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¶ The .vii. chapiter treateth of humilite.


1 DEre susters (sayth seynt Benet), holy scripture cryeth unto us with these wordes, "Euery persone that exalteth him selfe shalbe humiliate and brought undre. And he that meketh and humbleth him selfe shalbe exalted and brought up."

2 In this saynge holy scripture sheweth unto us that euery maner of a mannes owne exaltation or extollence is a kynde and spice of pryde.

3a of the which thynge the prophete showeth him selfe to be ware, sayng, "Good lorde,my hart is not exalted, nor my countenans is not hyghe, prowde, nor stately.

a Nether I haue reioysed nor be prowde of any great arte, speche, or vertu,



3b nor I haue desyred for any merueyles to be knowne to the people,

b Nor I haue any thynge [26] sought aboue my myght."

4 But what, good lorde, if I haue not mekely behaued me, but exalted my mynde by pryde, vayne glorye, or presumpcion, then let my punishement be lyke unto the punishement of a sokynge childe the whiche is wayned & denied his moders breste and then doth perische.*

// * Expanded and stresses punishment. Latin: sicut ablactatum super matrem suam, ita retribues in animam meam //

5 wherfore good susters (sayth seynt Benet), if our mynde be to attaygne to the perfection of hygh humilite, if we wyll swyftly comme to that heuenly exaltacion to the which men doo ascende by the vertue of humylite in this present lyfe,

6 that same ladder muste be rered and lyfte uppe with oure deedes ascendynge, which apered to Iacob in a vision, by the which ladder angelis were shewed unto him descendynge and ascendinge.

7 All which descension and ascension without doubt is noon notherwyse to be taken ne understonde but that men by exaltyng them selfe doo discende & by humling them selfe they doo ascende.

8 The ladder so rered is our present lyfe in this worlde, the whiche thurgh a meke harte is lyft up by almyghty god unto heuen.

9 The sydes of the same ladder we call oure bodie and sowle, by twene the whiche sydes thurgh the callynge of all myghty god be ordred and set dyuerse steppes and degres of humilite and discipline as followith.

c ¶ The first degre of humilite*

// * This subtitle is added. //

10 THe first degre or steppe of humilite is that a religiose person haue euer before his Ies and neuer forget the drede of god,

11 and that she haue also in remembrance the commaundementes of all myghty god and howe the breekers of his commaundementes for their offenses fall into the bytter paynes of Hell, and reuolue alwaye in her mynde the euerlastinge lyfe whiche is ordeyned for theym that drede god.

12 And so kepynge hir selfe euery houre from synne and vice, that is to saye of thought, of tonge, of Ies, or handes, of fete and of hir owne propre wyll, and also with all spede keste [27] a way the appetites and desyres of the fleshe.

13 ¶ Lat a man well suppose that he is ouer loked euery houre from heuen by all myghty god and that his dedes be seen of the godhed in euery place, and that angelles doo howerly shewe the deedes of man to all myghty god.

14 This the prophete declareth unto us in that he sheweth that god is all weye present to our thoughtes, saynge thus, "God sercheth what men thinke and what men delyte in."

15 And ageyne he sayth, "God knoweth the thought of man."

16 Also the prophet sayth, "Good lorde, thou haste understande my thoughtes afar."

17 And the thoughtes of man shall make confession and be open unto the.

18 And to thentent that a religiose* person be very studiose and diligent in withstondinge euyll thoughtes, lat hir say all wayes in hir hart, "Then shall I be clene and immaculate byfore him when I kepe me from synne and iniquite."

// * religiose ] relsgiose //

19 And also in lyke wyse we be forbyd to doo our owne wyll by cause scripture sayth unto us, "Be thou contrary to thyne owne wyll."

20 And also we make intercession to god in oure prayers, that his wyll be fulfilled in us.

21 Therfore not without cause we be taught not to doo our owne wyll when that we take hede of that that holy scripture techeth us sayng, certayne wayes there be which semeth unto man ryght good but [in] thende ouerthroweth a man and bringeth him to the depe pytt of hell.

22 Moreouer we be tawght in lyke wyse whan we be ware of that is sayde of negligent persones in this maner, They be corrupt and made abhominable in their desyres & wylles.

23 and for the exchuenge of the appetites of the fleshe lat us beleue and thinke that god is alwayes soo nyghe and present to us, that they be euer opyn and manifest unto him, sithen the prophete saith to all myghty god,.

d "By fore the and to the is knowen euery of my desyres."

24 Lat us therfore be ware of euyll lust or desyre, for euen ryght at the entre into delectacion standeth deth by dedly syn.

25 wheruppon scripture commaundeth saynge, "Followe not thy concupiscence and desiris."*

// * desires ] deris //

26 Therefore sens it is soo that god beholdeth good & euyll,

27 [28] and euer ouerloketh from his heuenly mansion the children of men to see if there be any that hath ony understandynge and seketh him.

28 And moreouer sens it is soo that our dedes be shewed dayle unto oure maker by angelles deputed to our custodie,

29 we must, therfore, dere susters (sayth seynt Benet), nedes be ware euery houre, as the prophete sheweth us in the psalme, that god fynde us not in any tyme geuynge our selfe unto that thynge which is euyll, or fynde us inutill or unprofitable.

30 And les that god, sparynge us in this present lyfe* by cause he is full of pytie & loketh that we shulde turne and a mende, say unto us in tyme to comme, "Thus and thus haste thou doon, and I haue suffred & holde my peace."

// * lyfe ] fyfe //

31 ¶ The seconde degre of humilite is whan a religiose person luffeth not hir owne wyl nor delyteth to fulfyl that thing that she desyrethe.

