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The boke of Curtasue.

HEre begynnethe be fyrst boke of curtasye.

(Fol. 12.)

Q

may learn

it.

Wo so wylle of curtasy lere,

In this book you In this boke he may hit here !

Courtesy. Yf thow be gentylmon, zomon, or knaue, Every one needs 4 The nedis nurture for to haue. When thou comes to a lordis zate,

On reaching a

Lord's gate, give The porter pou shalle fynde ther-ate;

the Porter your

weapon, and ask Take hym thow shalt þy wepyn tho,

leave to go in. 8 And aske hym leue in to go

To speke with lorde, lady, squyer, or grome.
Ther-to the nedys to take the tome ';
For yf he be of loghe degre,

If the master is of

low degree, he 12 Than hym falles to come to the;

will come to you;

if of high, the Yf he be gentylmon of kyn,

Porter will take The porter wille lede the to hym.

you to him. When thow come tho halle dor to,

At the Hall-door,

take off your hood 16 Do of thy hode, thy gloues also;

and gloves.

If the first meal is
Yf po halle be at the furst mete,

beginning,
This lessoun loke thow nozt for-zete:
he stuard, countroller, and tresurere,

greet the Steward,

&c., at the dais, 20 Sittand at de deshe, pou haylse in fere.

bow to the GentleWithiñ þe halle sett on ayther side,

men on each side Sitten other gentylmen as falles pat tyde;

of the hall, Enclyne pe fayre to hom also, 24 First to the ryzht honde pou shalle

go,

both right

1 Toom or rymthe. Spacium, tempus, oportunitas. P. Parv.

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Sitthen to po left honde þy neghe pou cast;
To hom þou boghe withouten wrast';

Take hede to zomon on þy ryght honde,
28 And sithen byfore the screne þou stonde

In myddys þe halle opon pe flore,
Whille marshalle or vssher come fro þe dore,

And bydde the sitte, or to borde the lede.
32 Be stabulle of chere for menske?, y rede;
1 Yf he þe sette at gentilmonnes borde,

Loke pou be hynde 3 and lytulle of worde.

Pare þy brede and kerue in two,
36 Tho ouer crust po nether fro;

In fowre pou kutt þo ouer dole,
Sett hom to-gedur as hit where hole;

Sithen kutt þo nether crust in thre,
40 And turne hit down, lerne pis at me.

And lay thy trenchour þe be-fore,
And sitt vp-ryght for any sore.

Spare brede or wyne, drynke or ale,
44 To thy messe of kochyn be sett in sale ;
| Lest men sayne pou art hongur beten,

Or ellis a gloten þat alle men wytes,

Loke þy naylys ben clene in blythe,
48 Lest þy felaghe lothe ther-wyth.

Byt not on thy breile and lay hit doun,-
That is no curteyse to vse in towñ ;-

But breke as myehe as pou wylle ete,
52 The remelant to pore pou shalle lete.

In peese pou ete, and euer eschewe
To flyte 4 at borde; þut may be rewe.

Yf pou make mawes on any wyse,
56 A velany pou kacches or euer pou rise.

Put your trencher

before you,

and don't eat or drink till your Mess is brought from the kitchen, lest you be thought started or a glutton. Have your nails clean.

Don't bite your bread,

but break it,

Don't quarrel at table,

or make grimaces.

2

I AS. uræsten, to writhe, twist.

grace, civility; from AS. mennisc, human ; cp. our double sense of humanity. H. Coleridge. 3 courteous.

4 AS. Aytan, dispute, quarrel. 6 Mowe, or skorne. Vangia, vel valgia, cachinna. Promptorius.

[Fol. 13.) Don't cram your cheeks out with food like an ape,

for if any one should speak to you, you can't answer, but must wait,

Don't eat on both sides of your mouth. Don't laugh with your mouth full,

or sup up your potage noisily.

Don't leave your spoon in the dish or on its side,

Let neuer þy cheke be Made to grete
With morselle of brede þat þou shalle ete ;

An apys mow men sayne he makes,
60 bat brede and flesshe in hys cheke bakes.

Yf any mañ speke þat tyme to the,
And þou schalle onsware, hit wille not be

But waloande, and a-byde pou most ; 64 þat is a schame for alle the host.

On bothe halfe þy mouthe, yf þat þou ete,
Mony a skorne shalle pou gete.

bou shalle not lauzhe ne speke no þynge
68 Whille pi mouthe be fulle of mete or drynke ;
| Ne suppe not with grete sowndynge

Noper potage ne oper þynge.

Let not bi spone stond in þy dysche,
72 Wheþer þou be serued with fleshe or fische ;

Ne lay hit not on thy dishe syde,
But clense hit honestly with-outen pride.

Loke no browynge on þy fyngur þore 76 Defoule pe clothe be be-fore.

