sey onto the, for, thow
he renne every yer to Jerusalem, I have no deynté of hym, for as long as he spekyth
ageyns the, he spekyth ageyns me, for I am in the and thu art in me. And herby mayst
thow knowyn that I suffyr many schrewyd wordys, for I have oftyntymes seyd to the
that I schuld be newe crucifyed in the be schrewyd wordys, for thu schalt non otherwyse
ben slayn than be schrewyd wordys sufferyng. For this preste that is thyn enmy he is
but an ypocryte." Than the good preste hir confessowr bad hir be vertu of obediens
and also in party of penawns that sche schulde servyn an hold woman that was a poure
creatur in Rome. And sche dede so sex wekys. Sche servyd hir as sche wolde a don
owyr Lady. And sche had no bed to lyn in ne no clothys to be cured wyth saf hir owyn
mentyl. And than was sche ful of vermyn and suffyrd gret peyn therwyth. Also sche fet
hom watyr and stykkys in hir nekke for the poure woman and beggyd mete and
wyn bothyn for hir. And, whan the pour womans wyn was sowr, this creatur hirself
drank that sowr wyn and gaf the powr woman good wyn that sche had bowt for hir
As this creatur was in the Postelys Cherch at Rome on Seynt Laterynes Day, the
Fadyr of Hevyn seyd to hir, "Dowtyr, I am wel plesyd wyth the inasmeche as thu
belevyst in alle the sacramentys of Holy Chirche and in al feyth that longith therto,
and specialy for that thu belevyst in manhode of my sone and for the gret compassyon
that thu hast of hys bittyr Passyon." Also the Fadyr seyd to this creatur, "Dowtyr, I wil
han the weddyd to my Godhede, for I schal schewyn the my prevyteys and my
cownselys, for thu schalt wonyn wyth me wythowtyn ende." Than the creatur kept sylens
in hir sowle and answeryd not therto, for sche was ful sor aferd of the Godhed and
sche cowde no skylle of the dalyawns of the Godhede, for al hir lofe and al hir affeccyon
was set in the manhode of Crist and therof cowde sche good skylle and sche wolde for
no thyng a partyd therfro. Sche was so meche affectyd to the manhode of Crist that
whan sche sey women in Rome beryn children in her armys, yyf sche myth wetyn that
thei wer ony men children, sche schuld than cryin, roryn, and wepyn as thei sche had
seyn Crist in hys childhode. And, yf sche myth an had hir wille, oftyntymes sche
wolde a takyn the childeryn owt of the moderys armys and a kyssed hem in the stede of
Criste. And, yyf sche sey a semly man, sche had gret peyn to lokyn on hym les than
sche myth a seyn hym that was bothe God and man. And therfor sche cryed many
tymes and oftyn whan sche met a semly man and wept and sobbyd ful sor in the
manhod of Crist as sche went in the stretys at Rome that thei that seyn hir wondryd ful
mych on hir, for thei knew not the cawse. And therfor it was no wondyr yyf sche wer
stille and answeryd not the Fadyr of Hevyn whan he teld hir that sche schuld be weddyd
to hys Godhed. Than seyd the Secunde Persone, Crist Jhesu, whoys manhode sche
lovyd so meche, to hir, "What seyst thu, Margery, dowtyr, to my Fadyr of thes wordys
that he spekyth to the? Art thu wel plesyd that it be so?" And than sche wold not
answeryn the Secunde Persone but wept wondir sor, desiryng to have stille hymselfe
and in no wyse to be departyd fro hym. Than the Secunde Persone in Trinité answeryd
to hys Fadyr for hir and seyde, "Fadyr, have hir excused, for sche is yet but yong and
not fully lernyd how sche schulde answeryn." And than the Fadyr toke hir be the hand
in hir sowle befor the Sone and the Holy Gost and the Modyr of Jhesu and alle the
twelve apostelys and Seynt Kateryn and Seynt Margarete and many other seyntys and
holy virgynes wyth gret multitude of awngelys, seying to hir sowle, "I take the, Margery,
for my weddyd wyfe, for fayrar, for fowelar, for richar, for powerar, so that thu be
buxom and bonyr to do what I byd the do. For, dowtyr, ther was nevyr childe so
buxom to the modyr as I schal be to the bothe in wel and in wo, to help the and comfort
the. And therto I make the suyrté." And than the Modyr of God and alle the seyntys
that wer ther present in hir sowle preyde that thei myth have mech joy togedyr. And
than the creatur wyth hy devocyon, wyth gret plenté of terys, thankyd God of this
gostly comfort, heldyng hirself in hir owyn felyng ryth unworthy to any swech grace
as sche felt, for sche felt many gret comfortys, bothe gostly comfortys and bodily
comfortys. Sumtyme sche felt swet smellys wyth hir nose; it wer swettyr, hir thowt,
than evyr was ony swet erdly thyng that sche smellyd beforn, ne sche myth nevyr
tellyn how swet it wern, for hir thowt sche myth a levyd therby yyf they wolde a
lestyd. Sumtyme sche herd wyth hir bodily erys sweche sowndys and melodiis that
sche myth not wel heryn what a man seyd to hir in that tyme les he spoke the lowder.
Thes sowndys and melodiis had sche herd nyhand every day the terme of twenty-five
yere whan this boke was wretyn, and specialy whan sche was in devowt prayer, also
many tymes whil sche was at Rome and in Inglond bothe. Sche sey wyth hir bodily
eyne many white thyngys flying al abowte hir on every syde as thykke in a maner as
motys in the sunne; it weryn ryth sotyl and comfortabyl, and the brygtare that the
sunne schyned, the bettyr sche myth se hem. Sche sey hem many dyvers tymes and in
many dyvers placys, bothe in chirche and in hir chawmbre, at hir mete and in hir
praerys, in felde and in towne, bothyn goyng and syttyng. And many tymes sche was
aferde what thei myth be, for sche sey hem as wel on nytys in dyrkenes as on daylygth.
