London, British Library,
MS Lansdowne 378, ff. 1b-42b, 15th century.



[Chapter 42]


a Of silence eftir cumplin spekis sain Benet in yis sentence, and bidis yat


1 ye sal do yu payne at halde silence eftir cumplin.


3 yef ye cuuent etis tuise, Als tite as tay rise fra ye supere, yan sal yai site wid ordir in ye cloistir. when colaciun ringis, yan salle alle asembil in ye chapitir. an [f. 26r] sal rede ye lescun of ye halizis, ouyir of haly writ, for to comforth yaim yat it heris.


4 In yat tyme sal ye noht rede ye boke of ye kingis, for nan vnait sal be herde yat tyme for ya yat ere of febil yoht; In oyir tyme mai it be red.


5 yef it be fasting day, yai sal haue gode entirual, And when colaciun ringis, Alle yat ye belle heris ga til to colaciun;


8 And siyin eftir at cumplin; siyin be nan sua hardy to speke.


9 yef ani es tan wid al, yat hauis brokin silence eftir cumplin, smerte correccion salle man take of hir.


10 yef gestis cume, and tabbesse cumandis at speke,


11 yat tare be nane vtrage.


b Lauerd, for yi merci giue vs miht at halde yis sentence als sain Benet cumandis.



[Chapter 43]


a IN yis sentence spekis sain Benet of ya yat cumis late til yaire seruise o god and til ye borde.


1 Als tite als te belle es herde, ilkain sal leue ye werke yat es in yaire hende, and rinne hastelike til ye ure of god,


2 yat na man may telle foly to yam.


3 For na ying sal man leue ye seruise o god.


4 ya yat cumis noht at te begining of matins by fore ye "gloria patri" of ye "Venite," sal noht ga in til yaire stalle,


5 bot sho sal ga til ye grece by fore ye [f. 26v] autir, yat tabbes mai se and al ye cuuent;


6 yare sal sho be til yabbes giue hir leue at gange in til hir stalle.


7 And for yi wil sain Benet yat ta yat cume late ga til ye grece, yat tay haue shame of yair faute and sua salle be amendid.


8 for suilke mai it be yat duellis, yat yai wil slape, Ouyir yinke vnait, whan yat ye deuil mai finde a chesun in yam,


9 for yi shal sho ga to ye grece for to amende hir faute, yat sho amende hir siyin forward.


10 At te huris als sua, yef sho ne cumis noht by fore ye "gloria patri" of ye first salme, sho sal ga to ye grece


11 and cum noht in hir stalle, are yabes cumande hir;


12 Bot sho sal haue nane oyir penance for yat faute.


13 At te verse by fore ye mete sal alle be asembild at te borde; sho yat is noht tar at,


14 for hir neccligence man sal say til hir ane tyme, and a noyir tyme.


15 Yef sho wylle noht a mende, sho ne sal noht ete wyd ye cuuent,


16 bot by hir ane, and yarne hyr part of ye drinke, suilke als te oyir haue, til sho haue amendid hir faute.


17 Als suilke sal sho haue yat es fra ye vers eftir ye mete; for yi es it forlokid, yat ta yat er noht at te vers sal ga til ye grece bi fore [f. 27r] ye dese at say hir verse and aske leue at ete; siyin mai sho ga at ete in hir ordir.


18 Nan sal ete ne drink bot at te tyme yat oyir ete, bot yef it be wyd leue.


19 Yef yabbesse offirs ani ying til ani of hir sisturs and sho refuse it, when sho walde haue it, man salle noght giue it hir, Til sho haue amendid hir faute.


b Lauerd, for yi grace giue vs sua at yeme yis sentence and al ye oyir, yat we til ye ioy of paradise mai cume. AmeN.



[Chapter 44]


a IN yis sentence kennis sain Benet vs what amendement yai sal do yat es in cursing,


1 yat es don owte of ye kirke for greue faute and owte of ye fraitur. At ilke owre, when ye belle ringis, sal sho lie by fore ye kirke dore til alle ye cuuent be cumen in,


b And siyin rise vp and obied wid vten ye kirke dore to ye vre be sungen.


2 When ye cuuent cumes forz owte of ye kirke, sho sal lie dun agayne by fore ye dore til yai be passid.


3 Yus sal sho do ilke day til yabbesse bidde hir leue.


4 When sho sal be asoilid, sho sal cume in til ye chapitir and take hir veine by fore yabbesse and crie hir merci.


5 When yabes asoiles hir, sho sal falle til hir fete, & siyin by twixe tua and tua o knees, and take [f. 27v] hir veine. Yan salle sho site yar yabbes cumandis hir, bot noht in hir ordir;


6 bot sho ne salle noht by ginne in kirke antefin ne Respun, ne rede lescun, Bot yef yabbes cumande hir.


7 Eftir "Benedicamus" at ilke vre sal sho take hir veine on knes, whare sum sho standes in ye quer.


8 yis sal sho do ay til yabbes cumande hir at leue of yat penance.


9 sho yat es done owte of ye fraitur for lesse faute, In ye kirke sal sho amende o yis maner: At ilke vre, when yai say "Kirieleison", sal sho take hir veine by fore ye auter at te grece, & ligge yare til ye "Benedicamus" be saide.


10 sua sal sho do til yabbes asolie hir, And recaiue ye benecun.


c Lauerd, for yi pite giue vs sua at mende vre fautis, yat we may haue yi benicun. Amen.



[Chapter 45]


a Sain benet cumandis in yis sentence yat


1 ta yat faile in ye kirke at te minning of ye salmes Ouyir of ye Respuns, Ouyir Antefens, Ouyir lescuns, At te erye sal sho take hir veine by fore yam al. yef sho wil noht do it, Greuer correccion sal man take of hir,


2 for sho walde noht with mekenes amende her faute.


