Caxton's Book of Curtesye eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 77 pages of information about Caxton's Book of Curtesye.

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And yit in Aventure ye, if the caase require,
  Ye most speke as hit may doo percace;
[Sidenote 1:  MS. precace.]
Seuen condic_i_ons obserue as ye shall hire, 143
  Avise you well what ye sey and in what place,
  Of whom, and to whom, in your_e_ mynde compace;
    Howe ye shall speke, and whan, taketh good hede,
    This couns_e_illeth the wyse man wyth-outen drede.


A wayte, my childe, ye haue you manerly,
  Whan at your_e_ mete ye sittyn at your_e_ table;
In euery pres, in euery company, 150
  Disposeth you to be so componable,
  That men may you reporte for comendable;
    For tristeth well, vppon your_e_ bering
    Men woll you blame or yeven you preysing. 154


And printeth chiefly in your_e_ memorie, For A principalle poynt of feire norture, Ye depraue no man absent especially; 157 Seint Austyn Amonishith wyth besy cure, Howe at the table men shull them assure, That there escapeth them no suche langage, As myght turne other folke to disparage. 161 */

[Sidenote:  Hill’s Text.]

P) And yet i_n_ aduenture, yf the caas requyre,
    ye may speke, but ye must p_er_caas
  Seven[1] co_n_dyc_i_ons obs_er_ve, as ye may here: 
[Sidenote:  Six they are at p. 358, Babees Book, of the Wise Man.]
    Avyce ye well[e] what ye say, & i_n_ what place, 144
    Off whom, & to whom, i_n_ yo_u_r mynd co_m_pace;
      how ye shall[e] speke, & wha_n_, take good hede: 
      this cow[n]syled the wyse ma_n_ w_i_t_h_owten drede.

P) A-wayte, my chyld, ye behaue you man_er_ly 148
    wha_n_ at yo_u_r mete ye sytte at the table;
  In eu_er_y prees & In en_er_y cu_m_pany
    Dyspose you to be so cu_m_penable
    that me_n_ may of you reporte for co_m_me_n_dable; 152
      ffor, trustyth well[e], vpon yo_u_r beryng
      Men will[e] you blame or gyve p_ra_ysyng.

P) And prynte ye truly this in yo_u_r memorye
    for a pryncypall[e] poynt of fayer noretvre, 156
  that ye deprave no ma_n_ absente specyally. 
    Saynt Austyne amonessheth w_i_t_h_ besy cure,
    howe me_n_ att table shulde the_m_ assure
      that ther escape the_m_ no suche langage 160
      As myght hurte or bryng folke to disparage.



And yet in auenture / yf the caas require
Ye may speke / but ye muste thenne p_er_caas
Seue_n_ co_n_dic_i_ons obserue / as ye may now hyre 143
[Sidenote:  If you must speak, observe the seven conditions.]
Auyse you wel / what ye saye / & in what place
Of whom / & to whom in your mynde co_m_pace
How ye shal speke / & whan take good hede
This co_u_ncelith the wise man withoute drede 147

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Caxton's Book of Curtesye from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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