Debate of the Knight and His Wife

The Book of the Knight of Latour-Landry

[The Debate of the Knight and his wife on the problem of courtly love]

The text is lightly glossed; see the glossary in the Riverside Chaucer for words not explained here.

Page 171


The Argument of the knight of the Towre and of his wife.

My dere doughters, as for to love paramours I shal tell you
alle the debate and strif of me and of your moder.
I wold sustaine againste her, that a lady or damoiselle
might love paramours in certaine caas. For in love is but good
worship, withoute any evill be thought in it. In this thenne
wherin is thought any evile is not love, but rather it is grete
falshede and mauvastye; wherfore take ye hede, And here ye
the grete debate and strif whiche was betwene her and me.
Thus thenne I sayd to your moder, " Lady, why shalle not
the ladyes and damoisels love paramours? For in certaine,
me semeth that in good love and trewe, maye be but welthe
and honour, and also the lover is the better therfore, & more
gay and joly; and also the more encouraged to excercise

page 172

himself more ofte in armes, And taketh therfore better
maner in al estates, for to please unto his lady or love. And,
in like wise dothe she of whome he is enamoured, for to
please him the better, as ferre as she loveth him. And also
I tell you that grete amesse it is, whanne a ]ady or damoisell
maketh a good knight either a good squier." These ben my reasons.


The answere whiche the lady of the towre made unto her lord.

Thenne answerd to me your moder, "Sire, I merveill me
not, if amonge you men sustaine and holde this reason,
that al women oughte to love paramours; But sith this
debate and strif is come before our owne doughters, I wille
answere after min advis and Intencion, For, unto our children
we must hyde nothinge. Ye say, and so done all other men,
that a lady or damoisell is the better worth when she loveth
paramours, And that she shalle be the more gay, & of fair
maner and countenaunce, and how she shalle do grete almesse
to make a good knight. These wordes are but sport and
esbatement of lordes and of felawes, in a langage moche comyn.
For they that saye that alle the honour and worshippe whiche
they gete and have, is cominge to them by theire paramours,
And that their love encourageth them to goo in vyages, And
for to plese to them by state of armes; but these wordes coste
to them but litell to say, for to gete the better and sooner
the grace and good wille of their paramours. For of suche
wordes, and other moche merveillous, many one useth full
ofte; but how be hit that they saye that for them and for
their love they don hit, In good faith they don it
only for to enhaunce them self, and for to drawe unto them the
grace and vaine glory of the world. Therfore I charge
you, my faire doughters, that in this mater ye bileve not
your fader. But I pray you that ye hold your self clenly

page 173

and without blame, and that ye be not amorous, for many
reasons whiche I shalle reherce unto you. Firste, I saye
not but that every good woman of age maye love well and
better the one than the other, that is to wite, folke of worship
and honour, and them also that shalle counceile her for
her owne helthe & worship. And thus men oughte to love,
by this manere, the one more than the other. But as for
to be so ferforth enamoured, in soo moche that this love be
maister of her, and maketh them to falle in somme foule
and shameful delite, somtime with right, and somtime with
wronge, for the watche whiche men *have upon this shameful
dede or feate, and also suche dishonour and escry, whiche
soone is not put oute, And by the false watches & bacbyters
whiche ben never cessing to talke of som evil rather than
of somme good, wherby they take away & diffamen the
good renomme of the good wommen, and of many a good
lady. And therfore alle wommen whiche ben not wedded
may kepe and hold them self fro hit; And that for many
reasons. The firste reason is, by cause that a woman whiche
is enamoured of a man maye not serve God of no good herte
ne trewe, as she did before. For many one I have herd saye,
the whiche have ben amorous in their yongthe, that when they
were in the chirche theire thought and melancolye made them
ofte to thinke unto their delites and to their paramours more
than they did to the servise of Glod. And also the arte of
love is of suche kinde, that whanne one is in the Chirche to
here masse and the divine servise, and as the preest holdeth
the body of oure Lord betwene his handes, than cometh most
to his minde eville and foule thoughtes. This is the arte
or crafte of the goddesse that men calle Venus, the whiche
had the name of a planete, as I herd saye of a good and
trewe man, whiche preched and said how ones the deville
entred into the body of a dampned woman, whiche was joly
and gaye, and moche amorous. The deville that was within
her body made her to doo many fals miracles; wherfor the
paynims helde her for a goddesse, and worshipped her as a