3 Ye barnis sal man chasty wil wande for suik mis dede.


b [f. 28r] Lauerd, yef it be yi wil, giue vs welle at halde yis sentence.



[Chapter 46]


a Sain Benet sais:


1 ya yat ere in laburs, In kichin ouyir in calgard, in gard ouyir wid vten, in ani labur, and sho trespasse,


2 Tinis yingis ouyir brekis, yef sho mis do, o yis maner sal sho amende:


3 sho sal cum in til ye chapitir bi fore alle ye cuuent and take al hir veine, And knaw hir faute wid hir azen wille.


4 Yef sho hydes it, and a noyir sais hir owte, Greuer correcction sal man take of hir yan sho hauid mustird it wid hir azen wille.


5 Yef it be priue sinne yat wille a noy ye saul, sho sal ga priuelike til yabbesse and schriue hir, Ouyir til a preste


6 yat kan hele hir of hir sinne.


b Lauerd for his grace giue vs sua at shriue vs, and sua at mend vre sinne, yat we til his rengne mai ga.



[Chapter 47]


a Sain Benet cumandis in yis sentence yat


1 yabbes sal take gude yeme yat ye vris of godis seruise be finist right baye day and niht.

Ouyir sho hir selfe sal finise yam, Ouyir set a nunn in hir stede yat wil ententiuelike do ye office o god.


2 Ye salmes and te antefens sal yai biginne eftir hir wid ordir.


3 Nane sal be don til yat office bot yat may singe and [f. 28v] rede welle, yat alle yat heris be edefied yer of.


4 sho yat yabbes cumandis yis office, wid mekenes sal sho do it, And stabelike wid vten pride, And wid ye dowte of god.

b Lauerd, for yi merci giue vs sua for to singe and rede, yat we mai do yi wille.



[Chapter 48]


a Of ye trauaile spekis sain Benet in yis sentence, and sais yat


1 vnait sete es il to ye saule. For yi salle ye trauaile times, And in ye times at lescuns, als it es ordaind.


3 Fra ye paskis til ye Mihelmesse, when matins es done til heze vndirn sal ye wirke, ilke day when time es, yat es nede to do.


4 Fra vndirn to midday at lescuns.


5 Eftir midday, when yai haue etin, sal ye reste in yure bedde alle wid silence.

Yef any wille yat tyme loke lescun, loke yat sho rede sua, yat sho ne noy noht ye oyir.


6 Noon sal be rungen by tyme, And siyin wirke til euensang.


7 Yef yai haue mikil at do, corn at gardir and oyir laburs at do, yai salle noht gruche for yi;


8 for yan liue ye right, yef ye liue wid ye labur of yure hende, Als haly men did bi fore yu, & ta postils;


9 bot mesurlike sal ye wirke for ya yat ere febil.


10 Fra ye feeste of ye Mihthel til ye lentin, when prime is sungen til vndern salle [f. 29r] ye studie in lescuns.


11 fra vndern til noon salle ye wirke suilke as ye haue at do.


12 When noon ringis, ilkain sal lay downe yat es in yaire hende, and ga til ye kirke;


13 And eftir mete til lescuns ouyir salmes.


14 In lentin, fra prime til heze vndern sal ye entende yure lescun, And syyin wirke til noon.


15-16 Al te bigining of lentyn sal be broght in til ye chapitur alle ye bokis, and ilkain take yaris & rede it ouir.


17 Yabbesse sal loke a simpil nunne ouyir tua for to ga imangis taim atte timis yat tay sal saie for to loke yat nane site vnait,


18 And for to loke wilke attendis mare til vnait yan til hir lescun.

Ya yat ere funden suilke, for yi yat tay do iuil til yam selfe and til173 oyir als sua,


19 yai sal be warnid ane tyme, and a noyir time.


20 Yef sho wil noht a mende, Man sal take suilke amendis of hir, yat te oyir be warnid yurz hir.


22 At te timis yat es set efter euensang til lescuns, ya yat ere acumbird wid laburs sal noht studie on ye sundais, ne on ye oyir feste dais, Bot toyir alle at lescuns.


23 Yef it be ani yat mai noht studie ne rede, Oyir labur sal yai do, yat tay ne sitte noht al dom.


24 Ya yat ere noht in ese, man sal giue yaim sum ying at do, yat tay ne sittte noht vnait, Ne yat tay ne noght [f. 29v] ouir mikil greuid wid trauaile;


25 yabbes sal loke yaire sekenes.


b Lauerd for his pite giue vs sua to wirk, and sua vre lescuns at vnderstande, yat we at te ende til heuin be broght. Amen.


Note to Chapter 48

173. 48:18. and til is written twice.



[Chapter 49]


a IN yis sentence kennis vs sain Benet how we sal gete ye tyme of lentin.


1 Alle timis of ye yer, he sais, sulde we wid rihte halde ye liflade o lentin,


2 bot faa it es yat te vertu mai haue. And foryir174 cumandis he yat we sal in lentin gete vre lif in alle ying,


3 yat we mai amende vre fautes of oyir times in ye dais of lentin.


4 Yan may ye sauflike liue, yef ye gete yu fra alle ille vices, And yef we do vre entente til vresun wid teris And til lescuns wid reuye of herte and wid abstinens.


5 In ya dais sal we here sumying of godis seruise mare yan we do au noyir tyme, And priue vresuns, and o mare mesur of mete and drinke.


6 Ilkain salle, wid yaire ahen gude wille, Offir sum ying to god mare yan yai es cumandid, wid ye ioy of ye haly sprite;


7 yat es, ye draze yu mare fra mete and drinke, & fra slepe, and fra speche, And fra gabbingis, yat ye mai haly paskis o byde wid ioy of spiritel langing.


