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¶ The .xxxv. chapiter treateth of the wekely kychynners.

1 SUstres shall soo doo seruyce eche to other, that none be excused from thoffice of the kychin, except it be so that any be let, eyther by sekenes, or els by somme cause of great profyte,

2 for therby is purchased a great rewarde.

3 to them that be feble and weked, shalbe ministred helpe, soucour, & comfort of other, to thentent that they doo not their busines with an euyll wyll.

4 but all shall haue helpe, comforte and socour after as the congregacion is, and after the site and settynge of the place.

5 If the couent be great, the abbasse* shalbe excused of the kychyn, and suche other as we haue abouesayde, that be occupyed in thynges of more profyte.

// * Latin: cellararius //

6 But the [51] resideue shall doo seruyce to other in loue and charyte.

7 She that goth out of hir offyce at the wekes ende, uppon the saterdaye shall make all thynges clene.

8 She shall washe the clothes with the which hir susters wype their handes & their fete.

9 The feete of all the couent, as well shall she washe that gothe out of offyce as she that entreth into the offyce.

10 she that goth out of office shall shewe & delyuer all the vesselles & utensyles of hir office to the celleresse clene & sounde.

11 the whiche the celleresse ageyn shall shewe & delyuer to hir that entreth into the offyce, so that she may knowe what, that she delyuereth & what she receyuith.

12 ¶ The seruitours by the weke, which be called hebdomadares,* oon houre before the refection of the couent shall take a morsell of brede & a draught of drinke besydes their dutie,

// * which be called hebdomadares: expansion //

13 to thentent that they may doo seruyce to their susters at meales without grudge & greuouse laboure.

14 yet uppon solempne dayes the sayd wekely seruitours shall take pacience and abyde tyll the laste masse be doone.*

// * tyll the laste masse be donne : expansion //

15 The sayde wekely seruitours, as well she that entreth as she that goth out, by and by in the quere when matyns or laudes be ended uppon the sonday, shall prostrate them selfe before all their susters, desyrynge them to pray for theym.

16 They that goo out of their offyce shall say this verse: Benedictus es domine deus qui adiuuisti me et consolatus es me.

a which is thus moche to say, Blessed art thou lorde god, whiche haste helped me and conforted me.

17 she, whiche thries sayde, she shall receyue a Benediction and soo departe. And then she that shall entre shall followe and say, Deus in adiutorium meum intende, domine ad adiuuandum me festina.

b The which is in englishe, Gracyous god, intende towarde my sourcoure; good lorde, make spede to helpe me.

18 And that thries shall be repeted of theym all. And after a benediction she muste entre hir offyce.

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¶ The .xxxvi. chapiter treateth of syke susters.

1 [52] THere muste good hede be taken to the susters that be seke and diseased byfore and a boue all thynge, and as ye wolde doo your* duetie and seruyce unto christe, so shal ye unto them,

// * your ] yonr //

2 for christe saythe, "I was seeke and ye dyd vysit me,"

3 and agayne, "what so euer ye dyd to oon of the leeste of these my seruantes, to me ye dyd it."

4 But suche seeke susters muste consyder that seruice is done unto them in the worshyppe and honoure of god. And let theym not wery their susters whiche minister and dothe seruice unto them with inportunite or demanundynge thinges superfluose.

5 And yet suche seeke persones must be forborne pacyently, For by the reason of theym a more buntefull rewarde is purchased.

6 Therfore thabbasse must chefely take hede, that they suffre no dammage thurghe neglygence.

7 To the whiche susters beinge seeke, there shalbe deputied a certeyne chambre, and also oon to serue theym, whiche is both dredynge god and also diligent & quycke.

8 The use of bathes shall be offred unto seeke susters as often as shalbe expedient, but to them that be hole, and namely yonge persones, it shalbe sildome graunted.

9 Also eatynge of fleshe may be graunted all way to suche as be seeke and feble, for their more spedy recouery. And after that they be amended then must they all abstayne fro fleshe as they were wonte to doo.

10 The abbasse muste have a singuler cure and charge that the seeke susters be not negligently seen to of the celleresse and seruitours, For unto hir charge it belongeth what so euer faute, offence or negligence is done by her disciples.

