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This is the
earth, that is
all won or
lost; and the
fighters are
chosen ac-
cording to
their worth.



Captain of sins is the fiend.


And ase god dyzt þeawes

In alle gode men,
Þe feend a-rayep pe schreawes
In wykken per a-zen.

hys hys þat fyzt an erþe

pat al wynþ oper lest,
And ase pe fyzttere hys werthe,
be cheueteyn hym chest.

Ac cheueteyn of senne

Ich wot þat þe fend hys,

and alle kenne
Arayep hys amys.

And ase pere in bataylle

O kyngt bereþ þe beez,
Soe hyt were a gret faylle
Zef þe host were em-hez.

per-fore me makep prynses

be host to gouerni,
And ase whe-welen þe linses
To-gadere heldep hy.

And ase al þat hys here

By souedazes geb,
Of senne alle manere
Seue deuelen prynces bep:

bat seuene certeygne

pat Cryst kest out, hyt seyþ

[leaf 195]


Princes under
him, and
leaders of
the host,



are seven devils,

those whom Christ drove out

205. dyzt, MS. dyst.
211. werthe, MS. worthe, written at the beginning of the following line.
216 Arayeb MS.; Wr. Arayes.
218. beez, MS. beeb.
226. souedazes = seue dazes.

229. scuene, MS. þene. Read be seulene? or þat be} Þe seuene ? (cp. p. 89, 1. 105)-or omit þat before Cryst in the following line ?

of alle myse

Pride sucks in flowers of wisdom and


sits in ladies'

is hidden under cowl

Of marie maudaleyne

of Mary

Magdalen. bat goospel þat ne weyþ.

232 (59. i.) be ferste pryns hys prede,

The first

prince is bat ledeþ þane flok',

Pride, hat of alle opere onlede

root and

stock of all Hys rote and eke stok'.

236 other vices, (60) For nys non of pe syxe

þat hy ne comeb of þane, For myx

originator of

the turmoil In heuene hy by-gan.

240 in heaven. (61) Prede suwep in floures

(110) Of wysdom and of wyt, Amang leuedys in boures

bowers; be foule prude syzt.

244 (62) Vnder couele and cope

be foule prede lype ; bez man go gert wyþ rope, Zet prede to hym swyþ.

248 (63) Prede syzt vnder ragge Wel cobel and wel balgh;

(leaf 195, bk.] pat kebep wordes bragge And countenaunces zaldep.

252 (64) Nys non, þaz som myt wene, bat some prede ne takep,

pride. Ne none so proud, ich wene, As he pat al for-sakep.

256 (65) For who hys þat neuere set hys þouzt

For, who has And erbe to be hez ? Who hys hit þat neuer ypouzt Of pompe þat he sez ?

and cope;

makes ostentation

under rags.

There is no one free from

260 232. weyb. Kölbing writes lezḥ, and I. 230 sezþ. 249-252. See note.

258. hez, MS, hyz. 259. Read þat neuer (heb] yþozt?

never been ambitious ?

or elated

Who has never

he should

for ostenta

or been

towards subordinates ?

(66) or rebelled

Who yst þat neuer nas rebel against his sovereign ?

Azeins hys souerayn? or been im

Wo ist þat be nome schel, patient of blame, And nabbe non agayn?

264 (67) Who yst þat neuere gollich nas,

Wanne chaunce at wylle come ? with praise?

Who yst þat, wanne he preysed was,
Neuer at hez hyt nome?

268 (68)

Who hyst þat neuer þozte thought

He scholde honoured be be honoured

For dedes pat he wroute, (111) tious deeds ?

Wanne men (ne) hyzt mytte se? 272


Who hys þat neuer hezpe dro3 arrogant

Toward hys þat wes ?
Ho hys [þat] neuer ne kedde wo3
In boste to hys sugges ?


(70) or pompously

Ho neþ wyb pompe y-schewed hym

Zet oþer þane he was? his own?

Nou ypocresy, kepe nym,
Regnep, hyt nys no leas.