Than, whan sche was aferde of hem, owir Lord seyd onto hir, "Be this tokyn, dowtyr,
beleve it is God that spekyth in the, for wherso God is hevyn is, and wher that God is
ther be many awngelys, and God is in the and thu art in hym. And therfor be not
aferde, dowtyr, for thes betokyn that thu hast many awngelys abowte the to kepyn the
bothe day and nygth that no devyl schal han power ovyr the ne non evyl man to der the."
Than fro that tyme forwarde sche usyd to seyn whan sche saw hem comyn, "Benedictus
qui venit in nomine domini." Also owr Lord gaf hir an other tokne, the whech enduryd
abowtyn sixteen yer and it encresyd evyr mor and mor, and that was a flawme of fyer
wondir hoot and delectabyl and ryth comfortabyl, nowt wastyng but evyr incresyng,
of lowe, for, thow the wedyr wer nevyr so colde, sche felt the hete brennyng in hir
brest and at hir hert, as verily as a man schuld felyn the material fyer yyf he put hys
hand or hys fynger therin. Whan sche felt fyrst the fyer of love brennyng in her brest,
sche was aferd therof, and than owr Lord answeryd to hir mend and seyde, "Dowtyr,
be not aferd, for this hete is the hete of the Holy Gost, the whech schal bren awey alle
thi synnes, for the fyer of lofe qwenchith alle synnes. And thu schalt undirstondyn be
this tokyn the Holy Gost is in the, and thu wost wel wherthatevyr the Holy Gost is ther
is the Fadir, and wher the Fadyr is ther is the Sone, and so thu hast fully in thi sowle al
the Holy Trinité. Therfor thow hast gret cawse to lovyn me ryth wel, and yet thu schalt
han grettyr cawse than evyr thu haddyst to lovyn me, for thu schalt heryn that thu nevyr
herdist, and thu schalt se that thu nevyr sey, and thu schalt felyn that thu nevyr feltist.
For, dowtyr, thu art as sekyr of the lofe of God as God is God. Thy sowle is mor sekyr
of the lofe of God than of thin owyn body, for thi sowle schal partyn fro thy body but
God schal nevyr partyn fro thi sowle, for thei ben onyd togedyr wythowtyn ende.
Therfor, dowtyr, thu hast as gret cawse to be mery as any lady in this werld, and, yyf
thu knew, dowtyr, how meche thu plesyst me whan thu suffyrst me wilfully to spekyn
in the, thu schuldist nevyr do otherwise, for this is an holy lyfe and the tyme is ryth
wel spent. For, dowtyr, this lyfe plesyth me mor than weryng of the haburjon or of the
hayr or fastyng of bred and watyr, for, yyf thu seydest every day a thowsand Pater
Noster, thu schuldist not plesyn me so wel as thu dost whan thu art in silens and
sufferyst me to speke in thy sowle.
"Fastyng, dowtyr, is good for yong begynnars and discrete penawns, namly that
her gostly fadyr gevyth hem er injoyneth hem for to do. And for to byddyn many
bedys it is good to hem that can no bettyr do, and yet it is not parfyte. But it is a good
wey to perfeccyonward. For I telle the, dowtyr, thei that arn gret fastarys and gret
doers of penawnce thei wold that it schuld ben holdyn the best lyfe; also thei that
gevyn hem to sey many devocyons thei wold han that the best lyfe, and thei that
gevyn mech almes thei wold that that wer holdyn the best lyfe. And I have oftyntymes,
dowtyr, teld the that thynkyng, wepyng, and hy contemplacyon is the best lyfe in
erthe. And thu schalt have mor meryte in hevyn for o yer of thynkyng in thi mende than
for an hundryd yer of preyng wyth thi mowth, and yet thu wylt not levyn me, for thu
wilt byddyn many bedys whedyr I wil or not. And yet dowtyr, I wyl not be displesyd
wyth the whedir thu thynke, sey, or speke, for I am alwey plesyd wyth the. And, yyf I
wer in erde as bodily as I was er I deyd on the cros, I schuld not ben aschamyd of the
as many other men ben, for I schuld take the be the hand amongs the pepil and make
the gret cher that thei schuldyn wel knowyn that I lovyd the ryth wel. For it is convenyent
the wyf to be homly wyth hir husbond. Be he nevyr so gret a lorde and sche so powr
a woman whan he weddyth hir, yet thei must ly togedir and rest togedir in joy and pes.
Ryght so mot it be twyx the and me, for I take non hed what thu hast be but what thu
woldist be. And oftyntymes have I telde the that I have clene forgove the alle thy
synnes. Therfore most I nedys be homly wyth the and lyn in thi bed wyth the. Dowtyr,
thow desyrest gretly to se me, and thu mayst boldly, whan thu art in thi bed, take me to
the as for thi weddyd husbond, as thy derworthy derlyng, and as for thy swete sone,
for I wyl be lovyd as a sone schuld be lovyd wyth the modyr and wil that thu love me,
dowtyr, as a good wife owyth to love hir husbonde. And therfor thu mayst boldly take
me in the armys of thi sowle and kyssen my mowth, myn hed, and my fete as swetly as
thow wylt. And, as oftyntymes as thu thynkyst on me er woldyst don any good dede to
me, thu schalt have the same mede in hevyn as yyf thu dedist it to myn owyn precyows
body whech is in hevyn, for I aske no mor of the but thin hert for to lovyn that lovyth
the, for my lofe is evyr redy to the." Than sche gaf thankyng and preysing to owr Lord
Jhesu Crist for the hy grace and mercy that he schewyd unto hir unworthy wrech.
Thys creatur had divers tokenys in hir bodily heryng. On was a maner of sownde as it
had ben a peyr of belwys blowyng in hir ere. Sche, beyng abasshed therof, was warnyd
in hir sowle no fer to have for it was the sownd of the Holy Gost. And than owr Lord
turnyd that sownde into the voys of a dowe, and sithyn he turnyd it into the voys of a
lityl bryd whech is callyd a reedbrest that song ful merily oftyntymes in hir ryght ere.
