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9. Then Life laughed loudly, and held Holiness a jest, | four Virtues. Conscience called Shrift, a good 1. and Loyalty a churl, and Liar a free man, Conscience leech, who used the sharp salve of penance and
na folly. Life took for his mate Fortune, who said, duty. Many asked for a surgeon who would handle Diego “Health and I and Highness of Heart shall save them more softly, and give milder plasters. Then
thee from all dread of Eld and Death.” Life and one who loved ease, and lay groaning in fear that Fortune became parents of Sloth, who soon came of he should be killed by fasting on a Friday, told age, and mated with Despair. Sloth used his sling of a friar named Flatterer, who was both surgeon
against Conscience, who called Eld (old age) to battle, and physician. Quoth Contrition to Conscience, is and Eld fought with Life, who fled to Physic for “ Bring him to Unity, for here are many men hurt
protection. Life thought leechcraft able to stay the through hypocrisy.” “We have no need," quoth 1 course of Eld. Eld struck a physician in a furred | Conscience; “ I know no better leech than parson or
hood, so that he fell into a palsy, and was dead in parish priest, save Piers the Plowman, that hath three days.
power over all.” Nevertheless, Conscience did not E “Now I see," said Life, “ that Physic cannot help prevent them from calling on that friar Flatterer.
me to stay the course of Eld;" so he took heart and Peace questioned him at the gate, and denied him rode to Revel, a rich place and a merry. Eld hastened entrance, but Fair-Speech pleaded for him, and the after him, the Dreamer says, and on his way passed gates were opened. “Here," quoth Conscience, “is over my head so closely that he left it bald before my cousin Contrition wounded. The plasters and and bare upon the crown.
powders of the parson are too sore, and he lets them “ Sir illtaught Eld," I cried, “ since when was there lie too long, and is loth to change them. From Lent a highway over men's heads? Hadst thou been civil, to Lent he lets his plasters bite." thou wouldst have asked leave."
“That is overlong,” saith this limitour; “I think I “ Yea, dear dolt,” he said, and so hit me under shall amend it.” He gave him a plaster of Privythe ear, that I am hard of hearing. He buffeted me payment-and-I-shall-pray-for-you. Contrition quickly about the mouth, and beat out my grinders, and ceased to weep for his wicked works. When Sloth gyved me with gout so that I may not go at large. and Pride saw that, they came with a keen will to Then Death drew near me, and I quaked for fear, the attack on Conscience. Conscience again cried, and cried to Kind, “Awreak me, if your will be, for “Clergy, come help me!” and bade Contrition help I would be hence.”
to keep the gate. “He lies drowned,” said Peace. Kind counselled him to go into Unity, hold himself “ This friar with his physic hath enchanted folk and there till Kind summoned him, and see that he had drenches men with error till they fear no sin.” learnt some craft ere he went thence.
Then Conscience vowed that he would become a “ Counsel me, Kind,” quoth I; “ what craft is best pilgrim over the wide world to seek Piers the Plowto learn ?”
man. “Now Kind, avenge me, and send me hap “Learn to love," quoth Kind, “and leave all other and hele till I have Piers Plowman !” And after things. If thou love loyally, thou shalt lack nothing that he cried aloud upon Grace till, says the poet, I while life lasteth.”