32 But followeth the voyce of all myghty god saynge, "I haue not cum to fulfyll myne owne wyll, but his that hath sent me,"

e that is say, godes wyll, my fader.

33 Moreouer scripture sayth after wyll followith payne. And after the necessite whiche commeth of obedience commeth a crowne for a rewarde.

34 ¶ The thirde degree of humilite is that a religiose* person, for the loue of god in euery poynt of obedience, submit hir selfe to hir superior, Folowynge the steppes of christe, of whome thappostell sayth, "he was obedient unto the Fader of heuen,** yea unto deth."

// * religiose ] reliose //

// ** unto-heuen: expansion //

35 ¶ The .iiii. degre of humilite is whan a religiose person for the vertu of obedience in thynges that be harde and contrary to hir mynde

36 yea, and in wronges takith pacience and sufferynge, chidethe not, grudgethe not, ne therfore turnethe hir mynde from hir goode purpose, the scripture of all myghty god saynge, who soo continueth to the ende, he shalbe sauffe,

37 & agayne, haue a stronge harte & suffer for all myghty god.

38 And moreouer scripture, shewyng that a feythfull persone ought to suffre contrariose thynges and aduersities for godes sake, saith unto god as in the persone of the pacient, For the, [29] goode lorde, we be punesshed with deth all the daye longe, and none other wyse be we accomptyd, but as shepe be unto the slauthter.

39 and thus persisting sure in hope of rewarde of almyghty god, they continewe Ioyfully saynge thyse wordes. yet in all these thynges, we haue the victorye and ouerhande by hym whiche hathe loued us.

40 Moreouer in a nother place holy scripture sayeth, "Goode lorde, thou haste proued us, thou haste tryed us as syluer is tryed in fire, thou haste brought us into daunger, thou haste layde uppon our backes tribulacions."

41 And by cause scripture wolde shewe that we ought to be under a superior, he contynuyeth sayng, "thou haste ordeyned and set men to be ouer our heddes."

42 But what religiose persons fulfyllyng with pacience the commaundiment of god in aduersities and iniurys, the which when they be strycken uppon that oon cheke, offre the other, which leue their mantell to him that taketh away their cote, whiche when they be enforsed to goo oon myle reneth .ii.

43 whiche with the apostell Paule suffreth false bretherne & sistren,* whiche suffred persecution & blessith or sayth well of other that sayth euyll of theym;

// * Latin: fratres //

f All these persons kepeth this degre of humilite.

44 ¶ The .v. degre of humilite is if a religiose person hyde not, but by lowly confession shewe to the fader spirituell* all euyll thoughtes commynge to the hart, and all hir synnes pryuily committed.

// * Latin: ne humilem confesionem abbatem //

45 Scripture exhortynge us to this thynge, saythe, "Shewe unto god thy lyfe and thy demeanoure, and truste unto him."

46 And agayne he sayth, "Make your confession unto our lorde god in so moche as he is goode : For his mercy is without ende."

47 and also the prophete sayth, "I haue declared unto the my faute, and I haue not hyd my iniquities."

48 I haue sayde, "I shall confess ageynste my selfe my synnes to all myghty god, and thou, goode lorde, haste forgyuen me the iniquite of my harte."

49 ¶ The syxth degre of humilite is when a mynchyn is content with euery vyle worke and lowest offyce, & with the [30] extremite of euery lowe degre, & that she iuge hir selfe unworthy and unprofitable to all thynges that be committed unto hir,

50 saynge with the prophete, "I am brought to nought & was not ware nor knewe it. I am but as a beeste to warde the good lorde and yet am I all wey with the."

51 ¶ The .vii. degre of humilite is if that a mynchyn in euery behalfe shewe hir selfe to be inferior under all other, & more vile person than any other, and that she doo thus nat only with hir toonge but also that she thynke it inwardly in hir hart,

52 submittynge hir selfe and saynge with the prophete, "I am a worme, and not a woman,* the rebukynge stocke of men and outcaste of people,"

// * Latin: homo //

53 newe exalted, nowe put downe and confounded.

54 And also it is written, "Goode it is for me, goode lorde, that thou haste brought me under whereby I may lerne thy commaundementes.

55 ¶ The .viii. degre of humilite is that a Mynchyn doo noo thynge except that that the commune reule of the monastery, or els the examples of their elders and superiours, men of the holy doctrine and conuersacion byddeth or exhorteth.

56 ¶ The .ix. degre of humilite is whan a mynchyn refrayneth hir toonge from spekynge, and whan she kepeth silence and putteth not fourth nor speketh no worde tyll she be questioned.

57 holy scripture shewinge that in moche spekynge syn is hardely auoyded,

58 and that a man fulle of wordes cannot be well ordered or kepe strayght waye in this presente lyffe.

59 ¶ The .x. degre of humylyte is whan a mynchyn is not lyght or prone to lawghter, for it is written, "he is a fole that exalteth his voice* in lawghter."

// * voice ] vice //

60 ¶ The .xi. degree of humilite is if a mynchyn, when she speketh, doo speke sofftly without lawghynge with mekenes of spirite and body, and with grauite, fewe wordes and resonable, and that she be noo great cryer nor speke a lowde,

61 [31] as it is written, "A wyseman is knowen in fewe wordes."

62 ¶ The .xii. degre of humilite is if a mynchyn shewe mekenes and lowlenes to theym that loke uppon hir, not only in hart but also in body;

63 that is to say, when she is in hir laboure,* when she is at worke, when she is in hir oratorye, when she is in prayer, when she is in monastery, in garden,* or wheresoeuer she be, syttynge, walkynge, or stondynge she boweth downe hir hedde, hir yes fyxed to warde the Erth.

