How the Cursid Sathanas Accusith the Sely Sowle

Capitulo xiii

But thenne bigan to crye my wikked aduersarye, and said in this wise: `Mychael, entende to me ward, for I shal telle the al another tale. The sothe it is, that it ne auaileth nought only to passe the water, ne to ben wesshen ther ynne withouten that he kept hym seluen afterward in clennesse and honeste. Wel I wote - I withsaye it nought this pilgrim passid the water, and was therynne wasshen and fully clensyd of alle his rather fylthe. But also soone as he had knowyng of good and euyl, he set but litel by that wesshyng, but cast hym self as a swyn [7v] in ordure and in fylthe, ne he hath not alowyd this weschyng. For yf he had, he wold not therafter eftsone wilfully haue defiled him self, wherfor I saye that thilk labour ne weschyng auaileth him nought at al. And that I preue by this skile: He was wesshen vnwiting and nought willyng, hym self in so tendre age that he ne myht nought ne couth discerne to chesen good ne euyl. And sithen that he come to yeres of discrecyon, this laboure he hath in dede disalowid, wherfor of right he shal lacke the profite and the liberte whiche he shold haue had by this forsaid wesshinge.

`That he hath this lauure disalowid I preue by the contrarye. For euery wi
ht loueth and maynteneth the thyng that he alowith. But the clennesse that he shold haue kepte after his lauure he hath nought loued ne maintened, but more ouer defiled & despised. Eke thenne hit sheweth that he hath this lauure desalowid. And vpon this consequently wil I preue, that it maye hym stande nought in profite ne at none auaile.

`There is no man that shal be pryueleged by lawe other ony lyberte vsen or reioyce ageyne his owne consent and his free wyl. But this pilgrym, in as moche as he had desalowyd this lauure, consentyd nought therto, wherfor he may nought be partyner of the pryuelege, ne bere the profyte of the liberte that therto bylongeth. Nought for thy though it so be that by the pryuate iugementis of Grace Dieu by this forsaid lauure the fowle spot of Synne Orygenal was vtterly auoydyd, I wille nought withsaye it. But this I saye playnly: that he is moche spottyd with tatchys of dedely synne that fowler is than the fyrst orygenal, of whiche though that I my self wold bere hym wrong on hand, loo it is wryten in myddes of his vysage. Rede it who that wylle. There may ye see the shame and confusyon whiche that he wylfully hath lappyd hymseluen ynne.

`By that I aske iugement, that he be delyuered me as his desertys of good ryght bylongetha. Ferthermore yet ouer this will I preue by reson that standyng this fylthe and dishoneste of synne with whiche he is entatchyd, this lauure rather causeth hym to be iuged to oure companye, than though so had be he no thynge had be wesshen.

`The more yeftes, the more grace, the gretter wages, the hyer estate, the more noble & worthy offyce that a man receyueth of his lord and his kyng, the more he offendith, and the more peyne he is worthy yf so be that he be fals and traytour to his lord, where that another comyner that nought hath receyued at al is ferre lesse worthy to be punysshed [8r] yf he be founden gylty. Yf so is thenne that an hethen that hath nought receyued this lauure bylongeth to oure company by cause that he hath it nought, muche more thenne wold it semen skyle that he be one of ourys, that after he hath nought receyued nought only that lauure, but also many other yeftes and benefaytes by the hand of Grace de Dieu, whiche he hath dishonestly defiled and despysed, adrenchyng hym self as it were in worldly vanyte, and gone a wey al contrary to that Grace Dieu had taught hym and enformed. Ne neuer dyde he honour ne reuerence to these that hath alwey be his helper and defendour, whiche now clepith hym good pylgrym where he hath but lytel cause, for alweye hath he to his Lorde ben fals and vntrewe, takyng his name in veyn, clepynge hym self a Cristen man and auauntynge that he was of Cristes Court, kepyng nought his Lawes, ne doyng the dedes that shold be to his plesaunce, but euer contynuelly day by day broken his Commaundementys.

`Such one is this forfetour. And alwey hath ben deformynge in hym self the prent and the fygure that God hath set in hym to his owne resemblaunce and lykenes withouten ony maym or fylthe, conformynge hym self wylfully and counterfetyng in hym self the facyon of my fowle fygure. Who is it that may or ought dar excusen hym? I aske none other wytnesse with me but he that hath alwey ben next of his counceyl: his owne conscyence, that dar nought ne wil nought lyen in this mater. Vpon hym take I record, that fro the tyme that he was first markyd with the name of the Souerayne Kyng Ihesu, he ne cessid neuere to offendyn hym, settyng ful lytel by his name. And as he more encrecyd in knowyng, he appeyred in worchyng.

`Euerydele in veyne he bare scrip and burdon, for he ne toke neuer redy weye of vertu, but by pathes of synne and al vnthryftynes. He hath iourneyed by the perylous pas of Pryde, by the malycious montayne of Wrethe and Enuye, he hath waltred hym self and wesshen in the lothely lake of cursyd Lechery, he hath ben encombred in the golf of Glotony. Also he hath mysgouerned hym in the contre of Couetyse, and often tyme taken his rest whan tyme was best to trauayle, slepyng and slomeryng in the bed of Slouthe. And moche worse he hath done than euer dyd I, many a fowle forfete whiche I myght nought performe in myn owne nature, wherfor he hath deserued punysshement more than haue I ouer at the lest to ben punysshed euen with me y like, for to me is he y like, and myn is he by ryght. In Heuene aboue [8v] hath he nought to doo. Doo fast therfore that he were delyuered to me, that I may gone hennes to my marches.