[London, British Museum, Cotton Ms. Vespasian A. 25, ca. 1440]

[Chapter 5]

 

De obediencia ad deum.

 

1 Now wil I tel, who wil tak tent,

How we sal be obedient

 

2 To honowr god with ilka lym

And luf no thynk better þan hym.

 

3 [80v] God suld we luf for thynges thre,

Namely al þat hase dignite

And in haly kirk to sing & rede:

For he til vs merkes slik mede,

And for drede of þe payns of hell,

And for ernyng in blis to dwell.

 

4 For merit of þer thynges thre

Suld we euermor bowsum be,

And hertli faunde for to fulfil

All þat oure souerayn telles vs till.

 

a Þan wil god of our wark be paide,

And þan vntil vs salbe saide,

 

5 Als crist sais in þe sauter buke

Thurgh þe prophet, who likes to luke:

"Als sone als euer he heres my will,

Bowes he baynly me vntill."

 

b Þus may be saide be old & yng

Þat baynly bowes to goes bedyng.

 

6 And also it our lord iesus

Vntil his techers tels þus:

"Who so heres ou, he heres me."

 

7 Þan be þer sawes wele may we se:

Þai þat er to þer souerayn bayne, 

To god he dose þe same o-gayne.

 

8 [81r] And þarfore who so wil be bown

To lif bi rewle of religiown,

Fro tyme þai wit þer souerayn will,

In wark þai sal it fast fulfill;

 

9 Þair souerayn wil & þer wirkyng

Suld go to-geder euyn als a thing.

 

10 And al þat wil do þus in dede,

Þe way to heuyn it wil þam lede.

 

11 And harder it es þan oþer ways,

Als god vntil vs suthli sais:

"Þe way of lif, who likes to layte,

Þai sal find both hard & straite."

 

12 For whi al þat wil come þer-till

Mai not wirk with þer awin will;

Bot hard or softe whider it semys,

Ai bus þai do os oþer demys.

 

13 Þan of þer wark es crist wele paide,

Þat þus til his discipils saide:

"Non veni facere voluntatem meam & c.-

I com not to wirk myne entent,

Bot aynly his þat hase me sent."

 

14 Ensampil þus he techis vs til

Þat we sal wirk our souerains wil.

 

15 Obediens þus, if it be stabil,

To god & man es acceptabil,

 

16 Not to tary ne gruch o-gayne,

[81v] Ne to answer with worde in vayn,

 

17 Ne to be heuy in hert or thoght,

For swilk obedience profites noght.

 

18 Bot if þe hert & wark acorde,

It es not likand til our lord;

For al if we fulfil þe dede,

 

19 We gete þer-for no grace to mede,

Bot titter payn, þat ordand es

To þam þat vses vnbousumnes.

And if we answer oght o-gayn,

Ful mekil mor mun be his payn.

 

[Chapter 6]

 

1 Þerfor es alway gude to do

Als þe prophet telles vs to;

For in þe sauter þus he sais:

"I said þat I sal eme my wais

In ilka tyme, both old & ung,

Þat I trispast not in my tung;

To eme my moth also I seke,

And on þis wises I am maide meke,

And gude warkes hafe I non don els."

 

2 Lo, how þe prophet playnly tels:

Wise men sum tyme letes to say

Wordes þat menes bot wele alway,

Becaus þai wil no ianglers be.

 

3 [82r] Þan of mare force may we se

Þat euyl wordes suld non here speke,

Þe whilk with wo er worthi wreke.

 

a And mykel spekyng who so vse,

If it oft gayn, sum tym it nuse.

 

4 For þe wisman witnes & sais:

"If þu vse many wordes always,

Fro syn on no wise may þow fle."

 

5 And in a-noþer stede sais he

Þat in a manes tung es contende

Life & dede to fa & frende.

 

b And namly þai þat soietes er,

Gret spekyng þai suld for-bere.

 

6 For til a maistres fals ij thynges:

To spek & tech hir vnderlynges.

