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) This mene I, my child, that ye shall[e] havnte
    the gyse of the_m_ that do most manerly;
  but be ware of onthryft[1] ruskyn gallavnte,
[Sidenote 1:  A later hand has added y.]
    Co_n_terfetter[2] of vnco_n_nyng curtessy, 452
[Sidenote 2:  The r is by a later hand.]
    hys taches ben enfecte w_i_t_h_ vylonye;
      Vngerte / vnblessed / s_er_vyng at table,
      Me semeth hy_m_ a s_er_vavnte no thyng able;



Then_n_e lityl Io[=h]n / I counceyl you that ye
[Sidenote:  Little Jack,]
Take hede to the norture / that men vse
[Sidenote:  take heed to the manners of your time,]
Newe founde / or auncyent whether it be 437
So shal no man / your curtoisye refuse
The guyse & custom / my child shal you excuse
Me_n_ys werkis / haue often entercha[=n]ge
[Sidenote:  for customs change,]
That nowe is norture / so_m_tyme had be stra[=n]ge 441


Thingis whilom vsed / ben now leyd a syde
And newe feetis / dayly ben contreuid_e_
[Sidenote:  new ways are invented every day,]
Mennys actes / can in no plyte abyde 444
They be changeable and_e_ ofte meuid_e_
Thingis somtyme alowed / is now repreuid
And after this / shal thinges vp aryse
[Sidenote:  and will be hereafter.]
That men set now / but at lytyl pryse 448


[Sidenote:  Leaf 11 b.]

This mene I my childe / [th]^t ye shal haunte
The guyse of them / that do most manerly
But beware of vnthryft Ruskyn gala[=n]te 451
[Sidenote:  Imitate the well-mannered, and beware of ruskyn gallants]
Counterfeter of vnconnyng curtoisye
His tacchis ben enfecte with vilonye
[Sidenote:  of bad habits,]
Vngyrte. vnblyssed. seruyng atte table
[Sidenote:  serving ungirt,]
Me semeth hym a serua[=n]t nothing able 455

* * * * *



Wynter ne somer to his souerayne
  Chappron hardy no bonet lust avale,
For euery worde yeuyng his maister tweyne, 458
  Vaunparlere in euery mannes tale,
  Absolon wyth the disculede heres smalle;
    Lyke to A presener of seint Malouse,
    A sonny bush myght cause hym to goo louse. 462


O I passe norture! fy! fy! for schame! 
  I shuld haue seide he myght go hauke and hunt,
For that schuld be A gentilmannys game, 465
  To suche disportis thes gentis folkys be wounte;
  I seide to ferre, my langage was to blounte,
    But of this galaunte, loo! loke a while & fele,
    He feccheth his compace whan he shall bowe or knele,

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