Dan Michel.

Dan Michel's Ayenbite of inwyt; or, Remorse of conscience. In the Kentish dialect, 1340 A.D online

. (page 7 of 42)
Online LibraryDan MichelDan Michel's Ayenbite of inwyt; or, Remorse of conscience. In the Kentish dialect, 1340 A.D → online text (page 7 of 42)
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„ eighth „ „ 9th

„ ninth „ (Ist half of 10th)

„ tenth „ (2nd half of 10th)

The Creed.

The twelve Articles of the Christian belief
1st Article : written by St Peter . .

„ St John . . .



2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th
7th
8th
9th

10th
11th
12th



St Jacob, brother of John

St Andrew

St PhiUp

St Thomas

St Bartholomew

St Matthew

St Jacob, brother of Simon and

Jude
St Simon

St Jude

St Matthias



PAOB

1
1

5



5
6
7
8
8
9
9

10
10
11



11
12
12
12
12
12,13
13
13
13

13
14

14
14



The Seven Deadly Sins,

Of the vision that Saint John the Evangelist saw . . . . 14, 15
(Of the beast that came out of the sea with seven heads

and ten horns) 14, 15



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Ixxxvii



The tokens of the Heads of the Beast

(The seven heads = seven deadly sins, and the ten horns
= breaking of the ten behests) . .
The First Head of the Beast — Pride and its Seven Boughs

The First Head of the Beast is Pride

(Pride caused the fall of Lucifer)

The Might of Pride

(Pride is the devil's own daughter)

How one shall classify the seven boughs of Pride . .
The First Bough of Pride — Untruth; its three twigs are
Foulness (crime), madness, apostasy . .
Second — Despite (contempt)
(Three kinds of Despite : a. Not praising those deserving
it ; h, Not giving honour to whom it is due ; c, Dia
obedience to those to whom obedience should be given
The Third Bough of Pride — Arrogance or Overweening
This sin shows itself in six ways — in, 1. Singularity; 2
Prodigality (extravagance) ; 3. False strife ; 4. Boast-
ing (yelping) ; 5. Scorn ; 6. Opposition
The Fourth Bough of Pride — Foul Desire (Ambition)

Ambition is the devil's frying-pan

The Fifth Bough of Pride — Idle Bliss (Vain glory) .

Idle Bliss is the devil's penny

It has three small boughs

God's gifts — 1. of nature ; 2. of fortune ; 3. of grace
The devil tries man in three ways , .
The Sixth Bough of Pride — Hypocrisy

Three kinds of Hypocrisy : 1. foul ; 2. foolish ; 3. subtle
The Seventh Bough of Pride — Foul Dread and Shame
The Second Head of the Beast — Envy . .

Envy IB a poisonous adder

It poisons heart, mouth, and works of man
The envious man sins in a threefold manner

Three states of the envious

The Sins against the Holy Ghost

(Overweening, Despair, Obstinacy, Impenitence,

Opposing truth)

The Third Head of the Beast — Hatred

The four wars of the Hater

The seven twigs of Hate : Chiding, Wrath, Hate,
Vengeance, Murder, Deadly War

The horrors of war . . . .

The Fourth Head of the ^co^— Sloth. .

The devil's advice to the slothful , .

The six vices of Sloth prevent good beginning and good

amendment




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IxXXviii CONTENTS.

FAOB

Forgetfulness springs from Sloth 32

The peril of Slackness 33

The six points of Sloth that bring a man to his end . . . . 33
1. Disobedience; 2. Impatience ; 3. Munnuring ; 4. Sorrow ;

5. Desire of Death ; 6. Despair 33, 34

The Fifth Head of the Beast— AY&nce 34

Avarice, a great schoolmistress . . 34

The Roots of Avarice: 1. Usury; 2. Theft; 3. Robbery
(with violence) ; 4. False Claim ; 5. Sacrilege ;

6. Simony 34

7. Fraud ; 8. Chaffer ; 9. Wicked Craft ; 10. Wicked

Games 35

Usury and Usurers (seven kinds of) 35, 36

The Second Bough of Avarice — ^Theft 37

Four kinds of thieves (1. The open thief; 2. Covert;

