lesson writ in red since first time ran,

A hunter hunting down

the beast in



the chasing out of

its last vice,



was fashioned but

for sacrifice."






INTRODUCTION business of literature is THE of that. at different periods in our literary history. from lower to ideals to but if we words get beyond things. touched as it often has been and not always to its detriment. its sins. the presentation itself life. and realised that it is the sense of grasp fault or error that lies at the root of every forward more virile movement. from poet King of Israel to Robert Browning. they nevertheless still represent . The imagination of the Middle Ages. Other terms may be used to describe the dynamic power which has societies or individuals moved higher. in many ways and expansive than our own. all true literature resolves is into No presentation of life complete without and every master of literary art has known the it. To the Catholic Church. we see the sense of the defective character. with pagan mysticism. that there accompanied by is no real progress unless it is a sense of sin. If the sins in their mystical enu- meration no longer keep the place that they once held in Catholic theology. had a strong of this fact. or profound insight. the unrealised ideal. the problem of evil was associated with a mystical number and the succeeding pages are an endeavour . always and everywhere as the moving force. to trace the various presentations of the Seven Deadly Sins as they have been given by men of powerful im- agination.

of the criti- Catholic Mission. for cisms and suggestions. Bullen. and to the Rev." which is taken from Charles Cowden Clarke. and as to all its As this book it travels over three or four centuries of that literature. when men stood closer to the foundation facts of life. H. many valuable . and Time is among the causes which prevent the general reader from appreciating as scholars can the beauties of I William Dunbar. is written for ordinary readers who may care about English Literature and English Life. to criticism. owe the fullest thanks to Mr. will From the standpoint of pure open be grateful." I felt I very laid much as if I were robs committing us of sacrilege bar's rugged. and saw its grim and awful shadows where we only see its littleness But some of them saw the sunshine and meanness. and in the sunshine found the key problems. With The general the exception of the passage from the prologue to Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales. all the modernising is my own. but when my hands on Dun- Time many things. I have ventured here and there to modernise the ancient prose and verse.INTRODUCTION with wonderful accuracy what appear to be permanent defects in the human character. more strenuous. as well as the shadow. but magnificent. I think. A. They express the experience of simpler. poetry. Father Robert Hugh Benson. Cambridge. and in some ways wiser ages than our own. scholarship this is reader. though I owe two here and there to Professor Edward Arber's version of William Dunbar's " Dance of the a line or Seven Deadly Sins.

Ira (Wrath) (Covetousness) 4. (Pride) 2. The Seven Chief Virtues. Gula Accidia (Gluttony) 6. Humilitas (Humility) Luxuria Invidia (Lechery) Castitas (Chastity) 3. But there are two spacious things. and traced fountains. 7. Walked with a staff to vast Heaven. there are that sound them Sin and Love. Eleemosyna (Bounty) Abstinentia (Abstinence) 6. it The which Yet few to measure doth more behove. kings. Patientia 5. (Sloth) 7."Philosophers have measured mountains of states and Fathomed the depths of seas. Vigilantia (Vigilance) . (Envy) 3. L 2. Caritas (Love) (Patience) 4. Avaritia 5. The Seven Deadly Sins. Superbia I." GFORGE HERBERT.

comfort the sorrowful bear wrongs patiently forgive 4* 5. To pray for the living and 7. Psalm Psalm 6 : Domlne Betiti m In furore 2. Psalm Psalm : Domine m in juror e 4. Work L To 2. To To To To To To give drink to the thirsty 3. 32 38 51 : quorum 3.The Seven Spiritual of Mercy* Work The Seven Corporal of Mercy. 4. To To To To counsel doubters 3. the sick the imprisoned the dead 6. 2. 5. The fear of God 7. Counsel 3. 6. Wisdom Understanding 1. : Miserere Mei Dens Knowledge Piety Psalm 102 Psalm 130 : Domine Exaudi 6. : De Projitndis 7. 6. convert sinners instruct the ignorant 1. To feed the hungry To 2. The Seven Penitential Psalms. Psalm 143 : Domine Exaudi . clothe the naked shelter the homeless visit 4. 1. bury the dead The Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost. enemies visit y. Fortitude 5. 5.

but it is without either in the religious or moral significance until a we meet it Hebrew Scriptures. symbolic. and Alexander Cruden.THE SEVEN DEADLY CHAPTER The all I. this is its first divinity or perfection". is getteth nor begotten. says quaintly of the number." says the Buddh- INnumber seven is chief among sacred or numbers." As in the Hebrew Scripture. writing in 1624. "is the representative of the great seven-stringed world-lyre. but a change has over it which. "Man. say "has seven material souls" "man." Every quality. says. It is still mystical ber there. "It neither beenvironment. . ancient religions and philosophies alike the mystical the Chinese sacred books. ist philosopher. "It is also used in Scripture as a number of perfection. and sometimes a haunting charm. SINS. Sins and the Church. if passed it has cast no on the why and wherefore of its light mysticism. or material seems to have been ascribed to the mystical number seven in ancient literature. it did not possess in its earlier num- William Ingpen. has nevertheless given it a dignity." . so in the doctrine and ritual of Church we may trace the influence of the mystic seven and the form in which it stamped the Christian .

Pride. could have given form and substance to those mysterious cancers of the soul. Avarice. The sins are. though not. 354-430). Given a conviction of their reality. it will be seen that they relate to opinion or beentirely to life and character. It is possible for such an enumeration to have had a purely literary or imaginative origin.2 itself THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS most deeply upon the religious imagination of the Western World was that of the Seven Deadly Sins. or layman. upon sin are clear and definite enough. and poetic inspiration for more than a thousand years. The utterances of St. philosopher. Envy. and have been . Gluttony. and incorporated with its doctrines. the Seven Deadly Sins represent the vices which from the beginning of time have made havoc of the noblest aspirations of hu- manity. with imagination and a keen sense of the paradoxes of life. Augustine (A. not lief. Lust. but to which any human being may be subject. of course. Whether ecclesiastical. and regarding them from a purely ethical standpoint. and that any self-respecting pagan might have regarded them as deadly. They are not "church-made" sins. and none dramatists knew who have found this better than the poets and in them a well-spring of moral. or their mystical enumeration is of Christian or Pagan origin. Whatever its origin. as a witness on man's side to God's revelation of righteousness. Anger. religious. and Sloth. in the same sense as the Catholic Church. whether priest. and any man.D. and to have been accepted by the church. they represent the defects of nature over which man has control. it is not possible to say with any certainty.

which were specially named in the canons. and by as their Catholic theologians generally. renewal of man's nature by the grace of Jesus Christ." his own soul . word. "But they who think being deadly. and quotes from Fathers meant. of venial and mortal does not." that the Fathers of the Church tionary (ed." "It is the death of the soul to away from God. those sins which deprive us of grace. however. and some of call To venial. not as we do. against the law of God. or dealing with this theme. 1903) says used the terms venial and mortal sin in a different sense to that of later theologians.THE adopted by St. and does not therefore admit that one who is in friend- . and which subjected anyone who was guilty of them to canonical penalties. and synodical decrees. and the definition of sins mortal or venial as given by the Catholic Church to-day is much more logical and The Church affirms that justification is a complete. for by almsgiving. atoned that all other sins are yet have no doubt of three being deadly." life." Development of doctrine has always been a principle of the Catholic faith. Scannell's Catholic Dicunchastity. if it sins it dies. until they be healed by a greater humility of penance idolatry. "Let each look to deed. SINS AND THE CHURCH 3 Thomas Aquinas. and murder. but sins of an agPetavius: "The gravated character." sins as The great Bishop and Saint in his definition sins. sin is the death of the fall soul. and such as require to be punished by excommunication. give seven but three. foundation principles in "Any thought. "some which we these they opposed the sins of daily of which we call mortal.

not even the most holy. unless being so. guilty of acts which will place him If then a soul is justi- implies a passage from death unto life. the grace of Apostle Paul. says. God within the soul. it This teaches. verse 21). 5. chap. whether mortal in the carnal appetites. and some being venial some being of the body and some of the soul. A deliberate re. it follows that sins are obviously of different magnitude and character.4 ship with in fied. which grace. in itself to mortal and venial sins is therefore good in with experience. while other In the same way there offences strain and weaken it. its rejection came from sins which found their origin But all sin. was accorded to the Blessed Virgin. The The distinction between logic. There ship and the friendship committed between friends that are offences be may sufficient to destroy friendship entirely. and commends harmony common sense. recognise in accordance with Scripture that none. The first strike at the very founda- . are sins that destroy. can escape or avoid sin entirely. jection of faith springing as a spiritual sin it usually does from pride. who do such of certain sins. or venial. by a special grace of God. from Nevertheless it does not fail to sin unto holiness. A close analogy is apparent between human friendof the soul with God. would be regarded as capital which is The same would be true if the cause of or deadly. and others that weaken. "they speaking enter into the kingdom of God" (Galcannot things atians. that THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS God is danger of eternal death. some being in their nature mortal. or deadly. tends to separate the soul from God.

however. may really fall c . though they may dispose to. and those who are of it have lost every principle of vitality. unless they reach it. On such a tremendous subject. utterly destroy grace and charity. is no act of the will. have to be taken into account. does not it is difficult to show there is sin. Final impenitence is an unpardonable sin. Mortal sin is. on the contrary. if He will. there the sin itself. but the power of God is without limit. Catholic scholars have always allowed that absolute decisions as to particular sins sins must often be difficult. make the dead soul hear His voice and live. as well as the evil wrought by Where there is no deliberation. irreparable. since the grace remains by which it may be cured. differing from either lighter in their matter being or or lacking knowledge deliberation in their doing. as is also His mercy. and by accumulation create mortal sin. On the other hand. is not its death. The acts of the will and the extent to which they can be classed with deadly in them however have been influenced by deliberation. Venial sins. Man away from God by mischance. and cause the death of the soul The last. like theft. and logically it would appear act an by that any grave sin acted with deliberate intention must be classed as mortal. disease of the soul. and where there is no act of the will. destroy Venial sin is a the friendship of the soul with God. and He can. but only of the will. but of God from within.THE tions of SINS AND THE CHURCH 5 moral and spiritual life. a sin of undoubted magnitude. and guilty No power of renewal can come are spiritually dead. do not.

In one Testament sermons. lutions whole ages pass away. "seven times a day will I praise thee* but what is said in another place.* where he is discussing the creation of the world. and afterwards have . His praise shall always be in my ' mouth?'" In the " City of God. of it sufficient is magnitude to have condeadly when A sequences far-reaching and large. and of the number seven. carelessness.6 THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS have very small moral results. and is the result of It is venial sin when its a deliberate act of the will. one being six times repeated not that God was tied to time. and 5 says . that the In such revosame revolution may be continued. and yet there is no What then is departure from the number seven. consequences are small when it is not the result of intention. because in seven days the is revolution of time completed. or foolishness. . and when the seventh day is ended. it returneth to the first again. St. but has much to say of mystical numbers. but of weakness. and the symbol of of his is New all time. while smaller sins by accumulation may destroy the soul. he gives a much fuller development of his ideas in regard to mystical numbers. he says: "Seven then usually put for a whole. Augustine has little to say of the Seven Deadly Sins. these were performed in six days because of the perfection of the number six. and : "And could not have created all at once. just as a sufficient number of pin pricks in the veins and arteries would sin therefore is cause the body to bleed to death. He regards it as a especially sacred number.

The day that had no rest. the parts exceed it. in nine. three the But one. Nor was it said in vain of God's works. xi. two and three. four the third. and three the third part.) "But on the seventh day. two. all which conjoined are six. that is This by number made of the con(as of the did God and in this make junction parts: perfect all His works. yet is no just part of it: one the ninth part. the way now despised. and the six. God would not sanctify in His works but in . the seventh repe1 tition of the first also in day (which number has perfection another kind). two the fifth. the third. three. So four is a part of ten. but no just part: one the tenth part. but eight only. a third. as a half. make As for the number not up full ten. make above first I twelve. but because that number signified the perfection of the work for : six is the first number that is filled by conjunction of the parts. Parts in numbers are those that may be described of how many they is are. God rested. Wherefore this number is not to be to prove the perfection of the six. and five the second. that is. yet these three parts. but has the esteem apparently confirmed by many places of Scripture. and the half: which is one. and so forth. 'Thou madest all things in number. the sixth.THE SINS AND THE CHURCH 7 bound the motions to time's congruence. and two the sixth. said). and gave the first rule of sanctification therein. (Wisd. four. and five. twelfth part. six the second. two. a fourth. is For there is one the of twelve. are far from making nine But four being the whole. weight and measure. But these two parts. one and three. even. fourth. one. namely sixteen.

. he shall rise again/ is . Let this be sufficient ters of weight admonition. rest. we be thought neglecand measure. and these two make seven.) of tribulation." "universally. all upon number. knowledge. that which is in part This makes us search the ScripBut the holy angels (unto whose tures so laboriously. my small fore lest we than to respect others' edification. xxiv. but (Prov. glorious congregation our toilsome pilgrimage casts a long look). wholly odd. 1 6. in the part of it was labour therefore we labour. so have but when perfection shall be abolished. in this : perfection is rest. and rise again. and then in itself. and I fear shall be held rather to take occasion to show skill. For there 1 could say I much 5 but this volume grows big.' that is.8 THE SEVEN DEADLY Is SINS none of His works.' the same he His praise shall be always in my had said before c : mouth/ has. drawing him to humility. but being considered first in God. is come. because we know as yet but in part.) Again. (This is not meant of iniquity. 'How oftsoever he fall. c Seven times a day will I praise thee." Therefore is the called oftentimes by this number. to Many prove the such places as these the Scripture number of seven to be often used for "all. as they have eternal permanence. will produce a day's Of the and an even's. He shall teach us all truth/ There God's wherein we rest in God: in this whole. of c Holy is Spirit whom Christ said. Theremust have a care of gravity and moderation. The just shall fall seven times a day. perfection of seven. running which c therefore oftentimes put for all as here. and four wholly even. that three is the first number.

R B IA. (Aftci >tf Vos) [Page : . PRIDE.S VP JE.

but we must go deeper than that statement will take us. pure. Gloominess. Henry Sidgwick's. Hope. The ingenuity and plausibility of the theory make its accuracy doubtful. Temperance. be- cause monasteries were peopled with human beings. especially when there is little evidence either in the writings of Augustine or out of them to support it. inasmuch as the sins are variously stated in the early theological writers. because their spiritual. Envy. The Seven Deadly of Prof. Patience. and that this determined the ground plan of systematic ethics for subsequent ecclesiastical writers generally. In antithesis to the list of virtues an enumeration of the chief deadly sins obtained currency. at first They were but a preference for mystical numbers "characteristic of medieval theologians" reas eight. helping us without trouble. Love. though some . more than convincing. and free motions are without labour. reckoned duced them to seven. Sidgwick urges also that. a study of the list as a whole "shows them to represent the moral experience of the monastic life. which are Humility. and Languid Indifference. and happy rest in God. and include.. Justice.THE SINS AND THE CHURCH 9 they easy knowledge. represented the moral experience of monastic They life. and Vigilance. Bounty. that the chief virtues were ingenious the result of a combination made by St. the majority of whom were not saints. Vain-Glory. Temperance. Chastity. and Courage of the Christian graces Faith. and Charity. Augustine It is a conjecture of the four pagan virtues enumerated by Plato with Prudence." Very probably they did." Sins have their opposltes in the Seven chief Virtues.

But the sins stood just as well for the moral experience of the world outside. are also Egyptians. is a question ." The classification In the in the East. Origen regards the nations whom the chil- The Dean dren of Israel were to overcome in Palestine as types of the sins which occupy the souls of man . of Christ Church (Bampton Lectures. on the other hand. Present-day writers on occult subjects. 1895)5 points out "how very powerful the influence of the mystical method of interpretation was upon the systematisation of moral ideas. or dwellers in Egypt. with its religion of mystery. that influence succeeded in interpreting so powerfully shaping the Imagination of the Christian whence the Why world for something over ten centuries. Influence of mystical methods of place came. and It form comes Other writers to whom doing their part in the final classification of the sins. a religion in which magic and mystical numbers played no inconsiderable part. earliest method of the which it finally assumed Is from the Egyptian desert. who attach significance and value to mystical numbers. that still awaits an answer. A similar account may be given of the origin of the classification of deadly It seems to have been developed by the monks sins* of the Egyptian desert on the basis of this method of exegesis. claim that the sins came into the Church when faith. he refers as so that the balance of evidence to point to from all sources seems as the Egypt.10 of THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS them no doubt honestly tried to be. Christianity was in touch with a more ancient and find their origin in the religion of ancient Egypt.

It is difficult to say with certainty when these England. But there fine casionally sins no genius. as the virtues often were. Catherine in the year IIOQ. however. they did not avail themselves to any great extent. and were never in any danger of becoming mere abstractions.CHAPTER The Shu and II. and it was the thirteenth century. become conventional and common- As impersonations the more striking than the virtues. though there is ocimagination. and both is and virtues to when we meet them sins are in religious drama tend place. and found their place when . the doctrines of the Catholic faith. but then they were always much closer to the facts of life. by dramatic representation. they are an intensely of our valuable branch literaand ancient interesting ture. but Matthew Paris mentions the performance of a miracle play on were first performed in the life of St. written in the language of the in when they were first common their great influence began. among them. and aiming as they did to teach. that they often always did in the place of the sermon. Religious Drama. TO plays replete the writers of religious plays the sins were of which. with dramatic possibilities. They naturally made excellent dramatic contrasts to the virtues. Standing as people.

and that every person that disturbed the same. record facts concerning their authorship : The Whitsun Plays were first made by Don Randle Heggenet. before he could them in the English tongue. it said The clerk: Wilham proclamation for Whitsun Plays. Harl. sometime a monk of the Monastery of Chester. In the Chester Plays (1477). 2124. made by William Newall. there is good sermonnot however the three ising on three deadly sins . such as Temperance. 2013. who was thrice at Rome. Augustine. referred to by St.I 2 THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS as well as comedy was required and evil was a cause of mirth. than by letting them in their naked hldeousness preach for themselves. and more was done with the sins by preaching about them. but . Snead. Righteousness. when the play concerned Itself with deeper themes. in the year of our Lord. For as much as in old time. and Judgment to come. to be accursed by the same Pope until such time as they be absolved thereof. But on the whole the writers of these plays were preachers with a didactic or a religious purpose rather than dramatic artists. and to exhort the minds of com- mon people to good devotion and wholesome doctrine thereof. The following intro- ductory passages (dated 1628). On is the : first leaf of another MS. obtained of Pope Clemens a thousand days of pardon for every person that resorted peaceably to see the same plays. Nicholas the Fifth then was Pope. by the citiPlays zens of Chester in Whitsun week. not only for the augmentation and increase of the Holy and Catholic Faith of our Saviour Jesus Christ. were played openly in pageants. obtain leave of the Pope to have The Whitsun 1477Sir Heniy Ffrancis.. Monk of Chester Abbey. second year mayor. on the cover of MS. Harl..

used and performed the same accordingly. beginning with the Creation. by John Arnway. a play. with apparrel comely. may in said Pope Clement's such times as he. which plays to the honour of God. and ending with the general judgment of the world. plays from Henry Francis. was devised and made by our dissolved. be absolved thereof. who " of custom old the fall of Lucifer did set out/' are exhorted to a careful rendering of the text. or persons. The tanners. " drapers is given the "Creation of the World. and a proper dressing of the characters. and influence are both concisely expressed in these introductory Sir John Arnway remarks on the two manuscripts. with good devotion to hear and see the said time to time as oft as they shall be played in the said city. was Mayor of Chester period plays. of pardon granted from thenceforth to every person resortSir Who And any wise be accused by the authority of the bulls until that every person. or they. which hither unto. sometime monk of this monastery obtained and got of Clement.THE also for the SINS AND RELIGIOUS DRAMA I 3 commonwealth and prosperity of this city. set it To the D . and declaration of divers stories of the Bible. and this the approximate date of the instruction to the various There a rhymed : they simple. and its position. in may be taken is as 1327 and 1328. The Chester Plays are excellent specimens of pop- ular religious drama. and fall of Lucifer. and to let their show trades as to the particular episode of the story have to set forth often delightfully which be Good speech. declared of the craftsmen and occupations of the said city. from time to time. fine players. to be brought forth. then Mayor of this City of Chester. and and fine full of humour religious feeling. 1000 days ing in peaceable manner. disturbing the said plays. and they are bidden "according to your wealth. Bishop of Rome. to be declared and played in the Whitsun week. and his brethren and the whole commonality were devised and played at the cost and charges thereof.

the author had to stand upon. the most charming verse in the whole of the " Banes ": The To appearing angel. and set it the cappers and linen drapers. perhaps. You painters and glasiers. of base and low degree. we find the sermon on the three sins. and Hell. Few For words all in that pageant make mirth truly." plays were performed by the various companies in various parts of the city. and star on Christ's birth shepherds poor." have. and "that worthy story of Balaam and his Balak the King. the World. The In the play of the "Temptation/ performed by the Guild of the Butchers. with (there can be no doubt) a double. with good players in shew/ have the "Birth of Christ" to present. by the aid of pageant on a and movable wagons stage. Satan. and of out lively. deck out with all mirth." and "Peace on Earth to Man. ass. who have to present the "Angels' Annunciation of the Nativity." enters and soliloquises about the mystery 5 which surrounds the person of Christ. and resolves to overcome Him. "the devil in his feathers. And see that " Gloria in Excelsis " be sung merrily." to the "good simple water leaders 53 and drawers of Dee is committed the pageant of the " " Flood the Wax Chandlers of ancient time have the ." and are exhorted to Make the ass speak. story of Abraham. wrights and slaters. and are to "bring forth your well-decked carriage" and 5 The " . the painters and glasiers. all ragged and rent. and occasionally a triple division in them to represent Heaven.14 THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS out wealthily. to Was "Glory God on High. and to make Him subject to himself: .

THE SINS AND RELIGIOUS DRAMA and master man is world hath come ? I I 5 What great in the this Who And His mother that wot did never amiss. My For If He putteth behind Him fault I none can find He be God in mannes kind Highness aye in . . none. Nor knew I ever one before So clean of conversation. 5 My It does fail. but forcible and dramatic scene Satan is duly routed as in the New Testament He and then enters the "Expositor. Avarice none nor In Envy Him could I espy. and beautifully given in a lengthy. the points of the story to those who may have missed them. the sinful sin doth Among He . is He hath no gold in treasury. Neither -by day nor night. Nor tempted Pride hath by sight. explains story. He is a man from foot to crown. but which Christ repelled. The episode of the temptation is simply . now marvailes me. Nor liking He none nor Gluttony." resembles the chorus of the classical plays. He of Lechery : His mouth I never heard to lie. And wiser than ever man was. And purer He than any one He seems to be of blood and bone. and preaches his sermon on the three sins which proved deadly to Adam. Gotten without corruption . craft then fully fails.

Was Also Christ in these sins three tempted as you well might see. Adam was When Xhe And tempted to Gluttony of the fruit falsely "When sought he him Devil made him to eat. express Sins not only with riches When Know But And And in desiring haughtiness highest place unlawfully state unskilfully. he het him to be wise. St.I 6 THE SEVEN DEADLY Expositor. For in Gluttony. Gluttony and Vain-Glory are two. He moved Him as you saw here When he enticed Him through His rede To turn the stones into bread And so to prove His Godhead. yea that also By these three things withouten moe. good and ill at his devise More than he was worthy. When he excited Him down to go The pinnacle of the Temple froe 3 An unskilful gate. Since Adam overcome he was ! Lo By three things to do evil. Covetousness. God's righteousness. In Vayne-Glory he tempted also. Christ overcame the Devil. tempted he was to Vain-Glory To He great mastery have godhead unworthily Through eating of that meat. Gregory saith. Gregory so makes mind express. SINS lordlings. tempted was to Avarice. For Covetousness. Of which He was in fear. believe you me. .

: Humility Pity alack Is exiled may ! not reign nor yet endure that is flower and helper where Pride hath succour. In the "Conversion of Digby Mysteries. . there a dull one) is Paul. there be Seven Mortal Sins Which are proved principal and princes of poisons. For His meek mercy that we do not fail. Well-beloved friends. both there through great estate.THE And And And SINS AND RELIGIOUS DRAMA He tempted was. who its and his sermon brings the play to The Lord that is shaper And hath wrought with His word is called Saulus. Furnivall says St. may. good Lord. and he puts 1 540 as their probable date. As Holy Scripture beareth plain witness. of sea and land all things at His will. Him such riches more and less. IJ in Covetousness When he shewed het Him lands. The preacher is the Apostle Paul. But Adam fell through his trespass. Pride. Thy And send me such speech that pleasure to fulfil I the truth if I say. on the Seven Deadly Sins. conclusion. that of bitterness all bale begins. Witholding feedeth and foysonnes." a play from the a sermon (Dr. all faith it That often destroyeth both most and least. My intentions profitable to move. Save this assembly that here sits or stands. The Digby edited by him for the Early English were Mysteries Text Society. Grant me. But Christ withstood him through His For of His Godhead Sathanas That time was clean deceived. vices Of all and folly Pride is the root . grace. Inltium omnium peccatorum mperbia est.

for Bear thee never the higher thy degree. In the "Castle of Perseverance" (A. Vanity and Vain-Glory. For Pride and his progeny meekness confounds ^uanto malor a. when it . tanto bumUla te in omnibus . Exit out of thy sight Gluttony and Lechery. A. Envy. Wrath. W. It is a Furnivall and Mr. of a feeble type. play of manuscript till 1904. Rest to souls Dhclte a me. though it must be confessed they are. and Sluggishness. 1425). but it remained in was published by the Early English Text Society. Learn of Myself am meek in heart. Our Lord to His servants thus He saith. J. For meekness I suffered a spear in My heart Meekness all . Him sum y qma mitis corde bumtlts. as Thou bidst to fulfil ever. Covetousness. The greater thou art the lower look thou be. in this latter "The Castle of Persecapacity. vices annuleth shall find and delaycth in faith et : . Thy word. . Through grace of His goodness meekly He stands Truly it will save us from the sins sickness. verance" has been long known as an exceedingly fine specimen of the old morality play. the Sins appear not only as tempters but as warriors too. But dread alway Sin and Folly. . and bale for I is his boot. and false Idleness : These he the branches of all wickedness Who that in him these vices root : He lacketh all grace.D. and edited by Dr.1 8 THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS Good Lord give us grace to understand and Omnis qm se exaltai hunuhabttur y persever. Et invemetls requiem animabus vestns. F. Pollard. So our Saviour showeth example of meekness.

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And God hath given man free arbitration. There is no attempt at characterisation they are names and nothing more." He till sire remains bound to the pleasures of his lower nature he reaches "forty wynters old. of its him is treasures to the full. follow the so is World and driven taries doing of the three lower powers home the Sins. and. Whoso With will be false and covetous. Whether he will himself save. We have And I if I eaten garlic everyone. or his soul peril. He is worthy to be servant here. and the moral of his vigorously even by the vo. wot I shall not go alone.20 THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS The good angel coveteth evermore man's salvation. and the Devil beset him with their snares. Relief comes to him through contrition and penance. Mankind is young . he enters the "Castle of Perseverance'' to . The bad beseteth him evermore to his damnation. the World. the Sins Seven have ministered to his fleshly pleasures and vices." and then a deThe World has given for amendment comes. and chief among the Devil's henchmen are the Seven Deadly Sins. and by their advice he resolves to amend his past errors. the Flesh. shall this world he have land and house . That draweth to sins seven. but there no satisfaction in his soul. Pleasure saying Whoso will with folly ruled be. should to Hell now go. forsaking the Seven Sins for the Seven Virtues. This world's wisdom careth not a louse For God or for high Heaven. but Mankind chooses to .

of the play a rude sketch or plan which appears the performance took. it is meant to be whole-hearted and real. there. and wrath of the His penitence is not a shallow thing." At the four about. Sin them hast mankind destroyed ." and the endeavour of the Seven Sins under the direction of the Bad Angel to dislodge him therefrom. Mercy ! God of omnipotent.THE the joy of his Angel of 111. and let nothing points of E . and the open ground with perhaps the kind of simple scenic accessaries that may occabe seen in the booths of an old-fashioned sionally country fair helped out the imagination of the audience. There is in the MS. "This if to indicate the spectacular circular ditch form which A is any ditch may be made else that it be strongly barred over is depicted the water about the place. SINS AND RELIGIOUS DRAMA to the 21 Good Angel. Earth. my life is spent . Out upon In deadly thee. deadly sin sin . but it is not lasting. The entrenchment Mankind in the " Castle of Perseverance. If thou wilt to Heaven win keep from thee worldly distance. must have led to some stage effects that were highly realistic according to the dramatic standards which then And existed. Go to yon castle and keep therein For it is stronger than any in France. The pageant wagon with its three divisions for Heaven. of which it is said. it shall be played or all many stiles be within. and Hell was sometimes unequal to the task imposed on it.

he in no wise dwell. but is certain of ultimate victory. doth Mankind from folly fall. of Heaven Empress. who in no way fears the Virtues. the World. is a scaffold for Covetousness. begins and ends. now . the kings three . To the World the Flesh and the Devil of Hell The Seven Sins. lying between east Belial. North-east. Mankind is safe. and the Devil and the Flesh north and south. at his deliverance Now Now blessed be our lady. the bed of Mankind on which. the Flesh. And is in the castle of Goodness He haunteth now Heaven's hall. or anything they can do. centre of the circle in which Mankind is the "Castle of Perseverance. the Sins cannot harm him except he gives them power to do so. God and the World standing Dens and and west. castle for to break. To Mankind hath enmity Sharply shall they This help me. now that his repentance has led him from and beneath the presumably. and the Devil. .22 THE SEVEN DEADLY >J SINS the compass are the a skaffolds on which appear God. who has an important and final part to play when the battle In the between the Sins and the Virtues is over. In response to her song of joy comes the defiance of the Bad Angel. He shall be won from holy ways. his castle life is his evil ways . and Within the castle Humility bursts forth into song from the evil powers. Nay by ! There shall Belial's bright bones." entrenches himself with the Virtues.

and the Bad Angel has good reason to complain of the quality of his army. an excellent lieu- upon the Flesh and the World to recapture Mankind. Backbiter calls is. Bid the World. Ho Flibbertigibbet run and haste. It is preceded tenant. the Fiend. Blithe about you look you bear Our message ! See Mankind ! his sins doth forsake. It is fresh. but the Virtues respond with roses. blue. The battle between the Sins and the Virtues is a fine dramatic episode.THE SINS AND RELIGIOUS ! DRAMA ! 23 Ho I Flibbertigibbet Backbiter look you make. and by a tirade of abuse hurled by the Sins against their amiable and highly respectable opponents. beat them black and the field. But rally they are poor creatures in themselves. and the to his standard at once. the Flesh. The Sins hurl filth. One Sin still nestles in the heart of Mankind. are often identical. poetic touches in the incident. and the fragrant missiles when they fall on the Bad Angel and his deadly army. and they retire discomfited from only for a time. and eventually draws him from his It Is . and a very little alteration indeed would make the dialogue resemble a slanging match between a band of irate women in the slums of Whitechapel to-day. That they come to fighting To win again Mankind. There are. however. and differs in no way in essentials from Even the terms Billinsgate of the present day. however. The abuse is medieval Billinsgate. clear he has all Seven Deadly Sins the qualities of leader.

at his greatest is a man need. returns to the world. When thou art dead and in the earth lie under. except for a quaint touch here and there. 5 THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS Time has cooled the heats of youth and and the Sins which haunt life's beginning passion have less power with later years. and no farther attacks But there still reare openly made upon the castle. of one thing have I wonder. Industry urges that wealth nothing when death draws nigh. Mankind : who has now no castle longer grace to stay within the walls of the holds parley with Covetousness Covetousness. Mankind win their battle. ? My I crawl and creep and wax all cold. . and the Sins finally The Virtues do their best to per- suade. but. Abstinence tells him is This world It fails like a three-legged stool. and Byron shared it when he wrote : So for a good old-gentlemanly vice I think I must take up with avarice. whither should I wend ? What way wouldest thou I should hold ? To place wouldest thou me send I begin to wax hoary and cold : back begin neth to bow and bend: what . Thou takest not in time to mend When body and soul are parted in sunder No worldly good shall with thee wend.24 stronghold. it must be confessed that their arguments are tedious. sin was an ordinary vice of age. It was an old belief that this mains Covetousness. As age creeps nearer. and wonders castle at his resolve to leave the Mankind. .