Page 174

god. And this Venus was she that gaf counceille to the Trojans,
that they shold sende Paris, the sone of king Priamus, into
Grece, and that she shold make him ravishe and have with
him the fairest lady of al Grece, wherof she said trouthe.
For Paris did ravishe the fair Helaine, the wif of the
kinge Menelaus, for the whiche faitte or dede were slaine
afterward more than xl kinges and.xii. C M other persones
and mo. Wherof this Venus was of al thys grete mischief
principall cause. She was an eville goddesse, fulle of eville
temptacion. She is the goddesse of love, whiche kindeleth
and chauffeth the amorous hertes, and maketh them to thinke
bothe day and night to the joye and foule delites of lechery;
And specially when they be at the masse or hering the
divin servise, the devil causeth this for to trouble their
faithe and their devocion whiche they have toward oure
Lord. And knowe ye for certaine, my fair doughters, that
a woman whiche is amorous shalle never sette her herte to
God, ne she shall not saye devoutely her houres or matins,
ne the hert open for to here the divine Servise of God.
Wherof I shall tele you an Ensample. Two quenes were
at this syde of the sea, which in Lent, upon the Holy Thursday,
in the Passion weke, took their foule delites and plaisaunce
within the Chirche during the servise divine, And rested
not of their foly tille hit was alle done. Wherfore God,
whiche was displeased with them for their enorme and foule
sinne, made their foule dede and faitte to be openly knowen
amonge the folke, In suche wise that they were take and
putte under a grete and hevy coope of lede; And there
they deyd of an eville dethe. And the two knightes, theire
putyers, deyd also, as they that were flaine, they beinge yet
on live. Now maye ye see how their fals love was eville
and dampnable, And how the temptacion of Venus, the goddesse
of love and lady of lechery, tempted them so moche,
that she made them to take their foule plesaunce In suche
holy time as upon the Thursday and Holy Fridaye in the
Passion weke. By this Ensample is wel sene and knowen

Page 175

how that every woman amorous is more tempted within the
Chirche than in any other place. And the same is the first
reason how a yonge woman must kepe herself fro suche
folishe love, and not be in no wise amorous. The other
reason is by cause of many gentille men, whiche ben so
fals and deceivable, that they require every gentille woman
that they may finde; And to them they swere that they
shalle kepe to them their faithe, and be trewe to them, and
shalle love them without falshed or deceivaunce, and that
rather they shold die than to thinke any vilanye or dishonoure,
And that they shalle be the better praised for the
love of them, And that, if they have any good and worship,
it shalle come by them. And thus they shalle shewe and saye
to them so many reasons and abusions, that a grete mervaille
is to here hem speke. And yet more they give oute of their
brestes grete and fained sighes, And make as they were
thinkinge and Melancolious, And after they cast a fals loke.
And thenne the good and debonair wommen that sene them,
supposen that they be esprised of trewe and faithful love.
But al suche maner of folke whiche usen to make suche
semblaunt, ben but deceivours or beguilers of the ladies
and damoisels. For there is no lady ne damoisell that wold here
them, but that they shold be deceived of them by their fals
reasons, whiche they shold not here. These ben contrary to the
faithfulle and trewe lovers. For he that loveth with god and
trewe love, as he cometh before his paramours, he is feringe
and dredefull lest he doo any thing that may displease her;
For he is not so hardy to discovere ne say one onely word. And
if he love her wel, I wene that he shalle be thre or four yere
er he dar saye his secrete unto her. But thus do not the fals
lovers; For they praye al them that they find, as above is sayd,
And are not in drede ne in fere to saye al that cometh upon
their fals tongues; And no shame ne vergoine they have of
hit; And al that whiche they maye understand of them,
they reherce and telle it amonge their felawes. And of them
they hold theire talkinge, wherof they laugh and scorne and

Page 176

take their disporte of hit. And thus by suche a waye they
mocke and scorne the ladies and damoisels, and make newe
talkinges and lesinges of them whiche before were never sayd
ne spoken of. For they to whom they tellen hit, put to it
rather somme evill than somme good. In so moche that, fro
word to word, and by suche mockinge and frivolles, many
ladies and damoisels ben ofte blamed.


How a woman ought not to here the wordes or talkinge
of him that requireth her of love.

