The Grene Tree to
the Drye Tree
`To this answerd the grene
tree, and these were hyr wordes. "Is this
ryght", quod she, "that thou askest now,
that he, whiche neuer deseruyd peyne by nought that
euer he dyde ne saide in his owne persone, ne by
nought that he hath taken of naturel corrupcion,
neyther by descent of Synne Orygenal, shold he bere
the peyne for hym that hath mysdone? Shold he restore thy despoylynge,
that no thyng took fro the? Shold he by cause of his
[62v] worthynesse be the wors tretyd? By
cause that he is of hye power, shold he be put at meschyef? By cause that he may
hele and helpen al creatures as theyr Souerayne
Solace and Comforte, shold he be destroyed? This
were a wonder thynge to be asked, that he sholde
paye the dette, that no thyng ne oweth, and he
shalle goo quyte
that hath done the trespas!
"And what skyle is this, Dame Iustyce, that ben so trewe and sad in al youre Iugementis, that for the restitucion of so lytel a thyng shold be paid the valewe of a thousand tymes better? Certeynly the appel that Adam ete was of litel valewe, and if it had ben soo precious as it is made of, thylke wycked serpent ne myght nought haue touchyd it, ne it myght nought haue hurt so sore thylke that receyued it. Why shold thenne this drye tree aske myn appel as for hir restitucion of so lytel thyng? It semeth me vnreson, sith the prys of myn appel is of suche valewe, that it passeth the estymacion of ony creature.
"A wonder greuous thyng it semeth to me, that he that nought ne oweth shall payen for the dettour hym seluen, and he that nought hath trespacyd shall be put in peyne, and he that hath mysdone shal passe withoute punysshement. Soo wylle none iugen that vnto Reson hath ony reward".