// * Latin: opere Dei //

// ** Latin adds: in via, in agro //

64 And suppposynge and euery houre thynkynge hir selfe to be gylte of hir synnes, thynketh that she is presented to the ferefull Iugement of all myghty god.

65 saynge all way, as the publican of whome is made mencion in the gospell, the whiche his yes fyxed into the erth sayd, "Good lorde, I am not worthy to lyfte up myne yes towardes heuen."

66 And ageyn with the prophete, "I am bowed downe, and made meke in euery condicion."

67 ¶ Nowe in conclusion, all these degres of humilite,* ascended and clymed, a mynchyn at oons shall comme to that brennynge loue of god,

// * humilite ] humimilite //

g the whiche loue commes stablyshed and made parfeyte in hir, dreueth out all fere,

68 by the whiche she shall begynne to kepe, of custome and in maner naturally, without laboure and payne, all maner of vertueux thynges, whiche she kepte not by fore without greate payne & labour;

69 And that not for the feare of the bytter paynes of hell, but for the loue of christe, and for the same goode custom and for the delectacion of vertu;

70 whiche thynges all myghty god shall then vouchsaue to shewe in his seruant, puryfyed and made clene of vices and synnes, thurghe the grace of the holy gooste.





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¶ The .viii. chapiter treateth of the diuine seruyce by nyght.


1 [32] IN wynter, that is to say fro the fyrste day of Nouembre unto the feste of Easter, mynchyns muste aryse at the .viii. houre after it be nyght;

a that is to saye, after the sonne be sette, takynge the same houre durynge all that tyme as it is aforesayde, Fyrste daye of Nouembre.

2 to thintent that they may take their reste unto somewhat after mydnyght, and then aryse hauynge naturall dygestion.

3 And when the nocturne is ended, they shall all the resideue of the tyme bytwene that and matyns or laudes, which is all oon,* gyue them selfe to redynge, som the psaulter,** som lectoures,*** or other diuine seruyce, whereof they haue most nede or wherein they be most unredy.

// * or laudes, which is all oon: expansion here and elsewhere //

// ** psaulter ] spaulter //

// *** lectoures ] lectournes //

4 From Easter unto the firste day of Nouembre a forsayde, the houre of their wakynge and arysynge shalbe so ordred that a lyttel pause made after the nocturne is ended, wherein the mynchyns may goo to doo suche necessary busines as nature requireth, anon matyns or laudes shall followe, which they muste be saynge in the breke of the daye.





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¶ The .ix. chapiter treateth what psalmes shalbe sayd at the nocturnes in the wynter tyme.


1 In winter after this verse: Deus in adiutorium meum intende, Domine ad adiuuandum me festina followeth next, and immediatly Domine labia mea aperies & os meum annunciabit laudem tuam; the whiche thryse songe,

2 followeth this psalme, Domine quid multiplicati with gloria patri,

3 and after that, Uenite with the Inuitatorie must be songe.

4 Than followeth the hymne, & after it .vi. psalmes with their antems.

5 then the versicle, whiche ended, thabbasse shall gyue the benediction. And all the quere syttynge in their stalles or setes, there shalbe red by .iii. mynchins appoynted thereto .iii. lectours within* boke uppon the deske or lectourne bytwene which lessons . iii. responses must be songe.

// * within: that is, read from the book //

6 whereof ii. responses shalbe without gloria patri, & the thirde with gloria patri.

7 [33] And when the gloria patri is begonne, anon all shall aryse out of their setes, makynge obeyssance towardes the hygh aulter, in the worship and reuerence of the holy Trinite.

8 The lessons which they rede at the nocturne shalbe of bokes as well of the olde testementes as of the newe, and also the expositions of both the testamentes, whiche haue be made of moost famose doctours and beste lerned in holy scripture & mooste catholique faders

9 After these . iii. lessons with their respondes, followeth other .vi. psalmes with alleluya.

10 then the Chapiter muste be redde by harte with a versicle, and kyryeleyson with the preces.

11 And soo ended the nocturne,

a which we call comunely matyns to the laudes.





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¶ The .x. chapiter treateth of the diuine seruice by nyght in the somer tyme.


1 FRome Ester unto the firste daye of Nouember, the quantite of the psalmodie shalbe obserued as is aboue sayde.

2 but the .iii. lessons which were wont to be redde in the boke shall by cause of the shortnes of the nyght not be redde, but for them there shalbe redde oon lesson of the olde testament by hart without boke* with the which a short response shall followe.

// * without boke: that is, from memory //

3 & all the remenant shalbe obserued & done as is abouesayd. And it is to understonde that neuer lesse than .xii. psalmes shalbe songe at the noctourn by sydes domine quid multiplicati and venite.





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¶ The .xi. chapiter sheweth howe the Nocturnes shalbe sayde uppon the sondayes.


1 Uppon sondayes the Mynchins must aryse more erely to the nocturne.

2 in the which must be kept another mesure, that is to say the .vi. psalmes shalbe songe as we ha- [34] ue a fore ordred with the versicle, & then all sittyng in order in their seetes, there must be redde uppon the boke .iiii. lessons with their respondes.

3 where oonly after the .iiii. responce shalbe songe gloria patri, whiche begonne anon all muste aryse with reuerence makynge their obeysance.

4 After the whiche lessons followith by order other .vi. psalmes with their antemes, as the .vi. afore dyd and with a versicle.

5 after the which ageyne other .iiii. lessons muste be redde with their responses, after the order abouesayde.

6 After the whiche muste be songe .iii. canticles of the prophetes, which the abbasse shall assigne and they shalbe songe with alleluya.

