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he schal not be bifor vnnoble men.



Cap. XXIII.

1 Whanne thou sittist, to ete with the prince, perseyue thou

2 diligentli what thingis ben set bifore thi face, and sette thou
a withholding in thi throte. If netheles thou hast power on

3 thi soule, desire thou not of his metis, in whom is the breed

4 of a leesing. Nyle thou trauele to be maad riche, but sette

5 thou mesure to thi prudence. Reise not thin ijen to richessis,
whiche thou maist not haue ; for tho schulen make to hem
silf pennes, as of an egle, and tho schulen flee in to heuene.

6 Ete thou not with an enuyouse man, and desire thou not hise

7 metis ; for at the licnesse of a fals dyuynour and of a
coniectere, he gessith that, that he knowith not. He schal
seie to thee, Ete thou and drinke ; and his soule is not with

8 thee. Thou schalt brake out the metis, whiche thou hast

9 ete ; and thou schalt leese thi faire wordis. Speke thou not
in the eeris of vnwise men; for thei schulen dispise the

loteching of thi speche. Touche thou not the termes of litle
children ; and entre thou not in to the feeld of fadirles and

1 1 modii-les children. For the nei^bore of hem is strong, and

1 2 he schal deme her cause a^ens thee. Thin herte entre to
techyng, and thin eeris 6e redi to the wordis of kunnyng.

13 Nile thou withdrawe chastisyng fro a child; for thou^ thou
i4smyte hym with a ^erde, he schal not die. Thou schalt

smyte hym. with a jerde, and thou schalt delyuere his soule



PROVERBS, XXIII. 239

15 fro helle. INIi sone, if thi soule is wijs, myn herte schal haue
i6ioye with thee; and my reynes schulen make ful out ioye,
ijwhanne thi lippis speken ri5tful thing. Thin herte sue not
18 synneris ; but be thou in the drede of the Lord al dai. For
thou schalt haue hope at the laste, and thin abidyng schal
ig not be don awei. Mi sone, here thou, and be thou wijs, and

20 dresse thi soule in the weie. Nyle thou be in the feestis of
drinkeris, nether in the ofte etyngis of hem, that bryngen

2 1 togidere fleischis to ete. For men 5yuynge tent to drinkis,
and 5yuyng mussels togidere, schulen be waastid, and napp-

22 ing schal be clothid with clothis. Here thi fadir, that
gendride thee ; and dispise not thi modir, whanne sche is

23 eld. Bie thou treuthe, and nyle thou sille wisdom, and

24 doctryn, and vndurstonding. The fadir of a iust man ioieth
ful out with ioie ; he that gendride a wijs man, schal be glad

25 in hym. Thi fadir and thi modir haue ioye, and he that

26 gendride thee, make ful out ioye. INIy sone, 3yue thin herte
2 7 to me, and thin i3en kepe my weyes. For an hoore is a
2S deep diche, and an alien wormnan is a streit pit. Sche settith

aspie in the weie, as a theef ; and sche schal sle hem, whiche

29 sche schal se vnwar. To whom is wo .'* to whos fadir is
wo } to whom hen chidingis ? to whom ben dichis } to
whom ben woundis with-out cause ? to whom is puttyng out

30 of i3en .-* Whether not to hem, that dwellen in wyn, and
^istudien to drynke al of cuppis .? Biholde thou not wyn,

whanne it sparclith, whanne the colour therof schyneth in

32 a ver. It entrith swetli, but at the laste it schal bite as an
eddre doith, and as a cocatrice it schal schede abrood venyms.

33 Thin i3en schulen se straunge wymmen, and thi herte schal

34 speke weiwerd thingis. And thou schalt be as a man
slepinge in the myddis of the see, and as a gouernour aslepid,

35 whanne the steere is lost. And thou schalt seie, Thei beeten
me, but Y hadde not sorewe ; thei drowcn me, and Y feelide



240 PROVERBS, XXIV.

not ; whanne schal Y wake out, and Y schal fynde wynes
eft?

Cap. XXIV.

1 Sue thou not yuele men, desire thou not to be with hem.

2 For the soule of hem bithenkith raueyns, and her lippis speken

3 fraudis. An hous schal be bildid bi wisdom, and schal be

4 maad strong bi prudence. Celeris schulen be fillid in teching,

5 al riches preciouse and ful fair. A wijs man is strong, and a

6 lerned man is stalworth and mi^ti. For-whi batel is bigunnun
with ordenaunce, and helthe schal be, where many counsels

7 ben. Wisdom is h.^ to a fool ; in the 5ate he schal not opene

8 his mouth. He that thenkith to do yuels, schal be clepid a

9 fool. The thou5te of a fool is synne ; and a bacbitere is

10 abhomynacioun of men. If thou that hast slide, dispeirist in

1 1 the dai of angwisch, thi strengthe schal be maad lesse. Dely-
uere thou hem, that ben led to deth; and ceesse thou not

1 2 to delyuere hem, that ben drawun to deth. If thou seist,
Strengthis suffisen not ; he that is biholdere of the herte, vn-
dirstondith, and no thing disseyueth the kepere of thi soule,

13 and he schal 5elde to a man bi hise werkis. Mi sone, ete thou
hony, for il is good ; and an honycomb ful swete to thi throte.

14 So and the techyng of wisdom is good to thi soule ; and
whanne thou hast founde it, thou schait haue hope in the

15 laste thingis, and thin hope schal not perische. Aspie thou
not, and seke not wickidnesse in the hous of a iust man,

16 nether waste thou his reste. For a iust man schal falle seuene
sithis in the dai, and schal rise a5en ; but wickid men schulen

1 7 falle in to yuele. Whanne thin enemye fallith, haue thou not

18 ioye ; and thin herte haue not ful out ioiyng in his fal ; lest
perauenture the Lord se, and it displese hym, and he take

19 awei his ire fro hym. Stryue thou not with the worste men,

20 nether sue thou wickid men. For whi yuele men han not



PROVERBS, XXV. 24 1

hope of thingis to comynge, and the lanterne of wickid men

21 schal be quenchid. My sone, drede thou God, and the kyng ;

22 and be thou not medlid with bacbiteris. For her perdicioun
schal rise togidere sudenli, and who knowith the fal of euer

23 either? Also these thingis //la/ suen ben to wise men. It is

24 not good to knowe a persoone in doom. Puplis schulen curse
hem, that seien to a wickid man, Thou art iust ; and lynagis

25 schulen holde hem abhomynable. Thei that repreuen iiisili
synners, schulen be preisid ; and blessing schal come on hem.

26, 27 He that answerith ri^tful wordis, schal kisse lippis. Make
redi thi werk with-outforth, and worche thi feelde dilygentli,

28 that thou bilde thin hous aftirward. Be thou not a witnesse
with-out resonable cause a5ens thi nei5bore; nether flatere

29 thou ony man with thi lippis. Seie thou not, As he dide to
me, so Y schal do to him, and Y schal 5elde to ech man aftir

30 his werk. I passide bi the feeld of a slow man, and bi the

3 1 vyner of a fonned man ; and, lo ! netdis hadden fillid al,
thornes hadden hilid the hi5ere part therof, and the wal of

2,2 stoonys with-out morter was distried. And whanne Y hadde
seyn this thing, Y settide in myn herte, and bi ensaumple Y

S.Uernyde techyng. Hou longe slepist thou, slow man? whanne
schalt thou ryse fro sleep ? Sotheli thou schalt slepe a litil,
thou schalt nappe a litil, thou schalt ioyne togidere the hondis

34 a litil, to take reste ; and thi nedynesse as a currour schal come
to thee, and thi beggerie as an armed man.

Cap. XXV.

1 Also these be?! the Parablis of Salomon, whiche the men of

2 Ezechie, kyng of Juda, translatiden. The glorie of God is to
hele a word ; and the glorie of kyngis is to seke out a word.

3 Heuene aboue, and the erthe bynethe, and the herte of kyngis

4 is vnserchable. Do thou a-wei rust fro siluer, and a ful cleene

R



242 PROVERBS, XXV,

^ vessel schal go out. Do thou awei vnpite fro the cheer of the
kyng, and his trone schal be maad stidfast bi ri3tfulnesse.

6 Appere thou not gloriouse bifore the kyng, and stonde thou

7 not in the place of grete men. For it is betere, that it be seid
to thee, Stie thou hidur, than that thou be maad low bifore

s the prince. Brynge thou not forth soone tho thingis in strijf,
whiche thin i3en sien ; lest afdrward thou maist not amende,

9 whanne thou hast maad thi frend vnhonest. Trete thi cause
with thi frend, and schewe thou not priuyte to a straunge

10 man ; lest perauenture he haue ioye of thi fal, whanne he hath
herde, and ceesse not to do schenschipe to thee. Grace and
frenschip delyueren, whiche kepe thou to thee, that thou be

1 1 not maad repreuable. A goldun pomel in beddis of siluer 2s

12 he, that spekith a word in his time. A goldun eere-ryng, and
a schinynge peerle zs he, that repreueth a wijs man, and an

13 eere obeiynge. As the coold of snow in the dai of heruest, so
a feithful messanger to hym that sente thilke messanger, makith

14 his soule to haue reste. A cloude and wind, and reyn not

15 suynge, is a gloriouse man, and not fillynge biheestis. A
prince schal be maad soft bi pacience ; and a soft tunge schal

16 breke hardnesse. Thou hast founde hony, ete thou that that
suffisith to thee ; lest perauenture thou be fillid, and brake it

17 out. Withdrawe thi foot fro the hous of thi nei^bore ; lest
iSsum tyme he be fillid, and hate thee. A dart, and a swerd,

and a scharp arowe, a man that spekith fals witnessing a5ens

1 9 his nei3bore. A rotun tooth, and a feynt foot is he, that hopith

20 on an vnfeithful man in the dai of angwisch, and leesith his
mentil in the dai of coold. Vynegre in a vessel of salt is he,
ihat singith songis to the worste herte. As a mou3te 7ioieth a
cloth, and a worm nGieth a tree, so the sorewe of a man noieth

2 1 the herte. If thin enemy hungrith, feede thou him ; if he
2 2thirstith, ^yue thou watir to hym to drinke; for thou schalt

gadere togidere coolis on his heed ; and the Lord schal 3elde



PR O VER BS, XX VI. 2 4 :5

j;, to thee. The north wind scalereth reynes ; and a sorewful
J 4 face distrieth a tunge bacbitinge. It is betere to sitte in the

corner of an hous without roof, than with a womman ful of
- 5 chidyng, and in a comyn hous. Coold watir to a thirsti man ;
2 6 and a good messanger fro a fer lond. A welle disturblid with

foot, and a veyne brokun, a iust man fallinge bifore a wickid
-7 man. As it is not good to hym that etith myche hony ; so

he that is a serchere of maieste, schal be put doun fro glorie.
. N As a citee opyn, and with-oul cumpas of wallis ; so is a man

that mai not refreyne his spirit in speking.

Cap. XXVI.

1 As snow in somer, and reyn in heruest ; so glorie is vn-

2 semeh to a fool. For-whi as a brid fliynge ouer to hi3 thingis,
and a sparowe goynge in to vncerteyn ; so cursing brou5t

• forth with-out resonable cause schal come aboue in to sum

.-, man. Beting to an hors, and a bernacle to an asse ; and a

4 5erde in the bak of vnprudent men. Answere thou not to a

f fool bi his foli, lest thou be maad lijk hym. Answere thou

(^ a fool bi his fooli, lest he seme to him silf to be wijs. An

haltinge man in feet, and drinkinge wickidnesse, he that sendith

7 wordis by a fonned messanger. As an haltinge man hath faire

leggis in veyn ; so a parable is vnsemcli in the mouth of foolis.

s As he that casteth a stoon in to an heep of mercuric ; so he

'j that 5yueth onour to an vnwijs man. As if a thorn growith in

the hond of a drunkun man ; so a parable in the mouth of

, o foolis. Doom determyneth causis ; and he that settith silence

, 1 to a fool, swagith iris. As a dogge that turneth a^cn to his

spuyng; so is an vnprudent man, that rehcrsilh his fooli.

.; Thou hast seyn a man seme wijs to hym silf; an vnkunnyng

1;, man schal haue hope more than he. A slow man seith, A

i4lioun is in the weie, a liounnesse is in the foot-pathis. As a

R 2



244 PROVERBS, XXVII.

i^dore is turned in his hengis; so a slow man in his bed. A
slow man hidilh hise hondis vndur his armpit; and he trauel-

16 ith, if he turnetli tho to his mouth. A slow man semeth wysere

17 to hym silf, than seuene men spekynge sentensis„ As he that
takith a dogge bi the eeris; so he that passith, and is vn-

ispacient, and is meddlid with the chiding of anothir man.

19 As he is gilti, that sendith speris and arowis in to deth ; so a
man that anoieth gilefuli his frend, and whanne he is takun,

20 he schal seie, Y dide pleiynge. Whanne trees failen, the fier
schal be quenchid; and whanne a priuy bacbitere is with-

2idrawun, stryues resten. As deed coolis at quic coolis, and

22 trees at the fier; so a wrathful man reisith chidyngis. The
wordis of a pryuei bacbitere ben as symple; and tho comen

23 til to the ynneste thingis of the herte. As if thou wolt ourne
a vessel of erthe with foul siluer ; so ben bolnynge lippis felous-

24 chipid with the werste herte. An enemy is vndirstondun bi

25 hise lippis, whanne he tretith giles in the herte. Whanne he
makith low his vois, bileue thou not to hym; for seuene

26 wickidnessis ben in his herte. The malice of hym that hilith
2 7hatrede gilefuli, schal be schewid in a counsel. He that

delueth a diche, schal falle in to it ; and if a man walewith a
28 stoon, it schal turne a3en to hym. A fals tunge loueth not
treuth ; and a slidir mouth worchith fallyngis.

Cap. XXVII.

1 Haue thou not glorie on the morewe, not knowynge what

2 thing the dai to comynge schal bringe forth. Another man,
and not thi mouth preise thee; a straunger, and not thi

3 lippis preise thee. A stoon is heuy, and grauel is chariouse ;

4 but the ire of a fool is heuyere than euer eithir. Ire hath no
merci, and woodnesse brekynge out haih no merci; and who

5 mai suffre the fersnesse of a spirit stirid ? Bete re is opyn



PROVERBS, XXVII. 245

6 repreuyng, than loue hid. Betere ben the woundis of hym

7 that loueth, than the gileful cossis of hym that hatith. A
man fillid schal dispise an hony-coomb ; but an hungri man

S schal take, ^he, bittir thing for swete. As a brid passingc
9 ouer fro his nest, so is a man that forsakith his place. The

herte delitith in oynement, and dyuerse odours ; and a soule
:ois maad swete bi the good counsels of a frend. Forsake

thou not thi frend, and the frend of thi fadir ; and entre thou

not in to the hous of thi brothir, in the dai of thi turment.
; I Betere is a nei5bore ny^, than a brothir afer. Mi sone, studie

thou a-boute wisdom, and make thou glad myn herte ; that
J z thou maist answere a word to a dispisere. A fel man seynge

yuel was hid; Htle men of wit passinge forth suffriden
i.sharmes. Take thou awei his clooth, that bihi3te for a

straunger; and take thou awei a wed fro hym for an alien

14 man. He that blessith his nei^bore with greet vois ; and

15 risith bi ni3t, schal be lijk hym that cursith. Roouys drop-
pynge in the dai of coold, and a womman ful of chidyng ben

) ^) comparisond. He that withholdith hir, as if he holdith

) 7 wynd ; and auoidith the oile of his ri3t bond. Yrun is

whettid bi irun ; and a man whettith the face of his frend.

1 8 He that kepith a fige-tre, schal ete the fruyts therof; and he

19 that is a kepere of his lord, schal be glorified. As the cheris
of men biholdinge schynen in watris ; so the hertis of men

20 ben opyn to prudent men. Helle and perdicioun schulen
3 1 not be fillid; so and the i^en of men moun not be fillid. As

siluer is preuyd in a wellyng place, and gold ts preiicd in
a furneys ; so a man is preued bi the mouth of preyseris.
The herte of a wickid man sekith out yuels; but a ri^tful

22 herte sekith out kunnyng. Thou^ thou beetist a fool in a
morter, as with a pestel smytynge aboue dried barli ; his foli

23 schal not be don awei fro him. Knowe thou diligentli the
i4cheere of thi beeste ; and bihokle thou thi flockis. For thou



246 PROVERBS, XX VI IT.

schalt not haue power conlynueli ; but a coroun schal be

-•5 50uun to thee in generacioun and in to generacioun. Medew-

is ben openyd, and greene eerbis apperiden ; and hey is

26 gaderid fro hilHs. Lambren be to thi clothing ; and kidis 6e

27 to the prijs of feeld. The mylke of geete suffice to thee for
thi meetis ; in to the necessarie thingis of thin hous, and to
lijflode to thin handmaidis.

Cap. XXVIII.

1 A wiCKiD nnan fleeth, whanne no man pursueth ; but
a iust man as a lioun tristynge schal be with-out ferd-

2 fulnesse. For the synnes of the lond den many princis
therof; and for the wisdom of a man, and for the kunnyng
of these thingis that ben seid, the lijf of the duyk schal

3 be lengere. A pore man falsli calengynge pore men,

4 is lijk a grete reyn, wherynne hungur is maad redi. Thei
that forsaken the lawe, preisen a wickid man ; thei that kepen

5 /he /awe, ben kyndlid a5ens hym. Wickid men thenken not
doom ; but thei that seken the Lord, perseyuen alle thingis.

6 Betere is a pore man goynge in his sympilnesse, than a riche

7 man in schrewid weies. He that kepith the lawe, is a wijs

8 sone ; but he that fedith glotouns, schendith his fadir. He
that gaderith togidere richessis bi vsuris, and fre encrees,

9 gaderith tho togidere a^ens pore men. His preyer schal be
maad cursid, that bowith awei his eere ; that he here not

10 the lawe. He that disseyueth iust men in an yuel weye,
schal falle in his perisching ; and iuste men schulen welde

iihise goodis. A ryche man semeth wijs to him silf; but

12 a pore man prudent schal serche him. In enhaunsing of
iust men is miche glorie ; whanne wickid men regnen, fall-

i3yngis of men ben. He that hidith hise grete trespassis,
schal not be maad ri3tful ; but he that knoulechith and

14 forsakith tho, schal gete merci. Blessid is the man, which is



247

euere dredeful ; but he that is harde of soule, schal falle in to
i5yuel. A rorynge lioun, and an hungry here, is a wickid
i6 prince on a pore puple. A duyk nedi of prudence schal

oppresse many men bi fals chalenge ; but the daies of liym
17 that hatith aueryce, schulen be maad longe. No man sus-

teyneth a man that falsly chalengith the blood of a man, if he
iSfleeth til to the lake. He that goith simpli, schal be saaf;
19 he that goith bi weiward weies, schal falle doun onys. He

that worchith his lond, schal be fillid with looues ; he that
2osueth ydelnesse, schal be fillid with nedynesse. A fcilhful

man schal be preisid myche ; but he that hastith to be maad

21 riche, schal not be innocent. He that knowith a face in
doom, doith not wel; this man forsakith treuthe, ^he, for

22 a mussel of breed. A man that hastith to be maad riche,
and hath enuye to othere men; woot not that nedinesse

2.", schal come on hym. He that repreueth a man, schal fynde

grace aftirward at hym; more than he that disseyueth bi
J4flateryngis of tunge. He that withdrawith ony thing fro his

fadir and fro his modir, and seith that this is no synne,
25 is parcener of a manquellere. He that auauntith hym silf,

and alargith, reisith stryues ; but he that hopith in the Lord,
26 schal be sauyd. He that tristith in his herte, is a fool;
27 but he that goith wiseli, schal be preysid. He that 3yueth to

a pore man, schal not be nedi ; he that dispisith a pore 77ian
jSbisechynge, schal suffre nedynesse. Whanne vnpitouse men

risen, men schulen be hid ; whanne tho impitouse men han

perischid, iust men schulen be multiplied.

Cap. XXIX.

1 SoDEYN perischyng schal come on that man, that with hard

2 nol dispisith a blamere ; and helth schal not sue hym. The
comynalte schal be glad in the muliipliyng of iust men ;



248 PROVERBS, XXIX.

whanne wickid men han take prinshod, the puple schal

3 weyle. A man that loueth wisdom, makith glad his fadir ;

4 but he that nurschith an hoore, schal leese catel. A iust
king reisith the lond ; an auerouse man schal destrie it.

5 A man that spekith bi flaterynge and feyned wordis to his

6 frend ; spredith abrood a net to hise steppis. A snare schal
wlappe a wickid man doynge synne ; and a iust man schal

7 preise, and schal make ioye. A iust man knowith the cause

8 of pore men ; an vnpitouse man knowith not kunnyng. Men
ful of pestilence distryen a citee ; but wise men turnen awei

9 woodnesse. If a wijs man stryueth with a fool ; whether he
JO be wrooth, ether he lei^ith, he schal not fynde reste. Men-

quelleris haten a simple man; but iust men seken his soule.
] 1 A fool bringith forth al his spirit ; a wise man dilaieth, and
1 2 reserueth in to tyme comynge afterward. A prince that

herith wilfuli the wordis of a leesyng; schal haue alle
i3mynystris vnfeithful. A pore man and a leenere metten

14 hem silf; the Lord is li3tnere of euer ethir. If a kyng
demeth pore men in treuthe; his trone schal be maad stid-

15 fast with-outen ende. A ^erde and chastisyng schal 5yue
wisdom ; but a child, which is left to his wille, schendith his

i6modir. Grete trespassis schulen be muldplied in the mul-
tipliyng of wickid men ; and iust men schulen se the fallyngis

1 7 of hem. Teche thi sone, and he schal coumforte thee ; and

18 he schal 3yue delicis to thi soule. Whanne prophesie faylith,
the puple schal be distried ; but he that kepith the lawe, is

iQblessid. A seruaunt may not be tau3t bi wordis; for he
vndirstondith that that thou seist, and dispisith for to an-

20 swere. Thou hast seyn a man swift to speke ; foli schal be

2 1 hopid more than his amendyng. He that nurschith his ser-
uaunt delicatli fro childhod; schal fynde hym rebel afdr-

22 ward. A wrathful man territh chidingis; and he that is li3t
to haue indignacioun, schal be more enclynaunt to synnes.