awoke. The Dreamer, therefore, went through Contrition and Confession, till he found his way to Unity, So ends the Vision, with no victory attained, a where Conscience was constable, to save Christians world at war, and a renewed cry for the grace of besieged by seven great giants, who held with Anti-| God, a new yearning to find Christ, and bring with christ. Sloth and Avarice led the attack. “By him the day when wrongs and hatreds are no more. the Mary,” said a priest from the Irish border, “ so Though in its latest form somewhat encumbered by I catch silver, I mind Conscience no more than reiteration of truths deeply felt, the fourteenth century the drinking of a draught of ale." And so said yielded no more fervent expression of the purest sixty of that country, and shot against him many | Christian labour to bring men to God. And while a sheaf of oaths and broad-hooked arrows, God's the poet dwells on love as the fulfilment of the lawHeart, and His nails, and almost had Holy-Church a loyal not a lawless love-he is throughout uncomdown, when Conscience cried, “Help, Clergy, or I promising in requirement of a life spent in fit labour, fall.” Friars came to the cry ; but as they did not a life of Duty. The sin that he makes Pride's comunderstand their work, Conscience forsook them, panion in leading the assault on Conscience is Sloth. but offered to be their helper if they learnt to love. Every man has his work to do, that should be fruit Armies under their officers, monks' in their houses, of love to God and to his neighbour. For omitted have their numbers known; only the friars, like the duties or committed wrongs there is in Langland's hosts of hell, are numberless. Envy bade Friars system no valid repentance that does not make a learn logic, and prove the falsehood that all things man do all he can to repair the omission, right the under heaven ought to be in common. But God wrong. Langland lays fast hold of all the words of made a law that Moses taught, “Thou shalt not covet Christ, and reads them into a Divine Law of Love thy neighbour's goods.”
and Duty. He is a Church Reformer in the truest Envy, Covetise, Unkindness assailed Conscience, sense, seeking to strengthen the hands of the clergy who held him within Unity, Holy-Church, and by amendment of the lives and characters of those bade Peace, his porter, bar the gate. Hypocrisy | who are untrue to their holy calling. The ideal of with all the tale-tellers and idle titterers made a Christian Life shines through his poem, while it sharp assault upon the gate, and wounded many paints with homely force the evils against which it a wise teacher who held by Conscience and the 1 is directed. On points of theology he never dis
putes; but an ill life for him is an ill life, whether in Library set apart for larger works that do not fall Pope or peasant.
necessarily into the present section. The king him.
self was answerable for many of the miseries of EngIf John Gower's “Speculum Meditantis," (the land in Richard II.'s reign; and after the coup d'état Mirror of one Meditating), which he wrote in French,
of 1397, and the murder of his uncle Gloucester, were not a lost work, we should have had from Gower
both Langland and Gower turned their backs on bim. also a book exclusively religious. His Latin and his
John Gower wrote a Latin metrical - Tripartite English poem, “Vox Clamantis” and “Confessio
Chronicle,” in which he treated as human work the Amantis," deal one with the ills of English life in
endeavour to keep Richard within bounds of law, and Richard II.'s reign, the other with the Seven Sins, in
abate courtly corruption; as hellish work his violent stories illustrating them, and again also with the ills
breaking of bounds in 1397, after his marriage of England and the duties of a king. The Latin
with an eight-year-old French princess had given poem “Vox Clamantis” (the Voice of one Crying) was
him, as he believed, support of the King of France suggested to him by the tumults of the Wat Tyler
against his people; as heavenly work his deposition. and Jack Straw Rebellion, in the year 1381. He William Langland wrote also in 1399 a poem on said there was no blind Fortune who ruled events,
the deposition of Richard II., which Mr. Skeat no misery without a cause; the ills suffered by man
has edited under the well-chosen title of “Richard were caused by man. Whence then the misery of
the Redeless." England ? He went in his poem through all orders of society, and found each failing in duty. Like Langland, he called upon men to live true lives, and
Without taking part as a writer in the political he prayed in his poem that his verse might not be
questions of his time, but with a faith in God and turgid, that there might be in it no word of untruth; | a goodwill to man that kept him cheerful in days that each word might answer to the thing it spoke of of adversity, Geoffrey Chaucer painted life in his pleasantly and fitly; that he might flatter in it no “Canterbury Tales ” with a spirit of religion that
usually animated pictures of human conduct in which the skill of the artist caused his teaching to be felt rather than seen. He also contrasted the spirit of the poor priest true to his calling with the self-seeking that corrupted many orders of the Church. Although no combatant with bitterness, but calm in the strength of goodwill towards man and faith in God's rule of the world, Chaucer shows always the sympathy of a high poet's nature with the purest aspirations of his time. In his own genial way he joins issue with the corruptions of the Church in pictures of the lordly Monk who loved no text that said hunters were not holy men, and the jingling of whose bridle might be heard in a whistling wind as clear and loud as the chapel bell ; of the Friar who knew all the innkeepers and tapsters better than the lepers and beggars, who were no acquaintances for such a worthy man as he; of the summoner who went shares in plunder with the devil, and himself became the devil's share; and he not only paints with a tender enthusiasm, in the poor Town Parson, a minister of religion such as men like Wiclif and Langland were conceiving him, but he makes him also brother to the Ploughman who loved God with all his heart and his neighbour as himself. At the close of the “ Canterbury Tales," as they come down to us with their plan unfinished, is the “Parson's Tale.” This is in prose, and is simply a sermon, apt to the theme of s Canterbury Pilgrimage, upon the pilgrimage of life. Its text is from the sixth chapter of Jeremish,
“ Stand ye in the old ways, and see, and ask for the From the Picture in Westminster Abbey.
