Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Confessio Amantis, or, Tales of the Seven Deadly Sins   By: (1330?-1408)

Book cover

First Page:




By John Gower

1330 1408 A.D.

The following electronic text is based on that edition published in THE WORKS OF JOHN GOWER, ed. Prof. G.C. Macauley.


Torpor, ebes sensus, scola parua labor minimusque Causant quo minimus ipse minora canam: Qua tamen Engisti lingua canit Insula Bruti Anglica Carmente metra iuuante loquar. Ossibus ergo carens que conterit ossa loquelis Absit, et interpres stet procul oro malus.

Of hem that writen ous tofore The bokes duelle, and we therfore Ben tawht of that was write tho: Forthi good is that we also In oure tyme among ous hiere Do wryte of newe som matiere, Essampled of these olde wyse So that it myhte in such a wyse, Whan we ben dede and elleswhere, Beleve to the worldes eere 10 In tyme comende after this. Bot for men sein, and soth it is, That who that al of wisdom writ It dulleth ofte a mannes wit To him that schal it aldai rede, For thilke cause, if that ye rede, I wolde go the middel weie And wryte a bok betwen the tweie, Somwhat of lust, somewhat of lore, That of the lasse or of the more 20 Som man mai lyke of that I wryte: And for that fewe men endite In oure englissh, I thenke make A bok for Engelondes sake, The yer sextenthe of kyng Richard. What schal befalle hierafterward God wot, for now upon this tyde Men se the world on every syde In sondry wyse so diversed, That it welnyh stant al reversed, 30 As forto speke of tyme ago. The cause whi it changeth so It needeth nought to specifie, The thing so open is at ije That every man it mai beholde: And natheles be daies olde, Whan that the bokes weren levere, Wrytinge was beloved evere Of hem that weren vertuous; For hier in erthe amonges ous, 40 If noman write hou that it stode, The pris of hem that weren goode Scholde, as who seith, a gret partie Be lost: so for to magnifie The worthi princes that tho were, The bokes schewen hiere and there, Wherof the world ensampled is; And tho that deden thanne amis Thurgh tirannie and crualte, Right as thei stoden in degre, 50 So was the wrytinge of here werk. Thus I, which am a burel clerk, Purpose forto wryte a bok After the world that whilom tok Long tyme in olde daies passed: Bot for men sein it is now lassed, In worse plit than it was tho, I thenke forto touche also The world which neweth every dai, So as I can, so as I mai. 60 Thogh I seknesse have upon honde And longe have had, yit woll I fonde To wryte and do my bisinesse, That in som part, so as I gesse, The wyse man mai ben avised. For this prologe is so assised That it to wisdom al belongeth: What wysman that it underfongeth, He schal drawe into remembrance The fortune of this worldes chance, 70 The which noman in his persone Mai knowe, bot the god al one. Whan the prologe is so despended, This bok schal afterward ben ended Of love, which doth many a wonder And many a wys man hath put under. And in this wyse I thenke trete Towardes hem that now be grete, Betwen the vertu and the vice Which longeth unto this office... Continue reading book >>

eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book

Popular Genres
More Genres
Paid Books