3. Privy ; 4. Accessory) 37, 38

The Third Bough of Avarice — Robbery 38

The roots of Avarice : 1. Evil executors ; 2. Unfaithful

guardians 38

3. Harbouring of robbers ; 4. Dishonest debtors ;
5. Robbery of underlings by prelates ; 6. Oppression

of the poor by provosts and beadles 39

TJi e Fourth Bough of A varire — False Claim (or False Accusation) 39

Seven kinds of false challengers 39, 40

TTie Fifth Bough of Avarice — Sacrilege 40

Seven kinds of sacrilege 41

The Sixth Bough of Avarice — Simony 41

The six twigs of Simony 41, 42

How lewd (lay) men may be guilty of Simony . . . . 42

The Seventh Bough of Avarice — Depravity 43

To this sin belong Heresy, Witchcraft, Ac. . . . . 43

The Eighth Bough of Avarice — Chaflfer 44

Seven kinds of ChaflPering 44, 45

The Ninth Bough of ^varwje— Unlawful Traffic (Wicked Craft) 45
This sin is practised by foolish women, heralds, and soldiers 45
The Tenth Bough of Avarice — Gambling (Wicked Games) . . 45
A Tale : 1. Of a knight who swore by God's eyes ; 2. Of

an archer who shot at Grod 45, 46

The Sixth Head of the Beast — Lechery 46

The devil tempts man to this sin in five modes : 1. Foolish
sight ; 2. Foolish words ; 3. Foolish handling ; 4.

Foolish kissing ; 5. Foolish deed 46

Two kinds of Lechery : a, of heart (its four steps). . . . 46, 47

h. Lechery of body (five sorts) 47

Fourteen kinds of Adultery 48, 49

The Seventh Head of the Beast— Sina of the Mouth and

Tongue 50

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Ixxxix



PAGE

1. The sin of gluttony 50

The glutton often comes to the gallows . . . . . . 51

Five kinds of gluttony 51, 52

1. Eating before time 51

2. Immoderate eating and drinking 52

Gluttony like the kite 53

Hypocrites are the devil's martyrs 53

Dispute between the belly and purse of the glutton . . 53

The tricks of the devil 54

3. A hasty running to meat, like the hoimd after the hare 55

4. Extravagance (three kinds of) 55

5. Undue anxiety about eating (three kinds of ) . . . . 55

Jests and jokes form the glutton's entries 56

The tavern is the devil's chapel 56

The devil's miracles 56

The tavern is the devil's castle . . 57

T?ie Sins of the Tongue (ten kinds of) 57

Id idle words man may sin in five ways 58

Of the Sin of Boasting 58

The boaster is Grod's thief 69

Five kinds of boasting 59

The boaster is like the cuckoo, he can only sing of himself 59
Affected humility — Many folk make themselves devils

so that they may be esteemed angels 59

Of Flattery 60

Flatterers the devil's nurses 60

The Five Boughs of Flattery 60

1. Inconsiderate praise ; 2. Exaggeration ; 3. Assumption

of virtues ; 4. Singing placebo

5. Excusing another's &iults

Flatterers Hke, 1. Mermaids ; 2. The adder Serayn ; 3. The

hyaena ; 4. The farrowed sow ; 5. Dimg beetles
Five Boughs of Evil-speaking

Leadings . .

The liar is like, 1. Chaff among com ; 2. The devil ; 3. The

chameleon (that hath wind only in his guts) . .
Three small twigs of leasing

Of the Sin of Lying

Swearing and forswearing (perjury)

Seven modes of swearing

Strife

Strife like the devil's works

Seven boughs of Strife

The chider is like, 1. A hedgehog; 2. A snarling dog
Slandering and slanderers

Of Murmuring^ that is, of him thai dare not he answered (be
reprimanded)



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CONTENTS.



For this sin the Israelites lost the Land of Promise

Two boughs of Munnuring . .

The Songs of Heaven and the Songs of Hell
Of Opposition (withstanding)

Four boughs of Opposition

Of Blasphemy

Blasphemers are like mad hounds . .

