Open main menu

[ 217 ]



Litera Cupidinis, dei Amoris, directa subditis suis Amatoribus.

Cupido, unto whos comaundëment
The gentil kinrede of goddes on hy
And people infernal been obedient,
And mortel folk al serven besily,
The goddesse sonë Cithera soothly,       5
To alle tho that to our deitee
Ben sugets, hertly greting sende we!

In general, we wolë that ye knowe
That ladies of honour and reverence,
And other gentil women, haven sowe       10
Such seed of compleynt in our audience
Of men that doon hem outrage and offence,
That it our eres greveth for to here;
So pitous is th'effect of this matere.

Passing al londes, on the litel yle       15
That cleped is Albion they most compleyne;
They seyn, that there is croppe and rote of gyle.
So conne tho men dissimulen and feyne
With stonding dropes in hir eyen tweyne,
[ 218 ]When that hir hertes feleth no distresse,       20
To blinden women with hir doublenesse.

Hir wordes spoken ben so syghingly,
With so pitousë chere and contenaunce,
That every wight that meneth trewely
Demeth that they in herte have such grevaunce;       25
They seyn so importáble is hir penaunce
That, but hir lady lust to shewe hem grace,
They right anoon †mot sterven in the place.

'A, lady myn!' they seyn, 'I yow ensure,
As doth me grace, and I shal ever be,       30
Whyl that my lyf may lasten and endure,
To yow as humble and lowe in ech degree
As possible is, and kepe al thing secree
Right as your-selven liste that I do;
And elles moot myn herte breste a-two.'       35

Ful hard it is to knowe a mannes herte;
For outward may no man the trouthe deme;
When word out of his mouthe may noon asterte
But it by reson any wight shuld queme,
So is it seyd of herte, as hit wolde seme.       40
O feythful woman, ful of innocence,
Thou art deceyved by fals apparence!

By proces women, meved of pitee,
Wening that al thing were as thise men sey,
They graunte hem grace of hir benignitee       45
For that men shulde nat for hir sake dey;
And with good herte sette hem in the wey
Of blisful lovë—kepe it if they conne;
Thus other-whylë women beth y-wonne.
[ 219 ]
And whan this man the pot hath by the stele,       50
And fully is in his possessioun,
With that woman he kepeth not to dele,
After if he may fynden in the toun
Any woman, his blinde affeccioun
On to bestowë; evel mote he preve!       55
A man, for al his othes, is hard to leve!

And, for that every fals man hath a make,
(As un-to every wight is light to knowe),
Whan this traitour this woman hath forsake,
He faste him spedeth un-to his felowe;       60
Til he be there, his herte is on a lowe;
His fals deceyt ne may him not suffyse,
But of his treson telleth al the wyse.

Is this a fair avaunt? is this honour,
A man him-self accuse thus, and diffame?       65
Now is it good, confesse him a traitour,
And bringe a woman to a sclandrous name,
And telle how he her body hath do shame?
No worship may he thus to him conquere,
But greet esclaundre un-to him and here!       70

To herë? Nay, yet was it no repreef;
For al for vertu was it that she wroughte;
But he that brewed hath al this mischeef,
That spak so faire, and falsly inward thoughte,
His be the sclaundre, as it by reson oughte,       75
And un-to her a thank perpetuel,
That in a nede helpe can so wel!

Althogh of men, through sleyght and sotiltee,
A sely, simple, and innocent woman
Betrayed is, no wonder, sith the citee       80
[ 220 ]Of Troye—as that the storie telle can—
Betrayed was, through the disceyt of man,
And set on fyre, and al doun over-throwe,
And finally destroyed, as men knowe.

Betrayen men not citees grete, and kinges?       85
What wight is that can shape remedye
Ageynes thise falsly purpósed thinges?
Who can the craft such craftes to espye
But man, whos wit ay redy is t'aplye
To thing that souneth in-to hy falshede?       90
Women, beth ware of mennes sleight, I rede!

And furthermore han thise men in usage
That, where as they not lykly been to spede,
Suche as they been with a double visage
They prócuren, for to pursewe hir nede;       95
He prayeth him in his causë to procede,
And largely guerdoneth he his travayle;
Smal witen wommen how men hem assayle!

