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or put your pieces
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,
Kerue not thy brede to thynne,
The mosselle that pou begynnysse to touche,
Put not thy fyngerys on thy dysche,
Put not thy mete in-to the salte,
But ley it fayre' on pi trenchere
Pyke not þyne Eris ne thy nosterllis ;
And 5 whylle bi mete yn þi mouth is,
Ete și mete by smalle mosselles ;
Pyke not þi tethe with thy knyfe ;
And whan pou hast þi potage doone,
Ne spitte pow not over the tabylle,
Ley not þyne Elbowe nor thy fyst
Bulk not as a Beene were yn þi throte,
[14 And thy mete be ojf grete pryce,
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;
thank Jesus for your food,
and say an Ave
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,
Fore oure mete, & drynke, & vs, 28 Thanke we owre lord Ihesus ;
A pater noster & Aue mary
go labour as pou arte bownde, 32 And be not Idylle in no stounde :
Holy scryptour þus it seyth
“ Yffe pou labour, pou muste ete
A byrde hath wenges forto fle,
Luke pou be trew in worde & dede,
Treuth wyt neuer his master schame,
The weys to heuen þei bene þus tweyne, 44 Mercy & treuthe, As clerkes seyne ;
Who so wyll come to be lyfe of blysse,
Fore euery promys, it is dette,
God & þi neybores lufe all wey ; 52 Welle is þe, than may pou sey,
Fore so pou kepys All be lawe
Vn-callyd go pou to no counselle ;
Scorne not be pore, ne hurte no mane ;
Be no glosere nor no mokere,
truth keeps a man
fail not to go by them..
52 And honowre and curtesy loke pou kepe,
And at the tabylle loke pou make goode chere;
With thy fyngerys þou towche and taste
Loke pou laughe not, nor grenne ;
Mete ne drynke loke þou ne spylle,
Kepe thy cloth clene the byforne,
Byte not bi mete, but kerve it a clene,
Whan pou etyst, gape not to wyde
And son, beware, I rede, of 5 on thyng,
And yif thi lorde drynk at þat tyde,
Be it at Evyne, be it at noone,
Vpon þi trencher no fyllthe pou sce,'
Ne drynk 10 behynde no mannes bakke,
And chese come forthe, 12 be not to gredy, '3
Caste not pi bones ynto the flore,
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
3 that noo A be in euery
5 be ware of
7 mete not
9 be sene 8 morowe, (and omits next line.) 10 Drynke pou not
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.
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,
When þi better schewys his wylle,
When pou spekes to Any mane,
And luke pou vppe in to his face, 68 And curtase be in euery place.
With pi fynger schew pou no thynge,
Yff Any man sey welle of þe,
Haue few wordes, & wysly sette,
Vse no suerynge noper lyenge, 76 Yn thi sellynge & thi byenge,
Fore & pou do pou arte to blame,
Gete pi gowd with trewe[t]h & wynne, 80 And kepe þe out of dette & synne.
Be loth to greue, & leffe to ples;
Offe whome pou spekes, where & when, 84 A-vyse be welle, & to what men.
When þou commys vn to A dore,
Wer-euer þou commys, speke honestly 88 To ser or dame, or per meny.
Stand, & sytte not furth-with-alle
Where he bydis, per must pou sytte, 92 And fore none oper change ne flyte;
Sytt vp-ryght And honestly,
Parte with hem þat sytes pe by, 96 Thus teches be dame curtasy.
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 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,
be saide vnto þe ende,
Let the more worthy þan? thow
And spitte not yn pi basyne,
And aryse up soft & stylle,5
But take pi leve of the hede 6 lowly,
And alle pe gentyllis' togydre yn-same,
And he pat dispiseth this techyng,
Nether at 10 good mannes tabulle to sitte, 100 Ner 12 of no worshipe for to wytte.
And therfore, chyldren, for 13 charyte,
And pray for hym þat made it thus, 15
To lyve & dye among his frendes,
and then men will
Children, love this little book, and
pray that Jesus may help its author to die among his friends, and not be troubled with devils,
5 And ryse with hym that sate with the stylle,
Aftyr, Iangely not with lacke ne gylle.
10 Neuyr at a
11 for to 12 Nothyr
Say ye alle Amen for charyde in euery syde.