THE COVRTE of Ciuill Courtesie: Fitly furnished with a plea­sant porte of stately phrases and pithie precepts: assembled in the behalfe of all younge Gentlemen, and others, that are desirous to frame their behauiour according to their estates, at all times, and in all companies▪

Therby to purchase worthy prayse, of their inferiours: and esti­mation and credite amonge theyr betters.

Out [...] Italian, by [...]. R. Gent.

¶ Imprinted at London, by Richard Jhones. Primo Ianuary, 1577.

To the nourishinge Youthes, and Courteous younge Gentlemen of Eng­land, and to all others that are desirous, and louers of Ciuile Courteste: R. I. the Prin­ter hereof, wisheth an happie New yeere present, and many: to the pleasure of God, and their owne hartes desier.

MOst Courteous younge Gen­tlemen, presuming vpon your great Curtesie: I haue beene so bolde as to present your estate, in token and wish of an happie new yeere, with these the first fruites of my poore Presse, finished since the cūming in of the same.

Surely, the traueill of a Gentleman whom I know not, no not so mutch as by name, much lesse by person: And concer­ning the copie, as hee that brought it vn­to me made reporte, that it was transla­ted out of the Italian, by a Gentleman, a freeinde of his, desyringe mee that it might bee printed. And I beeinge [Page] alwayes desirous to farther the stu­die, and procure the delite of all men, by publishinge bookes of semblable argu­ment: thought good to dedicate the same vnto you, iudging it in this respect a pre­sent more meet for your most flourishing degree: for that I perceiue it to haue bin first written by a Noble and graue per sonage of Italy, and directed vnto his nephew, a younge Gentleman also of no­ble parentage, for the better conforming of his behauiour at his entrance into the Courte, as it may appeare by his Epistle hereafter folowing. Now for that this case is cōmon vnto most of you, and aboue all other, the studie of ciuell Curtesie, most incident vnto your calling, I am the bolder to craue your Courteous counte­nance, and freindly fauour in accepting the same now in English at my handes, [Page] as a testimonie of my seruiceable heart, and good meaning towardes you. And that receiuing it now from mee as your owne, you would vouche safe of your great curtesie to take both me and it in­to your assured protection: and to defend both the present, and him that offereth it, from the spightfull toungues of mali­cious carpers. And in so dooinge, you shall euermore binde mee to employe what traueill and seruice I can, to the aduauncing and pleasuring of your most excellent degree.

Farewell in the Lorde.

The Censure of a freinde, concerning this woorke.

OVr Parentes well deserue the pricke of price,
Who giue vs life which wee had not before.
The teachers care deserues great thanke likewise,
Who traines the childe, and giues the learned lore:
Immortall prayse wee ought giue him therfore.
Some strife hath bin in respect of these thinges,
Who best deserues of these two Noble springes.
¶ Though one giue life, the other learning lendes.
Let reason rule, let wit this matter scan.
And thinges are iudgde according to their endes,
And Prouerb olde sayes manners makes the man.
The vitall sprite must yeeld to learning than.
Wherfore you youthes, sprunge vp from gentle line,
Vnto this Court your courteous eares incline.
¶ This Court, the which of Curtesie takes name,
Declares what port eche Gentill shall ensue.
At all assayes how he himselfe shall frame,
To follow what, and what for to eschue.
Thrice happie hee whom God shall so indue.
A thing of weight, and wun for simple price,
Reiect by fooles, but purchast by the wise.

Benga [...]a [...]a de [...] Mont. Prisacchi Retta, vnto Seig. Princisca Ganzar Moretta. For his behauiour. vz.

To my Nephew Seig. Princisca Ganzar Moretta.

AT my last being at Prisac­chi, vnderstāding by your fathers talke, that he min­ded to haue you a while in the Courte, where hee hath spente the better part of his life: and because it is frequented with all sorts of cōpa­nies, as any place in Italy is. I haue directed this litle booke, whiche if you read and marke diligently, shal bee as it were a guide, to leade you from a nūber of snares which you may bee trapt withall, also for your behauiour in all companyes: with many other thinges fit to bee kno­wen of yonge Gentlemen, and especially for sutch as haue not beene conuersant in all companyes.

Fare yee well.

¶ The Contentes of this Booke.

  • HOw a yonge Gentleman may behaue himself in all companyes: and bée prepared for ordinary enter­taynmentes, and to get a good oppinion and credit among his betters. Chap. 1.
  • ¶ How a man shall bée haue himselfe in bad company, and among sutch roysters as will offer familiaritie with him, will hée or no: and first a guesse of sutch meanes as they will vse therto. Chap. 2.
  • ¶ How a man shal answer to the prayse and thankes, & curtesies seriously offred by his betters or equals. 3.
  • ¶ How a man shall acquite himselfe towardes noble persons, that shall either for his fréeindes sake, or his owne, offer him curtesies: or assure him of freindship, willinge him in all chaunces to bée bolde with him. Chap. 4.
  • ¶ Howe when the foresayde spéeches bee offered by a Noble person pleasantly, that is of acquaintaunce: which must bée also pleasantly answered. Chap. 5.
  • ¶ How to an equall, or but litle better▪ béeinge a friend and familliar. Chap. 6.
  • ¶ How a man shal take thankes of a noble person. ca. 7.
  • ¶ How a man may giue thankes to his betters and e­quals. Chap. 8.
  • ¶ What manners bee requisite at the Table, and what to be shunned: what is to be considered in the washinge before Dinner, and in the sittyng downe, is set foorth in ye beginning of this Direction. Cha. 9.
  • ¶ How a man shall pacifie his friend, his better, or his equall: if hee haue giuen him vnwillingly any cause of offence. Chap. 10.
  • ¶ How a man shall shift off reproches or tauntes offe­red beetweene sporte and earnest: by enuious and scornefull persons that will seeme to doo it so cun­ningly as the other shall haue the taunt, and yet at his owne pleasure will denie if. Chap. 11.


How a yonge Gentilman may be­haue himselfe in all companies, and be pre­pared for ordinary entertainments, and to get a good oppinion and credit amonge his betters. Chap. first.

FIrst hee hath to consider, that the lacke of good behauiour, which is a comely audacitie, with out a sausie presumption (whiche argueth discreete iudgement and wisdome) maketh his inferiour to be his equal, and maketh his equall his better, till himselfe hath attayned not only the habit of beeyng the like, but the time to make himselfe know to bee the like. Therfore if he shal light in the compa­nie of any, whose liuing and birth is worse then his owne, and yet perceyueth the other for his wisedom and grauitie to be well esteemed of by others, it becommeth the yonge Gentleman to giue him the place (or at least with instance to offer it him) but yet with sutch a modest auda­citie, mingled with a smylyng grace, and curte­ous speeche, neither too lowde nor whisperyng, as the rest of the company may well perceiue: it is the vertues, and not the man that is prefer­red, and that it is offered rather of a curteous disposition, then of a sheepishe simplicitie, which wilbee the better vnderstanded if hee shall vtter [Page 2] some famillier speech in yelding the place at the doore, as thus:

I pray you goe, for I loue to follow the steps of mine elders. Or thus:

You must needes goe, for I cannot a waye to goe formost. Or thus:

On, on I pray you, you bee the next the dore. Or thus:

If you goe not wee shall striue all day, for I will not. Or thus:

You make too mutch adoe for so smal a mat­ter: And at the placing at the table, as thus:

Will you syt sir, and I wilbee next you? Or thus:

Not I by your leaue. Or thus:

Sutch a one will needes haue you by him. Or thus:

You shall not rule mee till you come to your owne house. Or thus:

The place is fytter for you then for mee. Or thus:

Goe too, shall wee striue all day like women?

