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^ Jf ifteentii Centura 
Retool Pook 

FROM A MANUSCRIPT 
IN THE BRITISH MUSEUM 

(mS. ARUNDEL 249) 
EDITED BY 

WILLIAM NELSON 

Professor of English Literature 
Columbia University 



OXFORD 

AT THE CLARENDON PRESS 

I95<S 



Oxford Unwersity Press, Amen House, London E.C.4 

GLASGOW NEW YORK TORONTO MELBOURNE WELLINGTON 
BOMBAY CALCUTTA MADRAS KARACHI CAPE TOWN IBADAN 

Geoffrey Cumherlege, Publisher to the University 



PRINTED IN GSBAT BRITAIN 



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^\B R A /? -{?5 
DEC 2 7 1965 

'^%*s;Ty OF ^o«o#^ 

10 34284 



CONTENTS 

INTRODUCTION vii 
NOTE ON THE TEXT xxx 
PASSAGES FOR TRANSLATION INTO LATIN i 

Morning , i 

The Seasons 4 

Food and Drink 7 

The Boy and His Family 1 3 

The Study of Latin 18 

Sports, Games, and Holidays 23 

The Boy, His Master, and His Master's Rod 28 
The Kinds of Scholar: Witty and Dull, Honest and Wanton 3 5 

Schoolroom Talk 39 

Friendship and Perfidy 43 

Thieves and Cheats 51 

Good Counsel 55 

Men and Manners of Antiquity 63 

Epistolary Scraps 66 

Polite and Impolite Conversation 73 

A Variety of Observations 85 

News 91 



vi CONTENTS 

NOTES TO THE TEXT 94 

Appendix I. The Latin Version of Passages i, 52, and 331 loi 
Appendix II. Order of Passages in the Manuscript 105 



INTRODUCTION 

In the last years of the fifteenth century, a teacher of 
grammar at Magdalen School, Oxford, wrote down some 
four hundred English prose passages, each with its model 
Latin translation, to serve as a supply of exercises for his 
students. The passages dealt with the everyday affairs of 
everyday people: schoolboys and adults at study, work, 
and play in Oxford, in London, and in the country. 
The English of this schoolbook is here transcribed in 
full, together with a sample of the Latin. 

The genre to which the Magdalen School compilation 
belongs is as old as foreign language teaching. If students 
are to speak an alien tongue freely and correctly, as though 
they were born to it, they must be subjected to long periods 
of practice in colloquial expression. Since such practice 
is necessarily tedious, teachers of every age have tried to 
provide relief by setting passages for translation which 
are occasional, informative, uplifting, or gay. Cardinal 
Wolsey, who was himself at one time a Magdalen School 
grammar master, urged teachers to invent exercises 'not 
silly or pointless, but with a clear or well/phrased mean/ 
ing which a boy's mind might sympathize with'.^ It is not 
easy to follow this instruction and at the same time to 
provide intensive practice in vocabulary, idiom, and 
sentence structure, as innumerable manuals designed to 
teach 'conversation* in foreign tongues sufficiently testify. 
But when it is obeyed, the teacher also may achieve 
another goal, quite unlooked/for: preservation for the 

' R. S. Stanier, Magdalen School (Oxford, 1940), p. 48. 



vm INTRODUCTION 

future of an intimate view of the speech, customs, and 
ideals of his times, the kind of view no arsenal of state 
papers can supply. 

Here, for example, is a piece which schoolboys of the 
days of imperial Rome were required to translate from 
Latin into Greek: 

'What did you do today?* 

*I woke early and called my boy. I told him to open the window. 
He opened it promptly. I got up and sat on the frame of my bed and 
asked for my shoes and leggings, for it was cold. After my shoes I 
put on my underclothing. My garments were brought out to me. 
Water for my face was fetched in a little jug. After I had washed 
first my hands and then my face and mouth, I rubbed my teeth and 
gums, spat out the waste, and wiped my nose. All of this was 
spilled out. I dried my hands, my arms, and my face so that I might 
go forth neatly as befits a schoolboy. Then I found stylus and parch^ 
ment and gave them to my boy. Fully equipped, I went out cheers 
fully, my pedagogue directly behind me, through the arcade which 
led to the school. Whenever I met acquaintances I greeted them and 
they returned the greeting. When I came to the staircase, I climbed 
it slowly and easily, as I should. I left my cloak in the anteroom and 
smoothed my hair. . . .'^ 

And in England, before the Norman Conquest, boys 
were taught to turn into Latin conversations like this one: 

'What say you, ploughboy, how do you do your work?* 
*Oh, dear sir, I must work very hard. I go out at dawn, drive the 
oxen to the field, and yoke them to the plow. However hard the 
winter is, I dare not idle at home for fear of my master, and when I 
have yoked the oxen and fastened the ploughshare and coulter to 
the plough I must plough daily a whole acre or more.* 
'Do you have a helper?* 

^ Hermeneumata Pseudodoshheana, in Corpus Glossarium Latinorum, cd. 
G. Goetz (Leipzig, 1892), iii. 379-8i. 



INTRODUCTION ix 

*I have a boy who guides the oxen with a goad, and he also is 
hoarse with the cold and his shouting.' 

'Do you do anything else during the day ?* 

*I have more to do than I have said, certainly. I must fill with 
hay the mangers of the oxen and give them water and carry their 
dung outside.' 

*Oh, oh! your tasks are heavy ones.' 

'Yes, sir, they are heavy, for I am not a free man.** 

These colloquies are not without stiffness, in part because 
I have had to translate them. But it is a rare thing to hear 
of the order of a Roman schoolboy's toilet or of the round 
of an Anglo/Saxon ploughboy's duties. 

In early Tudor times, collections of such exercises were 
known as vulgaria because they consisted of matter Vulgar' 
or colloquial in character. Since Latin was still being 
taught as a language to be spoken, every grammar 
master of the time must have made use of this kind of 
compilation, whether one of his own devising or a printed 
or manuscript copy of another's. At least four of them 
were in print by 1520: two which are attributed to John 
Anwykyll and to John Stanbridge, and two written 
by William Horman and Robert Whittinton. All these 
vulgaria except Horman's book (which was privately 
printed for the use of the boys at Eton) went through 
numerous editions, and Whittinton's was incorporated 
whole into a schoolbook published as late as 163 3. Never-' 
theless, no new vulgaria appeared in print after 1520. 
Roger Ascham tells us, a generation later, that he had 
little faith in the latinity of the best of them;^ in any case, 

' Aelfric's Colloquy, cd. G. N. Garmonsway (London, 1939), pp. 
20-21. 

^ The Schoolmaster, in The Whole Works of Roger Ascham, ed. J. A. 
Giles (1864), iii. 88-89. 



X INTRODUCTION 

by the middle of the century the desire to teach Latin as 
a medium of ordinary conversation had already begun 
to decline. The place of the vulgaria was taken, in part, by 
the colloquies of Erasmus and Vives, formal dialogues in 
what was considered impeccable Latin. The atmosphere 
of these colloquies is not that of the vulgaria. 'Familiar' 
subjects are still treated: Erasmus writes of the incon/ 
veniences of German inns and of the chicanery of the 
keepers of the shrine of St. Thomas at Canterbury. But 
his conversations are listened to, not overheard. In Eng/ 
land, the informal 'vulgar' note is not struck again in 
sixteenth/century Latin schoolbooks, and rarely, I think, 
thereafter, though it may sometimes be detected in French 
and Italian conversation manuals like those of Shake/ 
speare's contemporaries Claudius Holyband, John Florio, 
and John Eliot. 

From the point of view of the historian of society, the 
least interesting of the Tudor vulgaria is the earliest, VuU 
garia quedam ahs Terentio in Anglicam lingmm traducta, which 
was printed in a volume of grammatical tracts by the 
first Magdalen School grammar master, John Anwy/ 
kyll (1483). As its tide advertises, the English passages 
in this compilation are translations from detached scraps 
of conversation culled from the plays of Terence, and 
only the occasional substitution of 'London' for a classical 
place/name suggests that the author was at all concerned 
with adapting Terence to the interests of his boys. 

The vulgaria attributed to Stanbridge, Anwykyll's 
successor at Magdalen (first known edition, c. 1509 [?])^ 
is more lively stufF.^ It consists of short sentences like 
these: 

' See H. S. Bennett, English Books and Readers 1475-1557, p. 267, 
2 The Vulgaria oj John Stanbridge and the Vulgaria of Robert Whittinton, 



INTRODUCTION Xl 

His nose is like a shoeing horn. 
Sit away or I shall give thee a blow! 
Thou strikest me that dare not strike again. 
He is the veriest coward that ever pissed. 
Would God we might go play! 

The chatter of the Tudor schoolroom is clearly heard. 
But though the talk rings true, it lacks substance: no 
subject is discussed, no scene described, no view expressed. 
William Horman's vulgaria (i5i9)ns a far more ela^ 
borate volume than its predecessors. The eminent school-' 
masters Aldrich, master at Eton, and Lily, master at 
St. Paul's, introduced the book with epigrams and 
epistles praising the purity of the author's Latin and Eng^ 
lish expression. Horman's book differs from the earlier 
vulgaridy too, in the fact that it employs a method of arrange^ 
ment. In those collections, the passages are heaped to^ 
gether quite without order, apparently as they came to 
mind. Horman arranged his exercises according to sub^ 
ject/matter: marriage and children; flowers, fruits, and 
vegetables; the arts and sciences; medicine and health; 
sports and pastimes; military affairs; and the like. The 
following sentences are chosen from a section concerned 
with the kitchen: 2 

Whereas a flint or another stone to smite fire cannot be got, it 
must be done with rubbing of two treen [i.e. wooden] pieces to^ 
gether. 

I shall get me dry toadstools or fine linen cloth, half burnt, to 
make tinder of 

ed. B. White for The Early English Text Society, o.s., No. 187 (1932). 
Miss White's Introduction to this edition contains the most complete 
study available of the early Tudor vulgaria. 

' Ed. M. R. James for the Roxburghc Club (1926). 

^ Chapter xvi. 



xu INTRODUCTION 

Lay this flesh in the brine lest it be lost [i.e. spoiled]. 
Peel some cloves of garlic and stamp them. 
Wash all the greasy dishes and vessel in the lead caldron or pan 
in hot water, and set them clean upon the scullery board. 
Take a wisp of straw and ashes and scour this pot. 
Set the earthen pot by himself for [i.e. to prevent] breaking. 
These rags will serve for kitchen cloths. 

In the section devoted to 'bedrooms and related matters* 
the sentences run together to form a well/knit paragraph 
combining exercise in vocabulary with moral instruct 
tion: 

He that saw some women out of their array would have less 
courage [i.e. inclination] to be enamored upon them. They white 
their face, neck, and paps with ceruse [i.e. white lead], and their 
lips and ruds [i.e. cheeks] with purpurisse [a red or purple dye]. 
They fill up their freckles and stretch abroad their skin with 
tetanother [a cosmetic for removing wrinkles], and pluck out their 
hairs with pinching irons and styllathre [depilatory (?)]. They 
change the natural colour of their hair with crafty colour and sun^ 
ning. Honest women that use none of these be more goodly and 
commended in their natural beauty with sober dealing and 
good manners.^ 

The appearance in the next year of yet another vulgarian 
this one by Robert Whittinton,^ set off a violent gram^ 
marians' war. Lily and Aldrich espoused Horman's 
cause; the poet John Skelton took sides with Whittinton. 
Whatever personal jealousies and antipathies may have 
been involved, there was a real educational issue at stake. 
Horman, like Colet, Erasmus, Wolsey, and, as we shall 
see, the author of the Magdalen School vulgaria^ placed 
primary emphasis on the imitation of good examples as 
the best method of teaching Latin expression. Whittinton 

' Chapter xviii. ^ Ed. B. White, op. cit. 



INTRODUCTION xm 

argued that the first necessity was a thorough grounding 
in grammatical rules or 'precepts', declaring that without 
it students acquired merely the appearance of facility in 
the tongue. In this he was supported by Skelton who made 
fun of teachers who would set a child to Plautus and 
Quintilian when he 'can scantly the tenses of his con/ 
jugations*."" The controversy continues today; no doubt 
it began with the first pair of grammarians. ' 

Whittinton's position in this dispute dictated the 
method of his vulgaria. Each section is introduced by the 
statement of a grammatical rule. Then follows a group of 
'vulgars' chosen to illustrate its application and often a 
quotation from a classical authority. Despite this atten/ 
tion to grammar, Whittinton was clever enough to link 
many of his sentences together in terms of content, too, so 
as to constitute little essays and conversations. The longest 
of these is a pretentious dialogue between Master and 
Student concerning the duties and responsibilities of 
each. But often the interchanges are vivacious: 

'Peace, the master is come into the school.* 

'He is as welcome to many of us as water into the ship.* 

'I shall play him a cast of legerdemain and yet he shall not espy it, 

as quickeyed as he is. Whiles he declareth the leaure of TuUy I will 

convey myself out of the doors by sleight.' 

Sometimes Whittinton's humour strikes a sour note. 
All the vulgaria have much to say about beating — it 
seems to have been one of the major topics of conversa/ 
tion among Tudor schoolboys. Whittinton is deHghted 
by the subject: 

I played my master a merry prank (or, play) yesterday, and there-' 
fore he hath taught me to sing a new song today. He hath made mc 

' 'Speak, Parrot!' 11. 181-7. 



XIV INTRODUCTION 

to run a race (or, a course) that my buttocks doth sweat a bloody 
sweat. The more instantly that I prayed him to pardon me, the 
faster he laid upon. He hath taught me a lesson that I shall re^ 
member whiles I live. 

And he lingers lovingly upon some of the less attractive 
sights of London: 

Upon London Bridge I saw three or four men's heads stand upon 
poles. Upon Ludgate the forequarter of a man is set upon a pole. 
Upon the other side hangeth the haunch of a man with the leg. It 
is a strange sight to see the hair of the heads [fall] or [mould] away 
and the grisde of the nose consumed away, the fingers of their hands 
withered and clunged [i.e. shrivelled] unto the bare bones. It is a 
spectacle for ever to all young people to beware that they presume 
not too far upon their own heedness (or, self mind). 

But Whittinton cannot be dismissed as merely a terror 
to schoolchildren. His comments on affairs of the day are 
temperate and intelligent. He discusses such matters as 
Linacre's translation of the writings of the Greek physician, 
Galen, the effect of the recently invented craft of print" 
ing on the scriveners' trade, and, with the enthusiasm of the 
humanist, the arrival of the new learning in England. Best 
of all is his character sketch of Thomas More, written 
not long after More had entered government service: 

More is a man of an angel's wit and singular learning. He is a 
man of many excellent virtues; if I should say as it is, I know not 
his fellow. For where is the man in whom is so many goodly 
virtues of that gentleness, lowliness, and affability? And as time 
requireth, a man of marvelous mirth and pastimes, and sometimes 
of as sad [i.e. sober] gravity. As who say, a man for all seasons. 

The value of these vulgaria as mirrors of men and 
manners is well recognized. The Horman, Stanbridge, 
and Whittinton collections have been made available to 



INTRODUCTION xv 

scholars in modern editions, the first by M. R. James for 
the Roxburghe Club (1926), the latter two by Miss 
Beatrice White for The Early English Text Society 
(1932). Miss M. St. Clare Byrne has published a selection 
from Elizabethan French conversation manuals under the 
appropriate title The Elizahethan Horned But the anony/- 
mous Magdalen School vulgaria which is the subject of 
this book has never been printed or quoted. Nor has it, 
to my knowledge, been described beyond its brief notice 
in the catalogue of Arundel manuscripts in the British 
Museum, though it is the earliest (except for Anwykyll's) 
and in some respects the most remarkable of all.^ Before 
examining its contents, I must submit the evidence for 
the date and place of origin which I have assigned to it. 



II 

The vulgaria forms part of MS. 249 (fols. 9^^/61'") of the 
Arundel collection in the British Museum, a volume 
which the cataloguer describes as of the fifteenth century. 
The book consists chiefly of pieces which would be of 
use to a teacher of Latin grammar. ^ Two of these are 

' First published, 1929; revised editions in 1935 and 1949. See also 
Miss Byrne's edition of Holyband's French Littelton (Cambridge, 1953). 

2 It is mentioned in passing by E. Fliigel, 'Ein brief Thomas More's*. 
Anglia, xiv (1892), p. 498. 

3 Following the vulgaria (fols. 6z'^~j2^) is a list of words, phrases, and 
short sentences in English and Latin similar in character to those in 
Stanbridge's vulgaria (see above, pp. x-xi). Then follows a collection of 
model letters, evidently imaginary, in English and Latin (fols. 7 3 '"-80"^). 
Next (fols. 8i'"-84^; 85^-87'') is a group of real letters in Latin only, 
some with the names of the correspondents given in full, others identified 
by initials only, A metrical vocabulary follows (fols. Zi^~90'^) which is 
in part identical with that printed with Stanbridge's vulgaria (op. cit., 
pp. 8-13). After this, a Latin-English dictionary ananged topically 



XVI INTRODUCTION 

recognizable as versions of works ascribed in contem/ 
porary printings to John Stanbridge, assistant master and 
master at the Magdalen School from 1485 to 1494. The 
volume also includes a collection of Latin epistles in 
which Oxford and Magdalen figure repeatedly. One of 
the letters is signed 'Your H., however insignificant, 
scholar of the Magdalen fellowship* (*Tuus quantulus/ 
cumque h. contubernij magdalensis scolasticus*). Other 
letters mention or were written by Magdalen School 
teachers: Master Martin (usher, that is, assistant teacher, 
in 1498), Lawrence Hampton (usher, i499-'i502). Bur/ 
way (usher, i502''4).^ There is correspondence to and 
from a Master B. Andrelinus, Poet Laureate, who is 
very likely Bernard Andre, Oxford teacher. Poet Laureate, 
and tutor to Henry VII's oldest son. Prince Arthur. The 
Prince himself is mentioned in these letters, and it is 
worth noting that he resided at Magdalen College in 
i495/'6. To another letter in the collection a precise date 
can easily be assigned: that of Thomas More to John Holt 
which reports the arrival of Catherine of Aragon for her 
wedding with Prince Arthur in October, 1 501.2 ^^ 
the time. More was resident in London and Holt in 
Chichester, but both were Oxford men and Holt had 
been a Magdalen School usher in 1494. We are left with 
the impression that in 1501 or not long after the Arundel 

(fols. 92^-9i^). Fols. 94^-117^ are taken up with a collection of Latin 
poems by the Italian humanist Stephen Surigono who taught at Oxford 
in the latter part of the fifteenth century. The volume ends with another 
grammatical treatise (ii8'"-i20^), a study of the compounds of sum and 
fero, which seems to be a draft of part of Sum, es,fuf, published as Stan-* 
bridge's by Pynson in 15 15 (?) and often reprinted. 

' See the list of Masters and Ushers in Stanier, op. cit., p. 236. 

* See The Correspondence of Sir Thomas More, ed. E. F. Rogers (Prince^ 
ton, 1947). pp- 3-4- 



INTRODUCTION xvu 

manuscript volume which includes the vulgaria was the 
property of a teacher who was then or had been associated 
with the Magdalen Grammar School. 

This conclusion fits neady with the evidence provided 
by allusions of the vulgaria itself. A reference in one of the 
exercises (no. 379) to the unprecedented institution of the 
Yeomen of the Guard makes it clear that we are concerned 
with the reign of Henry VII, whose innovation it was. 
The same passage reports the decree of an embargo on 
trade with Flanders: this must have been composed after 
its imposition in 1493 and before its lifting in 1496. Three 
passages (nos. 381^3) speak of an extraordinary deflation 
of prices: *I think there is no man alive that can remember 
that ever he see wheat or peas other corn or any other 
victual that is brought to the market to be sold cheaper- 
than we see now.' Such a statement might have been made 
in 1495, or conceivably in 1499, and at no other time 
during the reign of Henry VII. Another exercise (no.  
386) tells of the exploit of an artisan who repaired the 
weathercock at the top of St. Paul's Cathedral: a con/ 
temporary chronicle records this feat under the year 1498. 
As to provenance, references to Oxford, Carfax, Heading/ 
ton, and the Castle make it clear that the boys for whom 
these exercises were compiled attended a grammar school 
attached to the university. That this was Magdalen 
Grammar School appears most probable. 

At the close of the fifteenth century, the Magdalen 
School was one of the chief centres of humanistic studies 
in England. It had been founded as part of Magdalen 
College by Bishop Waynflete about the year 1480 for the 
express purpose of fostering the neglected discipline of 
grammar, by which was meant humane letters. (More, 
for instance, commenting on a disparaging criticism of 

6773 b 



xvm INTRODUCTION 

Erasmus as a mere grammarian, declares that his friend 
is proud of the title because it designates the true student 
•of literature and therefore of all knowledge.)^ Waynflete 
believed that grammar was the foundation of the entire 
academic structure: 

Because a weak foundation destroys the work, as experience 
teaches, and as we understand some of our 30 scholars are in the 
habit of passing to logic and sophistry immaturely before they are 
sufficiently instructed in grammar, the mother and foundation of all 
the sciences, we therefore order that none of them be admitted to 
sophistry [i.e. dialectical studies] and logic or any other science 
before he is able and sufficiently instructed for it in the judgment of 
the President and the Grammar master.^ 

Teachers and alumni of Magdalen School almost mono/ 
polized the production of textbooks for grammar school 
use: among those who wrote the earliest Latin grammars 
printed in England (and in English) were John Anwy/ 
kyll, John Stanbridge, John Holt, William Lily, and 
Robert Whittinton. Thomas Wolsey, master at the School 
in 1498, remained grammarian enough even at the height 
of his political power to write Rudimenta grammatices et 
docendi methodus (1528) for the school which he founded 
at Ipswich. Colet, founder of St. Paul's School, and 
Grocyn, who taught More Greek, are said to have 
lectured at Magdalen College at one time or another. 
And it was probably Magdalen College which was the 
home of the greatest grammarian of them all, Desiderius 
Erasmus, during his visit to Oxford in 1498 and 1499.^ 

' In a letter to Martin Dorp. The Correspondence, pp. 3^-33- 

^ Translated by A. F. Leach, The Schools of Medieval England (1915), 

p. 270. 
3 H. Rashdall, The Universities of Europe in the Middle Ages, ed. 

Powicke and Emden (Oxford, 1936), iii. 231. 



INTRODUCTION xix 

The Magdalen grammarians were not merely propa/ 
gandists of the study of Latin; they laboured with earnest/ 
ness and ingenuity to make that study easy and pleasant. 
The very title of Holt's grammar, Lac puerorum (1498), 
illustrates their attitude. In a commendatory epigram (the 
earliest of his writings that has been preserved) More says 
that Lac puerorum is a well-oiled gate to learning that 
opens at the touch of an infant's finger.^ The effort to 
make grammatical learning as simple and as attractive as 
possible is evident also in the textbooks of Anwykyll and 
Stanbridge. Colet asked Thomas Linacre to prepare a 
basic grammar for St. Paul's School; when it was done he 
rejected it on the ground that it was too difficult. Clearly, 
the rejection was in the spirit of the Magdalen School. 

What we can learn about its author from the passages 
in the Arundel manuscript vulgaria identifies his attitude 
with that of these Magdalen grammarians. Humanistic 
studies rouse him to eloquence: 

Here we may drink of the pure well of Latin tongue and clo/ 
quence [than] which is nothing fairer. O gracious children that 
wetteth their lips therein! (No. 73.) 

If ye knew, child, what conceits were in Latin tongue, what 
feats, what knacks, truly your stomach would be couraged with a 
new desire or aifeaion to learn. Trust ye me, all language well nigh 
is but rude beside Latin tongue. In this is property, in this is 
shift, in this all sweetness. (No. 74.) 

