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A diatorie, ca. 1430

A Diatorie (c. 1430)
-- Source: Frederick Furnivall: Manners and Meals in Olden Time, London 1868, p. 54, 56, 58.
-- Digital version: Thomas Gloning, V/2003;
The links to the latin version, mentioned by Furnivall in the headings and printed on pp. 55, 57, and 59 will follow later. In the meantime, please refer to the PDF-file. The yogh has been encoded by a lowered 3.
-- (c) You may use this digital version for private, scholarly and non-profit purposes only. Make sure that you do not violate copyright laws of your country in using this document. Do not remove this header from the file.

A Diatorie.

[Lambeth MS. 853, ab. 1430 A.D., page 182.]

To be rulid bi þis diatorie do þi diligence,
For it techiþ good diete & good gouernaunce.

(I. LATIN II.)

IF so be þat lechis doon þee faile,
Vse good diete bi þe councel of me, --
Mesurable fedyng and temperat trauaile, --
And be not maliciose for noon aduersite,     {4}
But be meeke in trouble, glad in pouerte,
Not pensif ne þou3tful for ony sodein chaunce,
Not grutchinge, but myrie aftir þi degree.
If fisijk lacke, make þis þi gouernaunce,     {8}

(II. LATIN I.)

¶ Kepe from colde þi feet, þi stomak, & þin heed;
Ete no raw mete, take good hede þerto,
Drinke holsum drinke, & feede þee on li3t breed,
& with an appitid from þi mete looke þat þou goo.     {12}
Lede þi lijf in chastite, þou schalt finde it best so;
Drinke not vpon þi sleep, but do as y þee teche,
And bere no wraþþe to freende ne to foo;
vse not to soupe late, ne to drinke myche.     {16}

(III. LATIN IV.)

¶ Digne not on þe morewe to-fore þin appitide;
Cleer eir & walking makiþ good digestioun.
[p.56]
Drinke not bitwene melis for no froward delite
But if þurst or traueile 3eue þee occasioun.     {20}
And ouer salt mete dooþ greet oppressioun
To feble stomakis þat wole not hem refreyne
From þingis þat ben contrarie to her complexioun,
þei doon to her stomakis ofte myche peine.     {24}

(IV. LATIN VII.)

¶ Vse no surfetis neiþir day ne nyght,
Neiþer ony rere soupers, which is but excesse;
And be waar of nodding heedis & of candil li3t,
And also of long sleep and of ydilnesse     {28}
¶ The which of alle vicis sche is porteresse.
And voide alle drunkelew folk, liers, & letchouris,
And alle hem þat vsen suche vnþriftynesse,
And also dijs pleiers and hacerdouris.     {32}

(V. LATIN III.)

¶ To yuel talis 3eeue noo credence;
Be not to hasti, ne to sodeyn veniable;
To poore folk do þou no violence;
Be gentil of langage, in fedinge mesurable;     {36}
On sundri metis he not gredi at þe table;
Long sleep aftir mete dooþ myche greuaunce.
Blame no condicioun which is commendable;
But to seie þe beste, sette alle þi plesaunce.     {40}

(VI. LATIN VI.)

Use fier bi þe morewe, & to bedward at eue
A3ens blake mystis and eir of pestilence;
And arise þou eerli if þou be in heele,
And first bi þe morewe do god reuerence.     {44}
To visite þe poore do þi diligence,
And on þe needi haue compassioun,
[p.58]
For good deedis causiþ mirþe in conscience,
And in heuene to haue greet possessioun.     {48}

(VII. LATIN V.)

Be not nyce in cloþinge passing þin astate;
Be rewlid bi temperaunce while þou art a-lyue;
And with .iij. maner of folk he not at debate:
First with þi bettir be waar for to stryue,     {52}
A3ens þi felaw noo quarel þou contryue,
With þi suget to stryue, it is but schame;
Þerfore y councelle þee, while þou art a-liue,
To liue in pees, and gete þee a good name.     {56}

(VIII. LATIN X.)

¶ In two þingis stondiþ a mannis welþe,
In soule & bodi, who-so wole hem sewe,
Mesurable fedinge kepiþ a man in helþe,
And ri3t so is charite to þe soule dewe.     {60}
For3ete not þis diete, for it is good & trewe;
Þou3 it be bou3t of no potecarie
Ne of noon oþer maister þat greet cunnynge can schewe,
3it y councelle þee, be dietid bi þis diatorie.     {64}

(IX.)

Serue 3e god deuoutly
And þe world truly,
Ete 3e 3oure mete mirili
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and euere liue 3e in
reste.
Þanke 3e euere god hy3li;     {68}
Þou3 þat 3e liue here poreli,
He may amende it li3tly
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whanne him likiþ
beste.

tg, 5/2003