Obrazy na stronie

Take salt with a clean knife;

talk no scandal, but speak well of all. Hear and see; don't talk.

Be satisfied with what's set before you.

Wipe your mouth before you drink; keep your fingers and lips clean.

Don't speak with your mouth full,

Take pe salt with thi clene knyfe;
Be cold of spech, & make no stryfe ;

Bakbyte no man þat is A-weye, 100 Be glad of Alle men wele to sey.

Here & se, & sey thou nought,
Than schall pou not to profe be brought.

With mete & drynke be-fore pe sette, 104 Hold be plesyd, & aske no bette.

Wype thi mouthe when pou wyll drinke,
Lest it foule thi copys brinke ;

Kepe clene thi fyngeres, lypes, & chine, 108 Fore pou may thi wyrschype wynne.

Yn þi mouth when þi mete is,
To drinke, or speke, or lauzh, I-wys

Dame curtasy fore-bydes it the:
112 Bot prayse thi fare, wer-so-euer pou be,

Fore be it gode or be it badde,
Yn gud worth it muste be had.

When þou spytes, be welle were 116 Where to pou spytes, nyze or fere ;

Hold þi hand be-fore thi mouth
When pou spytes, & hyde it couth.

Kepe þi knyfe both clene & scherpe, 120 And be not besy forto kerpe;

Clens pi knyfe with some cutte bred,
Not with thi cloth, As I þe rede :

With Any fylth to fowle pe clothe, 124 A curtase mane he wylle be lothe.

In pi dysch sette not þi spone,
Noper on be brynke, os vn-lernyd done.

When pou sopys, make no no[y]se 128 With thi mouth As do boys.

The mete pat on þi trencher is,
Putte it not in-to bi dysch.

Gete pe sone A-voyde,
132 And sone A-voyd þou thi trenchere.

Praise your food; for whether it's good or bad, it must be taken in good part. Mind where you spit, and put your hand before your mouth,

Keep your knife clean,

and don't wipe it on the cloth.

Don't put your spoon in the dish, or make a noise, like boys, when you sup.

Don't put meat off your plate into the dish,

but be in joy for ever. Amen!

And geve vs grace yn Ioy to be; 108 Amen, Amen, for charytee !16

Explicit, lerne or be lewde

quod Whytyng 11

17 AMEN.

Here endyth the boke of Curtesy that ys fulle necessary vnto yonge chyldryn that muste nedys lerne the maner of curtesy.


If your superior hands you a cup, drink,

but take the cup with two hands,

When he speaks
to you, doff your
cap and bend your
Don't scratch
yourself at table,

wipe your nose,

When thi better take be tho coppe,
Drinke thi selffe, & sette it vppe,

Take tho coppe with thi hondes 136 Lest it falle per As pou stondes.

When thi better spekes to the,
Do offe thi cape & bow pi kne.

At thi tabull noper crache ne claw, 140 Than men wylle sey pou arte A daw.

Wype not thi nose nor þi nos-thirlys,
Than mene wylle sey pou come of cherlys.

Make pou noßer cate ne hond 144 Thi felow at pou tabull round;

Ne pleye with spone, trenchere, ne knyffe.
Yn honesty & clenys lede pou thi lyffe.

This boke is made for chylde zonge 148 At the scowle þat byde not longe :

Sone it may be conyd & had,
And make them gode iff bei be bad.

God gyffe them grace, vertuos to be, 152 Fore than þei may both thryff & the.

Amen! quod Kate.

or play with your spoon, &c,

This book is for young children who don't stay long at school.

God grant them grace to be virtuous !

Stans Puer ad Mensam.


[MS. Harl. 2251, : about 1460 A.D., fol. 153 or 148. The parts between brackets [ ], and various readings, are from Mr Halliwell's print in Reliquiæ Antiquæ, v. 1, p. 156-8, of a 15thcentury MS. Q. T. 8, fol. 77, r°, in the Library of Jesus College, Cambridge.]

[My dere childe, first thiself enable With all thin herte to vertuous disciplyne

Afor thi soverayne standing at the table,
4 Dispose thi youth aftir my doctryne

To all norture thi corage to enclyne.
First when thu spekist be not rekles,
Kepe feete and fingeris and handes still in pese.]


E symple of chiere, cast nat thyn ye aside,
Agenst the post lete nat thy bak abyde ;

Gaase nat aboute, tournyng ouer alle ;
Make nat thi myrrour also of the walle,
12 Pyke nat thy nose, and in especialle

Be right wele ware, and sette hieron thi thought,
By-fore thy souerayne cracche no rubbe nought.

Who spekithe to the in any maner place, 16 Rudely cast nat thyn ye 2 adowne,

But with a sadde chiere loke hym in the face ;
Walke demurely by strete in the towne,

Advertise the withe wisdom and Reasoune. 20 Withe dissolute laughters do thow non offence

To-fore thy souerayn, whiles he is in presence. 1 Rel. Ant., Lumbisshly

2 bede

The Book of Curteisie

That is Clepid
Stans Puer ad Mensam.

(Lambeth MS. 853, ab. 1430 A.D., page 150, back.

Part written as prose.]

Mi dere sone, first

dere sone, first þi silf able
with al bin herte to vertuose discipline,-

A-fore þi souereyn stondinge at þe table 4 Dispose pou þee aftir my doctryne-

To al nortur þi corage to encline.
First while pou spekist, be not richelees ;
Kepe bobe fyngir and hond stille in pees.

When you stand before your sovereign,

speak not recklessly, and keep your hands still.

[Page 151.]

Don't stare about,

8 Be symple in cheer; caste not þi looke a-side,

gase not about, turnynge pi sizt oueral.
azen þe post lete not þi bak abide,

neiper make þi myrrour also of þe wal. 12 Pike not þi nose ; & moost in especial

be weel waar, sette her-on þi pouzt,
to-fore þi souereyn cratche ne picke þee nouzt.

lean against a post, look at the wall, pick your nose, or scratch yourself.

When spoken to, don't lumpishly look at the ground.

Who-so speke to pee in ony maner place, 16 lumpischli caste not þin heed a-doun,

but with a sad cheer loke him in þe face.
walke demurely bi streetis in þe toun,

And take good hede bi wisdom & resoun
20 þat bi no wantowne lauzinge pou do noon offence

To-fore și souereyne while he is in presence.

Walk demurely in the streets,

and don't laugh before your lord.

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