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¶ The .xxxvii. chapiter treateth of olde men and children.

1 THoughe nature of mankynde* of it selfe be prone, appliant, and redy unto mercy and compassion of these [53] agys, that is to say of olde folkes and yonge chyldren,

// * Latin: natura humana //

a neuerthe lesse for a more suerte by cause all persons doth not use these naturall compassions,

1b we woll that also thauctorite of these Rule shall prouyde and see for theym,

b to the entent that in no wyse they lacke & be destitute of their necessaris.

2 wekenes of nature muste be alway consydered in theym & therfore they shall not be bounde to the strayghtnes of the Rule as tochynge their fedyng.

3 but there must be had towardes them a good consyderacion, and let them preuent the

houres lymitted by the Rule.

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¶ The .xxxviii. chapiter treateth of the wekely reder.

1 AT the table of the susters whiles they fede there may want no lecture. whoo so catcheth a boke in hir hande shall [not] take uppon hir to rede at all auentures. But she that shall rede the hole weke muste entre the sonday.

2 the which, so enterynge after masse and after she hathe receyued the blessed sacrament of the aulter,* must desyre all hir susters to pray for hir, that god kepe hir frome the spirite of vayne glorye.

// * Latin: post missas et communionem //

3 And this verse shalbe sayde in the quere thryes of all the couent, so that she that entreth doo begynne it sayenge, Domine, labia me aperies, et os meum annunciabit laudem tuam.

a whiche is to saye, Good lorde, open thou my lyppes, and my mouthe shall shewe fourthe thy laude & praysynge;

4 and thus after a benediction receyued, she shall entre towarde hir lecture.

5 And depe and profunde sylence shalbe kept at the table, soo that the wysperynge or voyce of noo person there be harde, but oonly of the reder.

6 Souche thinges as be necessary to theym that ete and drynke, the susters shall soo redely minister eche to other that none of theym haue nede to aske or call for any thynge.

7 And if so be they nede ought, [54] let them aske it rather by the sounde of some maner of signe or tokeyn than by any voyce.

8 and to thentent there be noone occasion gyuen of any euyll temptacion, none of them shall presume to talke any thynge there eyther of the lecture or of any other thynge,

9 except perauenture the prioresse wolde breuely declare ought, for the edyfyenge of hir susters.

10 She that redeth for the weke shall take a morsell of brede* and a draught of drynke before she begynne to rede, for the more suertie of the holy communion, and lesse it shold be a payne to hir to contynewe so longe fastinge.

// * a morsell of brede: expansion. Latin: mixtum //

11 Afterwarde she shall take refection with them that be hebdomadarys in the kychyn and seruitours in the refectorie.

12 The susters shall not rede nor synge indifferently by order, but oonly they that can beste to thedifyenge of the houres.

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¶ The .xxxix. chapiter threateth of the mesure of meate.

1 WE thynke that in all monethes of the yere .ii. diuerse manners of meates be sufficient to the dayle refection, as well at the .vi. houre of the day,

a that is to say, at none uppon etinge dayes, as at the .ix. houre uppon fastynge dayes in all monethes of the yere.

1b and that for the diseases of dyuerse persones,

2 to the entent that she whiche perauenture may not eate of that oon, may eate of that other.

3 Therfore two maner of meates, well dressed and seasoned, shalbe sufficient to all the susters, and if any oon of the sayd two meates be appules, herbes, or pease,* let them then haue the thyrde meate.

// * Latin: poma aut nascentia leguminum //

4 brede of a pounde in wayght shall suffice to oon of theym for a daye, and that whether they take but oon refection or or elles dyne and suppe.

5 And if they shall suppe, the thirde parte of the same pounde of brede shalbe Reserued by the Celleresse to be delyuered to hir Supper.

6 [55] And if the labour of the susters be great, it shalbe in the discrecion and power of the abbasse when it shalbe expedient somwhat to encrease their porcion.

7 surfettes alwayes set a syde that a mynchyn neuer fall unto indigestion byfore she be ware,

8 For nothinge is more contagiouse and contrarye to a christen man or woman* that surfet or dronkenes.

// * man or woman: expansion //

9 as our lorde sayth, Se that your bodis be not ouercom in surfet or dronkennes.

