Book of a Ghostly Father


STC 3288
Ringler 3288 and TP 987, 1236. 'C5r is dated 8 Mar. 1520 [o.s.?] and has, in the last 6 lines of text, an acrostic on the author's name: Higgis' [STC]. (Ringler suggests this may refer to John Hyggs, M.A. Oxon, 1505.) Draws freely on J. Mirk's Instructions for Parish Priests; Ringler treats the section headed "De modo inquirendo de venialibus" as a new poem (TP 1236, "Nowe of synnes venyall"). UMI microfilm Reel 11. Order no. 425

Here begynneth a boke of a ghoostly fader, that confesseth his ghoostly chylde, the whiche speketh of the .vii. deedly synnes
London: [J. Skot for] W. de Worde,1521?.

Composition Date: 1520 or 1521 [Sig C5r].

sig: [A1]
¶Here begynneth a boke of a Ghoostly fader / that confesseth his Ghoostly chylde / the whiche speketh fyrst of the .vii. deedly synnes / and after of the cyrcumstaunce that to them belongeth.
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IHesu_Cryst heuen-kynge
Sende all them good endynge
That on this werke wyll rede or loke
Gyue atendaunce here or correcte this boke
5 The whiche is of the synnes seuen
Dysapoyntynge many soules frome heuen
And of the remedyes and the cyrcumstaunce
Of this is the chefe substaunce
And howe thou shalte thyselfe shryue
10 Of euery-thynge thy conscyence dothe greue.
If thy soule be out of synne whiche is treason.
To shewe of his beaute it passeth my reason
But and it be in synne and purpose there to abyde.
Without helpe to helle it wyll glyde.
15 This is trewe and a Iuste case
Euery-thynge wyll to his naturall place. Euery] Eeuery 1521
Ensample of the same take a feder
Caste it frome the an hyghe in the weder
Thoughe it be lyght and byde there a season
20 It cometh agayne to the erth thou may preue by reason.
So the lenger a soule is in contynuaunce.
The further fro god and the nerer to vengeaunce.
The furthest place from god is the dungeon of hell
Upon this thou mayst bothe bye and sell.
25 Whiche is a place naturall for synners and synne.
There to abyde euer and neuer to blynne
And thou trust vpon longe lyfe and to amende in aege
I rede the beware of this terryble cage
If sodayne dethe come and take the than
30 Whether shall thy soule thou synfull man.
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Leue synne sone or synne leue the
Come to thy ghostly fader and saye (Benedicite)
And be thy synnes neuer so grete and many
Neuer mystrust our sauyours mercy
35 The mercy of god it passeth all-thynge.
As I fynde in holy wrytynge.
(Sicut sintilla ignis in medio maris noli)
(Ita iniquitas viri in misericordia dei.)
Loke howe a sparcle of fyre is quenched in the see.
40 So is all a mannes synnes and iniquyte
In our lordes mercy and more redy to forgyue
Then thou to aske me[r]cy / this I do preue mercy] mecy 1521
Therfore sone in ony-thynge thou couthe
Shewe thy confessyon with thyne owne mouthe
45 For yf a surgean haue an hurte man in cure
He must knowe the wounde iuste and sure
Wherwith it was hurte / and in what place it is
And than maye he helpe hym by good practys
Therfore sone spare thou nought
50 If ony synne thou haue wrought
And I wyll mynystre medysens sure and sole
That shall make the parfytely hole
And bycause thou arte not lerned I saye than.
I wyl helpe the and I can
55 And there as thou fyndest thyselfe gylty
Holde vp thy handes and aske god mercy.
¶Of pryde to the I wyll begyn
Haste thou sone synned therin.
Haste thou onytyme wyttyngly.
60 Wrathed thy god greuously
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Haste thou ben inobedyente.
Agaynst goddes commaundemente
Haste thou by pryde set at naught.
Hym that hathe the good taught
65 Haste thou ony-tyme boost made
Of ony-thynge thou haste hade
Of vertue / of connynge or of wyt
Whiche god hymselfe sende the hyt.
Or of chylde father or mother
70 Of kynne syster or of brother
Of theyr inherytaunce fame or mode.
Or because they haue had moche good
Of catayll of golde and syluer also
Of place of housholde with purtenaunce therto.
75 Haste thou thyne owne gylte forsaken.
And to another the blame taken
Haste thou fayned thyselfe holy
To hypocrysy and to foly
In trust that it sholde be hyde.
80 Thy foule synne and thy foule pryde
Haste thou ony-tyme by vayne-glory
Thought thyselfe so good and holy
That thou hast had grete dysdayne
Of thy neyghbours that thou hast sayne
85 Haste thou ben proude my sone I saye
Bycause thou hast ben stedfast in the faye.
Hast thou ony-tyme taken on the
Ony good dede of charyte
That was another mannes doynge.
90 And of thyne no maner thynge
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Hast thou oppressed thy neyghboure.
To gete the good and honoure
Hast thou shente his good fame
For to gete the a good name.
95 Haste thou also proude be
Of ony-thynge god gaue the
For thy voyce was good and hye.
Or for thy wyt was good and slye
Or for thy heere was cryspe and longe.
100 Or for thou hast a reasonable tonge.
Or for thou arte myghty and stronge.
Or for thy body is fayre and longe
Or for thy flesshe is whyte and clene
None the lyke dost thou wene.
105 Haste thou be proude by strete or borde
Upon trust of lady or lorde.
Hast thou be proude of worshyp or good.
Or thou comest of grete blode
Hast thou ony-tyme prouder the made
110 Of ony offyce that thou hast hade
Hast thou be proude ghoostly
Tell me sone hardely
Of mekenes of pacyence or of pyte. Christus.
Of beaute of eloquence or of chastyte
115 And of other vertues many mo.
Sone hast thou synned in tho
Hast thou ony-tyme with herte proute.
A nothers synne spoken oute
And thyne entencyon suche it was
120 That thy synne sholde seme the las.
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Hast thou be proude and glad in thought.
Of ony synne thou hast wrought
Hast thou be proude of ony guyse
Of ony-thynge that thou dydest vse
125 Of party hosen or of pyked shone.
Or of garded clothes as foles done cristus.
Of landes of rentes or of gay howsynge
Of many seruauntes to thy byddynge
Or of horses fatte and rounde.
130 Or for thy goodes are saufe and sounde
Or for thou arte so myghty and ryche
That no neyghboure is the lyche. lyche: see OED s.v. like n.2
Or yf thou be a crafty man
And canst more than another can
135 Haste thou be proude of tenyse-playenge
Of daunsynge or of barre-castynge.
If thou haue ben this maner proute.
Shryue the sone and tell it oute