And he firmly upholds Waynflete's rule requiring 
official approval for the transfer of scholars from the 
grammatical discipline to logic: 

My father sent yesterday his servant to my master for to labour for 

* Sec The Latin Epigrams of Thomas More, ed. L. Bradner and C. A. 
Lynch (Chicago, 1953), pp. 117-19. 



XX INTRODUCTION 

me if he could bring about by any means to have me from hence 
to sophistry, but my master said utterly that he would not suffer it. 
For he showed that there could be no greater hurt to scholars than 
to take them too timely from grammar, but then it was time when 
they had read all poets, and then they should be ready to all manner 
of study. (No. 77.) 

The vulgaria author is not ready, to be sure, to discard the 
traditional grammar textbooks in favour of the new works 
of Italian humanists (no. 78). But this conservative hesita/ 
tion is not to be construed as reaction. Indeed, in two 
significant respects the author goes beyond what can be 
traced to the Magdalen tradition to anticipate the pro/ 
gramme laid down by Colet for his new school of St. 
Paul's. The elements having been acquired, the student, 
Colet urges, should 'busily learn and read good Latin 
authors of chosen poets and orators, and note wisely how 
they wrote and spake, and study always to follow them, 
desiring none other rules but their examples'. The boy 
is to learn grammar by the imitation of good authors, a 
few only, selected for excellence in expression and morality, 
for this process 'more availeth shortly to get the true elo/ 
quent speech than all the traditions, rules, and precepts 
of masters'. In this reliance upon exercise and imitation 
at the expense of intensive study of rules, and upon close 
application to a few 'chosen' authors rather than wide 
reading, Colet is said to show the influence of the essay 
which Erasmus sent him in 15 11 under the title De ratione 
studii^ But as the following passages from the vulgaria 
show, these ideas were current in England at least a 
decade before Erasmus wrote his essay: 
I have ever had this mind that there is nothing better nother more 

I T. W. Baldwin, William Shakspere's 'Small Latine & Lesse Greek' 
(Urbana, 1944). i- 95-96. 



INTRODUCTION xxi 

profitable to bring a man to cunning than to mark such things as is 
left of good authors, and I mean not all, but the best. And tho 
[i.e. those] to follow as nigh as a man's mind will give him. And he 
that doth this beside give himself to exercise, he cannot choose but 
he must be cunning. (No. 8i.) 

Methinketh thou lackest many things that is need for a good 

scholar to have: first a pennare [i.e. a pen case], and an inkhorn, 

and then books, and yet furthermore, the which is first and chief 

and passeth all precepts of masters and all other doctrine, as 

-exercise of Latin tongue and diligence. (No. 91.) 

It is at least possible, then, that Erasmus gathered these 
elements of his system of grammar teaching from England 
rather than the other way about. 

Since the author of this vul^aria was a perceptive and 
sensitive teacher endowed with literary talent, a sense of 
humour, and the ability to sympathize with the minds of 
his boys, he succeeded in producing a convincing, often 
delightful picture of the life of the early Tudor period. 
His extraordinary variety of subject matter I have come to 
appreciate in the attempt to impose a topical arrangement 
upon the passages. The schoolboy and his concerns are 
focal, to be sure, but there are many kinds of schoolboy 
and their concerns include the large world about them. 
A mother looks at her son's buttocks to see if he has been 
beaten at school, a young man dances with a fair lady so 
slender 'that a man might have clipped her in both his 
hands', a boar hunt is ruined by ill/trained dogs, a boy 
boasts that his parents will send him impossibly expensive 
oranges and pomegranates, *if there be any to be sold', a 
student runs so fearfully from dangerous4ooking shadows 
at Carfax that he slips into the mire, there is a fireside 
conversation on a windy night concerning the perils of 
merchants at sea. 



xxii INTRODUCTION 

Although there is no 'typical schoolboy' in these pages, 
as there never has been in a classroom, it is possible to 
extract a kind of composite portrait which may have some 
representative value. Our scholar comes of a wealthy but 
not a noble family: his marriageable sisters have dowries of 
twenty pounds each, his bedroom at home is hung with 
painted cloths, his father has been elected mayor. In his 
childhood his mother pampered him, or so his teachers 
believe. He began his education — and underwent his 
first professional beating — at the local 'absey' or primary 
school. At the age of eleven he was sent off to Oxford 
where he now lives with other boys under the care of a 
*creanser' or house tutor. His parents were wise to put him 
under such supervision; some of his schoolfellows live by 
themselves in rented rooms (despite university regulations), 
lose such money as they have at cards and dice, even turn 
to armed theft and murder. It may be five years before he 
sees his parents again for the roads are poor and the thieves 
are many. But he writes letters to them if a friend or the 
carrier happens to be going in the right direction. Some/ 
times they send him a present of fruit. If he is lucky, some/ 
one from home turns up on fair day and buys him such 
requisites as a penknife to cut his quills and keep them 
sharp, a pen case, writing tablets, and most important of 
all, books. He loses these things from time to time, or 
they are stolen. 

The thought of food is never far from his mind. His 
basic diet is monotonous and meagre; he is often so 
hungry that he is tempted to take more than his portion 
or to steal from his neighbour. But he would rather eat 
poorly with his fellows than fare better sitting quiet and 
well/behaved with his elders. Sometimes he is lucky 
enough to dine at a rich farmer's house at harvest time, or 



INTRODUCTION xxiii 

at a bridal feast, and then he stuffs himself with goose, 
swan, peacock, pork, and venison, with plenty of wine 
to wash it down. The pleasure of such a feast is enhanced 
by boasting about it afterwards. By modern standards for 
adolescents, surely, he drinks more than he should of 
wine (when he can get it) or small ale. After a noble 
dinner he and his fellows may trade blows with the towns/ 
people, and he occasionally comes to school in the morn/ 
ing suffering from a tender stomach and a heavy head. 

Above all, he hates waking before dawn on winter 
mornings and sitting down to hours of study before 
breakfast, but if he doesn't get up the creanser will beat 
him, and if he doesn't have his Vulgars' written his 
grammar master will. Then there are errands to run for the 
creanser, so that the boy may get to school late, his work 
unfinished, with the inevitable consequence. The school/ 
master and his assistant are kindly enough, but they 
would not hurt the scholar by sparing him the rod. 
Despite the ever/present threat of beating, the boys are not 
as well disciplined and attentive as woodcuts of con/ 
temporary classrooms suggest. The Tudor schoolboy is 
the possessor of the great legacy of shifts and tricks which 
passes from one generation to the next, and though the 
master knows about them, there is little he can do. As for 
'custos' (the monitor) it is often possible to bully him into 
silence. 

Inevitably, our scholar sides with his fellows against 
the teachers, and he giggles gleefully when he learns that 
his master suffers from toothache. At the same time, he 
has caught something of his master's enthusiasm for the 
glories of Latin, and he has begun to think that hard 
study may stand him in good stead in later life. His master 
may be able to further his career; either for that reason or 



XXIV INTRODUCTION 

because of a growing respect for him the boy strives for his 
good opinion. 

School is not all study and evading study, of course. 
There are many holidays and vacations, and though the 
master thinks there are far too many he can sometimes be 
cajoled into giving the boys an additional bit of freedom 
on a warm autumn afternoon. Archery and running are 
the chief competitive sports. Hunting the hare, fishing, 
and stealing apples from nearby orchards serve both to 
delight and to fill the stomach. There is occasionally 
entertainment at Oxford Castle: a bear baiting or a 
hanging (the boys are forbidden to attend executions, but 
they do, anyhow). At Christmas time there may be a 
school play, in Latin or in English. And in the spring, 
the boy who wakes early enough can 'walk by the wood's 
side where busy birds recordeth their sweet lays, every one 
his own'. 

The English prose of the vulgaria is a light, natural 
vernacular, colloquial but by no means artless. The 
author's diction and sentence rhythms suggest that often 
he thought of the English first and then worked out the 
Latin; it is at least hkely that imtiles herhas and homo 
i^namssitnus come out of 'weeds' and 'jackanapes' rather 
than vice versa. At the same time he was cognizant of the 
demands of the Latin, else he would not have written 
'my uncle on my father's side' (Latin, patruus)^ 'Pompey 
being captain' (Latin, pompeio duce), or 'God . . . being 
conversant in earth' (Latin, deus . . . terris comersatus). 
Perhaps because of this attention to the Latin, the 
English sentence structure is sometimes obscure or awk/ 
ward; it is less easy to account for errors in agreement of 
number. Rhetorical devices are used freely, though not 
obtrusively. Some, like 'not only . . . but also', are in/ 



INTRODUCTION xxv 

tended to suggest Latin equivalents; others are employed 
because they make pretty English: *I was first fed ere I 
were cled'; 'though I have leisure to say, yet I have no 
pleasure'; *if you be hanged thereto, let him care first for 
me that first shall repent'. The vocabulary is neither low 
nor aureate. In the notes, I have pointed to a number of 
usages which antedate the earliest recorded in the Oxford 
English Dictionary; no doubt many more could be found. 
But these are not pedantic constructions. Words of Latin 
origin are used freely, so too are native proverbs and turns 
of phrase. It is fair to conclude, I think, that the English 
passages in this volume echo, as closely as we can hope, 
~the language that literate folk would wish to speak in 
early Tudor times. 

A striking feature of the vulgaria is the dramatic quality 
which pervades it. An obvious instance is the beautifully 
imagined soliloquy of an eleven/year/old suffering from 
the shock of immersion in grammar school life (no. i). 
Typically, the speeches have the ring of the freshly/heard: 

I was purposed yesternight to speak to thee of a thing privily, but 
today, by my troth and if thou wik believe me, I cannot tell what 
it was. Lo, what a wit I have! (No. 306.) 

Sometimes, by a technique characteristic of the theatre, 
the speakers are made to reveal their own weaknesses, as 
it were unconsciously. One boy indignantly denies having 
infringed the rule against keeping pets: 

Would it not anger a man to be lied upon of this fashion? They 
say that I keep a daw in my chamber, but iwis they lie falsely upon 
me, for it is but a poor coney. (No. 170.) 

Another is brought to regret his lack of generosity, but for 
the wrong reason; 

The last week, there was send me from my country, there where I 



XXVI INTRODUCTION 

was born, 200 wardens [a pear^-like fruit] and as many pears, and 
now through this sharp frost every third pear beginneth to wax 
rotten. If I had known it before, I would through the departing 
them amongst my companions have get me many friends. (No. 
219). 

It is a short step from speeches of this kind to an inter/ 
change of speeches among characters, and that step is 
taken by the author of the vulgaria. Among the exercises 
are passages of dialogue which might have been Hfted from 
the script of a contemporary comedy (see nos. 3 3 1, 3 35). I 
do not suggest that they were. But these exchanges are not 
mere drawing/room 'conversations*; they involve action 
and acting: a boy rubbing his aching feet, a servant 
lugging a sack to the mill. We have no way of knowing 
whether or not they were acted out as rudimentary play/ 
lets in the classroom. If the author of the vulgaria was as 
clever a teacher as he seems, he would not have missed 
the opportunity. 

At about the time that the Magdalen vulgaria was being 
compiled, Thomas More was studying grammar — that 
is, humane letters — at the University. His two/year 
residence is said to have begun in 1492, when he was 
fourteen years old, but the date, within a year or two, is 
uncertain.^ There is no reliable evidence to show which 
college or hall he attended, nor is Magdalen among those 
which have put forward claims. But since Waynflete's 
statutes specifically provided free tuition in grammar for 
Oxford students of whatever college. More certainly had 
the opportunity of studying there. The number of More's 
friends and acquaintances who studied or taught at 
Magdalen during the last years of the fifteenth century is 
remarkable. The list includes Grocyn, Colet (probably), 
' R. W. Chambers, Thomas More (1936), p. 64. 



INTRODUCTION XJtvu 

Holt, Wolsey, Whittinton, Claymond, Stokesley, Lily, 
and Lee. The last two, both scholarship boys at the 
School, had been his friends since his early youth, as 
More himself tells us, and it was before 1499 that the 
adolescentulus More contributed his poems to Holt's Latin 
grammar. It is therefore not unreasonable to suppose that 
young More may have been set exercises in translation taken 
from the very vulgaria we have before us, or from one like it. 

The late R. W. Chambers, to whom students of the 
early Tudor period in particular owe an immense debt, 
selects as the distinguishing characteristics of More*s 
English prose its dramatic quality, its humour, its col^ 
loquial ease, its clarity and firmness of structure.^ These 
are rare qualities in writings of the age. Chambers argues 
that More's vernacular style was formed by fourteenth^ 
and fifteenth/century devotional tracts which he may have 
read at the London Charterhouse during the years after 
he had left the University and was thinking of entering a 
religious order. But it seems at least as likely that his style 
was affected by what he learned at school. 

A curious detail offers a link between Thomas More 
and the Magdalen vulgaria. Among the exercises is a bit 
of dramatic criticism which may be the earliest example of 
the genre in English: 

I remember not that ever I saw a play \ludicrtim'\ that more de-' 
lighted me than yesterday's. And albeit chief praise be to the doer 
[dMrfor] thereof, yet are none of the players to be disappointed of 
their praise. For every man played so his parts that (except him 
that played King Solomon) it is hard to say whom a man may 
praise before other. (No. no.) 

' 'The Continuity of English Prose from Alfred to More and his 
School*, in The Early English Text Society edition of Harpsfield's The 
Life and Death of Sir Thomas More (1932). 



xxviii INTRODUCTION 

The phrasing, while logical, is at first sight ambiguous; 
the author intends to say that it is possible to praise above 
others the actor who took the part of King Solomon 
(presumably the principal role), though the rest were good, 
too. More's earliest extant letter, written to the gram^* 
marian Holt in 1501, is found in the Latin epistolary 
collection copied into our Arundel manuscript. The 
The letter begins: 

I am sending you everything you asked for except for the parts 
which I added to the comedy of Solomon; I cannot send them to 
you because I do not have them in my possession. 

Considering the rarity of 'comedies* at this time, I 
find it difficult to beHeve that these are two different 
comedies of Solomon. What More means by 'parts' 
is uncertain. The only comedy which has come down 
to us from the reign of Henry VII is Henry Medwall's 
Fulgens and Lucres. Medwall was chaplain to John 
Morton, Archbishop of Canterbury and Cardinal, in 
whose household the boy More served as page before 
going up to Oxford. Medwall's play is notable for the 
subplot in which two page boys, denominated A and B, 
walk on the stage and take parts, ostensibly extempore. 
We cannot tell whether More's reference to 'parts' in his 
letter to Holt concerns such a subplot or a development of 
main action of King Solomon. Nor can we guess whether 
More wrote the whole play or the added parts only, or 
whether the performance seen by the vulgaria critic in/ 
eluded the additions or not. Perhaps King Solomon will 
turn up some day in a manuscript collection of interludes 
compiled by a schoolmaster of early Tudor times. It is not 
altogether vain to hope so, because we know that such a 
collection was contemplated. Our knowledge derives 



INTRODUCTION xxix 

from another letter in the epistolary group which includes 
More's to Holt; the correspondents, unfortunately, are not 
named. Although the letter was printed (somewhat 
inaccurately) as long ago as 1892,^ historians of the drama 
appear to have ignored it. I translate the relevant passage: 

As to what you furthermore write to me, that I should find or 
acquire for you interludes or comedies in English or in the vulgar 
tongue, I have finally acquired them by the greatest exertion of 
effort. For up to now, they are rare and the owners of them are so 
inconstant that to exert or to strive with respect to such may jusdy be 
denominated or called almost a vain effort. For which reason, in 
order that I might satisfy your wishes, I have with assiduous 
exertion of effort and with flattering words finally softened the soul 
of an owner. I have acquired it on condition that as soon as you 
-transcribe the original you will then return it to me so that I may 
restore it to the owner. 

Erasmus tells us that Thomas More wrote many 
comedies in his youth. The letters I have quoted and the 
enthusiastic comment on the comedy of King Solomon 
in the vulgaria exercises suggest that interest in such plays 
was strong at Magdalen. It is tempting to conclude that 
More*s comedies were written for performance by the 
schoolboys, and that the exceptionally deHghtful King 
Solomon ('chief praise be to the doer') was one of them. 

It is with great pleasure that I express my thanks to 
friends and colleagues at Columbia who have helped and 
encouraged me in the preparation of this book, among 
them Professors Marjorie Hope Nicolson, James Lowry 
Clifford, Elliott Van Kirk Dobbie, Dino Bigongiari, 
and Edward Semple LeComte. My wife, as always is 
essential to what I do. 

' By E. Fliigel, Anglic, xiv (1892), 498. 



NOTE ON THE TEXT 

In the following pages, all the English passages in the 
vulgaria are transcribed, and the Latin texts of three of the 
longest ones. The order of the passages in the manuscript 
appears for the most part haphazard, although successive 
pieces are sometimes Hnked by similarity of subject/matter 
or by emphasis on a particular grammatical construction. 
I have therefore rearranged them according to their sub^ 
jects, following Horman's precedent. The categorical 
division makes no pretence to logic; it may serve, how^ 
ever, to bring together passages which illuminate each 
other and so to emphasize the value of the vulgaria as a 
mirror of Tudor England. The reader who wishes to 
reconstruct the sequence of the manuscript may do so by 
reading the numbered passages in the order which 
appears on pp. io$y6. 

The speUing and capitalization of the text is that of the 
manuscript, with certain exceptions. Word division 
follows modern practice: 'never the less' and *to day* are 
printed as one word; 'wylnot' as two. Abbreviations are 
silendy expanded. These are not always clear: a flourish 
over the last letter of a word, for example, may signify 
either the omission of *n*, *m' or 'u', or merely the exu/ 
berance of the scribe in tailing off the word. When the 
abbreviation symbol is obviously deliberate, however, I 
have regularly taken note of it, though at the cost of 
producing such uncouth spellings as 'cristenn menn*. 
The thorn is transcribed as *th'. Current usage is followed 
for the letters *i' and j', and *u' and W Since it is some/ 



NOTE ON THE TEXT xxxi 

times difficult to tell whether the scribe intended a capital 
or a lower case letter, in ambiguous instances (and always 
with *a' and *i') I have capitalized only when modern usage 
requires it. The punctuation, including paragraphing, 
quotation marks, and a few apostrophes (used to make" 
the sense clear) is my own. I have been guided, however 
by the pointing of the manuscript. Some of the longei 
pieces appear in the manuscript as a succession of short 
passages, each followed by its Latin translation. I have 
not preserved these breaks. Other deviations from the text 
of the original are recorded in the notes. 

The notes are designed primarily to assist the reader to 
understand the text. Words and expressions which seem 
likely to offer difficulty are explained, often by reference 
to the Latin text of the vulgaria. When the Latin is quoted, 
it appears in italics. O.E.D. means the Oxford English 
Dictionary', when it is followed by a date, the date refers to 
the earliest usage cited by the Dictionary of the given 
word in the required sense. 'Tilley' stands for A Dictionary 
of the Proverhs in England in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth 
Centuries by Morris P. Tilley (Ann Arbor, 1950); 
O.D.E.P. for The Oxford Dictionary of English Proverhs, 
second edition, 1948. 

Short glosses appear at the bottom of the page. The 
words 'see note' in such a gloss mean that additional in^' 
formation is to be found in Notes to the Text (pp. 94- 
100). An asterisk in the text notifies the reader of a 
comment which appears in the Notes only. 



Donet principium deus omnipotens michi ^ratum 
Et melius medium: Jinem super omne heatum. 



PASSAGES FOR TRANSLATION 
INTO LATIN 



iMornins 



1.* The worlde waxeth worse every day, and all is turnede 
upside down, contrary to th'olde guyse. for all that was to 
me a pleasure when I was a childe, from iij yere olde to x 
(for now I go upon the xij yere), while I was undre my 
father and mothers kepyng, be tornyde now to tormentes 
and payne. For than I was wont to lye styll abedde tyll it 
was forth dais,^ delitynge myselfe in slepe and ease. The 
sone sent in his beamys at the wyndowes that gave me 
lyght instede of a Candle. O, what a sporte it was every 
mornynge when the son was upe to take my lusty pleasur 
betwixte the shetes, to beholde the rofe, the beamys, and 
the rafters of my chambre, and loke on the clothes* that 
the chambre was hangede with! Ther durste no mann but 
he were made^ awake me oute of my slepe upon his owne 
hede^ while me list to slepe. at my wyll I arose with in/ 
treatese, and whan th'appetite of rest went his way by his 
owne accorde, than I awoke and callede whom me list to 
lay my gere redy to me. My brekefaste was brought to my 
beddys side as ofte as me liste to call therfor, and so many 

' forth dais: late in the day; see note. 

^ made: mad. 3 hcde: responsibility. 

5778 B 



2- MORNING 

tymes I was first fedde or I were cledde. So I hade many 
pleasurs mo besides thes, wherof sum be forgoten, sum I do 
remembre well, but I have no leysure to reherce them nowe. 
But nowe the worlde rennyth upon another whele. for 
nowe at fyve of the clocke by the monelyght I most go to 
my booke and lete slepe and slouthe alon. and yff oure 
maister hape to awake us, he bryngeth a rode stede of a 
candle. Now I leve pleasurs that I hade sumtyme. here is 
nought els preferryde but monyshynge^ and strypys. 
brekfastes that were sumtyme brought at my biddynge is 
dryven oute of contrey and never shall cum agayne. I 
wolde tell more of my mysfortunes, but thoughe I have 
leysure to say, yet I have no pleasure, for the reherse of 
them makyth my mynde more hevy. I sech all the ways I 
can to lyve ons at myn ease, that I myght rise and go to 
bede when me liste oute of the fere of betynge. 

2. I hade an hevy hede in the mornynge when I sholde 
aryse and a slepy, and if I myght for my maister I wolde 
have leyn an houre more, but he was very hasty upon me, 
for he never seaside of cryenge and callynge tyll he made 
me arise, but I remembre when I was wakyde that I hade 
be troublede with marveliouse visions in my slepe and 
when I was wakynge I hade forgete alltogethere. 

5. The wynde blew so in at my chambre wyndowe 
tonyght that for colde I coulde not slepe. 

4, When I lake slepe in the nyght, I am all the day after 
gapynge and strechynge for luskyshnesse.^ 

' monyshynge: admonishing. 

^ luskyshnesse: sluggishness (^re torpore). 



MORNING 



5. It is X of the cloke every day or I ryse, and yet I washe / 
my handes and goth to church and I am as redy to dyne as 
thou. 



6. It is pite to cheryshe such scolars as slepyth styll all the 
mornynges, takyng no thought how moch tyme thei losse. 

7. In the mornynge erely as I wakede oute of my slepe I 
herde a myschevous clape^ and for fere I lepe oute off my 
bede as nakyde as ever I was borne. 



8. It is very grevous unto me thies colde mornynges to 
aryse, for I quaky de today for great colde in every part of 
my body, wherfore if I myght have myn owne wyll I 
wolde not cum oute of my bede befor the sone wer upe, 
but thies werkydays I must aryse in the dawnyng of the 
day whether I wyll or no. 

g. It is a worlde^ to se the delectacioun and pleasur that a 
mann shall have which riseth erly in thies summer 
mornynges, for the very dew shal be so confortable to hym 
that it shal cause hym inwardely to rejose. beside that, to 
here the birdes synge on every side, the larke, the jais, and 
the sparowe, with many other, a mann wolde thynke he 
hade an hevenly lyff. Who wolde than lye thus loterynge 
in his bedde, brother, as thou dost, and gyve hymself only 
to slepe, be the which thou shalt hurt greatly thyself and 
also short the tyme of thy lyff? It shall cause the further/ 

' myschevous clape: terrifying noise. 
^ worlde: marvel, see note. 



