The canterbury tales, p.82
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       The Canterbury Tales, p.82

           Geoffrey Chaucer

  And forther over, certes, pride is gretly notified437 in holdinge of greet meinee, whan they been of litel profit or of right no profit, | and namely whan that meinee is felonous438 and damageous to the peple by hardinesse of hey lordshipe or by wey of offices. | For certes, swiche lordes sellen thanne hir lordship to the devel of helle, whan they sustenen439 the wikkednesse of hire meinee; | or elles whan thise folk of lowe degree, as thilke that holden hostelries, sustenen the thefte of hire hostilers, and that is in many manere of deceites. [440] | Thilke manere of folk ben the flies that folwen the hony, or elles the houndes that folwen the careine441. Swich forseide folk stranglen spiritually hire lordshipes. | For which thus seyth David the prophete: ‘Wikked deth mote come upon thilke lordshipes, and God yeve442 that they mote descende into helle al doun, for in hire houses been iniquitees and shrewednesses, and nat God of hevene.’ | And certes, but if they doon amendement, right as God yaf his benisoun443 to Laban by the service of Jacob, and to Pharao by the service of Joseph, right so God wol yeve his malisoun to swiche lordshipes as sustenen the wikkednesse of hire servauntz, but they come to amendement. | Pride of the table appeereth eek ful ofte, for certes, riche men ben cleped444 to festes, and povere folk ben put awey and rebuked. | Also in excesse of diverse metes and drinkes, and namely swiche manere bakemetes445 and dissh-metes, brenninge of wilde fir, and peinted and castelled with papir, and semblable wast, so that it is abusioun for to thinke. [445] | And eek in to gret preciousnesse of vessel, and curiositee446 of minstralcye, by whiche a man is stired the moore to delices of luxurye. | If so be that he sette his herte the lasse upon oure lord Jesu Crist, certein, it is a sinne, and certeinly the delices mighte ben so grete in this cas that man mighte lightly fallen by hem into dedly sinne. | The especes448 that sourden of pride, soothly, whan they sourden of malice, imagined, avised, and forncast, or elles of usage, ben dedly sinnes, it is no doute. | And whan they sourden by freletee449, unavised, sodeinly, and sodeinly withdrawe agein, al be they grevouse sinnes, I gesse that they ne be nat dedly. |

  Now mighte men axe wherof that pride sourdeth and springeth; and I seye, somtime it springeth of the goodes of nature, and somtime of the goodes of fortune, and somtime of the goodes of grace. [450] | Certes, the goodes of nature stonden outher in451 goodes of body or goodes of soule. | Certes, goodes of body been heele of body, strengthe, delivernesse452, beautee, gentrice, franchise. | Goodes of nature of the soule ben good wit453, sharp understondinge, subtil engin, vertu naturel, good memorye. | Goodes of fortune ben richesses, hey degrees of lordshipes, preisinges454 of the peple. | Goodes of grace ben science455, power to suffre spiritual travaille, benignitee, vertuous contemplacioun, withstondinge of temptacioun, and semblable thinges. [455] | Of whiche forseide goodes, certes, it is a ful gret folye a man to priden him in any of hem alle. | Now, as for to speke of goodes of nature, God woot, that somtime we han hem in nature as muche to oure damage as to oure profit. | As for to speke of heele458 of body, certes, it passeth ful lightly, and eek it is ful ofte enchesoun of the siknesse of oure soule; for, God woot, the flessh is a ful greet enemy to the soule, and therfore, the moore that the body is hool, the moore be we in peril to falle. | Eke for to pride him in his strengthe of body, it is an heigh folye, for certes, the flessh coveiteth459 again the spirit, and ay the moore strong that the flessh is, the sorier may the soule be. | And over al this, strengthe of body and worldly hardinesse460 causeth ful ofte many a man to peril and meschaunce. [460] | Eke for to pride him of his gentrye461 is ful gret folye, for ofte time the gentrye of the body binimeth the gentrye of the soule, and eek we ben alle of o fader and of o moder, and alle we ben of o nature, roten and corrupt, bothe riche and povre. | For sothe, o manere gentrye is for to preise: that apparailleth462 mannes corage with vertues and moralitees, and maketh him Cristes child; | for truste wel, that over what man that sinne hath maistrye, he is a verray cherl463 to sinne. |

