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The following was transcribed by Tomaso Vialardi di Sandigliano, P ... M. .. of the Torrione Lodge of Research

ca. 1390  

According to a philosophical study undertaken by British Museum experts , the Manuscript dates from approximately 1390 . Published by James O. Halliwell in 1840, it was mentioned in an inventory of John Theyerıs library in 1670. The latter was sold to Robert Scott, with a new inventory dated 1678. The Manuscript then became the property of the Royal Library until 1757 (hence its name Regius), at which time it was donated to the British Museum by King George II.

Sections of the manuscript:

  • Foundation of Masonry by Euclide in Egypt
  • Introduction of Masonry into England under King Athelstane
  • The Moral Duties, fifteen articles
  • The Moral Duties, fifteen points
  • Another ordinance of the art of geometry
  • The story of the Four Crowned Ones
  • The Tower of Babylon
  • The Seven Liberal Arts
  • An admonishment about Mass and how to behave in Church
  • An instruction on Good Manners

Hic incipiunt constituciones artis gemetriae secundum Eucyldem  


  1. Whose wol bothe wel rede and loke,
  2. He may fynde wryte yn olde boke
  3. Of grete lordys and eke ladyysse,
  4. That had mony chyldryn y-fere, y-wisse;
  5. And hade no rentys to fynde hem wyth,
  6. Nowther yn towne, ny felde, ny fryth:
  7. A cownsel togeder they cowthe hem take;
  8. To ordeyne for these chyldryn sake,
  9. How they myzth best lede here lyfe
  10. Withoute fret desese, care and stryge;
  11. And most for the multytude that was comynge
  12. Of here chyldryn after here zyndynge.
  13. [They] sende thenne after grete clerkys,
  14. To techyn hem thenne gode werkys;

  15. And pray we hem, for our Lordys sake,
  16. To oure chyldryn sum werke to make,
  17. That they myzth gete here lyvnge therby,
  18. Bothe wel and onestlyche, ful sycurly.
  19. Yn that tyme, throzgh good gemetry,
  20. Thys onest craft of good masonry
  21. Wes ordeynt and made yn thys manere,
  22. Y-cownterfetyd of thys clerkys y-fere;
  23. At these lordys prayers they cownter-
  24. fetyd gemetry,
  25. And zaf hyt the name of masonry,
  26. For the moste oneste craft of alle.
  27. These lordys chyldryn therto dede falle,
  28. To lurne of hym the craft of gemetry,
  29. The wheche he made ful curysly;
  30. Throzgh fadrys prayers and modrys also,
  31. Thys onest craft he putte hem to.
  32. He that lerned best, and were of oneste,
  33. And passud hys felows yn curyste;
  34. Zef yn that craft he dede hym passe,
  35. He schulde have more worschepe then the lasse.
  36. Thys frete clerkys name was clept Euclyde,
  37. Hys name hyt spradde ful wondur wyde.
  38. Zet thys grete clerke more ordeynt he
  39. To hym that was herre yn thys degre,
  40. That he schulde teche the synplyst of (wytte)
  41. Yn that onest craft to be parfytte;
  42. And so uchon schulle techyn othur,
  43. And love togeder as syster and brothur.
  44. Forthermore zet that ordeynt he,
  45. Mayster y-called so schulde he be;
  46. So that he were most y-worschepede,
  47. Thenne sculde he be so y-clepede:
  48. But mason schulde never won other calle,
  49. Withynne the craft amongus hem alle,
  50. Ny soget, ny servant, my dere brother,
  51. Thazht he be not so perfyt as ys another;
  52. Uchon sculle calle other felows by cuthe,
  53. For cause they come of ladyes burthe.
  54. On thys maner, throz good wytte of gemetry,
  55. Bygan furst the craft of masonry:
  56. The clerk Euclyde on thys wyse hyt fonde,
  57. Thys craft of gemetry yn Egypte londe.
  58. Yn Egypte he tawzhte hyt ful wyde,
  59. Yn dyvers londe on every syde;
  60. Mony erys afterwarde, y understonde,
  61. Zer that the craft com ynto thys londe,
  62. Thys craft com ynto Englond, as y zow say,
  63. Yn tyme of good kynge Adelstonus day;
  64. He made tho bothe halle and eke bowre,
  65. And hye templus of gret honowre,
  66. To sportyn hym yn bothe day and nyzth,
  67. Thys goode lorde loved thys craft ful wel,
  68. And purposud to strenthyn hyt every del,
  69. For dyvers defawtys that yn the craft he fonde;
  70. He sende about ynto the londe
  71. After alle the masonus of the crafte,
  72. To come to hym ful evene strazfte,
  73. For to amende these defautys alle
  74. By good consel, zef hyt mytzth falle.
  75. A semble thenne he cowthe let make
  76. Of dyvers lordis, yn here state,
  77. Dukys, erlys, and barnes also,
  78. Kynzthys, sqwyers, and mony mo,
  79. And the grete burges of that syte,
  80. They were ther alle yn here degre;
  81. These were ther uchon algate,
  82. To ordeyne for these masonus astate.
  83. Ther they sowzton by here wytte,
  84. How they myzthyn governe hytte:
  85. Fyftene artyculus they ther sowzton
  86. And fyftene poyntys they wrozton.