Another wrecche un-to his felowe seyth:
'Thou fisshest faire! She that thee hath fyred       100
Is fals and inconstaunt, and hath no feyth.
She for the rode of folke is so desyred
And, as an hors, fro day to day is hyred
That, when thou twinnest fro hir companye,
Another comth, and blered is thyn eyë!       105

'Now prikke on fastë, and ryd thy journey
Whyl thou art there; for she, behind thy bak,
So liberal is, she wol no wight with-sey,
But smertly of another take a snak;
For thus thise wommen faren, al the pak!       110
Who-so hem trusteth, hanged mote he be!
Ay they desyren chaunge and noveltee!'
[ 221 ]
Wher-of procedeth this but of envye?
For he him-selve her ne winne may,
He speketh her repreef and vileinye,       115
As mannes blabbing tonge is wont alway.
Thus dyvers men ful often make assay
For to distourben folk in sondry wyse,
For they may not acheven hir empryse.

Ful many a man eek wolde, for no good,       120
(That hath in love his tyme spent and used)
Men wiste, his lady his axing withstood,
And that he were of her pleynly refused,
Or wast and veyn were al that he had mused;
Wherfore he can no better remedye       125
But on his lady shapeth him to lye:

'Every womman,' he seyth, 'is light to gete;
Can noon sey "nay," if she be wel y-soght.
Who-so may leyser han, with her to trete,
Of his purpós ne shal he faile noght,       130
But he on madding be so depe y-broght
That he shende al with open hoomlinesse;
That loven wommen nat, as that I gesse!'

To sclaundre wommen thus, what may profyte
To gentils namely, that hem armen sholde,       135
And in defence of wommen hem delyte
As that the ordre of gentilesse wolde?
If that a man list gentil to be holde,
He moot flee al that ther-to is contrarie;
A sclaundring tonge is his grete adversarie.       140

A foul vice is of tonge to be light;
For who-so michel clappeth, gabbeth ofte.
The tonge of man so swift is and so wight
That, whan it is areysed up-on lofte,
[ 222 ]Resoun it seweth so slowly and softe,       145
That it him never over-take may:
Lord! so thise men ben trusty in assay!

Al-be-it that man fynde oo woman nyce,
Inconstant, rechelees, or variable,
Deynouse or proud, fulfilled of malyce,       150
Withouten feyth or love, and deceyvable,
Sly, queynt, and fals, in al unthrift coupable,
Wikked and feers, and ful of crueltee.
It foloweth nat that swiche al wommen be.

Whan that the high god aungels formed had,       155
Among hem alle whether ther werë noon
That founden was malicious and bad?
Yis! al men woot that ther was many oon
That, for hir pryde, fil from heven anoon.
Shul men therfore alle aungels proude name?       160
Nay! he that that susteneth is to blame.

Of twelve apostels oon a traitour was;
The remënant yit godë were and trewe.
Than, if it happe men fyndë, per cas,
Oo womman fals, swich good is for t'eschewe,       165
And deme nat that they ben alle untrewe.
I see wel mennes owne falsenesse
Hem causeth wommen for to trusten lesse.

O! every man oghte have an herte tendre
Unto womman, and deme her honurable,       170
Whether his shap be outher thikke or slendre,
Or be he bad or good; this is no fable.
Every man woot, that wit hath resonable,
That of a womman he descended is:
Than is it shame, of her to speke amis.       175
[ 223 ]
A wikked tree good fruit may noon forth bring,
For swich the fruit is, as that is the tree.
Tak hede of whom thou took thy biginning;
Lat thy moder be mirour unto thee.
Honoure her, if thou wolt honoured be!       180
Dispyse thou her nat, in no manere,
Lest that ther-by thy wikkednesse appere!

An old provérbë seyd is in English:
Men seyn, 'that brid or foul is dishonest,
What that he be, and holden ful churlish,       185
That useth to defoule his owne nest.'
Men, to sey wel of wommen it is best,
And nat for to despyse hem ne deprave,
If that they wole hir honour kepe and save.

Thise ladies eek compleynen hem on clerkes       190
That they han maad bokës of hir diffame,
In which they lakken wommen and hir werkes
And speken of hem greet repreef and shame,
And causëlees yive hem a wikked name.
Thus they despysed been on every syde,       195
And sclaundred, and bilowen on ful wyde.

The sory bokes maken mencioun
How they betrayden, in especial,
Adam, David, Sampsoun, and Salamoun,
And many oon mo; who may rehersen al       200
The treson that they havë doon, and shal?
The world hir malice may not comprehende;
As that thise clerkes seyn, it hath non ende.

