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Title: A Renaissance Courtesy-book - Galateo of Manners and Behaviours
Author: Casa, Giovanni Della
Language: English
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                        THE HUMANIST'S LIBRARY

                       Edited by Lewis Einstein


                            OF MANNERS AND


                       OF MANNERS & BEHAVIOURS

                         GIOVANNI DELLA CASA

                       With an Introduction by
                            J. E. SPINGARN

                         GRANT RICHARDS LTD.

                   Copyright, 1914, by D. B. Updike


     Introduction                                    ix

     The Dedication                                   3

     Commendatory Verses                              6

     The Treatise of Master Jhon Della Casa          13

     Bibliographical Note                           121


One day, in Rome, about the middle of the sixteenth century, the Bishop
of Sessa suggested to the Archbishop of Benevento that he write a
treatise on good manners. Many books had touched the subject on one
or more of its sides, but no single book had attempted to formulate
the whole code of refined conduct for their time and indeed for all
time. And who could deal with the subject more exquisitely than the
Archbishop of Benevento? As a scion of two distinguished Florentine
families (his mother was a Tornabuoni), as an eminent prelate and
diplomatist, an accomplished poet and orator, a master of Tuscan prose,
a frequenter of all the fashionable circles of his day, the author
of licentious capitoli, and more especially as one whose morals were
distinctly not above reproach, he seemed eminently fitted for the
office of arbiter elegantiarum.

So it was that some years later, in disfavour with the new Pope, and
in the retirement of his town house in Venice and his villa in the
Marca Trivigiana, with a gallant company of gentlemen and ladies to
share his enforced but charming leisure, the Archbishop composed the
little book that had been suggested by the Bishop of Sessa, and that,
as a compliment to its "only begetter," bears as a title his poetic or
academic name.

There have been modern scholars who have wondered that so eminent a
prelate, and so austere and passionate a lyric poet (for the licentious
capitoli were best forgotten), "should have thought it worthy of his
pains to formulate so many rules of simple decency," descending even
to such trifles as the use of the napkin, the avoidance of immodest
topics, and the details of personal apparel. It might, however, be
pointed out that it is just because such distinguished men as our
Archbishop formulated these details for us in the Renaissance that they
have become part and parcel of our social code; that to quarrel with
the Archbishop on this score were not unlike quarrelling with Euclid
because he formulated laws of geometry which mathematicians nowadays
leave to schoolboys; and that the serious preoccupation with manners,
characteristic of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, made it possible
for modern European society to form an organic social whole, with a
model of the finished gentleman, more or less the same in all countries
and all periods.

But the fact is that it is the didactic form and tone, and not the
content, of the Archbishop's treatise with which our modern taste has
its quarrel. If books on etiquette are no longer in fashion, it is not
because preoccupation with the details of social conduct has ceased,
but because we no longer express it in the form of rules or codes. Our
plays, our novels, our essays, are mosaics of reflections on the very
things that interested the courts and coteries of the Renaissance. When
a modern writer wishes to enforce the idea that such apparent trifles
are of real concern, he no longer says: "It is important that every
young man should pay careful heed to the little tricks of manners,"
but he puts into the mouth of one of his characters, as Mr. Galsworthy
does, such a speech as this: "For people brought up as we are, to have
different manners is worse than to have different souls.... How are you
going to stand it; with a woman who----? It's the little things." The
Archbishop of Benevento, if permitted to read passages like this in
modern plays and essays, would recognize his own ideas in all of them;
he could point to dialogues and discourses of his own time in which
dogmatic precepts were in like manner disguised as witty and elegant
conversation; but because he was the product of an age of formal
treatises, exquisitely written, he would have insisted on his right to
state precepts as precepts, and to sum them up in such a rounded code
as he has given us in the "Galateo."

The "Galateo," then, is a summary of the refined manners of the later
Renaissance. For centuries such books had been written, but out of
them, and from the practices of his own age, Della Casa attempted to
select the essential details, and to develop, for the first time, a
norm of social conduct,--in a book, above all, that should be a work
of art, and should conform to all the graces and elegancies of Tuscan
speech. The details are subordinated to a philosophy of manners, which
is lightly sketched, on the assumption that subtle reasoning would
be unintelligible to the youthful auditor to whom the precepts are
theoretically addressed, but which has an importance of its own, as
characteristic of the attitude of a whole epoch. When Della Casa calls
good manners "a virtue, or something closely akin to virtue," he is
making a mere concession to the ideals of his day. The moralists of the
later Renaissance, or Catholic Reaction, felt it necessary to defend
every social practice on the ground of its real or imaginary relation
to virtue, as the only thing which can ever justify anything to a
moralist. So the sixteenth century theorists of "honour" called honour
a form of virtue; those who argued about the nature of true nobility
made it to consist of virtue (a theory, indeed, as old as Menander and
Juvenal); just as the moralists of the Middle Ages had justified "love"
by calling it a virtue, too.

For Della Casa, however, the real foundation of good manners is to be
found in the desire to please. This desire is the aim or end of all
manners, teaching us alike to follow what pleases others and to avoid
what displeases them. This is a far cry from virtue, which in its
very essence would seem to be divorced from the idea of conciliating
the moods or whims of those about us; unless we assume that perhaps
the slight personal sacrifice involved in yielding to such whims was
the only form of virtue which a fashionable prelate might care to
recognize. In order to give pleasure, we are told, it is essential to
pay heed to the way a thing is done as well as to what is done; it is
not enough to do a good deed, but it must be done with a good grace.
That is to say, good manners are concerned with the form which actions
take, as morals are concerned with their content; and from the social
standpoint, the manner as well as the content of an act must be passed
upon in any judgement of it. And, finally, if the desire to please is
the aim of good manners, the guide, or test, or norm is common usage or
custom, which no less than reason furnishes the laws of courtesy, and
which in a sense may be said to be the equivalent in manners of what
duty is in morals.

It will be seen that Della Casa does not concern himself with that
conception of manners which relates it to a sense of personal dignity,
and which is summed up in Locke's dictum that the foundation of good
breeding is "not to think meanly of ourselves and not to think meanly
of others." This side of the social ideal was summed up for the later
Renaissance in the term "honour," which formed the theme of many
separate treatises in the sixteenth century. The "Galateo" deals solely
with those little concessions to the tastes and whims of those around
us which are necessitated by the fact that cultivated gentlemen are not
hermits, and must consider the customs and habits of others if they
wish to form part of a smoothly organized and polished society. We
may prefer to call this "considerateness for the feelings of others,"
but, essentially, most justifications of good manners depend on the
same idea of conciliating the accidental and immediate circle in
which we happen to move, at the expense of wider interests or larger
groups; and both "considerateness" and "the desire to please" fail as
justifications, or at least as incitements, as soon as the idea of
success within a definite circle is eliminated or submerged.

It is unnecessary, however, to break so fragile a butterfly as Della
Casa's philosophy on any wheel of serious argument. He is interested
solely in the superficial aspects of life, and an intricate or
consistent philosophy would have served no other purpose than to
alienate or confuse minds concerned, like his own, solely with life on
its superficial side. On the basis of such ideas,--to please others;
to win their good graces and one's own ultimate success; to be sweetly
reasonable in conforming to custom; to perform every act with an eye
to its effect on those about us,--on the basis of ideas as elementary
yet appealing as these, he formulates in detail the precepts of conduct
for daily human intercourse in a refined society.

In the first place, there are the things that are to be avoided because
they offend the senses. Coughing, sneezing, or yawning in someone's
face, greediness or carelessness in eating, and various sides of our
physical life fall within this category. We are not only to avoid
indiscretion in such matters, but we are to refrain from mentioning in
conversation whatever might be indelicate as a physical act. In the
second place, there are other indiscretions that have no such basis in
the mere senses, and refer solely to the mental attitude or to the mere
personal pride of our neighbours. To read a letter or to fall asleep
in company, to turn your back to your neighbour, to be careless about
one's way of standing or sitting, to be absent-minded or touchy about
trifles, are social sins of this second kind. The art of conversation
was the mainstay of social life in the Italian Renaissance, and to it
Della Casa naturally, at this point, devotes most of his attention. To
be obscene, or blasphemous, or too subtle; to dwell on inappropriate
things (as when repeating a friar's sermon to a young lady); to brag or
lie; to be too ceremonious or too servile; to tell a story awkwardly or
to mention indelicate matters without some polite periphrasis;--these
are some of the chief sins against this art of arts. There is very much
that is modern in the diatribe against the ceremoniousness that was
then creeping into Italy from Spain, for sixteenth century Venice was
not unlike nineteenth century England in its preference for ease and
simplicity, and a grave and reasonable charm of manner. Finally, there
are the details of individual conduct dictated essentially by custom,
without apparent regard to the physical comfort or personal pride of
those about us; and under this third heading, Della Casa summarizes the
various problems of personal apparel, table manners, and the like.

Della Casa invents no new laws for conduct, deduces no new theories
of courtesy or manners; even the details are to be found in many of
his mediaeval and Renaissance predecessors. What he adds, in precept
or dictum or anecdote, is the fruit both of his own social experience
and of his classical studies. His book is, like Castiglione's
"Cortegiano" and Sannazzaro's "Arcadia," almost a mosaic of Greek
and Latin borrowings. Aristotle's "Nicomachean Ethics," Plutarch's
moral treatises, the "Characters" of Theophrastus, and the moral and
rhetorical works of Cicero are the chief sources, although none of
these books is devoted solely, like his, to the superficial conduct
of men among their equals and superiors. But even to these he adds
something that was born out of those refinements of life which in
Renaissance Italy had been developed more highly than elsewhere, and
had made the fashions of Urbino, Mantua, and Ferrara the models of
all courts and coteries, wherever the Renaissance gained a foothold
beyond the Alps. In the courts and cities of Italy, combining alike the
atmosphere of the mediaeval court and the ancient city,--combining,
that is to say, "courtoisie" and "civilitas" (urbanitas),--the modern
"gentleman," as distinguished from his classical or romantic forbears,
may be said to have been born.

"Courtesy," as its very name indicates, is the flowering of that spirit
which first shone in the little courts of mediaeval Provence and
France, but which did not, perhaps, find its most complete expression,
as a philosophy of life, until Castiglione wrote the "Cortegiano" at
the beginning of the sixteenth century. By that time the small court
was already beginning to give way to the larger court or the cultivated
coterie as the overwhelming centre of social influence in Europe,
although the glory of Ferrara and Mantua and Urbino did not wane for
two or three generations. But even before Castiglione's day the more
humane and graceful of courtly manners had spread beyond the confines
of courts; and almost before he was dead, the name "courtesy," in so
far as it still suggested a definite locus, no longer expressed the
new wide range of polished manners. Other words crept into cultivated
speech, so that, by the first half of the seventeenth century, we find
in a little French treatise on manners, the "Loix de la Galanterie,"
four distinct terms for man regarded simply as a creature of social
manners,--courtisain, honnête homme, galant, and homme du monde. The
first of these, as described by Castiglione, seemed to this author
Italianate and obsolete, and the second, which had just furnished
the title to a treatise on "L'Honnête Homme, ou l'Art de Plaire à la
Cour," still retained something of its original moral significance,
so that "gallant" and "man of the world" summed up, best of all, the
social qualities of the life of the day. It is no longer the court
but the "monde" about which social life centres, not that other men
do not belong to the world (as this author naïvely explains), but
because we are concerned solely with that great world which is the home
of fashion. This was the age of précieux and précieuses, and their
code was no longer that of the court of Urbino, as it flourished in
Castiglione's day; it was the over-refined manners of the academies
and coteries of Siena and Ferrara during the later sixteenth century
that furnished all that was essential in French préciosité. For the
moment "gallantry" sufficed to express good manners; but gradually it
too became obsolete, and the Latin term "civility," with its inclusion
of all civil society rather than any group or class, superseded both
"gallantry" and "courtesy." "Courtois is scarcely any longer used
in cultivated conversation," Callières, a French wit of the end of
the seventeenth century, tells us, "just as civilité has replaced
courtoisie." Indeed, the word "courtoisie" no longer finds a place
in any but elevated or poetic language in France to-day; and English
speech, which has retained it after its original meaning has been lost,
now finds it necessary to distinguish between the courtly and the
courteous, by the former suggesting the content of what once, at least
in part, belonged to the latter.

It is the "civilitas" of ancient Rome no less than the "civilité" of
seventeenth century France that is summed up in the "Galateo." As
Castiglione expresses the courtly ideals of the Middle Ages and the
Renaissance, so Della Casa expresses the ideals of manners no longer
restricted to courts and courtiers, but common to all cultivated
civilians, the manners that were to form the basis of the European
code from that time to this. A long line of Italian predecessors had
prepared the way for its coming. Indeed, every encyclopaedia, every
romance of chivalry of the Middle Ages, contains precepts which find
a place in its pages. In the late thirteenth and early fourteenth
centuries, Provence and Italy had already begun to furnish books on
such subjects. The "Breviari d'Amor" of Matfre Ermengaud includes
instruction in social conduct; the Italian, Bonvesin da Riva, had
written a treatise on "Fifty Courtesies of the Table;" Francesco da
Barberino had dealt at length with "The Manners and Behaviour of
Women;" still later, Sulpizio Verulano had written a treatise on the
table manners of children, which had found currency beyond the Alps;
and most influential of all, the great Erasmus, in 1526, had dealt at
length with children's manners in his "De Civilitate Morum Puerilium
Libellus." Della Casa follows tradition, or is moved by the example
of Erasmus, to the extent of representing his book as the discourse
of an old man to a young one; but this is a mere subterfuge, and
neither youth nor age figures in the precepts that follow. Unlike
his predecessors, he is concerned not merely with children, or with
women, or with the ideals of a narrow class like the courtier, or with
the general moral life of which manners are only an ornament or a
garment. He has written a book that touches on the essentials of good
manners as they affect all classes and groups which aim at individual
perfection,--not merely the young, but the mature; not merely men or
women, but both sexes; not merely the courtier, but all cultivated
classes. In this sense, it is the first of its kind. It is a trifling
and perhaps negligible kind, but at least this much distinction belongs
to the book.

The "Galateo" is a product of the Catholic Reaction. It is one of
the results of the casuistry and the scholastic spirit which in every
field of intellectual activity were applied to the life and art that
had found creative expression in the age of the Renaissance. What
the Renaissance did or wrote, the Catholic Reaction reasoned about,
codified, and stereotyped. The creative poetry of the Renaissance was
reduced to formulae in the treatises on the art of poetry of the later
sixteenth century; politics and history found reasoned expression in
treatises on political theory and historical method; and in similar
fashion, the social life of earlier Italy resulted in this age in
treatises on the practice and theory of society. It would be idle to
catalogue the various examples of this curious intellectual activity,
for the works of the sixteenth century dealing with this subject may
be numbered by hundreds, indeed by thousands. There were of course
treatises on court life and the ideals of the courtier, from the
"Cortegiano" of Castiglione to the discourses of Domenichi and Tasso;
treatises on honour and the duel, of which Possevino's "Dell'Onore"
is the type; treatises on the gentleman, his nature, his education,
and his occupations, like "Il Gentiluomo" of Muzio Justinipolitano,
the quality of which may be tasted in English in Peacham's "Compleat
Gentleman;" treatises on love and the relations of the sexes, all
summed up in Equicola's encyclopaedic "Libro di Natura d'Amore;"
treatises on social amusements, parlor games, and the like, such as
Scipione Bargagli's "I Trattenimenti" and Ringhieri's "Cento Giuochi
Liberali e d'Ingegno;" treatises on conversation, like Guazzo's "Civil
Conversatione;" and finally, a large number of treatises on the
education of women and children.

Among all these the "Cortegiano," one of the earliest, stands out
preëminently, just because it is the spontaneous product of the age of
which it is also a reasoned expression; that is to say, because it is a
work of art of the Renaissance rather than a mere scholastic treatise
of the Catholic Reaction. It is in no sense a courtesy-book; it is
concerned with principles of social conduct rather than with details
of etiquette. But of all the mere courtesy-books, the "Galateo" alone
survives; its name is current coin in Italian speech to-day; and in the
eighteenth century Dr. Johnson coupled it with the "Cortegiano" as "two
books yet celebrated in Italy for purity and elegance."

A French scholar of our own day has said that for modern culture
"antiquity" means ancient Greece and Rome, but that for modern manners
"antiquity" means mediaeval France. Yet this is only in part true, and
these sixteenth century books sum up that combination of "courtoisie"
and "civilitas" which gives its special note to Renaissance manners,
and which distinguishes such books from their predecessors of the
twelfth to the fifteenth centuries. We have but to examine any
typical discussion of manners in mediaeval literature, such as the
famous description of the exquisite table manners of the Prioress in
the Prologue to the "Canterbury Tales," or the passage in the "Roman
de la Rose" from which Chaucer borrowed his own details, to note a
characteristic distinction. Both of these passages are concerned with
women; in the Middle Ages it was only a woman who was supposed to
exhibit such refined delicacy in the details of conduct. Liberality,
magnanimity, courage, loyalty, chivalrousness to women, and courtesy
in its larger sense,--these and other social virtues the mediaeval
man was supposed to possess; but even in the courtly circles of
Provence, it may be doubted whether the delicacy and refinement of
every movement which Chaucer ascribes to his Prioress would have been
expected of the courtliest knight. Moderation and discretion--called
"measure" or "manner"--were the nearest mediaeval approach to these
requirements for men. Moderation may be said to be implicit in the
ideal of the gentleman in every age (indeed, it may be said to express
the limitations of the ideal, for moderation is as often a vice as a
virtue); but it was never more insisted on than in those ages when
it was heeded least. For the Middle Ages, measure and good manners
were almost synonymous terms. "Courtesy and measure are the same
thing,"--we are told in the fourteenth century French romance of
"Perceforest,"--"for manner and measure must be added to all your deeds
if you would have great virtue." This may seem to be closely akin to
Della Casa's statement that polished behaviour consists in adding a
good grace to a good deed; but to the hero of "Perceforest," it would
have argued lack of "measure," or discretion, for any man to adopt
graces and refinements so essentially feminine and unmanly as the table
manners of Chaucer's Prioress.

It was in the Renaissance, and in the courts and cities of Italy, that
the larger virtues of measure and magnanimity and liberality were first
felt to be inadequate, in men no less than in women and children,
without the minor nuances of good manners. It was first felt there that
in such matters as yawning or coughing in another's face, carelessness
and greediness in eating, and other annoying traits, there could be
only one standard for both sexes and for all ages. If the mediaeval
ideal of "courtoisie" was based essentially on the relation of the
sexes, without regard to individual instinct or social agreement in
the wider sense, the "Galateo," in basing good manners on the desire
to please others, wholly regardless of sex, represents a real advance,
or at least a widening of social interest. On a basis of mediaeval
manners, then, the Renaissance superimposed the classical ideal of
"urbanitas" or "civilitas." In keeping with the spirit of his time,
Della Casa rounded all this practice and precept into a code; and
because to codify is to stereotype, he is in part responsible for the
fact that the pattern he formulated has scarcely been altered from his
day to ours.

