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And for no getting of good never his God grieveth,
On bothen his cheeks and his chin, with a jowl lollede But followeth Him the full way, as He the folk taught." As great as a goose egg, growen all of grease,
That all wagged his flesh as a quick mire.6 Where shall he find such a man to teach him his His cope that beclipped him well clene was it folden, Creed properly? He asks the Friars; meets one Of double worsted ydight down to the heel; morning a Minorite (Franciscan), and asks of him
His kirtle of clean white cleanly y-sewed, where he shall get the knowledge he needs. A Car
It was good enow of ground grain for to beren.”? melite, he says, had offered to teach him. “But," he says to the Minorite“but, for thou knowest To this Dominican the seeker told his want, and Carmes well, thy counsel I ask.” The Minorite said that an Austin Friar had offered to help him. laughs at the questioner, and holds him mad for sup | Thereupon the Dominican abused the Austin Friar, posing that the Carmelites can teach anything of and said that his own order was greatest of degree, God, whom they know not. So the narrow feuds as Gospels tell. between order and order are suggested while the jugglings and backslidings of the Carmelites are “ • Ah, sir,' quoth I then, 'thou say'st a great wonder, dwelt upon by a Franciscan
Sithen Christ said himself to all his disciples,
Which of you that is most, most shall he work, • Alas, frere,' quoth I then, .my purpose is ifailed.
And who is goer before, first shall he serven. Now is my comfort cast! Canst thou no botel
And said he saw Satan sitten full high Where I might meten with a man that might me wissen?
And full low ben y-laid. In likeness he toid For to con my Creed, Christ for to follow.'
That in poorness of spirit is speedfullest heal, • Certaine, fellow,' quoth the frore, withouten any faile,
And hearts of highness harmeth the soul. Of all men upon mold we Minors most sheweth
And therefore, frere, farewell; here find I but pride; The true Apostles life.'”.
I preise 8 not thy preaching but as a pure mite."
The Franciscan glorifies his order in a way that does not exalt it, boasts of his great buildings and painted windows
He tried next an Austin Friar, and opened upon him with talk of a Minorite. This brought abuse of the Minorites from the lips of one of a rival order, followed by the Austin Friar's picture of himself. Then visit was paid to a Carmelite, and to him a Dominican was cited, which brought down the contempt of the white friar upon the black. The Carmelite dwelt on the value of his prayers and masses, and wanted value for them
“ And mightest thou amenden us with money of thine own,
Thou shouldest kneel before Christ in compass of gold
" • A mass of us mean men is of more meed
And passeth all prayers of these proud freres,
When the seeker had applied Christ's words to this manner of well-doing, he went farther in search of a man to teach him, and came next to the Dominicans, whom he found housed in royal splendour. After he has painted in verse one of their great convents, he says,
But as the searcher said that he had not a penny, the friar left him in scorn to hie to a housewife, who had bequeathed to his house ten pounds in her testament.
“And yet these builders will beg a bag full of wheat
“ Then turned I me forth and talked to myself
Of the falsehood of this folk, how faithless they weren,
altering. The root is, probably, First-English “ breotan," to bruise or break.
i Bote, help.
3 Wissen, teach. 3 Yoloted, carefully observed. “Toten" is to look narrowly around -watch-tower was a "totyng place"-or to peep out in a derived sense, as when it is said in this poem of Pierce's broken shoes, “His ton" (toes) “toteden out as he the lond treddede."
• Freitour, refectory.
5 Bret full, so over-full that some of it must escape. “Standing corn so ripe that the grain falls out is said to bret out” (Halliwell's “ Dict. of Archaic and Provincial Words"). The notion of breaking up and falling associates the word “bret" also with fading and
6 Quick mire, living, palpitating, mire; quagmire.
7 Good enou of ground grain for to beren, of texture good enough to be dyed scarlet. Grain was a name for scarlet or purple dye, because the dried cochineal insects from which dye was made resemble seeds, Scarlet and purple were associated with the finest textures in robes of state, and one born to empire was said to be born in the purple.
& Preise, value, prize; value your preaching at a mere mite.
