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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Parson's Tale

Sequitur de Gula

§ 71       After Avarice comth Glotonye, which is expres eek agayn the comandement of God. Glotonye is unmesurable appetit to ete or to drynke, or elles to doon ynogh to the unmesurable appetit and desordeynee coveitise to eten or to drynke. This synne corrumped al this world, as is wel shewed in the synne of Adam and of Eve. Looke eek what seith Seint Paul, of Glotonye "manye," seith Seint Paul, goon, of whiche I have ofte seyd to yow, and now I seye it wepynge, that been the enemys of the croys of Crist; of whiche the ende is deeth, and of whiche hire wombe is hire God, and hire glorie in confusioun of hem that so savouren erthely thynges. He that is usaunt to this synne of glotonye, he ne may no synne withstonde. He moot been in servage of alle vices, for it is the develes hoord ther he hideth hym and resteth. This synne hath manye speces. The firste is dronkenesse, that is the horrible sepulture of mannes resoun; and therfore, whan a man is dronken, he hath lost his resoun; and this is deedly synne. But soothly, whan that a man is nat wont to strong drynke, and peraventure ne knoweth nat the strengthe of the drynke, or hath feblesse in his heed, or hath travailed, thurgh which he drynketh the moore, al be he sodeynly caught with drynke, it is no deedly synne, but venyal. The seconde spece of glotonye is that the spirit of a man wexeth al trouble, for dronkenesse bireveth hym the discrecioun of his wit. The thridde spece of glotonye is whan a man devoureth his mete, and hath no rightful manere of etynge. The fourthe is whan, thurgh the grete habundaunce of his mete, the humours in his body been distempred. The fifthe is foryetelnesse by to muchel drynkynge; for which somtymee a man foryeteth er the morwe what he dide at even, or on the nyght biforn.
§ 72       In oother manere been distinct the speces of glotonye, after Seint Gregorie. The firste is for to ete biforn tyme to ete. The seconde is whan a man get hym to delicaat mete or drynke. The thridde is whan men taken to muche over mesure. The fourthe is curiositee, with greet entente to maken and apparaillen his mete. The fifthe is for to eten to gredily. Thise been the fyve fyngres of the develes hand, by whiche he draweth folk to synne.


Remedium contra peccatum Gule

§ 73       Agayns Glotonye is the remedie abstinence, as seith Galien; but that holde I nat meritorie, if he do it oonly for the heele of his body. Seint Augustyn wole that abstinence be doon for vertu and with pacience. "Abstinence," he seith, "is litel worth, but if a man have good wil therto, and but it be enforced by pacience and by charitee, and that men doon it for Godes sake, and in hope to have the blisse of hevene".
§ 74       The felawes of abstinence been attemperaunce, that holdeth the meene in alle thynges; eek shame, that aschueth alle deshonestee; surfisance, that seketh no riche metes ne drynkes, ne dooth no fors of to outrageous appariailynge of mete; mesure also, that restreyneth by resoun the deslavee appetit of etynge; sobrenesse also, that restreyneth the outrage of drynke; sparynge also, that restreyneth the delacaat ese to sitte longe at his mete and softely, wherfore some folk stonden of hir owene wyl to eten at the lasse leyser.




Next:
The Parson's Tale (§§ 75-84)