And to th' ende ye be not deceived, kepe you wel fro the
talkinge of them. And if one beginne to reasoune and
talke with you of suche mater, lete him alone, or els
calle to you somme other body to here him say what he wil;
And thus ye shalle voide and breke his talkinge. And knowe
you for certaine, that if ye doo thus ones or twyes, he shalle
nomore speke to you therof, but in good faith at the last he
shalle praise and drede you, and shalle saye, "This woman is
assured and firme." And by this maner of waye ye shalle not
be put in their janglory and talkinges, and shall not also have
no blame ne diffame of the world."


How the knight answereth to his wif.

Thenne I answerd, " Lady, ye be moche hard & evill, in
as moche that ye will not suffre that your doughters be
amorouse; And if so came that somme gentil knight,
worshipful, mighty, and puyssaunt enough after theire degree,
had sette his herte on one of them, and be willinge to love her,
and take her to his wif, why shalle she not love him?"
"Sire," sayd his wif, "To this I shalle answere you, It is so as
to me semeth, that every woman, maide, or widowe, may wel
bete her self with her owne staff; For al men ben not of one
condicion, ne of one manere; for that thinge whiche pleseth

Page 177

to one is displeasing to the other. And somme ben, the
whiche taken grete plaisire of the grete chere and semblaunt
that is done to them, And that thinken but good and honeste.
And som also ben therfore more curious to demaunde and
aske their paramours to be theire wives. But many other ben,
whiche are not of suche manere, but all contrarye; For
whanne they see that their paramours painen them self to
make them chere, they praise them lesse, And within their
hertes ben doubtting of them, And, as they see them so light
of wille and so enamowred, they leve them, and demaunde
them not for to be their wives. And thus many one, for to
shewe them self too moche amorous, and for to be too moche
open in beholdinge and in givinge faire semblaunt, lese theire
mariage. For, in certaine, they that kepe them simply,
and the whiche given noo faire token or semblaunt to one
nomore than to other, ben most praised , and they be therfore
the sooner wedded. Wherupon ye told me ones an ensample
whiche I have not forgeten, which happed to you of a lady to
whome I give no name, the whiche ye wente ones to see her,
willinge to take her in mariage. She, that wist and knewe well
how it was spoken of you & her for her mariage, maade to yow
as grete chere as she hadde loved and knowen your personne
all the dayes of her liff. Ye prayd her of love; but by cause
that she whiche was not wise enough to answere you curtoisly
and wel, ye demaunded her not; And if she had hold her
self more secrete and covered, and more simply, ye had take
her to your wif. Of whome I have syn herd saye that she
hath be blamed, but I wote not for certaine if it was so.
And certainly, Sire, ye be not the first to whome suche
adventure is happed; For many wommen have lost their
mariage by cause of their amorous loke and fair semblaunt.
Therfore it is good to every woman unwedded for to behave
her simply and clenely, and specially before them of whome
is spoken for her mariage. I saye not but that men must bere
honoure to every one after that they be."

Page 178


How men ought to love after his estate and degree.

What saye you, lady, wold ye have kept them so straitly
that they shold not take somme plesaunce more to
somme than to the other?" "Sire, I wille not that
they have or take any plesaunce of them that ben of lower estate
or degree than they be of; that is to wite, that no woman
wedded shalle not sette her love upon no man of lower or
lasse degree than she is of. For if she tooke him, her parentes
and frendes shold hold her lassed and hindered. These,
whiche loven suche folke, don againste theire worship and
honoure. For men ought to desire ne coveite nothinge so
moche in this world as worship and the frendship of the world,
and of hir Frendes, the whiche is lost as soone as she draweth
oute her self oute of the governement and fro the counceill of
them. As I might telle, if I wold, an ensample of many whiche
therfore ben diffamed and hated of their parents & Frendes.
"And therfore, Sire, as I their moder charge and deffende
them that they take no plaisaunce, ne that in no wise sette
their love to none of lower degree than they be come of, Ne
also to none of highe estate, whiche they may not have to
their lord. For the grete lordes shalle not take them to their
wives; but alle their lovinge loke and semblaunt, they do it
for to deceive them, and for to have the delites and
plaisaunce of their bodies, and for to bringe them into the
folye of the world." _


How wedded wommen, whiche have sette their love to
some of lower degree than they be of, are not worthy to be
callid wommen.