old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein,
and ye shall find rest for your souls.” It dwells, 35 one, and seek in it no praise above the praise of the Vision of Piers Plowman dwells, on true repentGod. “Give me," he said, “that there shall be less ance and the battle with the seven deadly sins. In vice and more virtue for my speaking.” But while the course of the treatise, each of the seven sins is the same true voice was rising from both Langland described, and the description of each is followed by and Gower, Gower's two poems are of a kind that its Remedy. Thus, for example, the religious mind may be left for description in the volume of this l of Chaucer makes his Parson tell of Anger.
RICHARD THE SECOND.
with wickedness, and aga
debonairtee, and it is wroth without bittert
u saith the Prophet David ; Irascimini, an Now understand that wicked Ir
Bas-relief from the
Monastery Gate, Norwich. After envy will I declare of the sin of Ire: for soothly so hath envy upon his neighbour, anon common
eclare of the sin of Ire: for soothly who of Aint with steel. And right so as pride is many times matter
on his neighbour, anon commonly will find of Ire, right so is rancour nourice and keeper of ire. There is him matter of wrath in word or in deed against him to whom
a manner tree saith Saint Isidore, that when men make a fire be hath envy. And as well cometh Ire of pride as of envy,
of the said tree, and cover the coals of it with ashen, soothly to soothly he that is proud or envious is lightly wroth.
the fire thereof will last all a year or more: and right so The sin of Ire, after the describing of Sain Ticked will to be avenged by word or by deed. er the describing of Saint Augustine, is fareth it of rancour when it is once conceived in the heart of
Ire, after the
some men, certes it will lasten peraventure from one Easter philosopher, is the fervent blood of man yquicked in his heart,
day until another Easter day, or more. But certes the same through which he would harm to him that he hateth: for
man is full far from the mercy of God all this while. Oertes the heart of man enchafing and moving of his blood
In this foresaid devil's furnace there forgen three shrews:Faxeth so troubled, that it is out of all manner judgment
Pride, that aye bloweth and encreaseth the fire by chiding and
wicked words : then standeth Envy, and holdeth the hot iron But ye shall understand that Ire is in two manners, that
upon the heart of man, with a pair of long tongs of long let of them is good, and that other is wicked. The good ire
rancour: and then standeth the sin of Contumely or Strife y Jealousy of goodness, through the which man is wroth
and Chest, and battereth and forgeth by villainous reprovutss, and against wickedness. And therefore saithings. Certes this cursed sin annoyeth both to man himself, Wise man, that ire is better than play. This Ire is with
and eke his neighbour. For soothly almost all the harm or s wroth without bitterness : not wroth damage that any man doth to his neighbour cometh of wrath: against the man, but wroth with the misdeed of the man: |
for certes, outrageous wrath doth all that ever the foul fiend rophet David; Irascimini, and nolite peccare.! willeth or commandeth him ; for he ne spareth neither for our
reous stand that wicked Ire is in two manners, that is Lord Jesu Christ, ne his sweet mother; and in his outrag to say, sudden ire or hasty ire without avi
uire or hasty ire without avisement and anger and ire, alas! alas! full many one at that time, feeleth
; the meaning and the sense of this is, in his heart full wickedly, both of Christ, and also of all his of a man ne consenteth not to that sudden halwes. Is this not a cursed vice? Yes certes. Alas! it venial. Another Ire is that is full wicked, benimeth from man his wit and his reason, and all his de
