How Alle the Aungels Wardeyne Comforted Their Soules in Purgatorye

Capitulo l

Thenne after this, eueriche Angel come to his owne pilgrym with his boyst of Grace specialle ouer this general that we hadde byfore. Thenne come to me myn Angel and sayde: `Now see and take hede how trewe and trysty frendes hast thou had in Erthe, whiche hauen ful wel laboured for thy nede for to helpe and ese the in thy greuous peynes. They haue purueyed this boyst ful of Grace, wherby thou shalt be gretely releuyd. Thou owest for to conne them ryght good thank, me semeth, and soo shal al other that therof shal be partyners.'

With this he discouered the boyst, and yete out the oynement in the fyre abouen and al aboute me, which as me semyd releuyd me so moche I fond neuer yet thyng that plesyd me so wel.

And after this, eueryche of these other pylgrymesa that were in my companye comen to me and seyden: `Dere syre, we thanken yow with al oure hertes of the grete goodenesse that thy frendes haue done to the and to vs, for therby we felyn oure seluen hyely comfortid and amendyd of oure greuous peyne. Thanked be God and ye.',

`What may this be tho?', seyd I to myn angel. `This is a wondre thynge; this was my parte in special, that ye haue now dispendyd on me. How is it that these other ben partyners therof?'

Thenne sayd myn Aungel `These maner of ghoostely goodes ben nought of condicion lyke to the goodes of the world, that ben restreyned in to special possession, so that in as moche as one hath it, another must nedes lacken, and one mannes welthe maketh many wretches. But who that doth ony ghoostely good to one creature, he doth in [41r] comune to al, as thou shalt clerly knowen herafter, for yet shalt thou ben partyner with them of the benefyces that ben done to them of theyr frendes, wherfore thou shalt thanke them goodely as they hauen thanked the. For it fareth by charyte as it fareth by lyght. Soothe it is that if a grete company be in a derk hous withoute comfort of lyght, and some one hath a frend that bringeth lyght in to this hows, special to hym that he loueth, no doute also good part of the lyght mowe haue al the remenaunt that ben in the hows - yf the lyght be clere - as he to whome it was brought in special. In the same wyse it standeth by dedes of Charite, whiche that ben ghostely. For eueryche that nedyth shal parten therwith.'

Hit plesyd me wel that he seyd, and wel I wyst that it was very sothe. But alwey, how that euer it stood, euery daye ten tymes or more, come Sathanas with his cursyd meyny, and wenten to a forneys and there they besyed them, fast arrayeng the fire. Grete murmur I herde amonges them, wherof I vnderstood but litel, sauf that Sathanas thus seyd to his felaushyp: `Alle that we done is dere ynowe a rysshe, for this fleynge messagyer quencheth oure fyre with her comynge, and these wardeynes ne suffren vs nought for to done our deuoyre. Lete vs be gone and auengen vs vppon this noious messager. Lete vs a lytel withdrawen and lye in a wayte, yf it soo may happen that we may ought letten hym of his occupacion.