Front Page Titles (by Subject) III.: JACK UPLAND. - The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, vol. 7 (Supplement: Chaucerian and Other Pieces)
Return to Title Page for The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, vol. 7 (Supplement: Chaucerian and Other Pieces)
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
Also in the Library:
III.: JACK UPLAND. - Geoffrey Chaucer, The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, vol. 7 (Supplement: Chaucerian and Other Pieces) 
The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, edited from numerous manuscripts by the Rev. Walter W. Skeat (2nd ed.) (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1899). 7 vols.
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
From C. (=printed copy in Caius Coll. library, Cambridge); I give here rejected spellings; readings marked Sp. are from Speght.
I, JACK UPLANDE , make my mone to very god and to all true belevinge in Christ, that Antichrist and his disciples, by colour of holines, walken and deceiven Christes church by many fals figures, wherethrough, by Antichrist and his, many vertues been transposed to vices.5
But the fellestfolk that ever Antichrist foundbeen last[ ] brought into the church, and in a wonder wyse; for they been of divers sectes of Antichrist, sowen of divers countrees and kinredes . And all men knowen wel, that they ben not obedient to bishoppes, ne lege men to kinges; neither they tillen ne sowen, weden , ne repen woode, corn, ne gras, neither nothing that man shuld helpe but only hem-selves , hir lyves to sustein. And these men han all maner power of god, as they sayen, in heaven and in earth, to sell heaven and hell to whom that hem lyketh; and these wrecches wete never where to been15hemselves .
And therfore, frere, if thine order and rules ben grounded on goddes law, tell thou me, Jack Upland, that I aske of thee ; and if thou be or thinkest to be on Christes syde, kepe thy pacience.
Saynt Paul techeth , that al our dedes shuld be don in charitè,20 and els it is nought worth, but displesing to god and harm to[ ] oure owne soules. And for because freres chalengen to be gretest clerkes of the church, and next folowinge Christ in livinge, men shulde, for charitè, axe hem some questions, and 25 pray hem to grounde their answers in reson and in holy writ ; for els their answere wolde nought be worth, be it florished never so faire; and, as me think, men might skilfully axe thus of a frere.
[ ] 1. Frere, how many orders be in erthe , and which is the perfitest order? Of what order art thou? Who made thyn30 order? What is thy rule? Is there ony perfiter rule than Christ himselfe made? If Christes rule be moost perfit , why rulest thou thee not therafter? Without more, why shall a frere be more punished if he breke the rule that his patron made, than if he breke the hestes that god himself made?
35[ ] 2. Approveth Christ ony more religions than oon , that saynt James spekethof . If he approveth no more , why hast thou left his rule, and taken another? Why is a frere apostata , that leveth his order and taketh another secte; sith there is but oon religion of Christ ?
40[ ] 3. Why be ye wedded faster to your habits than a man is to his wyfe? For a man may leve his wyf for a yere or two, as many men do; and if †ye leve your habit a quarter of a yere , ye shuld be holden apostatas.
[ ] 4. Maketh youre habit you men of religion, or no? If it45 do, than, ever as it wereth , your religion wereth ; and, after that the habit is better, is you[r] religion better. And whan ye liggen it besyde you, than lig ye youre religion besyde you, and ben apostatas . Why by ye you so precious clothes, sith no man seketh such but for vaine glorie, as saynt Gregory saith?
[ ] 11. Why gette ye your dispensacions, to have it more esy ?65 Certes, either it semeth that ye be unperfit ; or he, that made it so hard that ye may not holde it. And siker , if ye holde not the rule of youre patrons, ye be not than hir freres; and so ye lye upon youre-selves !
[ ] 14. Why make ye you so costly houses to dwell in; sith Christ did not so, and dede men shuld have but graves, as falleth todede men? And yet ye have more gorgeous buildinges than many lordes of Englonde. For ye maye wenden through the80 realme, and ech night, wel nigh , ligge in youre owne courtes; and so mow but right few lordes do.
[ ] 16. Why be ye not under youre bisshops visitacions, and liege men to oure kinge?
17. Why axe ye no letters of bretherhedes of other mens prayers, as ye desyre that other men shulde aske letters of you?
9520.[ ] Why make ye men beleve that your golden trentall songe of you, to take therfore ten shillinges, or at the leest fyve shillinges, will bringe soules out of helle, or out of purgatorye? If this be sooth , certes, ye might bring all soules out of payne. And that wolle ye nought; and than ye be out of charitè.
10021.[ ] Why make ye men beleve, that he that is buried in youre habit shall never come in hell; and ye wite not of youre-selfe, whether ye shall to hell, or no? And if this were sooth, ye shulde selle youre high houses, to make many habites , for to save many mens soules.
10522.[ ] Why stele ye mens children for to make hem of youre secte; sith that theft is agaynst goddes heste; and sithe youre secte is not perfit? Ye know not whether the rule that ye binde him to, be best for him or worst!
