Obrazy na stronie

Touch nothing
till you are fully
Don't break your
bread in two,

or put your pieces
in your pocket,
or your fingers in
the dish,

or your meat in the salt-cellar.

(Fol. 210,' back.)

Don't pick your ears or nose,

or drink with your mouth full,

or cram it full. Don't pick your teeth with your knife.

Tylle pou haue thy fulle seruyse,
Touche noo messe in noo wyse.

Kerue not thy brede to thynne,
24 Ne breke hit not on twynne :

The mosselle that pou begynnysse to touche,
Cast them not in thy pouche.

Put not thy fyngerys on thy dysche,
28 Nothyr in flesche, nothir in fysche.

Put not thy mete in-to the salte,
In-to thy Seler that thy salte halte,]

But ley it fayre' on pi trenchere
32 The byfore, and þat is þyne honore.

Pyke not þyne Eris ne thy nosterllis ;
If 3 þou do, men wolle sey pou come of cherlis. *

And 5 whylle bi mete yn þi mouth is,
36 Drynk pow not ; for-gete not this.

Ete și mete by smalle mosselles ;
Fylle not thy mouth as done 6 brothellis.

Pyke not þi tethe with thy knyfe ;
40 In no company begynne þow stryfe.?

And whan pou hast þi potage doone,
Out of thy dyssh bow put thi spone.

Ne spitte pow not over the tabylle,
44 Ne therupon, for that is no ping abylle. 11

Ley not þyne Elbowe nor thy fyst
Vpon the tabylle whylis þat thow etist.13

Bulk not as a Beene were yn þi throte,
48 [As a ka]rle þat comys oute of a cote.

[14 And thy mete be ojf grete pryce,
[Be ware of hyt, or pou arte njot wyse.


Take your spoon out when you've finished soup. Don't spit over or on the table, that's not proper. Don't put your elbows on the table, or belch as if you had a bean in your throat.

[Speke noo worde stylle ne sterke ; 1 Egerton MS. omits fayre ? To-fore the

3 And 4 comyste of karlys

6 dothe 7 whyle bou ettyste by thy lyffe Idone

spette not 11 Nor a-pon hyt, for hyt ys not able 13 whyle bou este 1. The parts between square brackets () are from the Egerton MS.

Be careful of good food;

6 But

10 tby

18 nothyr

Say grace,

thank Jesus for your food,

and say an Ave
for the souls in
Then set to work,
and don't be idle.

Scripture tells you,

if you work, you must eat what you get with your hands,

Be true in word and deed;

Be-fore și mete sey pou þi grace,
Yt ocupys bot lytell space ;-

Fore oure mete, & drynke, & vs, 28 Thanke we owre lord Ihesus ;

A pater noster & Aue mary
Sey fore pe saulys þat in peyne ly;

go labour as pou arte bownde, 32 And be not Idylle in no stounde :

Holy scryptour þus it seyth
To be þat Arte of cristen feyth,

Yffe pou labour, pou muste ete
36 That with pi hondes pou doyste gete;"

A byrde hath wenges forto fle,
So man hath Armes laboryd to be.

Luke pou be trew in worde & dede,
40 Yn Alle bi werkes pan schall pou spede:

Treuth wyt neuer his master schame,
Yt kepys hym out offe synne & blame.

The weys to heuen þei bene þus tweyne, 44 Mercy & treuthe, As clerkes seyne ;

Who so wyll come to be lyfe of blysse,
To go be weys


Make no promys bot it be gode,
48 And kepe pou it with myght & mode;

Fore euery promys, it is dette,
That with no falsed muste be lette.

God & þi neybores lufe all wey ; 52 Welle is þe, than may pou sey,

Fore so pou kepys All be lawe
With-oute Any fere, drede, or awe.

Vn-callyd go pou to no counselle ;
56 That longes to þe, with þat thow melle.

Scorne not be pore, ne hurte no mane ;
Lerne of hym þat the teche cane ;

Be no glosere nor no mokere,
Ne no seruantes no wey lokere.

truth keeps a man
from blame.
Mercy and Truth
are the two ways
to heaven,

fail not to go by them..

not mysse.

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52 And honowre and curtesy loke pou kepe,

And at the tabylle loke pou make goode chere;
Loke þou rownde not in no mannys ere.

With thy fyngerys þou towche and taste
56 Thy mete ; And loke þou doo noo waste.

Loke pou laughe not, nor grenne ;
And with moche speche pou mayste do synne.

Mete ne drynke loke þou ne spylle,
60 But sette hit downe fayre and stylle.]

Kepe thy cloth clene the byforne,
And bere the so I thow haue no scorne.

Byte not bi mete, but kerve it a clene,
64 Be welle ware no 3 drop be sene.

Whan pou etyst, gape not to wyde
That þi mouth be sene on yche a 4 syde.

And son, beware, I rede, of 5 on thyng,
68 Blow neper 6 yn thi mete nor yn þi' drynk.

And yif thi lorde drynk at þat tyde,
Drynk pou not, but hym abyde ;

Be it at Evyne, be it at noone,
72 Drynk pou not tylle he haue done.