And than schuld sche evyrmor han gret grace aftyr that sche herd swech a tokyn. And
sche had been used to swech tokenys abowt twenty-five yer at the writyng of this
boke. Than seyd owr Lord Jhesu Crist to hys creatur, "Be thes tokenys mayst thu wel
wetyn that I love the, for thu art to me a very modir and to al the world for that gret
charité that is in the, and yet I am cawse of that charité myself, and thu schalt have gret
mede therfor in Hevyn.
"Dowtyr, for thu art so buxom to my wille and clevyst as sore onto me as the skyn
of stokfysche clevyth to a mannys handys whan it is sothyn, and wilt not forsake me
for no schame that any man can don to the, and thu seyst also that thow I stod beforn
the myn owyn persone and seyd to the that thu schuldist nevyr han my lofe, ne nevyr
comyn in hevyn, ne nevyr sen my face, yet seist thu, dowtyr, that thu woldist nevyr
forsake me in erthe, ne nevyr lofe me the lesse, ne nevyr do the lesse besynes to plese
me, thow thu schuldyst lye in helle wythowtyn ende, for thu maist not forber my lofe in
erthe, ne thu can han non other comforth but me only, whech am I, thi God, and am al
joy and al blysse to the. Therfore I sey to the, derworthy dowtyr, it is unpossybyl that
any swech sowle schuld be dampnyd or departyd fro me whech hath so gret meknes
and charité to me. And therfor, dowtyr, drede the nevyr for alle the gret behestys that
I have behite to the and to alle thyn and to alle thy gostly faderys schal ever be trewe and
trewly fulfilled whan tyme comyth. Have no dowt therof." An other tyme whil sche
was in Rome a lityl befor Cristemes, owr Lord Jhesu Criste comawndyd hir to gon to
hir gostly fadyr, Wenslawe be name, and byddyn hym gevyn hir leve to weryn ageyn
hir white clothys, for he had put hir therfro be vertu of obediens, as is wretyn beforn.
And, whan sche teld hym the wyl of owr Lord, he durst not onys sey nay. And so
weryd sche white clothys evyr aftyr. Than owr Lord bad hir that sche schuld at Cristemes
gon hom ageyn to hir ostys howse ther sche was at hostel befortyme. And than sche
went to a powr woman whech sche servyd at that tyme be the byddyng of hir
confessowr, as is beforn wretyn, and telde the powr woman how sche must gon fro
hir. And than the powr woman was ryth sory and mad gret mone for hir departyng.
And than this creatur teld hir how it was the wil of God that it schuld be so, and than
sche toke it the mor esily. Aftyrward, as this creatur was in Rome, owr Lord bad hir
gevyn awey al hir good and makyn hir bar for hys lofe. And anon sche wyth a fervent
desyr to plesyn God gaf awey swech good as sche had and sweche as sche had borwyd
also of the brokebakkyd man that went wyth hir. Whan he wist how that sche had
govyn awey hys good, he was gretly mevyd and evyl plesyd for sche gaf awey hys
good, and spak ryth scharply to hir. And than sche seyd unto hym, "Richard, be the
grace of God we schal comyn hom into Inglond ryth wel. And ye schal come to me in
Brystowe in the Whitsunwoke, and ther schal I pay yow ryth wel and trewly be the
grace of God, for I trust ryth wel that he that bad me gevyn it awey for hys lofe wil
help me to payn it ageyn." And so he dede.
Afftyr that this creatur had thus govyn awey hir good and had neyther peny ne
halfpeny to helpyn hirself wyth, as sche lay in Seynt Marcellys Chirche in Rome,
thynkyng and stodying wher sche schuld han hir levyng inasmech as sche had no sylvir
to cheys hir wyththal, owr Lord answeryd to hir mende and seyde, "Dowtyr, thu art
not yet so powr as I was whan I heng nakyd on the cros for thy lofe, for thu hast
clothys on thy body, and I had non. And thow hast cownseld other men to ben powr
for my sake, and therfor thu must folwyn thyn owyn cownsel. But drede the not,
dowtyr, for ther is gold to theward, and I have hyte the befortyme that I wolde nevyr
fayl the. And I schal preyn myn owyn modir to beggyn for the, for thu hast many tymes
beggyd for me and for my modir also. And therfor drede the not. I have frendys in
every cuntré and schal make my frendys to comfort the." Whan owr Lord had thus
swetly dalyed to hir sowle, sche thankyd hym of this gret comforte, havyng good trost
it schuld be as he seyd. Sythen sche, risyng up, went forth in the strete and met casualy
wyth a good man. And so they fellyn in good comunicacyon as thei went togedir be
the wey, to whom sche had many good talys and many good exhortacyonys tyl God
visited hym wyth terys of devocyon and of compunccyon to hys hey comfort and
consolacyon. And than he gaf hir mony, be the whech sche was wel relevyd and
comfortyd a good while. Than on a nyth sche say in vision how owyr Lady, hir thowt,
sat at the mete wyth many worshepful personys and askyd mete for hir. And than
thowt this creatur that owr Lordys wordys wer fulfilled gostly in that vision, for he
behestyd this creatur a lityl beforn that he schuld preyn hys modir to beggyn for hir. And
in schort tyme aftyr this visyon sche met wyth a worshepful lady, Dame Margarete
Florentyn, the same lady that browt hir fro Assyse into Rome. And neithyr of hem
cowd wel undirstand other but be syngnys er tokenys and in fewe comown wordys.