    Hic incipit articulus primus

  87. The furste artycul of thys gemetry:
  88. The mayster mason moste be ful securly
  89. bothe stedefast, trusty, and trwe,
  90. Hyt schal hum never thenne arewe:
  91. And pay thy felows after the coste,
  92. As vytaylys goth thenne, wel thou woste;
  93. And pay them trwly, apon thy fay,
  94. What that they mowe serve fore;
  95. And spare, nowther for love ny drede,
  96. Of nowther partys to take no mede;
  97. Of lord ny felow, whether he be,
  98. Of hem thou take no maner of fe;
  99. And as a jugge stonde upryzth,
  100. And thenne thou dost to bothe good ryzth;
  101. And trwly do thys whersever thou gost,
  102. Thy worschep, thy profyt, hyt shcal be most.

    Articulus secundus

  103. The secunde artycul of good masonry,
  104. As ze mowe hyt here hyr specyaly,
  105. That every mayster, that ys a mason,
  106. Most ben at the generale congregacyon,
  107. So that he hyt resonably z-tolde
  108. Where that the semble schal be holde;
  109. And to that semble he most nede gon,
  110. But he have a resenabul skwsacyon,
  111. Or but he be unbuxom to that craft,
  112. Or with falssehed ys over-raft,
  113. Or ellus sekenes hath hym so stronge,
  114. That he may not com hem amonge;
  115. That ys a skwsacyon, good and abulle,
  116. To that semble withoute fabulle.

    Articulus tercius

  117. The thrydde artycul for sothe hyt uysse,
  118. That the mayster take to no prentysse,
  119. but he have good seuerans to dwelle
  120. Seven zer with hym, as y zow telle,
  121. Hys craft to lurne, that ys profytable;
  122. Withynne lasse he may not be able
  123. To lordys profyt, ny to his owne,
  124. As ze mowe knowe by good resowne.

    Articulus quartus

  125. The fowrhe artycul thys moste be
  126. That the mayster hym wel be-se,
  127. That he no bondemon prentys make,
  128. Ny for no covetyse do hym take;
  129. For the lord that he ys bonde to,
  130. May fache the prentes whersever he go.
  131. Zef yn the logge he were y-take,
  132. Muche desese hyt myzth ther make,
  133. And suche case hyt myzth befalle,
  134. That hyt myzth greve summe or alle.
  135. For alle the masonus tht ben there
  136. Wol stonde togedur hol y-fere
  137. Zef suche won yn that craft schulde swelle,
  138. Of dyvers desesys ze myzth telle:
  139. For more zese thenne, and of honeste,
  140. Take a prentes of herre degre.
  141. By olde tyme wryten y fynde
  142. That the prenes schulde be of gentyl kynde;
  143. And so symtyme grete lordys blod
  144. Toke thys gemetry, that ys ful good.

    Articulus quintus

  145. The fyfthe artycul ys swythe good,
  146. So that the prentes be of lawful blod;
  147. The mayster schal not, for no vantage,
  148. Make no prentes that ys outrage;
  149. Hyt ys to mene, as ze mowe here,
  150. That he have hys lymes hole alle y-fere;
  151. To the craft hyt were gret schame,
  152. To make an halt mon and a lame,
  153. For an unperfyt mon of suche blod
  154. Schulde do the craft but lytul good.
  155. Thus ze mowe knowe everychon,
  156. The craft wolde have a myzhty mon;
  157. A maymed mon he hath no myzht,
  158. Ze mowe hyt knowe long zer nyzht.

    Articulus sextus

  159. The syzte artycul ze mowe not mysse,
  160. That the mayster do the lord no pregedysse,
  161. To take of the lord, for hyse prentyse,
  162. Also muche as hys felows don, yn alle vyse.
  163. For yn that craft they ben ful perfyt,
  164. So ys not he, ze mowe sen hyt.
  165. Also hyt were azeynus good reson,
  166. To take hys, hure as hys felows don.
  167. Thys same artycul, yn thys casse,
  168. Juggythe the prentes to take lasse
  169. Thenne hys felows, that ben ful perfyt.
  170. Yn dyvers maters, conne qwyte hyt,
  171. The mayster may his prentes so enforme,
  172. That hys hure may crese ful zurne,
  173. And, zer hys terme come to an ende,
  174. Hys hure may ful wel amende.