7 Then the versicle songe, and the benediction gyuen by thabbasse, other .iiii. lessons of the newe testament must be redde after the maner abouesayde.

8 & after the .iiii. responde thabbasse shall begyn Te deum.

9 the which ended, she shall rede a lesson of the gospell with dewe reuerence and fere, all stondynge uppon their fete.

10 that doon, they shal answere to gydder, Amen. Then thabbasse muste begyn the hympne, Te decet laus, and after that the benediction is gyuen they muste begynne matyns, which we call laudes.

11 The whiche ordre as towchinge the nocturne at all tymes, as well somer as wynter, must be equaly kept uppon the sondays.

12 Except the mynchins fortune (as god forbede) to ryse late and so make shorter their lessons or respondes.

13 The whiche thynge must allway be take hede of that it happen not, and if it soo happen, let hir doo therfore unto god due and condigne satisfaction in the oratory, which we call the quere,*

by whose necligence and ouersyght it was doon.

// * which we call the quere: expansion //





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¶ The .xii. chapiter treateth howe the matyns which we call the laudes, shalbe sayde uppon the sonday.


1 [35] IN matyns or laudes which is all oon uppon the sonday, fyrste is sayd this psalme, Deus miseriatur with out anteme.

2 after the whiche folowith this psalme, Miserere mei deus with alleluya,

3 then Confitemini the .iiii, then Deus deus meus,

4 Benedicite omnia opera, and Laudate dominum de celis. After them a chapiter of the apocalyps with out boke, an hympne, a versicle, Benedictus with an antem, And kyrieleyson with the preces folowinge.

a And so is endyd the matyns or laudes, which is all oon.





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¶ The .xiii. chapiter treateth howe matyns or laudes shalbe sayde upon the feryall dayes.


1 UPpon feryall dayes this wise shall mateyns or laudes be executyd.

2 The first psalme is Deus miseriat with out any anteme, which psalme shalbe songe tretably as uppon the sonday, that all the couent may comme to the begynnynge of Miserere, which muste nexte be songe with an anteme.

3 After the whiche psalme other .ii. psalmes muste be songe, after the custom, that is to say:

4 uppon the monday, Verba mea & Dixit iniustus;

5 uppon the twisday, Iudica me deus and Miserere the .ii.;

6 uppon the wednesdaye, Exaudi deus orationem meam cum deprecor and Te decet;

7 uppon the thursday, Domine deus salutis and domine Refugium;

8 uppon the Fryday, Notus in iudea and Bonum est confiteri;

9 uppon the saterdaye, Domine exaudi orationem meam auribus percipe And Audite celi que loquar, whiche psalme shalbe deuyded in two, with .ii. gloria patri.

10 For uppon other dayes, euery canticle of the prophetes that belongeth to the daye, shalbe songe as the churche of Rome syngeth.

a That is to saye, uppon Mondaye the canticle Confitebor, uppon tuysdaye Ego dixi, uppon wednesdaye Exultauit, uppon thursday Cantemus, uppon fryday Domine audiui.

11 [36] After this folowith Laudate dominum de celis, then a chapiter without boke of the appostle, an ympue and a versicle, benedictus with an anteme, than kyrieleyson and the preces, and so it is thende.

12 But at the ende of euery matyns or laudes and euensong, a pater noster shalbe sayde alowde of the priorsesse, so that all the quere may here it, and that for thexchuenge of dissencions and debates, malices, greues, and grudges the whiche be wonte often tymes to sprynge,

13 by cause that the mynchins monisshed throwgh the promyse of the peticion of the pater noster wherin they say, "Goode lorde, forgiue us our trespas as we forgyue other," may purge theym selfe from the same faute.

14 In all other howres of diuine seruice there shall no more be sayd alowde of the pater noster but Et ne nos so that all the quere may answere Sed libera nos.





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¶ The .xiiii. chapiter treateth howe the nocturne shalbe sayd upon sayntes dayes.


1 UPpon sayntes dayes and in other solenne festes they shall execute all diuine seruice in the nyght as we haue commaunded to be doon uppon sundayes.

2 Excepte oonly that those psalmes, antems, and lessons shalbe songe which belongeth to the daye. But the maner in executinge shalbe kept as it abouesayde.





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¶ The .xv. chapiter treateth what tymes alleluya shalbe sayde.


1 FRom the holy feste of Ester unto the feste of witsontyde, alleluya shalbe songe contynually, bothe with psalmes & respons.

2 from witsontyde unto Septuagesima, at the nocturne it shall be oonly songe nyghtly with the .vi. latter psalmes.

3 euery sonday, except the sondayes by twene septuagesima and Easter, the canticles [at] matyns or laudes, [37] which is all oon, Prime, the thirde houre, the .vi. houre, and the houre at none, with alleluya. Enensonge shalbe with oon anteme.

4 respondes shall neuer be songe with alleluya, but bytwene ester and whitsontyde.





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¶ The .xvi. chapiter treateth howe diuine seruyce on the daytyme shalbe sayd.


1 THe prophete sayth to all myghty god, "I haue gyuen to the laude and praysynge .vii. tymes in the daye."

2 with holy nomber of .vii. shalbe fulfylled in us if we paye the duties of our seruyce in the tyme of matyns or laudes, Prime, the .iii. houre, the .vi. houre, the houre at none, euensonge & Complene .

3 For of these houres is it that the prophet sayth, "Seuen tymes by the day I haue lauded and praysed the."

4 For of the diuine seruice, that is to say the nocturne, whiche is done by nyght, the selfe same prophete saythe, "I rose at midnyght to knowlege my selfe unto the."