MORNING 



more to be dull and voide of connynge,^ withoute which 
lyfF and deth be both onn/ 



tidbOf-KtS»^!KS»^fSylf'^itSiSftxS»-^itfb!^ 



10. Nowe, in the begynnynge of ver,^ when all thynges 
begyne to sprynge, I trust I shal be better at Ease in my 
body than I am. for I have ben dysheasede a grete while 
in my stomake and in my hede, and phisicions say that 
the cause of it comyth of etynge of salt fyshe and of colde, 
and therfore they have forbydde me all maner of salt fyshe 
tyll I may amende agayne. 

11. Nowe herbys begyn to aryse and trees to burgyn. now 
fayre wether comyth in. now byrdes synge merely. 

12. These colde mornynges byteth the tendre herbys 
sharpely, but the son cummynge anone with his bryght 
beamys confortith"* them agayne. 

15. Mesemeth this Clowdy wether and this troubles aiers 
do not agree to this season of the yere. for it is the property 
of the moneth of Aprile to be wyndye and wete and, 
contrary wyse, maye to be hoote, clere, and fayre. that for 
because it happenyde nowe contrarye, I trow the monethes 
have chaungede their Courses. 

^ connynge: learning; see note. ^ onn: one; see note. 

3 ver: the spring. * confortith: invigorates, refreshes. 



THE SEASONS 5 

14. The feldys be refreshede wonderfully with thies 
showrys and the come areysith hymselfF hyer and the 
hegges cast oute mor larger branches, moreover, the woodes 
ar coverde with a thykker lefF. O, what a pleasur it is 
nowe to ryse betyme and walke over the hylles while 
thei be yete sumwhat moiste with the mornynge dwe, or 
ellys \yalke by the woodes syde wher besy byrdes re/ 
cordith^ their swete lays, every on hys owne. 



15. The feldys that in vere were so grenn and so freshe 
with diverse flourys thorughe the showers of aprell* nowe 
lye wetherde and chappyde by the vehement hete of the 
sone. 



16. It is a great pleasure to be in the contrey this hervest 
season in a goode husbondemanys howse, for a man may 
fare well ther. for he shall lacke no Caponys, Chekyns, 
nother pygenys^ and suche thynges as be brought upe in a 
manys howse, and beside this, if he lyste to walke, it is a 
great pleasure to se the Repers howe they stryffe who shall 
go befor othere. 



ly. Wher the great Rayne is, and the contrey sumwhat 
foule of hymselfe, it is necessary afore wynter to amende 
the ways and scope the gropys^ by the which menn goo to 
the goode townes* to doo their Erandys. 

' rccordith: rehearse (meditantur). 
^ pygenys: pigeons. 
3 gropys: ditches. 



6 THE SEASONS 

18. 1 fere me lest the pleasure of somer be overpast and the 
faire dais goo. for methynke the colde wynter semyth to 
cum in, with his company, Rayn and Wynde. but this I 
coulde away withall and take it well at worth^ so that yf 
the storme of pestilence were seasede thrugh godys mercy, 
which that it may be sonner brought aboute I thynke we 
moste praye (or, I thynke best to praye). 



ig. Upon a faire, clere nyght, the skye garnyshede with 
sterrys oute off nombre shynnyth goodely, whych and ye 
take hede ye may see them twynkle as it were a candle or a 
tapre brennynge, and emonge them the moone with hire 
full hght goith forth by Htell and litell, glidynge softly, be 
not thies pleasant thynges ? 



20. The moste part of this wynter my handes wer so swel/ 
lynge with colde that I coulde nother holde my penn for 
to wrytt nother my knyff for to Cutt my mete at the table, 
and my fete also thei wer arayde with kybblayns^ that it 
grevyde me to go enywhere. 



21. I wondre not a litle how they that dwell by the see 
syde lyveth when ther comyth eny excellent^ colde, and 
namely"^ in such costes wher ther be no woodys, but as I 
here say they make as great a fire of torves as we do of 
woode. 

' at worth: at its true value. 

^ kybblayns: chilblains; see note. 

3 excellent: excelling. 

■* namely: especially. 



jfoob anb Brink 

22. I sawe today a thynge that was not sen befor, that is 
to say, quyke' crabbys and full of spawne brought to 
towne, the which, in my mynde, is a disch for a kynge,* 
and of all fyshes in the see I love them. 

25. I suppyde yesternyght with sum of my cuntreymenn 
wher we faryde well, for beside rostyde chekyns and other 
grosse disshes we were servede with swanys, pocockes, and 
venson, which is not accordynge for scholars to be servede 
with such delicate disshis, for it is selde sean that they 
which ffyll their belys overmych be disposede to their 
bookys. 

2i\. I was yesterday at a bryde ale wher we faryde well 
hardely,^ for after oure frumenty,* we were servede with 
gose, pige, caponn, pocoke, crane, swane, and suche 
other delicates that longeth to a goode feste. 

25. Iff I myght do the eny pleasure therby, I wolde shew 
the of a great feste. yesterday att home we faryde passynge 
dentely, wher ther was not the lest in the house but he 
hade plenty of venson and wyne. ther was non this many 
a day that hade so great a gyfte. therby thou maist know 
that we have sum frendes in the worlde. 



26, I have no delyte in beffe and motyn and such daily 
' quyke: live. ^ hardely: robustly i^autt). 



8 FOOD AND DRINK 

metes. I wolde onys have a partrige set before us, or sum 
other such, and in especiall litell small birdes that I love 
passyngly well. 

27. There was brought today to my maister vi dosyn off 
denty dysshis that were not lokede for, what in swanys, 
what in pocokkes and cranys, all other small disshis sett 
asyde, and yesterday as many. 

28. Thou shalt be content with browne brede ande smale 
alP yf thou dyne with me. 

2^. We shall dyne today with wortes, garlyke, and onyons. 
other mete^ we loke not fore. 

50. Thou wyll not beleve how wery I am off fysshe, and 
how moch I desir that flesch wer cum in ageyn. for I have 
ete non other but salt fysh this lent, and it hathe engen/ 
dyrde so moch flewme within me that it stoppith my 
pypys that I can unneth speke nother brethe. 

p. Wolde to gode. I wer on of the dwellers by the see 
syde, for ther see fysh be plentuse and I love them better 
then I do this fresh water fysh, but now I must ete freshe 
water fyshe whether I wyll or noo. 

52. Wolde gode I coulde kepe myselff as well from other 
mete or drynke or surfett as I can kepe me from pleasure 

^ all: ale. ^ mete: food. 



FOOD AND DRINK 9 

of my body, but in very dede I have so gevyn myself to 
riott of mete and drynke that when I cum to ete ther is no 
measure, for wher I thynke to syppe I drynke upe all, 
and when I thynke to ete but a litell I ete upe all the 
measse.' 

5j. Mesemyth thou hast dronke enough, thomas, when 
nother thi tongue nother thy fete wyll serve the. 

^4. As I hauntede ale bowses and wyn taverns, I have 
spende all the money that I hade in my purse. 

55. I toke a surfFytt yesternyght with late drynkyng of 
wyne for I was so overcum with ofte syppynge of the 
wyne that at the laste I coulde scant stande on my fete nor 
my tonge coulde do me no service, for when I spoke, I 
stamberde so greatly that when I hade utterde eny wordes 
I was greatly ashamede. 

^6. I was never more afraide of myselfe than I was yester/ 
day, for in the mornynge whan I woke my hede akyde 
that methought every pece went from other, and my 
stomake was overchargede with the mete I ete the day 
before, and I was so thirsty that methought I coulde have 
dronke an hole tune^ of myselfe, but after I was upe and 
hade walkyde aboute a litell I was ever better and better, 
and so I overcome my seknes every deale. 

^y. It is a great pite in my mynde to see scholars so cor/ 
ruppede^ as nowadais be reason of over great liberte of the 

' meassc: serving. ^ tune: tun, cask. ^ corruppede: corrupted. 



10 FOOD AND DRINK 

which sum ther be that sitt bousynge' and drynkynge so 
late in the nyght that in the mornynge they be so slogguysh^ 
they cannot holde upe their hedys. And sum, contrary, 
use so immesurable slepe that they seme to take hede of 
non other thynge except mete and drynke, the which they 
muste nedys have to suffice nature, thies be suche as ye se 
swolne in the face and holow eyde, with pale color and 
bent, fadyde, rather seme to be apte to ber a tankerde then 
a booke in their hondys. 



^8. I am sory that herebefore I have not mesurede me in 
metes and drynkes, for I cheryshede my mouth so that 
nowe I am in that case that yf I provyde not a remedy the 
sonner I am maride.^ 



5^. Ther be sum that be raveners and so gredy of their 
mettes that their bellys can never be fyllyde, and sum be of 
contrary condicyons, for how moch soever be servede 
them at the table their ey is never fyllyde. 

40. It is convenyent for a scholar to refrayn fro surfetynge 
and dronkenes. fowll it is to shewe how sume plaith the 
ravenars with mete and overcummyth themselff with 
wyne, ale, and here, and ther is non of us all but we ete 
oftyms or"^ we be anhungrede and drynke or we be 
athirst. 

^ bousynge: guzzling. ^ slogguysh: sluggish. 

3 maride: marred, ruined (actum est ie me). 
/* or: before. 



FOOD AND DRINK II 

41. The mete that I myselfe dide roste upon the gyrde/ 
yrenn dide me more goode than all the other deale^ that 
we were servede with at sopre. 



42. I have* a luste to breke my faste betymes: stekys of 
motonn wyll serve well enoughe, broylede on the colys, 
sawsede with peper and vynegar with a cope of goode 
reede wyn therto. 



4^. I marvell thou art so desiorous to drynke in mornynges 
before brekefast. In goode faith, thou hast an evyll con/- 
dicioun^ which, as I thynke, wyll brynge the into seknes. 



44. I ete damecyns^ yesterday which made my stomake 
so rawe that I coulde ete no maner of fleshe. 



45. An honest wyff of this towne desirede me to drynke 
with hire yesterday. I fere leste she take it for unkyndnesse 
that I wolde not. 



46. I have poyntede aboute onn of the cloke to mete with 
a cumpany of goode felowes iij myle hense at etynge of a 
hen, on this condicioun, that if I kepe not the houre of 
poyntment I moste pay for the hen. 

' deale: portion. 

^ condicioun: habit, nature (consmtudo). 

3 damecyns: damsons. 



12 FOOD AND DRINK 

^7. I hade apoyntede yesterday to dyne with an alder/ 
mann. howbeyt, I was disapoyntede of my dyner in con/ 
elusion because the houre was preventyde,' and afterwarde 
I was fayn to ete coUoppys^ and egges in the stede of deli/ 
cates, takynge it for avantage whatsoever I founde. 

48. Ther be many such raveners and so gredy of their 
mete that I kepe^ not gladly to sytt at the table with them, 
for when ther is no mete lefte in their owne disshis they 
wyll snach theire felows mete oute of their hondes as they 
sitt aboute them. 



49. I wyll never sytt agayn with the at on mease^ while I 
lyfF, and^ I may know the from a shepe. for thou arte a 
lurcher* and a gloten. lurchers I call suche as devoure all 
the beste musselys.^ Raveners ete all that comyth before 
them, or the most parte, thou playst sumtyme the onn, 
sumtyme the other, and I forsake thy company forever, nor 
we VV7II never drynke together agayne. 

50. I sytt oftyn tymes emongest them at melys tyme the 
which be of more dignite and worshipe then I, wher I 
may not speke except they appose^ me, but I hade lever 
fare hardely and sytt emongest my companyons wher I 
may be mery and speke what I wyll. 

5i. William, sett the mete on the table and sytt downe. 
I love not so moche formalite.* 

' preventyde: previously engaged (preoccupata). 

^ colloppys: bacon. ^ kepe: care. * mease: mess. 

5 and: if; see note. ^ musselys: morsels. ' appose: question. 



W))t Pop anH 6i£( Jfamilp 

52.* — All the richest menys Childrenn every wher be loste^ 
nowadais in ther youghe at home, and that with ther 
Fathers and mothers, and that is great pite, playn. but 
to tell youe how, trust me and ye wyll, it wyll make me 
wepe. 

— Nay, ther youe passe youre boundes. 'But all for the 
most party,' ye sholde have saide. I knowe many on my/ 
selfe that be spede right well, both in nurture and in 
connyng. and if I sett them emonge the best, I trow I 
dide no mann wronge. But what the devyll eylith me to 
lete^ youe of youre tale i ye may say I lake curtesy, and 
better fedde than taught. Say forth, I pray youe. youre 
wordes may hape to turne sum man to goode. 

— The mothers must have them to play withall stede of 
puppetes,^ as childrenn were borne to japes and tryfuUys. 
thei bolde them both in worde and dede to do what thei 
liste, and with wantonnes and sufferance shamfuUy they 
renne on the hede.'^ Forthermore, yf thei hape to call the 
dame 'hoore' or the father 'cockolde' (as it lockyth^ sum/ 
tyme), thei laffe theratt and take it for a sport, saynge it is 
kynde^ for children to be wanton in ther youghe. Thei 
holde it but foly to put them to scole, trowynge it goode 
enoughe whatsoever thei have lurnede at hom. thei may 
not furthe them bett,* all the worlde to wyne, for and thei 
sholde se them wepe, thei wen thei were utterly loste. I 
wyll make youe an example by a cosyn of myne that [was 

' loste: corrupted. ^ lete: hinder. ^ puppetes: dolls. 

■* on the hede: headlong; see note. 
5 lockyth: lucketh; see note. 
^ kynde: natural. 



14 THE BOY AND HIS FAMILY 

sent]* to his absey^ hereby at the next dore. and if he come 
wepynge after his maister hath charede^ away the flees 
from his skynne, anone his mother loketh onn his 
buttockys yf the stryppys be a^sen. And the stryppys 
appere, she wepyth and waileth and fareth as she were 
made, then she complayneth of the cruelte of techers, 
saynge she hade lever se hire childe wer fair buriede than 
so to be intretide. These wordes thei speke and suche 
other infinite, and other while for the childrenys sake ther 
begynneth afray betwixte the goode mann and his wyfFe, 
for what he commaundeth, she forbyddeth. And thus 
in processe of tyme, when thei cum to age, thei waxe 
bolde to do all myschevousnes, settynge litell to do the 
greatest shame that can be. And at the laste, after ther 
merites, sum be hangede, sum be hedyde; on goth to 
nought on way, another another way; and whan thei 
cum to that ende, then thei curse the fathers and mothers 
and other that hade rule of them in ther youghe. 



55. Well is my scole felows which have leve to go se ther 
fathers and mothers to sport them, as for me, I cannot so 
moch as a moment departe from my maisters side. 



5^. As it is saide, the next faire* shal be kepte here within 
this fortnyght, and then I wene my father and my mother 
wyl be here, and yf they cume, I put no doubte but that 
I shall lake nothynge that I have nede off. and yff they 
cum not, I purpose to go se them myselfFe, for I spoke not 
with them this v yere. 

' absey: ABCs, rudiments. ^ charede: driven away. 



THE BOY AND HIS FAMILY 15 

55. When I Come home to my father and to my mother 
we wept for joye ych to other, and no marvell, for the 
beholdynge of the childe confortes the olde fathers and 
mothers as moche as the pleasant wordes of the fesician 
confortes the seke body. 

^6. It is acordynge that we knoulege that we ar moch 
bounde to oure fathers and mothers, what for many 
thynges, what for this cheffly, that thei have purveyde for 
us the best maister to be sett to as sone as it is possible for 
age, fyndyng^ us also mete and drynke and clothe, so 
longe tyll we have gotenn the connynge that we have 
sought with moche laboure and com to the hyest degre of 
worshipe. 

57. I love my father and my mother best of all the worlde. 
howebeit, thei be not all the kyndest* to me. 

5^. Except my father and mother, ther is no mann that 
dothe enythynge for me, nother kynsmann nother none 
other body, therfor I pray gode that thei may lyve longe, 
for if I sholde lyve and they sholde dye I sholde lyve a pore 
lyff. 

5^. The gyfte that I was rewardide with this day from 
my father made me as glade that no sekenes or sorow can 
make me hevy. for I have so great love to my father (as a 
goode childe ought to have) that when I receyve eny/ 
thyng from hym, be it never so litell, it doth me more 
goode then mete or drynke.* whom because I cannot 
qwyte in dede, I wyll pray for hym whillys I lyve. 

' fyndyng: providing. 



16 THE BOY AND HIS FAMILY 

60. My brother hath writtyn to me from london that my 
father and mother and all my frendes fare well, the which 
letters hath made me right mery, for why^ the more I love 
them the more I rejose ther helth and welfar. 

61. I have sent a letter to my father and my mother for 
such bookes as I have nede of, and I know for a suerty 
that as sone as thei be delyverde to them thei wyll ordeyn 
for me all thynges after my desire. 

62. When my father stode for the maistershipe of the 
Towne that he dwellith in, very fewe in the tyme of 
th'eleccioun were agaynst hym, for all except vij or viij 
at the moste gave theyr voices to hym. 

6^. My father hade a grete losse this yere, what in his 
bestes and what in his corn, for C of his shepe dyde of the 
rott and hys eyrs^ were so ranke^ that it was thursf^ down 
to the grownde. 

64. My father sent my brother and me CC wardens.* 
while I was absent my brother hath chosyn the beste and 
lefte me the worst, but I am sure my father wyll sende us 
pomgarnettes other orynges yf ther be eny to be solde. then 
I shall serve hym lykewyse. 

^5. Commaunde^ me to both my father and my mother, 
I pray the, and say that, if I fare well, I shall se them 

^ for why: because. ^ eyrs: ears (of corn). 

3 ranker gross, swollen. ^ thurst: thrust. 

5 commaunde: commend. 



THE BOY AND HIS FAMILY IJ 

shortly. I praye the remembre my erande and delyver my 
mother this token. 



66. I pray youe when ye go to oure contrey^ that ye com/ 
mende me to my brother. 



6j. A great while after my brother diede, my mother was 
wonte to sytt wepynge every day. I trow that ther is no-* 
body which wolde not be sory yf he hade sen hir wepynge. 



68. When my Father was in this worlde, he lovede me as 
hertely as eny father myght do his childe. Notwith/ 
stondynge, to my mother I was as hatefuU as enythynge, 
but never thorugh myn offence or deservynge. but it 
hapenyth many tymes, as menn say, whom the father 
loveth, the mother hateth. 



6g. The losse of my mother is not a litle unto me, namly 
the which hath but few frendys to helpe me at my nede. 
but yf it hade fortune me to have sen hire before she dyede 
I myght have bene mery, but I thanke gode, though I be 
a motherles Childe, I have a father alyve, and yf I wantyde 
my father I wote not how I shulde lyve. 



JO. I am not only sory for my brother but also ashamyde 
that he woU never leve his olde unthrifty condicions. ther 

' contrey: district. 

6773 C 



<r- 



18 THE BOY AND HIS FAMILY 

is nother goode exortacion, nother cownsell, nother 
thretynge that he settith by, but settes all at sixe and sevyn* 
as though he sett nother by custome, nother by lawe, 
nother by hymselfF. 



'ji. I am sende for home to the mariage of my brother, for 
it is shewde me that he hath lokede for me all this moneth 
agonn. but because he deferrede it to the tyme that 
I myght be present, he wolde have be weddide iij 
monethes afore, howbeit, I wolde not gladely be present 
at suche festys that be greatly ordeynde for. 



72. I have thre susters mariable the which my father hath 
gevyn to everych xx -^ to their mariage, and therfore they 
shall have the richer woers, for nowadais money maketh 
mariage* with sum menn rather then love or bewtye. 



'*tS^-<it!tfr*)iS:Xr<s&ff'*iflt/^^ 



CJje ^tubp of latin 

'j^. Here we may drynke of the pure well of latyne tongue 
and eloquence, which is nothynge fayrer. O gracious 
childrenn that wetith ther lyppys therin! 



7^. Iff ye knew, Childe, what conseittes^ wer in latyn 
tonge, what fettes, what knakkes,* truly your stomake^ 

' conseittes: conceits (facecias). ^ stomake: spirit. 



THE STUDY OF LATIN 19 

wolde be choraggyde^ with a new desir or afFeccyon to 
lurne. trust ye me, all langage well nygh is but rude beside 
latyne tonge. In this is property,^ in this is shyfte,^ in this 
all swetnes. 



75. It is an hevy case that Childernn in their best age and 
metist to lurne grammer shall be take from yt and be sett 
to sophistre,* wher for lake of the on they shal be deceyvede 
of both. 



•]6. Ther be many nowadays goth to sophistre the which 
can scant speke thre wordys in latyn. they wyll repent it 
gready hereafter when they cum to parfyght age, for after 
my mynde sophistre is not to be comparede to gramere, 
but sum be of so unstable and waveryng mynde that they 
cannot perseve ther profytt. 



'J']. My father sent yesterday his servunt to my maistre 
for to laboure for me yf he coulde brynge aboute be eny 
meanys to have me from hens to sophistre, but my maister 
saide utterly that he wolde not suffre it, for he shewde that 
ther coulde be no greater hurt to scolars than to take them 
to tymely from grammer, but than it was tyme when thei 
hade redde all poetes and then they shulde be redy to all 
maner of studye. 

7^. Ther is so great diversite of autors of gramer and of 
eloquence that I cannot tell to whom I may inclyne, for 

' choraggyde: encouraged, inspired. 

^ property: wealth, fulness (copid). ^ shyfte: refinement (ek^ancia). 



20 THE STUDY OF LATIN 

theis new auctors* doth rebuke the noble dedes of them 
that ben before them, therfor oure myndes be plukkyde by 
ther and thither.^ but we be so variable and wandrynge 
of mynde that we covett the newer thynges and tho thei be 
worse. 

7^. It is a thynge not litell to be caryde for in what 
auctorys a childe is customyde in youghe, for then the 
myn of a yong mann is as waxe, apte to take all thynge. 
whateamever is pryntede in hym he receyveth it, and that 
that is first receyvede it is harde to forgett it. Wherfor yf 
a mann or a childe cane^ goode auctoris while he is 
yonge, they wyl not lightly from them, and yf he can 
evyll and barbarus, they wyll styke mor by them. 



80. Wolde to gode that I hade spede the yeres in goode 
connyng that I have loste lewdely in evyll grammer! 

81. I have ever hade this mynde, that ther is nothynge 
better nother more profitable to brynge a mann to con/ 
nynge than to marke suche thynges as is lefte of goode 
auctours, and I mean not all, but the beste, and tho to 
folowe as nyghe as a manys mynde wyll gyve hym. and 
he that doth this beside gyve hymselfe to exercise, he 
cannot chose but he most be connyng. 

82. The begynnynge of gramer doth well with the, for 
thou haste thy groundys well and ornately, goo to it styll; 

I by ther and thither: hither and thither. ^ cane: learn. 



THE STUDY OF LATIN 21 

thou shake overcum it, for the begynnynge of every thynge 
is the hardiste, the which if a man can well he shall lightly 
overcum that folouth. and therfor methynke it was a 
noble sayng of Aristotle: Begynnynge is more than halfe 
the worke.* 



8j. I knowe that thou hast thy groundes of Elygansies* 
right well, therfor, go to it styll and thou shalt sone gete 
all that ever folows. ther is nothynge, methynkyth, thou 
lackith nowe for to cum unto the best but only often 
and diligent exercise the which noryshith eloquence mer/ 
velously moche. 