Mankind saith he hath never enowe. but without effect . mercy. and the Good Angel disputes his claim. and excellently well it is done. but his rhyme is unprintable. and the Bad Angel laugh at him with bitter mirth. and let go forth the queans cackle. help in riches or great array ? It flyeth away like any snow ? after thy ending day. When What Anon he is closed in grasp of death. and Justice. and the of a sad pathetic irony until the end is play is full Death comes. and he sinks lifeless on the bed beneath the castle. . With the modern dramatist death must end but it all. knows it. Till his mouth be full of clay.THE SINS AND RELIGIOUS DRAMA 25 Generosity has her exhortation also. and pleads against Covetousness. and Mankind realises the reached. soul of man comes forth from the body and asks The Bad Angel claims the soul and says it must go with him to Hell. Truth. The dialogue ends with a scornful and unclean outHe is victor and burst on the part of the Bad Angel. The did not with the writers of the religious plays. Where women are. All his worldly He goods are taken from him and given to a youth. Then begins a long discussion between Mercy." The World. truth of what the Virtues have said. the Flesh. and he spits out foulness at the Virtues. Righteousness. whose name is " I know not who. and bears off Mankind Ba ! captive once more. It is a discussion of the schoolmen brought down to the level of a popular audience. are many words : Let them go hopping with their hackle ! rhymes.

the Jews preferred Christ esyl and gall on the God granted that remission . much after the manner of a modern judge. To with strict no man should be said "nay." skill Justice argues against logic. takes time to consider. He says. Mercy and Absolution. As he hath brewed let him drink. a death-bed repentance is a worthless thing. but Pity plead for his forgiveness. Mercy and problem which is not of God.26 THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS Mercy When hears the cry of the soul. and if He can find cause for mercy He will He does. God hears the argument. But take Mercy whoso will. Through virtue of His passion. that ManSome factor is in the kind should suffer for ever. but His . . to condemn Mankind to perpetual torment. It could not have been God's ordinance. The Sins are the false element not of His creation. It is not His wish. and. but the evidence of evil-doing is beyond dispute. and Mankind has not sought Mercy in life. Mercy with much and She admits the force of her sister's argument. Then let him lie in Hell and stink. The Devil shall quit him his meed. He must ask with love and dread And every man that will fulfil The deadly sins and follow misdeeds. Good Friday. ye saith with good That Mercy passeth man's misdeeds. skill Sister. and offers no guarantee of a good life. and pleads for it for Christ's sake. they argue. Truth and Justice demand Mankind's damnation.

set here by My Then conies the turn of the Bad Angel. the hungry to give meat. and Justice orders Go thou to Hell devil as bold as a bell. commanded him to release Mankind. bad on the left side there shall I set. beginning ! Ever at the Think on your last ending. In bliss with games and glee. Thou Therein In brass and brimstone to boil. but he All through beaten now. saying that The The The good on the right side shall stand full sure. And the play ends with the lines Thus endeth our games. dealing frankly with facts of life which are sation . To Or thy neighbour that hath need bliss shall Heaven's be his meed. Laudamus " In dramatic construction crude. is the play he has been victorious. to dwell. Quaintly and in childforgiveness will destroy like fashion He bids His daughters four. Or drink to the thirsty. Te Deum. "take Mankind/ 5 5 Bring him to Me And knee. The poor or the pilgrim home to take. In heaven to be. seven deeds of mercy whoso hath done. and in characteriweak. To save you from sinning.THE SINS AND RELIGIOUS DRAMA 2J them. God then delivers a final homily in New Testament language. Peace 3 Justice 5 Truth and Mercy. or to the naked vesture.

which grip and hold the imagination. r . and has those qualities. between good and evil. nothing that happened to men and women was too small to be ignored. but real and permanent. In the broad and sweeping survey of life which the authors of such plays took. and Nature to these men had nothing that was common or unThe mimic warfare on the stage betw een the clean. between base ideals and noble. and in their actual relations to each other. Sins and Virtues typified the eternal warfare which goes on in the heart of man. the SINS " Castle of Perseverance" Is nevertheless an intensely human play. An honest effort was made to see the facts of life in their true perspective.28 veiled on the THE SEVEN DEADLY modern stage. indefinable. the senses and the soul.

It is in this ferment. kind of medieval is as Carlyle. and the rest. under the leadership of Wat rising and the social wrongs and unrest of Tyler in 1381. Sloth.CHAPTER The Sins III. had to find. their proper place. The of the peasants. THERE this seems to have been a perfect passion for in fourteenth century literature. and the intellectual activity that followed after it. so Envy. he brings them together to F . and did find literary expression. and Langland gives us the first really dramatic and artistic presentation of them. The rugged " democrat who wrote the Vision of William concerning Piers the Plowman" of Thomas counterpart is a. and to allegory the Sins lent themselves readily enough it was . found in them fruitful material for character painting and for William Langland 1 3 3 2- sermonising too. 1 ( 400) John Gower (1325and Chaucer 1408). their natural environment. which these movements were symptoms. certainly stern a preacher of social he. and Social Revolt. Geoffrey (1340-1400). righteousness as Survey- and " field full of folk" he does not fail to see the ing his mischief wrought therein by the Vices of Pride. that the Seven Deadly Sins gradually occupy an important place in English literature.

seeing their sufferings. the tyranny of the nobles. did not make for that. never in- tentionally attacks any of her fundamental doctrines. withering hypocrisy words that went farther than he knew.3<3 THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS listen * to the preaching of Reason. And lay long ere she looked. he spoke burning. They are human represent. and the of the priests. though that in itself as piece of psychological analysis is fine. . and they before our eyes. and the Catholic Church. both. He preaches confession and penitence to the Sins. the influence of Reason and Conscience upon wicked lives that is the most ina teresting part of this episode. and of them. He sees in his vision Ail the wealth of the world and its woe. and lorde Mercy cried. in the B text the lattei. It Is not. however. And besought Him that us all made. and they are powerfully affected thereby and seek to be shriven. as he knew it. or Conscience. and proclaims that it is the ill use made of wealth that causes woe. *In the He saw the A text it is the former. She should unsowe her shirt. incarnations of the moral diseases they live and weep and pray and curse Personelle ? proud heart. but his path to social reform was by way of personal righteousness. and set therein an haire To tame her flesh that so fierce was to sin. His poem Is a great passionate cry of protest against corruption In Church and State. With the people. A faithful son of the Church. it is the vivid and terrible pictures of the Sins themselves. Langland. cast her to the earth.

but the fruits they bore in were prophet after times had Dead Sea apples amid their ripeness. and used by That the monarch. whom I cannot describe. The He bids the people stood a good deal of denouncing. might be taken unworthy possessor by the king. .THE SINS AND SOCIAL REVOLT 3 1 Deadly Sins everywhere. And as a bondman of his bacon his beard was bedrivelled. The entrance of Luxuria gives opportunity for Langland to denounce a popular English vice which has him. and baber lipped With his bleared eyes like a blind hag. if taken it. and with age he trembled. And as a leathern purse lolled his cheeks Wider than his chin. All torn and dirty and full of lice creeping. especially on Saturday. He him taught that wealth its from mis-used. With a hood on his head. and the fire of the in his words. for to be drunken on Saturday night is to be unfit for the duties of the following day. And in a tawny tabard coat of twelve winters' age. but poured scorn on the Pope's remedies of indulgencies and pardons. in other words to drink water. and a dirty hat above. might possibly use it for his own good in- stead of the people's never seems to have occurred to passion of the preacher. who work to dine but once and to drink with the duck. He was beetle-browed. having for the people's good. So hungry and hollow-eyed he looked. description of Avarice is the most powerful piece of character painting in the poem The Then came Coveytise. and sours and bitters mingle with their sweets. Not less hideous is the description of Sloth . and put right living before outward forms and sacraments.

and only because the goodness of his nature leads him to symHe is on the side pathise with suffering everywhere. of the respectabilities. alike in his books and his life. not the least that ever was made. cultured. But our Lord or our Lady." . or Sir Bevis of Southampton. kind-hearted and wealthy. "and haste thee to shrifte. and of upright life. never from the beaten strays sermons. and he rendered a service to English literature which has been permanent." " If I should die this day I list not to look. Devout. inasmuch as he was the first writer of stories and earnest sincerity in his in the English tongue. I nor without a stool kneel. John Gower represented. His moral aims were of the highest order there is often a deep ." ! " slymy eyes . George on hoiseback. and Randolf Earl of Chester ." may not stand nor stoop "What ! awake man " cried Repentance. can rhyme of Robin Hood. I I know not my paternoster as the priest he it singeth . 1 have I made vows forty and forgot them : in the morn : : have performed no penance as the priest me told Right sorry for rny sins yet was I never If I tell any beads it is but in wrath. words. And what I tell with rny tongue is two miles from my heart."* It is John Gower's misfortune that his poetry is the most tedious in the English language. and with a strong natural bias in favour of the established order of things. quoth this man.32 Then came " I must Slothe THE SEVEN DEADLY all SINS beslabred with the or else I should sleep. and the first creator of these so dear to "moral tales" which have since become English domestic circles. He *Compare Banyan's town "two miles off from honesty" and the passage in his "Give me a ballad or a newsbook. all that was solid and all that was slow-going in the English character. oppressed peasantry to a sympathises with the very limited extent. sit.


country gentleman honestly facing the problem of a social The peasant's revolt under Wat Tyler revolution. edifying or otherwise. but Tyler seems to have had some of the qualities of a leader." all 1 It is in the first and the last that he discourses on the Sins.THE SINS AND SOCIAL REVOLT 33 pathjbut ambles along it in steady and decorous fashion. and his advisers self-seeking. Gower sought them. and in the last we find this conservative Op- pressed beyond endurance. and found Langland did. the rising of the peasants might have brought about a better state of society. and a short reign of mob-law was followed by a wholesale slaughter of the revolters. no clear view of what was needed in reform. headed man. he was in close touch with it. like his followers. upon them. Latin. If there had been statesmanship in England in 1381. as for the causes of the revolt. in the selfishness of the wealthy . and the murder of Wat Tyler. The young king was profligate and treacherous. The Seven Virtues and the Seven Sins were at the foundations of find medieval moral teaching. He wrote three books in French. discoursing conventional morality the while with some eloquence and at everlasting length. and ground down by a shamelessly unjust taxation. and English " are entitled Speculum Medirespectively. and they tantis/ "Vox Clamantis. and in two of his books we much discourse. the peasantry rose in inStraw was an ill-balanced and wildsurrection. and Jack Straw spread over the greater part of the Eastern Counties and being a landed proprietor in those counties. but there was none." and "Confessio Amantis. though.

Mr. at a sale of old manuscripts belonging to Edward Hailstone. It was found by the distinguished scholar. and given to the library of his University. Writing in Latin 5 and for the educated classes. though none of them What he says about them could read his words.34 classes THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS and the corruption of the Church. deceased. ulum Meditantis" was lost for some two or three of one of centuries." The manuscript of it was discovered in 1894. in the library of Cambridge University. said " : tantis" Henry Of Gower's French poem " Speculom Medino copy can now be found. but it is pretty much what the well-to-do always say of the working That his classes when the latter assert their rights. that we could say we posThe " Specsessed Gower's works in their entirety. It was not until 1895. writing in 1888. It had been purchased in 1891. words did not miss their mark is shown by the fact that he won a more than English. Morley. On the manuscript them is a drawing showing him shooting his arrow against the world. He does not spare them in his poem. a European reputation. but not in a monastery. Some day perhaps and Prof. and was the first English writer whose books were translated into a foreign tongue. and to his intense . a manuscript of it will be discovered abroad in some quiet old monastic library. Mr. Macaulay had occasion to examine it in 1894. G. but he does not fail to point out the shortcomings of the peasants. his remedy is to recall them to the ancient ideals of the Christian faith from which they had fallen away. Macaulay. C. probably had its modicum of truth.

first may be seen in his Dr. For the young king's sake he writes wisely. and In this his final work he resolves to put aside the learned languages and write in his native tongue. And prosy and commonplace though he In it. of the value and happiness of upright living. SINS AND SOCIAL REVOLT it 35 was able to identify as the lost Gower manu- of Gower's of edition Gower was puband the works. and this may be the fact. But the old man's thoughts turned to the speech of his own people. and out of the lore of life's legend and of history he writes of the evil wrought by the Seven Deadly Sins. "Give me that there shall be less vice and more virtue for my speak" aim accurately enough and ing expresses Gower's from an ethical standpoint there could scarcely be a higher one. to write him a new book. Samuel Johnson describes him "as the of our authors who can properly be said to have written English/' and there Is no reason for demurWhen he was asked by the ring to this statement. Richard II. Gower was an at an age when a man might be excused for laying down his pen. and out of his experience. And with all his prosing they .THE delight script. It has always been assumed that the phrase of " Chaucer cc Moral Gower had a touch of kindly irony edited it He has now with the rest But It is at least commendation from the great possible it was kindly artist to the clever and high-minded friend whom he certainly respected and admired. complete In lished by the Clarendon Press 1898. In whose language he had never written yet. young king. the patriot as well as the poet verse. as he had known them. 5 be.

is booke for Englondes sake. I wolde go the middle way. Thus ere he wist. if that ye rede. In a foreste along he was .36 lose THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS But nothing of their deadllness in his hands. Fancy and imagination are not unlikely to flag when within measurable distance of his seventieth the " Confessio Amantis. into a dale . his On He sigh upon the grene" gras The faire freshe' floures spring. For thilke cause. He is episode therein So him befelle telling the story of Actaeon and Diana." and John Gower was probably 67 when he began But now and again there are pleasant passages. I thinke make A a poet year. : And for that fewe men In our Engltsshe. "for JJ the "Confessio Amantis" became a book written for He sooth it is That who that al of wisdom writ It dulleth oft a marines wit To him that shall it all day rede. That of the lasse or the more . failed him as he failed all good men. He herd among the leves singe The throstle and the nightingale. and thus describes the most important upon a tide hunting he gan ride. And write a booke between the twey Somewhat of lust. determines that he will not in his closing years be too wise or too learned. Richard II. somewhat of lore. which show that the poet's delight in nature and natural scenery had not forsaken him with his youth. and his country's sake. Some man may like of that I write endite.

wher was a litel plaine Al round aboute wel beseine With bushes grene and cedres high^ And there within he cast his eye. Full loth were such he was yprove'd often sithe*s . Benign he was. But rather would he given out of doubt Unto his poor parishens about Of his offering. so narrative . nought for no rain nor thunder. . In which Diana naked stoode To bathe and play her in the flood. and houses far asunder. him to cursen for his tithe's . is He has no power of character-drawing. In Chaucer's Sins Canterbury Tales" the Seven Deadly form the subject of the Parson's story. Amid the plaine he saw a welle So faire there might no man telle. he was of holy thought and work . left . And And in adversity full patient. tion numerous in our modern poetry and fiction. That was But rich He a poore Parson of a town. : " the man who is thus described A good man their was of religion. a Clerk . and wonder diligent. And ever his chere is sobre and softe. art of but the following couplet from his descripof a hypocrite would fit very well on to the descriptions of oily and smooth-spoken frauds. was also a learned man. That Christes gospel truly would preach His panshens devoutly would he teach . he with a complete mastery of the only a story-teller. and eke of his substance He could in little thing have suffisance. Wide was But he ne his parish.THE SINS AND SOCIAL REVOLT 37 He came. And where he goeth he blesseth oft. or sermon.

was his business . is a lewed man to rust . But To By in his teaching discreet and benign. rst That of this figure. it But were any person obstinate. and afterwards he taught. type and picture of a faithful priest for all time. good example. with a brotherhood to be withold . He waited after no pomp or reverence Ne maked him no spiced conscience : But Chnste's lore and his apostles twelve He taught. A trow there no where none is. drawen folk to heaven with fairnesse. Poule's a priest ensample for to give his cleanness how that his sheep should live. Ne of his speeche dangerous ne digne . He was to sinful men not dispitious. To Or seeken him a chantery for souls. he added yet thereto if gold ruste what should iron do ? a priest be foul on whom we trust. content to do his duty with quiet manli- . of the gospel he the wordes caught. Him would he snibben sharply for the nones . better priest I It is this man. and in his much and hand a staff: This noble ensample That Out And For to his sheep he yaf . And ran unto London unto St. So that the wolf made it not miscarry He was a shepherd and no mercenary : : And though he holy were and virtuous. And let his sheep accumbred in the mire. it if No wonder And shame is that if To see a u fouled " a priest take keep : shepherd and clean sheep Well ought By He sette not his benefice to hire. But dwelt at home and kepte well his fold. but first he followed it hirnselve. What so he were of high or low estate. he wrought.30 THE SEVEN DEADLY In sickness and in SINS mischief to visit lite The farthest in his parish Upon his feet.