FOB TO LEARN TO DIB

Death is a separation and departure

Man's life but a point compjured with Eternity

The Songs of Hell

We have not our years — death has them, and will not give

them up

Death a separation of soul and body

Three kinds of death

What is death ?

Go out of thyself into the other worlds (heaven, hell, and

purgatory)

The Torments of Hell

Of Piu:gatory

The Bliss of Paradise

The holy man is like the greyhound

HOW ONE SHALL KNOW GOOD AND EVIL . .

The beginning of good life is to seek virtue
Of Temporal Goods (gifts)

(The small goods, the goods of time, the goods of fortune)
Of the Lesser Goods

The middle goods are the gifts of nature and of teaching

(a. beauty, strength, &c. ; h. learning, good manners)

Of the Trm Goods

Grace, virtue, and charity

What the old philosophers thought to be the greatest good

Dame Charity the queen of virtues

Of three kinds of Good . .

(HoBourable, desirable, and profitable)

True Virtue combines all three

Of Virtue

Six things are desired because they are honourable

The Lynx can see through a wall

Beauty soon fades

Beauty of the Soul

Of Wit (wisdom) and of Clergy (learning)

Those who love this world think the moon to be the sim
and mistake a glass for a sapphire ; they are like, 1
children ; 2. Hke a pregnant woman who prefers a
sour apple to a wheaten loaf . .



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(X>NTENTS. XCl

PAGE

Their wit is the devil^s wit 82

True Virtue and True Prowess 8?

Foolish Undertaking 83, 84

He that is without virtue hath no courage ; like a child he

prefers a mirror to a kingdom 84

Virtue makes a man as bold as a lion 84

Might 84

Man's lordship 84, 85

Virtue makes a man to be master of himself . . . . 85

Freedom 85

Three sorts of freedom (of nature, of grace, and of bliss) . . 85, 86

1. Free will 86

Deadly sin bereaves man of this freedom 86

2. Freedom of grace — ^Those who possess this care not a

button for the world . . . . 86

3. Freedom of bliss is possessed by those who have

passed from this world 87

Nobility :

True nobility springs from the gentle heart . . . . 87

It does not spring from the body 87

For all are descended from one mother, i. e. earth and mud 87

Our true Father is Grod 87

True nobility consists in being like Grod 88

It begins in grace and is completed in bliss . . . . 88
None need be proud of earthly nobility, for the earth

nourishes hogs as well as kings 89

G^entle Good 89

No good (gifts) truly honourable but virtue and charity,

that is, the love of God . . . . 89

Charity is good chaflfer — never loses but ever wins . . 90

Charity is God's penny 91

Of two lustful (desirable) goods 91

The five wits (senses) 91, 92

Spiritual gifts the best (peace of heart, mastery of devils,

bhss of conscience) 92

The Oil of Bliss 93

0/ VirttLe more especially 94

The soul of a good man like a fair garden, of which God is

the gardener 94

Of three things needful to the Earth 95

1. Grood mould ; 2. moisture ; 3. heat 95

The Tree of Life 95

The root — ^the love of God ; the wood — ^the flesh of Christ ;

the rind — ^Christ's fair conversation; the sap — ^His

tears, sweat, and blood ; the leaves — His holy words ;

the flowers — His holy thoughts ; the fruit — ifis twelve

apostles ; the boughs — the whole elect . . . . 95, 96



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XCll CX)NTENTS.

FACE

; The Sermon on the Mount specifies the seven boughs of

the Tree of Life 96

In it we find the sum of the New Law 97

The Well of God*8 grace and its seven streams . . . . 97
In the Lord*s Prayer we pray for the seven gifts of the

Holy Ghost 98

The Prologue of the Holy Pate}- Noster 98

The Lord's Prayer, the first thing we teach a child . . 98

It is short in words, and long in meaning 99

God cares not for sleek and smooth words 99

Here heginneth the Pater Noster 99

* Our Father,' &c 99

Of the sweet name of Father 99-101

Why we say * Father our,* and not * Father mine * . . 101

Of adoption 101-2

Of the word 'our' 102-3

* That art in Heaven* 103

*That art* asserts God's existence 103

God alone is everlasting 104

Of the words Father, our, arty Heaven 104-5

The First Petition of the Holy Pater Noster 105

The preface is as the ingoing (prelude) of the fiddle . . 105

There are seven notes in this song of the Pater Noster . . 105
The seven petitions obtain the seven gifts of the Holy