There is one side of personal manners, however, in which there has
been much change. When Bacon says that "cleanness of body was ever
deemed to proceed from a due reverence to God," he can hardly be said
to summarize theological opinion on the subject of cleanliness in the
preceding fifteen hundred years. The rules of St. Benedict permit
bathing only to invalids and the very old, except on rare occasions;
although an eighteenth century French ecclesiastic insists that the
church never objected to bathing, "provided one indulges in it because
of necessity and not for the sake of pleasure." But our concern is
only with secular society, and there we find that cleanliness was
considered only in so far as it was a social necessity, if indeed then;
as an individual necessity or habit it scarcely appears at all. Della
Casa's standard of social manners applies here, too: cleanliness was
dictated by the need of pleasing others, and not because of any inner
demand of individual instinct. But even in this Italy was in advance of
her neighbours, if personal cleanliness represents social advance. In
France, odorous greatness was the rule, and contemporary chronicles
record the filthy personal habits of Henry of Navarre, the great Condé,
and Louis XIII. The "Loix de la Galanterie," nearly a century after
the "Galateo," advises the gallant to wash his hands every day--and
"his face almost as often." All this has changed. Personal cleanliness,
because of its complete acceptance as an individual necessity, has
virtually ceased to touch the problem of social manners at any point;
and cultivated society simply acts from time to time by formulating
new delicacies of neatness and cleanliness, makes them the habit of
life, and, forgetting them completely, passes on to new trifles of
perfection. Perhaps we can judge this modern change without too great
an exaggeration of its importance, if we bear in mind the paradox of
the modern wit, that "dirt is evil chiefly as evidence of sloth, but
the fact remains that the classes that wash most are those that work

I have already pointed out that one of the limitations of that code of
good breeding which we have inherited from the Renaissance and which
it is almost the mission of modern life to destroy, is that it looks
merely to the comfort of those around us at any accidental point of
time or place, often if not always at the expense of other groups,
other classes, and wider interests. Those who inveigh against democracy
as destructive of the "finer graces" of life have hit upon what is, for
good or evil, the very essence of its reformative programme. A modern
idealist sums up this newer attitude when he says of the old code
that it asks us "rather to let a million pine than hurt the feelings
of a single man." But wholly apart from this, codes and rules have no
more justification in the art of life than in the arts of poetry and
painting. Each individual soul must express its past and its present,
its inheritance and its aspiration, in its own way; and it is as futile
and vulgar to apply "rules" in the estimate of a life as it is in the
criticism of a poem or a picture. Children and novices and immature
societies may obtain practical guidance from the empirical observations
of those who have had experience, but in order to create a real life of
their own, a real social atmosphere, they must reach the point where
the very rules that nurtured them no longer apply. To disregard every
rule of good breeding is the symbol of real attainment in the creative
art of living.

But this is no place to wage a battle for old codes or new ones. The
"Galateo" describes habits and impulses that for centuries have moved
the souls of men, dictated their conduct, given them pleasure and pain,
and that probably for centuries will continue to do so. Nothing that
has so stirred men and women, however trifling it may seem, can fail to
hold a little human interest for those who call themselves Humanists.

                                                    J. E. S.

New York, February, 1914.

Galateo of Maister John Della Casa, Archebishop of Benevento.

Or rather, A Treatise of the Manners and Behaviours, it behoveth a
Man to use and eschewe, in his Familiar Conversation. A Worke very
necessary & profitable for all Gentlemen, or Other.

First written in the Italian Tongue, and now done into English by
Robert Peterson, of Lincolnes Inne Gentleman. Satis, si sapienter.

Imprinted at London for Raufe Newbery dwelling in Fleetestreate litle
above the Conduit. An. Do. 1576.


To the Right Honorable my singular good Lord, the Lord Robert Dudley,
Earle of Leicester, Baron of Denbigh, Knight of the Honorable order of
the Garter, Maister of the Queenes Majesties Horses, and one of her
Highnesse privie Counsell: Robert Peterson wisheth perfect felicitie.

Lighting of late (Right Honorable) upon this treatise of courtesie,
penned by an experienced Italian, & drawn for the profit therof, in to
so many languages: I thought his lessons fit for our store, & sought to
make him speake Englishe.

Wise was that Cato, that ended bothe his learning, and living day
together. And truly, Courtesie and Courtiership, be like Hippocrates
twinnes, that laughe together, and grow together: and are so one
affected, that who so divorceth them, destroyeth them. But yet, seeing
moe redie to condemne the least trip then commend the best meaning,
and knowing that the Scarre sticketh thogh good desert do hele the
wound: & perceiving that Naevus in articulo pueri delectat Alcaeum, &
Roscii oculi perversissimi catulum, That is, many dote on their fansie:
I durst not send this, mine Heire and firste fruites of my toile, to
the view of the world, without the guarde of your Patronage, wherin
there is no presumption to teach them that are perfected, but may serve
either as Simonides Characters, to stablish memory, or as an Index, to
point them to other behaviours enrolled whersoever. Spread therefore (I
beseeche your honour) the winges of wel liking over this worke, which
presseth to you, as not only the patrone to protect, but the patterne
to expresse any courtesie therin conteined. Mine Authour reporteth one
Maestro Chiarissimo a perfect Mason, when he had described the finest
precepts of his art, to have made his Regolo a piller so exactly, as
would beare the proofe of every demonstration, thinking it learned
speedely, where the mind and the eye, precept and experience joined
hands together: whose steps I tread (though with better successe then
mine Author, who could not finde a Regolo) hoping, when others shall
come to trie these preceptes, not by showe or sound, as fooles do
their Golde: but, by your behaviour, as by the touchstone: when they
shal come, not to ken aloofe, but at hand, to view your so singular
demeanour, so civil, so courteous, as maketh you renoumed abrode, and
honored at home: coveted of the Noblest, & wonderful of the learnedst:
when they shall in the glasse of your courtesie, see the blots that
blemishe the dignitie of their estate: when they compare these lessons
with the Regolo, they shal herein see no lesse commoditie, then was
in Alcibiades Sileni (whereunto Socrates was compared) whiche though
they bare not, in the front, any shewe of singularitie: yet within,
bare they pictures of excellent wit & delight. This worke, if it
please your honour to vouchsafe as a companion of ease to trace the
pathes, which you have already so well beaten, (which presumeth not
to be guide for conduction) or if your honour daine at highe leasure
to peruse it (whiche is not cunningly but faithfully translated) I
doubt not, but your countenance will so credit the Author, as wil
embolden him to presse amongst the thickest throng of Courtiers: And
herewithall beseeche your honour, to accept the humble and dutifull
meaning minde of him: who, not satisfied, till he might by some meanes
give shewe of his thankefull minde, for your honorable favours shewed
unto him, hathe offered this small, though as faithfull a gifte as
Sinaetes did to Cyrus: hoping, that your honour will take it as well
in worth, as Artaxerxes did his poore Persians handfull of water. Thus
with hartie prayer, for the advauncement of your estate, increase of
honor, & attainement of perfect and perpetual felicitie: I commend
your Lordship, to the patronage and protection of the Almightie. Your
Lordships moste humble to dispose and commaunde.

                                             Robert Peterson


Al Signor Ruberto Peterson, esortandolo A
tradurre in Inghilese il Galateo

  Ben posson dirsi avventurate carte
      Quelle ch' el dotto, e gentil Casa spese:
      Quand' in breve discors' à insegnar prese
      Del honesta creanza la prima arte.
  Poi che tanto si apprezz' in ogni parte
      Quel ch' ei ne scrisse, e ch' ei si ben intese
      E ch' ogn' un con maniére più cortese
      Dal bel trattato suo tosto si parte.
  Esso à Donn' e donzelle, & cavallieri
      Non sol d'Italia: ma di Francia, e Spagna
      Di gentilezza mostr' i modi veri.
  Venga per voi felice anco in Brettagna
      E parli Inglese ne Palazzi alteri
      Del regn' invitto che 'l Tamigi bagna.

                                             Francesco Pucci

  Le creanze, e i costumi,
  Tanto splendenti lumi,
  Ch'a gli huomini fan l'huom superiore,
  Eccoli tratti fore
  De l'Italico seno
  E piantati ne l'Anglico terreno.
  Or se li goda ogniun, che porta amore
  A 'l suo decoro, e a 'l suo compiuto onore.

                                         Alessandro Citolini

Edouardus Cradoccus, S. Theologiae Doctor & Professor

  Moribus quisquis rudis est ineptis,
  Nescit is vitam placidam tueri:
  Nemini gratus, sociusque nulli
                            Charus habetur.

  Quisquis at pulchre simul & decore
  Se gerit, mentis studio repellens
  Rusticos mores, popularis ille
                            Jure videtur.

  Hoc Petersoni liber hic venustus
  Praestat, ostendens habitu decoro
  Possit ut quisque probitate splendens
                            Utilis esse.

  Idque dum magno satagit labore,
  Italum fecit patria loquela
  Hunc perornatas meus hic amicus
                            Fundere voces.

Thomas Drant, Archedeacon in praise of this Booke

  An happy turne that Casa once did hatche,
  Of haviours choice this booke in Ital' phrase:
  An Archebishop, and writer without matche
  In this he was, and peereles pight with praise.
  Such he his lore so well and wise doth lend:
  It heare ne reade we can, but must amend.

  This booke by Tiber, and by Po hath past,
  Through all Italia Townes and Country lands.
  Iberus, throughe thy Spanishe coasts as fast
  It after yoade: and Gauls it held in hands,
  Throughe Rhenus realmes it spred in prosperous speede,
  To Lordes and Ladies reaching comly reede.

  It Peterson, to Britain eyes doth bring
  Translated true and trimme: and fit to frame
  Faire maners fine for men. This prety Ring
  Bedecketh feate our life: discourse and game
  It ordereth apt with grace. The booke is grave,
  Eke wise and good, for civil folke to have.

To his friend Maister Robert Peterson Gent.

  Thy Galateo (Peterson) doth shrowd him selfe to long.
  What? shall it sleepe Endymions yeares? thou dost thy countrie wrong.
  She hath a childs parte, Plato saies, and with the Author cries,
  That both thy toile, and this her gaine, may reare his skill to skies.
  What thoughe thou thinke thy present small, for view of gallant ones
  This litle Diamond, shall out prize, a quarry full of stones.
  And Noble Cyrus (Man) will daine cold water in Sinaetaes hand:
  Then fray not, if thy booke, in pure, unfiled termes doe stand.
  Translatours can not mount: for though, their armes with wings be
  In vaine they toile to take the flight, their feete are clogd with
  This faith, that makes the Authour, speake his owne in language new:
  Renoumes the more, then if thou blazdst it out, in painted hew.
  For, serpents lurke in greenest grasse, and with a garishe gloze,
  The Strumpet pounts in pride, where matrones marche in comelie
  Go publishe it, and dreade not scowling Momus poisond spite.
  And though Archilochus Iambes fly, or Theons taunts doe bite:
  Thinke, winds doe haunt the gallauntst trees, and Envy things of
  And lightning checks, Cerauniaes tops, whome no hils els do mate.
  The best have borne the bob, and Zoiles brutes durst geve the charge:
  But Zoile hangs, and Callisthen keepes in cage for talking large.
  And yet, wordes they be winde: but as erst Plinies Draconite
  No toole could pierce or carve: or as the gemme Chalazias hight,
  Keepes cold, though it in Aetna frie, or Adiantons flowers
  Drawes not a drop, though skies distill downe everlasting showers:
  So good desert, doth chalenge good reporte by reasons rate,
  Though oft they beare the checkes and taunts, they cannot take the
  Yet seeke Mecaenas wings to shroude thy toile: Virgilio
  Found his Augustus: Ennie thou maist finde thy Scipio.
  This trump shall sound thy praise. Sir Phoebus golden rayes shall
  To foggie mistes, and seas that beare their ysie crust, shall burne:
  And lumpishe lowte, with country shares shall salte Sea fome divide,
  And sowe his graine in Afrik Syrtes that wallow every tide,
  Before this worke shall die: which neither Joves thundering threate,
  Nor fierie flames shall waste, nor rustie, cankred age shall freate.
          Nolo Persium nolo Laelium.

                                   Your friend. I. Stoughton

  The vine is praisde, that daintie grape doth give
  Although the fruite more please then holsome be,
  Each fertil tree, is favord for the fruite,
  So is the hearb that gallant is to see.

  If this be trueth, he needes must merit well,
  That gives us groundes to guide our erring wayes,
  And trades us truely in the golden maze,
  Where vertue growes, and courtlike manner stayes.

  Galateo first did frame this golden booke
  In Ital land. From thence it went to Spaine.
  And after came into the coasts of Fraunce.
  And nowe at last in England doth remaine.

  The Authour sure deserveth more renoume,
  That so could spend his time for our behoofe,
  Then my poore wit or cunning can recite,
  As thou thy selfe by reading shalt finde proofe.

  And as the Authour merits passing well,
  So doth my friend deserve as greate a meede:
  That makes a worke so hard to understand,
  So easie that each simple may it reede.

  I say no more: for (lo) it were in vaine
  To praise good wine by hanging up a bushe,
  The best will give (I hope) my friende his due.
  As for the bad, I way them not a rushe.

                                Thomas Browne of L. I. Gent.


Wherin under the person of an old unlearned man, instructing a youthe
of his, he hath talke of the maners and fashions, it behoves a man to
use or eschewe, in his familiar conversation: intituled Galateo, of
fashions and maners.

For as muche as thou doste now enter the journy, wherof I have allredy
ronne forth the better parte (as thou seest) I meane the transitorie
waye of this mortall life: I have determined (such is the Love I beare
thee) to shewe all the daungerous straights thou must passe: For my
experience maketh me feare, y^t walking that way thou mayst easily
either fall, or by some meanes or other go astray. To the ende thou
maist once, taughte both by my instructions and experience, be able
to keepe the right waye, as well for the helthe of thy Soule, as the
commendation and praise of the Honourable and Noble house thou doest
come of. And bycause thy tender Age, is unfit (as yet) to receave
more principall and higher precepts, reserving them for fitter time,
I will beginn to discourse of such things as many men will deeme,
perchaunce, but trifles: I meane what manner of Countenance and grace,
behoveth a man to use, that hee may be able in Communication and
familiar acquaintance with men, to shewe him selfe plesant, courteous,
and gentle: which neverthelesse is either a vertue, or the thing that
comes very nere to vertue. And albeit Liberalitie, or magnanimitie, of
themselves beare a greater praise, then, to be a well taught or manored
man: yet perchaunce, the courteous behaviour and entertainement with
good maners and words, helpe no lesse, him that hath them: then the
high minde and courage, advaunceth him in whome they be. For these
be such things as a man shall neede alwayes at all hands to use,
because a man must necessarily be familiar with men at all times, &
ever have talk & communication with them: But justice, fortitude, and
the other greater, and more noble vertues, are seldome put in uze.
Neither is y^e liberall and noble minded man, caused every hower
to doe bountifull things: for to use it often, cannot any man beare
the charge, by any meanes. And these valiant men y^t be so full of
highe minde and courage: are very seldome driven to trye their valour
& vertue by their deeds. Then as muche as these last, doe passe those
first, in greatnes (as it were) & in weight: so much do the other
surmount these in number, & often occasion to use them. And, if I
could wel intend it, I could name you many, whoe, (being otherwise
of litle account) have ben & be still, muche estemed & made of, for
their cherefull & plesaunt behaviour alone: which hath bin suche
a helpe & advauncement unto them, that they have gotten greate
preferments, leaving farre behinde them, such men as have bin endowed
with those other noble and better vertues, spoken of before. And as
these plesaunt & gentle behaviours, have power to draw their harts &
minds unto us, with whome we live: so contrariwise, grosse and rude
maners, procure men to hate and despise us. Wherby albeit the lawes,
have injoined no paine for unmanerly & grose behaviours, as the fault
that is thought but light (& to saye a trueth, it is not greate) yet we
see notwithstanding, y^t nature herselfe punisheth them w^t sharpe &
shrewde correction, putting them by this meanes, besydes y^e companie
& favour of men. And truly even as greate & foule faults, doe muche
harme: so doe these light, much hurt, or hurte at least more often.
For, as men doe commonly fere y^e beasts y^t be cruell & wild, & have
no maner of feare of som litle ones, as y^e gnats and the flies, & yet
by y^e continual noiaunce they find by them, complaine them selves
more of thes then of y^e other: so it chaunceth y^t most men do hate
in maner asmuche, y^e unmanerly & untaught, as y^e wicked, & more.
So y^t there is no doubte, but who so disposeth himselfe to live,
not in solitarie and deserte places, as Heremites, but in fellowship
with men, and in populous Cities, will think it a very necessarie
thing, to have skill to put himselfe forth comely and seemely, in his
fashions, gestures and maners: the lacke of which parts doth make those
other vertues lame, and litle or nothing can they work to good effect,
without other helpes: wheare this civilitie and courtesie, without
other releefe or patrimonie, is riche of it selfe, & hath substance
enough, as a thing y^t standeth in speache and gestures alone.

And that y^u mayst now more easily learne the way unto it, thou must
understand, it behoves thee, to frame and order thy maners and doings,
not according to thine owne minde and fashion: but to please those,
with whome thou livest, and after that sort direct thy doings: And this
must be done by Discretion and Measure. For who so applieth himself
to much, to feede other mens humors, in his familiar conversation,
and behaviour with men, is rather to be thought a Jester, a Jugler or
flatterer, then a gentleman wel taught and nourtured: As contrariwise,
whoe so hath no care or mind to please, or displese, is a rude,
untaught, and uncourteous fellowe. For asmuche then, as our maners,
have some pleasure in them when we respect other men, and not our owne
pleasure: if we diligently searche forthe what those things be, that
most men do generally like or dislike: we shall in suche sorte wisely
and easily finde out, the meanes & wayes, to choose and eschewe, those
fashions and maners, we are to leave or take, to live amongest men.
We say then, that every act that offendeth any the common senses,
or overthwarteth a mans will and desire, or els presenteth to the
Imagination and conceite, matters unpleasaunt, & that likewise, which
y^e minde doth abhorre, such things I say bee naught, and must not be
used: for we must not only refraine from such thinges as be fowle,
filthy, lothsome and nastie: but we must not so muche as name them. And
it is not only a fault to dooe such things, but against good maner, by
any act or signe to put a man in minde of them. And therefore, it is an
ilfavoured fashion, that some men use, openly to thrust their hands in
what parte of their bodye they list.

Likwise, I like it as ill to see a Gentleman settle him selfe, to do
the needes of Nature, in presence of men: And after he hath doone, to
trusse him selfe againe before them. Neither would I have him (if I may
geve him councell) when he comes from suche an occupation, so much as
washe his hands, in the sight of honest company: for y^t the cause of
his washing, puts them in minde of some filthy matter that hath bene
done aparte. And by the same reason, it is no good maner, when a man
chaunceth to see, as he passeth the waye (as many times it happeneth)
a lothesome thing, y^t wil make a man to cast his stomacke, to tourne
unto the company, & shewe it them. And much worse I like it, to reache
some stinking thing unto a man to smell unto it: as it is many a mans
fashion to do, w^t importunate meanes, yea, thrusting it unto their
nose, saying: "Foh, feele I pray you, how this doth stink:" where they
should rather say, "smell not unto it: for it hath an ill sent." And as
these and like fashions offend the senses, to which they appertaine:
so to grinde the teethe, to whistle, to make pitifull cries, to rubb
sharpe stones together, and to file uppon Iron, do muche offend the
Eares and would be lefte in any case. Neither must wee refraine those
things alone, but we must also beware we do not sing, and specialy
alone, if we have an untuneable voice, which is a common fault with
moste men: And yet, hee that is of nature least apt unto it, doth use
it moste. So there be some kinde of men, that in coffing or neesing,
make suche noise, that they make a man deafe to here them: other some
use in like things, so little discretion, that they spit in mens faces
that stand about them: besides these there be some, that in yauning,
braye and crye out like Asses. And yet such, with open mouth wil
ever say and do what they list, and make such noise, or rather such
roaring, as the dumme man doth, when he striveth with him selfe to
speake. All these yllfavoured fashions, a man must leave, as lothsome
to the eare and the eye. And a man must leave to yawne muche, not
only for the respect of the matter I have saide alreadye, as that it
seemes to proceede, of a certaine werines, that shewes that he that
yawneth, could better like to be els where, then there in that place:
as wearied with the companie, their talke, and their doings. And sure,
albeit a man be many times disposed to yawne, yet if he be occupied
with any delight, or earnest matter to think uppon: he shall have no
minde to doe it. But if he be lumpishe & idle: it is an easy matter
to fall in to it. And therefore, When a man yawneth, in place where
there bee slouthfull and Idle folkes, that have nothing to doe, the
rest, as you may see many times, yawne againe for companie by & by:
as if he that yawned, had put them in minde to doe it, which of them
selves they would have done first, if hee had not be-goone unto them.
And I have many times heard learned and wise men say, that A yawner
meaneth as much in Latin as a careles and Idle bodie. Let us then flye
these condicions, that loathe (as I said) the eyes, the Eares, & the
Stomacke. For in using these fashions, we doe not only shewe that we
take litle pleasure in the company, but we geve them occasion withall,
to judge amis of us: I meane y^t we have a drowsye & hevie nowle, which
makes us ill wellcom, to all companies we come unto. And when thou
hast blowne thy nose, use not to open thy handkercheif, to glare uppon
thy snot, as if y^u hadst pearles and Rubies fallen from thy braynes:
for these be slovenly parts, ynough to cause men, not so much not to
love us, as if they did love us, to unlove us againe. As the Sprite
of Labirintho doth testifie (who soever he were that made it) who (to
quenche y^e heate wherwith Master John Boccase burned in desire and
Love of his Lady unknowne) tells, come ella covaua la cenere, sedendosi
insu le calcagna; & tossiua, & isputaua farfalloni.

