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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;
Bakbyte no man þat is A-weye, 100 Be glad of Alle men wele to sey.
Here & se, & sey thou nought,
With mete & drynke be-fore pe sette, 104 Hold be plesyd, & aske no bette.
Wype thi mouthe when pou wyll drinke,
Kepe clene thi fyngeres, lypes, & chine, 108 Fore pou may thi wyrschype wynne.
Yn þi mouth when þi mete is,
Dame curtasy fore-bydes it the:
Fore be it gode or be it badde,
When þou spytes, be welle were 116 Where to pou spytes, nyze or fere ;
Hold þi hand be-fore thi mouth
Kepe þi knyfe both clene & scherpe, 120 And be not besy forto kerpe;
Clens pi knyfe with some cutte bred,
With Any fylth to fowle pe clothe, 124 A curtase mane he wylle be lothe.
In pi dysch sette not þi spone,
When pou sopys, make no no[y]se 128 With thi mouth As do boys.
The mete pat on þi trencher is,
Gete pe sone A-voyde,
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
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
wipe your nose,
When thi better take be tho coppe,
Take tho coppe with thi hondes 136 Lest it falle per As pou stondes.
When thi better spekes to the,
At thi tabull noper crache ne claw, 140 Than men wylle sey pou arte A daw.
Wype not thi nose nor þi nos-thirlys,
Make pou noßer cate ne hond 144 Thi felow at pou tabull round;
Ne pleye with spone, trenchere, ne knyffe.
This boke is made for chylde zonge 148 At the scowle þat byde not longe :
Sone it may be conyd & had,
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.
ASCRIBED TO JOHN LIDGATE.
[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,
To all norture thi corage to enclyne.
E symple of chiere, cast nat thyn ye aside,
Gaase nat aboute, tournyng ouer alle ;
Be right wele ware, and sette hieron thi thought,
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 ;
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
The Book of Curteisie
That is Clepid
(Lambeth MS. 853, ab. 1430 A.D., page 150, back.
Part written as prose.]
Mi dere sone, first
dere sone, first þi silf able
A-fore þi souereyn stondinge at þe table 4 Dispose pou þee aftir my doctryne-
To al nortur þi corage to encline.
When you stand before your sovereign,
speak not recklessly, and keep your hands still.
Don't stare about,
8 Be symple in cheer; caste not þi looke a-side,
gase not about, turnynge pi sizt oueral.
neiper make þi myrrour also of þe wal. 12 Pike not þi nose ; & moost in especial
be weel waar, sette her-on þi pouzt,
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.
And take good hede bi wisdom & resoun
To-fore și souereyne while he is in presence.
Walk demurely in the streets,
and don't laugh before your lord.