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The seconde cause of the’imposicion Of this foresayid name was jeloufie: To be jelouse is gretist occasion To be cokcold that men can wel afpie, And though the passion be very firie, And of continuell fervence and hete, The pacient aye fuffrith colde on his fete. 315
And who that 'is jelous and aye in a drede Is full of melancolie and gallie ire; His wiv'is nose if the onis miffetrede He woll cutte of, ye, and he woll conspire His deth who evir that woll her desire, Whiche the percevyng braftith streight his gall; And anone his grete wodeneisse doith fall. 322
As sone as the hath knit for hym that knot
Now is he tame that was fo ramagious;
Mckely fittith he doune and taketh his lot;
Layid ben now his lokes so furious,
And he but late as a cccke batailous,
Hote in his quarell, to avenge hym bolde,
Now is he callid bothè Coke and Colde. 329
This faiyng, to'all curtifie diffonant,
Whiche ysemith that it of malice grewe,
In this rude cretise I ne woll not plant
As parcill thereof, but onely to shewe
The opinion of the calcatife shrewe,
Whiche in ill faiyng is ever merie,
No man as I is thereof so werie.
But I as parcill of this my lite boke
Woli graffin in some fadde counfaill wherby
The weddid man, if that he daigne to loke
In it, the bettir shall mowin hym gie,
And provide for his faied infortunie,
Whiche as I have fayid with him complaine
I woll, as partinir of his gretc paine.
As molte expedient unto his wele
I woulde that all jelousie were abjecte,
If he be jelous that he it concele,
And in his labour be full circumfpede
To knowe her waies if thei femin suspecte,
And not for to breke, for one worde brokin
She woll not miffe but the woll be wrokin.
Forbid her not that thou n'oldift have don,
For loke what thyng so e're she is forbod
To that of all thyngis she is niost prone,
Namily if it be ill and no gode;
Till it be executid fhe' is nigh wode:
Soche is a woman, and foche is her fete;
Her craft by craft than labour to defete.
If thou hercaftir, now a single man,
Shouldist be jelous if thou haddeft a wife,
Wedde not but if thou can trust a woman;
For els shouldist thou lede a carefull life;
That thou mofte lothift should ybe full rife;
Yet I ne will gainsaie matrimonie,
But Melius eft nubere quàm uri.
That is to faie, Bettir is in wedlocke
A wife to take, as the churche doith kenne,
Then for to ben undir the flesh'is yoke,
In fleshlic luftis alwaie for to brenne;
But, as I sayid, for all jelous bienne,
So thei livin chafte, 1 hulde it lasse ill
That thei ne wedde not than them selfin spill. 371
The single man whiche that is yet to wedde,
And not the weddid man, thus l arede,
To warne hym now he is to farre yspedde,
It is all to late hym for to forbede,
But let hym take as for his ownè nede
Seche counfaile as is hym before ytolde,
These wordis foldwyng eke to beholde.
Thy watir to kepe the wisemàn doeth teche,
That thou in no wise let it have iffue,
At a narowe rifte waie it woll yfeche;
And semblablie the woman that 'is untrue
To give her fre walke in all wise eschue;
If the ac large, not at thine handè, walke
She woll the shamin, thou halt it hot balke. 389
Weddid or single thus faith the wiseman, Her which that both daie and night evirmbre Lithe in thy bosome, wife or yet lemman, Love not to hote, left thou tepent it fore, Let the the bryngin into fome ill lore: Thy wife not to love yet I n'ill support, But that thou dote not thus I the exhort. 392
Lo! if thou love her love thine honestie;
Be she not idill for what woll betide;
If she ft idle' of very necessitie
Her mindè woll ferchin ferre and eke wide,
Namelie if she be not accompanide:
How accompanied ? not with yongè men,
But with maidinis I mene or women.
Maidin fervauntes be right convenient
In house to helpin to doe her service,
Inwhom she maię use her commaundement
In the seson all at her owne device;
To techin 'hem gode yeve her thine advice
To make them huswifis: thus husineffe
Maie yet refrainin her from idlenesse.
But bid not her that thou wolt have her do,
Of thine entent that might be a lettyng,
But craftily encourage her therto
By othir menis, as by commendyng,
And not to moche, but duily mengyng,
Bothe praise and blamè, and in thy reson
First praise wisily the place and fefon.
Of faithfull will and hertè full tender
One thing I call into remembèrąunce
Again, whiche though my wit be to flender.
Aftir my powir and my fuffifaunce
I purpose to makin a purveiaunce,
Sith women of nature ben chaungeable,
Frele, and not ware, also discevable.
Be' it that thy wife be excellently gode; That none be bet of disposicion, In processe of time she might turn her 'mode By some missc-liver's instigacion; Divers men to thilke occupacion Aplyin daily ther mynde and eke herte, From ther godenesse frele women to perverte. 427
If thou aspie any suspect person Drawe to thy wife, beware in allè wise; To hym nor her of thy suspeccion Breke not one worde though that thin herte agrise; Kindle nn fire and no smoke woll arise: Although he be of a corrupt entent She peraventure is not of affent.