The Book of the Knight of the Tower

The Book of the Knight of the Tower  (1371) 
by Geoffroy de la Tour Landry, translated by William Caxton

One daughter, Marie de la Tour-Landry, married on 1 November, 1391 Gilles Clerembault, the son of her father's second wife by her former husband. Marie de la Tour left no issue, and may have died by 1400, as in that year Clerembault himself married a second wife." This edition contains only half the book, one of the translators electing to leave out portions that discuss topics such as a woman escaping rape, or scandalous sex resulting in public shame.

CAXTON'S PREFACE.

ALLE vertuouse doctryne techynge had & lerned of suche as haue endeuoured them to leue for a remembraunce after theyr dethe to vs, by whiche we ben enfourmed in scyence, wysedom, and vnderstandyng of knowleche, hou we ought to rewle our self in this present lyf, haue caused vs to know many good reules & vertuouse maners to be gouerned by. Emonge al other this book is a special doctryne & techyng, by which al yong gentyl wymen specially may lerne to bihaue them self vertuously, as wel in their vyrgynyte as in their wedlok & wedowhede, as al along shal be more playnly said in the same; which boke is comen to my handes by the request and desyre of a noble lady which hath brougt forth many noble & fayr douzters which ben vertuously nourisshed & lerned; and for very ziele & loue that she hath alway had to her fayr children, & yet hath for to haue more knouleche in vertue, to thēde y they may alwey perseuere in same, hath desired & required me to träslate & reduce this said book out of frenssh in to our vulgar englissh, to thëde that it may the better be vnderstöde of al suche as shal rede or here it. Wherfor, atte cotemplacion of her good grace, after the lytel connyng that god hath sent me, I have endeuoyred me to obeye her noble desyre & request, in whiche werk i fynd many vertuous good enseygnementis & lernynges, by euydent histories of auctorite & good ensāples for al maner peple in generally, but a in especial for ladyes & gentilwymen, dougters to lordes & gentilmen: for whiche book al the gentilwymen now lyuyng & herafter to come or shal be, arn bounde to gyue laude, praysyng, & thankynges to the auctor of this book, & also to the lady that caused me to traslate it, & to pray for her long lyf & welfare, &, when god wil calle her fro this transitory lyf, that she may regne in heuen sempiternally, where as is loye & blysse without ende. Thene, fo as moche as this book is necessary to euery gentilwoman, of what estate she be, i aduyse euery gentilman or woman, hauyng such children, desyryng them to be vertuously brougt forth, to gete & haue this book, to thende that they may lerne hou they ouzt to gouerne them vertuously in this present lyf, by whiche they may the better & hastlyer come to worship and good renommee. And I desyre all them that shall lerne or see ony thynge in this sayd book, by whiche they shal ben the wyser & better, that they gyue laude & thákyng to the sayd ladyes good grace, and also to praye for her; and where as ony defaulte shalle be founde in the reducynge and translatynge in to our Englysshe tongue, that it be arrettid to me, whíche am Ignoraunt and not expert in the werke, thout so be that I haue emprysed here to fore to smatre me in suche translacions, whiche I confesse and knowleche me ignoraunt and therin to be Imperfect. Wherfore I humbly requyre and byseche my sayd good lady to pardonne me of my symple and rude reducynge, and yf ony thynge be sayd or made vnto her playsyre, than I thynke my labour wel employed, whome i humbly byseche to receyue this lytel book in gree & thanke, & I shalle pray to almyghty god for her longe and good lyf, and to send to her after this shorte and transytory lyf euerlastyng lyf in heuen. Amen. And alle other that be vnderstandyng & fyndyng ony defaute, i requyre and pray them of theyre charyte to correcte and amende hit, and so doyng they shal deserve thanke and meryte of god, to whome I shalle pray for them.

HERE FOLOWETH THE TABLE OF THE RUBRYSHES AND THE CHAPYTRES OF THE BOOKE OF THENSEYGNEMENTES AND TECHYNGE THAT THE KNYGHT OF THE TOWRE MADE TO HIS DOUGHTERS.

EXPLICIT.


How god ought to be honoured to fore al other thyngesEdit

    15th century translation     Modern English
HERE FOLOWETH THE BOOK OF THENSYGNEMENS AND TECHYNGES OF THE KNYGHT OF THE TOURE. AND FIRST, HOW GOD OUGHT TO BE HONOURED ABOUE ALL THYNGES.

It is moche fayre and ryght a noble thyng for to see and beholde thauncyent hystoryes whiche haue ben wreton of oure predecessours for to shewe to vs good ensamples and to aduertyse vs how we may see the good dedes that they folowed and teschewe the euyll, as may be sene that they eschewed. Thenne I shalle speke and saye to them thus: My ryght dere doughters, for as moche as I am old, and that I haue sene the world more lenger than ye haue, I shall shewe to yow a partye of the world after my scyence, which is not ouer grete. But the grete loue that j have to yow, and the desyre that I haue that ye torne youre hertes and youre thoughtes to drede god and to serue hym, by whiche ye may gete wele and honoure in this world and in that other. For certeynly al the very wele, honoure, and al thoneste of man and of woman cometh of hym, and of the grace of his hooly spyryte, and also gyueth long lyf and shorte in worldly and erthely thynges, suche as hit plesyth hym, for alle thyng falleth at his playsyre and ordynaunce, and also gyueth for all suche wele and seruyce as is done to hym an honderd fold double. And therfore, my right dere doughters, it is good to serue suche a lord, whiche rewarded an hondred fold double.

It is quite fair and right, as well as a noble thing to see and behold, the ancient histories which have been written about our predecessors to show us good examples and to advise us how we may see the good deeds which they followed - and to eschew the evil, as evidenced that they eschewed it. Then I shall speak and say to them thus: My right dear daughters, inasmuch as I am old and that I have seen the world longer than you hae, I shall show to you a party of the world from my understanding, which is not overly much. But the great love that I have towards you, and the desire that I have that you turned your hearts and your thoughts to fear God and to serve him, by which you may get wellness and honour in this world and in the world to come. For certainly, all the very well, honoured and honest of men and women come to Him, and by the grace of His holy spirit, and He gives long life and short in earthly, worldly things, such as it pleases Him, for all things fall at his pleasure and ordinance. He also gives to all a hundredfold, doubled, for their wellness and service to Him. And therefore, my right daughters, it is good to serve such a Lord who rewards a hundredfold, doubled.


What sholde be done whanne one is fyrst wakedEdit

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HOW WE OUGHT TO SAYE OURE HOURES AND PRAYERS.

Fayre doughters, whan ye ryse oute of youre bedde, thenne entre in to the seruyse of the hyhe lord, and begyn ye your matyns. This ought be youre first werk and your firste labour. And when ye shal say them, saye ye them with good herte, thynke ye on none other thyng yf ye may; for ye may not goo two weyes at ones, for ye must goo that one or that other. Thus is it of the seruyce of god, for as the wyseman saith in sapyence, "As moche auayleth it hym that redeth & vnderstōdeth not, as doth to hym that hunteth and taketh not." And therfore he that thynketh on erthely thynges, and seyth his Pater noster or prayers that toucheth heuēly thynges, doth a thyng that is contrary. And it proufyteth not; it is not but for to mocke god. And therfore saith the hooly scripture, that the short prayer perceth heuen; but that is to saye that more auayleth a short prayer and said with good herte and deuoutely, than a grete and longe prayer and to thynke on other thynges. And when more is said deuoutely, than is it more worthe, and more deseruyth he meryte. And yet seith the hooly scripture, that lyke as the swete dewe of Maye and of Aprylle pleseth moche vnto the erthe and attempreth it swetely in makyng to germyne and fructyfye, ryght so ben the heures and prayers deuoutely said playsaunt to fore god. Thenne ye shall fynde in many places and specially in the legēde of hooly confessours, of vyrgyns and of other hooly wymmen whiche made her beddes of hard and roughe thynges, and laye theron for to slepe the lasse & to haue the lasse reste, for to wepe ofte and many tymes to wake for to entre in to prayers and in the seruyce of god, wherin they held hem day and nyght. And for that seruyce and laboure haue they goten, as it is shewed openly to the world, that they ben in the hooly ioye with hym by that that he doth for them euydent myracles. For thus god rewardeth the seruyce that is done to hym an honderd fold double, as I haue seid to fore. And therfore, fayre doughters, saye your heures and prayers deuoutely, and with good herte, without thynkyng on ony other thynge, and beware that ye breke not your faste till that ye haue said youre matyns and heures, for a ful bely shal neuer be humble ne deuoute. Also see wel to that ye here alle the masses that ye maye here, for grete good shall come therof, whereof I shall saye an ensample of this matere.


Of themperour's doughters, one synfull and that other deuouteEdit

    15th century translation     Modern English


How the dede folke shalle be prayd foreEdit

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HOW WE OUGHT TO PRAYE FOR THEM THAT BEN DEDE.

It happed in suche wyse that this lord dyd do espye where as this Damoyselle was entred in to an hoole where as she entrid & rested there for drede of hym, & that was in a busshe. And she sayd vygylles for the dede men. And this grete lord entryd in to the hoole, and sawe her there, and wende anone to haue accomplysshyd his fowle delyte. But when he supposed to haue taken her, hym semed that he sawe more than ten thousand prysonners buryed that kepte her; and had of them so grete fere and drede anon he torned and fled, & sente to her word that for certayne he wolde neuer pursewe her more for suche fayte, and that she had ouer grete a companye that kepte her. And after he cam and spak to her and demaunded of her what was the grete companye that was with her. And she said that she knewe of no thyng at that tyme whan he cam, sauf that thēne she said the vygylle for them that were dede. And thenne thought the lord wel that they were they that kepte her. And therfor this is a fayre example to praye for them that ben departed oute of this world at al tymes.


How the matyns and prayers shold be saydEdit

    15th century translation     Modern English

HOW THE MATYNS AND HOURES OUGHT TO BE SAID.

  ND bycause that the fyrst werke and labour that man or woman ought to doo is for to adoure and worshipe oure lord and saye is seruyse; that is to understade, that as soone as he awaketh, he ought to knowleche hym for his lord and maker, and hym self to be his creature; that is to wete, to say, his matyns, houres, and his orysons, yf he be a clerk, and to rendre and yelde to hym thankynges & preysynges, as to say, laudate dominuomnes gentes, Bendicamus patrem et filium cum sancto spirita, or suche other thynges as yelde and gyue thankynges & preysynges vnto god. For it is a gretter thyng to thanke and blysse oure lord god than to requyre & demaunde him. For requeste demaunde yefte of guerdon; & thankynges and to yelde preysynges is thoffyce of angels, whiche alwey gyue thankynges, honoure, and preysyng vnto god. For it is better to thanke god than to requyre hym, by cause he knoweth better what is good for a man or a woman than they wote them self. After, we ought to praye for them that ben dede to fore we goo to slepe, and also the dede men praye for them that praye for hem. And also forgete not the blessid and swete Vyrgyne Marye, whiche nyght and day prayeth for vs, and also to recommaunde yow to the hooly sayntes of heuen. And when this is done, thenne maye ye well goo slepe, for this ought to be done as ofte as ye awake.


How yonge ladyes ought to doo abstynence and fasteEdit

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How yong ladyes ought to faste tyll they be maryedEdit

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HOW GOOD DOUGHTERS OUGHT TO FAST THEY BE MARYED.

ALSO, my dere doughters, ye ought to faste tyll that ye be maryed thre or foure dayes in the weke, for the better to adaunte your flesshe, that it meue not ouermoche, for to kepe yow more clene and holyly in the seruyce of god, whiche shal kepe and guerdome yow double. And yf ye may not faste the thre dayes, yet at the lest fast frydaye in thonoure of the precious blood and of the passion of jhesu crist that suffred deth for vs. And yf ye faste it not to brede & water, atte lest take no thyng that suffreth deth, for it is a moche good thyng: as I haue herd telle of a knyght, a moche noble man that was in a batayle of Crysten men ageynst the sarasyns. It happed that a Crysten man had his heede smyten of with a swerde, and spack after tyll that the preest cam and confessid hym. And he demaunded of hym for what meryte it was that he myzt speke withoute the body. And the hede answerd hym, that no goode dede was done to god, but that it gate grace, and that he had kepte the wednesdaye fro etyng of flesshe, in thonoure of the sone of god that was thenne sold, and the frydaye he ete no thyng that suffred deth; and for this seruyce god wold not that he shold be dampned, ne that he shold deye in dedely synne whereof he was not confessid. This is a moche fayre example, and ought to be remembryd, that such thynge as suffreth deth ought not be eten on the fryday. And also, my faire doughters, it is moche good to faste the saterday in thonoure of oure lady and of her hooly vyrgynyte, to thende that she gete grace for yow for to kepe clene youre vyrgynyte and youre chastyte in the grace of god, and in the loue of youre frendes, that none euyll temptacions ouer maystrye yow not, and hit is a grete vyctory ageynst the flesshe and a moche hooly thyng. And I say to yow for trouthe, that it shalle be to yow a lyght thyng yf ye acustomme yow therein, for it is but acustomaunce for to here the masse and the seruyce of god, for to say your houres, and to doo al other hooly werkes, as haue done these holy wymmen, lyke as it is conteyned in the legedis, and in the lyues of the sayntes of heuen.

How Good Daughters Ought to Fast Until They Are Married[1]


Also, my dear daughters, you ought to fast three or four days of the week until you are married, so as to better your flesh so that it pushes not overmuch, for to keep you more clean and holy in the service of God, who shall keep and repay you double. And if you may not fast the three days, yet at the least fast Friday in honour of the precoius blood and of the passion of Jesus Christ that suffered death for us. And if you fast it not to bread and water, at least eat nothing that suffers death, for it is a very good thing as I have heard tell of a knight, a very noble man that was in a battle of Christian men against the Saracens. It happened that a Christian man had his head smitten off with a sword and continued to speak until the priest came and gave him Confession. And the priest asked him for what merit it was, that he may speak without his body. And the head answered him that no good deed was done to God, but that it gave grace and that he had kept the Wednesday of eating of meat[2] in honour of the Son of God that was then sold, and the Friday he ate nothing that suffered death, and for this serice God would now not allowed that he should be dampened by dying with unconfessed sins. This is a very fair example, and ought to be remembered, that such things as suffer death should not be eaten on the Friday, and also my fair daughters, it is very good to fast the Saturday in honour of Our Lady and of her Holy Virginity, so then she gets grace for you to maintain your own virginity and your chastity in the Grace of God, and in the love of your friends that no evil temptations overpower you, and it is a great victory against the flesh and a ery holy thing. And I say to you for turth, that it shall be to you an easy thing if you accustom yourself to it, for it is but accustomance for to hear the Mass and the service of God, for to say your Hours and to do all other holy works, as these holy women hae done, like as it is contained in the legends and in the lives of the saints of Heaven.