And þe discipels suld be stil

And here what es tald þam vntil.

 

7 And if þai oght wil aske or haue,

With gret reuerence þai sal it craue,

 

c And al spekyng þai sal for-bere,

And hering, þat þe saule may dere,

And gif þam vnto god allayn,

Whas trauel þai haf vnder-tayne.

 

 

[Chapter 7]

 

De xij gradibus humilitatis.

 

1 [82v] Of meknes may we merure take

Of crist, þat sais þus for our sake

In his gospel, als clerkes ken,

Confortand al cristin men:

"Qui se humiliat exaltabitur-

Who highes him-self, he bese made law."

Proude men reproues he in þis saw.

And þam to confort þat er meke,

Þus he says, who so wele seke:

"Qui se exaltat humiliabitur9

He þat laws hym-self here,

He salbe high in heuyn clere."

 

2 Þus schews he wele, & suth it es,

Þat oute of pride comes al eghnes.

 

3 And for [þe] prophet wald it fle,

In þe sauter þus sais he:

"Domine, non est exaltatum cor meum-

Lord, my herte ne mi eghen sight

Haf I not rasit vp in hight,

Ne in grete thinges haf I not gayn

To mak maruayls many ayn,

 

4 Bot my lif mekly haf I spende,

And highed my saule in-to þi hende.

Þer-for, lord, fra scham me schylde,

[83r] Als þe moder dose þe childe."

 

5 If we our dedes wil duly drese

To haue þe meret of mekenes

And win vnto þe hight of heuyn,

To whilk mekenes may lede vs heuyn,

 

6 Hus bus be-gin with hert & wil

To rase þe stegh þat rechis þer-til,

Bi whilk Iacob in visioun

Saw angels wend both vp & doun.

 

7 And þis ilk stegh, als clerkes10 tels,

To vnderstandyng es not els

Bot thurgh heghnes doun to descend

And thurgh lawnes vpward to wend.

 

8 And als þe stegh, with-outin strife,

Es likand til our erthli life,

Þe whilk stegh thurgh our mekenes euyn

God rases vp right to þe heuyn.

 

9 Two sides þer-of may signifi

Both oure saules & our bodi,

In þe whilk sides, als men may se,

Er xij steles ordand to be,

 

a Whilk er xij degrese of mekenes,

And right way vnto heuyn þat es.

And who so likes þat way to lere,

Þe xij degres þus may þai here.

 

 

[83v] Primus gradus humilitatis.

 

10 The first degre of meknes ryght

Es euer to set be-for our sight

Þe drede of god in ilk degre,

So þat it neuer for-getin be,

 

11 And thinke how þai þat him for-sakes

Þair mede in hell with murnyng takes;

And who so hym wil luf & drede,

In heuyn sal þai haf þair mede.

 

12 Þarfor our lord ay suld we luf,

And drede him for our saule bi-houe,

And kepe fro sin & fro foly

Al þe limes of our body,

And do oway al flesch likinges,

 

13 Thynkand þat god þat sese al thinges

Þat we in world here euer wroght

Ouþer in wark, or word, or thoght-

 

14 For, als þe prophet proues & sais,

God enserches & sese al-wais

Þe hertes & þe ententes of men,

Als clerkes on þis maner may ken:

"Scrutans corda & renes deus."

 

15 And also it þe prophet sais:

"Lord, þou wate my wil alwais,

And thoghtes þat in my hert er hide,

Vnto þe er þai knawne & kide."

 

18 [84r] Þarfor who wil life wele alway,

In his hert sal he think & say:

"Be-for godes sight I salbe clene,

Yf I waste myne euil dedes be-dene."

 

19 It is for-bed þus for þis skill

Any to folow þer fleschly will;

Als haly write comaundes & sais:

"Turn þe fro flesch likynges alwais."

 

20 And pray we god with wil & thoght

Þat his wil in vs euer be wroght!

