Front Page Titles (by Subject) BOOK V. - The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, vol. 2 (Boethius, Troilus)
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BOOK V. - Geoffrey Chaucer, The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, vol. 2 (Boethius, Troilus) 
The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, edited from numerous manuscripts by the Rev. Walter W. Skeat (2nd ed.) (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1899). 7 vols.
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Dixerat, orationisque cursum.
She hadde seyd, and torned the cours of hir resoun to some othre thinges to ben treted and to ben y-sped. Thanne seyde I, ‘Certes, rightful is thyn amonestinge and ful digne by auctoritee.[ ] But that thou seidest whylom , that the questioun of the divyne5 purviaunce is enlaced with many other questiouns, I understonde wel and proeve it by the same thing. But I axe yif that thou wenest that hap be any thing in any weys; and, yif thou wenest that hap be anything , what is it ?’
Thanne quod she, ‘I haste me to yilden and assoilen to thee[ ] the dette of my bihest, and to shewen and opnen the wey, by10 which wey thou mayst come ayein to thy contree. But al-be-it so that the thinges which that thou axest ben right profitable to knowe, yit ben they diverse somwhat fro the path of my purpos; and it is to douten that thou ne be maked wery by mis-weyes, so[ ] that thou ne mayst nat suffyce to mesuren the right wey.’15
‘Ne doute thee ther-of nothing,’ quod I. ‘For, for to knowen thilke thinges to-gedere, in the whiche thinges I delyte me greetly, that shal ben to me in stede of reste; sin it is nat to douten of the thinges folwinge, whan every syde of thy disputacioun shal han be stedefast to me by undoutous feith.’20
Thanne seyde she, ‘That manere wol I don thee’; and bigan to speken right thus. ‘Certes,’ quod she, ‘yif any wight diffinisshe hap in this manere, that is to seyn, that “hap is bitydinge y-brought forth by foolish moevinge and by no knettinge of causes,” I conferme that hap nis right naught in no wyse; and I25 deme al-outrely that hap nis, ne dwelleth but a voice, as who seith, but an ydel word, with-outen any significacioun of thing submitted to that vois. For what place mighte ben left, or dwellinge,[ ] to folye and to disordenaunce, sin that god ledeth and constreineth alle thinges by ordre? For this sentence is verray and30 sooth, that “nothing ne hath his beinge of naught”; to the[ ] whiche sentence none of thise olde folk ne withseyde never; al-be-it so that they ne understoden ne meneden it naught by god, prince and beginnere of werkinge, but they casten [it] as a manere[ ] foundement of subject material, that is to seyn, of the nature of35 alle resoun. And yif that any thing is woxen or comen of no causes, than shal it seme that thilke thing is comen or woxen of naught; but yif this ne may nat ben don, thanne is it nat possible, that hap be any swich thing as I have diffinisshed a litel heer-biforn.’
‘How shal it thanne be?’ quod I. ‘Nis ther thanne no-thing40 that by right may be cleped either “hap” or elles “aventure of fortune”; or is ther aught, al-be-it so that it is hid fro the peple, to which these wordes ben covenable ?’
‘Myn Aristotulis,’ quod she, ‘in the book of his Phisik, diffinissheth[ ]45 this thing by short resoun, and neigh to the sothe.’
‘In which manere?’ quod I.
‘As ofte,’ quod she, ‘as men doon any thing for grace of any[ ] other thing, and an-other thing than thilke thing that men entenden to don bitydeth by some causes, it is cleped “hap.”50 Right as a man dalf the erthe by cause of tilyinge of the feeld,[ ] and founde ther a gobet of gold bidolven, thanne wenen folk that it is bifalle by fortunous bitydinge. But, for sothe, it nis nat of naught, for it hath his propre causes; of whiche causes the cours unforeseyn and unwar semeth to han maked hap. For yif the55 tilyere of the feld ne dolve nat in the erthe , and yif the hyder of[ ] the gold ne hadde hid the gold in thilke place, the gold ne hadde nat been founde. Thise ben thanne the causes of the abregginge[ ] of fortuit hap, the which abregginge of fortuit hap comth of causes encountringe and flowinge to-gidere to hem-self, and nat by the60 entencioun of the doer. For neither the hyder of the gold ne the delver of the feeld ne understoden nat that the gold sholde han ben founde; but, as I sayde, it bitidde and ran to-gidere that he dalf ther-as that other hadde hid the gold. Now may I thus diffinisshe “hap.” Hap is an unwar bitydinge of causes assembled65 in thinges that ben don for som other thing. But thilke ordre, procedinge by an uneschuable bindinge to-gidere, which that[ ] descendeth fro the welle of purviaunce that ordeineth alle thinges in hir places and in hir tymes, maketh that the causes rennen and assemblen to-gidere.
Rupis Achemenie scopulis, ubi uersa sequentum.
Tigris and Eufrates resolven and springen of oo welle, in the cragges of the roche of the contree of Achemenie, ther-as the[ ] fleinge bataile ficcheth hir dartes, retorned in the brestes of hem[ ] that folwen hem. And sone after tho same riveres, Tigris and Eufrates, unioinen and departen hir wateres. And yif they comen[ ]5 to-gideres, and ben assembled and cleped to-gidere into o cours, thanne moten thilke thinges fleten to-gidere which that the water of the entrechaunginge flood bringeth. The shippes and the stokkes arraced with the flood moten assemblen; and the wateres[ ] y-medled wrappeth or implyeth many fortunel happes or maneres;10 the whiche wandringe happes, natheles, thilke declyninge lownesse of the erthe and the flowinge ordre of the slydinge water governeth. Right so Fortune, that semeth as that it fleteth with slaked or ungovernede brydles, it suffereth brydles, that is to seyn, to be[ ]governed, and passeth by thilke lawe, that is to seyn, bythilke15divyne ordenaunce.’
‘This understonde I wel,’ quod I , ‘and I acorde wel that it is right as thou seyst. But I axe yif ther be any libertee of free wil in this ordre of causes that clyven thus to-gidere in hem-self; or elles I wolde witen yif that the destinal cheyne constreineth the[ ]movinges of the corages of men?’5
34. The last clause, in the original, is in Greek.
‘Yis,’ quod she; ‘ther is libertee of free wil. Ne ther ne was nevere no nature of resoun that it ne hadde libertee of free wil. For every thing that may naturely usen resoun, it hath doom by which it decerneth and demeth every thing; thanne knoweth it, by it-self, thinges that ben to fleen and thinges that ben to desiren.[ ]10 And thilke thing that any wight demeth to ben desired, that axeth or desireth he; and fleeth thilke thing that he troweth ben to fleen. Wherfore in alle thinges that resoun is, in hem also is[ ] libertee of willinge and of nillinge. But I ne ordeyne nat, as who[ ]seyth, I ne graunte nat, that this libertee be evene-lyk in alle15 thinges. Forwhy in the sovereines devynes substaunces, that is[ ]to seyn, in spirits, Iugement is more cleer, and wil nat y-corumped ,[ ] and might redy to speden thinges that ben desired. But the soules of men moten nedes be more free whan they loken hem in20 the speculacioun or lokinge of the devyne thought, and lasse free whan they slyden in-to the bodies; and yit lasse free whan they ben gadered to-gidere and comprehended in erthely membres. But the laste servage is whan that they ben yeven to vyces, and han y-falle from the possessioun of hir propre resoun. For after25 that they han cast awey hir eyen fro the light of the sovereyn soothfastnesse to lowe thinges and derke, anon they derken by the cloude of ignoraunce and ben troubled by felonous talents; to the[ ] whiche talents whan they aprochen and asenten, they hepen and encresen the servage which they han ioyned to hem-self; and30 in this manere they ben caitifs fro hir propre libertee. The whiche[ ] thinges, nathelesse, the lokinge of the devyne purviaunce seeth, that alle thinges biholdeth and seeth fro eterne, and ordeineth hem everich in hir merites as they ben predestinat: and it is seyd in Greek, that “alle thinges he seeth and alle thinges he hereth.”[ ]
Puro clarum lumine Phebum.
Homer with the hony mouth, that is to seyn, Homer with the[ ]swete ditees, singeth, that the sonne is cleer by pure light; natheles yit ne may it nat, by the infirme light of his bemes, breken or percen the inwarde entrailes of the erthe, or elles of the see. So5 ne seeth nat god, maker of the grete world: to him, that loketh alle thinges from an heigh, ne withstondeth nat no thinges by hevinesse of erthe; ne the night ne withstondeth nat to him by the blake cloudes. Thilke god seeth, in oo strok of thought, alle[ ] thinges that ben, or weren, or sholle comen; and thilke god, for10 he loketh and seeth alle thinges alone, thou mayst seyn that he is the verray sonne.’
Tum ego, en, inquam.
Thanne seyde I, ‘now am I confounded by a more hard doute[ ] than I was.’
‘What doute is that?’ quod she. ‘For certes, I coniecte now by whiche thinges thou art troubled.’