And if it be one that be of great estimation, ei­ther for office, or ancientie, and will yet of too mutch curiositie refuse the place, then it shalbee best to syt downe first, but to take a lower place either on the other side, or on the same side. But here (by the way) it is to be considered that this curtesy is not so precisely to bee vsed, either at cōmon tables, where eche man payeth equally for his meale, nor yet at ordenary tables in the court: for in either of these two places, except di­uersitie [Page 3] of degree make difference, men vse not this curiosity: then this aforesayd at the table, is when men meete in their equals or inferiours houses, in which it is to bee considered that the owners of the tables must beare the swaye of placing, if hee bee the better or equall. Howbeit, if the owner shall call or place one (eyther not knowinge who ought or not caringe who doe) that is inferiour euery way, sauing for wealth, in sutch a case, the younge Gentleman shall doe well not to tarry till other bee set, not abydinge the placinge of the owner: but takinge his nexte cōpanion to set himself downe first, rather two or three lower, then hee should bee the next to his inferiour: wherby the owner shalbee (in sy­lence) taught to consyder better an other time. And hee must not suffer himselfe to bee remoo­ued any higher, that hee may keepe the owner still in doubt whether hee so placid himselfe of mislike or of good fellowship. But if there bee mutch adoe made, and that hee finde the owner to finde his owne errour: then it wilbee curtesy to couller the fact with good wordes pleasaunt­ly, As thus:

Why? thinke you that I can eate no meat but at the vpper ende of the bourd. Or thus:

I pray you hinder not my good happe, I am where I like. Or thus:

I pray you giue mee leaue to sit wher I like. Or thus:

I pray you trouble not your selfe, you shall see vs as merrye here as you bee there. Or thus:


[Page 4]As long as I finde good meat I neuer vse to study for my place. Or thus:

I warrant you if I had not lyked this place, I would haue bin so bould as chosen an other. But if it happen the owner of the house, bee so grosse and careles, that hee either do not or will not finde any mislike of the matter: then would I wishe▪ in sutch a case, the younge Gentleman should bee furnished with some guirdinge spee­ches, or els some pleasaunte scoffes, to counte­naunce out the matter, with those that syt by him, that the rest may see hee choase the place in scorne of the other, as thus:

I am happely placed here, for if I had moun­red any higher, I had been cleane out of coun­tenaunce. Or thus:

Wee wilbee as merrie here, as though wee sat at the vpper ende of the bourd: or to some companion, that sits next aboue by the younge Gentlemans placing, thus:

If you behaue not your selues gently, and be good to vs of the second messe, wee will keepe you from mountyng the next time. Or thus:

Beware freinds, pride will haue a fale: speake not so lowde your betters bee in place. And to conclude, to make as mutch mirth and pastime as may be all the meale. But if a man bee in a noblemans house, or a knight of great reputa­cion, then hee must bee contented for that time, as pleaseth them. But hee may the nexte time, take as good a place as hee can with modestie get, and when hee is from the bourd, not loose [Page 5] any place that reason or courage can aduaunce him to. For as no man is disgraced by giuing (of his curtesy) place to whom hee list, so to haue it taken from him by others being his right, is an abasement not to bee suffred, it a man can take it either by slight or courage.

Now that this young Gentleman, may know in what sorte hee may accompany himself with all sortes, and to all estates: hee shal know, that the eldest sonne of a knight while his father li­ueth, may count himselfe equall with a Gentle­man of. cc. li. land rent of assise (for so the statute limiteth) and may offer himselfe a companion with ye best squire, if his wit we a modest auda­citie wil serue him ther to, but not without some reuerent respectes in his speeche: specially if the sayd squier bee of grauity, and so of reputacyon, either for his wisdome or office, as if he wil aske a question, thus:

I pray you syr, what? where? or why is sutch a thing? Or thus:

Will it please you to doo, or haue sutch a thing: and in his affirmation and negation to answer as thus:

Yee sir, no sir. And if the other aske him any question, as whether hee will doe this, or that. Then thus:

Mary sir I will tell you. Or thus:

With a good will, if it please you, &c. As the matter shall fall out. Howbeit these speeches, if it bee to no better then to the best squier, or an [Page 6] ordinary knight be to bee vsed, with sutch a fa­millier kinde of pronuntiation, as it may appere to bee vttred by him of his curtesy: meaning ra­ther to giue them more then he greatly needed, then of any great difference hee thinkes to bee betweene them: specially if they bee sutch, as he is not like any way, either to bee in daunger of their hurt, or in need of their help. And though these kynde of reuerent speeches neede not to bee so curiously vsed, by the inferiour, to one mutche his better, when they bee once very fa­milier: yet they become the speaker so well, as if they bee vsed with a good audacitie and fami­lier countenance, a man may vse them to his in­feriour, without any abacement or disgrace at all to himself, and specially to Ladies and gen­tle women of credit.

Then hee hath to consider that among yonge Gentlemen, or younge Noblemen, there needes no great curiosity, but before a Barron, and so vpward, he may not bee couered while he stan­deth in his viewe, except the nobleman bid him: vnles that Nobleman vse sutch an ordinarye kinde of good fellowship with all men (as hee seeth) as meane as himselfe vse him with smal curtesy: and yet hee must way withall whither that goodfellowship bee withall men indiffe­rently, or only to sutch as bee his familliers: for sutch as be noble may make their companions whom they list, and the rest though they shalbe better to sutch companions, not to vse euer the lesse honour to him. And let this stand for a ge­neral [Page 7] rule, that whatsoeuer familiarity a noble man shal show to any his inferiour, yea though he professe to make him his equall freind: let y inferiour still beware of vsinge himselfe rudely, sawcely or carelesly, especially in the presence of others. For though many to assure their infe­riour of their goodwil, seeme to banish all curio­sity: yet sutch an one shalbe best esteemed, and longest hold freindship with his better, y in all their greatest familiarity can make it appeare to others that hee doth not forget, that he play­eth or iesteth with his superiour. Which a man may very well doe and yet holde company in all manner of sportes, iestes, and pastimes: then mutch more hee that is a straunger must haue the more regarde. And as it is good manner for a man in his owne house, or his freindes, if hee bee the best in the company, to offer intertayn­ment to any nobleman: so in a straunge place in the house of his better, though there bee no better then himselfe in the place, hee may not presume to beginne intertainment: but it is his part to bee ready, and nexte the Nobleman in sight, agaynst it pleaseth him to vse him, till hee seeth him accompanied with some others, or call some other to him: and if it bee but open talke deuised to passe awaye the time, then to helpe lengthen the same at his discretion: otherwyse to finde some talke with others, and ra­ther to stande or sit, with a steddy and assured countenaunce, as though hee were studiynge some matter of waight, or harkening to others [Page 8] talke if it bee not secret: then to accompany him selfe with sutch as bee vnwoorthy of his com­pany: and sutch count I seruing men, and foo­lish doltish persons though they be his betters, But when a man shall sit still and say nothing, hee must bee sure to haue an assured counte­naunce, not gnawing any thinge in his mouth, or playing with his legges, toes or fingers, and to haue alwaies an eare and an eye about him, to here what is sayde, and to bee reddy if anye part of an others talke, eyther by word or looke bee addressed to him, that hee may receyue the occasion, and winne in the talke: and though no such cause bee offred, yet it is a better grace to harken other folkes communication, then to be talkyng with a person of vayne credit: and if a man shall get him out of the way for lacke of countenance, when noble persons or others of reputacion be in place: then will his inferiour lye in a wayte for occasion, and step in, to bee of familiaritie before him.

Furthermore, if talke be offred to this yonge Gentilman by his better, hee hath to consyder whether the same proceede of a desire to passe a­way the time, and for want of other companie: or els (as some do) bicause they wilbe thought curteous, they will say some thyng to euery bo­die, but for feare of too mutch familiaritie, will not stay longe with their inferiour. To this last it shalbee good only to answer to the question, addyng some reason to verefie the same, but not to enter any new matter, nor to dilate any fur­ther [Page 9] in the olde, then hee shall perceiue him by his countenāce and attentiuenes to heare with­out prouocation. But if the inferiour perceiue, that the talke is ministred vpon the first respect, that is to make entertaynment: hee must not only answere all his demaunds, but enlarge the same to the vttermost: And when hee seeth his better pawse, so that hee turne not awaywarde (as though hee would begon from him) to in­uent some matter of himself, to lengthen talke: And that hee may the better do so, hee must be­fore hande haue enquired (of sutche as come inIn any wise let a man shun as much a [...] he can in his enter­taynmēts to speake of himselfe as to tell, what he hath said or what hee hath donne: for that wil be taken to come of a desire to tell his owne prayse, ex­cept it be ei­ther to his very freind or els that it bee sum­thing that thother is destrous to here. his companie) if otherwise hee cannot learne, what manner of country the stranger dwelleth in: from what place he commeth: and whither hee is goyng: what pastime or exercise he loueth. By which meanes hee may redemaunde of the wearines, or plesantnes of the iourney: of the fowlenes or fayrenes of the weather: whether the countrie hee dwelleth in serue commodious­ly to the vse of sutch thinges as hee delighteth in: whether the Gentlemen of that shyre bee companiable in y like or not: and by this mea­nes, also hee shalbee able so to vnderstand of mo count [...]i [...]s, and men, then he knowes, although hee met with them as straungers, yet hee shal­be prouided of sumwhat to discourse with them therof. But if a man talke with his better, hee must alwayes obserue with what attentiuenes or willing minde the other giueth eare to him, y hee may leaue of, beefore the other bee weary: and to bee very heedefull that hee speake no­thyng [Page 10] affirmatiuely, but that himself hath seen: but hee may well say I haue harde, or I haue read, that this, or that is thus. And in tellynge any thynge by heresay, specially to a stranger, he must respect three thynges, thone, that it sound not to the disprayse of any by name, except it be a thyng openly knowne, and yet the dispraysed may hap to be so neare a friend to him that shall heare it, as the teller shall get mislike. The o­ther is, that when they tell a tale of an other mans mouth, hee forbeare to tell the name of his aucthor especially, if hee bee his freind, for if it shall seeme vnlikely though it bee true, he shal bryng his freindes credit in suspect. The thyrd kinde is, that hee neuer take vpon him in open presence, to make any report of the sayinges or dooynges of his betters, except they bee sutch as the company knoweth him to bee familliarly acquainted with, for otherwise, hee shall make himselfe compared to them that talke of Robyn Hoode and neuer shot in his bowe. Lastly let him neuer make vp his entertaynments with the disprayse, or mockyng of any, either present, or absent, though hee heare other doo the like, (except only in the companie of his very assured freinds) and that for this respect. A yonge man must euer thinke that it is vnpossible for him to bee so compleat in all perfections of beehauour, but that some thynge remaynes in him worthy the laughyng at, if men should not forbeare him in respect of time, which brynges experience to the wisest, and peraduenture too, euen some of [Page 11] the same defects which hee seeth scoft at in an­other, may bee in himself, vnknowen to himself, or atleast others as ill: And therfore the wisest way is, if his better seeme to deride any for his beehauour, to appeare by a smiling countenance to bee of the same opinion: but in woordes to es­cuse it, if hee may, as if the doynges of him that is mocked shew simplicitie, thus:

It may bee that bashfulnes is the cause: if they shew rudenes, then thus:

Want of experience makes men erre. But if they bee his equals, or interiours that so scof, then merely, thus:

Go too syrs, many a one goynge aboute to mocke one hee cares not for, doeth often touche himself or his neere freende, or by a similitude thus:

On, on, saw yee neuer any or this, that lift vp a weapon to strike another and hit himselfe. Or thus:

Take your pleasure my masters, I warrant you therebee that doo asmutche for vs, as wee doo for them. And in deede there cannot any greater prayse bee giuen to any man, then this, that one shall neuer here him speake ill of any, and hearynge ill, will make the best of it. How bee it, it is both within ye limits of honestie, wis­dome, & freindship, any man to discourse plainly with his freind, either of the misbehauour, or vnhonest dealynges of any: that on the one side hee may shew himself a misliker of ill persons, and also make his freinde ware of them. And by the way it is to bee noted, that there be three [Page 12] sorts of people, which whosoeuer shal scoffe and skorne at, or els iest with them, further then the compas of curtesy shal permit, shal receiue more disgrace by dooyng it, then the other shall by suf­feryng it.

The fyrst is women, or simple milde sprited men: for women must neuer be iesters, nor scof­fers, further then the boundes of modestie and curtesie, to make the time passe away the more pleasantly: so that a man to iest so farre with them as they may not for shame answere, nor for insufficiencie quarell for, wilbee accompted a dishonorable battell, wherein the vanquished hath more honour then the vanquisher: for it is better to yeelde with silence, then to contendeThis is ment by sharp and taunting iestes when a man will seeke to disgrace or put one out of con̄tenance by iestes. for the masterie in vnfittyng termes, and to of­fer the milde spreeted man the like: that fynding himself agreeued, hath neither the wit to shift of it in woordes, neither the courrage to reuenge it in deedes: is in the same predicament that the woman is: And all noble mindes doo of their curtesies forbeare to offende, and offer to de­fende all those that either cannot (as feeble per­sons) or ought not (as the feminine sexe) reuenge or defende them selues.

The seconde sorte that may not be mocked or scoffed at, bee aged persons, and sutch as ve de­formed, for want either of bewtie, fauour, or o­ther blemishes in their shape, stature or limmes: because none of these thinges bee faults of their owne makyng, neither lieth it in their power to amende them. So as wee ought rather to bee [Page 13] mooued thereby to thanke the maker of vs all, for dealyng so mutch better with vs, then with them, then to scorne or depraue them for that they cannot helpe. And if withall wee will con­syder, that the deformities of the mynde, bee so mutche fowler then those of the body, as the soule is of more value, and ought to bee more v­niforme: it wilbee a good meane to make the outward defects of others, very small in respect of our owne, which cannot, but bee greater and many moe, and consequently, rather to escuse them, then despise them.

The thyrd sorte that cannot beare, neither ought to bee offred scoffing, mockyng, or iesting: bee those that bee in miserie: either by sorrow, imprisonment, or any aduersitie, by losse of free­indes, substance or credit: For these be thynges sent from God, to put vs in remembrance, that wee hauyng deserued as ill, may fal into the like when it pleaseth him: and in the meane times bee obiects for vs, to practise our compassion & charitie vpon. But there may ryse this que­stion, seeyng that publique enterteinments, spe­cially amonge yonge folkes, are continued more often with speeche of litle importance then with matters of waight: How a man findyng himself in such companie, as are neither fit to discourse of matters of wisdome, nor yet to bee imparted with of his owne priuate affayres, shall finde matter sufficient to passe the time in companie? For answer hereunto, let this bee remembred, that where as I haue sayd, that men must take [Page 14] heede in their open talke, how they bee to busy in bryngyng in the sayinges and doinges of no­ble persons, least the hearers should thinke that hee arrogateth to himself greater acquaintance with sutche, then in deede hee hath: or els, least cōmyng to theyr eares, they should mislike that their inferiours should make them their talking stockes. Yet if hee that shall so introduce (by way of confirmatiō, ensample, or similitude) the say­yng of his betters, bee sure that it shew his wis­dome and prayse, or at the least, some pleasant­nesse without any harme or disgrace to any o­ther, hee may well vse it in his talke: Prouided that hee speake it as by heresay, except he haue it in deede by his owne knowledge. Also wo­men and deformed persons, may bee pleasanted and iested with, if their wit bee sutche as they delight in the like, and can in good sporte enter­chaunge in the same manner. Prouided that the boundes of curtesie be obserued (that is) that there bee no cause of blusshyng giuen.

Also, all men in sickenes, prisonment, or po­uertie, bee not miserable, for they bee only sutch that haue an afflicted minde: for some can iest and scoffe at their owne disgraces, thinkynge thereby to make them seeme the lesse in other mens eyes, while they appeare no heuier, then sutche as themselues can pleasantly beare: And sutche had rather bee iested with, then pittied.

The fault therfore that can bee committed in these persons, is the mockynge them beehinde their backes, or despisyng them, which no man [Page 15] ought to shew to any, except it bee to them that be knowen to bee impudent and shamelesse per­sons, or els sutche as bee knowen to bee ouer­wenyng fooles in theyr owne conceyte, and bee sutche as doo the like by others. Of these a man may talke his pleasure, as well of them, as with them, without any disgrace to himself: Prouided that if any quarell rise thereby, hee be as readie of courage to mayntayne it with his hand, as of speeche to vtter it with his tongue.

Also a man may iest with his very famillier freinde, if hee finde him of disposicion willynge to beare it, and of wit sufficient to answer it. And it skilles not what hee lay to his charge, though it bee dishonestie: prouided that it bee not true that is imputed to him, or if it bee true that the other bee so brason faced as hee wil not bee ashamed of it.

I would not aduise any man to iest mutche with his inferiours, vnlesse they bee sutch as he knoweth, both can and will vse a restraint of o­uer malepartnes. For if a gentilman should bee saucely vsed by iest, by his inferiour, hee cannot escape disgrace, whether hee beare with it, or quarell for it: but bearyng it is best, and to shut it vp rather with a pleasant nip, then any way to seeme angry, if the myrth bee of his owne be­ginnyng.

And thus mutch for a taste how a man may passe his talke amonge his betters and equals, in a straunge place, and in straunge company.

Yet this admonition more I must adde, that [Page 16] who so in his entertainments shall endeuour to tell any tale to mooue laughter (specially in straunge companie) had neede to bee sure that it carry that life or quickenesse with it, as hee be not so mutche deceaued of his expectation, that hee bee fayne himself to laugh alone: for that wil bee so great a disgrace, as in steede of laugh­yng at the table, they will smile in theyr sleeues at him: and therfore to shun that hee must bee­ware that hee take not in hand to tell any thing for foolishe, that is not folly: nor for wise that hath couller of folly: nor for a woonder that is not woonderfull: nor for rare, that is common: for want of experience may deceiue all these.

How a man shall beehaue himself in bad company, and among sutche roysters as will offer familiaritie with him will he or no: and first a guesse of sutche meanes as they wyll vse thereto. ¶ The seconde Chapter.