84. They ar happy, mesemyth, that upon the begynnynge 
of ther abses have hapynede upon goode maisters. for if 
thei fro thensforth contynewe as thei have begune, luk/ 
kynge^ alway upon goode maisters acordynge after the 
diversite of connynge to be lurnede, and therselfe lurnynge 
with as goode a diligence as thei be tought, withoute 
double, yf thei shall want no wytt, thei shall prove within 
few yeres excellently connynge. 

6*5. Methynke a gramaryon dothe quyte hym well, go he 
never so well to his booke, yf he be well spede in ij or 
iij yer. 

86. We have not loste a litell tyme the which have gone 
to grammer iij hole yere and yete we can scant the 
principuls.^ 

' lukkynge: happening. * principuls: rudiments. 



22 THE STUDY OF LATIN 

^7. Iff I hade not usede my englysh tongue* so greatly, the 
which the maistre hath rebukede me ofte tymes, I shulde 
have ben fare more lighter (or, conyng) in grammer. wis 
men saye that nothyng may be more profitable to them 
that lurns grammer than to speke latyn. 

88. He that is contynually occupyde in wrytynge letters* 
it is no doubte but at the laste he shal be very connynge. 

8^. The last feir my unkle on my fathers syde gave me a 
pennare^ and an ynkehorne and my unkle of my 
mothers syde gave me a penn knyff. now, and I hade a 
payre of tabullys^ I lakkyde nothynge. 

^0. It is no mastry for youe the which have bookes inowe 
and cunnynge men to tech youe to gete cunnynge, for 
methynke and I hade half the bookes that ye have I 
wolde son be a cunnyng felow. 

pi. Methinkith thou lackest many thynges that is nede 
for a goode scolar to have: first, a pennar and an ynke^ 
home, and then bookes, and yet furthermore, the which is 
first and cheff and passeth all preceptes^ of maisters and 
all other doctrine, as exercise of latyn tongue and diligence. 

^2. Iff I may speke with thi frendes* ons, I wolde consell 
them to by the bookes to lurne with, for it is pite to se the 
spende thi tyme about nought. 

' pennare: pen case. ^ tabuUys: writing tablets. 

3 preceptes: grammatical rules. 



THE STUDY OF LATIN 23 

g^. Iff the bookys of olde auctours were not corrupt and 
sum of them fals,* I wolde not doubte that men now in this 
tyme sholde overpasse them or els be equall with them, 
for mennys wyttes be as goode now as they were then. 

g/^. — Code spede, praty^ childe! 

— and youe also. 

— I know that ye have lurnede youre grammer, but 
wher, I pray youe ? 

— by my faith, sum at wynchester,* sum in other places. 

— And I am an Oxforde man. woU youe we shall 
assay how we cann talke in latyn ? 

— yee, for gode, ryght fayne! 



P5. Put off shortely that longe hevy gowne and have a 
lyghter, and lete us go to hedynton* grove and ther we 
shall have an hare stert. Why standist thou styll > Se how 
the wether lokyth up lustely agayne oure jorneye. 

g6. Bende youre bowe and showte^ with me. lete us prove 
whether of us be the better archer. I can tell wher is a 
paire off buttes made off new turvys. Shall we goo thether? 

gj. I trow ther be never onn here that hath more delyte in 

' praty: pretty = witty, clever (scite). ^ showte: shoot. 



24 SPORTS, GAMES, AND HOLIDAYS 

fyshynge than I. for after I am gotyn onys oute of the dorys, 
all my diligence is to make me redy to the water side. 

g8. I and my brother dide spende all yesterday in fysshynge 
for because nother he nor I ete nothynge this day but 
fyssh and whitt mete,^ but yete we labourede in vayne for 
we toke not onn fysshe. 

^g. It is a goode sporte when the snowe lyeth thyke onn 
the grounde to take byrdes wyth lyme. 

100. Methynke it is a worlde to hunt the hare with 
gravandes^ while the snowe coverith the grounde, for 
now she cannot lightly skape the dogges mowthe, and 
sone a man may trace hire to the forme^ wher she is 
squatt,4 wher in another wether a man may hunt all day 
and yete fynde not an heyr of hire. 

101 * All the yonge folkes of oure house went to the wode 
yesterday because they wolde hunt the hare, and as it 
happynde a woman mett them berynge betwen hire 
armys many childernn, and onn toke away the fairest 
childe that she hade. 



102. This day, erly in the mornynge, about thre of the 
cloke, myn oste and his neghbers went to the woode to 

^ whitt mete: dairy produce (hcticmia). 

^ gravandes: greyhounds; see note. 

3 forme: nest. ^ squatt: crouched. 



SPORTS, GAMES, AND HOLIDAYS 2$ 

kyll the wylde boore that men say is ther, they with ther 
currys and mastyffes and he with his greyhowndes and 
spanyelles. I pray gode prosper that that they goo about, 
and tomorow I wyll tell youe how they spedde. . . . 

Yesterday, I promysede that I wolde tell youe how the 
hunters dide spede. herkyn a litle and I wyll. as sone as 
they were cum to the woode and hade sett on their dogges 
for to take the bore, streightways* every on of them faught 
so sore with another that it was very harde for the 
maisters to depart them. 



103. I was yesterday at a noble fest wher I saw grete wast'^ 
of mettes and drynkes, and as sone as we hade dynde we 
were commaunde every mann be course to lede the daunce, 
and I ledde a fair woman by the honde that was so small^ 
that a man myght a cleppyde^ hire in both his hondys. 



104. They do wysely that sende no Children to the uni/ 
versite but thei put them undre Creansers"^ to have the 
rule of them and of their money, for yf they wer not so 
ordeynde, they sholde waste all their money att dysse and 
Cardys in Cristmas tyme. 



10^. It is the guyse of all cristenn menn this day solemly 
to praye, fast, and go in procession, as well uplonde^ as in 
the towne. so shall they do tomorowe and the nexte day. 

' wast: abundance (luxuriam). ^ small: slender. 

^ cleppyde: embraced. 

•* Creansers: house masters; see introduction p. xxii. 

5 uplonde: in the country. 



26 SPORTS, GAMES, AND HOLIDAYS 

Parishyns^ mete eche other, and if they fynde eny crose by 
the way, ther thei tary anone. after the gospel! is done, 
thei fall to ther metes that the wyfFys brought from home 
for the nonys. 

106. Tomorow ye shall se many menn go to the woode 
and cum home with grene bowys on ther sholders.* 

10 J. — Art thou not wery of thies holydays? 

— truly I am wery, and specially so many togedre, for 
I do not only lesse^ moch cunnyng but also I wast awaye 
moch money in them. 

108. Ther is more discontenuance, I trowe, in Oxforde 
then in eny other universite. for it hath ben nowe a moneth 
togedre that no scole hath be kept, and after the comyn 
worde they call this tyme vacacioun, and that not amysse, 
for many men that tyme levyth all studyes* and gevyth 
them alltogedre to sportes and plays. 



log. I understande ther was a litle stryfFin the towne the 
laste nyght. gode gyve grace that no mann be hurte ther, 
for I fere greatly, and specially because that many after 
such great festes lesse their wyttys other whillys. 

110.^ I remembre not that ever I sawe a play^ that more 
delityde me than yesterdays, and allbeit chefe prayse be to 

^ Parishyns: parishioners. ^ lesse: lose. 

3 play: comedy (ludkrum). 



SPORTS, GAMES, AND HOLIDAYS 2? 

the doer^ therof, yete ar none of the players to be dis>' 
apoyntede of ther praise, for every mann plaide so his 
partes that, except hym that plaide kynge Salomonn, it is 
harde to say whom a mann may praise before other. 



111. All the yonge folkes almoste of this towne dyde 
rune yesterday to the castell* to se a here batyde with fers 
dogges within the wallys. It was greatly to be wondrede, 
for he dyde defende hymselfe so with hys craftynes and his 
wyllynes from the cruell doggys methought he sett not a 
whitt be their woodenes^ nor by their fersnes. 



112. It was a worlde to se at thyes last gamys, but a 
myle hense, to beholde the shoters and renners, of the 
which sum, I doubte not, were very glade, and namely^ they 
which bare away the best gamys,'^ and sum were sory and 
ashamede, namely they which went home agayne with/ 
oute eny rewarde wher they hade hopyde themselff befor 
to have bene worthye the best gamys. 



ijj. Yesterdaye, I departyde asyde prively oute of the* 
feldys from my felows and went be myselfe into a manys 
orcherde wher I dyde not only ete rype apples my bely full 
but I toke away as many as I coulde here. 

' doer: author (auctori). ^ woodenes: madness. 

3 namely: especially. 

•* best gamys: highest prizes (di^tiissima premia). 



i:fie pop, ^i^ Mn^ttt, anb 

114.* — why comyst thou hither J 

— to se youe. 

— whom, me ? 

— yee, the. 

— and wyll thou do nothynge ellys ? 

— yes, I cum also to lurne. 

— what wylt thou lurne J 

— to speke latyn, to wryte right, and understonde all 
such thynges as be written allredy. 

— ye say well. 

— but I say — 

— what ? 

— lurne thei with youe withoute betynge or nay ? 

— sum on ways, sum another; sum with betynge, sum 
with fairnesse. 

— but what meanys shall I use to lurne withoute be-' 
tynge ? for I fere the rodde as the swerde. 



11^. — Gentle maister, I wolde desire iij thynges of you: 
onn that I myght not wake over longe of nyghtes, another 
that I be not bett when I com to schole, the thirde that 
I myght ever emong^ go play me. 

— Gentle scholar, I wolde that ye shulde do iij other 
thynges: onn that ye ryse betyme off mornynges, another 
that ye go to your booke delygently, the thirde that ye 
behave yourselff agaynst gode devoutely, all menn honestly, 
and then ye shall have youre askynge. 

^ ever emong: from time to time. 



THE BOY AND HIS MASTER 29 

116. Felow, I besech the hertely to kepe oure counsell lest 
the maister know how unthriftely we myspent oure tyme 
yesterday, for yff he may know he wyl be verey angrye and 
not withoute a cause. 



11 J. It is known or opyn that thou dydist this thynge. 
therfor say not nay, for than thou shalt dubble thy payn. 
for ye shal not displease our master sonner then yf ye wyll 
hyde your trespas (or elles, yf ye wyl not be known of 
your mysdoynge). 

118. We yonge grammaryons most labor with all oure 
myght to please oure maister lest he be angry and avenge 
his anger upon us. 

11^. Felows, what is youre mynde? ar ye glade that the 
maister is recoverde of totheache? whatsumever ye thynke 
in youre mynde, I knowe my mynde. withoute doubte, 
and I were a riche mann I wolde spende a noble* worth 
of ale emonge goode gosseps so that he hade be vexede a 
fortnyght longer. 

120. It were better to eny of us all to be dede than to sufFre 
suche thynge as the maister hath sufTeryde these iij dais 
agone in the totheache. forsoth, I know full well that [he]* 
myght nother ete nother drynke. and if I sholde not lye, 
I trowe he myght not slepe nother day nother nyght. 

121. Felows, be gode I myght not chose but I muste 
nedes wepe when oure maister was now laste from home. 



30 THE BOY, HIS MASTER, AND 

but have truste to my wordes, I dide it more for joye than 
for sorowe, and not withoute a cause, for and he hade 
byde here it shulde have repent me sore. 



122. YfFther be eny of my felows that love not my maister, 
I confesse that I am on. 



125. — Thorughe thyne owne fawte thou hast made thy^ 
selfe oute of conseyte with thy maister. wher that afore 
thou were ever cheffe with hym and myght do moche and 
most in favour, nowe thou art nought sett by and nothynge 
can do for thyselfe nother for thy frendes. 

— for he hath suche flaterers aboute hym, the which he 
taketh great hede to. for [their]* owne profytt thei be glade 
that thei be in favor with hym, and they be glade that 
I am oute of conseyt with hym. 



12^. — As fare as I can perceyve by my maisters wordes, 
he purposeth to go into the contrey for ij or iij days wher 
he woU sport hym and make mery. In the mean season, 
yf thou wolt, we may have licence to cum and speke 
togedre and do all thynges that please us. we have no 
nede to drede. 

— but peradventure he woU fayn^ sumthynge to brynge 
us in a foolys predicament. 



125. We hade better to have benn hangyde than to have 
servede oure olde maister suche a touche.^ 

' fayn: feign, pretend. ^ touche: sly or mean trick (facimi). 



HIS MASTER S ROD 31 

126. Some thynke themselfe to olde and to great to be 
bett with the rodde, and I holde well with them, yf their 
condicions wer accordynge to their stature, howebeit, 
when I came first to this universite, ther was no difference 
in correccyon betwenn great and small, as all thynges in 
processe of tyme dekeyth, so goode rule gothe bakewarde. 



12J. After my jugement, on ought not to be favoryde more 
then another in a gramar schole, but every man muste be 
servede after his meryttes. thei that take hede diligently 
to their bookys must be favoryde or [prasyde]* and thei 
that do evyll most be punyshide. 



128. I muste nedys marvell of the condicioun of sum of 
my felows, for whatsoever maistre they fortune to have 
they be never content, for they disdeyne to be undre, but 
ever I have thought to obey hym, whatsoever maistre he 
fortune to be. 



I2g. It is not to be marvelede thoughe my maister be not 
riche, for he hath a great householde and a free.' and also 
he hath every day straungers and gestes with hym, and at 
the leste wey he dyneth with vj or vij denteth^ dishes, yet 
he is no etar hymselfe, for oftentymes thei begyne to soupe 
before he sitt down, and sitt styll when he is gone. 



1^0. Maister, I marvell greatly that ye be so importune 
unto me. I trowe I never deservede it. therfore, I do not all 

' free: liberal. ^ denteth: dainty {O.E.D., s,v. 'dainteth'). 



32 THE BOY, HIS MASTER, AND 

only monyshe youe, but also I exorte and praye youe that 
ye wolde be goode frende to me. and if ther be eny thynge 
in me that ye have nede of ye shall fynde me redy att all 
tymes. 



1^1. Who callith me? what, youe, master? here am I redy 
to do eny thynge that ye woll commaunde me. 



1^2. I laboure and enforce as moche as I can to please the 
maister in all thynges. the which, if I may bryng it aboute, 
I shall not do to hym so great a pleasure as to myselfe, for 
ther is no mann to whom I am more beholde to. how/ 
beit, he doth nothynge for me for nought, but he of my 
father shall have rewardys accordynge to hys labours. 



1^^. My maister hath promysede to do for^ me if it lye 
ever in hys power, and so hath he donn now, that yf 
I spende my lyfF for his worshipe, mesemyth I cannot 
deserve no part off hys meryttes.^ 



ij4. I went yesterday to bede in the begynnynge of the 
nyght because I porpossede to rise today before daylight 
that I myght delyver letters unto the caryare to my maistre. 
he is that mann, whatsumever encresyng of riches or 
worshippys I cum to, I shall never forgete hys meryttes 
done unto me. 

' do for: benefit, do service for (bene merere). 
^ meryttes: favours. 



HIS MASTER S ROD 33 

JJ5. We scolars ar more bounde to them that techith us 
goode than to them that brought us upe into the worlde, 
for why withoute connyng we ar as rude bestes which 
know not goode fro evyll. 



1^6. What lettyde the, John, that thou couldist not con/ 
strue thy lesson today to the maister? In goode faith, be/ 
leve me at fewe wordes: yf thou do so eny more I shall 
punyshe the grevously. 



i^y. The rules that I must say to my maister ar scandy 
halfe writyn, wherfore I am worthy to be bett. 



1^8. Though I sholde be bett now, and not withoute a 
cause, for I was so lewde^ and so negligent to lesse my 
bookes, yete I am glade that at the laste I have fonde them 
agayne. 



i^g* — Forgyve me this fawte, other for myn awne sake or 
for my mothers love, for I am of thes condicions, the more 
I am forgevyn, the lesse I fawte, and if ever I do another 
fawte, ye may well punyshe me for them both. 

— Take thou hym and correcte hym thyselfe as the 
liste. I gyve the leve to take thy pleasure, and if he wyll not 
take it of the, as he is sumwhat stubberus,^ brynge hym 
agayn to me that I may spytt oute my angre upon hym. 

' lewde: bungling. 

^ stubberus: stubborn; see note. 

6778 O 



34 THE BOY, HIS MASTER, AND 

— Now, sithe the mater lieth all in my handes, aske me 
mercy and take it. go thy way quyte^ for this tyme. thou 
shalt not fynde me so herde to intret as thou supposyde. 
but bewar I take the not in such another brake.^ 

140. It wyll cum to my cours to have many a strype in the 
yere yf my [creanser]* kepe me at home every day tyll it be 
vij or viij of the cloke, for when I cum to schole I cannot 
qwyt^ myself but with stryppys. 

141 * For what trespasse is this correcyon? by my trouth, 
I trow ther was never mann trespassede so greatly that 
he was worthy to be punysshede on this fascyon. but in 
feith it is no great marvell, for thou doist al thyng oute of 
ordure. 

142. As sone as I was comyn into this straunge towne I 
mett with sum of my felows that wer right glade of my 
comynge, and they were not so glade of it as childrenn the 
which fere bettyng were sory* for yt. 

14^. The Master saith that we thorugh his mekenes and 
softnes be moch the worse, wherfor he hath promyside 
his faith but yf'^ we use oure latyn tongue better then we 
were wont we shal be sharpely punysshede. 

144. Ther is nothynge that I desire more than to use softe 
and easye correccioun unto the scolars if I coulde thynke 

^^ quyte: free, clear. ^ brake: breach, violation. 

3 qwyt: acquit. * but yf: unless. 



HIS MASTER S ROD 35 

it wolde most profytt them, but sum wolde never lurne 
yf thei wer sure thei sholde never be bett, and that may 
be provede, that onn weekes sufferance withoute betynge 
hurte them more than thei profytede ij before. 



Cde l^inbflJ of ^tjolar: Wittp mh Mull, 
l^ont^t anb Canton 

145. Sum scholars there be, but ther ar very few of them, 
that have goode wyttes and kepe styll in remembrance that 
as they here; and sum have a goode perceyvynge with 
them, such ther be many, but they forgete more in a day 
than they lurnede in iij. sum ther ar that be so dull which 
withoute great laboure cannot cane the leste thynge. but 
they that have goode wittes and diligent must be cunnynge 
whether they wyll or nay, and the other with difficulte. 



146. I have no joye (or, deynte) to tech Children and 
namly duUardys or corrageles.^ for that on it is certen, 
though he wyll lurne, cannot; the other, though he can, 
wyll not. 



i/fj. And scolars that have goode wyttes wolde gyve 
themselfe to ther bookes, thei coulde not chose but thei 
moste nedes be connynge. and so we se it daily provyde in 

' corrageles: without spirit; see note. 



36 THE KINDS OF SCHOLAR 

them that so doth, for many ther be that have noble wyttes 
and trust in ther wytt to moche and put no diligence to it 
in the worlde, and therfor thei be deceyvede oftentymes at 
the conclusioun, and thei that be dull do excede them. 

148. Mesemyth ther be many scholars nowadais i[n] ox^ 
forde the which be of very sharpe wytt. Notwithstondynge, 
they put not their myndes to their bookes nor to othere 
vertuse occupacioun which shulde be to them greate 
worshipe and to all their frendes great confort. 

i4g. Is it not pyty that Childern, and many of them the 
which have qwyke wyttes, to be gevyn to japys and 
tryffylles, the which yf thei wolde gyve them to ther 
bookes shulde have no perys. 



I 



150. Many of the scolars be of so sharpe a wytt that thei 
take shortely all thynges which be taught them. Which it 
sholde be a great pleasure for the maister to tech if thei 
wolde labor withall. 

15 J. None of all my felows hath a quykker wytt than I, 
yet for all that, withoute great callynge onn and oftyn 
betyng, I cannot lurne. 

152. Be a man indude with never so great a wytt, with/ 
oute great diligence he shall never move to cum to great 
cunnyng. 

155. They that be sumwhat dull of wytt ought to recom/ 
pence their ydylnes^ with diligence and labor, for ther was 

* perys: peers. ^ ydylnes: dullness; see note. 



WITTY AND DULL, HONEST AND WANTON 37 

never mann so dull, nother nothynge so harde for eny 
mann, but with diligence and labor he may overcome it. 
for manys wytt is like a felde, that the better he is dressyde 
and tyllyde, the lustyer he bryngeth forth, therfor no mann 
may excuse hym by dulnesse. 

154. The maister knoweth what a slowe wytt I am of, for 
howbeit I profytt but litell, yf I kepe well in remembrance 
such thynges as I have lurnede I shall content hym. 

155. I have marvell what it is that for all the exercyse that 
ye have in makynge of laten ye ar nothynge the better, 
wher I am sure that sum other hathe com to moche more 
thryfte with lesse laboure. 

1^6. My father may be glade that ever he begote me, for 
and yf I lyfFthe age of malvornn hyllys* I shall yelde" hym 
a foole sty 11. and yete if he sende not the soner for me,* I 
shall shame hym, my maisters, and all the kyne that I com 
off. 

157. It is better for the maister to tech C well condicyonde 
scholars and vertuse then xx evyll condycionde, for they 
that be of good condicions wyll here away such thynges 
as be tought, not compellyde, and thei that be frowarde, 
the more payne they have, the lesse thei take hede. 

15^. Oure childern be so wantonn that if thei may have 
ther owne wyll thei car not whether ever thei thryve or 



never. 



' yclde: produce for (me semper fatuum babebit). 



38 THE KINDS OF SCHOLAR 

J5p. When I remembre with myselfe the lyfF and dis/ 
posicyon of sum menn, I se great diversite emonge them, 
sum a mann may se that be gevyn to study and to cun/ 
nynge, also have great honeste in their lyvyng. Other, 
contrarywyse, be fare from thies condicions, the which if 
they have al thynges fonde^ of their frendes yete they lyve 
unhonestely, takynge no heede nother to body nother to 
rayment. 



160. It shulde be a pleasure to the maistre to tech such 
scholars as be quyke wyttide and wyll endevor themselffand 
leve theire barbarus waye and to here awaye such thynges 
as be elegantlye taught them, but sum be so unthriftely dis/ 
posede that they be gevyn alltogether to plais and sporttes 
and ydlenes, and such be to be compellide to their bookes 
with sharpe strippys. 



161. It is herde for eny man to know the condicioun of 
such that be undre correccyon and do well by the reason 
of the maister, but yf they cum onys to their owne liberty 
a mann may knowe wonderfully an unthryfte from a 
goode onn. 



162. I wyll begyne from hensforwarde to folowe the best 
of all my felows that I may gete the connynge and also the 
goode name that thei have by their diligence. Notwith/ 
stondynge, the maister thynketh otherwyse because I have 
benn of so untowarde dispo[si]cion* herebefore. 

' fonde: found, supplied. 



WITTY AND DULL, HONEST AND WANTON 39 

16^. It is a comyn saynge that Children have most quyke 
wyttes when they be fastynge, but I fynde the contrary for 
that that I lurne in the mornynge is sone gone oute off 
mynde, for nyght studye dothe me moste goode. 



164. It is a worlde to se the redy wyttes of sum menn in 
thynges to do, that for all the weyghtynes of maters, ther is 
nothynge to seke with them, as for me, I am of another 
disposicioun, for which whansoever eny weighty thyng is 
to do I am so unredy that I wot never in the worlde wher 
to turne me. 



ttS^tfSyf^fS^^a^^tSlf^fS^'^cSJi^^tfS^^tS^^xS^^^ 



^cFjoolroom ^alk 

165. As sone as I am cum into the scole this felow goith 
to make water and he goyth oute to the comyn drafte.* 
Sone after another askith licence that he may go drynke. 
another callith upon me that he may have licence to go 
home, thies and such other leyth my scholars for excuse 
oftyntyms that they may be oute off the waye. 



