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From The Parson's Tale, paragraph 69-72:
About Avarice and Greed
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Parson's Tale
Paragraph 73
About abuse of lordship, theft, fraud, lies, gambling, false witness, false oath, etc.

§ 73       Now as I have seyd, sith so is that synne was first cause of thraldom, thanne is it thus, that thilke tyme that al this world was in synne, thanne was al this world in thraldom and subjeccioun. But certes, sith the time of grace cam, God ordeyned that som folk sholde be moore heigh in estaat and in degree, and som folk moore lough, and that everich sholde be served in his estaat and in his degree. And therfore in somme contrees, ther they byen thralles, whan they han turned hem to the feith, they maken hire thralles free out of thraldom. And therfore, certes, the lord oweth to his man that the man oweth to his lord. The pope calleth hymself servant of the servantz of God; but for as muche as the estaat of hooly chirche ne myghte nat han be, ne the commune profit myghte nat han be kept, ne pees and rest in erthe, but if God hadde ordeyned that som men hadde hyer degree and som men lower, therfore was sovereyntee ordeyned, to kepe and mayntene and deffenden hire underlynges or hire subgetz in resoun, as ferforth as it lith in hire power, and nat to destroyen hem ne confounde. Wherfore I seye that thilke lordes that been lyk wolves, that devouren the possessiouns or the catel of povre folk wrongfully, withouten mercy or mesure, they shul receyven, by the same mesure that they han mesured to povre folk, the mercy of Jhesu Crist, but if it be amended. Now comth deceite bitwixe marchaunt and marchant. And thow shalt understonde that marchandise is in manye maneres; that oon is bodily, and that oother is goostly; that oon is honest and leveful, and that oother is deshonest and unleveful. Of thilke bodily marchandise that is leveful and honest is this that, there as God hath ordeyned that a regne or a contree is suffisaunt to hymself, thanne is it honest and leveful that of habundaunce of this contree, that men helpe another contree that is moore needy. And therfore ther moote been marchantz to bryngen fro that o contree to that oother hire marchandises. That oother marchandise, that men haunten with fraude and trecherie and deceite, with lesynges and false othes, is cursed and dampnable. Espiritueel marchandise is proprely symonue, that is, ententif desir to byen thyng espiritueel, that is, thyng that aperteneth to the seintuarie of God and to cure of the soule. This desir, if so be that a man do his diligence to parfournen it, al be it that his desir ne take noon effect, yet is it to hym a deedly synne; and if he be ordred, he is irreguler. Certes symonye is cleped of Simon Magus, that wolde han boght for temporeel catel the yifte that God hadde yeven, by the Hooly Goost, to Seint Peter and to the apostles. And therfore understoond that bothe he that selleth and he that beyeth thynges espirituels been cleped symonyals, be it by catel, be it by procurynge, or by flesshly preyere of his freendes, flesshly freendes, or espiritueel freendes. Flesshly in two maneres; as by kynrede, or othere freendes. Soothly, if they praye for hym that is nat worthy and able, it is symonye, if he take the benefice; and if he be worthy and able, ther nys noon. That oother manere is whan men or wommen preyen for folk to avauncen hem, oonly for wikked flesshly affeccioun that they han unto the persone; and that is foul symonye. But certes, in service, for which men yeven thynges espirituels unto hir servauntz, it moot been understonde that the service moot been honest, and elles nat; and eek that it be withouten bargaynynge, and that the persone be able. For, as seith Seint Damasie, "alle the synnes of the world, at regard of this synne, arn as thyng of noght." For it is the gretteste synne that may be, after the synne of Lucifer and Antecrist. For by this synne God forleseth the chirche and the soule that he boghte with his precious blood, by hem that yeven chirches to hem that been nat digne. For they putten in theves that stelen the soules of Jhesu Crist and destroyen his patrimoyne. By swiche undigne preestes and curates han lewed men the lasse reverence of the sacramentz of hooly chirche; and swiche yeveres of chirches putten out the children of Crist, and putten into the chirche the develes owene sone. They sellen the soules that lambes sholde kepen to the wolf that strangleth hem. And therfore shul they nevere han part of the pasture of lambes, that is the blisse of hevene. Now comth hasardrie with his apurtenaunces, as tables and rafles, of which comth deceite, false othes, chidynges, and alle ravynes, blasphemynge and reneiynge of God, and hate of his neighebores, wast of goodes, mysspendynge of tyme, and somtyme manslaughtre. Certes, hasardours ne mowe nat been withouten greet synne whiles they haunte that craft. Of Avarice comen eek lesynges, thefte, fals witnesse, and false othes. And ye shul understonde that thise been grete synnes, and expres agayn the comaundementz of God, as I have seyd. Fals witnesse is in word and eek in dede. In word, as for to bireve thy neighebores goode name by thy fals witnessyng, or bireven hym his catel or his heritage by thy fals witnessyng, whan thou for ire, or for meede, or for envye, berest fals witnesse, or accusest hym or excusest hym by thy fals witnesse, or elles excusest thyself falsly. Ware yow, questemongeres and notaries! Certes, for fals witnessyng was Susanna in ful gret sorwe and peyne, and many another mo. The synne of thefte is eek expres agayns Goddes heeste, and that in two maneres, corporeel or spiritueel. Corporeel, as for to take thy neighebores catel agayn his wyl, be it by force or by sleighte, be it by met or by mesure; by stelyng eek of false enditementz upon hym, and in borwynge of thy neighebores catel, in entente nevere to payen it agayn, and semblable thynges. Espiritueel thefte is sacrilege, that is to seyn, hurtynge of hooly thynges, or of thynges sacred to Crist, in two maneres - by reson of the hooly place, as chirches or chirche-hawes, for which every vileyns synne that men doon in swiche places may be cleped sacrilege, or every violence in the semblable places; also, they that withdrawen falsly the rightes that longen to hooly chirche. And pleynly and generally, sacrilege is to reven hooly thyng fro hooly place, or unhooly thyng out of