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.

P) And wha_n_ a-nother ma_n_ spekyth at the table,
    be ware ye int_er_rupte not his langage,
  for that ys a thyng on-comendable, 276
    & yt ys not no signe of folk_is_ sage
    To be of langage besy & owtrage;
      ffor the wyse sayd in his sentence
      ‘he shuld be bold [& be wyse][1] that gevyth audyence.’ 280
[Sidenote 1:  In a later hand, above the line.]

[Sidenote:  ffl C lxiij.]

P) Vnd_er_stond therfor or than ye speke;
    prynt i_n_ yo_u_r mynde clerly the sentence;
  who that vsyth a ma_n_ys tale to breke,
    lettyth vncurteysly all[e] the audyence 284
    And hurteth hy_m_ self for lake of scyence;
      he maye not geve answere co_n_venyente
      that heryt[=h] not fynally what ys mente.



Lete not your spone / in your disshe sto_n_ding
[Sidenote:  Don’t leave your spoon in your dish or on the table.]
Ne vpon the table / it shold not lye
Lete your trenchour / be clene for ony thing 269
[Sidenote:  Keep your trencher clean.]
And yf ye haue cha[=n]ge / yet as honestly
As ye can / make a voyde manerly
So that no fragme_n_t / fro your tre_n_cher falle
Do thus my childe / in chambre & in halle 273


[Sidenote:  Leaf 7 b.]

And whan another man / spekith atte table
Beware ye enterrupte not / his langage
[Sidenote:  Don’t interrupt man in his talk]
For that is a thinge discomendable 276
And_e_ it is no signe of folkes sage
To be of langage / besy and_e_ outrage
For the wyse man said_e_ / in his sentence
He shold_e_ be wyse / that gyueth audience 280


Vnderstonde therfore or than ye speke
Prynte in your mynde / clerly the sentence
[Sidenote:  Before you speak, settle in your mind what you have to say.]
Who that vsith / a mannes tale to breke 283
Letteth vncurteysly / alle the audyence
And_e_ hurteth hym self / for lack of science
He may not gyue answers conuenyente
That herith not fynally / what is mente 287

* * * * *



Be ware Also, my childe, of rehersaille
  Of materis whiche ben at the table mevide;
Hit grevith ofte and dothe men disavaylle, 290
  Full many a man that vice hath mysschevide,
  Of evill thyng saide is wors often contrivide;
    Suche reportis alway loke ye esschewe,
    As may of olde frendis make enemyes newe. 294


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