THeir manner is lightly, if they finde a yonge Gentleman that is to bee of a fayre liuyng, if they see him so­verly giuen, after they haue made theyr deuise amonge themselues, [Page 17] how euery man shall play his parte, that one of them shall pretende greate grauitie with him, and hee shall prayse him to the cloudes, and bee­come his councellour. Another shall tell won­ders to his fellow, to see if beetween them they can catche a woodcocke of him.

Another (if the fyrst deuice serue not) will go about in scoffyng and iollyinge sorte, to see if by puttyng them out of countenāce, they can make him glad to bee of their faction, and to further the same, an other shal seem to reproue al them. And as though he were the plainest honest man in the company, hee will offer to quarrell with them in his behalfe: and all will bee donne with sutch oathes and sad lookes as for all a man is warned (hee shall doubt) whither there bee any that meane good fayth or not. And it may bee in deed that some of these may meane honestly, and that may be the first & the last, (for thether two bewray themselues) and therefore a man must vse those hee doubtes of in sutch sorte, as hee neither vtterly reiect them, meaning well, nor shew him so foolishe, as at the first or vppon small acquaintance to credite euery man that will profer him fayre woordes. And therfore, for the first man that vpon some litle acquaintance shall take vpon him to prayse or aduise him, let him consider what reputacin and countenaunce hee is of, or if they bee sutch, as bee of lyuinge, and withal can bee contented to liue within the compasse of his owne, then there is the lesse sus­pition to bee had of him, further then this: that [Page 18] euery wise man will suspecte any man that too mutch praiseth him (except it be his famillier and assured freinde) but for the more suerty it shalbe wel to answer in this manner: not seriously, but somewhat smyling and famillierly. Mee thinks it very good that you and I were neuer better acquainted: for by that meanes you may bee kept in that good opinion which now yee seeme to conceiue of mee, either by heresay, or by your owne guesse, least by too much conuersation you be made to chainge your minde: but in the mean time I thanke you, both of your good lykinge, and of the good aduice you profer mee: for I shall euer haue neede of good counsell: and if there be any other thinge (because I am vnfurnished to requite you in the same) wherin I may pleasure you as mutch, you shall finde mee as ready. And so to shift him of and fall into some other talke, enquiring of this or that, him or her, as the ob­iecte of the eye or minde shall lead.

Now for the wonder tellers, I finde three or foure sortes of them: the one sort only vpon plea­sure to passe away the time, not lookinge to bee beleeued of any, but to be iolled within the lyke: With these the best way is meerely to take vpon you to know it to bee true, and to ad to it some­thinge that may make it seeme more vnlikely. And though it should so fall out that the tale should bee true, that to another seemeth either vnlike or vnpossible: yet is there no harme done, in not seeming to beleeue it, while I knowe no reason to lead mee therto: mary, if after the same [Page 19] with sad asseueracion and others bee iustified to bee true: a man must of curtesie seeme to credit their others, but neuer the more to confesse it like­ly, except they can shew so by reason.

Thother sorte for that they would bee taken for dooers or knowers of great thinges, will for their owne glorye tell maruels, either of sutche thinges as they haue done, or sutch thinges as they haue seene in straunge Countries. And will thinke in deede, what by his solemne coun­tenance, what by swearing and lyinge, eyther to bee credited, or at least that no man shall seeme to discredit them: and if any go aboute it to quarrell with them. In this case I would either say nothynge, or if hee should direct his tale to mee, whereby I must bee drouen to say somethynge: I should bee in surche sorte as I would seeme to soothe him in woordes, but o­thers sutch as I thought my freindes, should perceiue by my countenance I rather thought it pittie to put him out of his vayne, then was of the minde to beleeue all hee sayd. Yet that must bee done so conningly too, that if the teller or the hearers should, to picke a thanke, chalenge mee for the same: I would be able (if I lyst) without denyinge any thinge I sayde or did, or make the blame light on them that would goe about to distayne my meaning, as thus:

Can I not looke on sutch a one, or speake so, but that I must meane as ye would: it is you (me thinkes) that go aboute to brynge in que­stion that which no man els thought on, if I [Page 20] were as hee, I would thanke you for that &c.

The thirde, and the worst of these wonder tellers, is hee that in very deede maketh it his art, of purpose to catche Woodcockes (as they terme it) and they will vse it either so connyngly or so impudently, as they will make him, whom they hunt after to be a wole in that poynte, or seeme a foole: for they wil so mingle thinges like to bee true, or at the least not impossible with thinges merely, faulse and vnpossible: as if the hearer shall either receiue all indifferently, or re­iect all indifferently, he shall seeme either too ig­norant, or too light of beeleif. And if hee shall by iudgement scan and seuer the other from the o­other, and so condemne any parte, though not the whole: then swearyng, flowtyng and quare­lynge, wilbee offred to iustifie the matter: and this it is (will they say) to tell a tale to him that hath neuer gon further then his mother and nursery, to call for his pappe in a mornyng. &c. And then must the last man that I first spake of and is the fourth in this tragedie, steppe foorthe and tell his felow hee offreth the yonge Gentle­man too mutche wronge, and hee shall not take it at his handes, and himself will take his part, and go into the field, either with him or for him.

To shift bothe these of, the best way (if any will rid it) is first to let the other to tell all his lies, & to let him passe with a smile in the sleelie, (as they will call it) rather then to vse either admiration, affirmation, or negation: but if hee bee vrged to say his opinion, as hee shall (if it be [Page 21] a verse of course) then shortly to answer, thus: or the like:

I say no more, but it may bee true for me: for there bee many thinges that seeme vnpossible, and yet proue true. Matters of faith may not be reasoned on, Or thus:

Mee thinkes it is a very good tale, I meane not to scan any further on the matter. And these or the like woords may bee vttered with sutche a grace, as the countenāce may shew the minde, and yet the speeche keepe them from quarell. But if they will needes prosecute it to the vtter­most: then hee that shall seeme to set the yonge Gentleman a gog, and offer to bee his compa­nion, hee must of curtesie seeme to thanke him, but not bee so vnwise as accept him. For no wise man will accept into his companie, at sutche a bargen, a straunger if he haue any of his freinds to make accompt of, though hee suspect no prac­tise at all, but yet hee must bee put of with good woordes, as thus:

I thanke you, you shal not neede to take the payne, for I haue promised a freend of myne, in these cases (if I take any body with mee) it* There is a difference betweene ruffāly phrases and such reprocheful woords as expresse the fowlenesse of the fact or the ilnesse of the person. must bee hee: I will quarell with no body, but if any body haue any quarell to mee, I haue bu­sinesse into sutche a place, sutche a day, at sutche an hower: I wil haue but my selfe and my man, or but my selfe and my freinde, there hee may finde mee if hee dare: and so asmutch as may bee to forbeare ruffainly words. But if any man bee called by any reprochefull names they must [Page 22] needes bee requited both in termes and deedes but after sundrie manners accordynge to the person, the cause and the place.

For if a mans better, beyng a noble personIf the no­ble man bee not of au­thoritie. (not beeyng of the counsell) shall in scornefull woords chalenge his inferiour for any thing of offence towarde him, the inferiour ought by all meanes (not abaceing himself too mutch) to es­cuse the matter. Or if it bee a fault (sutche as he can yeelde no reason for the committynge of it) to yeelde with request of pardon. But if either the escuse will not bee taken, or that the inferi­our had iust cause to commit the offence, & that therevpon the noble man breake out in termes of reproche, as knaue, or lie: it may very well be answered thus:

My Lorde, these termes bee odious, and sutche as (assure your self) I would not beare if you were my equall, neither peraduēture would you offer them, but I pray you leaue them, for I cannot promise you still to temper my selfe so, but that I may forget you be a noble man. And at the next pushe thus:

I neither am knaue, nor lie any more then you, take it as you list, Or thus:

My Lorde, I know you are a noble man, you may peraduenture ouermatche mee with your trayne, and yet I must scamble as well as I can too: These termes bee very vnsittynge, you must either forbeare them, or giue me leaue to thinke too, Or thus:

Your [...] may bestow these liueries on those [Page 23] that liue by you, and cannot liue without you: it you will not haue mee forget you, forget not your self, for I am mutche afeard I shall respect the villanie you offer mee aboue the dignitie of your estate: But if a greate personage shall re­prooue one for anie faulte, then mediation of freindes, and humble woordes, as thus:

I am sorie your Lo. should growe to these termes: I neither am sutche, nor deserue to be so called of you: howbeit you be to great a state for mee to contende with, but if the proudest hee in this lande being mine equall, or not so mutch my better should vse mee so, if I did not my best to teache him better manner, you might well publish mee for sutche as you call mee: but I will beare all these and be glad of your Lo. fauour if I may get it, if not I must liue like a poore man and do as I may, Or thus:

My Lorde, these bee verie ill termes to offer to a Gentleman: and I must tel, you offer them to him y would not beare them at manie mens handes, but I must beare them at yours. For I confesse you bee able to ouermatche mee: your traine is longer then mine: if I had thought you would haue vsed mee thus, your Lordship should haue pardoned mee for comming to you at that time.