And than the lady seyd onto hir, "Margerya in poverté?" Sche, undirstondyng what
the lady ment, seyd agen, "Ya, grawnt poverté, Madam." Than the lady comawndyd
hir to etyn wyth hir every Sonday and set hir at hir owen tabil abovyn hirself and leyd
hir mete wyth hir owyn handys. Than thys creatur sat and wept ful sor, thankyng owr
Lord that sche was so cheryd and cherisched for hys lofe of hem that cowd not
undirstond hir langage. Whan thei had etyn, the good lady used to takyn hir an hamper
wyth other stuffe that sche myght makyn hir potage therwyth, as meche as wolde
servyn hir for a too days mete, and filled hir botel wyth good wyn. And sumtyme sche
gaf hir an eight bolendinys therto. And than an other man in Rome, whech was clepyd
Marcelle, bad hir to mete two days in the woke, whos wyfe was gret wyth childe, hyly
desiryng to have had this creatur to godmodyr to hir childe whan it had ben born, and
sche abood not so long in Rome. And also ther was an holy mayden gaf this creatur hir
mete on the Wednysday. Other days whan sche was not purveyd sche beggyd hir
mete fro dor to dore.
An other tyme, ryth as sche cam be a powr womanys hows, the powr woman clepyd
hir into hir hows and dede hir sytten be hir lytyl fyer, gevyng hir wyn to drynke in a
cuppe of ston. And sche had a lytel manchylde sowkyng on hir brest, the whech
sowkyd o while on the moderys brest; an other while it ran to this creatur, the modyr
syttyng ful of sorwe and sadnes. Than this creatur brast al into wepyng, as thei sche
had seyn owr Lady and hir sone in tyme of hys Passyon, and had so many of holy
thowtys that sche myth nevyr tellyn the halvendel, but evyr sat and wept plentyuowsly
a long tyme that the powr woman, havyng compassyon of hir wepyng, preyd hir to
sesyn, not knowyng why sche wept. Than owr Lord Jhesu Crist seyd to the creatur,
"Thys place is holy." And than sche ros up and went forth in Rome and sey meche
poverté among the pepyl. And than sche thankyd God hyly of the poverté that sche
was in, trostyng therthorw to be partynyr wyth hem in meryte. Than was ther a gret
jentylwoman in Rome preyng thys creatur to be godmodyr of hir childe and namyd it
aftyr Seynt Brigypt, for they haddyn knowlach of hir in hir lyvetyme. And so sche
dede. Sithyn God gaf hir grace to have gret lofe in Rome, bothyn of men and of
women, and gret favowr among the pepyl. Whan the maystyr and brothyr of the hos
pital of Seynt Thomas, wher sche was refusyd befortyme, as is wretyn beforn, herd
tellyn what lofe and what favowr sche had in the cyté, they preyd hir that sche wolde
come ageyn to hem, and sche schulde be wolcomear than evyr sche was beforn, for thei
weryn ryth sory that thei had put hir awey fro hem. And sche thankyd hem for her
charité and dede her comawndment. And, whan sche was comyn agen to hem, thei
madyn hir ryth good cher and weryn rith glad of hir comyng. Than fond sche ther hir
that was hir mayden befortyme, and wyth ryght schulde a be so stylle, dwellyng in the
hospital in meche welth and prosperyté, for sche was kepar of her wyn. And this
creatur went sumtyme to hir for cawse of mekenes and preyd hir of mete and drynke,
and the mayden gaf hir wyth good wyl, and sumtyme a grote therto. Than sche
compleyned to hir mayden and seyd that sche thowt gret swem of her departyng and
what slawndir and evyl wordys men seyd of hir for thei wer asundyr, but wold sche
nevyr the rathyr be ageyn wyth hir. Aftyrward this creatur spak wyth Seynt Brydys
mayden in Rome, but sche cowd not undirstondyn what sche seyd. Than had sche a
man that cowde undirstondyn hir langage, and that man tolde Seynt Brygiptys mayden
what this creatur seyde and how sche askyd aftyr Seynt Brigypt, hir lady. Than the
mayden seyd that hir lady, Seynt Brigypt, was goodly and meke to every creatur and
that sche had a lawhyng cher. And also the good man wher this creatur was at hoste
telde hir that he knew hir hys owyn selfe but he wend lityl that sche had ben so holy a
woman as sche was, for sche was evyr homly and goodly to alle creaturys that woldyn
spekyn wyth hir. Sche was in the chawmbre that Seynt Brigypt deyd in, and herd a
Dewche preste prechyn of hir therin and of hir revelacyonys and of hir maner of
levyng. And sche knelyd also on the ston on the whech owr Lord aperyd to Seynt
Brigypte and telde hir what day sche schuld deyn on. And this was on of Seynt Brigyptys
days that this creatur was in hir chapel, whech befortyme was hir chawmbre that sche
deyd in. Owr Lord sent swech tempestys of wyndys and reynes and dyvers impressyons
of eyrs that thei that wer in the feldys and in her labowrys wythowtynforth wer
compellyd to entyr howsys in socowryng of her bodiis to enchewyn dyvers perellys.