¶Of Enuye.

THe seconde synne in ordre veryly
140 Is the foule synne of Enuy.
Hast thou ben euermore grutchynge.
Agaynst god for ony-thynge
Hast thou ben in herte glad.
When thy neyghboure hathe harme had
145 Hast thou had in herte grefe.
Of his good and his relefe
Hast thou be glad and mery
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When he hath ben seke and sory
Or hast thou ben sory and madde
150 When he hathe ben mery and gladde.
Or that the worlde standeth not with the.
As dothe with hym in no degre.
Or bycause he hathe shepe and fell
Horse kyne or other catell.
155 Corne grasse haye to mowe
Wode or pasture more then thowe
Remembre sone the chaunce and course.
Thoughe he be ryche what arte thou the worse.
And thou be poore and thy good go awaye.
160 Thou canst not passe from Ioye vnto Ioye
Thanke god of pouerte and fle from seuen.
And thou shalte enheryte the kyngdome of heuen
He that hathe good hathe grete cure
Of this I fynde in holy scrypture.
165 Sanitas continua et rerum habundantia
Sunt eterne dampnationis iudicia perhaps i[n]dicia? Ihesu.
When a mannes herte is on his good annexte
Therin is grete Ieoperdy as sayth the texte. Mercy.
Hast thou noyed thy neygbour by ony chaunce
170 For ony promocyon that dyde hym auaunce
Or because he behaueth hymselfe amonge men
And better in fauoure then thou ken
With his mayster lorde or kynge
Or hathe more then thou of chepynge.
175 Or that he is more able then thowe
To all maner grace or prowe.
Haste thou in hele or sykenesse
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Borne ony false wytnesse
Ayenst thy neyghboure free or bonde
180 And madest hym lese good or londe
Haste thou e[n]uyed thyne vnderlynge
For he was good and thryuynge
Or lest he wolde passe the
In vertue or ony other degre.
185 Haste thou for hate or enuye
Holpen or counsayled for to lye
Or ony man for to defame.
Or for to stroye his good name
Haste thou bakbyted thy neyghbore
190 For to make hym fare the wore.
Haste thou reysed ony debate
A_monges they neyghbours for ony hate they: =thy
Haste thou spared for enuye
To teche a man his harme to flye.
195 Whan thou myghtest by thy warnynge
Haue hym saued from his harmynge
And ony other thynge come to thy mynde
Shewe it forth leue none behynde.
And what thou hast more in thy thought.
200 Shryue the sone and spare it nought

¶Of Couetyse.