Also, they whiche putte and sette their love on thre
maner of folke, that is to wite, wedded men, prestes,
and monkes, and as to servauntes and folke of noughte,

Page 179

These maner of wommen whiche take to their paramours and
love such folke, I hold them of none extime ne valewe, but that
tbey be more gretter harlottes than they that ben daily at the
bordell. For many wommen of the world don that sinne of
lechery but only for nede and poverte or els by cause they
have ben deceived of hit by false counceille of bawdes. But
alle gentille women whiche have enough to live on, the
whiche make theire paramours or lovers suche maner of folke
as before is sayd, it is by the grete ease wherin they be,
and by the brenninge lecherye of their bodyes. For they
knowe wel that, after the lawe of their mariage, they may
not have for their lordes, ne to be their husbondes, men of
the chirche, ne other of no valewe. This love is not for to
recovere any worship, but alle dishonour and shame."


How hit is almesse to enhaunce a man into grete valour.

At the leste, sith ye wille not graunte ne accorde that
youre doughters love no man paramours as longe as
they shalle be unwedded, please it you to suffre that,
whanne they shal be wedded, they may take somme plesaunce
of love, for to hold and behave them self the more gaye and
joyefull, and for the better knowe their behavinge and maner
amonge folke of worship. And, as before this time I have
sayd to you, It were to them grete welthe and worship to make
a man of none extime ne of valewe to become of grete valour."


The answere of the lady of the Towre.

Sire, to thys I answere you, I wille well, and am content,
that they make good chere to all worshipfulle men, And
more to somme than to the other, that is wo wite, to them
of gretter name and more gentil, or els better men of their
persones, And after that they bere to them worship and honourably.

Page 180

But as for to love paramours sithe they shall be wedded,
withoute it be of suche love as men ought to bere unto folke of
worshippe, for to love and worshippe them after that they be
worthy and of velour, And whiche have had grete paine and
travaille to gete and acquere glorye and worshyp by their
valiaunce in armes, These must be loved, doubted, served,
and honoured, withoute havinge in them any plesaunce, sauf
only for the bounte of them. But to saye and hold hit good ,
that a wedded woman shold love and have a paramour, Ne
take the othe and faithe of none, to th' ende that they be
their lovers and paramours, Ne also to give their feith and
othe to none, I trowe and wene certainly that no lady ne
damoisell wedded, ne woman of other estate, shall not put her
estate and worship in this balaunce, for many reasons; the
whiche I shalle declare unto you. Wherof the first is as before
I told you, that none woman amorous shalle never be soo
devoute in her prayers, ne to here the servise of God, as she
was before. For oute of love springen and comen too many
thoughtes, and melancolye, as men sayn; And many one ben
so enamoured and enflammed of love that, if they herd ring
the last peel of a masse, and that they knewe that their
paramoure wold have come to see them, they shold lese the
masse for to please to their paramoure. This is no game egaly
parted. But suche is the temptacion of Venus, the goddesse of
lecherye. The other Reason I doo compare to the mercer,
whiche weyeth his sylke whiche is fin and light, but yet he
maye put so moche of it into the balaunce that it shalle
overbere the weight whiche is at the other syde of the balaunce;
That is to saye, that the woman may be soo moche enamoured,
that lasse she shalle love her lord therfore, aud that the love,
worship, and chevaunce whiche he shold have, she shalle take
fro him, and give it to other. And for certaine, a woman
may not have two hertes, no more than a greyhond may
renne after two bestes. Therfore, Impossible is that she might
love her paramour of trewe love, and her lord also, withoute
faute or deceivaunce. But God and Reson naturell constraineth

Page 181

her. For, as the clerkes say, and the predicatours,
God beganne the world by mariage of man and woman; And
God him self, whanne he came in to this world, he spake and
treated at a sermon that he made of mariage, saying that
mariage is a sacrament joyned and annexed of God to the man
and the woman, & how they be but one body, and that they
oughte to love eche other more than fader ne moder, ne other
creature. And therfore, sith that God hath assembled them,
no man mortal ought not to separe them, ne take fro them the
love whiche is betwene them. This sayd God of his owne
mouthe. And therfore at the dore where as the preest maketh
them to swere that they shalle love and kepe eche other, bothe
seke and hole, And that they shalle not guerpishe or leve al
eche other for none other better or worse; and therfore I saye,
sith the creatour of al the creatures sayd so, it is but one
thinge and one body, that men ought to guerpishe and leve al
other worldly love, for to take the love whiche oughte to be in
mariage, how thenne shold the wedded woman give her love
ne do any oth to some other, withoute consent of her lord? I
trowe that, after the wille of God and the commaundementes
of holy chirche, that this may not duely be done withoute faithe
be broken of one side or of other, and many horrible dedes
done. For in good faithe I doubte not but that they whiche ben
amorous, and given their faithe to other men, loven but litel or
nought theire husbondes, and that they be cursed of God."


