The Drye Tree Answereth

Capitulo Octauo

`Thenne answerd the drye tree and sayd in this wyse: "Certes", quod she, "I put neyther vpon the ne vpon the fruyt no maner of blame, ne that ony other shold restablysshe and restoren this spoillynge but only the synful heyres of Adam, and successours by descent of his first trespas, yf they had power therto. For nought only they owen this restitucion, but also they owen ouer this for to payen amendys to whome was the trespas of disobeisaunce ageynst, whoos Commaundement he brake. But what amendys myght be so grete that it shold be suffysaunta by reson as for soo grete trespas? For soth it is, the surfet thatb was so huge, that bothe man and woman haue therby left theyr sowles banysshed oute of Paradys in to the pryson of Helle.

[62r] "Now is it soo, that by reson nought only suffyseth the restorynge of my fruyte of whiche I was despoylled, but there nedeth to be done therfore double satisfaction, soo that the amendys must be payed to God, whiche amendys must ben in value and in gretenes and also suffysaunt as he hym seluen is, to whome the trespaas was done. And also thylke that God fourmed to his ymage and very resemblaunce, of hym seluen predestyned to saluacion, must be bought and raunsond in this maner wyse, soo that the prys be of euen valewe or better than ben they that ben in pryson.

"For soth it is, that this wycked tyraunt that holdeth them in ward, is so ouerthwart, that he nele noo thynge abaten of the prys, ne he coueteth ne asketh nought at al that this grene tree shold restablysshe me of my despoylled fruyte. For .leuer is hym the prysoners than ony other payment. And also he may nought asken of ryght no thynge of this tree neyther of her fruyte, for they ben bothe withouten ony tatche of synne or mysdede.

"But I aske hit in as moche that both tree and fruyte ben comen of Adam, as his veray heyres by descendentc of his fyrst innocence, in whiche he was fourmed at his fyrst begynnynge. And to this appel only apperteyneth the power and the effect of al this restitucion, and also of the ful satisfaction, in as moche as there is none that maye be worthy ne peregal in value, but only that same, whiche that is so suffysaunt, that, though the trespas had ben a thousand part gretter, he suffysed fully for to make amendys. And soo maye none other, wherfore, in a moche as apper­teyneth to my restitucion, that owe to be restablysshed of my despoylled fruyte, I aske this forsayd. As touchyng the satisfacti­on of the trespas, I may well suffre yow deuysen in youre best".