166. I mervell greatly what hede your creansers take to 
youe, for today ye be so many that ther is unneth^ on 
place to sytt upon, and all the weke afore the on half of 
the schole wantyde. 

' drafts: privy. ^ unneth: scarcely. 



40 SCHOOLROOM TALK 

16'/. It is pite that so deynte a day and also so faire shulde 
be spent in sade* maters rather than in japys. 



168. The Maister shulde do us all a great pleasur today yf 
he wolde gyve us leve to go make us mery this afternone 
while the weder is so fair, for it is doutefuU yf hereafter 
ther wolde be so great a temperatnes of weder. 



16^. Yesterday, I toke my pleasure in the towne walkynge 
to and froo into the castell and aboute, but todaye, when 
I cam to schole I was welcummyde on the new fascyon.* 



J 70.* Wolde it not angre a mann to be lyde upon of this 
fascyon ? thei say that I kepe a dawe in my chambre, but 
iwys^ thei lye falsly upon me for it is but a pore Conye.^ 



lyi. I am wery of thi cumpany, for ther is no shrewde 
torne'^ done here but thou leist the fawte on me. also, the 
maister belevyth the. 



i'/2. Ther is no unhappy^ dede done here emonge us but 
all the fawte is put upon me though I be not gylty. it 
botith me not to deny it. I hade rather in goode feithe dye 
then I wolde suffer thies wronges daily withoute a cause. 

' sade: serious. ^ iwys: surely (hercle). 

^ Conye: rabbit. 

* shrewde torne: michievous act. ^ unhappy: evil. 



SCHOOLROOM TALK 41 

175. Thomas, I thanke the, for I was present and stode by 
the when thou complaynst of me to my Creanser. 



174. John, methynkith that ther is no man more ungentle 
nother mor uncurtese to me then thou art, for allway thou 
complanest upon me withoute a cause to my Creanser. 
After my mynde I have not deservede thy evyll wyll but 
rather thy frendeshipe, for I have benn allway very delygent 
to do the a pleasure. 



J 75. Nowadays, this is the maner: yf on take away eny^ 
thynge from me, I wyll take shortely agayn from hym 
other hys cappe or hys knyff or sumthynge ellys. but this 
is not well. It wer better (or, more convenyent) when 
a mann doth me wronge that I shulde speke fair unto 
hym and besech hym as hertely as I can to leve,^ and yf 
he leve not than it is best to shew it to the maister or to his 
ussher. 



ij6. It is a noble sporte for me to here the fasynge^ and 
brallynge of thies boys when they shal be accusede off 
custos^ and to se how subtyll every man is in defendyng 
hymself 



ijj. I may blame the, William, for thyn unkyndnes that 
thou haste kepte my booke so longe. 

' leve: cease. ^ fasynge: facing, swaggering. 

3 custos: senior pupil, monitor. 



42 SCHOOLROOM TALK 

lyS. — What! what gere' is this? whos papir is this? 

— What wolde ye ? it is myn. 

— Whill ye have so goode stufFe (or, store) I truste ye 
wyll gyve me on lefF. 

— Nay, for gode, ye may thynke yourselfe well in/ 
tretyde (or, well delt withall) yf ye gete so mych as half 
onn. 

lyg. Felowe, mesemyth that thou hast our latyn and our 
verses, and if thou gyve me copy of them thou shalt have 
my favoure. 

180. Ther is nothynge grevyth me so moche as for to be 
kepte alwey within the wallys and that I can have nothynge 
after my pleasure. 

181. I have playde longe and forgete mych. the litle 
childern that were sett to schole with me be gone afore me 
fare, therfore, I must se (or, take hede) that I may overtake 
them. 



182. Mesemyth thou art more mete to sytt in a sowters^ 
shoppe with a sowters bristyll* then in a scole with a 
wrytyng penn. 

18^. Every mann provailith in their lurnyng save I, and 
be worthy of praisynge (or, to be praysede). I, unhappy 
felowe, cannot tell what goode I doo, clen without al 
virtue and all goodenes, well nygh. 

" gere: goods, stuff. ^ sowters: shoemaker's. 



SCHOOLROOM TALK 43 

184. YfFthou come so slowly forwarde to lurne grammer 
it shal be longe or thou shalt thryfF.^ 



18^. My maister* prayth youe to take myn excuse at this 
tyme for I dide his herandes yesternyght hether and thether 
in the town. 



186. We be so lett,^ what with goynge forth of town and 
rennynge on erandes at home, that it is no marvell thoughe 
we thryve but small in oure lurnynge. 



i8j. My maister sent me to enquer a certayn man of whom 
I sholde aske the keys of the librarye to be brought unto 
hym and I coulde not fynde hym noowhere. I cam agayn 
to my maister and than I myssede my latyn booke, but I 
cannot tell whether I loste hym rennynge or lefte hym in 
the Taverne.* 



ttSjfta^'^fSae'-^i^br^KSyr^KSby^Kl^^ 



jfrienbs(I)ip anb ^erfibp 

188. Frende, I besech youe that ye wyl not be grevyde for 
that I have done. I confesse that I have done amysse, and 
sory I am. wolde to gode it were undone! but hereafter I 
wyl be better ware, and yf ther be enythynge wherin I 

' thryfF: thrive, succeed. 
^ Lett: hindered. 



44 FRIENDSHIP AND PERFIDY 

may do youe a pleasure I wyl be glade to recompense this 
displasure with my diligent service, the meannwhile, I 
pray you of forgevynes. 

18^. Amongest all other pleasurs methynke it is not the 
lest but rather the moste to have a faithfull frende to speke 
all thynges to as he wolde to hymself. In whos talkynge a 
mann may put away all vexacions and hevynes, for he 
that is so close to hymself and shews no man his mynde 
a litell troble vexeth hym anone. 

igo. The gentylnes of a frende is never knowen verely tyll 
thou be in such case that withoute his helpe thou shalt 
suffre losse. then he wyll never go fro the whatsoever he 
sufFre. 

igi. Likewyse as golde is provyde by fyre, so is a trusty 
frende knowne in trouble.* 

1^2. Many tokyns ther be that I thynke verely thou lovest 
me with thyn hert, howbeit that it is longe contenuance 
or^ very love be utterly knowne, for as Cicero* saith, men 
must ete togedre many bushels of salt before they know 
their frendes. for it is very harde to know faynde love 
from trew love withoute eny tyme it fortune to a mann.* for 
as golde is provede be fier, so faithfull love is provede be 
sum great juberty.^ 

1^5. A man shall knowe his frende best in adversite, fFor 
than all flaterers lyghtly^ departith. 

* or: before. ^ juberty: jeopardy, trial. ^ lyghtly: readily. 



FRIENDSHIP AND PERFIDY 45 

1^4. Howebeit I fere mych trouble that men suffer in 
this worlde, yete methynke ther is nothynge that I fere so 
sore to be troublede withall as with the unkyndnes of 
them that I have done moch for. A wise mann, yf he do 
provyde^ what is to cum, it must nedys greve hym the 
lesse when it comyth to hym. 



1^5. I am not a litell sorye, felow, to depart from the, 
what for the goode cumpany and kyndnes that I have 
fonde in the steryth^ me greatly to abyde yf I wolde not do 
agaynst the commaundementes of my frendes. I wolde to 
gode that thou woldist go with me, for I am suer ther wyll 
nother mete nother drynke do me goode* but if I here from 
the every day of thy welfare. 



ig6. I was very sory when I herde say that thy brother was 
dede in this pestilence for I have lost a gentle frende and a 
trusty, from oure first acquentance, the which was sens we 
were childern, we were companyde togedre in on house 
and undre onn maister and lightly we hade onn mynde in 
every mater. I cannot tell in goode faithe what losse may 
be comparede with this, the philosopher thought ther was 
nothynge more to be praisede than a goode frende. 



igj. John, it is vij yere agone sens I lovede the first. I dide 
never repent me of it for, as I trust, thou didest love me 
agayne, and as for my part thou shalt be sure while I lyve 
thou shalt have my goode hert. And I pray the, lete me 

* provyde: foresee. 2 steryth: stineth. 



46 FRIENDSHIP AND PERFIDY 

have so of the that we may lede oure lyffes in love and 
frendeshippe for ther is nothynge more preciouse, after 
olde auctors, then true love and frendeshippe. 



ig8. I am very sory, John, that thou sholdist depart hens, 
for I shall want goode company of the and manerly and 
plesaunt talkynge emonge.^ but and I myght have myn 
owne wyll I wolde not be longe after the. but, as men say, 
he is bounde at a stake that may not do but as he is bidde, 
and so it is with me. but if I may onys gete the bonde fro 
my necke he^ shall frete no more there. 



i^g. And thou myghtest se with thyn Eyn how moche I 
love the thou woldist marvell of the habundance of it. 
for in goode feith and I sholde tell trouth it is greater to the 
than to all menn beside, and that shalt thou fynde yf thou 
have eny nede of my helpe. this shall I promyse the: I 
wyll not only spende my goode for the but the best bloode 
in my body. 



200. I have lovede the specially sith we wer first acquen/ 
tyde, and not withoute a cause, for thou hast ben the mann 
that hath done moche for me. but in goode soth I have 
lovede the moche more sens I sawe the so besely to do for 
thy frende, for tho^ never leftist hym tyll thou haddiste 
made an ende of his mater. 



emonge: during this period. * he: it. 

3 tho: thou. 



FRIENDSHIP AND PERFIDY 47 

201. What promyse soever thou make in my name I wyll 
fulfyll it though it put me to a great charge, thou shalt 
never fynde me other, by godes grace, then I promysede to 
the sumtyme. 



202. I am very glade that dwellith in the contrey, fare 
from the cite and lurnede menn, and hath the a frende in 
my lordes courte. men say it is better to have a frende 
otherwhils' in courte than a peny in pursse. * 



20 j. The kyndnes of youe is to be consideryde of me, for 
ye be evere redy to do me goode. 



204. We wer sory that thou wer hens so longe, belevyng 
that we sholde never have senn the agayn, for [we]* may 
not forbere^ thi absence. 



205. It is very harde nowadais to fynde eny feithfuU 
frende, for I broke the secretnes of my hert todaye to onn 
that I lovede best of all the worlde and he thrughe the 
utterynge of my consell hath causede many to be very 
angerde with me. 



206. I have desirede my frende I cannot tell how ofte that 
he wolde do me a pleasur in a lytell mater, but I coulde 
never gete it off hym. methynke he is sumwhat unkynde 

^ otherwhils: sometimes. * forbcre: endure. 



48 FRIENDSHIP AND PERFIDY 

for yf he hade graunt it me he hade be never the worse and 
yete he hade done me a goode turne. 

20'j. I mervell wher thou gottist this unkyndnes. for what/ 
soever thou doist aske me, be it never so goode, I may 
forde' to gyve it the, but ii I aske the eny thynge thou 
denyst it utterly. 

20%. I cannot tell by my trouth whos wordes a mann may 
trust to nowadays that he sholde not be disseyvede falsly. 
I myself hade a frende (as I thought) that I lovede specially 
that made me a sure promysse as eny mann coulde that he 
wolde do for me in such a mater as I hade to do. but, as I 
provede sens, my mater had gonn forth as I wolde have 
hade it and he hade not benn agaynst it, and so falsly he 
dyde agaynst his promysse and he hath donn agaynst our 
olde love and frendeshipe. 

2og. I trow it hath fortunede to me as it hath fortunede but 
to few menn, for thei that I do most for be oftyn tymes 
ageynst me, but sum of them be not all only ageynst me in 
my maters but also labor how thei may trouble me. 

210. Ther is no mann that is more diligent in all your 
maters and more lovynge to youe than I am, and yet 
methynke the more serviable I am to youe the more 
straunge ye be to me. I wote not how I may gete your love. 
I wote I have deservede that thou sholdist love me; how/ 
beit, I trow thou lovest me no mann lesse. 

" forde: afford, manage; see note. 



FRIENDSHIP AND PERFIDY 49 

211. I have desirede my frende I wote not how often that 
he wolde do me a pleasure in a litell mater, but I coulde 
never gete it of hym. methynke if he hade grauntede it to 
me he hade be never the worse hymselfe. I woU not be 
angrye with hym, but if he desire enythynge of me I shal 
be as straunge to hym. 



212. John, methynke thou art very unkynde to complayne 
off me withoute a cause. I am sure yf thou lokist well 
aboute the thoue was never better delt withall. but if thou 
knewist I hade done the wronge it hade ben accordynge 
the frendely to have made thy complaynt to me of thy 
wronge; and it hade not be remedide than thou myghtist 
lawfully to complayn. 

21^. I herde say thou were very angrye with me but I 
cannot tell wherfore for I am sure I love the, no mann 
better, nother dide man more kynder turnys, yf thou wolt 
call them kynde, nother I ofFendide the in none other 
mater that I know of, withoute ye call this offence, a man 
to aske his owne dutye.^ and yf thou do so, I woll have 
non other juge but thyselfe, that thou doste not as thou 
oughtest to do. 

21 /f. Ther was never mann in the worlde so uncurteasly 
intreatide withall as I am. for he that I delyverde onys from 
parell of deth hath take away all the goodes that I hade, 
and that with false meanys. thus he quyte me agayn that 
when I dide hym goode he hath don me evyll. 

' dutye: payment, debt. 

5773 E 



50 FRIENDSHIP AND PERFIDY 

21^. And the tydynges be trewe that were brought unto 
me my mater is dasshide. menn be false and so unstedefast 
of their promyse nowadais that a man shall not fynde 
whome he shall trust to. for he that maketh the fairest face 
and spekith the fairest wordes shall sonest deceyve the. 
I hade a mann the which I hade wenyde hade ben my 
frende the which hade my mater in honde, and hath 
honge longe in his hondes to be pletyde, and now, as 
menn say, he is the most enmy that I have. 



216. YfFeny trust were in them in whome sholde be most 
trust, I sholde not laboure. howbeit, I doubte not tyme 
wyll come that thei shall repent them of their owne 
miserable dealynge and behavynge. notwithstondynge, 
I wyll deter me ^ nothynge grevously agaynst them tyll I 
poundre in my mynde, not what they have deservede, but 
what it semyth^ me for to do to them, lest they that be 
nowe my frendes for my sharpnes (that I were loth) sholde 
forsake me. 



21"/. I herde say that thou sholdist report with suche of 
thyn acquentance that I have deceyvede the in a mater. I 
praye the have noo mo suche wordes of me yf thou wolt 
have us deale together after this, for ther is nothynge that 
I love worse than a man to speke unkyndely of me by/ 
hynde my bake. 



218. The last weke when I askyde of my detter the money 
which I lent hym he full uncurtesly, whych I wolde never 

' determe: determine. ^ semyth: beseems. 



FRIENDSHIP AND PERFIDY $1 

have wenyde for the olde love which was betwenn us, not 
only dissymylede hymself to have borowde money of me 
but untruly denyde it. 



2ig. The laste weke ther was sende me from my cuntrey 
(ther wher I was borne) CC wardens and as many perys, 
and now thorow this sharpe froste every thurde pere 
begynnyth to wexe roton. yf I hade known it before, I 
wolde thrugh the departynge^ them amongyst my com/ 
panyons have gete me many frendys. 



tfft»tt5befttibifttS^^tS>i»^t9j^ttS^Xt9ii^^tS»-^^ 



220. I was yesternyght late at Carfaxe* with strangers, 
when we hade stonde styll a while we perceyvede that ther 
were certeyne getters,^ and as sone as we saw them I 
ranne away as faste as I coulde that for overmych hast 
I fell in the myer. 



221.* Many of scholars be of this disposicioun that they 
wyll kepe themselfe in their chambre from mornynge tyll 
nyght for to be seen vertuouse felows, but neverthelesse 
when it is nyght they wyll rushe oute in harnes^ into the 
stretes like as foxis doth oute of their holys for to robe menn 

* dcpartynge: sharing. * getters: roisterers {grassatorei). 

3 in hamcs: armed. 



52 THIEVES AND CHEATS 

of their money if they mett eny, and of this maner the 
moste myschevyst taill of a dragonn is hyde undreneth the 
kynde^ of a doufe.^ 

222. I trowe I was borne in an unhappy season, ther is no 
man in the worlde to whom fortune is more contrary 
then to me. I have wysshede a thousande tyms that as sone 
as I was borne that by and by^ I hade benn delyverde oute 
of thys worlde agayne. I com never frome my frendes* but 
I hade sum mysfortune. for the last tyme that I com hydre 
a great cumpany of thevys compaside me about and toke 
away all that I hade. 

22^. My brother came to me before it was day, full of 
sorowe and hevynes, and shewde me that he was robbyde 
of all the goodes that he hade. I confortyde hym as well as 
I coulde for methought he was marveliously disposide to 
many thynges.* I coulde se no better way to confort hym 
but to shew this example: tha[t]* thike^ menn that [have]* 
nowght but from day to day lyvetheas merely^ as they that 
gadern great goodys. 

22/\. My father and my mother removede yesterday with 
all their stofFe of householde from hense to londonn. they 
lefte nothyng here behynde them but pultre, the which is 
put to my kepynge. I fere me but yf I take not the better 
hede that thies jetters^ a nyght season wyll stele them away 
when I am not war. 

' kynde: nature. ^ doufe: dove. 

3 by and by: immediately (protinus). ^ thike: those (thilk). 

5 merely: merrily. ^ jetters: see getters, 220, 



THIEVES AND CHEATS 53 

225. I knowe full well that a mann shulde fynde very few 
men to whos wordes he may trust for within few dais ther 
cam a felow oute of my cuntrey and saide that he was 
dwellyng in the same town ther I dweUide and was borne, 
and as I understode after, for non other cause but to fynde 
the meanys to borow money of me, for he saide that he 
hade spende all his money and hade a great jorney to goo. 



226. Within thies few dais ther came a certeyn man to me 
and shewde that he hade a great acquentaunce with me, 
and I remembre not that ever I hade sen hym, and when 
he hade prolongede his comunicacioun all his talkyng 
come to that he myght borowe money of me. I trowede it 
was not wisdome to lende eny money withoute I were 
sure of the payment. 



22J. This day sevenyght, when I was at londonn cum/ 
myng to Oxforde, it was shewde me of ij ways that the 
onn was full of thevys and the other way I coulde not go 
for the brygges were brokenn upe. I wolde rather se to my 
helth than to my profitt and than I bydde^ tyll I myght 
have more company. 



228. It is great pite that sum menn sholde lyfFe and have 
ther helth. thei be so ungracious and so light of ther 
handys* that thei thynke thei be never well at ease but 
when thei be doynge sume myschefe. 

22g. It is pite that a juge sholde have eny compassion of 
' bydde: waited. 



54 THIEVES AND CHEATS 

eny errant thefFe, and namly those that wyll kyll men 
after that thei have robbyde them of ther goodys. 



2^0. This potecarys crafte is most fullyst of deseyte of all 
craftys in the worlde, for thies potecarys lake no deseyte in 
weynge their spice, for other the balance be not like or 
ellys the beame is not equall or elles they wyll holde the 
tonge of the balance styll in the holow with their fyngar 
when they be in weynge. they care nothynge for the welth 
of ther soule.so they may be ryche. 



251. Many scholars of this universite wolde spende wast-* 
fully all their fathers goodes in japys and trifuUes this 
faire yf they myght have it at their liberte. for thies Ion/ 
dyners be so craftye and so wyly in dressynge their gere so 
gloriusly that they may deceyve us scholars lyghdy. 



2^2. He that hath money enough to cast away lete hym 
pike hymselfe^ to the faire and make a bargyn with the 
londyners, and I doubte not but er he depart thei shall 
make hym as clen from it as an ape fro tailys,* for thei study 
nothyng in the worlde ellys but for to deceyve menn with 
fair spech. 



255. The merchantes and shipmenn salynge over diverse 
sees go ofte in great jeopardy oute of all mesure, for often/ 
tymes all their goodes be taken away be robbers of the see, 

^ pike hymselfe: be off. 



THIEVES AND CHEATS 55 

with tempest and shipewreke. but the most jeopardy of all / 
is when thei be taken and caryde into straunge contreys 
and laide in prison tyll thei be dede, and sumtyme slayne 
and caste over shipeborde. 



<@aob Counssel 

234. When I speke to the for thy welth,^ thou thynkith 
fowle of it, yet for all that thou shalt be the first that shall 
repent it. therfor do after my counsell, tho I be not very 
wyse, and it shal be for the best. 

255. Childern ought nether to chyde nother to fyght. I 
trust that ye wyll not do so. I wyll have youe to be softe, 
gende, and styll. 

236. Though a mann have all the noble gyftes of natur, as 
similitude of statur, quyknes of body, bewtynes* of shape, 
yete and yf his condicyons wyl not agre and be acordynge 
he is litle sett by, for it is acordynge for a yonge mann to 
be sobre and gentle and not to be a pyker of quarelles nor 
to be stobur, not of no frowarde stomake, as I know sum 
be whos prowde stomake must be delayde and swagyde 
with sharpe stryppys. 

2^"/. It is the part of good yonge menn, as an eloquent and 
an holy mann writyth, for to have the drede of almyghty 

' welth: profit. 



56 GOOD COUNSEL 

gode and to do reverence to hire^ father and mother, to 
obey olde menn, to kepe hire chastite (or, virginite), and 
not to dispyse lowly nesse (or, humylite), to love mercy 
and shamfastnes which thynges be unto youghe a faire 
ornament (or, bewtye). 

2^8. Sylver is a faire thynge, golde is a faire thynge, pre/ 
ciouse stonys is mor worthe. Is ther enythynge comparable 
to thies ? yee, verely, ther is, and that passith it. for after 
most wyse mennys myndes, I tell youe vertue passith thies 
more than can be shewde, which whosoever hath, for to 
use plautes proposicion,* he hath all thynge. 

2^g. Virginite, how may I extoU it! truly I cannot tell, 
it passith eny manys wytt, not only myn, to expresse the 
bewty of it. ther is the floure that hath no spott, the floure 
of clennesse and honeste, the floure havyng the most 
swetest savor, passynge precious stonys in bewty, be they 
never so bright and oriant, a floure of hevyn growynge 
in the garthen of vertue, the which whosoever have it in 
his breste and kepith it he cannot be destroyde by noo 
maner of ways. 

240. Nother the purpyll rose nother the whitt lyllys ar 
to be comparede in bewty unto vertu. she passeth in hire 
fairnesse bothe golde and preciouse stonys. also, contrary 
wyse, ther is nothynge more fouler than vice and synne. 

241. Iff ye desire (or, covytt) to gete (or, cum) into many 
menys favour and have true and trusty love, trust not to 

' hire: their. 



GOOD COUNSEL 57 

mych in youre fayrnes, strenght, wytt, in your fathers and 
mothers goodes, fFor all such thynges be undre fortunes 
daunger' and transitory, lete your trust be in vertu only and 
that shall gete youe love, praise, and worshype, and shall 
holde (or, kepe) yt evermore. 

242. We most labor with all oure poure that we may 
profytt as well in goode maners as in connynge, for as 
wyse men say a man withoute them, be he never so con/ 
nynge, is reputede for a dawe. 

2^j.* — But lete us leve this gere and turne to the preceptes 
of goode lyvynge wherby we may guyde (or, govern) the 
frailte of oure youghe. I put youe in remembrance of late 
that ye shulde voide mych claterynge and so do ye, 
specially when a mann goith aboute to angre youe and 
begynnyth chydynge or pykyth quarrellys, then be not 
ashamede for to be dombe. lete your communicacyon be 
also lowly, sett not a litell by humylite, for it is a fayre 
vertue which if it myght be sene with a manys ey it wolde 
plese hym, be youe sure, more (and it were after your awne 
jugement) than the whyte lillye or the purpuU rose. 