Thorw swech tokenys this creatur supposyd that owr Lord wold hys holy seyntys day
schulde ben halwyd and the seynt had in mor worshep than sche was at that tyme. And
sumtyme, whan this creatur wolde a gon the Stacyownys, our Lord warnyd hir on the
nyght beyng in hir bed that sche schulde not gon owte fer fro hir ostel, for he schulde
sendyn gret tempestys that day of levenys and thunderys. And so it was in dede. Ther
wer so gret tempestys that yer of thunderys and levenys, of gret reynes and dyvers
wederyngys, that ryth elde men that tyme dwellyng in Rome seydyn thei had nevyr
seyn swech beforn, the levenys wer so plentyuows and so brygth schynyng wythinne
her howsys that thei wendyn verily it schulde a brent her howsys wyth contentys. Than
cryed thei upon the forseyd creatur to prey for hem, fully trustyng that sche was the
servawnt of almyghty God and thorw hir prayerys thei schuldyn ben holpyn and
socowryd. This creatur at her request preyng owr Lord of mercy, he answeryd in hir
sowle, seying, "Dowtyr, be not aferd, for ther schal no wedyr ne tempest noyin the, and
therfor mystrost me not, for I schal nevyr disceyven the." And owr merciful Lord Cryst
Jhesu, as it plesyd hym, wythdrow the tempestys, preservyng the pepyl fro alle
Than thorw the provysyon of owr mercyful Lord Crist Jhesu ther was comyn a
preste, a good man, owte of Inglond into Rome wyth other felawshep speryng and
inqwyryng diligently aftyr the seyd creatur whom he had nevyr seyn beforn, ne sche
hym. But whil he was in Inglond he herd tellyn of swech a woman was at Rome wyth
the whech he longyd hyly to spekyn yyf God wolde grawntyn hym grace. Wherfor,
whyl he was in hys owyn lond, he, purposyng to se this creatur whan he thorw the
sufferawns of owr Lord myght come ther sche was, purveyd golde to bryng hir in
relevyng of hir yyf sche had nede. Than be inqwyryng he cam into the place wher that
sche was, and ful humbely and mekely he clepyd hir modyr, preying hir for charité to
receyven hym as hir sone. Sche seyd that he was wolcom to God and to hir as to hys
owyn modyr. So be holy dalyawns and communycacyon sche felt wel he was a good
man. And than sche, discuryng the prevyté of hert, revelyd what grace God wrowt in
hir sowle thorw hys holy inspiracyon and sumwhat of hir maner of levyng. Than wolde
he no lengar suffyr hir to beggyn hir mete fro dore to dore, but preyid hir to eten
wyth hym and hys felawshep, les than good men and women be the wey of charité and
for gostly comfort wolde preyn hir to mete. Than he wolde that she schulde take it in the
name of owr Lord, and ellys sche ete wyth hym and wyth hys felawschep every day,
and gaf hir golde sufficiently to come hom wyth into Inglond. And than was fulfilled
that owr Lord seyd to hir a lityl beforn, "Gold is to thewarde." And so it was in dede,
thankyd be alle myghty God. Than summe of hir felaws whech sche had ben wyth at
Jerusalem comyth to this good preste, newly come to Rome, compleynyng of hir, and
seyd that sche was schrevyn at a preste whech cowde not undirstondyn hir langwage
ne hir confessyown. Than this good preste, trostyng to hir as to hys modyr, desyryng
the helth of hir sowle, askyd of hir yf hir confessowr undirstod hir whan sche spak to
hym er not. "Good sone, I beseche yow preyth hym to dyne wyth yow and wyth yowr
felawys and late me be present, and than schal ye knowyn the trewth." Hyr confessowr
was preyd to mete and, whan tyme cam, sett and servyd wyth this good preste and hys
felaschep, the seyd creatur beyng present, the good preste of Inglonde dalying and
comownyng in her owyn langage, Englysch. The Duche preste, a worthy clerke as is
wretyn beforn, confessowr to the seyd creatur, satt al stille in a maner of hevynes for
cawse he undirstod not what thei seyden in Englysch les than thei spokyn Latyn. And
thei dede it in purpose, hys unwetyng, to prevyn yyf he undirstod Englysch er not. At
the last, the seyd creatur, seyng and wel undirstondyng that hir confessowr undirstod
not her langage and that was tediows to hym, than, in party to comfort hym and in
party er ellys meche mor to prevyn the werk of God, sche telde in hyr owyn langage in
Englysch a story of Holy Writte whech as sche had lernyd of clerkys whil sche was at
hom in Inglond, for sche wolde spekyn of no vanyté ne of no fantasiis. Than thei
askyd hir confessowr yyf he undirstod that sche had seyd, and he anon in Latyn telde
hem the same wordys that sche seyd beforn in Englisch, for he cowde neythyr speke
Englysch ne undirstondyn Englisch save only aftyr hir tunge. And than thei had gret
mervayle, for thei wist wel that he undirstod what sche seyde and sche undirstod what
he seyd, and he cowde undirstonde non other Englyschman, so blyssed mote God ben
that mad an alyon to undirstondyn hir whan hir owyn cuntremen had forsakyn hir and
wolde not heryn hir confessyon les than sche wolde a left hir wepyng and spekyng of
holynes. And yet sche myth not wepyn but whan God gaf it hir. And oftyntymes he
gaf it so plentyuowsly that sche cowde not wythstonde it. But the mor that sche wolde
a wythstonde it er put it awey, the mor strongly it wrowt in hir sowle wyth so holy
thowtys that sche schulde not sesyn. Sche schulde sobbyn and cryen ful lowde al
ageyn hir wyl that many man and woman also wondryd on hir therfore.
Sumtyme, whan the forseyd creatur was at sermownys wher Duchemen and other
men prechyd, techyng the lawys of God, sodeyn sorwe and hevynes ocupying hir hert
cawsyd hir to compleyn wyth mornyng cher for lak of undirstondyng, desyryng to be
refreschyd wyth sum crumme of gostly undirstondyng unto hir most trustyd and
entyrlyest belovyd sovereyn, Crist Jhesu, whos melydiows voys swettest of alle
savowrys softly sowndyng in hir sowle, seyd, "I schal preche the and teche the myselfe,
for thi wyl and thy desyr is acceptabyl unto me." Than was hir sowle so delectabely
fed wyth the swet dalyawns of owr Lorde and so fulfilled of hys lofe that as a drunkyn
man sche turnyd hir fyrst on the o syde and sithyn on the other wyth gret wepyng and
gret sobbyng, unmythy to kepyn hirselfe in stabilnes for the unqwenchabyl fyer of
lofe whech brent ful sor in hir sowle. Than meche pepyl wonderyd upon hir, askyng
hir what sche eyled, to whom sche as a creatur al wowndyd wyth lofe and as reson had
fayled, cryed wyth lowde voys, "The Passyon of Crist sleth me." The good women,
havyng compassyon of hir sorwe and gretly mervelyng of hir wepyng and of hir cry
ing, meche the mor thei lovyd hir. And therfor thei, desiryng to make hir solas and
comfort aftyr hir gostly labowr, be sygnys and tokenys, for sche undirstod not her
speche, preyid hir and in a maner compellyd hir to comyn hom to hem, willyng that
sche schulde not gon fro hem. Than owr Lord sent hyr grace to han gret lofe and gret
favowr of many personys in Rome, bothyn of religyows men and other. Sum religyows
comyn to swech personys of hyr cuntremen as lovyd hir and seyden, "This woman
hath sowyn meche good seed in Rome sithyn sche cam hydir, that is to sey, schewyd
good exampyl to the pepyl, wherthorw thei lovyn God mor than thei dede beforn." On
a tyme, as this creatur was in a chirche at Rome wher the body of Seynt Jerom lyth
biriid (whech was myraculosly translatyd fro Bedlem into that place and ther now is
had in gret worshep besyden the place wher Seynt Lauerawnce lyth beriid), to this
creaturys gostly sygth aperyng, Seynt Jerom seyd to hir sowle, "Blissed art thow,
dowtyr, in the wepyng that thu wepyst for the peplys synnes, for many schal be savyd
therby. And, dowtyr, drede the nowt, for it is a synguler and a specyal gyft that God
hath govyn the, a welle of teerys the whech schal nevyr man take fro the." Wyth swech
maner of dalyawns he hily comfortyd hir spiritys. And also he made gret preysyng
and thankyng to God for the grace that he wrowt in hir sowle, for les than sche had an
had sweche gostly comfortys it had ben unpossybyl hir to a boryn the schamys and
wonderyngys the whech sche suffyrd pacyently and mekely for the grace that God
schewyd in hyr.