8 bot ilkain salle mustir til yabbesse what ye wille offir to god, [f. 30r] wid yure azen wil, of vresuns;


9 for yef ye ne do it wid leue of yure spiritel fadir, ye ne sal haue na mede yar offe, bot turne yu to vanite.


10 For yi sal ye do als tabbesse cumandis yu at do.


b Lauerd, for yi merci giue vs sua yis haly lentyn at yeme, yat we mai wid ioy of ye hali spirit hali paskis obide.


Note to Chapter 49

174. 49:2. foryir: sic, for for ye?



[Chapter 50]


a In yis sentence cumandis sain Benet yat


1 te sistirs yat ere in labur fer fra ye kirke, and mai noht cume in time til yaire vris,


2 yabbes sal cumaunde yaim o yis maner,


3 yat whare sam yai wirke, yat tay do godis seruise And taire veinis in ye dute o god.


4 And als sua ya yat aier by ye gate, yai ne sal noht leue ye vris yat ere stablist, bot sua als tay mai, sai yaim And yelde god his seruise.


b He giue vs for his grace, yat we mai yelde ye seruise yat we ah til hym.



[Chapter 51]


a Sain Benet spekis of


1 ya yat ere sent owte ani erand and sal cum o gain yat ilke day, yat tay ne be noht sua hardy at ete owte, yoz man pray yaim,


2 Bot yef yabbes giue yaim leue;


3 yef yai do, yai sal be cursid.


b Lauerd for yi, yef it be his wille, he kepe vs fra cursing.



[Chapter 52]


a IN yis sentence cumandis sain Benet


1 yat ye ortorie be nane oyir ying yan [f. 30v] it es cald. Of na ying sal it serue bot for to aure, man to god, inne.


2 When ye vris of god es done, yanne sal alle ga forth and make reuerence to god.


3 Yef any wille dwelle for to make priue vrisun, sho ne sal make noise for to sturbe ye oyir,


4 Bot simpelike gange in and make hir vresun wid teris and wid reuye of herte, And noht wid heze voice.


5 Ya yat wil noht do, yai ne sal noht dwelle eftir in ye kirke for to noy ye oyir.


b Lauerd for his pite giue vs sua for to cuntaine vs in ye kirke, yat nane be desturbid for vs.



[Chapter 53]


a IN yis sentence cumandis sain Benet yat


1 te gestis yat cumis to yu be als faire kald als it ware god hymselfe. for he salle say at te day of dome: "Hospes fui &c. -- I was geste, and ye recaiuid me."


2 Alle sal man comunlike recaiue, And men of religiun and pilgrims.



3 Als tit als te gestis cume ye priuresse ouyir a noyir nunne sal gange againis tam wid luue & charite.


4 Yef it be sistir, first sal yai anure to gidir and siyin kis;


5 bot bi fore ye vre sal yai noht basse for yenticement of ye deuil.


6 Allekin mekenes sal man muster til ye gestis.


7 Ilkain, when yai ga and when yai cume, sal alure175 to gidir ouyir wid ye heuidis ouyir [f. 31r] wid al ye bodi, and Ihesu crist sal aure yam.


8 When yai ere rechaiuid and aurid, yabbesse sal sitte wid yaim, ouyir a noyir nunne, wilke176 sam sho cumandis,


9 yat can speke wid yaim o godis lay for to comfort yaim and speke of man hed.


10 Ye fasting sal yabbesse breke for ye gestis sake, yef sho will, Bot yef ye fasting be for hez feste, yat sho ne may nan gate breke;


11 bot toyer sal foliz ye reule o fasting.


12 yabbesse sal giue ye gestis water til yaire hende,


13 And waisse yaire feet, And alle ye cuuent wid hir.


14 And siyin sal yai sal verse: "Suscepimus, deus &c. -- Lauerd, we haue recaiuid yi merci I middis ti tempil."


15 And ay ta yeme of ye pouir and of ye pilegrimis, for yai er kald godis men, And to ye rike als sua baye for aze & for honur.


16 yabbesse kychin and of hir gestis sal be bi it ane, yat te gestis yat cume noy noht te cuuent.


17 In yat kichin sal tua sistirs serue, yat tay may do ye office yat apendis yar to.


18 Yef yai haue mikil at do, man sal finde yam helpe; And when yai haue lesse at do, ga til oyir laburs, whare sua man cumandis yam.


21 Ye howse to ye gestis sal man biteche a sistir at yeme yat dowtis god;


22 sho sal puruay yat tare be beddis inne; sua sal godis howse be ordaind.


23 Wid ye gestis salle [f. 31v] nane speke bot yai yat hauis leue.


24 Yef ani sistir metis yam, mekelike sal sho aske yair benicun and siyin passe forz, yef sho hauis na leue for to speke wid yam.


b Lauerd for his grace giue vs sua for to herberz his gestis, yat we may herber wid him in ye ioy of heuin. AmeN.


Notes for Chapter 53

175. 53:7. alure: probably corrupt.

176. 53:8. i written above the line.



[Chapter 54]


a IN yis sentence cumandis sain Benet yat


1 nane be sua hardy at recaiue lettirs ne erand yat cumis fra yair frendis, ne fra nane oyir man, ne noht recaiue giftis bot yurz ye leue of yabbesse.


2 Yef hir be sente ani ying fra hir frende, sho sal noht recaiue it, ar sho haue leue & musterd it yabbesse.


3 Yef sho giuis hir leue at recaiue it, In yabbes pouste salle it be at giue whare hir yinke.


4 Bot wrez hir noht yat te ying es sent to; And yef yabbesse giuis it til a noyir, loke yat sho ne wrez hir noht yat te ying es sent to, wharefore ye deuil finde a chesun in hir;


5 yef sho dos, ye reul of discipline sal sho fele.


b Lauerd giue vs sua at yeme yis sentence and al oyir, yat te deuil finde nan aschesun in vs.