  1. The title is different for the work, than listed in the contents
  2. unclear whether abstaining from meat Wednesday, or only eating meat on Wednesdays


Of a woman of folye that fylle in a pytteEdit

    15th century translation     Modern English
OF A COMYN WOMAN THAT WENTE TO SEE HER LOUE, AND FYLLE IN A PYTTE.

Thenne I wolde that ye knewe thexample of a folysshe woman that fasted the fryday, of whome I shall telle to yow the hystorye. Ther was a folysshe woman in the Cyte of Rome that alwey fasted the fryday in thonoure of the passyon of swete Ihesu Criste, and the saterday in thonoure of the Vyrgynyte of oure lady, and alwey these two dayes she kepte surely. Hit happed on a nyght that she went toward her loue, when it was derk, and sodenly, or she was ware, she felle in to a pytte whiche was twenty fadom depe. And as she was fallyng, she escryed with an hyhe voys, "Lady, helpe!" and she fylle vpon the water, and fond it hard as a plank. And there cam a voys to her that saide, "In thonoure of the vyrgyn Marye, and of her sone, for whome thou hast fasted, thou art saued. And fro hensforthe kepe thy body clene fro the synne of thy flesshe." And on the morn peple cam for to drawe water, and fond the woman in the pytte, oute wherof anone she was drawen vp and lete goo. And the peple merueyled moche how she was saued. And she said to them, how that a voys had said to her that it was for the fastynges that she had kept the fryday and saterday, as ye haue herd. And for this grace that god and the blessid Vyrgyn oure lady saynt Marye had done to her, she made a vowe to them, that she shold kepe her chaste and clene, and shold vse her lyf in the seruyce of god and of his chirche. And euer after, nyght and day, she serued in the chirche for to lyghte the torches, tapres, and lampes, and to kepe clene the chirche. Now on a nyght there cam to her a Vysyon, that she drewe and tooke oute of a donghylle a vessell, lyke to a plater of syluer. And when she beheld hit, she sawe therin many black spottes; and a voys cam sayeng, "Scoure and make clene this plater, and take awey the blak spottes so long tyll it be as clene and whyte as it was when it cam from the handes of the maystre goldsmythe. And this aduysyon cam to her thre tymes, and when she awoke, she remembryd her aduysyon to god. And when hit was hyhe day, she wente for to confesse her to an hooly man, and told to hym her aduysyon. And when the good man had herd all the maner, he said to her, "Fayre doughter, ye ar moche beholden to serue god, whan he wylle youre saluacion, and warneth and sheweth to yow how ye ought to wasshe yow and make you clene by confession of your synnes. And I shall shewe yow hou he hath shewed by youre aduysyon the Vessel of siluer whiche was foully bespottyd of the donghylle, whiche sygnyfyeth the sowle that is in the body. And yf the body consentid not to doo synne, she shold be alwey whyte as the vessel of syluer that cometh fro the goldsmythe. Ryght so is the sowle when hit cometh fro the fonte of bapteme. And lyke as the Vessel that ye sawe was in the donge, in lyke wyse is the sowle in the body, whiche is no thyng but donge and fylthe. For when the Chaytyf body hath synned by his fals delytes, for euery synne that he hath done ther cometh a black spot in the sowle, and that abydeth vnto the tyme that the body, whiche dyde the trespas, haue cōfessid and bewaylyd it in suche manere as he dyde the dede, and therof hath made satisfaction. And therfor, fayre doughter, the voys of the vysyon hath said that ye shold make yow clene & whyte lyke the syluer that cometh fro the goldsmyth. For when ye come fro the fonte of baptesme, after ye ought put it in place, where it shold be kepte clene and withoute ordure; that is to saye, to kepe you fro goyng in to place, where as ye ought absteyne you for to doo synne. And kepe yow wel that ye synne nomore, for it is a good thyng to be shryuen, but it is better after the confession to kepe hym that he falle not ageyne therto, for the tornyng ageyne is wors than the first. And when ye shold be shryuen, ye ought to saye alle, and reteyne no thyng behynde, and it ought to be said in the manere as the dede was done. Thenne, my fair douȝters, said the good man, I shalle telle to yow an ensample of a bourgeyse, a moche myghty woman.


Of her that deyde and durst not confesse her synneEdit

    15th century translation     Modern English
OF HER THAT DEYDE, AND DURST NOT CONFESSE HIR SYNNE.

There was a woman of grete renomme and fame, lyke to be a blessid woman and charitable, for she fasted thre dayes in the weke, of whiche she fasted tweyne to brede and to water, and gafe moche almesse, vysyted the seke, norysshed the orphanes, and was at masse vnto mydday, and said many orysons and prayers, and lyued an hooly lyf, as a good woman ought to doo. And it happed that she departed oute of this world, by whome oure lord wold shewe ensample, how she was lost for one only dedely synne. For the sepulture in whiche she was leyd bigan to fume and smoken, and the erth to brenne, and there had ben seen on the graue overmoche torment. And the peple of the Countrey merueyled moche what it mente, for they wende veryly, that she hadde be saued above alle other wymmeh. Thenne was there an hooly man in the Cyte, which toke the crosse, the stole, and hooly water, and coniured the sowle in the name of god, and requyryd of almyghty god, that it plesyd hym to shewe to hym wherfore this stenche and this tormente was there. Thenne a voys was herd that sayd, "I am the poure synnar that am dampned to perpetuel fyre. For god sheweth that my wretchyd body gyueth oute smoke and torment by ensample. And I shalle telle to yow how it hath bifalle me by the synne of my flesshe. I laye ones with a Monk, and I durst neuer confesse me therof, for doubte to be accused for shame of the world. And I doubted more the bobaunce of the world than the spyrytuel vengeaunce of my synne. I fasted, I gaf for goddes sake my good, I herd masses and said many orysons & heures, and me semed the grete good dedes and abstynence that I dyde quenchyd and estyncted al my synnes whiche I durst not telle ne saye to the preest. Wherfore I am deceyued and loste; for I telle wel vnto alle, that who that dyeth in dedely synne and wylle not forthynke it, he is dampned perpetuelly, for the synne ought to be confessid also foully as the dede was done, and by the same manere." And when she had al said, alle they that were there present were moche abasshed, for there was none but that he thouȝt she had be saued. And thus said this good man this ensample to this woman that confessyd her, that she shold confesse and telle her synnes lyke as she had done them, and she shold put aweye the spottes of the syluer vessel, these ben the spottes of the sowle. And thenne this woman confessid her, and lyued after an holy lyf. And thus the begynnyng of her sauacion cam of the fastynges that she fasted on the fryday in thonoure of the passion of oure lord, and the saterday for thonoure of the vyrgynyte of our blessid lady, by whiche she was saued from perylle; for ther is no good dede done but it is rewarded. And it is a moche hooly thyng to faste, and the more payne it doth or hurte to the heede or body, so moche is the fastyng more of meryte, & greter of valewe. For yf the fastyng greuyd not, there shold thereof be no mede ne merite. & yet for to shewe an ensample how fastyng is of grete meryte, it is trouthe that the kynge of Nynyue and alle his Cyte were saued therby, as it is conteyned in the grete book of the byble. For god had doo synken certayne Cytees and townes for the grete synnes that they delyted in. And god commaunded his prophete to telle to this kyng and to the Cyte that yf they amended them not, that they shold perysshe in lyke wyse. Thenne the kyng and the peple of the cyte had grete drede and fere; and for tappease the yre of god, alle they that were of age fasted fourty dayes and fourty nyghtes, and kneled doune on her knees and putte sackes on theyr hedes in grete humylyte, wherfore god took mercy on them, and repeled his sentence. And so by theyr mekenes and fastynge they were saued. And therfore, my fayre doughters, fastyng is an abstynence and a vertu moche couenable, whiche withdraweth and restreyneth the flesshe from euylle desyres, and humbleth the herte and geteth pardon and grace of god. And thenne all yong wymmen, and specyally the maydens and wydowes ought to fast, as I haue said here to fore by these ensamples, whiche, by the playsyre of god, ye shall well reteyne and kepe.


How wymmen ought to mayntene them curtoyslyEdit

    15th century translation     Modern English

HOW GOOD WYMMEN OUGHT TO MAYNTENE THEMSELF CURTOYSLY.

AFTER this, my doughters, see ye wel to that ye be curtois and humble. For there is no gretter vertue for to cause yow to have the grace of god and the loue of alle peple than for to be humble and curtoyse. For curtosye ouercometh all them by thensample of the sperhauk. Take a sperhauke ramage, and calle hym curtoysly, and ye shal make hym come frely to yow; ye, fro the tree he shalle come vppon youre fyste. And yf ye be not curtoyse, but rude and cruel, he shal neuer come. Then, syth that curtosye vaynquysshyth a wylde byrde whiche hath in hym no reson, thenne ought she wel refrayne a man and woman moche more, that they be not ne haue the herte orguyllous and fyers. Curtosye is the fyrst waye and the entre of alle frendship and of alle worldly loue, and she that vaynquyssheth hye courages and that amolysshyth thyre and wrathe of euery creature. Therfore, thenne, hit is a fayre thyng to be curtoys. I know a lord in this Countrey, whiche hath goten and conquerd moo knyghtes, squyers, and other peple to serue hym and to doo his playsyrs by his grete curtosye in the tyme that he bare armes, than other dyd for money, eyther for other thynges. And this is my lord of Craon, whiche ought wel to be honoured and to be preysyd for his curtosye aboue all other knyghtes that I know; knowe that he hath goten by his curtosye moche loue and renomme of ryght grete ladyes and also of other, grete and smale. Therfor, my fayre doughters, shewe youre curtosye vnto the mene and smal peple, for to do them honoure, and to speke to them fayre and swetely, and for to answere them curtoysly: they shall bere and doo the gretter reverence, gretter preysyng and renommee than the grete. For thonour of the curtosye that is done and gyuen to the grete whiche is done vnto smal gentylmen and gentyl wymmen and to other of lasse degre, that honoure and curtosye comen of a fre and a curtoys hert. And the lytell or poure ma or woman to whome it is done thynketh that he is happy to receyue it and hath therin a grete playsyre, and gyueth ageyne grete honoure to hym or her that hath done to hym suche curtosye and honoure, And by this maner of the smal peple to whome is done suche curtosye or honoure cometh the grete loos and renomme whiche groweth fro day to day. It hapned that I was in a companye of knyghtes and ladyes, and a grete lady tooke of her hood and humbled her self curtoysly vnto a tayloure. And ther was a knyght that said to her, "Madame, why haue ye taken of youre hoode vnto a taylloure?" And she answerd that she had leuer to take it of to hym, than to haue lefte it vnto a gentyll man. And that was reputed for ryght wel done, and as for the best taujt of all the other.

How Good Women Ought to Hold Themselves Courteously


After this, my daughters, see to it that you are courteous and humble for there is no greater virtue to earn the grace of God and the love of all people, than to be humble and courteous. For courtesy overcomes all, as the example of the sparrow-hawk. Find a sparrow-hawk in a tree and call him courteously, and you shall make him come freely to you; indeed, from the tree shall come land on your fist, though if you are are not courteous but instead rude and cruel, he shall never come. Then, since that courtesy vanquishes a wild bird which lacks reason, then courtesy ought well refrain a man and woman much more, that do not have a guileful or fierce heart. Courtesy is the first way and the entirety of all friendship and of all worldly love, and it is courtesy that vanquishes high courages and that amolishes the ire and wrath of every creature. Therefore then, it is a fair thing to be courteous. I know a Lord in this country who has got and conquered more knights, squires and others to serve him and to do his pleasure by his great courtesy in the time that he bare arms, than others did for money or for things. And it is my lord of Craon, who ought well to be honoured and to be praised for his courtesy above all other knights that I know. Know that he hath received from his courtesy much love and renomme of very great ladies and also of others, great and small. Therefore, my fair daughters, show your courtesy unto the mean and small people, for to do them honour and to speak to them fairly and sweetly, and to answer them courteously. They shall bear you and do you the greater reverence, greater praising and renomme. For the honour of the courtesy that is done and given to the great which is done unto small gentlemen and gentlewomen and to others of lesser degree, that honour and courtesy comes from a free and a couteous heart. And the little or poor man or woman to whom it is done thinks how happy they are to receive it and thus tas a great pleasure and gives again great honour to him or her that has done such coutesy and honour to him. And by this manny of the small people to whom is done such courtesy or honour, comes the great and renomme which grows from day to day. It happened that I was in a company of knights and ladies, and a great lady took off her hood and humbled herself courteously to a tailor. And there was a knight that said to her, "Madame, why have you taken off your hood to a tailor?" and she answered that she would rather take it off to him than to have left it on for a gentleman. And that was considered to be rightly well-done, and as for the best taught of all the other.


How wymmen ought not to cast her hedes here and thereEdit

    15th century translation     Modern English

HOW YONGE MAYDENS OUGHT NOT TO TORNE THEIR HEEDES LYGHTELY HERE NE THERE

AFTER this, in sayeng to them, Be ye not like ne semblable the tortuse ne to the Crane, whiche torne their visage and the heede aboue their sholders, and wynde their hede here and there as a vane. But haue youre regarde and manere stedfast, lyke as the hare hath, which is a beest that seeth alwey to fore hym, even right forth, withoute tornyng of his hede here ne there. Alwey see that ye be stedfast in lokyng playnly to fore you; and yf ye wylle loke a syde, torne youre vysage and youre body to geder, and so shalle ye hold you in youre estate more ferme & sure. For they be mocqued that so lyghtely cast their sight and hede and torne their vysage here and there.

How Young Maidens Ought Not to Turn Their Heads Lightly Here And There


After this, in saying to them "Be ye not like the tortoise nor the crane, which have turned their face and their head above their shoulders, and wind their head here and there as a weathervane. But have your regard and manner steadfast, like as the hare does, which is a beast that sees always what is ahead of him, even directly, without turning his head here and there". Always see that you are steadfast in looking plainly ahead of yourself, and if you would look to the side then turn your face and your body to geder, and so shall you hold in your estate more firm and sure. For they are mocked, those who so lightly cast their sight and head and turn their face here and there.

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How two tholdest doughters of the kyng of denmarke lost theyre maryage for theyr fowle manersEdit

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How y douȝter of y kyng of aragon lost her maryageEdit

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Of them that ben chydars and brawlersEdit

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Of her that ete the ele and plucked of the fethers of the pyeEdit

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OF HER THAT ETE THE EELE AND PLUMED HER PYE.