The Ploughman points to the likeness between fris med. and the Pharisees, and shows how far they were goed from the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount- cally
His toen toteden out as he the land treaded,
Behold upon Wat Brute, how busily they pursueden
“The Plowman's Tale,” by the same author, put zlache
"A sterné strife is stirréd new
Then comes from Pierce the. Plowman warning against hypocrisy and pride of those by whom God's word was overlaid with glosses. Witness, he says
«« Witness on Wiclif that warned them with truth,
For he in goodness of ghost graithly 10 them warned
I Hockshins, hosekins, small hose, gaiters.
somewhat ;” and the Shipman, who stops him by interposing a tale, : Mete, scanty. First-English “mæ'te,” moderate, small.
says of the good town Parson3 For-werd, worn out. First-English “forwered,” from “ weran,"
“He wolde sowen some difficultee, to wear.
Or springen cockle in our clene corn." • Waseled, bemired himself. First-English “wase," dirt, mire. Such accusation levelled against the man whom he clothes with 5 Rotheren, oxen, First-English "hryther."
apostolic virtue, and whom he afterwards does make to preach, shows 6 Worthen, become.
the goodwill of Chancer to these persecuted Churchmen, 7 Each a rib, each one rib. So before, “ Everich a side,” every one 12 Wat Brute. Walter Brute was a learned private gentleman in the side.
diocese of Hereford, who, though a layman, was urged by religious 8 Weren, defend. First-English “we'ran."
feeling to teach openly and privately, assisted by two intimate friends, 9 I care well harde, I trouble very greatly. “Well” was a common William Swinderby and Stephen Ball, They sought reform of church intensive prefix. The e in “harde" is an adverbial ending. First. discipline, and held the opinions of Wiclif. In 1392 Richard II. issued English “hearde," severely, greatly, above all things.
a commission, addressed to the Mayor of Hereford and noblemen and 10 Graithly, straightly.
gentlemen of the county, authorising them to investigate charges 11 Loled him, called him “Lollard." There are various reasons against Walter Brute of heresy and keeping of conventicies. Walter given for the name. I believe it to be an application to heretics of the Brute defended himsali, and withdrew into private life; but William word held to represent what was meant by the Greek zizania in the Swinderby and others, quitting the diocese of Hereford, continued 13th chapter of Matthew, the tares sown by the enemy among the their work in Wales. The persecution was continued, and in 181 whent. The Latin Vulgate version kept the Greek word zizania, and Swinderby was burnt in Smithfield. a collection of heretical writings was entitled “Fasciculi Zizaniorum." 13 Avyrien, curse. First-English "awyrian" and "awyrgian," But the zizania were held to be darnel, lolium, then often spelt 1* Schaf. This is said to mean “chatf," and Mr. Skeat interpreta “lollium," which grows among good corn, having much resemblance the line “ They gobble down their charity as hounds do bran." But to it, and is very poisonous. In the old Latin rendering of the Persian may not the sense be, “ They champ at their charity as dogs do orer version of the Gospels, the passage runs: "Quin tu, O Domine, semen food they will not swallow ?" "Skaf," from "skafa," to scrape, was bonum in agro tuo seminásti, Lolium igitur inter illud unde provenit ? the Scandinavian name for peeled bark used as fodder for goats an] Ile respondit, Quispiam per inimicitiam injecit. Servi dixerunt, Per cattle, and “schaf” was probably our name, derived from the Scimitte itaque nobis ut Lolium exinde secernamus." Christ's answer dina vian, for some such cattle fodder as a dog might take into bas by no means justified Church practice in dealing with the tares. mouth and try his teeth on, but could hardly be got to swallow. William Langland, in the Vision of Piers Plowman, desc
13 " Pierce the Ploughman's Crede" has been edited from collation on Cornbill, played on the apnlogy of this word to Loller or idler, and of two MSS. with the old printed text of 15.58, and fully supplied witb so easily returned it on the friars. Chaucer seems to bave had in mind notes and glossary by the Rev. Walter W. Skeat, who adds to it is the relation of the word to Lolium, when the Host having with an idle the same two-shilling book a poem of about A.D. 1500, "God spede the oath called on the Parson for a tale, is xently rebuked: “I smell a Plongh." It is published for the Early English Text Society by loller in the wind, quoth he.... This loller here wol prechen us) Trübner and Co.
“ The Griffon flew forth on his way,
The Pelican did sit and weep, And to himselfé he gan say,
God would that any of Christ's sheep Had heard and ytaké keep
Each a word that here said was, And would it write and well it keep,
God would it were, all for his grace.”