‘It semeth,’ quod I, ‘to repugnen and to contrarien greetly,5 that god knoweth biforn alle thinges, and that ther is any freedom of libertee. For yif so be that god loketh alle thinges biforn, ne god ne may nat ben desseived in no manere, than mot it nedes been, that alle thinges bityden the whiche that the purviaunce of god hath seyn biforn to comen. For which, yif that god10 knoweth biforn nat only the werkes of men, but also hir conseiles and hir willes, thanne ne shal ther be no libertee of arbitre; ne,[ ] certes, ther ne may be noon other dede, ne no wil, but thilke which that the divyne purviaunce, that may nat ben desseived, hath feled biforn. For yif that they mighten wrythen awey in15 othre manere than they ben purveyed, than sholde ther be no stedefast prescience of thing to comen, but rather an uncertein opinioun; the whiche thing to trowen of god, I deme it felonye and unleveful. Ne I ne proeve nat thilke same resoun, as who[ ]seyth, I ne alowe nat, or I ne preyse nat, thilke same resoun, by20 which that som men wenen that they mowen assoilen and unknitten the knotte of this questioun. For, certes, they seyn that thing nis nat to comen for that the purviaunce of god hath seyn it biforn that is to comen, but rather the contrarye, and thatisthis: that, for that the thing is to comen, therfore ne may it25 nat ben hid fro the purviaunce of god; and in this manere this necessitee slydeth ayein in-to the contrarye partye: ne it ne bihoveth nat , nedes, that thinges bityden that ben purvyed , but it bihoveth, nedes, that thinges that ben to comen ben y-porveyed : but as it were y-travailed, as who seyth, that thilke answere[ ]30procedeth right as thogh men travaileden, or weren bisy to enqueren,the whiche thing is cause of the whiche thing:—as, whether the prescience is cause of the necessitee of thinges to comen, or elles that the necessitee of thinges to comen is cause of the purviaunce .35 But I ne enforce me nat now to shewen it , that the bitydinge of[ ] thinges y-wist biforn is necessarie, how so or in what manere that the ordre of causes hath it-self; al-thogh that it ne seme nat that the prescience bringe in necessitee of bitydinge to thinges to comen. For certes, yif that any wight sitteth, it bihoveth by40 necessitee that the opinioun be sooth of him that coniecteth that he sitteth; and ayeinward also is it of the contrarye: yif the opinioun be sooth of any wight for that he sitteth, it bihoveth by necessitee that he sitte. Thanne is heer necessitee in that oon and in that other: for in that oon is necessitee of sittinge, and,45 certes, in that other is necessitee of sooth. But therfore ne sitteth nat a wight, for that the opinioun of the sittinge is sooth; but the opinioun is rather sooth, for that a wight sitteth biforn. And thus, al-thogh that the cause of the sooth cometh of that other syde (as who seyth, that al-thogh the cause ofsooth comth50of the sitting, and nat of the trewe opinioun), algates yit is ther comune necessitee in that oon and in that other. Thus sheweth it, that I may make semblable skiles of the purviaunce of god and of thinges to comen. For althogh that, for that thinges ben[ ] to comen, ther-fore ben they purveyed, nat, certes, for that they55 ben purveyed, ther-fore ne bityde they nat. Yit natheles,[ ] bihoveth it by necessitee, that either the thinges to comen ben y-purveyed of god, or elles that the thinges that ben purveyed of god bityden . And this thing only suffiseth y-nough to destroyen the freedom of oure arbitre, that is to seyn, of oure free wil. But60 now, certes , sheweth it wel, how fer fro the sothe and how up-so-doun is this thing that we seyn, that the bitydinge of temporel thinges is cause of the eterne prescience. But for to wenen that god purvyeth the thinges to comen for they ben to comen, what other thing is it but for to wene that thilke thinges that bitidden65 whylom ben causes of thilke soverein purvyaunce that is in god? And her-to I adde yit this thing: that, right as whan that I wot that a thing is, it bihoveth by necessitee that thilke selve thing be; and eek, whan I have knowe that any thing shal bityden, so byhoveth it by necessitee that thilke thing bityde:—so folweth it thanne, that the bitydinge of the thing y-wist biforn ne may nat70 ben eschued. And at the laste , yif that any wight wene a thing[ ] to ben other weyes thanne it is, it is nat only unscience, but it is deceivable opinioun ful diverse and fer fro the sothe of science. Wherfore, yif any thing be so to comen, that the bitydinge of hit ne be nat certein ne necessarie, who may weten biforn that thilke75 thing is to comen? For right as science ne may nat ben medled with falsnesse (as who seyth, that yif I wot a thing, it ne may nat be false that I ne wot it), right so thilke thing that is conceived by[ ] science ne may nat ben non other weys than as it is conceived. For that is the cause why that science wanteth lesing (as who[ ]80seyth, why that witinge ne receiveth nat lesinge of that it wot); for it bihoveth, by necessitee, that every thing be right as science comprehendeth it to be. What shal I thanne seyn? In whiche manere knoweth god biforn the thinges to comen, yif they ne be nat certein? For yif that he deme that they ben to comen85uneschewably , and so may be that it is possible that they ne shollen nat comen, god is deceived . But nat only to trowen that god is deceived, but for to speke it with mouth, it is a felonous sinne. But yif that god wot that, right so as thinges ben to comen, so shullen they comen—so that he wite egaly, as who[ ]90seyth, indifferently, that thinges mowen ben doon or elles nat y-doon —what is thilke prescience that ne comprehendeth no certein thing ne stable? Or elles what difference is ther bitwixe the prescience and thilke Iape-worthy divyninge of Tiresie the[ ] divynour, that seyde: “Al that I seye,” quod he, “either it shal be,95 or elles it ne shal nat be?” Or elles how mochel is worth the devyne prescience more than the opinioun of mankinde, yif so be that it demeth the thinges uncertein, as men doon; of the whiche domes of men the bitydinge nis nat certein? But yif so be that non uncertein thing ne may ben in him that is right certein welle100 of alle thinges, thanne is the bitydinge certein of thilke thinges whiche he hath wist biforn fermely to comen. For which it folweth, that the freedom of the conseiles and of the werkes of mankind nis non, sin that the thoght of god, that seeth alle105 thinges without errour of falsnesse, bindeth and constreineth hem to a bitydinge by necessitee. And yif this thing be ones y-graunted and received , that is to seyn, that ther nis no free wille, than sheweth it wel, how greet destruccioun and how grete damages ther folwen of thinges of mankinde. For in ydel ben110 ther thanne purposed and bihight medes to gode folk, and peynes to badde folk, sin that no moevinge of free corage voluntarie ne hath nat deserved hem, that is to seyn, neither mede ne peyne; and it sholde seme thanne, that thilke thing is alderworst , which that is now demed for aldermost iust and most rightful, that is to seyn,115 that shrewes ben punisshed, or elles that gode folk ben y-gerdoned: the whiche folk, sin that hir propre wil ne sent hem nat to that oon[ ] ne to that other, that is to seyn, neither to gode ne to harm, but constreineth[ ] hem certein necessitee of thinges to comen: thanne ne shollen ther nevere ben, ne nevere weren, vyce ne vertu, but it120 sholde rather ben confusioun of alle desertes medled with-outen discrecioun. And yit ther folweth an-other inconvenient,of the[ ] whiche ther ne may ben thoght no more felonous ne more wikke; and that is this: that, so as the ordre of thinges is y-led and comth of the purviaunce of god, ne that no-thing nis leveful to125 the conseiles of mankinde (as who seyth, that men han no power to doon no-thing, ne wilne no-thing), than folweth it, that oure vyces ben referred to the maker of alle good (as who seyth, than folweth it, that god oughte han the blame of oure vyces, sin he constreinethusby necessitee to doon vyces). Thanne is ther no resoun to hopenin130god, ne for to preyen to god; for what sholde any wight hopen to god, or why sholde he preyen to god, sin that the ordenaunce of[ ] destinee, which that ne may nat ben inclyned, knitteth and streineth alle thinges that men may desiren? Thanne sholde ther be doon awey thilke only allyaunce bitwixen god and men, that is to seyn, to hopen and to preyen . But by the prys of rightwisnesse and of135 verray mekenesse we deserven the gerdoun of the divyne grace, which that is inestimable, that is to seyn, that it is so greet, that it ne may nat ben ful y-preysed. And this is only the manere, that is to seyn, hope and preyeres, for which it semeth that men mowen speke with god, and by resoun of supplicacioun be conioined to140 thilke cleernesse, that nis nat aproched no rather or that men[ ] beseken it and impetren it. And yif men wene nat that hope ne[ ] preyeres ne han no strengthes, by the necessitee of thinges to comen y-received , what thing is ther thanne by whiche we mowen ben conioined and clyven to thilke soverein prince of thinges?145 For which it bihoveth, by necessitee, that the linage of mankinde,[ ] as thou songe a litel her-biforn , be departed and unioined from[ ] his welle, and failen of his biginninge, that is to seyn, god.
Quenam discors federa rerum.
What discordable cause hath to-rent and unioined the bindinge,[ ]or the alliaunce, of thinges, that is to seyn, theconiuncciounof god[ ]andman ? Whiche god hath establisshed so greet bataile bitwixen[ ] thise two soothfast or verray thinges, that is to seyn, bitwixen the purviaunce of god and free wil, that they ben singuler5 and devyded , ne that they ne wolen nat be medeled ne coupled to-gidere? But ther nis no discord to the verray thinges , but they[ ]clyven , certein, alwey to hem-self. But the thought of man, confounded and overthrowen by the dirke membres of the body, ne may nat, by fyr of his derked looking, that is to seyn, by the vigour[ ]10of his insighte, whyl the soule is in the body, knowe the thinne subtil knittinges of thinges. But wherfore enchaufeth it so, by so[ ] greet love, to finden thilke notes of sooth y-covered; that is to seyn, wherfore enchaufeth the thoght of man by so greet desyr to15knowen thilke notificacions that ben y-hid under the covertoures of sooth? Wot it aught thilke thing that it, anguissous, desireth to[ ] knowe? As who seith, nay; for no man travaileth for to witen thinges that he wot. And therfore the texte seiththus : but who[ ] travaileth to witen thinges y-knowe? And yif that he ne knoweth20 hem nat, what seketh thilke blinde thoght? What is he that desireth any thing of which he wot right naught? As who seith, who so desireth any thing, nedes, somwhat he knoweth of it; or elles, he ne coude nat desire it. Or who may folwen thinges that ne[ ] ben nat y-wist? And thoghthathe seke tho thinges, wher shal he25 finde hem? What wight, that is al unconninge and ignoraunt, may knowen the forme that is y-founde ? But whan the soule[ ] biholdeth and seeth the heye thoght, that is to seyn, god, than knoweth it to-gidere the somme and the singularitees, that is to seyn, theprinciplesand everich by him-self.
30But now, whyl the soule is hid in the cloude and in the derkenesse of the membres of the body, it ne hath nat al for-yeten it-self, but it with-holdeth the somme of thinges, and leseth the[ ] singularitees. Thanne, who-so that seeketh soothnesse, he nis in neither nother habite ; for he noot nat al, ne he ne hath nat al[ ]35 foryeten: but yit him remembreth the somme of thinges that he with-holdeth, and axeth conseil, and retreteth deepliche thinges[ ] y-seyn biforn, that is to seyn, the grete somme in his minde: so that he mowe adden the parties that he hath for-yeten to thilke that he hath with-holden.’
Tum illa: Vetus, inquit, hec est.