Ovyde, in his boke called 'Remedye
Of Lovë,' greet repreef of wommen wryteth;       205
Wherin, I trowe, he dide greet folye,
And every wight that in such cas delyteth.
[ 224 ]A clerkes custom is, whan he endyteth
Of wommen, be it prose, or ryme, or vers,
Sey they ben wikke, al knowe he the revers.       210

And that book scolers lerne in hir childhede,
For they of wommen be war sholde in age,
And for to love hem ever been in drede,
Sin to deceyve is set al hir corage.
They seyn, peril to caste is avantage,       215
And namely, suche as men han in be wrapped;
For many a man by woman hath mishapped.

No charge is, what-so that thise clerkes seyn;
Of al hir wrong wryting I do no cure;
Al hir travayle and labour is in veyn.       220
For, betwex me and my lady Nature,
Shal nat be suffred, whyl the world may dure,
Thise clerkes, by hir cruel tyrannye,
Thus upon wommen kythen hir maistrye.

Whylom ful many of hem were in my cheyne       225
Y-tyed, and now, what for unweldy age
And for unlust, may not to love atteyne,
And seyn, that love is but verray dotage.
Thus, for that they hem-self lakken corage,
They folk excyten, by hir wikked sawes,       230
For to rebelle agayn me and my lawes.

But, maugre hem that blamen wommen most,
Suche is the force of myn impressioun,
That sodeinly I felle can hir bost
And al hir wrong imaginacioun.       235
It shal not been in hir eleccioun
The foulest slutte of al a toun refuse,
If that me list, for al that they can muse;
[ 225 ]
But her in herte as brenningly desyre
As thogh she were a duchesse or a quene;       240
So can I folkes hertes sette on fyre,
And (as me list) hem sende joye or tene.
They that to wommen been y-whet so kene
My sharpe persing strokes, how they smyte,
Shul fele and knowe; and how they kerve and byte.       245

Perdee, this grete clerk, this sotil Ovyde
And many another han deceyved be
Of wommen, as it knowen is ful wyde;
Wot no man more; and that is greet deyntee,
So excellent a clerk as that was he,       250
And other mo that coude so wel preche
Betrapped were, for aught they coude teche.

And trusteth wel, that it is no mervayle;
For wommen knewen pleynly hir entente.
They wiste how sotilly they coude assayle       255
Hem, and what falshood they in herte mente;
And thise clerkes they in hir daunger hente.
With oo venym another was distroyed;
And thus thise clerkes often were anoyed.

Thise ladies ne thise gentils, nevertheles,       260
Were noon of tho that wroughten in this wyse;
But swiche filthes as were vertules
They quitten thus thise olde clerkes wyse.
To clerkes forthy lesse may suffyse
Than to deprave wommen generally;       265
For worship shul they gete noon therby.

If that thise men, that lovers hem pretende,
To wommen weren feythful, gode, and trewe,
And dredde hem to deceyven or offende,
[ 226 ]Wommen to love hem wolde nat eschewe.       270
But every day hath man an herte newe;
It upon oon abyde can no whyle.
What fors is it, swich a wight to begyle?

Men beren eek thise wommen upon honde
That lightly, and withouten any peyne,       275
They wonne been; they can no wight withstonde
That his disese list to hem compleyne.
They been so freel, they mowe hem nat refreyne;
But who-so lyketh may hem lightly have;
So been hir hertes esy in to grave.       280

To maister Iohn de Meun, as I suppose,
Than it was a lewd occupacioun
In making of the Romance of the Rose;
So many a sly imaginacioun
And perils for to rollen up and doun,       285
So long proces, so many a sly cautele
For to deceyve a sely damosele!

Nat can I seen, ne my wit comprehende
That art and peyne and sotiltee sholde fayle
For to conquére, and sone make an ende,       290
Whan man a feble place shal assayle;
And sone also to venquisshe a batayle
Of which no wight dar maken resistence,
Ne herte hath noon to stonden at defence.

Than moot it folwen of necessitee,       295
Sin art asketh so greet engyn and peyne
A womman to disceyve, what she be,
Of constauncë they been not so bareyne
As that somme of thise sotil clerkes feyne;
But they ben as that wommen oghten be,       300
Sad, constant, and fulfilled of pitee.
[ 227 ]
How frendly was Medea to Jasoun
In the conquéring of the flees of gold!
How falsly quitte he her affeccioun
By whom victórie he gat, as he hath wold!       305
How may this man, for shame, be so bold
To falsen her, that from his dethe and shame
Him kepte, and gat him so gret prys and name?