[Chapter 55]


a Of yair claying spekis sain Benet in yis sentence, and sais yat


1 man sal177 clazing [f. 32r] til ilkain eftir yat tay ere, and eftir ye temprance es of ye cuntre.


2 In caald cuntre es nede of warmer hend.


3 Yis sal be forlokid yurz yabbes.



7 Of ye culur of ye clad, na of ye mikilnes, sal nane speke, bot take suilke als man may finde in ye cuntre and of liht chepe bie.


8 Yabbesse sal loke yat tay be riht mesurd.


9 When yai ta ye newe, yan salle yai yelde yalde for to giue to ye pure.


10 Tuinne paire clayis sal ilkain haue for to scifte and for to waisse;


11 yef yai haue mare, it sal be scorn.


16 Yair beddis sal yabbes ofte ripe, yat tay ne haue na propirte.


17 Yef sho findis ani ying wid vten hir leue, wid greue discipline sal it be amendid;


18 And for yi yat it es vice of propirte, sal it be scorn als yifte. Yabbes sal giue til ilk ain178 als tay haue nede.


20 Yabbes sal ta yeme of yis sentence of ye dedis of ye apostils, yat sho depart til ilkain als tay haue mister.


21 Sua sal yabbes ta yeme of ye sekenes of ye nedful, And noht to ye wikke wille179 of yenuius.


22 In alle hir iugement sal sho umbe yinke hir what mede sho sal haue at god.


b Lauerd giue vs sua at do, yat we may haue owre mede of hym. AmeN.


Notes to Chapter 55

177. 55:1. Verb is omitted

178. 55:18. ain ] ani

179. 55:21. wille ] wilke



[Chapter 56]


a [f. 32v] Sain Benet sais yat


1 te Abbes bord sal be ay wid gestis and wid pilegrimis.


2 When sho hauis nane gestis, sho sal take wilke of hir sistirs sam sho wille;


3 bot yat sho180 leue in ye fraitur an ordene nunne ouyir tua ye ordir for to gete.


b Lauerd giue vs welle at gete oure ordir.


Note to Chapter 56

180. 56:3. sho ] sko



[Chapter 57]


1 Yef yare be any yat can any labur, wid mekenes sal yai it do,


a als sain Benet cumandis,


1 yat tabbes cumaundis taim at do.


2 gyf yai auantis taim of yair werke, for yi yat sho yinke sho dos gude tille ye howse,


3 sho sal be don owte of hir mister, til sho haue amendid hir faute, yef sho wille noht be buxum til yat ye abbes cumandis hir at do.


4 Yef any makis any yinge yat sal be salde, Loke what it is wrz, yat ye ne sette na felun price yar on.


5a And 3e vmbe yinke yu of ananie & of sapher his wife,


b yat salde yaire lande in ye tyme of ya apostils; yai helde a partie of ye price, and a noyir partie broht by fore ya apostils; and sain petir was parcaiuid of ye tricherie, and askid yam why yai made propirte of yat yai [f. 33r] hauid done in comun;


5b And tai felle baye dede downe.


6 Mikil dowte birde yam haue yat dose in ying yat fallis til hali kirke, yat taire sauls suffir na dede, als te cors dose here.


7 In ye price of ye ying yat 3e salle selle, loke yare be na cuuaitise inne;


8 bot bettir chepe sal ye selle yan ye men of ye werld dose, yat god may be payde of yure sale.

He giue vs for his grace yat we may sua wirke and sua selle,


9 yat he be payde yar-of.



[Chapter 58]


1 When any wymmen of ye sekil, sias sain Benet, cummis at aske yordir, man salle noght light181 like gif it tam, ye entre,


2 bot man sal do als ta postil sais: "proue yaire hertis, yef yai be to god."


3 yef sho be stabil in hir asking, And haitis for to suffir alle ye uiltez yat man wille put hir to, Efter ye fifte day


4 sal sho be recaiuid in til ye howse,


5 And don in til ye celle with ye nouicis. Yare sal sho studie and ete and slape.


7 suilk yeming sal sho haue, yat te saule be turnid to god allemihtye; And ta yeme to hir for to loke yef ye spirte be to god, and yef sho dose hir entente to godis seruise, And buxum, [f. 33v] and of suffrance.


8 Man salle muster hir harde yinges and smerte, ye riht gate to god.


9 Yef sho euir haitis stabilnes, eftir tua wukis sal hir be red yis reule of yordir,


10 And saye to hir: "yis es ye rihte gate whare inne yu salle life. Yef yu may halde it, cum inne; and yef yu ne may, ga forz al deliuir."


11 Yef sho obidis yet, when sho is prouid o many maners,


12 yan sal man rede hir ye reule, yat sho may wite witerli whar to sho salle halde hir.


13 And at te tuef monethes ende, when sho hauis herde ye reule yris,


14 yef sho haitis for to halde it welle, all yat man cumandis hir, yanne sall sho be recaiuid i mang ye cuuent.


15 bot witte sho welle, fra yat day forward may sho noht gange owte, Ne ye life of ye reule fle,


16 ne caste it fra hir nek; For sho hauid bi fore laiser for to gange owte.


17 When sho sall make hir professe, In ye Kirke bi fore yame alle sal sho haite stabilnes and buxumnes,


18 by fore god and alle his hali3es. Yat sho euir mare brekis yat cuuenant, witte sho welle yat god sal damne hir with owtyn ende.


20 Yis ying salle sho write with hir awne hande; And [f. 34r] yef sho canne noht write, pray ane of hir sistirs; Bot sho hir selfe sal make ye singne of ye croice, and lay it on yauter,


21 And siyin say yis verse: "Suscipe me &c. -- Lauerd, yu recaiue me, and I sal liue als te wordes es of ye; yat es myne entent, yat I confundid be noht."