But journey.THE SINS AND SOCIAL REVOLT 39 ness and find his happiness in learning and virtue. as And It is unmercifully long. for the purposes of his treatise. It is a 1 not by Chaucer. by a French friar. the afternoon shadows lengthen. and ready to pray at the shrine of a saint. and it has been full there have been ribald stories told on the way. perfect literary The pilgrims are finishing their of pleasure and of life. The Friar. and he gives them a sermon on so. but taken from a then famous treatise. and as be almost penance as well as exregarded might hortation. of their quest. thereby losing something debase mankind. Chaucer has borrowed. finds the origin of the Sins in the vision . Chaucer sets to deal with the seven evil influences whom which " " Readers of the Canterbury Tales often miss the long prose tractate at the end of the of Chaucer's Pilgrimage. and if it were like other pilgrimages there may have been some drinking too. art. but it doubtless served its purpose. and eventhe ancient city draw near. the parson is asked tide and to contribute a story. and a large section of it is devoted to a consideration of the Seven It is this part of the treatise which Deadly Sins. Frere Lourens or Laurence. and in any case the attitude of the pilbeen that of people who grims' mind could hardly have were serious. and entitled Le Somme* des Vices et des Fertues. written in the is treatise dealing in a picturesque manner with the duties and dangers of the Christian life. Actually the sermon by him year 1279 for the use of Philip the Second of France. which was to bring back their wandering minds to the object Sin and Repentance.

version are too close to leave much doubt of this. also if he flatter more than he ought for any necessity. THE SEVEN DEADLY John as described in the SINS Book of Revelation. He follows the metaphor closely. and. finds many analogies on which to hang his homilies. by the title "Remorse of ConChaucer was familiar French original. The book was translated into the Kentish dialect in the year 1340 by Dan Michel of Northgate. and in the seven heads of the beast of hell Friar Lourens beholds the Seven Deadly Sins. also when he is in health of body and will not fast when he ought to fast. . In the hands of the Parson on the Canterbury Road. it is certain he doth sin. and also when he speaketh more than needeth it is sin. though there is no other evidence. also when he hearkeneth not benignly to the complaint of the poor it is sin." or 52 probable that both the translation and its It is quite science. . also eth. The mystical number seven is greatly in evidence in the Apocalypse. the sermon is full of very illogical but very human utterances concerning sin. and Ten Crowns. worldly thing more than reason requireth. in the Ten Horns. the with points of resemblance between both of them and his of the "Ayenbite of Inwyt. also when he sleepeth more than needwhen he cometh by the same reason too late to other to Church or also if when he he he love or child wife or other may.40 of St. also if he withwill not visit if works of charity the sick and the prisoner . also . lustrating his subject he says: Defining and il"Every time a man eateth or drinketh more than sufficeth to the susten- ance of his body. without reasonable cause. and Ten Kingdoms.

the figures of speech and the allegorical illustrations are all his. roote of these Sinnes is Pride. or at God's service." The Sin of Envy follows that of Pride. also if he dresseth his meat more delicately than it need. or that he be a talker of idle words of it folly. Gluttony. however it account of at the It is Friar Lourens who its logic. and the Parson in dealing with the Sins gives some discourse on the remedy for each Sin in turn. and right are very beautiful exhortations living. Sloth. the general roote of all forasmuch harmes. There is much in the branches and his twigges. and of the comparative failure of the various sumptuary laws to regulate the extravagance. as Wrath. for he shall yield When he disday of doom. prevalent among the wealthy in Chaucer's day. The sins are described as "Chief- taines of Sins ycleped chieftaines as they The be chief. we realise that his sermon Is full of poets' English. for of this roote spring certain branches.'* courses on the Deadly Sins themselves. but It Is Chaucer who clothes came by it with words. Pride is finely described as "a swelling of the heart. and are used well by the Parson in his Envy Is described in the words . or if he talk vanities at Church." exhortation against Pride that recalls the extravagance in dress. This is Lourens. and of them sprlngeth all other sins. Among Its many definitions. or of villainy. who the end of all to virtue a departure from the treatise of Friar brings in his remedial exhortations at They tale. gives the theme. and And each of these chief Sinnes hath his Lechery.THE draw SINS AND SOCIAL REVOLT 4! or diminish the alms of the poor. Covetousness. or eat too hastily by greediness. Envy.

That which was discovery in the nineteenth century was seen by the poetic and religious mind of the fourteenth. and bid mankind choose. and sometimes separately." Sloth is a study in decadence. popular religious books of this period the Sins are greatly in evidence. . but popular religious writings are seldom literature. The fact that they fit in so exactly with the religious and penitential system of the Catholic Church has been used as a suggestion that the Sins were an invention of that Church.42 of at St. and the business of the Church was to set its spiritual ideals over against material facts. then standeth Envie and holdeth the hot iron on the heart of a man with a pair of long tongs of long rancour." and "joye at other men's harm. Slowly and surely we see the human sinking back into the bestial and losing all the characteristics which mark off man from his brother the ape. The poet is always ahead of the philosopher. a magnificent analysis of the effects on character of an utterly effortless and careless life. The Sins are treated sometimes as a whole." "sorrow other men's goodness. But the truth is they were facts of experience familiar to every man and woman who knew life. " In the devil's furnace are forged three cursed ones. and in their relations to each other. and described the more dramatically." Wrath grows out of envy naturally enough. Pride that aye bloweth and increased! the fire by chiding and wicked words. because hailed as a it new was but seen through In all a glass darkly reversion to an original type. show the consequences of each. THE SEVEN DEADLY Augustine as SINS having "two speces.

'I H I (Af te: De os ) & 42 .\\ R A.

THE Iii SINS AND SOCIAL REVOLT 35 ? 43 a 01d in the u English HomilIes 5 fn AelfrIc s Homilies. still And Both tempts with gain to every deed of fool and wise foul Gluttony doth draw. and the episode of Dante. Is slow to work. Wrath For its still more woe doth on the wrathful lights fierce ill up hell's fiery heat Then deeds come. resting on a terrace in Purgatory. and which century poem. "Purgatorio. Edmund/' references to the Seven Deadly Sins are numerous. bonds of friendship breaks and brotherhood." " Hand" Cursor in Robert of Brunne's Mundi. still And he who pampers life. The very completely the spiritual aspect of the idea. still variance with Truth and Reason's light. his appetite. In Pride the root of every sin doth lie . . has been rendered into English by Plumptre. Shortens his to fill his greedy maw. Then Vexes Avarice comes. and quick to make retreat. press. whom we mood God proclaim. Sloth looks with hate on every action meet. Hence man himself doth hold in loftier frame Than Envy With others. and breaks through every law.. shows our own. . Like him. ill. is and deserving lot more high." Book II. And to ill-doing ever turns the will. And The At Lust that come$ the seventh in order right. through which the whole world its soul. introduces us to the Sins following passage from a thirteenth has been ascribed to Dante. grief beholding others' happiness. that which makes us blush the face of for shame. and loss of holiness." lyng Sinne." and in the "Mirror of St. and having the whole of the Church explained to him by penitential system in other literature than Virgil.

Thomas all authorship was sufficient to satArnold." and the evidence as to isfy it Dr. Dublin. supposing it deadly to be by popular. in small handwriting. quite corresponds to the religious plays in influence over the lives of the common people but the man who 5 outside the plays. relibrary puted to be by him on the Seven Deadly Sins. containing thirtyIt is two lines to a as "WiclifPs page. and we have to look elsewhere to trace the influence of the Sins him. . and to cause him to include in his "Select Wycliffe had But English Works of Wycliffe/' the qualities and literary methods of and if a successful journalist. especially by the side of the prose treatise of Chaucer dull. was the great moving force in religious England of the fourteenth extant. and there is in the of Trinity College. six-and-a-half by four-and-a-half inches in diameter. Tracts: The Creed and its catalogued the Seven Deadly Sins. Sins in Common Life. It is of parchment. a MS. : THEREwhich no popular literature of the Middle Ages century was John Wycliffe (1325-1384?). is it Even Wycliffe's name. could hardly have made in common life.CHAPTER The is IV. he lived to-day would almost certainly be a leader writer for the popular if it is read whereas this treatise press.

It begins in allegorical form by telling simply and prettily the following story of a shepherd. "Here H . and in especial in that we be bound to learn and know on pain of everlasting death. of an imagination that is at once simple in the interests of the Catholic and strong." says the preinstructing "lay folk. but they possessed the gift of writing on serious matters in a popular style. and it speedily became popular in England. It primarily of shrewd and not of the full is worldly wisdom." It is a compilation of information concerning this world and the next. "is very profitable.THE SINS IN COMMON LIFE 45 In the year 1493 there was published in Paris a remarkable volume entitled "Le Compost et kalendrier des bergiers/ which ten years later (1503) was translated into English at the cost of Richard Pynson 5 by the title of "The Kalendar of Shepherds/' It was a most popular book in France. but Church. authors. and of ideals of straightforward. the punishment written for is but very special emphasis laid that follows the commission of the Seven Deadly Sins. and the book is written by devout its is or Catholics ." face. for it is perhaps one of the most interesting books which the fifteenth century produced. on the necessity for "This book. and does not fail to show. baser sort. in lurid and terrible fashion. unknown. deals with equal wisdom and fulness with the needs of the body and the needs of the soul. It is life that are robust and all and sundry. ultimately for the good of humanity. and there is no wonder in this. The name of author. to cause them to have a greater understanding. both for Clerks and lay people.

if so be that he have not good manners then. and discretion. "Therefore this shepherd thought that seventy-two years here in this vale of wretchedness. He sayeth that living and dying are all at the will and pleasure of Almighty God. and also in seriousness. both in wisdom virtue. six years old before he come to his full strength and And then he is at the best. And he sayeth that by the course of nature a man may live three score For every man is thirtyyears and twelve or more. "Also likewise as a man is waxing and growing 3 thirty-six years. whether it be in bliss or pain. is it by good government and good diet. soul shall never die. nor understood any manner of scripture or writing. which he hoped to have after death. so it is given incline and go from the world him as many more to by the gift of nature. is but a little and a small term to the life everlasting. which shall never have ending. it is unlikely that ever he shall have good manners after while he live. keeping his sheep in the fields. but only by his natural wit. and lasteth ever without end. For by thirty six years. "And he sayeth he that offereth himself here to live virtuously in this world.46 THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS before time was a shepherd. "The desire of this shepherd was to live long holily and die well. who was no clerk. But this desire of long life was in his For the soul. For though a man lived here a hundred . oft-time it is by violence or outrage of themselves. And they that die before they be three score and twelve years old. and they that live above that term. after this life he shall receive the sweet life that is sure.

I will live soberly with these small temporal goods that Jesus hath lent me. "Kalendar of Shepherds" contains the information of an almanack. man a place of no rest in This passage is followed by some wise discourse It is not clear whether by the "master shepherd. says this shepherd. . it is but a little term to the life to come. a love to their goods. the changes of the eclipses. as the following lines on eclipses will show : An Through which many For they It shall eclipse shall be marvellous to beholdj shall be the worse. but whoever is full of varied wisdom. the twelve months of the year. astronomy. the signs of the Zodiac. Therefore. the golden numbers and how to find them. For they that labour for these and have heavenly may not enter. but of the sly and kindly order. be so dark within their purse. and the doctrines of the Christian faith. all written and arranged in a popular but in no sense a vulgar or commonplace way. Humour there is. he of high degree." this person is meant to typify God. In short. shall find neither silver nor gold.THE years SINS IN COMMON LIFE 47 or more. or simply a sage and kindly elder man in the Illustrations he is re: presented as a priest he is meant to be. the moon. a book of medicine. botany. and ever exile the desire of worldly riches and worldly worship. the calendar and all discourses with that appertains thereto. oft it deprives them of the It shutteth man's heart that God treasure. and a religious encyclopaedia besides. and equal fluency on the four seasons. the fixed and moveable festivals of the Church. and builds 55 the low land of darkness. physiology.

simply unblushing plagiarism. and like Chaucer the authors go straight to Friar Lourens for information about the Seven Deadly Sins. The following brief preface is used to introduce the Deadly Seven u ln the name of the Father. and every tree having . was always excellent for didactic purposes. so far as they are concerned. and Holy Ghost. There are two treatises on the prose is 5 Sins. But it is It may well have been that they regarded common truths as common property. appears to be based on . Son. and each likened to a tree. but much the most interesting of the two. and one rhymed. "lifted" Everything shamelessly and nothing is and the acknowledged. terribly long. It is all stolen material probable that no thought of anything dishonest was present to the medieval mind in matters of literary " conveyance" like this. we purpose to show the Vices. a translation of one in Lourens the rhymed treatise. on the assumption that most of their readers will know where the passage occurs. and improved in this "Kalendar" by being put into rhyme. The old metaphor of the tree. only thing to be said in defence is that sometimes very good use is made of the is the prose one. and moreover of sinners perhaps it is : to understand their sins. The prose. after the Deadly Sin is Seven Deadly Sins.48 It is THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS in the second part of the "Kalendar" that religious matters are dealt with. its branches and twigs. and took passages out of much as modern religious religious treatises pretty writers take passages from the Bible. the which is divided in seven principal parts..

wrote in the thirteenth century." Wrath has ten branches. as in Chaucer's "Parson's Tale. and the people may the better show their Sins in confession. Augustine "To desire thy neighbour's harm. a period teen great branches and endless small sprigs and " has thirteen and the first two branches. Sloth seventeen. that they may be the home of God. to be glad of thy neighbour's 111 name. and in reading the rhymed exhortations to fail to see that on its moral righteousness. which some present day scholars of eminence are acclaiming as one of the greatest centuries The Tree of Pride has sevenin European history.THE SINS IN COMMON LIFE 49 seven small branches. we cannot the side and spiritual philosophy of life taught by the medieval church. which is ordained for them that seek not remedy betimes by life in penance and repentance by their time and hour. sprays. the pains of hell. and it bides an end that is everlasting damnation. and all these seven trees cometh out of one tree by itself that is yellow. and cometh of one beginning and that is of the delight. . And hereafter followeth the tree of Vices. to show the lay people what punishment is ordained for every Deadly Sin. from whom the whole spirit of the treatises in the "Kalendar" comes." profit of your The enumeration of the branches of each tree is curious. Lourens. Envy are indicated here. if occasionally simple. and make clean their conscience. so that Virtues may grow and fructify to the souls. is thoroughly sound and healthy." " by the passage from St. and wherever it was lived up to must have created pure women and manly men.




out of which a hundred and thirty smaller branches Covetousness has twenty. Gluttony five, and grow. Lechery five. The presentation of vital truths in
simple Ianguage rather than originality, is aimed at in the homilies on the various phases of Christian dogma or faith. Lourens is laid largely under contribution


everything, and the old French friar must certainly have possessed one of the finest intellects of his century


have been such a source of religious inspiration and helpfulness for more than three hundred years.

Following the rhymed chronicle of the Sins there comes this curious and homely piece of rhyming which
again brings in the fatal seven, and which is called remembrance of the instability of the world/



Would every man bethink on his beginning From whence he came and whereunto he shall, Then would they serve alike both duke and king And every lord both great and small. Little wot they when they sit on their bench,
Death will come, and off it make them from him they may not ever wrench Though he be the greatest lord of all And for as one thing to thy minde call ; Trust not thy wisdom nor thine heir. But do well here whate'er befall, For this world is but a chery fare.






But well were he


That could be ware

ere he be

were so wise. woe,


were a man of

full great price

world that could do

We We We

wax now

so worldly nice

Like to a player

cast our wits full far us fro, at the dice,

wot not well whereto








of the fiend our foe Lest that he should our souls apayre. Let us beware ere we be woe For this world Is but a chery fare. hath ever been seen by day and night Oft a long time here beforne, There knoweth not the king nor knight Whether he shall live till morn. To-day though he be "whole and light, And hunteth both with hound and horn, When he is man most in his might,

Would we beware

In a short time thy life has gone. For on thy bier when thou art borne, Thou climbest then a slender stair ;

Let thy good deeds, man, go beforne, For this world is but a chery fare.

This world now-a-days is ill to trust, For Covetise walketh about so wide.


to all other sins


over Lust,

Both Envy and Sloth, Lechery and Pride. And Simony full sweet is kissed And on high horses doth ride.

him full fast in his chest night to his bed's side. But the day shall come they shall curse the tide, Both baron, burgess, priest and mayor, That ever they did that time abide, For this world is but a chery fare.





is thy treasure, there's thy mind, So saith thy gospel if thou look Alack men why be to Jesus so unkind, To love so much a little muck, And all that shall thou leave behind, Though thou love ravening as a rook ; Goods of this world make many blind And the fiend then taketh with many a crook.





That was

Jesus who Mary to thy mother took, ever clearest under the air,

Thou wash


us in thy merciful brook, is but a cheiy fare.