In þi dysche yf þou wete þy brede,
Loke þer-of þat nozt be lede

To cast agayne þy dysche in-to ;
80 bou art vn-hynde yf þou do so.
| Drye þy mouthe ay wele and fynde

When pou schalle drynke oper ale or wyne.

Ne calle pou nozt a dysche a-zayne, 84 þat ys take fro pe borde in playne; | Zif þou sp[i]tt ouer the borde, or elles opoñ,

bou schalle be holden an vncurtayse mon ;

Yf þy nown dogge pou scrape or clawe, 88 Dat is holden a vyse emong men knawe. | Yf þy nose pou clense, as may be-falle,

Loke þy honde pou clense, as wythe-alle,

Priuely with skyrt do hit away, 92 Oper ellis thurghe thi tepet þat is so gay.

but clean your
spoon,
Let no dirt off
your fingers soil

[p. 27, bot.)
the cloth.
Don't put into the
dish bread that
you have once
bitten.

Dry your mouth before you drink.

Don't call for a dish once removed,

or spit on the
table:
that's rude.
Don't scratch
your dog.

If you blow your nose, clean your hard ; wipe it with your skirt or put it through your tippet.

Don't pick your teeth at meals,

or drink with food in your mouth,

as you may get
choked,
or killed, by its
stopping your
wind.

Tell no tale
to harm or shame
your companions.

Don't stroke the cat or dog.

Don't dirty the table cloth with your knife. Don't blow on your food,

Clense not thi tethe at mete sittande,
With knyfe ne stre, styk ne wande.

While pou holdes mete in mouthe, be war
96 To drynke, þat is an-honest 'char,
| And also fysike for-bedes hit,

And sais pou may be choket at þat byt;

Yf hit go þy wrang throte into,
100 And stoppe þy wynde, pou art fordo.

Ne telle pou neuer at borde no tale
To harme or shame þy felawe in sale ;

For if he then with holde his methe ?,
104 Eftsons he wylle forcast þi dethe.
| Where-sere pou sitt at mete in borde,

Avoide pe cat at on bare worde,

For yf pou stroke cat oper dogge,
108 bou art lyke an ape teyzed with a clogge.

Also eschewe, with-outen stryfe,
To foule pe borde clothe with pi knyfe ;

Ne blow not on þy drynke ne mete,
112 Neper for colde, neþer for hete;
! With mete ne bere þy knyfe to mowthe,

Wheþer þou be sett be strong or couthe ;

Ne with po borde clothe pi tethe pou wype, 116 Ne þy nyen þat rennen rede, as may betyde. TYf pou sitt by a ryzht good man,

bis lesson loke pou þenke apon:

Vndur his thezghe þy kne not pit,
120 bou ar fulle lewed yf þou dose hit.

Ne bacwarde sittande gyf nozt þy cupe,
Noper to drynke, noper to suppe;

Bidde pi frende take cuppe and drynke,
124 bat is holden an honest thyng.
| Lene not on elbowe at þy mete,

Noper for colde ne for hete;

or put your knife in your mouth,

or wipe your teeth

(Fol. 14.) or eyes with the table cloth. If you sit by a good man,

don't put your knee under his thigh. Don't hand your cup to any one with your back towards him.

Don't lean on your elbow,

1

an privative, unhonest.

2 AS. mod, mood, passion, violence. or dip your thumb into your drivk, or your food into the salt cellar :

That is a vice,

Dip not þi thombe þy drynke into, 128 bou art vncurtayse yf bou hit do ; [ In salt saler yf þat þou pit

Oper fisshe or flesshe þat men may wyt,

bat is a vyce, as men me telles,
132 And gret wonder hit most be elles.

After mete when pou shalt wasshe,
Spitt not in basyn, ne water pou dasshe;

Ne spit not lorely, for no kyn mede, 136 Be-fore no mon of god for drede.

Who so euer despise bis lessoun ryzt,
At borde to sitt he hase no myzt.

Here endys now oure fyrst talkyng, 140 Crist graunt vs alle his dere blessyng!

Don't spit in the basin you wash in

or loosely (?) before a man of God.

Here endithe þe (first] boke of curtasye.

THE SECOND BOOK.

YA

school

F that pou be a zong enfaunt,

If you go to
And thenke po scoles for to haunt,

This lessoun schalle þy maistur þe merke, you shall learn : 144 Croscrist þe spede in alle þi werke ;

1. Cross of Christ,
Sytthen þy pater noster he wille pe teche, 2. Pater Noster,
As cristes owne postles con preche;
Aftur þy Aue maria and þi crede,

8. Hail Mary and

the Creed, 148 þat shalle be saue at dome of drede ; I Theñ aftur to blesse be with þe trinité,

4. In the name of

the Trinity, In nomine patris teche he wille þe;

ben with marke, mathew, luke, and Ion, 5. of the Apostles, 152 With þe per crucis and the hegh name; T To schryue be in general pou schalle lere 6. the Confession.

by Confiteor and misereatur in fere.

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