10 But unto damaselles and children yonge in age,* the quantite abouesayd shall not alwayes be kept & mustrid, but lesse, then to theym that be elder scarcite kept in all thinges.

// * Latin: pueris vero minore aetate //

11 The etynge of flesshe of .iiii. foted bestes must alwayes be forborne of all mynchins, except theym alwayes that be feble or seke.

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¶ The .xl. chapiter treateth of the measure of drynke.

1 EUerye person hathe a gyfte by him self of god, oon after oon maner, a nother aftur a nother maner.

2 And therfore the measure of meate and drynke for other persons (sayth seynt Benet) is set and ordred by us with som scrupulosite and doubte.

3a Not withstandynge, we consyderynge the wekenes of theym that be deseased, thinke verely that hemma,

a the which is nygh abowtes a mydes in the Italion toonge, a pynte in the frenche and the Englische toonges (which be nyghe by all oon measure),

3b suffyseth to euery person in wyne for oon daye.

4 But they to whome god graunteth, that they may suffre abstinence of lesse dryke, may well knowe that they shall haue their rewarde accordyngly.

5 And if the necessite of the place, or great laboure, or elles the great hete of sommer woll require more, Let it stonde in the wyll and arbytrement of the soueraygne, regardynge amonges all thynges that repleccion or dronkenes undre myne theym not before they be ware.

6 All thoughe we rede [56] that wyne ought in no wyse to be the drynke of mynchyns, yet for as muche as in our dayes that thynge cannot be perswaded unto theym, at the leest let us graunt and obserue this, that we drynke not to our full and saciete, but scarcely and soberly.

7 for wyne causith, yea them that be ryght wyse, for to erre and goo out of the way of good. lyuyuge

b and the same reason tochynge sobernesse is to be understonde not oonly of wyne, but also of ale, bere, and all other drynkes.

8 But where the pouerty of the place compelleth, that the mesure aforesayde cannot be hadde but muche lesse or else nothynge at all, let them thanke god that their dwell & grouch not at it.

9 For this we warne, counsayll, and exhorte aboue all thynge, that susters leede their lyue to gydder without grutchynge.

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¶ The .xli. chapiter sheweth at what houres the susters shall take their refection.

1 FRom the holy feest of Easter unto witsontyde the susters shall goo to dyner at the .vi. houre of the daye

a which is after the Englyshe rekenyng, abowtes an houre before the mydday, & sope in the euynnynge.

2 And from witsontyde thurgh out all the sommer, if the mynchyns haue no laboure in the felde, or if they be not trowbled with ouer moche hete in sommer, then uppon wednisdays & frydays they shall faste unto the .ix. houre of the day,

b which is aboutes .ii. of the clocke in the after none.

3 uppon other dayes they shall dyne at the .vi. houre of the day.

4 which .vi. houre, if they haue busines in the feelde, or elles the hete of sommer be feruent, shalbe continued & kept also the wednesdaye and frydaye, if thabbasse so woll dispose & ordere it.

5 And yet in all dispensacions, moderacions and lycences, the abbasse must haue suche regarde & consideracions that hir sustreses sowles may be saued, and that that, they shall doo may be doo without grudge [57] or murmure resonable.

6 From the Idus of Septembre unto Shrouetyde they shall take their refeccion at .ix. of the day.

7 In lent tyll Easter they shall eate at the euyn tyme.

8 and euensong shall soo be doon that at their meate they shall nede no lyght of candel, but all shalbe ended by day lyght.

9 Also at all tymes, be it soper or other refeccion, so shall the houre be moderate, that all thinges be doon by daylyght.

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¶ The .xlii. chapiter sheweth that after complayne all the Sisters shall kepe silence.

1 AT all seasons mynchins ought to doo their deuoure to kepe silence, and chefly in the houres of the nyght.

2 And therfore at all tymes, beynge fastynge daye or etynge day:

3a If it be etynge day, anone as they aryse from soper they muste sit all to gydder in oon place and oon of them muste rede collacions,

a that is to say, a boke called collacions,

3b or els Vitas patrum, er els som other boke that is apt to edifie and doo good to the herers.