22 at yis verse sal alle ye cuuent ansewere hir yris; and siyin "Gloria patri" at te laste.


23 When sho es blissed, Fra yat time forward sal sho be calde in cuuent.


24 Yef sho hauis ani katel, parte it i mang ye pouir, Ouyir make offrand til ye kirke, yat sho ne halde na ying by hinde;


25 For fra yat day forward sal sho haue na pouste of hir Awne body.


26 Hir clathis yat sho broth sal man restore ye kirke with alle,


28 yat sho fra yat day forward haue na wille at gange owte of ye kirke yur3e enticement of ye deuil.


29 Ye bref of hir professe sal sho noht haue, bot in ye kirke sal be gete.


a Lauerd for his grace giue vs herte and wille in owre ordir to duelle.


Note to Chapter 58

181. 58:1. light ] ligh



[Chapter 59]


1 When any riche man of ye sekil, sais sain Benet, Offirs his do3tir til god and til haly kirke, And ye childe be yunge, yat it ne kan noht aske ye peticiun, hir frendis [f. 34v] sal aske for hir.


2 Ane when yai offir hir hande, yai salle winde ye tuaile yar a bowte of yauter.


3 And tanne sal yai suere yat yai ne sal neuir mare, ne na man yurz yaim, o na maner giue ying to ye childe, ne sende, whare yurz yat ye childe haue wille to propirte.


4 Bot yef yai wille ani almus do til ye kirke, do it al opinlike, yat yai wil giue.


5 Yef it be lande, and yai wil halde it yaim selfe, yai sal make chartir, and yelde ilke 3ere ye ferme yat yai may liue with alle.


6 And sua sal 3e do wid alle ye ying yat fallis propirlie til ye child, yat na ying bi leue with hir frende, whare yurz yat sho haue wil til propirte; Sain Benet hauis te sperance of yoyir.


7 And on yis ilke maner sal ye pure man childe be offird:


8 simpelie make yaire peticiun, and bi fore whitnes offir yaire childir.


a Lauerd for his grace giue yat we may wel gyde ye offerande yat owre frendis made of vs.



[Chapter 60]


1 Yef ani preste, sais sain Benet, prais 3erne for to be recaiuid in til yordir, 3e ne sal noght hastelie graunt it hym.


2 Bot yef he duellis in his asking & [f. 35r] prayis 3erne, Man sal muster him alle ye disciplines of ye reule, yat he salle yeme with owtyn reles;


3 yat it be done als it is writin, And say til hym: "Amice, ad quid venisti -- Frende, wharto es yu cumen?".


4 Bot to3 wheyir sal ye howse be grauntid him, And recaiue benicun, and singe his messe, yef yabbes cumandis him.


5 And yef it sua bitimis, yat he ne wyl noght lere na sience, ye reule of discipline sal he fele; for he sulde giue oyir ensampil of mekenes.


6 Yef yar be ani labur at do in ye kirke, Of him sal man ta yeme what he dose,


7 when he is entird in; And noght for yat he es preste and yai haue done him reuerence, be vnbuxum.


8 Yef any clerke desiris to ordir, o yat ilke maner at be in fela3scap, yai sal be done in mene stede, O yis maner,


9 yef yai haite for to holde ye reule of discipline and stabil dwelling.



[Chapter 62]


1 Yef yabbes prais for preste ouyir for dekin at be ordainde til hym selfe, He sal loke, yat yai be dingne yer to at be preste.


2 He salle fle pride & leue alle ille vices, ar he be preste.


3 And yat [f. 35v] he do na ying bot yat man cumandis him to do; And yef he do, he sal be vndir ye reule of discipline.


5 Ne yat he for gete noht ye ordir yat he hauis tane,


4 na ye reule of obedience ne of discipline, And euir auance hym in godis seruise, And yinke yat he ne come noht to ye kirke, bot til godis seruise.


6 And yef ye cuuent wille, & yabes consentis yar to, yai mai auance hym for ye godenes of his life.


7 Loke yat he neuir ye later halde ye reule of stabilnes baye in and owte in gudenes.


8 And if he oyirgate dose, and wil noht be buxum, bott rebel, whilk182 man salle repreue hym ofte.


9 Yef he wil noght sua amende, Man salle muster hym til ye bisschope.


10 Yef he ne may do him amende, Man sal muster his fautes alle opinlie, and do him owte of ye kirke,


11 yef he be prowde, yat he wil noght be buxum vnder ye reule of haly kirke.


Note to Chapter 62

182. 62:8. whilk: seems out of place.


[Chapter 61]


a IN yis sentence leris sain Benet vs,


1 how we sal recaiue ye vncunyng nunnis yat cummis owte of fer landis. Yef sho wille als geste wne in ye kirke,


2 and folow ye custume als sho findes, [f. 36r] And noy nan yat langes to ye kyrke with hir surfait,


3 bot simpelike recaiue yat sho findis, sho salle be recaiuid ay to whilis yat sho wille dwelle.


4 Yef sho mustirs ani resun & with luue, yabbes sal quaintelike drahe hir to hir, and yanc183 gode yat hir sent.


5 yef sho wille yar stabilnes make, loke yat wille be noht refusid.


6 And als sua, yef man may persaue, to whilis yat sho es geste, yat sho es surfaitus & il maner, Man sal noght fela3scap with hir,


7 bott faire and swetelike latte hir ga, yat toyir haue na shame of hir.