— Shulde he please? quod I. ye, gode wote, very sure 
withoute doubte. 

244. The best token in yonge menn is shamefastnes, for 
whatsoever vice or fawte be put upon them, whether it 
be true or false, while thei be of that age, anone to be 
ashamede and to blushe in the face, for he that is past onys 
the bondys of shamefastnes he is redy to fall to all myscheffe. 

' daunger: dominion. 



58 GOOD COUNSEL 

24^. I thynke it be best for every man to leve unthryfty 
cumpanye and draw to vertuse, for nowadays we be more 
redy to do evyll then to goodnes, and moreover ther be 
many that be redy to provoke and entyse a man to evyll 
and he be not well ware. 



246. Mesemyth it is very goode and profitable emongest 
yonge men to be conversant with them the which may 
make them better, namly whils youghe of naturall dis/ 
posicion is rather to evyll then to goode. neverthelesse, 
ther be many wysar in their yough then in their age. 



24J. Ther is nothynge mor perliouse to yonge menn than 
evyll company, the which withdrawes ther myndis, and 
specially theis that be most goodly and well/wyttyde, to 
unthrifty pleasurs and rule^ fro ther bookes, and so ther be 
moo loste for lacke of goode creansers then thorow the 
defawte of ther techers, the which* sholde kepe them fro 
suche cumpany. 



248. Hurt no mann be myn advyse leste thou be hurt 
agayn, for I that withoute greff ^ take wronge wyll ons 
avenge the agayne. 



24p. It is nede for a mann when he shall cume first into 
a straunge cuntre so to behave selfe that all thynges that 
he doth may be acceptable. 

^ rule: behaviour. ^ grefF: complaint. 



GOOD COUNSEL $9 

2^0. I have herde wyse men say many tymes that a mann 
sholde not beleve every fleynge tale, and he that wyl be 
vengyde on every wroth, the longer he lyveth the lesse he 
hath.* 

251. Offise or dignite getyth favor and great name, but 
office withoute honeste bryngeth a mann to great rebuke 
and shame. 



252. Pacience is a great tokyn of vv^isdome, likev^^ise as 
hedynes or testines is a tokyn of foly. 



255. He that hath but litell and can be content is better at 
ease than he that is riche and alwaye careth for more. 



25^. I am better content with a litell goode than he that 
hath goode enough and knouth not how he may spende 
it honestly.' 



255. I counsell youe, be not aferde to speke for your availe, 
for it is a comyn sayng, 'spare speke, spare spede.'* 



2^6. It is an olde proverbe, *as wyly is the foxe as the 
hare,'* the which in myn opinion cannot be alway true, for 
wher the foxe was iij dais in the scole, the hare sportyde 
hym in the feldes takynge no thought for the kynges 
sylver. 

* honestly: properly, discreetly. 



60 GOOD COUNSEL 

257. I have provyde this later dais a thynge that I shall 
never forgett, that when a mann doth a thyng rasshly and 
withoute advysment he wyll sone repent it. therfore here^ 
after I am utterly advyside to take deliberacioun which my 
father warnyde me oftyn that I shulde take in all maters, 
sayng many a tyme that comyn poynt, *an hasty man 
lakkith never wo.'* 



2^8. Methought ther was never thyng more periloser in 
use emonge menn than thies flaterers by the which many 
a man is deceyvede. for ther is no man that can sonner 
be deceyvede then to gyve credence to a flaterer, the which 
wyl not speke in trouthe but ever he wyll speke in thynges 
that be moste for his availe, or tho that he thynkith may 
moste please. 

25^.* Sith that gode almyghty, beynge conversant in erth, 
taught his disciples to beware of those maner of people 
the which loke like sayntes, not withoute a cause, mese/ 
myth of a congruence it sholde be greatly for oure pro/ 
fytt to flee ther cumpany, for when thei speke moste 
fairest to a mann thei wyll sonyst deceyve hym. 



260. Emonge all maner of vicys I have hatede allway 
dobuU tonguede felows which befor a manys face can 
speke fair and flater and behynde his bake doth say the 
worste. 



261. Emonge poyntes of nurture that is on, that when a 
mann commendith youe ye make curtesy, and yf on dis/ 



GOOD COUNSEL 6l 

commende youe verely it wolde be on youe to holde your 
peace, ever have few wordes, holdyng of tonge, and 
closenes be commendide. copyousenes of wordes and 
great langage is commonly reprovyde (or, takyn as a vice). 



262. Why castith thou away this praty booke as it were 
nought worth and a thynge that coulde do no service or 
goode? ther is nothynge but it wyll serve for sumwhat, be 
it never so course, lay hym upe ageynst another tyme; 
peraventure ons ye wyll sech after hym. lurne to be a goode 
nusbonde.^ 



265. Service is none heritage,* and that we se daily, for 
and the maister like not his servaunt, or the servaunt his 
maister, they moste depart. Furthermore, we se but few 
successours cheryshe suche servauntes as were great with 
ther predecessours. therfor, my frende, take hede to thiselfe 
while thou haste a maister and maist do moche with hym, 
that thou maist have wherwith to lyve whan he is gone. I 
say not this for nought, for I knowe myselfe many a praty 
mann that was well at ease but late agone in a goode 
service, maisterles, hable to here the kynges standerde, as 
wolde serve full fayn withoute wages for mete, drynke, 
and clothe. These be ashamede to begge bycause they 
were well at ease so late dais, thei dare not stele for fer of 
hangynge. tell me howe shall thei lyve ? thei can no handy-' 
crafte, thei cannot skyll of husbondrye, thei thynke it a 
foule shame to fowle ther handes. 

' goode husbonde: provident man. 



62 GOOD COUNSEL 

264. When a mann is in his lusty yough and in his parfytt 
age, thoo he be never so poore, yete while he hath all 
his lymes and chefTe strenght every man wyll gladely 
accept hym to his servyce, but when age comyth upon 
hym he is shortely sett nought by and lighdy is put oute of 
his servyce. 

26^. Many onn while their frendes be alyve, takynge no 
care at all, gyve them to sportes and pleasurs, and after 
their deth, when they have non to go to for sukker, nor 
cane skyll on no crafte, be fayne to go a/beggynge. 

266. Iff a man sholde sende letters to a great prince, it 
forsithe^ gready what tyme they be delyverde to hym, 
whether they be gevyn when he is troblede and vexide or 
els when he is mery. therfor I commande my servaunt 
that I sent to the kynge that he sholde wayt a season to 
delyver his letters, for lykewyse as they that cum to us oute 
of season greve us so lykewyse letters when they be gevyn 
oute of season do displease. 

26"/. Methynke it is no litell jape^ for a mann to shew 
openly eny connynge in so noble an universite wher be 
menn of clere and of subtill wytt and in ther connynge 
as well spede as they can be, and lightly a mann cann 
shewe nothynge in no faculte but ther be sum men can 
shew it as well as he. wherfore he may not well arre,^ for 
and he do he nede not doubte sum men wyll take hym in 
his fawte. 

' forsithe: is of importance. ^ jape: trick, accomplishment. 

^ arre: err. 



GOOD COUNSEL 63 

268. I am glade that thou hast made an ende of thyn 
office of the proctorshipe* for it was a great charge unto the, 
but I am more glade that thou hast behavede the so in it 
that every mann was glade to say well by the to thy great 
worshipe and of thy frendes. for it is a great profytt to eny 
mann that can behave hymselfe well while he is in office. 



26g. Thomas, thou arte worthy to be commendide for 
bycause thou spakist yesterday so well, so v^sely, so nobly 
for the comynwelth. methynke thou didist but thy duty, 
for every goode cytisyn is bounde not alonly to prefare 
the comynwelth befor his private welth but also if eny 
jeopardy cum that he be redye to put hymselfF in jeo^ 
pardye. 



270. I have gevyn youe a few preceptes not as though I 
were an informar or instructor of maners, for why I have 
nede of an informar myselfe, but bycause it is a pleasant 
maner of connynge and profitable in especiall agayn by^ 
cause a man shulde lurne moch by techynge. I wolde I 
coulde please bothe youe and me therin. 



tKfb^KtStjf'^KS^i^^KSfitfttibaftKfbO'tt^^ 



Mtn anb Mmntvi of aintiqiuitp 

2yi. The olde Romans hade so great a love to the comyn/ 
welth that rather thei wolde sley themselfe than they wolde 
departe from that that was the comyn welth, as we rede 



64 MEN AND MANNERS OF ANTIQUITY 

of the noble mann Cato that herde that he sholde be 
takyn of Julius Cesar and so to be brought in servitute. 
he slew hymselfe, and many other were so customyde in 
that maner of deth that they thought it was the best deth 
that coulde be. 



272. It is no mervell allthough olde auctorus, as Virgill 
and tully and many other of the Romans, were more 
eloquent than the auctors that be nowadais, for they sett 
their myndes so greatly in connynge that no desire of 
great goodys, nor voluptuosnes of fleshe, no covyteisnes 
of worshipe, no vayneglory of batell, no worldy laboure 
coulde trouble their myndes, but gave themselff utterly 
to vertu, puttynge away all maner of thyngys which 
myght withdrawe them from studye. 

275. Hannyball, the capten of the cartagenensis, when he 
warride so myschevously agaynst the romans, he clymyde 
upon the mountans with his oste (the which* defendide 
ytalye as yt hade benn wallys) wher before they were 
never comyn upon for hyght and sharpnes. but he made 
a way thrughe them and fretyde^ them in with venegyr 
and brymstone.* that was the wisdome of the captayne 
that made a way by crafte wheras nature denyede. 



274. And a man wolde rede all the cronycles he shall not 
fynde more nobler gestes^ then were done oftentymes by 
the Romans, pompeius beynge capteyne. and yf fortune 

^ fretyde: destroyed by corroding. ^ gestes: actions. 



MEN AND MANNERS OF ANTIQUITY 65 

hade not benn agaynste hym when he was overcome of 
Julius Cesar, he myght have be well callede the most 
noble capteyn of all menn. but the last ende of hym, when 
he was overcome, made his other noble dedys not apere as 
they were. 

275. It shal be a great greffto a yonge sowger to lye in the 
colde wynter nyghtes in their tentes that were wonte to 
lye upon a softe fether bedde, but yete the hardenes of 
warre nowadais is nothynge lyke the olde warre of the 
Romans, the which all the wynter longe never suffrede 
ther sowgers to cum to no towne nor house, what froste, 
what snowe, what tempest, what colde that ever was, 
and by that use and custome they myght suffre colde 
and hungre, but owrs ar so deUcate that anone they ar 
destroyde. 

27^. Somtyme of oure olde fathers ther was great diligence 
put in Chosynge of a captayne, and not withoute a cause, 
for it is not a Utell difference undre whose ledynge a man 
shall fyght. for we rede in the olde Cronycles that when 
the batell went to the worse of the on partye^ and wer 
fledde, because of ofte callynge agayn of the Capteyn they 
retornyde and the batell was begone afresshe and at the 
conclusion thei hade the hyer honde of their Enmys. and 
of the contrary parte, what hapynede be unlukky ledyng 
of the capteyn it is Ught^ to knowe. 

2']']. The imbacitours in the olde season were moche 
more sett bye then thei be nowadais, for we rede in the 

' partye: side. ^ light: easy. 

6773 F 



66 MEN AND MANNERS OF ANTIQUITY 

Cronycles that the Romans destroide citeys because their 
imbacitors wer evyll entretyde. thei thought ther offence 
so great for to hurte the imbacitors that thei coulde not 
be content with no lesse punyshment but with other^ 
destruccioun both of town and men. 



'^i^h!r^f3bir^fS^»tfS»'^i^tiy^a:»t^^ 



2j8. Right wel belovede father and mother, we long 
gready to se youe, whose selfe sight was wonte allway to 
be to us a great conforte. 



2jg. In goode faith I cannot expresse in wordes how sorye 
that I was after it was shewde me that thoue haddist loste 
thy father, so worshipful! a mann and so speciall a frende 
as he was to me. In goode feith, I trowe and I hade loste 
myn owne father I coulde not have ben moche more 
sorye, and forsothe not withoute a cause, for he was the 
mann that, by as moch as ever I cowlde spye by hym, 
lovede me as well as I hade be his own son. 



280. Because that I have non answer of my laste letters 
I shew (or, reherse) to the agayn the tenor of the same, 
thou knowst well I have a brother at paris* and it is not 
unknown to the how well sen he is in humanite.^ I have 

' other: utter; see note. ^ humanite: humane letters. 



EPISTOLARY SCRAPS 67 

ben movede ofte seasons and exhortede both by the letters 
and by the messangers of hym, and now in conclusion 
am constranede to writt unto hym of this mater. I aske the 
consell that be thy dehgence and helpe, as thou art a 
wyse man, I may deserve thankys of hyme. 



281. I have perceyvede by many tokyns afor this, both by 
letters and by thy gentylnes, that I be well belovede of the, 
but now I double whether I be so or noo. 



282. The tydynges that thou toldist me late made me very 
hevy. Whether thou didest it for the nonys to make me 
sory I cannot tell. Another felow tolde me the same; it 
may fortune ye were agreyde before. I pray to gode it may 
be founde false. I pray the tell me the trouth and ease my 
mynde. 



28^. Thou desiriste of me in thy last letters that I shulde 
have the Commendide specially to thy maister. my wyll 
is goode for to do it, but methynke I have onn occasion for 
to quarell with the, for of all menn that be longynge^ 
to hym thou only woldiste never sende me worde how 
fare I was oute of conceyte with thy maister. many menn 
shewede it to me, when I coulde not cast the cause in my 
mynde, that he put upon me that I sholde lye wayt for 
hym in a certeyn nyght and withoute he hade gott hym^ 
self rather^ away that I sholde have cume upon hym with 
a knyfF. 

* longynge: belonging. * rather: more quickly. 



68 EPISTOLARY SCRAPS 

284. I understonde that thou art sumwhat wroth with me, 
and I marvell for what cause it sholde be, withoute it be, 
as I suspecte, that sum of myn enmys hath brought sum 
shrewde^ talys of me to the. such talys ought not to be 
belevyde nother to be herde of a frende. for I have not 
provokede menn to talke evyll of the but only reprovyde 
them, for when sum men complaynede of thy nygarde^ 
shippe I saide thou didiste Hke a wise mann to be streyte^ 
in gevynge of other menys goodes. 



28^. I am very glade that thou didest commende my 
mynde and counsell, which if your frendes wolde have 
taken it hade be no labor to have recoverde both their 
goodes and myn. Now, what wyl be the ende of this 
mater I cannot tell, now your adversaries put me in blame 
that I sholde be chefe doere of the kyllynge of the maire of 
the towne for non other cause but to sett all his frendes 
agaynst me. 



286. As longe as I was in doubte whether thy counsell 
dide me mor goode or hurte I wrote nothyng unto the, 
not bycause I dide not thynke thi counsell goode but 
bycause I feryde I sent the no worde howe the mater 
fortunede thou woldist have be sory for my sake. Wherfor 
I loke after no letters agayn, but I desire the to cum that we 
may comyn^ togeder what way we may take in all maters 
and how we may brynge forth this seasonn. 

^ shrewder malignant. 

^ streyte: thrifty. 

3 comyn: consult; see note. 



EPISTOLARY SCRAPS 69 

2%'j. I am glade that the mater is brought aboute after thi 
mynde. In goode faith, I was afrayde onys that it wolde 
never cum to the poynt that it is at nowe, methought 
menys myndys were so ferre from the, and I trowe and 
thou haddist not take that way as thou dideste it hade 
never be brought abowte. 



2%^. As sone as I can gete eny leysure I shall certefye the 
of all the maters that be done here, the which I wolde 
have done att this tyme yff I myght for besynes. 



2^9. I wolde thynke thou woldest do me a great pleasur 
yf thou se this pension paide to my frende of that money 
that thou shalt receyve here, the which was owede to hym 
the yere passede, for though I myght have taken it to 
many that cam to the fro hens yet I coulde not be sure of it 
nother yet coulde not do it withoute coste. Wherfore when 
thiselfe maist do it at ease withoute eny lost, I pray the do it. 



2go. I knowe by thy last letters that it was no small love 
that thou haddist to me for thei were as full of swetnes of 
thi part as they coulde be and shewdist utterly thy goode 
mynde to me, but moste of all in the last ende of them 
wheras thou writest that thou hast payde the money that 
I borowde. doubte the not it shall not be longe or thou 
have it agayne with great thankes. 



2gi. William, thyne owne mann and also myn, when he 
hade come to me very late in the nyght and saide that he 



70 EPISTOLARY SCRAPS 

wolde departe the next day very erly, I tolde hym I 
wolde sende letters unto the and prayede hym that he 
sholde aske them. I wrote them in the nyght and he came 
not agayn. I trowe he hade forgete them. Notwith/ 
stondynge, I have sent them by myn owne servaunt to the, 
but he tolde me the next day thou wolde departe oute of 
thy heritage. 



2g2. I have ben aqueyntede a longe season with sulpice 
brother callede symprony the which shall delyver my 
letters to the. 



2g^. Forsothe, I se that I am greatly belovede of the ffor 
because that thou sendist ij letters to me by the Cariar the 
last weke, but I am sory that he that brought them came to 
me when I sholde sytt downe to souper, but after that I 
understode of his comyng I arose anone and wrote to the 
onn letter in the which thou shalt knowe all my mynde. 

2g/{. The day after I come to Oxforde, the Cariar brought 
me a letter from the which at that tyme I coulde not gyve 
answer to all thynges as I wolde and as thou desirest. for 
in goode faith I hade so litell leysure that I coulde not do 
suche maters as thou woldest have me to do. therfor I 
have sent the worde in thies letters that I have done all 
thynges that thy letters made mencioun of, and I trust to 
thy pleasure. 

2^5. I have receyvede a letter from my father and mother 
within this iij dais or iiij at farest by the which I undrestode 



EPISTOLARY SCRAPS 7i 

that they thought that I was negligent for because I sent 
them nonn ofter worde by letters of myn helth. notwith/ 
stondynge, I was not to be blamede for ther past no mann 
by me which that I thought shulde cum to them but I 
sent letters by them. 

2^6. I wolde not suffre the Cariar to go into thy contrey 
withoute my letters to the, whose pleasure thoue haste 
provede for because thoue sendist no letters to me by the 
cariar commynge agayn to Oxforde. forsothe, by thy 
licence that I may say it, thou hast done unkyndely and 
ungentely when thou sendist letters to other men and none 
to me, and forgettith me, onn of thi best frendes. 

2gj. I marvell greatly, John, that this longe while I hade 
no letters from the, nother so moche as a tokyn, the which 
and thou haddist remembrede the right well it sholde have 
made me to remembre the the more, at the lest way, it 
sholde have causede me to thynke that I hade be in thi 
remembrance and not forgetyn. 

2^8. I have longe waytede for letters from the and that in 
vayn, for in goode faith and thoue knewst how moch 
goode thei do me thou woldest not kepe so great a pleasure 
fro me, for, and I sholde not lye, ther is no greater a 
pleasur to me. therfor, I pray the, and thou couldest do 
it, to make me evyn full of them. 

2gg. I wyll go to the cariar for to wytt (or, know) whether 
he hath delyverde a cople of letters that I toke hym the last 
weke to here to an speciall frende. I know for a suerty they 



7-2 EPISTOLARY SCRAPS 

shal be welcome when he hath receyvede them, many 
thynges I specifide therin which wyll please hym (or, be 
to hys pleasure) and certayne thynges I have lefte oute 
which I wyll shew be mowth (or, in presens) when he is 
cum to towne. 



^00. I have receyvede ij letters fro the writtyn onn maner 
wyse, the which methought it was a tokenn of thi 
diligence, for I undrestonde that thou didest labor that 
letters that I longe lokyde after sholde be brought unto 
me. of the which I hade double profytt in comparicioun. 
harde for me to juge whether I sholde make more of thy 
love to me/wards or off thy goode wyll to the comyn^- 
welthe. 



501. This day iiij days I hade a letter from the the which 
made me very glade, for it was writen in them that thou 
didest purpose to have come and sen me or thys tyme. the 
which yf thou haddist done thou couldest not have done 
me a greater pleasure, but thou makist me as sory now as 
I was glade before bycause thou camyst not at the day 
apoyntede. and withoute I knewe that thou woldist come* 
shortly I sholde be more sory. 



^02. The seconde day of septembre I receyvede a letter fro 
the by the whiche I understode that thou sholdist departe 
oute of Oxforde shortly. In goode faith, I was sorye when 
I redde it, and not withoute a cause, for I shall lake a 
goode companyon of the with whom I was wonte to be 
mery withall, for if I lackyde ought, aske and have.* 



EPISTOLARY SCRAPS 73 

505. Thy brothers letters the which I receyvede of the 
Cariare the day before that he went towardes londonn 
pleasede me well, but I am very sory that he hath taryde so 
longe from us because that I have wantyde the great 
pleasure of his conversacioun, but I am very glade [that]* 
he, beynge absent, hath getyn all thyng at his pleasur with 
great worshipe. 

^04. I hade come agayne iij days agone but I was taryde 
with certeyn men of myn acquentance, nother I coulde not 
gete away by no mean. In goode feith and I shall not lye, 
they taride me with my wyll, for ever they have ben to me 
speciall frendes and we have ben asundre a great while. 

505. I thonke the as hertely as I can thynke for the great 
chere, gentylnes, and goode fare that thou madist me the 
last tyme that I was with the. for I shall say trouth and 
flater not a whitt: I have ben in many places where I have 
ben welcome and hade great chere; better chere than thou 
madist me I hade never of no mann. And yf it please the 
to come in this contrey, I wyl not promyse the so great 
chere, but thou shall have suche as I can. 



■^tjbf^KS»^fS^-^fSi^^tS^tfS:j9^XfS»^KS3!t^fS^^ 



polite anb impolite Conbets>ation 

^06. I was purposede yesternyght to speke to the of a 
thyng prively but today, by my trouth and yf thou wylt 
beleve me, I cannot tell what it was. loo, what a wytt I 
have! 



74 POLITE AND IMPOLITE CONVERSATION 

^O'j. Ye be welcome, wyll it please youe to sytt or stonde 
be the fyre a litell while ? the nyghtes be prety and colde* 
now. a roste apple ye shall have, andfenell seede.* Mor we 
wyl not promyse youe. 



^oZ. Ther is no mann more welcom or more gladesum. 
felows, take in (or, brynge in) this gentlemann* to oure 
maistre. I muste go call a certen stranger, but I wyl not 
tarry. I wyll pluke upe my gown and renne, in feith, 
every fote for youre sake. 



50^. John, I cannot expresse in wordys how glade I was 
whan I herde tell thou was comyn to town that I myght 
make the sum cher after my power, for such as thou 
madist me I cannot, but whatsoever it be thou shalt have 
it with a goode wyll, and so I pray the to thynke. 



^10. Howebeit that I was goynge another way before I 
mett with the, yete now bycause we have be longe asundre 
we wyll not so shortely depart but I wyll lay all thynges 
asyde and goo with youe whethersoever ye wyll have me 
to make mery, for I thanke youe for my great chere that 
ye made me at home when I was laste with youe, for I 
am so moch beholdenn to youe and to yours and specially 
to your wyffe that I can never make youe amendes. 



511. — Loo, I am Cum. 

— ye be welcum. but suffre me, I pray youe, nowe to 
wrytt oute a letter that I have begone, and it be no payn to 



POLITE AND IMPOLITE CONVERSATION 75 

youe. ye, and cum agayn tomorowe at the same tyme; ye 
shall have attendance with all corage^ and diligence. 