4 They shall not rede the bokes of the olde lawe or the bokes of kynges,* for unto them that be feble of understonding, it shal not be fruteful nor** to hir that redes scripture in suche an houre. At other tymes they may be red.

// * Latin: Heptateuchum aut Regum //

// ** nor ] not //

5 If it be fasting day, then within a lyttll whyle after that euensong is doon, anon they shall comme to the lecture of the collacion, as we haue sayde before,

6 and .iiii. or .v. leues therof redde, or elles as moche as oon houre wyll permit.

7 so that all the couent in the meane tyme may comme to gydder, if any of them be then occupied in any maner of thynge committed unto hir

b she must forth with leue of and comme to the couent.

8 and so all they gaderyd to gydder in oon shall make an ende & execute complene. And departynge frome complene it shall not be lefull to any of theym after ward to speke any worde to [58] any person.

9 And if any of them be founde to haue broke this Reule of silence, let hir be subdued to a strayt punishement,

10 except that necessite of gestes com uppon, or els perauenture thabbasse

a committeth to any of them som what to be doon.

11 And yet that same thynge must be doon with great grauite, moderacion, and with honest and good behauour.

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¶ The .xliii. chapiter is of them that comme late to the seruice of god and to grace byfore they goo to mete.

1 AT the houre of diuine seruice, anone as the signe is harde or the bell ronge, all thinges left a parte what soeuer shall fortune to be in hande, they must renne with all spede that may be.

2 Howe be it, it must be doon with grauite, soo that lewde behauour or lyghtnesse be not founde amonges them

3 For nothynge shalbe preferred the seruice of all myghty god.

4 And if any comm to the nocturne in the nyght after gloria patri of Uenite, the which psalme we wol (sayth seynt Benet) shalbe prolonged and song treatably all way, for the same cause, she shall not sonde in hir ordre in the quere,

5 but she muste stonde laste of all, or elles in a place aparte which thabbasse shall ordeyne for suche slouthfull and negligent persones, so that she may be seen of the abbasse or els of all the couent.

6 unto the tyme that the seruyce of god be ended she take repentance with open satisfacion.

7 And therfore we haue iuged them to stonde in the lowest place or els a parte asyde, to thentent that whyles they be seen of all their susters, at the leest for very shame they must amende.

8 For if soche a slowe person shold remayne without the quere, perauenture suche oon she myght be that wolde take hir rest or slepe, or sit without at large, or els gyue hede to fables; therfore let noon occasion be gyuen to the Deuill in hir.

9 But let hir entre into the quere, to thentent that she lese not all, & that she may make

[59] amendes for the resydew.

10a At the houres of the day, she that commeth to diuine seruice after Deus in adiutorium and gloria patri of the furste psalme,

a whiche is sayde after Deus in adiutorium, accordynge to the ordenance abouesayde;

10b Let hir stonde in the laste place of the quere.

11 nether she shall presume to be accompanied with them that synge unto the tyme she doo satisfaction, except perauenture thabbasse gyue lycence unto hir by suffrance,

12 so that yeat she beinge guylte, doo satisfie therfore.

13 At the houre of refection, she that commethe not byfore grace, that they may all to gydder say grace and pray and that they all may goo to the table to gydder,

14 she that by hir owne negligence and faute doth not so comme, Let hir be rebuked therfore unto the seconde tyme.

15 If then she doo not amende, Let hir not be suffred to be at the table amonges them,

16a but sequestrate and let hir be diuorcede from the company of theym all, and let hir ete alone, Hir porcyon of wyne

a and other drynke (except water)

16b taken awaye from hir unto the tyme she doo satisfaccion and amende.

17 Lyke punischement shall she suffre that is not present at the grace which is sayde after mete.

18 And we woll that none presume to take mete and drynke byfore and after the houre limitted.

19 And if any of theym refuse any thynge that is offred to hir by the suffraynge, the next tyme that she desireth ought, she shall take that she furste refused or els she shall nothing haue, tyll she make a conuenient amendes.

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¶ The .xliiii. chapiter treateth of those that be excommunicat: howe they shall do satisfaction.