5 wherfore, good susters, at those seasons let us gyue laude & praysynge to our maker for the iugements of his iustice, that is to say at matynes or laudes, Prime, the thirde houre, the .vi. houre, at none, euensonge, & complene. And in the nyght let us aryse to knowlage his ryghtousnes, to confesse our selfe unto him.





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¶ The .xvii. chapiter treateth what psalmes shalbe sayde at diuine seruice in the daytime.


1 THus haue we declared the order of the psalmody at the nocturne and matens or laudes, and nowe let us see for the houres that followethe.

2 At Prime there shalbe song .iii. psalmes, euery of theym by him selfe, with his gloria patri.

3 But the hympne of the same euer shalbe song after Deus in adiutorium, byfore the psalmes be begon.

4 After the .iii. psalmes shalbe redde a chapiter, than a versicle and [38] kyrieleyson, with the preces followynge.

5 Also in the thirde houre, the .vi. houre, and the houre at none, they shall execute in lyke maner. Fyrste with Deus in adiutorium, than the hympne that belongeth to the houre, thre psalmes, a chapiter, a versicle, kyrieleyson with the preces.

6 And if the company be great, than the houres shalbe executed with their antems. If the company be small, than shall they execute the sayde houres without their antems.

7 And euensonge there shalbe songe .iiii. psalmes with their antems,

8 than a chapiter, an hympne, a versicle, Magnificat with the anteme, kyrieleyson with the preces, & pater noster, and soo depart.

9 Complene shalbe executed with .iii. psalmes, which shalbe songe without anteme.

10 After the which shall followe the hympne of the same houre, a chapiter, a versicle, kyrieleyson, a benediction, and the preces and so departe.





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¶ The .xviii. chapiter treateth by what order the same psalmes shalbe sayde.


1 FIrste, euery hour of the daye shall begyn with Deus in adiutorium and gloria patri. After, the hympne that belongeth to the houre.

2 And uppon the sonday at pryme they shall synge Beati immaculati, unto Legum pone.

3 At other houres, that is to say thirde, syxte, and none, they shall synge Legem pone, unto Lucerna pedibus meis.

4 uppon monday at pryme they shall synge .iii. psalmes, that is to say Beatus vir, Quare fremuerunt, and Domine ne in furore.

7 At the houres, thirde, sixte, and none, they shall synge from Lucerna pedibus unto Ad dominum cum tribularer.

a The tuesdaye at prime theis be the psalmes,.Domine deus meus, Domine dominus noster, :and Confitebor unto this verse, Exurge.

b And the houres, thirde, syxt, and none, they shall synge from Ad dominum cum tribularer to Sepe expugnauerunt.

10 And so dayly unto the sonday shalbe repeted at the houres the psalmes aforesayd. And the order of hymp- [39] nes, chaptres, and versicles shalbe dayle kept after oon maner.

c Uppon wednesdaye at prime theis be the psalmes, Exurge, In domino confido, and Saluum me fac.

d Uppon thursday at prime, Usquequo domine, Dixit insipiens, and Domine quis habitabit.

e Uppon Fryday, Conserua me domine, Exaudi domine, and Diligam unto Cum sancto sanctus eris.

f Uppon Saterday, Cum sancto sanctus eris, Celi enarrant, Exaudiat te dominus.

11 And thus upon the Sonday shall they begynne their psalmes of prime a geyne at Beati immaculati.

12 Euensonge shalbe songe with .iiii. psalmes.

g And uppon the sonday these be the psalmes, Dixit dominus, Confitebor, Beatus vir & Laudate pueri.

h The mondaye, In exitu, Dilexi, Credidi propter, and Laudate dominum omnes gentes with Sepe expugnauerunt as oon psalme and under oon gloria patri.

i The Thuesdaye, Deprofundis, Domine non, Memento, and Ecce quam bonum.

j The wednesdaye, Laudate nomen, Confitemini, Super flumina, and Confitebor.

k The Thursdaye, Domine probasti deuided in twowith twyse gloria patri, Eripe me, and Domine clamaui.

l The frydaye, Voce mea, Benedictus in two with twyse gloria patri, and Exaltabo unto Confiteantur.

m And the satrisdaye, Confiteantur, Lauda anima mea, Laudate dominum quonium bonus psalmus and Lauda hierusalem.

18 ¶ Nowe an order set for psalmes at euensonge, all other maner of thnges, that is to say, chaptres, respondes, hympnes, versicles, and canticles shalbe continued as is abouesayd.

19 ¶ At complen oon maner of psalmes shalbe had thurgh out the weke, that is to say, Cum Inuocarem, Qui habitat, and Ecce nunc.

20 Thus a direction set of the psalmodie which shalbe songe in the seruice of the day tyme, all the residue of the psalmes of the psalter muste be equally diuided into the nocturns of the .vii. nyghtes of the weke.

21 Diuidynge alway in two those psalmes which be lengeste amonge other.

n And orderynge . xii. psalmes to euery nyght, yeuynge spirituall knowlege.*

// * knowlege ] kowlege //

22 that if fortune anye man to be myscontent with this diuision of psalmes, Let him [40] order them other wyse if he so thynke it better,

23 so that this be alwayes obserued and well take hede to, that euery weke the psaulter of the hole number of .C.l. psalmes be songe to thende. And uppon Sondaye at the nocturne that they begynne at the hed ageyne.

24 For mynchins sheweth theym selfe to be very dull and of small deuocion whiche by the compase of a hole weke syngeth lesse then the psaulter with other diuine seruice accustumable,

25 seinge that we rede that holy fathers haue doon valliantly and gladly with greate currage that thinge in oon daye the which wolde god we of a fayne currage myght bringe a boute in a hole weke.