Hali write schews certan skil,

Whi we sal not wirk our awn wil.

 

21 For sum warkes þat vs think perfite,

In godes sight er dedely delite.

Sum þat þe bodi thynk gude & fine

Wil lede þe saule vntil hel pyne.

 

22 And for þi of slike rekles warkes

Sais haly writ, os kens þir clerkes:

"Corrupti sunt et abhominabiles-

Þai er corrumpid & maide ful vile

Þat uses with filth þair flesch to file."

 

23 And when so we ern ony thing

Þat may fall vnto flesch likyng,

Thinke we god waites vs weterly!

Als þe prophet sais þus þerby:

"Al my desire both day & nyght,

[84v] Lord, es set befor þi sight;

And al mi11 arnyng may þou se,

Il or gude wheder it be."

 

24 Þerfor euyl desire suld we fle,

For dede es euer in þe entre,

Redey to fel vs in þat fit;

 

25 And þerfor þus sais hali writ:

"Wend þou not, for hard ne nesch,

Efter þe arnynges of þi flesch-

Secundum desideria cordis non ambules!"

 

26 Þen, sen we wote our lord iesus

Es euer bihaldand vntil vs,

 

27 And sese who sekes to godes seruyse

And wil not als wriches vnwise,

 

28 And als we wote oure gude angel

Al our warkes to god wil tel,

Al be it neuer so litil a schar-

 

29 Þan es wisdom to be-war

No warkes to do our god to greue.

For al if he here lene vs leue

 

30 For to a-mend vs, whils we may

Neuer-þe-lese on þe last day

Sal he reherce & sai vs til:

"Þus did þou, & I held me stil."

 

Secundus gradus humilitatis12

 

31 [85r] Ane oþer degre our meknes proues:

Þat es who hir awn wil not lufes,

Ne hase no likyng to fulfil

Þat hir desire entisice hir til,

 

32 Bot of þir wordes makes hir myrour,

Whilk iesus saide, our sauiour:

"Non veni facere voluntatem meam-

I com not to do myn entent,

Bot his allaine þat hase me sent,

Þat es my fader13 in heuyn on hight;

His wil I do both day & night."

 

33 And hali writ wil proue ful playn

Þat our awn wil es worthi payn,

And who so of þer wil here misses

Serues þe croun of endles blisses.

Þarfor for-sake we here our wil,

Þat we may cum þat blis vntil.

 

 

iij gradus14

 

34 The third degre es þis to take:

Who þat gladli for goddis sake

Wilbe obedient with þer mayne

Vnto [þe] wil of þeir souerayne,

And þat with gude cher wil fulfil

What so þair souerayne tels þam vntil;

Al[s] be þe apostil es pupplist,

[85v] Þat sais þus of our lord crist:

"He wos meke to his fader rede

And obedient vnto þe dede."

[. . . . . . . . . . . . .]15

 

b To gif ensaumpil mor & lese,

Þat þai suld so obedient be

To þeir souerayns in þer degre,

And tent no thyng to þer awn wil,

Bot þer souerayns fast to fulfil

With obedience in word & dede;

Than es þer wark worth mikyl mede.

 

 

iiij gradus16

35 The fourt degre of mekenes clere

Es of al þai þat suffers here

And dose what so þer souerayn sais

Al if þe wark be wrang alwais

Or greuus til þam for to do,

et sal þai sone assent þer-to,

 

36 And do it wele with al our mayn

With-outyn ony grochin ogayne,

And irk not þan, or it be done;

Als hali writ wil tech ful son:

"Qui perseuerauerit vsque in finem-

He þat lastes vntil þe end,

Salbe safe & vnto blis wende."

 

37 [86r] And also haly writ sais þus

Ane oþer claus [to] comford vs:

"Þi hert," he sais, "sal comford take

To be souerand for godes sake."

 

38 In oþer places he proues alway

How souerand men to god suld say:

"Propter te mortificamur tota die-

Lord, we suffer17 here with sere payn

Al þe day for þi sake for to be slayn."