Thanne seide she: ‘this is,’ quod she, ‘the olde question of the purviaunce of god; and Marcus Tullius, whan he devyded the[ ] divynaciouns, that is to seyn, in his book that he wroot of divynaciouns, he moevede gretly this questioun; and thou thy-self has y-sought it mochel, and outrely, and longe; but yit ne hath it nat ben5 determined ne y-sped fermely and diligently of any of yow. And the cause of this derkenesse and of this difficultee is, for that the moevinge of the resoun of mankinde ne may nat moeven to (that[ ]is to seyn, applyen or ioinen to) the simplicitee of the devyne prescience; the whiche simplicitee of the devyne prescience, yif10 that men mighten thinken it in any maner, that is to seyn, that yif menmighten thinken and comprehenden the thinges as god seeth hem, thanne ne sholde ther dwellen outrely no doute: the whiche resoun and cause of difficultee I shal assaye at the laste to shewe and to speden, whan I have first y-spended and answered to tho[ ]15 resouns by which thou art y-moeved. For I axe why thou wenest that thilke resouns of hem that assoilen this questioun ne ben nat speedful y-nough ne sufficient: the whiche solucioun, or the whiche resoun, for that it demeth that the prescience nis nat cause of necessitee to thinges to comen, than ne weneth it nat that20 freedom of wil be destorbed or y-let by prescience. For ne drawestow nat arguments from elles-where of the necessitee of[ ] thinges to-comen (as who seith, any other wey than thus) but that thilke thinges that the prescience wot biforn ne mowen nat unbityde?[ ]That is to seyn, that they moten bityde. But thanne, yif25 that prescience ne putteth no necessitee to thinges to comen, as thou thy-self hast confessed it and biknowen a litel her-biforn, what[ ] cause or what is it (as who seith, ther may no cause be) by which[ ] that the endes voluntarie of thinges mighten be constreined to certein bitydinge? For by grace of positioun , so that thou mowe[ ]30 the betere understonde this that folweth, I pose, per impossibile ,[ ] that ther be no prescience. Thanne axe I,’ quod she, ‘in as mochel as apertieneth to that, sholden thanne thinges that comen of free wil ben constreined to bityden by necessitee?’
Boece. ‘Nay,’ quod I.35
‘Thanne ayeinward,’ quod she, ‘I suppose that ther be prescience, but that it ne putteth no necessitee to thinges; thanne trowe I, that thilke selve freedom of wil shal dwellen al hool and absolut and unbounden. But thou wolt seyn that, al-be-it so that40 prescience nis nat cause of the necessitee of bitydinge to thinges to comen, algates yit it is a signe that the thinges ben to bityden by necessitee. By this manere thanne, al-thogh the prescience ne hadde never y-ben, yit algate or at the leeste weye it is certein thing, that the endesand bitydinges of thinges to comen sholden45 ben necessarie. For every signe sheweth and signifyeth only what the thing is , but it ne maketh nat the thing that it signifyeth. For which it bihoveth first to shewen, that no-thing ne bitydeth that it ne bitydeth by necessitee, so that it may appere that the prescience is signe of this necessitee ; or elles, yif ther nere no necessitee,50 certes, thilke prescience ne mighte nat be signe of thing that nis nat. But certes, it is now certein that the proeve of this, y-sustened by stidefast resoun, ne shal nat ben lad ne proeved by signes ne by arguments y-taken fro with-oute, but by causes covenable and necessarie. But thou mayst seyn, how may it be55 that the thinges ne bityden nat that ben y-purveyed to comen? But, certes, right as we trowen that tho thinges which that the[ ] purviance wot biforn to comen ne ben nat to bityden; but that ne sholden we nat demen; but rather, al-thogh that they shal bityden, yit ne have they no necessitee of hir kinde to bityden.60 And this maystow lightly aperceiven by this that I shal seyn. For we seen many thinges whan they ben don biforn oure eyen, right as men seen the cartere worken in the torninge or atempringe or[ ] adressinge of hise cartes or charietes . And by this manere (as[ ]who seith,maystowunderstonde) of alle othere workmen. Is ther65 thanne any necessitee, as who seith, in oure lokinge,that constreineth or compelleth any of thilke thinges to ben don so ?’
Boece. ‘Nay,’ quod I; ‘for in ydel and in veyn were al the effect of craft, yif that alle thinges weren moeved by constreininge;’ that is to seyn, by constreininge of oure eyen or of oure sight.
131. HereA.wrongly inserts a clause omitted above (91-93).
70Philosophie. ‘The thinges thanne,’ quod she, ‘that, whan men doon hem, ne han no necessitee that men doon hem, eek tho same thinges, first or they ben doon, they ben to comen with-oute necessitee. For-why ther ben somme thinges to bityden, of which the endes and the bitydinges of hem ben absolut and quit of alle necessitee. For certes, I ne trowe nat that any man wolde seyn75 this: that tho thinges that men doon now, that they ne weren to bityden first or they weren y-doon; and thilke same thinges, al-thogh that men had y-wist hem biforn, yit they han free bitydinges. For right as science of thinges present ne bringeth in no necessitee to thinges that men doon, right so the prescience of80thinges to comen ne bringeth in no necessitee to thinges to bityden. But thou mayst seyn, that of thilke same it is y-douted, as whether that of thilke thinges that ne han non issues and bitydinges necessaries, yif ther-of may ben any prescience; for certes, they semen to discorden. For thou wenest that, yif that85 thinges ben y-seyn biforn, that necessitee folweth hem; and yif necessitee faileth hem, they ne mighten nat ben wist biforn, and that no-thing ne may ben comprehended by science but certein; and yif tho thinges that ne han no certein bitydinges ben purveyed as certein, it sholde ben dirknesse of opinioun, nat soothfastnesse90 of science. And thou wenest that it be diverse fro the hoolnesse of science that any man sholde deme a thing to ben other-weys thanne it is it-self . And the cause of this erroure is, that of alle the thinges that every wight hath y-knowe, they wenen that tho thinges been y-knowe al-oonly by the strengthe and by the nature95 of the thinges that ben y-wist or y-knowe; and it is al the contrarie. For al that ever is y-knowe, it is rather comprehended and knowen, nat after his strengthe and his nature, but after the facultee, that is to seyn, the power andthenature, of hem that knowen. And, for that this thing shal mowen shewen by a short[ ]100 ensaumple: the same roundnesse of a body, other-weys the sighte[ ] of the eye knoweth it, and other-weyes the touchinge. The lokinge, by castinge of his bemes, waiteth and seeth from afer al the body to-gidere, with-oute moevinge of it-self; but the touchinge clyveth and conioineth to the rounde body , and moeveth aboute105 the environinge, and comprehendeth by parties the roundnesse. And the man him-self, other-weys wit biholdeth him, and[ ] other-weys imaginacioun, and other-weys resoun, and other-weys intelligence. For the wit comprehendeth withoute-forth the110 figure of the body of the man that is establissed in the matere subiect; but the imaginacioun comprehendethonly the figure withoute the matere. Resoun surmounteth imaginacioun , and comprehendeth by universal lokinge the comune spece that[ ] is in the singuler peces. But the eye of intelligence is heyere; for[ ]115 it surmounteth the environinge of the universitee, and looketh,[ ] over that, by pure subtilitee of thoght, thilke same simple forme of man that is perdurably in the divyne thoght. In whiche this oughte greetly to ben considered, that the heyeste strengthe to comprehenden thinges enbraseth and contieneth the lowere120 strengthe; but the lowere strengthe ne aryseth nat in no manere to heyere strengthe . For wit ne may no-thing comprehende out of matere, ne the imaginacioun ne loketh nat the universels speces, ne resoun taketh nat the simple forme so as intelligence takethit ; but intelligence, that looketh al aboven, whan it hath125 comprehended the forme, it knoweth and demeth alle the thinges that ben under that forme. But sheknoweth hemin thilke manere in the whiche it comprehendeth thilke same simple forme that ne may never ben knowen to none of that other; that is to seyn, to none of tho three forseide thinges of the sowle. For it knoweth130 the universitee of resoun, and the figure of the imaginacioun, and the sensible material conceived by wit; ne it ne useth nat nor of resoun ne of imaginacioun ne of wit withoute-forth; but it biholdeth alle thinges, so as I shal seye, by a strok of thought[ ] formely, withoute discours or collacioun. Certes resoun, whan it135 looketh any-thing universel, it ne useth nat of imaginacioun, nor of witte, and algates yit itcomprehendeth the thinges imaginable and sensible; for resoun is she that diffinisseth the universel of hir[ ] conseyte right thus:—man is a resonable two-foted beest. And how so that this knowinge is universel, yet nis ther no wight that ne woot wel that a man is a thing imaginable and sensible; and140 this same considereth wel resoun; but that nis nat by imaginacioun nor by wit, but it looketh it by a resonable concepcioun. Also imaginacioun, al-be-it so that it taketh of wit the beginninges to seen and to formen the figures, algates, al-thogh that wit ne were nat present, yit it environeth and comprehendeth alle thinges145 sensible; nat by resoun sensible of deminge, but by resoun imaginatif. Seestow nat thanne that alle the thinges, in knowinge, usen more of hir facultee or of hir power than they doon of the facultee or power of thinges that ben y-knowe? Ne that nis nat wrong; for so as every Iugement is the dede or doinge of him150 that demeth, it bihoveth that every wight performe the werk and his entencioun, nat of foreine power, but of his propre power.
Quondam porticus attulit.
