How a Sowle Was Peyned, for His Dettes Were Nought Payd

capitulo lxi

And after this I sawe another, that was clene purged, whome his Angel shold haue ledde in to blysse, hadde he nought be let by a cofre where to he was tyed and boundena ful fast grete cheyne. And thus I herd hym compleyne, seynge to his frendes that shold haue ben by skyle: `O wretchid creatures!', quod he, `that saiden somtyme that ye were my frendes, and my wel willynge, wherfore I trust to you vtterly, and made yow myn executours at my lyues ende, supposynge that ye wold haue trewely done youre deuoyre and paye my dettys. But now haue ye scorned me and beiaped, for wele I wote that I lefte ynow in your inuentary, but I fynd of my dettes but litel payed, or nought ne done for my nede. But ye halden myn good closid in youre owne cofres, wherfor I am bounden here and fastned, that I ne may nought hennes.

`Fast I counseyle yow that ye vnbynde me of these vnesy boundes and payeth my testament, other elles I seye yow for certeyn that ye shal be dampned to eternal peyne. And not withstandynge youre wretchid vnkyndenes, Grace Dieu shal help me in brekynge of my boundes, for why vpon me is hit nought long that it is nought payed, but on yow, that falsely withholdith my goodes to youre owne vse. And here am I peyned for my rechelnesse only, that I ne had done my deuoyre in my lif tyme, and also for I trust suche tryfelers as ye to make myn executours, that litel rectheth of youre owne meschyef, and of myn peyneful torment nought a dele at al.'