    Articulus septimus

  175. The seventhe artycul that ys now here,
  176. Ful wel wol telle zow, alle y-fere,
  177. That no mayster, for favour ny drede,
  178. Schal no thef nowther clothe ny fede.
  179. Theves he schal herberon never won,
  180. Ny hym that hath y-quellude a mon,
  181. Wy thylike that hath a febul name,
  182. Lest hyt wolde turne the craft to schame.

    Articulus octavus

  183. The eghte artycul schewt zow so,
  184. That the mayster may hyt wel do,
  185. Zef that he have any mon of crafte,
  186. And be not also perfyt as he auzte,
  187. He may hym change sone anon,
  188. And take for hym a perfytur mon.
  189. Suche a mon, throze rechelaschepe,
  190. Myzth do the craft schert worschepe.

    Articulus nonus

  191. The nynthe artycul schewet ful welle,
  192. That the mayster be both wyse and felle;
  193. That no werke he undurtake,
  194. But he conne bothe hyt ende and make;
  195. And that hyt be to the lordes profyt also,
  196. And to hys craft, whersever he go;
  197. And that the grond be wel y-take,
  198. That hyt nowther fle ny grake.

    Articulus decimus

  199. The then the artycul ys for to knowe,
  200. Amonge the craft, to hye and lowe,
  201. There schal no mayster supplante other,
  202. But be togeder as systur and brother,
  203. Yn thys curyus craft, alle and som,
  204. That longuth to a maystur mason.
  205. Ny thys curyus craft, alle and som,
  206. That longuth to a maystur mason.
  207. Ny he schal not supplante non other mon,
  208. That hath y-take a werke hym uppon,
  209. Yn peyne therof that ys so stronge,
  210. That peyseth no lasse thenne ten ponge,
  211. But zef that he be gulty y-fonde,
  212. That toke furst the werke on honde;
  213. For no mon yn masonry
  214. Schal no supplante othur securly,
  215. But zef that hyt be so y-wrozth,
  216. That hyt turne the werke to nozth;
  217. Thenne may a mason that werk crave,
  218. To the lordes profzt hyt for to save;
  219. Yn suche a case but hyt do falle,
  220. Ther schal no mason medul withalle.
  221. Forsothe he that begynnth the gronde,
  222. And he be a mason goode and sonde,
  223. For hath hyt sycurly yn hys mynde
  224. To brynge the werke to ful good ende.

    Articulus undecimus

  225. The eleventhe artycul y telle the,
  226. That he ys bothe fayr and fre;
  227. For he techyt, by hys myzth,
  228. That no mason schulde worche be nyzth,
  229. But zef hyt be yn practesynge of wytte,
  230. Zef that y cowthe amende hytte

    Articulus duodecimus

  231. The twelfthe artycul ys of hye honeste
  232. To zevery mason, whersever he be;
  233. He schal not hys felows werk deprave,
  234. Zef that he wol hys honeste save;
  235. With honest wordes he hyt comende,
  236. By the wytte that God the dede sende;
  237. Buy hyt amende by al that thou may,
  238. Bytwynne zow bothe withoute nay.

    Articulus xiijus

  239. The threttene artycul, so God me save,
  240. Ys, zef that the mayster a prentes have,
  241. Enterlyche thenne that he hym teche,
  242. And meserable poyntes that he hym reche,
  243. That he the craft abelyche may conne,
  244. Whersever he go undur the sonne.

    Articulus xiiijus

  245. The fowrtene artycul, by food reson,
  246. Schewete the mayster how he schal don;
  247. He schal no prentes to hym take,
  248. Byt dyvers crys he have to make,
  249. That he may, withynne hys terme,
  250. Of hym dyvers poyntes may lurne.

    Articulus quindecimus

  251. The fyftene artcul maketh an ende,
  252. For to the maysterhe ys a frende;
  253. To lere hym so, that for no mon,
  254. No fals mantenans he take hym apon,
  255. Ny maynteine hys felows yn here synne,
  256. For no good that he myzth wynne;
  257. Ny no fals sware sofre hem to make,
  258. For drede of here sowles sake;
  259. Lest hyt wolde turne the craft to schame,
  260. And hymself to mechul blame.

    Plures Constituciones

  261. At thys semble were poyntes y-ordeynt mo,
  262. Of grete lordys and maystrys also,
  263. That whose wol conne thys craft and com to
  264. astate,
  265. He most love wel God, and holy churche algate,
  266. And hys mayster also, that he ys wythe,
  267. Whersever he go, yn fylde or frythe;
  268. And thy felows thou love also,
  269. For that they craft wol that thou do.

    Secundus punctus

  270. The secunde poynt, as y zow say,
  271. That the mason worche apon the werk day,
  272. Also trwly, as he con or may,
  273. To deserve hys huyre for the halyday,
  274. And trwly to labrun on hys dede,
  275. Wel deserve to have hys mede.