“ Plouman. I answered and said "I wolde
If for my travail any man would pay.'
For they han store of money.'
Why tellest thou mennés trespace?'
If God will give me any grace.
« For Christ himself is likened to me,
That for his people died on rood; As fare I right so fareth he,
He feedeth his birds with his blood. But these doen evil against God,
And ben his fone under friendés face. I told them how their living stood :
God amend them for this grace.'”
That Cristes gospel gladly woldé preche;
After telling how the Phænix was brought to destroy the Griffin, and how with the fall of the Griffin vanished all his following of “ravens, rooks, crows, and pie,” the poet ends thus :
“ Therefore I pray every man
Of my wyting? have me excused. This writing writeth the Pelican
That thus these people hath despysed. For I am fresh fully advysed
I will not maintain his manace, For the devil is often disguised
To bring a man to evil grace.
For hereof I will not avow,
But as a fable take it ye mow.
Each man to amend him Christ send space; And for my writing me allow
He that is Almighty for His Grace."
A MNITY of the spirit, how
w... ever hardly to be ato tained by men, did
certainly exist between many of those whose zeal for reformation caused
them to be contemned From the Mazarin Bible, the first as Lollards, and con
Printed Book. demned as heretics, and the pious men, from whom Chaucer might have painted his “poor Parson of a town," wlo quietly
CHAUCER'S TOWN PARSON. A good man was ther of religioun, And was a poré Persoun of a toun ; But riche he was of holy thought and werk. He was also a lerned man, a clerk
1 And, if.
2 Wyting, blaming.
obeyed authority, and trusted in the grace of God to
TO A.D. 1430.)
men who dreaded Lollards, believed that they en
of God's harvest-field. So good men might reason, throuch change in the conditions of society, decay,
and did reason, in those times. There were also disorderly men, who scorned religion itself, swelling the cry of Lollards who sought only Christian life within the Church ; there were angry men who extended the denunciation of hypocrisy and pride in
many Churchmen into scoff at all that represented C onstructing what has fallen ! the religious life of England. · And as must happen
and require renovation or even removal; and that we have in our turn to build for ourselves and after. I comers what the conditions of our later time may need. But some men are born to dwell especially upon the danger of rash change; others to dwell especially upon the importance of removing what has bec useless, repairing or reconstructing what has fall
DS' PRISON, LAMBETH PALACE. (From Allen's “ History of Lambeth.")
to decay, and finding new means to new ends. Some
D are in religion, politics, daily business, in actio and opinion on all things—even to the arrangin br chairs and tables in their houses—by ni conservative; as others are by nature disposed for
forta. Both are alike liberal ; both have the same range of human belief and opinion, with difference uly in the part of it on which most emphasis is laid Joth seek to do their duty; and there are as many | Englishm wood and earnest men upon one side as on the other. folk u From the struggle of the Lollards for reform of evils at ea, in the Church, there has come down to usch remembrance, upon one side, of the noble pleading monas for tre Christian life by Churchmen who were the true soul of the movement, and by poets who ; Lid hold on its essential truths; and, on the other orthodox ide of the corruption that had spread with wealth and idleness through the religious orders, of the band fight of the worldly man for material advancesont displayed by the Churchman to whom his c on was not real enough to save him from son ambitions of the world and give him an am
onds. Some in all human controversies, often among the best c uiness in action men on both sides, mists of human passion and emo
in the arranging of tion changed to sight the proportions of the matter Thes_by nature in dispute. But still the story is the story of an
disvosed for English struggle to find out the right, and do it for I have the same the love of God. The question is all of Duty; and with difference from a quiet, orthodox monk, who was no great phasis is laid ; 1 genius, though he wrote verse, lut was a good natural
as many | Englishman, we may learn how thousands of honest on the other. folk, who took no violent part in the strife, looked or reform of evils at each side of it. un to us chiefly a' John Audelay or Awdlay, living in a Shropshire
ble pleading monastery at the beginning of the fifteenth century, men who were wrote religious verse. He versified religious duty
noets who in short poems upon Bible texts, and, while piously
o'the other orthodox, he discriminated between men who, seekand with wealth ing the advancement of the Church, objected to self
Pricted in 1844 for the Percy Society as “The Poems of Johu Audelay. A Specimen of the Shropshire Dialect in the Fifteenth Century. Edited by James Orchard Halliwell."