  Now ben ther general signes of gentilesse, as eschewinge464 of vice and ribaudye, and servage of sinne in word, in werk, and contenaunce, | and usinge vertu, curteisye, and clennesse, and to be liberal – that is to seyn, large by mesure465, for thilke that passeth mesure is folye and sinne. [465] | Another is to remembre him of bounte that he of oother folk hath received. | Another is to be benigne to hise goode subgetz. Wherfore seyth Senek, ‘Ther is nothing moore covenable467 to a man of heigh estaat than debonairetee and pitee. | And therfore thise flies468 that men clepe bees, whan they maken hire king, they chesen oon that hath no prikke wherwith he may stinge.’ | Another is, a man to have a noble herte and a diligent to attaine to hye vertuouse thinges. | Now certes, a man to pride him in the goodes470 of grace is eek an outrageous folye, for thilke yiftes of grace that sholde have turned him to goodnesse and to medicine turneth him to venim and to confusioun, as seyth Seint Gregorye. [470] | Certes also, whoso prideth him in the goodes of fortune, he is a ful gret fool, for somtime is a man a gret lord by the morwe that is a kaitif471 and a wrecche er it be night. | And somtime the richesse of a man is cause of his deeth; somtime the delices of a man ben cause of the grevous maladye thurgh which he dieth. | Certes, the commendacioun of the peple is somtime ful fals, and ful brotel473 for to triste; this day they preise, tomorwe they blame. | God woot, desir to have commendacioun eek of the peple hath caused deth to many a bisy man. |

  [The Remedy Against the Sin of Pride]

  Now, sith that so is that ye han understonde what is pride, and whiche ben the speces of it, and whennes pride sourdeth and springeth, [475] | now shul ye understonde which is the remedye agains pride, and that is humilitee or mekenesse. | That is a vertu thurgh which a man hath verray knoweleche of himself and holdeth of himself no pris ne deintee477 as in regard of hise desertes, consideringe evere his freletee. | Now ben ther three maneres of humilitee: as, humilitee in herte; another, humilitee in his mouth; the thridde, in hise werkes. | The humilitee in herte is in foure maneres: that oon is whan a man holdeth himself as naught worth479 biforn God of hevene; another is whan he ne despiseth noon oother man; | the thridde is whan he rekketh nat480 though men holde him noght worth; the ferthe is whan he nis nat sory of his humiliacioun. [480] | Also the humilitee of mouth is in foure thinges: in atempree481 speche, and in humblesse of speche, and whan he biknoweth with his owene mouth that he is swich as him thinketh that he is in his herte; another is whan he preiseth the bountee of another man and nothing therof amenuseth. | Humilitee eek in werkes is in foure maneres: the firste is whan he putteth othere men biforn him; the seconde is to chese482 the loweste place overal; the thridde is gladly to assente to good conseil; | the ferthe is to stonde gladly to483 the award of his soverein, or of him that is in hyer degree. Certein, this is a greet werk of humilitee. |

  [On Envy]