    Tercius punctus

  276. The thrydde poynt most be severele,
  277. With the prentes knowe hyt wele,
  278. Hys mayster conwsel he kepe and close,
  279. And hys felows by hys goode purpose;
  280. The prevetyse of the chamber telle he no man,
  281. Ny yn the logge whatsever they done;
  282. Whatsever thou heryst, or syste hem do,
  283. Tells hyt no mon, whersever thou go;
  284. The conwesel of halls, and zeke of bowre,
  285. Kepe hyt wel to gret honowre,
  286. Lest hyt wolde torne thyself to blame,
  287. And brynge the craft ynto gret schame.

    Quartus punctus

  288. The fowrthe poynt techyth us alse,
  289. That no mon to hys craft be false;
  290. Errour he schal maynteine none
  291. Azeynus the craft, but let hyt gone;
  292. Ny no pregedysse he schal not do
  293. To hys mayster, ny hys felows also;
  294. And thatzth the prentes be under awe,
  295. Zet he wolde have the same lawe.

    Quintus punctus

  296. The fyfthe poynte ys, withoute nay,
  297. That whenne the mason taketh hys pay
  298. Of the mayster, y-ordent to hym,
  299. Ful mekely y-take so most hyt byn;
  300. Zet most the mayster, by good resone,
  301. Warne hem lawfully byfore none,
  302. Zef he nulle okepye hem no more,
  303. As he hath y-done ther byfore;
  304. Azeynus thys ordyr he may not stryve,
  305. Zef he thenke wel for to thryve.

    Sextus punctus

  306. The syxte poynt ys ful zef to knowe,
  307. Bothe to hye and eke to lowe,
  308. For such case hyt myzth befalle,
  309. Am nge the masonus, summe or alle,
  310. Throwghe envye, or dedly hate,
  311. Ofte aryseth ful gret debate.
  312. Thenne owyth the mason, zef that he may,
  313. Putte hem bothe under a day;
  314. But loveday zet schul they make none;
  315. Tyl that the werke day be clene a-gone;
  316. Apon the holyday ze mowe wel take
  317. Leyser y-nowzgth loveday to make,
  318. Lest that hyt wolde the werke day
  319. Latte here werke for suche afray;
  320. To suche ende thenne that hem drawe,
  321. That they stonde wel yn Goddes lawe.

    Septimus punctus

  322. The seventhe poynt he may wel mene,
  323. Of wel longe lyf that God us lene,
  324. As hyt dyscryeth wel opunly,
  325. Thou schal not by thy maysters wyf ly,
  326. Ny by the felows, yn no maner wyse,
  327. Lest the craft wolde the despyse;
  328. Ny by the felows concubyne,
  329. No more thou woldest he dede by thyne.
  330. The peyne thereof let hyt be ser,
  331. That he prentes ful seven zer,
  332. Zef he forfete yn eny of hem,
  333. So y-chasted thenne most he ben;
  334. Ful mekele care myzth ther begynne,
  335. For suche a fowle dedely synne.

    Octavus punctus

  336. The eghte poynt, he may be sure,
  337. Zef thou hast y-taken any cure,
  338. Under thy mayster thou be trwe,
  339. For that pynt thou schalt never arewe;
  340. Atrwe medyater thou most nede be
  341. To thy mayster, and thy felows fre;
  342. Do trwly al....that thou myzth,
  343. To both partyes, and that ys good ryzth.

    Nonus punctus

  344. The nynthe poynt we schul hym calle,
  345. That he be stwarde of oure halle,
  346. Zef that ze ben yn chambur y-fere,
  347. Uchon serve other, with mylde chere;
  348. Jentul felows, ze moste hyt knowe,
  349. For to be stwardus alle o rowe,
  350. Weke after weke withoute dowte,
  351. Stwardus to ben so alle abowte,
  352. Lovelyche to serven uchon othur,
  353. As thawgh they were syster and brother;
  354. Ther schal never won on other costage
  355. Fre hymself to no vantage,
  356. But every mon schal be lyche fre
  357. Yn that costage, so moste hyt be;
  358. Loke that thou pay wele every mon algate,
  359. That thou hsat y-bowzht any vytayles ate,
  360. That no cravynge be y-mad to the,
  361. Ny to thy felows, yn no degre,
  362. To mon or to wommon, whether he be,
  363. Pay hem wel and trwly, for that wol we;
  364. Therof on thy felow trwe record thou take,
  365. For that good pay as thou dost make,
  366. Lest hyt wolde thy felowe schame,
  367. Any brynge thyself ynto gret blame.
  368. Zet good acowntes he most make
  369. Of suche godes as he hath y-take,
  370. Of thy felows goodes that thou hast spende,
  371. Wher, and how, and to what ende;
  372. Suche acowntes thou most come to,
  373. Whenne thy felows wollen that thou do.