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¶ The .xix. chapiter treateth of the doctrine of syngynge.


1 WE beleue that god is euery where present, that he beholdeth in euery place, both them that be good and them that be euyll.

2 But specyally let us then thynke & beleue that it is soo without any maner of doubt whan we be at the diuine seruice.

3 therfore let us allway haue in remembrance that the prophet sayth, "Do your duety and seruice unto god with fere."

4 And agayne, "Syng ye wysely and intentyuely."

5 Moreuver he sayth, "I shall synge unto the in the face and syght of angelles."

6 Therfore, good susters (sayth seynt Benet), let us well consyder howe we must behaue our selfe in the syght of all myghty god and of his angelles.

7 And whansoeuer we comme to gydder to synge the seruice of god let us take good hede that our mynde accorde to our voice, and that they twayne renne both oon way and uppon oon thynge.





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¶ The .xx. chapiter treateth of the reuerence that ought to be had in prayers.


1 [41] IF it so be that we intende to labour, or breke any matier with a noble man, we take nothynge uppon us nor nothynge presume but with humilite and due reuerence.

2 howe moche more then ought we to make our supplicacion to all myghty god, kynge of all kynges and lorde of all men, with all maner of mekenes, lawly reuerence, and pure deuocion.

3 And knowe we for certeyne that not in many wordes but in clennesse of harte and compuncion of teres he wyll gracyousely here us.

4 Therfore prayer muste be shorte and pure, except parauenture it be be prolonghed thurgh the loue and affection of the Inspiracion of the grace of god.

5 Howe be it all waye in congregacion prayer shall be short. And after a serteyne signe or token made of the prioresse all shall aryse and goo to gyther.





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¶ The .xxi. chapiter treateth of the deanes of the monastery.


1 IF the couent be greate, we woll that certeyne of the susters of good proufe and holy conuersacion be chosen and made deanes.

2 which so made and ordeigned, shall with all diligence take charge and hede uppon their deanres in all maner of thynges that apparteyneth to the commaundimentes of god and preceptes of their abbasse.

3 which deanes we will be elected suche persons amonges whom the abbasse may surely diuide and distribute parte of hir office and charges.

4 and the sayde Deanes shall not be chosen by order, but after the desertes and merytes of their lyues and after their wyse doctyrne & good example.

5 & if any of them, inflamed with pryde, be founde reproueable, if after that she be corrected ons, twise, or thryse If she woll not then amende, let hir be avoyded,

6 and a nother succede in hir place whiche is worthy therowme.

7 And of theym that be ordeyned [42] prepositours, whiche may be called Prioresses,* we make lyke constitucion.

// * which may be called Prioresses: expansion. Latin: praeposito //





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¶ The .xxii. chapiter treateth in what maner Mynchyns shall take their reste and slepe.


1 EUerye oon of the mynchyns shall haue hir bedde by hir selfe alone to rest in.

2 they shall take their beddinges accordynge to the maner of their conuersacion and after the disposition and ordinance of the abbasse.

3 And it may so be all shall slepe in oon dorter. If the multitude wyll not suffre it, then .x. or .xx. or moo shall reste and haue their bedde to geyther with certeyne senioures that may diligently loke unto them.

4 A candell shall continually brenne in the dorter unto it be morninge.

5 they shall slepe in their clothes, and they shalbe gyrde with thonges or with cordes, and they shall haue no knyfe at their syde when they slepe, lesse be the mischaunce they be hurte slepynge.

6 And this shall Mynchyns doo to thentent that they may al way be redy & that they at certeyne watche or token made, may ryse up without any tareynge and make spede, euery of them to preuent other to the seruyce of almyghty god, yet not withstondynge they shall doo it with all grauite & sobernes.

7 The yonger susters shall not haue their beddes togyther, But meddeled by twyxt the beddes of their elders.

8 they that be furste up and redy toward the seruyce of god Shall make soon softe and sobre styrynyge with the sounde of their mouthes or of their fete* or knockynge uppon the beddes sydes, to a wake theym that be suggardes.

// * fete ] ete //





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¶ The .xxiii. chapiter treateth of excommunicacion.


1 [43] IF any suster be stubbern, inobedient, prowde, or in any maner grutchynge of thinges contrary to the holy rule, or els be espyed and founde a dispiser of the preceptes of hir elders,

2 let hir be monished accordinge to the commaundement of all myghte god, oons or twyse secretly of hir seniours.

3 If she do not therby amende, then let hir haue a open rebuke byfore all the couent.

4 And if she wylnot soo amende, and knowe what the payne & daunger of excommunication is, let her be excommunicate.

5 But if she be rude & sturdye, without shame or feare of god, let hir be put to bodely punishement.





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¶ The .xxiiii. chapiter treateth of the maner of excommunicacion.


1 AFter the quantite of the offence muste be the mesure of excomunication* and discipline.

// * excommunication ] eccxmunicacion //

2 The which maner or quantite of thoffynce* hangeth in the iugement and estimacion of the abbasse.

// * thoffynce ] thoffyce //

3 But if any susters be founde in a lyght offence, she shall be depriued the company of hir susters at the table.

4 And of hir that is soo depriued from the company at mete, this shalbe the order, that in the quere she shall not begynne psalme, ne anteme, nor rede anye lesson, unto the tyme that she haue doon satisfaccion for hir offence.

5 she shall take refection of mete and drynke after hir susters alone as thus.

6 If hir susters take repaste at the .vi. houre of the day, she shall take repaste at the .ix. houre. And if hir susters at the .ix. houre, than she at the euynynge,

7 unto the tyme that she purchase forgyuenes, with conuenient satisfaccion.