[ ] 23. Why undernime ye not your brethren, for their trespas110 after the lawe of the gospell; sith that underneminge is the best that may be? But ye put them in prison ofte, whan they do after goddes lawe; and, by saynt Austines rule, if ony did amisse and wolde not amende him, ye should put him from you.
26. Why saye ye not the gospel in houses of bedred men; as120 ye do in riche mens, that mowe go to churche and here the gospell?
32. Why hate ye the gospell to be preched ; sith ye be so135 moche holde thereto? For ye winne more by yere with In principio, than with all the rules that ever youre patrons made. And, in this, minstrels been better than ye. For they contraryen not to the mirthes that they maken; but ye contraryen the gospell bothe in worde and dede.140
[ ] 33. Frere, whan thou receivest a peny for to say a masse, whether sellest thou goddes body for that peny, or thy prayer, or els thy travail? If thou sayest thou wolt not travaile for to saye the masse but for the peny, †than certes , if this be soth, than thou lovest to littel mede for thy soule. And if thou sellest145 goddes body, other thy prayer, than it is very symony; and art become a chapman worse than Judas, that solde it for thirty pens.
[ ] 34. Why wrytest thou hir names in thy tables, that yeveth thee moneye; sith god knoweth all thing ? For it semeth, by thy150 wryting, that god wolde not rewarde him but thou wryte him in thy tables; god wolde els forgetten it.
37. What maner men nedeth for to begge?
Of whom oweth suche men to begge?
Why beggest thou so for thy brethren?160
If thou sayest, for they have nede; than thou doest it for the more perfeccion , or els for the leest , or els for the mene . If it be the moost perfeccion of all, than shulde al thy brethren do so; and than no man neded to begge but for him-selfe, for so shuld no man begge but him neded. And if it be the leest perfeccion, why165 lovest thou than other men more than thy-selfe? For so thou art not well in charitè; sith thou shuldest seke the more perfeccion after thy power, livinge thy-selfe moost after god; and thus, leving that imperfeccion, thou shuldest not so begge for hem . And if170 it is a good mene thus to begge as thou doest , than shuld no man do so but they ben in this good mene; and yet such a mene, graunted to you, may never be grounded in goddes lawe; for than both lered and lewed that ben in mene degrè of this worlde shuld go aboute and begge as ye do. And if all suche shuld do175 so, certes, wel nigh al the world shuld go aboute and begge as ye do: and so shulde there be ten beggers agaynst oon yever.
18039. Why wilt thou not begge for poore bedred men, that ben poorer than ony of youre secte, that liggen, and mow not go aboute to helpe themselves ; sith we be all brethren in god, and that bretherhed passeth ony other that ye or ony man coude make? And where moost nede were, there were moost perfeccion;185 either els ye holde hem not youre pure brethren, or worse. But than ye be imperfite in your begginge.
[ ] 41.Whos ben all your riche courtes that ye han, and all your190 riche jewels ; sith ye sayen that ye han nought, in proper ne in comune ? If ye sayn they ben the popes, why †geder ye then, of poore men and of lordes, so much out of the kinges honde to make your pope riche? And sith ye sayen that it is greet perfeccion to have nought, in proper ne in comune , why be ye so fast aboute to195 make the pope (that is your †fader) riche , and putte on him imperfeccion? Sithen ye sayn that your goodes ben all his, and he shulde by reson be the moost perfit man, it semeth openlich that ye ben cursed children, so to sclaunder your †fader , and make him imperfit . And if ye sayn that tho goodes be yours, then do200 ye ayenst youre rule; and if it be not ayenst your rule, than might ye have both plough and cart , and labour as other good men don , and not so begge to by losengery , and ydell, as ye don . And if ye say that it is more perfeccion to begge than to travaill or worch with youre hand, why preche ye not openly, and teche all men to do so, sith it is the best and moost perfit lyf to helpe of her205 soules, as ye make children to begge that might have been riche heyres?
45. Why holde ye not saynt Fraunces rule and his testament;215 sith Fraunces saith, that god shewed him this living and this rule? And certes, if it were goddes will, the pope might not fordo it; or els Fraunces was a lyar, that sayde on this wyse. And but this testament that he made accorde with goddes will, els erred he as a lyar that were out of charitè ; and as the law220 sayeth, he is accursed that letteth the rightfull last will of a deed man lacke . And this testament is the last will of Fraunces that is a deed man; it seemeth therefore that all his freres ben cursed.
46. Why wil ye not touche no coined money with the crosse,225 ne with the kinges heed , as ye don other jewels both of golde and silver? Certes, if ye despyse the crosse or the kinges heed , than ye be worthy to be despysed of god and the kinge. And sith ye will receyve money in your hertes and not with youre handes, it seemeth that ye holde more holinesse in your hondes than in your230hertes ; and than be ye false to god.