Whan tyme of Estern er ellys Paske was come and go, this creatur wyth hir
felawschep, purposyng to gon ageyn into her owyn natyf lond, it was telde hem that
ther wer many thevys be the wey whech wolde spoyl hem of her goodys and peraventur
slen hem. Than the seyd creatur wyth many a bittyr teer of hir eye preyd to owr Lord
Jhesu Crist, seying, "Crist Jhesu, in whom is al my trost, as thow hast behyte me many
tymes befor that ther schulde no man be disesyd in my cumpanye, and I was nevyr
deceyved ne defrawdyd in thi promysse as long as I fully and trewly trostyd onto the,
so here the preyerys of thin unworthy servawnt al holy trustyng in thi mercy. And
grawnt that I and myn felawschep wythowtyn hyndryng of body er of catel, for of owr
sowlys, Lord, have thei no powr, may gon hom ageyn into owr lond lych as we come
hedyr, for thi lofe, and late nevyr owr enmiis have no powr ovyr us, Lord, yyf it plese
the. As thu wilt, so mot it be." Than owr Lord Jhesu Crist seyd to hir mende, "Drede
the not, dowtyr, for thu and alle that ben in thy cumpany schal gon as safe as yyf thei
wer in Seynt Petrys Cherch." Than thankyd sche God wyth alle hir spiritys, and was
bold anow to go wher God wolde, and toke hir leve of hir frendys in Rome, and most
specyaly of hir gostly fadyr, whech, for owr Lordys lofe, had supportyd hir and socowrd
hir ful tendirly ageyn the wykked wyndys of hir invyows enmyis, whos departyng
was ful lamentabyl as wytnessyd wel the pur watyrdropys rennyng down be her chekys.
Sche, fallyng on hyr knes, receyved the benefys of hys blyssyng, and so departyd
asundyr whom charité joyned bothyn in oon, thorw the whech thei trostyd to metyn
ageyn, whan owr Lord wolde, in her kendly cuntré whan thei wer passyd this wretchyd
wordelys exile. And thus sche and hir felaschep passyd forth into Inglondward. And
whan thei wer a lityl wey owte of Rome, and the good preste, whech as is beforn
wretyn this creatur had receyved as for hir owyn sone, had mekyl drede of enmyis.
Wherfor he seyd onto hir, "Modyr, I drede me to be deed and slayn wyth enmyis."
Sche seyd, "Nay, sone, ye schal far ryth wel and gon saf be the grace of God." And he
was wel comfortyd wyth hyr wordys, for he trustyd meche in hir felyngys and mad hir
as good cher be the wey as yyf he had ben hir owyn sone born of hir body. And so thei
cam forth to Medylborwgh, and than hir felaschep wolde takyn her jurné into
Inglondward on the Sunday. Than the good preyste cam to hir, seying, "Modyr, wyl
ye gon wyth yowr felaschep er not on this good day?" And sche seyde, "Nay, sone, it
is not my Lordys wille that I schulde gon so sone hens." And so sche abood stylle wyth
the good preste and summe other of the felaschyp tyl the Satyrday aftyr. And mech of
her felaschep went to schip on the Sonday. On the Fryday aftyr, as this creatur went to
sportyn hir in the felde and men of hir owyn nacyon wyth hir, the whech sche informyd
in the lawys of God as wel as sche cowde; and scharply sche spak ageyns hem for thei
sworyn gret othys and brokyn the comawndment of owr Lord God. And as sche went
thus dalying wyth hem, owr Lord Jhesu Crist bad hir gon hom in haste to hir hostel,
for ther schulde come gret wederyng and perlyows. Than sche hyed hir homwardys
wyth hir felaschep, and, as sone as thei come hom to her hostel, the wederyng fel as
sche felt be revelacyon. And many tymes, as sche went be the wey and in the feldys,
ther fel gret levenys wyth hedows thunderys, gresely and grevows, that sche feryd hir
that it schulde a smet hir to deth, and many gret reynes, whech cawsyd in hir gret drede
and hevynes. Than owr Lord Jhesu Crist seyd to hir, "Why art thow aferd whil I am
wyth the? I am as mythy to kepyn the her in the felde as in the strengest chirche in alle
this worlde." And aftyr that tyme sche was not so gretly aferd as sche was beforn, for
evyr sche had gret trust in hys mercy, blyssed mote he be that comfortyd hir in every
sorwe. And sithyn it happyd an Englyschman to come to this creatur and swor a gret
oth. Sche, heryng that oth, wept, mornyd, and sorwyd wythowtyn mesur, not of powr
to restreyn hirselfe fro wepyng and sorwyng, forasmeche as sche sey hir brothyr
offendyn owr Lord God almygthy and lytyl heed wold takyn to hys owyn defawte.