Of Troye also the traitour Eneas,
The feythles wrecche, how hath he him forswore       310
To Dido, that queen of Cartágë was,
That him releved of his smertes sore!
What gentilesse might she han doon more
Than she with herte unfeyned to him kidde?
And what mischeef to her ther-of betidde!       315

In my Legende of Martres men may fynde
(Who-so that lyketh therin for to rede)
That ooth noon ne behest may no man bynde;
Of reprevable shame han they no drede.
In mannes herte trouthe hath no stede;       320
The soil is noght, ther may no trouthe growe!
To womman namely it is nat unknowe.

Clerkes seyn also: 'ther is no malyce
Unto wommannes crabbed wikkednesse!'
O woman! How shalt thou thy-self chevyce,       325
Sin men of thee so muchel harm witnesse?
No fors! Do forth! Takë no hevinesse!
Kepë thyn ownë, what men clappe or crake;
And somme of hem shul smerte, I undertake!

Malyce of wommen, what is it to drede?       330
They slee no men, distroyen no citees;
They not oppressen folk ne overlede,
[ 228 ]Betraye empyres, remes, ne duchees,
Ne men bereve hir landes ne hir mees,
Empoyson folk, ne houses sette on fyre,       335
Ne false contractes maken for non hyre!

Trust, perfit love, and entere charitee,
Fervent wil, and entalented corage
To thewes gode, as it sit wel to be,
Han wommen ay, of custome and usage;       340
And wel they can a mannes ire aswage
With softe wordes discreet and benigne;
What they be inward, sheweth outward signe.

Wommannes herte un-to no crueltee
Enclyned is, but they ben charitable,       345
Pitous, devout, fulle of humilitee,
Shamfaste, debonaire, and amiable,
Dredful, and of hir wordes mesurable:
What womman thise hath not, peraventure,
Ne folweth nat the wey of her nature.       350

Men seyn: 'our firste moder, natheles,
Made al man-kynde lese his libertee,
And naked it of joye, douteles;
For goddes hestes disobeyed she,
Whan she presumed tasten of a tree,       355
Which god forbad that she nat ete of sholde;
And, nad the devel been, namore she wolde.'

Th' envýous swelling that the feend, our fo,
Had unto man in herte, for his welthe,
Sente a serpent, and made her for to go       360
To disceyve Eve; and thus was mannes helthe
Beraft him by the fende, right in a stelthe,
The womman noght knowing of the deceyt;
God wot, ful fer was it from her conceyt.
[ 229 ]
Wherfore I sey, this godë womman Eve       365
Our fader Adam ne deceyved noght.
Ther may no man for a deceyt it preve
Proprely, but-if that she, in her thoght,
Had it compassed first, er it was wroght;
And, for swich was nat her impressioun,       370
Men calle it may no déceyt, by resoun.

No wight deceyveth but he it purpóse;
The feend this déceyt caste, and nothing she.
Than is it wrong to demen or suppose
That she sholde of this harm the cause be.       375
Wyteth the feend, and his be the maugree;
And for excused have her innocence,
Sauf only that she brak obedience.

And touching this, ful fewe men ther been,
Unnethes any, dar I saufly seye—       380
Fro day to day, as that men mow wel seen,
But that the hest of god they disobeye.
Have this in mynde, sires, I yow preye;
If that ye be discreet and resonable,
Ye wol her holde the more excusable.       385

And wher men seyn, 'in man is stedfastnesse,
And woman is of her corage unstable,'
Who may of Adam bere swich witnesse?
Telleth me this:—was he nat chaungeable?
They bothe weren in a caas semblable,       390
Sauf willingly the feend deceyved Eve,
And so did she nat Adam, by your leve.

Yet was this sinne happy to mankynde,
The feend deceyved was, for al his sleight;
For aught he coude him in his sleightes wynde,       395
[ 230 ]God, to discharge mankynde of the weight
Of his trespas, cam doun from hevenes height,
And flesh and blood he took of a virgyne,
And suffred deeth, him to deliver of pyne.