Vpon þi trencher no fyllthe pou sce,'
It is not honest, as I telle the;

Ne drynk 10 behynde no mannes bakke,
76 For yf pou do, thow art to lakke.11

And chese come forthe, 12 be not to gredy, '3
Ne cutte pow not therof to hastely. 14

Caste not pi bones ynto the flore,
80 But ley þem 15 fayre on bi trenchore.

Kepe clene și cloth byfore pe 16 alle ;

or blow in

your food. If your lord drinks, always wait till he has done.


Keep your trencher clean.

Drink behind no man's back,

Don't rush at the cheese,

or throw your bones on the floor.

2 cut hit

I that

3 that noo A be in euery

5 be ware of
6 pou not

7 mete not

9 be sene 8 morowe, (and omits next line.) 10 Drynke pou not

11 blame

1: by-fore the 14 To cut there-of be not to gredy. 16 þe omitted. The parts between square brackets [] are from the Egerton MS.

13 redy

15 hem

be meek,

and wait till your better has spoken.

When you speak to a man, keep still,

and look him in the face.

Don't be a

Thank all who speak well of you.

Use few words;

don't gwear or lie in your dealings.

Be not prowd, bot meke & lynd,
And with thi better go pou be-hynd.

When þi better schewys his wylle,
64 To he haue seyd þou muste be stylle.

When pou spekes to Any mane,
Hande, fote, & fynger, kepe pou styll þan,

And luke pou vppe in to his face, 68 And curtase be in euery place.

With pi fynger schew pou no thynge,
Nor be not lefe to telle tydinge.

Yff Any man sey welle of þe,
72 Or of thi frendes, thankyd muste be.

Haue few wordes, & wysly sette,
Fore so pou may thi worschyppe gete.

Vse no suerynge noper lyenge, 76 Yn thi sellynge & thi byenge,

Fore & pou do pou arte to blame,
And at þe last þou wylle haue schame.

Gete pi gowd with trewe[t]h & wynne, 80 And kepe þe out of dette & synne.

Be loth to greue, & leffe to ples;
Seke be pes, & lyfe in es.

Offe whome pou spekes, where & when, 84 A-vyse be welle, & to what men.

When þou commys vn to A dore,
Sey "god be here," or þou go ferre :

Wer-euer þou commys, speke honestly 88 To ser or dame, or per meny.

Stand, & sytte not furth-with-alle
Tylle he byde pe pat rewlys þe halle ;

Where he bydis, per must pou sytte, 92 And fore none oper change ne flyte;

Sytt vp-ryght And honestly,
Ete & drinke, & be feleyly,

Parte with hem þat sytes pe by, 96 Thus teches be dame curtasy.

Earn money
honestly, and keep
out of debt.
Try to please;
seek peace;
mind whom you
speak to and what
you say.

Wherever you enter, say

* God be here," and speak courteously to master and man. Stand till you are told to sit at meat,

and don't leave your seat before others,

Sit upright;
be sociable,
and share with
your neighbours.


Sit still till grace is said and you've washed your hands,

and don't spit in the basin.

Rise quietly, don't jabber, but

[Fol. 207, back.]

thank your host and all the company,

And sit pou stylle, what so be-falle,
Tylle grace

be saide vnto þe ende,
84 And tylle pou haue wasshen with þi frende.

Let the more worthy þan? thow
Wassh to-fore 3 þe, & that is þi prow;

And spitte not yn pi basyne,
88 My swete son, þat þow wasshist yne;

And aryse up soft & stylle,5
And iangylle nether with lak ne Iylle,

But take pi leve of the hede 6 lowly,
92 And þank hym with thyne hert hyghly,

And alle pe gentyllis' togydre yn-same,
And bare the so 8 thow haue no blame ;
Than men wylle 9 say

96 That a gentylleman was heere.

And he pat dispiseth this techyng,
He is not worthy, withoute lesyng,

Nether at 10 good mannes tabulle to sitte, 100 Ner 12 of no worshipe for to wytte.

And therfore, chyldren, for 13 charyte,
Louyth this boke though yt lytil be ! 14

And pray for hym þat made it thus, 15
104 That hym may helpe swete Ihesus

To lyve & dye among his frendes,
16 And neuer to be combred with no fendes ;

and then men will
*A gentleman was
He who despises
this teaching
isn't fit to sit at a
good man's table.


Children, love this little book, and

pray that Jesus may help its author to die among his friends, and not be troubled with devils,



stylle withalle

2 thenne
s by-fore * Spete not on (and omits next line.)

5 And ryse with hym that sate with the stylle,
And thanke hym fayre and welle :

Aftyr, Iangely not with lacke ne gylle.
6 lorde a be gentylles omitted.
9 wylle they sey

10 Neuyr at a

11 for to 12 Nothyr

3 pur
1. Lernythe thys boke that ys callyd Edyllys be
15 made thys
16-18 And vs graunte in Ioy to a-byde !

Say ye alle Amen for charyde in euery syde.

soo that


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