  After pride wol I speke of the foule sinne of envye, which that is, as by the word of the philosophre, ‘sorwe of othere mennes prosperitee’, and after the word of Seint Augustin, it is ‘sorwe of othere mennes wele484, and joye of othere mennes harm’. | This foule sinne is platly485 agains the Holy Goost. Al be it so that every sinne is agains the Holy Goost, yet nathelees, forasmuche as bountee aperteneth proprely to the Holy Goost, and envye cometh proprely of malice, therfore is it proprely agains the bountee of the Holy Goost. [485] | Now hath malice two speces, that is to seyn, hardnesse of herte in wikkednesse, or elles the flessh of man is so blind that he considereth nat that he is in sinne, or rekketh nat that he is in sinne, which is the hardnesse of the devel. | That oother spece of malice is whan that a man werreyeth487 trouthe, whan he woot that it is trouthe, and eek whan he werreyeth the grace that God hath yeve to his neighebore, and al this is by envye. | Certes, thanne is envye the worste sinne that is, for soothly, alle othere sinnes ben som time oonly agains o special vertu, | but certes, envye is agains alle vertues and agains alle goodnesses, for it is sory of alle the bountees489 of his neighebore, and in this manere it is divers from alle othere sinnes. | For wel unnethe490 is ther any sinne that it ne hath som delit in itself, save oonly envye, t
hat evere hath in itself angwissh and sorwe. [490] | The speces of envye ben thise: ther is first sorwe of othere mennes goodnesse and of hir prosperitee; and prosperitee is kindely491 matere of joye; thanne is envye a sinne agains kinde. | The seconde spece of envye is joye of oother mannes harm, and that is proprely lik to the devel, that evere rejoiseth him of mannes harm. | Of thise two speces comth bakbitinge493, and this sinne of bakbitinge or detraccion hath certeine speces, as thus: som man preiseth his neighebore by a wikked entente, | for he maketh alwey a wikked knotte atte laste ende – alwey he maketh a ‘but’ at the laste ende, that is digne494 of moore blame than worth is al the preisinge. | The seconde spece is that if a man be good, and dooth or seyth a thing to good entente, the bakbitere wol turne al thilke goodnesse up-so-doun to his shrewed entente495. [495] | The thridde is to amenuse the bountee of his neighebore. | The ferthe spece of bakbitinge is this, that if men speke goodnesse of a man, thanne wol the bakbitere seyn ‘parfey, swich a man is yet bet than he’, in dispreisinge of him that men preise. | The fifte498 spece is this, for to consente gladly and herkne gladly to the harm that men speke of oother folk. This sinne is ful greet, and ay encreseth after the wikked entente of the bakbitere. | After bakbitinge cometh grucchinge499 or murmuracioun, and somtime it springeth of inpacience a gains God, and somtime agains man.|Agains God is it whan a man gruccheth again the pine500 of helle, or agains poverte or los of catel, or again rein or tempest, or elles gruccheth that shrewes han prosperitee, or elles for that goode men han adversitee. [500] | And alle thise thinges sholde men suffre paciently, for they comen by the rightful jugement and ordinaunce501 of God. | Somtime cometh grucching of avarice, as Judas grucched agains the Magdeleine whan she enointe502 the heved of oure lord Jesu Crist with hire precious oinement. | This manere murmure503 is swich as whan man gruccheth of goodnesse that himself dooth, or that oother folk doon of hire owene catel. | Somtime comth murmure of pride, as whan Simon the Pharisee grucched again the Magdeleine whan she approched to Jesu Crist and weep504 at his feet for hire sinnes. | And somtime it sourdeth of envye, whan men discoveren a mannes harm that was privee, or bereth him on hond505 thing that is fals. [505] | Murmure eek is ofte amonges servauntz that grucchen whan hire sovereins bidden hem to doon leveful506 thinges, | and forasmuche as they dar nat openly withseye the comaundementz of hire sovereins, yet wol they seyn harm and grucche and murmure prively, for verray despit507 | – whiche wordes men clepe the develes Pater Noster (though so be that the devel ne hadde nevere Pater Noster, but that lewed folk508 yeven it swich a name). | Somtime it comth of ire or privee hate that norisseth rancour in herte, as afterward I shal declare. | Thanne comth eek bitternesse of herte, thurgh which bitternesse every good dede of his neighebore semeth to him bitter and unsavory. [510] | Thanne comth discord, that unbindeth alle manere of frendshipe. Thanne comth scorninge of his neighebore, al do he never so wel511. | Thanne comth accusinge, as whan man seketh occasioun to anoyen his neighebore, which that is lik the craft of the devel that waiteth512 bothe night and day to accusen us alle. | Thanne comth malignitee, thurgh which a man anoyeth his neighebore prively, if he may; | and if he nat may, algate his wikked wil ne shal nat wante514, as for to brennen his hous prively, or empoisone or sleen hise bestes, and semblable thinges. |

  [The Remedy Against the Sin of Envy]

  Now wol I speken of the remedye agains this foule sinne of envye. First is the love of God principal, and lovinge of his neighebore as himself, for soothly, that oon ne may nat ben withoute that oother. [515] | And truste wel, that in the name of thy neighebore thow shalt understonde the name of thy brother, for certes, alle we have o fader flesshly and o moder, that is to seyn Adam and Eve, and eek o fader spirituel, that is God of hevene. | Thy neighebore artow holden for to love and wilne517 him alle goodnesse, and therfore seyth God, ‘love thy neighebore as thyself’ – that is to seyn, to savacion bothe of lif and of soule. | And mooreover thow shalt love him in word and in benigne amonestinge518 and chastisinge, and conforte him in hise anoyes, and preye for him with al thin herte. | And in dede thow shalt love him in swich wise that thow shalt doon to him in charitee as thow woldest that it were doon to thin owene persone. | And therfore thow ne shalt doon him no damage in wikked word, ne harm in his body, ne in his catel520, ne in his soule by entising of wikked ensample. [520] | Thow shalt nat desiren his wif, ne none of hise thinges. Understoond eek, that in the name of neighebore is comprehended his enemy. | Certes, man shal love his enemy by the comandement of God, and soothly thy freend shaltow love in God. | I seye, thin enemy shaltow love for Goddes sake, by his comandement, for if it were resoun that man sholde hate his enemy, for sothe God nolde nat receiven us to his love, that ben hise enemys. | Agains three manere of wronges that his enemy dooth to him he shal doon three thinges, as thus: | agains hate and rancour of herte, he shal love him in herte; agains chiding and wikked wordes, he shal preye for his enemy; agains the wikked dede of his enemy, he shal doon him bountee525. [525] | For Crist seyth, ‘Loveth youre enemys, and preyeth for hem that speke yow harm, and eek for hem that yow chacen526 and pursuen, and dooth bountee to hem that yow haten.’ Loo, thus comaundeth us oure lord Jesu Crist to do to oure enemys. | For soothly, nature driveth us to loven oure frendes, and parfey, oure enemys han moore nede to love than oure frendes, and they that moore nede have, certes to hem shal men doon goodnesse. | And certes, in thilke dede have we remembraunce of the love of Jesu Crist, that deide for hise enemys. | And inasmuche as thilke love is the moore grevous529 to perfourne, so muche is the moore gret the merite. And therfore the lovinge of oure enemy hath confounded the venim of the devel; | for right as the devel is disconfited530 by humilitee, right so is he wounded to the deeth by love of oure enemy. [530] | Certes, thanne is love the medicine that casteth out the venim of envye fro mannes herte. | The speces of this paas532 shullen be moore largely declared in hire chapitres folwinge. |