And god, to whom ther may nothing hid be,       400
If he in woman knowe had such malyce
As men of hem recorde in generaltee,
Of our lady, of lyf reparatryce,
Nolde han be born; but, for that she of vyce
Was voyde, and of al vertu (wel he wiste)       405
Endowed, of her to be bore him liste.

Her heped vertu hath swich excellence
That al to lene is mannes facultee
To déclare it, and therfor in suspence
Her duë preysing put mot nedes be.       410
But this we witen verrayly, that she,
Next god, the best frend is that to man longeth;
The key of mercy by her girdil hongeth.

And of mercy hath every man swich nede
That, cessing that, farwel the joye of man!       415
Of her power now taketh right good hede;
She mercy may, wol, and purchace can.
Displese her nat, honoureth that womman,
And other wommen alle, for her sake!
And, but ye do, your sorowe shal awake.       420

Thou precious gemme, O martir Margarete,
Of thy blood draddest noon effusioun!
Thy martirdom ne may I nat foryete;
Thou, constant womman in thy passioun,
Overcoom the feendes temptacioun;       425
And many a wight converted thy doctryne
Unto the feith of god, holy virgyne!
[ 231 ]
But understondeth, I commende hir noght
By enchesoun of hir virginitee;
Trusteth right wel, it cam not in my thoght;       430
For ever I werrey ayein chastitee,
And ever shal; but this, lo! meveth me,
Her loving herte and constant to her lay
Dryve out of rémembrauncë I ne may.

In any boke also wher can ye fynde,       435
That of the werkes or the dethe or lyf
Of Jesu speketh, or maketh any mynde,
That womman him forsook, for wo or stryf?
Wher was ther any wight so ententyf
Abouten him as wommen? Pardee, noon!       440
Th'apostels him forsoken, everichoon.

Womman forsook him noght; for al the feyth
Of holy chirche in womman lefte only.
This is no lees, for holy writ thus seyth;
Loke, and ye shal so fynde it, hardely.       445
And therfore it may preved be therby,
That in womman regneth stable constaunce
And in men is the chaunge and variaunce!

Now holdeth this for ferme and for no lye,
That this trewe and just commendacioun       450
Of wommen is nat told for flaterye,
Ne to cause hem pryde or elacioun,
But only, lo! for this entencioun,
To yeve hem corage of perseveraunce
In vertu, and hir honour to enhaunce.       455

The more vertu, the lasse is the pryde;
Vertu so digne is, and so noble in kynde
That vyce and she wol not in-fere abyde.
[ 232 ]She putteth vyce clene out of her mynde,
She fleeth from him, she leveth him behynde.       460
O womman, that of vertu art hostesse,
Greet is thyn honour and thy worthinesse!

Than wol we thus concluden and diffyne:
We yow comaunde, our ministres, echoon
That redy been to our hestes enclyne,       465
That of thise false men, our rebel foon,
Ye do punisshëment, and that anoon!
Voide hem our court and banish hem for ever
So that ther-inne they ne come never.

Fulfilled be it, cessing al delay;       470
Look that ther be non excusacioun.
Writen in th'ayr, the lusty month of May,
In our paleys (wher many a millioun
Of loveres trewe han habitacioun)
The yere of grace joyful and jocounde       475
A thousand and foure hundred and secounde.

Explicit litera Cupidinis, dei amoris, directa suis subditis amatoribus.

From F (Fairfax); various readings from B (Bodley 638); T (Tanner 346); S (Arch. Selden B. 24); A (Ashburnham MS.); Tr. (Trin. Coll. Cam. R. 3. 20). Also in Th. (Thynne, ed. 1532); D (Digby 181); Ff (Camb. Univ. Library, Ff. 1. 6); and in the Bannatyne MS. 2. F. goddis an. 3. F. pepill. F. ben. 4. A. folk; F. folke. F. besely; A. bisyly. 5. F. Th. Of the; S. om. Of. S. Cithera; F. Sythera. S. sothly; F. oonly. 6. A. Tr. alle; F. al. 7. F. sugetes. 8. A. wole; F. wol. 10. F. wymen. A. han I-sowe. 11. F. Suche. 12. A. doon; F. do. 13. F. oure. 14. F. pitouse; effecte. 15. A. And passynge alle londes on this yle. 17. A. seyn; F. seye. 18. A. dissimulen; F. dyssimule. 19. A. Tr. S. Th. in; F. on. F. her.

