Vyrgynyte Answerd to Iustyce

Capitulo Quinto

`Vyrgynyte thenne answerd and said in this wyse. "I myght wel withseyn this thynge that ye asketh, but pleden ne can I nought. But with shamefastnesse and symplenesse wyl I kepe this appel, that no wyght ne hurt the tree, ne the fruyte, as ferforthe as I may. Neuertheles, for to wyte what skyle ye haue to pursewe for this appel, I wyl knowe youre name, whiche as me semyth by semblaunt and by habyte, that ye shold be Iustyce.

"Alisandre the grete kyng was somtyme in a full fer and sauage countre, where he fond two trees, that were cleped of the sonne and of the mone, whiche trees told hym his fortunes - what lyked hym but lytel - and after that byfellen ryght as they seyde.

"Sith thenne, that ye ben Iustyce, as semyth by youre occupacion, ye shal make these twoo trees for to speke clerly, ryght as thou dydest these other forsayd, soo that this tree, that felyth hyr seluen wronged by spoylyng of hyr fruyt, and asketh restitucion, shal fyrst haue audyence to make hyr compleynt. And that other shalle answer as hyr semeth good. And when that they haue pledyd theyr caas and sought oute the trouthe, lete the iugement be yeuen, as ryght wylle rewarden, and soo may fynal pees be redres­syd bitwene bothe partes."

"Soothly", quod Iustyce, "her to I consent. I wylle nought contrary to this ordynaunce."

`Thenne spak shea to these trees, & sayd in this manere. [61r] "Ye two trees", quod she, "yf that ye lyketh to pleden youre cause, I graunte you leue. Seyth what yow semyth eueryche in his parte."