    Decimus punctus

  374. The tenthe poynt presentyeth wel god lyf,
  375. To lyven withoute care and stryf;
  376. For and the mason lyve amysse,
  377. And yn hys werk be false, y-wysse,
  378. And thorwz suche a false skewysasyon
  379. May sclawndren hys felows oute reson,
  380. Throwz false sclawnder of suche fame
  381. May make the craft kachone blame.
  382. Zef he do the craft suche vylany,
  383. Do hym no favour thenne securly.
  384. Ny maynteine not hym yn wyked lyf,
  385. Lest hyt wolde turne to care and stryf;
  386. But zet hym ze schul not delayme,
  387. But that ze schullen hym constrayne,
  388. For to apere whersevor ze wylle,
  389. Whar that ze wolen, lowde, or stylle;
  390. To the nexte semble ze schul hym calle,
  391. To apere byfore hys felows alle,
  392. And but zef he wyl byfore hem pere,
  393. The crafte he moste nede forswere;
  394. He schal thenne be chasted after the lawe
  395. That was y-fownded by olde dawe.

    Punctus undecimus

  396. The eleventhe poynt ys of good dyscrecyoun,
  397. As ze mowe knowe by good resoun;
  398. A mason, and he thys craft wel con,
  399. That syzth hys felow hewen on a ston,
  400. Amende hyt sone, zef that thou con,
  401. And teche hym thenne hyt to amende,
  402. That the lordys werke be not y-schende,
  403. And teche hym esely hyt to amende,
  404. With fayre wordes, that God the hath lende;
  405. For hys sake that sytte above,
  406. With swete wordes noresche hym love.

    Punctus duodecimus

  407. The twelthe poynt of gret ryolte,
  408. Ther as the semble y-hole schal be,
  409. Ther schul be maystrys and felows also,
  410. And other grete lordes mony mo;
  411. There schal be the scheref of that contre,
  412. And also the meyr of that syte,
  413. Knyztes and ther schul be,
  414. And other aldermen, as ze schul se;
  415. Suche ordynance as they maken there,
  416. They schul maynte hyt hol y-fere
  417. Azeynus that mon, whatsever he be,
  418. That longuth to the craft bothe fayr and
  419. free.
  420. Zef he any stryf azeynus hem make,
  421. Ynto here warde he schal be take.

    Xiijus punctus

  422. The threnteth poynt ys to us ful luf.
  423. He schal swere never to be no thef,
  424. Ny soker hym yn hys fals craft,
  425. For no good that he hath byraft,
  426. And thou mowe hyt knowe or syn,
  427. Nowther for hys good, ny for hys kyn.

    Xiijus punctus

  428. The fowrtethe poynt ys ful good lawe
  429. To hym that wold ben under awe;
  430. A good trwe othe he most ther swere
  431. To hys mayster and hys felows that ben there;
  432. He most be stedefast and trwe also
  433. To alle thys ordynance, whersever he go,
  434. And to hys lyge lord the kynge,
  435. To be trwe to hym, over alle thynge.
  436. And alle these poyntes hyr before
  437. To hem thou most nede by y-swore,
  438. And alle schul swere the same ogth
  439. Of the masonus, be they luf, ben they loght,
  440. To alle these poyntes hyr byfore,
  441. That hath ben ordeynt by ful good lore.
  442. And they schul enquere every mon
  443. On his party, as wyl as he con,
  444. Zef any mon mowe be y-fownde gulty
  445. Yn any of these poyntes spesyaly;
  446. And whad he be, let hym be sowzht,
  447. And to the semble let hym be browzht.

    Quindecimus punctus

  448. The fifethe poynt ys of ful good lore,
  449. For hem that schul ben ther y-swore,
  450. Suche ordyance at the semble wes layd
  451. Of grete lordes and maystres byforesayd;
  452. For thelke that be unbuxom, y-wysse,
  453. Azeynus the ordynance that ther ysse
  454. Of these artyculus, that were y-meved there,
  455. Of grete lordes and masonus al y-fere.
  456. And zef they ben y-preved opunly
  457. Byfore that semble, by an by,
  458. And for here gultes no mendys wol make,
  459. Thenne most they nede the craft they schul refuse,
  460. And swere hyt never more for to use.
  461. But zef that they wol mendys make,
  462. Azayn to the craft they schul never take;
  463. And zef that they nul not do so,
  464. The scheref schal come hem sone to,
  465. And putte here dodyes yn duppe prison,
  466. For the trespasse that they hav y-don,
  467. And take here goodes and here cattelle
  468. Ynto the kynges hond, everyt delle,
  469. And lete hem dwelle ther full stylle,
  470. Tyl hyt be oure lege kynges wylle.