The Porche, that is to seyn, a gate of the town of Athenes ther-as[ ]philosophres hadden hir congregacioun to desputen, thilke Porche broughte som-tyme olde men, ful derke in hir sentences, that is to seyn, philosophres that highten Stoiciens, that wenden that images and sensibilitees, that is to seyn, sensible imaginaciouns, or elles5imaginaciouns of sensible thinges, weren empreinted in-to sowles fro bodies withoute-forth; as who seith, that thilke Stoiciens wenden that the sowle hadde ben naked of it-self, as a mirour or a clene parchemin, so that alle figures mostenfirstcomen fro thinges fro withoute-forth in-to sowles, and benempreintedin-to sowles: Text:[ ]10 right as we ben wont som-tyme, by a swifte pointel, to ficchen[ ] lettres empreinted in the smothenesse or in the pleinnesse of the table of wex or in parchemin that ne hath no figure ne note in it. Glose. But now argueth Boece ayeinsthatopinioun, and seith thus: But yif the thryvinge sowle ne unpleyteth no-thing, that is[ ]15to seyn, ne doth no-thing, by his propre moevinges, but suffreth and lyth subgit to tho figures and to tho notes of bodies withoute-forth, and yildeth images ydel and veyn in the manere of a mirour, whennes thryveth thanne or whennes comth thilke knowinge in20 our sowle, that discerneth and biholdeth alle thinges? And whennes is thilke strengthe that biholdeth the singuler thinges; or whennes is the strengthe that devydeth thinges y-knowe; and thilke strengthe that gadereth to-gidere the thinges devyded; and the strengthe that cheseth his entrechaunged wey? For som-tyme25 it heveth up the heved, that is to seyn, that it heveth up the entencioun to rightheye thinges ; and som-tyme it descendeth in-to right lowe thinges . And whan it retorneth in-to him-self, it reproeveth and destroyeth the false thinges by the trewe thinges. Certes, this strengthe is cause more efficient, and mochel30 more mighty to seen and to knowe thinges, than thilke cause that suffreth and receiveth the notes and the figures impressed in maner of matere. Algates the passioun, that is to seyn,[ ]the suffraunce or the wit, in the quike body, goth biforn, excitinge and moevinge the strengthes of the thought. Right so as whan that35 cleernesse smyteth the eyen and moeveth hem to seen, or right so as vois or soun hurteleth to the eres and commoeveth hem to herkne, than is the strengthe of the thought y-moeved and excited, and clepeth forth, to semblable moevinges, the speces that it halt with-inne it-self; and addeth tho speces to the notes40 and to the thinges withoute-forth, and medleth the images of thinges withoute-forth to tho formes y-hidde with-inne him-self.
Quod si in corporibus sentiendis.
6, 7. A.om. goth . . . suffraunce.
But what yif that in bodies to ben feled, that is to seyn, in the[ ]takinge of knowelechinge of bodily thinges, and al-be-it so that the qualitees of bodies, that ben obiecte fro withoute-forth, moeven and entalenten the instruments of the wittes; and al-be-it so that[ ]5 the passioun of the body, that is to seyn, thewitor thesuffraunce, goth to-forn the strengthe of the workinge corage, the which passioun or suffraunce clepeth forth the dede of the thoght in him-self, and moeveth and exciteth in this mene whyle the formes that resten withinne-forth; and yif that, in sensible bodies, as I have seyd, our corage nis nat y-taught or empreinted by passioun to10knowe thise thinges, but demeth and knoweth, of his owne strengthe, the passioun or suffraunce subiect to the body: moche more thanne tho thinges that ben absolut and quite fro alle talents or affecciouns of bodies, as god or his aungeles, ne folwen nat in discerninge thinges obiect fro withoute-forth, but they accomplisshen15 and speden the dede of hir thoght. By this resoun thanne ther comen many maner knowinges to dyverse and differinge substaunces. For the wit of the body, the whiche[ ] wit is naked and despoiled of alle other knowinges, thilke wit comth to beestes that ne mowen nat moeven hem-self her and20ther , as oystres andmuscules , and other swiche shelle-fish of the[ ] see, that clyven and ben norisshed to roches. But the imaginacioun comth to remuable beestes, that semen to han talent to[ ] fleen or to desiren any thing. But resoun is al-only to the linage of mankinde, right as intelligence is only [to] the devyne nature:25 of which it folweth, that thilke knowinge is more worth than thise othre , sin it knoweth by his propre nature nat only his subiect, as who seith, it ne knoweth nat al-only that apertieneth properly to his knowinge, but it knoweth the subiects of alle other knowinges. But how shal it thanne be, yif that wit and imaginacioun stryven[ ]30 ayein resoninge, and seyn, that of thilke universel thing that resoun weneth to seen, that it nis right naught? For wit and imaginacioun seyn that that, that is sensible or imaginable, it ne[ ] may nat be universel. Thanne is either the Iugement of resoun sooth , ne that ther nis nothing sensible ; or elles, for that resoun[ ]35 wot wel that many thinges ben subiect to wit and to imaginacioun, thanne is the concepcioun of resoun veyn and false, which that loketh and comprehendeth that that is sensible and singuler as universel. And yif that resoun wolde answeren ayein to thise two, that is to seyn, to witte and to imaginacioun, and seyn, that40 soothly she hir-self, that is toseyn , resoun, loketh and comprehendeth, by resoun of universalitee, bothe that that is sensible and that that is imaginable; and that thilke two, that is to seyn, wit and imaginacioun, ne mowen nat strecchen ne enhansen hem-self45 to the knowinge of universalitee, for that the knowinge of hem ne may exceden ne surmounte the bodily figures : certes, of the knowinge of thinges, men oughten rather yeven credence to the more stedefast and to the more parfit Iugement. In this maner stryvinge thanne, we that han strengthe of resoninge and[ ]50 of imagininge and of wit, that is to seyn, by resoun and by imaginacioun and by wit,we sholde rather preyse the cause of resoun; as who seith, than the cause of witand ofimaginacioun.
Semblable thing is it, that the resoun of mankinde ne weneth nat that the devyne intelligence bi-holdeth or knoweth thinges to55 comen, but right as the resoun of mankinde knoweth hem. For thou arguest and seyst thus: that yif it ne seme nat to men that some thinges han certein and necessarie bitydinges, they ne mowen nat ben wist biforn certeinly to bityden. And thanne nis ther no prescience of thilke thinges; and yif we trowe that60 prescience be in thise thinges, thanne is ther no-thing that it ne bitydeth by necessitee. But certes, yif we mighten han the Iugement of the devyne thoght, as we ben parsoneres of resoun, right[ ] so as we han demed that it behoveth that imaginacioun and wit be binethe resoun, right so wolde we demen that it were rightful65 thing, that mannes resoun oughte to submitten it-self and to ben binethe the divyne thoght. For which, yif that we mowen, as[ ]who seith, that, yif that we mowen, I counseyle, that we enhanse us in-to the heighte of thilke sovereyn intelligence; for ther shal resoun wel seen that, that it ne may nat biholden in it-self. And70 certes that is this, in what maner the prescience of god seeth alle thinges certeins and diffinisshed , al-thogh they ne han no certein issues or bitydinges; ne this is non opinioun, but it is rather the simplicitee of the sovereyn science, that nis nat enclosed nor y-shet within none boundes.
Quam uariis terris animalia permeant figuris.
The beestes passen by the erthes by ful diverse figures. For[ ] som of hem han hir bodies straught and crepen in the dust, and drawen after hem a tras or a foruhy-continued ; that is to seyn, asnadresor snakes. And other beestes, by the wandringe lightnesse of hir winges, beten the windes, and over-swimmen the spaces of5 the longe eyr by moist fleeinge. And other beestes gladen hemself[ ] to diggen hir tras or hir steppes in the erthe with hir goings[ ] or with hir feet, and to goon either by the grene feldes , or elles to walken under the wodes. And al-be-it so that thou seest that[ ] they alle discorden by diverse formes, algates hir faces , enclined ,[ ]10 hevieth hir dulle wittes. Only the linage of man heveth heyeste[ ] his heye heved, and stondeth light with his up-right body, and[ ] biholdeth the erthes under him. And , but-yif thou, erthely man, wexest yvel out of thy wit, this figure amonesteth thee, that axest[ ] the hevene with thy righte visage, and hast areysed thy fore-heved,15 to beren up a-heigh thy corage; so that thy thoght ne be nat y-hevied ne put lowe under fote, sin that thy body is so heye areysed.
Quoniam igitur, uti paullo ante.
Therfor thanne, as I have shewed a litel her-biforn, that al thing that is y-wist nis nat knowen by his nature propre, but by the nature of hem that comprehenden it, lat us loke now, in as mochel as it is leveful to us, as who seith, lat us loke now as we mowen, which that the estat is of the devyne substaunce; so that5 we mowen eek knowen what his science is. The commune Iugement of alle creatures resonables thanne is this: that god is eterne. Lat us considere thanne what is eternitee; for certes that shal shewen us to-gidere the devyne nature and the devyne science.
Eternitee, thanne, is parfit possessioun and al-togidere of lyf10 interminable; and that sheweth more cleerly by the comparisour or the collacioun of temporel thinges. For al thing that liveth in tyme it is present, and procedeth fro preterits in-to futures, that is to seyn, fro tyme passed in-to tyme cominge; ne ther nis no-thing15 establisshed in tyme that may enbracen to-gider al the space of his lyf. For certes, yit ne hath it taken the tyme of to-morwe , and it hath lost the tyme of yisterday. And certes, in the lyf of this day, ye ne liven no more but right as in the moevable and transitorie moment. Thanne thilke thing that suffreth temporel20 condicioun, al-thogh that it never bigan to be, ne thogh it never cese for to be, as Aristotle demed of the world, and al-thogh that[ ] the lyf of it be strecched with infinitee of tyme, yit algates nis it no swich thing that men mighten trowen by right that it is eterne. For al-thogh that it comprehende and embrace the space25 of lyf infinit, yit algates ne embraceth it nat the space of the lyf al-togider; for it ne hath nat the futures that ne ben nat yit, ne it ne hath no lenger the preterits that ben y-doon or y-passed. But thilke thing thanne, that hath and comprehendeth to-gider al the plentee of the lyf interminable, to whom ther ne faileth naught of30 the future, and to whom ther nis naught of the preterit escaped nor y-passed, thilke same is y-witnessedand y-proeved by right to be eterne. And it bihoveth by necessitee that thilke thing be al-wey[ ] present to him-self, and compotent; as who seith, al-wey present to him-self, and so mighty that al be right at hisplesaunce ;35 and that he have al present the infinitee of the moevable tyme. Wher-for som men trowen wrongfully that, whan they heren that it semede to Plato that this world ne hadde never beginninge of tyme, ne that it never shal han failinge, they wenen in this maner that this world be maked coeterne with his maker; as who40seith, they wene that this world and god ben maked togider eterne, andthatis a wrongful weninge. For other thing is it to ben y-lad by lyf interminable, as Plato graunted to the world, and other[ ] thing is it to embrace to-gider al the present of the lyf interminable, the whiche thing it is cleer and manifest that it is propre to the45 devyne thoght.
