Here the Sowle Neyhed to His Dede Body

Capitulo lvii

Of suche maner thynges I sawe many mo than I haue tyme to telle in al a moneth space, though I nought elles dyd. And thus myn Angel ledde me al aboute and shewed me, as I haue sayd, many wonder thynges, whiche I wold for no mannes word neuer haue byleued, lyuyng here in this mortal Erthe, but yf I hadde sene hit and proued hit by myn experyence.

And soothly a ful peryllous thynge hit is to leue a synne vnpurged that may be purged before the deth day. For noo doute one dayes penaunce done before the dethe, wilfully with a contrite herte plesyth God wel more by an honderd parte, and more auayleth to purgynge of the synne than dothe many yeres done in Purgatory after the departyng of the body & sowle. For that one cometh of election, and that other of necessite, or elles muste he nedes to the peyne of Helle, where they shal be punysshed soo greuously withouten purgement and withouten hope of relece other releuynge of the peyne, that it passeth al abylyte to seye other vnderstand, sauf only in assay.

For nought leuynge me the peynes in whiche I hadde ben long tyme, as me thought, myn Angel ledde me forthe as though I shold entre in to the erthe, where I felte anone a wonder greuous stynke. And soo I stent a whyle for to byhold and see what maner thyng hit was, that hadde suche a wykked sauour.

Thenne sawe I lyggyng in a pleyne many dede bodyes, among the whiche I apperceyued myn owne bones, whiche I knewe ful wel. And of that same it was, that I felt suche a fowle sente. But not withstandynge al this fowle sauour I myght not ben in pees tyl I had with that body a speche by cause of old felaushyp.

`Art thou there', quod I, `thou wretchid body, soo horryble and so fowle stynkyng, wormes mete and norysshyng of corrupcion. Wher is now thy pryde and thy fyers herte. In what lewed pleye were thou, & how hast thou lost al thy queyntyse. Sothly, as me semeth, I sawe neuer a fowler defourmed fygure. And certes wel is worthy, for I myght neuer haue ben fully venged vpon the, for while that thou and I were coupled to geders, thou madest me to lede a ful vnthryfty lyf, and madest me to lese many a dayes labour in foleyeng and in tyme wastyng by croked weyes. For thou soughtest alwey thyne owne ese and thyne owne plesaunce, [46v] and madest me languysshe with thy mysgouernaunce, alwey contraryeng to that shold haue ben to myn auauntagea , wherby I was brought in ful grete dysese and heuynes, and hast made me ynowe to doo for many a day herafter, but yf the Mercy of God abredge in distresse. But nought for thy, blessid be his Grace, that hath me putte in sykernes oute of the perylle that thou haddest me brought ynne. And had nought ben that Grace, I had be lost and dampned by thy purueaunce.'