    Alia ordinacio artis gematriae

  471. They ordent ther a semble to be y-holde
  472. Every zer, whersever they wolde,
  473. To amende the defautes, zef any where fonde
  474. Amonge the craft withynne the londe;
  475. Uche zer or thrydde zer hyt schuld be holde,
  476. Yn every place whersever they wolde;
  477. Tyme and place most be ordeynt also,
  478. Yn what place they schul semble to.
  479. Alle the men of craft thr they most ben,
  480. And other grete lordes, as ze mowe sen,
  481. To mende the fautes that buth ther y-spoke,
  482. Zef that eny of hem ben thenne y-broke.
  483. Ther they schullen ben alle y-swore,
  484. That longuth to thys craftes lore,
  485. To kepe these statutes everychon,
  486. That ben y-ordeynt by kynge Aldelston;
  487. These statutes that y have hyr y-fonde
  488. Y chulle they ben holde throzh my londe,
  489. For the worsche of my rygolte,
  490. That y have by my dygnyte.
  491. Also at every semble that ze holde,
  492. That ze come to zowre lyge kyng bolde,
  493. Bysechynge hym of hys hye grace,
  494. To stone with zow yn every place,
  495. To conferme the statutes of kynge Adelston,
  496. That he ordeydnt to thys craft by good reson,