47. Why have ye exempt you fro our kinges lawes and visitinge of our bishoppes more than other Christen men that liven in this realme, if ye be not gilty of traitory to our realme, or trespassers to oure bishoppes? But ye will have the kinges lawes for trespas235don to you; and ye wil have power of other bishops more than other prestes; and also have leave to prison youre brethren as lordes in youre courtes, more than other folkes han that ben the kinges lege men.
24048. Why shal some secte of you freres paye eche yere a certaine to hir generall provinciall or minister, or els to hir soverains, but-if he stele a certain number of children, as some men sayn ? And certes, if this be soth, than be ye constrayned, upon certaine payne, to do thefte, agaynst goddes commaundement, non245furtum facies.
[ ] 49. Why be ye so hardy, to graunte, by letters of fraternitè, to men and women, that they shall have part and merit of all your good dedes; and ye witen never whether god be apayed with youre dedes because of youre sinne? Also ye witen never whether250 that man or woman be in state to be saved or damned; than shall he have no merit in heven for his owne dedes, ne for none other mans . And all were it so, that he shuld have part of youre good dedes; yet shulde he have no more than god would geve him, after that he were worthy; and so much shall eche man have of255 goddes yefte, withoute youre limitacion. But if ye will saye that ye ben goddes felowes , and that he may not do without youre assent, than be ye blasphemers to god.
[ ] 50. What betokeneth that ye have ordeined, that when such oon as ye have mad youre brother or sister, and hath a letter of260 your sele , that letter †mot be brought in youre holy chapter and there be red ; or els ye will not praye for him? But and ye willen not praye specially for all other that weren not mad youre brethren or sistren, than were ye not in right charitè; for that ought to be commune , and namely in goostly thinges.
26551. Frere, what charitè is this—to overcharge the people by mighty begginge, under colour of prechinge or praying or masses singing? Sith holy writ biddeth not thus, but even the contrary; for al such goostly dedes shulde be don freely , as god yeveth hem freely .
27052. Frere, what charitè is this—to begyle children or they commen to discrecion, and binde hem to youre orders, that been not grounded in goddes lawe, against hir frendes wil? Sithen by this foly ben many apostatas , both in will and dede, and many ben apostatas in hir will during all hir lyfe, that wolde gladly be discharged if they wist how; and so, many ben apostatas that275 shulden in other states have ben trewe men.
[ ] 53. Frere, what charitè is this—to make so mony freres in every countrey, to the charge of the people? Sith persounes and vicares alone, ye, secular prestes alone, ye, monkes and chanons alone, with bishops above hem , were y-nough to the280 church, to do prestes office. And to adde mo than y-nough is a foul errour, and greet charge to the people; and this is openly against goddes will, that ordeined all thinges to be don in weight, nomber, and mesure . And Christ himself was apayed with twelve apostles and a few disciples, to preche and do prestes office to all285 the hole world; than was it better don than it is now at this tyme by a thousand deel . And right so as foure fingers with a thumbe in a mannes hande, helpeth a man to worche, and double nomber of fingers in one hond shuld lette him more; and the more nomber that there were, passing the mesure of goddes ordinaunce,290 the more were a man letted to worke: right so, as it semeth, it is of these newe orders that ben added to the church, without grounde of holy writ and goddes ordinaunce.
54. Frere, what charitè is this—to lye to the people, and saye that ye folowe Christ in povertè more than other men don ?295[ ] And yet, in curious and costly howsinge, and fyne and precious clothing, and delicious and lykinge fedinge, and in tresoure and jewels and riche ornamentes, freres passen lordes and other richeworldly men; and soonest they shuld bringe hir cause aboute, be it never so costly , though goddes lawe be put abacke .300
55. Frere, what charitè is this—to † gader up the bokes of holy writ and putte hem in tresory, and so emprisoune hem from secular prestes and curates; and by this cautel lette hem to preche the gospell freely to the people without worldly mede; and also to defame good prestes of heresy, and lyen on hem openly,305 for to lette hem to shew goddes lawe, by the holy gospell, to the Christen people?
56. Frere, what charitè is this—to fayn so much holines in your bodily clothing, that ye clepe your habit , that many blinde310[ ] foles desyren to dye therin more than in an-other? And also, that a frere that leveth his habit (late founden of men), may not be assoiled till he take it again, but is an apostata, as ye sayn , and cursed of god and man both? The frere beleveth treuth and pacience, chastitè, mekenesse, and sobrietè; yet for the more315part of his lyfe he may soone be assoiled of his prior; and if he bringe hoom to his house much good by yere, be it never so falsly begged and pilled of the poore and nedy people in courtes aboute, he shal be hold[en] a noble frere! O lord, whether this be charitè!