Þat mens: "we suffer payn mekely

Als lam þat er lede for to dy,

 

39 And we er not ouercumen þer-in,

For mede we hope þerby to wyn;

Bot al we suffer it for iesus

And for his sake þat so lufyd vs,

Þat with his awn wil & his rede

For our sake wold suffer dede

So to saue vs thurth his grace."

 

40 And also in ane oþer place

May meke men say on þis manere:

"Lord, þou hase asayde vs here

With angers a-gayns our desire,

Als siluer es asaide with fire,

[86v] Þou hase vs18  vnto þe snare

And make vs to haue angers þair."

 

41 For to assay vs in swilk thing,

If we be meke to his bidyng,

And also for to schew þat we

Suld to a souerayn bowsum be

And wirk efter þer wil alway,

Vnto our lord þus may he say:

"Lord, o-bouen set hase þou

Souerayns to wham vs bus bew."

 

42 Þus for god sake we suld be bown

To suffer sere persecucioun,

What so men wil vn-til vs do;

Als þe gospel techis vs to:

Who so betes vs on a scheke,

To bede oþer we suld be meke,

 

c And wrang of vs who wil oght haue,

To bede þam mor þan þai wold craue;

Þan es our mekenes mykil at prase;

 

43 Als sant paule þe appostil sais:

It be-houes folk of religioun

Suffer tenes & tribulacioun,

And honor þam þat dose þam scath,

Whider þai be wele paide or wrath.

 

d [87r] And þer meret it may not eke,

Bot if þai in þer hertes be meke

To suffer wilfuly alwais

What so men to þam dose or sais,

And be not greuyd with word ne dede;

Swilk mekenes makes vs mykil mede.

 

 

v gradus19

 

44 The fift degre es to be swift

Eftir our sin to seke to schrift,

And trewly tel with-outyn trayne

Al our lif & nothing layne,

 

45 Als hali writ on þis wise sais:

"Vnto god sal I schew my wais,

And al my sines with mayn & mode

Sal I schew to god so gude;

For his mercy may mend & pas

All wikkidnes þat in world euer was."

 

46 And þai þat þus þer sines wil bete,

Þus may þai sai with þe pro[p]hete:

"Lord, all þe sines þat er myn awne,

Vnto þe haue I made þam knawn;

 

47 And all onright þat euer I dide,

Lord, vnto þe I haue not hide;

Bot I sal pronunce for sertane

All my mysdedes my-self ogayne.

 

48 [87v] Þarfore, der lord, do þou to me

Efter þi grace so grete plente,

And lord, not efter my misdede,

Bot efter þi mercy graunte me mede."

 

 

vj-tus gradus20

 

49 The sext degre of mekenes þan:

Who salbe meke, man or woman,

Bus hald þam-self vile & worthy

Al maners of charch to vnderly,

And think þai er worthi to do

Mor þan oni wil put þam to,

And þat þai er worthi to haue

Wor þan any on þam vouches safe,

So litil he þam-self to set,

 

59 Say þan þus with þe prophet:

"Consumptus sum et humiliatus-

I am wastid wor þan I wend,

For myne awn kind not I kend.

Now als a best meke sal I be

Aneli, lord, for luf of þe."

 

e God len vs so to be bowsum,

Þat we may til his kingdom cum.

 

 

vij gradus21

 

51 The seuent degre þan of þe twelue

Es þat vs aw to law our-selue,

And in hert hald vs vnworthi

[88r] To cum in any gude company,

And of our-self we sal say þen

 

52 Os þe prophet wil clerely ken:

"Ego sum vermis & non homo-

I am a worm & no woman."

And þusgaite folos þar-on þan:

"Mine awne condicions wil I ken,

Reproue & oute-kast of al women.

 

53 My hyghnes in herth þen wil I knaw,

 

54 Bot, lord, þi law hase mayd me law.

Wele es me yn þis lif here

To be so meke þi laws to lere."