THe thyrde synne without myse
Is the synne of Couetyse Mercy.
Haste thou man in ony wyse.
By wronge and couetyse Ihesu.
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205 Begyle thy neyghboure fre or bonde
Of his house good or londe. Mercy.
And by strength and extorcyon kepest possessyon
And makest therof no maner restytucyon
O mortall man reme[m]bre this chaunce remembre] remebre 1521
210 Before god it asketh vengeaunce
Et non deletur peccatum
Nisi restituatur oblatum.
Thus in scrypture I haue it founde.
And in englysshe I wyll it expounde
215 A man of his synne can haue no remyssyon.
Unto suche tyme he haue made restytucyon.
Haste thou lyen by waye or by strete
There thy neyghboure for to mete.
And thyne entencyon suche it was
220 To robbe hym of his good more and las
Or hast broken his house by daye or nyght
And caryed his good out of his syght
Doynge so thou wylte be shente.
It is agaynst goddes commaundemente.
225 Hast thou borne out of chyrche or chyrchay. chyrchay: see OED s.v. church-hay, church-hawe
Ony-thynge ye or naye
As golde and syluer or ony other wede
Thou standest accursed in the dede.
Usury or okur bothe ben one.
230 Doste thou vse ony of those or none
This is a synne full greuous
Before our sauyoure Ihesus. Ihesus
God taketh moche on greffe
To sell a man in his myscheffe
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235 Ony-thynge to hyghe prys
Well I knowe vsury it is
And to lende .xii. pens and to haue thyrtene
This is vsury as I wene
At syses sessyons haste thou ben thare.
240 To put thy neyghboure to trouble and care.
So by thy couetyse mynde extorcyon and strength
Some wynnynge thou hast had therof at lengthe
Hast thou vsed with mesures or weyghtes to by and sell
And thou haue I charge the to tell.
245 And as trewe as I am a man Mercy.
I wyll helpe the and I can.
Haste thou coueted ony mannes doughter or wyfe.
With them to lyue a synfull lyfe
His hors his catell or other good lo
250 Of the whiche thou hast had no ryght therto.
By cursed couetyse and vngracyous wyght
Not carynge howe thou haddest come by hit
Hast thou on thy good thy mynde set inordynatly
And not sayd to god for it gramercy
255 Remembre the story in holy wrytynge
Of Dyues the ryche man and of his lyuynge
Whose soule is nowe in hell full lowe
And wherfore was it as you trowe
As sure and as trewe as I wrote this verse
260 It was for the cause I dyde reherse
He wolde not for the loue of swete Ihesus.
Helpe nor socoure the poore man Lazarus.
With his goodes lesse nor more
Nor no poore man at his dore.
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265 Wherfore for nowe he cryeth alas
And curseth the tyme that borne he was.
Alas / alas beware by me.
Quante sunt tenebre
The derkenes of hell as trewe as is the crede.
270 Men maye fele it as I rede.
Haste thou ben couetyse / or ben tysynge
Withdrawynge thy duety as offrynge or tythynge
The whiche thou knowest is thy dewe
Of euery-thynge that dothe renewe
275 Bothe of small and of greate
Of shepe of swyne or of neate.
Outher of goodes in thy possessyon hauynge
Haste thou spended them in myslyuynge
I se not but before god as moche synne is
280 To myspende thy good as to wynne it amys.
Beynge in ony of these daungers shewe it oute
I wyll helpe the without doute
So that thou wylte be ruled and do well
Somwhat after my counsell.

¶Of the synne of wrathe.