I SHALLE telle to yow an Ensample herof vpon the fayt of wymmen that ete the good morsels behynde theyr husbondes. There was a damoyselle that had a pye in a cage, whiche spak and said all that she sawe. And it happed that the lord of the hows made to kepe a grete Ele in a tronke in a ponde. And he kepte it moche derworthely, for to gyue it to som good lord of his, or to somme frende, yf they come to see hym. And it happed that the lady saide to the Chamberere that it were good to ete the grete ele. And they thought that they wold saye to theyr lord that theues had eten hym. And when the lord cam home, the Pye began to telle and saye to hymn, "My lady hath eten the Ele." And when the lord herd this, he wente to his ponde, and fonde not his ele, and cam home to his wyf and demaunded her what was befallen of his ele. And she supposed to haue excused her. And he said that he was acerteyned thereof, and that the pye had tolde hym. And in the hous therfore was grete sorowe and noyse. But when the lord was gone oute, the lady and the chamberere cam to the pye and plucked of alle the fethers of his hede, sayeng, “Thou hast disccuered vs of the ele," and thus was the poure pye plumed, and lost the fethers of his hede. But fro than forthon, yf ony man cam in to that hows that was balled or fylled or had an hyhe forhede, the pye wolde saye to them, "Ye haue told my lord of the ele." And therfore this is a good ensample, that no good woman sholde not ete for hir lycorousnes the swete or deynte morsels withoute the wytynge of her husböd, but yf she emploed it well with honoure. This damoysell was after moche scorned & mocked for that ele by cause of the pye that so ofte remembryd it to suche as cam thyder so ballyd or pylled.

I shall here tell you of an example of the fate of women who eat the good morsels behind their husbands' [backs]. There was a damsel that had a magpie in a cage, which spoke and said that which it saw. And it happened that the Lord of the House made to keep great eel in a trunk in a pond. And he kept it much derworthely for to give it to some good lord of his, or to some friend if they came to see him. And it happened that the lady said to the Chamberere that it was good to eat the great eel. And they though that they would say to their lord that thieves had eaten him. And when the lord came home, the magpie began to tell and say to him "My lady hath eaten the eel". And when the lord heard this, he went to the pond and found not his eel, so came home to his wife and demanded of her what had befallen his eel. And she believed that she had given her excuse. And he said that he was certain of it, and that the magpie had told him. And in the house therefore was great sorrow and noise. But when the lord was gone out, the lady and the chamberere came to the magpie and plucked off all the feathers of his head saying "Thou hast made known us with the eel", and thus was the poor magpie plumed, and lost th efeathers of his head. But from then forth, if any man came into that house that was bald or fylled or had a high forehead, the magpie would say to him "You have told my lord about the eel". And therefore this is a good example that no good woman should eat for her craving the sweet or dainty morsels without the knowledge of her husband, if she conducts herself with honour. This damsel was, after that, much scorned and mocked for that eel because of the magpie that so often brought it to mind to such as came thither bald of pylled.


How a woman ought not to stryue with her husbondEdit

    15th century translation     Modern English
HOW A GOOD WOMAN OUGHT NOT TO STRYUE WITH HER HUSBOND.

After this, a woman in no maner wyse ought stryue ageynst her husbond, ne answere hym so that he take therby displaysyre, lyke as dyde the wyf of a burgeys, whiche answered to her husbond so noiously and shamefully to fore the peple that he bicam angry and felle to see hym self so rewlyd to fore the peple that he had therof shame. And he said to her and bad her ones or twyes that she shold be stylle and leue, but she wold not. & her husbond, whiche was wrothe, smote her with his fyste to the erthe, and smote her with his foote on the vysage so that he brake her nose, by whiche she was euer after al disfygured. And soo by her ryotte and ennoye she gate her a croked nose moche euyll. It had ben moche better for her that she had holden her stylle and hadde suffred. Yet it is reson and ryght that the husbonde haue the hyhe wordes, and it is but honoure to a good woman to suffer and holde her in pees, and leue the haultayn langage to her husbond and lord. And also it is in the contrarye to a woman grete shame and vylonye to stryue ageynst her husbond, be it wrong or right, and in especial to fore the peple. I say not but when she shall fynd hym alone and tyme but that she may wel reprehende hym and aduyse hym, in shewyng curtoysly that he had wrong and unright with hym, and yf he be a man resonable he shal conne her thanke. And yf he be other, yet hath not she done but her parte. For right so sholde a wyse womā do, by thensample of the wyse quene hester, wyf of the kyng Assuere, whiche was moche melancolyque and hasty. But the good lady answered not to his yre, but after when she sawe hym well attempryd place and tyme, thenne dyde she what she wold. And it was grete wysedom of a woman. And thus ought wyse wymmen to do. By this ensample the wymmen that ben chydars and rampynge ben not of suche obeysaunce as was a wfy of a marchaunt of whome I shall saye and telle to yow.


How a woman sprange vpon the tableEdit

    15th century translation     Modern English

HOW A WOMAN SPRANGE VPON THE TABLE.

IN a tyme it happed that Marchauntes of Fraunce cam from certayn Fayres where as they sought Draperye, and as they cam with Marchaundyse fro Roan, that one of them said, “It is a moche fayre thynge a man to haue a wif obeysaunt in alle thynges to her husbond. Verayly," sayde that one, “my wyf obeyeth me well.” And the second said, “I trowe that my wyf obeve me better.” “Ye” sayd the third, “lete laye a wager, that whiche wvf of vs thre that obeyeth best her husbond and doeth sonnest his commaundement, that he wynne the wager.” Wherupon they waged a jewele, and accorded al thre to,the same,.& sworen that none shold aduertyse his wyf of this bargayn, sauf only to saye to her, “ Doo that whiche I shall commaunde what soever it be.” After, when they cam to the first man's hows, he sayd to “Sprynge in to this bacyne And she answerd, “Wherfore? or what nede is it ? And he said, “By cause it playsyth me so, and I wyll that thou do so.” “Truly,” said she, “I shall knowe fyrst wherfor I shal sprynge" and soo she.wold not doo it. And her husbond waxe moche angry and felle and gafe her a buffet. After thys they cam to the second marchauntes hows, and he saide to his wyf lyke as that other saide, that she wold doo his commaundement. And it was not long after that he said to her, “Sprynge in to the basyn." And she demaunded hym wherfore. And at the last ende for ought that he dyde she dyd it not, wherfore she was beten as that other was. Thenne cam, they to the third man's hous, and there was the table couered and mete set theron. And the marchaunt said to thother marchauntes in theyr eres, that after dyner he wold commaunde her to sprynge in to the bacyn. And the husbond said to his wyf, that what someuer he commaunded her she shold do it. His wyf, whiche that moche louyd hym and dred hym, herd wel the word. And it was so that they bygan to ete, and there was no salt vpon the table. And the goode man sayd to his wyf, “Sail sur table.”[1] And the good wyf, which hadde fere to disobey hym, sprang vpon the table and ouerthrewe table, mete, wyn, and plater to the ground. "How!” said the good man, “Is this the manere? Cone ye none other playe but this? Are ye mad, oute of youre wyt?” “Syre,” said she, “I haue done youre coma?dement; haue ye not said youre comaudement shold be done, what somever it was? Certaynly I haue it done to my power, how be it that it is youre harme and hurte as moche as myn. For ye said to me that I shold sprynge on the table.” “I?” said he, “I sayd ther lacked salt vpon the table.” “In good feyth, I vnderstode,” said she, “for to spryng.” Thene was ther laughter ynous, and al was taken for a bourd and a mocquerye. Thenne the other two Marchauntes said it was nonede to late her sprynge in the basyn, for she had done ynough, and that her husbond had wonne the wager. And she was more preised than the other two that wold not do the commaundement of theyr husbondes. For moyen peple chastysen theyr wyues by buffetys and strokes, but gentyls wymmen ought to be chastised by fayre semblaunt and by curtosye that she obeyeth and hath euer doubte to disobeye, leste ony harme come or might happen or falle to her. For the other two wyues obeyed not thir husbondes lyke as the good wyf dyde to the thyrdde marchaunt, whiche for fere of disobeysaunce to her husbond sprange vpon the table and threwe doune alle. And thus ought euery good woman to fere and obeye her lord & husbonde, and to doo his commaundement is hit right or wrong, yf the commaundement be not ouer outrageous. And yf ther be vyce therein she is not to blame, but the blame abydeth vppon her lord and husbonde. And also that she ought not tansuere to euery word of euery husbond ne of other, and that therein is perylle, lyke as was of the knyghtes doughter, that sette her honoure in grete balauncie for to stryue and answere to the hasty squyer that sayd to her vylonye as a foole. For many ben so haultayn and of soo euyll courage, that they saye in hastynesse and hete alle that they knowe & cometh to mouthe. Therfore it is grete peryll to begynne strif, to suche peple, for who soo doth, he set his honoure in grete aduenture, for. many saye in theyr angre more than they knowe, for to auenge them.

IIt once happened that French merchants came from certain fairs where they had sought drapery, and as they came with their merchandise from Roan, one of them said "It is a very fair thing for a man to have a wife obedient in all things to her husband". "Truly," he said, "my wife obeys me well". And the second said "I promise my wife obeys me better", "Yea", said the third, "let's lay a wager that whichever wife of us three that best obeys her husband and soonest does his commands, that he will win the wager". On that, they each wagered a jewel and swore that none of them would tell his wife of the bargain, other than to say to her "Do that which I shall command, whatsoever it may be".

After, when they came to the first man's house he said for her to "Jump into this basin", and she answered "Why? What need is there for that?" And he said "Because it pleases me, and I say to do it". "Truly," she said, "I must first know why I should jump" and thus she would not do it, and her husband ranted angrily and began striking her. After this they came to the second merchant's house, and he said to his wife just as the other had said, so she might do his command, and it was not long after that he said to her "Jump into the basin", and she demanded he explain why. And at the end, what she was told to do, she did not do it, and thus she was beaten as that other wife was. Then they came to the third man's house, and there was the tabled bedecked and meat set out on it. And the merchant whispered to the other merchants that after dinner he would command her to spring into the basin. And the husband said to his wife, that whatsoever he commanded her she should do it. His wife, who loved him that much and held him in awe, heard well the word.

And so it was that they began to eat, and there was no salt upon the table. And the good man said to his wife, "Salt to the table". And the good wife, who feared to disobey him, sprang upon the table, flipping it and sending the meat, wine and dishes to the ground. "How!", said the good man, "is this behavior? Have you nothing better to do than this? Are ou mad, out of your wits?". "Sir", she said, "I have done as you commanded, did you not say your commands should be done whatsoever they were? Certainly I have obeyed as best as I am able, how can you be as upset and hurt as I am - for you said to me "Sault [Jump] to the table". "I?", he said, "I said to put salt upon the table". "Honestly, I thought you said to jump", she said. Then there was laughter enough, and all was taken for a bard and a jest. Then the other two merchants said there was no need to later ask her to jump into the basin, for she had done enough and that her husband had won the wager. And she was more praised than the other two that would not do the commands of their husbands. For some people chasten their wives by pummeling and striking, but gentlewomen ought to be chastised by fair semblance and by and that by courtesy she obeys him and always hesitates to disobey, lest only harm comes, or something else happens or befalls her. For the other two wives obeyed not their husbands like the good wife did to the third merchants, who for fear of disobedience to her husband, jumped upon the table and sent everything crashing down.

And thus should every good woman fear and obey her lord and husband, and to do his command whether right or wrong, if the command be not overly outrageous. And if there is sin, then she is not to blame, but the blame would be upon her lord and husband. And also that she should not respond to everything her husband says, or others, as that is dangerous - as it was for the knight's daughter who set her honor in great balance to strive and answer to the hasty squire who said to her vylonye as a fool. For many are so hesitant and of such evil courage, that they say in haste and hate all that they know and speak. Therefore it is great peril to begin strife for such people, for those who do it set their honour in great abeyance, for many will say in their anger more than they realize, so as to avenge themselves.

  1. Sail sur table, Old French for "Salt on the table", but the wife mistook this sentence for "Style sur table", i.e., "Leap onto the table".


Of the woman that gaf the flesshe to her hoūdesEdit

    15th century translation     Modern English

I SHAL saye to yow an Ensample of a lady that yaf the flesshe and good morsels to her lytell houdes. Ther was a lady whiche hadde two small houndes, whome she moche loued and had soo derworthe that she took in them greete playsaunce. She made for them dayly dysshes of sowpes, and after gaf to them flesshe and other fryandyses delycyous. And on a tyme there was a frere mendycaunt that said to her that it was euyll done to gyue suche metes to the houndes, that were grete & fatte, where as there were moche poure peple lene and drye for hogre. Thus he prechyd, vnto the lady, but for al that she wold not leue it. Soo thenne a lytel afterward this lady bycam seke vnto the deth, and ther happed a wonder thyng whiche was sene al apertely. For ther cam vpon her bed two lytel black dogges, and whan she drewe on and was in a traunce they were about her mouthe and lycked her lyppes. And where as they lycied her on the mouthe it bycam as black as a Cole. This I haue herd of a damoyselle that said that she had sene al this, and named to me the lady. This is a good ensample to euery good lady and woman, how they ought not to haue ouer grete plaisyre in suche thynges, ne to geue flesshe ne lychorous metes to the houdes, for lack of whiche the poure peple of god dye for honger, the whiche ben the creatures of god made to his semblaunce and lykenes, and be his seruauntes. Suche wymmen vnderstande not the word of god in the gospel, where as god sayth, "He that dot wel to the poure doth to me seruyce.” These wymmen resemble not vnto the good quene blache, that was moder of sayni lowys, whiche dyd do gyue in hir syght the mete to the moost nedy and meseased. And after saynt lowys dyd in lyke wyse, for he vysyted the poure peple and fedde them with his own honde. The Plaisire of euery good woman is to see the faderles and moderles children and lytel poure children and them norysshe and clothe, as dide the holy lady that was Countesse of Mauns, whiche norysshed wel thyrtty orphanes and the lytel poure children for pyte, and therin was al hir disporte. And therfor she was louyd of god and had an holy lyf and a goode ende. And ther was, sene at her deth a grete clercnes and lyght alle full of lytel children. These were not the smale houndes that were black whiche were sene with the other, as ye haue herd to fore.


Of them that take fyrst newe guysesEdit

    15th century translation     Modern English

OF THEM THAT TAKE FIRST NEWE GYSES.