hooly place, or hooly thing out of unhooly place. § 73        Now as I have said, since it is so that sin was the first cause of bondage, then is it thus: that same time that all this world was in sin, then was all this world in bondage and subjection. But certainly, since the time of grace came, God ordained that some people should be more high in state and in degree, and some people more low, and that every one should be treated in accordance with his state and with his degree. And therefore in some countries, where they buy bondsmen, when they have turned them to the faith, they make their bondsmen free out of bondage. And therefore, certainly, the lord owes to his man what the man owes to his lord. The Pope calls himself servant of the servants of God; but forasmuch as the estate of holy church might not have been, nor the common interest might not have been kept, nor peace and rest in earth, unless God had ordained that some men had higher degree and some men lower, Therefore was supreme power ordained, to keep and maintain and defend their underlings or their subjects in accord with reason, insofar as it lies in their power, and not to destroy nor confuse them. Wherefore I say that these lords that are like wolves, that devour the possessions or the belongings of poor folk wrongfully, without mercy or measure, they shall receive by the same measure that they have measured out to poor folk the mercy of Jesus Christ, unless it be amended. Now comes deceit between merchant and merchant. And thou shalt understand that merchandise is in many sorts; that one is bodily, and that other is ghostly; that one is honest and lawful, and that other is dishonest and unlawful. Of that bodily merchandise that is lawful and honest is this: that, whereas God has ordained that a reign or a country is sufficient to himself, then is it honest and lawful that of the abundance of this country, men help another country that is more needy. And therefore there must be merchants to bring from that one country to that other their merchandises. That other merchandise, that men exercise with fraud and treachery and deceit, with lies and false oaths, is cursed and damnable. Spiritual merchandise is properly simony, that is eager desire to buy a thing spiritual; that is, a thing that appertains to the sanctuary of God and to caring for the soul. This desire, if it so be that a man do his diligence to perform it, although it be so that his desire is not realized in fact, yet is it to him a deadly sin; and if he be ordained, he is in violation of the rules of his order. Certainly simony is named after Simon Magus, that would have bought for temporal riches the gift that God had given by the Holy Ghost to Saint Peter and to the apostles. And therefore understand that both he that sells and he that buys things spirituals are called simoniacs, be it by riches, be it by procuring an office for someone, or by worldly prayer of his friends, worldly friends or spiritual friends: Worldly in two manners; as by kinship, or other friends. Truly, if they pray for him that is not worthy and suitable, it is simony, if he take the benefice; and if he be worthy and suitable, there is none. That other manner is when men or women pray for folk to advance them, only for wicked fleshly affection that they have unto the person, and that is foul simony. But certainly, as a reward for service, for which men give things spirituals unto their servants, it must be understand that the service must be honest and else not; and also that it be without fraud, and that the person be suitable. For, as says Saint Damasus, "All the sins of the world, compared to this sin, be as thing of naught." For it is the greatest sin that can be, after the sin of Lucifer and Antichrist. For by this sin God loses completely the church and the soul that he bought with his precious blood, by them that give churches to them that be not worthy. For they put in thieves that steal the souls of Jesus Christ and destroy his patrimony. Because of such unworthy priests and curates ignorant men have the less reverence of the sacraments of holy church, and such givers of churches put out the children of Christ and put into the church the devil's own son. They sell the souls that should guard the lambs to the wolf that destroys them. And therefore shall they never have part of the pasture of lambs, that is the bliss of heaven. Now comes gambling with its appurtenances, such as backgammon and raffles (a dice game), of which comes deceit, false oaths, quarrels, and all sorts of robberies, blaspheming and renouncing God, and hate of his neighbours, waste of goods, squandering of time, and sometimes manslaughter. Certainly, gamblers can not be without great sin whilst they practice that craft. Of Avarice come also lies, theft, false witness, and false oaths. And you must understand that these are great sins and expressly against the commandments of God, as I have said. False witness is in word and also in deed. In word, as for to take away thy neighbours good name by thy false witnessing, or take away from him his possessions or his heritage by thy false witnessing, when thou for ire, or for payment, or for envy, bearest false witness, or accusest him or excusest him by thy false witness, or else excusest thyself falsely. Beware, jurymen and notaries! Certainly, for false witnessing was Susanna in very great sorrow and pain, and many another more. The sin of theft is also expressly against God's command, and that in two manners, bodily or spiritual. Bodily, as to take thy neighbour's possessions against his will, be it by force or by trickery, be it by measuring or by measure; by stealing also by means of false accusations upon him, and in borrowing of thy neighbours possessions, in intent never to pay it back, and similar things. Spiritual theft is sacrilege; that is to say, hurting of holy things, or of things sacred to Christ, in two manners: because of the holy place, as churches or churchyards, for which every churlish sin that men do in such places may be called sacrilege, or every violence in the similar places; also, they that withhold falsely the rights that belong to holy church. And fully and generally, sacrilege is to take away holy thing from holy place, or unholy thing out of holy place, or holy thing out of unholy place.

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From The Parson's Tale, paragraph 74-75:
The Relief against the sin of Avarice