Ghost 105

The three first make man holy ; the other four make him to

abide in righteousness . . . . 105

Man's holiness like the Trinity (for there are three things

in the soul — thought, understanding, and will) . . 105

* Hallowed be thy Name' 106

In this petition we ask the gift of wisdom 106-7

The Second Petition of the Holy Pater Noster . . . . 107

*Thy kingdom come' 108

In this petition we ask for the gift of understanding,

whereby man may see and correct his faults . . . . 108-9

The Third Petition of the Holy Pater Noster 109

* Thy will be done,' &c 109

In this petition we ask for the gift of good counsel . . 109-10

The Fourth Petition of the Holy Pater Noster . . . . 110

* Give us this day,' Ac. 110

What may the son ask of father better than bread? . . 110
In this petition we ask for the everlasting bread — ^the food

of the soul 110

The bread of the altar is to be eaten ravenously, and with-
out chewing, for it is the true body of Christ . . Ill
Christ left us this bread as his last bequest 112



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XCIU



It is more nutritious than all other bread
The Fifth Petition of the Holy Pater Noster . .

* Forgive us our trespasses/ &c.
Our debts are our sins — the interest is Hell-pain . .
The Court of Mercy and the Court of Doom (Justice)
In this petition we ask the gift of knowledge

The Sixth Petition of the Holy Pater Noster . .

* And lead us not into temptation *

The devil — the tempter

The devil's temptations are like the blows on the back of a

knight, whereby he is ennobled and honoured
In this petition we ask for help and pity . .
We do not seek to be delivered from temptation, but only

to be aided

The Seventh Petition of the Holy Pater Noster

* But deliver us from evil,* i.e. Deliver us from the devil and

his sleights

In this petition we pray for the gift of fear
The Seven aifts of the Holy Ghost . .

Seven spirits and seven gifts received in baptism
Wherefore they are called Gifts

They are called gifts for three reasons : 1. for their dignity
and worth

2. They remain with us for ever ; 3. They are given through

love

Wherefore they are called Gifts of the Holy Ghost . ,

Works of might are the works of God the Father . .

Works of wisdom belong to the Son

Works of goodness belong to the Holy Ghost

The Holy Ghost is the wdl, the gifts are the stream
Wherefore Man is Saved

1. Man is saved ; 2. by eschewing evU and doing good

The gift of dread causes us to flee from evil, and the other
six gifts enable us to do good . .

Dread is the door-keeper, the watch of the castle or the
weed-hook of the gardener

Three stages of people in heaven

Of the gifts peculiar to these states . .
Of the Three First Virtues

Belief, hope, charity are called godly virtues

Three things cause a man to love another . .
Of the Four Cardinal Virtues

Prudence, Temperance, Strength, Equity . .

These virtues are the four towers in the four comers of the

good man's house

Of the Office of the Four Virtues

Prudence (three ofi&ces of)



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XCIV



CONTENTS.



Temperance (three offices of)

Strength (three offices of)

Rightfulness (Equity)

Philosophy the love of wisdom

The old philosophers put false Christians to shame
The four cardinal virtues are four kinds of loves . .

Of the Gift of Dread

Dread rouses the sinner

The sinner is like, 1. a dnmkard ; 2. one bound in irons and
fetters, who dreams of feasts and weddings instead of

the gibbet

The Holy Ghost is the Good Physician . . . .
The three questions the Angel asked Hagar in the wilderness
Four questions put to the sinner by the Holy Ghost are like

four strokes of thunder

How Mildness {Meekness) waxeth in the heart

Fear strips the heart of its pride and confidence . .

