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From The Parson's Tale, paragraph 55-59:
The remedy against the sin of Anger
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Parson's Tale
Paragraph 60-66
About Sloth (laziness)

Sequitur de Accidia

§ 60       After the synne of envye and of ire, now wol I speken of the synne of Accidie. For envye blyndeth the herte of a man, and ire troubleth a man, and Accidie maketh hym hevy, thoghtful, and wraw. Envye and ire maken bitternesse in herte, which bitternesse is mooder of Accidie, and bynymeth hym the love of alle goodnesse. Thanne is Accidie the angwissh of troubled herte; and Seint Augustyn seith, "it is anoy of goodnesse and joye of harm." Certes, this is a dampnable synne; for it dooth wrong to Jhesu Crist, in as muche as it bynymeth the service that men oghte doon to Crist with alle diligence, as seith Salomon. But Accidie dooth no swich diligence. He dooth alle thyng with anoy, and with wrawnesse, slaknesse, and excusacioun, and with ydelnesse, and unlust; for which the book seith, "acursed be he that dooth the service of God necligently." Thanne is Accidie enemy to everich estaat of man; for certes, the estaat of man is in three maneres. Outher it is th'estaat of innocence, as was th'estaat of Adam biforn that he fil into synne, in which estaat he was holden to wirche as in heriynge and adowrynge of God. Another estaat is the estaat of synful men, in which estaat men been holden to laboure in preiynge to God for amendement of hire synnes, and that he wole graunte hem to arysen out of hir synnes. Another estaat is th'estaat of grace; in which estaat he is holden to werkes of penitence. And certes, to alle thise thynges is Accidie enemy and contrarie, for he loveth no bisynesse at al. Now certes, this foule synne, Accidie, is eek a ful greet enemy to the liflode of the body; for it ne hath no purveaunce agayn temporeel necessitee; for it forsleweth and forsluggeth and destroyeth alle goodes temporeles by reccheleesnesse.

Here follows the section about Sloth

§ 60        After the sin of Envy and of Anger, now will I speak of the sin of Sloth. For Envy blinds the heart of a man, and Anger troubles a man, and Sloth makes him heavy, thoughtful, and fretful. Envy and Anger make bitterness in heart, which bitterness is mother of Sloth, and deprives him of the love of all goodness. Then is Sloth the anguish of troubled heart; and Saint Augustine says, "It is vexation of goodness and joy of harm." Certainly, this is a damnable sin, for it does wrong to Jesus Christ, inasmuch as it takes away the service that men ought do to Christ with all diligence, as says Solomon. But Sloth does no such diligence. He does all thing with vexation, and with fretfulness, slowness, and making excuses, and with idleness, and disinclination; for which the book says, "Cursed be he that does the service of God negligently." Then is Sloth enemy to every estate of man, for certainly the estate of man is in three manners. Or it is the state of innocence, as was the state of Adam before that he fell into sin, in which estate he was obliged to work as in praising and adoring of God. Another state is the state of sinful men, in which state men are obliged to labor in praying to God for amendment of their sins, and that he will grant them to arisen out of their sins. Another state is the state of grace, in which state he is obliged to works of penitence. And certainly, to all these things is Sloth enemy and antithesis, for he loves no business at al. Now certainly this foul sin Sloth is also a very great enemy to the sustenance of the body, for it has no preparation against temporal necessity, for it loses by delaying and spoils through sluggishness and destroys all temporal goods by carelessness.

