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The Vision Of Piers Plowman - Part 04

' Cesseth!' seide the Kyng, ' I suffre yow no lenger.
Ye shul saughtne, forsothe, and serve me bothe.
Kis hire,' quod the Kyng, 'Conscience, I hote!'
' Nay, by Crist!' quod Conscience, ' congeye me rather!
But Reson rede me therto, rather wol I deye.'
'And I comaunde thee,' quod the Kyng to Conseience thanne,
'Rape thee to ryde, and Reson that thow fecche.
Comaunde hym that he come my counseil to here,
For he shal rule my reaume and rede me the beste
Mede and of mo othere, what man shal hire wedde,

And acounte with thee, Conscience, so me Crist helpe,
How thow lernest the peple, the lered and the lewed!'
'I am fayn of that foreward,' seide the freke thanne,
And ryt right to Reson and rouneth in his ere,
And seide hym as the Kyng seide, and sithen took his leve.
'I shal arraye me to ryde,' quod Reson,-reste thee a while,'
And called Caton his knave, curteis of speche,
And also Tomme Trewe-tonge-tel-me-no-tales
Ne lesynge-to-laughen-of-for-I-loved-hem-nevere.
' Set my sadel upon Suffre-til-I-se-my-tyme,
And lat warroke hym wel with witty-wordes gerthes.
Hange on hym the hevy brydel to holde his heed lowe,
For he wol make ''wehee'' twies er he be there.'
Thanne Conscience on his capul caireth forth faste,
And Reson with hym ryt, rownynge togideres
Whiche maistries Mede maketh on this erthe.
Oon Waryn Wisdom and Witty his fere
Folwed hem faste, for thei hadde to doone
In th'Eseheker and in the Chauncerye, to ben descharged of thynges,
And riden faste for Reson sholde rede hem the beste
For to save hem for silver from shame and from harmes.
A[c] Conscience knew hem wel, thei loved coveitise,
And bad Reson ryde faste and recche of hir neither
'Ther are wiles in hire wordes, and with Mede thei dweneth -
Ther as wrathe and wranglynge is, ther wynne thei silver;
Ac there is love and leautee, thei wol noght come there
Contricio et infelicitas in viis eorum &c.
Thei ne gyveth noght of God one goose wynge
Non est timor Dei ante oculos eorum &c.
For thei wolde do moore for a dozeyne chiknes
Than for the love of Oure Lorde or alle hise leeve seintes!

Forthi, Reson, lat hem ride, tho riche by hemselve -
For Conscience knoweth hem noght, ne Crist, as I trowe.'
And thanne Reson rood faste the righte heighe gate,
As Conscience hym kenned, til thei come to the Kynge.
Curteisly the Kyng thanne com ayeins Reson,
And bitwene hymsel and his sone sette hym on benche,
And wordeden wel wisely a gret while togideres.

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