Ne it ne sholde nat semen to us, that god is elder thanne thinges that ben y-maked by quantitee of tyme, but rather by the propretee of his simple nature. For this ilke infinit moevinge[ ] of temporel thinges folweth this presentarie estat of lyf unmoevable; and so as it ne may nat countrefeten it ne feynen it ne be even-lyke50 to it for the inmoevabletee, that is to seyn, that is in the eternitee of god, it faileth and falleth in-to moevinge fro the simplicitee of the presence of god, and disencreseth in-to the infinit[ ] quantitee of future and of preterit: and so as it ne may nat han to-gider al the plentee of the lyf, algates yit, for as moche as it55 ne ceseth never for to ben in som maner, it semeth som-del to us, that it folweth and resembleth thilke thing that it ne may nat atayne to ne fulfillen, and bindeth it-self to som maner presence of this litel and swifte moment: the which presence of this litel and swifte moment, for that it bereth a maner image or lyknesse60 of the ay-dwellinge presence of god, it graunteth, to swiche maner thinges as it bitydeth to, that it semeth hem as thise thinges han y-ben, and ben.
And, for thatthe presence of swich litel moment ne may nat dwelle, ther-for it ravisshed and took the infinit wey of tyme, that[ ]65is to seyn, by successioun; and by this maner is it y-doon, for that it sholde continue the lyf in goinge, of the whiche lyf it ne mighte nat enbrace the plentee in dwellinge. And for-thy, yif we wollen putten worthy names to thinges, and folwen Plato, lat us seye thanne soothly, that god is eterne, and the world is perpetuel.70 Thanne, sin that every Iugement knoweth and comprehendeth by his owne nature thinges that ben subject un-to him, ther is soothly to god, al-weys , an eterne and presentarie estat; and the science of him, that over-passeth al temporel moevement, dwelleth in the simplicitee of his presence, and embraceth and considereth alle75 the infinit spaces of tymes, preterits and futures, and loketh, in his simple knowinge, alle thinges of preterit right as they weren y-doon presently right now. Yif thou wolt thanne thenken and avyse the prescience, by which it knoweth alle thinges, thou ne shal nat demen it as prescience of thinges to comen, but thou80 shalt demen it more rightfully that it is science of presence or of[ ] instaunce, that never ne faileth. For which it nis nat y-cleped[ ] “previdence ,” but it sholde rather ben cleped “purviaunce,” that is establisshed ful fer fro right lowe thinges, and biholdeth from85 a-fer alle thinges, right as it were fro the heye heighte of thinges.
Why axestow thanne, or why desputestow thanne, that thilke[ ] thinges ben doon by necessitee whiche that ben y-seyn and knowen by the devyne sighte, sin that, forsothe, men ne maken nat thilke thinges necessarie which that they seen ben y-doon in90 hir sighte? For addeth thy biholdinge any necessitee to thilke thinges that thou biholdest presente?’
‘Nay,’ quod I.
Philosophie. ‘Certes, thanne, if men mighte maken any digne comparisoun or collacioun of the presence devyne and of the95 presence of mankinde, right so as ye seen some thinges in this temporel present, right so seeth god alle thinges by his eterne present. Wher-fore this devyne prescience ne chaungeth nat the nature ne the propretee of thinges, but biholdeth swiche thinges present to him-ward as they shullen bityde to yow-ward in tyme100 to comen. Ne it confoundeth nat the Iugement of thinges; but by o sighte of his thought, he knoweth the thinges to comen, as wel necessarie as nat necessarie. Right so as whan ye seen to-gider a man walken on the erthe and the sonne arysen in the hevene, al-be-it so that ye seen and biholden that oon and105 that other to-gider, yit natheles ye demen and discernen that that oon is voluntarie and that other necessarie. Right so thanne the devyne lookinge, biholdinge alle thinges under him, ne troubleth nat the qualitee of thinges that ben certeinly present to him-ward; but, as to the condicioun of tyme, forsothe, they ben future. For110 which it folweth, that this nis noon opinioun, but rather a stedefast knowinge, y-strengthed by soothnesse, that, whanne that god knoweth anything to be, he ne unwot nat that thilke thing wanteth[ ] necessitee to be; this is to seyn, that, whan that god knoweth any thing to bityde, he wot wel that it ne hath no necessitee to bityde.
115And yif thou seyst heer, that thilke thing that god seeth to bityde, it ne may nat unbityde (as who seith, it motbityde ), and[ ] thilke thing that ne may nat unbityde it mot bityde by necessitee, and that thou streyne me by this name of necessitee: certes, I wol wel confessen and biknowe a thing of ful sad trouthe, but[ ] unnethe shal ther any wight moweseen it or come ther-to, but-yif120 that he be biholder of the devyne thoght. For I wol answeren thee thus: that thilke thing that is future, whan it is referred to the devyne knowinge, thanne is it necessarie; but certes, whan it is understonden in his owne kinde, men seen it is outrely free, and absolut fro alle necessitee.125
For certes, ther ben two maneres of necessitee. That oon necessitee is simple, as thus: that it bihoveth by necessitee, that alle men be mortal or deedly. Another necessitee is conditionel, as thus: yif thou wost that a man walketh, it bihoveth by necessitee that he walke. Thilke thing thanne that any wight hath y-knowe130 to be, it ne may ben non other weyes thanne he knoweth it to be. But this condicioun ne draweth nat with hir thilke necessitee simple. For certes, this necessitee conditionel, the propre nature of it ne maketh it nat , but the adieccioun of the condicioun maketh it. For no necessitee ne constreyneth a man to gon,135 that goth by his propre wil; al-be-it so that, whan he goth, that it is necessarie that he goth. Right on this same maner thanne, yif that the purviaunce of god seeth any thing present, than mot thilke thing ben by necessitee, al-thogh that it ne have no necessitee of his owne nature. But certes, the futures that140 bityden by freedom of arbitre, god seeth hem alle to-gider present . Thise thinges thanne, yif they ben referred to the devyne sighte, thanne ben they maked necessarie by the condicioun of the devyne knowinge. But certes, yif thilke thinges be considered by hem-self, they ben absolut of necessitee, and ne forleten nat ne145 cesen nat of the libertee of hir owne nature. Thanne, certes, with-oute doute, alle the thinges shollen ben doon which that god wot biforn that they ben to comen. But som of hem comen and bityden of free arbitre or of free wille, that, al-be-it so that they bityden, yit algates ne lese they nat hir propre nature in[ ]150 beinge; by the which first, or that they weren y-doon, they hadden power nat to han bitid.’
Boece. ‘What is this to seyn thanne,’ quod I, ‘that thinges ne ben nat necessarie by hir propre nature, so as they comen in alle[ ]155 maneres in the lyknesse of necessitee by the condicioun of the devyne science?’
Philosophie. ‘This is the difference,’ quod she; ‘that tho thinges that I purposede thee a litel heer-biforn, that is to seyn, the sonne arysinge and the man walkinge, that, ther-whyles that[ ]160 thilke thinges been y-doon, they ne mighte nat ben undoon; natheles, that oon of hem, or it was y-doon, it bihoved by necessitee that it was y-doon, but nat that other. Right so is it here, that the thinges that god hath present, with-oute doute they shollen been. But som of hem descendeth of the nature of165 thinges, as the sonne arysinge; and som descendeth of the power of the doeres, as the man walkinge. Thanne seide I no wrong, that yif these thinges ben referred to the devyne knowinge, thanne ben they necessarie; and yif they ben considered by hem-self, thanne ben they absolut fro the bond of necessitee. Right so as170 alle thinges that apereth or sheweth to the wittes, yif thou referre it to resoun, it is universel; and yif thou referre it or loke it to it-self, than is it singuler. But now, yif thou seyst thus, that yif it be in my power to chaunge my purpos, than shal I voide the purviaunce of god, whan that, peraventure, I shal han chaunged175 the thinges that he knoweth biforn, thanne shal I answere thee thus. Certes, thou mayst wel chaunge thy purpos; but, for as mochel as the present soothnesse of the devyne purviaunce biholdeth that thou mayst chaunge thy purpos, and whether thou wolt chaunge it or no, and whiderward that thou torne it, thou ne180 mayst nat eschuen the devyne prescience; right as thou ne mayst nat fleen the sighte of the presente eye, al-though that thou torne thy-self by thy free wil in-to dyverse acciouns. But thou mayst seyn ayein: “How shal it thanne be? Shal nat the devyne science be chaunged by my disposicioun, whan that I wol o thing185 now, and now another? And thilke prescience, ne semeth it nat[ ] to entrechaunge stoundes of knowinge ;” ’ as who seith, ne shal it nat seme to us, that the devyne prescience entrechaungeth hise dyverse stoundes of knowinge, so that it knowe sum-tyme o thing and sumtyme the contrarieof that thing?
‘No, forsothe,’ quod I .190
Philosophie. ‘For the devyne sighte renneth to-form and seeth alle[ ] futures, and clepeth hem ayein, and retorneth hem to the presence of his propre knowinge; ne he ne entrechaungeth nat, so as thou[ ] wenest, the stoundes of forknowinge, as now this, now that; but he ay-dwellinge comth biforn, and embraceth at o strook alle thy195 mutaciouns. And this presence to comprehenden and to seen alle thinges, god ne hath nat taken it of the bitydinge of thinges to come, but of his propre simplicitee. And her-by is assoiled thilke thing that thou puttest a litel her-biforn, that is to seyn,[ ] that it is unworthy thing to seyn, that our futures yeven cause of200 the science of god. For certes, this strengthe of the devyne science, which that embraceth alle thinges by his presentarie knowinge, establissheth maner to alle thinges, and it ne oweth naught to latter thinges; and sin that these thinges ben thus, that is to seyn, sin that necessitee nis nat in thinges by the devyne205prescience , than is ther freedom of arbitre, that dwelleth hool and unwemmed to mortal men. Ne the lawes ne purposen nat[ ] wikkedly medes and peynes to the willinges of men that ben[ ] unbounden and quite of alle necessitee. And god, biholder and for-witer of alle thinges, dwelleth above; and the present eternitee210 of his sighte renneth alwey with the dyverse qualitee of oure[ ] dedes, despensinge and ordeyninge medes to goode men, and torments to wikked men. Ne in ydel ne in veyn ne ben ther nat put in god hope and preyeres, that ne mowen nat ben unspeedful[ ] ne with-oute effect, whan they ben rightful.215
Withstond thanne and eschue thou vyces; worshipe and love thou virtues; areys thy corage to rightful hopes; yilde thou[ ] humble preyeres a-heigh . Gret necessitee of prowesse and vertu is encharged and commaunded to yow, yif ye nil nat dissimulen; sin that ye worken and doon, that is to seyn, your dedes or your[ ]220workes, biforn the eyen of the Iuge that seeth and demeth alle thinges.’ To whom be glorye and worshipe by infinit tymes.Amen .