320[ ] 57. Frere, what charitè is this—to prese upon a riche man, and to entyce him to be buried among you from his parish-church, and to suche riche men geve letters of fraternitè confirmed by youre generall sele , and therby to bere him in honde that he shall have part of all your masses, matins, prechinges , fastinges,325 wakinges, and all other good dedes don by your brethren of youre order (both whyles he liveth and after that he is deed ), and yet ye witen never whether youre dedes be acceptable to god, ne whether that man that hath that letter be able by good living to receive ony part of youre dedes? And yet a poore man, that ye330 wite wel or supposen in certain to have no good of, ye ne geve no such letters, though he be a better man to god than suche a riche man; nevertheles, this poore man doth not recche therof. For, as men supposen, suche letters and many other that freres behesten to men, be full of false deceites of freres, out of reson335 and god[d]es lawe and Christen mens faith.
[ ] 58. Frere, what charitè is this—to be confessoures of lordes and ladyes , and to other mighty men, and not amend hem in hir living; but rather, as it semeth, to be the bolder to pille hir poore tenauntes and to live in lechery, and there to dwelle in your office of340 confessour, for winning of worldly goodes, and to be holden grete by colour of suche goostly offices? This seemeth rather pryde of freres than charitè of god.
59. Frere, what charitè is this—to sayn that who-so liveth after youre order, liveth most parfitly , and next foloweth the state of aposteles in povertè and penaunce; and yet the wysest345 and gretest clerkes of you wende, or sende, or procure to the court of Rome to be mad cardinales or bishoppes or the popes chapelayns , and to be assoiled of the vowe of povertè and obedience to your ministers; in the which, as ye sayn, standeth moost perfeccion and merite of youre orders? And thus ye faren350 as Pharisees, that sayen oon , and do another to the contrarye.
60. Why name ye more the patron of youre order in youre Confiteor, whan ye beginne masse, than other saintes, as apostels, or marters, that holy churche holde[th] more glorious than hem , and clepe hem youre patrons and youre avowries?355
61. Frere, whet[h]er was saint Fraunces, in making of his rule that he sette thyne order in, a fole and lyar, or els wyse and trew? If ye sayn that he was not a fole but wyse; ne a lyar, but trew; why shewe ye the contrary by youre doing, whan by youre suggestion to the pope ye said that Fraunces rule was mad so hard that ye might360 not live to holde it without declaracion and dispensacion of the pope? And so, by youre dede, ye lete your patron a fole, that made a rule so hard that no man may wel kepe [it ]; and eke youre dede proveth him a lyar, where he sayeth in his rule, that he took and lerned it of the holy gooste. For how might ye, for shame,365 praye the pope to undo that the holy goost biddeth , as whan ye prayed him to dispense with the hardnesse of your order?
[ ] 62. Frere, which of the foure orders of freres is best, to a man that knoweth not which is the beste, but wolde fain enter into the beste and none other? If thou sayest that thyn is the best, than370 sayest thou that noon of the other is as good as thyn ; and in this eche frere in the three other orders wolle say that thou lyest; for in the selve maner eche other frere woll say that his order is beste. And thus to eche of the foure orders ben the other three contrary in this poynte; in the which if ony say sooth, that is oon375aloon ; for there may but oon be the beste of foure. So foloweth it, that if ech of these orders answered to this question as thou doest, three were false and but oon trew; and yet no man shulde wite who that were. And thus it semeth, that the moost part of380 freres ben or shulde be lyars in this poynt, and they shulde answere therto. If †ye say that an-other ordre of the freres is better than thyn or as good; why toke ye not rather therto as to the better, whan thou mightest have chosen at the beginning? And eke, why shuldest thou be an apostata , to leve thyn order385 and take thee to that that is better? And so, why goest thou not from thyn order into that?
63. Frere, is there ony perfiter rule of religion than Christ, goddes sone , gave in his gospell to his brethren, or than that religion that saynt James in his epistle maketh mencion of? If390 †ye saye ‘yes,’ than puttest thou on Christ, that is wysdom of god the †fader, uncunning , unpower, or evil will. For eyther than he coude not make his rule so good as an-other did his, (and so he hadde be uncunning, that he might not make his rule so good as another man might, and so were he unmighty and not395 god); or he wolde not make his rule so perfit as an-other did his (and so had he ben evill-willed, namely to himselfe!) For if he might, and coude , and wold[e] have mad a rule perfit without defaute , and did not, he was not goddes sone almighty. For if[ ] ony other rule be perfiter than Christes, than must Christes rule400 lacke of that perfeccion by as much as the other were more perfiter; and so were defaute, and Christ had failed in makinge of his rule. But to putte ony defaute or failinge in god, is blasphemy. If thou saye that Christes rule and that religion that saynt James maketh mencion of, is the perfitest; why holdest405 thou not than thilke rule without more? And why clepest thou thee rather of saynt Frances or saynt Dominiks rule or religion or order, than of Christes rule or Christes order?