How a woman whiche wille kepe ber honour must doo ne shewe
no manner of semblaunt to none.

There ben yet other Reasons for to kepe the love of her
lord clenely, withoute daunger or perille, that is to
wite, against envyous folke that have eville and cursed
tongues, whiche maken the fals reportes; that is to saye, that if
ony woman maketh somme semblaunt of love to some man, And
if that somme other her servaunt, or any other body, perceiveth
it, as they shalle be departed fro her, they anone shalle

Page 182

talke and speke therof before the folke; And thus shal the
wordes soo ferre goo, that at the laste, men shalle saye that
she hath fawted in dede; and by this maner is a good & trewe
woman blamed and dishonoured. And if hit befalle that by
somme aduenture her lord have any knowlechinge of hit, he
shalle take her in hate, and of hertely love he shalle never
love her, And ever he shalle saye eville of her. And thus is
the trewe love of mariage lost and go fro them, and never
parfight joye ne love shalle they have togider. And therfore
grete perille is to every wedded woman to put her lord and his
estate, & the welthe & joye of her mariage, in this balaunce
& in suche perillous auenture. Wherfor I counceill not to no
good woman to have any paramour, ne to be amorous, in so
moch that see be subget to other than to her lord; for by suche
a cause many good mariages have ben left & forgoten, &, for
one word that is come therof, an C evils ben comen therfor.
I shal telle you therof one example of them whiche ben dede,
& have finished their lives by the perils whiche ben in
folishe love. The lady of Coussy & her paramoure deide
therof, & also did the castellaine of the Verger, And after
her the duchesse, And also many other deyde therof, only for
the love, and the most parte withoute Confession or shrifte,
wherfore I wote not how they doo in the other world. But I
doubte not but that the delites and plaisaunces whiche they
tooke therof in this world shalle be to them derely sold; And
the delites of them that ben amorous ben suche, that for one
joye that they receive of hit, they suffre and have therfore
an C dulours, And for one worship, honderd shames. And
ever I have herd saye, that a woman amorous shalle never
after love her lord with good herte, but that she shalle ever be
in melancolye and in smalle thoughtes."


How a knight loved the lady of the Toure.
"Lady, ye make me to be merveilled how that ye so
sore discounceille them to love. Wene ye to doo me to

Page 183

beleve that ye be so trewe in your spekinge, that ye never
were amorous? Certainly I have wel herd the complainte of
some, of whome ye hold wel your pees." "Sire, sayd the lady,
"I trowe that ye wold not beleve me if I told to you the very
trouthe therof; but as for to saye I have ben prayd of love,
I have many times perceived how somme men were aboute to
speke to me therof, but ever I brake their wordes, & called
to me somme other, wherby I did breke their faitte. Wherof
ones hit befelle, as many knightes and ladyes were playinge
with me, that a knight sayd to me how that he loved all the
ladyes that ben in this world. And I did demaunde and asked
him if hit was long syn that sekenes & eville had taken him.
& he answerd that it was wel ij yere gone and past, and
that never he durst telle it to me. I thenne answerd to him
that it was nothinge of that space of time, & that he hasted
him too moche, and that it was but a temptacion, & that he
shold goo to the chirche for to cast upon him holy water, and
that he shold saye his Aue Maria, & that his temptacion shold
sone after go fro him, For the love was newe. And he
demaunded of me why. And thenne I sayd to him that
none paramoure or lover ought not to saye to his lady that he
loveth her, till the time of seven yere and an half be
passed & gone, and that it was but a litell temptacion.
Thenne he wende to have argued, and put many reasons unto
me, whanne I sayd al on highe: `Behold ye all what sayth
this knight, whiche is but two yere syn he loved first one
lady! And thenne he prayd that I shold kepe my pees therof,
and that in good faithe he shold never speke to me therof.
But at the last he sayd to me, Lady of the Towre, ye be moche
eville and straunge; and also after your wordes over prowd
love, I doubte that ye have not be ever so straunge. Ye be
like the Lady of the Fucille, whiche said to me thus, that she
wold never here ne understand the noote and wordes of none,
sauf one time that a knighte prayd her, but she had an uncle
whiche she made to hide him self behind her, for to here and
understande what that the knight shold seye; wherin she did