In the

"Kalendar" which can be

read as a plea for a simple


shepherd in his

meadows piping

to his sheep, is held by the authors have a better chance of human happiness than the

courtier or the pleasure seeker. No suggestion is however made that mere pleasant environment is sufficient
to create




the sins can be anywhere



shepherd may admit them to his hut, or the king to his palace, and the consequence will be the same

tremendous emphasis is laid on personal responsibility always and everywhere, even in merely secular ills. Health and holiness seem often

either place.


interchangeable terms, and a man gets credited occasionally with the cause of his illness, as he does with
the guilt of his sin. There is much common sense in the book, but it is not simply common sense, it is touched often with a fine imagination.


the various editions of the "Kalendar"


Heinrich Oskar Sommer, whose reprint published in

a veritable treasure to the collector of rare books,

enumerates thirty-eight in French and English, but is of opinion that not more than two-thirds of the

were published have come down to us. Four were published in Paris, and one in Geneva beseven are known to have been tween 1493 an<^ I S
editions that

published in Paris, four in Lyons, four in Troyes, one in Rouen, and ten in London during the sixteenth

but an enit was made for the Norfolk of graving Archaeological The picture shows a tree rising out of the Society. The fanaticism of the seven- teenth century. were not un- common on few of them the walls of English churches. It the ordinary method of picwas gigantic mouth in the Hell's Middle Ages. SINS IN COMMON LIFE 53 century one In Paris and five in London in the seventeenth century other editions were published at Troyes Of the edition in the Bibliotheque in 1 705 and 1729. and it lasted turing mouth of Hell. and many a quaint and curious picture of the Sins may lie hidden under lime- wash. Nationale. though very remain now. Sommer finest " It says is 1 500 by one of the books ever produced. open jaws. Paris. whale. The tree metaphor was largely used by artists. and old-world humour. religious feeling. . but has enough of quaint homely wisdom." The "Kalendar" it be- longs to the domain of literary archaeology.THE . to make another reprint desirable in the interest of the reading world. and the seven branches pictures of the Seven Deadly Sins as of a tree whose roots grew in the pit of hell. as well as the elusive element of charm. destroyed much that was of historic or of antiquarian interest in our parish churches. printed on vellum in the year Guiot Marchant. and may be found in old editions of popular books like the "Pilgrim's I . field Some sixty years ago there was found in CatSins. as usual. Hell's mouth is represented by a pair of well and not unlike the mouth of a toothed. well on to the eighteenth century. Mr. Church a picture of the tree of the Seven whitewashed over again. It was. and the whitewash of the eighteenth.

apparently to show that the sinner will only escape from the bondage of the Sin to fall into the mouth at of Hell below. John Myrc. also in Norfolk. are tugging vigorously. was but the original has not been discovered. Sussex. At Arundel at Church and a picture representing the Sins in the seven spokes of a wheel. Reading. but a translation of a Latin work called no There is reason to Oculi. about devils." the a chain is The seven branches are seven fiends a sinner. and Church. in mouth of each bound." published by the Early Text and written in the fifteenth cenEnglish Society. philosopher. not his own " Pars work. Its a parish priest in Shropshire during the latter half of that century. and there are also some frescoes (whitewashed) of them in the chapel of Church. Whoever its author. so he informs us. At Crostwright Brooke Church. there is the Guild of the Holy Cross. Stratford-on-Avon. the artisan. and friend of the people among whom he .54 5 ' THE SEVEN DEADLY or "Drelincourt on . Essex. and the serf. pictures of the Sins Ingatestone are under the whitewash on the walls. It is. it is easy to see that the good parish priest of the Middle Ages was not essentially different from the good parson of the present day. he was a wise and kindly-hearted man." doubt his statement. author is one. He was the guide. It is to the Church pictures and the minor writers we must go to find out the place of the Sins in the religion of the peasant. SINS Progress is Death. who was himself tury. and this is seen very completely in a poem entitled that " Instructions to Parish Priests. at whose waist which other who are standing in Hell's mouth.

only it was of a different more character. The social life of the medieval and ethical standards. should the necessity arise. and certainly fewer books. There were fewer people.THE lived. parish. some form or other. given the necessary temperait is mental conditions. and he talked to his them pretty much as Kingsley parishioners about might have done. SINS IN COMMON LIFE 55 He had to face such problems as bad housing and over-crowding. and how he must live himself. And certainly there is almost none in the poem of John Myrc. Some simple and practical instructions are given to the midwife concerning her duties at the birth of the child and the baptism of it. but probable there was not fifteenth century than in the superstition in the seventeenth or eighteenth. by her. The poem begins by instructing the priest what he must learn. as well as the form of words to be used in the baptismal ceremony. as well as its religious are revealed in "The Questions on the Seven Deadly Sins. before he This is followed by a undertakes to teach others. things were neither better nor worse in English villages in the fifteenth century than they are to-day. The words are : "Ego baptize . but the and the moral ones religious standards were as high." If this parish is to be taken as typical. 5 It is a popular notion that what have been called the "Dark Ages' were choked with Superstition will always be found in superstition. moral and religious teaching which covers system of the whole of life from the cradle to the dying bed. not appreciably lower than those of our own century. and the sleeping of growing boys and girls in the same room.

be it wife. leaves little to be desired if we remem- ber the ideals which then obtained. and the responsibilities of citizenship. if Amen. between the shep- on sensual and it ligious institution frankly in questions the confessional as a regiven is difficult to see how it could . But she is free to use the English words she can speak no Latin. social duty. When anyone hath done a lives sin.56 te THE SEVEN DEADLY N. which was in all probability not better followed than advice of the same is to-day. And out of mind it go away. Another side of social life is shewn in the instruc- tions as to hearing confession and the methods of the confessional. The of doctrine position " " all in that relates to of the Instructions teaching character individual character. without arrogance on the one side or servility on the other. Facts are faced Sins. or Latin whichever be saith English o It sufficed} for the faith. Be it husband. In nomine patris 35 SINS et filii et splrltus sanctl. Lest he forget by Lenten's day. . Priest and people appear to live in close kinship.. Following baptism comes confirmation. with wise advice to young men and maidens. Look he not long therein But anon that he him shrive. and it is a very simple and homely life indeed. and then marriage and an exand the duties of life. and outside the sphere of religious duties there is a suggestion of pleasant equality herd and his flock.

and the neglect of the duties to which they refer can be classified fairly as deadly ." An examination on breaches of the ten commandments . and has he treated contemptuously those who lack these things? Is his does he boast his virtue or his holiness ? pride spiritual. or fraudulent. All these things are manifestations of the Deadly Sin of Pride. but in dealing with other manifestations of .'* Is share largest the penitent a boaster. Pride is the foundation Sin from whose root to all other Sins spring. Therefore. son. making proclamation of his good deeds. been loth to fast. therefore. to teach children or to do works of charity ? The last two questions are of importance.THE SINS IN COMMON LIFE 57 have been better conducted than along the lines laid down in Myrc's "Instructions. tions as to soundness of doctrine follows the quesand the penitent is then examined on the Seven Deadly Sins. and it. is given the in the "shrift father's examination. and the questions on this Sin scarcely suggest anything very deadly. for the sake of getting honour from man. ^r Deadly Sins ill now also ask now ere thou go. has he hindered others coming. Has he been slow to come to church. spare thou nought To tell how thou hast them wrought. slow to go on pilgrimage. From Pride the priest passes to Sloth. his apparel. and must be purged by contrition and penance. disparaged or oppressed his neighbour ? Is he vain of his personal beauty. having appropriated the good deeds of others ? Has he. slept during sermon time. or his worldly possessions.

ill It consequences that may spring either from spiritual. him much into tractate. written probably about the same time asMyrc's as persons. and no longer as act as direct They tempters of man. mental.58 THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS this sin the writer is seems to have missed his aim. the story of whose entry into the world is told in a contact with phases In a poem entitled the his experience brought of life like these. minor aspects of the Sin of Sloth. or bodily sluggishness. but the time is frittered away on what are. in the havoc it can make of human happiness may be deadly indeed. finely imaginative passage. I saw a child mother-naked New born the mother fro (from). in Gluttony and Lechery the beast stands revealed . and the use a wise confessor could have made of advice quite easy to see the on these things. Speaking ill of people whom we dislike. show us the smaller vices of society as they are in every age. the Sins appear mere influences. well grounded in the prinof his could have retained belief in human faith. Only a priest. and Avarice. It is the savage side of man that is unveiled in the questions concerning Wrath. In a winter night ere I waked In my sleep I dreamed so . . The very questions dealing with Envy. scarcely human in his hideousness." printed by the Early English Text Society from a manuscript in the library of Lambeth Palace. is a sin that is always with us and . ciples grey haired and grasping. after all. and whose good fortune we are envious of. is nature at all if "Mirror of the Period of Man's Life.

( \ilcr ^f I DS ) .

. "In age of twenty years Go Oxenforde or learn the law Quoth Lust. Now I am Young sixty years and ten folk I find foe. In the wildernesse he did go Till the governance he taked An It Is a child angel friend. but the distant resemblance is certainly accidental. save Sloth and Covetousness have left the the Sins is full man. of the middle classes to whom we are thus introduced." of Shakespeare. my Wherever they play or leap or run. and the Seven Deadly Sins are waiting at the door. with money at his command. as the various stages of advancing years are depicted." to that of a hundred. to : " At taverne to make women merry cheer. "Harp and giterne may ye lere And pricked staff and buckler wherewith to play.THE SINS IN COMMON LIFE 59 All alone as God him maked . . His fortunes are followed from the age of twenty and as the poem passes from is stage to stage the reader reminded a little of the "Seven Ages. I playne this world is changed so. They say that in their way I go And when I meet with olde men. Quoth Reason. an angel foe. of dramatic pathos and power. and as manhood comes on he may live his life pretty much At twenty we see him between two as he will counsellors. as the poem was in manuscript and there is no evidence that Shakespeare all The picture of age. when ever read it. Reason and Passion. And wild fellows together draw.

Grant That That grace.60 THE SEVEN DEADLY Now SINS four score years have passed My For life is but travail and woe. my friends do me forget. us. To live at ease. The Virtues. maiden free. thy lawes to keep. Another Lysens fifteenth century is poem entitled "Give me so far as to live at ease" of a different and of a more exalted the religious spirit of it is concerned of a It is the tortured Soul kind. and bear On my And all back my bier. Little I drink. that desires to cry follow the paths of righteousness. I into rereage am cast Into ten years and mo. Who bare a child to comfort On that soul have pity If the will be of Christ Jesus. . and bring him peace at last. Lord. and the hell hounds which " bark and bite/' and a the phantom " of Wanhope. loved so well Now Mine well I wot have been my doom. age is now I a hundred year less I eat. which were ever pleading in his soul." for Despair. lead him to seek Divine mercy. in bliss so bright I may never in that cabin creep me Lucifer locks in withouten light. but cannot by reason of the Seven Evil Influences. Now am I under Fortune's wheel I My And friends forsake all the sins me every one. quaintly poetic name and we are asked to this tale A Pray for the soul that wrote pater noster and an ave To Mary mother. are banished for ever. .

full of religious and poetic feeling. stress. as have all are all poems of storm and but there is nothing great in it. and it is probably the work of a monkish minor poet. K . but with no touch of the divine fire." The little poem has a haunting pathos. and the Soul must needs do battle with them if it would "live at ease.THE SINS IN COMMON LIFE 61 They there In their order.

The Sim and



heaval which Englishmen call the Reformation but one of its most clearly yet remains to be written, that of a revolt defined against symbolism phases is and of every kind, a revolt against permanent




of the social and religious up-

and natural human
often sincere and


If the

Reformers were

to die for an idea loyal souls, ready

which they




were right


wrong, they were often, too, utterly ignorant people in conflict with ideas they did not understand. They

were not lovers of




though their principles and they gave no liberty to any who

thought otherwise than they did.

Their intellectual

was narrower, their religious philosophy less human, and their imaginative outlook coarser and

more crude

in all its

conceptions than that of the re-

whose teaching they repudiated, and whose
solid social life


bitter they overthrew. intolerance was the dominant of the time, and spirit


the Reformers often represented that in its spirit lowest and most unlovely form. Religious differences converted neighbours and relatives into spies on each

John Foxe records how the charming of the "Kalendar of pages Shepherds" were made by
others' actions,





Catholics an instrument of religious intolerance and

"In 1519, John Edmunds, otherwise

John Ogins of Burford, did detect Philip Braof Richard Collins, for saying that the servant bant,
sacrament of the altar was



remembrance of

own body, but was not the body of Christ. 'The Shepherd's Kalendar* was also accused and detected, because the same Edmunds said that he was
persuaded by this book, reading the words 'That the sacrament was made in remembrance of Christ." Froude, who was an enemy to the Catholic Church,

has said



the Universities the Reformation had

To the people of England brought with it had brought misery and want. The once open hand was closed the once open heart was hardened the
; ;

ancient loyalty of



man was exchanged


of faith had scuffling and selfishness; the change brought with it no increase of freedom and less of

The prisons were crowded with sufferers charity. for opinion, and the creed of a thousand years was
a crime
a Protestant to the core, has said



" Persecution

by a doctrine of yesterday." Hallam, with equal force and

the reformed churches


the deadly original sin of which cools every honest
as his

man's zeal for their cause, in proportion becomes more extensive."


But it has to be admitted that the Catholic Church, which had been supreme in England for a thousand

women grow up

was content to see great masses of men and in ignorance around it, and there is

no evidence that

made any

effort to

do even the




elementary duties of a Church towards them, and teach them the first principles of its own faith. It is
the appalling ignorance of the people concerning the
faith of their

own Church



so striking at this


and public speeches all plays, poems, sermons, bear evidence of this ignorance, and yet the time was

of intellectual energy.


Catholic Church

had no opponents in its own sphere when the Reformation began, and the spiritual life of the nation was entirely in its hands that it came to be regarded with hatred or with ignorance, is the most damning evi;

dence that can be produced of its failure as a spiritual It embodied in its teaching a larger conception of life, and finer and more magnificent idealism, than anything the Reformed religions could show, and yet people turned from it to the dry bones of Protestantism, and went cheerfully to the fire rather

than to the nation's ancient


Rightly or wrongly,

they held that the ecclesiastical system under which they had lived for centuries had deceived them ; that

was a fraud and

a He.

The newer




many loyal souls held to be the river of the life, was at its best but a turbid and

water of muddy stream

but the people of England chose it for their drinking because they believed there was poison in the ancient

Why these things were history has not fully shown. The Protestant hatred of Rome is based largely on prejudice and ignorance, but the Catholic Church must purge herself of many stains and evils before she
can stand justified before the tribunal of history. That the allegorical and mystical presentation of the
Sins should suffer change

when all round was changing

enchanted castles. if in a lesser degree as a moral influence.THE was after SINS AND THE REFORMATION it 65 Inevitable. Dissimulation. and the beast with the seven heads (manifestly from the Apocalypse). the bells ringeth to evensong. courtier and poet. Hawes is Progress as to make perhaps only remembered now by the following couplet. Distraction. many "Sevens" There are seven sciences. and chiefly courtier. Giants with numerous heads. but it lingered long in the imagination And howceased to have the sanction of faith. . and and the magic horns. but a popular utterance which he appropriated and polished up : For though the day be never At last so long. in an allegory called the " Pastime of Pleasure/' published in 1506. Discomfort. but the Sins in their church order^ nowhere appear. it has been conjectured. and here we may trace it . Variance. The book has material in it that has probably been used by the compilers of popular fairy stories of a later time. has among his allegorical personages. Envy. was not his own. ever deep the revolt against symbolism in religion. are mixed up curiously with pagan legends verities of the Christian faith. which. nothing could banish it from literature. and there are it passages in 3 ' so closely resembling the "Pilgrim's it certain that Bunyan whose was wider than reading certainly popular biographers make out was familiar with its pages. re- to maining as a come. literary form for yet a couple of centuries Stephen Hawes (1483-1523). and Doubleness. upon whose seven crowns are inscribed the names Delay.

whereupon the servant master thereof. And because this friar it had preached this sermon so often. It was told to bring ridicule on the Romish clergy.66 If he is THE SEVEN DEADLY the SINS of culture writing poetry. Hugh among Larimer.' said the servant I warc c C . which sermon was of the ten commandments." said Larimer. conscious of the fact. most faomdious noble Chaucer ever most sure fruitful Of virtuous Lydgate Unto you all. a disciple who gives fullest reverence to his masters : O O O prudent Gower ! ! in language pure ! Without corruption. to in the time of his limitation preached many times. Though I your cunning now do use. rather than the poet. he is frankly. for it grieved the servant to hear his master derided. as the following lines from the man He is prologue to the "Example of Virtue" show. the many good stories with which he gar- nishes his sermons. Now the friar made answer saying. I do ! sentence right delicious much sententious ! ! me excuse. "a pretty story of a friar A limitor of the gray friars refresh you withal. has a story relating to the Sins. one that heard before told the friar's servant that his master was called Friar John Ten Commandments showed the friar his . "I will tell and no doubt served its purpose well you now. seeing thou hast heard them so many times. Bishop of Worcester (1485-1555). Belike then thou knowest all the ten commandments well. and had but one sermon at all times.' Yea. and withal modestly. and advised him to preach of some other matters.

it is born in the year 1450 in 1520." grip "Dandely And when that age now does me Ane simple Vicar I cannot be. dandeley. Latimer makes no other reference than this to the Sins in their numerical arrangement. sturdy he was. Pride. here advocates protestor against Rome though strongly and clearly the Roman doctrine. Covetousness. Historically he is little more than His name is a .THE rant you. : as in one of his poems is found the following lines I was in youth on nurse's knee bischop. been sur- His genius is of an passed by poets of any age. and. But in the possession of qualities which make up the finest poetry. he is always the equal and not seldom the superior of the great peasant poet. From his birth it would appear that he was intended for the Church. and 55 so numbered the sins for the ten commandments. shadow. . Lechery. 5 Then he began. was probably conjectured that he died He entered on the registers of St. power and fearhim to rank with the : lessness of Dunbar's genius entitle of the fifteenth century in greatest English writers his own country he has rarely. Andrew's University as a Bachelor of Arts in 1477. if ever.' SINS AND THE REFORMATION 67 'Let c me hear them/ saith the master. and type entirely no direct comparison can be instituted between them. but has a good deal to say about mortal and venial sins. The Seven Deadly Sins are once more in the hands of genius when we meet them in the poetry of William Dunbar (1450?-! 520 ?). The range. of that different to Robert Burns.

he never obtained a benefice worth the having. The devil. and the . the vices of pitilessly his order or his time. France. if so Satan must be credited with excellent judgement. was patronised by the Queen Margaret. who is called Mahoun. false never overmasters his judgement. who was sister to visiting as a Apparently he was a man of preacher both England and of royal bounty. and But he lashed the had said mass before the King. with his passion bitter Hating and unreal in the Church to which he belonged. Franciscan Friar. His poetry is instinct with fire and passion. and preaching in Canterbury Cathedral. He was a constant attendant at the Court of James IV. The dance takes place in the streets of Hell on the eve of Ash Wednesday. eloquence. and relentless hatred all that was of the dramatic possibilities of the Sins in all literature than is found in the Dance of the Seven Deadly Sins by William Dunbar. Even Marlowe in his handling of the same subject is not the equal of the poet priest.68 THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS took the Master's degree in 1479. in receipt Henry VIII. was vices of the Court with as much is zest as he did those all of the Church perhaps . that why. with his royal friendships. He There was never never a friar a priest with less who lashed more of unreality or cant. an old way of designating the fiend in the middle ages. human to the very heart of him though he is. but. and apparently after some wild and licentious years became a He says the devil made him one. calls for a dance on the last day before Lent. he yet never confuses the ideal with the lapses from it of its There is no more terrible realisation false professors.