It is also an unmanerly parte, for a man to lay his nose uppon the cup
where another must drinke: or uppon the meate y^t another must eate,
to the end to smell unto it: But rather, I would wish he should not
smell at all, no not to that which he himselfe should eate and drinke:
because it may chaunce there might fall some droppe from his nose, that
would make a man to loath it: although there fall nothing at all in
deede. Neither, by mine advise, shalt thou reache to any man, that cup
of wine wherof thy selfe hast first dronke and tasted: w^tout he be
more then a familiar friend unto thee. And much lesse must thou give
any parte of the peare or the fruite, which thou hast bitten in thy
mouth before. And esteeme not light of my talke, for that these things
be of little account: For even light stripes (their number may be such)
be able to slaye fast ynoughe.

Now you shall understand, there was in Verona, a bishop a wise man, a
learned & of a singular good wit by nature, whose name was Giovanni
Matheo Giberti: Amongst many good parts y^t were in him, he was very
courtious & liberall, to all gentlemen & noble men that came unto him,
doing them all y^e honor he could in his house, not with over much
pompe and cost, but with convenient entertainement and measure, such
as besemed well a man of the Clergie. It chaunced in his time, a noble
gentleman called Count Richard, passed that way, to spend a fewe dayes
with the Bishop and his householde together: which was thoroughly
furnished w^t honest gentlemen and very well learned. And bycause
they found him a Noble gentleman, courteous and well beseene in all
good behaviour, they praised him muche, and made muche of him, save
that one unmanerly fashion they muche misliked in him. When the Bishop
was advertised of it, consulting with some of his familiars about it
(as he was a wise man in all his doings) straite they concluded, it
should be necessary to let y^e Count have knowledge of it: albeit they
feared, they should offend him. Upon this, y^e Count taking his leave,
and redy to ride away the next morning, the Bishop called one of his
servants unto him, (a man of good discretion) and gave him in charge
to take his horse, to beare the Count company, some parte of his waye:
And when he sawe his time, after an honest sorte, to tell him, that
which they had determined betwene them selves. The same gentleman that
had this charge, was a man well strooken in yeares, very lerned, and
mervailous pleasaunt, welspoken, comely, and had muche frequented in
his time, y^e Courtes of greate Princes: who was (perhaps) and is,
called Galateo: at whose request and councell, I first tooke in hand to
set forth this present treatise. Riding with the Count, he found him
plesaunt talke ynoughe, and passing from one matter to another, when he
thought it time to returne to Verona, in taking leave at parting, with
a gentle & cherefull countenaunce, he used this speache unto him. "Sir
Count, my Lorde yealdeth you many thanks for the honour you have done
him, in that it hath pleased you to vouchesafe his poore house: and
that he may not be unthankfull, for this your greate courtesie shewed
unto him, he hath geven me in charge, that I must leave a present with
you in his behalfe: and he sends it unto you with earnest request, that
you please to take it in good worthe: and this is the gift. You are a
goodly gentleman, and the best manered man my Lorde hath ever seene:
So that very heedefully beholding your behaviours, and particularly
considering them all, hee findeth no one that is not very comely and
comendable, only one unsemely tricke alone excepted, which you make
with your lippes and your mouth together, feeding at your meate with
a certaine straunge noyes, unpleasaunt to all men that heare it. This
my Lord willed me to tell you, and prayes you to endevour your selfe
to leave it, and withall to accept in lewe of a beter present, this
loving admonition and councell of his: for he is sure, there is none
in the worlde, would make you the like present." The Count (that never
wist of his fault till now) hearing himselfe reproved, chaunged his
countenance a little, but (as a man full of stomacke ynough) taking
hart at grasse, he said: "Tell your Lorde, that if all the gifts that
men wont to geve eche other, were such as his, men should be muche more
riche then they are. And for his greate courtesie and liberalitie to
mee, geve him many thanks I pray you, and let him be sure, I will not
faile from henceforthe to mend my fault, and God be with you."

Now what shal we thinke this Bishop, his modest and honest company
about him would say, if they sawe these whome wee see other while,
(like swine w^t their snouts in the washe, all begroined) never lift
up their heads nor looke up, and muche lesse keepe their hands from
the meate, and w^t both their cheeks blowne (as if they should sound a
trumpet, or blowe the fier) not eate but ravon: whoe, besmearing their
hands, almost up to their elbowes, so bedawbe y^e napkins, that y^e
cloathes in the places of easement, be other while cleaner. And to mend
these slovenly maners, be not ashamed, many times with these filthy
napkins, to wipe awaye the sweat that trickleth and falleth downe their
browes, their face and their necke (they be such greedy guts in their
feeding) and otherwhile to, (when it comes uppon them) spare not to
snot their sniveld nose uppon them. Truly these beastly behaviours and
fashions, deserve not alone, to be thrust out of this noble bishops
house, that was so pure and cleane: but to be throughly banished all
places, where any honest men should com. Let a man then take hede, hee
doe not begrease his fingers so deepe, y^t he befyle the napkins to
much: for it is an ill sight to see it: neither is it good maner, to
rubbe your gresie fingers uppon y^e bread you must eate.

The servaunts that bee appointed to waite uppon the table, must not
(in any wise) scratche and rubbe their heades, nor any parte els in
the sight of their Lorde & Master: nor thrust their hands in any those
partes of their body that be covered, no not so muche as make any
proffer: as some careles fellowes doo, holding their hands in their
bosome, or cast under the flappes of their coates behind them. But they
must beare them abroade without any suspicion and keepe them (in any
case) washt & cleane without any spot of durt uppon them. And they that
cary the dishes, or reache the cup, must beware at that time, they doe
not spit, coughe or neese: for in such doings, Suspicion is as greate,
and offendeth asmuche, as the very deede it selfe: and therefore,
servants must forsee, they geve no cause to Maisters to suspect: For
that which might chaunce, anoyeth asmuche, as if it had chaunced

And if thou do roaste any fruite, or make a toaste at the fier, thou
must not blowe of the ashes, (if there be any) for it is an old saying,
that, winde was never without water. But y^u must lightly strike it
uppon the plate, or after some suche sorte or other beate of y^e ashes.
Thou shalt not offer thy handkerchiefe to any man to use it, albeit,
it be very cleane washed: for he to whome thou doest offer it, can not
(perhaps) awaye w^t it, and may be to curious to take it.

When a man talketh with one, it is no good maner to come so neere, that
he must needes breathe in his face: for there be many that cannot abide
to feele the ayer of another mans breathe, albeit there come no ill
savour from him. These and like fashions, be very unsemely, and would
be eschewed, because their senses, w^t whome we acquaint our selves,
cannot brooke nor beare them.

Now, let us speake of those things which (without any hurt or anoyaunce
to the senses) offende the minds of most men, before whome they be
doone. You shall understand, that The appetites of men, (throughe a
naturall instinct and inclination) be verie strange and divers: Some
be cholerike & hasty, & may not be satisfied with out revenge: other
doe give them selves cleane over, to pamper the belly: this man sets
his delighte in lust and sensualitie: that man is carried away with
his covetous desires: and many suche appetites more there are, to
which mans minde is too subject: but you shall not in any company,
easily judge or discerne betweene them, where and in what, they bee
moste affected. For, these matters doe not consist in the maners, the
fashions and speache of men: but rest in some other point. They seeke
to purchase y^t which the benefit of mutuall conferrence may yeald
them, & that doe (as I weene) good will, honour, comforte and pleasure,
or some other thing like unto these: & therfore we must neither say
or doe the thing, that may give any signe of litle loving or esteming
them, we live withall.

So that, it is a rude fashion, (in my conceipte) y^t som men use, to
lie lolling a sleepe in that place, where honest men be met together,
of purpose to talke. For his so doing, shewes that he doth not esteeme
the company, and little rekoneth of them or their talke. And more then
that, he that sleepeth (and specially lying at litle ease, as he must)
wonts (for the moste parte) to doe some fowle thing, to beholde, or
heare: and many times they awake sweating and driveling at the mouth.
And in like maner, to rise up where other men doe sit and talke, and
to walke up and downe the chamber, it is no point of good maner. Also
there be some that so buskell them selves, reache, streatch and yawne,
writhing now one side, and then another, that a man would weene, they
had some fever uppon them: A manifest signe, that the company they
keepe, doth weary them.

Likewise doe they very ill, y^t now & then pull out a letter out of
their pocket, to reade it: as if they had greate matters of charge,
and affaires of the common weale committed unto them. But they are
much more to bee blamed, that pull out their knives or their scisers,
and doe nothing els but pare their nailes, as if they made no account
at all of the company, and would seeke some other solace to passe the
time awaye. Theis fashions to, must be left, y^t some men use, to sing
betwene the teeth, or playe the dromme with their fingers, or shoofle
their feete: For these demeanours shewe that a body is carelesse of any
man ells.

Besides, let not a man so sit that he turne his taile to him that
sitteth next to him: nor lie tottering with one legg so high above the
other, that a man may see all bare that his cloathes would cover. For
such parts be never playde, but amongst those to whome a man needs use
no reverence. It is very true, that if a gentleman should use these
fashions before his servants, or in the presence of some friende of
meaner condition then him selfe: it would betoken no pride, but a love
and familiaritie.

Let a man stand uppright of him selfe, and not leane or loll uppon
another mans shoulder: and when he talketh, let him not pounche his
fellow with his elbowe, (as many be wont to doe) at every worde they
speake, saying: "Did I not say true Sirra. Master. N. It is Master. H."
And still they be jotting with their elbowe.

I would have every man well appareled, meete for his age and calling:
for otherwise, they seeme to have men in contempt that be better
attired then themselves.

And therefore the Citizens of Padua, were woont to take it done of
spighte unto them, when any gentleman of Venice walked up & downe their
citie in his coate, as though he thought him selfe in the countrey. And
a mans apparell, would not be made of fine cloathe alone: but he must
frame it, all that he may, to the fashions that other men weare, and
suffer him selfe to bee lead by common use: although (perchaunce) it
be, and seeme to be lesse commodious, lesse gallant, and lesse faire in
shewe, then his oulde.

And if all men els, doe weare their heads powled: it shalbe an ill
sight for thee alone, to weare a longe bushe of haire. And where
other men, make muche of their beardes and weare them longe: thou
shalt not doe well to cut thine of, or shave it. For that weare to be
overthwarte in everything: which thou must (in any case) beware of,
except necessitie require it, as thou shalt heare hereafter. For this
singularitie, beyond all other ill customes, makes us generally spited
of all men. Thou must not then go against common custome in these
things, but use them measureably: that thou maist not bee an odd man
alone in a countrey: that shall weare a long Gowne downe to the foote,
where other men weare them very shorte, litle beneath the waste. For
as it hapens to him, that hath a very crabbed ilfavoured face, (I meane
suche, as is more harde and sower then most mennes be, for nature doth
mostly shape them well in moste men) that men will wonder and (with a
kinde of admiration) gape most uppon him: So fares it with them that
attire them selves, not as most men doe: but as they are egged by
their owne fantasticall heads, with long heare spred downe to their
shoulders, their beardes short and shaven, and weare quaiues or greate
cappes after y^e Flaundres fashion: that all men doe gaze uppon them,
as wondering at suche, whome they weene have taken uppon them, to
conquer all countries wheresoever they come. Let your apparell then,
be very well made, and fit for your body: for they that weare rich and
coastly garments, but so illfavouredly shaped, that a man would weene
the measure had bin taken by another: geve us to judge one of these
twaine, that either they have no regarde or consideration how to please
or displease: or els have no skill to judge of measure or grace, or
what doth become them.

Such maner of people, with their rude behaviours and fashions, make men
with whome they live, suspect, they doe esteeme them but light. And
that causeth them worse welcome whersoever they com and ill beloved
amongest men.

But there be some besides these, that deserve more then bare
suspicion: their deeds and their doings be so intollerable, that a
man cannot abide to live amongest them by any meanes. For they be
ever a let, a hurt and a trouble to all the companie, they be never
redie: ever a trimming: never well dressed to their mindes. But when
men be readie to sit downe to the table, the meate at the boorde, and
their handes washed: then they must write or make water, or have their
exercise to doe: saying, "It is too early: we might have taried a
while: what haste is this, this morning?" And thus they disquiet all
the company, as men, caring for them selves alone & their owne matters,
without consideration in the worlde of other men. Besides this, they
will in all things be preferred above others: they must have the best
bed, and best chamber: they must take uppon them the highest place
at the table, and be first set and served of all men. And they be so
deintie and nice, that nothing pleaseth them, but what they them selves
devise: they make a sower face at any thing ells. And they be so proude
minded, that they looke that men should waite uppon them when they
dine, ride, sporte, or solace them selves.

There be other so furious, testie & waywarde, that nothing you doe can
please them: and what soever is said they aunswer in choler, and never
leave brauling w^t their servants, and rayling at them, and continually
disturbe the company with their unquietnes: using such speeches: "Thou
cauledst me well up this morning. Looke heere how cleane thou hast
made these pynsons. Thou beaste, thou diddest waite well uppon me to
Churche. It were a good deede to breake thy head." These be unsemely
and very fowle fashions: suche as every honest man will hate to death.
For, albeit a mans minde were full fraught with all humilitie, and
would use these maners, not uppon pride or disdaine, but uppon a
rechelesse care, not heeding his doings, or elles by meanes of ill
custome: yet notwithstanding, because his outward doings, woulde make
men thinke him proude: it cannot be chosen, but all men woulde hate him
for it. For, Pride is none other thinge, then to despise and disdaine
another. And as I have saide from the beginning: Eache man desireth to
bee well thought of, Albeit there bee no valoure or goodnes in him.

It is not long, since there was in Rome a worthy gentleman, of singular
good witt and profound learning, whose name was Ubaldino Bandinelli.
This gentleman was woont to say, that as ofte as hee went or came from
the Courte, although the stretes weare ever full of gallant Courtiers,
of Prelates and Noble men, and likewise of poore men, and people of
meane and base condition: yet he thought he never encountred any, that
was either better or worse then himselfe. And without doubte hee could
meete with fewe, that might bee compared in goodnes to him: respecting
his vertues, that did excel beyond measure. But we must not alwayes in
these things measure men by y^e Elne: We must rather waye them in the
millers scoles, then in the goldsmythes balaunce. And it is a courtious
parte, redily to receave them in to favour: not bycause they bee
woorthe it: but as men doe with coines, bycause they be currant.

To go further, wee must doe nothing in their sight whome wee desire to
please, that may shewe wee covet, rather to rule and to reigne, then to
live in a familiar equalitie amongest them. For hautines of harte and
ambitious disposition, as it kindleth an ill opinion: so it ministreth
muche cause of contempte, which in conclusion will so woorke against
thee, y^t thou shalt bee cleane cast out of honest company. But our
dooings must rather beare a signe and shewe of reverence, meekenes, &
respect to y^e company, in which wee fellowship ourselves. So that,
what so ever is doone in meete and convenient time, may hapely deserve
no blame: but yet in respect of the place and the persone, it may be
reproved well: althoughe for it self, y^e matter deserve no rebuke.
As to brawle and to raile at your servaunts (which we have talked of
before) but muche more to beate them. Because these partes, are asmuche
as to reigne and to rule: which no honest and civil gentleman will use,
in presence of them he doth respect with any reverence or courtesie.
Besides this, the company is muche offended with it, and their
meetinges are broken, and especially, if it be done at the table, which
is a place of solace and mirthe, and not of brawle and scolding. So
that I must nedes commend Currado Gianfigliazzi for his civil behaviour
in y^t he multiplied no words with Chichibio to trouble his guests:
albeit he deserved to be sharply punished for it, when he would sooner
displease his master then Brunetta. And yet if Currado had made lesse
adoe about it then he did: it had ben more his praise. For then he
should never have neded, to call uppon God, to witnes his threatnings
so muche as he did.

But to returne to our matter: it is not good for a man to chide at the
table for any cause. And if thou be angrie, shew it not, nor make no
signe of thy greefe, for the reason I have tolde thee, and specially
if thou have straungers with thee: because thou haste called them to
be merry, and this wil make them sad. For, as the sharpe and tarte
things y^t other men doe feede uppon in thy sight, doe set thy teeth
likewise on edge: so to see other men vexed and out of quiet, it maketh
us unquiet too. I call them Fromward people, which will in allthings be
overtwhart to other men: as the very worde it selfe doth shewe. For,
Frome-warde, signifieth asmuche, as Shorne against the wooll. Now, how
fit a thinge this frowardnes is, to win the good will of men, and cause
men to wishe well unto them: that you your self may easily Judge, in
that it consisteth in overtwharting other mens desiers: which qualitie
never mainteineth friendship, but maketh friends become foes. And
therfor let them that desire to be well thought of and welcome amongst
men, endevour them selves to shunne this fault: For it breedes no good
liking nor love, but hatred and hurt. I would councell you rather to
measure your pleasures by other mens willes: where there shal come no
hurt nor shame of it: and therin alwayes to doe & to saye, more to
please other mens mindes and fansies, then your owne.

Againe, you must be neither clownishe nor lumpishe: but pleasaunt and
familiar. For there should bee no oddes, betweene the Mystell and the
Pungitopo: but that the one is wilde: the other growes in gardens. And
you must understand, that he is pleasaunt and courteous: whose manners
bee suche in his common behaviour, as practise to keepe, and maintaine
him friendeship amongst them: where hee that is solleyne and waywarde,
makes him selfe a straunger whersoever hee comes: a straunger, I meane,
asmuch as a forreigne or alienborne: where contrariwise, he that is
familiar & gentle, in what place so ever he comes: is taken for a
familiar and friend with all men. So that it shalbe necessarie for
a man, to use him selfe to salute, to speake, and to answer after a
gentle sorte, and to behave him selfe w^t all men so: as if hee were
their countryman borne, & of their olde acquaintance. Which some can
ill skill to doe, that never give a man a good countenaunce: easily
say, No, to all things: never take in good worthe, the honour and
courtesie that men doe unto them (like to the people I spake of before,
rude and barbarous): never take delight in any pleasaunt conceites or
other pleasures: but ever refuse it all, what soever is presented or
offered unto them. If a man say: "Sir, suche a one willed me to commend
him unto you:" They aunswere straite: "what have I too doe with his
greetings?" And if a man say: "Sir, suche a one your friend, asked me
how you did." They aunswer againe in choler: "Let him come feele my
pulse." These carterlike and clownishe aunswers and maners, and the men
them selves that doe use them: would bee chased and hunted away, out of
all good and honest company.

It ill becomes a man when hee is in company, to bee sad, musing, and
full of contemplation. And albeit, it may bee suffered perchaunce
in them that have long beaten their braines in these Mathematicall
studies: which are called (as I take it) the Liberall Artes: yet
without doubte it may not be borne in other men. For, even these
studious fellowes, at suche time, when they be so ful of their Muses:
should be much wiser to get them selves alone.

Againe, to bee to nice or to deintie: it may not be abiden, and
specially in men. For, to live with suche kinde of people: is rather
a slaverie then pleasure. And sure there bee som such, so softe &
tender: y^t to live and deale with such people, it is as daungerous: as
to medle with the finest and brittelest glasse that may be: So muche
they are affraide of every light touche. And they wilbe as testy and
frowarde, if you doe not quickly and readily salute them, visite them,
worship them, and make them answer: as some other body would be, for
the greatest injurie y^t can be donne unto them. And if you doe not
give them all the due reverence that may be: they will presently take a
thousand occasions to quarell and fall out with you. If you chaunce to
Master him, and leave out his title of Honour or worship: he takes that
in dougeon, and thinkes you doe mock him. And if you set him beneath
as good a man as him self at the table: that is against his honour. If
you doe not visite him at home at his house: then you knowe not your
dutie. Theis maner of fashions and behaviours, bring men to such scorne
and disdaine of their doings: that there is no man, almost, can abide
to beholde them: for they love them selves to farre beyonde measure,
and busie them selves so much in that, that they finde litle leisure
to bethinke them selves to love any other: which (as I have saide
from the beginning) men seeke to finde in the conditions and maners
of those with whome they must live: I meane, that they should apply
them selves to the fansies & mindes of their friendes. But to live w^t
suche people, so hard to please: whose love and friendship once wonne,
is as easily lost, as a fine scarfe is lightly caried away with the
winde: that is no life but a service: and, besides that it yealdeth no
pleasure, it geves a man greate disdaine and horror. Let us therefore
leave these softe and wanton behaviours to women.