1 SHe that for a more greuous offence is excommunicate frome the quere and from the table, whan the seruice of god is soonge in the quere, muste lyghe downe byfore the Quere doore, sayenge nothynge,

2 but oonly beynge prostrate, grouelynge with hir hedde towchyne the Erth, [60] at the fete of all hir susters commynge out of the quere,

3 and that shall she doo with contynuance unto the abbasse urge that she haue doon satisfaccion.

4a which mynchyn, whan by the commaundement of thabbasse

a she doth comme into the chapiter howse

4b shal prostrate hir selfe byfore the fete of the sayde abbasse, and afterward at the fete of all hir susters, desyrynge them to pray for hir.

5 And than if thabbasse commaunde, she shalbe receyued into the quere, in what order or degre that thabbasse woll decerne and limite.

6 Soo that she presume not to begynne psalme, lecturne, or any other thynge in the quere, except thabbasse gyue a new commaundement.

7 And at euery houre whan the seruice of god is soonge, she shall prostrate hir selfe uppon the erth in the place where she stondeth,

8 and soo shall she doo satisfaccion in the quere, tyll thabbasse commaunde hir to cease.

9 they that be excommunicate for lyght fautes oonly from the table, shall doo satisfaccion* in the quere unto the tyme the abbasse gyue other commaundement.

// * satisfaccion ] fatisfaccion //

10 This shall they allway doo, tyll the thabbasse gyue them there absolution and say that it is sufficient.

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¶ The .xlv. chapiter treateth of theym that doth amysse in the quere.

1 IF any mynchyn, whan she begynneth a psalme, responde, anteme, or lectourne, make anye faute, excepte by dewe satissfaction there before all hir susters she doo submytte hir selfe, let hir be put to a more punishment.

2 And that bycause she wolde not be corrected with mekenes, that that she trespaseth thurghe neglygence.

3 But children for suche a faute muste be bette.

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¶ The .xlvi. chapiter treateth of thoos which in any maner of other thynges doo offende.

1 [61] IF any Mynchyn whiles she is in any laboure in the kychyn, in the celler, in the executinge thoffyce of a seruitoure, in the bakehouse, in the garden, or in any maner of occupacion whyles she labourythe, where so euer it be, doo ought a mysse,

2 or breke any thynge, lese any thynge, or elles make anye excesse in any maner of place;

3 if she comme not by and by before the abbasse or the couent, and of hir owne free wyll doo satisfaction & showe hir trespase,

4 before it be knowen by som other, let hir be subdued to a gretter amendes.

5 and if the trespasse be oonly to the hurte of hir owne sowle and secrete, she shall shewe it oonly to somme holsome and aged goostly fader.*

// * Latin: tantum abbati aut spiritalibus senioribus //

6 whiche can cure and make hole, not oonly his owne offenses and sykenesse, but others also and neuer disclose nor publyshe them.

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¶ The .xlvii. chapiter treateth of thappoyntment of the houre of diuine seruice.

1 IT apperteigneth of the charge of thabbasse to showe the houre of the seruyce of all myghty god bothe by daye and by nyght. Ether muste she doo it hir selfe, or elles committe this charge to som dyligent sustre soo that all thinges be ended inconuenient houres.

2 They shall begyn psalmes or antems euery of theym except the abbasse by ordre, or to whome so euer the commaundement be gyuen.

3 There may none presume to synge or rede aught but she that may soo well doo, and performe it that the herers may be the better thereby,

4 whiche thinge she muste doo with humilite, grauite, and fere, and by the abbasse commaundement or elles not.

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¶ The .xlviii. chapiter speketh of dayly hande laboure.

1 IDlenes is a utter and extreme enemy of the sowle, and therefore certeyne tymes susters must be occupied [62] in laboure of the hande, and certayn tymes in redyny godli lectours or in good meditacions.

2 And therfore we thinke bothe the sayd tymes in this wyse to be well ordred.

3 that is to say, that from Easter unto the kalendas of October, in the morninge fro the first houre of the day unto almoste the .iiii. of the daye, let theym laboure aboute suche thynges as be necessary.