    Ars quatuor coronatorum

  497. Pray we now to God almyzht,
  498. And to hys moder Mary bryzht,
  499. That we mowe keepe these artyculus here,
  500. And these poynts wel al y-fere,
  501. As dede these holy martyres fowre,
  502. That yn thys craft were of gret honoure;
  503. They were as gode masonus as on erthe schul go,
  504. Gravers and ymage-makers they were also.
  505. For they were werkemen of the beste,
  506. The emperour hade to hem gret luste;
  507. He wylned of hem a ymage to make,
  508. That mowzh be worscheped for his sake;
  509. Susch mawmetys he hade yn hys dawe,
  510. To turne the pepul from Crystus lawe.
  511. But they were stedefast yn Crystes lay,
  512. And to here craft, withouten nay;
  513. They loved wel God and alle hys lore,
  514. And weren yn hys serves ever more.
  515. Trwe men they were yn that dawe,
  516. And lyved wel y Goddus lawe;
  517. They thozght no mawmetys for to make,
  518. For no good that they myzth take,
  519. To levyn on that mawmetys for here God,
  520. They nolde do so thawz he were wod;
  521. For they nolde not forsake here trw fay,
  522. An beyleve on hys falsse lay.
  523. The emperour let take hem sone anone,
  524. And putte hem ynto a dep presone;
  525. The sarre he penest hem yn that plase,
  526. The more yoye wes to hem of Cristus grace.
  527. Thenne when he sye no nother won,
  528. To dethe he lette hem thenne gon;
  529. By the bok he may kyt schowe,
  530. In the legent of scanctorum,
  531. The name of quatour coronatorum.
  532. Here fest wol be, withoute nay,
  533. After Alle Halwen the eyght day.
  534. Ze mow here as y do rede,
  535. That mony zeres after, for gret drede
  536. That Noees flod wes alle y-ronne,
  537. The tower of Babyloyne was begonne,
  538. Also playne werke of lyme and ston,
  539. As any mon schulde loke uppon;
  540. So long and brod hyt was begonne,
  541. Seven myle the hezghte schadweth the sonne.
  542. King Nabogodonosor let hyt make,
  543. To gret strenthe for monus sake,
  544. Thazgh suche a flod azayne schulde come,
  545. Over the werke hyt schulde not nome;
  546. For they hadde so hy pride, with stronge
  547. bost,
  548. Alle that werke therfore was y-lost;
  549. An angele smot hem so with dyveres speche,
  550. That never won wyste what other schuld
  551. reche.
  552. Mony eres after, the goode clerk Euclyde
  553. Tazghte the craft of gemetre wonder wyde,
  554. So he ded that tyme other also,
  555. Of dyvers craftes mony mo.
  556. Throzgh hye grace of Crist yn heven,
  557. He commensed yn the syens seven;
  558. Gramatica ys the furste syens y-wysse,
  559. Dialetica the secunde, so have y blysse,
  560. Rethorica the thrydde, withoute nay,
  561. Musica ys the fowrth, as y zow say,
  562. Astromia ys the V, by my snowte,
  563. Arsmetica the Vi, withoute dowte
  564. Gemetria the seventhe maketh an ende,
  565. For he ys bothe make and hende,
  566. Gramer forsothe ys the rote,
  567. Whose wyl lurne on the boke;
  568. But art passeth yn hys degre,
  569. As the fryte doth the rote of the tre;
  570. Rethoryk metryth with orne speche amonge,
  571. And musyke hyt ys a swete song;
  572. Astronomy nombreth, my dere brother,
  573. Arsmetyk scheweth won thyng that ys another,
  574. Gemetre the seventh syens hyt ysse,
  575. That con deperte falshed from trewthe y-wys.
  576. These bene the syens seven,
  577. Whose useth hem wel, he may han heven.
  578. Now dere chyldren, by zowre wytte,
  579. Pride and covetyse that ze leven, hytte,
  580. And taketh hede to goode dyscrecyon,
  581. And to good norter, whersever ze com.
  582. Now y pray zow take good hede,
  583. For thys ze most kenne nede,
  584. But much more ze moste wyten,
  585. Thenne ze fynden hyr y-wryten.
  586. Zef the fayle therto wytte,
  587. Pray to God to send the hytte;
  588. For Crist hymself, he techet ous
  589. That holy churche ys Goddes hous,
  590. That ys y-mad for nothynge ellus
  591. but for to pray yn, as the bok tellus;
  592. Ther the pepul schal gedur ynne,
  593. To pray and wepe for here synne.
  594. Loke thou come not to churche late,
  595. For to speke harlotrey by the gate;
  596. Thenne to churche when thou dost fare,
  597. Have yn thy mynde ever mare
  598. To worschepe thy lord God bothe day and nyzth,
  599. With all thy wyttes, and eke thy myzth.
  600. To the churche dore when tou dost come,
  601. Of that holy water ther sum thow nome,
  602. For every drope thou felust ther
  603. Qwenchet a venyal synne, be thou ser.
  604. But furst thou most do down thy hode,
  605. For hyse love that dyed on the rode.
  606. Into the churche when thou dost gon,
  607. Pulle uppe thy herte to Crist, anon;
  608. Uppon the rode thou loke uppe then,
  609. And knele down fayre on bothe thy knen;
  610. Then pray to hym so hyr to worche,
  611. After the lawe of holy churche,
  612. For to kepe the comandementes ten,
  613. That God zaf to alle men;
  614. And pray to hym with mylde steven
  615. To kepe the from the synnes seven,
  616. That thou hyr mowe, yn thy lyve,
  617. Kepe the wel from care and stryve,
  618. Forthermore he grante the grace,
  619. In heven blysse to hav a place.
  620. In holy churche lef nyse wordes
  621. Of lewed speche, and fowle bordes,
  622. And putte away alle vanyte,
  623. And say thy pater noster and thyn ave;
  624. Loke also thou make no bere,
  625. But ay to be yn thy prayere;
  626. Zef thou wolt not thyselve pray,
  627. Latte non other mon by no way.
  628. In that place nowther sytte ny stonde,
  629. But knele fayre down on the gronde,
  630. And, when the Gospel me rede schal,
  631. Fayre thou stonde up fro the wal,
  632. And blesse the fayre, zef that thou conne,
  633. When gloria tibi is begonne;
  634. And when the gospel ys y-done,
  635. Azayn thou myzth knele adown;
  636. On bothe thy knen down thou falle,
  637. For hyse love that bowzht us alle;
  638. And when thou herest the belle rynge
  639. To that holy sakerynge,
  640. Knele ze most, bothe zynge and olde,
  641. And bothe zor hondes fayr upholde,
  642. And say thenne yn thys manere,
  643. Fayr and softe, withoute bere;
  644. Jhesu Lord, welcom thou be,