FAYRE doughters, I praye yow that. ye ben not the fyrste for to take on yow newe arraye ne gyses, and that ye in this caas be the last and tarye lengest, and in especialle the newe gyses of wymmen of straunge Countre. For I shalle saye , yow of a.debate whiche was [o]f a baronnesse, that duellyd, in guyenne, and of the lord of beaumont, fader of hym that is now lord, whiche was a subtyle and a wyse knyght. This lady aresonned hym of his wyf and said, “Fayre Cosyn, I am come fro brytayne and haue sene my fayre Cosyn your wyf, whiche is not arayed ne aourned as ben the ladyes of guyenne, ne of many other places. For her pourfyls of her garnementes ne of her hodes ben not grete ynough, after the gyse that now is vsed.” Thenne the knyght answerd to her, “Madame, syth she is not arayed after your gyse, and that her pourfyls seme lytell, wherfore ye blame me, be ye certeyn that ye shal blame me nomore therfore. For I shall doo araye her as queyntely and as nobly as yeony other ben, and yet more. For ye haue not but the half of your garnementes and of your hoode torned outward with grys and ermynes, but I shalle doo to her better, for I shalle make her kirtels and hoodes alle the furre outward, & so she shalle be, better pourfylled than ye ne the other.” And after this he said, “Madame, thynke ye, that I ne wylle wel that she be arayed after the good ladyes of the Countre? Yes, veryly, but.I wylle not that she chaunge the guyse of good wymmen, ne of the ladyes of worship of Fraunce & of this Countre, whiche vse not the gyse of the loues ne of the lemmans of thenglysshe men, ne of the peple of companies, for these ben they that first knewe this gyse in brytayne and in Guvenne of these grete pourfyls and of the Coursettys torned by the sides, for I was of that tyme and sawe it. And for to take the guyse of suche wymen that brought it firste hyther, I holde them euyl counceyled, and also them euyll aduysed that arraye them so, and also them that take and vse hit, how wel that the pryncesse and other ladyes of Englond, whiche after theyr longe comyng maye wel do it. But I herd of the sages that euery good lady & woman ought to kepe the gyse & state of the good ladyes and wymmen of Countre & comyn gyse, of the Royamme of whiche they ben of, and that they ben moost wyse that ben the laste that take suche noueltees and newe gyses. And thus by renomme the ladyes of Fraunce and of these lowe marches ben holden the best ladyes that ben, and lest blamed." These wordes were said to fore moche peple, wherof the lady held her self nyce and wyst not what to answere. And thenne many of them bigan to murmure and said among them that she had done better for to haue holden her stylle and said nought. And therfore, my fair doughters, this is a faire Ensample for to take and holde astate moyen and the gyse of the good ladyes of the Countre and.of the commune of the royamme that they ben of, that is to saye, of that whiche the good ladyes vse comunely, & that is a noble thyng. For to take a newe gyse comen by strauge wymmen and fro other Countrees, they ben more mocqued and scorned than for to kepe the gyse of their Countre, as ye haue herd of the good knyght that was wyse and of grete gouernement in repreuyng of the lady. And knowe ye for certayne, that they that first done and take the newe gyses, ben scorned & mocked. But god haue mercy on vs at this day, after that som haue herd that ony newe facion or nouelte of goune or arraye shall neuer reste till they haue therof a Copye, and shullen save to their lord or husbond dayly, "Suche thyng and suche shold become me wel, and it is right faire. I praye yow that I may haue it." Yf their lord or husbond saye to her, "My loue, yf suche one haue it, other that ben holden as wyse as she haue it not." And she thenne wylle saye, "What though they can not araye them, what haue I doo with all? Sith that suche one hath it, I may wel haue it, and were it as wel as she." And I say you that they shal fynd so many resons, that they must nedes haue theyr parte, but these maner of wymmen ben not founde the moost wyse ne moost connyng, but they haue their herte moost sette to the plesaunce of the world. I speke not vpon the ladyes ne the damoysels that maye wel do at their lust and gyse, for ageynst. their estate I thynk not to speke ony thyng that may displese them yf I may knowe it, for it apperteyneth not, ne is fyttyng to me, but to honoure and obeye them to my powere. Ne I entende not to speke ageynst them by this book, but to my owne doughters, wymmen, and seruauntes, to whome I may say that as it shal plese me, and after my wylle.


How me ought not to stryue ageynste them that ben langageurs and full of wordesEdit

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Page:The booke of thenseygnementes and techynge that the Knyght of the Towre made to his doughters - 1902.pdf/64 wordes redy at hand, and that haue no shame to saye double wordes hauyng dyuerse ententes. And therfore take ye heede to whome ye enterpryse to speke, and beware that ye saye no thyng to theyr displaisire, for for to stryue is moche peryllous.


Of thre ladyes that araysoned boussycaultEdit

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Of them that wyl not were theyr good clothes on hyhe festes and holy dayesEdit

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Page:The booke of thenseygnementes and techynge that the Knyght of the Towre made to his doughters - 1902.pdf/68 Page:The booke of thenseygnementes and techynge that the Knyght of the Towre made to his doughters - 1902.pdf/69 which gyueth all, and for thonoure of his swete moder & of the holy sayntes, more than for worldly people whiche ben no thynge but fylthe & erthe, and for theyr regard and preysyng. For they that soo done for their plaisaunce displese god, and he shal take vengeaunce on them in this world, or in that other, like he dyd of the lady of which ye haue herd. And therfore this is a good Ensample to all good ladyes and to alle good wymmen.


Of the suster of saynt Bernard, whiche came to see hym in grete arayeEdit

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Of them that playe and Iape at the masseEdit

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An Ensample that happed at the masse of saynt MartynEdit

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Of a knyght that caused al the towne to lose theyr masse where as he dwellydEdit

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OF A KNYGHT THAT CAUSID ALL A TOWNE TO LESE THEYR MASSE WHEREAS HE DWELLYD.

Another Ensample I shalle telle yow of them that lose their masse and also to make other to lese it. I haue herd told of a knyght and of a lady that fro theyr youth took grete plaisire to slepe to fore none. And this they vsed in such manere that oftymes they lost theyr masse, and causid alle the parysshe to lose it also in whiche they dwellyd, for he was lord and patron of the parysshe, and the parson durst not withsaye hym. So it happed on a sonday that they sente to the parson that he shold tarye for them. And whan they cam, it was passed mydday. And they of the parysshe told the preest that it was past none, and therfor he durst not synge mass. And so they hadde no masse that daye, wherfore the peple of the parysshe were moche angry, but they must nedes suffre. And it happed in the same nyght that the preest had a vysyon, that hym semed that he kept a grete flock of sheep in a felde where as was no grasse. And he wold haue brought them in a pasture for to haue fedde them, where to was but one path, and in that path was a black swyn and a sowe, whiche lay ouerthwert the way; and these hogges were horned. And he had soo grete drede and fere, bothe he and his shepe, that he durst not entre in to his pasture, and anon they torned back to their feld withoute pasture. And soo they had no mete. And thenne hym thought one saide to hym, "Leuest thou to gyue pasture to thy sheep for fere of these horned beestes?" And there with al he awoke. And in lyke wyse this vysion happed the same nyght to the knyght and to the lady his wyfe, for them semed that they become a bore and a sowe, and were also horned, and that they wold not suffre the sheep to passe and goo to their pasture. And sith them semed ther cam a grete chace of black hunters, syttyng vpon grete black horses, which had with them grete quātyte of grehoundes and black dogges, whome them semed they vncoupled and dide set them on hem, and made them all to drawe hem and byte them by the eres, armes, and thyes, and blewe their homes, halowed and cryed. And this chace or hūtyng endured on them so longe, that them semed that they were taken & slayn, & ther with all they awoke, beyng sore agast & effrayed, & this aduysion happed and cam to them two tymes. Now it happed that the preest cam vnto the place where this knyght & lady were, and they tolde to hym their vysyon. And in lyke wyse the preest told to them his, whereof they were sore admerueyled and abasshed by cause they were lyke. Thenne the preest aduysed hym, and sayde to the knyght, "Syre, there is an hooly hermyte here by in suche a foreste, whiche shalle make vs wyse and vnderstonde of this thynge." Thenne they wente to this hooly man, and recounted to hym theyr aduysyon fro poynt to poynt. And thys hooly man, which was wyse and of a blessid lyf, declared to them all their fait, and said to the knyght & his wyf, "Ye be the black swyne, whiche kepe the pathe and the entre of the pasture, that the sheepe may not fede them, ne may not ete of the good pasture, that is to saye, that ye be lord of the parysshe in whiche ye dwelle, and ye haue distourbled and lette the good peple and parisshens for to here the seruyse of god, which is good pasture & refresshyng of the spyrituel lyf of the sowle, by cause of youre latchesse and youre long reste. And the homes that ye haue ben the braunches of youre synnes, whiche ben moche grete, and in especiall of the grete synnes that ye haue done in lettyng other fro the benefete and the seruyce of god, whiche ye may not amende but by greete penaūce and tormente. And therfore the vengeaūce of the wrong that ye haue done is shewed to yow that ye shall be tormentyd and hunted of the fendes of helle, and at the last ye shall be taken and slayn by the very huntyng of deuyls, lyke as it was shewed to you by youre aduysyon. And I say you certaynly, that it hadde ben lasse synne an honderd ageynst one, that ye had herde no masse, than for to take fro the good peple ne fro the preest their deuocion, for when he abode ouer long, he was angry, & synned in the synne of wrathe, and the good peple also, of whome somme wente to tauerne, and other lost their deuocion and alle good charyte. And all the synnes and euyls comen of yow, & by youre slouthe, wherof ye shall gyue a rekenyng perauenter hastlyer than ye wene, for ye shalle be hunted and put to deth lyke as ye haue sene in youre aduyson; that is to say, that ye ben in the wey to be dampned, yf ye put not therto remedye." Thenne the knyght was moche abasshed, and demaunded of hym coūceil how he myght doo. Thenne the hooly man said that he shold thre sondayes knele to fore his parisshens and crye them mercy, and praye them to pardone hym, and that they wold praye to god for hym and his wyf also, and from thenne forthon they wold be the first to fore other at the Chirche. And there he confessid hym to the heremyte, and he gafe to hym that penaunce and other. And fro than forthon he chastysed hym self, and he and his wyf thanked oure lord that he vouchesauf to shewe to them this demonstraūce. And I saye yow, that fro than forthon they were the first that cam to the chirche. And also the hooly heremyte said to the preest and declared to hym his vision, and tolde hym that god ought to be more drad and serued than the world. And therefore, my faire doughters, take herby a good ensample, that for your plaisire ye cause none to lese their masse ne theyr deuocion for your slouthe and neclygence. For it were better that ye herd none. And I wolde wel that ye shold knowe and lerne thensample of a lady that spended the fourthe parte of the daye for to araye her.


Of a lady that dispended the fourth parte of the day for to araye herEdit

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OF A LADY THAT DISPENDED THE FOURTHE PARTE OF THE DAY FOR TO ARAYE HER

THERE was a lady whiche had her lodgyng by the chirche. And she was alweye acustomed for to be long to araye her, and to make her fresshe and gay, in so moche that it annoyed and greued moche the parson of the Chirche and the parysshens. And it happed on a sonday that she was so long that she sente to the preest that he shold tarye for her, lyke as she had ben acustomed, and it was thenne ferforthe on the day. And it annoyed the peple, and there were somme that said, "How is hit? Shall not this lady this day be pynned ne wel besene in a Myrroure?" And somme said softely, "God sende to her an euyll syght in her myrroure that causeth vs this day and so oftymes to muse & to abyde for her.” & th?ne as it plesyd god for an ensample, as she loked in the Myrroure she sawe therin the fende, whiche shewed to her his hynder parte so fowle and horryble, that the lady wente oute of her wytte, and was al demonyak a long tyme. And after god sente to her helthe, and after she was not so long in arayeng, but thanked god, that had so suffred her to be chastysed. And therfore this is a good ensample, how me ought not to be go long for to apparayle ne to make her gaye, as for to lese the seruyse of the masse, ne to make other to lese the seruyce of god.

There was a lady who had her lodging by the church, and she was always accustomed to taking a long time to array herself and to make herself fresh and gay, to such a degree that it annoyed and much grieved the parson of the church and the parishoners. And it happened on a Sunday that she was so long that sent to the priest that he would wait for her, as she had been accustomed, and it was then ferforthe on the day. And it annoyed the people and there were some that said "How is it? Shouldn't this lady today be pynned and not well-appearing in a mirror?" and some said softly "God send to her an evil sight in her mirror that costs us today, and so often, to muse and to his abide for her", and then as it pleased God for an example, as she looked in the mirror she saw within it the Fiend, who showed her his backside so foul and horrible that the lady went out of her wits and was all demonic a long time. And after God restored her health, she took less time in arraying herself but instead thanked God for allowing her to be so chastised. And therefore this is a good example, how we ought not to take a long time to dress and to make gay, so as to not reduce the seruyse of the Mass, nor to make others to reduce their service to God.


How the sacrament sprange in to the mouthe of an hooly ladyEdit

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Of a Countesse that herd every day thre massesEdit

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OF A COUNTESSE THAT EUERY DAY HERD THRE MASSES.

I WOLDE that ye sholde wel reteyne an ensample of a good lady, a Countesse, whiche euery day wolde here thre masses. And on a tyme she wente a pylgremage, and hit happed of her Chappellayns to falle of an hors to therthe, so that he was so hurte that he myght not saye masse. The lady was at ouer a grete meschyef for to lose one of her masses, and she complayned deuoutely to god. And anone god sente to her an Angel in stede of a preest, which songe the third masse, but when he had songen and was vnreuested, it was not knowen where he bicam, for ony serche that they couthe make. Thenne thought the good lady that god hadde sente hymn to her, and thanked hym moche humbly. And this is a faire Ensample how god purueyeth to them that haue deuocion in hym and in his seruyce. But I trowe that ther ben many ladyes at this day that passe wel with lasse than thre masses, for it suffyseth them ynowe of one masse only, so lytelf loue and deuocion have they in god & in his seruyce. For in herynge of his seruyce his propre persone fonde hym. For who someuer loueth and dredeth hym, he wyl oft see hymn and here his hooly word. And in lyke wyse the contrary, for he that hath not wel set his hert to hym ward, he passeth lyghtely as many doo in thise dayes, whiche haue their herte more set on the world and on the delyte of the flesshe than on god.


Of a yonge amerous lady & of an esquyerEdit

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OF A YONG AMOROUSE LADY, AND OF AN ESQUYER.