In speach a man may fault many wayes. And first in the matter it selfe
that is in talke, which may not be vaine or filthye. For, they that
doe heare it, will not abide it: as y^e talk they take no pleasure to
heare: but rather scorne the speache and the speaker both. Againe,
a man must not move any question of matters that be to deepe & to
subtile: because it is hardly understoode of the moste. And a man must
warely foresee, that the matter bee suche, as none of the company may
blushe to heare it, or receave any shame by the tale. Neither must he
talke of any filthy matter, albeit a man would take a pleasure to heare
it: for, it ill becomes an honest gentleman, to seeke to please, but in
things that be honest.

Neither in sporte nor in earnest, must a man speake any thing against
God or his Saintes, how witty or pleasaunt so ever the matter be.
Wherein, the company that Giovan Boccaccio hathe brought to speake
in his Novelles and tales, hath faulted so muche: that me thinkes
every good body, may justly blame them for it. And you must thinke
It is not only a token of great detestation & Impietie in a man, to
talke in jestinge wise of God: but hee is a wicked & sinfull man,
that will abide to heare it. But you shall finde some suche good men,
as will flie asmuche as the plague, the company of such as talke so
unreverently, and without respect, of the incomprehensible Majestie of
God. And wee must not alone speake religiously of him: but in all our
talkes wee must avoide what wee may, that our wordes may not witnes
against our life and our workes. For men doe hate their owne faultes
otherwhile, when they see them in another.

Likewise it is unsavourie, to talke of things out of time, not fitting
the place and company: although the matter it selfe, and spoken in
time, were otherwise both good and godly. We must not then reherse
Friers sermones to young gentlewomen, when they are disposed to sporte
them selves: as y^t good man did, that dwelles not farr hence, nere
to S. Brancatio. And in feastes & at table, wee must beware wee doe
not rehearse any sorowfull tales, nor put them in minde of woundes, of
sicknes, of deathes, of Plagues, or of other dolefull matters. But
if another man chaunce to move suche matter: it shalbe good, after
an honest and gentell sorte, to exchaunge that talke, and thrust in
some other, y^t may give them more delighte and pleasure to heare
it. Albeit, not long since I heard it said to a worthy gentleman our
neighbour, that Men have many times more neede to weepe then to laugh.
And for that cause hee said, these dolefull tales, which wee call
Tragedies, were devised at first, that when they were playd in the
Theatres (as at that time they were wont) they might draw fourth teares
out of their eyes, that had neede to spend them. And so they were by
their weeping, healed of their infirmitie. But albeit it bee good
to doe so: yet it will il become us to drive men into their dumpes:
especially where they bee mett to feaste and to solace themselves, &
not to mourne. For if there be any, y^t hath suche weeping disease:
it will bee an easie matter to cure it, w^t stronge Mustard or a
smoaky house. So that, in no wise, I can excuse our friend Philostrato,
for his worke that hee made full of dule and of death, to suche a
company as desired nothing more then mirthe. Wee must the rather use
silence, then discourse of suche sorrowfull matters.

And they doe asmuche amisse too, that never have other thing in their
mouthe, then their children, their wife, and their nourse. "My litle
boy, made mee so laughe yesterday: heare you: you never sawe a sweeter
babe in your life: my wife is such a one, Cecchina told mee: of troth
you would not beleeve what a wit shee hath:" There is none so idle
a body, that will either intend to answer, or abide to heare suche
foolishe prittle prattle. For it ircks a mans eares to harken unto it.

There be some againe, so curious in telling their dreames from point
to point, using such wonder and admiration withall, y^t it makes a mans
hart ake to heare them: & specially because (for y^e most parte) they
be such kinde of people: as it is but labour lost to heare, even the
very best exploits they doe, when they be most awake, and labour most
to shew their best. Wherfore we must not trouble men with so base and
absurde matter as dreames bee: especially suche foolishe things, as
most times men have. Albeit I have heard say many times, that wisemen
in times past, have leaft in their bookes many sortes of dreames,
conteining matters of deepe knowledge and understanding: it followeth
not yet, that wee, the unlearned and common sorte of people, should
use it in our familiar and common talke. And sure of all the dreames
that ever I heard (albeit I hardly listen to any) in my conceit, I
never heard any, that was worth the hearing but one alone, which the
good Master Flaminio Tomarozzo a gentleman of Rome did see, a man not
unlearned and grosse: but full of knowledge and singular witte. And
thus was his dreame, This gentleman Master Flaminio Tomarozzo, thought
he was sitting in a very riche Apothecaries shop, a neere neighbour
of his. And after he had bin there a while (what soever the occasion
was) the people were up in a rore one a sodaine, and fell to spoiling
of all that was in the shoppe. One tooke an Electuarie, another a
Confection, some one thing, some another, and presently eate it upp
all: So that within a while, there was neither virell glasse, ertherne
pot, wodden boxe, nor any potels of drugges, that was not emptied,
broken, or overthrowne. But amongest them all, ther was one verye small
glasse, full to the toppe of verie cleare water, which many did smell
to, but no man would taste. He stoode not there long, but there came
in a tall man, an aged and very grave man, to look unto. This Aged
father beholding this unfortunate Apothecaries boxes and pottes, and
finding some emptied, some overthrowne, and the better parte broken:
At lenght casting his eye aside, he chaunced to see the smal glasse I
spake of before, and setting the same to his mouthe, hee dranke it up
so cleane: that he leaft not one droppe. And this doone, he went from
thence as the rest did before. Master Flaminio was abashed and marveled
muche at this matter. And therefore turning to the Apothecarie he saied
unto him: Sir, whoe is this that came laste? and why did he drinke up
so savourly, all the water in that litle glasse, which all the reast
refused. To whome the Apothecarie seemed to make this aunswer. My
sonne, this is the Lord God. And the water, that hee alone dranke, and
all the reast refused and would not taste as you saw: was discretion:
which, you know wel ynough men will not taste of, by any meanes.

Such kind of dreames, I hould well a man may rehearse, and heare
with much pleasure and profit. Bycause they doe more resemble, the
Cogitations & thoughts of an awakened minde: or better, I shoulde
say, the vertue sensitive: then the visions and sights of a drowsie
head. But those other dreames, without shape, fashion or sense: (which
the moste parte of suche men as we are, bee wont to have) would be
forgotten cleane, and lost with our sleepe. Howbeit, I doe not deny but
the dreames of good men and learned, be better and wiser than theires
of the wicked and more unlearned sorte.

And albeit a man would weene, there can bee nothing in the worlde
more vaine then Dreames: yet there is one thing more light then they,
and that are Lies. For there is yet some shadowe, and, as it were, a
certaine feeling of that which a man hath seene in his dreame. But
there is neither shadowe nor bodye of a trueth in a lie. And therfore
we should lesse busie mens eares, and their mindes to harken to lies,
then to dreames, because they bee otherwhile received for truethes.
But time, in the ende, discovers suche pelfe: that liers, not only
doe gaine no credite, but no man vouchesafes to harken unto them,
in otherwise (as the men that carry no substaunce in their woordes)
then if they had saide nothing or blowne a litle winde. And you shal
understand, ther be many y^t use to lie, not minding any ill purpose
in it, or to make their owne peculiar proffit by it, to hurt other
men or shame their neighbour: onely they doe it, for a pleasure they
take to tell a lie: as men that drinke not, all for thirst: but for a
pleasure they take, to taste of the wine. Other some doe tell lies, to
make a vaine glorious boasting of them selves: vaunting and telling in
a bravery, what wonderfull exploits they have doone, or bearing men in
hand, they be greate doctours and learned men.

In Silence too, after a sorte, without speache, a man may tell a
lesinge: I meane with his gestures and grace: as some you shall see,
that being of meane, or rather base condition and calling, use suche a
solemnitie in all their doings, and marche so stately, and speake with
suche a prerogative, or rather discourse like Parleament men, setteling
them selves, as it were, in a place of Judgement, proudly prying about
them like Peacockes: that it is a very death to behold them.

And some suche you shall finde, that allthough they bee combered with
no more wealthe then easily serves their turne: yet will they never
appeare unles their neckes be laden with chaines, their fingers full
of rings, their cappes beset with agletts, and every other parte
bespangled, as though they would defie y^e King of Castiglio. Whose
behaviours be full of follies and vaine glorie, which cometh of pride,
growing of vanitie it selfe. So that wee must eschew these faults, as
foule and unseemely things. You shall understand, in many Cities, and
those of the best, the lawes doe not suffer, that riche men should go
muche more gorgeously attired, then the poore. For poore men thinke
they have a wrong: when men seeme, but in countenaunce alone, as it
were Imperiously to reigne over them. So that we must carefully beware
we fall not into these follies.

Neither must a man boaste of his Nobilitie, his Honour or riches:
muche lesse vaunt of his witt, or gloriously reherse to much of his
deedes & valiant Actes, or what his Auncestors have done, nor uppon
every occasion, fall in rehersall of suche thinges, as many men doe.
For in suche case, a man would weene, they seeke, either to contend
with the Company, (if they be, or will take uppon them to bee, as good
Gentlemen, & of as muche wealthe and worthines, as they bee:) or elles
to overcrowe them, (if they live in meaner condition and calling,
then they doe). And as it were to upbraide them, their poore and base
condition of life.

A man must neither embase, nor exalte him selfe to muche out of
measure: but rather bury in silence some parte of his merits, then
arrogate to muche unto him. Bycause Goodnes it selfe, when it excedeth
muche, is ever envide of some. And you may be sure, they that embase
them selves thus beyond measure, refusing that worship and honour
that is but duely their owne of very right: shewe more pride in this
contempte, then they that usurpe those things, that are not so due unto
them. So y^t a man perchaunce, might saye, Giotto hath not deserved
those Commendations y^t some beleve, in y^t he refused to be called
Master: being not only a master but without doubt a singular and
cunning master in his art in those dayes. But be it blame, or praise
y^t he deserved: it is most sure, he that refuseth that which every
man els doth hunt for: sheweth therin, he reproveth or contemneth the
common opinion of men. And, to contemne the honour & renowne, which
other men gape for so much, is but to glorie and magnifie him selfe
above other. For asmuche as there is no man (without he be mad) will
refuse and reject things that be deare and of price: unles hee be
suche, as hathe plenty and store of those deare and deintie things.

Wee must not boast of those good things that be in us, nor set them to
light: for in y^e one, wee doe upbraide men their faults: In the other,
wee scorne to muche their vertues. But it behoveth every man to speake
his owne praise, as litle as hee may. And if occasion drive him unto
it: it shalbe good, modestly to speake the truethe, as I have told you

And therefore, they that desire to doe men a pleasure: must needes
leave one faulte, y^t is to common with all men: they must not shewe
them selves so afraide and fearefull to speake their mindes, when a
man dothe aske their advise. For, it is a deadly paine to here them,
& specialy if they be men, in y^e Judgement of y^e world, of good
understanding and wisedome. What a fetching about is this, ere they
come to y^e mater? Sir I beseche you pardon mee, if I doe not say well.
I will speake like a gros man as I am: & grosly according to my pore
skil. And Sir, I am sure you will but mocke me for it. But yet, to obey
you: & they drawe their words forth so long, & put them selves to suche
paine: y^t, while these ceremonies be a doing, y^e hardest question
y^t is, might have bin determined with fewer words and shorter time:
bycause they cannot get out of these protestations, when they bee in.

They bee also very tedious to men, and their conversation & maners
are very troublesome: whoe shewe too base and abject a minde in their
doings. And where the chefest and highest place, is apparantly due unto
them: they will ever creepe downe to the lowest. And it is a spitefull
buisines to thrust them up: For they will straite jogge backe againe,
like a resty Jade, or a Nagge that startleth a side at his shadowe. So
that, there is muche a dooe w^t them, when wee meete at a doore. For
they will not (for all you can dooe) in any case enter before you, but
so traverse their ground, go backe, and so fray and defend with their
armes and their handes: that at every thirde steppe, a man must be
ready to wage battell with them: and thus they breake of, all solace
and pleasure, and otherwhile, the buisines they meete aboute.

And therfore, Ceremonies, which wee name, as you heare, by a straunge
terme, as lacking a worde of our owne, bycause our elders, having no
knowledge of those superstitious fashions, coulde not well give them
a proper name. Ceremonies, I saye, (in my Judgement,) differ not much
from lies & dreames, for their own very vainesse it selfe. So that wee
may couple and joine them together in this our treatise, sithe occasion
serves so fitt to speake of them here. As a good man hath often shewed
me: those solemnities that church men doe use at their Altars, and in
their divine service bothe to God and his holy things, are properly
called Ceremonies: but after, men did begin, to reverence eche other
with curious entertainements, more then were convenient, and would be
called masters and Lords, amongest them selves, yealding bending, and
bowing their bodies, in token of reverence one to another, uncovering
their heads, using highe titles and Styles of honour, and kissing their
hands as if they were hollye things: some body, by like considering
all these things well, and finding these newe founde curious follies
without any name: thought good to Christen and call them Ceremonies,
but sure in a jest as I take it: as to be mery and make good cheare, we
terme it in sport, a triumph: which custome, no doubt, tooke not his
being at us, but elles where, as barbarous & straunge: and not long
since, from whence I knowe not, transported into Italie: whose deedes
being wretched, and effects base and vile, hath gotten encrease and
honor, in vaine woords alone, and superfluous titles.

Ceremonies then, if we consider well their intents that use them:
are but vaine shewes of honour and reverence, towardes him to whome
they be doone: framed of semblance and wordes touching their titles
and courtious offers. I say vaine: In that we honour men to their
face, whome we reverence not in deede, but otherwhile contemne. And
nevertheles, because we may not go against custome, wee give them these
titles: The most honorable Lord suche a one: the Noble Lord suche a
one. And so otherwhile wee offer them our humble service: whome wee
could better unserve then serve, & commaund then doe them any duety.

Then not Lesinges alone, but also Treacheries and Treasons, shalbe
called Ceremonies. But because these wordes and these titles above
rehersed, have lost their strength: and waste, (as a man may say of
Iron) their temper, w^t such continuall occupying of it as it we
doe use: we must not so precisely way them as other words, nor so
strictly construe the meaning of them. And, that this is true, that
which allwayes happens to all men, dothe shewe it plaine inoughe.
For if wee meete with a man, we never sawe before: with whome, uppon
some occasion, it behoves us to talke: without examining wel his
worthines, most commonly, that wee may not offend in to litle, we give
him to much, and call him Gentleman, and otherwhile Sir, althoughe he
be but some Souter or Barbar, or other suche stuffe: and all bycause
he is appareled neate, somewhat gentleman like.

And as men in times past, were wont to have under the Privilege of
the Pope & Emperour, peculiar & distinct titles of honour, which
might not be untouched, without doing wrong to the privileged men:
nor againe attributed & geven without a scorne, to them that were no
such privileged persones: So at this daye, wee must more freely use
those titles, and the other significations of honour, like to those
titles: bycause Custome the mightiest Lorde, hathe largely therewith,
privileged men of our time.

This use and custome, then so faire and gallant without, is altogether
vaine within, and consisteth in semblance without effect, & in wordes
without meaning. But this notwithstanding, it is not lawful for us to
chaunge it: but rather, bycause it is not our fault, but the fault of
our time, wee are bounde to followe it: but yet wee must discretely doe

So that wee are to noate, that Ceremonies are used, either for a
Profit, or for a Vanitie, or for a Duetie. And every lie that is told
for a mans private profit: is a deceite, a sinne, and a dishonest
parte: for, in what so ever it bee, A man can never honestly lie.

And this is a common fault with flatterers, that counterfet them selves
to be our friendes, and apply them selves ever to our desiers, what
soever they be: not bycause wee would have it so, but to the ende
wee should doe them some pleasure, for it. And this is not to please
us, but to deceive us. And albeit this kind of fault be, peradventure,
by reason of custome sufferable: yet notwithstanding bycause of it
selfe, it is fowle and hurtefull, it ill becomes a gentle man to doe
it. For it is no honestie to seeke a pleasure by the hurt of another.
And if lies and false flatteries, may bee termed Ceremonies (as I
have saide before:) so oft, as we use them for respect of our gain &
profit: so oft wee doe hazard our good name and credite: so that this
consideration alone, might move us well to leave all Ceremonies, and
use them no more.

It resteth now that I speake of those y^t bee done of Dutie, and of
those that be done of a Vainesse. As touching y^e first, We must not
leave them undone in any wise. For he that faileth to doe them, dothe
not onely displease, but doth a wrong to him, to whome they be due. And
many times it chaunceth y^e men come to daggers drawing, even for this
occasion alone, that one man hath not done the other, that worship and
honour uppon the way, that he ought. For to saye a trueth The power of
custome is great & of much force, (as I said) and would be taken for a
lawe, in these cases. And that is the cause we say: You: to every one,
that is not a man of very base calling, and in suche kinde of speach
wee yealde such a one, no maner of courtesie of our owne. But if wee
say: Thou: to suche a one, then wee disgrace him and offer him outrage
and wronge: and by suche speach, seeme to make no better reconing of
him, then of a knave and a clowne.

And although the times past, and other countries, have used other
maners: let us yet, keepe ourselves to our owne: And let not us dispute
the matter, which is the better of twaine. For wee must observe, not
those, that we Judge in our owne conceits to be good: but suche, as
be currant by custome, & used in our owne time: as lawes, which we be
bound to keepe, thoughe they be not all of the best, till suche time,
as the magistrates, the Prince, or they that have power to amend them,
have chaunged them to better.

So that It behoves us, hedefully to marke the doings and speache,
wherewith daily practise and custome, wonteth to receave, salute,
& name in our owne country, all sortes and kinds of people, and in
all our familiar communication with men, let us use the same. And
notwithstanding the Admerall (as peradventure the maner of his time
was suche) in his talke with Peter the King of Aragon, did many times:
Thou him: Let us yet saye to our King: Your majestie: and your highnes:
aswell in speache as in writing. And if they have followed the use of
their time: then let not us breake the fashions of ours. And these doe
I call Duetifull Ceremonies, bycause they proceede not, as we would,
or of our owne free willes: but are laide uppon us by the Lawes: I
meane, Common custome.

And in suche things, as carry no evill meaning in them, but rather some
face of courtesie: reason would and commaundeth, we shoulde rather
observe common Custome, then dispute and lay the lawe for them.

And albeit, to kisse in shewe of reverence, of very right appertaineth
to the reliques of Saints and there holy matters: yet if it bee the
maner of your country, at parting, to say: Signori, Io vi bascio la
mano. Or: Io son vostro servidore: Or els: vostro schiavo in catena:
you must not disdaine it, more then other. But, In farewelles and
writings, you must salute and take leave, not as reason, but as custome
will have you: and not as men wont in times past, or should doe: but as
men use at this day: for it is a chorlishe maner to say: What greate
gentleman is he I pray you, that I must master him: Or: is he becom
master parson, that I must kisse his hands? for he that is wont to be
(Sird) and likewise (Sirreth) other: may thinke you disdaine him, and
use some outrage unto him, when you call him to his face, by his bare
name, and give him no addition.

And these termes of Seignory, service, & duetye, and such other
like unto these, as I have saide: have lost a greate parte of their
harshnes, and (as hearbes long steepte in the water) are sweetened,
and made softe and tender, by reason of muche speache in mens mouthes,
and continuall use to speake them. So that we must not abhorre them, as
some rude and rusticall fellowes, full of foolishe simplicitie, doe:
that would faine beginne the letters we write to Kinges and Emperours
after this sort, vz. If thou and thy children be in healthe it is well:
I am also in healthe: saying, that suche was the beginning of the
letters, the Latins did write to the magistrates of Rome. If men should
live by their measure, and go backe to those fashions and maners, our
first fathers did use: the worlde then by litle and litle, would come
so about, that we should feede uppon acornes againe.

