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Don't stretch your arms, lean back,

score the table,

or lean on it.

Eat what is set before you.

Don't stare about

or wag your head,

Stretch thee not at the Table, 316 nor leane not forth thy back.

Afore thy meat, nor afterward,

with knyfe scortche not the Boorde;

Such toyes are not commendable, 320 trust thou me at a woorde.

Leane not vpon the Boord when that

your mayster is thereat,

For then will all your Elders thinke 324 you be with him Iack mate.

Be not ashamed to eate the meate

which is set before thee;

Mannerly for to take it, friend, 328 agreeth with curtesye.

Cast not thyne eyes to ne yet fro,

as thou werte full of toyes :

Vse not much wagging with thy head, 332 it scarce becommeth boyes.

Scratch not thy head, nor put thou not

thy fynger in thy mouth :

Blow not thy nose, nor looke thereon ; 336 to most men it is loath.

Be not lowde where you be, nor at

the Table where you syt;

Some men will deeme thee dronken, 340 mad, or else to lack thy wit.

When meate is taken quyte awaye,

and voyders in presence,

Put you your trenchour in the same, 344 and all your resydence.

Take you with your napkin and knyfe

the croms that are fore thee;

In the Voyder your Napkyn leaue,

for it is curtesye.
Be gentle alway, and glad to please,

be it night or daye ;

scratch it, or put your finger in your mouth.

Don't look at what
comes out of your
or break wind.

When the table is cleared,

put your trencher and leavings in the Voider,

with your napkin and the crumbs.

Be glad to please

When the cloth is cleared,

hear Grace,
and wash.

During Grace make no noise,

but thank God.

Rise from table,

say to your companions, "Much good do it ye,"

Wyth tongue nor hand, no rygor vse, 352 let reason rule alwaye.

When that the meate is taken vp,

and the Table cloath made cleane,

Then giue good eare to heare some grace, 356 to washe your selfe demeane.

And whyle that grace is saying, friend,

looke that ye make no noyse,

And thanke you God for your good fare, 360

him as your soueraigne prayse. When ye begin from boorde to ryse,

say to your fellowes all,

“Much good do it ye,” gently: then 364 they curteous will


Then goe you to your Soueraygne,

giue him obeysaunce duely :

That done, withdraw your selfe asyde; 368 at no tyme prooue vnruely.

If ye see men in counsell set,

prease not to come to neare;

They will say that you are yntaughte 372

if you to them giue eare.
Whysper not thou with thy fellowes oft,

giue thou no euill language;

Men are suspicious found, and wyll 376

thinke it no good vsage.
Laugh not to much at the Table,

nor at it make no game :

Voyde slaunderous and bawdy tales, 380 vse them not for shame.

Or thou be olde, beware, I rid,

least thou doe get a fall :

If ye be honest in your youth, 384 in age ye may be lyberall.

bow to your
Master, and

Go not too near men consulting together.

Don't whisper to people,

or laugh too much at table.

Tell no bawdy stories.

Take care lest you get a fall.

for the Wayting Seruaunt.

If ye will be a Seruingman,

Serve God first.


Dress according to your degree.


Make friends with honest men in authority.


Seek for pure friendship

with attendaunce doe begin : Fyrst serue God, then the worlde,

and euer flye from sinne. Apparell thee after thy degree,

youth should be cleane by kynde : Pryde and disdayne goes before,

and shamefastnes behynde.
Aquaynte your selfe with honest men

that are in authorytye ;
Of them may you learne in youth

to auoyde all necessitye.
Still search thou must for friendship pure,

and beware of flattery :
With lewde persons, I thee counsell,

haue no familyaryty.
Beholde not thy selfe in thy Apparell,

in church, ne in Streete;
To gase on thy selfe, men will thinke

it is a thing vnmeete.
Crye, ne yet speake, with to lowd voyce

whereas thou doest walke,
For lyght-witted or dronken, sure,

men will name thee in talke.
Be not thou slothfull, for it is

the gouernour of all vyce ; Nor be enuyous to any,

for then ye be not wyse.


Don't look too much at your clothes,


or talk too loud.


Don't be slothful

or envious.


Avoid Sloth,

which makes flesh rank.

If he whom you visit

is at dinner,

go away.

If you are

be liberal,

but practise
moderation in all
Don't spend all
your income:



Please thy friends ; delight not in sloth;

that Vyce wasteth goods,

It dulleth wits, ranckleth flesh, 32 and palleth ofte fresh bloods.

If you come to another mans house

to sporte and to playe,

If the goodman be set at meate, 36 returne, and go your way.

If case thou be aduaunced, friend,

and plaste in high degree,

Be lyberall and gentle found, 40 beloued shalt thou bee.

Be not to liberall nor to scant,

vse measure in eche thing :
To get in one yeare, and spend it in

another, is no lyuing.
It is better to saue somewhat

with good prouysion,
Then to wish agayne for that is spent,

for that doth breede deuysion.
Measure expence, spend warily,

and flye farre from excesse :

Inough is a feast; more then ynough 52 is counted foolishnesse.

A dilligent seruaunt taking payne

for his mayster truth to show,

No doubt his mayster will consyder, 56 and agayne for him doe,

A mayster will know where he is,

and sometyme for his pleasure

A seruaunt to suffer in anger, 60 to his mayster is a treasure;

A seruaunt not reformable, that

takes to his charge no heede,

Ofte tymes falleth to pouertye, 64 in wealth he may not byde.


Spend warily, avoid excess.

Enough is a feast.

A truthful servant will be rewarded,

and one who will put up with anger is a treasure.

A careless servant

cannot be rich.

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Be manly at neede, begin no quarrell

in wrong, ne yet in right;
A iust quarrell defendes it selfe;

in wrong doe not fyght.
Forbeare if thou mayst : if any

stryke, then take thou heede,
Defend thy selfe ; the law will aquyte

thee if thou stand in neede ;
A man of his handes with hastynesse

should at no tyme be fylde :
Auoyde murther, saue thy selfe,

play the man, being compelde.
Be seruiceable and cleanly,

and neuer sweare thou oath :
Be wyse, ready, and well aduysed,

for tyme tryeth thy troth :
If case thou be not faythfull found,

and in all thinges trusty,
Thou doest thy mayster no worship

nor thy selfe honesty.
Be not checkmate with thy mayster;

for one word giue not fower;
Such a seruaunt contynueth to long

if he passe but one hower. Few wordes in a seruaunt wyse

deserueth commendation;
Such Seruauntes as be of to muche speeche

are yll of operation.
Be not to bold with men that be

aboue thee in degree,
In age, byrth, or substance ; learne thou

to handfast honesty.
Take payne in youth, be quick,

attendaunt be, and wyse :
Be dilligent for to detecte

a seruaunt gyuen to vyce.

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