 

f God len vs so his laws to lufe,

Þat we bide in blis obufe.

 

 

viij gradus22

 

55 The aght degre of meke lifyng

Es þat non sal do no thing,

Ne no wark þat es for to wirk,

Bot efter þe rewle of þer kirk

Or be ensampil to vnderstand

Of þam we knaw er wele lifand.

 

g For ensawmpil of oþer dede

Salbe merure vs for to lede

In our doing both nyght & day,

So þat we folow our rewle alway.

 

 

[89v] ix gradus23

 

56 The neyntt degre to ald & ong

Es þat vs aw to em our tong

And spek not bot we be requerde.

 

57 For hali writ þus hase vs lerde,

Þat who so mykil speking vse,

Of sin þai may not þam excuse;

 

58 And gret spekers er not worthy

For to cum in gude company.

 

h Þarfor es gude to take reward

With onest folk þat spech be spaird,

And ordan vs to spek no thyng

Bot honestly to godes loueyng.

 

 

x gradus24

 

59 The x degre es þus to lere:

Not to lagh with ouer-lyght cher

Ne with laghing our voce to raise.

For hali writ þus leres & sais:

"A fole," he sais, "bi day & nyght

In laghyng rais his vose on hight."

 

i Þarfor en gude to man & childe

For to ler at be laghter-myld

And of al cowntnanse myld & stil

With-outyn ony mater of il.

 

 

xj gradus25

 

60 The xj wisses þus alway:

Al if vs aw litil to say

[89r] And in laghing not rudely rise,

it es gude þat we vs avise,

When so we speke bi morn or noun,

To say our wil in wordes foune,

And þat our wordes be wittely.

 

61 For þus þe wisman sais þerbi:

"Sapiens in paucis verbis expedit-

He þat is wise in word & dede,

His wark with fone wordes wil he spede."

 

j And naymly women nyght & day

Aw to vse fune wordes alway.

 

 

xij gradus26

 

62 The twelft degre wele for to seke

Es, of þam þat salbe meke,

Not aynli to be meke in wil,

Bot in wark mekely to fulfil

Al þat es to þam cumand:27

 

63 To gang, or ride, or sit, or stand,

In kirk, in closter, in town & feld,

In way, in erd, in outh & eld.

With law lowting þai salbe bayn

With-outyn ony gruching o-gayn.

 

Vnto erth down sal þai luke

Sorowand for syn, os sais þe buke

 

65 Of þe pupplicane, þat prayde

[89v] Vnto god & þusgaite saide:

"Miserere mihi peccatori-28

Lord, al thinges wele knaw þou can;

Haue mercy on me, sinful man!

I am vn-worthi, lord," said he,

"To lift myn eghen vp vnto þe

Or for to luke vp vnto heuyn."

 

66 And also sais þe þrophet hewyn:

"Curuatus sum & humiliatus sum nimis-

I am bowed to þe erth," he sais,

"And so I am meke mayd alwais."

 

67 Now haue I tald þir twelf degrese

Þat er of meknes for to chese,

Þe whilk may bring vs for to be

With god in perfite charite

And al our lif lely to lede

With-outyn trauel or ony drede.

 

68 We sal do gladli of custum

Þat air til vs wos ful irksum,

 

69 And not aynli payn to eschew,

Bot allayn for luf of iesu.

 

k And þat lufe & swete delite

Þat in vs salbe so parfite,

Oute of al wais it sal vs wise

And bryng vs vnto endles blis.

 

Notes to Chapter 7

9. 7:1. Latin text misplaced.

10. 7:7. clerkes ] crakes

11. 7:23. in ] mi

12. 7:Title. Title added. ij gradus is written in the margin at the end of the next line.

13. 7:32. fader is followed by þat hase, copied from the previous line; these words were then crossed out.

14. 7:title. Title added; written in the margin at the end of the following line.