The tree of meekness is set beside the well of the fear of God

Of tlie Steps of Meekness

1. To know one*s defects ; 2. to bewail one's sins ; 3. to
confess and shrive our sins; 4. to acknowledge our
imworthiness ; 6. to hear willingly of our imperfec-
tions ; 6. to endure reproach willingly ; 7. to desire to

be accounted vile

Of the Seven Boughs of Meekness

The First Bough of Meekness is to honour Grod as a child

doth its master

The Second Bough of Meekness
Is to praise others (for three reasons)

Of Meek Heart

The meek keep their virtues behind their back, their defects

before their face

Of an holy courteousness

The meek man blames himself in three ways
T?ie Fourth Bough of Meekness

Is to love poverty (for three reasons)

This is shown in three ways

The Fifth Bough of Meekness

Is to serve others joyfully

Meekness ia the mother of obedience

Of Obedience {Buxomness)

Of the seven ornaments of obedience

Holy simplicity is the good daughter of meekness

The meek man is like, 1. the star Saturn ; 2. the mill-ass

3. the sun

The Sixth Bough of Meekness
Is to avoid praise and flattery



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XCV



PA6£

The meek man despises the world — ^but loves solitude.

He is like a modest virgin 142

The Seventh Bough of Meekness

Is steadfast belief 143

Belief is like a grain of mustard seed 143

Four kinds of love 144

Of the Virtue of Love 144

Pity is an antidote to envy . . 144

Why Christians should be united 145-6

The Boughs of Love 146

Love shows itself in seven different ways 146-7

Nature teaches us to seek " the common profit " . . . . 147

On the right mode of administering correction . . . . 148

The friendship and teaching of Christ 149

The First Step of Equity {Rightfulness)

Is to know one's self 150

The gift of wisdom is the Prior in the cloister of the soul 161
The two sides of the heart (1. Understanding and Will ;

2. Reason and Affection) . . . . . . . 151

The four offices of Reason 151-2

The faculties of the Will 153

The union of Reason and Will 153

The Second Step of Equity

Is to hold the body in subjection 164

The five wits (senses) should be under the authority of the

Reason 154

The Third Step of Equity

Is to observe discretion in the use of temporal things . . 154
The Fourth Step of Equity

Is to follow the example of good men 156

Novices like young greyhounds 155

iEsop's fable of the Hoand and the Ass 155-6

The Fifth Bough of Meekness

Is to avoid the follies of the foolish 156

Fools and Sinners are not to be derided, but to be pitied 156

The bad man may be good to-morrow 157

The Sixth Step of Equity

Is to keep an eye upon the devil's snares and devices . . 157

The spirits of men are like a mirror * 168

The devil puts thoughts into the heart 158

The Seventh Step of Equity

Is to keep Grod always before us 159

Of the Boughs of Equity 159

The Boughs of Equity are seven in number : 1. Obedience ;
2. Love ; 3. Meekness ; 4. Prowess ; 5. Liberality ;

6. Chastity ; 7. Sobriety 159-60



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XCVl CONTENTS.



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This world is called the Vale of Tears

Six kinds of tears are shed by good men

Of the G^ift of Strength

Life of man may be compared to knighthood or to citizenship 1 6 1-2

The gift of Strength enables a man to endure the hardships

of this world 162

Prowess strips man of sloth and idleness 163

The Diinsions of Virtue (Prowess) 164

1. Magnanimity ; 2. Affiance ; 3. Security ; 4. Patience ;
6. Steadfastness; 6. Magnificence;?. Hunger and thirst

of righteousness 164

The First Step of Prowess

To despise the world 164-5

The Second Step of Prowess

Is BeUef 165

The Third Step of Prowess

Is Confidence (or Security) 16o-7

The Fourth Step of Prowess

Is Patience . . 167

Patience is acquired by trial, just as the cup of gold has
to undergo the strokes of iron ere it is fit to place on

the king's table 167

The Fifth Step of Prowess

Is Steadfastness or Constancy 167-8

The Sixth Step of Prowess

Is Perseverance or Magnificence . . . . . . . . 1 68

77ie Boughs of Prowess . . . . 169

Seven Boughs of Prowess; for in seven battles seven

crowns may be obtained 169-70

The First Fight 170

Is against deadly sin 170-1

Of the Repentance of King Dapid 171

David repented in tears and sighs 171

The sinner must so sorrow that his heart shall melt to tears 171

The sinner is the murderer of his own soul . . . . 171

The sinner's bed is the soul 171

Of Shrift 172

Of the six conditions of Shrift 172

1. Let the sinner look, a, to the Shriver and seek a good

confessor ; 6. to his own sins before he comes to shrift 172

2. Shrift must not be delayed 173

3. Let shrift be made openly 174

4. Let shrift be made without reservation 174

Let the sinner tell first the deadly sins he has committed 175
And how often he has fallen into sin, and with what