64. Frere, canst thou assigne ony defaute in Christes rule of the gospell, with the whiche he taught al men sikerly to be saved,410 if they kepte it to hir endinge? If thou saye it was to hard ,[ ] than sayest thou that Christ lyed; for he saide of his rule: ‘My yoke is softe, and my burthen light.’ If thou saye Christes rule was to light, that may be assigned for no defaute, for the better may it be kept. If thou sayst that there is no defaute in Christes rule of the gospell, sith Christ him-selfe saith it is light and esy :415 what nede was it to patrons of freres to adde more therto, and so to make an harder religion, to save freres, than was the religion that Christes apostels and his disciples helden and weren saved by; but-if they wolden that her freres saten above the apostels in heven , for the harder religion that they kepen here? And so420[ ] wolde they sitten in heven above Christ himselfe for the moo and strait observaunces; than so shulde they be better than Christ[ ] himselfe, with misc[h]aunce!
If freres cunne not or mow not excuse hem of these questions asked of hem, it semeth that they be horrible gilty against god and hireven-Christen ; for which gyltes and defautes it were430 worthy that the order that they calle hir order were for-don . And it is wonder that men susteyne hem or suffer hem live in suche[ ] maner. For holy writ biddeth that thou do well to the meke, and geve not to the wicked, but forbid to geve hem breed, lest they be mad thereby mightier through you. Finis .435
¶ Prynted for Jhon Gough.
Cum Priuilegio Regali.
[P. 192, l. 36.]Insert a mark of interrogation after speketh of.
[3. ]walkyn. deceauen.
[5, 6, 7. ]bene (for been; very often).
[6. ]folke. founde.
[11. ]grasse, nether nething (sic).
[12. ]onely. her lyfes.
[13. ]had; Sp. han.
[15. ]hym (for hem). wreches.
[20. ]teacheth. don.
[21. ]not; Sp. nought. dyspleasynge. harme.
[22. ]because (Sp. that).
[25. ]reason. write.
[26. ]not; Sp. nought.
[36. ]speaketh. mor; Sp. more. lef; Sp. left.
[40. ]abytes; Sp. habits.
[41. ]leaue. wyfe. yeare.
[42. ]you; read ye. leaue. abyte; Sp. habit. yeare.
[44. ]abyte; Sp. habit.
[45. ]weareth (twice).
[46. ]the abbyte; Sp. your habit.
[48. ]apostatase; Sp. apostataes. by; Sp. buy.
[50. ]greate hoode.
[52. ]one coloure.
[57. ]sayde. clotynge (!).
[58. ]maye. weare clothynge.
[60. ]Sp. om. in before another.
[61. ]speake. leaue.
[66. ]ether; Sp. either. vnperfyte.
[67. ]harde. seker; Sp. siker.
[70. ]ye you; Sp. om. ye (!).
[70, 71. ]deade (twice). beggers; Sp. beggars. ye; Sp. you.
[75. ]eare; Sp. ere. Sp. haue ben (C. om. haue).
[78, 79. ]deade (twice).
[78. ]Sp. falleth it to.
[79. ]gorgeous buyldinges; Sp. courts.
[80. ]maye; Sp. now (error for mow).
[81. ]welnygh; Sp. will (!).
[83. ]here; Sp. heire (read hyre). geuynge.
[84. ]yeare. certayne. one.
[91. ]Sp. of men.
[92. ]perfyte. Sp. brether (!).
[93. ]baptyme; Sp. baptisme.
[96. ]Sp. om. the. least.
[98, 102. ]south; Sp. sooth.
[101. ]abyte; Sp. habit.
[107. ]wether; Sp. whether.
[109. ]vndermyne (for vndernyme); Sp. vnderneme.
[111. ]maye. presonne; Sp. prison.
[112. ]Sp. Augustines. dyd; Sp. doe.
[116. ]heare; Sp. heare to.
[118. ]folke maye.
[122. ]Both you. folke amonge.
[125. ]her. bene.
[126. ]Sp. other (for riche).
[128. ]Sp. om. of.
[130. ]wylte. preache.
[133. ]payed; Sp. apaid. preache.
[134. ]gosgel (!). Sp. bodden. hym; Sp. hem.
[139. ]myrtes; Sp. mirths.
[142. ]Sp. thy; C. om. (before prayer).
[144. ]Sp. that certes (error for than certes); C. & certes.
[149. ]her. the.
[151. ]Sp. writest; Sp. om. him.
[152. ]Sp. forgotten (!).
[159. ]C. Of; Sp. For.
[162. ]perfection (but perfeccion in l. 163). least. meane (often).
[167. ]charytye. sithe.
[169. ]Sp. them (for hem).
[173. ]learned and lewd; Sp. lerid and leaud.
[174. ]Sp. om. suche.
[177. ]the here.
[178. ]C. medefull; Sp. needful. the.