On the next day betymes come to this creatur the good preste, whech was as hir
sone, and seyd, "Modyr, good tydyngys. We have good wynd, thankyd be God." And
anon sche gaf preysyng to owr Lord and preyd hym of hys mercy to grawntyn hem
good perseverawns of wynde and wederyng that thei myth come hom in safté. And it
was answeryd and comawndyd in hir sowle that thei schuld gon her wey in the name of
Jhesu. Whan the preste knew that sche wolde algatys gon forth, he seyd, "Modyr, her
is no schip; her is but a lityl hecke." Sche answeryd ageyn, "Sone, God is as mythy in
a lityl schip as in a gret schip, for I wyl go therin be the leve of God." And, whan thei
wer in the lityl schip, it began to waxin gret tempestys and dyrke wedyr. Than thei
cryed to God for grace and mercy, and anon the tempestys sesyd, and thei had fayr
wedyr and seyled al the nygth on ende and the next day tyl evynsong tyme, and than thei
cam to londe. And, whan thei wer on the londe, the forseyd creatur fel downe on hir
knes kyssyng the grownde, hyly thankyng God that had browt hem hom in safté.
Than had this creatur neithyr peny ne halfpeny in hir purse. And so thei happyd to
meten wyth other pilgrimys whech govyn hir three halfpenys, inasmeche as sche had
in comownyng telde hem good talys. And than was sche rygth glad and mery, for sche
had sum good that sche myght offeryn in the worshep of the Trinité whan sche come
to Norwych as sche dede whan sche went owt of Inglondward. And so, whan sche
cam ther, sche offeryd wyth rygth good wylle and sithyn went sche wyth hir felaschep
to the vykary of Seynt Stevenys, Maistyr Richard Castyr, whech levyd that tyme. And
he led hem wyth hym to the place ther he went to boorde and mad hem ryth good cher.
And he seyd to the forseyd creatur, "Margery, I merveyl how ye can be so mery and
han had so gret labowr and ben so fer hens." "Syr, for I have gret cawse to ben mery
and joyn in owr Lorde that hath holpyn me and socowryd me and browt me ageyn in
safté, blyssed and worshepyd mot he be." And so thei dalyed in owr Lord a good
while and had ful goodly cher. And than thei tokyn her leve, and sche went to an
ankyr whech was a monke of a fer cuntré and dwellyd in the chapel of the felde. He
bar a name of gret perfeccyon and befortyme had lovyd this creatur ryth meche. And
sithyn thorw evyl langage that he herd of hir he turnyd al agens hir. And therfor sche
went to hym in purpose to mekyn hyrselfe and drawyn hym to charité yyf sche myth.
Whan sche was come to hym, he wolcomyd hir hom schortly and askyd wher sche
had don hir chylde the whech was begotyn and born whil sche was owte, as he had
herd seyde. And sche seyd, "Ser, the same childe that God hath sent me I have browt
hom, for God knowyth I dede nevyr sithyn I went owte wherthorw I schulde have a
childe." And wolde he not levyn hir for nowt that sche cowde sey. And nevyrthelesse
yet sche lowly and mekely schewyd hym for trust that sche had in hym how it was
owr Lordys wyl that sche schulde be clad in white clothyng. And he seyd "God forbede
it," for sche schulde than make al the world to wondyr on hir. And sche seyd agen, "Ser,
I make no fors so that God be plesyd therwyth." Than he bad hir comyn agen to hym
and be governyd be hym and be a good preste hite Ser Edwarde. And sche seyd sche
schulde wete first yyf it wer the wil of God er not, and therwyth sche toke hir leve at
that tyme. And, as sche went fro hymward be the wey, owr Lord seyde to hir sowle, "I
wil not that thu be governyd be hym." And sche sent hym worde what answer sche
had of God.
And than preyid sche to God, seying, "As wostly, Lorde, as it is thy wille that I
schulde be clad in white, as grawnt me a tokne of levyn, thundyr, and reyn so that it
hyndir ne noy no thyng that I unworthy may the rathyr fulfillyn thy wil." Than owr
Lord answeryd and seyd unto hys unworthy servawnt, "Dowtyr, dowte it not, thu schalt
have that tokyn be the thryd day." And so it was. On the Fryday next folwyng, erly in
the morwenyng, as sche lay in hir bed, sche sey gret levyn, sche herd gret thundyr and
gret reyn folwyng, and as swythe it passyd awey and was fayr wedir ageyn. And than
sche purposyd hir fullych to weryn white clothis, saf sche had neithyr gold ne sylver
to byen wyth hir clothyng. And than owr Lord seyd to hir sowle, "I schal ordeyn for
the." Than went sche forth to a worshepful man in Norwich to whom sche was ryth
wolcome and had gret chere. And, as thei sat togedyr tellyng good talys, evyr owr
Lord seyde in hir sowle, "Speke to this man, speke to this man." Than sche seyd to
that worshepful man, "Wolde God, ser, that I myth fyndyn a good man whech wolde
lendyn me two nobelys tyl I myth payn hym ageyn to byen me clothys wyth." And he
seyde, "That wil I do, damsel, gladly. What clothys wil ye weryn?" "Ser," sche seyde,
"white clothis, wyth the leve of God." So this good man bowt white cloth and dede
makyn hir a gowne therof and an hood, a kyrtyl, and a cloke. And on the Satyrday,
whech was the next day, at evyn he browt hir this clothyng and gaf it hir for Goddys
lofe, and meche mor goodnes dede to hir for owr Lordys lofe, Crist Jhesu be hys
reward and have mercy upon hys sowle and on alle Cristen. And on the Trinité Sunday
next folwyng sche was howselyd al in white, and sithen hath sche sufferyd meche
despyte and meche schame in many dyvers cuntreys, cyteys, and townys, thankyd be
God of alle. And sone aftyr hir husbond cam fro Lynne unto Norwych to se how sche
ferd and how sche had sped, and so went thei hom togedyr to Lynne. And sche in
