Title Background

Langland’s Tree of Charity and Usk’s Wexing Tree

Langland’s Tree of Charity and Usk’s Wexing Tree

Evidence adduced by Skeat that Thomas Usk borrowed from the description of the Tree of Charity in C.17 for his Testament of Love is faint and unconvincing, especially in comparison with a section of a treatise Usk is known to have used elsewhere in the Testament, Anselm’s De Concordia Praescientiae et Praedestinationis Nec Non Gratiae Dei Cum Libero Arbitrio (PL 158: 527.4-10). Usk translates a passage on diligent cultivation of the tree that finds no correlation in the more static depiction of Liberum Arbitrium’s preserving the status quo; and Usk’s emphasis on decorum in speech echoes Anselm’s views of preaching rather than WL’s “Benigne-speche.”

Volume

N&Q 240 (1995): 429-33.

Author

Lewis, Lucy