I lay in till a trance . The foonery. With hair wyld back and bonnet on that. and ends with what in the hands of a smaller man would have been buf- Dunbar is an exhibition of fierce savage humour. as they skipped." quod he. Full long before the dayes light. Many They a proud trompeur with scalding fire. To make their observance. by strange mad turn of incident the poem resolves itself into an attack on the party Dunbar hated. aye. all His cassock in rumples. Hung. for the nonce. Mahoun Of Shrewes Against the Feast of Fastern's Even. among the fiendes fell. And round about him. came out of France. perhaps weakened a little by party spite. to the heel. He bade gallants go graith a Guise And cast up gambols to the skies. then I saw both Heaven and Hell. groaned with hideous groans. . Through him tripped . And for itself.THE Sins dance and their SINS AND THE REFORMATION 69 make mirth in Hell. That "Let last . the fifteenth night. When the peals of hellish laugha and the dance of Hell has ended. "now who : M begins ? With Began Seven Deadly Sins once And first of all in dance was Pride. as a wheel. as if they knew and power might laugh the prayer and penitence of mankind to scorn. Methought. Like to make waste wanis. but in poem must speak Of Februar'. gart cry a Dance that were never shriven. ter cease. see. the foul to leap at side.

Alas that Courts of noble Kings Of them can never be quit ! And Rowners Next in the Dance. He brandished like a bear. Black Belly and Bawsy Brown. All with that warlock went Out of their throats. Misers. and okerers. wretches. and gatherers. After him. strife. and scrips. Ire came in with sturt and His hand was aye upon his knife. Then. In jacks. followed Envy. Their legs were chained to the heel. Forward was their affeir Some. That never could be content I Cowards. Hid malice and despite . For privy hatred that traitor trembled ! Him followed many freke dissembled. . of false leasings. a fodder. But never laughed Mahoun Till priests came in. and ground of vice . they shot on other[s] Hot molten gold. ! . Some jagged others to the heft. Next. All ready in feir of war. with bare shaven necks Then all the fiends laughed. that sharp could shear. upon other with brandes : beft . To He that had delight ! . Boasters. passed in to pairs.THE SEVEN DEADLY Holy SINS Came harlots in haughty wise. Root of all evil. and bonnets of steel. With knives. came Covatice. Filled full of feud and fellony. And Backbiters of sundry races. With feigned wordes white . methought. And Flatterers to men's faces. braggarts. in the Dance. with many a sundry guise . and Bargainers. and made geeks. hoarders. in.

LLTTOXV (\ttei De loi j .C.


. The That Devil so deafened was. Mr. And roup like raven and rook. curious antiquary. The comedy as well as the tragedy of evil had always been present to the medieval Imagination. were 1496. Then cried Mahoun for a Highland Pageant . Except a Minstrel that slew a man So till his heritage he wan. Those termagants with tag and tatter. and hazards a guess that the poem must have been written in one of the first two years. Chalmers.72 THE SEVEN DEADLY No SINS Minstrels played to them. has calculated that the only years in Dunbar's lifetime when Shrove A Tuesday fell on February 15. and experience without the aid of argument would easily prove that the always a fool. By he the Coronach had done shout. and 1518. J. but doubt ! For Gleemen there. Syne ran a fiend to fetch Makfadyane. yell. if not of the passing sinner is . but it was the comedy rather than the tragedy that was present to the imagination of " The this new world which was to supersede the old. when men's minds were beginning to change in their attitude towards the Sins. Far northward in a nook. were holder* out By day and eke by night . And entered by Brief of Right. Erschemen so gathered him about. 1507. Full loud in Ersche began to chatter. He smothered them with smoke. with their in the deepest pit of Hell. In Hell great room they took. Dunbar brings us to the eve of the Reformation. " Devil is an Ass said Ben Jonson. But the problem of evil was out of the hands of the priests.

The old problem typified by the was taking another and a darker aspect. will and fate. and influenced by the teaching of Calvin was to take horrible and inhuman forms. Fixed fate. and generous souls exchanged their generosity for a creed that libelled God and man." . foreknowledge. and sectarian bitterness : Providence. as well as by their appeal to the imagination and to the mystical side of human nature. free will. were to hold their place among those whose imagination remained untramelled by the subtleties of a theological rather than a religious time. under whose sway noble natures became base. but it rancour. The Seven Deadly Sins. and was discussed sometimes with faith and hope. by reason of their close correspondence with the facts of life.THE SINS AND THE REFORMATION 73 theologians. sometimes with savage and inhuman Sins stirred men's hearts . foreknowledge absolute And found no end in wandering mazes lost.

THE at group of men who were gathered together the Court of Elizabeth. There men strange sense of youthfulness in these strong as we look on their pictures and read their acts is a . and became to them an ideal of perfect queenliness and perfect womanhood. found an echo in the hearts of his fellow-countrymen. and represented the devotion and affection with which the finest spirits of her nation regarded her. Elizait . . and who gave character to the and personality most glorious years of her glorious We are entirely unique in our history. the passion for nationality and freedom. The exquisite lines of George Peek Blessed be the hearts that wish my sovereign well. detect no shadow of them before that reign began : they pass away with its ending. They seem to spring into life as if at an enchanter's bidding they were born of a new passion which England had never felt . reign. beth felt this new passion. Fulsome and grotesque as many of the utterances of the Elizabethan poets to their royal mistress seem to-day. Cursed be the souls that think her any wrong. to and her people knew hence their loyalty and worship of their queen. and the Elizabethans.CHAPTER Sins VI. before. they were true and real then. What their they believed in she believed in too she lived life.

the Sins formed . In the hands of Richard Tarlton. and the Seven Deadly they held no theological significance for the Elizabethans. as manhood comes to aspiring youth. That Church Its Popes had for a century fathers to Englishmen. which had by no means lost its value. and Protestantism. if took other forms. But its leading sity. and filled English Englishmen. held to its faith. SINS AND THE ELIZABETHANS 75 They were a group of hot-blooded Imagi- native boys. haps the majority. about the Bible. full of glorious possibilities. and more been no times for the Catholic Church. the famous Court jester and comedian of Elizabeth's days. But great though the epoch was to the life of the nation. perbishoprics with foreign nominees. and their strength was born of the freedom which came to . remained as an imaginative asset. them as a new heritage. in spite of vauntings highest spiritual inspirations from the Catholic Church. but spiritual who sweated their revenues simply foreign princes and their people where they could. ideas lived on. it brought evil and for those who still was reaping as it had sown. who fought the fights and sang the songs of one of the most glorious epochs through which the world has ever passed but they were masters of the spiritual forces that were moulding England's life. Catholic allegory lived. held to the ancient faith till that faith and its representatives seemed to be a danger to the life of the nation. and then new knowledge and newer thought made alliance with national feeling and necesand combined for its overthrow.THE and words. drew it its though Sins. though its ecclesiastical system was disits credited.

and this tells us practically nothing. But at other times times scoffs bitterly at goodness and he preaches with an elo- quence and a fervour which would have done credit to any of Elizabeth's bishops. for there is no touch of the hideousness or the horror with which they were clothed by the earlier poets. is an intensely religious Mephistophilis is an incarnation of the power of evil.76 THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS matter for mirth rather than homily. and it that the Sins should share the scorn that was but natural was being poured on doctrines more vital to catholic truth than It is in Marlowe's "Faustus" that the they were. and we laugh at them with a hearty full-blooded mirth. of Dulwich College. author for atheism. In form and spirit it greatly resembles them. The Sins are in their natural enviroment in "Faustus. for there is not even of or of coherent possibility foreshadowing story any saying what the play was like from the skeleton that Tarlton died in 1588. of the production of Marlowe's "Tamburlaine the The ancient faith of England was being Great. have a glimpse of John Lydgate. We a stage with no apparent reason. and at virtue." exposed to ridicule on all sides." but it is the comedy of evil that they present. and notwithstanding the reputation its of play. Seven Deadly Sins make their last appearance in drama. The laughter of Marlowe . of Henry VI. But all that is left of what he wrote concerning them is the famous "Platt 35 among the MSS. and other dramatic and recross the personalities and the Seven Sins cross . and "Faustus" last may very well be called the of the mystery plays. and this was the year remains.

and look to it. and . I come Glut. the first ? shall I soon. And what art thou. then like a fan of feathers I kiss her. I am like to I can creep into every corner of a wench. a chimney-sweeper and an oyster I cannot read. my left the fifth penny they have me M .THE Is SINS AND THE ELIZABETHANS JJ human Dunbar The there is laughter in folly the laughter of the fiends in hell. unless the ground be per! fumed. Out envious wretch Wrath. was born Faust. I am Wrath I had neither father nor mother I leapt out of a lion's mouth when I was scarce an hour old and I have been ever since running up and down the world with this case of I rapiers. I And what art thou. you and safe into all should turn to gold that might lock you my chest. begotten of an old churl in a leathern bag. O my sweet gold! Faust. That Pride. positions. But fie. Thou art a proud knave indeed what art thou. this house. Faustus. parents are all dead. and covered with cloth of arras. wife. pounding myself when I could get none to fight withal. then thou But must thou sit. but of "Faustus. question them of their names and dis- Faust. Envy. the fourth ? Faust. a small trifle to suffice nature.? might I now I obtain my wish. I that there would come a famine am lean with seeing others eat. and therefore wish all books were burned. Pride. and I stand ? Come : . the second Covet. Now. I am Covetousness. But what art thou. and the devil a but a small pension: and that buys me thirty meals a day and ten beevers. what a smell is here not speak a word more for a king's ransom. too. I Ovid's flea. and I live alone." and are introduced very befittingly by Mephistophilis. ! : might die. sometimes like am a periwig I sit upon her brow. that all ! should'st see how fat Fid be down with a vengeance. I disdain to have any parents. What art thou. begotten of third ? O over all the world. I am Gluttony. the am Envy. next like a necklace I hang about her. Beelzebub. and then turning myself to a I'll wrought smock do what I list. Sins appear in the second scene of the first act laughter at it is human . Faust. in hell. for some of you ? shall be my father.


and there too occur the . The Six Sins are the counsellors of the "foul Duessa/' and it is a generally accepted theory that by Duessa Spenser meant Mary Queen of Scots. nor Duessa as a triumph of allegorical art. gracious she chose. that we meet the was written in 1580. but the internal evidence is strong and conclusive. if necessity demanded. places the poet in a different light to that in which he is generally regarded.THE it. it was more manifest in Eliza- beth than in her Mary could be tender. as and womanly when a representation of Queen is Mary Queen " of Scots. But though Mary could maintain herself with royal dignity. procession of the Deadly Sins. and these were qualities in which Elizabeth did not excel. pride was hardly the dominant element in her character . Neither Una. Mary Stuart represented in her own person all the ideas and principles with which Spenser as a typical Protestant Englishman was at war. Queen Queen of Scots did not take place till It is in Book I. That she is at the to show that he head of the procession of Deadly Sins seems meant her to take the place of Pride. but reduced the number to six. No external evidence exists in support of it. and in dealing with the Sins he no longer payed regard to the mystical number seven. Elizabeth. and if we accept it. making the seventh performs as . SINS AND THE ELIZABETHANS 79 had no quarrel with the older faith and its Marlowe had for him it was too far off to quarrel with. first According Faerie to Gabriel " Harvey the book of the and the ex- ecution of the 1587. He sonage in the group Satan himself. Canto iv. indeed rival. all the foundation sin of the rest.

" drawn therein by "six unequal beasts" on which six of the Sins are mounted. first of this company. When such an one had guiding of the way That knew not whether right he went or else astray.8o passages THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS which form the only unclean spot in Spenser's perfect and beautiful verse. May seem the wayne was very evil ledd. And greatly shunned manly exercise From every work he challenged essoyne. the first of them being our old name of Idleness : friend Sloth under his Spenserian The Upon Bourse of sinne a slothful asse he chose to ryde. For contemplation's sake His life : yet otherwise he led in lawless notise ? to grievous By which he grew For malady : in his lustlesse limbs. Idlenesse. details are medieval. through evil guise. It is otherwise with Gluttony. To looken whether it were night or day . 19 And in his hands his portesse still he bore little That much was worne. . nothing that All its is new in Spenser's description of Sloth. . 20 From worldly cares himself he did esloyne. is The "Roiall dame. A There differs Such one was is shaking fever raged continually . Like to an holy Monck. but therein redd. Still drown'd in sleep and most of his daies dedd Scarce could he once uphold his heavie hedd. and it only from other word-pictures of the same vice in the form of the verse. For of devotion he hadd little care. the service to begin." who "for her coach doth call. Arrayed in habit black and amis thin.

*-'- ?: -.% . r^y .

but he reverses ladies oft this. and savours nothing of the purity which marks other portions of Spenser's Little touches of poetic beauty amid details verse.THE SINS AND THE ELIZABETHANS 01 He of Is classical rather than medieval. still Lechery is a much more difficult character to depict than Gluttony. He is a to colour "greene gowne. vivid picturesqueness. It was largely the custom to make Lechery a woman. . Spenser rises considerably. and makes him a man who "of was loved deare. but not very much to Lechery." a reflection upon feminine Elizabethan poets. For other clothes he could not weare for heate. He gives his imagination free of originality. is him of debauchery and disease hardly serve to redeem the picture from utter loathsomeness. morality common among clad in a by the poets. and is and power." given Jealousy and to the Evil One. and almost reaches to the level of William Langland in the same character. In greene vine leaves he was right fitly clad. And on his heade an yvie garland had. and it cannot be said that Spenser's delineation of this sin is a very considerable success. In his picture of Avarice. The description disgusting enough. He delights "weake women's hearts to tempt/ and with all the scurf of his moral leprosy thick upon him. From under which fast trickled downe Still as the sweat he rode he somewhat And in his hand did eat. yet seems to obtain considerable suc5 cess in his temptings. did beare a bouzing can. full play. a drunken bac- chanal rather than an incarnate Vice.

and cobled shoes hee ware Ne scarse good morsell all his life did taste. but thorough daily care led and nightly feare to lose his owne. a sordid vice which half wins our pity while it wholly excites our repulsion. In stanza thirty Envy is described. iron coffers SINS Upon Two With hong on either side precious metal in his iappe his full as they might hold . But his origin is here.82 THE SEVEN DEADLY And greedy Avarice by him did ride. Accursed usury was all his trade. a camel loaden all with gold . them to." In this description of Avarice we have a first sketch of a character common in fiction and on the stage a hundred years later . . and Trapbois is a lineal descendant of the Avarice of the Sins. And right and wrong ylike in equal ballance waide. The miser appears but rarely in either modern fiction or modern drama no one has drawn him successfully since Scott : depicted miser Trapbois. and richesse to compare Yet child ne kinsman living had he none . And threadbare cote. To But both from backe and belly still did spare. : And For of an heap of coins he tolde wicked pelfe his God he made. The Vice he stands for has only taken other forms. a wretched life unto himselfe unknown. and not for anything it could give or do . the miser. in the aimless helpless love of the yellow earth for its own sake. To To He leave get. His life was nigh unto death's dore yplaste. And unto hell himselfe for money sold . not departed from our midst. . but he does not really reach his full development till the eighteenth century. Glimpses of him are seen in the plays of Ben Jonson. fill his bags.

routs of did about them band. which pictures Satan driving all before him with the lash of his whip. and still before their way So oft as Sloth still in the A foggy mist had covered all the land : And Dead underneath their sculls feet all scattered lay and bones of men whose life had gone astray. mire did stand. as Spenser knew full well.THE riding SINS AND THE ELIZABETHANS 83 upon a wolf and chewing with his teeth "a venemous tode. with a smarting whip in hand. upon the wagon beame. 35 it cannot be in the Even "spacious times" poets were an envious race. So every good to bad he doth abuse . and the creatures of human than the impersonation of them . His almes for want of faith he doth accuse. carries memories of earlier poetic conceptions the description of him casting forth from red" and fingering his knife is reminiscent of William Dunbar perhaps the most Spenserian verse in the whole description of the his eyes "sparkles fiery : Sins is them the final one. And after all. a lion. He hated all good workes and vertuous deeds. Spenser's conceporiginal. ." while in his bosom lurks a snake. In the "verse of famous poets' witt doubted that there is a personal touch. With which he forward lasht the laesy team. people Huge Shouting for joy . Rode Sathan. And eke the verse of famous Poets' witt He does backbite and spightfui poison spues From leprous mouth on all that ever wntt. "Fierce revenging Wrath/ 5 riding upon . With all the fine human tion of the Sins his fancy less is less touches. And him no less that any like did use And who with gratious bread the hungry feeds.