And in these Duetifull Ceremonies, there be also certain rules and
precepts, we must observe: that wee may not bee touched w^t Vainesse
and Pride. And first of all, wee must consider the country where wee
doe live. For all customes be not currant a like in all countreys.
And peradventure that which they use in Naples, which is a Citye
replenished with gentlemen, of good houses, and Lordes of greate power,
were not so fitte for Florens and Luke: Which are inhabited, for the
most part, with Merchants and plaine gentlemen, without any Prince,
Marques, or Barone amongest them. So that the brave and Lordelike
manners of the gentlemen of Naples transported to Florence: should
be but waste, and more then needes: like a tall mans gowne cast over
a dwarfe: as also the manners of Florence shoulde be to pinchinge
and straite, for the Noble natures and mindes of the gentlemen of
Naples. And although the gentlemen of Venice use great embracings and
entertainementes amongst themselves, and fawne without measure the one
on the other, by reason of their offices, degrees and favours they
looke to finde when they meete and assemble to choose their officers:
yet for all this, it is not convenient, that the good men of Rouigo, or
the Citizens of Asolo, should use the like solemnities, embraceings and
entertainements one to another, haveing no such kinde of cause amongst
them: Albeit all that same countrie (if I bee not deceived) is falne a
litle, into these kinde of follies, as over carelesse and apt inough
by nature, or rather learning those maners of Venice their Lady and
Mistris: because Everie man gladly seeketh to tread the steps of his
better: although there be no reason for it.

Moreover we must have a regarde to the time, to the age, and the
condition of him, to whom we use these ceremonies, and likewise respect
our owne calling: and with men of credite maintaine them: but w^t men
of small account cut them of cleane, or at least, abridge them as muche
as wee may, & rather give them a becke then a due garde: Which the
courtiers in Rome can very well skill to doe.

But in some cases these Ceremonies be very combersome to a mans
busines, and very tedious: as "Cover your head," sayes the Judge,
y^t is busied w^t causes, and is scanted of time to dispatche them.
And this fellow so full of these Ceremonies, after a number of legges
and shuflinge curtesis, aunswers againe: "Sir I am very well thus."
But sayes the Judge againe, "Cover your head I say." Yet this good
fellow tourning twise or thrise to & fro, making lowe conges downe to
the grounde w^t muche reverence and humilitie, aunswers him, still: "I
beseache your worship, let me doe my duetie." This busines and trouble
lasteth so long, & so muche time is trifled: that the Judge might very
nere have dispatched all his busines within that space. Then, although
it be every honest mans parte, and the duety of every meaner body, to
honour the Judges, and men y^t be called to worship & honour: yet,
where time will not beare it: it is a very troublesome thing to use it,
and it must be eschewed, or measured with reason.

Neither be y^e self same Ceremonies semely for young men, respecting
their Age: y^t ould men doe use together. Nor yet can it becom men of
meane and base condition, to use the very same, y^t gentlemen & greate
men may use one to another. And if wee marke it well, we shall find,
y^t the greatest, y^e best men, & men of most valour, doe not alwayes
use y^e most Ceremonies them selves, nor yet love nor looke a man
should make many goodly curtsies unto them, as men that can ill spend
their thoughts one matters so vaine.

Neither must handy crafts men, nor men of base condition, buisie them
selves to much, in over solemne Ceremonies to greate men, and Lordes:
it is not lookt for in suche. For they disdaine them, more then allowe
them: because it seemes that in such, they seeke, & looke, rather for
obedience and duetie, then honour. And therefore it is a foule faulte
in a servaunt, to offer his master his service: for he counts it his
shame, & he thinks the servant doth make a doubt, whether he is master
or no; as if it were not in him to imploy him, & commaund him too.
These kinde of Ceremonies would be used frankely. For, What a man
dothe of duetie, is taken for a debte, and hee finds him selfe litle
beholding to him that doth it. But he that dothe more then he is bound
to: it seems he parteth with somewhat, and that makes men to love him,
and to commende him for a liberall man. And I remember mee well, I have
hearde it saide, that a worthy Graecian a greate versifier, was ever
wont to saye: that He that could skill to entertaine men with a small
adventure, made a greate gaine.

You shall then use youre Ceremonies, as the tailer shapes his garments,
rather to large then to litle: but yet not so, that hee cutteth one
hose large inough to make a cloke. And if thou doe use in this point,
some litle gentle behaviour, to suche as be meaner then thy selfe:
thou shalt be counted lowly. And if thou doe asmuche to thy betters:
thou shalt bee saide a Gentleman well taught, and courtious. But hee
that dothe herin to muche, and is over lavishe, shalbe blamed as vaine
and light: and perhaps worse thought of too: counted a busie body, a
fidging fellowe, and in wise mens sight, a flatterer: which vice, our
elders have called, (if I doe not forget me) dowble diligence. And
there is no faulte in the worlde, more to bee abhorred, or y^t worsse
beseemes a gentleman, then this. And this is the thirde maner of
Ceremonies, which simply procedeth of our owne will, and not of custome.

Let us then remember, that Ceremonies, (as I have alwayes said) were
not so necessarie by nature, but a man might doe well inough without
them: As for example, our countrie lived (it is not long since) in
maner cleane without any. But other mens diseases have infected us,
with these infirmities and many mo. So that, custome and use observed:
the rest that is more, is but waste: and such a sufferable leesing, as
if it be more in deede then is in use, it is not only unsufferable, but
forbidden: and so uppon, the matter, a cold and unsavourie thing to
noble mindes, that cannot brouse uppon shrubbes and shewes.

And you shall understand, that trusting my owne skill but little, in
writing this present treatise: I thought good to consult with many, and
to take the Judgement of better learned men then my selfe. And this
in my reading I finde. There was a King, they call him Oedipus: being
banished and driven out of his countrie (uppon what occasion I know
not) he fled to King Theseus at Athens, the better to save him selfe
and his life, from his enemies, that mainely pursued him. This Oedipus
now comming before the presence of Theseus, by good chaunce hearing
his daughter speake, (whome he knew by her voice, for he was blind and
could not beholde her with his eyes) he was so presently striken with
joy, that, not tarying to doe his allegeaunce and duetie to the King,
he did presently embrace, & make much of his daughter before him: his
fatherly affection so led him, and rulde him so. But in the end finding
his fault, and better advising himselfe of his doings: he would needs
excuse it to Theseus, & humbly prayd his grace to pardon his folly. The
good and wise King, cut of his talke, and bad him leave his excuses,
and thus saide unto him: Comfort thy selfe, Oedipus, and bee not
dismayd at that thou hast done. For I will not have my life honoured
with other mens woordes, but with my owne deedes. Which sentence a man
should have alwayes in mind.

And albeit men be well pleased, that men doe give them worship &
honour: yet when they find them selves cuningly courted, they be soone
weary of it, and also disdaine it. For these glaverings, or flatteries
I should say, to amend their knaveries & falsehoodes, have this fault
withall: that these glavering fellowes doe plainly shewe, they count
him, whome they court in this sorte, but a vaine, and arrogant bodie,
an asse of grose capacitie, and so simple, y^t it should be an easie
matter to baite him and take him too. And these Vaine and Curious
Ceremonies, besides that they be superfluous: they beare with all a
shape of flattery, so slenderly covered, that every man doth openly see
them, and know them plaine: in suche sorte, that they that doe them,
to the end to make a gaine, besides that ill that is in them, wherof
I spake before: shewe them selves also, gentlemen ill taught, without
good maner or any honest fashion.

But there is another sorte of Ceremonious people, who make it an arte
and merchandise, and keepe a booke and a reconing of it. One these
men (they say) they must smile, on such men they must laughe: and
y^e better man shall sit in the chair, and the other uppon a lowe
stoole: which superstitious Ceremonies, I beleve, were transported
out of Spaine into Italie. But our country, hath geven them but colde
entertainement, and as yet they have taken but slender roote here: for
this precise difference of worship, and gentry, is not liked of, with
us. And therefore it is but ill maner, for a man to make him selfe
Judge, which is the better man.

But it is much worse for a man to make a sale of his Ceremonies and
entertainments, (after y^e maner of harlots) as I have seene many
gentlemen doe in the court, geving good wordes and faire countenaunces
for a rewarde and recompence, of the goods and the time, their
servaunts have spent in their service.

And sure they that take a pleasure to use over many Ceremonies, more
then neede: shewe they doe it uppon a lustines and bravery, as men that
have nothing elles in them of any valour.

And bycause these follies are learned w^t ease inough, and carry
withall a litle faire glose in shewe: they bestowe all their whole
mindes none other waye. But grave matters they can not abide to weelde,
as things to farre above their reache: and coulde finde in their harts
to dwell in these toyes and trifles, as men whose capacitie conceiveth
nought of Importaunce: like tender milkesops that can beare no brunt:
or that, beside a glorious outside, have not mettall inough in them to
abide a flea biting. And therfore, they could wishe it were so: that
these entertainments and acquaintance with men, should go no further
then the first sight. And of these there bee an infinite number.

And some againe be to full of words, and abound to muche in curtious
gestures to cover and hide the defects and faults of their treacheries,
and their vile & base natures: For they see, if they should be as baren
& rude in their woords, as they be in their deeds & their doings, men
would in no case abide them. And to saye a trueth, yow shall finde y^t
one of these two causes, drawe most men one, to use these wast and
needles Ceremonies, and nothing els: which lightly most men cannot away
withall, bycause they be hindered by them, & their meanes, to live as
they would, and lose their libertie: whiche a man dothe preferre above
anything ells.

Wee must not speake ill of other men, nor of their doings: althoughe it
plainely appere, that men do willingly lend good eare to heare it, as
easily moved therto, by y^e nature of malice and envy, that pines at
our Neighbours prosperity and rising to worship & honour: for at length
men will eschewe the acquaintaunce of Slaunderous people, as much as
they shunne the Oxe, y^t goreth with his horns, or strikes w^t his
feete: making their reconing, that what they tell them of us, asmuche
they will tell us, of them.

And some ther be, that so quarel at every word, question, and wrangle,
that they shew they have litle skill in other mens natures: for,
Every man desireth the victory should go one his side: and hates it
asmuche, to be mastered in words, as to be vanquished in any other acte
that he dothe. So y^t, willfully to overthwart a man, it workethe no
Love and good will: but rather displeasure, rancoure and malice. And
therfore, he that sekes to be well thought of, and would be taken for
a pleasaunt and good Companion, must not so redily use these speaches:
It was not so: And, Nay: it is as I tell you. I wil lay a wager with
you: But he must rather take pains, to apply himself to other mens
minds concerning such things, as have matter of small importaunce: By
cause the victorye, in such cases, is daungerous: for, the gaininge
the cause, in trifling questions, dooth often loose the Love of a
faithfull friend. And men are so farre out of love & liking, of such
hot fellowes: that they will by no meanes growe acquainted with suche,
least they be driven every hower to bralle, to chide, and to fighte
with them for it. And suche kinde of people doe purchase these names:
Maister Uniciguerra: Or, Sir Contraponi: Or, Sir Tuttesalle: And
sometime: il Dottor suttile.

And if you chaunce otherwhile, to be intreated of the company to
speake your mind: I would have you doe it after a gentle sort, without
shewing your selfe so greedie to carry the bucklers away, as if you
would eate them up for haste. But you must Leave to every man his
parte: And bee it right or wronge, consent to the minds of the most,
or the most importunate: and so leave the fielde unto them: that some
other, and not your selfe, may beate and sweat, and chace in the
winning of the cause. For these quarelous contentions, bee foule and
ill favoured fashions for gentlemen to use: and they get them ill will
and displeasure of all men for it: and they bee uncomely for their owne
unseemelines, which of it selfe offendeth every good honest minde, as
it may chaunce you shall heare hereafter.

But the common fault of men is such, and eche man is so infected with
this selfe love and liking of him selfe: that he hath no respect or
care to please any man ells.

And to shewe them selves fine headed, of muche understanding, and wise:
they counsell, reprove, dispute, and bralle, to daggers drawing, and
allowe nothing els but that they say them selves.

To offer advise, unrequested: what is it els but to vaunt youre selfe
wiser then he is, whom you do counsell: nay rather it is a plaine
checke to him, for his Ignoraunce and folly. And therfore, you must not
do so, with all your acquaintance generally: but only with your very
friendes, or suche whom you are to governe & rule: or els, when a man
hapely standes in daunger & perill, how muche a straunger so ever he
be. But in our common Acquaintance and conversation, Let us not busy
our selves, and medle to muche with other mens doings. In which fault
many doe fall: but most of all, the men of least understanding. For,
Men of grose capacities consider but litle: And they take no longe time
to debate with them selves, as men that have litle busines to doe.

But how so ever it be, hee that offereth and geveth his counsell: geves
us to thinke, hee hathe this conceite of him selfe: that all the witt
is in him, and other poore men have none at all.

And sure there bee some, that stand so muche in conceite of their wit:
that they will be in maner, at warres, with him, that wil not follow
the counsell they give them. And thus they will say: "Very well: a
poore mans counsell will not be taken: suche a one will doe as he list:
suche a one geves no heede to my wordes." As though there were not more
Arrogancie in thee, that sekest to bring a man to followe thy Counsell:
then there is in him, that followes his owne advise.

And they doe also make the like fault, y^t take uppon them to reprove
and correct mens faults, and to geve a definite sentence in all things,
and lay the lawe to all men. "Suche a thing would not be done: You
spake suche woordes: Doe not so: say not so: The wine that you drinke
is not good for you: it would be red wine. You should use suche an
Electuarie, and suche pilles:" And they never leave to reprove and
correct. And let us passe that over, that otherwhile, they busy them
selves so much, to purge other mens grounds: that their owne is
overgrowen, and full of thornes and nettles. For it is a mervailous
paine unto them, to heare one that side.

And as there be few or none, whose minds can frame, to spend their
life with a Physition, a Confessour, and muche lesse a Judge that hath
jurisdiction and power to controwle and correct all criminall faultes:
so is ther not one, that can take any pleasure to live, or make himself
familiar with suche Censors: so hard, and severe. For, every man loveth
libertye: and they woulde robbe us of it, and get to be our masters.
So that it is no good manner to be so redie to corect and give rules
unto men: we must geve Scholemasters and Fathers leave to do that. And
yet that notwithstanding, experience doth shewe, the childeren and
scholers both, do often hide them selves from them, you see.

I doe not allow, that a man should scorne or scoffe at any man, what so
ever he be: no not his very enimy, what displeasure so ever he beare
him: for, it is a greater signe of contempt and disdaine, to scorne a
man, then to do him an open wrong: forasmuch as wrongs may be done,
either of choler, or of som covetous minde or other. And ther is no man
will take a displeasure with that, or for that, he doth not set by: nor
yet covet that thing, he doth altogether contemne. So that, a man doth
make some accompt of him he dothe wronge: but of him that he scoffes
and scornes, he makes no reconing at all, or as litle as may be.

And the Nature and effect of a scorne, is properly to take a
contentation and pleasure to do another man shame and villany: thoughe
it do our selves no good in the world. So that, good maner & honesty,
would us beware we scorne no man in any case: wherin they be much to
be blamed, that reprove men those blemishes they have in their person,
either in woords, as Master Forese da Rabatta did, laughing at the
countenaunce of Master Giotta: or in deeds, as many doe, counterfeting
those that stutter, haulte, or be crookte shoulderd. And likewise,
they that scoffe at any man, that is deformed, ill shapen, leane,
litle, or a dwarfe, ar much to be blamed for it: or, that make a gibing
and jesting at such follies as another man speaketh, or the woordes
that escape him by chaunce: and with all, have a sporte and a pleasure
to make a man blush: all these spitefull behaviours and fashions,
worthely deserve to be hated, and make them that use them, unworthy to
beare the name of an honest gentleman.

And such as use to jest at a man, be very like unto these: I meane
them that have a good sport to mocke and beguile men, not in spite or
scorne, but on a meriment alone. And you shall understand, There is
no difference betweene a scorne and a mocke: but the purpose alone
and intent a man hath, in the meaning the one or the other. For a man
mockes and laughes otherwhile, in a sport and a pastime: but his scorne
is ever in a rage and disdaine. Although in common speache and writing,
wee take the one woorde sometime for the other. But He that doth scorne
a man: feeleth a contentation in the shame he hath done him: And hee
that dothe mocke, or but laughe: taketh no contentation in that he hath
done: but a sport, to be merry & passe the time away: where it would
be, both a greefe and a sorrow, perchaunce, unto him, to see that man
receave any shame, by any thing he said or did unto him.

And althoughe I profited litle, in my Grammar in my youthe; yet I
remember that Mitio, who loved Aeschines so muche, that he him selfe
had wonder at it; yet other while, toke a sporte & a pleasure to mocke
him: as when he said to him selfe: I will go to give him a mocke: so
that, I must inferre, that the selfe same thing, done to the very selfe
same body: according to the intent of him that doth it, may be either a
mocke or scorne.

And bycause our purpose, cannot be plainely knowne unto other men: it
shall not be good for us to use such parts, as bring men in doubt and
suspicion, what our intent and meaning is in them: but rather let us
eschewe them, then seeke to be counted Jesters. For, It many times
chaunceth, in boording and Jesting, one tackes in sporte, the other
strikes againe in earnest: & thus from playing, they come to fraying.
So, he that is familiarly mockte in pastime, recons it, otherwhile,
to be done to his shame & dishonour, and therat he takes a disdaine.
Besides this, A mocke is no better, then a deceite. And naturally, it
greveth every man to erre and be deceived. So that, many Reasons ther
be to prove, That He that seekes to purchase goodwill, and be well
thought of: must not make him selfe to cunning in mockes and Jestes.

It is very true, we are not able, in no wise, to leade this paineful
life, altogether without some pleasure and solace: And bycause Jestes
do geve us some sporte, and make us merry, and so consequently refreash
our spirits: we love them that be pleasaunt, merry conceited, and
full of solace. So that a body would thinke, I should rather persuade
the contrarie: I meane, I shoulde say: It is convenient and meete in
company, to use prety mockes, and otherwhile some Jestes and taunts.
And without doubt, they that can stint after a friendly and gentle
sort, be muche more made of, and better beloved then they that cannot
skill or have no wit to doe it. Howbeit, it is needeful in this, to
have a respect to many things.

And forasmuche as it is the intent of him that doth Jest: to make a
sport and pastime at his faulte, whome he doth love and esteeme, and of
whom he doth make more then a common account: it must be well lookte
to, that the fault, wherin his friend hath fallen, be suche, as he may
sustaine no slaunder or shame, or any harme by any talke or Jeste he
makes uppon it: otherwise, his skil doth ill serve him, to make a good
difference betweene a pleasaunt Jest, and a very plaine wronge.

And there be some men, so short & so testy, that you must, in no wise,
be merry, nor use any jesting with them. And that can Biondello well
tell, by Maister Philippo Argenti in the gallery of Caviccioli.

And moreover, It cannot be good to jeaste in matters of weite, and
muche lesse in matters of shame. For, men will weene that wee have
a good sporte (as the common saying is) to bragge and boast in our
evill: as it is said, the Lady Philippe of Prato, took a singular
pleasure and contentation in the pleasaunt & prety aunswer she made, to
excuse her loose and wanton life. And therefore, I cannot thinke that
Lupo of Uberti did any thing extenuat or lessen his shame: but rather
increaste it greater, by the Jeste that hee made to excuse his faulte,
and qualifye the opinion of his cowardly minde. For, where he might
have kept him selfe safe without daunger in the castle of Laterin,
wherein he was besieged round about, and shutte up: hee thought hee
had plaide the man good inoughe, in that hee could say at the yealding
it up: that "A wolfe doth not love to be besieged and shutte up." For,
where it is out of time for to laughe, there to use any Jestes or
daliaunce, it hath a very colde Grace.

And further, you shall understand, there be some Jestes y^t bite, &
some y^t bite not at all. For the first sorte: let y^t wise counsell
that Lauretta gave for that point, suffice to teach you: That Jestes
must bite the hearer like a sheepe, but not like a dogge. For if
it pinche, as the bite of a dogge: it shalbe no more a Jeste but a
wronge. And the lawes almost in all countries, will, that who saith any
villanie unto a man, shalbe grevously punished for it. And, perchaunce,
it were not amisse, to provide with all, some sharp correction for him,
that should bite in way of jesting, beyond all honest measure. But
gentlemen should make account, that the lawe that punisheth wronges,
extendeth as farre to jestes, and that they should seldome or very
easily nip or taunt any man.