lony of heart, avised and cast before, with bonaire life spiritual that should keep his soul. Certes it Weked will to do vengeance, and thereto his reason con
benimeth also God's due lordship (and that is man's soul) soothly this is deadly sin. This Ire is so dis. I and the love of his neighbours : it striveth also all day asant to God, that it troubleth His house, and chaseth the
against truth; it reaveth him the quiet of his heart, and ly Ghost out of man's soul, and wasteth and destroyeth
subverteth his soul. hat likeness of God, that is to say, the virtue that is in
Of Ire comen these stinking engendrures: first, Hate, that putteth in him the likeness of the devil, is old wrath ; Discord, through which a man forsaketh his old This Ire is a full
the man from God, that is his rightful Lord. | friend that he hath loved full long; and then cometh war and lre is a full great pleasance to the devil, for it is the every manner of wrong that a man doth to his neighbour in
Turnace that he enchafеth with the fire of hell. For body or in catel. certes right so as fire is more mighty to destroy earthly things
Of this cursed sin of Ire cometh eke manslaughter. And element, right so Ire is mighty to destroy all understand well that homicide (that is, manslaughter) is in pintual things. Look how that fire of small gledes,3 that ben divers wise. Some manner of homicide is spiritual, and some
we dead under ashen, will quicken again when they ben is bodily. Touched with brimstone, right so ire will evermore quicken
Spiritual manslaughter is in six things. First, by Hate, as pain when it is touched with pride that is covered in man's
saith St. John: He that hateth his brother is an homicide, · For certes fire ne may not come out of no thing, but if
Homicide is also by Backbiting; of which backbiters saith Te first in the same thing naturally; as fire is drawn out
Solomon, that they have two swords, with which they slay their neighbours : for soothly as wicked it is to benime of
consenting of reason; the meaning and th
senteth: and soothly this is deadly sin
man's soul and putteth in him the likeness and benimeth? the man from God,
than any other element, right so Ire is mighty
eye angry and sin not” (Ephesians iv. 26). “Cease from and forsake wrath ; fret not thyself in any wise to do evil"
(Psalms TIYÜ, 8).
"Berimeh, taketh away. First-English “beniman." Gledes, red-hot embers. First-English "gléd."
* Shrews, evil betrayers.
6 Halwes, saints. First-English “hálga,” a holy one, a saint; “hálig," holy.
him his good name as his life. Homicide is also in giving of wicked counsel by fraud, as for to give counsel to raise wrongful customs and tallages; of which saith Solomon : A lion roaring, and a bear hungry, ben like to cruel Lords; in withholding or abridging of the hire or of the wages of servants; or else in usury; or in withdrawing of the alms of poor folk. For which the wise man saith : Feed him that almost dieth for hunger; for soothly but if? thou feed him thou slayest him. And all these ben deadly sins.
Bodily manslaughter is when thou slayest him with thy tongue in other manner, as when thou commandest to slay a man, or else givest counsel to slay a man. Manslaughter in deed is in four manners. That one is by law, right as a justice damneth him that is culpable to the death: but let the justice beware that he do it rightfully, and that he do it not for delight to spill blood, but for keeping of righteousness. Another homicide is done for necessity, as when a man slayeth another in his defence, and that he ne may none other wise escape from his own death: but certain, an he may escape without slaughter of his adversary, he doth sin, and he shall bear penance as for deadly sin. Also if a man by cas or aventure shoot an arrow or cast a stone, with which he slayeth a man, he is an homicide.