8 Yef sho be of gude maner, Man sal noht abide hir asking for to duelle,


9 Bott man sal prai hir at dwelle, yat ye toyir mai be amendid yur3 ye184 sampil of hir;


10 For in alle stedis may man serue god.


11 Yef yabbes ses hir life be suilke, sho may do hir in he3er stede, if sho wille, yan hir ordir askis.


13 Bot loke ye abbes yat sho knaw hir wel yat sho sal halde in ye kirke, Ou3ir 3urh hir abbes ouyir yur3 hir lettirs.


14 For hali write cumandis yat yu sal do to na man bot als yu walde man did to ye.


b Lauerd giue vs welle at gete yis cuma- [f. 36v] ndement And alle yoyir.


Notes to Chapter 61

183. 61:4. yanc ] yane

184. 61:9. ye ] ye ye



[Chapter 63]


a IN yis sentence cumandis sain Benet yat


1 ilkain be with order als yai cume in, And als tabbes stablis yaim eftir yat yair lif es.


2 yabbes sal noht greue ye cuuent, yo3 yai be giuin hir at yeme, Ne deliuir pouste haue nane for to giue of ye ying yat es stablist in comun,


3 Bott vmbe yinke hir yat sho sal yelde resun of alle hir iugement til god.


4 als tay ar ordainde, yat tay be stablist and gang in comun.


5 Yai ne salle noht tine yaire ordir for yu3hed;


6 For samuel and daniel, when yai where barnis, yai demid ye alde men.


7 alle sal be als yai cume in til yordir, bot ta yat tabbes he3is ouyir la3is for a chesun.


8 sho yat cumis at te secunde owre of ye day sal be done with hir yat cumis at ye first, O what elde sam sho be.


9 Til ye barnis salle man halde discipline.


10 Ye yung salle onur yalde, and ye alde salle lufe ye yunge.


11 Nane sal calle oyir by yaire name,


12 bot ye priures sal calle yaim hir "sisters".


13 Yabbesse, for sho es in godis stede, sal be callid "dame", noht for ye he3nes yat sho es abbes, bot for ye onur of god.


14 Loke yat sho [f. 37r] do sua, yat sho be dingne at recaiue yat onur.


15 When ane metis a noyir, ye yunger sal noht sitte bi hir, bot sho haue leue;


17 for hali writ cumandis, ye yunger sal onur yelder.


18 Ye barnis sal yinke on yaire ordir with discipline in kirke and in fraitur;


19 with outyn and with in, in alle stedis, sal yai haue geting & chastiing.


b Lauerd, for yi mercy giue sa welle at halde yis sentence and euir yi wille do. AmeN.



[Chapter 64]


a Sain Benet leris vs in yis sentence, how we sal chese vre abbesse.


1 Suilk resun, he sais, sal man loke at ye lecciun, yat sho be ordene and yat al ye cuuent consentis to with ye dute of god. Sho yat ye haler partie of ye cuuent chesis,


2 yur3 gude life and wisdom sal sho be chosin.


3 Yef it sua be, pat alle ye cuuent chesis ane yat wil consent til yaire vices,


4 ye abbotis yat es yare, and ye folke of ye cuntre,


5 sal defende yat tat felun lecciun be noht forth broth. Bott suilk sal yai take yat can guuerne godis howse and dingne es yar to.


6 And witte yai wel, [f. 37v] yai sal haue gude mede, if yai do it for ye lufe of god, And sinne, yef yai leue.


7 Ye abbes, when sho es ordainde, sho salle vmbe yinke hir what charge sho hase recaiuid, And yat sho sal yelde resun of alle.


8 witte sho wele yat mare bi houis hir studie for to auance hir cuuent, yan maistri for to haue.


9 sho a3ht at be wise in goddis law, yat sho dra3e til witnes baye to ye new law and til ye alde testament. Chaste a3ht sho at be, and sobir, & ful of pite,


10 And euir he3e ye misericorde of god ouir hir iugement, yat god to yat ilke with hir.


11 Ille vices salle sho hate, and luue hir sistirs.


12 In hir pouste loke yat yare be nane vtrage in, Ne yat sho ne chaste nan sa fellike, yat yai fle ne falle in wrang trou3.


13 Yabbesse salle gete hir welle hir fra, And euir haue hir a3en misdede bi fore hir siht. Sho salle noht suffir ye beli pipe be brokin;


14 yat when sho seis ani of hir sistirs be chargid with sinne, sho salle noht greue hir185 sua mikil, yat sho fle a way,


15 bot sho salle be besy more to be luuid yan to be dredde.


16 sho sal [f. 38r] nott be trubellus, nor angri, nor ouir obstinate, nor iolyose, nor ouir suspiciose, for yan sal sho neuir haue reste.


17 sho sal be wice & discrete in hir commandmentis, yat yai be ouyir efter godde or efter ye worlde. sho salle discerne and temper ye werkis whilk sho invinis to be done,


18 thynkyng186 a pon ye discrecion of sainte Iacob sayng in yis wise: "If I sulde make my herdis to labur to mikil in walkyng, yai sal alle die on one day."


19 Therfore sho sal take yir and odir ma examples of discrecion, ye moder of vertues, and tempir and dispone all thingis sa, yat hir demenance be swylke, yat sisters yat er strang and of gude lyuyng may desire and lufe187 it, & thay yat er febil may bere it;


20 and namli yat sho kepe yis present reule in all thingis,


21 that when sho hase welle done hir ministracion, sho may here ye worde of oure lorde whilk ye gude seruande harde, yat gafe corne to his seruandis in his tyme:


22 "Amen dico vobis &c. -- For soth I say to 3ow, godde sall sett hym ouir all his thingis."


Notes to Chapter 64

185. 64:14. greue hir: written above the line.

186. 64:18. thynkyng ] thyngyng

187. 64:19. luve: written above the line



[Chapter 65]


1 Sothly, ofte timis it happins yat be [f. 38v] ye ordinance of ye prioresse greuus sklaunders rysis in monesterys,


2 whils yer be sum bownyd with ye wikkid sprete of pride, thinkis thame selfe als gude os thayre abbes, And takis a pon thame tyranry, and nurischis sclaunders, and makis dissensiones in ye conuente,


3 And nameli in tha places where ye prioresse es ordande of ye same sistir, or of ye abbesse, whilk hase made be fore ye abbas.