§ 61       The fourthe thyng is that Accidie is lyk hem that been in the peyne of helle, by cause of hir slouthe and of hire hevynesse; for they that been dampned been so bounde that they ne may neither wel do ne wel thynke. Of Accidie comth first, that a man is anoyed and encombred for to doon any goodnesse, and maketh that God hath abhomynacion of swich Accidie, as seith Seint John. § 61        The fourth thing is that Sloth is like those that are in the pain of hell, by cause of their sloth and of their heaviness, for they that are damned are so bound that they can neither do well nor think well. Of Sloth comes first that a man is annoyed and encumbered to do any goodness, and makes that God has abomination of such Sloth, as says Saint John.
§ 62       Now comth Slouthe, that wol nat suffre noon hardnesse ne no penaunce. For soothly, slouthe is so tendre and so delicaat, as seith Salomon, that he wol nat suffre noon hardnesse ne penaunce, and therfore he shendeth al that he dooth. Agayns this roten-herted synne of Accidie and slouthe sholde men exercise hemself to doon goode werkes, and manly and vertuously cacchen corage wel to doon, thynkynge that oure lord Jhesu Crist quiteth every good dede, be it never so lite. Usage of labour is a greet thyng, for it maketh, as seith Seint Bernard, the laborer to have stronge armes and harde synwes; and slouthe maketh hem feble and tendre. Thanne comth drede to bigynne to werke anye goode werkes. For certes, he that is enclyned to synne, hym thynketh it is so greet an emprise for to undertake to doon werkes of goodnesse, and casteth in his herte that the circumstances of goodnesse been so grevouse and so chargeaunt for to suffre, that he dar nat undertake to do werkes of goodnesse, as seith Seint Gregorie. § 62        Now comes Sloth, that will not suffer any hardness nor any penance. For truly, Sloth is so tender and so delicate, as says Solomon, that he will not suffer any hardness nor penance, and therefore he ruins all that he does. Against this rotten-hearted sin of Sloth and Sloth should men exercise themselves to do good works, and manly and virtuously take determination to do well, thinking that our Lord Jesus Christ rewards every good deed, be it never so little. Exercise of labor is a great thing, for it makes, as says Saint Bernard, the laborer to have strong arms and hard sinews; and sloth makes them feeble and tender. Then comes dread to begin to do any good works. For certainly, he that is inclined to sin, he thinks it is so great an enterprise to undertake to do works of goodness, and thinks in his heart that the circumstances of goodness are so grievous and so burdensome to suffer, that he dare not undertake to do works of goodness, as says Saint Gregory.
§ 63       Now comth wanhope, that is despeir of the mercy of God, that comth somtyme of to muche outrageous sorwe, and somtyme of to muche drede, ymaginynge that he hath doon so muche synne that it wol nat availlen hym, though he wolde repenten hym and forsake synne; thurgh which despeir or drede he abaundoneth al his herte to every maner synne, as seith Seint Augustin. Which dampnable synne, if that it continue unto his ende, it is cleped synnyng in the Hooly Goost. This horrible synne is so perilous that he that is despeired, ther nys no felonye ne no synne that he douteth for to do; as shewed wel by Judas. Certes, aboven alle synnes thanne is this synne moost displesant to crist, and moost adversarie. Soothly, he that despeireth hym is lyk the coward champious recreant, that seith, "creant" withoute nede, Allas! akkas! bedekes us he recreant and nedelees despeired. Certes, the mercy of God is evere redy to the penitent, and is aboven alle his werkes. Allas! kan a man nat bithynke hym on the gospel of Seint Luc, 15, where as Crist seith that "as wel shal ther be joye in hevene upon a synful man that dooth penitence, as upon nynty and nyne rightful men that neden no penitence." Looke forther, in the same gospel, the joye and the feeste of the goode man that hadde lost his sone, whan his sone with repentaunce was retourned to his fader. Kan they nat remembren hem eek that, as seith Seint Luc, 23, how that the theef that was hanged bisyde Jhesu Crist, seyde "lord, remembre of me, whan thow comest into thy regne? "For sothe," seyde Crist, "I seye to thee, to-day shaltow been with me in paradys." Certes, ther is noon so horrible synne of man that it ne may in his lyf be destroyed by penitence, thurgh vertu of the passion and of the deeth of Crist. Allas! what nedeth man thanne to been despeired, sith that his mercy so redy is and large? Axe and have. Thanne cometh sompnolence, that is, sloggy slombrynge, which maketh a man be hevy and dul in body and in soule; and this synne comth of slouthe. And certes, the tyme that, by wey of resoun, men sholde nat slepe, that is by the morwe, but if ther were cause resonable. For soothly, the morwe tyde is moost covenable a man to seye his preyeres, and for to thynken on God, and for to honoure God, and to yeven almesse to the povre that first cometh in the name of Crist. Lo, what seith Salomon "whoso wolde by the morwe awaken and seke me, he shal fynde." Thanne cometh necligence, or reccheleesnesse, that rekketh of no thyng. And how that ignoraunce be mooder of alle harm, certes, necligence is the norice. Necligence ne dooth no fors, whan he shal doon a thyng, wheither he do it weel or baddely. § 63        Now comes wanhope, that is despair of the mercy of God, that comes sometimes of too much outrageous sorrow, and sometimes of too much fear, imagining that he has done so much sin that it will not avail him, though he would repent himself and abandon, through which despair or dread he abandons all his heart to every sort of sin, as says Saint Augustine. Which damnable sin, if it continue unto its end, it is called sinning against the Holy Ghost. This horrible sin is so dangerous that he that is in despair, there is no felony nor no sin that he fears to do, as showed well by Judas. Certainly, above all sins then is this sin most displeasing to Christ, and most adverse. Truly, he that despairs himself is like the cowardly defeated champion, who says "I surrender" without need. Alas, alas, needless is he defeated and needless in despair. Certainly, the mercy of God is ever ready to the penitent, and is above all his works. Alas, can a man not remember the gospel of Saint Luke, 15, where Christ says that "as well shall there be joy in heaven upon one sinful man that does penitence, as upon ninety and nine righteous men that need no penitence." Look further, in the same gospel, the joy and the feast of the good man that had lost his son, when his son with repentance was returned to his father. Can they not remember also that, as says Saint Luke, 23, how the thief that was hanged beside Jesus Christ said, "Lord, remember me, when thou comest into thy reign."