Yet come there of ire many more sins, as well in word, as in thought and in deed : as he that arretteth upon God, or blameth God of the thing of which he is himself guilty; or despiseth God and all his halwes, as do these cursed hasardours? in divers countries. This cursed sin do they, when they feel in their heart full wickedly of God and of his halwes : also when they treat unreverently the sacrament of the altar, this sin is so great, that unneth' it may be released, but that the mercy of God passeth all his works, it is so great, and He so benign.
Then cometh also of Ire attry 4 anger, when a man is sharply admonished in his shrift to leave his sin, then will he be angry, and answer hokerlys and angerly, to defend or excuse his sin by unsteadfastness of his flesh; or else he did it for to hold company with his fellows; or else he sayeth the fiend enticed him; or else he did it for his youth; or else his complexion is so courageous that he may not forbear; or else it is his destiny, he saith, unto certain age; or else he saith it cometh him of gentleness of his ancestors, and semblable things. All these manner of folk so wrap them in their sins, that they ne will not deliver themselves; for soothly no wight that excuseth himself wilfully of his sin, may not be delivered of his sin, till that he meckly beknoweth his sin.
After this then cometh swearing, that is express against the commandment of God: and that befalleth often of Anger and of Ire. God saith: Thou shalt not take the name of thy Lord God in idel. Also our Lord Jesu Christ saith by the word of Saint Matthew: Ne shall ye not swear in all manner, neither by heaven, for it is God's throne: ne by earth, for it is the bench of his feet: ne by Jerusalem, for it is the city of a great King: ne by thine head, for thou ne mayst not make an hair white ne black: but He saith, be your word, yea, yea, nay, nay; and what that is more, it is of evil. Thus saith Christ. For Christ's sake swear not so sinfully, in dismem. bring of Christ, by soul, heart, bones, and body: for certes it seemeth, that ye think that the cursed Jews dismembered him not enough, but ye dismember him more.
And if so be that the law compel you to swear, then ruleth --- - - -
you after the law of God in your swearing, as saith Jeremie :$ Thou shalt keep three conditions ; thou shalt swear in truth, in doom, and in righteousness. This is to say, thou shalt swear sooth; for every leasing is against Christ; for Christ is very truth : and think well this, that every great swearer, not compelled lawfully to swear, the plague shall not depart from his house while he useth unlawful swearing. Thou shalt swear also in doom, when thou art constrained by the doomsman to witness a truth. Also thou shalt not swear for envy, neither for favour, ne for meed, but only for righteousness, and for declaring of truth to the honour and worship of God, and to the aiding and helping of thine even Christian.
And therefore every man that taketh God's name in idel, or falsely sweareth with his mouth, or else taketh on him the name of Christ, to be called a Christian man, and liveth against Christ's living and his teaching : all they take God's name in idel. Look also what saith Saint Peter; Actuum iv. Von el aliud nomen sub cælo, &c. There is none other name (saith Saint Peter) under heaven given to men, in which they may be saved; that is to say, but the name of Jesu Christ. Take keep eke how precious is the name of Jesu Christ, as saith Saint Paul, ad Philipenses ii. In nomine Jesu, &c. That in the name of Jesu every knee of heavenly creature, or earthly, or of hell, should bow; for it is so high and so worshipful, that the cursed fiend in hell should tremble for to hear it named. Then seemeth it, that men that swear so horribly by his blessed name, that they despise it more boldly than did the cursed Jews, or else the devil, that trembleth when he heareth his name.
Now certes, sith that swearing, (but if it be lawfully done), is so highly defended,7 much worse is for to swear falsely, and eke needless.
What say we eke of them that delight them in swearing, and hold it a genterie or manly deed to swear great oaths: And what of them that of very usage ne cease not to swear these great oaths, all be the cause not worth a straw? Certes is horrible sin. Swearing suddenly without avisement is also a great sin. But let us go now to that horrible swearing of adjuration and conjuration, as do these false enchaunter and necromancers in basins full of water, or in a bright sword, in a circle, or in a fire, or in a shoulder bone of a sheep: I cannot say, but that they do cursedly and damnably against Christ, and all the faith of holy church.