4 And from the .iiii. houre of the day unto almost the syxte houre, they must gyue them selfe to redynge.

5 ¶ Aftur the .vi. houre rysynge from the table, they shall reste a wyle in their beddes with all silence, or else if she woll gyue hir selfe to reding, let hir so rede softli bi hir selfe,* that she trouble none other.

// * softli bi hir selfe: expansion //

6 And the houre of none must be executed at the halfe houre before the .viii. houre of the daye. And then agayne what so euer is beste to be doon, let them laboure in it unto euynsonge tyme.

7 And if the necessite of the place, or else pouerte, compelleth that they muste be occupyed them selfe aboute the gatheringe in of Corne,* they may not take it heuely nor be greued there with,

// * Latin: fruges //

8 for than they be very trewe mynchins, whan they lyue with the laboure of their owne handes as dyd our faders and the appostles.

9 notwithstondynge all thynges shalbe be doon in measure and with discrecion by cause of them that be feble and weke in bodye or spirite.

10 From the kalendas of October unto shrouetyde they shall gyue theym selfe unto redynge tyll the seconde houre of the day be full.

11 And at the seconde houre of the daye, they shall execute the thirde houre. And then unto the .ix. houre of the day euery of theym shall laboure aboute hir busines which is inioyned unto hir.

12 Whan* the first signe of the .ix. houre stricken, euery oon of theym shall departe frome hir worke that they may be redy whan the .ii. syngne stryketh.

// * Whan ] than //

13 And after they haue dyned, they shall gyue som to redynge of lessons, and som to redynge of psalmes.

14 In the dayes of lent, from the mornynge unto the thirde houre of the daye, full they must gyue them selfe to redynge, and from that tyme tyll the .x. houre of the day, full they muste laboure in su- [63] che occupacion as is committed unto theym.

15 in the whiche dayes of lent euery of theyn shall haue by her selfe a boke oute of the lybrary, whyche boke she shall rede from the beginning to the endinge by order.

16 and the same bokes must be delyuered unto them at shrouetyde.

17 Before all thyngys, oon or two susters of the eldest in the religion shalbe deputed, whych shall goo aboute the monastery at all soche tymes & seasons as there susters be at there redinge,

18 & ouersee theym lesse perauenture som suster be founde slothful, which gyueth hir selfe to idlenes & tellynge of tales and is not myndyd towardes redyng, And so is not oonly unprofytable to hir selfe but also she disturbeth and letteth other.

19 Suche oon if she (as god forbede) be fonnde, let hir be rebuked ones and the seconde tyme,

20 if she do not so amende, let hir be submitted to correcion regular, in suche wyse as other by hir may haue cause to be effrayde.

21 Nether oon suster shall accompany hir selfe with a nother but in houres and tymes conuenient.

22 ¶ Uppon the sonday they shall all gyue them selfe to redinge except those which be deputed to dyuers offices.

23 And if any of them be so neglygent and slowthful that she wylnot or elles she cannot gyue hir selfe to meditacion or to redynge, let some maner of busines be inioyned unto hir to thentent that she be not idle.

24a The susters that be feble or eles be tendre,

a or haue be delicatly brought up,

24b to theym suche occucpacion or busines shalbe committed, that nether they be idle ne yeat oppressed with ouer moche laboure, where throughe they shulde forsake the monastery.

25 whiche wekenes & tendrenesse muste be consydered by thabbasse after hir discrecion.

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¶ The .xlix. chapiter treateth of the obseruing of lent.

1 THough at all tymes a mynchin in hir lyuinge ought to kepe the observance of lent,

2 yit in so moche as that vertue of that continuall obseruance is but in fewe persons, therfore we counsell that they kepe their lyfe in the dayes of lent [64] with all clennesse;

3 that is to say, that they in those holy dayes clense and washe clene away all their necligences of other tymes paste.

4 The which is then doon acceptably, as it ought to be, when they kepe their Selfe from all maner of vices, and gyue their diligence to prayer with wepynge, to reding, to compunction of herte, and to abstinence.

5 Therfore in those dayes of lent let us encrease some thinge in our selfe ouer & aboue the duty of our custumeable seruyce which we were wont to do, and pray at other tymes, that is to say addinge specyall and pryuate prayers with more abstinence of mete and drynke.

