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CHAPTER LXIX

“I was delivered from the Enemy by the virtue of Christ’s Passion”

AFTER this the Fiend came again with his heat and with his stench, and gave me much ado,285285 "made me full besy." the stench was so vile and so painful, and also dreadful and travailous. Also I heard a bodily jangling,286286 i.e. gabbling. as if it had been of two persons; and both, to my thinking, jangled at one time as if they had holden a parliament with a great busy-ness; and all was soft muttering, so that I understood nought that they said. And all this was to stir me to despair, as methought,—seeming to me as [though] they mocked at 169 praying of prayers287287"bidding of bedes." which are said boisterously with [the] mouth, failing [of] devout attending and wise diligence: the which we owe to God in our prayers.

And our Lord God gave me grace mightily for to trust in Him, and to comfort my soul with bodily speech as I should have done to another person that had been travailed. Methought that busy-ness288288 see above, "made me full busy." might not be likened to no bodily busy-ness. My bodily eye I set in the same Cross where I had been in comfort afore that time; my tongue with speech of Christ’s Passion and rehearsing the Faith of Holy Church; and my heart to fasten on God with all the trust and the might. And I thought to myself, saying: Thou hast now great busy-ness to keep thee in the Faith for that thou shouldst not be taken of the Enemy: wouldst thou now from this time evermore be so busy to keep thee from sin, this were a good and sovereign occupation! For I thought in sooth were I safe from sin, I were full safe from all the fiends of hell and enemies of my soul.

And thus he occupied me all that night, and on the morn till it was about prime day. And anon they were all gone, and all passed; and they left nothing but stench, and that lasted still awhile; and I scorned him.

And thus was I delivered from him by the virtue of Christ’s Passion: for therewith is the Fiend overcome, as our Lord Jesus Christ said afore.

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