Ne spared they to strip her naked all. They belonged to the " superstitions of popery . "To doe her die (quoth Una) "were despight. ! loe that wicked woman in 7' But spoil her of her scarlot robe. roote of all your care and wretched plight. And The your sight. and the parallel be- when tween this incident and the captivity of Mary at the hands of Elizabeth Is too obvious to be regarded as accidental." 5 It describes. to let her live or die. useful for literary purposes. And shame t* avenge so weake an enimy . that witch they disaraid. thev could hardly have been more than abstractions. they were losing their reality and had no place in the moral perspective of the Elizabethan mind. Sir Loe where your foe lies stretcht in monstrous length . and let her fly. take to you wonted strength And rnaister these mishaps with patient might." So as she bad.84 THE SEVEN DEADLY 5 SINS given by any of his predecessors and this of Itself marks the beginning of the change. And ornaments that richly were displaid . Knight. The passage occurs in stanzas 45-50 of Canto viii Book I. Spenser's coarse and violent attack on helpless Mary Queen of Scots (in the character of Duessa) Is a blot on his great epic. . but having little ethical value. 45 Henceforth." and to the poet. The sins were no longer the cancers of a poisoned soul. of the "Faerie Queen. with abundance of loathsome detail. And robd of roiall robes and purple pall. Now in your powre. the treatment of Duessa Una she becomes the captive of and the Redcross Knight.





Then, when they had despoyld her tire and call, as she was their eies might her behold, That her misshaped parts did them appall

loathly wrinkled hag, ill-favoured, old, Whose secret filth good manners biddeth not be told.



Her crafty head was altogether bald, And, as in hate of honorable eld,


overgrown with scurfe and
teeth out of her rotten

filthy scald



her sour breath

gums were feld, abhommably smeld

dried dugs, lyke bladders lacking wind,
filthy matter from them skin, as rough as maple rind,

Hong downe, and
Her wrizled



So scabby was that would have loath'd


Her neather

parts, the


at her



shame of all her kind, shame doth blush to write


A The


rompe she growing had behind taile, with dong all fowly dight.

point about these horrible verses is that they represented with perfect accuracy the feeling of Eng-

lishmen towards the Scottish Queen, and there is nothing in them that would not have won applause from the most chivalrous of Elizabeth's gallants.



has been allowed for the excited state of

the public mind, its attitude towards Mary Stuart was barbarous, savage, and inhuman. Her offences concerned her own people not us. She had sought shelter in England and had found a prison that she should have used every means possible to regain her Whatever sins liberty was no crime in a captive. had stained her early life were more than atoned for N




Mary Stuart, deby her long years of captivity. fenceless, alone, and with a whole nation against her, ought to have moved the pity of every generous


final scenes

of her

life set in a lurid


horrible light the popular religion. The prayer of the Dean of Peterborough on the scaffold when Mary

was preparing to die was an exhibition of brutality that would have disgraced a Grand Inquisitor, but no one in England cried shame on him for tormenting a woman in her dying moments, when she was trying to make her peace with God. The following passage from the registe'rs of the Church of St. Christopherle-Stocks,


will illustrate another phase of the

same wave of popular passion and of moral degradation which had swept across the minds of the English

when Babington and and when the Queen other traytors were apprehended of Scotts was beheaded." The concluding word has
Item, paid for ringing


had a pencil drawn through it, as if the hideousness of the original entry had stirred some conscience when the whole ghastly business was at an end, but the fact remains that the English people lit bonfires, danced and made merry, because a wretched captive, after nineteen years of durance, had been butchered under the form of law, and insulted in her last moments for remaining faithful to that which a couple of generations before was the religion of the nation.
Tell Troth's Message/' written by John Lane and published in 1600, the Sins appear in processional order ; but there is nothing

In a




original in their description, everything being imi-

tated or




borrowed from Spenser. We may perhaps except the picture of Drunkenness, which, however,
remarkable for

little but revolting detail. Lane's in the lifetime of Elizabeth, who written was poem Had kept her Court free from all the grosser vices.

tained the

been written six years later, when James I enterKing of Denmark, the disgusting picture

of female drunkenness which he paints might have been seen among the masquers Sir John Harrington

when Faith, Hope, and Charity, their before Majesties, Hope was so intoxiappeared cated as to be well-nigh speechless, Faith was in a
at least relates that

staggering condition, Charity had to hurry out of the hall as quickly as might be, and the goddess Victory "was laid asleep on the outer steps of the ante-

chamber." Samuel Rowlands, a third-rate, but exceedingly popular humorist who began his literary career in
the closing years of Elizabeth's reign by
sacred poetry,
verse, in

sort are

from which


he passed to light
a short

which popular vices of the grosser humourously and realistically depicted, has




and riding to Hell.
of satirical

Seven Deadly Sins, all horsed It is found at the close of a


"The Four

Knaves," and



the pamphlets were very popular classes it is apparent that the idea of the

"Seven Deadly Sins" retained its meaning and power of appeal. The pamphlet was probably published In
1612, and frequently reprinted before Commonwealth The days, when it seems to have been suppressed.

The is. night and day. not presenting Claudio to but as a young man whom life is fair and sweet. in the play of" Measure for Measure. And in a moment Death takes all away. " solicitations of may Angelo. and his arguis ment it very : human if Sin under consideration not particularly Catholic. matic value. He of his wealth and mony still doth vaunt. but simply a passing one. It is youth facing death. occurs) there is a powerful dramatic episode in which Claudio urges his sister Isabella to give up her virtue at the . Or of the deadly seven it is the least. To scrape and get his care is. and of it is he says Sure no sin . the only new touch being that Covetousness is represented as riding on an elephant. of course. but the metaphors are all the well-worn ones of the older writers. in order that her brother's life be spared. (Although farre richer then himselfe in grace). And counts his poore (though honest) neighbour base. For Shakespeare (1564-1616) the Sins had no draHe has one direct reference to them. Not so would the monks and the is fathers of the Church have argued. Covetousness doth backe an elephant . Shakespeare really had no intimate knowledge of the Catholic Church. is His soule for money every day sold . Lechery." and an indirect reference in the play of " Henry VIII" (if he wrote the passage in which it In Measure for Measure.88 THE SEVEN DEADLY is SINS ride of the Sins to Hell told in vigorous rhyme. but Shakespeare as a Catholic. God he neglected for the love of gold. though it is often urged ." Act IIL Scene i.

K ' /*%./ .'*faiK .V <\< i" .

which any man of energy and determination may have in some degree.. largely are other enemies besides the Deadly Seven. there is the episode in the fall of Wolsey. omniscient knowledge must be found in his universal genius. That is a power which is among the mysteries of nature. and cannot be created by environment or education. attack man. and Fido. and the Vices spiritual. The allegory is confused and incoherent.. and Soul old battle between Sense on the old lines. Faith. The . in that curious poetical allegory the "Purple Island/' written by Phineas Fletcher (1585?-! 650). In Henry VIII. and altogether it is "a vagrant rout" which manis . . Heresy is there. hope to win by then.THE SINS AND THE ELIZABETHANS 89 otherwise by non-Catholics. and Schism nameless Vices become incarnate. the Flesh. of getting a swift and complete practical knowledge of any subject he desired to know." Act III. and he had it The secret of his seemingly in supreme measure. but under classical names. in addition to being a good minor poet. fling : away Ambition it. where it would appear that the foundation Sin of Pride is referred to under the name of Ambition Cromwell. is defender. possessed an accurate knowledge of the science of his day. physical The World. but it has occasionally and fine poetic passages. He was a parish priest who. Scene ii. By that sin fell the angels how can man The image of his Maker. He had the faculty. and in that power the world has not seen " his equal. Six of the Sins appear. The "Purple Island" is man. but there fought. I : charge thee.

but sparing was his drift . clouted shoes were nailed. For Heaven. . A mitre trebly crowned the impostor wore . by the . yet in an iron grave his god from noisome rusting fears to keep. Hell. The imagery of the poem is involved and unequal like the poem itself. There are passages full of strength and there are others which are best described modern term " sugary. he eats his food is worse than fasting. proves : he nearer bows : his head.90 THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS kind in Fletcher's verse has to encounter." Elizabethan quaintthe atmosphere is artinesses and conceits abound ficial and without life. His clothes And all patched with more than honest thrift. Echoes of Langland. and a very full imitation and fire. And deep into the earth digs back with pain : From Hell his god he brings. slave to his basest slave Never enough. and still too much desiring : : Himself protects His gold his god. . Earth. But late his keys are marred or broken quite. and its moments of reality are rare. is very manifestly the Church of Rome. for fear of wasting : Fasting he And when praised. Age on his hairs the winter snow had That silver badge his near end plainly Yet as to earth it spread . whom the author has named Pleonectes. his gold admiring. or Schism. and hoards in Hell again. Heaven's doors and Hell's to shut and open wide . Dichostasis. So loves more for "Like his Like still loves" : Deep from the ground he digs his sweetest gain. he claims with lofty pride Not in his lips but hands two keys he bore. of Spenser are found in the description of Covetousness. His servant's drudge. : Much much more to lose his lusting. Himself and golden god and everyone mistrusting. Next Pleonectes went.

and he had a greater knowledge of men and women. Sick of a strange disease." Dekker has written a pamphlet which is delightful reading. entitled "The Seven Deadly several coaches Sins of London. knew his Certain well. and introduces which his readers would probably regard as more modern and up to date. and of the world. but his environment was larger.THE SINS AND THE ELIZABETHANS 9! In the description of Envy there is a touch of even though Spenoriginality and Elizabethan vigour. In the year 1606 there was published a pamphlet written by Thomas Dekker (15 75?-! 641 ?). full of vivid and graphic description. strikingly the dramatist in is as full of London many ways quite pro- found religious feeling as the Elstow workman. but in another's wealth : best men's harms and griefe he feeds his fill : . Envy the next. bringing the plague with them. Is On 111 never poor. must the temper when diet is so ill. and bubbling over with mirth Sins . his neighbours' health Best lives he then. The book is a scathing impeachment of the social life of London. . especially on its under side. drawn in seven through the seven several gates of the city. "The names Dekker's "Bill of the play" is thus quaintly phrased. of the actors in this old interlude of . with the exception but he disregards all the medieval of Sloth. ser had said all that could be said on this particular sin. other Sins and Dekker. the in book resemble passages Bunyan. Envy with squinted eyes. as his plays demonstrate. when any better dies . Else his own maw doth eat with spiteful will be.

Lying. knowing sees that they dare build upon his the ground to be good. Shaving. denunciations. or a merchant. and anatomize his body from head to foote. and seekes to get the world into his hands (yet not to go out of ye city). to his meanest customer (to express his the last humilitie) later artificial! . he takes upon the condition of an asse to any man that will loade him with golde. and down than a constable to proclaime his thrift. which even infidels themselves will not violate. form may Politike Bankruptisme enters the be heard to-day. I will give you his length by the scale. a grand with city by Ludgate display of pageantry. Politike Bankraptisme. when himself up. seven may The as this easily play part. and some of Dek. Apishness. By such wheeles as these he windes himselfe up into till the height of rich men's favors selfe. in 55 they were known the seventeenth century. Candle Light simply refers to sins done after dark and is a badly chosen name altogether Shaving has a modern equivalent in sweating. and useth his credit like a ship him . Heere it is : a tradesman. first Is but not without a Devil! an exposure of fraudulent bankrupts. and is thus described: "Because ye shall believe ker's me. he is up earlier than a sarjeant. or than executors keepe talks of countries lawes that the dead injoyned them to. he grow rich him- and when he credit.92 THE SEVEN DEADLY SI!S S 7 iniquity are. Crueltie. Sloth. his hand goes to his head. in a slightly varied. Candle Light. he will be sure to keepe his days of paymente more truly than lawyers keepe their termes. or first Whether he be he first set he never saw (upon Change).

they soe with themselves which (like small shot) pots. and lookt more sowerly on his poore neighbours than if he had drunk a quart of "The and vineger at a draught. It is chiefly less with the vices of respectable citizens. ply penny goe off powring into their fat paunches. and Dekker does not. into a taverne. and quicke retyres in has Who them o . In which pickle if ainye of them happen to be justled downe by a post (that in spite of them will take the wall. and his descriptions thereof are characterised by the same fear- and abounding humour that is found in his plays. and so reeles them into the kennell). all else is as applicable to-day as if the writer was contributing to a modern review. that at length they have not an eye to see withal nor a good legge to stand upon. where. that sat in his shop both forenoon and afternoon. impossible to say anything about lying that is Candle Light deals original. either alone or with slips that battles their some other money together. away he sayles with it. shipwreck. but that brazen-face Candle Light ? Nay more he entices their very prentices to make their desperate sallies out. and politickly runnes himself all for after on ground. who takes to them up or leades them home? bed and with a pillow smothes this of so stealing good liquor.THE freighted with . sneakes out of his own doores. to 35 make the world beleeve he hath suffered It is only the language here that belongs to the seventeenth century. damask-coated citizen. SINS AND THE ELIZABETHANS sorts of 93 merchandise by venturous he hath into his hands so much gotten pilots of other men's goods as will fill him to the upper deck.

94 THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS (contrarie to the oath of their indentures which they are seven yeares a swearing). they fall roundly to play the London and that 's at three severall prize. we ob- orcharde to stand still tain a fairly clear insight into seventeenth century social problems. yet even these. and often made them dangerous at night. eating as the swine. and seeme better husbands than fidlers that scrape for a poore living both daye and night. be an idle fellow. but they were often only the unemployed of the . who are every houre showing their wares to their cus! tomers. receive their full share of his severe condemnations . Tush. this is nothing Yong shopkeepers that have newly ventured upon the pikes of marriage. but to be cut downe he should stand still" Reading Dekker's denunciations of idleness. dauncing. only for their pintes and away." There is hardly a finer piece of writing in all Dekker's prose than the exquisite introduction to the Sin of Sloth. if they can but get candle light to sit up all night in any house of reckning (that is to saye in a taverne). weapons. in The "sturdy beggars" who were plentiful London streets. drinking. or ever prating to no purpose as the birdes of the ayr he was not set in this univer. It is full of the true Elizabethan fragrance and fanciful old-world beauty. plying their businesse harder all day than Vulcan does his anvile. ever dumb as fishes in the sea. salle if as a tree. holding us by its charm "Man doubtless was not created to as we come to it. for then he should be God's vagabond he was made for other purposes than to be ever . ever sleeping as the dormise. and dicing.

" which has been considerably overlooked by the historian. might have proved good members of the weal public. and on the inside quilted throughout with downe pillowes: Sleep and perfect of it its kind. and bewails that no one will take action to alter things. falling into breaches of the laws. city it will near and fields suburbs yield of young and old. " asses carry . and no taketh them up to bring them to some faculty to get their living." When it is remembered that. it will be realised that there was another side to the carefully provided for. they "golden days of good Queen Bess. as is commanded. if they had been . "If. "the the streets within it and the be of London viewed. men and women able of body to serve masters and to labour for their living. but suffer them to wallow still in idleness until they be past to be re- claimed. which is most lamentable.THE SI2s S 7 AND THE ELIZABETHANS 95 time. in addition to these classes. Plenty leads the fore asse. Nevertheless Dekker's description of Sloth in his litter is A couple of unshodde betweene them it is all skittishly overgrown with mosse on the outside." 1596. such as are familiar to readers of both Elizabethan sermons and Elizabethan plays. a pursie double-chind Laena. absolutely nothing was done for the disbanded soldier or discharged sailor. John Norden. the young and tender and lads of all ages lie under the stalls in the streets girls man by great companies. in his " sturdy "Progress of Piety. and so are eaten up with untimely death who. a great number of vagabonds. And. shows how the beggars" were created." says Norden. under hedges in the fields. riding by on a sumpter horse with provander .

and where it falls there rises up a stinking weede. when it first came into the Citie. so that apishness is nothing but counterfeiting or imitation and this flower. Blockishness. whores. gives us the Sins in a love sonnet He was one of the group of Elizabethan sonnetters. . Paleness. a poet of repute of the same period as Dekker (1562-1613). and one that says he has been a soldier on the other side. and fiddlers/ In apishness he seems to be attacking that com5 dumb paratively harmless.96 at his THE SEVEN DEADLY mouth. and those are an Irish beggar on the one side. if also useless. and a delightful colour. exchange wenches. and knows nothing . ministers. Ignorance. most of In his his poetry was of an intensely sonnet dealing with the Sins. doing over those tricks (especially if they be knavish) which he sees done before him. Bondage. Want. and an ape is zani to a man. had a prettie scent. . panders. and Carelessness. hath been let to runne so high that it is now seeded." Henry Constable. His attendants are Sickness. she keeps two pages. which. " Man is God's ape. and attacking him for Puritan reasons only. and she Is SINS the litter driver. the Seven are simply named but the Catholic writer puts them in their ancient order. personage the fop. Dekker can be severe enough on the Puritan when he chooses. The retayners that wear his cloth are anglers. Infamy. players. who in 1595 had to flee from England because of his loyalty to his Church. and a staunch adherent of the Catholic faith. but he shows his sympathies with them in this fine piece of description from the chapter on apishness. gamesters. but religious kind.