4 Whilk inconueniens it es ethy to conseyue; for ye prioresse is geuin a mater to be prowd188 in ye begynnyng of hyr ordinance,


5 when sho is geuyn in mynde be hir awne thoghtis yat sho is lowsid owte of ye power of hir abbesse,


6 be cause ye same persones made hir prioresse whilk ordanid ye abbas be fore.


7 Thoro yat er raysid immonesis, strifis, bakbytyngis, haterede, dissensiones, And werangus ordinansis.


8 And when ye abbas and ye prioresse er of contrary opynion, both thayre awne saules bus nedly be in perel in yat dissensione,


9 And thay alswa yat er vnder thame and fagnis189 both partis fallis in to grete perel;


10 whilk perel fallis chefly opon thayme yat hauis made [f. 39r] thame selfe ye autors of chesyng of ye prioresse.


11 For yi hauis sain Benet forlokid yat tabbes sal chese whilke sam sho wille, for to halde pese and charite.


12 Yef hir ordanment190 es in buxumnes, alle yingis yat fallis to ye kirke sal be als tabes cumandis,


13 yat an ne be noht prude of yat es getyn til comun.


14 Yef ye cuuent askis resonabillike and in mekenes, And abbes sese it es nede,


15 yai sal make priuresse, yat sho be chosin yur3 ye cunsaile of ya yat dutis god.


16 When ye priuresse es ordainde, with mikil reuerence sal sho do yat tabbesse cumandis hir, yat sho do na ying a gain hyr wille na a gain hir cumaundement.


17 for ye mare yat sho es he3id ouir toyir, ye mare a3h sho at halde ye cumandement of ye reule.


18 And if sho be of ille vicis and prowde, ouyir man may finde yat sho hauis ye haly reule in dispite, sho sal be repreuid foure siye with worde.


19 Yef sho wil noht amende, ye reule of discipline sal sho fele.


20 Yef sho wil noht amende sua, sho sal be don owte, and a noyir es dingne, be don in hir stede.


21 Yef sho wil noht be buxum in cuuent, sho sal be done owte of ye kirke til sho wil amende.


22 [f. 39v] yabbesse sal vmbe yinke hir yat sho sal yelde resun on domes day of alle hir iugementis, And loke yat ye lowe of envie and hateredin ne brenne noht hir herte.


a Lauerd for his mercy defende vs fra envie & hateredin.


Notes to Chapter 65

188. 65:4. prowd ] previd

189. 65:9. fagnis ] fagis

190. 65:12. ordanment ] ordannent



[Chapter 66]


1 At ye 3ate, sais sain Benet, sal man do a sister yat can wisdome, And can recaiue & 3elde answer; yat sho be stabil of worde and dede.

 

2 by side ye 3ate sal sho haue chaumber, yat yai yat cum to ye 3ate, alle timis finde hir redi and speke with yaim.

 

3 Als tite as ony smitis on ye 3ate, Ouyir pouir crie, sho sal grace god

 

4 and with buxumnes hastelie ancewer yam and do yaire erand.

 

5 Yef sho hauis mister of help, man sal finde hir helpe at ye 3ate.

 

6 Yef ye howse may forye it sua, yan sal it be stablist o yis maner, yat ye water, & ye milne, and bakehuse, and breuhuse, and calgard, and al yat 3e haue mister of, yat al be with in ye gard,

 

7 yat 3e ne haue na nede at sende owte; for yat es noht gude to ye saule.

 

8 Yis reule sal ofte be redde imang 3e cuuent, yat nane ascuse yam of yis ying yat yai ne do it.

 

a Lauerd for [f. 40r] his pite giue vs sua at vnderstande yis reule, and siyin for to wirke, yat we may cum til ye life yat lastis ay. god gif it vs.

 

[Chapter 67]

 

a IN yis sentence cumandis sain Benet yat

 

1 whilk sister sua man sendis owte any erand, sal take ye benicun are yai ga, And cumande hir in ye vrisun of yabbes And of alle hir sistirs;

 

2 And at ilke vre of ye day yat [tai] prai for ya yat er vte.

 

3 Yat day yat sho cumis hame, sal sho recaiue ye benicun at ilke ure

 

4 Of yat yai haue misdon with siht, ouyir with iois,191 ouyir with speche, ouyir ani ivil dedis.

 

5 Yai sal noht telle til ye toyir alle yat yai haue sene vte & herd, for yat es ay mikil vice.

 

6 Yef any dose, ye correccion of ye reule sal sho suffir.

 

7 And yat ilke sal sho suffir yat gase owte of ye choister, labur for to do, be it neuir sua litel, with owtin leue of yabbes.

 

b Lauerd for192 gete vs, yat we ne do ne saie ying yat til destruciun fallis.

 

Notes to Chapter 67

191. 67:4. iois: corrupt for erin or the like

192. 67:b. Something is missing here.

 

[Chapter 68]

 

1 Yef man cumandis, sais sain Benet, ani ying at do, and it be greue, and sho may noht do it, sho sal recaiue ye cu- [f. 40v] mandement softelie and wid mekenes.

 

2 yef sho ses yat ye charge of ye cumandement ouir gase hir force, whit mekenes sal sho muster to yabbes hir sekenes,

 

3 and noht with pride, na with gain sa3e.

 

4 When so hauis musterd hir firmite, yef ye cumandement of yabbes haldis for3e, witte sho wele yat it es hir prowe til ye saule;

 

5 sho sal recaiue it in obedience in ye trou3e of goddis lay.