285 WRathe than is the fourth synne
And grete Ieoperdy to slepe therin.
Haste thou ony-tyme in thy desyre
In thy malyce and in thy yre.
That at thy pleasure / and for thy sake.
290 Uengeaunce vpon man or beest sholde be take.
Hast thou in thy malyce yre and werke
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Layde vyolent hande on preest or clerke
Or on thy neyghboure / in cyte or shyre
Otherwyse then good ordre wyll requyre.
295 On wyfe chylde or seruaunte.
Beynge with the in seruyce or conaunte conaunte: see OED s.v. covenant
So sore peraduenture thou dydest them streke.
That synewe or bone thou dedest breke
Or so sore hathe ben theyr correccyon.
300 That terme of theyr luyes hath thought the on. Sense unclear.
If thou haue done so do not blynne
Shryue the sone for it is synne
Haste thou in wrath made o[n]y debate
Amonges neyghbours or estate
305 Shewe me sone and do not skof
And what inconuenyence cometh therof
Haste thou in malyce ony-tyme or ofte.
Thy ghoostly fader set at noughte
And hym rebuked in house or bordres
310 Or ony other within holy ordres.
Hast thou ben dysobedyent vnto father or mother
Unto thy father in aege or suche other
And whan they haue the good taughte
In thy malyce sette them at naughte
315 This is the Iuste and veramente
Agaynst the fourthe commaundemente
Thou sholdest not sone in no wyse.
Stere them to wrathe nor yet to malyce
But them to worshyppe and honoure
320 To them knele and also coure.
And them to socoure in tyme of nede
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With golde and syluer with fode and wede
And them not to begyle of goodes nor landes
Nor to laye on them vyolent handes
325 Doynge thus this is thy mede
Thou arte accursed in very dede
And canst not be assoyled Iust and sure
But of hym that hath the bysshops powre. Ihesu.
Doste thou in thy malyce or in thy fume
330 The goodes of god them consume
In sekynge counsayle of men of lawe
When thy matter is not worth a strawe
But as who sayth I wyll do this.
I tell the sone thou dost amys
335 Thou sholdest forgyue in thy herte fre
All those that dothe offende the.
Haste thou troubled ony prest or clerke
That were busy in good werke
Cryst hymselfe calleth this house.
340 The chyrche truely his owne spouse
The whiche is made for nought elles
But for prayer as the boke telles
There thou sholdest gete thyne ynne
To praye and wepe for thy synne
345 Haste thou for malyce or ony-tyme besyde
Used wytchcrafte by ony tyde
He that byleueth in the faye
Must leue it by ye and naye
For it is a mynde of the deuyll
350 Causynge the people to do euyll.
And suche byleue maketh them haue
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Ye that wytchcrafte shall them saue
So with charmes and with tell
They be brought agayne to hell.
355 Thus with the deuyll they be blynde.
And in theyr fayth ferre behynde
Haste thou vsed by wrathe or meuynge
Ony grete othes or blasphemynge
To swere or curse dost thou not care.
360 I rede the sone of this beware
Where swerynge is vsed without drede
Uengeaunce is there hangyng as heuy as lede.
And but thou amende thy lyfe ere.
It wyll fell on thyselfe or thy louere.
365 Hast thou in thy malyce hurte thy neyghbour
Of his good name fame or honoure.
His good or catayll by waye or strete
Or in ony other place thou dydest it mete.
Hast thou ony-tyme put or begon.
370 Wrongfully thy neyghbour to his purgacyon
Thou art to blame suche werkes to werche
And accursed by holy chyrche
Hast thou taken from hym his good fame.
Or called hym by ony nycke-name
375 As traytoure thefe or ony other syche.
Shryue the sone I am a lyche
I am here sone in goddes stede.
I maye helpe the do not drede.
And as truely as euer man dranke in dysshe
380 I wyll make the hole as ony fysshe
Somtyme though thou be wrath thou dost not offende.
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If thou do thy neyghboure to amende.
Of his vnthryfty and synfull lyfe.
With his neyghbours many other with his wyfe.
385 Irascimini et nolite precare so saythe the verse
And it be for that cause or suche other as I dyd reherse
Of this synne nowe I speke no more.
Euery man knoweth his owne sore.

¶Of the synne of Slowthe

THe .v. synne then is Slowthe
390 Euen as the boke showthe
Haste thou ben [s]lowe and take no hede slowe] flowe 1521
To teche thy godchyldren (Pater noster / and Crede.
Hast thou ben slowe for to here
Goddes seruyce when tyme were.
395 Haste thou come to chyrche late
And speke of synne by the gate
Haste thou ben slowe in goddes seruyce
Or trouble it by ony vyce. trouble it: troubled it? troubleit (i.e. troubled)?
Haste thou letted ony mon
400 That to chyrche wolde haue gone
Haste thou spoken ony rybawdry.
Within the chyrche or sentwary.
Hathe thyne herte ben wrathe and greate.
When goddes seruyce was sayd or treate.
405 Haste thou herde it to the ende
Or thou out of the chyrche wende
Haste thou vsed many wordes
Idell othes or nyse bordes.
sig: B3
And vsed there moche vanyte
410 And lefte Pater noster and Aue
No man of chyrche stonde shall.
Nor lene to pyller nor to wall
But fayre on knees he sholde seet
And knele downe on the fleet
415 And praye to god with herte meke.
To gyue the grace and mercy eke
Haste thou gone by chyrche or chyrchorde chyrchorde: =churchyard?
And for the deed prayed no worde Ihesus
Dost thou ony-tyme arre or wyrche.
420 Ayenst the termynacyons of crystes chyrche.
Thou canste not be saued the boke sayth
But thou be stedfast in thy fayth
Hast thou sene a preest ayenst the commynge
Goddes body with hym bryngynge
425 Haste thou sone without deuocyon
Upon the erth kneled downe
Fayre nor foule sholdest spare nought.
To worshyp hym that all hath wrought
That daye man mayst thou gladde be
430 That our sauyoure thou mayst se.
So moche good dothe that syght.
As saynt Austyn sheweth ryght
That daye thou seest goddes body.
Thou shalte haue these thynges sykerly
435 Meate and drynke at thy nede
And of thyne enemy nedes not drede
Idell othes and wordes lo
God forgyueth the also
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Sodayne dethe the same daye.
440 On the shall not happen no naye
That same daye I the plyght
Thou shalte not lese thyne eye-syght
And euery fote thou goste then goste: =goest?
That blessyd syght for to kenne
445 They shall be tolde and stande in-stede
Truely sone at thy moost nede
Haste thou without deuocyon
Herde ony predycacyon
Or hast thou gone elles-where
450 Whan thou sholdest haue ben there
Hast thou ben slowe and lothe to fast
When thy herte theron dyde not cast
Hast thou ben slowe in any degre
To do the werkes of charyte.
455 Haste thou holpen by daye or nyght
To bury the deed with all thy myght
Poore naked and also hungry
Haste thou socoured them mekely
Hast thou herte-rewthe had
460 Of them that were nede bestad
To seke / sore / and to prysoners
And harboured also the wayfarers Mercy.
Hast thou ben slowe and faynte in herte
To do penaunce for it dyde smerte
465 Or ony pylgrymage hast thou to do
That thou were Ioyned therto.
Hast thou begon ony dede
For goddes loue or soule mede
sig: [B4]
As prayers penaunce or fastynge
470 Or ony other holy thynge
And after were so slowe and faynte
That thy deuocyon was all quaynte
Hast thou slowe and faynte be
To helpe thy wyfe and thy meyne.
475 Of suche they haue nede therto
Saye yf thou haue so do.
¶If thou be seruaunt
Hast thou kepte thy conaunt
Hast thou be sharpe and busy
480 To serue thy mayster truely
Haste thou truely euery daye
Serued thy mete and thy paye
Hathe thy neyghboure trusted on the
To helpe the in ony degre
485 Haste thou for slowe and fayntyse.
Hym dyscey[u]ed in that wyse.
For to lende haste thou ben lothe
And for to paye haste thou ben wrothe
Arte thou wonte ouer corne to ryde.
490 When thou myghtest haue gone besyde
Haste thou lyfte vp sharde or lypyat sharde: see OED s.v. shard n.1 I.1; lypyat: see OED s.v. leap-gate
There beestes hathe gone in therat
Hathe slouthe so shente thy thought
That in-to dyspayre it hathe be brought
495 And neuer myghtest none ende make
Of no good dede that thou dydest take
Hast thou for slouth and for faynte
That all thy wyll hathe ben wente
sig: [B4v]
And sought nought elles but lust and ease.
500 And all that wolde thy body please
I truste sone by my talkynge
Unto thy mynde call some-thynge.
And I charge the be not a_drede
But shewe it me in goddes stede.
505 I wyll the helpe by our sauyours sygne
And therto I laye my soule for thyne.