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[44] ¶ The .xxv. chapiter treateth of the offenses that be mooste greuouse.


1 THat suster that is noted and taken in a more greuouse offence shalbe suspendyd both from the table and from the quere.

2 None of hir susters shall eyther accompany with hir or speke with hir.

3 She shall be alone at all occupacion and worke that is enioyned unto hir, perseuerynge in the weylynge of penance, understondynge the frutfull sentence of the appostle,

4 saynge such a woman* is geuen to the deuyll as far as tocheth the destruccion of hir body, that hir soule may be sauffer at the daye of iugement of all myghty god.

// * Latin: hominum //

5 She shall ete hir mete alone, in what mesure and at what houre thabbasse woll iuge conuenient.

7 And none of hir susters passynge by hir shall salue or blysse hir or hir mete.





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¶ The .xxvi. chapiter treateth of them that accompany with excommunicat persons.


1 IF any suster presume without the commaundement of thabbasse to accompany hir selfe with any excommunicate suster in any maner of wyse, or to speke with hir, or els to directe any message or wrytyng to hir,

2 let hir be punished with lyke payne of excommunicacion.





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¶ The .xxvii. chapiter treateth howe the Abbasse muste be diligent aboute the susters excommunicate.


1 THe abbasse must take hede with all hir diligence uppon those susters which doo offence, for they that be seke, & they that be hole, haue nede of a phisicion.

2 & therfore she must use all [45] wayes as a wyse and an experte Phisicion to sende to the offender som aged susters,

a as though they were hir secrete frendes and aydours,

3 which shall priuily confort hir suster that is wauerynge, and styr and prouoke hir to do satisfaction with humilite, & so shall they showe comforte unto hir that she fall not into dispayre,

4 But (as the appostle sayth), charyte may be in hir confermed and establysshed, and let all hir susters* pray for hir.

// * hir susters: expansion //

5 Trewly thabbasse is bounde greatly to be ware and with all hir wysdomme and laboure to take hede lesse she lose any of hir shepe committed unto hir cure.

6 She muste well knowe that she hath take in honde the cure of feble sowlles, and not to be as a lady* ouer theym that be hole and stronge.

// * Latin: non super sanas tyrannidem //

7 And let hir fere the thretnynge of the prophete by whome all myghty god saythe, "That thynge which ye did see hole and sownde, that ye toke and deuowred, and that that was seke & feble, ye dispised and did caste out."

8 And thabbasse shall also followe the piteouse example of the good shepeherde, which leuynge .lxxx. and .xix. of his shepe in the hylles and wyldernesse, went to seke his oon shepe which was wanderynge and strayed away.

9 uppon whose feblenes and disease he had so greate compassion, that he vouchyd saue to couche hir uppon his holy shulders, and* so to brynge hir ageyne to his flocke.**

// * and ] and and //

// ** The lost sheep is female: hir, hir





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¶ The .xxviii. chapiter treateth of them that amende not them selfe after due warnynges and monicions.


1 IF any suster rebuked or corrected for any maner of offence, yea and after excommunication if she doo not amende, she muste haue a sharpe correction, that is to say let hir be punished withe betynge.

2 And if therby she wyll not amende, or elles perauenture (as god defende) She dothe [46] leuate hir selfe in pryde and wyll, also defende hir dedes, than shall the abbasse doo lyke a wyse physicion;

a that is to say, If she haue fyrste layde unto hir sople and nurrisshynge medicynes,

3 If she haue also layde unto hir the oyntementes of good exhortacions, If she haue layd unto hir the medicynes of holy scripture, yea and at the laste, if she haue added therto the corrosyue of excommuication* or ells punishement of betyng,

// * excommunication ] excomication //

4 And yet for all these espye that hir labor preuayleth nothyng, then let hir to the sayd medecines adde that thyng which is more soueraigne, that is to saye hir owne and all hir susters prayers for hir,

5 that allmyghty god, which all thynge may, wyll vouchesafe to mynster helthe to their syke suster.

6 and if by these meanes she be not heled, Than let thabbasse use the Instrument of abscision as thapostle sayth, "Caste a way the euyll from amonge you."

7 And agayne he sayth, "An unfrutfull person, if she goo, let hir goo,"

8 lesse oon scabbyd shepe* do infect and poyson the hole flocke.

// * Latin: ovis morbida //





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¶ The .xxix. chapiter treateth whether that susters which haue departed or be put out of the monastery shalbe receyued agayn.


1 A Suster whiche goyth out or be put out of the monastery thurgh* hir owne fawte, If she wyl retorne agayne, furst let hir promyse fully to amende the fawte for the whiche she went out or was put out.

// * thrugh ] thurght //

2 and soo let hir be receyued into the loweste degre, That thereby hir humility may be proued.

3 And if she goo out agayne, let hir be receyued in lyke maner the thirde tyme. But after that Let hir knowe well that all returnygne into the monastery shalbe denyghed unto hir.





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¶ The .xxx. chapiter treateth how mynchins beinge chyldren shalbe corrected.


1 [47] FOr euery ayge and understondynge must be averye propre and special mesure of correction or discipline.

2 and therfore damaselles or chyldren of lesse age,* yea and also they that understonde not howe great payne of excommunicacion is,

// * Latin: pueri aut adulescentiores aetate //

3 all suche whan they doo offende must be punisshid with great fastynge or els be kepte under with sharpe betynges wherby they may amende.





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¶ The .xxxi. chapiter treateth of the Selleresse and hir offyce.


1 THe Selleresse of the monastery muste be chosen oot* of the couent, wyse, rype, in goode maners, sobre, no great eter, not proude, not troublouse, no rebuker or reuiler, not slowe, not prodigall.