  645. Yn forme of bred, as y the se.
  646. Now Jhesu, for thyn holy name,
  647. Schulde me from synne and schame,
  648. Schryff and hosel thou grant me bo,
  649. Zer that y schal hennus go,
  650. And vey contrycyon of my synne,
  651. Tath y never, Lord, dye therynne;
  652. And, as thou were of a mayde y-bore,
  653. Sofre me never to be y-lore;
  654. But when y schal hennus wende,
  655. Grante me the blysse withoute ende;
  656. Amen! amen! so mot hyt be!
  657. Now, swete lady, pray for me."
  658. Thus thou myzht say, or sum other thynge,
  659. When thou knelust at the sakerynge.
  660. For covetyse after good, spare thou nought
  661. To worschepe hym that alle hath wrought;
  662. For glad may a mon that day ben,
  663. That onus yn the day may hym sen;
  664. Hyt ys so muche worthe, withoute nay,
  665. The vertu therof no mon telle may;
  666. But so meche good doth that syht,
  667. As seynt Austyn telluth ful ryht,
  668. That day thou syst Goddus body,
  669. Thou schalt have these, ful securly;-
  670. Mete and drynke at thy nede,
  671. Non that day schal the gnede;
  672. Ydul othes, an wordes bo,
  673. God forzeveth the also;
  674. Soden deth, that ylke day,
  675. The dar not drede by no way;
  676. Also that day, y the plyht,
  677. Thou schalt not lese thy eye syht;
  678. And uche fote that thou gost then,
  679. That holy syht for to sen,
  680. They schul be told to stonde yn stede,
  681. When thou hast therto gret nede;
  682. That messongere, the angele Gabryelle,
  683. Wol kepe hem to the ful welle.
  684. From thys mater now y may passe,
  685. To telle mo medys of the masse:
  686. To churche come zet, zef thou may,
  687. And here thy masse uche day;
  688. Zef thou mowe not come to churche,
  689. Wher that ever thou doste worche,
  690. When thou herest to masse knylle,
  691. Pray to God with herte stylle,
  692. To zeve the part of that servyse,
  693. That yn churche ther don yse.
  694. Forthermore zet, y wol zow preche
  695. To zowre felows, hyt for to teche,
  696. When thou comest byfore a lorde,
  697. Yn halle, yn bowre, or at the borde,
  698. Hod or cappe that thou of do,
  699. Zer thou come hym allynge to;
  700. Twyes or thryes, without dowte,
  701. To that lord thou moste lowte;
  702. With thy ryzth kne let hyt be do,
  703. Thynowne worschepe tou save so.
  704. Holde of thy cappe, and hod also,
  705. Tyl thou have leve hyt on to do.
  706. Al the whyle thou spekest with hym,
  707. Fayre and lovelyche bere up thy chyn;
  708. So, after the norter of the boke,
  709. Yn hys face lovely thou loke.
  710. Fot and hond, thou kepe ful stylle
  711. From clawynge and trypynge, ys sckylle;
  712. From spyttynge and snyftynge kepe the also,
  713. By privy avoydans let hyt go.
  714. And zef that thou be wyse and felle,
  715. Thou hast gret nede to governe the welle.
  716. Ynto the halle when thou dost wende,
  717. Amonges the genteles, good and hende,
  718. Presume not to hye for nothynge,
  719. For thyn hye blod, ny thy connynge,
  720. Nowther to sytte, ny to lene,
  721. That ys norther good and clene.
  722. Let not thy cowntenans therfore abate,
  723. Forsothe, good norter wol save thy state.
  724. Fader and moder, whatsever they be,
  725. Wel ys the chyld that wel may the ,
  726. Yn halle, yn chamber, wher thou dost gon;
  727. Gode maners maken a mon.
  728. To the nexte degre loke wysly,
  729. To do hem reverans by and by;
  730. Do hem zet no reverans al o-rowe,
  731. But zef that thou do hem know.
  732. To the mete when thou art y-sette,
  733. Fayre and onestelyche thou ete hytte;
  734. Fyrst loke that thyn honden be clene,
  735. And that thy knyf be scharpe and kene;
  736. And kette thy bed al at thy mete,
  737. Ryzth as hyt may be ther y-ete.
  738. Zef thou sytte by a worththyur mon.
  739. Then thy selven thou art won,
  740. Sofre hym fyrst to toyche the mete,
  741. Zer thyself to hyt reche.
  742. To the fayrest mossel thou myzht not strike,
  743. Thaght that thou do hyt wel lyke;
  744. Kepe thyn hondes, fayr and wel,
  745. From fowle smogynge of thy towel;
  746. Theron thou schalt not thy nese snyte,
  747. Ny at the mete thy tothe thou pyke;
  748. To depe yn the coppe thou myzght not synke,
  749. Thagh thou have good wyl to drynke,
  750. Lest thyn enyn wolde wattryn therby-
  751. Then were hyt no curtesy
  752. Loke yn thy mowth ther be no mete,
  753. When thou begynnyst to drynke or speke.
  754. When thou syst any mon drynkiynge,
  755. That taketh hed to thy carpynge,
  756. Sone anonn thou sese thy tale,
  757. Whether he drynke wyn other ale.
  758. Loke also thou scorne no mon,
  759. Yn what degre thou syst hym gon;
  760. Ny thou schalt no mon deprave,
  761. Zef thou wolt thy worschepe save;
  762. For suche worde myzht ther outberste,
  763. That myzht make the sytte yn evel reste,
  764. Close thy honde yn thy fyste,
  765. And kepe the wel from "had-y-wyste."
  766. Yn chamber amonge the ladyes bryght,
  767. Holde thy tonge and spende thy syght;
  768. Lawze thou not with no gret cry,
  769. Ny make no ragynge with rybody.
  770. Play thou not buyt with thy peres,
  771. Ny tel thou not al that thou heres;
  772. Dyskever thou not thyn owne dede,
  773. For no merthe, ny for no mede;
  774. With fayr speceh thou myght have thy wylle,
  775. With hyt thou myght thy selven spylle.
  776. When thou metyst a worthy mon,
  777. Cappe and hod thou holle no on;
  778. Yn churche, yn chepyns, or yn gate,
  779. Do hym reverans after hys state.
  780. Zef thou gost with a worthyor mon
  781. Then thyselven thou art won,
  782. Let thy forther schulder sewe backe,
  783. For that ys norter withoute lacke;
  784. When he doth speke, holte the stylle,
  785. When he hath don, sey for thy wylle,
  786. Yn thy speche that thou be felle,
  787. And what thou sayst avyse the welle;
  788. But byref thou no hym hys tale,
  789. Nowther at the wyn, ny at the ale.
  790. Cryst then of hys hye grace,
  791. Zeve zow bothe wytte and space,
  792. Wel thys boke to conne and rede,
  793. Heven to have for zowre mede.
  794. Amen! amen! so mot hyt be!
  795. Say we so alle per charyte.

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