20. A. herte. 20-22. F. her. 23. A. And with so pitous. S. Tr. pitouse a. 24. A. trewely; F. truly. 25. F. hert. A. han swich. 26. A. seyn; F. sey. F. her. 27. F. her. Tr. list. F. schew. 28. F. anoone. F. om. mot; S. Tr. most; Th. must (but read mot); cf. l. 35. 29. A. seyn; F. sey. F. yowe; Th. you. 31. F. While. F. lyfe. A. lasten; F. last. 33. F. Th. thing as; A.S. om. as. 34. F. youre. F. self; S. seluen. Th. lyste; F. lyst; A. lykith. 35. A. moot myn herte; F. myn hert mote. A. breste; F. brest. 36. F. herd. Th. knowe a mannes; F. know a manys. A. herte; F. hert. 37. F. outwarde. 38. S. word; F. worde. F. non astert. 39. So S. Tr.; A. sholde any wight by reson; F. Th. by reson semed euery wight to queme. 40. F. seyde; Th. sayd. F. hert; Th. herte. 41. F. om. of. 42. F. arte. F. be; Th. by. 43. F. processe. A. Tr. S. wommen meeued of; F. moveth oft woman. 44. S. that; rest om. 46. F. her. 47. F. hert set. 48. F. blesful. A.S. they; F. ye. 49. F. And thus; A.S. Tr. om. And.

50. A.S. pot; Th. pan; F. penne. 52. A. he keepith; F. kepeth he. S. not; A. nat; F. no more. 53. A. fynden; F. fynde. F. tovne. 55. A. On to; F. Vnto. 56. A. hard; F. herde. A.S. leue; F. beleue. 59. Th. traytour; F. traytoure. 60. A. faste him speedith; F. fast spedeth him. 61. Th. herte; F. hert. 62. A.S. Tr. ne; F. om. 64. F. faire avaunte. 65. F. silfe. 66. S. A. Tr. Now; F. om. S. A. him; F. Th. himselfe. A.S. a; F. om. 67. A.S. a (2); F. om. 68. F. tel; hir; hathe. 69. F. worshippe. 70. A. greet; F. grete. S. a sclander; T. Th. disclaunder. 71. F. hir; reprefe. 72. A. Tr. it; rest om. F. wroght. 73. F. myschefe. 74. F. spake; thoght. 75. F. be; Th. by. F. oght. 76. S. a thank; Tr. hye thank; F. thank. 77. D. Th. A. nede; F. rede. 78. Th. through; F. thorgh.

81. A. that; rest om. F. tel. 82. Th. through; F. thorgh. 83. A.S. Tr. Th. al; F. om. F. dovne. 84. F. fynaly. 85. A. Tr. Betrayen; B. S. T. Betray; F. Betraied. 86. F. is yt that; S. A. Tr. om. yt. 87. A. Ageynes; F. Ayens. F. falsely. 88. F. crafte suche. 89. F. wytte; A. Tr. wil. A. Tr. ay reedy is; S. redy ay is; F. is euer redy. A. tapplie; Th. taply; F. to aplye. 90. A. hy; S. Tr. hie; F. om. 93. T. A. Tr. as; F. om. F. ben. 94. B. A. Tr. Th. they; F. om. 95. Th. pursewe; F. pursw. 98. A. Smal witen; F. Lytell wote; Tr. Litel knowe. 99. F. wrechch; Th. wretche. 101. F. inconstant; feythe. 105. F. cometh. 106. F. fast (read faste). F. ride (read ryd). 107. F. While. Th. behynd; F. behinde. F. bake. 109. A. snak; F. snake; Th. smacke. 110. F. thes; pake. 111. Th. mote; F. mot.

114. F. selfe hyr. 115. F. hir reprefe; vileyny. 116. F. tong. 118. F. folke. 120. F. eke. 124. F. wer. A. D. Th. had; F. hath. 126. F. shapith. 129. F. han leyser; D. T. Th. leisur haue; A. Tr. leiser han. 130. F. purpose. 131. Th. madnesse. 132. F. homelynesse. 133. F. wymmen. 134. F. sclaunder women. 135. F. Too. 139. A. Al moot he flee. 140. Th. tonge; F. tong. 141. F. foule. A. vice; Th. vyce; F. thing. 143. A. Tr. Th. S. man; F. men.