^12. It is shame to speke it, John, how thou haste be/ 
havede thyselfe yesterday emonge thy company. 



p^. — How solde the bookeseller this booke, I pray the ? 
— surely better chepe then thou peraventure wolde sett 
it that it coste. 



ji^. As I was chepynge of a booke, ther cam onn that 
proferde mor than I and bought it oute of my handes. 



515. Ther was onn of the strangers of courte that wer at 
evynsonge yesternyght at oure church that lokede on me 
excedyngly, for he never turnede his ey. truly I thynke I 
have ben acquentyde with hym yf I coulde brynge it to 
my mynde in what cuntrey. 



p6. Haste not thou known afore this the man that we 
mett yesterday at afternone as we walkede into the feldes ? 
forsoth, as they say, he is of great reputacion emongest the 
best spede and the noblest men of this universite and as 
I have herde oftyn tymes say, not withoute a cause, for/ 
soth, but for his great cunnynge and his noble vertuse. 

' coragc: spirit, heart. 



76 POLITE AND IMPOLITE CONVERSATION 

^1']. Iff thou remembre when wc were last together we 
hade comunicacion of a certayn manys lurnynge, on the 
which I was movede by thy great praysyng that thou 
gavest hym. I wenyde it hade be moche more than it is in 
very dede. but I trowe thou didest praise hym for great 
love, for love ever augmentith* many thynges. 



ji^. These ij that be brethern of onn birthe be so lyke 
both in maners and connynge that I wote not whom I 
sholde juge better then other. 



^ig. I most ryde within this ij or iij dais, yf I may gett me 
a hors, into my Cuntrey for many errandes that I have to 
done, but as they say they dye sore uponn the pestelence 
ther, wherfor I fere me to hye to fast thyderwarde tyll I her 
other tydynges. 



^20. I suppose that no weke in all my lyff I have benn 
more besy than I have ben this weke now passyde, for why 
ther was no day but I passide over the teamys^ ij tymes at 
the lest, iiij tymes at the most, for to go by londe it was to 
diseasfuU, wher the way was longer and also durty. 



^21. The roffe of an olde house hade almoste fall onn me 
yesterday, and onn of my felows hade not callede me oute 
in seasonn I hade not skapede alyve, for I was no sonner 
oute but it fell downe. 

* teamys: Thames. 



POLITE AND IMPOLITE CONVERSATION 77 

^22. I saw never man have so sowre a looke and be so 
well favorede. 



^2^. Go into the gardyn and gader sum floures to sett in 
our wyndowe. 

P4. Pluke upe thes weedes* by the rottes and make us a 
clenn gardyn. 

525. As I walkede be the woode side I herde a thrushe 
synge merely and the blake osell and the nyghtyngall. 

^26. I have a kybe onn my right hele wherfor I cannot do 
onn my shoys, yete I were them like sleppers. 

527. Touch me not, thou horson,*rorandifthoudothou 
shalte repent it. 

^2$. Whether away ? have ye eny great hast ? take a knave 
with youe or ye go, I pray youe, for alonn is withoute 
conforte, and rather then ye sholde go withoute eny mann 
I myselfe wyll waite upon youe. 

^2g. — Whether gost thou ? 

— sumwhether, thou maist well wyte. but what is that 
to the > 

— I wolde wyte. 

— I wyll tell the when I cum agayn. 



78 POLITE AND IMPOLITE CONVERSATION 

550. What hast thou to do with me ? It is mery that thou 
sholdyst wyte whether I goo. 



jji.* — Whether away? 

— to the mylle. 

— What to do, a godys name ? 

— lett"^ me not, for I here hevy and have far to go. sest 
thou not what a sake of corne I here in my neke for fawte 
of an horse >. and yete I have ij myle to goo. 

— Marye, thou hast quytt the well that thoue hast 
gotyn the suche a service wher thou most do the office 
both of beste and of mann! 

— abyde a while here. I come agayne anone when my 
corne is grounde, for I moste hye me home in all the 
haste. 

— Why, I praye youe J 

— for we have not onn mussell of brede to ete at home, 
and ther be many mowthes. 

— shall what brede^ do for suche a knave as 
thou arte? wyll not peese and benys serve the? rotes 
of herbys is to goode for the. brede sholde serve for free 
menn. 

— how, who is lorde of this house? 

— mary, sir, I have the rule therof and care for all 
thynges that is done here while the lorde therof is away, 
may my service do youe eny pleasure ? 

— First of all, lett me in. 

— It shal be done with a goode wyll. 

— what mete hast thou that wolde gyve a mann a 
corrage to ete ? 

^ lett: hinder. 

^ what brede: wheaten bread; see note. 



POLITE AND IMPOLITE CONVERSATION 79 

— I have many kyndes of metes, as sprottes^ tailys, 
herynge cobbys,^ and salt elys skynns. ye shall chose what 
wyll please youe best. 

— what, mokest thou me ? I say, gete forth sum other 
mete, I avyse the, lest thou have a shrewde turne. 

— wyll youe eny freshe water fyshe J 

— yee, mary! 

— forsoth, ye sholde have if eny were lefte, but ther is 
great crafte in the cachynge of them. 

— what, mokest thou me agayne ? 

— mary, gode forbyde I sholde moke suche a worship/ 
full man as ye be. 



552.* — What ye sir! ye be welcomm home, how have ye 
faryde this many a day? 

— Well, thankede be gode, and I am verey glade 
that ye fare well. I have myst my goode companyons 
a great while and was almost waxinge seke for long-* 
ynge after them, but how doth oure goode Antoney? 
In feith, he is the gentylyst that ever I was acqueyntyde 
withall. 



555. I wolde be glade to waite upon youe to gyve youe 
youre welcome to Towne. 



55^. What contrey man shall I call youe, I pray youe? 
I have sen youe oftentymes, but wher I cannot tell now. 
be not ye my contrey man? truly ye be. the more I loke 

* sprottes: sprats. * cobbys: heads. 



80 POLITE AND IMPOLITE CONVERSATION 

Upon youe mesemeth ye be, or ellys I take my merke 
amysse. 



555.* — I am avisede^ to cast my shone away upon sum 
dongehyll that beggars may fynde them sone, excepte 
thei wyll serve my brother bycause his fete be lesse than 
myn. for olde shone sytt shrodely onn onys feet. I wolde 
thei were hole^ in his bely, so gode me helpe, that 
first shapyde them, for onys thei be so narowe that I 
have moche care to gete them on, thei wrynge my tose 
cursedly. 

— yete cast not away thyn olde by myne advyce tyll 
thou be sure of newe. thou maist hape to go barefote than, 
and that thou woldist be loth to do. Fare faire and softly 
with thiselfe and take it not so bote, be content to were 
suche gere as sitteth for your Estate. Thynke thou maist 
not go like a lorde for whye thou hast not wherwithall to 
here it owte. 

— Why doste thou rebuke me for that or cast it in my 
teth that coste the nought nor hast nothynge to do withall J 
I wyll were my gere as me liste while I am myn owne man 
and payeth therfore as another mann doth, tell me, who 
shall say me nay? I awe the noughte, nor comyth to the 
to borowe. I have enoughe of myn awne (yf every man 
hade his) to fynde me while I lyffe. And if my money hape 
to faile, I knowe the ways how to gete me more while my 
handes serve me as thei do. 

— mary, sir, I lett the not. gete money as the pleasith, so 
thou cum nyghe none of myn. for and thou do, do it 
while I am away, that I knowe it never, for and I espye 

^ avisede: determined. ^ hole: whole. 



POLITE AND IMPOLITE CONVERSATION 8l 

the, thou shalt not go maide^ away, yee, or stele it for a 
nede, and thou wilt, yf thou fynde eny ease therin, and 
yf youe be hangyde therto, lete hym care first for me that 
first shall repent. 

— thou bestowest thi labour shrodely that labourest all 
day and takest no wages. It wolde greve me as evyll as to 
love and not to be lovede agayne. 

556". — I am excellent of strenght. I marvell why the kynge 
commaundith not me to be sent for that I may here his 
standerde. 

— What sir, what do ye > methinkyth ye praise your/ 
self 

331' [^-l* I cannot be in rest for this comberus^ boye. 
therfor I wyll goo my way evyn streight. 

T. Nay, tarey a lide while tyll it be ix at cloke and I 
wyll go with youe, 

I. Why, it is past ix allredy, I trow, for the cloke 
stroke evyn now. 

T. spekist thou in ernyst or in jape ? I wolde it were as 
thoue saist. 

55^. I am aferyde to bide at home with the for I was 
forbyde thy company as though thou haddist ben the 
myschevyste felowe on lyve. 

55^. This jakenapys thrugh his popeholynes^ thynkith 

to be more sett by than all us. 

' maide: untouched {imltus). ^ comberus: troublesome. 

^ popeholynes: pretended piety. 

6773 G 



82 POLITE AND IMPOLITE CONVERSATION 

^40. Ther is never an unthryfte in this town but thou art 
aqueyntede with him. 



^41 . Knewe ye not afore what maner a man, as yet, I am ? 
be gode, ye shall or ye go, for I shall tech all such as thou 
art to beware how thei bakebyte^ hereafter eny man. 



542. I marvell greatly wherfor thou art angry with me. I 
take gode and mann to recorde that I was never cause 
to displease the. 



^4^. Ye shall not play the churle with me the nexte tyme 
that I wayt on youe. for I se well nowe, yf a man do a goode 
turne he shall have a shrewde for it. 



^44. I am sory that I have done ever so moche for the 
when I fynde the so ungentyll agayne to me in my nedys. 



5^5. I waxe wery of the, John, and wyll cum no more in 
thi felishipe while I have a day to lyve, withoute thoue 
take another waye. For thou art pert oute of measure, and 
thou kepe thyne olde guyse and takyst upon the a lordys 
rome whithersoever thou becomyste. 



^46. John, in every company that thou comyst in thou 
crakyste^ moche of thy gyftes that thou hast gevyn to me, 

' bakebyte: backbite, slander. ^ crakyste: braggest. 



POLITE AND IMPOLITE CONVERSATION 83 

that a mann may be wery to here of it. I trow if thou 
lokeste well aboute the I have gevyn the as many and moo. 
but I lete that passe, for ther is nothynge that grevyth me 
but ofte rehersyng of it. for as the sayng of Therence* is, 
*Ofte rehersynge of a thynge is but an upbraydynge of a 
mann that rememberith not who hath don for hym.* 



^4j. Ther is nothynge that grevyth me mor then the daily 
umbraydynge^ of thy gyftes to me. I hade lever never be in 
thy daunger^ then thou shuldist contynue to umbrayde me 
thus. 



^48. Ther is no mann that I wolde desire to be more with 
than with the yf thou woldest leve thi great roilynge^ and 
foule spekynge, for if thou knewst how evyll it becomyth 
the, I am sure thou woldest leve it. but as Cicero* saith, I 
cannot tell howe we may se a fawte soner in another mann 
than in oureselfe. 



^4g. Methynke I ought to do for'* my lech, 5 for when I was 
seke of the pestilence nothynge easyde me of my payn but 
hys mery conforte. I trowe no mann coulde do more 
attendance to another then he dyde to me. 



55<). Felowe, thoue art welcome home, thanke be to 
almygty gode thou were not vexede with no seknes 

' umbraydynge, umbrayde: upbraiding, upbraid. 

2 daunger: debt. ^ roilynge: vexatiousncss (procacitate). 

* do for: benefit; see i_jj. * \^}^. physician. 



84 POLITE AND IMPOLITE CONVERSATION 

sithen thou wentist into the contrey. but onn thynke^ 
grevyth me sore, that I understode of onn of my goode 
frendes that thou thretist me hurte. but beware, I say 
beware, lest whils thoue goste abowt to do me hurte thou 
hurtiste thyselfe greatly. 

55^. Ther be many lordes that cannot pley the lorde, but 
I that am none can pley it rially.^ It is pite that I am non 
in very dede. for while other men blouth the fyre,* I slepe 
styll be I never so ofte callede upon. 

552. I hade nede to beware, Thomas, for thy sake upon 
whom I cum hereafter to fight, for oure strenghtes were 
fare unlyke, for thou Clowtiste me so aboute the hede and 
aboute the chekys with thy fiste that thou madist my 
hede bolne^ and all my face almoste to be swolne. thou 
art not to be blamyde for I begane upon the myselff. 

555. I was so angre yesterday with onn for his knappysh'* 
wordes that I was so stoynede^ that unneth^ I coulde utter 
eny worde in english or in latyn. I went my way verey 
shamefast, but I promytt'^ hym and ever I mete hym here/ 
after he shall not scape my hondes qwyte.^ 

55^. YfF it were as moche for my profytt as for thin that 
the best menu sholde rule the comynwele I wolde advyse 

' thynke: thing. ^ rially: royally. 

3 bolne: swollen; see note. 

* knappysh: testy. ' stoynede: astonished. 

^ unneth: scarcely. ' promytt: promise. 

^ qwyte: without punishment (impune). 



POLITE AND IMPOLITE CONVERSATION 85 

that in the election of officers such cheffly sholde be 
avansede, all other laide apart, but forasmoche as I have 
so orderyde my lyff, fro the begynnyng of my age, that it is 
harder for me then for the to lyve fawtles, it is not to be 
marveylyde yf I hade lever that suche here a rule as I know- 
be more like me then the. 



tKS»'KKSbr^fS:3^tKS»-^KS»-^fSbi''^a»^ia^^^ 



a Wimttv of 0h^tx\)utiom 

^^^. Rayn water that comyth from the house roffe, drop^ 
pynge from tyle to tyle by the gutters and thorughe the 
ledyn pypys, men say is goode for scriveners crafte. therof 
thei make ynke. 

J5^. Not only birdes that here fethers ley Egges and sett 
them abrode^ and hatche them, as the hen sitteth abrode 
and hatcheth chekyns, but also ther be other bestes, yf we 
beleve auctours,^ as serpentes, that brynge forthe after the 
same maner. It is a mervelous thynge that of the hete of the 
dame the stream of bloode beynge within the Egge sholde 
growe to a thynge of lyffe, but it sholde not be marvelide 
of the crafty werke of nature. 

557. It deliteth sum menn to lye in Fether beddys, sum 
in materasses, sum in floke^ beddys, every man after his 
pleasur. 

* abrode: (abrood), hatching. ^ auctours: authorities. 

2 floke: stuffed with wool. 



86 A VARIETY OF OBSERVATIONS 

55^. Pore men lacke many thynges, the which when they 
have gote mete for ther dyner moste go strete by strete 
to seche brede and drynke. 



55^. Olde menn that may not well go onn ther fete muste 
have a stafFe to here upe ther feble lymmys with. 



^6o. Many Childrenn were no shoys^ tyll thei be xiij or 
xij yere olde at leste. Whose fete be longe contynuance of 
tyme be so harde that thoughe they go over thornes, 
brers, and sharpe stones yet thei fele no payne. 



j6i. I have herde agyde men say oftyntymes that thei 
lyvede never a meriar lyfFe than thei lyvede when thei wer 
childern, for though thei be at their liberte and have 
money enoughe when thei be at manys state or els* in age 
yete thei have many mo thynges to care for. 

^62. I kepe not, nowe that I am a man, the same condi/ 
cions that I was wonte to whan I was a childe, and first 
and formyst I put myselfe in presse^ no mor nother medle 
me with other mennys maters. 



^6^. Ther is noo cryme nor fawte that is knowen but ther 
is a remedy for it in the lawe, how it shal be punyshide. 
for ever as eny new hurtes or myschevous wer donn, they 

^ shoys: shoes. ^ in presse: forward. 



A VARIETY OF OBSERVATIONS 87 

made new lawes, and in their makynge they dide very 
wisely, for they never forbade nothynge that was un/ 
knowen, considerynge that, as the poet* saith, a mann is 
ever redy to do that that he is forbyde. 

^64, It is a pitefuU case to here the deth of men other in 
pestilence or in eny other seknes, but how great a greff is it 
more to se a man drownde hymselfe, hange hymselfe, or 
slee hymselfe with eny yron. for in other dethys it is to be 
thought that a man hath sum repentance for his synnes or 
offences but in this maner of deth it is harde to conjecture 
thorughe whose mevyng' a man shulde chaunge lyffe for 
deth. 



565. It is reason for every mann that goth forth onn pil/ 
grimageto have absolucioun both of synne and of payne.* 

^66. The gloriouse martir saynt laurence, which made 
no stykkynge for to take upon hym to sufFre or abyde the 
most cruell tormentes for godes sake, the wodnesse of the 
Tirant and thretnynge movede not hym, yee, and more/ 
over, when his sides were brennyde with brynnynge plates 
of yern, when he enduryde other tormentes and at the last 
he was put onn the grydeyern as ye knowe, he, mery and 
lusty, thankede gode that thrugh his grace he coulde 
deserve so (or, in suche wyse) to enter the yates of hevyn. 

567. The gostely fathers ought to pondre well howe 
great the synnes be of them that be shryven, and as thei 

' mevyng: moving, impulse. 



88 A VARIETY OF OBSERVATIONS 

have deservede so to joyne^ them fastynge, almesdede, or 
prayer, the which thynges put away synnes. 



j68. It is but a litell wynnynge^ (nay, nay, not a whitt) 
wher men sell no derer than they bye but rather better 
Chepe. For a merchande that lyveth by his merchandyse 
but withoute great encrease^ (or, great availe) he may not 
holde his owne, but he boroweth money and comyth so 
fere in dett that he is never hable to paye it. 



569.* — I came yesterday into a Chambre that was both 
clen and also propire, havynge nothynge that shulde dis/ 
content your ey. ther in the hangynge this was payntide: 
ther stode saynt Johan with his camellys skyne onn hym, 
and aboute hym on this side and that side wylde beestes 
and foulys of many and diverse fascion. 

— what wer they ? I besech youe, tell us. 

— I shall, befor the sayntes feete ther lay a styll lion 
couchynge, be hym a myghty boore puttynge downe the 
starynge'^ of his bristelles, beside that an eliphant lenyng to 
a tree* turnyng upe his trumpe, forthright agaynst hym the 
wolfe and the here lokynge onn the grownde. the unicorn 
and the antloppe helde ther erys afare of and dide in a 
maner herkyn. I spyede also the squerell commynge forth 
oute of an hole of an oke. 

— ye have shewde us well the maner (or, kyndys) of 
beestes. now shewe us another while the kyndys (or, 
maner) of birdys. 

' joyne: enjoin. ^ wynnynge: profit. 

3 cncrease, i.e. in price. * starynge: standing on end, ruffling. 



A VARIETY OF OBSERVATIONS 89 

— verely and I shulde not lye, I know them not beside 
the pelicane and the popyngay. ther was on that sprede 
his wynges. I wote not whether it were an Egle for because 
a goode meany^ of the shadow of the small bowys dyde 
hyde. 



^'jo. The conyngar a mann is, the more nede he hath to 
beware what eligance he useth to sum menn, for many 
tymes when thei cannot bolte^ oute the trewe sentence^ they 
interpretate to the worst that that thou writest of very 
lovyng mynde. 



^"ji. It is full harde to please all menn, for sum be so 
dangerous"^ that yf a mann do all that he cann he cannot 
please or content them. 



^']2. The madnes of many men is so great that excepte 
thei were put in fere thorughe sharpnes of ponyshment 
ther sholde be nonn so grevous a myscheff that thei 
wolde forbere. 



575. Many onn goth by the way as though thei hade not 
on peny in all the worlde, and yete thei be worth an C 1, 
and many onn takith upon them as thei wer lordes and 
yet the devyll may daunce in ther purse for eny crose* or 
quoyn is in it.* 

* meany: many. * boltc: sift, find out. 

3 sentence: meaning. * dangerous: captious (morosi). 



90 A VARIETY OF OBSERVATIONS 

3J4. I saw yesterday in the fair many off myn acquentance 
rially apparelde, goynge with cheynes of golde, havynge 
by their brestes great nowchys^ with golde, perelys, and 
pr[e]cious* stonys, yete they cam but of a low stoke, the 
which maner of people as it is comynly saide when they 
cum to honour or to worshipe be moste proudyst. 



^j^. Ther be many menn in englande that be of such 
condicyon that no mann may do them a more greater 
pleasur then to praise their dedys in other menys presence, 
for that they desire and sett bye, and of the contrary wyse 
ther can nothynge displease and greve them more then to 
blame them openly off their dedys. 



^j6. YfFall thynge hade fortunede after my mynde I hade 
ben this day at stirbrige faire* wher, as men say, a man may 
bye better chepe than enywher ellys. 



^jj. Methynke that merchanttes gett their riches and their 
goodes with great jeopardy of their lyffes and namly they 
that be wont to use the see, for when ther be such stormys 
in the see as was trobelous thys nyght they scapyde hardly 
with their lyffys. 



57^. As we satt by the fyre yesternyght when the great 
wynde begane to arise we hade a comunicacioun^ of 
them that wer in the see, of whome we hade great pite to 

' nowchys: brooches, buckles. 
^ comunicacioun: talk. 



A VARIETY OF OBSERVATIONS 91 

remembre the fere and drede that thei were in, and how 
thei wer tossede and caste with the wawys. for they lightly 
other be caste undre the water or upon a rocke. 



%ts»ta»XKS»-^xS»-^xSi^ttss^-KKS»-K^^ 



379* I understonde that the kynge hath commandyde 
ther shall no man go into flaunders to by or sell, whether 
he hath criede batell with them or not I cannot tell. 
Furthermore I here say he hath a garde of menn about 
hym, nother he gothe never oute but he is sett aboute with 
harnysede menn.* yf it be so, methynkith he doth wysely 
for it is no doubte a princes lyffe is suspiciouse to many 
menn and hatefuU to unthriftes. 



380. On of oure maisters servantes com home late yester/ 
nyght from walys, but what tydynges he hath brought I 
cannot tell, but I shall wytt when he and I have lesur to 
comyn together. 



381.* I was very sory for the pore husbondes in my con^ 
trey when I say^ their carefulnes to make money of their 
stuffe for the kynges silver, the price of come and shepe 
and of all bestes is abatyde in so moch that they sell moche 
thynges for litell Sylver. 

' say: saw. 



92 NEWS 

^82* I thynke ther is no man alyve that can remembre that 
ever he se whete or pese other Corne or eny other vitaile 
that is brought to the market to be solde cheper than we 
se nowe, but it is lesse to be marvelyde yf a man take 
hede. for men have not so moch money as thei wer wont, 
and nowe be fayn every man that hath ought for to sell to 
put it owte. 



565.* All maner of white corne* as whete and barly was 
never solde better chepe than it is evyn now but yete it is 
to be feryde leste it wyll not so another yere. for in many 
cuntrays the barly lyeth drye in the grounde and never 
comyth upe, and all code ware,^ as men say, be dissaytfuU 
in their coddys.^ 



^84. This fair wether after the troublenes of stormys and 
continuacioun of rayns makith every mann glade that 
loveth his owne welth or the comynewelth, for and the 
wether wer as stormye as it begann nor hade non other 
wise mesurede hymself it wolde have benn a great fere of 
darth of all maner corne, but I trust now this temperate 
wether shall dry upe the londe agayne that menn may sowe 
as well as they were wonte to do. 



555. This day iij days dyede a certayn aldermann of 
londonn off a consumptioun, a mann in all his lyfF right 
honorable, and such onn whom all menn gave price and 
pryke* withoute comparicioun. 

' code ware: podded produce. * coddys: pods. 



NEWS 93 



386.* I wote not whether it be more wytt or boldnesse to 
sett upe skafoldys and to go upe to the tope of poulys" and 
take of the wethercoke from the boUe^ that it is fastynede 
in, and also to brynge it downe, and after it is amendyde to 
go upe agayn and sett it in his olde place. 