? "Truly," said Christ, "I say to you, to-day shalt thou be with me in paradise." Certainly, there is none so horrible sin of man that it may not in his life be destroyed by penitence, through virtue of the passion and of the death of Christ. Alas, what needs man then to be in despair, since his mercy so ready is and generous? Ask and have. Then cometh somnolence, that is sluggish slumbering, which makes a man be heavy and dull in body and in soul, and this sin comes of Sloth. And certainly, the time that, by way of reason, men should not sleep, that is in the morning, unless there were a reasonable cause. For truly, the morning time is most suitable for a man to say his prayers, and to think on God, and to honor God, and to give alms to the poor that first comes in the name of Christ. Lo, what says Solomon: "Whoever would in the morning awaken and seek me, he shall find." Then comes negligence, or carelessness, that takes account of nothing. And how that ignorance is mother of all harm, certainly, negligence is the nurse. Negligence cares nothing, when he shall do a thing, whether he do it well or badly.
§ 64       Of the remedie of thise two synnes, as seith the wise man, that he that dredeth god, he spareth nat to doon that him oghte doon. And he that loveth god, he wol doon diligence to plese God by his werkes, and abaundone hymself, with al his myght, wel for to doon. Thanne comth ydelnesse, that is the yate of alle harmes. An ydel man is lyk to a place that hath no walles; the develes may entre on every syde, or sheten at hym at discovert, by temptacion on every syde. This ydelnesse is the thurrok of alle wikked and vileyns thoghtes, and of alle jangles, trufles, and of alle ordure. Certes, the hevene is yeven to hem that wol labourn, and nat to ydel folk. Eek David seith that "they ne been nat in the labour of men, ne they shul nat been whipped with men," that is to seyn, in purgatorie. Certes, thanne semeth it, they shul be tormented with the devel in helle, but if they doon penitence. § 64        Of the remedy of these two sins, as says the wise man, that "He that fears God, he does not neglect to do what he ought to do." And he that loves God, he will do diligence to please God by his works and devote himself, with all his might, to do well. Then comes idleness, that is the gate to all harms. An idle man is like to a place that has no walls; the devils may enter on every side, or shoot at him in an exposed position, by temptation on every side. This idleness is the storage place of all wicked and churlish thoughts, and of all gossip, trifles, and of all filth. Certainly, the heaven is given to them that will labor, and not to idle people. Also David says that "they are not in the labor of men, and they shall not be whipped by men" that is to say, in purgatory. Certainly, then seems it they shall be tormented by the devil in hell, unless they do penitence.
§ 65       Thanne comth the synne that men clepen tarditas, as whan a man is to laterede or tariynge, er he wole turne to God; and certes, that is a greet folie. He is lyk to hym that falleth in the dych, and wol nat arise. And this vice comth of a fals hope, that he thynketh that he shal lyve longe; but that hope faileth ful ofte. § 65        Then comes the sin that men call tarditas, as when a man is too tardy or tarrying before he will turn to God, and certainly that is a great folly. He is like to him that falls in the ditch and will not arise. And this vice comes of a false hope, that he thinks that he shall live long; but that hope fails very often.
§ 66       Thanne comth lachesse; that is he, that whan he biginneth any good werk, anon he shal forleten it and stynten; as doon they that han any wight to governe, and ne taken of hym namoore kep, anon as they fynden any contrarie or any anoy. Thise been the newe sheepherdes that leten hir sheep wityngly go renne to the wolf that is in the breres, or do no fors of hir owene governaunce. Of this comth poverte and destruccioun, bothe of spiritueel and temporeel thynges. Thanne comth a manere cooldnesse, that freseth al the herte of a man. Thanne comth devoccioun, thurgh which a man is so blent, as seith Seint Bernard, and hath swich languour in soule that he may neither rede ne singe in hooly chirche, ne heere ne thynke of no devoioun, ne travaille with his handes in no good werk, that it nys hym unsavory and al apalled. Thanne wexeth he slough and slombry, and soone wol be wrooth, and soone is enclyned to hate and to envye. Thanne comth the synne of worldly sorwe, swich as is cleped tristicia, that sleeth man, as seith Seint Paul. For certes, swich sorwe werketh to the deeth of the soule and of the body also; for therof comth that a man is anoyed of his owene lif. Wherfore swich sorwe shorteth ful ofte the lif of man, er that his tyme be come by wey of kynde. § 66        Then comes laziness; that is he that when he begins any good work quickly he shall abandon it and stop, as do they that have any person to govern and not take of him no more care as soon as they find any adversity or any annoyance. These are the new shepherds that knowingly let their sheep go run to the wolf that is in the briers, or take no account of their own governance. Of this comes poverty and destruction, both of spiritual and temporal things. Then comes a sort of coldness, that freezes all the heart of a man. Then comes lack of devotion, through which a man is so deceived, as says Saint Bernard, and has such suffering in soul that he can neither read nor sing in holy church, nor hear nor think of any devotion, nor travail with his hands in any good work, but that it is to him unsavory and all faded. Then he becomes slow and sleepy, and quickly will be angry, and is quickly inclined to hate and to envy. Then comes the sin of worldly sorrow, such as is called tristicia, that slays man, as says Saint Paul. For certainly, such sorrow works to the death of the soul and of the body also; for thereof it comes that a man is annoyed of his own life. Wherefore such sorrow shortens very often the life of man, ere that his time be come by way of nature.

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From The Parson's Tale, paragraph 67-68:
The remedy against the sin of Sloth