¶Of the synne of Glotony.

THe syxte synne then is Glotony. Cristus .
A trewe promyter vnto Lechery.
And bycause the synne of glotony.
510 Is in experyence nowe dayly
Of it I wyll but a lytell spell.
For of it many man can tell
The vse is nowe in cyte and dale.
Unreasonably to drynke wyne and ale
515 With hey howe fyll the pot by the eye
And this is called euery good company.
And to make of other as they arne.
Of goddes chyldren the deuyls barne
Haste thou fasted as thou sholdest do
520 Dayes that thou were Ioyned vnto
Haste thou broken ony fastynge daye.
If thou haue thou must it saye
Hast thou also for Glotony
Etynge or drynkynge to fyersly.
525 Haste thou eten or dronken more
sig: [B5]
Then thy nede asketh fore
Outher to erely or to late
Outher to swete or to delycate
And what tyme thou haste come to bed.
530 Full gedy and peuysshe hathe ben thy hed.
And many dayes after syke and ydell
Not able to serue god ne the worldell
If thou haue done this.
Shryue the sone for nede it is
535 Haste thou cherysshed thy body ofte
In swete-metes and clothes softe
Arte thou wonte to go to the nale the nale: see OED s.v. ale, 2
There to fyll thy foule male
And to drawe other with the
540 [T]o bere the company in that degre.
And a gloton knewe whan he had ynough
Welth it were to his soule and ease the plough.
And cause corne to be better chepe
For they drynke whan other men slepe
545 Haste thou eten on the sondaye.
Without holy brede ye or naye
And ben ony-tyme in company
Of cursed men tell me why
To socoure them with bodely fode.
550 Or to teche them for theyr gode.
He that socoureth them in theyr malyce Ihesu.
Is accursed as they ben ywys.
More I sholde reherse but I leue it behynde
I wyll wryte it in verse / bere it in mynde Mercy.
555 Quinque modis per gulam peccat homo
sig: [B5v]
As thou mayste se in these verses lo
Certum stat quod .v. modis gula damnate dante:
Dum nimium comedit comedendi peruenit horam
Querat delicias parat escas deliciose
560 Aut sumit auide quod non erat deliciosum
If thou haue ony more nowe in thy herte
Shewe it good sone breuely and smerte.
And be thou chylde wyfe or mon
I wyll gyue the thyne absolucyon.

¶Of the synne of Lechery.

