Bale (n.) - honour, dignity among men.
Than a ryche man of Rome relyede to his byerns:
"It sall repent vs full sore and we ryde forthire!
ghone are bolde bosturs at syche bale wyrkez;
It befell hym full foule at am so fyrste namede."
- Anonymous: The alliterative Morte Arthure (1440)
The Middle-English Word of the Day is selected from Mayhew and Skeat's
"Concise Dictionary of Middle English."
As found on Greg Lindahl's website
The example text was found at the Middle English Collection of the University of Virginia Library.