5^7. I herde say that ther were two theves put to deth 
yesterday for merdure. and yf I hade be war befor I wolde 
have bene ther. yet it was tolde me that ther cam a com/ 
maundment from the commyssarye* that no man payne 
of presonment shulde cum ther. yete I am sure ther were 
many. 
* poulys: St. Paul's. ^ boUe: ball, sphere. 



NOTES TO THE TEXT 



1. For the Latin of this piece, see p. loi. 

forth dais: late in the day. Cf O.E.D.; s.v. 'forth*, 4. b. 

clothes: painted cloths used as hangings. 
g. It is a worlde: it is a marvel (opere precium est). 

dull and voide of connynge: learning {segniorem ad litteras et discipline 
vacuum). 

onn: one, the same (sine qua vitam mortemque iuxta estimamus); cf Sallust, 
Bellum Catilinae, ii. 8: 'Eorum ego vitam mortemque iuxta aestumo, 
quoniam de utraque siletur.' 

15. MS. reads 'aprell light*. 

ij. goode townes: notable or important towns (urhes). Cf the conven-* 
tional usage 'good ship*. 

20. kybblayns: chilblains (O.E.D., 1547). 

22. disch for a kynge: the earliest use cited by O.E.D. is in Shakespeare*s 
Winter's Tale (iv. iii. 8). 

24. frumenty: a broth made of meal (jus frumentatum). 

42. MS. reads 'I that have*. 

4g. and: if In this manuscript, both 'and* and 'and if* are often used 
for 'if. 

lurcher: one vi^ho forestalls others of a fair share of food. 

51. formalite; ohseruanciam (O.E.D. 1599). 

52. For the Latin, see pp. 102-3. 

on the hede: headlong, without consideration (O.E.D., 1555). 
lockyth: lucketh (the obsolete verb 'to luck* meaning 'to chance*. The 
Latin is euenit.) See no. 84. 
furthe them bett: manage to beat them. Cf O.E.D. s.v. 'forth* (vb.). 
[was sent]: MS. omits something to this effect. 

5^. the next faire: at Oxford, this would be St. Giles, early in Sep.* 
tember. 

57. kyndest: here used in the modern acceptation (propicii). 



NOTES TO THE TEXT 95 

5^. more goodc then mete or drynke; cf. Tilley, M842. 

64. wardens: an old variety of baking pear (volema). 

10. at sixe and sevyn: cf. Tilley, A208; O.D.E.P. 

72. money maketh mariage: cf. Tilley, M1074; O.D.E.P. 

14. what fettes, what knakkes: what graceful and ingenious contrivances 

(quid leporis, quos sales). 

75. sophistre: logic, the third subject of the trivium. 

j8. new auctors: modern grammarians. 

82. Begynnynge is more than halfe the worker cf. Tilley, B254. 

5j. groundes of Elygansies: fundamentals of good style (fundamenta 
eloquencie). 

By. englysh tongue: the rules of most sixteenth^century grammar schools 
forbade the boys to speak English, even on the playing fields. 

88. letters: here used in the general sense of 'themes' (literas). 

^2. frendes: the sense here is 'kinsmen' (parentes). 

g^. fals: incorrealy transcribed (deprauati). The English has no equiva-* 
lent for the words following 'deprauati essent': 'aut omnino quidam 
eorum non deperiisent.' 

g^. wynchester: the Wykehamist College of St. Mary founded to pre^ 
pare scholars for New College. 

5)5. hedynton: Headington, at the time the wood nearest Magdalen 
School. 

100. gravandes: greyhounds. Cf the forms 'grahoundc' and 'grifhoune' 
{O.E.D.). Although the symbol used here is clearly a 'v' and not the 
usual 'u* it may be that the scribe intended 'grauandes' {O.E.D. 'graw/ 
bond*). 

101. 1 can make nothing of this strange story. 

102. streightways: MS. reads 'every streightways on of them'. 
106. Evidently a maying. 

108. levyth all studyes: the word play is lost in English (j studiis vacant). 

110. See Introduction, pp. xxvii-xxviii. 

111. the castell: Oxford Castle. See i6g. 
113. oute of the: MS. reads 'oute the of*. 



96 NOTES TO THE TEXT 

114. The letter *N*, used to designate both speakers in the MS., is here 
omitted. 

11^. noble: a gold coin then valued at 10;'. 

120. [he]: MS. omits. 

12^. [their]; MS. reads 'his'. 

12J. [prasyde]: MS. reads 'sparyde' (laus atque amor sunt adhihenda). 

i^g. The speakers seem to be Boy, Master, and Usher. 

stubberus: stubborn (cf. 'stobur*, 2^6). O.E.D. does not list a form 
of the adjective without a final *n' but does record the adverb 'stoberlie' 
{c. 1430). 

140. [creanser]; MS. reads 'maister' but the Latin is tutor domi. See 104, 
166, and 24J, and Introduction, p. xxii. 

141. Who is speaking to whom? Perhaps the master is scolding the usher 
for excessive severity. 

142. were sorry: MS. reads *wer were sorry.' 
146. corrageles: without spirit (O.E.D., 1593). 

J55. ydylnes: dullness (tarditatem). O.E.D. does not record this sense. 

156". malvornn hyllys: cf. 'AH about Malvern Hill a man may live as 
long as he will' and 'As old as the hills' (Apperson, English Proverbs and 
Proverbial Phrases, 1929). 

sende not the soner for me: do not call me home soon. 
162. dispo[si]cion: MS. reads 'dispocion*. 
i6p. on the new fascyon; jocular for 'with a beating'. 

lyo. The rules of most schools forbade the keeping of pets. For Magdalen 
practice see R. S. Stanier, Magdalen School (Oxford, 1940), p. 52. 

182. bristyll: hog's bristle, used as a needle. 

18s. maister: the context seems to call for 'creanser' as in 140 but the case is 
less clear. The Latin reads preceptor. 

i8j. Taverne: the Latin removes the dark suspicion that the boy's visit 
to the tavern was extracurricular: 'taberna in qua cum magistro fuero.* 

igi. Cf Tilley, G284. 

1^2. Ciceto: cf De Amkitia, xix. 67. 



NOTES TO THE TEXT 97 

withoute cny tyme it fortune to a mann: an awkward translation of the 
Latin: nisi eiusmodi tempus incidat. 

ig^. nothcr mctc nother drynkc do mc goode: cf. $g. 

202. than a pcny in pursse: cf. Tilley, F687; O.D.E.P. 

304. [wc]: MS. omits. 

20 J. forde: afford, manage. O.E.D. does not list this form of 'afford'. 

220. Carfaxe: the Oxford crossroads. 

221. This is not the wild exaggeration that it may seem to the modem 
reader. An Oxford statute (c. 1410) concerned with 'chamberdekenys' 
(scholars who lodged by themselves) describes just such delinquents. 
They spend their days sleeping, but at night they visit taverns and 
brothels and go about thieving and murdering. The University therefore 
orders that all scholars must reside in some college or hall, under pain of 
imprisonment and banishment, and that no townsman shall permit a 
scholar to dwell in his house without special permission (Anstey, 
Munimenta Academical i. 320; Mallet, History of the University of Oxford, 
i. 334)- 

222. frendes: here used in the modern sense. 

223. to many thynges: i.e. to rash actions, perhaps suicide. 
tha[t]: MS. reads 'thas'. 

[have]: MS. omits. 
228. light of ther handys: light/fingered, either in the sense 'dextrous at 
pilfering' or in the sense 'pugnacious* (sceksti adeo manuque prompti sunt). 
2J2. ape fro tailys: cf Tilley, A268. 
2^. bewtynes: not in O.E.D. 

238. plautes proposicion: cf Plautus, Amphitruo, i. 651. 
24^. In the MS. this passage follows 569 without a break. 
24y. the which: the antecedent is 'creansers*. 

250. the longer he lyveth the Icsse he hath: cf Tilley, L293 and the title of 
W. Wager's play. The Longer Thou Livest the More Foole Thou Art (1633). 

255. 'spare speke, spare spede*: cf Tilley S709; O.D.E.P. 

2$6. The wily fox is common, but I cannot find the 'olde provcrbc'. 
Nor do I recognize the fable referred to. 

257. 'an hasty man lakkith never wo*: cf Tilley, Mi 59; O.D.E.P. 

6773 H 



98 NOTES TO THE TEXT 

2§g. This passage appears twice in the MS., at fol. 28 and fol. 55. The 
latter version is transcribed here. The former differs in its omission of the 
words 'not withoutc a cause*, reads 'methynkith' for 'mesemyth', and 
varies insignificantly in spelling. 

26^. The proverb 'service is none heritage* (Tilley, S253) means that one 
cannot rely upon the hire paid by an employer as one can upon one*s 
own possessions. Cf Thomas More's treatment of the problem in 
Utopia, Book I. 

268. proctorshipe: the office of the University proctor. The proctor serves 
for one year. 

^75. the which: the antecedent is 'mountans*. 

The story of Hannibars use of vinegar to traverse the Alps is told 
in Livy, xxi. 37, The chemistry of the method remains a matter of 
scholarly dispute. Our author's brimstone does not derive from Livy. 

2JJ. Other: utter (quant ciuibus cum hostibus submersme). O.E.D. does not 
record this form. 

280. paris: MS. reads 'parish* (parisii). 

286. comyn: consult (O.E.D., s.v. 'common* [vb.]). 

301. woldist come: MS. reads 'woldist not come*. 

302. aske and have: cf. Tilley, A343. 

303. [that]: MS. reads 'the*. 

507. prety and colde: the Latin (frigidiuscule) suggests that 'prety* is used 
in the adverbial sense still current of 'somewhat* or 'rather*. Cf. O.E.D. 
S.V. 'pretty* (a) 5 c. for the usage 'pretty and*, 
fenell seede: a spice used in drinks. Cf Piers Plowman, A, v. 155-6: 
I haue peper and piane, and a pound of garlek, 
A ferthing^worth of fenel/seed, for this fastyng dayes. 

308. gentlemann: puerum ingenuum, 

31 J. ever augmenrith: MS. reads 'ever augmentith ever*. 

324. weedes; inu tiles berbas. 

32 J. horson: sceleste. 

5JI. In the MS. both persons of the dialogue are labelled 'N* and the 

letter is prefixed to each of the speeches. For the Latin of this piece, sec 

p. 103. 



NOTES TO THE TEXT 99 

what bredc: wheaten bread (O.E.D. does not record this form). 
552. The MS. labels both speakers *N*. 
J55. The MS. labels both speakers *N*. 

337' U]' omitted in the English version but present in the Latin. 
^46. Therence: Andria, 1. 44. 
348. Cicero: De Officiis, i. 146. 

551. blouth the fyre: usually has the sense 'stir up strife*. Apparently the 
usage here is without pejorative intention, 'stir things up'. 

552. bolne: swollen. The Latin (totum caput tuber) derives from Terence, 
Adelphi, 1. 245. 

361. or els: MS. reads 'or in els*. 

5^3. the poet: Ovid, Amores, iii. 4, 17. 

565. of payne: a culpa quant apena. 

569. In the MS. this passage is followed without break by 243. 

lenyng to a tree: elephants were reputed to relax in this fashion. 
575. devyll may daunce: proverbial. Cf. Tilley, D233. 

crose: the coin marked with a cross, a small coin. 

57^. pr[e]cious: MS. omits *e*. 

^j6. stirbrige faire: Stourbridge Fair, near Cambridge, one of the 
greatest of English fairs, held annually for three weeks beginning 18 
September. 

3j^. The embargo on trade with Flanders to which this passage refers 
was imposed in September 1493 and lifted in February 1496 (Wilhelm 
Busch, England under the Tudors [1895], pp. 88, 148). War was not 
declared. 

harnysede menn: the Yeomen of the Guard, instituted by Henry VII. 
The Guard was formed at the beginning of the reign, in 1485; perhaps 
it was increased in size during the Perkin Warbcck troubles which 
brought about the embargo. 

381. This and the two following passages speak of an unprecedented 
drop in the price of farm produce. According to J. E. Thorold Rogers, 
A History of Agriculture and Prices in England (Oxford, 1882), vol. iii, the 
price of wheat was lower in 1495-6 and in 1499-1500 than it had been 



100 NOTES TO THE TEXT 

for many years. In i50$)-io prices dropped lower still, but this seems too 
late for our manuscript. The Great Chronick of London (ed. A. H. Thomas 
and I. D. Thornley, London, 1938), which records only exceptional 
price changes, remarks on the low price of wheat (four shillings a quarter) 
in the mayoral years 1494-5 (p. 254) and 1499-1500 (p. 290). 

5&. See the note on ^81. 
555. See the note on ^81. 

white come: grain, that is, a crop that 'whitens' in ripening. 
5^5. price and pryke: the praise of excellence. O.E.D., s.v. prick. 

^86. The reference is to an incident thought worthy of recording in the 
Great Chronicle (p. 286). Shortly after 6 December 1498 'the wedyr^ 
cok of paulys takyn doun & agayn sett upp by a Carpenter of london 

callid Godffrey but it was the latter ende of maii or he hadd all 

fFynyshid his besynes abowth the same'. 

5S7. commyssarye: the University chancellor's deputy (an obsolete 

Oxford acceptation). 



APPENDIX I 
The Latin Version of Passages i, 52, and^p 

Passage No. 1 

Mundus ipse deteriorescit in dies, omniaque sunt ordine mutato 
inuersa, quicquid enim paruo mihi post trimatum ad decennium 
quantisper sub tutela parentum fui (nunc veto annum ago duo^ 
decimum) voluptati fuerat, tandem cxiit in tormenta et supplicium. 
In illo namque tempore assidue in vultum diei in strato cubabam 
quotidie somno indulgcns et segnicie. phebus immisit radios ad 
fenestras lucerne loco splendorem ministrans. O quante mihi 
voluptati erat omni diluculo orto sole obleaare me in lintheis 
tectum, trabes cubiculi et tigna contemplari, item tapeta quibus 
conclaue ornabatur intueri. Nemo sane mentis, se auctore con^ 
fisus, a somno citari [for citare] ausit dormire volentem. mea sponte 
rogatus surgebam, abeunteque [for abeuntique] ultro quiescendi 
libidine expergefactus, accersiui quos volebam qui impromptu 
mihi indumenta ponerent. Inuocanti quoque mihi quotiens libuit 
ad grabati spondam, oblatum erat iantaculum [for ientaculum]. 
ita prius nonnumquam pastus quam amiaus eram. Item aliis 
voluptatibus potitus eram pluribus quarum alie oblivioni tradite 
sunt, alias memoria teneo. Sed non sum vacuus ad memorandum. 
Sed iam ordo rerum alia rota vertitur. ut quando hora diei quinta 
beneficio lune uso Uteris incumbendum est, relictis somno et 
segnicie. Si ludi magister forsan excitauerit fascem virgarum secum 
pro lucerna afFert. Tandem supcrsedeo voluptatibus quibus totus 
olim indulgebam. hie nihil offertur nisi mine cum verberibus. 
lantacula [for lentacula] quondam ad iussum illata non reditura 
unquam exulatum abiere. plura meis de infortuniis dicerem sed 
quamuis sim vacuus ad narrandum, nanandi tamen voluntatem 
amisi. eorum enim commemoracio animum reddit tristiorem. 



102 THE LATIN VERSION OF 

Omnis ego causas quero aliquando viuendi arbitratu meo, quum 
mihi liceat pro libidine vel a strato surgere vel [me] dormitum con^ 
ferre isto vapulandi metu liberatu[m]. 



Passage No. 52 

— Ditissimi cuiusque filii passim in euo puerili corrumpuntur hiis 
diebus, idque domi apud parentes, quod plane miserandum est. 
sed quibus pereunt modis (sit verbis fides si libet) non possum nisi 
lacrimans exprimere. 

— lam veritatis es transgressus limites. verius dixisse plerosque 
oportuit. baud enim animi pendio [for pendeo] quin non nuUos 
cum urbanitate turn scienciis perquam probatissimos nouerim, 
quos si locarem inter primos minime videor iniurius esse. At quid 
me malum impulit ut orationi tue mea verba insererem? liquide 
appareo ab humanitate esse alienus, diligentius quoque pastum 
atque doctum dixeris. perge obsecro dicere. verba forsan alicui 
tua continget in frugem verti. 

— Matres oportet apud se retinere qui cum pro puppis nugentur 
perinde quasi ad iocum et nugas nascerentur liberi. eos animant et 
verbis et rebus quo licenter omnia factitent. ita lasciuiis et licencia 
effeminati fede precipites eunt. item si contigerit matres poUices 
[for pellices] aut patres compellare cuculos (uti interdum euenit) 
arrident et pro faceciis capiunt, non extra genus esse arbitrantes 
licencia pueritiam liberos agere. Insaniam esse ducunt ad scolas 
trudere, satis id dignum censentes quicquam domi dedicerint [a 
pun on didicerint?]. Non paciuntur penas dare, non si omnia 
lucrat, nam si Here viderint radicitus esse necatos opinantur. 
faciam vobis exemplar de quodam propinquo meo qui hie in 
vicino apud domum propriam primis incumbit elimentis. is ut 
domum redit plorans (postquam a cute pulices preceptor abegerit) 
aautum mater nates spectat visura plage si appareant. Ast si viderit 
extare vibices in fletum et luaum tota soluitur ut que foret mente 
capta. tum seueritatem magistrorum queritur malle se ingemens 
sepultum videre quam eo more tractari filium. hec et ad hunc 



PASSAGES I, 52, AND 33I 103 

modum infinita verba faciunt. interdum quoque prolis causa turba 
oritur inter maritum suam et coniugem, quin que ille mandat 
hecque inhibet. ita procedente tempore quum ad etatem maturam 
peruenerint euadunt ad omnia scelera perpetranda paruifacientes 
flagitium committere fedissimum. Et ad postremum per meritum 
aliquot suspendio moriuntur, nonnulli decollantur, alius alia via 
interit, ad quem exitum ducti imprecantur parentibus et aliis qui 
in pueritia eorum regimen habuere. 



Passage No. 551 

— Quo te recipis ? 

— molendinum peto. 

— cuius rei si deo placet agende gratia? 

— ne insis impedimento ut qui grauiter onoratus sum, etiam 
longa via restat. non vides quam capacem cum frumento saccum 
pre defectu iumenti in ceruice baiulo, et adhuc intersunt hinc ad 
molam duo milia? 

— egisti vero strenue qui tale consecutus es seruicium in quo et 
hominum et iumentorum partes sunt agende. 

— morare paulisper. istic mox frumento molito reuertar, nam 
posita omni mora, propere domum rediundum [/or redeundum] 
est. 

— qui cedo? 

— non enim est buccella panis qua vescamur domi et illic ora non 
sunt numero pauca. 

— quid opus est, pane qui detur istiusmodi verberonibus qualis 
tu es? nonne fabas et pisas pro deliciis haberes? herbarum radices 
sunt edulia; panis autem liberorum esset. 

— Quis istius dominatur domus ? 

— ego vero presum huic domui et euro omnia que hie aguntur 
absente domino, potestne mea tibi opera usui esse ? 

— primum admitte me intro. 

— fiet ac libenter. 

/ 



104 THE LATIN VERSION 

— quid obsonii habes quod homincm ad esum sui prouoces? 

— habeo multa ciborum genera: puta sparulorum caudas, 
reliquias allicium et capitella, salsarum pelliculas anguillarum. 
quod cordi erit tnaxime eliges. 

— quid me ludibrio habes? quin aliud cibi exime ne feras 
infortunium. 

— visne pisces fluuiatiles? 

— volo. 

— profecto haberes si superessent, sed sedula arte opus est ut 
prehendantur. 

— rursum derides. 

— absit ut ego talem derideam. 



APPENDIX II 
Order of Passages in the Manuscript 

The reader can reconstruct the order in which the passages appear 
in the manuscript by observing the following sequence: 

fol. 9: 241, 14, 175. 95. 89. 336, 235, 181. 165. 

fol. 10: 299. 257. 261, 337. 332, 237. 96. 

fol. 11: 94, 183, 265, 117, 188, 74, 40, 115. 

fol. 12: 133, 349. <5i, 63, 157. 127, 31. 64, loi. 

fol. 13: 103, 27, 353, 245, 39. 109. 347. 169, 306, 140. 

fol. 14: 107, 161, 25, 280, 315. 176, 7. 170, 149. 90. 

fol. 15: 75, 166, 219, III, 236, 377, 78. 

fol. 16: 231, 374, 230, 264, 269, 222. 

fol. 17: 160, H3, 168, 220, n6, 48, 8, 163, 23. 

fol. 18: 21, 76, 172, 98, 35. 205, 352, 2Z4, 387. 

fol. 19: 141, 143, 174. 54. 319, 2l8, 112, 3I<5. 

fol. 20: 72, 55, 60, 246, 303, 295, 148. 134- 

fol. 21: 69, 375. 87. 50. 37. 9. 

fol. 22: 128, 77, 189, 225, 206, 194, I95» 192. 

fol. 23: 159. 93. 266, 283, 59, 178. 

fol. 24: 308, 262, 146, 385, 167, 152, 207, 288, 369, 243. 

fol. 25: 239, 270, 363, 196, 384. 

fol. 26: 275, 267, 145, 70, 32, 273. 

fol. 27: 383, 212, 208, 272, 100, 79. 

fol. 28: 309, 197, 19, 311, 259, 142. 102. 

fol. 29: 221, 121, 130, 293, 350, 287, 13. 

fol. 30: 291, 17, 227, 226, 300, 282. 

fol. 31: 223, 285, 310, 2, 247. 

fol. 32: 286, 209, 289, 348, 210, 30. 

fol. 33: 368, 16, 346, 211, 364, 198. 

/ 



166 ORDER OF PASSAGES 

fol. 34: 82, 147, 382, 213, 305, 290. 

fol. 35: 187, 104, 108, 199, 296, 217, 

fol. 36: 214, 258, 317, 297, 301, 83. 

fol. 37: 298, 81, 294, 304, 268, 200. 

fol. 38: 119, 71, 216, 123, 124. 

fol. 39: 126, 378, 144. 379, 153, 244. 

fol. 40: 91, 132, 367, 58, 360, 67, 20, 62. 

fol. 41: 321, 38, 68, 162, 233, 277, 271. 

fol. 42: 276, 274, 215, 356. 

fol. 43: 361, 381, 120, 279, 302, 284. 

fol. 44: 10, 129, 36, 366. 

fol. 45: 238, 18, 331.* 

fol. 46: 345. I* 

fol. 47: 49, 335. 

fol. 48: 139, 52.* 

fol. 49: 52 continued. 

fol. 50: 114, 263. 

fol. 51: 105, 84, 56, 357, 372, 351, 278, 53, 386. 

fol. 52: 47, 320, 164, 355, 42, 85, 248, 182, no. 

fol. 53: 155, 354, 362, 201, 202, 318, 6, 204, 180, 359. 

fol. 54: 358, 254, 73, 228, 334. 373, 307, 240, 15, 26. 

fol. 55: 259, 156, 328, 43, 344. 171, 185, 92, 370, 154, 256. 

fol. 56: 150, 97, 365, 232, 22, 190, 46, 118, 242, 158, 329, 137- 

fol. 57: 65, 44, 135, 151. 376, 186, 24, 260, 380, 3, 41, 33, 126, 330. 

fol. 58: 138, 125, 4, 333, 173, 281, 177, 57, 122, 88, 184, 312, 5, 292, 

249, 51- 
fol. 59: 29, 136, 28, 45, 322, 250, 86, 339, 340. 342, 338, 179, 34. 80. 
fol. 60: 313, 327, 99, 229, 314, 251, 66, 2S2, 324, 253, 323, 325, 255, 

193, 106, 191, 131. 
fol. 61: 371, II, 12, 343, 203, 341. 234- 

*For Latin version see Appendix I. 



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