Now it is to bee considered that woordes al this while as they breake no boanes (so from one mutche a mans better) they bee no greate disgraces: and a man may bee compted the wi­ser to forbeare, where hee knoweth hee shall by [Page 24] power and rowtes of men or kindred, bee ouer matched. But if the best vnder a Councellour should giue a blowe, a man shalbe ashamed, if he do not his best to reache him another, whatsoe­uer come of it.

Now if between equals, reprochefull words doo rise, it must bee distinguished thus:

If I giue one occasion of offence that tou­cheth but his profit, and hee giue mee reproche­full names for it, as the Lie, or knaue: I must for my credit sake, not only requite those words with like woordes, but counte the wrong mine:The best way to this is to lende him a blow. and either offer the first blowe (if the place serue for it) or els chalenge him into the feild: vnlesse I can (for pollicie sake) driue him to chalenge me to saue my selfe from the daunger of the lawe. For fighting quarels neuer are made for profit, but for honour: and therfore whatsoeuer hurt bee doone, not touching credit, the quarel must bee his that receiueth y first reprocheful words: so touching the cause, the right consyderation is this: If I offer the first reproche, disdaine, or dispite, the quarell is the others: his parte it is to chalenge, and I neede not to my equall to make the chalenge. But if the other giue mee the first lie, or like disgrace, it is not inough to say hee lieth againe: but I must needs offer a blow, or chalenge the feeild.

If an inferiour offer his better ill speeche, though the better began with him: yet he must not doo with him as with his equall: that is, to tarie till hee make the chalenge: but hee muste [Page 25] accompt himself asmutch disgraced, that his in­feriour hath replied vpon him, as though his e­quall had begonne with him: And therefore, if the place serue, he must reward that reply with a rap on the face with a dagger.

But if his inferiour be no Gentleman, he may chuse without any imputation of cowardise, whether hee wil either chalenge him, or receaue any chalenge at his handes: but turne one of his men to him, except that inferiour bee so well esteemed for his valiancie, as the Gentleman may be thought, if hee haue not otherwise tried himselfe to make refusall for feare. In this case, so that hee make show by woordes, that hee is contented to abase himselfe, to reforme the pride of a malaperte knaue, a man were better to take the quarell himselfe, then to rest condemp­ned of the companie, specially if the rest of the companie bee of reputacion. Thus mutche for the person and the cause, touching the place and the manner thus:

Within the Queenes house (beyng she court) no man for any cause must giue or require any blowe, if they doo they lose their hande.

In the house of mutch a mans better, he may not offer a blow: but if anie be offred him, hee must needes (if hee can) requite it: at the least shew his endeuour theretoo.

In the house of his freeinde, I meane in theBut yet the villany may bee sutch as hee maye strain good mann [...]. dinyng place at the bourde, or where any assem­bly is a man may not offer a blowe; but if hee haue cause giuen him, hee shal doo well to make [Page 26] shew in woords that hee forbeareth the present occasion, respecting y disturbance of the cōpanie.

In a mans owne house, or his Fathers, hee must not offer a straunger a blow to breede the quarel on: but y in those places, it wilbe thought his courage is grounded vpon hope of his free­indes and seruants helpe, more then vpon any value: And it wilbee no disgrace to the other to forbeare him, but rather taken for wisedome, where hee may bee ouermatched. Therfore the manner that is to bee obserued in those places, when prouocation of quarell is giuen by others is to bee vttred in woords thus:

This is no place to growe in termes in, if it were you would not bee so braue, Or thus:

These bee too greate villanies to be borne, if it were not in mine owne house, where thou knowest I am able to eate thee vp, Or thus:

Yf it were not for troublyng this companie I would bee your caruer of a peece of my dag­ger: but doubt not but I shall finde a time for you. Or thus:

No moo woords, this matter shal bee eased anon you shall see, Or thus:

I thanke you syr, nay take your pleasure, IBut al cha­lenges of poyntinge places must bee made in the care for danger of law. He that vanteth what he hath done or [...]h [...]neth what he wil doo shalbee iudged a m [...] of many woords and few deedes. could rayle too, but then I should bee like sutch a rascall as thy selfe, tell mee this soone if thou see I forget it: but if I doo take mee for sutche a cowardly boy as I will take thee for, till thou meete mee in sutche a place, Or thus:

Away rascall with thy villanous woordes, I heare by thy great boaste I shall passe my [Page 27] iourney quietly at sutche an hower, in sutche a place. I know I shall haue cause to report thee for a good quiet fellow: I, no more a doo, you know my minde.

If any man bee chalenged, if hee dare to meet an other in any place, hee may (prouided that the chalenged haue receiued no villanie) very well answere thus:

What I dare doo shalbe seen, when the qua­rell is mine, I haue no matter to you: if you bee angrie seeke you the redresse as you may: I meane not to balke the hie way, nor step a strideBut these words must bee vttered with sutch a gallant, plesant, & som­what scorn­full grace, y it may ap­pere hee de­sireth no­thyng more then that y other should meete him. out of my way for you: you may easely finde me at your pleasure: howbeit I protest I woulde bee lothe to haue to doo with any man: marie, if I bee interrupted of my walke, I must doo as well as I can to keepe my footyng. Or thus:

If I dare not, you must holde mee excused, I promise you in deede I dare make no sutche set matches, but my buizenesse lieth sutch away; if any go about to hinder mee of my iourney, hee may hap finde that hee angreth mee: for in deed I loue not to bee letted of my purpose, but I wil not quarell with a goose, Or thus:

Alas, alas, dare; it were a sorie goaste that durst not encounter sutche a guest: but it would greeue one to bee driuen to forsake his countrie for [...]n [...]kyng a ditche with [...]che a carren.

But to conclude in this, I shall aduise y yongeIf hearyng of frayes a man seeme destrous to enquire of y cause and the manner, he shall get experience without be­wraying his ignorance, for it wil be thought to proceede of delight to here, rather then of ne­cessitie to learne. Gentleman to enforme himselfe afore hee haue neede by [...] at their handes, that the ex­perienced in y trade, that when hee hath neede [Page 28] hee may not only bee prouided of courrage, but also of woords, phrase and manner to it curra­giously: and in the stoutest and seemliest manner for all that I haue written hithertoo of this matter, hath byn rather to shew that in euery thyng there is a meane to bee vsed, in one sorte to inferiours: and in another sorte to superiours and equals: to thende to prouoke him to learne the right manner, then of a meanyng to shew a­nie skill of mine in the same, beelonging nothing to my profession: and therefore▪ I will now say somethyng how hee shall take the iestyngs, the praysynges, and the thankes of his superiours and equals, as thinges that are bothe fitter for mee to write, and shall of him bee oftener and sooner put in practise.

First I will discriue some sundrie manner of iestyng. One is, when a man will charge his fa­millier freinde (a mans famillier may bee either his equall or his better, that list of curtesie to be­come his equall, or one somewhat his inferiour to whom hee list by like curtesie to make his e­quall) with some ill matter that all the compa­nie knoweth to bee vntrue. In that kinde there is no difficultie to answere: but it is good to haue varitie of phrase, and not to answeare still after one manner: to his mere equall thus:

You doo well to exercise your tongue in mat­ters of no trouth▪ you may hap els to bee taken for a lie teller. Or thus:

Go too, you will haue euery bodie see what a lauish tongued fellow you bee; that cannot so [Page 29] mutche as keepe counsell of that hee knoweth not, what would hee doo thinke you of that hee knoweth? Or thus:

Nay I dare say you would fayne haue it be­leeued, for it greeueth him that any man should bee taken for honester man than himself, Or thus:

Go too, you were best leaue your tatlyng, least I fall a tellyng of true tales, Or thus:

Nay tell on, for I am sure all is gospell that cometh out of those lippes of yours, Or thus:

This is nothyng finely handled of you, you should haue sayd sumthynge that had caried some likelyhoode with it, Or thus:

Go too, I will make you no more of my coun­cell seeynge you bee sutche a blad, Or thus:

Is this the trust you performe with your freeindes, to tell all and more too? Or thus:

Houlde thy peace foole, for my honestie is so well knowen, as no body here will beleeue thee.