TROILUS AND CRISEYDE.
[1. ]C. by cours (wrongly); A. Ed. the cours.
[4. ]C. whilom; A. som tyme. the (2)] C. thy.
[8. ]A. any (for any thing). C. it is; A. Ed. is it.
[9. ]C. Ed. to the; A. the to the; Cax. to the the (= to thee the).
[13. ]C. and yit; A. Ed. om. and.
[19. ]A. disputisoun.
[19, 20. ]C. han be; Ed. haue ben; A. be.
[22, 23. ]C. deffenysshe; but diffinysshed in 39. C. glosses bitydinge by i. euentum.
[24. ]A. knyttyng.
[31. ]A. om. the.
[33. ]C. stondyn; A. -stoden. C. meneden or meueden; A. moeueden (not in the Latin text).
[34. ]I supply it.
[35. ]A. om. the.
[38. ]C. om. yif (Lat. quod si).
[43. ]C. convenable.
[50. ]C. to tylyinge; A. of tylienge.
[52. ]A. fallen.
[53. ]C. of nawht (de nihilo); A. for nauȝt.
[55. ]C. of the feld (agri); A. in the erthe. C. in the erthe (humum); A. in the felde.
[57. ]A. abreggynge; C. abriggynge (but abreggynge 2nd time).
[58. ]A. fortune (!), for fortuit; twice.
[66. ]A. vneschewable.
[1. ]A. om. and after Tigris.
[3. ]A. om. bataile.
[8. ]C. entrechaungynge, glossed i. alterni.
[10. ]A. fortuned.
[11. ]C. declynynge, glossed decliuitas.
[13. ]A. om. that (2).
[15. ]thilke] A. the.
[1. ]A. Ed. quod I; C. om. C. Ed. acorde me; A. acorde wel.
[2. ]C. of; A. or (wrongly); Lat. arbitrii.
[3. ]C. hym; A. Ed. hem.
[5. ]C. mouynges (motus); A. moeueuynge (!).
[12. ]A. om. thilke. C. to ben fleen; A. ben to fleen; Ed. be to flyen.
[16. ]C. dyuynes; A. deuynes (as often in C).
[17. ]C. wil nat I-coromped (uoluntas incorrupta); A. wil nat be corumped (wrongly).
[18. ]C. myht (potestas); A. hath myȝt.
[27. ]C. clowdes; A. Ed. cloude (nube).
[27, 8. ]Ed. A. to the; C. om. the.
[31. ]A. purueaunce.
[3. ]A. inferme.
[6. ]C. om. nat.
[7. ]C. heuynesse (mole); A. heuynesses.
[8. ]C. strokk, glossed i. ictu.
[9. ]A. purueaunce.
[14. ]A. om. that (1).
[18. ]C. of; A. on.
[24. ]C. om. it. C. but glossed s. aiunt.
[25. ]C. om. is (1). A. that therfore.
[28. ]A. om. nat. A. ypurueid.
[28, 9. ]A. om. but it bihoveth . . . y-porveved.
[32. ]A. whiche thinges (for 2nd the whiche thing). C. weyther.
[34. ]C. puruyaunce; glossed s. pronidencie.
[35. ]C. it; glossed illud.
[38. ]A. of thinges.
[48, 9. ]A. om. the sooth cometh . . . cause of.
[53. ]C. Ed. that for that; A. for that that.
[58. ]A. bitiden by necessite; C. has the gloss—s. by necessite.
[60. ]A. om. certes.
[60, 1. ]C. vp so down; glossed prepostere.
[62. ]A. is the cause.
[63. ]A. om. the.
[64, 5. ]A. bitiden som-tyme.
[71. ]C. at the laste; glossed i. postremo.
[74. ]A. so that the.
[75. ]A. om. biforn.
[79. ]A. om. nat. C. as it is; A. it is be.
[82. ]A. om. be.
[85. ]C. he; glossed s. deus. C. they; glossed s. thynges.
[86. ]C. vneschwably; glossed i. memorabiliter (!)
[87. ]C. A. desseyued (twice).
[92. ]A. don.
[94. ]C. Iape worthi; glossed i. ridiculo.
[100. ]A. om. ne.
[102. ]C. he; glossed s. deus. C. fermely; glossed i. firmiter.
[106. ]A. om. this.
[107. ]C. resseyuyd; A. receyued.
[108. ]C. destruccyoun; glossed i. occasus.
[110. ]C. Meedes to; A. medes of.
[113. ]A. alther-worste.
[114. ]A. alther-moste.
[116. ]C. hir; A. the. A. om. ne before sent.
[120. ]C. dissertes; A. desertes.
[121. ]For of the, read than; see note.
[122. ]A. ne (for no).
[128. ]A. om. us.
[129. ]A. to han hopen.
[135. ]A. preis.
[136. ]C. desseruyn; A. deserue.
[139. ]A. om. men.
[142. ]Ed. impetren; C. impetrent (!); A. emprenten. A. om. nat. A. om. hope.
[143. ]C. om. no.
[144. ]C. I-resseyuyd (glossed i. graunted); A. y-resceiued.
[147. ]C. thou; glossed s. philosophie. C. her by-forn, libro 4° metro sexto [line 35].
[1. ]C. vnioygnyd, glossed s. ne se compaciantur similiter.
[2. ]C. coniuncciouns; A. coniunccioun.
[3. ]C. man, quasi dicat, nullus. C. which that god; A. Ed. whiche god (quis Deus).
[6. ]C. deuydyd, quasi dicat, non est ita.
[7. ]A. om. the. C. thinges, s. prudencia et liberum arbitrium.
[8. ]A. cleuen.
[10. ]A. dirk.
[12. ]C. it, s. anima.
[13. ]A. note (Lat. notas).
[16. ]C. it, s. anima.
[18. ]After thus, A. adds—Si enim anima ignorat istas subtiles connexiones, responde, vnde est quod desiderat scire cum nil ignotum possit desiderare; but both C. and Ed. omit this.
[21. ]wot] C. not. C. nawht, quasi dicat, non.
[24. ]A. om. that.
[26. ]C. yfownde, quasi dicat, nullus.
[29. ]A. Ed. principles; C. principulis.
[34. ]A. nouthir habit.
[36. ]C. retretith, i. retractat; A. tretith.
[2. ]C. deuynede; Ed. deuyded; A. deuided; distribuit.
[7. ]C. dirknesse; A. derkenesse. A. om. 2nd of this.
[11, 12. ]A. om. mighten thinken it . . yif men.
[15. ]A. om. y-spended and. C. the; A. tho.
[22. ]A. drawest thou.
[24. ]A. thinge. A. om. ne.
[28. ]A. om. or what.
[29. ]C. A. gloss endes by exitus.
[30. ]Ed. posycion (Lat. positionis); C. A. possessioun; and C. glosses For . . possessioun by uerbi gratia.
[31. ]A. inpossibile; C. per impossibile (as a gloss).
[37. ]Ed. it; C. is.
[44. ]C. endes, i. exitus. A. and the (for and).
[46. ]C. thing is, i. se eius significatum. C. maketh, glossed causat.
[47, 48. ]A. om. that it ne bitydeth.
[48, 49. ]C. om. so that . . necessitee.
[51. ]A. preue.
[52. ]A. stedfast. A. proued.
[57. ]c. but that; A. om. that.
[58. ]A. om. that.
[60. ]A. maist thou.
[62. ]A. and in attempryng or in adressyng.
[63. ]A. chariottes.
[64. ]A. mayst thou.
[65. ]A. om. that.
[66. ]C. om. thilke. C. so, quasi dicat, non.
[70. ]A. thise thingus.
[80, 81. ]A. om. that men doon . . . to thinges.
[83. ]C. Ed. issues; A. endes; C. adds—i. exitus.
[87, 88. ]C. and yif (wrongly); A. Ed. and that.
[91-93. ]A. om. And thou . . . is it-self here, but inserts the same in a wrong place (131 below).
[99. ]A. om. 2nd the.
[100. ]A. Ed. that; C. om. Ed. thing; C. A. om.
[103. ]C. after; A. afer; Ed. a-ferre.
[105. ]C. body, glossed orbis; A. body, glossed orbi (Lat. orbi).
[109. ]A. fro with-outen furthe.
[111. ]C. comprehendeth, vel iudicat.
[111, 2. ]A. om. comprehendeth . . imaginacioun.
[113. ]C. Ed. by; A. by an. C. A. (gloss) speciem.
[120, 121. ]A. om. but the . . strengthe. A. Ed. For; C. om.
[124. ]A. Ed. it; C. om. A. but the. A. Ed. that; C. om.
[126. ]C. she; glossed intelligence. C. Ed. in; A. vndir.
[136. ]A. om. it. A. comprendith.
[139. ]A. om. is.
[140. ]A. om. a thing.
[142. ]A. om. a.
[147. ]A. Sest thou.
[148. ]A. of faculte or of power.
[149. ]A. Ed. no (for nat).
[150. ]A. or the.
[3. ]C. dirke; A. Ed. derke.
[5. ]A. om. and.
[9. ]A. om. first.
[10. ]A. inprentid; C. apreyntyd (but emprientyd just below, and enpreynted above).
[12. ]A. emprentid.
[13. ]A. om. 2nd. ne.
[14. ]A. Ed. that; C. the.
[15. ]A. vnplitith.
[17. ]A. subgit; Ed. subiecte; C. om. A. the (for tho); twice.
[20. ]A. Ed. discernith; C. decerneth.
[26. ]C. heye thinges, i. principijs. C. dessendith; A. discendith.
[27. ]C. lowe thynges, s. conclusiones. A. repreuith.
[29. ]C. strengthe, s. anima.
[31. ]C. resseyuyth; A. resceyueth; Ed. receyueth. C. A. inpressed; Ed. impressed.
[36. ]A. hurtlith.
[38. ]C. Ed. to; A. the (Lat. Ad).
[40. ]A. medeleth.
[41. ]A. to the forme.
[1. ]A. om. yif (Lat. Quod si).
[5. ]C. A. witte; Ed. wytte. A. om. or the.
[10. ]A. enprentid; C. emprienpted.
[20, 1. ]A. here ne there. A. muscles.
[25. ]I supply to.
[26, 7. ]C. thise oothre; A. is other.
[29. ]A. subgitz.
