Descriueth the Peynes by the Causes
`Now shal I telle the of
that folke, of whiche thou asked me, that there ben
tormentid. Yf thou bethynke
on thylke desguysed old,
that was so fowle and boustrous,
and hadde so mony handes, with the fowle mamet syttyng on her
hede, thou shalt ful lyghtely
knowe and vnderstande what maner folk ben these.
`These ben sothely scolers and disciples of thylke wretchyd olde, that ful besyly and gladly haue studyed in hyr lore, and ful long tyme studyed in hyr scole. Of what maner occupacion they haue ben here bifore, thou myghtest vnderstande by the wordes of thylk fowle bocher, that so besy is about them.
`These it ben, that by fals menes and subtyll extorcion haue spoyled the pore peple, ryght as this old caitif hath taught them and counceyled. These were fulfylled to eten the poure bestes at grete morsels and smale, after that they foundena plente for to byte. With their hoked teeth and catchynge clawes they haue them al to racyd lyke to wyld rauysshyng wolues. Therfor, of suche beestes as they them self in werkes counterfeted, now ben them seluen to drawen and to torned withoute ony rest.
`These other that lyen soo vpright, gapyng awyde, tho ben vsurers, that wyllen nought be hyghely renomed of theyr craft, ne cryen it in the market, but pryuely in hernes they spoylen the people by litel and by lytel, and maken them seluen ryche. And alle other, generally, that hauen set their hertes ambiciously for to kepen and assemblen sommes of tresour, bothe of gold and syluer, and kepen hit withouten ony cause.
`For sothely, suche auarous folke, that soo loueth money, if al the brode see were fyn brente gold, and the Erthe ther to as gold, as euer was ony founden in tresour or in myne, and al were their owne, hit shold nought suffyse for theyr coueitous hertes, that they ne wold be besy for to [55r] gadre more therto. And neuer for to amenuse it, ne take nought therof, for thynge that myght befalle, but yf they wyst ageynward to fulfylle the somme.
`Thus hath Auaryce them seruyd, and seruen shal herafter, castyng the hoote metal euen in their throtes, for to fylle them, that neuer wold be fulfylled. But now I suppose that they haue ynowe, for it is so hoote, that it brenneth contynuelly within theyr hertes. A cursid scole haue they studyed ynne, and cursid is theyr arte, that so is torned in to hoote brennynge fire, that neuer shal ne may be quenchyd.'