I SHALLE telle to yow an Ensample of a yong lady whiche had sette her hert on the world. And vnto her repayred a squyer, whiche was joly and amourous on her. And she ne hated hym not. And more fore to haue ease and delyte for to speke and bourde to geder, she made her lord and husbond to bileue that she had auowed to go a fylgremage. And her husbond, whiche was a good man, suffred her by cause he wold not displease her. And so it happed on a tyine that she and this squyer went a pylegremage vnto a monastery of oure lady, and they were in grete plaisire on the way for to speke to geder. For they entended wel other thynges than to saye theyr matyns. And they had grete playsyre and delyte on the wey; whereof it happed that when they were comen in to the chirche and were in the myddel of the masse, the fowle fende, whiche is alwey in a wayte tenflamme & tempte man and woman, helde them so subget in this temptacion and fowle plaisire, that they had theyr eyen and plesaunces more to beholde eche other, and to make smale signes and tokenes of loue, than they had in the dyuyne seruyse, or for to saye deuoutely theyr prayers. And soo it happed by open myracle, that soo grete a maladye tooke the said lady, that sodenly she swouned, and they knewe not whether she was dede or a lyue. And so she was born thennes in mennes armes in to the towne as a dede body. And her hus. bonde and frendes were sente fore, whiche were moche sorowfull of this aduenture. And they beheld hyr, and wist not whether she wold dye or lyue. Thenne it happed that the lady, whiche was in grete payne, sawe a merueylous aduysyon. For her semed that she sawe her fader and moder, whiche had ben dede long to fore. Her moder shewed to her her brest, sayeng, "Fayre doughter, loo, here thy noreture. Loue and honour thy husbond and lord, as thou dydest this brest that gaf the to sowke, sythe that the Chirche hath gyuen hym to the." And after her fader sayd to her, "Fair doughter, why hast thou more plesaunce and gretter loue to other than to thyn owne lord and husbond? Beholde this pytte that is beside the, and know thou for certayn, yf thou falle in this fire of euyll hete, that thou shalt abyde therin." And thenne she loked and sawe a pytte ful of fyre so nyghe to her, that almoost she had fallen therin. And she was thenne all effrayed. And after this her fader and moder shewed to her wel an honderd preestes reuested al in whyte, and the fader and moder said to her, "Fair doughter, we thanke the, by cause that thou hast reuested this folke here." And after that her semed that she sawe thymage of oure lady holdyng a Cote and a sherte, and sayd to her, "This Cote and this sherte kepe the fro fallyng in this pytte. Thou hast defowled my hows and mocked it." And in this effraye, she awoke, and gaf a grete syghe. And thenne had her lorde and her frendes grete ioye, and sawe well that she was not deed. And this lady felt her self al wery and feble of the aduysyon, & drede of the fyre, and of the flamme of the pytte in whiche she was almoost falle. And she demaunded to haue a preest. And anon was sette to her an hooly man, a relygyous whiche was a grete Clerke, and wayre the hayre and lyued an hooly lyf, and to hym she confessid her, and tolde to hym all her aduysyons and the grete drede that she had to falle in to the pyt. And there she tolde to hym all her synnes, & her yong wantoun lyf, and the holy man declared to her hir aduysyon, & said to her in this wyse,


Yet of the sameEdit

    15th century translation     Modern English

YET OF THE SAME.

DAME, ye ben moche beholdynge to god, and to his swete moder, whiche wylle not haue yow dampned, ne the perdícion of youre sowle. But they shewe to yow youre perylle and youre saluacion. First,they haue shewed to yow youre fader and moder. And youre moder said to yow, 'Fayre doughter, see the breestes of whiche thou hast taken thyn noreture. Loue & honoure thy husbond, lyke as thou hast done these brestes. That is to vnderstonde, ye ought to loue & fere hym, like as ye loued the pappes of youre moder, & ther ye took youre norysshynge. And like as the childe leueth alle thynges for love of the tete, & for the swetenes of the mylke whero he taketh his foode, ryght so ought euery good woman, next god and his hooly lawe, loue her husbond aboue al other, and leue all other loues for hymn : in lyke wyse as oure lord saith with his hooly mouthe, that a man shold leue fader & moder, suster & broder, & abyde with his wyf, & with wyf her husbonde, and that they be not tweyne but one flessh, & y god hath ioyned man may not departe. & also where ye said that youre moder saide ye tooke youre noreture in her pappes & your welthe, that is to say, yf ye loue youre husbond aboue al other, thenne shall your noreture growe & encrece from day to day, like as the child groweth by his noreture of the pappe, & by the swetenes of the mylke, which signyfyeth the grete swetenes, the ioye, the loue, that ouzt to be in trewe mariage, & the grace of god duelleth in them. After your fader said, "Faire dougter, why hast thou more ter loue & plaisauce to other than to thyn husbond? Beholde the pitte that is beside the, & knowe thou verily, yf thou fall in the pitte with grete hete, that thou shalt be lost therein; that is to saye, that if thou loue more another than thy lord, thou shalt fall into the cyt, where ye shall be brent & broiled for the delyte of evil plaisauce & euyil hete." And therfore he shewed to yow the pytte of fire & of hete, and the vengeaūce & the pugnycion that behoueth to ensue for this delite & the hete of the folissh plaisauce. After, he shewed to you the prestes in white, & said that ye had reuested them, whereof he thaked you. That signefiace is, that ye haue do reuestid prestes, & done said masses for them, & in like maner pray they for you. & they ben sory when they see them that done good for them ben sent to perdicio, as ye may wel apperceyue that they were sory of the tēptacion that ye had in the foule plaisauce in which ye were in the wey for to be lost, & therfor they cam for to socour you, for love of the good dedes of the masses & almesses that ye haue done for them. After, ye saw thymage of our lady, that held a cote & a shirte, & said, " This cote & this shirt haue kept the fro fallyng in to the pytte; for thou hast defouled my hous & mocked it;" that is saye, that yehaue ben in the chirch in gretter loue of another than of hym. They werethefolisshe regardes & the folisshe plaisires ý ye toke hym fer whom ye emprised & toke the journeye. & also the vois said to you, Ý (you) haue fouled & mocked his hous, Ÿ is, his chirch; for all they that come thyder for ony other playsaunce but for the deuocion of hooly place, & doo not the seruyse of god, but come for their plaisire and worldly delyte, they mocke the chirche and the hows of god, after ye defowled it when ye synned there, lyke as the voys said to yow: that was when ye hadde youre herte sette more in the plaisire of folye than on the dyuyne seruyse. And of that trespas god hath wylled to shewe to you youre defaulte, and hath sente to yow this grete euylle and sekeness that ye haue now felt. And this grace and chastysement is comen to yow for the seruyse & good dede that ye dyde to two poure wymmen, of whiche ye gaf to one a Cote, & to that other a smok. And the voys said to yow, that the Cote and smock haue kepte you fro fallyng in to the pytte; that is to say, that the good deede and thalmesse that ye haue done for goddes sake haue kept you fro perysshynge. For k 77 yf ye hadde fallen in to the folye and fowle playsyre where ye had set youre herte in, ye had ben vtterly loste and perysshed, wher- fore ye ought to gyue grete thankyng & seruyse to god, that he hath vouchedsauf to shewe yow youre errour. Now ought ye from hens forth to kepe yow from fallynge in suche perylle as for to lose all honoure and youre sowle, and not to haue plaisire to loue none so moche as youre lord youre husbond, to whome ye haue promysed feith and trouthe, and ye ought not to chaunge for better ne werse. And yf she chaunge and loue another, than she lyeth and periured her feithe and trouthe. Now haue ye here, god be thanked, a faire myroure all lyke as the wyse man shewed yow the aduysyon." And thus he confessid and taugt her the best wyse he couthe. & the lady wexed al hole, and thanked god and lefte all her folysshe plaisaunce. Thenne it happed aboute half yere after, that the squyer that loued her peramours, cam froin a vyage and from an armee where he had ben, and cam to her queynt and Jolye, and began to bourde and jape and speke suche langage as he had to fore other tymes vsed. And he fonde her all straunge. Thenne was he all abasshed and admerueyled, and demaunded her and said, “Madame, at what playe haue I lost the good tyme, the lyf, and the hope that I haue had to lyue with you joiously?" And she answered to hym that all that tyme was passid. “For neuer as long as I lyue," sayd she, " i purpose to loue ne haue plaisaunce with none, sauf with my lord my husbonde." And thenne she told to hyin the aduenture that happed her in the chirch. And he thought and supposed wel to haue torned her, but he myght not.' And when he sawe that she was ferme and constaunt, he lefte her, and after sayd and tolde to many other the constance and stedfastnes of her, whereof he moche preysed and honoured her the more. And therfore here is a good Ensample how me ought not to go to hooly pylgremages for no foolysshe playsaunces, but only for the dyuyne seruyse and for the loue of god, and how good it is for to 78 praye and to doo saye masses for the soules of fader, moder, and other frendes, for in lyke wyse they praye and empetre grace for them that ben alyue that remembre them and doo good for them as ye haue herde. And also it is good to gyue almesse for god's sake, for the almesses geten grace of god to them that gyue them, lyke as ye haue herd. And now I shalle telle yow another ensample that happed in a Chirche, whiche was called oure lady of Bealem.


Of the vyces that renne and ben in manyEdit

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Of the good condycions that ben in dyuers and many maners amonge folkeEdit

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An Ensample of Eue our fyrst moderEdit

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THENSAMPLE OF EUE OURE FIRST MODER

THE first ensample of euyll and of synne, wherby the deth is come and entred in to this world, cam by Eue our first moder, that lytell kepte the commaundement of god, and the worship wherin he had enhaunced and put her. For he hadde made her lady of alle thynges lyuyng that were vnder the heuen, whiche al were obeyeng to her. And yf she had not falle in to the synne of inobedyence, there had be no fysshe in the see, ne beest on therthe, ne byrde in thayer, but that they had al be vnder her obeisaunce & at her will myght haue take them, and dyuyse & haue them where someuer she wold. Also she shold haue had children without ony dolour or peyne, & neuer she shold haue had honger ne thurst, nother cold ne hete, trauaylle ne sekenesse, tristesse or heuynesse of herte, ne erthely deth. No water myght haue drouned her, ne fyre myght haue conbusced or brente her, ne glauye or wepen myght haue hurte her, no thyng myght ennoye her. Thenne loke we and thynke how a synne alone withoute ony more was cause to putt her fro thys grete honoure and worshyp and make her falle so lowe and in suche seruage. For she lost all, that is before rehercyd only for the synne of inobedyence. Loke ye wel thenne that ye kepe yow fro it, as I trust in god ye shall, remembrynge this Ensample. And knowe ye that the synne of oure first moder Eue, cam by euylle and shrewed aqueyntaunce by cause she helde parlement with the serpente, whiche as the Hystorye sayth, hadde a face ryght fayre lyke the face of a woman and spack ryght mekely. She herd hym with alle her wylle and pryuely, where inne she dyde lyke a foole. For yf at the begynnynge she hadde not herde hym, but hadde come to her lord, she hadde dyscomfyted and ouercome hym to grete shame. And soo the foole, herynge of hym, tourned her in to grete losse & damage. And therfore, my faire doughters, it is not good to here folke that ben in theyr speche blandysshynge and castynge many flaterynge wordes, for they bene fulle of decepcion. The Serpente fould Eue ferre froo her lord and allone, wherfore atte his beste leyser he shewed her his deceyuable purpos and false langage, for the whiche cause it is not good to be. alone with ony other withoute he be of his next parente or kynrede. Not withstandynge, I saye not but men may wel bere honoure to euery one after he is worthy, but men put more his honoure and worship in jeopardy and daunger by answere to moche, than by fewe and short answere, for one word bryngeth in another.


How an holy Bisshop reprysed and taught many ladyesEdit

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How yong ladyes were scorned & mocked of the old & auncyent ladyesEdit

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HOW THE YONG LADYES WERE SCORNED AND MOCKED OF THE OLDE & AUNCYENT.

It befelle that many ladyes and damoysels were come at the weddyng of a maide. As they were goyng toward the place where as the dyner sholde be, they found a passynge fowle wey within a medowe. Thenne said the yong lady, "We shalle wel go thorugh this medowe and leue the hyhe waye." The Auncyent and wyse said they shold go the hyhe way, for it was the best and more sure goynge, and moost drye. The yong ladyes, that ful were of their wylle, wold not folowe them, and thought they shold be bifore them at the said place. And soo they tooke their wey thorugh the medowe, where were old cloddes all roten. And as they were vpon them they brake vnder theyr feet, and soo they felle in the myere and dyrte vnto the knees, and with grete peyne cam they oute ageyne, and took the hyghe weye. They made clene their hosen and gownes with theyr knyues the best they couthe. So long they were in wasshyng of their hoses and gownes that they myght not come to the begynnyng of the dyner. Euery one demaunded & asked after them, but no body couth tell of them. At the last they cam, as the fyrst mes or cours was eten, & after they had taken their refectiō & well drōken, they beganne to telle and recounte how they were falle in the myre vnto the knees to. "Ye," said thenne a good auncyent and wyse lady that was come by the hyhe weye, "Ye wend to take the shortest way to thende ye myght be the sonner & fyrst at the place, & wold not folowe vs. Hit is wel bestowed, for I telle yow for certayne that some wene to auaūce them self, that hyndreth them, and suche one is that weneth to be the first and formest that ofte fyndeth her the last of all." She gaf them these two notables, to thende they shold know their faute, for as saith the said holy man, thus is hit of this worlde,—they that first may haue noueltees of the world, wene to doo wel and be therfore enhaunced and tofore other ben holden and wysshed, but as for one that holdeth hit wel done, there ben ten that maken of hit. For suche one preyseth their doynge before them, that behynde their back putteth out his tonge, scornynge and mockyng them.


Yet of the sameEdit

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YET OF THE SAME.