[31. ]Ed. vnyuersal thynge; A. vniuersel thinges; C. vniuersels thinges (Lat. uniuersale).
[35. ]C. soth; Ed. sothe; A. om. C. sensible, quod absurdum est.
[41. ]C. seyn; A. seyn that.
[44. ]C. enhansen; A. enhaunsen.
[45. ]Ed. the knowing; A. knowynge; C. knowy (Lat. cognitionem).
[46. ]A. figure.
[48. ]C. stidefast; A. stedfast.
[51. ]C. and we; A. Ed. om. and.
[52. ]C. Ed. and of; A. or.
[56. ]A. Ed. ne; C. om.
[58. ]A. om. And.
[59. ]A. om. ther.
[61. ]C. bideth (!).
[62. ]C. parsoneres; A. parsoners; Ed. parteners.
[63. ]A. om. 1st that.
[65. ]A. summitten.
[66. ]C. yif that; Ed. if; A. that yif.
[71. ]C. diffinysshed; A. difinissed.
[72. ]A. Ed. is; C. nis.
[3. ]C. traas; A. trais; Ed. trace. C. forwh; A. forghe; Ed. forough. A. Ed. continued.
[4. ]A. addres; Ed. nedders. A. om. the.
[7. ]C. A. traas. A. goynge (Lat. gressibus).
[8. ]C. feeldes. A. om. elles.
[10. ]A. om. faces. A. enclini[n]g.
[13. ]A. erthe (Lat. terras). A. om. And.
[16. ]A. on heye.
[1, 2. ]C. alle thinges; A. Ed. al thing (Lat. omne).
[6. ]A. om. eek.
[12. ]A. om. the. C. alle; A. al.
[16. ]A. the morwe.
[17. ]A. that (for the tyme).
[18. ]A. this (for the).
[20. ]A. om. it.
[22. ]C. strechched.
[25. ]A. braceth.
[30. ]C. preterite; A. preterit.
[31. ]C. I-witnesshed; A. ywitnessed. C. and; A. or.
[34. ]A. plesaunce; C. pleasaunce.
[35. ]A. infinit
[41. ]A. it (for that).
[43. ]A. embracen.
[49. ]A. of the lijf.
[53. ]A. om. the. C. in-to; A. to.
[58. ]A. presence; C. presense[Editor: illegible character]e.
[64. ]A. om. that.
[65. ]A. om. it. C. Infynyte; A. infinit.
[73. ]A. alwey to god.
[78. ]C. thinken; A. thenke.
[81. ]A. om. it.
[83. ]A. prouidence; C. puruydence (glossed prouidentia); but see note.
[86. ]A. disputest thou.
[88. ]A. yknowen.
[101. ]C. o; Ed. one; A. of (!); Lat. unoque.
[104. ]A. om. the.
[106. ]A. om. the.
[110. ]C. stidefast; A. stedfast.
[116. ]A. bitide; C. bide (miswritten; 2nd time).
[120. ]A. om. mowe.
[124. ]A. om. is.
[134. ]A. nauȝt (for nat).
[135, 6. ]A. om. gon that.
[141. ]A. presentz.
[142. ]A. om. yif.
[143. ]C. by: A. to (Lat. per).
[149. ]A. om. 1st free.
[150. ]C. in; A. ne (wrongly).
[161. ]A. byhoued; Ed. behoueth; C. houyd (!).
[169. ]A. om. as.
[170. ]Ed. apereth; C. apiereth; A. appiereth.
[178. ]C. wheyther; A. whethir.
[179. ]A. om. ne.
[186. ]A. knowynges (Lat. noscendi).
[189. ]Ed. of that thing; C. A. om.
[190. ]Ed. quod she (for quod I; wrongly).
[193. ]A. om. so.
[194. ]A. om. as.
[203. ]A. awith nat.
[205, 6. ]C. om. that is . . prescience; Ed. and A. have it.
[213. ]C. torment; A. tourmentz (supplicia).
[214. ]A. nat; Ed. not; C. ne.
[216. ]C. withston (sic).
[218. ]A. an heyȝe.
[222. ]C. To whom be goye (sic) and worshipe bi Infynyt tymes. amen;which A. Ed. (perhaps rightly) omit.
[Prose 1. 3.]A mistranslation. ‘Recta quidem exhortatio, tuaque prorsus auctoritate dignissima.’
[9.]assoilen to thee the. I prefer this reading, adopted from Caxton’s edition, because the others make no sense. The original reading was to the the (= to thee the), as in MS. Ii. 1. 38, whence, by dropping one the, the reading to the in C. and Ed. MS. A. alters it to the to the, absurdly. The fact is, that to thee belongs to the next clause. ‘Festino, inquit, debitum promissionis absoluere, uiamque tibi,’ &c.
[14.]to douten, to be feared; ‘uerendumque est.’
[28.]left, or dwellinge, left, or remaining (reliquus). ‘Quis enim . . . locus esse ullus temeritati reliquus potest?’
[31.]nothing: ‘nihil ex nihilo exsistere.’ Referring to the old saying:—‘Ex nihilo nihil fit.’
[34.]prince and beginnere oddly represents Lat. ‘principio.’ casten it, laid it down: ‘quasi quoddam iecerint fundamentum.’ I supply it.
[44.]Aristotulis, Aristotle. The reference is to Aristotle’s Physics, bk. ii. ch. 5.
[47.]for grace, for the sake of; ‘gratia.’
[50.]Right as, just as if. by cause, for the purpose.
[55.]ne dolve, had not digged; subj. mood.
[57.]abregginge. A mistranslation. ‘Hae sunt igitur fortuiti caussae compendii’; these then are the causes of this fortuitous acquisition. Compendium also means ‘an abbreviating,’ which Chaucer here expresses by abbregginge, introducing at the same time the word ‘hap,’ to make some sense.
[66.]uneschuable, inevitable; ‘ineuitabili.’
[Metre 1. 2.]Achemenie: ‘Rupis Achaemeniae scopulis,’ in the crags of the Achæmenian rock or mountain. Achaemenius signifies ‘Persian,’ from Achaemenes, the grandfather of Cyrus; but is here extended to mean Armenian. The sources of the Tigris and Euphrates are really different, though both rise in the mountains of Armenia; they run for a long way at no great distance apart, and at last join.
[3.]fleinge bataile, the flying troop; with reference to the well-known Parthian habit, of shooting arrows at those who pursue them; see Vergil, Georg. iii. 31.
[5.]yif they, when they; meaning that they do converge.
[9.]and the wateres: ‘Mixtaque fortuitos implicet unda modos: Quae tamen ipsa uagos terrae decliuia cursus Gurgitis et lapsi defluus ordo regit.’
[14.]it suffereth: ‘Fors patitur frenos, ipsaque lege meat.’
[Prose 2. 4, 5.]destinal, fatal; ‘fatalis.’ corages, minds.
[10.]thinges . . fleen, i. e. to be avoided: ‘fugienda.’
[13.]is, i. e. is in, resides in: ‘quibus in ipsis inest ratio.’
[14.]ordeyne, determine: ‘constituo.’
[16.]sovereines, the supreme divine substances. This is a good example of adjectives of French origin with a plural in -es.
[17, 18.]wil: ‘et incorrupta uoluntas.’ might: ‘potestas.’
[27.]talents, affections: ‘affectibus.’
[30.]caitifs, captive: ‘propriâ libertate captiuae.’ Ll. 30-34 are repeated in Troilus, iv. 963-6; q. v.
[34.]in Greek: πάντ’ ἐϕορ[Editor: illegible character] καὶ πάντ’ ἐπακούει. From Homer, Iliad, iii. 277—’Ηέλιός θ’, δς πάντ’ ἐϕορ[Editor: illegible character]ς καὶ πάντ’ ἐπακούεις. Cf. Odys. xii. 323.
[Metre 2. 1, 2.]with the, &c.; ‘Melliflui . . oris.’ cleer, bright; alluding to the common phrase in Homer: λαμπρὸν ϕάος ἠελίοιο; Il. i. 605, &c.
[8.]strok: ‘Uno mentis cernit in ictu.’
[Prose 3.]A large portion of this Prose, down to l. 71, is paraphrased in Troilus, iv. 967-1078; q. v.
[12.]libertee of arbitre, freedom of will (arbitrii).
[19.]proeve, approve of: ‘Neque . . illam probo rationem.’
[30.]but . . ytravailed: ‘Quasi uero . . laboretur’; which means, rather, ‘as if the question were.’
[35.]But I ne, &c. The translation is here quite wrong; and as in another place, Chaucer seems to have read nitamur as uitamus. The text has: ‘At nos illud demonstrare nitamur.’ The general sense is: ‘But let me endeavour to shew, that, in whatever manner the order of causes be arranged, the happening of things foreseen is necessary, although the foreknowledge does not seem to impose on future things a necessity of their happening.’
[53.]For although that; cf. Troil. iv. 1051-7, which is clearer.
[55.]therfore ne bityde they nat, it is not on that account that they happen. Cf. ‘Nat that it comth for it purveyed is’; Troil. iv. 1053.
[71.]at the laste, finally: ‘Postremò.’
[78.]that I ne wot it. The ne is superfluous, though in all the copies. The sense is—‘if I know a thing, it cannot be false (must be true) that I know it.’
[80.]wanteth lesing, is free from falsehood: ‘mendacio careat.’
[90, 1.]egaly, equally: ‘aeque.’ indifferently, impartially.
[94.]Iape-worthy, ridiculous: ‘ridiculo.’ From Horace, Sat. ii. 5. 59—‘O Laërtiade, quicquid dicam, aut erit, aut non.’
[116.]sent, for sendeth, sends: ‘mittit.’
[117.]constreineth: ‘futuri cogit certa necessitas.’
[121.]discrecioun, discernment: ‘indiscreta confusio.’
[131.]sin that: ‘quando optanda omnia series indeflexa connectit?’
[141.]that nis nat . . or that, that cannot be approached before. The Latin is: ‘illique inaccessae luci, prius quoque quam impetrent, ipsa supplicandi ratione coniungi.’
[142.]impetren, ask for it; such is the reading of MS. Ii. 1. 38. A coined word, from the Lat. impetrent; see the last note.
[146.]linage of mankind, the human race; to which his (its) twice refers below.
[147.]a litel her-biforn; i. e. in Bk. iv. Met. 6. 34, where we find—‘they sholden departen from hir welle, that is to seyn, from hir biginninge, and faylen.’ See p. 122.