565 THe .vii. synne is Lechery last of all.
Of it somwhat aske I shall
Haste thou synned in Lechery
Tell me sonne hardely.
And as sure as god made Peter and Poule
570 I haue auctoryte to saue thy soule.
Whether it were with wyfe or maye.
With kynne or alyaunce that thou by laye
And yf she were kynne to the.
Howe nye kynne thou must tell me
575 Or whether she were ancres or nonne
Wedowe or wyfe tell yf thou conne
Or ony that vowed chastyte.
Or comon woman yf she be
Or whether thou dydest by strengthe lo
580 Or by the assente of her also
Haste thou ony-tyme wrought or do
And styred thy flesshe the more therto
sig: [B6]
As clyppynge or kyssynge these they byth.
That thy body hath be tempted ther-with.
585 Haste thou be tempted with ony woman.
And moche and ofte thought theran
And woldest fayne in thy thought
That synfull dede with her haue wrought
Then thou dydest synne in Lechery
590 As god hymselfe saythe verely
Without gylte or flesshely dede
Chastyte from the Iustely may flede.
Haste thou wowed ony wyght
And tempted her ouer myght
595 Haste thou made the gaye therfore
That she sholde the loue the more
Haste thou had lust to here
Songes that of Lechery were.
Haste thou counsayled or done socoure
600 By ony waye vnto a lechoure
Or haste kepte company by day or nyght
Of suche persones that were lyght
He that wyll no synne do
Must do nothynge longynge therto.
605 And yf thou be a woman.
Tell me doughter yf thou can
Of what degre this man was
That synned with the in that case
Kynne or syngle or ony spouse
610 Or what degre of relygyous
Whether it were for couetys
Of golde or syluer or ought of his.
sig: [B6v]
Then the synne doubled it were
And nedeth penaunce moche the more
615 Whether bytwene a man and his wyfe ony synne be.
Loke well these verses and thou shalte se
These they ben I rede of no mo
Tempore mente loco condicione modo
Bethynke ye nowe in euery degre.
620 What more in thought cometh to the.
For that thou doost hyde frome me.
The deuyll truel[y] wyll shewe the truely] truelthat 1521
At the Iugement before echon.
Unto thy shame and confusyon.
625 And that thou shewest in confessyon me before
Of it thou shalte neuer here more
But for thy good-wyll and obedyence.
Thou shalte be had in-to our sauyours presence.
And there to be in Ioye and blysse
630 With blessyd company and not to mys
(Et magis gaudium in celo there is
More Ioye of a syn[n]er that hathe done amys
And forsaketh synne or synne forsake hym
Ye and more made of heuen within
635 Then of ma[n]y one that neuer synne knewe.
These be the wordes of our sauyoure full trewe
Thus of the .vii. deedly synnes I make an ende
All thynges amysse god maye amende
I beseche the swete Ihesu so it maye be
640 Amen amen / of charyte

¶Of the cyrcumstaunce of the .vii. deedly synnes.