What say we of them that believe on divinales, as by flight or by noise of birds or of beasts, or by sort of geomancy, by dreams, by chirking of doors, or of creaking of houses, by gnawing of rats, and such manner wretchedness ? Certes, all these things ben defended by God and holy church, for which they ben accursed, till they come to amendment, that on such filth set their belief. Charms for wounds, or for maladies of men or of beasts, if they take any effect, it may be peraventure that God suffereth it, for folk should give the more faith and reverence to his name.
Now will I speak of leasings, which generally is file signifiance of word, in intent to deceive his even Christian. Some leasing is, of which there cometh none avantage to no wight; and some leasing turneth to the profit and ease of a man, and to the damage of another man. Another leasing is, for to save his life or his catel. Another leasing cometh of delight for to lie, in which delight, they will forge a long tale, and paint it with all circumstances, where all the ground of the tale is false. Some leasing cometh, for he will sustur
1 But il, unless. 2 Hasardours, gamesters. 3 Unr.eth, hardly, not easily. First-English "eathe," easily. • Altry, poisonous. First-English "attre," with poison; "attor," poison. 5 Hoherly, frowardly. First-English "hocer," a mocking, a reproach. 1
6 "And thou shalt swear, The Lord liveth, in truth, in judgment, and righteousness." (Jeremiah iv. 2.) 7 Defended, forbidden. French “defendu."
his word : and some leasing cometh of recklessness withouten manner folk, yet it is certes most uncovenable between a avisement, and semblable things.
man and his wife, for there is never rest. And therefore Let us now touch the vice of Flattery, which ne cometh not saith Solomon ; an house that is uncovered in rain and dropgladly, but for dread, or for covetise. Flattery is generally | ping, and a chiding wife, ben like. A man, which is in a wrongful praising. Flatterers ben the devil's nourices, that dropping house in many places, though he eschew the nourish his children with milk of losengerie. Forsooth dropping in one place, it droppeth on him in another place : Solomon saith, That flattery is worse than detraction: for so fareth it by a chiding wife; if she chide not in one some time detraction maketh an hautein? man be more place, she will chide him in another; and therefore, better humble, for he dreadeth detraction, but certes flattery is a morsel of bread with joy, than a house filled full with maketh a man to enhance his heart and his countenance. delices with chiding, saith Solomon. And Saint Paul saith; Flatterers ben the devil's enchaunters, for they make a man O ye women, be ye subject to your husbands, as you behoveth to ween himself be like that he is not like. They be like to in God; and ye men love your wives. • Judas, that betrayed God; and these flatterers betray man to Afterward speak we of Scorning, which is a wicked sin, sell him to his enemy, that is the devil. Flatterers ben the and namely, when he scorneth a man for his good works : devil's chaplains, that ever sing Placebo. I reckon flattery for certes, such scorners fare like the foul toad, that may in the vices of Ire, for oft time if a man be wroth with not endure to smell the sweet savour of the vine, when it another, than will he flatter some wight to sustain him in his flourisheth. These scorners ben parting fellows with the quarrel.
devil, for they have joy when the devil winneth, and sorrow Speak we now of such cursing as cometh of irous heart. | if he loseth. They ben adversaries to Jesu Christ, for they Malison 3 generally may be said every manner power of harm: | hate that he loveth ; that is to say, salvation of soul. such cursing bereaveth man the regne of God, as saith Saint | Speak we now of Wicked Counsel, for he that wicked counsel Paul. And oft time such cursing wrongfully returneth giveth is a traitor, for he deceiveth him that trusteth in him. again to him that curseth, as a bird returneth again to his But natheless, yet is wicked counsel first against himself : for, own nest. And over all thing men ought eschew to curse | as saith the wise man, every false living hath this property their children, and to give to the devil their engendrure, | in himself, that he that will annoy another man, he annoyeth as far forth as in them is: certes it is a great peril and a first himself. And men shall understand, that man shall not great sin.