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(X)NTENT8. XCVll

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5. Let shrift be made meekly and timidly 177

6. Shrift must be made often, for eight reasons . . . . 178
Five things disturb shrifl 179-80

Of Penance 180

Penance must be made'by fasting, alms, and prayers . . 180

The sinner's contest with, 1. sin ; 2. with his own heart . . 180

3. With his flesh ; 4. with the world ; 6. with Dame Fortune 181

6. With the limbs of Antichrist 182-83

Of the Gift of Counsel and of the Virtue of Mercy . . . . 183

This gift bestows forethought and foresight . . . . 183

Seek good advice 184

Seven steps of the tree of Mercy — -that is, the seven

things that lead to mercy. 1. Nature . . . . 185

2. Grace ; 3. Behests of Holy Scripture 186-7

The devU a "shut-purse" 187

4. The liberality of Christ ; 5. the honour of Gk)d (the Story

of St Martin) ; 6. Dread of Doom 188-89

7. The Seed of Mercy 189

The Stories of St Germain, John the Almoner, and St

Bonifece 190-91

The poor man who gave his one cow to the Priest . . 191

Of the Goodness of Alms 191

Three things to be considered in Almsgiving . . . . 192

1. Give not of thy unlawful gains 192

2. Give not to ribalds and minstreh 192

8. Give, a, ungrudgingly . . . . . . . . . . 193

6. Without delay 194

c. Liberally ; d. Willingly 195

Despise not the poor 196

Alms alone will not save a man 197

Cursed are the unmerciful 198

The Gift of Understanding and of the Virtue of Chastity . . 199

1. Life Active, and, 2. Life Contemplative . . . . 199

Martha a type of the first 199

The Gift of Understanding is given by the Holy Ghost 200

The Holy Ghost enlightens the soul 201

He purifies the soul from the filth of lechery . . . . 201

A lecher is no better than a beast 201

Of the Seven Steps of Chastity . , . . 202

L Have a clear conscience ; a. True Shrift . . . . 202

Jordan signifies * the Stream of Judgment ' . . . , 202

b, A remembrance of Christ's passion 203

The adder of brass betokens Christ 203

II. Abstain from foul words 203

Foul words denote a filthy heart . . . . * . . . 203

IIL Guard all the wits (senses) of the body 204

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CONTENTS.



P16E

The five senses are the five gates of the city of the heart,

whereby the devil oft enters 204

IV. Austerity of Life 204

Lusts mar chastity 204

Jeremiah's girdle denotes chastity 205

Great meats nourish lechery . . . . 205

V. Avoid the fellowship of the wicked 205

VI. Be occupied with good works 206

Idleness the ruin of Sodom 206

Vn. Offer good prayers to God 207

Prayer a shield against lust 207

Prayers are shored up with four posts 207-8

Ask not what is improper for thee to have 208

Let the sinner take heed to the poor beggars that exhibit

their infirmities before men in order to obtain alms . . 208

God will not give thee a pear or apple as one doth a child 208

Ask all things in the name of Christ 209

Devotion of heart is necessary to prayer 210

It is no use to move the lips while the heart is dumb . . 210
Prayer without devotion is like a messenger without letters

of reconmiendalion . . 211

Pray especially to God on Sunday 212

The Simday is more holy than the Saturday . . . . 213

Of the great festivals 213

An answer to those who say * We cannot always be praying ' 213
And * if all days be mass days and holy days, how then

should we sow, reap, mow,* ? &c 214

Let great lords and ladies lay aside their dignity when in



Online LibraryDan MichelDan Michel's Ayenbite of inwyt; or, Remorse of conscience. In the Kentish dialect, 1340 A.D → online text (page 7 of 42)