(71) [leaf 196]

Ho yst þat neuer nas y blent

Wyp non surquydery? sumption ?

pat hys, wanne a proud man hep y-ment
Oper pane hyt schel by.

Wo þat neuer ne dede pous

He wole prede by-flez ;
Zef þat kebbede eny of ous,
Ich wozt wel þat he lez.

288 263. ist, MS. hist, the h underdotted. For the sense of 11. 263–4 see note. 265. yst, MS. hyst, h underdotted. —gollich, MS. godlich. 274. wes, MS. was.

283. hep y-ment in MS. at the beginning of the following line, with a dot after it.

286. wole, see note.

assumed a character not

or been blinded with pre

Pride is a sin

itself in


(73) be man þe hym wole a-fayty

He who

wants to Of prede þat hys so hez,

subdue pride

in himself Fol wel he mozt hys weyti

must be con

tinually on Bope fer and nez.

292 his guard

against it. (74) For zef he let to nobe

bat he ne awaytep hy, Ich segge hym wel to sobe pat rygt proud schel he by.

For prede hys a senne of herte,

of the heart,
And bouute schewep hy
Wyþ kebbynges aperte
And weddyng' many a bly:

borz dedes of bostynge,

(112) manifesting And atyr stent and say,


and gorgeous And oper suche þynge(s) bat men vsyep al day.

304 (77. ii.) þat oper feend of onde

The second

fiend is prince Hys pryns and cheuetayn;

of Envy, þat senne hys ryf in londe, And nauzt hys hyre wayn.

308 (78) For sorwe he hep of gode,

that is, vexaAnd harm hys hyre blysse ;

[leaf 196, bk.]

men's pros In hyre pryncy mode

perity, and be hert[e] walt al þys.


delight in (79) hys senne hys ouer-nyce, Ac holde schal hy be

of greatest be senne of meste malice

malice, Azeyns charyte;

316 296. by, MS. be.

300. weddyng for wedyng', clothing, O.E. zewædian ?—many a bly (O.E. blío), MS. manyable.

302. stent for stend, pa. pple., O.E. stānan, to adorn with precious stones ?-say, read gay?

311. Pryncy, read pryncely ?

tion at other

their harm.

It is the sin

[ocr errors]

for love is its prey,

and to betray the good ones, its aim.

Envy is a sin of the heart, manifesting itself by damaging others through backbiting and vilifying the good and kind.

Wanne loue hys here preye,

Al for to confundy,
And wyl het to by-traye
bat wolde gode by.

Onde hys a senne of herte,

And bouute schewep hy,
To harmy and to herte,
Wanne hy deb bacbyty ;

Wanne hy holdep hy wreches

bat god and hende beb, And opere souche plecches Scheweb wat onde dep.

(83. iii.)
be brydde senne hys wrethe,

bat so meche hys itelde ;
Hyt makep blod and brethe (113)
Aboute pe herte aneld.

Wanne manne neþ nauzt hys chaunce

to wylle, and alse þenký,
He compasyþ veniaunce
To hym þat a-zen clenke$.

And so hyt fret and hys y-frete

Euere in egrete,
And wanne hy het to meche hete,
Hyt letteß charite.


The third sin is Wrath.

When a
man's wishes
and conceits
are crossed,
he meditates
revenge on
the opponent.

So Wrath is ever fretting and being fretted.

[leaf 197]

319. het for heḥ, as l. 339.
322. After schewep an underdotted w is written in MS.
325. Wreches, MS. werches.
327. plecches, MS. plocches ?
331. brethe, MS. breche (or broche).

333. chaunce, MS. thonse, for chonse, a possible form; if we retain it, we have to alter the corresponding ryme-word veniaunce to venionse (cp. p. 94, 1. 248).

334. to wylle in MS. at the end of the preceding line.-alse = alse he.-þenk} [: clenkeb), MS. þynthe. We may as well write peng} [: clengþ.

338. in egrete, MS. megrete, 2-stroke wanting. 339. hy, read hyt !- het = heb.

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