And besides all this, you must understand, that a jest, whether it
bite, or bite not, if it be not fine & full of wit, men take no
pleasure at al to heare it, but rather are wearied with it: or at least
wise, if they doe laughe, they laughe not at the jest, but at the
jester him selfe, that brings it forthe so colde.

And bycause, Jestes be no other thing but deceites: and deceite (as
a thing that is framed of subtilenes & craft) cannot be wrought but
of men, that have fine and redy wittes, and very present: therefore
they have no grace in men that be rude, and of grose understanding:
not yet in them alwayes, that have the best and floweing wittes: as,
peradventure, they did not altogether become Master John Boccaccio.

But tauntes and Jestes be a special redines and aptnes of wit, and
quicken the motions of the minde: wherefore they that have discretion,
doe not in this point, consider their will, but their disposition of
nature: and after they have once or twise tried their wittes, and finde
them unfit for suche purpose: they leave to labour them selves any
further in that kind of exercise: that it may not chaunce unto them,
that hapt to the knight of the lady Horetta. And if you looke in to the
maners of many, you shall easily see, this that I tell you is true:
I say, that To Jest or to taunt, is not currant with every man that
will, but onely with them that can. And there be many that for every
purpose, have in their mouth redy, many of these wordes, which wee call
Bicticcichi: that have no maner of sense or meaning in them. And some,
that use very foolishly and fondly to chaunge Sillables into woords.
And some you shall heare speake and make answer, otherwise then a man
would lightly looke for, without any wit or pleasure in the world in
their talke. And if you doe aske them, "Doue e il signore?" they answer
againe. "Doue egli ha i piedi:" and likewise "Et gli fece unguer le
mani con le grascia di signore Giovan Boccadoro. Doue mi manda egli?
Ad Arno. Io mi voglió radere, Sarebbe meglio rodere. Va chiama il
Barbieri. Et perrhe non il Barbadomani." Al which be to grose, to rude
and to stale: and such were almost, all the pleasaunt purposes and
jestes of Dioneo.

But I will not take uppon me at this time, to discourse of the best
and the worst kinde of jestes, what they be: aswel for that other men
have written treatises thereof much more lernedly and better then I
can: as also, bycause jestes and tauntes, have at first sight, a large
and sure proofe of their grace or disgrace: such, as thou canst not
do much amisse in this point, w^tout thou stand to much in thy owne
conceite, and think to well of thy selfe: for where the jest is prety
and pleasaunt, there a man straite is merry, and shewes a liking by
laughing, and makes a kinde of admiration of it. So that, where the
company geves foorth no liking of thy sportes and conceites, by their
mirthes and their laughing: hould thy selfe still then, and jest no
more. For it is thy owne faulte thou must think, and not theirs that
do heare the: forasmuch as the hearers, as it were allured, with the
redie, pleasaunt, and subtile aunswers or questions (do what they can,
will they or nill they) cannot forbeare their laughing, but laughe in
spite of their teeth. From whom as from our right & lawfull Judges, wee
must not appeale to our selves.

Neither must a man, to make other men merie, speake foule and filthie
wordes, nor make ilfavoured gestures, distorting his countenaunce, &
disfiguring his bodie: For, No man should, for other mens pleasures,
dishonest & dishonour him self. It is an arte for a Juggler & jester to
use: it doth not become a gentleman to do so. We must not then, imitate
y^e common and rude behaviours of Dioneo. Madonna Aldruda Alzate La

Nor we must not counterfet our selves to be fooles & unsavorie doltes:
but as time & occasion serveth, tell some pretie tale or some news,
never heard of before, he y^t can: & he y^t cannot, let him hold his
peace. For, these be y^e partes of y^e wit: which, if they be sodain &
prety, give a proofe & a shew of y^e quicknes of y^e wit, & the goodnes
of y^e maners of him y^t speakes them: which thing doth verie much
please men & makes them our lovers & friends. But if they be otherwise,
they woorke them a contrary effect. For, a man would weene the asse
would play his parte: or y^t some hody dody & louberly lout would
friske and daunce in his doublet. There is another pleasaunte kind of
communication, & y^t is when y^e pleasure & grace doth not consist
in one merrie conceite alone, but in long & continued talke: which
would be well disposed, wel uttered, & very wel set forth, to shew y^e
maners, y^e fashions, y^e gestures & behaviours of them we speke, of
so properly & lively, as y^e hearer should think that he heareth them
not rehearsed, but seeth them with his eyes do those very things he
heares them to speak of: which be very well observed by the gentlemen
and gentlewomen both, in Boccace: although yet otherwhile (if I be not
deceived) they do affect and counterfet, more then is sightly for a
gentleman or gentlewoman to doe, like to these Comedie Players. And
to doe this well, you must have the matter, the tale, or the story,
you take uppon you to tell, perfect in your minde: and woordes so redy
and fit, that you neede not say in the end: "That thing, and tother
thing: This man, what doe you call him: That matter, helpe me to terme
it:" And, "remember what his name is." For this is just the trot of
the knight of the Lady Horetta. And if you doe reherse any chaunce,
in which there be many speakers: you must not say, "He said and he
aunswered:" bycause this worde (He) serveth for all men. So that the
hearer that harkens unto it, is easily deceived, and forgets whome you
meane. Then, it behoves them that discourse matters at length, to use
proper names, & not to chaunge them after.

And more over, a man must beware that he say, not those things,
which unsaide in silence would make y^e tale pleasaunt inoughe and
peradventure, geve it a better grace to leave them out. As to say thus.
"Such a one, that was the sonne of such a one, that dwelt in Cocomer
streete: do you knowe him? he maried the daughter of Gianfigliazzi, the
leane scragge, that went so much to Saint Laraunce. No? do not you know
him? why? do you not remember the goodly straight old man that ware
long haire downe to his shoulders?" For if it were nothing materiall
to the tale, whether this chaunce befell him, or him: all this long
babble, and fond and folishe questions, were but a tale of a Tubbe: to
no purpose, more then to weary mens eares that harken to it, and long
to understand the end. As peradventure our Dant hath made this fault
otherwhile, where he sayeth:

  "And borne my parents were of yoare in Lumbardie,
  And eke of Mantuaes soile they both by country be."

For, it was to no purpose, whether his mother were borne at Gazuolo, or
ells at Cremona.

But I lerned once of a straunger, a Rethorician very lerned, a
necessarie lesson concerning this poinct: that Men must dispose and
order their tale, first with bynames, and then rehearse them (as neede
is) that be proper. For, the bynames alwayes beare the respect of
the persones qualitie: but the other are to be used at the Fathers
discretion, or his whome they concerne.

And therfore, that bodie whome in your thought and imagination to
your selfe, you doe conceive, might be Lady Covetousnes her selfe: in
speache you shall call Maister Erminio Grimaldi: if suche be the common
opinion, the countrie hathe of him. And, if there be no man in place
where you dwell, so notoriously knowne as might serve the turne fit
for your purpose: you must then imagine the case further of, and set
him a name at your pleasure. It is very true, that With muche greater
pleasure we harken and better beholde (as it were with our eyes) what
soever is told us of men of our acquaintance, if the matter be suche
as toucheth their maners: then what we doe heare of straungers and men
unknowne unto us. And the reason is this: when wee doe knowe, that
suche a man is woont to doe so: we doe easily beleeve, he hathe doone
so indeede: and wee take asmuche knoweledge of him, as if wee were
present: where it chaunceth not so with us, in the case of a straunger.

Our wordes (be it in longe discourses or other communication) Must
be so plaine, that all the companie may easily understand them: and
withall, for sounde and sense they must be apt and sweete. For if you
be to use one of these two wordes: you shall rather say, Il ventre:
then L'Epa. And where your country speache will beare it, you shall
rather say: La Pancia, then il Ventre: Or, il Corpo. For, by these
meanes you shalbe understoode, and not misse understoode, as we
Florentines say, nor be darke and obscure to the hearers. The which
thing our Poet, meaning to eschewe: in this very woorde it selfe (I
beleve) sought to finde out another, not thinking muche of his paines
(bycause it liked him wel) to seeke farre to borrow it els where. And

  Remember how the Lorde a man was faine to be,
  For mans offence and sinne in Cloister of virginitie.

And albeit Dant the learned Poet, did litle set by suche kinde of
rules: I doe not think yet, a man should allow well of him in doing so.
And sure, I would not councell you to make him your Maister in this
point, to learne A Grace: forasmuche as he him selfe had none. For,
this I finde in a Chronicle of him.

"This Dant, was somewhat proude for his knowledge, scornefull and
disdainfull, and muche (as Philosophers be) without any grace or
courtesie: having no skill to behave him selfe in company."

But to come to our purpose againe: I say, our speache must be plaine:
which will be easie inough to doe: if you have wit to choose those
wordes that be naturally bred in our soile: and with all not so olde
w^t Age, that they are become rotten and withered: and as overworne
apparell, leaft of and cast a side. As, Spaldo, and Epa, and Vopo,
and Sezzaio, & Primaio. And moreover, the wordes you shall use, must
have no double understanding, but simple. For by coupling suche wordes
together: wee frame that speache that is called Aenigma. And to speake
it plainer in our owne language, we call it Gergo. As in this verse:

  Io vidi un che da sette passatoi
  Fu da un canto all' altro trapassato.

Againe, our wordes would be, (as nere as they might be) aptly and
properly applied to that thing we go about to deliver, & as litle
as may be, common to other matters: for, in so doing, a man shall
weene, the matter it selfe is openly laide before him: & that it
is not expressed with wordes, but pointed foorthe with the finger.
And therefore we may more properly say: A man is knowen by his
countenaunce, then by his figure or counterfet. And Dant did better
expresse the matter, when he saide,

  "The weightes
  That peize the weight doe make the balance creeke,"

Then if he had saide

  "Crie out and make a noise."

And it is a more proper and peculiar speache to say, The shivering of
an ague, then to call it The Colde. And flesh that is Tidie, to terme
it rather, Fatte: then Fulsome.

Ther be some woordes more in this place to like effect, which I meane
not to stande uppon now: bycause our Englishe tounge cannot hansomely
deliver their perfect meaning. For the Italians have (as we have, and
all other Countreis ells as well as wee) certaine peculiar wordes and
termes, so naturally and properly their owne, as it is not possible to
expresse them aptly and perfectly in any other Language. And therefore
the Author him selfe, fearing, or knowing asmuche in the sense of these
wordes, which he hath inferred in this place (as it were preventing a
blame) in maner excuseth and speaketh asmuch as I say, as the matter it
selfe that insueth doth shewe. For, the Author him selfe following his
purpose saithe thus.

"I am well assured, if some straunger should, unhappely for my credite,
hit uppon this treatise of mine: he would laughe mee to scorne, and say
that I taught to speake in riddles, or els in Ciphers. For as muche as
these wordes, be almost so properly our owne, that other countries have
no acquaintance with them: or, if they woulde use them, yet they cannot
tell how to understand them. For, who is it that knowes what Dant ment
in this verse.

  Gia veggia per Mezzul perdere o Lulla.

"Sure, I beleeve no man ells but we that are Florentines can understand
it. Notwithstanding, for any thing that I have saide, if there be any
fault in this text of Dant: it is not in the wordes. But, if he have
faulted, it is rather in this: that (as a man somewhat wilfull) he
would take uppon him, a matter harde to be uttered in wordes, and per
adventure unplesaunt to heare: then that he hath exprest it ill."

It is not then for a man to use any talke, with him that understandeth
not that language you talke unto him. Nor yet, bycause a Douche man
understandes not the Italian tounge, must wee (for that cause) breake
of our talke, to holde talke with him, to make our selves counterfets,
as Maister Brusaldo did, and as some other be woont, that fondly and
coldly, without any grace, thrust them selves in to Chat in their
language with whome they talke, what so ever it be, and chop it out
every worde preposterously. And many times it chaunceth, the Spaniard
talkes Italian with the Italian, and the Italian babbles againe in a
bravevery and gallantnes, the Spanishe toung with the Spaniard. And
yet, it is an easier thing to know, y^t they both talke like strangers:
then to forbeare to laugh at the folish follies that scape them both in
speache. Let us not therfore use our forreigne language, but when it is
needefull for us to be understoode, for some necessitie or other, that
appertaineth unto us: And in common use, use our owne tounge, thoughe
not altogether so good: rather then a forreigne language, better then
our owne that is naturall unto us. For a Lumbarde shall speake his owne
tounge more aptly (which is, notwithstanding, but base and barbarous)
then he shall speake the Tuscane, or other language: even bycause he
hath not so redily, so proper and peculiar wordes, althoughe he studie
much for them, as wee our selves that be Tuscanes.

But yet, if a man have a respect to them with whome he talkes: and for
that cause forbeare & leave out those singular wordes, (which I have
spoken of) and in stede of them use the generall and common: his talke,
by suche meanes, shall have the lesse pleasure & delight.

Besides this, it becometh everie honest gentleman, to eschewe those
wordes that have no honest meaning. And, The goodnes of wordes
consisteth either in their sound, or pronouncing: or, in their sense
and meaning. For as much as som wordes speake an honest matter, and
yet, perchaunce, there is a certaine unhonest sense perceaved to
stand in the pronouncinge of the worde it selfe: as Rinculare: which,
notwithstanding, is daily used of all men. But if a man or woman should
speake after this sorte, & at that verie warning doe it in sight of any
(che si dice il farsi indietro) then would the grosenesse of the worde
plainlie appeare unto them. But our Palate, throughe Custome and Use,
happilie tasteth y^e wine (as it were) and the bestnes of the sense of
the worde, and not y^e Dregges or Leeze.

  She gave the Spanish figge with both her thumbes at once.

Saith Dant.

But our women, would be much ashamed to speake so: yea to shunne this
ambiguous woord, y^t signifieth a worse matter, they rather say Le
castagne. Albeit yet some of them at unwares, many times, name that
unadvisedly, which if another man had spoken to trie them, would have
made them blushe to heare that remembred in way of blasphemie, which
makes them women. And therefore, suche as be, or would be better
mannered or taught, take good heede they doe eschewe, not only things
uncleane and unhonest, but woordes also: and not somuche those that be
evill indeede, but those that may be, or doe but seeme to be unhonest,
foule & filthie: as some men say these are of Dant.

  She blewe large blastes of winde
  Both in my face and under.

Or els these.

  I pray thee tell mee where about the hole doth stand.

And one of the Spirits said.

  Then come behinde and where the hole is, it may be scand.

And you must knowe, that albeit two, or moe wordes, otherwhile chaunce
to tell one selfe thinge, yet the one is more cleanly then the other.
As for example, to say: Con lui giacque, & Della sua persona gli
sodisfece. For this self same speach, if it were in other termes, would
be to broad before & to filthie to heare it. And speaking of Endymion,
you may more aptly say: Il Vago della Luna: then you can say Il Drudo,
althoughe both these wordes doe import and signifie A lover, and a
Friend. And a much honester speache is it, if you talke of Aurora, to
call, her. Tritons prety gerle and lover, then Concubine. And it better
becomes a mans and womans mouth, to call Harlots, women of the worlde
(as Belcolore did, who was more ashamed to speake it then to doe it)
then to use their common name: Thaide è la Puttana. And as Boccace
declared y^e power of Meretrici and Ragazzi. For, se cosi hauesse
nominato dall'arte loro i maschi, come nominò le femine; his talke
would have byn foule & shamefull. And withall, A man must not alone
beware of unhonest and filthie talke: but also of that whiche is base
and vile, and especially where a man talketh & discourseth of greate
and highe matters. And for this Cause, perchaunce, woorthely some blame
our Beatrice, sayeing:

  To passe throughe Lethes floud, the highest Fates would blott,
  If man mighte taste the Viandes suche, as there dooe fall by Lott,
  And not pay firste a due repentaunce for his scott.

For, in my conceite, these base wordes that come out of the Tavernes,
bee verie uncomely for suche a worthy discourse. And when a man hathe
like occasion to speake of y^e Sunne, it shall not be good to call it
The Candell or the Lampe of the world: bycause such woordes do put us
in minde of y^e Oyle, & the stuffe of the kitchin. Neither should a man
that is well advised, say that Saincte Dominicke was Il Drudo della
Theologia: Nor yet talke, that the glorious Sainctes have spoken suche
base and vile woordes: As for Example to say.

  And leave to scratche whereas the scabs of sinne breake out.

For they savour of y^e dregges, & y^e filth of y^e common people, as
every man may easily see.

Againe, in your long and large discourses, you must have y^e
like considerations & cares, & some more: y^e which you may more
commodiously learne of your Maisters y^t teache you y^t arte, that is
commonly called Rhetorike.

And amongest other things, You must accustome your selfe, to use suche
gentle and courtious speache to men, and so sweete, that it may have
no maner of bitter taste. And you shall rather say, I cannot tell how
to say it: Then say: you ar deceived: Or, it is not true: Or, you know
it not. For, it is a courteous and friendly parte to excuse a mans
faulte, even in that very thing, wherein you know how to blame him.
And withall, it doth well, to make the proper and peculiar fault of
your friend, indifferent and common to you both: and first, to take
one piece to your selfe, and then after, to blame and reprove him for
it. Wee were deceived and failed muche: we forgot our selves yesterday
to doe so. Althoughe suche negligence & errour, or what soever it
be: be altogether his fault and not yours. And Restagnone forgat him
selfe muche, when he saide to his companions: If your wordes doe not
lie. For, A man should not bring another mannes faithe and honestie in
question and doubte. But, if a man promise you any thing, and doe not
performe it: it shall not doe well, for you to say unto him, You have
lost your credite with mee: without some necessarie cause doe drive you
to say so, as to save your owne credite and honestie. But, you shall
rather say: You could not do it: Or, you did not remember to doe it:
Then, you have cleane forgotten mee. For, these kinde of speaches, have
some prickles & stinges of Complaint, Anger and Choler. So that, suche
as use them selves to speake suche churlishe and fumishe woordes, are
taken for sharpe and sower fellowes: & men doe asmuche shunne their
acquaintance: as to thrust them selves uppon thornes and thistles.

And bycause I knowe som, of this naughtie condition & qualitie: I meane
some y^t be so hastie and greedy to speake, y^t they take not the sense
with them, but over passe it and runne before it, as the grehound, that
doth not pinche by overshooting his game: ther fore I will not spare
to tell you that, which may be thought needeles to touche, as a thing
to well knowen: and that is, that You shall never speake, before you
have first considered & laide the plot in your minde what it is you
have to saie. For in so doing, your talke shalbe well delivered and
not borne before the time. I trust, straungers will easily beare with
this worde: if at least they vouchsafe to read these trifles of mine.
And if you doe not skorne my preceptes: it shall never chaunce you to
say: "welcome Maister Agostino," to such a one, whose name is Agnolo,
or Bernardo. And you shal never need to say, "Tell me your name:" Nor
say againe, "I saide not well:" Nor, "Lorde what doe I call him:" Nor
to hack and to stutter long together, to finde out a worde, "Maister
Arrigo:" no "Master Arabico:" Tushe, what doe I call him I should say,
"Maister Agabito." These fonde & foolish behaviours & fashions, paine a
man as much to heare them, as to be drawne and haled with cordes.

The voice would be neither hoarse nor shrill. And, when you laugh
and sporte in any sorte: you must not crye out and criche like the
Pullye of a well: nor yet speake in your yawning. I knowe well it is
not in us, to geve our selves a ready tongue or perfect voice at our
owne will and pleasure. Hee y^t doth stutter, or is hoarse: let him
not alwayes bable and gabbe, and keepe a courte alone: let him rather
amend the defect of his tounge with silence, and hearinge: and withall
(if hee can) with studie diminishe the fault of Nature. It is an ill
noise to heare a man raise his voice highe, like to a common Crier.
And yet I would not have him speake so lowe and softly, that he that
harkens, shall not heare him. And if he be not heard at y^e first time
he speaketh, he must speake, the next time, somewhat plainer: but yet,
not yoape out aloude, that he make not men thinke he is woode and angry
with them: for hee shall doe but well, to rehearse that againe he hath
spoken, y^t men may understand what he said.

