I shall tell you, saith Maundeville, what the Soldan told me one night in his Chamber after putting everyone forth. How is service to God performed in your country? I answered that it is performed well. That is untrue, quoth the Soldan, for evil is the honour that the prelates pay their Lord, and evil is the example that they give to the people. And I asked him, how they do this, or how he had got that knowledge. They do it, said he: they are the first people that enter the taverns, and they deem it not excessive to be eating and drinking all the day and all the night as if they were beasts that have
p.233no reason, and who know not what God is. And if they did right, it is the example of Christ from whom they are named, which they should follow in gentleness and goodness, in charity and in mercy. And the Christians are so covetous, that they sell their children for a few debts, and their wives to other men, and they have other men's wives instead of their own, and the pledges that they give, they fulfil not, and thus they despise and deny the law which Christ gave to them for their salvation. Wherefore ye have left your lordship and your land to us, since Christ was not fighting for you against us; and not only this, but He gave it to us because of your sin; and it is certain that it is not by our own strength that we have gotten it. And in our books we have true knowledge that whensoever ye shall serve God well and fulfil His law, ye will get the land again. Howbeit, so long as ye shall remain in your own sins, we have no fear of you; but we know well that some time ye will turn from the sins, and that the place to which ye will turn your face will not be taken from you, and that this whole land will belong to you, for your Christ himself will be in your Company whensoever ye shall serve him well.