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The boke of Curtasue.
HEre begynnethe be fyrst boke of curtasye.
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.
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;
If the first meal is
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
1 Toom or rymthe. Spacium, tempus, oportunitas. P. Parv.
Sitthen to po left honde þy neghe pou cast;
Take hede to zomon on þy ryght honde,
In myddys þe halle opon pe flore,
And bydde the sitte, or to borde the lede.
Loke pou be hynde 3 and lytulle of worde.
Pare þy brede and kerue in two,
In fowre pou kutt þo ouer dole,
Sithen kutt þo nether crust in thre,
And lay thy trenchour þe be-fore,
Spare brede or wyne, drynke or ale,
Or ellis a gloten þat alle men wytes,
Loke þy naylys ben clene in blythe,
Byt not on thy breile and lay hit doun,-
But breke as myehe as pou wylle ete,
In peese pou ete, and euer eschewe
Yf pou make mawes on any wyse,
Put your trencher
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.
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
An apys mow men sayne he makes,
Yf any mañ speke þat tyme to the,
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,
bou shalle not lauzhe ne speke no þynge
Noper potage ne oper þynge.
Let not bi spone stond in þy dysche,
Ne lay hit not on thy dishe syde,
Loke no browynge on þy fyngur þore 76 Defoule pe clothe be be-fore.
In þi dysche yf þou wete þy brede,
To cast agayne þy dysche in-to ;
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
[p. 27, bot.)
Dry your mouth before you drink.
Don't call for a dish once removed,
or spit on the
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
Tell no tale
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,
While pou holdes mete in mouthe, be war
And sais pou may be choket at þat byt;
Yf hit go þy wrang throte into,
Ne telle pou neuer at borde no tale
For if he then with holde his methe ?,
Avoide pe cat at on bare worde,
For yf pou stroke cat oper dogge,
Also eschewe, with-outen stryfe,
Ne blow not on þy drynke ne mete,
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,
Ne bacwarde sittande gyf nozt þy cupe,
Bidde pi frende take cuppe and drynke,
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,
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,
After mete when pou shalt wasshe,
Ne spit not lorely, for no kyn mede, 136 Be-fore no mon of god for drede.
Who so euer despise bis lessoun ryzt,
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.
F that pou be a zong enfaunt,
If you go to
This lessoun schalle þy maistur þe merke, you shall learn : 144 Croscrist þe spede in alle þi werke ;
1. Cross of Christ,
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.