Your wordes would be disposed, even as the common use of speache doth
require and not unsorted, disordered and scattered confusedly: as many
be woont to doe uppon a bravery, whose maner of talke is more like a
Scrivener (me thinke) that readeth in his mother tounge, the Indenture
he hath written before in latine: then a man that reasoneth or talketh
in his Naturall language: as this for example.

  They drawe by sent of false and fained steps of truth.

Or if a man should preposterously place his wordes thus.

  Those times did blossomes geve before their time of soothe.

Which maner of speache, may be otherwhile allowed in versifiers: but it
is utterly forbidden in common talke.

And, it behoves a man, not onely to shunne this versifying maner of
speache, in his familiar and common discourse, or talke: but likewise
eschewe y^e pomp, bravery, & affectation, that may be suffered and
allowed to inriche an Oration, spoken in a publike place. Otherwise,
men that doe heare it, will but spite it, and laughe him to scorne for

Albeit perchaunce, a Sermon may shewe a greater cunning and arte, then
common talke. But, Everie thing must have his time and place. For, he
that walkes by the way must not daunce, but goe. For, every man hath
not the skill to daunce, yet every man can skill to goe. But, Dauncing
is meete for feastes & weddings: it is not to use in the stretes. You
must then take good heede you speake not with a majestie.

It is thought by many Philosophers.

And suche is all Filocolo, and the other treatises of Maister John
Boccace, except his greater woorke, and litle more perchaunce Corbaccio.

I would not for al this, that you should use so base a speache, as y^e
scum, as it were, and the froth of the meanest and vilest sorte of
people, Launderers & Hucksters: but suche as gentlemen should speake
& talke, which I have partly told you before, in what sort it may be
done: that is, if you talke of matters that be neither vile, vaine,
fowle, nor lothesome. And if you have skill to choose amongest the
woords of your owne countrie speache, the purest and most proper, suche
as have the best sounde, and best sense, touching nor remembring, in
no case, no matter that is foule, vile and base: & if you can place
your woords in good order, and not shoofle them together at random, nor
yet, with over muche Curious studie, file them (as it were) one your
beades. Moreover, if you do dispose such things as you have to say with
discretion. And take good hede that you couple not unfit & unlikely
matters together: as for Example.

  As sure as God is in Heaven:
  So stands the staffe in the chimny corner.

And if you speake not so slowe, as if you were unlustie: nor so hasty,
as if you wer hungrie: but as a wise and a temperate man should doe.
Likewise, if you pronounce youre woords and your sillables with a
certaine grace & sweetnes: not as a Scholemaister y^t teacheth young
Children to read & to spell. Neither must you mumble them nor supp them
up, as if they were glued & pasted together one to another. If you
remember these and such other rules and precepts: youre talke will be
liked, and heard with pleasure enoughe: and you shall well maintaine
the state and countenaunce, that well besemeth a gentleman well taught
and honest.

Besids these, there be some, that never hould their tounge. And as the
shippe that sailes, doth not presently stand still, by taking downe
the sailes: So doe they runne forward, as caried away with a certaine
braide: and loosing the matter of their talke, yet leave not to babble,
but either repeate that againe that is said, or els speake still they
cannot tell what.

And there be other so full of babble, that they will not suffer another
to speake. And as wee doe see otherwhile, uppon the flowers in the
countrie where they thresh corne, one Pullet pull the corne out of the
others beake: so doe they catche the tale out of his mouth y^t beganne
it, and tell it them selves. And sure, suche maner of people, induce
men to quarell and fight with them for it. For, if you doe marke it
wel: Nothing moves a man sooner to anger: then when he is soudainely
cut short of his will and his pleasure, be it of never so little and
small importaunce. As when you gape wide with yawning: another should
thrust his hand in your mouth: or when you doe lift your arme redy
to hurle a stone: it is soudainly staide by one that stands behinde
you. Even then, as these doings, and many moe like unto these, which
tend to hinder the will and desire of another (albeit but in way of
sporte & of play) are unseemely, and would be eschewed: So in talke and
communication with men, wee should rather pull one, and further their
desiers, by what meanes we can, then stop them and hinder them in it.

And therefore, If any man be in a redines to tell his tale: it is no
good maner to interrupte him: nor to say that you doe knowe it well.
Or, if hee besprinckle his tale here and there, with some prety lie:
you must not reprove him for it, neither in wordes nor in gesture, as
shaking your hed, or scowling uppon him, as many be wont: gloriously
vaunting them selves, that they can, by no meanes, abide the taste of
a Lie.... But, this is not the reason of this, it is the sharpenes and
sowernes of their owne rusticall & eager Natures, which makes them so
venemous & bitter in all companies they come: that no man cares for
their acquaintance.

Likewise, It is an illfavoured condition to stop another mans tale
in his mouth: and it spites him asmuche, as if a man should take him
by the sleeve & hould him backe, even when he is redie to runne his
course. And when another man is in a tale, it is no good maner for you,
by telling the company some newes, & drawing their mindes to other
matters, to make them forsake him cleane, and leave him alone. For, it
is an uncourtious parte for you to leade and carry away the company:
which the other (not you) hath brought together.

And, when a man tells his tale, you must geve good eare unto him:
that you may not say otherwhile, O what?: Or, how?: which is many a
mans fashion to doe. And this is asmuch trouble and paine to him that
speaketh: as to shoofle against y^e stones, to him that goeth. All
these fashions, and generally, that which may stoppe, and that which
may traverse the course of another mans talke, must be shunned.

And, if a man tell his tale slowe like a drawe-latche: you must not yet
hasten him forwarde, nor lende him woordes, although you be quicker in
speache then hee. For, many doe take that ill, and specially suche, as
persuade themselves they have a Joly grace in telling a tale. For, they
doe imagine you thinke not so well of them, as they themselves doe: And
that you would geve them instructions in their owne Arte: as Merchaunts
that live in greate wealth & plentie, would count it a greate reproche
unto them, that a man should proffer them money, as if they lived
in lacke, & were poore and stoode in neede of releefe. And you must
understand, that, Every man in his owne conceite, thinkes he can tell
his tale well: althoughe for modestie sake he deny it. And I cannot
gesse how it cometh to passe, that the veriest foole doth babble most:
which over muche prattle, I would not have a gentleman to use, and
specially, if his skill be but scant in the matter in talke: Not onely,
bycause it is a hard matter: but, He must run in many faults that
talkes muche: but also, bycause a man weenes, that, He that talkes all
the talke to him selfe, woulde (after a sorte) preferre him self above
them all that heare him, as a Maister would be above his scholers. And
therfore, It is no good maner for a man to take uppon him a greater
state, then doth become him. And in this fault, not men alone, but many
countries fall into, so cackling and prattling: that, woe be their
eares that geve them hearing.

But, as over muche babble makes a man weary: so doth over muche Silence
procure as greate disliking. For, To use silence in place where other
men talke to and fro: is in maner, asmuche a fault, as not to pay your
share and scot as other men doe. And as speache is a meane to shewe men
your minde, to whome you speake: so, doth Silence againe make men wene,
you seke to be unknowne. So y^t, as those people which use to drinke
muche at feastes, and make them selves drunke, are wont to thrust them
out of their companie, that will not take their drinke as they doe: So
be these kinde of mute & still fellowes, coldly welcome to pleasaunt
and mery companie, that meete to passe the time away in pleasure and
talke. So that, It is good maner for a man to speake, and likewise to
hold his peace, as it comes to his turne, and occasion requires.

As an old Chronicle maketh mention. There was in the parts of Morea,
a very good workman in stone: Who for y^e singular good skill he
had in his Art, was called (as I take it) Maestro Chiarissimo. This
man (now well strooken in yeares) made a certaine treatise, & therin
gathered together al y^e precepts & rules of his arte: as the man y^t
had very good skill to doe it: shewing in what sorte the proportions
and lineaments of the body, should be duely measured, as well everyone
a parte by it selfe, as one respecting another: y^t they might justly
& duely be answerable y^e one to the other: which treatise of his, he
named Regolo. Meaning to shewe, that according to that, all the Images
and pictures, that from thensforth any workeman should make, should be
squared & lined forth: as y^e beames, and y^e stones, and the walles,
are measured by y^e rules & precepts of that booke. But, for that it
is a muche easier matter to speake it, then to worke it, or doe it:
and besides that, The greatest number of men, especially of us that
be prophane and not learned, have our senses much quicker then our
understanding, and consequently, better conceive particular things and
Examples, then the generall propositions and Syllogismes (which I might
terme in plainer speache, Reasons) for this cause this worthy man I
speake of, having regard to the Nature of workemen: whose capacities
are unfit and unable to weeld the weighte of generall Precepts and
rules: and to declare more plainely, with all his cunning and skill:
having found out for his purpose, a fine marble stone, with muche
labour and paine, he fashioned and shaped an Image of it, as perfectly
proportioned in every parte and member: as the precepts and rules of
his treatise had before devised. And as he named the booke, so did he
name that Image, and called it by name of Regolo.

Now, (and it pleased god) I would I could but one parte of those twoe
points, which that noble Ingraver & worckeman I speake of, had perfect
skill and knowledge to doe: I meane, that I could gather together in
this treatise, after a sorte, the due measures of this Art I take
uppon me to treate of. For, to perfourme the other, to make the second
Regolo: I meane, to use and observe in my maners, the measures I speake
of, framing and forming, as it were, A Visible Example, and a material
Image of them: it were now, to muche for me to doe. For asmuch as, It
is not inough to have knowledge and Art, in matters concerning maners
& fashions of men: But it is needefull withall, to worke them to a
perfect effect, to practise and use them muche: which cannot be had
uppon the soudaine, nor learned by & by: but it is number of yeares
that must winne it: & y^e beste parte of mine be runne fourth alredy,
you see.

But for all this, you must not make y^e lesse reconing of these
precepts. For, A man may well teache another the way: although he have
gone out of the way himself. And, peradventure, they that have lost
their wayes, do better remember the hard wayes to find: then they that
never went a misse. And, if in mine infancie, when minds be tender and
pliable, like a young twigge, they that had y^e charge & governement
of me, had had the skill to smoothe my manners, (perhaps of Nature
somwhat hard and rude) and would have polished and wrought them fine:
peradventure I should have beene such A one, as I travaile to make thee
Nowe, whome I love no lesse then if thou were my sonne. For albeit,
the power of Nature be greate: yet is she many times Maistered and
corrected by custome: But, we must in time begin to encounter and beate
her downe, before she get to muche strength and hardines. But most men
will not doe so: but rather yealding to their appetite without any
striving, following it where so ever it leades them, thinke they must
submitte themselves to Nature: As though Reason were not a naturall
thing in man. But, Reason hath (as a Lady and Mistris) power to chaunge
olde customes, and to helpe & hold up Nature, when she doth at any time
decay and fall. But very seldome we harken unto her. And y^t for y^e
moste parte, maketh us like unto them whome god hath not endued w^t
Reason: I mean brute beastes, in whome notwithstanding, something yet
worketh: not their owne Reasons (for they have none of them selves) but
ours: as in horses you see it: which by nature would be ever wilde,
but y^t their rider makes them tame, and withal, after a sorte, redy
& very well paced. For many of them would have a hard trot, but that
the rider makes them have an easier pace. And some he doth teache to
stand still, to galopp, to treade the ringe, and passe the carreere:
And they learne to doe it all well you see. Then, if the horse, the
dog, y^e hauke, & many other beastes besides, more wilde then these,
be guided and ruled by Reason, and learne that which their owne Nature
cannot attaine, but rather repugneth: and become after a sorte cunning
and skilfull, so farre as their kinde doth beare it, not by Nature,
but by custome & use: how muche then may we thinke wee should excell
them, by the precepts and rules of our Reason, if wee tooke any heede
unto it. But, The Senses desire & covet present delightes, what soever
they be: and can abide no paines, but puts them of. And by this meanes,
they also shake of Reason, and thinke her unpleasant, forasmuche as
she sets before them, not pleasure, many times, hurtfull: but goodnes
and vertue, ever painfull, sower and unsavoury in taste. For, while
we live according to the Sense, wee are like to the selly sickman,
to whom al cates never so deinty & sweete, seeme untoothsome: and he
chideth still with his Cater and Cooke, in whome there is no fault at
all for it. For, it is the Nature of his disease, and the Extremitie
of his sicknes, and not the fault of his meate, that he doth not
savourly taste what he eates. So Reason, which of it selfe is sweete
and savourie: seemes bitter in taste unto us, though it have no ill
taste in dede. And therfore as nice & deintie felowes, we refuse to
make any taste of her: & cover our grosnes, w^t saying that Nature
hath no spurres nor raines y^t can prick her forth, or hold her backe.
Where sure, if an Oxe or an Asse, or a Hogge, could speake: I beleeve,
they could not lightly tell a more fowle & shamefull tale then this.
We should be children still all the time of our riper yeares, & in our
extreame age: and waxe as very fooles with gray hoary heads, as when
we were very babes: if it were not that reason, which increaseth in us
with our yeares, subdueth affections in us and growen to perfection,
transformeth us from beastes in to men. So that it is well seene,
shee ruleth our senses and bridleth our willes. And it is our owne
Imperfection and not her faulte, if we doe swarve from vertue, goodnes,
and good order in life.

It is not then true, that there is not a bridell and Master for Nature,
Nay, she is guided and ruled by twaine: Custome I meane, and Reason.
But, as I have tould you a litle before: Reason without Custome and
use, cannot make an uncivile bodie, well taught and courtious: Which
custome and use, is as it were, bred and borne of time. And therefore
they shall doe well, to harken betime unto her, not only for that, by
this meanes, a man shall have more time and leasure to learne to be
such as she teacheth, and to become as it were a houshould servaunt
of hers, and one of her traine: but also bycause The tender age, as
pure and cleane, doth easily receave all Impressions, and reteineth
more lively, the colours wherewith she is dyed: then when a man comes
to riper yeares: And also, bycause The things wherein wee have byn
nourished and trained from our youth, doe ordinarily please us, above
all other things. And for this cause, it is said that Diodato, a man
that had a singular good gift & grace of utterance, would evermore
bee the first that came fourth uppon the stage to shewe his Comedie:
allthoughe they were all but counterfets unto him, whosoever they
were that should have spoken before him. But he would not his voice
should occupie other mens eares, after they heard another man speake.
Although, in respect of his doings, it were a greate deale Inferiour to
his. Seing then, I cannot agree my workes and my wordes together, for
those causes I have shewed you before, as Maestro Chiarissimo did: whoe
had as good a skil to do it, as he had knowledge to teache it: let it
suffice that I have tould in some part what must be done, by cause I am
not by any meanes able to doe it in dede. He that liveth in darkenes,
may very well Judge what comfort it is to enjoy the benefit of light.
And by an over long silence, we knowe what pleasure it is to speake: so
when you beholde my grose and rude maners: you shall better Judge, what
goodnes and vertue there is in courtious behaviours and fashions.

To come againe then to this treatise, which growes now to some end: wee
say that Those be good maners and fashions, which bring a delight, or
at least, offend not their senses, their minds, and conceits, with whom
we live. And of these, wee have hitherto spoken inoughe.

But you must understand with all this, that, Men be very desirous of
bewtifull things, well proportioned and comely. And of counterfet
things fowle and ill shapen, they be as squemish againe, on the
other side. And this is a speciall privilege geven to us: that other
creatures have no capacitie, to skill what bewtie or measure meaneth.
And, therefore, as things not common w^t beastes but proper to our
selves: we must embrace them for them selves: and holde them dere: &
yet those, much more, y^t drawe nerest to y^e knowledge of man: as
which are most apt and inclined to understand the perfection which
Nature hath lefte in men.

And albeit, it be a hard matter, to shewe precisely, Bewtie, what
maner of thing it is: yet y^t you may have some marke, to know her by:
you must understand, y^t Where jointly & severally, every parte & the
whole hath his due proportion and measure, there is Bewtie. And that
thing may justly be called faier, in which the saide proportion and
measure is found. And by that I did once learne of a wise & a learned
man: Bewtie he said, would consist but of one, at the moste. And
Deformitie contrarywise, measured her selfe, by Many. As you may see by
the faces of faier and goodly women. For, the even lineaments and due
proportions of every of them: seeme to have byn created & framed by the
judgement and sight of one face alone. Which cannot be thought in them
that be foule & deformed. For, when you beholde a woman, that hath,
peradventure, bigge and bowle eyes, a little nose, blubbe cheekes, a
flat mouth, an out chinne, & a browne skinne: you thinke straite that
that face is not one womans alone: but is moulded of many faces, and
made of many peeces. And yet, you shall finde amongest them, some such,
whose partes considered alone by them selves, be very perfect to see
to: but all set together, be foule and ill favoured: not for any other
cause, but that they be y^e lineaments of many faier women, and not of
one: So that a man would weene, shee had borrowed her partes, of this
and that woman. And it may be, that Painter that had all the faier
maides of Calabria, naked before him: had none other intent therein,
then to judge & discerne in many, y^e partes y^t they have, as it were,
borrowed heere one, & there another, of one, alone: to whome restoring
from eache y^t was her right: imagining y^t Venus bewty should be such,
and so proportioned: he set him selfe to paint her.

And, you must not think, y^t this is to be seene in the faces, the
partes, and the bodies of women alone: but it happeneth more or lesse,
in speache, in gestures & doings. For, if you should chaunce to see
a Noble woman gorgius and gallant, washing of cloutes in a River by
y^e highe waye side: Althoughe if this were not, you might hapely
passe away by her, w^t little heede to her person or state: yet this
would not brook you nor like you, y^t her servile doings doe shewe her
more then one. For her state should answer her honourable condition
and calling. But her woorke is suche, as is meete for women of base
and servile life: & although you shall feele, neither ill savour nor
sent come from her, nor heare any noise that should offend you, nor
any thing els to trouble your minde: yet the foule and filthy maner
of doing it, and the unseemely act itselfe: will make you muche to
loathe it. You must then beware of these fowle and uncomely behaviours,
asmuche, nay, more then of those other, I have spoken all this while.
For, it is a harder matter a greate deale, to knowe when a man faulteth
in these, then when he faulteth in them. Bycause, It is easier much, we
see, to feele then to understande. But yet, it may chaunce otherwhile,
that even that which offendeth the senses, may also offend the minde:
thoughe not altogether after one sorte, as I have told you before:
shewing you that A man must apparell him selfe, according to the
fashions that other men use: that it may not be thought he doth reprove
and correct their doings: The which thing offendeth most men that seeke
to be commended: And the wisest men that be, mislike it too. For, the
garments of the olde world, have lost their date, for men of this age
and this season to weare. And it is suche an ill shapen sight, to see a
man clad with other mens cloathes: that a man would weene there would
be a fray betwene the doublet & y^e hose: their cloathes doe sit, uppon
them so untowardly.

So that, many of those matters I have spoken of allredy, or
peradventure all, might be aptly rehersed here again: forasmuch as this
measure I speake of here, is not observed in these things: nor the
time, nor y^e place, nor the worke, nor the worker, accorded & fitted
together, so well as it should be. For mens minds and fansies doe like
it, & take a pleasure and delight in those things. But I thought it
good to apply & speake these matters, rather under y^e badge, as it
were, of the Senses and desires: then properly assigne them to the
minde: that a man may the more easily perceive them: bycause It is a
naturall thinge, for everie man to feele and desire: but every man
cannot so generally understand, and especially that, whiche we call
bewtie, gallantnes or entertainement.

It is not inoughe for a man, to doe things that be good: but hee must
also have a care, hee doe them with a good grace. And a good grace
is nothing els, but suche a maner of light (as I may call it) as
shineth in the aptnes of things set in good order and wel disposed,
one with another: and perfectly knit and united together. Without
which proportion and measure, even that which is good is not faire: &
the fairenes it self, is not plesaunt. And as meates, though they be
good & savourie will give men no minde to eate them, if they have no
pleasaunt relish and taste: So fares it with the maners of men other
while (althoughe in them selves in no respect they be ill, but foolishe
a little, and fond) if a man doe not season them with a certaine
sweetenes, which you call (as I take it) Grace, and Comlines.