[185. ]hym; Sp. them (read hem). C. or; Sp. but.
[189. ]Whose. rych.
[190. ]yewels; Sp. iewels. improper ne; Sp. ne in proper ne in.
[191. ]cumune; Sp. common. sayne. gether; Sp. gather.
[192. ]Sp. om. of.
[194. ]in proper ne comune; Sp. in proper be (!) in common.
[195. ]father rych. put.
[197. ]reason. perfite.
[199. ]imperfyte. sayne. Sp. the (for tho).
[201. ]carte. done.
[202. ]lesyngery; Sp. losengery. done.
[204. ]preach. teach.
[205. ]perfyte lyfe.
[206. ]be; Sp. bin.
[209. ]done. rych.
[214. ]Sp. om. 2nd he.
[220. ]C. as; Sp. is (!) charytie.
[221. ]Sp. accursed; C. cursede. C. om. last. dead.
[222. ]Sp. om. lacke. least; Sp. last.
[223. ]dead. C. om. therefore.
[226. ]hedde. done.
[229, 231. ]hartes (twice).
[231. ]Sp. om. ye.
[234. ]gyltye. traytery. trespasers.
[235. ]Sp. your (for oure). Sp. the trespasse (for trespas).
[240. ]eche yeare; Sp. ech a yere.
[241. ]her (twice).
[242. ]steale. certayne. sayne.
[248. ]whyther; Sp. whether. payde; Sp. apayed.
[249. ]weten; Sp. witten.
[251. ]meryte. heauen.
[252. ]man (for mans, s having dropped out); Sp. mans.
[253. ]ye (for he); Sp. he.
[256. ]folowes: Sp. fellowes. maye.
[258. ]tokeneth; Sp. betokeneth.
[259. ]one. made.
[260. ]seale. mought (read mot).
[261. ]redde; Sp. rad. Sp. And but.
[262. ]Sp. om. 1st not. specyally; Sp. especially. made.
[264. ]commne (!). goostely; Sp. ghostly.
[266. ]myghtie. coloure. preachynge. prayeng.
[268. ]done frely.
[271. ]him; Sp. hem.
[273–275. ]apostatase; Sp. apostataes.
[280. ]him; Sp. them.
[282. ]foule. greate.
[284. ]measure. payd; Sp. apaied.
[286. ]Sp. whole. Sp. om. 2nd it.
[287. ]deal; Sp. dele.
[289. ]let. Sp. and so the (om. so).
[295. ]pouertye. done.
[299. ]wordly; Sp. worldly. bring her.
[300. ]costely. abake; Sp. abacke.
[301. ]gather (read gader).
[302. ]wryte. put. emprysonne.
[303. ]let. him; Sp. hem.
[304. ]preache. frely. wordely; Sp. worldly.
[309, 311. ]abyte; Sp. habit.
[311. 315. ]maye.
[312. ]Sp. om. an. sayne.
[316. ]home. by yeare; Sp. by the yeare.
[317. ]courtes &; Sp. countries (perhaps better).
[318. ]C. Sp. hold (for holden).
[320. ]Both prease.
[323. ]seale. beare.
[324. ]parte. preachynges.
[331. ]no; Sp. to (!).
[332. ]rych. reche; Sp. retch.
[334. ]behesten; Sp. behoten. reason; Sp. all reason.
[337. ]laydes (for ladyes). her.
[338. ]pyl her.
[344. ]mooste perfytely.
[346. ]greatest clarkes.
[348. ]chappelaynes. povertye.
[354. ]hol (for holy); Sp. holy. holde; Sp. hold (read holdeth). them.
[360. ]C. that Fraunces rule was made so harde; Sp. that your rule that Francis made was so hard. C. might; Sp. mow.
[363. ]harde. maye. Supply it.
[366. ]Sp. om. to. C. byddeth; Sp. bit. Sp. when; C. om.
[371. ]none. thyne.
[372, 374. ]thre.
[373. ]C. selfe; Sp. self same.
[376. ]alone. one.
[378. ]thre. one.
[381. ]Both you; read ye.
[384. ]apostate; Sp. apostata. leaue.
[390. ]Both you; read ye. wysdome.
[391. ]father vncunyng. Sp. om. eyther.
[392, 397. ]coulde (twice).
[393. ]Sp. had he.
[397. ]made. perfyte.
[398. ]defate; Sp. default. sonne.
[404. ]C. that saynt; Sp. which saint. the perfytest; Sp. perfectest.
[405. ]Sp. om. than.
[406. ]the (read thee).
[408. ]Sp. any default or (!) assigne.
[409. ]sekerly; Sp. sikerly.
[410. ]her. harde.
[416. ]mor; Sp. more.
[418. ]that; Sp. of (!).
[420, 421. ]heauen (twice).
[424. ]frayen (for frayne); Sp. fraine.