¶ Now in the like case to a mans better must bee other phrases, as thus:

You say truthe syr I haue been taken for a sore fellow at that, when I was a yongeman, Or thus:

If my credit were not very good, this were inough to disgrace mee quite, Or thus:

It may bee true that you say, but I warrant you I handle y matter so cunnyngly, that there is no proofe to bee had of it, Or thus:

It were great pittie any bodie should doubt of that matter, Or thus:

Thus a mans credit is put in daunger by you [Page 30] if the hearers be not ye more fauourable, Or thus:

This is because my face is towards you: if I would turne my backe I know yee would tel a better tale for mee, Or thus:

Some measure other mens trades by theyr owne, but I would bee lothe any body should thinke I meane so by you.

¶ An other kynde of iestynge with a mans friende is, when they charge him to haue sayde or donne something of a thirde person, that only himselfe and his freinde knoweth to bee fayned: but yet it may bee tould with sutche a resem­blance of truthe, as ye hearers may doubt whe­ther it bee true or no. In this case also it is not good to make deniall: but to vse some sutche phrase or countenance as she hearers may per­ceiue hee maketh so litle accounte of it, as it nee­deth no escuse or denial, as thus:

You haue lost mutch good labour now, if you be not beleeued, Or thus:

You may sell this good cheape, seeing it is of your owne making, Or thus:

I like you well, for I see you loue to make the best of any thinge, euer, when you wote not how to make the woorst, Or thus:

I pray you beleeue him in this, and you shal see hee will take sutch a pride in it, that hee will quoyne you newe staffe euerie day. Or to a mans better: Uery well, you may say that and more too, if it please you, Or thus:

You must looke with a sadder countenance when you wilbee beleeued.

[Page 31]An other kynde is when they will touche one with somethyng which is true: and though it be no great infamie, yet it may bee somewhat that a man would bee loathe to confesse, and yet as loathe to bee taken for a denier of that which is knowen to bee true. In this case a man may an­swere thus:

You doo but dreame peraduenture, when you wake you shall finde it otherwise, Or thus:

Loe, now you haue heard say so: and beeyng of a good faith, you beeleeued it straight, Or thus:

Nay no doubt but it must needes bee true, if you say it, Or thus:

Did I? you speake your pleasure, a good tale in deede if it were longe inongh. Or to your better thus:

This is but some malicious tongue, that hathThese and like speches wt altrynge only ye soūde and counte­nance may serue in sport, or be­tween sport and ernest, if a man like not to bee iested with. sounded this in your eares, I am sure you doo not beeleeue it, Or thus:

Nay you may say what pleaseth you, for I will doo so mutch as confesse it, rather then you should not bee beeleeued, Or thus:

I perceyue you minde to make mee beehol­ding to you for giuing me so good report, Or thus:

I know syr your good woord is euer at hand for your freindes, and I perceiue by this that I am one of them, Or thus:

I am bounde to you alwayes, I trust to be able one way or other to make you amendes, Or thus:

No I warrant you, there shall no man bee able to catche mee in sutche a fault. Or thus:

[Page 32]Well this you would doo if a mans marriage lay on it, Or thus:

Well, when I lacke one to speake well for mee, I know where to finde him at a neede. Or thus:

If you looke so sadly, you will make them beeleue you in deede.

¶ An other kinde of iestinge is, when one prai­seth another for well handlynge of any matter, either in saying or dooynge, that in deede hath not been well, or not so wel or wisely as it might haue been: wherby the other knoweth he spea­keth by contraries, this is to bee answered di­uersly, as thus:

Now if another time you lacke one to do such a thinge finely, it is but sending for mee, & you shalbe sped, Or thus:

It is a sygne you haue a good insight with you, for I may tell to you, and yet I would bee lothe to vaunt too: it was very excellently done in deede, Or thus:

Well, yee see I loue not to bragge, but when I doo a thinge very wisely, I loue sutche free­indes as will tell mee of it, Or thus:

O nay, but if you had had the handlyng of it it would haue been exquisitiuely doone. Or to a mans better thus:

Wel, if a man chaunce to shew all the wit he hath in dooing of a thinge, were it reason there should bee any more required? Or thus:

I may tell to you, I did it withall the proui­sion of wit I had at that tune in store, Or thus:

[Page 33]Nay, I trust I shall neuer surfet with doo­yng too wisely, Or thus:

I loue not to dissemble with my freeindes, I meane to shew them all my wit at once.

To conclude, in any thing yt may seeme to carrie some defect in the doinge, if the doer can himself either with wit turne it to some merie cōceit, or els helpe merely to mocke him, himself for com­panie: it will appeare either no defect, or els to dee committed rather by carelesnesse, then for want of wit.

Another kinde of iestyng is to prayse a man to his face of thinges that bee true in deede: as for his personage, his wit, his qualities, his good nature, or his learninge: and whether this hee spoken in sporte, or in earnest, it is all one: for a man must euer take vpon him as though all praises were spoken in iest: by which meanes he may in sport arrogate them all to himselfe, with lesse glorie, then it with taking it in earnest hee should endeuour to put them from him. So as all sutche praises may bee answered thus with a smiling grace.

Go too, you thinke now that I will doo as mutche for you: and so I would if I thought you as woorthie of it as I: but you must bate mee an ace of that, Or thus:

In deede I must confesse it is so: and you that want some of these rare gifts, which I am endowed with must bee contented too, Or thus:

You say true, there be many proper fellows of the name of vs, if yee knew them, Or thus: [Page 34] These thinges bee but trifles with mee, in com­parison of that I could doo if I list, Or thus:

You neede say no more, for I warrant you, I beeleeue all this to be true, and mutche more. Or to a mans better thus:

I thanke you for sayinge so, for I hope some bodie here will beleeue it, Or thus:

Take heede syr, yt you make not mee to bee­leeue you herein, better then you beeleeue your selfe: for I tel you, it wil bee hard to make mee thinke the contrarie, Or thus:

Beware what you say, for it lieth in you to bringe mee in as greate an errour as this coms too, Or thus:

I know you will say nothinge, but that you bee sure is true: and therfore, I meane bothe to beeleeue it my selfe, and also to perswade the audience to bee of a right faith.

¶ How a man shall answere to the prayse and thankes, and curtesies seriously offered by his betters or equals. The third Chapter.

THe prayse that anie man shall giue his freeindes to his face, proceedynge of his owne iudgement, in earnest and freeindly wise, as one freeinde may in some order (in vtte­ryng either his owne affection, or to encourage the other without touche of flatrerie) doo to an [Page 35] other: it may be answered to his equall freeind,Any pray­ses or thāks require ra­ther some­what a smy­lyng grace then too so­lem, though it bee to a mans better dooyng it of good faith, in parte as I haue pre­scribed beefore towardes his better, in dooynge the like in mirthe. Or thus:

I may not take your prayse for any thing, for the goodwill you beare mee blindes you. Or thus:

I pray you looke better into mee, and when you finde how mutche you bee deceiued, tell me of it, that I may amende it, Or thus:

If another should tel mee so mutche, I should thinke he mockes mee: but you may mocke me indeede, and passe vnespied, for the goodwill I thinke you beare mee.

To a staunger, that shall prayse him, or seem to conceaue a good opinion of him thus:

It were best (I thinke) neuer to be better ac­quainted with you, least I make you of another opinion, Or thus:

I thanke you for your good opinion, I would I coulde beguile euery bodie so conningly as to make them of the same minde. And to a mans bet­ter thus:

How mutche so euer I shall want in this, my redinesse to bee at your commaundement shall supplie it, Or thus:

The good opinion, whiche rather my good hap, then my deserts hath wrought in you, cau­seth you (I thinke) to beeleeue that to be in mee, which you wish to bee in mee. Or thus:

I account my hap good, that it pleaseth you, but to say thus mutche: for at the least, I shalbe ashamed of as mutche as I finde wantynge [Page 36] hereof in my selfe, Or thus:

I cannot but take this as a freindly curtesy, by pollicie to encourage mee to seeke the attain­ment of that which I am borne in hand to haue alreadie. These and like answeres may be ap­plied also to sutche as shal bring to his eares the good reportes of his freeindes giuen out of him behinde his backe (as they terme it.) Prouided that hee pike them out accordinge to the distinc­tion of persons beefore described: and withal, as it is to bee consydered that all thinges spoken in a showe of mirth, though it seeme to the hearer somwhat sharpe (and peraduenture anger him) is yet to bee dissembled and answered merely. So whensoeuer a man in any thing yt hee may attribute truly to himselfe is praised to his face, though it bee spoken earnestly and of good mea­nyng:In al other entertaine­ments spo­ken serious­ly, a glad­some looke is a better grace then a flatterynge s [...]le. hee ought also, in his foresaide manner of answeres: to shew sutche a smilynge grace, as it may appere hee taketh it as spoken rather of their curtesie, then for any cause hee findes in himselfe why they should so say: in speeche (for the most parte) the countenance, the grace, and sounde in the pronunciation is able with one self sentence, without altringe woorde or sillable, to please or displease others, to shew himself wise, or make him for so mutche to seeme foolishe.