6 And let euery oon in those dayes of lent offre unto god of hir owne fre wyll, with gostly Ioy, som thinge a boue hir custumable seruice or dutie, and aboue the measure to hir commaunded;

7 that is to say, let hir withdrawe from hir body somwhat of meate & drinke, of slepe, of spekynge, of skoffynge, & tryfelinge, and with Ioy of a spirytuall desyre let hir longe for the feste of Easter.

8 Howe be it that selfe thynge that ony of them doth aboue hir custumable deuty, she must showe it to hir abbasse, And with hir wyll & prayer it must be doon.

9 For what so euer be doon without the wyll and leue of hir spirituall moder, shalbe accompted presumpcion and vayne glory and to no rewarde.

10 Therfore all thynge must be doon with the wyll of the abbasse.

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¶ The .l. chapiter speketh of susters that labourth farre from the quere.

1 SUsters whiche be ferre fro the monastery or oratory in laboure and may not com to the quere in a conuenient houre,

2 if thabbasse do perceyue it so to be of trewthe,

3 let them then there do their dewty unto god where as they laboure, with goodlye drede and fere, knelynge uppon their knees.

4 Also the houres of goddes seruyce accustumed and appoynted, may not be forget of theym that be sent forth in iorneys. But as moche as they may, they must do their dy- [65] uyne seruyce, and neglect* not to pay the duty of their seruice in dewe and conuenient tymes.

// * neglect ] negligent //

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¶ The .li. chapiter speketh of susters whiche goith forth, but no ferre Iorney.


1 SUsters that goith forth in any maner of messayge & truste, to returne to the monastery the same day, shall not presume ne take uppon theym to eate without the monastery, all though they be desyred of any person,

2 except perauenture they haue a commaundement of thabbasse.

3 And if they do other wyse, let them be excommunicate.

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¶ The .lii. chapiter treateth of the quere of the monastery.

1a THe oratory,

a which is as moche to say as the place of prayr,

1b muste be in dede & in effecte as it is called, that is to say, that nothing erthly may there be doon, layed, or lefte,

b that dothe not apperteygen to the seruice of god.

2 Whan the seruice of god is ended, all the couent muste goo out with silence & do reuerence unto god.

3 to thentent that a suster which perauenture woll bede summe peculier or specyall prayers of hir pryuate deuocion, be not letted thorough the ungoodly behauoure of a nother.

4 and if so be that a nother also wolde pray secretly by hir selfe, let hir com in with all silence & pray, not with a lowde voyce, but with teres and full intencion and entirenesse of herte.

5 Therfore she that occupieth not hir selfe aboute souche busines of prayers & meditacions, may not be suffred after the seruice of god is doon to make any taryenge in the oratory as is abouesayde, lesse that a nother suffer impediment by hir.

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¶ The .liii. chapiter treateth of hospitalite and the maner of receyuinge of gestes.

a [66] THe .liii. chapiter treateth oonly of hospitalite & of the receyuinge & charytable entertaynynge of gestes and pylgrimes, which for many inconuenientes that myght there uppon ensue specyally by muche conuersacion with men, cannot conueniently, nor without great perill of sowles, be executed nor performed amonges mynchins after the forme expressed in the same chapiter.

b Neuerthelesse, to thentent that they may knowe the deuoute & charitable maner of hospitalyte & the receyuinge of gestes that monkes be bounded to, And that no parte of seynt Benettes rule be by us conceyled or hid for them, we haue therfore translate the sayde chapiter, applyenge it to the monkes, oonly accordynge to the originall text as followeth, without any mencion makinge of minchins, seinge that they cannot conueuniently, as a boue is sayde, obserue it.

1 ALl gestes and estraungers commynge to the monastery shalbe receyued in lyke maner as christ shold be, for he shall say, "I was a geste and ye receyued me."

2 And to all maner of people deue reuerence shall be shewed, howe be it chefely to men of our owne fayth or religion & peregrines.

3a Therfore as sone as it is shewed that a geste is comme, the sourerayge, or

c such oon as hath the offyce of the hospitular,

3b must goo agaynst him with the shewe* & a demonstracion of all cherfull & charytable maner.