[Metre 3. 1.]What, &c.: ‘Quaenam discors foedera rerum Caussa resoluit?’
[2.]the coniunccioun; but this gloss seems to be wrong, for the reference is rather (as Chaucer, following a sidenote in MS. C., says in l. 5) to foreknowledge and free will.
[3.]Whiche god, i. e. what divinity: ‘Quis tanta deus Veris statuit bella duobus?’
[7.]But ther nis. The Lat. text is put interrogatively: ‘An nulla est discordia ueris, Semperque sibi certa cohaerent?’
[10.]by fyr: ‘oppressi luminis igne.’
[12.]But wherefore: ‘Sed cur tanto flagrat amore Veri tectas reperire notas?’ It thus appears that y-covered, i. e. ‘that are hidden,’ refers to thilke notes, not to sooth; cf. l. 15. But the translation is not at all happy.
[16.]Wot it: ‘Scitne, quod appetit anxia nosse?’
[18.]seith thus: ‘Sed quis nota scire laborat? At si nescit, quid caeca petit? Quis enim quidquam nescius optet?’
[23.]or who: ‘Aut quis ualeat nescita sequi? Quoue inueniat, quisue repertam Queat ignarus noscere formam?’
[26.]But whan: not a statement, as here taken, but a question. ‘An cùm mentem cerneret altam Pariter summam et singula norat?’ The translation is quite incorrect, and the passage is difficult. The reference seems to be to the supposition that the soul, apart from the body, sees both universals and particulars, but its power in the latter respect is impeded by the body; ideas taken from Plato’s Meno and Phædo.
[32, 33.]withholdeth, retains: ‘tenet.’ singularitees, particulars: ‘singula.’
[34.]in neither nother, put for in ne either ne other, i. e. not in one nor in the other; or, in modern English, ‘he is neither in one position nor the other’: ‘Neutro est habitu.’ This curious phrase is made clearer by comparing it with the commoner either other. Thus, in P. Plowman, B. v. 148: ‘either despiseth other’; in the same, B. v. 164: ‘eyther hitte other’; and again, in B. xi. 173: ‘that alle manere men . . Louen her eyther other’; and, in B. vii. 138: ‘apposeden either other’; and lastly, in B. xvi. 207: ‘either is otheres Ioye.’
[36.]retreteth, reconsiders: ‘altè uisa retractans.’
[Prose 4. 2.]Marcus Tullius, i. e. Cicero; De Diuinatione, lib. ii. 60.
[8.]moeven to: ‘ad diuinae praescientiae simplicitatem non potest admoueri.’
[15.]y-spended, spent; but the right sense of the Latin is weighed or considered: ‘si prius ea quibus moueris, expendero.’
[22.]from elles-where: ‘aliunde’; compare Chaucer’s gloss.
[24.]unbityde, not happen: ‘non euenire non possunt.’
[27.]thou thyself. The reference is to Bk. v. Pr. 3. l. 27, above—‘ne it ne bihoveth nat, nedes, that thinges bityden that ben purvyed.’
[28, 9.]what cause: ‘quid est, quod uoluntarii exitus rerum ad certum cogantur euentum?’ endes, results: ‘exitus;’ and so again below.
[30.]by grace of position, for the sake of a supposition, by way of supposition: ‘positionis gratia.’ Cf. Chaucer’s use of pose for ‘suppose’ in the next line. The reading possessioun (in both MSS.) is obviously wrong; it sounds as if taken down from dictation.
[31.]I pose, I suppose, I put the case: ‘statuamus nullam esse praescientiam.’ The words ‘per impossibile’ are inserted by Chaucer, and mean, ‘to take an impossible case.’
[56.]But, certes, right; only, indeed, just as, &c. It is difficult to give the right force intended; and, probably, Chaucer quite mistook the sense. ‘Quasi uero nos ea, quae prouidentia futura esse praenoscit, non esse euentura credamus.’
[62.]in the torninge: ‘in quadrigis moderandis atque flectendis.’
[63.]And by: ‘atque ad hunc modum caetera.’
[100.]and for that this thing shal mowen shewen, and in order that this may appear (lit. may be able to appear). The whole clause merely means—‘And to make this clearer by an easy example.’ Lat. ‘Nam ut hoc breui liqueat exemplo.’
[101.]roundnesse is here in the objective case: ‘candem corporis rotunditatem aliter uisus aliter tactus agnoscit.’
[107.]And the man: ‘Ipsum quoque hominem.’
[113.]spece, species. peces, parts; in the singuler peces, i. e. in the particular parts.
[114.]intelligence, understanding; ‘intelligentiae.’
[115.]universitee, that which is universal: ‘uniuersitatis ambitum.’
[133.]by a strok: ‘illo uno ictu mentis formaliter.’
[137.]diffinissheth, defines the universality of her conception.
[Metre 4. 1.]The Porche; in Latin, Porticus; in Gk. στοά, a roofed colonnade or porch in Athens, frequented by Zeno and his followers, who hence obtained the name of Stoics.
[10.]Text. The Latin text continues thus:—
[11.]pointel; see note to Somn. Tale, D 1742. And cf. Troilus, i. 365; Cant. Ta. E 1581, 2.
[32.]passioun, passive feeling, impression: ‘passio.’
[Prose 5. 1.]But what yif . . and al be it so, Nevertheless, even if it be so: ‘Quod si . . quamuis.’
[4.]entalenten, affect, incline, stimulate: ‘afficiant.’
[18.]For the wit, i. e. the sense, the external senses.
[21.]as oystres . . see: the Latin merely has: ‘quales sunt conchae maris.’
[23.]remuable, capable of motion from place to place: ‘mobilibus belluis.’
[30.]But how . . yif that, but how will it be if?
[33.]that that that, that that thing which.
[35.]ne that ther nis, so that there is: ‘nec quicquam esse sensibile.’
[49.]maner stryvinge, sort of strife: ‘In huiusmodi igitur lite.’
[62.]parsoneres, partners of, endowed with. The modern partner represents the M. E. parcener, variant of parsoner, from O. F. parsonier, representing a Latin form *partitionarius. Lat. ‘participes.’
[66.]For which: ‘Quare in illius summae intelligentiae cacumen, si possumus, erigamur.’
[Metre 5. 1.]passen by, move over: ‘permeant.’
[6.]by moist fleeinge: ‘liquido . . uolatu.’ gladen hemself, delight: ‘gaudent.’
[7.]with hir goings . . feet: ‘gressibus.’
[9.]to walken under, to enter: ‘subire.’
[10.]enclined, i. e. enclined earthwards: ‘Prona.’
[11.]hevieth, oppresses: ‘Prona tamen facies hebetes ualet ingrauare sensus.’ From Aristotle, On the Parts of Animals, Bk. iv. Διὸ πλείονος γινομένου τον̂ βάρους καὶ τον̂ σωματώδους, ἀνάγκη ῥέπειν τὰ σώματα πρὸς τὴν γη̂ν (chap. 10). As to the upright carriage of man, see the same chapter. Cf. Ovid, Met. i. 84, and see note to Chaucer’s ‘Truth,’ l. 19.
[12.]light, i. e. not bowed down: ‘leuis recto stat corpore.’
[14.]axest, seemest to seek: ‘caelum . . petis.’
[Prose 6. 21.]as Aristotle demed; in De Caelo, lib. i.
[33.]present: ‘et sui compos praesens sibi semper assistere.’
[42.]Plato. This notion is found in Proclus and Plotinus, and other followers of Plato; but Plato himself really expressed a contrary opinion, viz. that the world had a definite beginning. See his Timæus.
[48.]For this ilke: ‘Hunc enim uitae immobilis praesentarium statum infinitus ille temporalium rerum motus imitatur; cumque eum effingere atque aequare non possit, ex immobilitate deficit in motum, et ex simplicitate praesentiae decrescit in infinitam futuri ac praeteriti quantitatem;’ &c.
[53.]disencreseth; a clumsy form for decreseth: ‘decrescit.’
[65.]therfor it: ‘infinitum temporis iter arripuit.’
[81.]it is science: ‘sed scientiam nunquam deficientis instantiae rectius aestimabis.’
[82.]For which: ‘Unde non praeuidentia, sed prouidentia, potius dicitur.’ The footnote to l. 83 is wrong, as Dr. Furnivall’s reprint of MS. C. is here at fault. That MS. (like MS. Ii. 1. 38) has here the correct reading ‘preuydence,’ without any gloss at all. The gloss ‘prouidentia’ belongs to the word ‘purviaunce.’ Hence the reading ‘previdence,’ which I thought to be unsupported, is really supported by two good MSS.
[86.]Why axestow . . thanne: ‘Quid igitur postulas?’
[112.]he ne unwot: ‘quod idem exsistendi necessitate carere non nesciat.’
[116.]it ne may nat unbityde: ‘id non euenire non posse.’
[119.]but unnethe: ‘sed cui uix aliquis nisi diuini speculator accesserit.’
[150, 1.]in beinge, in coming to pass: ‘exsistendo.’
[154.]so as they comen, since they come: ‘cum . . . eueniant.’
[159.]the sonne arysinge. See above, p. 148, l. 102: ‘Right so,’ &c.
[185.]And thilke: ‘illa quoque noscendi uices alternare uideatur?’
[191.]For the devyne: ‘Omne namque futurum diuinus praecurrit intuitus, et ad praesentiam propriae cognitionis retorquet ac reuocat.’ Hence retorneth hem means ‘makes them return.’
[193.]ne he ne: ‘nec alternat, ut existimas, nunc hoc, nunc illud praenoscendi uices; sed uno ictu mutationes tuas manens praeuenit atque complectitur.’
[199.]a litel her-biforn. See above, Bk. v. Pr. 3, ll. 62-65; &c.
[207.]purposen, propose, assign: ‘proponunt.’
[208.]to the willinges: ‘solutis omni necessitate uoluntatibus.’
[211.]renneth . . with, concurs with: ‘concurrit.’
[214.]put, set: ‘positae.’ that ne mowen: ‘quae cum rectae sunt, inefficaces esse non possunt.’
[217.]areys thy corage: ‘animum subleuate.’ yilde: ‘humiles preces in excelsa porrigite.’
[220.]sin that ye: ‘cum ante oculos agitis iudicis cuncta cernentis.’ With the word ‘cernentis’ the Lat. treatise ends.