SALOMON affirmeth, that there is nothyng that more trieth the wit of man, then the hea­ryng of his owne prayse: for saith hee, the wise man is put too his triall, when hee is praysed to his face. And therfore for this matter I cōclude, [Page 37] that for as mutche as many times it is harde to finde who speaketh of flatterie contrarie to his thought: who by way of mockerie, though hee know hee say true, to trie him, and who of good zeale to shew affection, and to encourage him: The surest way in this doubt is (except to those whose freeindship by other meanes hee hath ex­perience of) to vse his answeres so, as hee may make them earnest or sporte at his pleasure, as he perceiueth their asseueracion to prouoke him.

How a man shall acquite himself to­wards noble persons, that shall ei­ther for his freeindes sake, or his owne, offer him curtesies: or assure him offreeindship, willinge him in all chaunces to bee bolde with him. The. iiii. Chapter.

IN this case as in all other of inter­taimnents; the inferiour must [...]e in what manner, whether seriously or familliarly, sutche curtesie or in­tertaynment bee offred him▪ and thereafter▪ to ch [...]e out and shape out answers▪ agreeable to eche kinde▪ for the first, if hee bee a straunger to him: but not to his freendes thus:

I know sutche, or sutche of my freeindes so [Page 38] mutche bee holdynge to you too, as hath bin suf­ficient to binde mee to honour and loue you: and seeyng it pleaseth you to extende your curtesie also towardes mee, I can but wish my seruice, as sufficient as my good will is: to assure you too, of my thankefull minde, Or thus:

My Lorde, I can but acknowledge y debte for my selfe, which before I thought to owe for others of my freeindes, that haue tasted of your curtesie: but I am glad that I may by this mea­nes shew it, which your Lordship shall finde mee ready to doo, wherin soeuer I shall thinke my seruice may bee acceptable, Or thus:

As this your Lordships goodnes riseth of your curtesie without any desertes, so must I confesse my selfe euer vnable to counterpeyse it: I can but acknowledge my self too mutch boūd to you for it: and double bounde, if it shall please you to commaunde mee to the vttermost of my power, Or thus:

I humbly thanke your L. I can but requite it with my seruice, and that I beeseeche you cō ­maunde, Or thus:

My humble thankes are but an vnequall recompence, and therfore I shal desier your L. to put my gratefull minde in trial, by commaun­dynge my seruice, Or shortly, thus:

If my seruice may any way bee ought worth, if I may but vnderstande it, it shall not neede to bee commaunded, Or thus:

I humbly thank [...] your L. and I beeseeche you commaunde mee, as your seruant, Or thus:

[Page 39]I humbly thanke your L. and I beseche you thinke that you vontchsafe this curtesie on him that will be as readie to requite it with the vt­termost of his seruice, as he that is better stored of woordes. The vse of longe or short sentences must bee imployed accordinge as hee seeth the hearer at leasure.

How when the foresayde speeches bee offred by a noble person plesantly, that is of acquaintance which must bee also pleasantly answered. The. v. Chapter.

MY Lorde, you know I haue no store of eloquence: but what mayme so euer you finde in my vtterance, I can assure, you shall finde none in my good will, whensoeuer I may doo you any seruice, Or thus:

I humbly thanke your L. I warrant you I make so sure recknynge thereof, as I am more like to be boulde of your curtesie, then to request it: but I must pray your Lordeship to thinke that shal bee rather for want of power then of good will, Or thus:

Your Lordeship must bee content with my humble thankes for this time [...] but I would bee very sory to thinke your L. made not accompt of mee, as of him whom you may most commaund Or thus:

[Page 40]My Lorde I haue had to good experience of your former curtesies, bothe towards mee and other my freeindes, as I had need with my ser­uice to goe aboute to recompence some parte of that, beefore I come in debt for any more: But the lesse wee can requite, the more wee muste stande bounde.

How to an equall, or but litle better beeyng a freeind and familliar. ¶ The. vi. Chapter.

TO our freeinde thus:

I am in your debt for so mutche alreadie as if you lende mee any more, you wil make me bankroute: and agree with you for the tenthe parte, Or thus:

You offer mee so mutche, and I can requite so litle: as I see, you meane to make mee an ill debter still, Or thus:

You know I haue no curious woordes in stoare, but in playne termes, I thanke you, and will requite it if I can. Or seriously thus:

I pray you thinke, that though I vse not many woordes with you, I thinke my selfe so mutche beeholdynge to your [...] wherein I may pleasure you, if you commaunde me not, I shall thinke, you loue mee not. Or to a straunger thus:

Syr I thanke you of this curtesie, if it shall [Page 41] lie in mee to requite it, I pray you bee as boulde with mee, Or thus:

Sir I must bee your debter for this curtesie, till time and place serue to requite it: but in the meane time I thanke you, I pray you make the like accompt of mee.

How a man shall take thankes of a noble person. The. vii. Chapter.

IF thankes bee offered in serious manner & for any waightie mat­ter thus:

My Lorde, it was my good­will, as well as my duetie, to haue done it to your best contentacion: but if there be any defect in it, I pray your Lordship, impute it to mine vnskilfulnesse. Or thus:

My Lorde it is no reason that you thanke him, whom you ought to commaunde: and speci­ally mee, that am vnable to satisfie for the tenthe parte of that dewtie or goodwill I owe you: but if therebee ought done to your contentacion, or that haue pleased you, I am very well a payde and sufficiently thanked, Or if merely thus:

I pray you keepe your thankes for a thynge more woorthy them: for if your Lordship bee­stow so manie thankes for so smal matters, you will make mee looke for too manie when I shal [Page 42] doo you any better seruice.

¶ To a mans equall freeinde, or but litle his better thus:

Nay sir, you will marre mee, if you giue mee too many thankes: for then you will bring mee more in debt for my thankes, that I am yours for this matter by a great deale, Or thus:

Doo freeindes vse this curiositie in giuynge thankes, I am sure it is but to teache mee good manners agaynst an other time, Or thus:

I pray you keepe thankes for straungers, and let mee know whether it were to your likyng or not, Or thus:

You be at too mutche cost for so small a mat­ter: I know now where to haue thankes ano­ther time when I deserue them.

How a man may giue thankes to his betters and equals. The. viii. Chapter.

IF my humble thankes were a sufficient re­compence to your Lordeship, I should not rest so mutche in your debt as now I am bounde to doo, for sutche a curtesie. &c. Or thus:

My Lorde, I haue humble thankes to ren­der, for sutche a matter whiche did mee greate pleasure: but they bee so vnequal a requitall, as I were best to ad this to the rest of your curte­sies [Page 43] or goodnesse, & stande bounde for the whole Or thus:

I am so mutche bounde to your Lordship, for sutche a thinge, &c. As I must thinke all the seruice I can doo too litle woorthe in respecte of your goodnesse shewed therein.

To a mans freeinde thus:

I am too mutche in your debte, to giue you thankes for sutche a thynge. &c. For till I can make some shew in deedes, I will come vpon the score with you in woordes, Or thus:

Though thankes bee not inough for this pleasure that you haue doone mee: yet I pray you allow of them till I be able to make better payment.

What manners bee requisite at the Table, and what to bee shunned: for, what is to bee considered in the washyng before Dinner, and in the sitting downe, is set foorth in the beeginnyng of this Direction. The. ix. Chapter.

FIrst, to pawse when a man is set, and with leasure to vnfolde his Napkin, wipe his knife, cut his breade, and there to stay till either his better beegin, or make counte­nance [Page 44] to him to eate where hee list: and then toThis cere­monie is not to be v­sed, but whē a man sit­teth at the vpper messe with his b [...]tters, or at ye second, whē either the master of y house sitteth there, or some [...]ble person. beegin, not at the dish that shall stande right be­fore his better, except it bee offered him: neither of the daintiest meates whiche (lightly) stande lowest: but to chuse some sutche dish to bee doo­yng on the while, till hee see whether his better will chuse or refuse some other dish, that hee had rather eate on.