sig: C1
I Wyll wryte nowe a lytell staunce
Euery of theyr very cyrcumstaunce
And of the remedyes and releue
I wyll wryte them shorte and breue.
645 In this verse folowynge be wordes eyght
And I wyll make a ende streyght.
Quis quid vbi per quos also.
Quociens cur quomodo and no mo
Some men thynketh grete and small
650 To shewe theyr synne in generall.
And thus they do euery other whyle
Theyr ghoostly fader and themselfe begyle
It is to lytell by that I can.
To saye I haue kylled a man.
655 But and thou be confessed Iust and truely
Thou must shewe what man where and why.
Whether it were father or mother
Preest or clerke or ony other
Of all poyntes I must weten
660 That before I haue here wryten
Quis nowe I begynne Nota Who.
What is he that dyde this synne
Was it he or she.
Yonge or olde bonde or fre
665 Poore or ryche or in offyce.
Or of dygnyte without myse Quis.
Syngle wedded or cloysterer
Clerke laye-man or seculer Who.
Preest chanon or in estate.
670 I must wete this algate
sig: [C1v]
The hyer a man is in degre. Who.
The greuouslyer forsothe synneth he.
And yf he were in his wyt Quis.
Doubtles sone I must knowe hyt
675 For and I knowe not the cyrcumstaunce. Who.
I can not gyue the apte penaunce
¶What synne it is and howe it wrought. Nota What.
Whether it be grete or small
Knowen or vnknowen I must wete all
680 Lechery / robory or man-slaught
He must be knowen or thou doste naught
If the synne be knowen in shyre Quis.
Open penaunce it wyll requyre
Also men saythe comonly
685 I haue synned in Lechery
Yet I must knowe by whome it is
Or elles we maye do bothe amys
No name thou shalte not shewe to me
But yf the synne suche it be
690 That thou mayst not thy shryfte tell
But thou name here in thy spell What.
But whether she be wyfe or may
Or of thy kynne ye or nay. kynne] kynnne 1521
For yf the synne be grete and gryme
695 The more penaunce thou nyme
¶Where it was I must wete also Nota Where. Ubi. Where.
In halowed place or no.
More greuous is a synne done in sentwary
Then in ony other place soughtly therby soughtly: sothely? but see OED s.v. softly
sig: C2
700 ¶By whome also thou must myne. Nota by whom. per quos. by [w]hom. whom] sthom 1521 whom] sthom 1521
And who were consentynge to the synne
The more with the to synne thou drawes.
The more forsothe thyselfe thou slawes
¶Howe ofte also thou dydest that dede. Nota how oft
705 Wete sone I must nede.
For the ofter a synne renewed is
The greter it is withouten mysse
The ofter a wounde is cut.
The worse to hele nedes it mut
710 The ofter a man dothe manslaughter
The greter with the deuyl and his owne matter quociens
As ofte as a man dothe Lechery.
So ofte truely he synneth deedly
Deedly he synneth without drede
715 As ofte as he dothe that synfull dede.
The ofter a synne thou doste renewe how oft
The more penaunce must the sewe
And why thou dydest the same synne Wherfore. Cur.
Also nedes I must myne
720 Whether it [w]ere for loue or drede. were] mere 1521
Outher for couetyse or for mede
Outher for enuy or for bate
Outher for wrothe or for hate wherfore
¶And howe thou dydest thou must saye Nota Howe.
725 And to consyle it by no waye.
Whether thou dydest it in hastynese
Or well auysed yf thou wese Quando.
For he that casteth to do a dede
More penaunce he must haue nede
sig: [C2v]
730 Then he that doth it sodaynlyche Howe.
And after repenteth very myche
¶And when it was and what daye. Nota When.
Thou must shewe it in good faye
For gretter synne forsothe it is.
735 Upon an holy-daye to do amys Quando
Moche more withouten naye.
Then vpon another daye. When.
All these poyntes I must wyten
That before I haue wryten
740 Good Iugement elles I can not gyue
Of the thynge thou doste the shryue
If thy synne [b]e knowen some and all be] de 1521
And whether they be grete or small
Then maye I saue thy soule
745 By the auctoryte of Peter and Poule
Take good hede confessor the boke techeth vs.
Quanta sit penitentia pro mortalibus Pro peccatis mortalibus quanta sit penitentia.
One deedly synne as lawe techeth
To .vii. yeres ende truely it recheth
750 To faste water euery frydaye
And to forsake flesshe wednysdayes no nay
But there be fewe that wyll do so
The[r]for a_laughter awaye thou go Therfor] Thefor 1521
A mannes contrycyon be golde thou Ȝur[n]e.
755 And therto gyue Iugement thou must lurne.
If if be grete gyue lyght penaunce
And it be lytell thou must it auaunce
Be it more or be it lasse
After the contrycyon it must passe
sig: C3
760 But fyrst take hede with good aduys
Of what contrycyon this man is
If he be sory for his synne
And full contryte as thou mayste kynne
Wepeth fast and is sory
765 And asketh of god ofte-tymes mercy
Lette not his penaunce then be muche
For god hymselfe forgyueth suche.
Be not to harde I the rede
Be euer mercyfull for goddes drede.
770 He is full of mercy aye
Be thou also I the praye
Here is ynoughe I hope wryten
To teche a man howe he shall weten
To [s]hryue hymselfe of his synne shryue] thryue 1521
775 If ony wyt be hym within
And yet I tell you behynde is some
Isti mittendi [s]unt ad episcopum sunt] tunt 1521
And yet confessour be wyse and Ȝope
And sende forth vnto the bysshope
780 Those that stryketh preest or clerke. Isti mittendi sunt ad episcopum.
And those that worketh wytchcrafte werke
Howse-brenners and sleers of men.
And faders and moders that leyeth hande vpen.
The moder that the chylde ouerlyth
785 The fader also sende thou her-with
A cursed man with boke and bell
And an heretyke as I the tell
And he that breketh solempne avowe.
Or chaunge it wolde sende forth thowe
sig: [C3v]
790 Clyppers of the kynges mynte
And all that lyueth by the swerdes dynte
A false vserer or an okere okere: see OED s.v. ockerer
And all that false wytnesse bere
Those that be wedded vnlawfully
795 Or systers or cosyns lyeth them by
And all those shorte to saye.
That the grete sentence curseth aye
Now take good hede how thou shalte done.
In gyuynge of thyne absolucyon.
800 When shryfte is herde gyue penaunce
And byd hym saye with full creaunce
God I aske the mercy
And thy moder saynt Mary
And all the sayntes of heuen bryght.
805 I aske socoure with all my myght
Of all the synnes I haue wrought
In werke / in wordes / or in thought.
With euery lymme of my body
With sorowfull herte I aske god mercy.
810 And nowe father in goddes place
Assoyle me of my trespace.
And gyue me penaunce also to
For goddes loue thou so do

