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.



Be ye husht in chambre / scylent in halle
[Sidenote:  Be silent,]
Herken wel and_e_ gyue good_e_ audience
Yf vssher or marchal for ony Rumour calle 206
Put ye Ianglers to rebuke for silence
[Sidenote:  and put chatterers to rebuke.]
Be ye myld_e_ of langage / demure of eloque_n_ce
Enforce you vnto hym conformed to be
[Sidenote:  Imitate him who has humanity.]
That can moste good / and_e_ hath humanyte 210


[Sidenote:  Leaf 6 a.]

Touche not with your mete / salt i_n_ the saler
[Sidenote:  Don’t dip your meat in the saltcellar,]
Lest folk apoynte you of vnconnyngnesse
Dresse it aparte / vpon a clene trencher 213
Farse not your mouth to ful / for wa_n_tonesse
Lene not vpon the table / for that rude is
[Sidenote:  lean on the table,]
And yf I shal to you playnly saye
Ouer the table / ye shal not spetel conueye 217
[Sidenote:  or spit over it.]


Yef ye be serued / with metes delicate
[Sidenote:  Share dainties with your fellows:]
Departe with your felowe / in gentil wise
The clerck saith / nature is conte_n_t & saciate 220
With mene diete / and litil shall suffyse
Departe therfore / as I you deuyse
Engrose not / vnto your self all_e_
For gentilnes / wil aye be liberall_e_ 224
[Sidenote:  gentleness is liberal.]

* * * * *



And wan p_er_cace your_e_ seruice is not large,
  Grucchith not wyth frownyng countenaunce,
Ne maketh not ther-of to mekell charge, 227
  Disposeth you to goodly sufferaunce,
  And what ye haue, take hit for suffisaunce;
    Holde you pleased wyth that god hath you sent,
    He hath Inough[1] that can hold hym content. 231
[Sidenote 1:  MS. Inought.]


Burnysh no bonys wyth your_e_ tethe, be ware,
  That houndis tecche fayleth of curtesie;
But wyth your_e_ knyff make the bonys bare; 234
  Handell your_e_ mete so well and so clenly,
  That ye offenden not the company
    Where ye be sette, as ferre-forth as ye can;
    Remembre well that man_er_ maketh man. 238


And whan your teeth shall cutte your_e_ mete small,
  Wyth open mouth be ware that ye not ete,
But loke your_e_ lippis be closede as a wall, 241
  Whan to &[1] fro ye trauers your_e_ mete;
[Sidenote 1:  MS. a.]
  Kepe you so close that men haue no conceite
    To seyn of you langage of vilonye,
    Be cause ye ete your_e_ mete vnma[ne]rly. 245

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