[425. ]C. ye in; Sp. ye you in (read you in).
[426. ]sayde. Read—And whan ye han soiled that I saide, sadly in treuthe.
[427. ]soyll the. thyne. order; Sp. orders. the; Sp. thee. heauen.
[428. ]C. cunne; Sp. kun.
[431. ]her. fordone.
[432. ]hem lyue; Sp. hir live.
[434. ]bread leste.
[435. ]made. Sp. om. Finis.
[1.]Jack Uplande, Jack the Countryman, a nickname for one who is supposed to have had but little education; cf. the Plowman’s Tale.
[6.]fellest folk, the wickedest people; referring to the friars.
[7.]The friar’s reply copies several of these expressions: thus we find—‘On wounder wise, seith Jak, freres, ye ben growun’; p. 42.
[8.]‘sowen in youre sectes of Anticristis hondes’; p. 42.
[9.]not obedient; ‘unboxom to bishopis, not lege men to kynges’; p. 42. The friar asserts that they do obey the bishops; but carefully adds—‘although not so fer forth as seculer preestes’; p. 44.
[11.]‘wede, corn, ne gras, wil ye not hewen’; p. 42; repeated on p. 44. The friar retorts that they are not expected to cleanse ditches, like a Jack Upland; p. 44. We thus learn that woode in l. 11 is almost certainly an error for weede.
[15.]where to been, where they will (hereafter) go to.
[21.]See 1 Cor. xiii. 1–3.
[27.]skilfully, reasonably; skill often has the sense of reason.
[28.]The friar evades the question as to the number of orders, and replies that he is of Christ’s order; pp. 59–61.
[35.]Reply: St. James makes mention of two kinds of life, the active and the contemplative; we belong to the latter; pp. 63–6.
[37.]apostata, apostate; a term applied to a friar who left his order (see l. 42) after his year of probation had been completed, or else (see l. 42) after a probation of three months. See ll. 273–5, and 310–2 below; and the note to P. Plowman, C. ii. 98 (B. i. 104). The question here put was not answered.
[40 1.]Reply: it is shocking to speak of men leaving their wives like this; we are not wedded to our habit any more than a priest is to his tonsure; p. 67.
[44.]Reply: no. We are only punished for leaving off our habits because it implies forsaking of our rule. Our habits are not sendal, nor satin nor golden; pp. 67–8.
[50.]Reply: what, Jack, does your tippet mean? My wide cope signifies charity. My hood, patience in adversity. The scapulary denotes obedience to our superiors. As for the knotted girdle, ask the Franciscans; pp. 68–71.
[52.]Reply: Why do most of the Lollards wear gray clothes? p. 71.
[58.]No reply to this question.
[60.]Reply: see Eccles. iii. 7; Prov. xxv. 28; p. 71.
[62.]Reply: a question rather for monks than friars. Why do you not put your dining-table in your cow-house? p. 72.
[65.]Reply: perhaps some of us go to Rome for dispensations, but most of us have need to stay at home, to keep watch over Lollards; p. 73.
[70.]Reply: you have forgotten the text, 2 Cor. vi. 9; p. 74.
[74.]Reply: Christ, at His transfiguration, had only three witnesses from among His apostles. And He chose only twelve apostles, out of His many followers; and see Prov. xii. 15; p. 75.
[77.]Reply: a man is better than a beast; yet even for your beasts you make cattle-sheds and stables. Our houses are often poor ones. Did you ever see any that resembled the Tower, or Windsor Castle, or Woodstock? Your lies are shameless; pp. 77–8. I note here Jack Upland’s rejoinder; he says that he does not object to the friars having houses, but he objects to the needless grandeur of them; for it does not follow that a man who drinks a quart of wine must therefore proceed to drink a gallon; p. 76.
[83.]Reply: you say that we let the whole realm to farm. Why, it is not ours at all! It belongs to the king. We have no more estate in the country than you have in heaven; pp. 78–9. The incompleteness of this reply is amazing.
[86.]The original reading must have been different here. The friar puts the question thus: Why do you pay no tribute to the king, whereas Christ paid tribute to the emperor? Reply: Christ did not pay it as a debt, but only to perform the law in meekness. The Jewish priests did not pay taxes like the commons. Priests may pay if they are willing, but not friars; pp. 79, 80.
[90.]Reply: we are glad to have the prayers of the poor, if their letters of fraternity are genuine; but we do not desire your paternosters; p. 80.
[92.]Reply: we do not make men more perfect than their baptism makes them; p. 81.
[95.]Reply: the golden trental, ‘that now is purchasid of preestis out of freris hondis,’ delivers no soul, except as it is deserved; p. 81. See note to Ch. C. T., D 1717 (vol. v. p. 331).
[100.]Reply: you are quite mistaken. Perhaps some Carmelite told you this, or some Franciscan. The Austin friars and the Dominicans do not say so; p. 82.