Page 184

grete treason. For he wende wel secretely to saye his raison,
and wend not that any one had herd him, but her self
alone. Wherfore I dare almost say that bothe you and she be
but grete spekers, and litell piteous of them that require
mercy and grace. And she is of your oppinion, that no
ladyes or damoisels may not disporte them with none other
than with their lord, for the reasons which ye have sayd before.'
But, sire, sayd thenne the Lady of the Tour to her lord,
as for your doughters, ye may saye to them and charge them
of that what shalle befalle you, but after the faitte or dede
right shall be done. Sire, I pray to God that to worship and
honour they may come, as I desire. For min entencion and
will is not to ordaine upon none ladyes ne damoisels, but if
hit be upon min owne doughters, of whome I have the
chastisement and charge. For every good lady or damoiselle,
if God be pleased, shalle governe and kepe hem self well to
their worship and honour, withoute I, that am of litell witte
and litell knowinge, entremete me therof."


Yet speketh the knight of the Toure.

"At the lest, my lady, I wille yet argue to you, saying
that, if she may seme to come unto worship and valour,
the whiche had never, ne also shold have courage ne
hardines to put hem self in pain to have hit, but it were for
the love and plaisir of his lady, and by good trust to be a good
knight, and renommed amonge the valiaunt and hardy, for to
gete worship and the grace of his paramour. And for a litell
chere, a man cominge of lowe degree may be enhaunced by his
love, and be compted amonge the worthy and valiaunt."


How one must be wily and subtill for to discovere his love.

"Sire, hit semeth me that there be many maners of love, and,
as men saye, the one is better than the other. For if hit

Page 185

be so that a knight or squier loveth somme lady or damoiselle
by worship and honoure only, and for to kepe her worship
and the curtosie of her, and for the good that she shall do to
him, suche love is good, which is without prayer or request."
"What, lady, if he requireth her to kisse or embrace him, it
is no force, the windes blowen it away!" "Ha. a! Sire, I
answere unto you, that as wel to my doughters as to other that
me semeth; and therto I consente, that they may make to
them good chere, and that they kisse them before all, to th' ende
that they lose not their valour. But as for my doughters
which ben here present, I defende and withsaye to them the
kissing, and all such maners of disportes. For the wise lady
Rebecca, whiche was right gentill and noble, sayeth, the
kissinge is nighe parente and cosin unto the foule faytte
or ded. And Sibylle sayth, that the first sign or token of
joye is the loke or beholding; and after the amorous loke they
come to the kissinge, and thenne the dede or faytte; the
whiche dede taketh away the love & worship of God & of the
world; & thus they come from one dede to another. & I lete
you know that me semeth that, as_sone as they suffre hem to be
kissed, they put hem self in the subjection of the devill,
which is to subtill. For suche one weneth wel at the
beginning to kepe him firmely and be stronge, the whiche
he deceiveth by his subtill arte and crafte, and by suche
kissinges. And thus, as one kissinge draweth to him another,
and as the fire kindleth a strawe, and fro that strawe it
cometh and kindleth another, & thus atte last the bedde
is a-fire, & the hous also; in like wise is it of suche love.
And yet I charge you, my faire doughters, that ye be no
players. For suche playing causeth oftime many a folishe
loke and beholdinge, by the whiche may peraventer come
blame and eville renomme. I herd ones reherse and saye a
tale of the Duchess of Baviera, how that she had wel twenty
subgettes, as men sayd, the whiche loved her, and to eche of
them she gaf signe and token of love. She playd with them at
the tables and wan of them coursers, and hackneys, and dere

Page 186

and riche furringes, and also ringes and precious stones, and
many other jewels; and grete proffite she had by them, But,
for certaine, she could never kepe her self so wel, but that at
the last she was blamed and diffamed. And better it had be
for her worship, that she had bought and payed alle that she
had of them half derer more than it was worth. Therfore
grete perile is to every lady or damoisell, and to all other good
and worshipfull wommen, to use such playinge and be of suche
liff. For the most appertise and wise find them self as the
last, by suche dealinge mocked and blamed and foule diffamed.
And therfore, my faire doughters, take ye here good ensample,
and be ye not to curious to any playe for to winne suche
ouches or fermailles; for by the covetousnes to gete and havejewels or trinkets
suche jewels for nought, many a woman put her self in subjection;
and oftime it befalleth therfor that they be deceived.
And thus is it good to avise and beware him self before the
cominge of the stroke."











fornicators flayed










dealer in cloths




sick and healthy abandon



C = hundred



advise against suppose, intend

since sickness

supposed, intended

sense, meaning


forbid and deny


consider, take thought