// * oot ] oou //

2 But dredynge god, whiche muste be to the hole couent as a moder.*

// * Latin: pater //

3 She shall take charge of all maner of thinges.

4 she shall nothynge doo without the commaundement of thabbasse,

a and what so euer thabbasse commaundeth, that shall she fulfyll.

5 And what so euer thabbasse commytteth to hir custody, she shall kepe it.

6 She shall not moleste, angre, nor make heuye hir susters,

7 And if hir suster aske* of hir any thynge unresonably, she shall not despiteousely angre or wery hir, But resonablye with goode mode and mekenesse she shall denye hir that asketh other wyse then she ought to doo.

// * aske ] acke //

8 Let hir see wel to hir owne sowle, hauynge in mynde the wordes of thapostle, that she that doth hir dewte and seruyce, well purchaseth unto hir selfe a good estate and degre.

9 She muste take uppon hir the charge and ouer syght with all hir diligens of seeke persons, children, gystes,* & poure people, understonding out of the doubt that for all theis at the day of dome she must gyue accomptes.

// * gystes ] gyftes //

10 she shall ouersee all the vesselles & utensiles of the monastery & all the substance of the same, & so loke to them euyn as they [48] were they consecrate and halowed vesselles of the Aultre.

11 And she shall suffre nothynge, though it be of lyttel value, to goo to waste nor unloked to, nor neclygently left or loste.

12 She shall not gyue hir selfe to couetousnes, ne yeat be prodigall in expenses, or els a distroyer of the substaunce of the monastery. But she shall al thynges doo in mesure and accordying to the commaundement of the abbasse.

13 Aboue al thinges she shall prefer humylite, and whan she hath not for to gyue the thynge that is asked, she shall gyue a fayre answere,

14 as it is written, "a fayre worde is more worth than the gretteste gyfte that may be."

15 All maner of thynges that the abbasse hath commytted unto hir shall haue under hir charge, & what soo euer thabbasse doth prohibyte, that shall she not presume to do.

16 She shall delyuer to hir Susters their dutye of mete & drynke without anye simulacion, checke, or grudge, & without delay, so that by hir they haue noo occasion to offende, remembrynge the saynge of all myghty god, "what is she worthy to haue, that gyueth occasion of synne to an innocent and lowly person."

17 If the couent be great, she shall haue helpe and comfort of other, by whose socour she shall do hir duty and offyce commyted unto hir with a goode wyll, without any grudgynge.

18 that that is to be gyuen, muste be gyuen in a competente tyme, And that that is to be asked, must be in lyke wyse,

19 soo that no person be troubled, vexed, greued, or made angry in the howse of god.





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¶ The .xxxii. chapiter treateth of the kepynge and occupyenge of the goodes of the monasterye.


1 AS touchyng the kepynge, occupyeng, or ministryng of the mouable goodes of the monastery, as serrametes, instrumentes, loomes, vessells,* vesture, and all other maner of suche thinges, thabbasse shall prouyde such susters of whose lyuynge and good maners she stondeth in suerte [49] of,

// * loomes, vessells: expansion

2 & deliuer euery thyng to them to be kept & gadered to gyder as she iuggeth to the more perfyte.

3 Of the which goodes thabbasse shall kepe an Inuentatory or a byll indented, that when so euer susters succedethe oon after a nother into the sayde offyce, she may knowe what she deliuereth & what she receyueth.

4 If any suster handle or entreate the goodes of the monastery ungoodly or necligently, let hir be rebuked.

5 and if she doo amende, let hir suffre discipline and correction, accordynge to the rule.





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¶ The .xxxiii. chapiter treateth of proprietie.


1 PRincipally and before all other vices, this vice of proprietie must be cut out of the monastery by the roote.

2 that is to say, that noo mynchyn presume to giue or receyue any thynge without the commanndement of the abbasse,

3 ne haue any thynge propre, that is to say, by noo maner of wyse, noo maner of thynge, nother boke, nother tables, poyntell, ne no other thynge erthly.

4 For so moche that to theym it is not lefull to haue their owne bodes, nother their owne wylles, in their owne power.

5 But they must oonly truste to haue all maner of thynges necessarye of the mother* of the monastery. Neyther it is leeful for theym to haue any all maner of thynge which the abbasse hath not gyuen to them or of hir certeyne knowlege expressely and specyally hathe suffred theym to haue.

// * Latin: patre //

6 And all thynges must be unto them in commune, as it is written, "Nother any of theym shall call any thynge hir owne or presume or suppose anye thynge to be hir owne."

7 And if any mynchin be espyed to delyte or to haue pleasure in this moste cursed vice of propriete, let hir be monysshed ons or twyse,

8 and if she doo not then amende, let hir be put to correction and regularite of discipline.





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[50] ¶ The .xxxiiii. chapter sheweth whether euery Mynchyn shall equally receyue the thynges that be necessary for them.


1 AS it is wreten, diuision was made to euery oon of the disciples and apposteles of christ,* as euery of them had nede.

// * of. . . christ: expansion //

2 where we say not (as god forbed we sholde), that any respecte be had in the acceptynge of the persons, But that consyderacion be had of their necessite.

3 wherfore she that nede the lesse, let hir thanke god, and be not myscontent

a if an other haue more.

4 She that nedeth more, let hir submyt and humble hir selfe for hir infirmite, and be not proude of the pitie and compassion that is shewed unto hir.

5 And so shall all the membres be in reste and peace.

6 And before all thynges let it be seen that no sparke of grudgynge appere in any oon of them, for any cause in any maner of worde or token.

7 And if any mynchyn be espyed in this faute, let hir be subdued to more strayt punishement of discipline.





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