[105.]Reply: if you accuse us of stealing children, Christ practically did the same, by enticing disciples to follow him. See Matt. xix. 21; Luke, xiv. 33; John, xv. 19. To win souls is no robbery; pp. 83–4.
[109.]undernime, reprove. Reply: according to you, not even the king should maintain any discipline. The pope has a prison; and so has the bishop of Canterbury, and the bishop of London. But you do not like prisons, for you often experience them; pp. 85–6.
[114.]Reply: burial is not a sacrament, as you say. You contradict yourself; p. 86.
[116.]Reply: if, as you say, we never shrive the poor, why are parish-priests so angry with us for doing so? p. 87. Cf. note to P. Plowman, C. xiii. 21. Questions 26, 27, and 28 are passed over.
[127.]Reply: we do right to live of the gospel; see 1 Cor. ix. 14; Luke, x. 7; Rom. xv. 26.
[130.]Reply: God knows how much good the preaching of the friars has wrought; p. 89. The Dominicans especially were proud of their preaching.
[133.]The friar here remarks that the Wycliffites are heretics, and ought to be burnt; p. 90. The same remark is all the answer made to question 32.
[141.]Reply: the friars do not sell the mass; they only freely give it to those who freely give to them. Even if we did sell it, surely the parish-priests receive money for the same; this is not simony; pp. 93–5. See note to Ch. C. T., D 1749; vol. v. p. 333.
[149.]Reply: we write down the names only to help our own memories; for special prayers are very profitable for souls; pp. 99, 100. See note to Ch. C. T., D 1741; vol. v. p. 332.
[153.]berest god in honde, accusest Christ. Reply: Christ was lord of all spiritually; but, as a man, he was needy. David says of Him, ‘I am poor and needy, yet the Lord thinketh upon me’; Ps. xl. 17. I refer you to Matt. viii. 20; pp. 95–8.
[156.]No special answer is given to questions 36–9.
[187.]Reply: you expect your servant to call you ‘master.’ It is not the being called ‘master,’ but ambition, that Christ forbids; pp. 100–1. Cf. note to Ch. C. T., D 2185; vol. v. p. 340.
[189.]The reply is singular, to the effect that pope John XXIV wrote against this matter, and the friars Minors (Franciscans) against him. ‘Examyne her actis, and loke who hath the beter; and knowe noon other ordre this perfitnesse approveth’; p. 101.
[208.]There is no reply to question 42.
[211.]Reply; going two and two together is a scriptural custom. Barnabas and Paul did so. So did Paul and Timothy. Besides, there were two tables in the law, two cherubim in the temple, and two in the tabernacle. It was not good for Adam to be alone; pp. 101–3. Cf. note to P. Plowman, C. xi. 8; and to Chaucer, C. T., C 1740.
[213.]There seems to be no reply to questions 44–8.
[246.]As regards question 49, the friar replies to ll. 249–51, saying that, according to this, no one could pray for any one; for we cannot tell his future destiny; p. 103. Cf. note to Ch. C. T., D 2126; vol. v. p 339.
[258.]Questions 50 and 51 do not seem to be noticed. Question 52 is partly answered in the reply to question 22. See l. 105.
[277.]Reply: you admit (l. 283) that God made all things according to weight, number, and measure. But a friar is something; ergo, God made friars according to weight, &c. Why are priests so numerous? As to a man’s hand (l. 287), the number of fingers is fixed, and an extra finger is monstrous. But neither God nor holy church have fixed the number of priests or friars. ‘Many hondis togider maken light werk’; pp. 105–6. Cf. note to P. Plowman, C. xxiii. 270.
[296.]This has been partly said before; see l. 77 above.
[310.]It was thought that to die in a friar’s habit increased a man’s chance of salvation; see l. 100 above.
[320.]Cf. note to P. Plowman, C. xiii. 21. See l. 246 above.
[336.]Cf. P. Plowman, C. xxiii. 323–72.
[368.]This enquiry takes up a large portion of the Ploughman’s Crede. The jealousy of one order against the other was very remarkable. See note to l. 100 above.
[399.]See James, i. 27; cf. l. 36 above.
[411.]See Matt. xi. 30. Wyclif has—‘for my yok is softe, and my charge light.’
[421.]The Franciscans claimed that St. Francis sat in heaven above the Seraphim, upon the throne from which Lucifer fell; see note to P. Plowman, C. ii. 105 (B. i. 105).
[424–7.]Evidently intended for four alliterative lines, but the third is too long; read—‘And whan ye han soiled that I saide,’ &c. Again, the first is too short; read—‘Go, frere, now forth,’ &c.
[430.]even-Christen, fellow-Christian; see Gloss. to P. Plowman.
[433.]‘Benefac humili, et non dederis impio: prohibe panes illi dari, ne in ipsis potentior te sit’; Ecclus. xii. 6.