She holdeth her self the best welcome that firste bryngeth vpon her ony noueltees. But as the good and hooly man saith, they that firste take suche newe raymentis be lyke to the yong ladyes that fylle in the myere, wherof they were mocked by the wyse ladyes that took the best and ryght wey, for men may not mocke them that kepe suche wey, and that vse their lyf after reason and not after theyr owne wylle. I say not but that whan that manere of newe raymentis is taken & comynly wered of euery one, & in euery towne, it may be thenne worne & taken, but yet the wyse woman shal leue and forbere it yf she can. And suche wymmen shalle not be lyke ne compared to them that fylle in the myere by cause they wold be first in the place, & they were the last. Therfore, my faire doughters, hit is good that none hast her not, but good is to holde the myddel estate. The lesse is the moost certayne and seurest, but as now is a cursed and shrewed world, for yf somme folysshe woman full of her wylle taketh & bryngeth vpon her ony noueltee & newe estate, euery other one shalle soone saye to her lorde, "Syre, it is told to me that suche one hath suche a thynge that ouer faire is, and that so wel becometh her. I pray yow, good syre, that I may haue suche one, for i am as good and as gentyll of blood, and ye as Gentyl a man, as she and her lord ben, & haue as wel for to paye as she hath." And thus she shalle fynde soo many reasons that she shalle haue her wylle, or els ryote and noyse shalle all day be at home, and neuer shalle be ther pees tylle she haue her parte, be it right or wronge. She shalle not loke yf ony of hir neyghbours haue that thynge that she wylle haue, also she shalle not abyde till euery one haue it, but the hastlyest that she may she shalle doo shape & make it, and forthwith shalle were it. It is meruevle of such coyntyse and noueltees, wherof the grete clerkes say, that seynge the men and wymmen so desguysed and takyng euery day newe raiments, they doute that the world shalle perysshe, as it dyd in tyme of Noe, that the wymmen desguysed them and also the men, whiche displesid god. And herupon I shalle reherce yow merueil whiche a good lady dyde recounte to me in this same yere. She tolde and saide to me that she with many other ladyes were come to a feeste of seynt Margrete, where as euery yere was grete assemble made. There cam a lady moche coynt and Joly, and dyuersly disguysed and arraid more than ony other there. And by cause of her straūge and newe array euerychone of them cam to beholde and loke on her, as it had be a wylde beest. For her clothyng and araye was different and no thyng lyke to theyr, and therfore she had wel her part beholdyng & lokyng. Thenne said the good ladyes to her, "My frende, telle ye vs, yf it please yow, how ye name that aray that ye haue on youre heed." She answerde and saide, "The galhows aray." "God blesse vs!" said the good lady, "the name of hit is not faire, and I ne wote how suche aray may plese yow." The tydyng of this aray and of his name were borne al aboute, hyghe and lowe, wherof euery one scorned and mocked her, and as mockyng and scornynge cam there she was to beholde and loke vpon her. I dyde aske of the good lady the manere of it, but euylle I witheld it. But as ferre as I me remembre of it, Hit was hyghe culewed, with longe pynnes of syluer vppon her hede after the makynge and maner of a gybet or galhows, right straunge and merueylous to se. And in good feyth, after that tyme, the yonge and folysshe lady that had that araye on her heede was euer mocked & scorned & nought set by. Here shal i leue to speke of the newe and desguysed raymentis, and of the good bisshop that so repreued them that hadde and wered suche araye, and that dede shewe to them by Ensamples and hooly scripture how that suche noueltees, that specially wymmen took on them, was token and signe of somme grete meschyef to come, as it werre, famyne, and pestylence.


Of the good knyght that had thre wyues, & of their lyuesEdit

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Of the second wyfEdit

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Of the thyrd wyf of the knyghtEdit

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Of a lady that blanked and popped herEdit

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Of Apomena, quene of SurryeEdit

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Of the quene VastisEdit

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Of Amon and of his wyfEdit

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Of the quene Gesabel, whiche had many euyll condycionsEdit

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Of Athalia, quene of JerusalemEdit

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OF ATHALIA, QUENE OF JHERUSALEM.

I WYLL telle yow another ensample of a quene of Jerusalem whiche was of euyll condycions, diuerse and withoute pyte. For whanne Ozias her sone was deed, she made al the children of her sone to be slayne, and alle his heyres also, sauf only one, that a good man named Zoadis made to be nouysshed secretely. This quene toke the possession of all the reame and goodes, and made vnto the peple grete dyuersytees and sore trauaylled them, and she taxed them so hyghe that they became poure. And as she had so trauaylled the reame, as she that was withoute reason and pyte, the child whiche hadde be secretely nourisshed and brought vp, cam to his enherytaunce, and toke the quene Athalia and made her to deye of an euyl and shameful dethe. And soo she hadde at the laste the reward and guerdon of her meryte. For god gyueth to every one the deserte of his meryte in his lyf or after his dethe. For none euylle is done, but hit shalle be punysshed soone or in tyme to come. I wold, fayre doughters, that ye knewe thensample and the tale of a quene of Fraunce, whiche had to name Brunehault. She was the quene of whome Sybile prophesyed, sayenge thus: "Brunehault shal come fro black Spayne in to the Reame of Gaule Fraunce, whiche shal do many euylle dedes, and afterwarde she shal be destroyed." And so it befelle, for she made somme of her children to be slayne, and also the sones of her children, & other grete crueltees she procured and dyde, whiche were to long to be reherced. But at the laste as hit pleasyd god, she was payd, for a child that scaaped her cruelte, which was sone to her son, and the whiche knewe the grete crueltees and abhoomynaltees that she had done and procured and maade to be done, accused her. And thenne al her fayttes and dedes were put to judgement before al the barons of the londe, and sentence of dethe was cast on her, that she shold be bounden with the heres of her hede atte hors taylle. And thus it was done, and so she deyed of an euyl and shameful dethe.

I will tell you of another example, an evil queen of Jerusalem who was of dierse evil conditions and without pity. For when Onas, her son, was dead she made all the children of her son to be slain, and also his heirs except only one which a good man named Zoadis had secretly nourished. This queen took possession of all the realm and goods, and made great disasters for the people, and sorely travailled them, and she taxed them so highly that they became poor. And while she so travailed the realm, as one without reason or pity. the child which had been secretly nourished and brought up came to his inheritance and took the Queen Athalia and made her to die an evil and shameful death. And so she had at the end, the reward and repayment of her merit. For God gives to everyone their desserts of their merit in their life or after their death. For no evil is done, but it shall be punished soon or in time to come. I would, fair daughters, that you know the example and the tale of a Queen of France which had the name Brunehault. She was the queen of whom Sybile prophesied saying "Brunehault shall come from Black Spain into the realm of Gaul, France and will do many evil deeds and afterwards she will be destroyed". And so it befell, for she made some of her children to be slain, and also the sons of her children and other great cruelties she procured and did, which were too many to be recited here. But at the end, as pleases God, she was repaid by a child who had escaped her cruelty, which was her grandson, and who knew the great cruelties and abhoomynaltees that she had done and procured and made to be done, and accused her. And then all her fayttes and deeds were put to judgement before all the barons of the land, and the sentence of death was cast upon her, that she should be bound with the hairs from her head to a horse's tail. And thus it was done, and so she died of an evil and shameful death.

  1. The daughter of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel


Of EnuyeEdit

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Of Dalida, Sampson's wyfEdit

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How a woman ought to obeye to her lord or her husbond in alle thynges honestEdit

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How men ought to kepe them self fro flaterersEdit

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How a woman ought in no wyse discouere ne telle the secretes of her husbond for ouer many perylsEdit

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How the faders and moders ought to praye for theyr childrenEdit

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How men ought to sette and put theyr children in the wylle of godEdit

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Of CharyteEdit

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How a bienfaytte done for the loue of god is rendryd of god an honderd fold gretterEdit

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How he that wyll praye god must do abstynenceEdit

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How men ought to sette and put theyr children to scoleEdit

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HOW MEN OUGHTE TO SETTE AND PUT THEYR CHILDREN TO SCOLE.

I SHAL telle you another ensample of a good woma whiche had a doughter that was named Delbora, the whiche she dyd put to the scole of wysedome and of sapyence. This delbora lerned so wel that she wyst and knewe al the hooly scrypture and wrytynge, & vsed of so good & holy lyf that she knewe of the secretis of god, and spak of many thynges that were to come. And by cause of her grete wysedome and wytte euery body cam to aske her counceylle of his affayres. Her lord was euylle and cruell, but by her wytte & by her fayr speche she couthe reule hym wel, for she toke away his frenesye and yre and made hym to be peasyble & juste to his peple. Therfore is here a good ensample how men ough to put her children to scole for to lerne clergye & holy scrypture, for by the knowyng of it they shalle better see theyr sauement and shall knowe & discerne the good fro the euyll, as dyd the good lady Delbora, & as dyde saynt katheryn, whiche thurgh her wysedome and by her clergye, with the grace of the holy ghoost, surmounted and vaynquysshed the wysest men of al grece, and by her hooly clergye and sure feythe god gaf her the vyctorye of her martirdome, & made her body to be borne by his angels viiii dayes Iourney fro the place where as she suffred her martirdome vnto the Mount of Synay, & her holy body rendrid holy oyle. And the begynnyng and fundament of the knowlege of god she had thurgh the clergye where as she knewe the trouthe & the sauement of her self. Yet shalle I telle yow an ensample of a child of the age of nyne yere, whiche had be four yere at the scole, & thorugh the grace of god he disputed & argued of the faythe ageynst the paynyms, and vaynquysshed them alle in so moche that they were so wrothe with hym that ones they spyed hym secretely and hurled at hym with stones, & whanne they supposed to haue hold hym in subiection they saide to hym that yf he wolde not forsake his god, they shold slee hym, but for ony torment that they made hym to suffre he had euer his trust & feythe in God. They asked hym where God was, and he ansuerd, "In heuen & withid myn herte.” And thenne for despyte they slewe hym, and opened the syde of hym to see yf he sayd trouthe that god sholde be in his herte, whiche they toke and made two pyeces of it. And as they dyd cutte it they sawe a whyte douue that yssued oute of hit, wherfor some of them by this ensample were conuertyd to the feythe of god. And therfor after this ensample it is good to put his children to scole whanne they be yonge, and make them to lerne the bookes of sapyence, that is to saye the bookes of good techynge and enseygnementes, where as men see the sauement of bothe the body and sowle, and not putte them to lerne in the bookes of the fallaces and vanytees of the world. For better thyng is and more noble to here speke of the good enseygnementes and techynges that may prouffyte bothe to the body and sowle, than rede and studye the fables and lesynges wherof no good ne prouffyte may come. And by cause somme folke sayen that they wold not that theyr wyues ne also theyr doughters wyst ony thynge of clergye ne of wrytynge, therfor I say, answerynge to them, that as for wrytyng, it is no force yf a woman can nought of it; but as for redynge, I saye that good and prouffytable is to al wymen, for a woman that can rede may better, knowe the peryls of the sowle and her sauement than she that can nought of it, for it hath be preued.


How euery good woman ought to ansuere for her lord in al thyngeEdit

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HOW EUERY GOOD WOMAN OUGHT TO ANSWERE FOR HER LORD.

I WYLLE telle yow another Ensample of a good lady, the whiche ought wel to be preysed. It was the good lady Abygal, whiche had a lord that was ful of yre, dyuerse and ryotous to al his neyghbours. He forfayted somme thynge toward the kynge dauyd, wherfore he wold haue had hym to be destroyed and putte to dethe, but the good lady, whiche was sage and wyse, wente toward the kyng and so moche humbled her self that by he swete and fayr wordes she made the pees of her lord. Of many other peryls wherin he fylle and putte hym self thurgh his fals tongue, she saued hym also. And thus this good lady amended euer his folye, wherof she may be wel preysed. Therfore ye haue here good ensample how euery good woman must suffre of her lord and ought to answere for hym ouer al, al be he neuer so yrous ne cruel to her, and saue and kepe hym fro al peryls. I wolde ye wyst thexample of a good lady, wyf vnto a Senatour of Rome, as it is conteyned in the cronykles of the Romayns. This Senatour was Ialous of his wyf withoute ony cause, and was euvile and cruell to her. Hit befelle that he accused one of treason, the whiche anone casted his gage of bataylle vnto hym, sayenge that wrongly he accused hym. The day cam that they shold Iouste that one ageynst the other. The Senatour was aferd and durst not come, and sent word to the Senate how he was seke, and that he shold sende one to Iouste for hym, but he coude none fynde. Wherfore the valyaunt lady his wyf, that sawe the cowardnesse of her lord, and thishame comynge to hym, wente and armed her self & cam to the felde. And by cause god sawe her bounte and that she dyd her deuoyr, he gaf her force and strengthe in soo moche that she obteyned the vyctory. And whanne the Ioustynge was fynysshed, themperour wold knowe who was the champyon of the Senatour wherfor the good ladyes, helme was vnlocked and soo she was knowen, wherfor themperour and alle they of the toune bare vnto her fro thens forthon gretter honour than they, were wont to doo. And therfor is here good ensample how euery good woman must humbly suffre of her lord that whiche she maye not amende. For she that more suffreth of her lord withoute makynge therof no resemblaunt receyueth therof more worship x tymes than she that hath no cause to suffre of hym, or that wyll not suffre nothyng of hym, as Salamon sayth, whiche moche wel spake of wymment preysynge the one and blamynge the other.

I will tell you another example of a good lady, who well ought to be praised. It was the good lady Abigail, who had a lord full of ire, diverse and riotous to all his neighbors. He forfeited something to the King David which would have seen him [her lord] destroyed and put to death, but the good lady who was sage and wise went toward the king and so much humbled herself that by her sweet and fair words, she made peace for her lord. From many other perils he full went and put himself through due to his false tongue, she saved him again. And thus this good lady amended every of his follies, and for that she is well-praised. Therefore ye have here a good example how every good woman must suffer of her lord and ought to overall make excuse for him, al be he's never so angry and cruel to her, and save and keep him from all perils. I would wish you were the example of a good lady, wife unto a Senator of Rome, as it is contained in the Chronicles of the Romans. This Senator was jealous of his wife without any cause and was evil and cruel to her. It befell that he accused a man of treason, which led the other to plan war against him, saying that he wrongly accused him. The day came that should joust against one another. The Senator was afraid and dared not come, and sent word to the Senate that he was sick and he needed to send another person to joust for him but couldn't find anyone. Whereupon, the valiant lady his wife, seeing the cowardice of her lord, and the shame coming to him, went and armed herself came to the field. And by cause, God saw her bounty and that she did her deuoyr, He gave her force and strength in so much that she obtained the victory. And when the jousting was finished, the Emperor wanted to know who was the replacement champion who fought for the Senator, thus the good lady's helmet was unlocked and so she was known, and the Emperor and all those at the tournament bore unto her from themselves greater honor than they held. And thus here is a good example how every good woman must humble suffer of her lord that which she cannot change. For she that suffers much from her lord without making of it a resemblaunt receives much more praise and times that she has no cause to suffer from him, or will not suffer anything from him, as Solomon says, which very much speaks well of women, in that he is praising the one and blaming the other.


An ensample of the Quene of Saba and of the kyng SalamonEdit

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How no woman ought not to chyde ne brawle with folke that ben brawlersEdit

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How no good woman ought to ansuere to her husbond whanne he is wrotheEdit

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HOW NO GOOD WOMAN OUGHT TO ANSUERE TO HER HUSBOND WHANNE HE IS WROTHE.