take his counsel of false folk, ne of angry folk, or grievous Let us then speak of Chiding and Reproving, which ben folk, ne of folk that love specially their own profit, ne of too full great wounds in man's heart, for they unsew the seams | much worldly folk, namely, in counselling of man's soul. of friendship in man's heart: for certes, unnethe may a man Now cometh the sin of them that make Discord among folk, be plainly accorded with him, that he hath openly reviled, which is a sin that Christ hateth utterly; and no wonder is : reproved, and disclaundered: this is a full grisly sin, as Christ | for he died for to make concord. And more shame do they saith in the Gospel. And take ye keep now, that he that to Christ, than did they that him crucified : for God loveth reproveth his neighbour, either he reproveth him by some better that friendship be amongst folk, than he did his own harm of pain, that he hath upon his body, as, “Mesel ! * crooked body, which that he gave for unity. Therefore they be harlot!” 5 or by some sin that he doth. Now if he reprove likened to the devil, that ever is about to make discord. him by harm of pain, than turneth the reproof to Jesu Christ: Now cometh the sin of Double Tongue, such as speak fair for pain is sent by the righteous sonde of God, and by his before folk, and wickedly behind ; or else they make semsuffrance, be it meselrie, or maim, or maladie : and if he blaunt as though they spake of good intention, or else in reprove him uncharitably of sin, as, “ Thou holour!” “ Thou game and play, and yet they speak of wicked intent. dronkelewe harlot," and so forth; then appertaineth that to Now cometh Bewraying of Counsel, through which a the rejoicing of the devil, which ever hath joy that men do sin. man is defamed : certes unnethe may he restore the damage. And certes, chiding may not come but out of a villain's heart, Now cometh Menace, that is an open folio: for he that oft for after the abundance of the heart speaketh the mouth full menaceth, he threateth more than he may perform, full oft oft. And ye shall understand, that look by any way, when time. Now come Idle words, that be without profit of him any man chastiseth another, that he beware from chiding or that speaketh the words, and eke of him that hearkeneth the reproving: for truly, but he beware, he may full lightly words: or else idle words be those that be needless, or without quicken the fire of anger and of wrath, which he should intent of natural profit. And albeit that idle words be somequench: and peraventure slayeth him that he may chastise time venial sin, yet should men doubt them, for we shall give with benignity. For, as saith Solomon, amiable tongue is | reckoning of them before God. Now cometh jangling, that the tree of life; that is to say, of life spiritual. And soothly, may not come without sin: and as saith Solomon, it is a sign a dissolute tongue slayeth the spirit of him that reproveth, ! of apert folly. And therefore a philosopher said, when a man and also of him which is reproved. Lo, what saith Saint asked him how that he should please the people, he answered ; Augustine: There is nothing so like the devil's child, as he Do many good works, and speak few janglings. After this which oft chideth. A servant of God behoveth not to chide. cometh the sin of japers,' that ben the devil's apes, for they And though that chiding be a villainous thing betwix all make folk to laugh at their japerie, as folk do at the gauds
of an ape: such japes defendeth Saint Paul. Look how that
virtuous words and holy comfort them that travail in the I Losengerie, flattery. Old French “los" and " losange," praise.
service of Christ, right so comfort the villain's words and the 2 Hautein, haughty. French "hautain."
knakkes 10 of japers them that travail in the service of the * Molison, cursing. (Frencb.) The reverse of “benison," blessing. devil. These be the sins of the tongue, that come of Ire, and • Mesel, leper. French “mesel” and “meseau." Old German
other sins many more. " maser," a spot. 5 Harlot was a word of contempt applied to either sex, as bere to
- - any one with crooked back or limbs. The word is of like origin with • churl" (First-English “ceorl"), from “carl," male. Old High
7 Namely, especially ; a3 in modern German “namertlich." Gerian "harl" for "karl," man, husband, with the meaner sense in
& Jangling, vain talk. Modern Gerinan "ker),"
9 Japers, tricking jesters. 6 Chastiseth, seeks to free from fault.
10 K nakkes, tricks.