The Versified Life of Saint Francis  - 497 

180As he would if for many; and is as spontaneous before many
As he'd be before one.a And yet, his attentive eloquence
Is not uniform for all; no, to the unschooled his instruction
Isn't the same as his word of advice to the learned:
For the unschooled some common practices apt to invigorate

185The mores of men; followed by something on vices, something
On virtue, the Lives of the Fathers too,b together with
Positive proofs of life after death for the holy; of Christ's
Miracles, deeds and commands, of the torture-marked courage
Of the Saints that earned them their crown;

190Of just acts and wrongdoing and what they consist in; and of
What punishment awaits the guilty, what rewards the just.
But then, from these twenty-four means,c developed further
By repeated teaching, deeper reflection and sharper
Perception, he weaves one art of living.

195He also shows what links the virtues together,
And the order of descent of them all from the principal four;d
How hard it is to find the golden mean,e how the slippery paths
Of life Prv 15:24 and, though with what effort, extremes can be shunned.

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Legenda Sancti Francisci Versificata, Fontes Franciscani, p.


180Ut multis, multis impraemeditatus ut uni.
Circumspecta tamen facundia non apud omnes
Est eadem, nec voce rudes informat eadem
Qua monet instructos: rudibus communia quaedam
Ad confirmandos hominum facientia mores,

185Et quid de vitio, quid de virtute sequatur,
Historiasque patrum, liquideque probantia.sanctos
Vivere post mortem, miracula gestaque Christi
Et praecepta refert, et compungentia mentes
Sanctorum tormenta quibus meruere coronam;

190In quo iustitiae consistant sive reatus,
Et quae poena reos maneat, quae praemia iustos.
His autem, quos et doctrina celebrior et mens
Altior et sensus provexit acutior, unam
De mediis texit vigintiquatuor artem,

195Et quid virtutes confoederet indicat, et quo
Ordine descendant ex primis quatuor omnes;
Quis medium reperire labor, quam lubrica vitae
Semita quam graviter possint extrema caveri.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 497

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