I SHALLE telle yow another ensample, of the quene Hester, whiche was wyf to the grete kynge of Surye. She was a good lady and a wyse, and loued and drad her lord. And before alle other ladyes the hooly wrytynge preyseth her moche by cause of her her holy lyf and of her good condycions. The kyng her ford was a felon man & dyuers, and said to her many outragyous wordest but for ony thynge that he sayd she ansuerd hym nothinge, before the folke wherby he myght be wrothe. But after, whanne she had hym alone, and sawe the tyme and the place be conuenyente, she blamed hym, and curtoysly shewed hym his fawte. And therfore the kynge loued her moche, and sayd att his secrete that he myght not be wrothe with his wyf by cause she repreued hym by soo fayre and swete wordes. Certaynly it is one of the best tatches or condycions that a woman may haue, to kepe her self fro ansuerynge in the yre of her lord. For a dredefull herte is euer in drede to doo or saye ony thynge that may displease to hym whom she ought to loue and beie hym honour: wherof is reherced in the booke of the kynges of the wyf of one grete ford whiche was euylle and felon, and his wyf was ryght swete and peasyble, to whome her damoysels sayd, "Madame, why take yow not your disportes as a yong lady, as ye shold do?” And she ansuerd that she must be in doubte, knowynge her lord of suche condycions as he was of, and that she wold kepe the loue of hym and pees in her hows. And also she sayd that the fere that she had of the prysons kepte her from yrthe and gladnesse. The one pryson was loue, the other was drede, and the thyrd shame. These thre vertues mastryed her, for the loue that she had to her lord kepte her fro doynge of ony thynge that myght come to the dysplaysyre of her lord; drede made her ferynge the losse of her, good renomme and honour, and to falle in synne; and shame kepte her fro euylle and dishonest repreef. Wherfore, my fayre and dere doughters, I praye yow that ye maye take her good Ensample that ye ne ansuere to your lord, but in tyme and place conuenyent, and by fayr wordes, as dyd the good quene hester, as ye tofore haue herd, and also as the same, the whiche sayd to her damoysels that her herte was in the loue and in the pryson of her lord, and that therfore she myght, doo but after his playsyr, lyuynge in pees.

I shall tell you of another example, of the Queen Esther, who was wife to the great king of Assyria. She was a good and wise lady, who loved and feared her lord. And before all other ladies, the holy writing praises her greatly due to her holy life and her good conditions. The king, her lord, was a criminal and diverse man, and said to her many outrageous words - but for anything that he said, she did not questoin him in public where he might be angry, but afterwards when she had hiim alone and saw the time and place to be convenient, she would blame him and courteously showed him his fault. And therefore the king loved her much, and said all his secrets so he would not be wrote with his wife due to her reproving him with such fair and sweet words. Certainly it is one of the best tatches or conditions that a woman may have, to keep herself from angrily rebuking her lord. For a fearful heart is ever in fear to do or say anything that may displease him whom she ought to love and obey him with honour, such as is recited in the Book of the Kings about the wife of one mighty lord who was evil and crimina, and his wife was right sweet and peaceable, to whom her damsels said "Madame, why do you not take your pleasures as a young lady, as you should?" And she answered that she must be in doubt, knowing her lord's conditions, and that she would keep the love of him and peace in her house. And she also said that the fear that she had of the prisons kept her from mirth and gladness. The one prison was love, the other was fear, and the third was shame. These three virtues mastered her, for the love that she had to her lord kept her from doing of anything that might cause displeasure to her lord; fear made her fearing the loss of her good name and honour and to fall into sin, and shame kept her from evi land dishonest reproof. Wherefore, my fair and dear daughters, I pray you that you would take her good example that you not respond to your lord except in a convenient time and place and with fair words, as did the good queen Esther, as you have just heard, and also as the same, that which she told her damsels - that her heart was in the love and in the prison of her lord, and that therefore she did nothing except for his pleasure, lying in peace.


How a good lady oughte to loue and drede and also bere feythe vnto her husbondEdit

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HOW THE GOOD LADY OUGHT TO LOUE AND DREDE AND ALSO TO BERE FEYTHE VNTO HER LORD.

I SHALLE telle yow another Ensample of the newe testament. It is of saynt Elysabeth, moder vnto Saynte Iohan. This Elysabeth thene serued fyrste god, and afterward her lord, and aboue al wymmen he drad and doubted hym. And as he came oute of the Town, and that by aduenture somme thynge was befalle amys in her hows, she kepte it, and made it to be kepte secrete vnto the tyme that she sawe her poynt. Thenne wente she and told it to hym by soo fayre and attemperate langage that in no wyse he myght neuer be wroth. She euer coueyted the pees and loue of her lord, and also ought to doo euery good woman. This holy lady loued and dradde god, and bare feythe to her lord, and therfor god gaf her saynt Iohan Baptist to her sone, whiche was a good guerdon. For a woman that loueth god and holdeth her clenely, god rewardeth her on lyue, and after her dethe he guerdonneth and rewardeth her with c double mo, as he dyd to this holy lady, to whome he gaf celestyals and erthely goodes to suffysaunce, as he dothe to his frendes whiche kepeth and holdeth them clenely in theyr maryagep and that haue good hope in hym as had this good Susanne.[1]

  1. This is a reference to an omitted chapter

I shall tell you another example of the New Testament. It is of Saint Elizabeth, mother unto Saint John. This Elizabeth served God first, and her lord second - and above all women he drad and doubted him. And as he came out of the town, and that by adventure something was going awry in her house, she kept it and made it to be kept secret until the time that she saw her point. Then she went and tld t to him by so fair and a temperate language that in no way could he be wroth. She ever coveted the peace and love of her lord, as should every good woman. This holy lady loved and feared God, and bore forth to her lord and therefore God gave her Saint John the Baptist as her son, which was a good repayment. For a woman that loves God and holds her cleanly, God rewards her in life and after death he repays and rewards her double, as he did to this holy lady to whom he gave celestial and earthly goods to sufficience, as He doth to His friends who keep and hold themselves cleanly in their maryages and that have good hope in Him as had this good Susanne.


How men ought bewaylle and wepe for there synnes and mysdedesEdit

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This chapyter sheweth how be it that a woman haue an euyl and felon husbond neuertheles she ought not therfore leue the seruyse of godEdit

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THE NEXT CHAPPYTRE SHEWETH HOW BE IT THAT A WOMAN HAUE AN EUYLLE AND FELON HUSBOND, NEUERTHELES SHE OUGHT NOT THERBY TO LEUE THE SERUYSE OF GOD.

aFTER this ensample I shalle telle yow another of ii good wymen, wyues of two paynyms. The one was wyf to the seneschall of Herode. This good woman serued our lord at y time that he preched, & administred & made his mete and drynke the best wyse they couthe. Here is good ensample how euery good woman, al be it so that she haue neuer so peruers and euylle husbond, yet this notwithstondyng she ne oughte to leue the seruyse of god and be obeysshynge to hym, or els atte leste she ought to be more humble and deuoute for to Impetre and gete the grace of god for her and for her husbond. For the good that she dothe appeaseth the yre of god and is cause of the sauement of theyre temporall rychesse and goodes. For the good that she dothe supporteth the euylle and mysdedes of her husbond, as it is reherced in the lyf of the Auncyent faders, where as he speketh of an euylle man and a tyraunt, the whiche was thre tymes saued fro euylle dethe for goodnes and bounte of his wyf, wher, fore hit befelle whanne she was dede, and that he had no body more that prayd for hym, he was for his grete synnes & mysdedes brought in to a shamefull dethe by the kyng of that lond. And therfor it is good and necessary to an euyl man to haue a good wyf and of holy lyf, and the more that the good wyf knoweth her husbond more felon and cruel, and grete synnar, the more she ought to make gretter abstynences and good dedes for the loue of god. And yf the one suffre not the other, that is to vnderstonde, yf the good dyd suffre & supported not the euylle, all shold go to perdicion. And yet I saye that the obeyssaunce and drede of god was stablysshed before maryage, for men ought fyrst obeye to the creatour whiche hath made them to his blessyd forme and semblaunce, and that. maye gyue them grace to be saued. And also the lawe commaundeth that men ought not to obeye to the body, tylle that they haue purueyed fyrst for the prouffyte of the sowle, whiche is perdurable, wherupon sayth the glose, that alle good and dewe seruyse of the body is to the sauement of the sowle, for the good of the sowle hath none lyke hit. And therfor it is good to dresse & meue his lord to doo somme good, and after his poure to kepe hym fro euylle dede. And thus oughte to doo euery good woman.


How it is good to herberowe and receyue in his hows the seruauntes and mynystres of godEdit

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Of a burgeyses wyf, whiche wold neuer pardonne her euylle wylle to her neyghbour wherfore she was dampnedEdit

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Of them whiche ought to come to theyr carnal frendes in whatsomeuer estate they beEdit

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OF THEM WHICHE OUGHT TO COME TOWARD THEYRE CARNALL FRENDES, IN WHAT SOMEUER ESTATE THEY BE.

OF them that ought to come in thestate wherin they be as theyre carnal Frendes come to see them, wherof I shalle telle yow an Ensample. There was somtyme a knyght, a good and trewe man, whiche wente in vyage beyond the see. He had two nyeces, the whiche he had nourysshed and broughte vp of theyr yongthe, and had maryed them, and ouermoche he loued them. In tournynge home ageyne fro his vyage, he bought for eche of them a good gowne, wel fourred, to be coynted and arayed therwith. He came and arryued late at the nyght in to the hows of one of them. He called and demaunded after his nyece and made her to wete how he was come thyther for to see her.

wente anone in

to her

She

that herd of

his

chambre, and did shette her

and make clene her gowne fresshe, and sente worde vnto her vncle come to hym. The knyght abode there and sayd, "My nyece shalle not come." for to brusshe

comynge

self

within

make

her gay and that soone she shold to

stylle a grete

whyle,

And her seruauntes come. The knyght had

ansuerd to hym that she shold soone desdayne and was angry of her long taryenge, seyng that long before she had not sene hym, wherfor he lepe vpon his hors and tooke his way toward the hows of his other nyece, where he entred in, but as soone as he dyd calle, she that anone knewe that it was her vncle which long tyme had be oute of the land, lefte forthwith the tournyng makynge of her breed, and with her handes yet full of paste came and embraced hym and sayd, " dere lord and vncle, in suche poynt and estate as I was whanne I herd yow, I am come to see yow, therfore please it

&

My

yow 150

to

pardonne me, for the grete loye whiche I haue of youre comynge maade me

to do hit." The knyght thene beheld and sawe the manere of his nyece, wherof he was full glad, and loued and preysed her moche more than his other nyece. He gaf her the two gownes whiche he had bought for her and for her suster, and thus she that; cam gladly in thestate wherynne she was to welcome her vncle, she wanne both gownes, and she whiche taryed for to make her ioly and gay, lost her parte of them. She thenne that forthwith came to welcome her vncle, as she had brought hym in her chambre she wente and propyrly arayed her self, and thenne sayd to hym, " My lord and myn uncle, I haue arayed and coynted me for to serue yow more honestly/* And thus she gate the loue of her vncle, and the other lost it. Here is good ensample how men ought to come ioyously in thestate where one is in, to welcome his frendes whiche be come to see hym. And yf ye wyst thexample of a baronnesse, or wyf of a baron, whiche was a good lady, and whiche wold in no manere were ne doo on euery day hir best gownes, wherfore her seruauntes sayd to her, " Madame, why go ye not better arayed and more coynted than ye doo ? ** And she answerd to them, " Yf euery day I went in my best rayments and helde me coynte and Ioly, how shold I doo on the hyghe feestes and holydayes, and also as the lordes my parentes shalle come to see me ? For thenne as I shold araye me the best wyse I couthe, yet men shold saye that al the day byfore I was fayrer and better besene, wherof no thanke I shold haue of them whiche were come to see me." And therfor I preyse her nothyng that can not amende her self in tyme and place as nede is, for a thynge whiche is comyn and dayly sene is nothynge preysed ne sette by.

151

Of them that ought to come as they are as their carnal friends come to see them, of which I will give you an example. There was once a knight, a good and true man, who went on an overseas voyage. He had two nieces, who he had nourished and brought up in their youth and had found husbands for them, and he very much loved them. In turning home again from his voyage, he purchased for each of them a good, well-furred gown to be a status symbol and an adornment. He arrived late at night to the house of one of them, and called and demanded of his niece that she wait as he was coming there to see her. The niece who heard of his coming went back and shut herself in her bedroom to brush and clean her gown to make her gay and fresh, and sent word to her uncle the should would soon be there to see him. The knight remained a long while and said "My niece is not coming". And her servants answered that she should be coming soon. The knight was angry and held her in disdained because of her long tarrying, saying that she hadn't seen him in ages, and thus lept upon his horse and took his way to the house of his other niece where he entered, but as soon as he did call out, she knew it was her uncle who had been out of the land a long time, so abandoned the turning and making of her braid and with her hands still full of paste came and embraced him and said "My dear lord and uncle, in the state I was in at the point I heard you, I have come to see you. There, please forgive me, for the great joy which I have of your coming, caused me to do it". The knight then beheld and saw the manner of his iece, of which he was very glad, and loved and praised her much more than his other niece. He gave her the two gowns which he had bought for her and for her sister, and thus she that came gladly, in the state wherein she was, to welcome her uncle - she won both gowns. And she who tarried for to make herself joly and gay, lost her part of them. Then she who had come to ewlcome her uncle, as she had brought him in her bedroom, she went and properly clothed herself and then said to him, "My lord and my uncle, I have dressed and made myself more able to serve you honestly". And thus she got the love of her uncle and the other lost it. Here is a good example how people ought to come joyously in the state wherein they are, to welcome friends who come to see them. And if you wished for an example of a baroness or wife of a baron, who was a good lady and who would not wear her best gowns every day, so her servants said to her "Madame, why do you not go better clothed and more valued than you do?" And she answered to them, "If every day I went in my best raiments and held held me coynte and Ioly, how should I do on the high feasts and holidays, and also when the Lords, my parents, should come to see me? For those times I should dress myself in the best ways I could, that people should say that all the day before I was fairer and better seen, whereof no Template:Reconsturct I should hae of them which were come to see me". And therefore I praise he who can refrain from amending herself in time and place as needed, for a thing which comes - and daily seen is nothing praised or set by.