. a A bawd between my sight heart and love . in his absence. kill my heart mine eye let in her eye. Unchaste. These Sins procured have a Goddess' Ire Wherefore my heart is damned in Love's sweet fire. And Covetous it never would remove From her fair hair gold so doth please his . . with tears drunk every night. ! Glutton eye. And so consent gave to a murder wrought.THE SINS AND THE ELIZABETHANS 97 of the changes or the variations given to Protestant poet or pamphleteer. stood gazing by 5 Idle took no heed till I was caught Envious bears envy that by thought it : the To Should. Mine eye with all them by the : First Proud. sith A And And Deadly Sins is fraught presumed to look so high. be to her so nigh. watchman being made.

CHAPTER Exeunt is VII.also came out a book entitled A Colthis time (i 627) : C lection of Private Devotions or the Hours of Prayer. its controversy raged. taken out of the Holy the ancient fathers. and full a But Cosin was pure and lofty faith. of our own Church. " About in his life of Laud. It was published author being John Cosin (1594-1671). that the ap- Sins pass out of English Literature. Popery in the innocent little volume of prayers and How it was received is told by Peter Heylin psalms." It is a beautiful little book. pearance a fierce is in a little bitter volume of devotion over which and in 1627. in the following passage . in the period of the Civil strife War. the Sins. fragrance of known to be a friend of the King and of Laud. as they were manner published by authority of Queen Elizabeth. and amid the Their final the savage IT of the Puritan uprising. and the divine services Scriptures. of the marked by both piety and learning. and one of the greatest scholars of the time and so the Puritan faction smelt . . was a devout and loyal churchman. one of the prebends of Durham. and it was entitled "A Collection of Private Devotions: in the practice of the ancient Church called the Hours of after this Prayer.' composed bv Cosens. who afterwards became Bishop of Durham.

H. with the Which notwithsubscription of his own hand to it. Denbigh is But Heylin. standing. but not well pleasing in the form. or rather compiled. some twenty years later. reason for its all about the contro- startled many at first. and his statement that the book for the benefit of was written. then Bishop of London. supported by two angels. the generally believed. and by him licensed for the press. if not warping from A book which had in it much good matter. The title gave offence to some Church of by reason of . and for the satisfaction. and then supposed to be unonly settled in the religion here established. although he may have been ignorant of the He continues. who. the correspondence it held with the Popish Horaries but the frontispiece a great deal more.' S. it appearance. as was then of the Countess of Denbigh. looked upon as a prepara- in the superstitions of the tory to usher Rome. with two devout women praying towards it." The reputation of Peter Heylin for accuracy is markedly indifferent.EXEUNT THE at SINS 99 the request. the Countess of entirely contrary to fact. and looking at the quaint and pretty little frontispiece to-day it is hardly possible to avoid a feeling of contempt for the bitter- .) with a cross upon them encircled with the sun. Cosin himself told the story of its origin to John Evelyn. sister of the Duke. knows versy which the book aroused." His description of the title page is very accurate. as will be shown presently. otherwise very it moderate and sober men. "the book was approved by Mountain. it. on the top whereof was found the name of Jesus figured in three capitals (I.

Samuel Rawson Gardiner says of him. his Cozening Devotions. and is very wearisome reading in these days when book and fery." he attacks. and his power of reading a of a out molehill mountain would have made making him an invaluable critic of political ideas had he lived He takes the book page by page in in our own time. The book was Bursavagely attacked by both Prynne and Burton. Anno. if it controversy alike are forgotten. His of criticism would have commended him to Jefstyle had been a little more scholarly. It contains twice as much matter as the book 1 628. but his nature was cold. and he was without mercy for those who had the temerity to think differently from himself. to abolish and suppress trines false. the criticism of this harmless and in that spirit he approached volume. no sense of the relative held it to importance of things be the duty of the all 55 distasteful to him. but it was far otherwise with that of William Prynne. deep. ton's book attracted but little notice. or of Parliament. He was a man of striking ability and dogged tenacity of purpose. brief Censure The title of Prynne's book "A and Survey of Cozens. and he had lived in the days of the Edinburgh Review. "to establish the true religion in our church. the most systematic way and finds Popery in every . no broad culture. it is a very feeble performance and called for none. and unsympathetic to the last degree." He State. His if not had been wide. "He had no souled sectaries formative genius. all new and little is counterfeit doc- whatever. hard.1 00 THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS intention who saw nothing but evil where the was nothing but good.


Neither is nature . so it Seven Sins are the greater there are necessarily implies that these sins of all others. page 122. to all his bear on them. Covetousness 3. 14. printed at Paris. dently deduced i. : . for so this in any way salved by the clause 'as they are com- p . which is evi- from this passage 'Seven Deadly Sins. 6. catechisms. tian 'The Houres of our Lady/ 345 c . simply puts them down in their be order as things avoided. Envy. them whatever.EXEUNT THE line. they then fall immediately to dispute of venial sir^ which venial sins our own and all other Protestant Churches do renounce. that there are some sins which are but venial. Gluttony .' cap. Pride. 'Bellarmines Chris- Otium Spirituale/ by Doctrine. He his standpoint. Protestant authors. and he was on sure ground when he came to the Cosin makes no comment on Seven Deadly Sins. and that are not deadly in their some sins which own : do the Popish writers infer from them whence it is that after they have discoursed of these Seven Deadly Sins. as he sets down the Seven Virtues as things to be commended and followed. but does not utter a single word of a doctrinal to He Nevertheless or other character concerning them. Luxury. 5. proves Cosin to be a rank " From this we descend to the ensays . 2. SINS IOI "Matins" and "Evensong" are Popish words. heavy artillery brings Prynne and from Papist. Anger. fol. directly his Catechism/ cap. suing point. 4. and not out of any phlets. Mathias Ceschi. which as it is c stolen out of Our Lady's Primer'. Sloth'. 1556.. c 7. and other Popish pamand devotions. not mortal in their own nature. 19. Ledesma.

in the Koran. taught there were seven Sins" which were. in the opinion of William Prynne. murder. called the Seven own guilt) hath added to his For these are nowhere commonly Deadly Sins but among Turks and Protestants. desertion in a religious expedition. Papists.' than before. that there are some Sins that are but venial in their nature.102 THE SEVEN DEADLY 3 SINS monly so called. which Protestants do quite renounce. idolatry. 'the seven capital Sins com- monly called deadly/ so that our authors which renders it not 'Deadly Sins' as j later edition.' cap. But on the other hand there is. not among c Whence Our Lady's c Primer/ and james Ledesma the Jesuit. tradition that wasting the substance of orphans. with everything which. a Mohammed." " The passage relating to "Turks and Papists raises a most interesting point for discussion. but 'Seven Deadly Sins. Prynne knew a good many things : did . animated by a desire to link it On the face of it the reference appears to be a mere gibe at Catholicism. his 3 Cate- chism. his first im- pression doth. according to Sale. but they are nowhere classed as seven in number. speaking of these Seven Sins give them this superscription.' doth rather more than mend his cause. taking of usury. because it is now more suitable to c Ledes- ma' and 'Our Lady's Primer. and disobedience There are references to "grievous Sins" to parents. and so more likely to infer this Popish conclusion. false "grievous accusations of adultery brought against honest women. appeared to be bad. which our author (conscious no his doubt to himself of later impressions. 14. as they are commonly so called.

it seems to have done it good. for he says. as the latter in his closing years was deep in the confidences of his most Catholic Majesty Charles II. while Cosin. such regular forms of divine worship.EXEUNT THE he know of this tradition in r SINS 103 It is very few people England . but in those published after the author's death. The name women of Jesus. in the body of it so much piety. according to Heylin. the offending title The book satisfied page was replaced by one which seems to have both the orthodoxy and the prejudice of the time. and although the text was not tampered with. intellectual outlook was wider than that of Prynne indeed. found against it. and the great clamour made the book grew up into esteem. "But for all this violent opposition. such necessary consolations in special exigencies that they reserved it by them as a jewel of great price and value. staunch and loyal Protestant. who became the greatest ecclesiastic of his time. it The among attack on the book did no special harm those whose . insomuch that many of those who first startled at it in regard of its title. and justified itself without any advocate. for the middle of the the reli- seventeenth century gion of Mohammed knew anything about but little it is not impossible. sturdily defended the ." passed through many editions. the cross and the praying were superseded by the Royal coat of arms . of the two a better very one than William Prynne. in most unlikely. the book had now an air of commonplace respectability which no doubt helped it presently to pass out of notice As a matter of fact Cosin himself was a altogether.

Cosin was dining with Evelyn. felt it his duty to condole and Cosin had with them. who were then to be discharged less by Evelyn (Oct. whereupon his called Majesty presently Bishop White to him.104 THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS Protestantism of the English Church. after morning service Royal. Catholic waiting women about her person. this. on all events and extremities. and for establishing and comforting some ladies of great quality. At the first coming of the Queen into England. which among the Puritans were wont to be called 'Cosin's cozening devotions' by way of derision. and asked his thoughts of it. that had neither appointed nor set forth any hours of prayer or breviaries by which the ladies and courtiers. as they had. when etta 1 627. 1651). encouraging our trust in God from our Queen Mother's service. told me the occasion of publishing those offices. being apThis meant the dismissal prehensive of Puritan spies. might edify and be in devotion. i. Dr. as related "The Dean preached on Job xiii. who have much spare time. they "The Dean dining this day at our house. to On the first of at the Chapel whom he conIn fided the real story of the origin of the book. HenriQueen Maria had resolved to have none but Roman the c ' Devotions ' ' were first issued. and whether there might not be found some forms of prayer proper on such occa- . i 5. scandalised it seems at in the matter to the King. unwould go over to the Romish Mass. October. Our moved Protestant ladies. from Court of apparently The incident as follows: ladies of noble birth. Cosin. 1661. she and her French ladies were often upbraiding our religion. is of Peterborough.

the King enjoyned him to On which the Bishop told his Majesty charge the Doctor in his name to set about it imme- This the Dean told me he did. to Upon this there c printed." . Cosin. who took reproach our want of zeal and religion. and presently the Bishop naming Dr. from which no man was more averse. and three diately. and one who in this time of temptation held and confirmed many to our Church. it and others (who spend much appear as devout and might be done easily and was very necessary: whereupon the King commanded him to employ some person of the clergy to compile such a work. &c. out of the Fathers. nor did I set any first c name as author to it.EXEUNT THE sions. who had exceedingly suffered by it as if I he had done it of his own head to introduce Popery. touching the times and seasons of prayer all the rest being entirely translated and . collected SINS 105 out of some already approved forms. nor/ said were at he ? whole book of my only two hundred copies was there anything in the own composure. but those necessary prefaces. and our own Liturgy/ This rather mentioned to justify that learned and pious Dean. collected out of an office published by the authority of Queen Elizabeth in 1560. ladies at least so that the Court time in be so trifling) as the occasion to might new-come-over French ladies. he commanded the Bishop of London to read it over and make his report this was so well liked that (contrary . former custom of doing it by a chaplain) he would needs give it an Imprimatur under his own hand. after months bringing the book to the King.

: Printed at The Shakespeare Head Press^ Stratford-on-Avon.IO6 THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS In this controversy. idea neither the subtleties of the theologians nor the criticisms of the philosophers could obscure or gainsay. but a mere tempest in a teacup from ours. they have not gone from life still they lurk like foul vampires in its caverns and its darkened forests. the Seven Deadly Sins take their final leave of English literature. For more than six centuries we force in the intellect and vitalising of our nation. stirring the imafind a living them gination and arousing the conscience of poet. still in their moments of daring and of strength we may behold them dancing their old and hideous dance. . a quarrel of mighty import from the seventeenth century point of view. preacher The essential verity of their and playwright alike. If they have gone from literature.

INDEX Abraham Actason : : 1 : 4 "Cursor Mundi 9 ': 43 : Abstinence 24 Dan Michel. 77 Francis. Ayenbite of Inwyt 40 Bad Angel 23. 99. 17 : 65 Denbigh. Dr. Sir 6 28 Catholic Church : 2. Henry: 63 . 13 "Five Wyttes": 19 Foxe. 6. 72. 58. 2. 16 Gloominess: 9 "City of God": 6 Clement. 3 6 Guild of the Butchers 14 Cruden. 76 18. John: 32. 45. 63. 93.47. 12. John 62 Furnival.51. 8i ? 82 : Doubleness : 65 65 : Duessa: 79.19. 77> 8 3 Eastern Counties: 33 : Backbiter : 23 4 Edmunds.49 Chester Plays: 12. 51. 101 : Dante: 43 Dark Ages Death: 25 14 55 Apocalypse 40. Thomas: 44 Arn way. 18. 15. J. 42. 1 58. 63 Balaam : 1 Balak: 14 Bampton Lectures: 10 Ben Jonson 72. Faustus: 76. 75. Digby Mysteries: 17 Discomfort. John : 98. 15.43. Sir John: 13 St. Countess of: 99 Dean of Peterborough 104 Decay : : Dekker. Paul": 17 : God: 26. 27. Lord 24 : 70. St. William . 69. 65 Apostle Paul -.4. Alexander: Hallam. F. "Expositor": 15. 16.41. 25 Gluttony: 101 2. 73. 76. Henry 96. John : 29. 101. Robert: 67 Envy: 15. 31. Distraction : Augustine. 43. 32. 3. 44. Thomas: 4. 49 Avarice: 15. Dr. of Northgate : 40 36 : Adam: 15. John Egypt: 10 Egyptian: 10 Elizabeth. St. 17 Aelfnc's Homilies 43 Angels' Annunciation Anger: 2.: 103 : Henry: 12. 65 Byron. 33. 77 Castle of Perseverance : 18. 24. 94. 49. 98 Burns. Charles II. 9. 73 Arnold. 39. 34. 41. 17. 97 "Conversion of St. 27 : : 67. 104 i 35. Dissimulation. 82 : Queen: 74. 84 Dunbar. Good Angel: 21. 16. 13 Christ: 14.64 I o Catherine. : Gower. Bunyan. 95^ 96 Aquinas. : Cosin. 68. 18 : : "Give me 60 lysens to live at ease": Chaucer: 37. Bishop of Rome: 13 "Confessio Amantis" 36 Constable.

76. in Churches : Lechery: 15. William: 12 Nicholas the Fifth : : "Vox Virgil Clamantis": 33 : 43 : : 12 Wanhope 68 : Norden. ici.21.2. 63 45. 30. 21. 27. 21. A. John Zodiac : 1 2 : 44 The : 37. 69. Henry : " : 33. Peter: 98. 28. William: 100. 58. Reason 59 : : Koran : 102 Reformation. 60. 72 Marlowe. Morley. 71. W. 49. 69 Heggenet. The 62. Humanum Genus Priests : 1 9 "Instructions for Parish 19 Pride: 2. Oskar: " 52. 40 Judgement: 12 Justice: 40 103 : John.26. 40 47 . 102 Whitsun Plays Wycliffe. 23. Jack: 33 Sidgwick. Prof. William : 29. 42. John 76 Luxuria: 31. 99 Piers the Plowman : 29 Horanes. 35. Stephen 65 Heaven 14. 71. 78. Paintings of. 53 Speculum Meditantis Straw. 48. 101 54 Prynne. 50 Lust: 2. 102 . 24. 81 Ledesma. 42. :68. 78 Lourens. 34 9 : Ten Commandments: 66 Temperance : 9. 43 Pollard. 63. Chris. 13 Lydgate.32. Popish : 99 : Plumptre. James: 101. : : : 65 9 : : 1 2 Petavius George 93 : 74 : Hell 114. Friar 39. 40.3 Sins. 47. 100 : : Queen : Henrietta Maria: 104 : Kalendar of Shepherds 49> 52. John: 54. Hugh 66 Scannell's Catholic Dictionary : Langland. Pynson. Richard: 75 "Turks and Tyler. 79 Mankind 19. 12 : Tarlton.INDEX "Handlyng Smne": 43 Hawes. Henry 34 Myrc. 72 Richard II. 69. Richard 45 Puritan 98. 27 Mary Stuart: 78. 84 Mathias Ceschi 101 " Mirror of the Periods of Man's Life": 58 "Mirror of St. 77. 97. 80. 77 Heylm. Don Randle : " Pastime of Pleasure" Patience Peele. 103 : 9 Virtues: 9. Papists": 102 Wat: 33 : Vain Glory 101 Mohammed: 102. 51. H. 18. 41. 36 : Latimer. 101 Sommer. John 95 " Our Lady's Primer" Parson. 30. Edmund": 43 : : : 53) 54 Sloth -. 55 Newall. 23. 25. 57. Jesus: 99 St. 57. 39 Mahoun 68.

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