  [On Wrath]

  After envye wol I discriven the sinne of ire; for soothly, whoso hath envye upon his neighebore, anon he wole comunly finde him a matere of533 wratthe, in word or in dede, agains him to whom he hath envye. | And as wel comth ire of pride as of envye, for soothly, he that is proud or envious is lightly534 wrooth. | This sinne of ire, after the discriving of Seint Augustin, is wikked wil to ben avenged by word or by dede. [535] | Ire, after the philosophre, is the fervent536 blood of man, yquiked in his herte, thurgh which he wole harm to him that he hateth. | For certes, the herte of man, by eschawfinge537 and moevinge of his blood, wexeth so trouble that he is out of alle jugement of resoun. |

  But ye shal understonde that ire is in two maneres: that oon of hem is good, and that oother is wikked. | The goode ire is by jalousye of539 goodnesse, thurgh which a man is wrooth with wikkednesse and agains wikkednesse; and therfore seyth a wis man that ire is bet than pley. | This ire is with debonairetee540, and it is wrooth withoute bitternesse – nat wrooth agains the man, but wrooth with the misdede of the man, as seyth the prophete David: ‘Irascimini et nolite peccare.’ [540] | Now, understondeth that wikked ire is in two maneres: that is to seyn, sodein ire or hastif ire, withoute avisement541 and consentinge of reson. | The mening and the sens of this is that the reson of a man ne consente nat to thilke sodein ire, and thanne is it venial. | Another ire is ful wikked, that comth of felonye of herte, avised543 and cast biforn, with wikked wil to do vengeaunce, and therto his resoun consenteth, and soothly, this is deedly sinne. | This ire is so displesant to God that it troubleth his hous, and chaceth the Holy Goost out of mannes soule, and wasteth544 and destroyeth the liknesse of God – that is to seyn, the vertu that is in mannes soule – | and put545 in him the liknesse of the devel, and binimeth the man fro God, that is his rightful lord. [545] | This ire is a ful gret plesaunce to the devel, for it is the develes forneis546, that is eschawfed with the fir of helle. | For certes, right so as fir is moore mighty to destroye erthely thinges than any oother element, right so ire is mighty to destroye alle spirituel thinges. | Looke how that fir of smale gleedes548 t
hat ben almoost dede under asshen wolen quike again whan they ben touched with brimstoon, right so ire wole everemo quike again whan it is touched by the pride that is covered in mannes herte. | For certes, fir ne may nat come out of nothing but if549 it were first in the same thing naturelly, as fir is drawen out of flintes with steel. | And right so as pride is ofte time matere550 of ire, right so is rancour norice and kepere of ire. [550] | Ther is a manere tree551, as seyth Seint Isidre, that whan men maken fir of thilke tree and covere the coles of it with asshen, soothly, the fir of it wol lasten al a yeer or moore. | And right so fareth it of rancour: whan it is ones conceived in the hertes of som men, certein, it wol lasten, paraventure, from oon Estre day552 unto another Estre day, and moore. | But certes, thilke man is ful fer fro the mercy of God al thilke while. | In this forseide develes fourneis ther forgen thre shrewes554: pride, that ay bloweth and encreseth the fir by chidinge and wikked wordes; | thanne stant envye and holdeth the hoote iren upon the herte of man with a peire of longe toonges555 of long rancour; [555] | and thanne stant the sinne of contumelye, or strif and cheeste556, and batereth and forgeth by vileins reprevinges. |

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