147. Th. ben; Tr. been; F. beth. A. at (for in). A. Th. assay; F. asay. 148. F. hyt. F. o; Th. one. 149. F. varriable. 150. S. and (for or). S. proud; F. proude. 152. F. vnthrift; Th. vntrust. 154. F. swich; D. Th. suche. 155. D. god the hie. 156. A. alle; F. al. A. whether; F. wheither. A. was (for were). 160. F. al. 161. F. om. 2nd that. 163. Tr. goode; F. good. 164. F. caas. 165. Th. good is; F. is good. 166. F. al. 167. Th. owne falsenesse; F. oone falsnesse. 169. F. oght. 171. F. wheither. 172. F. badde. 173. F. witte. 175. F. hir.

176. F. tre gode frute. 177. F. swiche; A. swich. 178. F. Take. 179. F. Merour; Th. myrrour. 180. F. Honure; honured. 181. A. nat hir. 183. F. seyde; Th. sayd. 184. F. foule. 185. F. chirlyssh; Th. churlysshe. 187. F. wymen; Th. women. 188. D. B. T. A. Tr. for to despyse; F. to displesen. 189. F. wol. 191. F. made. 192. A. they lakken; Th. they dispyse; F. dispisen they. Th. women and her; F. wommans; A. wommenes. 193. F. grete reprefe. 194. F. yiven; D. yeve; Th. yeue. 195. F. ben. 198. Th. D. especial; F. special. 203. F. theys; noon. 205. F. grete reprefe. 206. F. grete. 207. F. case.

208. F. custome. 209. F. women. D. B. A. Th. om. 1st or. 210. F. Seye; Th. Say. 211. F. boke. 212. F. women. 213. F. louen; S. D. Tr. Th. loue. 215. A. They (glossed s. libri). F. perylle; Th. perel. F. cast. 216. F. B. wrappes (!) 217. D. S. Th. women. F. B. myshappes (!) 218. S. Th. is; F. om. A. that; rest om. 222. A.S. T. nat; D. Th. not; F. noon. F. while. 223. F. tyranie. 224. F. wymmen. 225. D. Th. many; F. mony. F. wer. 226. Th. Tyed; A. Tyd. 228. F. werray; S. veray; D. verry; Th. very. 229. F. selfe; D. silf. 230. F. folke. 232. F. mawgre; Th. maugre. 233. F. om. the. 234. F. sodenly; Th. sodainly. 236. F. ben; Th. be. F. elleccioun. 237. F. tovne; A. town.

239. Th. her; F. hir. Th. herte; F. hert. F. brenyngly. 241. F. hertys set. 242. F. Ioy. 243. F. ben. 244. Th. sharpe; F. sharp. 248. F. women. 249. S. Wote; A. Wat; F. Th. What (!). F. grete; Th. great. 252. F. aght; Th. aught. 253. Th. it; F. ys (!) F. mervaylle; Th. meruayle. 254. F. women knywen; entent. 255. F. sotyly. 256. F. falshode; Th. falsheed. F. hert ment; Th. herte mente. 257. F. this clerkys. F. hent; Th. hente. 261. F. wroghten; Th. wrought. F. wysse; Th. wyse. 262. S. fillokes (for filthes). F. weren; Th. were. 263. F. wisse; Th. wyse. 263, 264. F. clerkis. 264. A. Th. To; F. D. The (!). 266. F. worshippe; Th. worshyp. 268. F. women. F. good. 269. F. dreden; Th. dredde.

270. F. Women. 271. F. hert. 273. A. swich oon for to. 274. F. eke this women. 276. F. ben. 280. F. ben; hertys; craue (!). 281. F. I (!); for To. Th. Moone. 282. F. lewde. 286. F. longe processe. F. slye; Th. slygh. 287. F. damesele; Th. damosel. 288. F. wytte. 289. F. peyn; Th. payne. T. Th. schulde; F. holde (!). 291. F. assaylle; Th. assayle. 292. F. bataylle; Th. batayle. 293. F. whiche. 294. F. hert; Th. herte. 295. F. yt moot folowen; A. moot it folwen. 296. F. grete. 297. F. dysceve. 298. F. constance; ben. 299. F. clerkys. 301. F. pite.

