Caxton's Book of Curtesye eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 53 pages of information about Caxton's Book of Curtesye.

[22]

[Sidenote:  Leaf 4 b.]

Awayte my chylde / ye be haue you manerly
Whan at your mete / ye sitte at the table
[Sidenote:  When you’re at meals,]
In euery prees and in euery company 150
Dispose you to be so compenable
[Sidenote:  be companionable]
That men may of you reporte for comme_n_dable
For trusteth wel / vpon your beryng_e_
Men wil you blame or gyue preysyng_e_ 154

[23]

And prynte ye trewly your memorie
For a princypal point of fair noreture
Ye depraue no man absent especyally 157
[Sidenote:  and don’t run down absent men.]
Saynt austyn amonessheth with besy cure
[Sidenote:  St. Austin.]
How men atte table / shold hem assure
That there escape them / no suche langage
As myght other folke hurte to disparage 161

* * * * *

THE ORIEL TEXT

[24]

This curteise clarke writeth in ryght this wyse,
  Rebukyng the vice of vile detracc_i_ou_n_;
’What man hit be that of custome and guise 164
  Hurteth wyth his toung wyth foule corrosiou_n_
  The absent wight, for that abusiou_n_
    Suche detractoure [wayue][1] from this table
[Sidenote 1:  A word loss.]
    As vn-worthe, not to be reprocheable. 168

[25]

Whan ye sitten therfor at your_e_ repaste,
  Annoyethe no man present nor absent,
But speketh feyre, for and ye make waste 171
  Off [large] langage, for soth ye most be schent;
  And wan ye speke, speketh wyth good entent
    Of maters appendyng to myrth and plesaunce,
    But nothyng that may causen men greuaunce. 175

[26]

Eschewe also taches of foule rauenyng,
  Of gredy lust the vncurteyce appetite;
Pres not to sone to your_e_ viaunde, restraine 178
  Your_e_ handis a while wyth manerly respytte;
  Fedith for necessite, not for delite,
    Demeneth you in mete and drink soo sobrely,
    That ye be not infecte wyth gloteny.’ 182

[Sidenote:  Hill’s Text.]

P) This curteys clerke wryteth i_n_ this wyse,
    Rebukyng the vyce of vyle detracc_i_on: 
  what may yt be that of custu_m_ & gvyse 164
    hurteth w_i_t_h_ tonge or by fowle colusyon
    The absente / weyne[1] ye for that abusyon
[Sidenote 1:  or weyne]
      Suche a detractowr_e_ from the table
      As vnworthy & also reprocheable. 168

P) Whan ye sytte therfor at yo_u_r repast,
    Annoye ye no ma_n_ present nor absente,
  but speke ye fewe; for yff ye make wast
    of large langage, for soth ye must be shent. 172
    & wha_n_ ye speke // speke w_i_t_h_ good Intent
      Off maters accordyng vnto plesavnce,
      but no thy_n_ge that may cavse me_n_ grevaunce.

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