15. 7:34. Entire line omitted.

16. 7:Title. Title added; written in the margin at the end of the preceding line.

17. 7:38. suffer ] suffor

18. 7:40. A word seems to have been omitted.

19. 7:Title. Title is added; written in the margin at the end of the following line.

20. 7:40. tus: superscript to vj. Title added; written in the margin at the end of the preceding line.

21. 7:Ttitle. Title added; written in the margin at the end of the preceding line.

22. 7:Title. Title added; written in the margin at the end of the preceding line.

23 7:Title. Title added; written in the margin at the end of the following line.

24. 7:Title. Title added; written in the margin at the end of the following line.

25. 7:Title. Title added; written in the margin at the end of the preceding line.

26. 7:Title. Title added; written in the margin at the end of the following line.

27. 7:62. cumand ] cunand

28. 7:65. Latin line written in the margin at the end of the preceding line.

 

 

[Chapter 8]

 

[90r] De officiis in noctibus.

 

1 In tyme of winter, in Descember,

Fro þe kalandes of Nouember

Vn-to þe pase, es risyng right

At þe aght our of þe nyght,

 

2 And after mydnyght for to rest,

Þat þar mete may bi wele degest.

 

3 Þan sal þai rise to syng & rede;

And after þan who so hase nede

May haue þer meditaciounes

In sawters, saulms, & orisowns.

 

4 And fro at tyme of pase bi al left

Vn-to þo same kalandes cum eft,

Þan es it ordand on þis wise,

Þat nunes sal vnto matens rise

When þe day be-gyns to daw,

Þat þai litters bi light may knaw.

 

 Mor how þai sal serues do,29

Nedes not her to tel þam to;

Þai knaw þer salmes & ilka verse.

Þarfor þe rowle I wil reherce,

How þai sal do wirchep alway,

When þai to god sal sing or say.

 

Note to Chapter 8

29. 8:a. This and the following 5 lines refer to chapters 9-18, which are not included in this version of the Rule.

 

 

[Chapter 19]

 

Vbique credimus diuinam esse presenciam-

 

1 [90v] We trow & wele we vnderstand

Þat our lord god alweldand

In ilka place es redi bown

To here our prayer & orisown;

And euyl & gude, al heres he,

Rich & pouer in ilk degre.

And most we trow he be present

 

2 In haly kirk bi þis entent

Þat his seruaundes most comynli

Serues him þer, als es worthy.

Þan sen we wote þat he es þer,

Oure mynd on hym suld be þe mayr

To serue hym dredfully always,

 

3 Als þe prophet vs teches & sais:

"Seruite domino cum timore!"

He sais þus: "serues or god in drede,

Hopand of hym to haue or mede."

 

4 And wisely, sais he, we suld sing

Lessons vn-to goddes loueyng.

 

5 In ayn oþer plase sais he

Þat angel[s] sal our synging se:

"In conspectu anglorum psallam tibi."

On þis maner til vs he teles

And sais: "lord, in sight of angels

[91r] Sal we syng to þi wirchep."

 

6-7 Þan aght vs for to tak gude kepe

Þat our prayer & orisoune

Be done with gude deuocioune,

So þat our hert & moth acord;

Þan es it likand til our lord

And vnto his angels also,

Sen we may se, at þat we do

And þat we say bi day or nyght,

Al es set befor þare sight.

 

 

[Chapter 20]

 

1 Be gude ensaumpil may we se,

How bayn & bowsum we wold be

Vn-to a lord, her whar we lif,

Þat ony gude myght til vs gif.

We wold hym loute, es not at layn,

And til his bidyng be ful bayn

With al wirchep þat we may weld.

 

2 Þan of mor force in town & feld

Wirchep suld we til him bede

Þat in heuyn sal merk vs our mede.

With sorow of syn we suld him seke

And wirchep with wordes meke.

 

3 For haly writ lely vs leres

Þat law hertes lightly he heres.