302. F. frendely; Th. frendly. 303. F. flee (!); golde. 304. F. quyt; hir. 305. F. gate; wolde. 306. F. bolde. 307. F. hir. 308. F. kept; grete. 310. F. wrechch; Th. wretche; A. man. 314. F. That (for Than). F. hert; Th. herte. 315. F. mischefe; hir. 316. Th. natures (for Martres). 318. F. oothe in no; A. ooth noon ne; S. T. Th. othe ne. 320. A. Th. herte; F. hert. A. In herte of man conceites trewe arn dede. 324. A. wommannes; Th. D. womans; F. a womans. Th. wicked crabbydnesse. 326. F. the; harme. 327. F. No fors; A. Yee strab (or scrab). Th. Beth ware women of her fykelnesse. F. take; S. and take. 329. F. smert; Th. smerte. 331. F. sle. 332. F. folke.

335. F. Empoysone folkys; set. 337. F. perfyte. 338. D. B. Th. A. entalented; F. entenlented. 339. F. Be; Th. Al; rest To. F. sytt. 340. F. women. 342. A. softe; F. Th. soft. 343. F. outwarde. 344. A. Wommannes; F. Th. Womans. 346. F. Pitouse devoute ful. 348. F. om. and. 350. F. hir. 351. F. oure; Th. our. A. firste; F. Th. first. 353. F. Ioy; Th. ioye. 356. A. nat; F. ne. 357. F. nade; Th. ne had; A. nad. F. she ne wolde. 358. F. The enviouse; Tr. Thenvyous. F. suellyng. F. fend. 359. Th. herte; F. D. hert. 359. F. Sent; hir. 361. F. deceyve; Th. disceyue. 363. F. woman. 364. F. Gode wote; hir.

365. F. good; Tr. goode. F. woman. 369. F. er; A. Th. or. 370. F. hir. 373. F. cast. 374. F. wronge. 375. F. harme. A. of that gilt. 376. F. fende; mawgre. 377. F. hir. 378. F. oonly. F. breeke; D. Th. brake. 379. F. that; Th. this. F. ben. 381. A. D. mowe; T. mow; Th. may; F. now. 385. A. Th. holde; F. hold. 386. F. Th. where; B. whan. 388. F. swiche. 391. A. F. feende; Tr. worme. 392. F. dide; Th. dyd. 394. F. feende. 395. F. sleythes; Th. sleyghtes; A. sleightes.

397. F. trespase; Th. trespace. F. the hevenes; A. Tr. S. Th. om. the. 398. F. tooke. 401. F. suche. 403. F. Yf (for Of). F. lyfe. 405. F. woyde; Th. voyde. 406. F. hir. 408. F. leene; Th. leane; S. low; A. weyke. 410. Th. dewe. F. moot. 411. A. we witen; rest I sey. F. verraly. 412. F. men (for man). 413. F. mercye; hir girdille. 414. F. mercye. 415. F. farewel; Ioy. 417. F. mercye. 418. F. honureth; Th. honoureth. 419. A. Tr. alle; F. al. 423. F. martirdome. Th. Thou louer trewe. thou mayden mansuete. 425. F. feendis. 427. From A; F. B. omit (!).

430. A. nat; Tr. not; rest neuer. 431. F. om. I. 433. F. hert; hir. 434. F. of my; Th. om. my. 435-448. Precedes 421-434 in Th. 435. F. where. 436. F. werkis; lyfe. 438. F. wommen (read womman, as in l. 442). F. stryfe. 439. F. ententyfe. 441. So Th.; F. B. forsoken hym. 442. F. forsooke. 443. F. left oonly. 444. Tr. holy wryt thus; F. thus holy wryt. 445. F. Lok. 446. So A.; F. B. I may wel preve herby. 447, 448. F. constance, variance. 450. F. trew; Th. trewe. 451. A. is nat told for; F. tolde I nat for; Th. tel I for no. 453. F. oonly loo. 455. F. honure; Th. honour. Th. auaunce. 458. A.S. she; rest he.

459, 460. A.S. She; rest He. S. hir; F. hi (!); rest his. 461. F. wertu. 462. F. Gret; honor. 464. F. oure; echon. 465. F. oure. 466. F. D. om. false. F. reble; Th. rebel. 469. A. ynne; F. in. F. more neuer; A. om. more. 471. S. Tr. that; rest om. 472. F. the ayer; A. their; Tr. theyre. F. moneth. 473. F. oure; where; milion. 474. F. louers trwe. 475. F. Iocunde.

Colophon. D. T. amatoribus; F. om. B. has—The lettre of Cupide, god of love, directed to his suggestys louers.