Item to haue an eye to sutche as sit next bee­neath him and cannot reache, and peraduēture for good manner (if they bee any thynge his in­feriours) will not speake: and if they eate not, to aske whether hee shalbee their Caruer. But I woulde not haue him to bee any mans Car­uer without askyng him first, except it bee to one so mutche his inferiour, as hee knoweth wil bee glad of the curtesy hee sheweth him, though hee like not the meate. For as to Carue to a mans better is a presumption, so to ones equal, except by askynge first the question, you know it wilbee welcome to him, wilbee taken for too mutche fawnyng, except also that for the dain­tinesse of the meate, or fine chusynge of the best morsell, he offreth it to his very famillier freind, by way of a curteous affection: for a man must for a generall rule, take heede that in a strange place hee bee not too busie in offryng seruice, or curtesies, though it bee to his betters: but in a mans owne howse or his Fathers, it cannot lightly bee too mutche.

Item if a man bee in his owne howse, or his Fathers, where it beecometh him to giue coun­tenance [Page 45] or entertainment, he may to his equall, and sutche as bee somwhat his inferiours, hee may the oftner profer them this or that meate, and drinke to them, but not too mutche. For if a man euery time hee drinketh, shall drinke toI [...]'s coun­ted a foolish grace euer to drinke to somebody, & specially at the fyrst draught one or other, it wilbee seene, as though hee did it for lacke of countenance: so that to vse the sa­lutacion of the Cup aboue twise in one meale, wilbee too mutche, except the whole companie fall to quaffynge. For wyse men doo rather seeke to satisfy their guests with some good spe­ches, then with sutche dum sygnes.

This kinde of Cup greetyng ought not to bee vsed but in one of these two respects: either to make our inferiour (to whom wee meane not to vse speeche of familliaritie) to thinke we will doo them a curtesie: or els to our very freeinde by way of congratulation. And therefore a man must neuer drinke to his better, except hee bee sure that by way of freeindship and familliaritie hee bee content to beecome his equall, and that not with a solem or sad countenance, but with some smilyng grace, that the rest may know it proceedeth of familliaritie, and not of presump­tion: yet with reuerent wordes and chaunge of phrase, as thus:

My Lorde, if some yonge Nobleman:

Sir, or Madam, will it please you to giue me leaue. Or thus:

Shall I be so boulde as salute you with this Cup of Wine. Or thus:

By your leaue syr, against it next please you. Or thus:

[Page 46]Will you giue mee leaue to remember sutche a one? as some freeinde of his. Or thus:

To plucke you out of your studies. Or thus:

Sauyng your tale syr.

Item, that aboue all thynges in a straunge place, or in the presence of straungers, he attend not so greedely, nor so continually to his feeding: but that in modest wise, without either gazynge too longe in another mans face: or yet hangyng his head continually on his trencher: hee hath both his eye and his eare so redy, that nothynge is sayde or doone at the bourde, but he may per­ceyue it, for his learning, that good is to follow, that ill is to eschew. And when hee séeth any thynge vncomely, to examine himself, whether hee haue not the same grace himselfe: and also to doo the like, whensoeuer he heareth any man dispraysed. For most men know what is come­ly or vncomely in another: But many for lacke of due obseruation in themselues, mocke or dis­prayse in another, the same which others mock in them: and the rather for their so dooynge.

Item, that he pawfe between meate & meate and neuer to carue himselfe, either of meate or breade, while his mouth is full: nor till hee haue swallowed the last morsell.

Item, that hee fill not his mouth so full of meate as hee cannot holde his lippes together while hee is chawyng: for otherwise, men shall looke into his mouthe, and see the meate rowle vp and downe while hee is eatynge: whiche is a fowle sight, and loathesome: and for that [Page 47] cause a man must forbeare to speake with meat in his mouthe, except hee haue so litle as hee be sure to hide it in his mouthe while hee is spea­kynge.

Item, while his better telleth him any tale, to cease eatynge: [...]o the while hee heareth, and while hee answereth him.

Item, if hee hee prouoked to laughe in the presence of his betters, to doo the same with as little noyse as may bee; and likewise in the com­pany of strau [...]gers,, for too lowd a laughter, spe­cially, for slender occasions, doo make wisemen counted foolish of sutch as know them not.

Item, when a man will tell a mery tale, let him tell it so as himselfe bee not the first that shall laughe at it. A smilyng sound to make men know hee speaketh but in sporte, is good: but a fayned laughter is ill beecommynge. A hartie laughter (so the matter bee worth it) is allow­able.

Item hee must beeware that while another tell a tale, or make iestures: that his wits be not caried away, so as hee gaze continually in his face, and make the same countenances which he seeth the other doo: for that will make a man counted doultishe.

Item if he be constrayned to yawne, reache, belche, cough, sneese, clense the nose, or spit ei­ther at the bourde, or in the presence of his bet­ters or straungers: he must suppresse the sound, and shadow y sight, as mutche as hee may con­ueniently without makyng it to nice.

[Page 48]Item in caruyng himself or others, hee must not embrew too many of his fingers, nor his thombe: nor wallow his meate vp and downe too mutche in the sauce, bycause in so dooynge a man shall washe his fingers in the sauce, which others will loathe, specially straungers.

Now to conclude, though a man either at home or amonge his freeindes, may vse what manner hee list, without obseruynge all these ceremonies: yet it shalbee very good so [...] what to enure himself by dayly custome▪ otherwise hee shall in presence forgette bothe them and himself.

How a man shall pacifie his freeind, his better, or his equall: if hee haue giuen him vnwillingly any cause of offence. The. x. Chapter.

IF [...]or a light cause, then merely thus:

I am sure you take it not in earnest, or thinke I meant otherwise then in the best part: for if you doo, you shall doo mee great wronge, Or thus:

By my trouthe I did, or sayde it to no sutch ende, as you take it: and therefore I pray you thincke of it, as I meant it. Or thus:

If I had thought it coulde haue bin so mutch [Page 49] mistaken, I would haue bin more warie: but let it suffice you that I ment but well and freeind­ly, for otherwise I did it not I assure you: Or earnestly for some greater matter, then thus:

My hap is ill, that of so good a meanynge, should fall out so ill conceiuyng, or so ill successe: for that I did or sayde, was as I woulde haue dooue to my very freeinde, or would haue had doone to my selfe, it rests in your choyce to bee­leue mee: but if you doo not, you shall wronge your, selfe as well as mee, in mistrustynge mee without a cause, Or thus:

I can but tell you and assure you on my faith, I meant thus, Or thus:

If I haue giuen you any cause to thinke o­therwise, or if it haue fallen out contrarie to mine expectation: I am not only soarie for it, but I will bee readie to make any recompence I can, Or to ones better thus:

Truly sir, it was not my intent to doo herein any thing that might offende: but I will yeelde, that it is fault inough that I vsed no more cir­cumspection, but that you may conceyue ill of it: you neede not to giue mee any penance, for that my repentance is so mutche, Or thus:

If you knew my minde, you would put mee in trust for reuengynge this fault: for I shalbee angrie with my self this good while for it.

How a man shall shift of reproches or tauntes offred beetweene sporte and earnest, by enuious and scorne­full persons that will seeme to doo it so cunningly as the other shall haue the taunt, and yet at his owne pleasure will denie it. The. xi. Chapter.

THe best way is, if hee can touche the same partie as neere, without see­myng to bee angrie: but if he know nothyng perticulerly to charge him or to mocke him withall, then to scorne [...]n beetweene sporte and anger agayne, as thus:

Oh finely handled, were you borne so. Or thus:

Jesus who would haue thought you coulde haue throwen so hard to hit your selfe, Or thus:

I dare say, you weene you haue spoken very trimly now. Or thus:

You haue made a great speake sir, Or thus:

That is quoth you, Or thus:

I thanke you of your cost, Or thus:

It is but your good nature to take or ex­pounde [Page 51] it so. Or thus:

As I remember I desired you not to say that for mee: but yet you shall finde mee too kynde harted to die in your debt. Or thus:

Did any bodie teache you to say so, or coms it of your mother wit.

¶ Now if they shal replie, & go aboute to make it seeme they meane simply, then thus:

I dare say you doo, and therefore I thanke you as hartely. Or thus:

Why I trust you thincke not that I doubte of that, Or thus:

Why I take it so, and therefore I commend you for it: and so turne it to mirthe agayne, if the other will needes haue it so. But if the other will prosecute it with sharpe tauntes, vnder▪ a [...]leeryng or laughyng countenance, then thus:

Nay I am not skilled in iesters arte, tell mee your minde in earnest, and you shall finde mee ready to make you sutche sporte as I d [...]. Or thus:

I will tell you, if you will needes beecome a Jester to make Gentlemen sporte: It were best to call some other to help countenance you, that is of your facultie, for in faith I am nothing apt for you at this time.


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