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This is the golden A B C which this pious man set the Doctor to learn, for the amending of his life, and which, doubtless, it were very profitable and needful for us all to repeat many times and oft, and amend our lives thereafter.

After a manly and not a childish sort, ye shall, with thorough earnestness, begin a good life.

Bad ways ye shall eschew, and practice all goodness with diligence and full purpose of mind.

Carefully endeavour to keep the middle path in all things, with seemliness and moderation.

Demean yourself humbly in word and work, from the inward holiness of your heart.

Entirely give up your own will; evermore cleave earnestly to God, and forsake Him not.

Forward and ready shall ye be to all good works, without murmuring, whatever be commanded you.


Give heed to exercise yourself in all godly works of mercy toward the body or the spirit.

Have no backward glances after the world, or the creatures, or their doings.

Inwardly in your heart ponder over your past life with honesty, sincere repentance in the bitterness of your heart, and tears in your eyes.

Knightly and resolutely withstand the assaults of the Devil, the Flesh, and the World.

Learn to conquer long-cherished sloth with vigour, together with all effeminacy of the body, and subservience to the Devil.

Make your abode in God, with fervent love, in certain hope, with strong faith, and be towards your neighbour as towards yourself.

No other man’s good things shall ye desire, be they what they may, corporeal or spiritual.

Order all things so that you make the best and not the worst of them.

Penance, that is, suffering for your sin, you shall take willingly, whether it come from God or the creatures.

Quittance, remission, and absolution, you shall give to all who have ever done you wrong in thought, word, or deed.


Receive all things that befall you with meekness, and draw improvement from them.

Soul and body, estate and reputation, keep undenied with all care and diligence.44The letters R and S have been transposed; the rest follow the order of the original, in which, as in the translation, the important word of the sentence is by no means always the one with which it commences. The letters V and W are wanting in the original.—Tr.

Truthful and upright shall ye be towards all, without guile or cunning.

Wantonness and excess, of whatsoever kind it may be, ye shall learn to lay aside, and turn from it with all your heart.

Xt., our Blessed Lord’s life and death, shall ye follow, and wholly conform yourself thereunto with all your might.

Ye shall evermore, without ceasing, beseech our blessed Lady that she help you to learn this our lesson well.

Zealously keep a rein over your will and your senses, that they may be at peace with all that God doth, and also with all His creatures.


All this lesson must be learnt of a free heart and will, without cavilling.

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