// * shewe ] skewe //

4 And furste of all let them goo into the oratory* & pray to gydder, and then salute them selfe with the kysse of peace.*

// * goo into the oratory: expansion //

// ** Latin: et sic sibi socientur in pace //

5 whiche kysse* shalnot be offred except they haue first prayed to gydder, for excheuinge of illusions that commeth of the deuyll.

// * Latin: quod pacis osculum //

6 In that same salutacion all humilite must be shewed.

7 ¶ whan gestes com & goo, christe, which is receyued in them, muste be worshipped in them with submission of the hed or elles with prostracion of all the body uppon the erth.

8 Gestes ones receyued must be brought unto prayer, & after ward let the soueragne sit with them, or elles such a broder whom the soueraygne wyll commaunde.

9 The lawe of all myghty god shalbe redde byfore the same geste for gostely edificacion, & after that let the geste ha- [67] ue all the chere that may be.

10 The soueraygne shal breke his faste for a straungers sake, except it be so great a day of faste that it may not be broken;

d that is to say, a faste vowed or commaunded by the churche.

11 but the remenant of the bretherne shall prosequte & continewe the custom of fastinge.

12 Thabbot shall gyue water to the estrangers handes.

13 And as well, the Abbot as all the hole couent shall washe the fete of the gestes & estraungers.

14 which doon, they shall say this verse, Suscepimus deus misericordiam tuam in medio templi tui;

a that is to say, Lorde god, we haue receyued thy mercy in the middes of thy temple.

15 The receyuinge of pore people & peregrines muste principally with all diligence be regarded, for in them more than in other christ is receyued, for as for ryche men the fere & drede of theym requyreth of force, honour, & reuerence to be doo unto them.

16 The kychin of thabbot & of gestes, whiche is all oon,* shalbe disseuered fro the couent kechin to thenetent that gestes comminge uppon at uncertayne houres, which neuer fayleth in a monastery, shall not trowble the bretherne of the couent.

// * whiche is all oon: expansion //

17 Into the which kychin .ii. bretherne shall entre for a yere which can & may well doo that offyce.

18 To whom after as nede shall require, there shall be ministred solace & succurre of other so that they may doo their seruice without grudge. And ageyne whan they haue lesse to do in the kychin, then let them goo to such busines as is commaunded unto them.

19 & not only in this office of the kitchin, but also in all other offices of the monasterye this consyderacion muste be hadde,

20 that whan they nede solace and helpe they muste haue it, & agayne whan they haue nothynge to do in their offices, they must obey their superior in that he woll elles commanunde.

21 And also a broder whose sowle dredeth god singularly must haue a house assigned to him to receyue gestes into.

22a wherin shall be beddes made sufficiently & the house of all mygyty god,

a that is to say, the house assigned for hospitalite,

22b must be wisely ordered by wyse persons.

23 But no Brother, in no maner of wyse, shall accoompanye [68] him self or holde communicacion wit a geste, except he haue lycence or be commaunded.

24 And if he mete and se any gestes or estraungers, a salutacion mekely (as is a boue sayd) gyue unto them & blessinge desyred, he shall passe by saynge that it is not lefull for hym to speke with a geste or a straunger.

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¶ The .liiii. chapiter sheweth that a mynchin ought not to receyue letters or tokyns.

1 IN no wyse it shall be lawfull to a minchin to receyue letters, tokens, or any other small gyftes frome fader other or moder* or from any person, or elles oon of them from a nother amonges them selfe,

// * Latin: parentibus //

a nether to sende any suche thinges without the leue and also the commaunement of thabbasse.

2 And if any maner of thinge be sent unto a mynchin from hir fader or moder, she shall not take uppon hir selfe to receyue it, except it be shewed to the abbasse afore.

3 And if the abbasse commaunde that it be receyued, it shall be in thabbase power to whom she wyll commaunde, the sayd minchin after that she hath it so receyued, to gyue or delyuer it.

4 And the suster to whom that thinge was sent shall not be therwith miscontent, lesse the deuyll haue therby occasion towardes hir.

5 and she that presumethe other wyse than thus shall be submitted to reguler discipline.

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