 

a Lauerd, he giue vs mekenes, for his merci, als he cumandis.

 

[Chapter 69]

 

1 Mikil a3 ye at fle yis, sais sain Benet, yat nane defende ne warne oyir for nane achesun,

 

2 ne for sibredin, ne for na oyir aquaintance;

 

3 for mikil blame yan may cum yerof.

 

4 Yef ani trespassis yis cumandement, greuelike sal it be amendid.

 

a Lauerd defende vs fra alle achesun of sclandir.

 

[Chapter 70]

 

a IN yis sentence cumandis sain Benet yat

 

1 a chesunnir sal be defendid in haly kirke, als it es ordainde and stablist,

 

2 yat nane be sua hardy for to curse oyir, ne discipline, bot sho yat yabbes giuis ye pouste.

 

3 Ya yat [f. 41r] tresspassis, by fore yam alle salle yai be chastid, sua yat ye oyir haue dute yerof.

 

4 til ye barnis sal man halde discipline ententiuelike, Til yai be o fiftene winter elde.

 

5 Alle sal do yat to yam with mesur and with resun.

 

6 Yef ani sistir with outen ye cumandement of yabbes dose ye barnis ani owterage, ye reule of disclipine sal yai fele;

 

7 for haly write cummandis yat yu sal do to na noyir bot als yu walde man did to ye.

 

b Lauerd for his pite giue vs well at halde his cumandemens.

 

[Chapter 71]

 

a Sain Benet cumandis in yis sentence yat

 

1 al sal make obediens, and noht alane to yabbes, bot ilkane to oyir.

 

2 Yur3 ye life of obediens may ye cum to heuin.

 

3 yabbes and ye priuresse sal cumande til ya yat es vnder yaim; yat na priue cumandement be hid in yaim.

 

4 ye yunger sal meke yaim til yelder with mikil charite.

 

6 Yef any es funden with fawte, be it neuir so litel, with yabbes, ouyir with priuresse, ouyir with ony oyir, sho sal acline to193 yerye.

 

7 Yef sho haue whreyid ani of [f. 41v] hir sistirs, o what maner sam it be,

 

8 hastelike with vten dwellyng sal sho falle to her fete and aske hir for gifnes, and crie hir merci, And ligge yare til sho for giue it hir and giue hir her benicun.

 

9 Sho yat at yis amendement hauis an despite, and wille noht do it, Of hir body sal man take amendement. Yef sho be rebel yar again, vte of ye kirke sal sho be putt.

 

b Lauerd for his merci giue vs sua obediens and mekenes at halde, and rebel at fle, yat we may cum til ye ioy yat ay sal be.

 

Note to Chapter 71

193. 71:6. to ] io

 

[Chapter 72]

 

a Of tua maner in a lif spekis sain Benet in yis sentence, And sais yat

 

1 the ille lif, yat es ful of wille, it departis man fra god and ledis man til ye pinis of helle,

 

2 And a noyir lif, yat es gude, yat departis man fra helle and ledis man to god almihti.

 

3 Yis gude life sal ye lere with lufe and gudenes,

 

4 & ilkain auance oyir wid onur and gude dede;

 

5 ye sekenes of youre bodi, yan it cumis, take it in gude entente and in pacience.

 

6 Obedience, buxumnes, sal ilkain at oyir [f. 42r] lere hastiuelike,

 

8 charite & gudenes ilkain lere oyir, and chastite with luue.

 

9 Yef sal dute god

 

10 and yure abbesse with luue and charite.

 

12 And yat sal lede yow til ye ioy with outen ende.

 

b god giue it vs.

 

[Chapter 73]

 

a IN yis sentence mustirs sain Benet mikil mekenes yat in hym was.

 

b For pure mekenes mustirs he here in ye last ende of his reule.

 

c He sais yat he ne hauis noht writyn alle yingis yat fallis to rihtuisnes.

 

d Bott what sam haldis wel yise cumaundementis, he3 god, yat es fadir of alle, sal 3elde yaim yair mede.

 

1 We haue writin yis reule for to mustir til ya yat ere suuerainis of hali kirke haue clene luue til god and to yaire prome, And ilke sistir til oyir.

 

2 Bot wha sua wil cume til ye he3nes and til ye sikirnes of religiun, Loke yat tay do eftir ye kening of ye haly fadir yat wnis in manhed in ye he3nes yat lastis ay.

 

3 Of what boke sam ye here, of anikin kening of yalde lai ouyir of ye neu testament, Ouyir what sum it es, yan es it ye riht reule of yis life here.

 

4 Of na boke ne make 3e force, bot 3e [f. 42v] may ga ye right gate to god alle mihti.

 

5 ye life of ye haly armitis and yaire cumandemens, And ye reule of sain basili, alle suilke yingis salle 3e fili3.

 

6 Til hali men, yat gude lif haldes & luuis obedience and gude vertus, yat may halde yis lif.

 

7 Bot we, sais sain benet, yat er febil and for getil and of febil lif, yis gude lif schamis vs, And confundis.

 

8 Bot ye yat wille cume hastelike to ye he3e ioy yat lastis ay, Haldes first yur3 ye helpe of iesu crist yis litil beginning of ye reule yat I haue writin yu,

 

9 And salle ye cume til ye he3nes of mare vertu yur3 ye kenning yat I haue musterd.

Ya yat it vnderstandis and haldis, Til yaim sal be oppind ye 3atis of heuin.

 

e Lauerd, bigining and ending of alle gude dedis, giue vs194 sua yis reule of sain benet for to 3eme, yat te rengne of heuin be oppind til vs.

 

f Godde gif it vs for his misericorde. AmeN.

Qui viuis & Regnas, Deus, Per Omnia Secula Seculorum.

A.M.E.N.

 

Note to Chapter 73

194. 73:e. vs: written above the line

 



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