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 ware, my child, of laughing ou_er_ mesure,
  Ye shall not Also at the borde your_e_ naylis pare,
Ne pike not your_e_ teth wyth your_e_ knyff, I you ensure,
  Ete at your_e_ messe, and odir folkes spare; 249
  A glottou_n_ can but make dissches bare,
    And of Inough he taketh neu_er_ hede,
    He fedith for lust more than[1] he doth for nede.
[Sidenote 1:  MS. that.]


And whan the borde is then [as] of s_er_uice, 253
  Not replenyshide wyth gret diuercite,
Of mete and drincke good chere may than suffice,
  Hit is A signe of gret humanite, 256
  Wyth gladsom chere than fulsom for to be;
    The poet seyth howe that the poure borde
    Men may encrese wyth cherefull wille and worde.


And o thing, my childe, I warne you vndirstonde,
  Specially for your_e_ owne honeste,
In the water wasschith so clene your_e_ hande, 262
  That your_e_ towell neuer ensoyled be
  So foule that hit be lothely vnto se;
    Wasschith wyth watir_e_ till your_e_ handis be clene,
    And in your_e_ clothe ther shall no spotte be sene.

[Sidenote:  Hill’s Text.]

P) Beware, my chyld, of laughynge ou_er_ mesure;
    Ne at the borde ye shall[e] no nayles pare,
  Ne pyke yo_u_r teth w_i_t__h knyf, I you ensure. 248
    Ete at yo_u_r messe, & other_e_ folk_i_s spare;
    A gloton ca_n_ but make the bonys bare,
      & of ynowgh he takyth never_e_ hede,
      he ffedyth more for lust than for nede. 252

P) And wha_n_ the borde ys thyn as of s_er_vyce,
    Nowght replenysshed w_i_t_h_ gret dyversite
  of mete & drynke, gud chere may tha_n_ suffice,
    w_i_t_h_ honest talkyng; & also owght ye 256
    w_i_t_h_ gladsu_m_ chere the_n_ fulsome for to be: 
      The poete seyth how that ’a powre borde
      Me_n_ may enryche w_i_t_h_ cherfull[e] will[e] & worde.’ 259

P) And on thyng, my child, ye vnderstond,
    In especyall[e] for yo_u_r own honeste: 
  In the wat_er_ wasshe so clene yo_u_r hond
    that yo_u_r towell[e] never ensoyled be
    So fowle that yt be lothsome on to see; 264
      wasshe w_i_t_h_ wat_er_ yo_u_r hond_is_ so clene
      that in the towell[e] shall[e] no spote be sene.



Beware my child_e_ / of laughyng ou_er_ mesure
Ne at the borde / ye shall no naylis pare
[Sidenote:  Don’t pare your nails at table,]
Ne pyke your teth / with knyf / I you ensure 248
[Sidenote:  or pick your teeth with a knife.]
Ete at your messe / and other folkes spare
A gloton can but make the bones bare
And_e_ of ynough / he taketh neuer hede
He fedith more for lust / than for nede 252

Project Gutenberg
Caxton's Book of Curtesye from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook