A bow long bent at last waxeth weak.

A grunting horse and groaning wife never fail their Master.

Age and wedlock tames man and beast.

An ill cook cannot lick his own fingers.

Better one bird in the hand than ten in the wood.

Beware the geese when the fox preaches.

Children and chickens are always feeding.

Dinners cannot be long where dainties want.

God sends meat, the devil sends Cooks.

It is merry in hall when beards wag all

Many kiss the child for the Nurses's sake.

Need hath no law.

Old men and far travellers may lie by authority

Puff not against the wind

Pouring oil into the fire is not the way to quench it

Saying and doing are two things

Somewhat is better than nothing

Speak fair, and think what you will.

The Crow thinketh her own birds fairest.

Three may keep counsel if two be away.

You are as seasonable as snow in summer

Young men may die, but old must die.
Good housewives provide, ere a sickness do come,
Of sundry good things in her house to have some.
Good aqua composits, and vinegar tart,
Rosewater, and treacle, to comfort the heart.
Cold herbs in her garden, for agues that burn,
That over-strong heat to good temper may turn,
White endive, and succory, with spinach enow;
All such, with good pot-herbs, should follow the plough.
Get water of fumitory, liver to cool,
And others the like, or else go like a fool.
Conserves of barberry, quinces and such,
With syrups, that easeth the sickly, so much.
Ask Medicus counsel, ere medicine ye make
And honour that man for necessity's sake.
Though thousands hate physic, because of the cost,
Yet thousands it helpeth, that else should be lost,
Good broth, and good keeping, do much now and then:
Good diet with wisdom, best comforteth man.
In health, to be stirring shall profit thee best;
In sickness hate troubles, seek quiet and rest.
Remember thy soul; let no fancy prevail;
Make ready to God-ward; let faith never quail
The sooner theyself thou submittest to God,
The sooner He ceaseth to scourge with His rod.
A gentle squire would gladly entertain
Into his house some trencher-chaplain;
Some willing man that might instruct his sons,
And that would stand to good conditions.

First, that he lie upon the truckle-bed,
Whiles his young master lieth o'er his head.
Second, that he do, on no default,
Ever presume to sit above the salt
Third, that he never change his trencher twice.
Fourth, that he use all common courtesies;
Sit bare at meals, and one half rise and wait.
Last, that he never his young master beat,
But he must ask his mother to define,
How many jerks she would his breech should line,
All these observed, he could contented be,
To give five marks and winter livery.
Man, I dare challenge thee to throw the sledge,
To jump or leap over a ditch or hedge;
To wrestle, play at stoolball, or to run,
To pitch the bar, or to shoot off a gun;
To play at loggets, nineholes, or ten pins,
To try it out at football, by the shins;
At Ticktack, Irish, Noddie, Maw, and Ruff:
At hot-cockles, leap-frog, or blindman-buff.
To drink half pots, or deal at thee whole can;
To play at base, or pen-and-in-horn Sir Ihan:
To dance the Morris, play at barley-break,
At all exploits a man can think or speak;
At shove-groat, venter point, or cross and pile,
At 'bestow him that's last at yonder stile';
At leaping o'er a Midsummer bon-fire,
Or at the drawing Dun out of the more;
At 'shoot-cock, Gregory', stoolball and what not.
Pick-point, top and scourge, to make him hot.
Billiards from Spain at first derived its name,
Both an ingenious, and a cleanly game,
One gamester leads (the table green as grass)
An each like warriors strive to gain the pass.

Next here are Hazzards played the other way,
By box and dice; tis Hazzard in the play.

Not t'Irish, or Back-Gammoners we come,
Who wish their money, with their men safe home;
By topping, knapping, and foul play some win:
But those are losers, who so gain by sin.

After these three the Cock-pit claims a name:
A sport gentile, and called a Royal Game,
Now see the gallants crowd about the pit,
And most are stocked with money more than wit;
Else sure they would not, with so greata stir,
Lay ten to one on a cock's faithless spur.

Lastly, observe the women with what grace
They sit, and look their partners in the face.
The women knew their game, then cried, enough,
Let's leave off Whist, and go to Putt, or ruff.


Ruff and Honours (alias Slamm) and Whist are games
so commonly known in England in all parts thereof,
that every child of almost eight years old hath a competent
knowledge in that recreation.

And Putt is the ordinary rooking (cheating) game of
every place, and seems by the few cards that are
dealt to have no great difficulty in the play, but
I am sure there is much craft and cunning in it.

When netilles in winter bere roses rede,..............1
And thornes bere giffes naturally,
And bromes bere appilles in every mede,
And lorelles bere cheris in the croppes so hie,.......2
And okes bere dates so plentuosly,
And Lekes geve honey in ther superfluence-............3
Than put in a woman your trust and confidence.........4

Whan whiting walk in forestes, hartes for tochase;
And heringes in parkes hornes boldly blow,
And flownders more-hennes in fennes enbrace,
And gornardes shote rolyons out of a crosses-bowe......5 & 6
And grengese ride in hunting the wolf to overthrowe,...7
And sperlinges rone with speres in harness to defence-.8 & 9
Than put in a woman your trust and confidence.

When sparowes bild chirches and stepulles hie,
And wrennes cary sackes to the mille,
And curlews cary clothes horses for to drye,
And se-mewes bring butter to the market to sell,
And wod-doves were wod-knives theves to kill,.........10
And griffons to goslinges don obedience-..............11
Than put in a woman your trust and confidence.

When crabbes tak wodcokes in forestes and parkes,
And hares ben taken with swetness of snailes,
And camelleswith ther her takswallowes and perches,...12
And mice mowe corn with waveying of ther tailes,
When duckes of the dunghill sek the Blod of Hailes,...13
When shrewed wives to ther husbondes do non offence-..14
Than put in a woman your trust and confidence.


1 - BERE........................bear
2 - CROPPES.................tops (of trees)
3 - SUPERFLUENCE.......superbundance
4 - THAN........................then
5 - GORNARDES............gurnards (fish)
6 - ROLYONS.................fish
7 - GRENGESE................goslings
8 - SPERLINGS RONE....smelts run
9 - HARNESS..................armour
10- (Whole Line)............and wood-pigeons wear hunting-knives to kill thieves
11- GRIFFONS................vultures
12- HERE.........................hair
13- BLOD OF HAILES.....alleged blood of Christ preserved at Hailes Abbey
14- SHREWED.................shrewish.

This page last modified on Saturday, February 17, 2007