PROVERBS, XXX. 24C)

23 Lownesse sueth a proude man ; and glorie schal vp take

24 a meke man of spirit. He that takith part with a theef,
hatith his soule ; he herith a man chargynge grcedi, and

25 schewith not. He that dredith a man, schal falle soon ; he

26 that hopith in the Lord, shal be reisid. Many men seken the
face of the prince ; and the doom of alle men schal go forth

27 of the Lord. lust men han abhomynacioun of a wickid man ;
and wickid men han abhomynacioun of hem, that ben in a
ri^tful weye. A sone kepynge a word, schal be out of per-
dicioun.

Cap. XXX.

1 The wordis of hym that gaderith, of the sone spuynge.
The prophesie which a man spak, with whom God was, and
which ??ian was coumfortid bi God dwellyng with hym, and

2 seide, Y am the moost fool of men ; and the wisdom of men
3 is not with me. Y lernede not wisdom; and Y knew not

4 the kunnyng of hooH men. Who stiede in to heuene, and
cam doun ? Who helde togidere the spirit in hise hondis ?
who bonde togidere watris as in a cloth ? Who reiside alle
the endis of erthe .? What is name of hym ? and what is the

5 name of his sone, if thou knowist .'' Ech word of God />

6 a scheld set afiere, to alle that hopen in hym. Adde thou
not ony thing to the wordis of hym, and thou be repreucd,

7 and be foundun a here. I preiede thee twei thingis ; denye

8 not thou to me, bifor that Y die. I\Like thou fer fro me
vanyte and wordis of leesyng ; ^yue thou not to me bcggcr\-
and richessis ; 3yue thou oneli necessaries to my lijflode ;

9 lest perauenture Y be fillid, and be drawun to denye, and
seic. Who is the Lord ? and lest Y compellid bi nedynesse,

10 stele, and forswere the name of my God. Accuse thou not

a seruaunt to his lord, lest perauenture he curse thee, and

J 1 thou falle doun. A c^eneracioun that cursith his fadir, and



250 PROVERBS, XXX.

1 2 that blessith not his modir. A generacioun that semeth

cleene to it silf, and netheles is not waischun fro hise

i3filthis. A generacioun whose i^en ben hi3, and the i^e-

i4Hddis therof ben reisid in to hi5 thingis. A generacioun

that hath swerdis for teeth, and etith with hise wank-teeth ;

15 that it ete nedi men of erthe, and the porails of men. The
watir-leche hath twei dou3tris, seiynge, Brynge, bringe.
Thre thingis ben vnable to be fillid, and the fourthe, that

16 seith neuere, It suffisith ; helle, and the mouth of the
wombe, and the erthe which is neuere filHd with watir; but

i7fier seith neuere, It suffisith. Crowis of the stronde picke
out thilke i^e, that scorneth the fadir, and that dispisith the
child beryng of his modir; and the briddis of an egle ete

18 that i3e. Thre thingis ben hard to me, and outirli Y knowe

19 not the fourthe thing; the weye of an egle in heuene, the
weie of a serpent on a stoon, the weie of a schip in the
myddil of the see, and the weie of a man in ^ong wexynge

20 age. Siche is the weie of a womman auowtresse, which
etith, and wipiih hir mouth, and seith, Y wrou3te not yuel.

21 The erthe is moued bi thre thingis, and the fourthe thing,

22 which it may not susteyne ; bi a seruaunt, whanne he regneth ;

23 bi a fool, whanne he is fillid with mete ; bi an hateful wom-
man, whanne sche is takun in matrymohye; and by an

24handmaide, whanne sche is eir of hir ladi. Foure ben the
leeste thingis of erthe, and tho ben wisere than wise men ;

25 amtis, a feble puple, that maken redi mete in heruest to hem

26 silf; a hare, a puple vnmy3ti, that settith his bed in a stoon ;

27 a locust hath no kyng, and al goith out bi cumpanyes ;

28 an euete enforsith with hondis-, and dwellith in the housis


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