 

4 Our prayers wuld be ordand euyn

[91v] Schort & clen to god of heuyn,

Bot if deuocioun cum emang

And likyng for to hald þam lang.

 

5 For haly writ þus leli leres:

Heuyn es thirld with schort prayers;

Þat es to say, if þat þai be

Mellid with no kyns vanite,

Bot vnto godes wirchep alway.

 

a God grant vs grace so for to pray.

 

 

[Chapter 22]

 

Quomodo sanctimonialles dormiant30

 

3a All samyn o nyghtes lig þai sall,

If a hows wil herber þam all,

 

1 And ilkon serly in a bede,

 

5a And ilkon in a kirtil clede

And girdid o-bown on al wise,

 

6a Þat þai may be redy to rise.

And if þar be gret company,

 

3b Þat al may not in a hows ly

In sere bedes, als I said hare,

 

7 Þan ald women & wise of lare

May haue ong nouices, þat þai lere,

To lig in a bed both infere.

 

4 In þe hows whar [þai] lig o nyght,

Candel or laumpe sal euer be lyght.

 

5b And kniues to bed þai sal non bere,

For dred þat þai myght do þam dere.

 

6b [92r] When tyme es ordand, on al wise,

With-outyn tareyng luk þai rise

And hast þam hertly for to cum

Vnto godes serues al & sum.

 

8 And þis es þe encheson why

Þat þai sal al in a hows ly:

Be-caus no idilnes sal vse,

Ne fro godes serues þam excuse.

 

Note to Chapter 22

30. 22:Title. Title written in the margin at the end of the preceding line.

 

 

[Chapter 23]

 

 

1 And if þar ony vn-bowsum bene,

Or prowd in hert, os sum er sene,

Þat to þar rewle ne þer souerayn

Wil not bow, bot gruch o-gayn,

 

2 Twise preuely þai salbe blamyd

 

3 And, bot þai sese, opynly schamyd.

 

4 And if ane wil not mend her so,

Opyn reprofe falis hir vnto 

Omang þe couent euer-ilkane.

And if sche it be ouer-tayn,

And sche ken þe perils of cursing,

Sche salbe cursid for þat same ing. 

 

5 And if sche wil not mend hir mynd,

Þan bodely sche salbe pynd.

And in hert penance sal sche lende,

[92v] Vntill sche wil hir mys amend.

 

 

[Chapter 24]

 

Modus castigacionis.

 

1 Noman suld curs more ne lese

Bot for thyng þat ful greuus es.

And so sal penance mor & myn

Be gyfyn & getyn efter Þe sin,

Als light penance for litil thing,

And for gret greuus chastying.

 

3 Als if a non be nyght or day

Forget þat sche suld sing or say

Or ony werk þat sche suld wirk

In couent or yn hali kirk,

Sche salbe suspend fro þe mete

 

6 Al tyme þat hir felows sal ete.

 

5 Allayn at mete syne sal sche sit,

Þat oþer may hir trispas wit.

 

4 Sum seruyse salbe fro her let

[. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .]31

Mor þan for oþer on raw,

Þat sche may so hir trispase knaw

 

Note to Chapter 24

31. 24:4. Entire line is omitted.

 

 

[Chapter 25]

 

1 Mor greuus syns if on wil wirk,

Sche salbe suspend fro Þe kirk,

Fro mete, & fro32 al company

Þat sche myght oght be cumfort bi.

 

3 [93r] Allone by hir-self sal sche do

What wark so sche es put vnto,

So for to punych hir body;

 

4 Als þe appostil speks þerbi:

Swilk men, he sais, sal trauel tast

With grete fullyng þer flesch to wast,

So þat þer saules may safly cum

Bi-for god on þe day of dom.

 

Note to Chapter 25

32. 25:1. fro ] for

 


 


Continue with Chapter 26
Table of Contents
Feminist Benedictine Rules

 

See "Bibliography" for manuscript, edition, bibliographies and studies.

 


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