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Obftat avaricia nature legibus, et que
Largus amor poscit, ftri&tius illa vetat.
Omne, quod eft nimium, viciofum dicitur aurum,
Vellera ficut oves fervat avarus opes.
Non decet, ut foli fervabitur es, fed amori
Debet homo folam folus habere suam.
MA I RST whan the highe god
GMD) This worlde and that the kind
Was fall into no gret encress,
For worldes good was tho no press,
But all was set to the comune,
They speken than of no fortune
Or for to lese or for to winne,
Till avarice brought it inne.
And that was whan the world was woxe
Of man, of hors, of shepe, of oxe,
And that men knewen the money,
Tho wente pees out of the wey
And werre came on every side,
Whiche alle love laid aside
Hic in quinto libro intendit confessor tractare de avaricia, que omnium malorum radix effe dicitur, necnon de eiusdem vicii fpeciebus, et primum ipfius avaricie naturam describens amanti quatenus amorem concernit super hoc specialius opponit.
And of comun his propre made,
So that in stede of shovel and spade
The sharpe fwerd was take on honde.
And in this wise it cam to londe,
Wherof men maden diches depe
And highe walles for to kepe
The gold, which avarice encloseth.
But all to litel him supposeth,
Though he might all the world purchase.
For what thing, that he may embrace
Of golde, of catel or of londe,
He let it never out of his honde,
But get him more and halt it fast,
As though the world shuld ever last.
So is he lich unto the helle,
For as these olde bokes telle,
What cometh ther in lass or more
It shall departe nevermore.
Thus whan he hath his cofre loken,
It shall nought after ben unstoken,
But whan him list to have a sight
Of gold, how that it shineth bright,
That he theron may loke and muse,
For otherwise he dare nought use
To take his part or lasse or more.
So is he pouer, and evermore
Him lacketh, that he hath inough.
An oxe draweth in the plough
Of that him self hath no profite,
A shep right in the same plite
His wolle bereth, but on a day
An other taketh the flees away.
Thus hath he, that he nought ne hath,
For he therof his part ne tath,
To say how suche a man hath good
Who so that reson understood
It is unproperliche said,
That good hath him and halt him taid,
That he ne gladdeth nought withall,
But is unto his good a thrall
And a subgit thus serveth he,
Where that he shulde maister be,
Suche is the kinde of thavarous.
My fone, as thou art amorous,
Tell if thou fare of love so.
My fader, as it semeth no,
That avarous yet never I was,
So as ye fetten me the cas.
For as ye tolden here above
In full possession of love
Yet was I never here to-fore,
So that me thenketh well therfore,
I may excuse well my dede.
But of my will withoute drede
If I that tresor mighte gete,
It fulde never be foryete,
That I ne wolde it faste holde,
Till god of love him selve wolde,
That deth us Thuld departe atwo.
For leveth well, I love her so,
That even with min owne life,
If I that swete lusty wife
Might ones welden at my wille,
For ever I wold her holde stille.
And in this wise taketh kepe,
If I her had, I wolde her kepe
And yet no friday wolde I fast,
Though I her kepte and helde fast.
Fy on the bagges in the kist,
I had inough, if I her kist.
For certes if she were min,
I had her lever than a mine
Of gold, for all this worldes riche
Ne mighte make me so riche
As she, that is so inly good.
I sette nought of other good,
For might I gette such a thing,
I had a tresor for a king.
And though I wolde it faste holde,
I were thanne wel beholde.
But I might pipe now with lasse
And suffre that it overpasse,
Nought with my will, for thus I wolde
Ben avarous if that I sholde.
But fader, I you herde say,
How thavarous hath yet some way,
Wherof he may be glad. For he
May, whan him list, his tresor se
And grope and fele it all aboute.
But I full ofte am fhet theroute,
There as my worthy tresor is,
So is my life lich unto this,
That ye me tolden here to-fore,
How that an oxe his yoke hath bore
For thing that shulde him nought availe.
And in this wise I me travaile.
For who that ever hath the welfare
I wot wel that I have the care,
For I am had and nought ne have
And am as who faith loves knave.
Now demeth in your owne thought,
If this be avarice or nought.
My sone, I have of the no wonder,
Though thou to serve be put under
With love, which to kinde accordeth.
But so as every boke recordeth,
It is to finde no plesaunce,
That men above his sustenaunce
Unto the gold shall serve and bowe,
For that may no reson avowe.
But avarice netheles,
If he may geten his encres
Of gold, that wold he serve and kepe,
For he taketh of nought elles kepe,
But for to fille his bagges large,
And all is to him but a charge,
For he ne parteth nought withall,
But kepeth it, as a servaunt shall,
And thus though that he multiply
His golde, without tresory