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Thus she, which whilome hadde leve
To dwelle in chambre, mot beleve
In wodes and on hilles both.
For such brocage as wives loth,
Which doth her lordes hertes chaunge
And love in other places straunge.
Forthy if ever it so befalle,
That thou, my sone, amonges alle
Be wedded man, hold that thou hast.
For than all other love is waste,
O wife shal wel to the suffise,
And than if thou for covetise
Of love woldest axe more,
Thou shuldest don ayein the lore
Of alle hem that trewe be.
My fader, as in this degre
My conscience is nought accused,
For I no such brocage have used,
Wherof that lust of love is wonne.
Forthy speke forth, as ye begonne,
Of avarice upon my Thrifte.
My sone, I shall the braunches shifte
By order so as they ben set,
On whom no good is wel beset.
Pro verbis verba, munus pro munere reddi
Convenit, ut pondus equa statera gerat. Propterea cupido non dat sua dona Cupido.
Nam qui nulla serit, gramina nulla metet.
Blind avarice of his lignage For counseil and for cousinage
Hic tractat super illa specie avaricie, que parcimonia di
citur, cuius natura To be witholde ayein largesse
fue fubstancie por- Hath one, whose name is said scarsnesse,
cionem aut deo The which is
aut hominibus The which is keper of his hous
participare nulla- And is so throughout avarous,
That he no good let out of honde,
Though god him self it wolde fonde,
Of yifte Thuld he no thing have.
And if a man it wolde crave,
He muste thanne faile nede,
Where god him selve may nought spede.
And thus scarsnesse in every place
By reson may no thank purchace.
And netheles in his degre
Above all other most prive
With avarice stant he this.
For he governeth that there is
In eche estate of his office,
After the reule of thilke vice
He taketh, he kepeth, he halt, he bint,
That lighter is to fle the flint
Than gete of him in hard or neisshe
Only the value of a reisshe
Of good in helping of an other
Nought, though it were his owne brother.
For in the cas of yift and lone
Stant every man for him alone.
Him thenketh of his unkindship,
That him nedeth no felaship
Be so the bagge and he accorden,
Him reccheth nought, what men recorden
Of him or be it evil or good.
For all his truste is on his good,
So that alone he falleth ofte,
Whan he best weneth stonde alofte
Als well in love as other wise.
For love is ever of some reprise
To him that woll his love holde.
Forthy my sone, as thou art holde
Touchend of this tell me thy Thrifte,
Hast thou be scarse or large of yifte
Unto thy love, whom thou servest.
For after that thou well deservest
Of yifte, thou might be the bet.
For that good holde I well be set,
For which thou might the better fare,
Than is no wisdom for to spare.
For thus men sain in every nede,
He was wise, that first made mede.
For where as mede may nought spede,
I not what helpeth other dede.
Full ofte he faileth of his game,
That will with idel hond reclame
His hawke, as many a nice doth.
Forthy my sone, tell me foth
And say the trouth, if thou hast be
Unto thy love or scarse or fre?
My fader, it hath stonde thus,
That if the tresor of Cresus
And all the golde of Octavien,
Forth with the richesse of Yndien
Of perles and of riche stones
Were all to-gider min at ones,
I set it at no more accompt
Than wolde a bare straw amount
To yive it her all in a day,
Be so that to that swete may
It mighte like or more or lesse.
And thus because of my scarsnesse
Ye may well understond and leve,
That I shall nought the worse acheve
The purpos, which is in my thought,
But yet I yaf her never nought
Ne therto durst a profre make.
For well I wot, she woll nought take
And yive woll she nought also,
She is escheue of bothe two.
And this I trowe be the skill
Towardes me, for she ne will,
That I have any cause of hope,
Nought also mochel as a drope.
But toward other as I may se,
She taketh and yiveth in such degre,
That as by wey of frendelyhede
She can so kepe her womanhede,
That every man speketh of her wele.
But she wol take of me no dele,
And yet the wot wel, that I wolde
Yive and do bothe what I sholde
To plesen her in all my might,
By reson this wote every wight.
For that may by no wey afterte,
There she is maister of the herte,
She mot be maister of the good.
For god wot wel, that all my mood
And all min herte and all my thought
And all my good, while I have ought,
Als frely as god hath it yive,
It shall be hers, while I live,
Right as her lift her self commaunde.
So that it nedeth no demaunde
To axe me, if I have be scarse
To love, for as to tho parse
I will answere and say no.
My sone, that is right well do.
For often time of scarsnesse
It hath ben seen, that for the lesse
Is lost the more, as thou shalt here
A tale, lich to this matere.
Scarsnefse and love accorden never, Hic loquitur con-
tra iftos, qui avariFor every thing is wel the lever,
cia stricti largitatis
beneficium in amoWhan that a man hath bought it dere.
ris causa confun And for to speke in this matere
dunt. Et ponit exFor sparing of a litel cost
Croceus largus et
hillaris Babionem Full ofte time a man hath lost
de amore Viole, The large cote for the hood.
fuit, donis largisfiWhat man that scarse is of his good mis circumvenit. And wol nought yive, he shall nought take, With yift a man may undertake The highe god to plese and queme, With yift a man the world may deme.