schort tyme aftyr fel in gret sekenes in so mech that sche was anoyntyd for dowt of
deth. And sche desired, yf it wer the wil of God, that sche myth sekyn Seynt Jamys er
sche deyid and suffyr mor schame for hys lofe, as he had hyte hir befor that sche schuld
do. And than owr Lord Jhesu Crist seyd to hir in hir sowle that sche schuld not dey yet,
and sche wend hirselfe that sche schulde not a levyd for hir peyn was so gret. And
hastily aftyrwarde sche was heyl and hoyl. And than it drow into wyntyrwarde, and
sche had so meche colde that sche wist not what sche myth do, for sche was powr and
had no mony, and also sche was in gret dette. Than suffyrd sche schamys and reprevys
for weryng of hir white clothys and for sche cryed so lowde whan owr Lord gaf hyr
mende of hys Passyon. And for the compassyon that sche had of owr Lordys Passyon
sche cryed so wondyr lowde, and thei had nevyr herd hir cryen beforetyme, and it was
the more merveyl onto hem. For sche had hir fyrst cry at Jerusalem, as is wretyn
beforn. And many seyd ther was nevyr seynt in hevyn that cryed so as sche dede,
wherfor thei woldyn concludyn that sche had a devyl wythinne hir whech cawsyd that
crying. And so thei seyden pleynly and meche mor evyl. And al sche toke pacyently
for owr Lordys lofe, for sche wist wel that the Jewys seyd meche wers of hys owyn
persone than men dede of hir. And therfor sche toke it the mor mekely. Sum seyde
that sche had the fallyng evyl, for sche wyth the crying wrestyd hir body turnyng fro
the o syde into the other and wex al blew and al blo as it had ben colowr of leed. And
than folke spitted at hir for horrowr of the sekenes, and sum scornyd hir and seyd that
sche howlyd as it had ben a dogge and bannyd hir and cursyd hir and seyd that sche
dede meche harm among the pepyl. And than thei that beforntyme had govyn hir
bothyn mete and drynke for Goddys lofe now thei put hir awey and bodyn hir that
sche schulde not come in her placys for the schrewyd talys that thei herd of hir. And
aftyrward, whan tyme cam that sche wolde gon to Seynt Jamys, sche went to the best
frendys that sche had in Lynne and telde hem hir entent, how sche purposyd to gon to
Seynt Jamys yyf sche myth han good to gon wyth, but sche was powr and awt meche
dette. And hir frendys seyden to hir, "Why have ye govyn awey yowr good and other
mennys also? Wher schal ye now have so meche good as ye owe?" And sche seyd
agen, "Owr Lord God schal helpyn ryth wel, for he fayld me nevyr in no cuntré, and
therfor I trust hym ryth wel." And sodeynly cam a good man and gaf hir fowrty pens,
and wyth sum therof sche bowt hir a pylche. And evyr owr Lord seyd to hir, "Dowtyr,
stody thow for no good, for I schal ordeyn for the, but evyr stody thow to love me and
kepe thi mende on me, for I schal go wyth the wher thow gost as I have hite the
beforn." And aftyrwarde ther cam a woman, a good frend to this creatur, and gaf hyr
seven marke for sche schulde prey for hir whan that sche come to Seynt Jamys. And
than sche toke hir leve at hir frendys in Lynne, purposyng hir forward in al the hast that
sche myth. And than was it seyd in Lynne that ther wer many thevys be the wey.
Than had sche gret drede that thei schulde robbyn hir and takyn hir golde awey fro hir.
And owr mercyful Lord, comfortyng hir, seyd onto hir, "Go forth, dowtyr, in the
name of Jhesu, ther schal no thef han powyr ovyr the. Than went sche forth and cam to
Brystowe on the Wednysday in Whitson weke, and ther fond sche redy the brokebakkyd
man whech had ben wyth hir at Rome, whom sche left in Rome whan sche cam thens
too yer befor this tyme. And, whil they wer in Rome, sche borwyd certeyn golde of
hym and be the byddyng of God sche gaf awey to powr pepil al the mony that sche
had, and that sche had borwyd of hym also, as is wretyn beforn. And than, whil sche
was in Rome, sche hite hym to payn hym ageyn in Bristowe at this tyme, and so was
he come thedyr for hys payment. And owr Lord Jhesu Crist had so ordeyned for hir, as
sche went to Bristoweward, that ther was govyn hir so meche mony that sche myth
wel payn the forseyd man al that sche awt hym. And so sche dede, blissed be owr Lord
therfor. And than sche lay stille in Bristowe be the byddyng of God for to abyden
schepyng six wokys, inasmech as ther wer non Englisch schepys that myth seylen
thedyr for thei wer arestyd and takyn up for the kyng. And other pilgrymes that wer at
Bristowe, desiryng to spedyn her jurné, went abowte fro port to port and sped nevyr
the mor. And so thei cam ageyn to Bristowe, whyl sche lay stille and sped bettyr than
they for al her labowr. And, whil sche was thus stille in Bristowe aftyr the byddyng of
God, owr mercyful Lord Crist Jhesu visityd hys creatur wyth many holy meditacyons
and many hy contemplacyonys and many swet comfortys. And ther was sche howselyd
every Sonday wyth plentyuows terys and boystows sobbyngys, wyth lowde cryingys
and schille schrykyngys. And therfor many man and many woman wondyrd upon hir,
skornyd hir and despised hir, bannyd hir and cursyd hir, seyde meche evyl of hir,
slawndryd hir, and born hyr on hande that sche schulde a seyd thyng whech that sche
seyd nevyr. And than wept sche ful sor for hir synne, preyng God of mercy and
forgevenes for hem, seying to owr Lord, "Lord, as thu seydyst hangyng on the cros
for thi crucyfyerys, 'Fadyr, forgeve hem; thei wite not what thei don,' so I beseche
the, forgeve the pepyl al scorne and slawndrys and al that thei han trespasyd, yyf it be
thy wille, for I have deservyd meche mor and meche more am I worthy."