¶The remedyes ayenst the .vii. deedly synnes

A Remedy for euery synne I wyll loke
815 And wryte them shortly in this boke. agaynst pryde.
Agaynst pryde as I gesse
sig: [C4]
The remedy truely is mekenesse
Ofte to knele and erthe to kysse.
And thynke truely that erthe he is Contra superbiam.
820 And deed mennes bones ofte to se.
And thynke doubtles suche shalte thou be.
The payne of hell haue in thy thought
And pryde thou shalte set euen at nought agaynst pryde.
¶Agaynst Enuy loue is grythe Nota agaynst Enuy. inuidiam. agaynst Enuye.
825 But yet thou must do more therwithe
Seruyce to hym with herte fre
To whome thou hast enuyous be
Louynge seruyce and goodly speche
Agaynst enuy is helpe and leche.
830 ¶Do also in this wyse
I byd the gaynst couetyse Nota agaynst Couetis Contra auariciam. agaynst couetyse
Yelde agayne and byde not longe
That thou hast taken by very wronge.
And to the nedy gyue thou large
835 In goddes name I the charge
This is the remedye ywys
Agaynst the synne of couetys.
¶Agaynst wrathe this helpe shall be Nota agaynst Wrathe.
If thou haue grace to se
840 Howe aungelles when a man is wrothe
Frome hym fast flye and gothe
And fendes fast vnto hym renneth
And fyre of hell his herte brenneth Contra Iram.
And maketh hym so hote and hye
845 That no man may byde hym nye
Wherfore thou must with sufferynge
sig: [C4v]
Quenche in the suche brennynge
Agaynst wrathe the sufferaunce
Must be moche of thy penaunce
850 ¶From slouth thou must to god turn
And Pater noster and Aue saye Ȝurne agaynst slouthe.
In mornynge myddaye and euery tyde
Whether thou go or whether thou ryde
To chyrche come yf thou maye
855 And here a masse euery daye Contra. accidiam.
And yf thou maye not come to chyrche.
Where that euer thou doste wyrche
When thou herest masse knyll. knyll: =knell
Praye to god with herte styll agaynst slouthe.
860 To gyue the part of that seruys
That in the chyrche there done is
¶Lerne to lyue in Chastyte Nota agaynst lechery.
In goddes name I charge the
Though thy flesshe haue a foule lust in the same
865 With brede and water thou mayst it tame.
And yf thou saye agayne to me
I maye not lyue in chastyte
I charge the then to take a wyfe
And in goddes lawe to lede thy lyfe goddes] goddest 1521
870 Remembre this worlde howe wretched it is
The shortenes of thy lyfe without mys.
Remembre the paynes of hell greuous and grym
God lette neuer crysten soule come therin
Remembre the thynges beynge in heuen
875 And I had t[r]uely the scyences seuen truely] tuely 1521
And the connynge of all men that euer were
sig: [C5]
I coulde not shewe of the leest Ioye there.
Haue this in thy mynde euen sykerly.
It is the remedy agaynst Lechery
880 Of this matter I haue no more to saye
But desyrynge the reders hereof to praye
For the soule of mayster Iames_berkeley dyssesed late
Beynge terme of his lyfe the kynges true subiate
Whiche dyssesed in the yere of our lorde a .M. no nay
885 CCCCC.xiiii and the .vii. daye of may
Take .vi. the last leues and the fyrst letters of the same:
And that is truely the wryters name
Desyrynge the reders be it man or wyfe.
To correcte this boke with your penne or knyfe
890 Haue pyte on your soules for goddes sake
In your lyuynge amendes make
Graunt swete Iesu vnto Harry the .viii. our kynge.
Grace fortune vyctory and also good lyuynge.
Ihesu as thou arte proctoure of body and lym
895 Suffre neuer his enemy to haue power ouer hym

Et sic finis. Anno domini .M.CCCCC.xx. viii. die mensis Martii.

sig: [C5v]

De modo inquirendo de venialibus.

Ringler treats this as a new poem (TP 1236)
¶Nowe of synnes venyall
A lytell aske I shall
Hast thou spended thy wyttes fyue
In goddes seruyce tell me blyue.
900 These ben those as I the tell.
Touchynge / tastynge / and thy smell
Thy herynge also / and thy syght
Here ben truely .v. euen-ryght.

De visu.

¶Haste thou sene ony-thynge
905 That tysed the to synnynge.
Remembre sone I the praye
For many wayes synne thou maye

De auditu.

¶Hast thou had grete lykynge
For to here ony euyll thynge.
910 Nyce wordes or rybaudry.
Or suche maner of harlotry.

De olfactu.

¶Hast thou smelled ony-thynge
That hathe tempted thy lykynge
Of meate drynke or spycery
915 That thou hast after synned by

De gustu.

¶Also yf thou synned haste
By meate or drynke by lusty taste
Thou must also tell vnto me.
If thou wylte assoyled be

sig: [C6]

De tactu.

920 ¶Haste thou touched folyly
That thy body was styred by
Womans body or thyne owne
If thou haue thou must it shewe.
Here is nowe the wyttes all fyue.
925 How thou hast spended them tell me blyue
I make nowe an ende here then.
Sed libera nos a malo amen.

¶Thus endeth this profytable confessyon ¶Imprynted at London in Fletestrete at the sygne [of the] Sone by wynkyn_de_worde. sygne of the Sone] sygne Sone 1521
sig: [C6v]