So that, every vice of it selfe, without any further matter to helpe it
(it cannot be chosen) must needes offend a man. For, Vices be things so
foule and filthie: that honest and modest mindes, will greeve to see
their shamefull effects. And therefore, it shall behove them that seeke
to be well thought of, with their familiar acquaintance, above all
things els to eschewe vices, and especially those, that be foulest and
worst: as Leachery, Covetousnes, Crueltie, and other. Of which, some
be beastly, as Drunkennes, and Gluttonie: some uncleane, as Leacherie:
other some horrible, as Murther, and such other: all which for them
selves, and for the very naughtines, that is properly in them al, all
men eschewe more, or lesse: But, as earst I said, generally al, as
things of greate disorder, make a man misliked muche of all men.

But, bycause I have not taken uppon me to shew unto you, mens sinnes,
but their Errors: it shalbe no parte of my charge at this time to
entreate of y^e Nature of vices & vertues: but onely of the seemely
& unseemely fashions and maners wee use one with another. One of the
which unseemely fashions was, that Count Richard did use: of which I
tould you before. Which, as unseemely and unfitting with those other
his good and faire maners hee had besides: that same worthie Bishop (as
a skilfull and cunning Maister in musicke will easily here a note out
of Tune) had quickly founde out.

It shalbe then, necessarie for gentlemen and men of good behaviour,
to have a regard to this measure I speake of: in going, in standing,
in sitting, in gesture, in porte, in apparell, in talke, in silence,
in rest and in action. For, a man must not apparell him selfe like
a woman: that the Attire may not be of one sorte, and the person of
another: as I doe see it in some that weare their heads & their beards
curled with bodkins, and have their face, and their necks, & their
hands, so starchte and painted, that it were to muche for a girle, nay,
harlot, that makes a merchandize of it, and sets her selfe to the sale.

You must smell, neither of sweete nor of sower: for a gentleman would
not savour nastily like a begger: nè del maschio venga odore di femina
o di meretrice. I doe not by this forbid, but you may very well use
some sweete smelles of sweete waters.

Your apparell must be shaped according to the fashion of the time, and
your calling, for the causes I have shewed you before. For, We must not
take uppon us to alter customes at our will. For time doth beget them,
and time doth also weare them out.

Every man may applie those fashions, that be in common use, y^e moste
to his owne advantage that he can. For, if perchaunce your legges be
very long, and men use but short garments: you may use a meane, not
to long, nor to short. And if your legges be to small, to greate, or
crooked: make not your hosen of to light and garishe a colour, that
it may not call men to looke and to gawre uppon your deformitie. Thou
must weare no garment that shall be to light, or overmuche daubde with
garding; that men may not say, thou hast Ganymedes hosen, or wearest
Cupides doublet. But, whatsoever it be thou wearest, let it be fit and
well made for thy bodie: least thou seme to brave it, in another mans

But with all, thou must in any case respect thy condition or estate.
For, A man of the Clergie, must not be attired like a Souldier:
nor a Souldier goe like a Player. When Castruccio was in Rome with
Lodovico Bavero at a greate Pompe, and triumphe: who was both Duke of
Lucca and Pistoia, and Count of Palazzo, and Senatour of Rome: this
Castruccio, being Lorde greate Maister of the saide Lodovico Bavero his
househoulde: for his bravery, made him a coate of crimsin, uppon the
brest wherof, there was this devise, in letters of Golde

  It is even as God will.

And uppon the backe behinde.

  And it shallbe as God will.

I beleeve, you thinke this garment, would have become Castruccio his
Trumpeter better, then it could become him.

And although Kings be free from checke, and may doe what they list:
Yet, I could never commend King Manfrede, Whoe ever more used, to suite
him selfe in greene. Wee must then have a care, that our apparell be
not onely wel made for the bodie: but that it be meete for our calling.
And withall, it be suche, as the countrie doth use, where wee live.
For, As in divers places be divers measures, and yet bying and selling
every where used: So in sundry landes be sundrie customes, and yet
every where a man may behave him, and apparell him selfe, soberly and

These same feathers, which the Neapolitanes and Spaniardes be wont to
weare, and braveries and Embroderies: have but ill place amongest grave
gowned men, & the attires that Citizens doe weare. But their Armour and
weapons become suche place a greate deal worse. So that, looke what
hapely might be allowed in Verona, would not, perchaunce, be suffered
in Venice. For as muche as these gallants, all begarded, and huffing
in fethers, & warlike fellowes, would not doe well, in this Noble
Citie so peacefull & Civil. Suche kinde of people be rather, in maner,
like nettles and burres, amongest good and sweete garden flowers,
And therefore, they come out of season to men that medle with graver
matters then they doe.

I would not have a gentleman to runne in the streate, nor go to fast:
for that is for lackies, and not for gentlemen to doe. Besides that, it
makes a man weary, sweate, and puffe: which be very unsightly things
for suche men to doe. I would not yet have a man go so softe and
demurely, as a maide or a wife. And when a man walkes, it is no good
sight to see a man shake his bodie to muche, nor to hold his handes
bare and emptie: nor yet cast & fling his armes up & downe, in such
sort as a man would weene, hee were soweing of Corne in the field: nor
Stare in a mans face, as if he had spied a mares nest.

"Ther be some again, in their gate pul up their fete as high as a horse
y^t hath y^e spaven: y^t a man would think they did pluck their fete
forth of a bushell. Other againe stampe their feete so harde on the
ground: that they make allmoste asmuche noise as a carte. Another goes
as if he were splay footed. And suche a one quivers with his legges,
as he stands. Some other againe, at every foote, stoope to stroke up
their hose as they goe. And some set their handes to their sides, and
jet up & downe like a Pecocke: which fashions doe muche offend men: not
as well, but as ill beseeming a man to use them." For, if your horse,
perchaunce, doe champe and play on the bit, and gape or lill out his
tounge, albeit this geve little proofe of his goodnes: yet it commends
him well to the sale: and you shoulde finde a misse of it, if it were
otherwise: not bycause y^e horse should be ther fore the worse: but
bycause he should shew the lesse courage and pleasure. Now, if it
stand so, that Comelines and Grace, be so much made of in beasts, and
also in things without life or sense, as experience doth shewe, that,
Two things of equall goodnes & comodities, beare not for all that, a
like price, if a man doe beholde a finer proportion & bewtie, more in
the one then he sees in the other: How muche then more, should it be
estemed and commended in men, capable of Reason.

"It is a rude fashion for a man to clawe or scratche him selfe, when he
sitteth at the table. And a man should at such time have a very greate
care y^t he spit not at all. But, if neede inforce him, then let him
doe it, after an honest sorte." I have heard tell, many times, of suche
countries that be so sober: that they doe never spitt. And what should
then let us, but we may well forbeare it for suche a little while.
We must also beware we doe not eate so greedily, that wee get the
hicket, or belche withall: as some that feede so fast, that they noy
the company with it: they blowe and puffe so loud. Likewise, you must
not rubbe your teeth with your napkin, & much lesse with your fingers.
For these be trickes for a sloven. Neither must you openly rince your
mouth w^t the wine, and then spit it fourthe. Neither is it gentleman
like, to carry a sticke in your mouth from the table when you rise,
like y^e birde that builds her a nest: or put it in your eare, for that
is a Barbars tricke.

And to weare a toothpicke, about your necke: of all fashions that is
y^e worst. For, besides that it is a bauld Jewell for a gentleman
to pull forth of his bosome, and putteth men in mind of those
Tooth-drawers, that sit one their benche in the stretes: it makes "men
also to thinke, that the man loves his belly full well, and is provided
for it. And I see no reason, why they should not aswell carry a spoone,
about their neckes, as a toothepicke."

It is a rude fashion besides, to leane over the table, or to fill your
mouth so ful of meate, that your cheekes be blowne up w^tall: neither
must you by any maner of meanes, give another man to know what pleasure
you take, in the meate or the wine. For y^t it is for Taverners and
Bousers, to use suche fashions. And to entertaine men y^t sit at your
table, with these words: "You eate nothing this morning. There is
nothing that likes you." Or, "tast you of this or of that:" I doe not
allowe of these fashions, although they be commonly received and used
of all men. For, albeit by these meanes, they shewe they make much of
those they have invited unto them: yet, many times, they make men to
leave to eate wher they would. "For, it geves them to thinke, they
have their eyes, allwayes uppon them, and that makes them ashamed to

Againe, I doe not like it, that a man shall take uppon him to be a
carver of any meate that stands before him: if he be not muche the
better man, that is the carver: that he to whome he carves, may thinke
he receiveth some credite & honour by it. For, Amongest men that
be of like condition and calling, it makes a hart burning: that he
that playes the carver, should take more uppon him then another. And
otherwhile, y^t which hee carveth, doth not like him to whom it is
geven. And more then this, by this meanes he sheweth, that the feaste
is not sufficiently furnished, or at least not well disposed in order,
when some have muche, & other none at all. And y^e Maister of the
house, may chaunce to take displesure at that, as if it were done to
doe him shame. Neverthelesse in these matters, a man must demeasne him
self, as common use and custome will allowe, and not as Reason & duetie
would have it. And I would wishe a man rather to erre in these points
with many, then to be singular in doing well. But whatsoever good maner
there be in this case, thou must not refuse it, whatsoever is carved
unto thee. For it may be thought thou doest disdaine it, or grunt at
thy carver.

Now, to drink all out to every man: which is a fashion as litle in use
amongst us, as y^e terme it selfe is barbarous & straunge: I meane,
Ick bring you, is sure a foule thing of it selfe, & in our countrie
so coldly accepted yet: y^t we must not go about to bring it in for a
fashion. If a man doe quaffe or carrouse unto you, you may honestly say
nay to pledge him, & geveing him thankes, confesse your weakenesse,
that you are not able to beare it: or else, to doe him a pleasure, you
may for curtesie taste it: and then set downe the cup to them that
will, and charge your selfe no further. And although this, Ick bring
you, as I have heard many learned men say, hath beene an auncient
custome in Greece, and that the Graecians doe muche commend a goodman
of that time, Socrates, by name, for that hee sat out one whole night
long, drinking a vie with another good man, Aristophanes: and yet y^e
next morning in the breake of the daye, without any rest uppon his
drinking, made suche a cunning Geometricall Instrument, that there was
no maner of faulte to be found in the same: And albeit they say besides
this, that Even as it makes a man bould and hardy, to thrust him selfe
venterously otherwhile, in to daungerous perils of life: so likewise
it brings a man in to good temper and fashion, to enure him selfe
otherwhile, with the daungers of things not ever chauncing: And bycause
the drinking of wine after this sorte, in a vie, in such excesse and
waste, is a shrewde assault to trie the strength of him that quaffes
so lustily: these Graecians, would have us to use it for a certaine
proofe of our strength and constancie: and to enure us the better, to
resist and master all maner of strong temptations.

All this notwithstanding, I am of a contrary mind: and I doe thinke all
their reasons to fond, and to foolishe. But, we see that Learned men
have suche art and cunning to persuade, and such filed wordes to serve
their turne: that wrong doth carry the cause away, and Reason cannot
prevaile. And therefore let us give them no credite in this point. And
what can I tell, if they have a secret drift herein, to excuse and
cover the fault of their countrey, that is corrupt with this vice. But
it is daungerous, perchaunce, for a man to reprove them for it: least
asmuch happen to him, as chaunced to Socrates him selfe, for his over
lavish controuling and checking of every mans fault. For, he was so
spited of all men for it: that many articles of heresies & other foule
faultes were put up against him, and he condemned to die in the end:
allthough they were false. For in truthe, he was a very good man, &
a Chatholike: respecting y^e Religion of their false Idolatrie. But
suer, in that he drunke so muche wine that same night: he deserved no
praise in the worlde. For, the hoggshead was able to holde & receive
a great deale more, then his companion and hee were able to take: if
y^t may get any praise. And though it did him no harme, that was more,
the goodnes of his strong braine: then the continencie of a sober man.
And let the Chronicles talke what they list of this matter, I give
God thankes, that amongest many the Plagues that have creapt over the
Alpes, to infect us: hitherto this worst of all the rest, is not come
over: that we should take a pleasure and praise, to be drunke. Neither
shall I ever beleve, that a man can learne to be temperate, of suche a
Maister as wine and drounkennes.

The Stewarde of a Noble mans house, may not be so bolde to invite
straungers, uppon his owne head, and set them downe at his Lorde &
Maisters table. And there is none that is wise, will be intreated to
it, at his request alone. But otherwhile, the servaunts of the house,
be so malepert and saucie, that they will take uppon them, more then
their Maister: of which things wee speake in this place, more by
chaunce, then that the order we have taken from the beginning, doth so
require it.

A man must not uncase him selfe, in the presence of any assembly. "For
it is a slovenly sight, in place where honest men be met together of
good condition and calling. And it may chaunce he doth uncover those
parts of his bodie, which work him shame & rebuke to shewe them:
besides y^t, it maketh other men abashed to looke upon them. Againe,
I wold have no man to combe his head, nor washe his hands before men.
For such things would be done alone in your chamber, and not abrode:
without it be, I say, to washe your hands when you sit downe to the
table. For, there it shall doe well, to washe them in sight, although
you have no neede: that they with whome you feede, may assure them
selves you have done it. A man must not come forthe with his kercheif,
or quaife one his head, nor yet stroke up his hosen uppon his legges in

"Some men there be, that have a pride or a use to drawe their mouthes
a little awry, or twinckle up their eye, & to blow up their cheekes,
and to puffe, and to make, with their countenaunce, sundrie such like
foolishe and ilfavoured faces and gestures." I councell men to leave
them cleane. For, Pallas her selfe, the Goddesse (as I have hearde
some wise men say) tooke once a greate pleasure to sound the flute &
the cornet: & therin she was verie cunning. It chaunst her, on day,
sounding her Cornet for her plesure over a fontain, she spide her selfe
in the water: and when she beheld those strange gestures she must nedes
make with her mouth as she plaid: she was so much ashamed of it that
she brake the cornet in peces & cast it away.

And truely she did but well, for it is no instrument for a woman to
use. And it becomes men as ill, "if they be not of y^t base condition
and calling, that they must make it a gaine, & an art to live uppon
it. And looke what I speake, concerning the unseemely gestures of the
countenance and face: concerneth likewise, all the partes and members
of man. For it is an ill sight, to lill out y^e tounge, to stroke your
bearde much up and downe (as many doe use to doe) to rubbe your hands
together: to sighe, & to sorrowe: to tremble or strike your selfe,
which is also a fashion w^t some: to reatche and stretche your selfe, &
so retching, to cry out after a nice maner, Alas, Alas: like a country
cloune, y^t should rouse him selfe in his couche."

And he that makes a noise w^t his mouth in a token of wonder, and other
while, of contempte and disdaine: "counterfeteth an ilfavoured grace.
And Counterfet things, differ not muche from truethes."

A man must leave those foolishe maner of laughings, groase and
uncomely. "And let men laughe uppon occasion, and not uppon custome.
But a man must beware he doe not laughe at his owne gestes, and his
doings. For that makes men weene hee woulde faine praise him selfe. It
is for other men to laughe that heare, and not for him that telles the

Now, you must not beare your selfe in hand, that bycause eache of these
matters considered a parte, is but a small fault, y^e hole therefore
together should be as light: but you must rather persuade your selfe
y^t Many a litle doth make a mickle, as I tould you from the beginning.
And how muche lesse they be, so much the more neede a man hathe to
looke well in to them: bycause they be not easily perceived a far of,
but creepe in to us by custom, before we be a ware. And, As light
expences often used, in Continuance of time, doe covertly waste and
consume a greate masse of wealth and riches: So doe these light faultes
with the multitude and number of them, in secret overthrow all honest
and good civilitie and maner. So y^t we must not make a light reconing
of them.

Moreover, it is a nedefull observation to bethinke your selfe, how
you doe move your bodie, and specially in talke. "For, it many times
chaunceth, a man is so ernest in his tale, that hee hath no minde of
any thing els. One wagges his head. Another lookes bigg and scowles
with his browes. That man pulls his mouth awry. And tother spittes in
and uppon their faces with whome he talkes. And som suche there be that
move their hands in suche a sorte, as if they should chase y^e flies
as they go: which be very unhansome & unseemely maners to use." And I
have heard it saide (for you knowe I have byn familiarly acquainted
with learned men in my time) that Pindarus that worthy man was wont to
saye: that "Whatsoever it were that had a good & savourie taste: was
seasoned by the hands of the Graces. Now, what shall I speake of them
y^t come forthe of their studies with their penne in their eare: and
nibble their hankercheifs in their mouthe, or ly lolling w^t their legge
over the table, or spit one their fingers, and of a number of other
blockishe gestures and fashions more then these, which cannot be all
rehearsed well: nor shal not, I meane, put me to further paines to tel
them al if I could. For, there be manie perchaunce will say this is to
muche, that I have said allredie."




Giovanni della Casa, the author of the "Galateo," was born near
Florence in 1503, and died at Rome in 1556. He took orders before
1538, and became successively Apostolic Clerk, Apostolic Commissary,
Archbishop of Benevento, Papal Nuncio at Venice, and Secretary of State
under Paul IV. He was distinguished as a poet, as a diplomatist, and as
an orator.

The "Galateo" was written between 1551 and 1555, at the suggestion of
Galeazzo Florimonte, Bishop of Sessa, whose "poetic" name it bears
in consequence. It was published posthumously at Venice, in 1558,
in a volume entitled "Rime e Prose di M. Giov. della Casa," and was
republished separately at Milan in 1559, at Florence in 1560, and often
thereafter. A complete edition of the works of Della Casa, in three
volumes, was edited by Casotti at Florence in 1707.

The "Galateo" was translated into French by Jean du Peyrat in 1562, and
again, anonymously, with the original and the translation on opposite
pages, in 1573. A Spanish version by Domingo Becerra was published in
1585, and this was followed in 1599 by a loose imitation by Gracian
Dantisco, entitled "El Galateo Español," which in its turn was
translated into English in 1640 by William Styles as "Galateo Espagnol,
or the Spanish Gallant." In 1598 an edition of the "Galateo" in four
languages, Italian, French, Latin, and Spanish, was published at Lyons;
and a German version was added in the editions of 1609 and 1615.

The first English translation, by Robert Peterson of Lincoln's Inn,
appeared in 1576, as "Galateo of Maister Iohn Della Casa, Archebishop
of Beneventa, or rather a Treatise of the Manners and Behaviours it
behoveth a Man to use in his familiar Conversation;" and an edition of
it, limited to one hundred copies, was privately printed by H. J. Reid
in 1892. Peterson's rendering is based almost entirely on the anonymous
French translation of 1573, although he occasionally refers to the
Italian original on the opposite pages. Two proofs of his indebtedness
will suffice: Where the Frenchman renders the single Italian word
"mezzanamente" by the phrase "avec discretion et médiocrité," Peterson
follows him with "by Discretion and Measure;" and again, the single
word "questa" in Della Casa becomes "cette gracieuseté et courtoisie"
in the French and "this civilitie and courtesie" in the English version.

At least five other English translations have been published. In
1616, Thomas Gainsford appended to his "Rich Cabinet" an "Epitome of
Good Manners extracted from Archbp. J. de la Casa;" the treatise
was paraphrased by N. W. as "The Refin'd Courtier" in 1663; in 1701,
an English translation (from the Latin version of N. Chytraeus) was
published "by several young Gentlemen educated at a private Grammar
School near Hackney," under the title of "J. Casa his Galateus, or a
Treatise of Manners;" a version entitled "Galateo of Manners" appeared
in 1703; and still another version, entitled "Galateo, or a Treatise on
Politeness and Delicacy of Manners," appeared in 1774. Della Casa was
also the author of another treatise on conduct, "Trattato degli Uffici
communi tra gli Amici superiori e inferiori," which was translated
into English by Henry Stubbe in 1665, as "The Arts of Grandeur and

Peterson's version is reproduced in the present work. The proofs
have been collated with the British Museum copy of the original 1576
edition by Mr. W. B. Owen, formerly scholar of St. Catharine's College,
Cambridge. In deference to the insistence of the publisher and the
general editor, a few passages "perfume our pages only in their native

                                                    J. E. S.

                             THIS VOLUME
                   WITH TITLE-PAGE BY T. M. CLELAND
                     WAS PRINTED BY D. B. UPDIKE
                       AT THE MERRYMOUNT PRESS
                            BOSTON, U.S.A.

Transcriber's Notes:

Punctuation errors repaired.

The following correction has been made to the text:

     Page 88: not shoofle them together at random[original reads

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