The Body to the Sowle

Capitulo lX

`Ful wel', quod the body, `may I answere to this. Thou were in me actyf as fire is in the wood, & I in to the passyf as woode is in the fyre. I ne myght not hyde myn humours in soo pryue place, that thou ne soughtest them oute and drofe them oute fro me, whether I wold or no, soo that I ne left nought myn humours by myn owne assent, but only compellyd for to suffre the for to doo what the lyst, by as moche as thyne was the action, and I nought but abyl for to suffre, whether I wold or no. Wherfore yfa hit so is that in the is ony fylthe or vnclennes, infectid by my vapours, as thou berest on hond, soothe it is, syth that thyne is the action in me as in the mater that hast thou procured thy self, and on thy self is only the defaute.

`I was bytaken the, that thou sholdest me gouerne and teche in the best wyse. My mayster were thou ordeyned, and yf I haue disobeyed the, I trowe thou puttest on me but litel disciplyne wherby that [47v] I myght haue ben holden vnder subiection. What that I desired, thou grauntedest me, and so moche thou entendest to my plesaunceb, that I was encombred ful oftyme of oure bothe ryote. So haste thou, that sholdest haue be souerayne, made me thy mayster,that sholdest haue ben subget.

`Al that I haue desyred was but only of naturell inclinacion to the countrec which I come of; that was this wretchid Erthe, wherfore in erthe I leye rotid, hauyng here my veray Purgatory. But thou, that art of that souerayne countre and the noble werke of the Hye Trynyte, thou sholdest haue drawe me to the with good gouernaunce, after Goddes Lawe, to the countre which that thou come fro. Therfore was I betaken to be vnder thy reule and thy gouernement.

`But sothely al otherwyse hast thou done, nought only consentyng to my vnrewly lustes, but more ouer ful oftymes thou hast excyted me to synne, and moche vnthryftynes, techynge me for to caste sleyghtes and cauteles, whiche that ne come me neuer of nature, ne, but only by thy techyng, I had neuer knowen them. And for to speke more propyrly of my defautes, thy seluen arte to blame as cause of euery dele, for withoute thed my
ht I not parforme no maner of desire, neither good ne euyl .

`And ther that thou hast cleped me fowle & stynkynge, yf thou reward to Reson and wel auyse thy self, of the come all my stynke. For wele thou wost that of wexe ne of matche that is close withynne, al be it hempe or coton, ther cometh neuer stynke, but yf that it be fyrst enflammed with fyre. Yf that this fyre be quenchid, thenne cometh of this mater fowle smoke and stynke.

`I aske the thanne, that haste lerned of Aristotiles
41 the causes of corrupcion, wherof cometh this wycked sauour and smoke of the torteys, when the fyre is oute. Whether is it of the matche or only of the wex, sith it soo is, that neyther stynketh of theyr propre nature.'