Of a good knyght whiche fought ageynst a fals knyghte for the pyte of a maydeEdit

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Of the thre Maryes whiche came to the sepulcre so erlyEdit

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Thexample of the folysshe vyrgyns, and also of the wyse and prudente vyrgynsEdit

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THEXAMPLE OF THE FOLYSSHE AND VIWYSE VYRGYNS, AND ALSO OF THE VYRGYNS PRUDENT AND WYSE.The wyse man sayth in a prouerbe that whanne the ladyes were ryse out of theyr beddes, and ar they were wel kymbed and arayed, the Crosses and processions were gone and al the masses and seruyse of god done. It is as god sayth in his euangely; yf the fyue hooly vyrgyns whiche were curyoust awaked, and well garnysshed, of oylle and of lumynary to lyghte with theyre lampes, and whanne the spouse was come they wente and entred wyth hym with grete loye in to the castel, and founde the yates open. But the other fyue vyrgyns, whiche were ful of slepe, and had not purueyed them of oyll in to theyr lampes, whan they cam to the castel they found the yate shette before them. And whanne they asked for oylle, it was ansuerd to them that they shold haue none, by cause they were come to late. Wherfor I doubte after the purpos of this ensample, that many one is a slepe and sorowfulle to the seruyse of god. And as of them that ben not garnysshed of that whiche is apperteynynge to theyr sauement, that is to wete, to doo good and holy operacions, and haue the grace of god, doubte ye not but yf they tary longe to amende them before theyr ende, hit shalle be sayd to them as it was seyd to the v vnwyse virgyns, and shalle fynde the yate of the castell shette before them. Thenne shalle not be tyme to repente them, but sore abasshed they shall be, as they shalle see them departed fro God and fro the good sowles, and be cast and had in to the cruell pytte of helle, where as they shalle be in contynuell payne and dolour whiche neuer shal take none ende. Allas, how dere shalle be sold the coyntyses and folysshe playsaunces and delytes wherof men shall haue vsed for to obeye to his careyn and to the world! This way shal goo alle euylle wymmen, and the good women to the contrary. For they shalle goo with the espouse, that is, with god theyr creatour, & shalle fynde the grete yate open, where thorugh they shalle goo in to the blysse and Ioye of paradys, by cause they haue ben curyous and awaked wyth theyr lampes and lumynary, abydynge the comynge of the spouse, that is to saye, that they haue made good and hooly operacions, and haue watched for to abyde the houre of theyre dethe, and haue not be slepynge in synne, but haue hold them self clene, and haue confessyd them ofte, and kepte them selfe clene fro synne to theyr poure, and whiche loued and drad god. These shalle be the good wymmen of whom god spake in his euangely, as ye haue herd to fore.


How wymmen ought to be charytable by thexample of our ladyEdit

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HOW THE WYMMEN OUGHT TO BE CHARYTABLE AFTER THEXEMPLARY OF OUR LADY.

ALSO good ladyes and euery good woman ought to be charytable as the holy lady was that gaf for the loue of god and ful charyte the moste parte that she had. And at thexample of her dyd saynt Elyzabeth, saynte Lucye, saynt Cecylle, and many other holy ladyes, whiche were so charitable that they gaf to the poure and jndygent the most parte of theyr reuenues, as reherced is playnly in theyr legendes, wherfor I wold ye wyst thexample of a good lady of Rome, whiche was atte masse, and sawe besyde her, a poure woma, the whiche was shakyng for cold, for the froste was grete. The good lady had pyte of her and pryuely called her to her, and wente and had her in to her hows, whiche was not ferre thens, and gaf to her a good furred gowne. And whyles she was aboute this charytable dede, the preest that sayd the masse couthe speke neuer a word, vnto the tyme that she was come to the Chirche ageyne, and as soone as she was come ageyne he spake as he dyd to fore, and sawe afterward in a vysion the cause why he had lost his speche, & hou god preyseth before his agels y gyft gyue of the good lady to hym. Here is good ensample for euery good woman to be charytable, and not to suffre her poure neyghbours to be shakynge for cold and hongre, ne to haue ony mysease, but to helpe them as ferre as theyr power may retche. Now haue I told yow of the blessyd and holy vyrgyne Marye, to the whiche none may be lykened ne compared. And lytell ynough I haue spoken of her, but to longe were the matere yf I shold speke of all her dedes & fayttes. Therfor as now I shalle leue of her and shall speke of the good wydowes, ladyes of Rome, the whiche whan as they held them clenly in theyr wydowhede, they were worshipfully crowned in signe and token of chastyte, but long thynge were to reherce the bounte and charyte of them whiche were before the comynge of Ihesu Cryste, as it is founde and reherced in the byble. Also I haue recounted to yow of some good ladyes whiche haue ben syn I the newe testament, that is to wete, syn god toke his humanyte within the wombe of the blessyd vyrgyne Marye. And in lyke wyse as the holy scripture preyseth the good ladyes of that tyme, it is reason and ryght that we preyse some of this present tyme wherin we be, wherfor I shalle telle yow of euery estate of them one example or tweyne for to shewe example vnto al other. For men ought not to hyde the goodhede ne also the worship of them, and none good lady ought not to take desdayne of hit, but be gladde to here telle, and recounte the goodnes and worship of them.


Of the quene Jane of FraunceEdit

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How a woman ought not to marye her self without the counceylle of her parentes and FrendesEdit

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How euery good woman ought wel to kepe her renommeeEdit

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HOW EUERY GOOD WOMAN OUGHT WEL TO KEPE HER RENOMMEE. MY dere doughters, yf ve wyst and knewe the grete worshipwhiche cometh of good name and Renomme, ye shold peyne your self to gete and kepe it, as the good knyght whiche tendeth to come to worship & flee vylonye, payneth hym self and suffreth many grete trauaylles, as cold, hete, and hongre, and putte his body in to grete Ieopardy and aduenture to deye or lyue, for to gete worship and good Renommee , and maketh his body feble and wery by many vyages, also in many bataylles and assautes, and by many other grete peryls. And as he hath suffred payne and trauail ynough, he is put and enhaunced in to grete honour. And grete yeftes ben thenne gyuen to hym, and grete wonder and merueylle it is yf the grete worship and grete renommee that men beren vnto hym. Lyke wyse it is of the good lady and good woman, whiche in euery place is renommed in honoure and worship. This is the good woman that payneth her selfe to kepe her body clene and her worship also, the whiche also sette nought by her yongthe ne of the delytes and folysshe plesaunces of this world, wherof she myght receyue only blame, as I haue sayd before of the knyghtes, the whiche take and suffre such poynte and trauaylle for to be put in to the nombre of the other that ben renommed of grete worthynes and valyaunce. This oughte to doo euery good woman and euery good lady, and thynke how thus doynge she geteth the loue of god and of her lord, of theyr frendes and of the world, and the sauement of her sowle, wherof the world preyseth her and god also, for he calleth her the precious Margarite. It is a perle, whiche is whyte and round, bryght and wythoute macule or spotte. Here is a good ensample how god preyseth the good lady in the euangely, and thus ought to doo alle folke. For men ought to doo and bere as moche worship and honour to a good lady or damoysell as to a good knyght or squyer. But as now this day the world is al tourned vpso doune, for worship is not kepte in her ryght regle, ne in her ryght estate, as hit was wonte to be. Now I wylle telle yow how on a tyme I herd say to my lord my fader and to many other good knyghtes, how in theyr tyme men worshipped and bare grete reuerence to the good women, and how they which were worthy to be blamed were refused and separed oute of the felauship of the other. And yet it is not past fourty yere that this customme was as they sayd. And at that tyme a woman repreued of blame had not be soo hardy to putte her self in the Rowe or companye of them that were renommed, wherfore I shalle telle yow of two good knyghtes of that tyme: the one was named My lord Raoul de lyege, and the other had to name Geffroy, and were both bretheren, and. good knyghtes in armes, for euer they vyaged & neuer rested tylle they came in place where they myght essaye and preue the strengthe of theyr bodyes for to gete worship and good renomme. And so moche they dyd by theyr valyaunce that at the last they were renommed ouer al, as charny and bouchykault were in theyr tyme. And therfor they were byleuyd and herd before all other as knyghtes auctorysed and renommed.


How thauncyent were wonte to lerne the yongeEdit

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How hit was wonte to departe the dyffamed wymmen fro the companye of the good and trewe felauship & companye of the good and treweEdit

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How before this tyme men punysshed them that were dyffamedEdit

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HOW BEFORE THIS TYME MEN PUNYSSHED THEM THAT WERE DIFFAMED.

WHERFORE yf the wymmen recorded and thought the tyme past before the comynge of Cryst, whiche lasted more than fyue thousand yere, and how the badde and euylle wymmen, specially they that were wedded, were punysshed, as they mysgyded them. For yf it myght be proued only by two men that they had companye or carnal felauship with ony other than to theyr lord, she was brente, eyther stoned with stones. And for no gold ne syluer she myghte be saued, al were she neuer so noble, after the lawe of god and of Moyses. And yet I ne knowe but fewe Reames this day, sauf the Reame of Fraunce and of Englond, and in the lowe or basse Almayne, but that men doo Iustyse of them when the trouthe and certaynte of the dede may be openly knowen, that is to wete, in Romayne, In Spayne, In Aragon, and in many other Reames. In somme places men kytte of theire throtes, and in somme they be heded before the peple. And in other places they be mewred or put bytwene two walles. And therfore this Example is good and prouffytable to euery good woman. For how be hit that in this Royamme Iustyce is not done of them as in other Reames, neuertheles they lese therfore theyr worship and theyre estate, the loue of god and of theyre lordes, and of theyre frendes and world also, for they ben separed and putte oute of the book of them that ben good and trewe, as more playnly is reherced in I the booke of the holy faders’ lyf, wherof the tale shold be longe to reherce, wherof I shalle telle vow a moche fayr example, the hyghest of alle other examples as hit is, whiche god told of his mouthe, as telleth the holy scrypture.

Wherefore of the women recorded and thought the time passed before the coming of Christ, which lasted more than five thousand years, and how the bad and evil women, especially they who were married, were punished, as they misguided them. For if it might be proven only by two men that they have company or carnal fellowship with any other than their lord, she was burned or stoned. And for neither gold nor silver could she be saved since she was never above the law of God and of Moses. And yet I do know only a few realms nowadays, except of France and of England and in the low or basse Germany, but that men do justice to them when the truth and certainty of the deed becomes openly known. That is, to wit, in Italy, in Spain, in Aragon, and in many other realms. In some places men cut their throats, and in some they are publicly beheaded. And in other places they are immured between two walls. And therefore this example is good and profitable to every good woman. For how be it that in this realm justice is not done of them as it is in other realms? Nevertheless they lose therefore their worship and their estate, the love of God and of their lords, and of their friends and of the world, for they have been spared and put out of the book of them that were good and true, as more plainly is rehearsed in the book of the Holy Fathers' life, whereof the the tale would be long to recite, whereof I shall you you a very fair example, the highest of all of all other examples as it is, which God spake from His mouth - as told in holy scripture.


How god compareth the good wymmen to the precious perle or MargaryteEdit

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How a doughter of a knyght lost her maryageEdit

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How loue wylle be kepte warmeEdit

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How the deuylle tempteth one in the synne that he fyndeth hym most enclyned toEdit

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An Ensample of a good wydoweEdit

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THEXAMPLE OF A GOOD WYDOWE.

ANOTHER Ensample I wylle telle yow, contrary to this. It is of a good lady, whiche longe tyme was in wydowhere. She was of a holy lyf, and oche humble & honourable, as she whiche euery yere kepte and held a Feste vpon Crystemasse day of her neyghbours bothe ferre and nere, tyll her halle was ful of them. She serued and honoured eche one after his degree, and specially she bare grete reuerence to the good and trewe wymmen, and to them whiche had deseruyd to be worshipped. Also she was of suche customme, that yf she knewe ony poure gentyll woman that shold be wedded, she arayed her with her Iewels. Also she wente to the obsequye of the poure gentyll wymmen, and gaf there torches and all suche other lumynary as it neded therto. Her dayly ordenaunce was that she rose erly ynough, and had euer Freres and two or thre chappellaynes whiche sayd matyns before her within her oratorye. And after she herd a hyhe masse and two lowe, and sayd her seruyse full deuoutely. And after this she wente and arayed her self and walked in her gardyn or els aboute her place, sayenge her other deuocions & prayers. And as tyme was she wente to dyner, and after dyner, yf she wyste and knewe ony seke folke, or wymmen in theyr childbedde, she wente to see and vysyted them, and made to be brought to them of her best mete. And there as she myght not go her self, she had a seruaunt propyce therfore, whiche rode vpon a lytell hors, and bare with hym grete plente of good mete and drynke for to gyue to the poure and seke folke there as they were. And after she had herd euensonge, she wente to her souper, yf she fasted not, and tymely she wente to bedde, and made her styward to come to her to wete what mete sholde be had the next daye, and lyued by good ordenaunce, and wold be purueyed byfore of alle suche thynge that was nede full for her houshold. She made grete abstynence, and wered the hayre ypon the wednesdayand vpon the fryday. And hou I knowe this I shalle telle it to yow. This good lady dyed in a Manoyr whiche she held in dowaye, the whiche was apperteynynge to my lord my fader, and I and my susters, whiche were but yonge of age, cam to duelle there. And the bedde wheron this good lady deyd was broken in pyeces, & vnder the strawe was founde a hayr, whiche a damoysell toke, and sayd to vs that it was the hayr of her lady, and that she wered it two or thre dayes in the weke, and also told and reherced to vs her good condycions and her good lyf, and how she Rose euery nyght thre tymes, and kneled doune to the ground by her bedde, and rendryd thankynges to god, and prayd for al Crysten sowles, and how she dyd grete almes to the poures. This good lady, that wel is worthy to be named and preysed, had to name, My lady Cecyle of balleuylle. And yet I haue herd save that her broder myghte spende yerely xviii m pound, but notwithstondynge that, she was the most humble and the most good and curtoys lady that euer I knewe or wyste in ony countrey, and that lasse was enuyous, and neuer she wold here say ony euyll of no body, but excused them & prayd to god that they myght amende them, and that none was that knewe what to hym shold happe. And thus she blamed them that spake euylle of other folk, and maade them abasshed of that she repreued them so as she dyd. And thus oughte to doo euery good woman and euery good man at thexample of this good lady. And knowe ye that hit is a noble vertu not to be enuyous, and not to be Ioyeful of the dommage or scathe of other. And for certayn this good lady sayd, that they whiche auaunced them of the euylle and dommage of other, and that mocked theyr neyghbours and other, and that god shold punysshe them or some of theyr nyghe frendes and parentes, wherof came to them grete shame. And that haue I sene ofte befalle, as the good lady sayd, for none oughte not to Iuge ne reproche the dammage or euylle of other. Many suche favre and prouffytable talkyng of this good lady in my memorye, notwithstondyng the yong age whiche I was of whanne she deyde, for I was not aboue ten yere old. She had a ryghte noble ende, and as I wene, ryghte agreable to god. And as men say communely, of honest and good lyf cometh euer a good ende.


The thre enseygnementes or lernynges whiche Cathon gaf to his sonEdit

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The fyrst and the second enseygnementEdit

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The thyrd enseygnementEdit

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How Cathonet, after that he had done ageynst the two commaundements of his fader, essayed the thyrd on his wyfEdit

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How Cathonet shold haue ben hangedEdit

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Page:The booke of thenseygnementes and techynge that the Knyght of the Towre made to his doughters - 1902.pdf/206 of the world." And as soone as he had sayd these wordes, there was a grete nombre of men al on horsback, whiche made grete clamour and cryed, "Put not to dethe the trewe man Cathonet!"


How themperour's sone came to saue his mayster CathonetEdit

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How Cathonet escapedEdit

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How Cathonet exposed his aduentureEdit

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EXPLICIT.

    This work is a translation and has a separate copyright status to the applicable copyright protections of the original content.
Original:
 

This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

 
Translation:
 

This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

 
 

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1926.


The author died in 1939, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.